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May 2012 news and reviews

May 30
Just Posted: Pentax K-01 review

Just posted: our sixteen-page Pentax K-01 review. In the third of our collaborative reviews with the Digital Camera Resource Page's Jeff Keller, we look at Pentax's first large-sensor mirrorless camera, the 16MP APS-C K-01. The K-01 is unusual for a mirrorless camera in that it uses a preexisting lens mount - so it has to be the same depth as a DSLR, despite the lack of mirror. The idiosyncratic approach is emphasized by the camera's unconventional styling by designer Marc Newson, but what's the K-01 like to use, when you get past its looks?

Adobe launches ACR v7.1 and Lightroom v4.1 with X-Pro1 support

Adobe has launched final versions of Photoshop Lightroom v4.1 and Adobe Camera Raw v7.1 that include support for the Fujifilm X-Pro1. Both versions include the advanced defringing tools introduced in the Release Candidate versions they replace as well as promising to address 'performance issues.' Both versions include support for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 non-Bayer color filter array. They can be downloaded from the Adobe website now. Adobe Camera Raw 7.1 works with Photoshop CS6.

May 29
Europe's Ark

Photographing the wild-flower meadows of Transylvania

Panasonic DMC-FX90 firmware v2.0 makes Wi-Fi functions smarter

Panasonic has release firmware v2.0 for its DMC-FX90 Wi-Fi compact, adding a series of features to allow its use with smartphones. The FX90, launched in August 2011 featured the ability to upload images to smartphones, but the latest firmware adds the option to remotely view the camera's live view, zoom the lens and trigger the shutter. These features, which can be used with the associated iOS and Android smartphone apps, bring it into line with the latest 'smart cameras' from Samsung.

Nikon issues firmware updates for D4 and D800/D800E

Nikon has updated the firmware of both the D4 and D800 professional DSLRs. The D4 receives updates to v1.01 for both firmware A and B, while the D800 and D800E only have B firmware v1.01. In both cases the firmware corrects minor operational glitches, including one that could cause the cameras to occasionally lock up. The updates can be downloaded from Nikon's websites.

Review: Nik Snapseed for Mac

Snapseed started life as an iOS app that married Nik Software's 'U Point' localized effect controls with a touch-based interface. The app has now stepped back across the mobile divide and is available for desk-bound Macs. Lauren Crabbe investigates whether the $20 desktop version is a useful addition to your image-editing arsenal.

May 25
Wanted: Experienced writers to contribute to dpreview.com

Are you an experienced writer with a passion for photography? Do you want to use your skills to contribute to the world's #1 photography website? If so, we want to hear from you. To expand on the reviews, previews and news stories that are the core of the site, we're looking for external contributors with a proven track record of producing top-quality content to deliver a diverse range of other articles. These include photographic technique tutorials, equipment buyers' guides, book reviews, and everything in between.

May 24
Just Posted: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Preview

Just Posted: Our hands-on preview of the Olympus 75mm F1.8 for Micro Four Thirds. The 75mm is Olympus' premium grade portrait lens for the joint Olympus/Panasonic mirrorless system. We've had a pre-production example in the office for a couple of days and have prepared a hands-on preview, to which we'll add a samples gallery when the promised production example arrives.

Facebook creates Camera app for photo sharing and viewing on iOS

Facebook has announced a free app called Camera that focuses on viewing and sharing photos. Instead of showing what your friends are doing and thinking, it just dives straight to their photo galleries. The app also allows you to share multiple photos at a time, including descriptions and tagging. There are also tools for cropping and applying filters to your images. The app allows Facebook to be used in a much more Instagram-like manner (and it seems too soon for this to be a product of the Facebook buyout). Updated with first impressions.

Olympus 75mm F1.8 for Micro Four Thirds gets $900 price-tag

Olympus has released more details about the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 lens it announced alongside the E-M5, back in January 2012. The relatively compact large-aperture lens offers a 150mm-equivalent field-of-view and a fast internal-focus design. The 75mm will be available from 'Summer 2012' at an expected selling price of around $899.99.

Fujifilm launches M-mount adapter for X-Pro1's X-mount

Fujifilm has officially unveiled its promised adapter to allow the use of Leica M-mount lenses on the X-Pro1. Unlike third-party versions, the adapter has electronic contacts for communication with the camera body, and a Function button that allows quick setting of the lens in use. To make full use of the adapter, a firmware update for the X-Pro1 (version 1.10) will be made available in June 2012. This will allow the user to create up to six lens profiles to correct distortion, vignetting and corner colour shading (in a similar manner to the Ricoh GXR Mount A12). The camera can show framelines in its unique hybrid viewfinder for 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm lenses; for other focal lengths the electronic viewfinder or rear screen will show a preview with 100% coverage of the field of view.

May 23
Just Posted: Pentax K-30 video preview

We've added a hands-on video describing the features of the Pentax K-30 and explaining how it fits in alongside the K-01 and K-5. As it's a pre-production camera, we've not been able to demostrate the autofocus speed but we have included an example of the shutter sound when continuous shooting. Click here to see our Pentax K-30 preview video.

Apple updates Raw support. V3.13 adds Nikon D3200, Olympus E-M5 and others

Apple has issued Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.13, adding compatibility for six extra cameras, allowing their Raw files to be opened by software on the Mac, including Aperture and iPhoto. The latest update brings support for the Canon EOS-1D X, Nikon D800E, Nikon D3200, Olympus OM-D E-M5, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 and Sony SLT-A57. The update means Apple is the first major software maker to support some of these models.

NEX-Proshop creates 'Shadow' ISO hotshoe adapter for NEX

Accessory maker NEX-Proshop has launched its ISO hotshoe adapter for Sony's NEX series of mirrorless cameras. The adapter screws into the NEX accessory port and adds a standard hotshoe and PC-Sync socket. It is designed for use with radio flash triggers (as the NEX accessory port is not designed to support a full-size flashgun), allowing much more flexible flash use with the NEX cameras. The adapter is available now for a cost of $79.99.

DxO Optics Pro 7.5 moves to 64-bit and gains D800 support and discount offer

DxO Labs has updated DxO Optics Pro to v7.5, which now runs natively as a 64-bit application for both Mac and Windows. The latest version can handle larger images than previous versions - the 200 megapixel limit means the addition of D800 support prove no challenge. 60 of the extra 200 lens/camera profiles are for the Nikon. The latest version is available for free to existing DxO Optics Pro v7 users, with a 33% discount available for new customers until June 30th.

Just Posted: Canon EOS 5D Mark III review

Just Posted: Our Canon EOS 5D Mark III review. The 22.3MP 5D Mark III appears to offer similar specifications to 2008's 5D Mark II. However, sensor and processing developments, along with a host of user-interface revisions mean the Mark III is a much more capable camera. It also gains a greatly-improved autofocus system. So do these changes justify the considerably higher price tag? Read our full review to find out.

May 22
Casio Japan announces Exilim EX-ZR300 high-speed compact camera

Casio Japan has announced the Exilim EX-ZR300, a high-speed CMOS-based 16MP 12.5x zoom compact. The ZR300 features a 24-300mm equivalent zoom and dual 'Exilim Engine HS' processors to offer autofocus in as little as 0.12sec and start-up in under 1 sec. It can shoot 1080p video at 30fps or 640x480 video at up to 120 fps. The ZR300 promises battery life of around 500 shots per charge. It is one of the first cameras to support Toshiba's Flash Air wireless SD card format. No details of a US or European launch are yet available. (From DCWatch)

Article: The One-Light Studio

Most of us associate studio photography with complex lighting setups requiring lots of equipment. Yet you can get great results using just a single light. Professional photographer Thomas Park takes you through a range of single-light scenarios. Read his article to learn how close attention to the position of both subject and light source can improve your own studio portraits.

What Focal Length Do I Need for a Particular Shot?
Work out which of your lenses you need for a particular shot, using just your arms and hands.
May 21
Pentax K-30 16MP weather-sealed mid-level DSLR previewed

Pentax has officially announced the K-30 weather-sealed mid-level DSLR. It's built around the same updated 16MP sensor and processor as the K-01, so should offer impressive image quality and borrows many of the features from the more expensive K-5. It can shoot continuously at up to 6 frames per second, has a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000th of a second and can capture video at 1080p30. We've had a pre-production K-30 in the office for a couple of days and have prepared a preview looking at what it offers.

Pentax launches smc DA 50mm F1.8 for APS-C cameras

Pentax has announced the DA 50mm f/1.8, an affordable telephoto prime lens for APS-C interchangeable lens cameras. The lens offers a 76.5mm equivalent field of view on the company's DSLRs or K-01 cameras. The lens is designed to look like Pentax's premium 'Limited' prime lenses but features a plastic lens mount. The lens is only 38.5mm long at its shortest, and will sell for around $249.95/€269/£249, making it a small and relatively inexpensive addition to a camera bag.

App review: Apple iPhoto for iOS

Apple has taken the well-known iPhoto app that’s bundled with Apple computers and adapted it for the iPad and iPhone. Although the iPhoto app offers a range of image editing tools including global and localised adjustment control (using multi-touch tools) there’s a lot more to it than that. Joanne Carter takes a look.

Grizzly bear tests limits of rented lens insurance cover

Photographer Andrew Kane found himself having to report damage to the Nikon D4 he'd rented this weekend, after it was attacked by a grizzly bear. Kane had the presence of mind to document the attack, using his D700 and 70-300VR that he had slung around his neck - grabbing some impressive sharp images of the bear mauling the rented kit. LensRentals seem satisfied with his explanation - Roger Cicala has blogged that replacement gear is already on the way to Kane.

Panasonic Lumix G X 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS hands-on preview

Just Posted: our hands-on preview of the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 fast standard zoom for Micro Four Thirds. It's the first constant-aperture standard zoom for a mirrorless system - helping strengthen the position of the system developed by Panasonic and Olympus. We've been using a pre-production version of the lens on both makers' cameras, and have prepared a hands-on preview and a small gallery of sample images.

Panasonic launches Lumix G Vario 12-35mm F2.8 fast zoom for Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic has formally announced a 12-35mm F2.8 lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S offers a traditional 24-70mm equivalent field-of-view, and is the first constant-aperture standard zoom for a mirrorless system. The lens is the latest in Panasonic's premium 'X'-branded range and uses the company's latest Power O.I.S optical stabilization system. It will be available in August, pricing details are not yet available.

May 18
30 minute limit on video capture could end if WTO group gets its way

The restriction that limits video recording in digitial cameras to 30 minutes could be abolished if the World Trade Organization's Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is expanded. Several countries, including the USA, have begun informal talks to extend the scope of the ITA to include products that are currently subject to tariffs and duty. At present, digital cameras' video cuts off after 30 minutes to avoid them being classified as video cameras (which attract 5.4% duty because they are considered to be video recorders). If the video cameras are added to the ITA, this distinction would no longer matter. (via Nikkei)

May 17
Samsung announces US pricing for Wi-Fi-capable NX20, NX210 and NX1000

Samsung has announced the US prices for its latest 'Smart' Wi-Fi enabled NX mirrorless cameras, the NX20, NX210 and NX1000. It has also said the NX1000 will be available from June at a price of around $699 with the 20-50mm retractable zoom. The range-topping 20MP NX20 with its electronic viewfinder will retail for around $1099, with the i-Fn version of the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom. The NX210, meanwhile, will cost around $899 with the same lens.

Just Posted: Sony NEX-F3 hands-on preview

Just Posted: our hands-on preview of the Sony NEX-F3. The F3 is Sony's latest entry-level model, replacing the NEX-C3. It's built around the company's second-generation 16MP CMOS sensor, as featured in the NEX-5N and gains a built-in flash. It's also the first NEX to feature a screen that flips all the way into a vertical position, to make it easier to shoot self-portraits. We've been using an F3 for a couple of days - read our hands-on preview to find out what we thought and to see the images we shot.

Just Posted: Sony SLT-A37 16MP entry-level fixed-mirror DSLR preview

Just Posted: Our Sony SLT-A37 hands-on preview. The A37 is Sony's latest entry-level SLT camera - offering DSLR capability in a full-time live view camera. The A37 retains the small body of the original SLT cameras and helps create an easy-to-understand four-model lineup. It gains 1080p24 HD video shooting and features such as lens correction and focus peaking from the more recent SLT models, offering a strong feature set. And, with a recommeded price of $599 with 18-55mm zoom, it's $150 cheaper than the A33 was. Read our hands-on preview to discover more.

Sony launches SLT-A37 16MP fixed-mirror DSLR and 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens

Sony has launched the SLT-A37 entry-level 16MP SLT camera and the enthusiast-grade 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM standard zoom. The A37 is a refreshed replacement for the A35, bringing the entry-level model into line with the rest of the SLT lineup. Meanwhile the 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens offers Alpha mount users a more flexible upgrade option over the entry-level 18-55mm without having to stretch to the 16-50mm F2.8. The A37 will be available from June at a cost of $600 with 18-55mm kit zoom. The 18-135mm lens will follow in July for $500 or as a $200 premium over the basic zoom kit cost with any of the company's SLT cameras.

Sony announces NEX-F3 16MP mirrorless and E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE lens

Sony has announced the NEX-F3 entry-level 16MP mirrorless camera and lightweight 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS stabilized superzoom lens with for the E-mount. The NEX-F3 gains a built-in flash, along with the updated 16MP sensor from its NEX-5N big brother. Its big party trick is undoubtedly its LCD, whose image automatically mirrors when it's flipped up for taking self-portraits. Meanwhile, the E18-200mm F3.5-5.6 LE OSS is a more compact, lighter 11x superzoom lens for the NEX system. Starting in June, the NEX-F3 will have an MSRP of around $600, while the SEL18200LE will sell for around $850 from July.

May 16
Flickr 'liquid' design finally brings window-sized images

Flickr has revised its image viewing pages for the first time in several years - finally letting images expand on larger monitors. The long-awaited feature, which Flickr is calling 'liquid' design, uses the largest image it can to fit your browser window, without ever upscaling. This combines with the latest version of 'lightbox' which shows your images as large as it can on the whole screen. Sadly the best results only come for images uploaded since March 1st 2012, for which 1600 and 2048 pixel versions will have been generated.

The Atlantic magazine looks at the Russian space programme today

The Atlantic's 'In Focus' photo blog has collected a fascinating series of images from the Russian space program. Looking at both Zvyozdny gorodok, the training center just outside Moscow better known as 'Star City,' as well as  the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the pictures give an insight into post-Shuttle space flight. Astronauts and scientists from different countries train together, as do entrepreneurs preparing for their paid trips into space. The collection uses a variety of photographic styles and beautifully conveys the faded futurism of space travel. (from The Atlantic)

May 15
Nikon D800 wins Camera Grand Prix 2012 award and public 'best camera' vote

Nikon's D800 has been awarded the prestigious Camera Grand Prix 2012 title and also won the public vote for best camera. The awards, organized by the Japanese 'Camera Journal Press Club' also recognized the Canon EF8-15mm F4L USM as lens of the year. Meanwhile, the editors awards were given to Sony's NEX-7 and the Olympus m.Zuiko 45mm F1.8.

Fujifilm creates wide-angle adapter and firmware v1.3 for X100

Fujifilm has announced the WCL-X100 wide-angle adapter lens for its X100 large sensor, fixed-lens compact. The 0.8x adapter extends the camera's 35mm equivalent field of view out to 28mm equivalent. It is designed to match the X100 in terms of both appearance and quality, sharing the camera's Fujifilm's Super EBC coating and made-in-Japan construction. The WCl-X100 will be available from June at a price of around $350. To enable use of the converter, the company has also issued firmware v1.30 which adds a function for its use as well as fixing two minor operational bugs.

Just Posted: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS review

Just posted: Canon PowerShot SX150 IS review. The PowerShot SX150 IS is a mid-priced compact superzoom - it's not as slim or stylish as the Panasonic TZ (ZS) models that have helped define the class, but it still boasts a 28-336mm equivalent zoom range and a comprehensive set of features, both in terms of special effects and manual controls. It also differentiates itself through the use of AA batteries and a CCD sensor - both helping to keep costs down. So has Canon cut too many corners in pursuit of cut-price capability?

May 14
Adobe will fix security bug in CS5.x, having originally said CS6 was the fix

Adobe has confirmed that it will fix the security problems with Photoshop and other CS5.x packages, having originally suggested that a paid upgrade to CS6 was the only solution. The security concerns, raised by the company on May 8th, were rated as 'critical,' meaning it could 'allow malicious native-code to execute, potentially without a user being aware.' Despite this, the original solution raised in the company security bulletin was to upgrade to CS6, leaving CS5.x users vulnerable. The bulletin has now been updated.

May 11
Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V review

Just posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V in-depth review. The second review expanded from Jeff Keller's work at the Digital Camera Resource Page looks at Sony's latest full-size superzoom camera. The Sony HX200V combines the company's latest 18MP back-lit CMOS sensor with a 30x zoom lens giving a 27-810mm equivalent range. There's image stabilization, as you'd expect for such a long zoom range and, as indicated by the 'V' in the model name, it also has built-in GPS. So does this add up to a perfect vacation camera or an unwieldy confection? Read the full review to find out.

May 10
Leica announces APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH normal prime

Leica has announced the APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. The company is making grand claims for its latest standard-focal-length prime, which uses specially developed glass to create an apochromatic design to minimize chromatic aberrations. The lens was designed to match the specifications of the existing 50mm f/2 lens - a 1979 design that is the oldest in the company's current lineup. The APO version of the lens will be available from late July 2012 at a cost of around $7,195.

Leica creates M9-P Hermès 18MP rangefinder special editions

Leica has combined with luxury fashion house Hermès to create the M9-P Edition Hermès. The camera is coated in ocre-colored calfskin leather and features a matching shoulder strap. The camera also features a redesigned, smoother top-plate and control points, designed by the automotive designer, Walter de’Silva, previously responsible for the M9 Titanium. Only 300 of the cameras will be made. A yet more exclusive series of 100 'Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas' kits will also be sold, in honor of the former president of Hermès. These kits will include a 28mm f/2, 50mm f/0.95 and 90mm f/2 lens, and a exclusive Hermès camera bag. The limited editions will cost $25,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Just Posted: Leica M-Monochrom hands-on preview with image samples

We've prepared a hands-on preview of the Leica M-Monochrom 18MP black-and-white rangefinder. The M-Monochrom has no color filter array in front of the sensor, meaning it captures more of the available light but cannot perceive color. It also means there is no need for demosaicing (the process of combining color information from adjacent pixels), so higher levels of detail are retained. Our preview includes real-world samples we shot with the M-Monochrom, to show just what that means in-use.

Leica announces M-Monochrom black-and-white 18MP rangefinder

Leica has announced the M-Monochrom, a black-and-white version of its M9 full-frame rangefinder.  In most other respects, the M-Monochrom shares its hardware with the M9. It can add three toning colors to its monchrome output or its uncompressed DNG files can be edited using the included copy of Photoshop Lightroom. A full version of the mono processing software Silver Efex 2 is also included. It will cost around $7,950.00.

Leica unveils X2 16MP premium large-sensor compact

Leica has announced the X2, a 16MP APS-C compact camera with a fixed 36mm equivalent F2.8 lens. The camera is an updated version of its X1, with the biggest changes being the use of a 16.2MP CMOS sensor and the addition of an accessory socket for adding an optional 1.44M dot 'Viso-Flex' electronic viewfinder. An add-on handgrip is also available. Leica says it has improved the autofocus system (one of our biggest criticisms of the X1), but has retained the rather low-resolution 230,000 dot rear LCD. The X2 has a list price of $1,995.00. (Updated with first impressions of AF performance)

Leica offers V-Lux40 20X 14MP compact superzoom

Leica has released the V-Lux40, a 14MP, 20X compact superzoom camera. It is the second V-Lux model to feature GPS and appears to very closely resemble the Panasonic DMX-TZ30/ZS20. This gives it a 24-480mm equivalent zoom range and 14.1MP output (from a 15.3MP CMOS sensor). It also means it's capable of capturing 1080 video. The camera also features the highest-res screen in the Leica range - a 460k dot 3.0" LCD. Unlike the similar Panasonic, the Leica V-Lux 40 includes Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Premier Elements 10.

Adobe launches release candidate of Adobe Camera Raw v7.1

Adobe has announced a release candidate version of Adobe Camera Raw 7.1 and DNG Converter 7.1. The latest near-release version of the Raw processing plugin only works with Photoshop CS6 and brings support for the same 21 cameras that were added to Camera Raw 6.7 in the most recent update. This includes the Nikon D800m Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the most recent releases from Samsung.

May 8
Fujfilm announces XP170 waterproof compact with wireless image transfer

Fujifilm has announced the FinePix XP170, an updated rugged, waterproof compact camera, featuring Wi-Fi to allow wireless image transfer to Android or iOS smartphones and tablets. The XP170 features a 14MP CMOS sensor that can shoot at up to 10fps, mounted behind a 5x, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens. It is shockproof from 2m (6.5ft), and waterproof to 10m (33ft). The stand-out feature is its wireless image transfer function that allows images to be sent to smartphones and tablets, making it easy to upload to the internet.

Just Posted: In-depth Nikon D800 review

We've just posted our Nikon D800 review. At 36MP, the D800 is the highest resolution camera you can buy without making the step up to medium format, it's also one of the first DSLRs to offer uncompressed video output. Despite these drastic increases in capability over the D700, Nikon's latest full-frame offering will be immediately familiar to any one who's shot with one of the company's high-end cameras. So what's the D800 like to shoot with and does all that resolution render its competition redundant?

Olympus launches Tough TG-1 iHS higher-spec rugged, waterproof camera

Olympus has announced the Tough TG-1 iHS, a high-end rugged, waterproof compact camera. The main selling point of the camera is its 25-100mm equivalant F2.0-4.9 zoom lens. The TG-1 is tougher than previous Tough models, being waterproof to 12m (40ft) and shockproof from a height of 2m (6.6ft) and will have optional waterproof fisheye and telephoto converter lenses available. The TG-1 iHS is built around a 1/2.3"-type 12MP back-lit CMOS sensor and a TruePic VI processor to make the most of its output.

May 7
Fujifilm X-Pro1 studio samples published, including Adobe Camera Raw conversions

We've just been given access to a beta version of Adobe Camera Raw that supports the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and have used it to process our standard test scene. The good news is that it produces similar resolution to the camera's JPEG output and that it appears to recognize the selected dynamic range extension setting. The X-Pro1 is not a camera with obvious peers, so we've presented it alongside a mixture of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. These are just our suggested comparisons - you are able (and encouraged) to choose your own. (Samples updated)

Article: Getting the most out of the Olympus OM-D E-M5

We've prepared a user guide to the Olympus OM-D E-M5, uncovering some of the more interesting features that might not be immediately apparent to new users. As part of reviewing the camera, and detailing its menus, we found a couple of settings combinations and obscure options that we think are worth knowing about. So, if you've recently received an E-M5, or are thinking about parting with your hard-earned cash for one, we hope you'll find this article useful.

Novoflex creates adapters for Fujifilm X-Pro1

Novoflex has announced a range of mount adapters for the Fujifilm X-Pro1's X mount. The adapters allow the use of a wide range of non-XF lenses with the 16MP mirrorless camera. The range supports a broad cross-section of current and legacy lenses, including Canon FD, Nikon, Contax, Olympus OM and Minolta MD and AF mounts. There is also an adapter to allow use of Leica M-mount lenses, if you can't wait for the one Fujifilm said it is developing. The adapters will be available from the end of May 2012 at prices range from around €89 to €169, depending on the complexity of the adapter (there are also adapters for medium-format lenses that can cost as much as €350). (via Photoscala)

May 6
Article: Shooting with the Leica M9-P

The name Leica carries considerable cachet for many photographers, regardless of whether they've ever had a chance to shoot with one of the company's rangefinders or used one of its lenses. The fabulous cost and continued adherence to a near-obsolete, manual-focus, rangefinder design can be off-putting, making it easy to wonder whether the brand's proponents have bought into marketing or mystique. So just what is it like to shoot with an M9-P? We put the camera in the hands of four photographers with different backgrounds and shooting styles to see what the 'red dot' meant to them.

May 4
LockCircle brings LockPort secure HDMI ports to Nikon D800

Accessory maker LockCircle has announced it will offer its 'LockPort' durable HDMI socket bracket for the Nikon D800. The LockPort800 combines a mounting plate that secures to the base of the camera with a miniHDMI-to-standard HDMI adapter that bolts onto it. This provides an easy-access full-size HDMI connector while also protecting your camera's miniHDMI socket from damage. The mounting plate is designed so that the camera can still be used with other mounts, tripod plates and accessories, in tandem with the LockPort. The LockPort800 will be available from June 2012 at a cost of $199/€99.

Nikon tells PDN it is looking for a fix for D800 and D4 lock-up bug

Nikon has confirmed to PDN that it is investigating a problem that can cause the D800 and D4 to lock-up while shooting. The company says that the issue - identified while PDN was reviewing the camera - can be avoided by disabling Highlights and RGB Histogram on the display. At present the lock-ups require the battery to be removed to restart the camera but PDN thinks it likely that Nikon will be able to come up with a permanent fix.

Think Tank announces Airport line of carry-on compliant camera bags

Bag maker Think Tank has announced an update to its Airport series of camera bags. Designed to meet the restrictions imposed by airlines on carry-on luggage, the series includes a model designed for international flight as well as smaller versions for space-limited short-haul flying. The three bags are all designed with room for an iPad and increasingly large laptops, and give clear indications of the camera bodies and lenses they will accommodate. All three come with a seam-sealed rain covers.

May 3
Pentax K-01 studio test shots published

Just posted: Pentax K-01 studio sample shots. We're in the process of running a production K-01 through our studio tests, so wanted to present the results of our standard test scene. The K-01 fits a lot of the excellent K-5 into a somewhat avant-garde mirrorless body. Retaining a similar 16MP APS-C sensor to the K-5, we expect great things from it, in terms of image quality, so does it live up to those expectations? Raw shots corrected following the discovery of a processing error.

May 2
Visual Supply Co's VSCO Cam app offers image filters before compression

Software maker Visual Supply Co has created the VSCO Cam iOS camera app, to go alongside its 'VSCO Film' film simulation software. The $0.99 app works with both iPhone and iPad cameras, offering ten filters and a series of simple editing tools, including Grain, Fade, Contrast and Fill Light. It also makes it easy to share the images via social networks. Unusually, the app applies its filters to the pre-compression camera output. The company's blog features a selection of images taken on the launch day of the app, to give a taste of what its users can do.

LensRental's Roger Cicala examines Canon EOS 5D Mark III light leak 'cover-up'

The ever-inquisitive Roger Cicala at LensRentals has dismantled a light-leak-fixed Canon EOS 5D Mark III and compared it to an unmodified version. The solution, as proposed by every tool-shed tinkerer, appears to be a piece of black electrical tape, which Cicala says successfully stops stray light reaching the camera's metering sensor. When asked if he'd send his own Mark III back to be modified, Cicala points out that he doesn't 'do long exposure night photography with autometering.' But, in the unlikely event that you do, you can rest assured that Canon can fix your camera for you.

DxO Optics Pro 7.2.3 adds Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Pentax K-01

DxO Labs has updated DxO Optics Pro to v7.2.3, adding support for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Pentax's K-01. The latest version includes 70 camera and lens combination modules for the 5D III and 26 for the Pentax K-mount mirrorless camera. As usual, a 30-day free trial of the software is available.

Adobe issues ACR 6.7 - final version of Camera Raw for CS5

Adobe has released the finalized version of Adobe Camera Raw v6.7, the last update that will work with Photoshop CS5. The final version include support for Canon's EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon's D800 and the Olympus E-M5, as part of a list of 21 cameras added. The update includes the most recent NX cameras from Samsung as well as coverage for a range of Fujifilm models. No support is yet included for the Fujifilm X-Pro1, however.

May 1
The Luminous Landscape sheds some light on Photography in Space

Luminous Landscape has published an interesting article by former NASA captain Alan Poindexter about photography in space. Poindexter commanded the penultimate mission of the space shuttle Discovery in 2010, and had been lead photo/TV crewmember on previous missions. In the article he provides a unique perspective on the challenges of taking photographs in space.

Filter maker 84.5mm announces its first range of photographic products

Slovakian startup 84.5mm has announced it range of filters for photography and cinematography. The company's name is a reference to the size of its filters, which are designed to be compatible with Cokin's 'P' filter holders. Initially 84.5mm will offer a series of predominantly handmade ND Grads and colored filters, made from CR-39 (often called 'organic glass').

Book Review: Joel Sternfeld - First Pictures

Joel Sternfeld was one of the photographers that pushed for the acceptance of color photography in fine art and documentary photography. Adam Koplan looks at a 'First Pictures,' a collection of his early work (1969-1980) and how it foreshadows his work that was to follow.