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November 2008 news and reviews

November 27
Budget Compact Camera Group Test

Just posted! The first of our Holidays '08 compact camera group tests. We're starting with the budget group, which contains nine models in the sub-$150 range. So what can you expect to get if shopping on a tight budget? Are there really any differences between the various models? And are there any bargains to be had or hidden gems in the entry-level ranges? Check out the roundup after the link to get all the answers...

November 26
Panasonic - new flash and firmware for DMC-LX3
Panasonic has announced the launch of the compact FL220 flashgun and will update the DMC-LX3's firmware to accommodate it. Firmware v1.1 not only allows full compatibility with the DMW-FL220 flash unit, it also promises to improve Auto White Balance performance. Firmware v1.1 will be available for download on 15th December, 2008.
November 25
Just Posted! Canon Powershot G10 review
Just Posted: Our Canon Powershot G10 review. The Canon 'G' series has been the most consistently photographer-focused family of compact cameras on the market. This, the 8th iteration of that dynasty includes a 14.7MP sensor and a 28-140mm zoom, offering serious flexibility. The family faces stiffer than ever competition though - from the budget DSLRs that now undercut it on price and from some compelling RAW-shooting compact peers that fancy a tilt at its 'king of compacts' crown. Is the ruggedly built G10 tough enough to weather such a grueling environment? Find out in our full review.
Adobe updates Camera Raw for CS4
Adobe has released an update to its Camera Raw Plug-in for Photoshop CS4. Camera Raw 5.2, which replaces v5.1, extends support to seven more cameras, including Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Panasonic DMC-G1. The update includes enhanced color profiles, output sharpening and a new Targeted Adjustment tool. In addition, users can save all image adjustments and settings as a single snapshot for future reference.  
November 19
Canon US video and printer rebate glitch
Canon has asked US customers planning take advantage of its rebate program not to cash the checks they have received, following the company handling the rebates filing for bankruptcy protection. The problems relate to rebate checks for video and printer products dated prior to November 14th. Any customer yet to send-in rebate materials should also delay until further notice.
November 18
Kodak challenges Samsung and LG on patents
Kodak is challenging Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and related companies over alleged patent infringement. Kodak is claiming technologies used in LG and Samsung camera phones are covered by its patents. Documents filed with the International Trade Commission highlight technologies in the Samsung Blackjack II and LG Dare handsets.
November 17
Sony develops CMOS sensor for phones
Sony has announced the development of the finest-yet pixel-pitch 1/2.5" sensor. The 12.2MP CMOS sensor has been developed for mobile phone cameras, but is of a size commonly used in compact and super zoom cameras. The IMX060PQ sensor, which Sony brands 'Exmor' in common with its DSLR CMOS sensors, will also be available incorporated into an F2.8 28mm-equiv lens unit with piezoelectric driven autofocus - relatively advanced for a camera phone module.
November 13
Just posted! Pentax 50mm F1.4 lens review
Just posted! Our new lens review featuring the Pentax smc P-FA 50mm 1:1.4. This is the latest in our on-going series scrutinising the optical credentials of the camera manufacturers' various "fast fifties", and looks at a lens which has been around since the days of 35mm film. Designed as a fast 'standard' prime, it's now being pressed into service as a short portrait telephoto on the APS-C sensor. So how well has it adapted to this new role?
November 11
Sigma buys sensor developer Foveon
Camera and lens maker Sigma has bought Foveon, the sensor technology company that develops the sensors it uses. Foveon's technology uses three photosensitive layers to detect red, green and blue light at each pixel. Sigma says owning the company will allow the development of new types of sensors and improved integration between the sensors and its lenses.
November 7
Samsung Techwin to spin-out camera division
Samsung Techwin, the Korean manufacturer, plans to separate out its camera division into an individual entity (under the same ownership), according to news agency Reuters. Samsung Techwin is part of the Samsung Group's machinery and heavy industry division and makes mobile artillery and gas turbines, as well as digital cameras. Tentatively named Samsung Digital Imaging, the new company will have a separate listing from Feb. 1, 2009, allowing its management to concentrate on the fast-moving consumer market into which its products are sold, without also having to also consider sales of aircraft engines.
November 6
Sigma DP1 Firmware Update
Sigma has announced a firmware update for its DP-1 compact digital camera. Version 2.00 will make it possible to allocate different functions to each of the Digital Zoom buttons. In addition, the image magnification ratio will now appear during playback.
Phase One releases Capture One v4.5.1
Phase One has released an update to its RAW workflow software, Capture One. Version 4.5.1 supports RAW files from the Canon 50D and offers preliminary support for EOS 5D Mark II files. The update also improves general performance of the software.
dpreview.com blog
Dragged kicking and screaming into 2008 we've finally decided to break the code of silence which hovered over the inner workings of the dpreview beast and launch our very own blog, or blogs to be more precise. As of today we now have a more informal channel for our editorial and developer teams to communicate directly with our readership, answer some of your burning questions and give you a peek through the window into the hive of activity which occurs in our basement. It's early days but we've already got a few entries, more to come!
Apple releases Camera RAW compatibility update
Apple has released a RAW compatibility update for iPhoto '08 and Aperture 2. Update 2.3 supports RAW files from the Canon EOS 50D, Nikon D90, Sony A900 and the Nikon Coolpix P6000. The latest update also addresses unspecified issues relating to certain cameras already supported and overall stability of RAW conversion.
November 5
Olympus E-30 brief hands-on
We've had a quick chance to have a look at the new Olympus E-30, so have put together a brief hands-on report. This mid-level DSLR offers many features of the more expensive E-3, with a host of new functions pulled together in slightly smaller format. So what does the E-30 offer to entice the semi-professional shooter into the Four Thirds fold?
Olympus launches E-30 DSLR
Olympus has today announced the E-30 digital SLR. The mid-range DSLR features a 12MP Live MOS sensor and 2.7" tilt and swivel LCD. It also incorportates Live View with Contrast AF, Image Stabilization, 5fps continuous shooting and shutter speeds of up to 1/8000th sec. The E-30 also introduces a set of six 'Art Filters', a Multiple Exposure mode and offers a choice of 9 aspect ratios.
Olympus launches Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II
Alongside the E-30, Olympus has released the Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II lens; successor to the Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5. The new lens has been redesigned to offer compatibility with the 'High-speed imager AF' system included in recent Four Thirds DSLRs. The lens is a 3x zoom, equivalent to 28-108mm on 35mm format.