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April 2008 news and reviews

April 28
Just posted! FujiFilm S100FS review
Just posted: Our review of the FujiFilm S100FS. The S100FS offers DSLR-like handling and control with the convenience of a single, built-in lens offering an outstanding range. It is also built around a comparatively large 2/3" sensor and utilizes FujiFilm's Super CCD technology. So do these features, along with film simulation modes that match the results to subject matter, offer a satisfying alternative to the money-pit that DSLR ownership can be?
April 25
Canon EOS 450D / Rebel XSi hands-on preview
As a prelude to our full Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi review we have just posted our hands-on preview of the 450D. This is the latest in line of the popular 'Digital Rebel series' of compact digital SLRs and features a twelve megapixel CMOS sensor with Live View and dust reduction. Other headline changes include a 3.0" LCD monitor, SD/SDHC storage, High ISO noise reduction and a range of other features handed down from the EOS 40D. Our 'hands-on preview' articles are essentially the first half of a review which will at least give you a taste for the design and operation of the camera, full review to follow within the next two weeks.
Nikon updates D3 firmware update
Nikon has released a revised version of its recently withdrawn firmware update. The company has updated the 'B' firmware to V1.11, and has reissued the previously withdrawn V1.10 'A' firmware. Link to Nikon UK download page and a PDF detailing the new features now included.
April 22
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 review
Just posted! Our concise review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. The successor of the popular TZ3 is the latest addition to Panasonic's family of compact long zoom cameras. It comes with the same versatile 28-280mm equiv. 10x zoom lens as its predecessor but now offers a slightly higher resolution, an improved LCD and High Definition video capture. Nice new features indeed but has Panasonic also managed to sort out some of the image quality issues that we found on previous TZ generations? Find out after the link...
Ricoh drops resilient G600 into market
Ricoh, living up to its reputation for interesting niche digital cameras, has launched the G600 water and dust resistant model. The G600 is smaller than the 500G Wide it replaces but still offers a versatile 28-140mm equivalent lens with 1cm closest focusing distance. Its rugged casing conforms to all manner of US defense and Japanese standards (including the ability to survive being immersed in water for half an hour), meaning you should never have to worry about carrying it with you.
April 18
Just posted! Nikon D3 review
Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Nikon D3. Nikon's first full frame D-SLR features a 12.1MP CMOS sensor, high speed continuous shooting (up to 11 fps in DX crop mode), the same 3-inch high resolution LCD (with live view) as the D300, a headline-grabbing ISO 100-25,600 expanded sensitivity range, beefed-up 51-point autofocus and a raft of upgrades andenhancements. Find out how it did in our extended testing after the link... Updated: Canon EOS-1D Mark III comparisons added.
April 17
New Olympus firmware focuses on Panasonic
Olympus has updated firmware for three of its Zuiko Digital lenses. The changes made are to improve the accuracy of contrast-detection autofocus when used on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10. Updated: firmware changes to Olympus or Panasonic lenses can only be conducted using the lens manufacturer's cameras.
April 16
Panasonic launches Lumix TZ50 with Wi-Fi tie-up
Panasonic has launched a Wi-Fi compatible digital camera, the TZ50, that comes with a year's free use of T-Mobile's Hotspot service in the US. The TZ50 is, essentially a TZ5 with Wi-Fi but the new tie-up allows users to upload to their Picasa Web Albums while out and about. There is no word yet on a similar tie-up or camera for European customers.
April 15
Nikon firms up D3 feature set
Nikon has released updated firmware for its flagship D3 DSLR. The firmware adds vignetting control for most G and D type lenses, and the ability to specify faster minimum shutter speeds to trigger Auto ISO. As well as these headline changes are a number of obscure feature tweaks and corrections. The new firmware is available immediately from Nikon's website. Update: Update: this firmware update has been pulled temporarily (details after the link).
April 11
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review
Just posted! The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 is that most unusual thing, a compact digital camera that has really caught the imagination of photographers. Moving away from the quirky 16:9 sensor of its predecessors, (the LX1 and LX2), this latest offering matches a bright 24-60mm equivalent zoom to a conventionally-proportioned 11 megapixel sensor. Just to keep things interesting, the sensor is then cropped in three different ways to provide a consistent diagonal angle-of-view in three different aspect ratios. So what did we make of the LX3, competitor or curio?
Adobe RAWs again
Adobe has released Camera Raw 4.4.1 and Lightroom 1.4.1, having corrected the faults with the previously withdrawn updates. The revised updates, as well as fixing a selection of bugs, bring support for the latest DSLRs from Canon, Sony, Pentax and Nikon, along with the FujiFilm S100fs and Olympus SP-570 UZ.
April 10
Nikon announces Coolpix P80 Superzoom
Nikon has today announced a new model in its 'P' (Performance) series of digital cameras. The Coolpix P80 comes with a 10.1 MP sensor and a whopping 18x zoom (27-486mm equiv) which should hardly ever let you run out of focal length. There are also a 2.7" LCD screen and a CCD-shift image stabilization system. Click through for the press release and images...
Nikon launches Coolpix S52 & S52c
Nikon has announced two ultra-compact digital cameras: the Coolpix S52 and S52c. The compact design uses a periscope-style lens to offer a 3x zoom with lens-shift image stabilization. The S52 will be made available through a single retailer in some territories, while the WiFi-enabled 'c' version will be more widely distributed.
April 9
Just posted! Sony Cyber-shot H10 review
Just posted! Our concise review of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10. The successor of the Cyber-shot H3 was announced at PMA 2008 and should be on the shelves this month. Like its predecessor it comes with a whopping 38-380mm stabilized lens and an 8MP sensor. Images can now pre- and reviewed on a new 3.0" display. Is the H10 a contender in the compact superzoom bracket? Find out after the link...
Canon and Nikon fix firmware for forties
Canon and Nikon have both announced updated firmware, so we thought we'd bring you an update of updates that have been issued in 2008, just in case you missed them. Canon has issued new firmware for the 40D, following an earlier release for the 30D. Nikon's D40 also gets a tweak, following updates for the D300 and D80 earlier in the year.
April 8
Sigma software stops DP1 going green
Sigma has announced a series of firmware and software updates for its Foveon-based cameras. The update to its Photo Pro software (for both Mac and Windows), corrects the green tint that could appear at the corner of some DP1 images, it also improves the color reproduction of RAW images from the SD14 DSLR. New firmware for the DP1 adds composition grids for most shooting modes, too.
April 7
Just posted! Olympus 12-60mm lens review
Just posted! Our new lens review of Olympus's ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD, designed as the standard zoom for the high-end E-3 DSLR. With its extremely useful focal length range, relatively fast maximum aperture and new 'Supersonic Wave Drive' autofocus dubbed 'the world's fastest' by Olympus, does this lens live up to its considerable promise?
Just posted! Olympus 14-42mm lens review
Just posted! Our new lens review of Olympus's ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6, the diminutive kit lens supplied with their lower end DSLRs such as the new E-420. This is the last in our opening series of reviews featuring kit lenses from the 'big five' manufacturers, but is this lens the least in anything other than size?
Adobe expressly rewrites rights
In response to public concern, Adobe has amended the terms and conditions of its online gallery/image manipulation tool, Photoshop Express. The new terms, which will come into force on April 10th, attempt to explain how each of the rights claimed is necessary to allow Adobe to deliver the service.
April 2
Adobe opens door to second Lightroom
Adobe has made Lightroom 2.0 available for public beta. The software, that offers a series of enhancements, is at a very early stage and the company recommends its use only for "kicking the tires," and providing feedback about the new features. These include multiple monitor support, the ability to make localized corrections and improved organizational tools.
Kodak gives plug-ins a makeover
Kodak has launched new versions of its professional image retouching plug-ins range compatible with the latest software. V2.1 of the ROC Pro, SHO Pro, GEM Pro and GEM Airbrush Pro plug-ins are compatible with Windows Vista, Intel-based Macs and Adobe Photoshop CS3. Trial versions are available from the company's website, with discounts available to customers buying more than one plug-in.

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