« March 2007  |  May 2007 »

April 2007 news and reviews

April 27
Fujifilm S5 Pro firmware Ver 1.06

Fujifilm has issued a second firmware update for its recently launched S5 Pro digital SLR. This latest upgrade deals with the menu system, allowing four additional parameters to be locked against modification. The Barcode-reading feature has also been tweaked, now allowing more than one value to be incorporated into the EXIF data for each image.

April 26
Pentax K10D firmware 1.20
Pentax has today released firmware version 1.20, as far as we can tell this new version simply provides compatibility with the new Pentax Remote Assistant 3 software, providing tethered remote shooting by computer control. For those of you who haven't updated your cameras recently this update includes all of the additional features in 1.11 and 1.10. You can update your cameras by simply downloading the firmware file, copying the extracted BIN file onto an SD card, placing that into the camera and holding the MENU button while powering on (make sure you have a fully charged battery).
Several Pentax software updates
Pentax has today announced a swathe of software updates; first off the block is the Pentax RAW codec for Windows Vista which will enable you to view and develop RAW .PEF files directly in Vista. Next up is Pentax Remote Assistant 3 which provides tethered shooting using a K10D, updates in this version included operation with more than two cameras connected and interval / teimer / bulb modes. Lastly Pentax has updated both their Photo Browser and Photo Laboratory applications the later of which now features additional noise reduction and lens aberration correction features.
April 20
Adobe updates Camera Raw and DNG Converter plug-ins
Adobe has released updates for its DNG Converter and Camera Raw applications, supporting Panasonic's recently-launched Lumix DMC-FZ8 camera. The updated plug-ins are available for Photoshop CS3, Elements 4.01 for Mac and Elements 5.0 for Windows systems.
April 17
Canon updates EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D Firmware
Canon has today made available updated firmware for its EOS Digital Rebel XTi / EOS 400D digital SLR. Version 1.0.5 addresses issues with the PictBridge direct printing system and improves communication with the 380EX Speedlite. Further information and the update itself is available now from Canon's firmware update page.
April 16
SanDisk and Sony announce SxS memory card
SanDisk and Sony have jointly today announced the new SxS memory card format designed for professional camcorders. This new format is essentially the definition of a PCI Express memory card, it's the same size and has the same interface. Initially announced in 16 GB capacity we wouldn't be surprised to see this doubling within a few months (such is the pace of flash memory development). Although not strictly digital photography related (yet) this format may well be of interest to developers of professional medium format backs and other specialized cameras.
April 13
Sigma SD14 V.1.01
Sigma has released V.1.01 firmware for its newly launched SD14 digital SLR. The changes implemented include various improvements to the flash system and the ability to enter sensor cleaning mode without the use of an AC adaptor as well as polishing up the playback quality. The update is available now via the SD14 firmware update page which also details the changes.
April 11
Just posted! Fuji FinePix F31fd Review
Just posted! A quick - but comprehensive - update to last year's review of one of the most talked about cameras of last year, the Fuji FinePix F30. The F31fd isn't a major update - aside from a couple of new features (face detection AF/AE being the main one) the big change is that it uses a new version of the Real Photo Processor, which has had a small, but important, effect on overall image quality. Find out after the link if the F31fd is a worthy successor to one of the few really memorable digital compact cameras of the last few years...
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 review
Just posted! From the 'better late than never' section of our review queue comes our detailed in-depth review of Panasonic's first digital SLR, the DMC-L1. The L1 is fairly unique in the digital SLR world in that not only is it not available 'body only' but that its kit lens makes up a good portion of the total price. We can though forgive it somewhat because of the clever integration of lens features (manual aperture, optical image stabilization) and the fact that it's an incredibly high quality lens. So read on to see how the L1 performed and how it stacked up to the competition.
April 10
Pentax and Hoya merger scrapped
On 21st December last year Pentax and Hoya issued a joint statement declaring their intention to merge in a share-swap. Today Pentax has announced it is to scrap this plan in an apparent rift between the board and the Pentax president Fumio Urano who today resigned over the matter. Takashi Watanuki will take over as preseident of Pentax and in another twist to the story Hoya's board has apparently confirmed they will continue to negotiate for a takeover bid.
April 4
Just Posted! Panasonic DMC-TZ3  Review
Just Posted! Our review of the DMC-TZ3, part of the second generation of compact 'travel zooms' from Panasonic. With a 28-280mm stabilized lens, bigger screen and high resolution sensor the TZ3 certainly looks like an impressive upgrade to the TZ1 on paper, but how does it compare where it matters? Read on after the click to find out...
April 3
Casio goes underwater
Casio has expanded its range of underwater housings with this snazzy little red number designed to fit their Exilim EX-Z65 and EX-Z75 digital cameras. With a maximum depth rating of 3m (10ft) it's not likely to transform the user into the next Jacques Cousteau but could be just the thing to protect your camera on the beach or around the pool.