June 2010 news and reviews
Just posted! Our lens review featuring Olympus's Micro Four Thirds superzoom, the M Zuiko Digital 14-150mm F4-5.6. This latest addition to the company's Pen range continues with its downsizing theme, and is dramatically smaller and lighter than most similar SLR lenses. It also promises fast and silent focusing optimized for video shooting. So is this mini-marvel the ultimate general-purpose travel zoom?
The SD Association has introduced symbols to denote the latest high-speed SDXC and SDHC cards and to help consumers identify ideal cards for their devices. A UHS-I specification indicates a card has an interface capable of transferring data at up to 104 MB/s, four times faster than the current limit of 25 MB/s. UHS-I cards will be compatible with existing devices but can only make use of their extra speed capabilities when used with a UHS-I reader or cameras. An additional 'Class 1' symbol on these cards promises real time recording of HD videos. This symbol differs from the Class 2, 4, 6 and 10 logos used for non-UHS-I cards that defined minimum write speed.
Just Posted: Our group test of the latest travel zooms. The pocketable long zoom camera has been one of the great growth sectors in recent years, packing immense flexibility into small, easy-to-use cameras. We've taken 13 compact superzoom cameras from the leading manufacturers and subjected them to a selection of our usual tests to help you decide which deserves a place in your luggage this summer. So which do we think makes the best travel companion?
Manfrotto has updated its tutorial website with additional features and improvements. 'The Manfrotto School of Excellence' now includes features such as live chat, news updates and photo-features in addition to free tutorials from established photographers, most of which have an understandable three-legged slant to them. The website also promotes products from other brands from the Vitec Group including Gitzo, Lastolite, Elinchrom and Kata.
Nikon has announced a number of its products including the Nikon D3S, D3X DSLRs and telephoto lenses will be used in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The company says that no modifications will be made to any of the products and they will join the existing Nikon film and digital cameras/lenses used by the astronauts working in the segment. In a press release the company also mentions the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had ordered 11 D3S bodies and 7 AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses for use in the Space Shuttle and ISS in 2009.
Just posted: Our review of the all-new mirrorless system cameras from Sony, the NEX-5 and NEX-3. Offering an appealing combination of a large APS-C sensor in an incredibly compact body, the NEX cameras go head to head with Oympus and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds system. Do they have enough to take pole position in the 'micro system camera' race? Check out our review - including the first outing of our new interactive studio comparison tool - after the link.
Mamiya has announced the RZ33 digital medium format camera featuring a 33MP, 48 x 36mm CCD sensor. It is the first RZ series camera to feature fully integrated electronics for direct communication with the digital back. Other features include true 16 bit/channel RAW capture, built-in rotating sensor, ISO range of 50-800 and image capture rate of 1.1 seconds per frame. The RZ33 is compatible with all RZ system lenses and most accessories. It will be available from July 2010 at a retail price of $17,990.
PocketWizard has announced its AC3 Zone Controller multiple light controller will be available from the end of this month. Priced at US $69.95 and £59.99 GBP, it offers independent control over three lighting zones. Each zone can be adjusted to ±3EV in 1/3EV steps and switched to manual, TTL auto or turned off. AC3 Zone Controller is only available for Canon cameras, with Nikon versions to be made available soon.
Swiss color management and measurement specialist X-Rite has announced the ColorChecker Passport DNG Profile Manager. The DNG Profile Manager provides a single list of all installed DNG profiles and can filter, rename and export from this list to help manage them all. The software is available to download free of charge for registered users of ColorChecker Passport, X-Rite's portable profiling product.
Just posted: Our exclusive preview of the Panasonic Lumix G 8mm F3.5 Fisheye. We've had the chance to play around with the latest addition to the Micro Four Thirds lens range and have prepared a preview, detailing its warped wide-angle capabilities. We've also been able to prepare a small samples gallery, using a pre-production lens which we've been told is representative of final image quality.