August 2008 news and reviews
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?
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.
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.