« July 2006  |  September 2006 »

August 2006 news and reviews

August 31
Capture One LE free with Extreme III
Phase One and SanDisk have today jointly announced that every SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash card will come bundled with a copy of Capture One LE RAW Workflow and also include a 15 percent discount off an upgrade from Capture One LE to Capture One Pro. It's a logical move when you consider that more use of RAW will result in sales of larger, faster cards, for Phase One it's a great way to promote their product to a wider audience.
August 29
Sigma SD14 - coming soon
Pre-Photokina 2006: Through the use of a teaser website Sigma has today revealed the existence and name of their next digital SLR. The SD14 will be announced on 26th September (first day of Photokina) and has a 'Full Color Capture Direct Image Sensor' (read as a new Foveon chip). No other details have been revealed at this point but as always we will follow this evolving story in as much detail as possible.
August 24
Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi
Pre-Photkina 2006: Canon has today announced the latest evolution in their affordable digital SLR series, the ten megapixel EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi. Headline new features / specifications include the ten megapixel CMOS sensor (up to ISO 1600), a new dust reduction system, nine area auto focus, Picture Styles, a large 2.5" LCD monitor which now also provides shooting information (the second control panel LCD is gone) and better continuous shooting buffering.
Canon EF 50 mm F1.2L USM lens
Pre-Photokina 2006: The second Canon lens announcement is the very interesting looking EF 50 mm F1.2L USM, it features a fast focusing ring-type Ultrasonic Motor, aspherical lebs element, circular aperture diaphragm and L-series construction. This lens should be available in November for $1600 (US).
Canon EF 70-200 mm F4L IS USM lens
Pre-Photokina 2006: The first of two new lenses from Canon is a image stabilized 'version' of the current EF 70-200 mm F4L. With this new stabilized lens Canon are boasting no less than 4 stops of stabilization (meaning you could use a shutter speed 4 stops/EVs slower than without it). Despite the addition of image stabilization the lens remains the same size as its non-stabilized sibling and is only slightly heavier. This lens should be available in November for $1250 (US).
Ricoh Caplio R5
Pre-Photokina 2006: Ricoh has today announced the update to the Caplio R4 with the 7.24 million pixel Caplio R5. The R5 features a 7.1x zoom, Ricoh's CCD-shift vibration correction, adds a brighter 2.5-inch LCD and ups sensitivity to ISO 1600.
Canon PowerShot A710IS
Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has expanded its PowerShot A range with the first A series to feature Optical Image Stabilization, the A710 IS. The A710 IS builds on the successful formula established in the A700 it replaces, with an extra million pixels (now 7.1MP), new photo effects and a new wide viewing angle LCD screen. Like the A700 the new camera has a 6x optical zoom.
Canon PowerShot A630 & A640
Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has also launched successors to popular A610 and A620 PowerShots. Both cameras feature 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD screens, 4x optical zooms, Digic II processors and higher megapixel sensors; 10 megapixels for the A640 and 8.0 megapixels for the A630. Both the new cameras also have a maximum ISO 800 sensitivity setting and a new 'Safety Zoom' feature.
Canon Selphy ES1
Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon's Selphy printer range has a new flagship model in the shape of the ES1, which is claimed to offer the highest print quality ever achieved by a Canon SELPHY compact photo printer. The ES1 supports new all-in-one ink and media cassettes, 50-sheet capacity and one-touch operation for unparalleled ease of use, and boasts a large 2.5-inch color screen, wireless printing, optional battery pack and several built-in effects and enhancement tools.
Canon Selphy CP720 & CP730
Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon's growing range of Selphy photo printers has been updated with a couple of ultra-compact models sporting distinctly 'ipod-like' styling. The Selphy CP730 and CP720 feature 2.0 and 1.5-inch screens respectively, plus direct print capablities (via USB or memory card) and a new low cost per print.
Canon 3rd generation PIXMA printers
Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has announced its third generation of PIXMA printers with a staggering fifteen new models. The line-up comprises of seven new Photo All-in-Ones, six new Photo printers and two new Mini series.
Fujifilm FinePix S9600 / S9100
Pre-Photokina 2006: Fujiflm has announced a minor upgrade to the S9500 (aka S9000) in the shape of the FinePix S9600 (to be known as the FinePix S9100 in the USA). The new model is claimed to offer better low light performance, faster operation and improved image quality thanks to a new processor. Externally almost indentical to its predecessor, the S9600 has the same resolution (9 million pixels) and the same 10.7x optical zoom.
Nikon Coolpix S10
Pre-Photokina 2006: Nikon has today announced several new Coolpix cameras. We start here with the new Coolpix S10, which updates the Coolpix S4, offering the same 6 million pixels and 10x swivel zoom lens, but adding CCD-shift Vibration Reduction and increased sensitivity (to ISO 800).
Nikon Coolpix S9
Pre-Photokina 2006: Also added to the slimline Nikon S-series of cameras is the Coolpix S9. This 6.1-megapixel compact features a 2.5-inch screen, 3x zoom, 15 scene modes and Face Priority AF.
Nikon Coolpix S7c
Pre-Photokina 2006: Next in the new Coolpix line-up is the slimline 7.1-megapixel S7c featuring a large 3-inch LCD, Vibration Reduction, sensitivity to ISO 1600 and WI-FI capability.
Nikon Coolpix L5
Pre-Photokina 2006: Next up is the first of Nikon's new L-series entry-level compacts, the 7.2 million pixel Coolpix L5. The L5 sports a 2.5-inch LCD, a 5x 38-190mm (35mm equiv) zoom lens, Lens shift VR and Nikon's Face Priority AF.
Nikon Coolpix L6
Pre-Photokina 2006: Last but not least we have Nikon's final camera announcement of the day, the entry-level Coolpix L6. Featuring 6 million pixels, a 3x zoom and sensitivity up to ISO 800.
Nikon Coolpix Connect
Pre-Photokina 2006: Nikon has also announced a free of charge service enabling users to share their photos over the internet directly from the camera. Currently only available with the new Coolpix S7c, also launched today.
August 23
Olympus SP-510 UZ
Pre-Photokina 2006: Oympus has announced a raft of new models in its FE, Mju (Stylus) and SP ranges. First up is the replacement for the SP-500UZ, the SP-510UZ. Aside from a silver paint job there's a resolution increase to 7 million pixels, and several enhancements, including sensitivity up to ISO 4000 (1600 at full resolution).
Olympus Stylus 1000
Pre-Photokina 2006: Next up is the new flagship of the Mju (Stylus) range, the Mju 1000, which boasts 10.0 million pixels and full resolution sensitivity of up to ISO 1600 (ISO 6400 at 3 million pixels). The weatherproof Mju 1000 also sports a 3x zoom lens and 2.5-inch LCD.
Olympus Stylus 725 SW
Pre-Photokina 2006: Those of you with an adventurous (or just clumsy) side will be pleased to hear that Olympus has updated the shockproof and waterproof Mju 720 SW. The new Mju 725 SW is now waterproof to 5m, can survive being dropped 1.5m, and features the same 7.1MP resolution and 3x optical zoom as its predecessor. UPDATE: We understand this product will not be available in the USA.
Olympus Stylus 740 & 750
Pre-Photokina 2006: Next up in the Mju (Stylus) series of metal-bodied weatherproof compacts are two new models sporting more powerful 5x optical zoom lenses; the Mju 740 and Mju 750. The latter also boasts a CCD-shift image stabilization system. Both have 7.1 megapixel CCDs and Bright Capture technology offering sensitivity up to ISO 1600.
Olympus Stylus 730
Pre-Photokina 2006: Just in case there weren't enough Mju (Stylus) models to choose from, meet the Mju 730, a slim-bodied weatherproof 7.1 megapixel compact with a large 3-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom and ISO 1600 (using 'Bright Capture Technology').
Olympus FE-200
Pre-Photokina 2006: Olympus has also beefed up its affordable FE range with four new models. First up is the metal-bodied FE-200, which boasts a 5x optical zoom (covering a useful 28-140mm equiv. range), 6.0 megapixel CCD, 2.5-inch screen and Lithium-Ion battery. Just goes to show how far we've come when a camera like this is described as 'entry-level'!
Olympus FE-190
Pre-Photokina 2006: The second 'entry level' FE model is the slim, metal-bodied FE-190, a 6.0 megapixel compact with 3x zoom and 2.5-inch LCD screen. Although there's no mention of 'Bright Capture' the FE-190 still offers a respectable top sensitivity of ISO 1000 at full resolution.
Olympus FE-170 & FE-180
Pre-Photokina 2006: Last but not least we have the Olympus FE-170 and FE-180, a pair of 'no-nonsense' budget models with 6.0 million pixel CCDs, 3x zoom lenses and, in the case of the FE-180, a top sensitivity of ISO 1000. The other differences are minor, and to be honest inexplicable unless Olympus intends them to be sold through different channels.
August 21
Pentax Optio A20
Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax has announced today the Optio A20, one of two new compacts. The 10-megapixel Optio A20 is the successor to the A10 announced back in January. It features a 3x zoom lens, three types of anti-shake function, Face Recognition AF & AE and Auto Tracking AF.
Pentax Optio M20
Pre-Photokina 2006: Pentax also announced today the latest in the M-series line-up of cameras, the M20, a 7-megapixel upgrade to the M10. The M20 also sports a 3x zoom, anti-shake function, Face Recognition AF & AE, and is claimed to be able to offer up to 700 shots on two AA batteries.
Just posted! Ricoh GR Digital Review
Just posted! Our Review of the unique Ricoh GR Digital. Announced almost a year ago and described as a 'professional grade high resolution compact' the GR Digital echoes the design and ethos of the popular and very highly regarded GR series of film compacts and is unusual in having a fixed 28mm equivalent F2.4 lens and full photographic control. It's also won a small but growing band of dedicated fans. So does the GR-D live up to all the hype or is it just another 8MP compact with pretensions? Find out what we thought after the link...
August 20
Photokina 2006 Show Report - Live
Pre-Photokina 2006: Here at Digital Photography Review we are proud to have attended and reported from the last three Photokina shows (2000, 2002 and 2004). In preparation for this years show (which looms ever closer) we have now activated our Photokina 2006 Show Report which already carries some twenty-two recently announced products and will be continually updated from now until the end of the show. The report pages carries a new product index and during the show itself will be the starting point for our minute-by-minute live reports 'from the show floor'.
Photokina 2006: The biggest ever
Pre-Photokina 2006: With just over a month to go the organizers of Photokina 2006 are reporting that this show will be the biggest ever with around 1,600 exhibitors and an estimated 160,000 visitors. This year will also see the attendance of Apple and CeWe Color for the first time. For those who are attending you should also be aware of the restructuring of Koelnmesse because of the leasing of the Rhineside Halls to the RTL television station.
August 11
Sigma announce APO 50-150 mm F2.8 DC lens
Sigma has today announced a very interesting sounding lens, the new APO 50-150 mm F2.8 EX DC HSM. This lens promises to be compact (its DC notation means its designed for an APS-C size imaging circle) and fast (an F2.8 maximum aperture) with a good telephoto zoom range, HSM focusing motor and four SLD (Low Dispersion) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrations. This lens on a 1.5x crop digital SLR (such as the Nikon D80) would provide an equivalent FOV of 75 to 225 mm.
August 10
Samsung develop three-inch VGA LCD
Samsung Electronics today announced that they have developed the worlds first three-inch TFT LCD with a full VGA (640 x 480) resolution designed specifically for digital cameras (most digital camera LCD monitors are QVGA; 320 x 240). To simplify the interface between the CCD live view signal and the monitor this new LCD operates at 30 Hz instead of the standard 60 Hz. Other specifications include 300 nit brightness, a 350:1 contrast ratio and a 150 degree viewing angle (left to right). Production is due to start in the first half of 2007.
August 9
Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro UVIR
Fujifilm has today announced a specialized version of their S3 Pro digital SLR. The new UVIR suffix model has been modified to be able to take photographs in the Ultra Violet and InfraRed parts of the light spectrum, this feature aimed primarily at law enforcement, science, medical and fine art. Like something from CSI the new S3 Pro UVIR is capable of uncovering otherwise invisible evidence such as gun shot residue, blood stains and burned writing. This new model (which appears to be US only) will be available at select dealers priced at $1,799.
Nikon D80, 10 mp, previewed
Nikon has today put the end to the speculation and announced the new ten megapixel D80 digital SLR. This new camera is the natural successor to the D70/D70s with a refreshed design, user interface and a wide range of new features. Headline improvements are; 10.2 mp CCD, new image processing engine, 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 11-area AF system, configurable Auto ISO, configurable high ISO NR, a larger and brighter viewfinder, in-camera retouching (including D-Lighting), built-in wireless flash commander, SD card storage (with SD-HC support) and the D200's higher capacity battery. The D80 will go on sale in September with a body only price of $999 in the US, £699 in the UK or $1299 in the US, £949 in the UK as a kit with the new 18-135 mm DX lens. We have had a D80 for a few days to produce our detailed hands-on preview which is available now.
Nikon AF-S DX 18-135 mm lens
In conjunction with their announcement of the new D80 digital SLR Nikon has also revealed two new lenses, the first of which is the DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED which is destined to become the D80's kit lens. This new lens features ED glass, Internal Focusing and a Silent Wave Motor, it provides an equivalent field of view of 27 - 202.5 mm on a DX format digital SLR and has a maximum aperture of F3.5 at wide angle and F5.6 at telephoto. Unbundled it will be priced at £299 in the UK and should be available in September.
Nikon AF-S 70-300 mm VR lens
The second lens announcement from Nikon is the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (a mouthful if there ever was one). This lens features ED glass, Internal Focusing, a Silent Wave Motor and Vibration Reduction (II), it provides an equivalent field of view of 105 - 450 mm on a DX format digital SLR (such as the new D80) and has a maximum aperture of F4.5 at wide angle and F5.6 at telephoto. It will priced at $699 in the US and £399 in the UK and should be available in October.
August 8
Pentax K100D Firmware v1.01
Pentax has today posted a firmware update for its K100D digital SLR. Version 1.01 appears to contain one important update; support for SD-HC cards (SD type cards with a capacity of 4 GB or greater) and one minor update; focal length input into the Shake Reduction menu is now displayed accurately in Pentax Photo Browser 3. The firmware can be easily installed by loading the BIN file onto an SD card and starting the camera holding the MENU button (just make sure you've got fresh batteries).
Fujifilm / Olympus 2 GB xD-Picture Card
Both Fujifilm and Olympus (the only two companies utilizing the xD format) have today announced a step up in capacity for xD card to 2 GB. The new 2 GB xD-Picture Card is twice as large as the current largest and utilizes Multi-Level Cell technology to pack so much storage into such a small package. This new card will be available in September, there's currently no word on price.
Kodak EasyShare V705 & C875
Kodak has announced today a handful of new EasyShare cameras. The 7.0 megapixel EasyShare V705 Dual Lens and the 8 megapixel EasyShare C875 both feature a 5x all glass Schneider-Kreuznach optical zoom lens and a 2.5-inch LCD and the V705 also sports an additional ultra wide 23mm lens. Kodak has also announced two entry level cameras; the C743 and C433.
Kodak EasyShare G600 Printer Dock
Kodak also introduces today the EasyShare G600 Printer Dock, which features a built-in handle, smart paper tray storage and battery for easy portability. Available from this month the G600 is capable of producing a high quality photo in just 60 seconds. The G600 features automatic Kodak Perfect Touch technology providing red-eye reduction and is PictBridge and ImageLink compliant.
Casio Exilim Card EX-S770, ultra slim
Casio has today revealed an all new ultra-slim 'Exilim Card' series digital camera, the seven megapixel EX-S770. Sporting a new smoothed, rounded design and glossy finish it looks slick and expensive. The S770 features a three times optical zoom lens, a large bright 2.8" LCD monitor, and 16:9 format MPEG-4 video capture. The S770 is 17 mm (2/3 in) thin and weighs just 127 g (4.5 oz) without its Lithium-Ion battery. UPDATE: Additionally Casio US has confirmed the already announced EX-Z70 and EX-Z700 will be available there.
August 7
Pentax Optio W20
Pentax has announced today the Optio W20.The replacement for the popular waterproof Optio W10, the W20 has been upgraded to 7 million pixels and adds a blur reduction mode. The W20 also features a 2.5-inch LCD, Face Recognition AF and a 3x zoom.
August 4
Just posted! Panasonic TZ1 Review
Just posted! Our Concise Review of the unique Panasonic DMC-TZ1; the world's smallest 10x image-stabilized zoom camera. Whilst not what you'd call 'pocketable' (unless you have very large pockets), the TZ1 is considerably less bulky than its 'SLR-like' siblings (and their competitors), and, though it offers little in the way of truly manual control, it is packed with features. But is it any good? Find out what we thought after the link...
August 2
Sony GPS tracker for photographers
Sony has today announced a very interesting little device for recording the position where photographs are taken. The GPS-CS1 is a small (9 cm / 3.5 in) cylindrical device which you simply attach to a backback or belt loop and carry with you while you shoot, it records your GPS location and this information can later be synchronized with your digital images to provide a map of where your photos were taken. We assume it does this using date and time information stored in the image header (which obviously requires your camera's clock to be synchronized). Interestingly the mapping solution is an online website with maps provided by Google Maps (it appears that the synchronization software will write the GPS location into JPEG EXIF headers).
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10
Sony has today launched the colorful 7-megapixel Cyber-Shot DSC-T10 camera. The DSC-T10 features sensitivity up to ISO 1000, Sony's Super Steady Shot OIS, a 3x Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, 56MB of internal memory and a 2.5-inch LCD. It will be available to order from this month in a choice of colors - pink (yes!), white, black or silver.