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March 2006 news and reviews

March 31
DVD guide to digital photography
photo-i, in association with Canon, is producing a series of DVDs on digital photography. The first to be released is 'A guide to digital photography' showing you how to get the best results from your digital camera. The DVD contains a series of assignments and tutorials and pictures are manipulated in Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 (from summer 2006 it will use Photoshop CS).
March 30
New firmware for Olympus E-500
Olympus has announced a firmware update (version 1.2) for the E-500 (EVOLT) Four Thirds Sytem DSLR. The changes are a new menu function for exchanging the AEL/AFL and One-touch WB buttons, and an improvement in the exposure level of the built-in flash when using certain lenses.
March 29
Leica Digital-Modul-R firmware update
Leica has today posted firmware update 1.2 for the ten megapixel Digital-Modul-R back for the R8 or R9 SLRs. This update includes improved image display, improved color, compatibility with 4 GB SD cards, compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3, improved Japanese menu and some bug fixes / optimizations. This update can be installed by simply loading the firmware file onto an SD card.
New firmware for EOS 30D, 5D and 1D Mark II N
Canon has today released firmware updates for three of its newest digital SLR's. The EOS 30D gets firmware update 1.0.4 which fixes some Chinese language display problems, the EOS 5D gets update 1.0.5 which fixes a monochrome image bug and a problem with a combination of the EF 85 F1.2L and Speedlite 580EX, finally the EOS-1D Mark II N gets update 1.0.4 which also fixes a monochrome image bug and also an over-exposure problem when using Focusing Screen EC-S. Links to updates inside.
March 28
Sony 8GB Compact Vault Drive
Sony has added to its removable hard disk drive lineup with the 8GB Compact Vault drive. Compatible with CompactFlash Type II slots the new drive can hold up to 2,560 JPEG images (3MB) or 320 mins of MPEG4 video with transfer speeds of up to 12MB per sec.
BreezeBrowser Pro v1.4.2
Breeze Systems has announced an upgrade to BreezeBrowser Pro in the shape of v1.4.2. This downloadable update adds support for the Canon EOS 30D including raw conversion, focus point overlay and improved color management when printing.
Qimage v2006.250
Digital Domain Inc has released the latest version of its professional photographic printing software Qimage v2006.250. The Windows based software boasts new features including double borders, border sizing, new color management and an improved print quality for extreme enlargements.
March 27
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix FX01 review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01. This, the fourth incarnation of the ultra compact range started in 2004 with the FX7, is on the face of it another minor facelift. But it does offer something still pretty unique in a camera in this class - a true wideangle zoom, covering a useful 28-102mm (3.6x) zoom range. It is, in fact, the world's smallest camera with a 28mm lens. Other changes include a high sensitivity mode (offering sensitivities of up to 1600) and a new 16:9 widescreen movie mode. Find out how it did after the link.
Breeze Systems PSRemote 1.5
Breeze Systems has announced PSRemote version 1.5 (for Windows). PSRemote allows remote control of Canon PowerShot cameras, and the new version adds new models and allows users to auto bracket a sequence of up to 15 images, display a live viewfinder view on a PC, store images direct to a PC's hard disk and view high res previews within seconds.
Olympus E-330 available in kits
Olympus has announced that the E-330 digital SLR will be made available in six different kit forms providing customised, professional solutions for virtually any photographic situation. The kits will come in travel, medical, macro, nature, architectural and underwater flavours.
Pentax sponsors KSI website
Pentax is sponsoring The Kelly Slater Invitational (KSI) website that was launched at the weekend. The waterproof Optio W10 is the official camera of the surfing event that attracts pro surfers, Hollywood celebs and the music industry.
PrinterSpot from DCResource
Jeff over at DCResource has just launched his new printers orientated website, PrinterSpot.com. This new website is aimed at providing news and reviews for both photo and multifunction printers. The site will be run by Marc Frochtzweig and Jef Keller and already sports seven printer reviews including the Canon Selphy CP710, Pixma iP6000D, Epson PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition and the HP Photosmart 8250. We wish Marc and Jeff all the best with their new venture. Do them a favour and pop over to see if there's anything of interest for you.
March 18
Just posted! Olympus E-330 EVOLT review
Just posted! Our full in-depth review of the new Olympus E-330 EVOLT digital SLR. Announced just two months ago the E-330 is Olympus's latest Four Thirds digital SLR and is based on the E-300. The E-330 was the first removable lens digital SLR announced which can provide a live LCD view, either using a special small CCD sensor in the viewfinder chamber or the main capture sensor itself. See how the E-330 performed and how it compares to the competition.
March 15
Epson R-D1s Digital Rangefinder Camera
Epson Japan has today announced a subtly improved version of its unique R-D1 Digital Rangefinder Camera. Just like the R-D1 the R-D1s features the a six megapixel APS-C size sensor and supports Leica M and L mount lenses. New features include a 'Quick View' record review function, RAW+ JPEG support, Adobe RGB color space, image parameter control, long exposure noise reduction and higher playback magnification.
Epson Photo Fine Player P-4500
Epson Japan has today announced the third iteration of its Photo Fine Player 'Multimedia Storage Viewer'. This new version sports an 80 GB hard disk (the same as the P-4000), the same beautiful 3.8" VGA LCD screen, SD/CF slot and USB 2.0 interface. Improvements include a new image processing system with support for images of up to 30 megapixels, wider RAW format support, wider video format support (including MPEG-1/2/4 and DivX) and new display modes (including grouping by EXIF tag). The P-4500 will cost 75,000 YEN (approx. $640) when it goes on sale in Japan.
March 9
Mamiya launch ZD
First announced in 2004 at Photokina, Mamiya has today announced the availability of the 22-million pixel ZD. This medium format digital SLR features a large 48 x 36mm CCD sensor which can capture a 35MB RAW file, is compatible with 645AF lenses and has two memory card slots using CF I/II and SD cards.
Panasonic 4 GB SDHC card
CeBIT 2006: Not to be outdone by MemoryStick Panasonic has today ensured that its chosen storage format, Secure Digital card, can at least match the capacity offered in other fomats. There is a catch though, Secure Digital was never designed for capacities over 1 GB, that was solved but then addressing anything over 2 GB became the next problem. To solve this the SD Association have proposed SDHC, essentially the same physical format as SD but only compatible with SDHC devices (such as the new Panasonic DMC-L1). So it's good news and bad news.
SanDisk 4 GB MemoryStick Pro Duo
CeBIT 2006: While this story may be of more interest to Sony PSP owners it should also be noted that the majority of new Sony digital cameras announced this year feature MemoryStick Duo slots (rather than the full size MemoryStick) which hints at the general future of MemoryStick. SanDisk has today revealed its highest capacity MemoryStick Pro Duo card to date, now a hefty 4 GB in a package which measures just 20 x 31 x 1.6 mm (0.8 x 1.2 x 0.1 in). To think that back in 2000 we were getting excited about 1 GB Microdrives.
March 8
The definition of a review
As a result of numerous enquiries from dpreview visitors we have become aware that there is increasing confusion about what constitutes a 'review' and the differences between reviews and previews on this site and the Internet as a whole. This confusion doesn't help visitors looking for qualified information when choosing a camera, and the misuse of the word 'review' is beginning to tarnish the hard work put into reviews here and on other sites. After discussion with Dave at Imaging-Resource and Jeff at Digital Camera Resource Page we have jointly developed some standard 'editorial definitions' which clearly lay out what readers should expect from articles titled 'preview' or 'review'. This standard will be adhered to across all three sites (although in actual fact we three have been following these standards since the beginning).
Micron Technology to acquire Lexar Media
It's been announced today that Micron Technology Inc. are to acquire Lexar Media Inc. in a stock-for-stock merger. The acquisition will combine Micron's Technology and manufacturing leadership in NAND flash memory with Lexar's leadership in NAND controller and system design technology, brand recognition and retail strength.
March 2
Just posted! PMA 2006 Final Show Report
PMA 2006: We've just posted the final version of our PMA 2006 Show Report. The show report covers 19 stands with over 230 images and 2,880 words (all produced and posted live from the show floor). In the five days of the show we received over 3.8 million visitors who read 14.6 million pages. We've also compiled our top ten new products (a few of which will probably come as no surprise). Overall we found this PMA to be a busy show with plenty of interesting news and a much more positive vibe in 'backroom' meetings. It was a noticeable step up from last year and bodes well for the year ahead and Photokina in September.