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March 2007 news and reviews

March 29
Breeze Systems adds GPS support to Downloader Pro 2.0
Breeze Systems has released the latest version of its image transfer package Downloader Pro. Features new to v2.0 include the ability to tag images with GPS coordinate information as they are downloaded from camera to computer and thumbnail support. The new software has also been updated to run on Windows Vista and includes support for additional file types.
March 28
Latest Sigma Pro Photo software for SD9 & SD10 users
Sigma has announced that the latest version of its Pro Photo RAW development software which is bundled with its latest SD-14 DSLR will be available to users of SD9 & SD10 cameras from early April 2007. Sigma says this latest release has an improved image-processing algorithm and that v3.0 for PC and v2.2 for Macintosh will be available via the Sigma website.
Ricoh announces GX100
Ricoh has announced the successor to its Caplio GX8 digital camera. Among the headline features are a 24-72mm (equiv.) zoom lens and a slim body measuring just 25mm deep. Possibly the camera's most interesting new feature is a removable electronic viewfinder, a world first for Ricoh. Images updated.
March 27
Adobe Creative Suite branches out

Adobe has today unveiled its release plans for the next version of Creative Suite and it looks like they've been very busy indeed. The industry colossus now comes in an initially bewildering variety of different forms, each aimed at providing tools and workflows tailored to different strands of the imaging sector. Adobe is even releasing software to assist developers of software for handheld devices. Each of the 'premium' suites comes packaged with the new extended edition of Photoshop whilst purchasers of the 'standard' set will receive the 'plain vanilla' release. Available from April 2007, this round of releases looks set to cement Adobe's name as the industry leader for some time to come.

Photoshop CS3: Final release details
Adobe has today fleshed out its release plans for the next version of Photoshop. As reported earlier there will be two versions made available when it begins shipping next month. The standard edition will be familiar to existing users whilst a second 'extended' release will be aimed at industries as diverse as medicine, architecture and 3D design which already use image manipulation packages but require specific tools and features not currently included in Photoshop. This split in the product line serves to extend Adobe's potential market whilst not forcing traditional users to adopt the new additions unless they choose to.
March 26
Just Posted! Olympus SP-550UZ Review
Just Posted! Our review of the Olympus SP-550UZ, the first serious attempt by Olympus to take back some ground in the super zoom sector it helped create back in 2000 with the legendary C-2100UZ. Offering 7MP resolution, image stabilization (CCD-shift) and an astounding 28-504mm (equiv.) 18x optical zoom range rarely has a camera caused so much interest based on its specification alone... so can the SP-550UZ live up to the hype? Find out in our in-depth review after the link...
Olympus SP-550UZ firmware V1.1
Olympus has released the first firmware update for its SP-550UZ digital camera. Said to improve exposure accuracy when shooting above ISO800, the update is available now and may be installed via your Olympus Master software (follow the link below for instructions):
March 23
Casio Exilim EX-Z70 & EX-Z700 gain SDHC support
Casio has released updated firmware for its Exilim EX-Z70 and EX-Z700 digital cameras. The update brings SDHC media support, allowing the cameras to utilize cards in excess of 4GB capacity. Follow the link below to visit the Casio firmware update page for more information and to download the updates.
March 22
Lightzone for Adobe & Apple users
Light Crafts have announced that their LightZone editing software is to be made available at a discounted rate to users of Apple Aperture and Photoshop Lightroom. The package will also be compatible with Apple iPhoto. The software is said to employ a simpler and more natural approach to the retouching and enhancement of digital images, allowing artists every opportunity to express themselves effectively without being bogged down in technical jargon. Updated.
March 20
Fujifilm S5 Firmware 1.04 released
Fujifilm has released upgraded firmware for its S5 Pro DSLR. Bringing the camera up to 1.04 specification, the update concentrates on improving the White Balance system, tweaking the 'Flash' preset as well as allowing better colour performance whilst using the automatic setting with non-CPU lenses. For further information or to download the update, which is available with immediate effect, simply pay a visit to the Fujifilm S5 Pro firmware update page (link inside) .
March 16
SanDisk standard SDHC range to reach 8GB
SanDisk today announced that from next month 8GB will be the highest capacity available in its standard range of SDHC media cards. Previously restricted to the premium 'Ultra II' line, the lower cost and speed of the new cards make them ideal for owners of the latest crop of high-resolution compact digital cameras. As with the Ultra II, SanDisk will bundle an SDHC reader with the card.
March 13
Just posted! PMA 2007 Final Show Report
PMA 2007: We've just posted the final version of our PMA 2007 Show Report including a round-up of the show from our perspective. The show report covers 19 stands with over 260 images and 3,000 words (all posted live from the show floor). In the five days of the show (including press day) we received 4.4 million visitors who read 11.9 million pages. So click on for the complete and final PMA 2007 story.
March 9
New additions to Sandisk Extreme III range
Sandisk is expanding its range of Extreme III media with new 4GB SDHCand Memory Stick PRO Duocards. The SDHC is rated as 'Class 6' which guarantees a minimum sustained write speed of 6MB/s, although Sandisk say it is capable of 20MB/s. It will also be bundled with a MicroMateUSB 2.0 reader, ensuring compatibility with the new standard. The Memory Stick PRO Duo card is said to have a sequential read/write rating of 18MB/s.
Lexar Platinum II SDHC & MS Pro Duo
PMA 2007: Lexar are expanding their line of memory cards with a new 4GB Platinum II CompactFlash® card as well as Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media in 2 and 4GB capacities. Purchasers of certain cards in the Platinum II range will also be eligible to download a selection of software including image recovery and backup tools.
March 8
PMA 2007 Show Report Live
PMA 2007: The dpreview team have been in Las Vegas for two days in preparation for the PMA 2007 trade show which opens its doors this morning. We will of course be bringing you our usual live-from-the-show-floor reports with coverage of the most important exhibitors and products in a virtual whrilwind tour of the floor. Keep a close eye on our live report index at the top of the front page, on our show report page or subscribe to our show report RSS feed.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G1
PMA 2007: After announcing most of its new compact digital camera range last week, Sony held one back for the first day of PMA. The DSC-G1 is Sony's first wireless Cyber-Shot digital camera, and it also boasts a 921,000 pixel 3.5-inch screen, 2.0GB (yes GB) of internal memory and advanced automatic image management. On the photographic side the DSC-G1 is pretty standard Cyber-shot fayre, though it does have optical image stabilization (Super Steady Shot in Sony speak).
Adobe to offer Photoshop CS3 in two flavours
PMA 2007: Adobe has today outlined its plans to offer two versions of Photoshop CS3 when it is released later this year. In addition to the standard edition, imaging professionals and enthusiasts will have the option of a yet more comprehensive tool in the form of an extended version. This is said to build on the already bulging feature set by adding 3-D and motion graphics oriented capabilities as well as allowing image measurement and analysis. Adobe say they are aiming to simplify imaging in the architectural, engineering, medical and scientific industries whilst continuing to cater to their core following of graphic and multimedia artists.
Sandisk offers 8GB SDHC
PMA 2007: Sandisk has today introduced its largest capacity SDHC media to date, packing 8GB into the familiar format. Part of the popular 'Ultra II' range, the new card is given a Class 4 speed rating guaranteeing a minimum sustained write speed of 4MB/s. Sandisk has also chosen to bundle an SDHC reader with the card. This is a nice gesture on their part as older devices are not compatible with the new standard.
Sigma DP1
PMA 2007: Another Sigma product revealed at Photokina but confirmed today is the DP1 compact camera with an APS size sensor. The DP1 features the same Foveon 14M X3 sensor (2652 x 1768 x 3 layers) as the SD14 and a fixed 16.6 mm F4.0 lens (providing a 28 mm equiv. FOV). Significant changes since the development announcement back in September include a hot-shoe and external viewfinder.
Sigma APO 200 - 500 mm F2.8 lens
PMA 2007: Sigma has today announced one massive beast of a lens; the APO 200 - 500 mm F2.8 EX DG. This lens is stated by Sigma as being the worlds first Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens that offers an impressively fast F2.8 maximum aperture through its range. The lens also features and LCD panel with a readout of focal length and subject distance. If 500 mm isn't enough reach a dedicated 2x Tele Converter is supplied with the lens as standard and changes it into a 400 - 1000 mm F5.6. Combine that with a typical APS-size 1.5x FOV crop on a digital SLR and you've got either 300 - 750 mm F2.8 or a 600 - 1500 mm F5.6 (better have a good tripod). No news on price, availability or weight yet.
Sigma 18-200 mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS
PMA 2007: Although revealed at Photokina six months ago Sigma has today officially announced the 18 - 200 mm F3.5 - F6.3 DC OS lens. This compact lens offers a big 11x zoom range in combination with Sigma's own Optical Stabilizer. It features aspherical and low dispersion elements as well as multi-layer coating to reduce flare and ghosting. On the downside it is slow (F6.3) at telephoto (you can't have everything at this price). On a digital SLR with a 1.5x FOV multiplier this lens provides an equivalent field of view of 27-300 mm on a 35 mm camera.
HP Photosmart R837
PMA 2007: Today's HP day, with three new additions to the easy to use Photosmart digital camera range. First up is the Photosmart R837, which represents something of a design departure for HP, featuring an internal zoom and sliding front panel. Other spec of note include a 3.0-inch LCD screen, 3x zoom and 7.2MP CCD. More importantly it is packed with HP technology goodness, including (an industry first) pet-eye fix and, naturally, a special 'slimming mode'. Nice.
HP Photosmart M537
PMA 2007: Next up is the entry-level Photosmart M537 Digital Camera, a 6 megapixel, 3x zoom model with HP Steady Photo Anti Shake (ISO boost anyone? There's certainly no moving parts involved). Another wrist slap goes out to HP for putting '18x zoom' in the headline spec... we don't count the digital bit guys! Thought that died out years ago...
HP Photosmart M437
PMA 2007: Last but not least is the entry-level M437 digital camera. With a 5MP CCD, 2-inch screen and 3x optical zoom (or '15x total zoom; as HP puts it) the M437 is an inexpensive (€119) introduction point to HP's clever in-camera effects and proven ease of use. Oh and it goes up to ISO 800 - which in HP marketing terms means it's got 'anti shake'. Tut tut.
March 7
Kodak adds to EasyShare range
Pre-PMA 2007: In amongst a raft of PMA announcements Kodak has added four new models to its EasyShare range of digital cameras. The new cameras include the Z712, with 12x zoom, ISO 8000 (!) and optical image stabilization, the Z885 (also sporting an astonishing ISO 8000 setting) and two entry-level models (the C763 and C613).
Leica 14-150mm Four Thirds lens
Pre-PMA 2007: Panasonic has today announced the development of a new 28-300mm equivalent wide to tele lens for the Four Third system. The Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH features Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S image stabilization system, but there is no shipping date or pricing information yet.
Leica 25mm F1.4 Four Thirds lens
Pre-PMA 2007: Panasonic has today announced the availability of a second Leica lens for the Four Thirds system (the lens itself was originally announced back in September at Photokina). The LEICA D SUMMILUX 25mm/F1.4 ASPH is a fast standard lens (equivalent to a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera) and promises superb image quality thanks to a large diameter aspherical lens and four ED elements.
Delkin Cardbus reader
Pre-PMA 2007: Hot on the heels of it's new Expresscard readers as outlined above Delkin also has an update to an old favourite; the Cardbus CompactFlash adapter. Tearing along at up to 40MB/s, this new device should satisfy even the busiest (or most impatient) photographer. Supporting the latest UDMA specification for Compactflash, users with older cards should not feel left out as it is fully compatible with earlier types too.
Delkin launches Expresscard readers
Pre-PMA 2007: Delkin have today launched two new card readers based on the Expresscard architecture, promising transfer speeds up to 33MB/s. The two devices, a CompactFlash-only reader and a 6-in-1 multi-format reader, are useable with both PC and Mac. As well as supporting the latest UDMA media, the CF adapter is backward-compatible with earlier standards of CF (I and II) and Microdrives whilst the 6-in-1 card will accept SD/SDHC/MMC/MS/MS Pro and xD cards.
March 6
Nikon D40X and preview
Pre-PMA 2007: Just under four months since the D40 and Nikon has announced an upgraded ten megapixel version of the camera. The new Nikon D40X is essentially identical to the D40 apart from its ten megapixel CCD, a lower base sensitivity of ISO 100 and faster continuous shooting (now up to 3.0 fps). Obviously the competitive target for this camera is the Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi), and it is clearly priced to achieve that at $799 including the 18-55 mm kit lens. We have a detailed hands-on preview of the Nikon D40X.
Nikon AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm lens
Pre-PMA 2007: Nikon has today announced an updated version of its AF-S DX 55-200 mm lens. The new AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm F4.0-F5.6G IF-ED has a Silent Wave Motor for fast and quiet focusing, ED glass lens element and most significantly optical Vibration Reduction. This lens provides 3.6x zoom and delivers an equivelant field of view of 82.5 - 300 mm when used on a DX digital SLR (1.5x FOV crop).
March 5
Olympus E-1 successor; P-1 pictures
Pre-PMA 2007: Subsequent to our story earlier today Olympus has now shared some images of a mock-up of the upcoming E-1 successor (codename P-1) as well as the new lenses. As you can see the P-1 will not by default be as tall as the E-1, instead it has a form factor similar to the Nikon D200, although there will be a battery grip available. Also the camera has an articulating LCD screen. UPDATED 12/Mar/2007: Images removed.
Ricoh announces Caplio R6
Pre-PMA 2007: Ricoh has today announced the update to the Caplio R5 with the 7.24 million pixel Caplio R6 digital camera. Like it's predecessor, the R6 features a 7.1x zoom and Ricoh's CCD-shift vibration correction, adding a larger 2.7-inch LCD and the must-have feature for 2007 so far: face-detection technology. Ricoh have also managed to put the already slim body on a strict diet, squeezing it down to a svelte 20.6mm at it's thinnest point.
Just Posted! Pentax Optio A20 Review
Just Posted! It's not long before we're packed into our shipping cases for the long sea voyage to Las Vegas for PMA 2007, but we've just got time to post a quick digital camera review. The Pentax Optio A20 is an update to the A10 (and is itself about to be upgraded to the A30), offering more pixels and a smattering of new features. But does it sort out the A10's slow performance? Find out after the link...
Olympus E-1 successor hinting continues
Pre-PMA 2007: Exciting news today from Olympus in the shape of the E-410 and E-510 dampened slightly by a lack of solid information on a successor to the professional E-1 digital SLR. Olympus has today issued another coming soon press release which simply says that the E-1 successor will 'debut later this year' and that it will have Live View. In addition Olympus has outlined four new lenses and a new teleconverter.
Olympus E-410 and preview
Pre-PMA 2007: Olympus has today announced an upgraded and improved version of the E-400 digital SLR which was revealed at Photokina. The E-410 has a ten megapixel Live MOS sensor which provides it with a Live View capability as well as improved high sensitivity performance. Other improvements include implementation of the TruePic III processor, better buffering of continuous frames and shadow adjustment technology in play mode. We have had a pre-production E-410 for a few days, just long enough to produce a hands-on preview of the camera. More good news on this model? It will be available worldwide.
Olympus E-510
Pre-PMA 2007: Olympus has today announced the successor to the E-500 digital SLR, the new E-510 features a ten megapixe Live MOS sensor (hence is Live View capable) as well as in-body sensor shift based Image Stabilization. In a completely new body the E-510 looks both stylish and purposeful and features a wide range of features aimed at appealing to both the serious amateur and semi-professional.
Olympus Stylus 780
Pre-PMA 2007: Today also sees Olympus announcing the last of its PMA compact digital cameras, the Mju 780 (Stylus 780). The 7 megapixel Mju 780 sports a 5x zoom, CCD-shift stabilization, ISO 1600 and 'Shadow Adjustment Technology'. Like many Olympus compact digital cameras the Mju 780 is also weatherproofed.
March 2
The 123 of digital imaging 4.0
Pre-PMA 2007: Site contributor Vincent Bockaert has today announced a whole new version of his excellent 'The 123 of digital imaging Interactive Learning Suite'. I'm a firm believer that The 123 of digital imaging is a must have for all levels of digital photographer and that you only need to download the demo to realize that its true value goes way beyond the asking price. There's a new user interface and in addition to the wide range of digital imaging theory and application this edition covers Adobe Photoshop Album 2, Photoshop Elements 2, 3, 4 & 5, Photoshop 7, CS, CS2 as well as Nikon Capture 4.4 & NX 1.1. 123di will also be at PMA 2007, booth R160.