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January 2010 news and reviews

January 29
Bibble Labs releases Bibble 5 Pro v5.0.1
Bibble Labs has updated its Bibble 5 Pro software to version 5.0.1. It extends RAW support to Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, Olympus E-P2 and adds a new one-click option to set black, gray or white points. It also offers a third-party film simulation plug-in called 'Andrea'. Version 5.0.1 is available as a free upgrade for existing v5 customers.
Canon announces 50 millionth EF lens
Canon has announced the production of its 50 millionth EF lens. The specific lens was one of the newly released EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USMs. EF mount lens production started in 1987. In September 2009, Nikon announced the 50 millionth lens for its F mount, launched in 1959.
January 28
Adobe releases Lightroom update for Leica M9
Adobe has released a Photoshop Lightroom update for Leica M9 users. Version 2.6.1 fixes a bug that causes Light room v2.6 to crash while processing certain M9 images. Other camera users need not update their software to v2.6.1.
Canon issues EOS-1D Mark IV firmware update
Canon has posted a firmware update for its latest professional DSLR, the EOS-1D Mark IV. Firmware version 1.0.6 enhances autofocus tracking performance of the camera in specific circumstances. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.
January 27
DxO Labs updates Optics Pro for Windows
DxO Labs has updated its Optics Pro lens correction and raw processing software for Windows. Version 6.1.2 adds support for the Pentax K-7, Sony's A500 and A550 DSLRs and Panasonic's LX3 and GH1. Version 6 for Mac is promised in the first quarter of 2010.
January 26
CIPA issues 2009 sales figures and 2010 forecast
Japanese trade body Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has published an overview of 2009 camera sales and a forecast for 2010. Overall sales fell by 11.6% in 2009 to 105.9 million units but within those figures, DSLR and interchangeable lens camera sales grew 2.3% over the previous year and now account for 9.3% of the overall market. For 2010 CIPA, which gets its figures from all the major Japanese camera makers, predicts integrated-lens camera sales will rise 3.0% while DSLRs and interchangeable lens cameras sales will grow 11.1% compared to 2009.
Panasonic unveils DMC-ZS7 / TZ10 with built-in GPS
Panasonic has unveiled the Lumix DMC-ZS7 compact superzoom (TZ10 outside the US) with GPS that geo-tags and identifies over half a million locations. The latest in the popular TZ7, TZ5, TZ3 series, it also gains the company's 'Power O.I.S' image stabilization system, claimed to be twice as effective as on the old model. Full P/A/S/M control modes increase its photographer appeal, while the brightness and saturation optimizing 'Happy Mode' helps boost its point-and-shoot potential. The improved Venus Engine HDII processor offers differential image processing based on image content. AVCHD movie recording, SDXC support, high-res 3" display and 12x optical zoom (25-300mm equiv.) help fill-out the list of goodies.
Panasonic introduces DMC-ZS5 / TZ8 compact superzoom
Panasonic has introduced the Lumix DMC-ZS5 (TZ8 ouside the US) with 12x optical zoom starting at a wide 25mm. Successor to the DMC-TZ6, the TZ8 features the company's new Intelligent Resolution technology that applies different image processing to different content within each image. It supports SDXC memory cards and offers manual control. The 14MP camera features the same lens as the ZS7 but with a smaller, 2.7" LCD and Motion JPEG compression for its 720p HD movies.
Panasonic offers  DMC-FT2 rugged compact
Panasonic has launched the Lumix DMC-TS2 rugged compact (FT2 outside the US), the successor to last year's DMC-TS1. The TS2 features a tougher body that is dustproof, waterproof to 10m, shockproof against a drop of up to 2m, and freezeproof down to -10°C. It uses a 14MP sensor, 2.7 inch LCD, and 28 - 128mm equivalent lens with Power O.I.S optical stabilization. It also features AVCHD Lite HD movie recording and a faster Venus Engine HD II processor, plus SDXC support and the company's curiously-named 'Happy Mode'.
Panasonic announces DMC-ZX3 digital compact camera
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-ZX3 compact with an 8x optical zoom lens starting at 25mm equiv, made possible by super thin 0.3mm lens elements. Successor to the DMC-ZX1, the ZX3 features the company's new 'Happy Mode' that optimizes the color, saturation and brightness of both photos and videos. It offers AVCHD Lite video recording, SDXC support and Power O.I.S. lens stabilization, and comes with a 14MP sensor and a 2.7 inch LCD.
Panasonic releases DMC- FX66 digital camera
Panasonic has released the Lumix DMC-FX66 ultra-compact. The 14MP camera features Intelligent Resolution technology and Power O.I.S. image stabilization. It also includes the company's new Happy mode that apparently optimizes the color, saturation and brightness of the recorded image to match your memory of the scene, plus a Cosmetic mode that enhances skin texture. It incorporates a 25-125mm equiv. wide-angle lens, 2.7 inch LCD and an HD output.
January 25
Pentax Optio i10 looks back to Auto 110
Pentax has unveiled the Optio I-10 compact camera that replicates the look of the company's Auto 110 micro-SLRs. Behind the cute, retro styling is a 12MP sensor, 2.7" LCD and a 5x zoom covering a 28-140mm equivalent range. It also includes sensor-shake image stabilization, 720p HD movie shooting, a dynamic range expansion feature, the ability to be remotely controlled and can recognise the faces of cats and dogs.
Pentax Optio H90
Pentax has released the premium-styled Optio H90 digital compact. It features a 12MP sensor and the 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens seen in the i-10. The company's new 'functional beauty' concept lends the H90 a pleasant minimalism but the lack of optical image stabilization suggests the austerity might have gone a bit far. The H90 can shoot 720p HD movies and is optimized to work with Eye-Fi wireless SD cards.
Pentax announces Optio E90 budget camera
Pentax has announced the Optio E90 budget compact. The camera features a non-slip rubber coating and a simple, large-buttoned interface similar to previous E series models. It is built around a 10MP sensor, includes a 2.7 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom lens (32-95mm equiv). It gains smile recognition to ensure shots are snapped while your subject smiles.
What Digital Camera arranges auction for Haiti
What Digital Camera has arranged an auction of camera gear in aid of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. All the goods have been donated by their respective UK distributors and all the proceeds will go directly to the Disasters Emergency Appeal (DEC) Haiti Earthquake Appeal (a collaboration of 13 major UK aid agencies, led by the Red Cross). Lots include compacts, premium-brand accessories and even a Nikon D3000. Bids must all be made by PayPal and all auctions end on January 30th.
Kenko releases converters for Canon & Nikon
Kenko has updated three of its teleconverters available for both Canon and Nikon mounts. The DGX versions now communicate the effective focal length and aperture of the lens/converter combination to the camera for recording in the EXIF data. The PRO 300 AF 2.0x DGX, MC4 AF 1.4x DGX and MC7 AF 2.0x DGX are otherwise the same as previous 'DG' versions.
January 22
Canon plans update of EOS 1D Mark IV firmware
Canon has announced it is working on updating the firmware for the EOS 1D Mark IV. The forthcoming firmware, version 1.0.6, will improve the camera's performance when tracking receding subjects and subjects that are approaching the camera slowly. The firmware will be available from late January, the company says.
dpreview.com launches user Galleries
We're proud to announce the public beta of our new Galleries feature, providing a place for you to upload and share your photos. It's something we've talked about wanting to do for many years so we're really excited to be able to launch the first wave of features. Every dpreview.com member automatically has a free account, providing the ability to upload up to 200MB worth of images per month, up to 1,000 images in total. Pro accounts with unlimited upload capability will follow soon, along with a raft of other features. Galleries already offers the ability to upload, tag and arrange images into albums with a simple way to including photos into forum posts. It's a beta for now, so may be prone to the occasional bout of hiccups, but we think it's too much fun to keep to ourselves.
January 21
Sigma UK reduce specialist lens prices
Sigma UK has announced a reduction in retail prices of several of its specialist, professional lenses. This, it says, is the result of securing lower cost prices from its parent company in Japan.
January 20
Leica announces Oskar Barnack Award 2010
Leica has announced its 31st Oskar Barnack Award for themed photo series, with a first prize of €5,000. The award is made for a series of ten to twelve images expressing 'the interaction between man and the environment.' For the second time, there is also a 'Newcomer' award open to photographers under 25 years, with the chance to win €2,500. Winners in both categories can also opt for their prize's value in Leica camera equipment. Submissions are open until 15 March 2010.
Cosina announces Voigtländer M-mount 12mm F5.6 lens

Cosina has announced a Voigtländer branded Heliar 12mm F5.6 Aspherical II ultra wide angle lens for Leica M mount. Capturing a 121° angle of view, the manual focus lens can be fitted on Micro Four Thirds bodies using an adaptor. Cosina has also released a 12mm External Viewfinder alongside the lens. Priced at 85,000 yen (approx. US $932) and 34,500 yen (approx. US $378) respectively, the lens and viewfinder will start shipping from March 2010.

Sony introduces TransferJet Memory Stick
Sony has announced the TransferJet wireless Memory Stick. The technology can transfer files at speeds of up to 560Mbps, matching the latest 802.11n standard Wi-Fi transfer rates, but only within a range of 3 cm between two devices that support TransferJet. This therefore would seem to be of most use to people who struggle with card readers. The company will launch an 8GB version of the wireless card on February 5, 2010, priced at US $99.99.
January 19
Nikon releases Capture NX2 v2.2.4 for Mac
Nikon has released v2.2.4 of its Capture NX2 software for Mac. The latest version, released last month for Windows, fixes minor bugs and extends support to Mac Snow Leopard (v10.6.2).
Silicon Power announces 128GB 400x CF card
Silicon Power has announced the world’s first 128GB 400x Compact Flash card. Offering the largest storage capacity we've yet seen with write speeds of 90MB/s, it allows the recording of HD video without compromising continuous shooting performance. The card will also be available in 64GB, 32GB, 16GB and 8GB capacities.
Samsung unveils HZ35W & HZ30W superzooms
Samsung has unveiled the HZ35W and HZ30W compact superzooms. The new image-stabilized cameras increase their zoom ranges to 15x, starting at a very useful 24mm equivalent. (A worlds first in a camera so slim) The HZ35W (WB650 in Europe) includes built-in GPS and a 3.0" AMOLED display while the HZ30W (WB600) has neither, instead featuring a 3.0" LCD. Both cameras feature 12.2MP sensors and 720p HD video recording using H.264 compression. They succeed the TL320 (WB) and HZ15W (WB).
Samsung releases TL110 & TL105 digital cameras
Samsung has released the TL110 and TL105 ultra compact cameras. The 14.2 megapixel TL110 (ST70 in Europe) and 12 megapixel TL105 (ST60) offer 2.7 inch LCDs, wide angle zoom lenses starting at 27mm equivalent and offer 720p HD video recording using H.264 compression. Both include scene modes such as Fisheye, Lomo and a DeFog Clear/Fog Lifting mode that claims to cut through haze to take clearer images.
Samsung announces SL630 digital compact
Samsung has unveiled the SL630 budget compact camera. The camera, called PL80 in Europe, is designed with a 12.2 megapixel sensor, 5x (28-140mm equiv.) zoom lens and 2.7 inch LCD. It includes image stabilization, focus tracking and 'Perfect Portrait' system. Priced at £129.99, the camera will be available from March 2010.
January 18
Canon US announces short film contest
Canon US has announced an HD video competition with a chance to win either an EOS 7D or 5D Mark II. The 'Story Beyond The Still' contest asks budding US videographers to create a video that continues where Vincent Laforet's "The Cabbie" ends. Each winning entry becomes the start point of the next 'chapter.' The overall winner, chosen by the users of video site Vimeo, will help Laforet film the work's conclusion.
January 14
Kodak challenges Apple and RIM on patent
Kodak is challenging Apple and Research In Motion Limited (RIM) companies over alleged infringement of a camera technology patent. Kodak is claiming image preview technologies used in Apple's iPhone and RIM's camera-enabled BlackBerry mobile phones are covered by one of its patents. This follows a similar dispute with Samsung that was settled earlier this week.
Nikon updates Camera Control Pro software
Nikon has updated its Camera Control Pro remote control software to recognize the firmware changes in its D3 and D700 DSLRs. Version 2.7.1 modifies the behaviors of Auto ISO and Focus tracking to reflect the revisions made in the recent firmware updates.
January 13
Toshiba shows 64GB SDXC card
Toshiba has exhibited its first SDXC (Extended Capacity) memory card at the CES 2010 show in Las Vegas. The 64GB cards with read and write speeds of up to 60MB/s and 35MB/s respectively, were first announced in August 2009 as the world first 64GB SDXC cards. CES 2010 has been a success for the SD formats, with the launch of SDXC compatible digital cameras from Panasonic and Canon, while Sony and Olympus introduced cameras using SDHC cards, rather than being restricted to their own proprietary memory formats.
Olympus pens firmware v1.2 for E-P1
Olympus has released a firmware update for its E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera. Version 1.2 changes the duration of the enlarged MF Assist view, 'to improve operability'. It also changes the camera's behavior when the screen backlight is turned off. Firmware updates can be downloaded via the Olympus Master/Studio software.
January 12
Kodak and Samsung settle patent dispute
Kodak and Samsung Electronics have agreed a licensing pact that will allow access to each other’s patent portfolio, settling a dispute between them. The agreement also saw Samsung pay towards what Kodak describes as 'its royalty obligation.' In November 2009 Kodak had challenged Samsung over alleged patent infringement of technology used in their Blackjack II camera phone.
January 11
Casio shows EX-10HG 'hybrid GPS' camera prototype
CES 2010: Casio has unveiled a prototype compact camera with what the company is calling 'Hybrid GPS'. The EX-10HG appears to be essentially a modified Exilim EX-H10 that aims to allow the use of GPS when indoors or away from the GPS satellite signals. According to a report from Japanese site DC Watch, the camera uses three-axis accelerometers and its orientation sensor to calculate how far it has traveled since it was last able to receive a signal. (Image courtesy of DC Watch)
January 7
UK Christmas camera sales get a boost
UK shoppers spent nearly one fifth more on cameras this Christmas than they did at the same time last year. Market research company GfK's figures show that although camera sales volumes only rose a little, the amount of money spent between December 20 and 26th climbed by 19%. Fixed-lens (compact) cameras led the way, with unit sales up 2%, while interchangeable lens cameras sales volumes fell 4%. However, because the average selling price of interchangeable lens cameras has increased since late 2008, their sales were up 20% by value.
CES 2010 compact camera round-up
CES 2010 only opened today and we've already seen the announcement of 45 new compact cameras. To a great extent these launches have been about manufacturers refreshing their product ranges, but there have been a few interesting additions along the way. As try to dry ourselves off after the latest compact camera deluge, it's worth taking stock of where these latest models leave the market. What sort of specification should you be able to expect from the class of 2010?
Panasonic releases SDXC memory cards
Panasonic has announced its first SDXC (Extended Capacity) memory cards. The 64GB and 48GB cards offer Class 10 speed with maximum data transfer speed of up to 22MB/s. Their launch complements the company's SDXC-compatible cameras announced today. Both cards will start shipping in February 2010 with suggested retail prices of $599.95 and $449.95, respectively.
Olympus announces mju TOUGH 3000
Pre-CES 2010:The first part of substantial compact camera range refresh by Olympus begins with the µ (mju) Tough 3000 (Europe / Asia name). As with previous Tough cameras the 3000 is shockproof to 1.5m, scratchproof, waterproof to 3m, and able to withstand temperatures as low as -10°C (or "freezeproof" if you like). Behind its monocle-like lens-cover sits a 3.6x wide angle zoom (28-102mm) and a pretty tiny 12 megapixel CCD sensor. Must-haves are sensor stabilization, HD movie, HDMI connectivity and "Magic Filters" (known as Art Filters elsewhere). Credit though for 1GB of internal memory and USB charging.
Olympus mju 5010, 70x0 and 9010 pocket zoomers
Pre-CES 2010: The next installment from Olympus comes with no less than four new pocketable super-zoom models. They are the first Olympus compacts to use the common SD memory card format (to allow for HD movie capture, the company says). The name sort-of indicates the amount of zoom available; 10x for the µ-9010, 7x for the µ-7040 & µ-7030 and 5x for the µ-5010. All four cameras pack a fourteen megapixel CCDs, sensor stabilization, either 1 or 2 GB of internal storage and HD movie recording. Best of all these models will be available in a range of vivid colors.
Olympus makes FE-5030, 40x0 and 47 light on/in your pocket
Pre-CES 2010: Saving the best cheapest most cost-effective for last, Olympus has launched four FE series cameras to line the shelves. With either four or five times optical zooms these cameras will no doubt rely heavily on noise reduction to keep their fourteen megapixel CCDs in check. Credit for USB charging, sensor stabilization, use of SD memory cards, and a rather attractive design for the 5030. Available in March.
Sony unleashes twelve Cyber-shot compact cameras
Pre-CES 2010: Sony has unleashed twelve Cyber-shot compacts. First come the feature-rich HX5 and TX7 with 10MP Exmor R back illuminated CMOS sensors, 25mm wide angle lenses and offer AVCHD 1080i Full HD movie recording, image stabilization and Intelligent Sweep Panorama. The HX5 also comes with built-in GPS and compass, while the TX7 includes a 3.5 inch touchscreen LCD. Next come eight new compacts in the W-series, with 14MP CCDs and wide-angle lenses, including features such as Sweep Panorama and HD movie recording. Lastly, we have the S2100, S2000 with 12 megapixel sensors, 10x optical zoom lenses and 3.0 inch LCDs. The latest line-up of Cyber-shots support SD/SDHC memory cards and will be available from the end of January 2010.
January 6
Panasonic releases FS30 and FS33
Pre-CES 2010: Panasonic has released a slew of compacts, starting with the Lumix DMC-FS33 and DMC-FS30. Both cameras feature 8X image-stabilized zoom lenses starting at a 28mm-equivalent wideangle, 14MP 1/2.33"-type sensors with image processing by Panasonic's Venus Engine IV, and HD video recording in the MJPEG format at 720p. They are distinguished by their screens - the FS33 has a 3" touch-screen with an anti-reflective coating, that allows users to select the focusing and metering areas simply by tapping the desired point on the preview image. Meanwhile the FS30 makes do with a conventional 2.7" LCD. As usual both cameras will be available in a range of colors.
Panasonic reveals slimline FP1, FP2 & FP3
Pre-CES 2010: Next up from Panasonic are three slimline Lumix compacts, in the shape of the 12MP FP1, and the 14MP FP2 and FP3. All three models feature a 4X non-extending image-stabilized zoom lens (35-140mm equivalent range) and the Venus Engine IV processor; the FP1 and FP2 use 2.7" LCDs, whereas the FP3 uses a 3" touch-screen with Touch AF and metering area selection. The cameras all come in a generous range of pretty colors - 8 for the FP1 and FP2, and no fewer than 12 for the FP3.
Panasonic FS10 and FS11 - wide, 5x on a budget
Pre-CES 2010: Rounding off Panasonic's early 2010 Lumix range are the FS 10 and FS11. Both cameras come equiped with 28mm wideangle 5X zoom lenses with Mega OIS, 2.7" screens, Venus Engine IV processors and 720p MJPEG format HD video recording. The FS11 sports a 14Mp sensor, while the FS10 has to make do with just 12Mp. Again there's a choice of colors including silver, black, blue and pink; the FS11 will also come in red, but if you really want an orange camera you'll have to buy the FS10 instead.
Samsung TL210 and TL205 update 2View camera range
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has updated its 2View range of dual LCD compact cameras with the launch of the TL210 and TL205 (PL150 and PL100 in Europe). The cameras share a 12MP sensor but the TL210 features a 5X image stabilized zoom starting at a useful 27mm equivalent, while the TL205 makes do with a less flexible, unstabilized 35-105mm equiv. (3X) lens. The TL210 also offers 720p HD video and a 3.0" rear LCD, whereas the TL205 offers VGA recording and a 2.7" screen. Both cameras are designed to lean backwards slightly when placed on a flat surface which, when combined with the dual LCD design, helps when taking self-portraits.
Samsung lauches CL80 and TL240 hydro-formed compacts
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has launched the CL80 and TL240 stylish touch-screen cameras. Both cameras feature 14MP sensors housed in hydro-formed metal bodies. The CL80 (ST5500 in Europe) offers a 3.7" AMOLED touch-sensitive display while the TL240 (ST5000) has a simpler 3.5" LCD screen. The CL80 also offers both Wi-Fi and BlueTooth connectivity for transferring movies and images. Both have 7X zoom lenses and 720p HD video. Both models are inclined towards self-timer photos - they tilt backwards at 7 degrees to ensure they point up towards the subject.
Casio unveils four Exilim digital compact cameras
Pre-CES 2010: Casio has announced four cameras in its Exilim line of digital compacts. From the top, we have the EX-FH100 with a wide-angle 10x optical zoom lens starting at 24mm, a 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor that allows high-speed movie recording at up to 1,000 fps, image stabilization and RAW capture. Next we have the EX-H15, EX-Z2000 and EX-Z550, all featuring the company's latest EXILIM Engine 5.0 processor and stabilized 14.1MP CCD sensors. The EX-H15 includes the same lens as the EX-FH100, a 3.0 inch LCD and offers a 1000-shot battery life. The EX-Z2000 features a 5x (26-130mm equiv.) optical zoom lens and a 3 inch LCD, while the EX-Z550 includes a 4x(26-104mm equiv.)optical zoom lens and a smaller 2.7 inch LCD.
On Lenses For Small Cameras
Without a doubt the cameras which created the most 'buzz' in 2009 were the Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic GF1 - the first in a new breed of interchangeable-lens compacts that promise the image quality of a DSLR in a much more portable package. Samsung's new NX10 is surely the herald of many more similar designs, and we'd expect that this segment of the market will be much more crowded by the end of the year. We've been musing on the kind of lenses we'd most like to see for these small cameras, and have scribbled down our thoughts in our latest blog post - click through to read all about it.
Nikon D3x, D3, D700 &  D300S get firmware fixes
Nikon has posted firmware updates for its D3X, D3, D700 & D300S digital SLRs. With the latest firmware, all four cameras now support 64GB CompactFlash cards. The updates also bring in a host of improvements and bug fixes, and are available for immediate download from Nikon's website.
Kodak unveils Slice touchscreen camera
Kodak has announced the 'Slice' touchscreen camera built around a 3.5" LCD. It features a 14MP sensor, 5x optically stabilized zoom lens and will be available in black, nickel and 'radish' colors for US $349.95 from April 2010. It also has internal memory to store 5000 HD-resolution images. The camera' combines its share and face recognition functions to tag pictures directly for easy upload ito popular social networking websites.
Kodak announces four EasyShare M-series cameras
Kodak has announced four EasyShare M-series digital compacts. As usual, Kodak is promoting the cameras' ease of use - the new models feature improved in-camera tagging and searching based on face recognition. The M580, M575, M550 and M530 are 14MP and 12 MP cameras featuring a variety of lenses from 8x to 3x with the the top two models extending from 28mm equivalent.
January 5
Canon releases EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM lens
Pre-CES 2010: Canon has released a successor to its professional workhorse fast telezoom, in the shape of the EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM. Although outwardly similar to its predecessor, the new lens features a revised optical design, incorporating a fluorite element and no fewer than 5 UD elements for the correction of chromatic aberrations. The minimum focus distance has been reduced to 1.2m, with a corresponding increase in maximum magnification to 0.21x. The mechanical design has also been modified, with the most obvious external change being a wider focusing ring. As usual for an L series design, the lens features dust- and drip-proof construction. It's also fully compatible with Canon's existing teleconverters and extension tubes.
Canon announces A3000 IS and A3100 IS
Pre-CES 2010: Canon has introduced the PowerShot A3000 IS and A3100 IS to top its A series of budget compacts. They become the first A series cameras to be built around Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries, rather than AA cells, giving around 230 shots per charge (based on standard tests). Both share the same 35-140mm equivalent (4x) image-stabilized zoom lens and 2.7" LCD screen, with the A3100 offering a 12MP CCD sensor, rather than the A3000's 10MP CCD. In line with their price tags, both cameras feature only VGA movie capability. Both are SDXC compatible.
Canon unveils A490 and A495 10MP budget compacts
Pre-CES 2010: Canon has refreshed its budget, 'A series' with the launch of the A490 and A495. The cameras replace the A480 and share a 10 megapixel sensor, 37-122mm equivalent (3.3x) zoom lens and 2.5" LCD. The A495, available in more color options, offers slightly more sophisticated face detection, a 'face timer' feature and two additional scene modes. Both models will accept the forthcoming SDXC memory format.
Lexar announces bigger, faster memory cards
Pre-CES 2010: Lexar has announced upgrades to its Professional line of memory cards. The company's Professional 300x CompactFlash card is now available in a larger 32GB capacity, while the Professional 233x CF cards are available in 32GB and 16GB capacities. In addition, the Professional 133x SDHC cards have been upgraded to Class 10 speed rating.
Eye-Fi introduces Pro X2 card with 802.11n wi-fi
Pre-CES 2010: Eye-Fi has launched its second generation of wireless SD cards promising faster write and transmission speeds as well as new features. The Eye-Fi Pro X2 is an 8GB SDHC card offering class 6 transfer speeds (guaranteed 6MB/s) and faster (802.11n compliant) wireless data rates. It also features an optional 'Endless Memory' mode in which the card will automatically delete content it has already transferred, when it fills to a user defined level.
Omnivision announces 14.6MP back-lit CMOS sensor
Pre-CES 2010: Sensor developer Omnivision has launched a 14.6MP 1/2.33-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor capable of full 1080p HD video. The OV14810 sensor uses the company's latest 1.4-micron OmniBSITM architecture and is intended for use in digital cameras and mobile phones. The sensor can produce full resolution images at 15 fps or 1080p at 60 fps. It will enter mass production in the second quarter of 2010.
Sony boosts Alpha range with DSLR-A450
Sony has introduced another sub-$1000 DSLR, the A450. The Sony Alpha 450 slots in below the A500, offering the same 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor as the more expensive A550 but losing the company's clever fast-AF live view system. It also loses the tilt and flip LCD screen, instead receiveing the same rather small 6.7cm (2.6") display as the A230. This stripped-down, lower-cost model plays the same role as the A230 does to the A3XX range, but with the improved ergonomics and larger battery of the A5XX series. The reduced feature set helps boost the battery life to over 1000 shots, using standard test methods. However, in adding a sixth sub-$1000 DSLR, Sony has made its range that bit more confusing.
January 4
Samyang 8mm f3.5 & 85mm f1.4 for Four Thirds
Korean lens makers Samyang Optics has announced plans to make its 8mm f3.5 fish-eye and 85mm f1.4 lenses in the Four Thirds mount. Already available in Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts, the manual focus lenses will be available by the end of March 2010. Polish importer Delta has started distributing Samyang's lens range across Europe, with London Camera Exchange selling exclusively to the UK market.
Samsung NX10 Beta Samples Gallery
Just posted! An extensive gallery of 48 shots taken with an early pre-production sample of Samsung's new Micro Four Thirds competitor, the NX10 (using both 30mm pancake and 18-55mm zoom kit lenses). As both camera and lenses are very early 'beta' samples we must stress that these shots may not fully represent the final 'shipping' image quality so please bear this in mind when looking at the out of camera JPEGs.
Samsung NX10 launched and previewed
Pre-CES 2010: Samsung has announced the NX10, the first of its NX series of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The NX10 wraps a 14.6 megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor up in a comparatively compact, DSLR-style body including an eye-level VGA resolution electronic viewfinder. It also features a 3.0" OLED screen, promising lower power consumption, a wider range of viewing angles and better contrast than LCD technology. It can also shoot 720p HD video with H.264 compression. The company has also launched an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, a 50-200mm telezoom and a 30mm F2 pancake lens for the camera, which uses a completely new lens mount. We've had a pre-production camera for a little while, so have produced a full preview (with sample images to follow later today) to give you an idea of what to expect from the little Korean camera.
January 1
Challenge of Challenges winner
First of all a very Happy New Year to all our readers, it's been a great 2009 for dpreview and we've more new exciting stuff coming over the next few weeks (both in terms of new product and site features). Today our 'Challenge of Challenges 2009' ended and the winners have been calculated (from an unbelievable 112,000 votes). Congratulations to elroyie for his winning image 'Continuously', an amazing long exposure dusk landscape shot, runners up were gaston47 and luca moi. Everyone in the top ten will be getting a special reward which can be used with a new site feature we're planning to reveal within the next two weeks.