« July 2010  |  September 2010 »

August 2010 news and reviews

August 31
Canon develops world's largest CMOS sensor
Canon has announced it has developed the world's largest CMOS sensor measuring 202 x 205mm. Approximately 40 times the size of Canon's largest commercial CMOS sensor, it captures images with 1/100th the amount of light required by an SLR camera. Its advanced circuitry allows video recording at 60 frames per second with 0.3 lux illumination that according to the company is roughly one-half the brightness of a moonlit night. There is currently no information about the sensor's resolution. This follows last week's development announcement of Canon's 120 megapixel 29.2 x 20.2mm APS-H CMOS sensor.
Adobe releases Lightroom 3.2, ACR 6.2 & DNG Converter 6.2
Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 3.2, Camera Raw 6.2 and DNG Converter 6.2. These are final versions of updates that were originally posted as 'release candidates' on the Adobe Labs site, and are now available for immediate download. The latest versions provide final RAW support for sixteen recent cameras, including the Canon EOS 60D and Sony's NEX and SLT cameras. The updates also add more than 120 lens profiles and fix a number of bugs.
Olympus releases M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm lens
Olympus has announced what it calls the world’s smallest and lightest 600mm equivalent telephoto lens in the shape of M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7. Weighing 430 grams, the Micro Four Thirds system lens' 18 element, 13 group design utilizes two Extraordinary Dispersion (ED) and 3 High Refractive (HR) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration. It promises fast and silent focusing for recording movies. The lens will be available in black and silver from December 2010 for €899.
Olympus introduces M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm lens
Olympus has announced the addition of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 zoom lens to its Micro Four Thirds lens series. Similar to the 75-300mm lens announced today, the lens promises fast and quieter focusing optimized for video shooting. It will come supplied along with the 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 in the Pen Double Zoom Kit. The lens will be available in black and silver for €329 from end of October 2010.
Olympus announces special edition kits for the E-P2 camera in black
Olympus has announced two special edition all-black kits for its E-P2 Micro Four Thirds camera. Both kits come with a black version of the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 pancake lens and either the VF-2 electronic viewfinder or FL-14 external flash. The kits also include a retro-styled lens cap imprinted with the company's Pen F series logo which can also be purchased separately. The black EVF edition will be available for €1,079 while the black flash edition will be available for €1,049 from October 2010.
August 27
Sigma releases 70-200mm F2.8 OS for Nikon
Sigma has announced its 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM image-stabilised fast telezoom is now available in Nikon F mount. Previously available in Canon EF mount, the Nikon version is priced at $2,470. The lens features a new optical design that uses two elements made of the company's recently developed 'FLD' glass plus three SLD glass elements to reduce aberrations, a 9-blade circular aperture, and features full-time manual focus override. It also comes with an adapter for APS-C users.
August 26
Complete our survey for the chance to win an iPad
US photographic trade body PMA and dpreview.com are conducting a survey looking for the views of dedicated amateur photographers. The five ten minute survey asks about your photographic use, the features you'd like to see in cameras and your use and experience of photo sharing sites and printing services (as well as helping us make dpreview a better place). It aims to get a clearer understanding of what committed non-professional photographers want from their cameras and related services and may even result in those things getting a bit better. Responses will be discussed at the forthcoming 6Sight conference. As a reward one lucky respondent will be sent a shiny new Apple iPad. Update: The survey will close 12:00 midnight Pacific time on Tuesday August 31st, so if you'd like your chance to win, time is running out!
Cosina joins Micro Four Thirds system
Cosina has announced it is joining the Micro Four Thirds system standard with Olympus and Panasonic. Users will now be able to use an extended choice of Cosina and Voigtländer-branded lenses with their Micro Four Thirds cameras without the need for adapters. To coincide with this announcement, Cosina has announced the availability of its Nokton 25mm F0.95 lens compliant with the standard. Priced at ¥95,000 (~ US $1125) it will be available from October 2010.
Canon EOS 60D DSLR announced and previewed
Canon has unveiled the EOS 60D mid-level DSLR, replacing the EOS 50D. However, following the launch of the EOS 7D, the 60D has been repositioned in the market, so isn't a simple upgrade to its predecessor. Instead the 60D is a smaller camera featuring an articulated screen and plastic body shell and utilizing SD memory cards. It combines the 18MP CMOS sensor and 1040k dot 3.0" LCD from the EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) with the AF system from the 50D. Meanwhile it gains the 7D's HD movie capability. We've had a chance to use a pre-production 60D so have prepared a hands-on preview, including sample images and movies.
Canon launches EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
Canon has released the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, aimed at being an affordable 'L'-grade telephoto lens. It offers a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor, weatherproof construction, claimed four-stop image stabilization and a minimum focus distance of 1.2m, all in a package about the same size as the existing EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. Additional features include an 8-bladed circular aperture, full-time manual focus override, and an optional tripod mount ring.
Canon releases EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye zoom lens
Canon has announced the EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM, the world's first fisheye zoom lens to offer both circular and full frame images. This replacement for the EF 15mm F2.8 fisheye will produce circular images with a 180 degree angle of view when used at its widest setting on 35mm-format cameras such as the EOS 5D Mark II, and images which cover the full sensor area at 15mm. It also incorporates marks at intermediate zoom positions denoting the widest settings which can be used on APS-C and APS-H format cameras to give full frame images without vignetting. The lens features weatherproof construction, including water-repellant Fluorine coating on the front and rear elements, and Canon's 'Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating' to minimize flare and ghosting.
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Canon has introduced updated versions of two of its professional telephoto lenses, in the shape of the EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM and the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Both feature completely new optical designs, along with lighter weight construction employing magnesium alloy and titanium. Sub Wavelength Structure coatings are employed to minimize flare, plus water-repellant Fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements. A new IS mode has been added that activates stabilization only during exposure, alongside a 'Power Focus' mode for video shooting. The upgrades are rounded off by the addition of repositionable AF stop buttons and a choice of tripod mounts.
Canon develops 500mm F/4L IS II USM and the 600mm F/4L IS II USM
Canon has announced it is developing updated versions of its 500mm and 600mm f/4L IS USM professional lenses. Similar to the 300mm and 400mm lenses announced today, the EF 500mm F/4L IS II USM and the EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM will feature new optical designs, lighter-weight construction and water-repellant Fluorine coatings.
Canon announces EF Extender 1.4x III and EF Extender 2x III
Canon has updated its 1.4x and 2x 'Extender' teleconverters, to version III. The EF Extender 1.4x III and EF Extender 2x III both offer completely new optical designs, weather resistant construction, Fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements, and promise higher AF accuracy than the previous versions. They also include redesigned lens release mechanisms and integrated processors for improved communication between the camera and lens.
Canon updates EOS E1 video plug-in
Canon has announced an updated version of its EOS E1 plug-in for Apple's Final Cut Pro video-editing software extending support to the EOS 60D DSLR. Already compatible with the company's EOS-1D Mark IV, 7D and 5D Mark II, the plug-in converts recorded footage into Apple's ProRes 422 compression format at approximately twice the speed of Apple’s standard conversion and allows users to log and mark videos with timecode, reel names and metadata.
August 25
Nik Software releases HDR Efex Pro Software
Nik Software has announced HDR Efex Pro, an HDR processing plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Aperture compatible with both Windows and Mac. Based around its proprietary tone mapping technology, it offers number of presets and tools for selective fine-tuning, ghost removal and shadow/highlight recovery for both multiple and single images. The software installs as a 32-bit or 64-bit plug-in compatible with the applications as far back as Photoshop CS3, Lightroom 2.3 and Apple Aperture 2.1. HDR Efex Pro will be available from Autumn 2010 at a suggested retail price of $159.95.
Adobe applies app-based approach to Photoshop.com
Adobe has developed a set of three online tools as the primary way of interacting with its Photoshop.com online storage and editing site. The Photoshop Express Editor, Organizer and Uploader have been optimized to integrate with the company's recently released Photoshop Express apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices and promise faster and 'more intuitive' uploading, editing, and organizing abilities.
August 24
Carl Zeiss to announce accessories in Photokina 2010
In a press release announcing its attendance in Photokina 2010, Carl Zeiss has announced it will be launching accessories for the first time along with new lenses.
Canon develops world's first 120 megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor
Canon has announced it has developed a 120 megapixel 29.2 x 20.2mm APS-H CMOS sensor - the same size used in its EOS-1D series of professional DSLRs. The sensor, for which Canon has announced no production plans, has a pixel count nearly 7.5 times larger than the company's highest pixel count commercially available sensor. It offers full HD recording (using 1/60th of its surface area) and can deliver 9.5fps continuous shooting. This follows a 50 million pixel sensor of similar format the company developed in 2007.
Just posted! Sony SLT A55 in-depth review
Just Posted: Our review of the Sony SLT A55 interchangeable lens camera. Sony's latest camera uses a fixed translucent mirror to redirect some of the captured light to the autofocus sensor, ensuring it can use fast, phase-detection AF at all times. The result is a full-time live view camera that can shoot at 10 frames per second and autofocus during video shooting. Its radical design blurs the already hazy line between DSLRs and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras but has the potential to completely re-shape the market. We've had a production-standard SLT A55 for a little while now. So does it live up to the promise or did we see right through it? We reflect...
Sony unveils SLT A55 and A33 with translucent mirror technology
Sony has unveiled the SLT A55 and SLT A33, the first pair of cameras to incorporate the company's translucent mirror design. The Single Lens Translucent (SLT) cameras offer live view with full-time fast phase-detection AF whether in stills or movie shooting. This is achieved by having a fixed, semi-transparent mirror that redirects a small amount of light onto the AF sensor while allowing the rest through onto the main imaging sensor. The A55 is built around a 16.2MP sensor while the A33 features a 14.2MP unit. Both feature 3.0" articulated LCDs, full HD video recording and ISO sensitivity up to 12,800, while the A55 also features built-in GPS. Priced at $749 and $649 respectively, the A55 will be available from October, while the A33 will hit the markets earlier, in September.
Sony releases DSLR-A580 and DSLR-A560
Sony has announced the addition of the A580 and A560 to its consumer-level DSLR range. Both the 16.2MP A580 and 14.2MP A560 are based around the company's Exmor APS HD CMOS sensors and enhanced Bionz processors. Both cameras can record 1080p full HD movies and deliver 7 fps in continuous shooting mode. They also include Sony's two-mode live view system with a 15-point phase-detection AF or a Manual Focus Check mode. Other features shared by both cameras include 3.0" fold-out LCDs, an enhanced Auto HDR mode, sensitivity of up to ISO 25,600 and 3D Sweep Panorama mode. Priced at €900 and €800 respectively, the A580 will be available from October 2010, while and the A560 will arrive in the first quarter of 2011.
Sony US announces 24mm F2, 35mm F1.8 and 85mm F2.8 lenses
Along with the latest SLTs and DSLRs, Sony has also announced the 24mm F2, 35mm F1.8 and 85mm F2.8 Alpha lenses in the US. Announced a month ago in the European market, the 24mm and 85mm lenses will start shipping from late September at retail prices of $1,250 and $250 respectively, followed by the 35mm which will be available from mid-October at a retail price of $200.
August 23
Phase One, Mamiya and Profoto announce wireless flash grip for 645DF
Phase One, Mamiya and lighting manufacturer Profoto have jointly announced the V-Grip Air, a vertical grip with built-in wireless flash trigger. The V-Grip Air, designed for the Phase One and Mamiya 645DF cameras allows wireless flash control at sync speeds up to 1/1600s. The wireless system works with all current and most modern Profoto flash systems and can be used with other makers' flashes using an optional Profoto transceiver unit. The grip will be priced at $1290/€990 while the transceiver unit for third-party flashes costs $199/€149.
Metz introduces Mecablitz 58 AF-2 and 50 AF-1 flashguns
Metz has introduced the Mecablitz 58 AF-2 and 50 AF-1 flashguns for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Four Thirds cameras. Successors to the 58 AF-1 and 48 AF-1, the latest models feature metal mounts with enhanced locking systems for faster mounting and wider angle diffusers for focal lengths from 12 mm equivalent. In the 58 AF-2, its slave/servo sensor has been integrated to the front of the unit to increase transmission of wireless flashes, meanwhile the 50 AF-1 sees a power increase to guide number to 50.
Kodak releases EasyShare M950 digital compact camera
Kodak has released what it calls the world's thinnest 5x optical zoom compact. Measuring 15mm on its thinnest side, the EasyShare M950 digital compact offers 14Mp sensor, 35-175mm equiv. lens and 2.7" LCD. It includes features such as 720p HD recording, direct online sharing options and takes Micro SD/SDHC memory cards. The company has also announced the Pulse 10-inch touchscreen digital frame with internet access. Both the camera and digital frame are priced at $199.95 each and will be available from the end of this month.
August 20
Quick guide to pocket camcorders

Pocket camcorders have become one of the fastest growing areas of the imaging market in the past year or so which, considering their simplicity and easy connectivity, is no surprise. Read this article to find out about the features on offer and what you should you be looking for.

August 19
Ricoh announces CX4 compact with improved IS
Ricoh has released the CX4 compact superzoom with a 10 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor. It offers the same 10.7x (28-300mm equiv.) zoom lens, 920k dot 3 inch LCD and 720p HD video recording as the company's CX3, but with enhanced image stabilization. The company says its latest version reduces blur to a degree equivalent to using a shutter speed 3.7 EV faster than actually being used. Other features include subject-tracking AF and additional shooting modes.
Nikon D3100 digital SLR announced and previewed
Nikon has unveiled the D3100, its latest entry-level offering and its first DSLR that can record full 1080p HD videos. Successor to the popular D3000, it is built around a 14.2 CMOS sensor and a 3 inch LCD. As well as movies it gains Live View shooting, a wider ISO range ( 100-3200 expandable to 12800) and a host of small revisions. The camera will be available soon at a retail price of £579.99 / €599 with the 18-55mm VR lens. We've been given access to a pre-production version of the camera which we've used to prepare a hands-on preview, looking at the changes Nikon has made to its best-selling DSLR.
Canon unveils PowerShot S95 premium compact
Canon has launched the PowerShot S95 premium compact as successor to the S90. The latest model includes an upgraded sensor capable of 720p HD video recording and the company's 'Hybrid IS' system that compensates for more types of movement. It also adds multi-aspect ratio shooting and SDXC card compatibility. Other than these features it inherits a lightly tweaked version of the S90's basic body design including the control ring, 28-105mm F2.0-4.9 stabilized lens and 3.0" LCD.
Nikon launches 85mm f/1.4G prime lens
Nikon has released a fast aperture medium telephoto lens in the shape of the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G. Featuring a completely new optical design and a built-in Silent Wave focus motor, it also includes Nikon's top-end goodies including a 9-bladed diaphragm, Nano Crystal coating for the reduction of flare, a magnesium alloy body shell and weathersealing. Availability will be from 2nd September 2010, at a recommended price of £1499.99 / €1549.
Nikon introduces 24-120mm F4 G ED VR lens
Nikon has announced the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, a general-purpose zoom for full frame cameras. This lens covers a useful wideangle to telephoto range with a fixed F4 maximum aperture and features Nikon's latest VR II stabilisation system. This promises shake-free hand-held shooting at shutter speeds four stops slower than would usually possible, with both 'Normal' and 'Active' modes. Also on the menu are Nano Crystal coating, a 9-bladed diaphragm, and a degree of environmental sealing. The lens will be available from 22nd September 2010 at a price of £1049.99 / €1099.
Nikon launches 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens
Nikon has launched an extended-range telephoto zoom for DX users: the AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. Offering an 85-450mm-equivalent range and VR II image stabilisation technology, it's designed as an accompaniment to the 18-55mm kit lens. It includes a Silent Wave motor for quiet focusing, and will be available from 2nd September 2010 at a price of £369.99 / €379.
Nikon releases 28-300mm F3.5-5.36 G ED VR lens
Nikon's salvo of lens releases is rounded off by the AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. Designed to provide FX format users with an equivalent of the company's popular 18-200mm for DX, this superzoom includes two-mode image stabilisation to the latest VR II specification, a close focus distance of 50cm and a zoom lock switch. It will be available from 2nd September for £869.99 / €899.
Canon releases Powershot SD4500 IS / IXUS 1000 HS
Canon has released what it calls the world's slimmest super zoom camera - the PowerShot SD4500 IS (IXUS 1000 HS in Europe). Measuring 22mm at the thinnest side, it features the company's 'HS' system first featured in the SD4000 IS, promising better low-light performance and high-speed photography. It shares the same 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor and 2.7 inch LCD as the SD4000 IS, but offers a longer 10x zoom range starting at a rather over-long 36mm equivalent. The image-stabilized camera can record full HD movies as well as Super Slow Motion movies at 240fps, and (in Europe, at least) represents ten years since the IXUS range first went digital.
Canon launches PowerShot SX130 IS superzoom
Canon has also launched the PowerShot SX130 IS superzoom, replacing the SX120 IS. It sees a resolution increase to 12MP, a longer 12x zoom range starting at 28mm, gains SDXC support, offers HD movie recording and additional scene modes including a Miniature mode. The rest of the features remain the same including a 3.0" LCD, P/A/S/M shooting, image stabilization and AA battery power.
Canon introduces Selphy CP800 compact photo printer
In addition to its camera announcements, Canon has introduced the Selphy CP800 compact dye-sublimation photo printer with built-in voice guidance. Replacing the CP780, its features a more compact design and offers ID-style print layout along with other options. It features a the same 2.5" LCD with image preview as its predecessor and maintains print speed of approx 47 seconds per print. It takes a selection of memory card formats including the latest SDXC format.
August 18
Olympus announces mju-7050, FE-5050 and FE-4050
Olympus has announced the latest additions to its range of compact cameras. The mju-7050 comes with a 14Mp sensor, 7x (28-196mm equiv.) zoom lens, 3.0" LCD and features HD recording and image stabilization. The 14Mp FE-5050 and 12Mp FE-4050 incorporate 2.7 inch LCDs and wide angle zoom lenses starting at 26mm and 27mm respectively. While all cameras include 'Magic Filters,' the 7050 also offers 'Magic Movies' where users can apply filter effects to videos.
August 17
Fujifilm launches FinePix Real 3D W3 compact with 3D movies
Fujifilm has launched the FinePix Real 3D W3, its second 3D compact camera, and the first to shoot movies in HD. It inherits the same techonology including dual 10MP CCD sensors and twin lenses from the W1, but comes with a larger 3.5" 3D LCD compared to the 2.8" screen of the previous model. It offers a new Auto 3D mode and records sound in stereo. Images and videos taken with the camera can be viewed on 3D televisions and the company's 3D photo frames.
Nikon unveils Coolpix S1100pj projector camera and S5100 compact
A year after unveiling the world's first compact with a built-projector, Nikon has introduced its successor - the S1100pj. Built around the same stabilized 28-140mm equivalent lens as the S1000pj, it comes with a 14.1Mp sensor and larger, higher resolution 460K dot 3.0" LCD.The body design has also been slightly modified and the projector improved to offer great brightness, image size and throw distance. The company has also launched the image-stabilized 12.2 megapixel S5100, which offers a wide angle 5x zoom lens (28-140mm equiv.), 2.7 inch LCD and HD video recording.
Nikon releases ViewNX 2 software
Nikon has announced version 2 of its ViewNX image viewing and editing software. Along with image-editing features, the latest version now allows users to edit movies shot with the company's DSLRs. It also features an enhanced user interface and easier online sharing options.
August 13
Adobe releases Photoshop Express for iPad & iPhone
Adobe has introduced Photoshop Express as an application for Apple's iPad and iPhone. Previously known as Photoshop.com Mobile, the app has now been optimized for use with the iPad. It enables users to view, edit and apply effects to images via gesture-based functions. Photoshop Express is available as a free download from Apple's App Store for new users and as an update including the new name for existing users. It is also available in the Android Marketplace.
August 12
Sony announces 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 E-mount lens availability
Sony has announced its 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS E-mount telephoto lens will be available from September 10, 2010 at an estimated retail price of $800 in the US and £699 in the UK. The image-stabilized zoom lens with an equivalent zoom range of 27-300mm is designed for the company's NEX series of interchangeable lens cameras and camcorder. It will join the existing line-up of E-mount lenses - the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 zoom and 16mm F2.8 pancake wideangle.
August 11
Nik software updates Viveza 2 plug-in
Nik Software has announced an updated version of its Viveza 2 selective color and brightness control plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Version 2.003 fixes minor bugs and adds 64-bit compatibility for both Mac and Windows platforms.
Pentax releases RAW codec update
Pentax has updated its RAW codec for Windows extending support to files of the company's recently released 645D medium format camera. The latest version is compatible only with 32-bit Windows Vista and 7 operating systems. It is available for immediate download from the company's website.
August 10
Tamron releases SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD lens for Nikon
Five months after announcing its development, Tamron has said the SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD zoom lens will be available from the end of this month in Nikon F mount. Priced at $449 and working both on full-frame and APS-C digital SLRs, it is the company's first lens to feature an Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) autofocus motor, giving full-time manual focus override.
Adobe issues ACR 6.2 and Lightroom 3.2 Release Candidates
Adobe has released 'Release Candidates' of its Camera RAW 6.2 and Lightroom 3.2 raw processing software. The updates, available from the company's Adobe Labs site, bring support for 12 additional cameras ranging from the Casio FH-100 to the Pentax 645D and Leica S2. Sony's NEX models and Samsung's NX10 also make the list. Lightroom skips version 3.1 to bring its version numbering into sync with ACR, with 3.2 bringing a host of bug fixes along with the additional cameras. According to the company, the term 'Release Candidate' means the download is well tested but not yet final version.
August 9
Intuitfocus HF-IF1 hands-free follow-focus system system for DSLRs
German manufacturer Intuitfocus has released what it calls the first hands-free follow-focus system system for DSLRs. The Intuitfocus HF-IF1 is built a motorized belt-drive system that attaches around the lens and is remotely controlled by scroll wheel. Aimed at videographers who shoot movies with HD enabled DSLRs, this system is designed to offer smooth and shake-free focus or zooming. The system can be used to control focus, zoom or aperture. According to the US distributor HP Marketing, the HF-IF1 will be available from September 2010 at a retail of $3,900 for the complete kit.
Just Posted: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 Quick Review
Just Posted: Our review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10. Panasonic's first attempt to tap into the entry-level system camera market, the G10 faces stiff competition from the likes of the Canon EOS 1000D and Nikon D3000, as well as newcomers like the Olympus E-PL1. The G10 has a lot in common with its big brother the DMC-G2 - is this enough to make it stand out in this competitive market? Read our review to find out.
August 6
Just posted - Ricoh GXR P10 28-300mm Quick Review
Just posted! Our quick review of the Ricoh GXR P10 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 VC zoom lens module. With its 1/2.3" back-illuminated CMOS sensor and 28-300mm equivalent zoom range the third module in the system practically converts the GXR body into a 'Travel Zoom' compact camera. It also comes with features such as RAW capture and 5 fps continuous shooting. Find out how it performed in the dpreview tests after the link...
Leica posts firmware update for M9 rangefinder
Leica has released a firmware update for its M9 digital rangefinder. Version 1.138 improves auto white balance performance in certain lighting conditions and improves compatibility with SDHC memory cards. The latest firmware also fixes a few minor bugs. The firmware is available for immediate download from Leica's website.
Just posted! Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Sample Gallery
Just posted! Our preview samples gallery from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100. We have just received a production sample of the FZ100 and put together a gallery of sample shots to give you an impression of the image quality from this new superzoom. The gallery includes a mix of shots using various ISOs and apertures, shot under a variety of lighting conditions. We have also shot our standard studio comparison scene and added them to our comparison tool so it can be easily compared to its competitors.
August 5
Exclusive: Fujifilm's phase detection system explained

With the announcement of the Fujifilm F300 EXR and Z800 EXR coming on a day that also saw four other cameras being launched, it would be easy to overlook their most radical feature. Because, with the latest version of its EXR sensor, Fujifilm has achieved something that's been hoped for but not previously brought to market - through-the-lens phase detection autofocus on a compact camera. The company is claiming the system enables focus times as fast as 0.158 sec. We got some more details of the system from Hitoshi Yamashita, manager of the company's Technical Support Group.

Ricoh updates firmware for CX1, CX2 and CX3 digital compacts
Ricoh has released firmware updates for its CX1, CX2 and CX3 digital compact cameras. Version 1.25 for CX1 and version 1.15 for CX2 fix bugs relating to distortion correction in certain situations and printing. CX3's firmware v1.11 also corrects minor bugs and improves flash accuracy when capturing images in the 16:9 aspect ratio. The updates are available for immediate download from the company's website.
August 4
Samsung announces PL90 with built-in USB connector
Samsung has released the PL90 digital compact with a built-in USB connector. Plugging in the connector to any computer charges the camera and can automatically install the Intelli-studio software for accessing and sharing camera data. The 12.2 MP image stabilized camera comes with a 2.7 inch LCD, 4x zoom lens (29-116mm equiv.) and includes features such as AF Tracking, Smart Auto and VGA video recording. Priced at $149.99 in the US and £129.99 in the UK, it will be available from September 2010.
August 3
Topaz Labs releases DeNoise 5
Topaz Labs has released the latest version of its DeNoise noise reduction plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. DeNoise 5 promises faster processing speeds and increases the maximum image size it can handle. It gains additional noise processing tools including horizontal and vertical debanding options. The plug-in is available as a free upgrade for existing users or $79.99 for first-time buyers.
Apple releases RAW compatibility update
Apple has released a digital camera RAW compatibility update for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '09. Update 3.3 extends RAW support to eight additional cameras including the Sony Alpha NEX-5/3, Samsung NX10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2.The update is available for immediate download from Apple's website.
Unified Color releases 32-Float HDR plug-in for Photoshop
HDR software maker Unified Color Technologies has released what it says is the first 32-bit HDR plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. The 32 Float plug-in is based around the company's 'Beyond RGB' color space that attempts to separate brightness and color components of the image data to allow tonal adjustments without color shifts. The plug-in supports the CS5, CS4 and CS3 versions of Photoshop and will be available at an introductory price of $79 from September 2010.
Casio releases EX-S200 and EX-Z800 digital compacts
Casio has released the Exilim EX-S200 and EX-Z800 digital compacts. The 14MP image-stabilized cameras feature the company's latest Exilim Engine 5.0 processor with 'super-resolution' context-sensitive image processing technology. Both offer 4x zoom lenses starting a 27mm equivalent focal length and use the super resolution technology to improve the effect of the 1.5x digital zoom. They also share 2.7" LCDs and can record standard 720p HD videos. The identical specced cameras differ physically with the EX-S200 maintaining the S series' slim body while the EX-Z800 features a slightly larger Zoom series design.
August 2
Just Posted: Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS / IXUS 300 HS review
Just Posted: Our review of the Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS /IXUS 300 HS compact digital camera. Canon's latest style compact comes with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a new HS system that is promises both low-light performance and high-speed photography. Mixing point-and-shoot simplicity with a broad feature set and high degree of user control for those who want it isn't an easy balance to strike. So did the matte black version we tested shine or fade into the background? Read our review to find out.
DxO Optics Pro adds 100 lens correction modules
DxO Labs has updated its DxO Optics Pro raw converter software with 100 lens and cameras combinations for Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony users. These new lens correction modules join the existing list of combinations. The modules are available for immediate download from the company's website.