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August 2008 news and reviews

August 28
SanDisk introduces Extreme III 30MB/s SD Card
SanDisk has introduced the Extreme III 30MB/s Edition line of SD High Capacity (SDHC) memory cards. Featuring a 50% speed boost from previous 20MB/s cards, the new card makes it possible to record 39 6MB images while shooting at 4.5 fps - complementing the new range of DSLRs. In addition, they are also capable of operating in temperatures ranging from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit or -25 to 85 degrees Celsius.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T500
Pre Photokina 2008: Sony has launched Cyber-shot DSC-T500 with high definition video recording. This 10MP ultra-compact camera with a 3.5" touch panel LCD and 5x optical zoom can create 720p HD movie clips at 30fps. It also features a dual photo and video capture mode which lets one take still images while recording a video, with no interruption. Other features include Face Detection and optical Image stabilization.
August 27
Nikon D90 plus hands-on preview
Pre-Photokina: After a steady trickle of leaks and rumors Nikon has announced the successor to its popular D80 middleweight digital SLR in the shape of the D90. The D90 looks very similar, but underneath it's a completely new camera that's inherited advanced features from further up the line and user-friendly features from the D40/D60 range. Oh, and it's the world's first digital SLR with a movie mode. Oher features of note include a new 12.3 MP CMOS sensor, the D3/D300/D700's fab high resolution 3.0-inch screen and continuous shooting at up to 4.5 frames per second. We've had a D90 for a few days now, just enough time to produce a detailed hands-on preview.
Nikon launches AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens
Pre-Photokina 2008: Nikon has today launched the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens. This lens incorporates features such as Nikon's Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass, Silent Wave Motor technology (SWM) and Enhanced Vibration Reduction (VR II) and will be supplied as the kit lens with the Nikon D90.
August 26
Adobe launches Photoshop Elements 7 & Premiere Elements 7
Adobe has announced Version 7 of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements. Apart from a few new Quick Fix tools, Photoshop Elements 7 offers a new Scene Cleaner option that lets the user brush away unwanted objects from a scene and a Smart Brush which lets the user apply effects to a particular area of a photograph. Adobe Premiere Elements 7 now supports AVCHD format and features a Videomerge option that allows users to create a "green screen" effect and automatically place themselves within a scene.
Canon EOS 50D & 18-200mm hands-on previews
Just Posted! We've just posted our in-depth hands on preview of Canon's new digital SLR, the EOS 50D. We've also produced a preview of Canon's new 'super zoom' lens - the EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS - which will be offered as a kit lens with the new camera. Find out more after the link.
Canon EOS 50D
Pre-Photokina2008: No surprises to hear that Canon has launched the much anticipated EOS 50D, an upgraded version of EOS 40D. On the surface it looks almost similar to its predecessor. However, there are quite a few significant improvements; fifteen megapixel CMOS sensor, faster DIGIC 4 processor, 3.0" VGA LCD monitor with Live View mode offering 3 AF modes, ISO sensitivity expandable to 12800 and an HDMI connection for high Quality Image viewing. It also includes a new Quick Control screen which shows the most commonly used settings and Creative Auto mode for automatic focus and exposure. We're expecting to be able to bring you a full in-hands preview later today.
Canon announces EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS  lens
Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon today has also introduced the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Zoom lens. With an equivalent focal length of 29-320mm, the lens offers 11x zoom range. It also features a 16 element, 12 group construction including UD and aspherical lens elements and a 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer.
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
Pre-Photokina 2008: Canon has launched the super-zoom PowerShot SX110 IS, which replaces the SX100 IS. With an increased resolution and a more compact build than its predecessor, the 9MP SX110 IS offers a 3.0” LCD, 10x optical zoom, Image Stabilization, Face Detection, Motion Detection and a new Easy Mode.
Three new Canon Powershots
Pre-Photokina 2008: Next up from Canon today is this trio of entry-level compact digital cameras. The PowerShot A1000 IS and PowerShot A2000 IS replace the PowerShot A580 and PowerShot A720 IS respectively. Smaller in size than previous A series cameras, the new models have a 10.0MP sensor, advanced noise reduction, faster buffering speeds, Face Detection and Image Stabilization. These are joined by a 'ladies-exclusive' PowerShot E1, available in white, blue and pink. This curvaceous 10MP digital compact camera has 17 shooting modes, 2.5” LCD, Face Detection, Motion Detection and Long Play mode for videos.. All cameras offer beginners the option of switching to an Easy Mode enabling them to have a simplified menu, both for shooting and viewing.
Canon launches SELPHY ES3 & ES30 Photo Printers
Pre-Photkina 2008: Canon has launched the SELPHY ES3 and SELPHY ES30 compact photo printers, that are minor upgrades to the SELPHY ES2 and SELPHY ES20 respectively. With a more compact design and larger LCD screens of 3.5” in ES3 and 3.0” in ES30, the printers offer Gold and Silver Easy Photo Packs for enhanced printing. The ES3 also comes with 1GB of built-in memory.
August 25
Olympus announces Mju 1050SW
Pre-Photokina 2008: Olympus has chosen today to slip out a handful of new compacts, starting with the Stylus 1050SW digital compact camera, which is claimed to be shock-proof to 1.5m, water-proof to 3m and freeze-proof to -10°C. Sporting a 10.1MP sensor, 2.7” LCD and 3x (38-114mmequiv) zoom lens, it has features such as Advanced Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment, Noise Reduction and 'Image Stabilization' (aka high ISO). The new TAP control lets one adjust settings and review images with a tap on the shutter release button.
Olympus unveils FE-20
Pre-Photokina 2008: Last but by no means least comes another entry-level digital compact camera, the Olympus FE-20, which joins the two FE- series cameras (the FE-360 and FE-370) announced last week. The 8MP FE-20 sports a 2.5” LCD and 3x zoom lens (36-108mm equiv) and includes features digital (high ISO ) 'Image stabilization' and Face Detection.
Olympus launches SP-565 UZ
Pre-Photokina 2008: Olympus has also announced a second 20x (26-520mm equiv) zoom-lensed 'ultrazoom' camera that appears to be a slightly down-sized version of the SP-570 launched in January. The 10MP SP-565 has a 2.5 ” LCD (the SP-570 has a 2.7"), reduced movie frame rate and ships with a MicroSD adaptor, but otherwise looks very similar.
Olympus announces Mju 1040
Pre-Photokina 2008: Next up from Olympus today is the Mju 1040 ultra-compact digital camera, sporting a 2.7”LCD and 3x (38-114mm equiv) zoom lens. The 10 MP super slim camera is 16.5 mm wide and includes features such as Advanced Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment and Intelligent Auto Mode. Looking at the styling it would appear that Olympus is going after the Sony Cyber-Shot market with this one...
August 21
Create 3Ds with your camera
Microsoft has publicly released Photosynth, a way of combining conventional images to create 3D scenes. After you upload a set of images, the software analyzes each for similarities to the others, and then it uses this data to build a model of where the photos were taken.  A viewer can then browse through the final photograph, navigating smoothly and zooming in tiny details.
Fujifilm unveils FinePix J100, J110W, J120 and J150W
Fujifilm has announced four new FinePix J-series compact cameras. The J100, J110W, J120 and J150W all include a 10 Megapixel CCD but vary in LCD size and lenses. The FinePix J110W and J150W offer a focal length range of 28mm-140mm and the telephoto range of the FinePix J100 and J120 is extended upto 175mm but they lose wide-angle capability. The J100 and J110W have a 2.7” LCD screen and the FinePix J150W and J120 offer the bigger 3” LCD screen.
August 20
Casio launches EX-Z300, EX-Z250 & EX-Z85
Casio has launched the 10.1MP EXILIM EX-Z300, 9.1MP EX-Z250 and EX-Z85. Both Z300 and Z520 have 3.0” LCDs and 4x (28mm - 112mm equiv) zoom lenses. Apart from Image Stabilization, Noise and Moiré reduction, these two cameras have features such as Makeup function, Multi-Motion Capture and an advanced Night mode. The EX-Z85, with a smaller 2.6” LCD and 3x (38 - 114mm equiv) zoom lens, has features such as Face Recognition, Auto Shutter and an Easy mode for beginners.  
Just Posted! Olympus E-520 review
Just posted! Our review of the Olympus E-520. Olympus refreshed its upper-entry-level DSLR, the E-510, to include more focusing options in live view, a wider range of image stabilization modes and the addition of wireless flash control. Are these changes enough to keep the E-520 competitive in what has become a very crowded sector of the digital camera market?
August 19
Olympus announces FE-370 & FE-360
Olympus has announced the addition of FE-370 and FE-360 to its current range of FE series digital compacts. Both the 8.0MP cameras have all the basic features you would expect such as Face Detection, Image Stabilization, a number of shooting modes, video capture etc. The FE-370 has a slightly larger LCD size of 2.7” compared to the FE-360’s 2.5”. The former also has a larger optical zoom of 5x (36-180mm equiv) compared to FE-360’s 3x optical zoom (36-108mm equiv).
Olympus launches mju 1060
Olympus has launched the mju 1060 digital compact camera. It sports a 10MP imaging sensor, 3.0” LCD and 7x (37-260mm equiv) zoom lens. The camera includes features such as Advanced Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology, Perfect Shot Preview, Dual Image Stabilization, Noise Reduction and also an Intelligent Auto Mode for beginners.
Canon ships 100 millionth compact camera
Canon has announced the shipment of its 100 millionth digital compact camera. It plans to launch a special color variation compact camera to mark the occasion. Beginning with the PowerShot 600 in 1996, Canon claims to have delivered a total of 106 models around the world.
August 18
Just posted! Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM lens review

Just posted! Our new lens review of Sigma's latest baby, the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. This optic brings the classic 50mm focal length bang up to date, incorporating ultrasonic focusing for all camera mounts, and the use of an aspherical element for reduced aberrations. Serving dual purpose as a 'normal' lens on 35mm full-frame and a short 'portrait' telephoto on APS-C, the fast 50mm is a great complement to the now-ubiquitous slow kit zoom, but does the Sigma offer any compelling advantages over the camera manufacturers' own versions, or is it a case of too little, too late?

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Review

Just posted! Our in-depth review of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon's flagship full frame digital SLR and the current 'big daddy' of the professional DLSR market. As well as upping the resolution to a class-leading 21.1 megapixels the Mark III boasts a raft of improvements and refinements over the Mark II, the camera it replaces. We've been using the EOS-1Ds Mark III for over 8 months now, and finally got the review finished this weekend. So, apologies for the 'better late than never' timing.

August 12
Lenovo ThinkPad W700 for photographers
Lenovo has released the ThinkPad W700 laptop aimed at photographers and designers, offering a built-in graphics tablet and color calibrator. What’s more, the display displays 72% of the possible color gamut of the Adobe RGB color space whereas most normal laptop displays can only show 45% (though new panel technologies becoming available allow up to 100% coverage).
Fujifilm FinePix F60fd
Fujifilm has launched the FinePix F60fd, an update to the FinePix F50fd .Packed with all the features of the F50fd (such as its twelve megapixel sensor, ISO 1600 full size), this camera has a few extras such as a larger 3.0” LCD screen, upgraded Face Detection and Auto- Scene Recognition mode.
Fujifilm launches its first HD ready camera
Fujifilm has today announced the ultra-zoom FinePix S2000HD. The HD stands for its ability to offer full compatibility with high definition television systems, displaying clearer photos and videos. This 10MP camera with 15x zoom (which starts at around 28 mm) also includes features such as Dual Shot Mode, dual image stabilization, Zoom Bracketing and face Detection.
August 7
Digital cameras baffle Britons
Digital cameras are the gadget that baffle most Britons, according a consumer survey by Reevoo.com. The research revealed that more than a quarter of us have no idea how to use our cameras properly and do not bother to read the manuals either. Hmm...
Nikon unveils Coolpix S60
Nikon has launched the Coolpix S60 in addition to the four S-series compact cameras. This 10MP digital camera with 3.5" touch-panel LCD and 5x zoom lens, has Vibration Reduction along with features such as time-lapse movies, in-camera retouch and HDMi output.
Nikon launches Coolpix S560, S610, S610C and S710
Nikon has announced four new Coolpix S-series ultra compact cameras. The S560, S610, S610c and S710 offer a variety of zoom ranges and megapixel counts. The S710 offers a 14.5 megapixel sensor and an optically stabilized 3.5x zoom starting at 28 mm equivalent. The S610 offers 10 megapixes and 4x stabilized zoom, while the 'C' version is the world's first to boast the easy-connect WiFi Protected Setup certification. All are available in a variety of colors such as "Urban Black" and "Sakura [cherry blossom] Pink."
Nikon announces Coolpix P6000 with GPS
Nikon has announced its flagship compact, the Coolpix P6000. Built around a 13.5 megapixel, 1/1.72 inch sensor (roughly 0.41 square cm), the camera has a 4x zoom starting at a respectably wide-angle - equivalent to 28mm. It also records RAW files in a new NRW format that can be converted in-camera or with the forthcoming Windows version of View NX or Windows Imaging Component compatible applications. The other stand-out feature is the inclusion of built-in GPS logging of the locations at which images were recorded. It is expected to start shipping in September for around $500/£429.99/€575.00. Now with added product images.
Sony announces Cyber-shot DSC-T700 and DSC-T77
Sony has launched the Cyber-shot DSC-T77 and DSC-T700 ultra-compact digital cameras. Replacing the DSC-T70 and T300 respectively, both maintain the 10-megapixel sensor of their predecessors. The T77 is Sony’s thinnest model and has a 3-inch touch panel LCD screen. The T700 has all the features of the T77 plus 4GB of internal memory and a hi-resolution 3.5-inch wide touch panel. The T700 has a photo album-like database and is aimed at enthusiasts who want to store, display and share their images easily with others.
August 5
Apple Aperture opens up to Noise Ninja
PictureCode has released its popular Noise Ninja noise-reduction application as a plug-in for Aperture. Previously available for Photoshop or as a stand-alone application, the Noise Ninja plug-in enables Aperture users to make adjustments to their photographs without having to leave Aperture’s workflow.
Survey forecasts demand for weather-proof cams
Weather-proofing topped the list as the most desirable feature camera buyers are looking for, according to a recent survey. J.D.Power’s Camera Usage and Satisfaction Survey revealed that, while point and shoot, and DSLR camera users are missing this attribute in their cameras, a majority of ultra compact users hope for more internal memory in future models. The survey also reveals that Internet product and review sites are the most important resource in guiding buyers with their market research.
Olympus / Panasonic announce Micro Four Thirds

Olympus and Panasonic have announced a new, mirrorless format / lens mount based on (and compatible with) Four Thirds. The Micro Four Thirds system uses the same sensor size (18 x 13.5 mm) but allows slimmer cameras by removing the mirror box and optical viewfinder. The new format has three key technical differences: (1) roughly half the flange back distance (distance from mount to the sensor), (2) a smaller diameter lens mount (6 mm smaller) and (3) two additional contact points for lens-to-body communication (now 11 points). Removing the mirror mechanism allows this shorter flange back distance, meaning lenses for the new mount can be considerably smaller than current Four Thirds designs. The format will require framing to be carried out using Live View on either the LCD monitor or an EVF. Existing Four Thirds lenses can be used on Micro Four Thirds cameras using an adapter. Neither company is as yet making product announcements (we expect some more news in this respect closer to Photokina). Read on for our analysis / exclusive illustration.

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