Mark Goldstein (Potography Blog) looks into the the photography industry's crystal ball for 2014.

Here are some safe bets: More megapixels, more connectivity, better video capabilities, well, more of everything in fact:

"The prolific nature of photography these days has been met with a lot of derision amongst professional photographers. Do people really need to take (multiple) photos of everything? Why is the worth of an image measured by how much it’s ‘shared’? Has the grand sum of technological advancement really culminated in Selfies at Funerals? . . . read more

Amateur photographer plunges to his death while trying to capture the perfect sunset.

A tragic story like his comes along every now and then, highlighting the risks some photographers are willing to take in order to get their shots. Luke Traynor from the Mirror reports:

"Gerry Coyle, 65, was trying to snap idyllic sunsets when he scaled the 3,500ft Mount Snowdon - the highest peak in England and Wales.The enthusiastic snapper set up his tripod to capture the stunning scenery as he reached the end of a two week photographic tour of Britain's west coast.But an inquest heard on . . . read more

Kai Wong (Digital Rev) checks out the 'toy' category of micro 4/3 lenses: Lots of fun with minimum moolah.

Quite an interesting bunch here: 

- Lomography Experimental Lens Kit for Micro Four Thirds 
- SLR Magic 50mm f/0.95 
- Holga lens  . . . read more

Canon EOS 70D Review by Andy Westlake & Co at DPReview: More or less keeping up with its peers, but the mirrorless camp is quicly closing the gap.

The Canon 70D with kit lens

Canon has been playing the 'small steps' game with its EOS xxD line for quite some years, but as time passes by, so does the competition's catch-up game.  The latest offering in the xxD line brings a slew of major and minor improvements, but is this enough to thrill the ever-more demanding consumer base? 

"In terms of image quality the 70D is essentially on a par with its rivals. The Nikon D7100 captures a fraction more resolution but the 70D comes closer to . . . read more

OpenReflex: a 3D Printable, DIY SLR camera with a weird look.

Tim Barribeau at the Pop Photo reports:  "OpenReflex is a 3D printable SLR, completely open-source, with a mirror viewfinder, and a fixed 1/60s exposure. . . . read more

First full pictures taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020 (codenamed EOS) mobile leaked, looks amazing.

The Lumia 1020 is on the path to become a legend among mobiles (and by the looks of it, a milestone in mobile imaging too). The official unveiling date is set for July the 11th, but the spec leaks have been on a steady roll since early April. . . . read more

Lightzone Raw editor has been reborn, is now open source and free, now comes in an IOS flavour too.

Lightzone was once a major contender for the top spot among Raw editors, but at some point in 2011 things went a bit awry and the company had to shut down. PDN Puls has the rest of the story: 

"It has become an open-source project under a BSD license from creator Fabio Riccardi, who is currently with Apple’s iOS Imaging Group. Under the terms of the BSD agreement LightZone will be offered to the public through the LightZoneProject (www.lightzoneproject.org) free of charge.  The software is newly available to the public for free downloading in the Windows and Linux operating systems, and MAC beta testing has begun today. It is also available to the open-source community for new development now."

New firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 (Ver. 2.05) and X-E1 (Ver. 1.06)

Fujifilm Press Release

FUJIFILM announces X-Pro1 and X-E1 firmware updates to offer faster AF and the addition of a “Focus Peak Highlight” function

The upgrades will provide improved AF performance for all FUJINON XF lenses and, amongst other benefits, will add a ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ function for manual focusing.

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) today announces the release of two new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras, one on 25th June and a further one on 23rd July. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix Vario PZ 14-42/3.5-5.6 X G lens review by Ming Thein.

So, what happens when you put the 'X' on a consumer grade kit lens?

"Optically, the 14-42X is a bit of a surprise: it’s excellent, even used at maximum aperture. You don’t lose any sharpness close up, either. This is important seeing as anything much beyond f8 is severely diffraction limited on M4/3 cameras anyway due to the very small pixel pitch. Use this one wide open without issue, though stop down one stop to 5.6-8 to gain a very small improvement in the corners. There were two aspects of performance I found especially

. . . read more

Leica X Vario, a 16mp APS-C sensor with fixed zoom lens

The Highly Anticipated ‘Mini M’ Features Characteristics Reminiscent of the Legendary M-System

Solms, Germany, 11 June 2013: Leica Camera AG has unveiled the latest addition to its digital compact camera offerings and presents the Leica X Vario. Made in Leica Camera’s headquarters in Germany, the X Vario features a high-performance 16.5-megapixel (effective 16.1), APS-C format, CMOS image sensor, a zoom lens covering a range of focal lengths from 28 to 70 mm (35 mm equivalent) and Full-HD video recording capability. With several design and handling characteristics of the storied M-System, the ‘Made in Germany’ Leica X Vario offers great versatility and creative freedom. . . . read more

Canon EOS 700D review at DPreview "The Canon EOS 700D is an upgrade to the 650D almost in name only"

"With the EOS 700D, Canon continues its tradition of very good image quality for both stills and video shooting and provides a well-executed touchscreen implementation that makes this one of the more enjoyable to use novice-oriented DSLRs on the market.

Where the camera falters, unfortunately, is with AF performance in live view. Canon's 'hybrid' AF system, while a step forward compared to contrast detect attempts of a couple of years ago, is still a long way from what we've seen in other mirrorless models, and from our experience of Sony's SLTs. And while we applaud Canon for attempting continuous AF in movie mode, it too is prone to more focus errors than we'd have liked to see."

. . . read more

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is out!

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 now available featuring a new selective editing tool and advanced healing/cloning tool, automatic image leveling and perspective correction, and the ability to edit files that are offline.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — June 10, 2013 — Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 5 for Mac OS® and Windows®. The product is available as an individual license or as part of Adobe Creative Cloud™. Designed for both photography enthusiasts and professionals alike, Lightroom 5 adds critical photo editing capabilities and creates groundbreaking workflows. Lightroom 5 was initially released as a free, public beta in April 2013.

"Lightroom was originally conceived through the requests of Adobe customers, and this feedback continues to drive each new iteration," said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. "As the digital photography landscape advances and evolves, Lightroom is the best solution for photographers and passionate hobbyists who want to get the most out of their digital images."

New Features in Lightroom 5

Lightroom 5 adds powerful new editing tools to help photographers create better images faster. . . . read more

Nikon Coolpix A review at DPreview "while solid in most respects, it's not class-leading in any respect."

"The Coolpix A is a very good camera that, if it stood in isolation, would represent an interesting addition to the camera market. Of course the reality is that it doesn't exist in a vacuum and, while many photographers will be very happy with it, a considerable portion of its thunder is stolen by the Ricoh GR - a camera that achieves the unusual trick of being a touch better in almost every respect while also being significantly cheaper.

We're also not totally convinced about the price/size/performance balance that either of these cameras strikes, given their only moderately-bright F2.8 lenses. In the course of the review process we have increasingly appreciated their pocketability, though."

Fujifilm X100S review at Cameralabs " it's hard to be disappointed in the X100S"

"The Fujifilm X100S is the successor to the X100, a model that almost single-handedly rekindled the market for high quality advanced compacts with fixed lenses. With its hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, bright f2 lens and retro rangefinder styling, after a shaky debut, solidified with a succession of firmware updates, the X100 attracted an enthusisatic following.

With the X100S, Fujifilm has sensibly retained the most popular aspects of its predecessor, namely the design and control layout, but on the inside much has changed. At the heart of the X100S is a new 16 Megapixel APS-C sensor, similar to the X-Pro1 and X-E1 interchangeable lens X-Series models but with phase-detect points on the sensor for faster, more confident AF"

Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f3.5-4.5G ED review at Camera Labs "a surprisingly good lens at a reasonable price"

"Very good center performance is accompanied by good performance in the DX-corners and decent performance in the FX-corners. Stop down to lift performance in the corners of a full-frame 36MP D800 towards good levels. Flare resistance is not bad and auto-focus is reliable albeit a bit slow. 

This all comes in a small and light package that even has weather sealing at the lens-mount. Only the wavy nature of the distortions at 18mm might give those striving for straight lines in their architecture shots some trouble."

Fujifilm releases new firmware update for the X-Pro1 and X-E1, promises improved AF performance?

With the annoucement of the new XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS telephoto zoom lens, Fuji film releases the new firmware in order to improve AF speed when used with XF 55-200mm.

Versions 2.04 for the X-Pro1 and  1.05 for the X-E1 can be downloaded from . . . read more

Fujifilm X100s review by Dan Seifert at The Verge: For the hardcore photographer with not so deep pockets.

"During my entire time with the X100S, I've struggled with who exactly this camera is for. It's not a camera that an average buyer can easily pick up and use, and its $1,299.99 price will keep most of those buyers away anyway. And for the hardcore photography enthusiasts with deep pockets, the Sony RX1 offers better controls and full-frame image quality — albeit at twice the sticker price. But the X100S does have its own charms, and its unique viewfinder and special features like high-speed flash sync may be just what some particular photographers are looking for. Furthermore, its strong picture quality and . . . read more

Olympus PEN E-PM2 review @ DPreview "... it's a slimmed-down OM-D"

"Despite its small size, the E-PM2 has plenty to offer. At the top of the list is very good JPEG image quality, and though it's unlikely to be a key feature for the camera's target audience, RAW shooting is available. The now-standard (and lest we forget - Olympus-originated) Art Filters are on hand too, and they're a lot of fun to play with. For those just learning to use an advanced camera and eager to tweak settings, Olympus' Live Guide mode is available at the press of a button. And of course, advanced photographers can find manual exposure modes in the camera menu.

If you're interested in the E-PM2, for an extra $100 (~£100, going by street price in the UK), you could spring for the tilting LCD, external mode dial and removable front grip of the E-PL5. Photographers with larger hands may also find the ergonomics of the E-PL5 a better fit than the decidedly 'Mini' E-PM2, but there's not much in it."

Sony A58 Review @ photographyBlog "the new Sony 58 brings mid-range performance and features to the entry-level market"

"the new OLED viewfinder and 20 megapixel resolution and handy Lock-on Autofocus mode are improvements, which makes the much cheaper Sony A58 a real bargain.
Just like the rest of the SLT family, the Sony A58 turns conventional design on its head to provide what is in many ways a better user experience than traditional DSLRs can achieve, at a very competitive price point that Canon and Nikon must surely be worried about. The A58's excellent OLED electronic viewfinder offers enough enough resolution and real-time feedback to take on a more conventionaloptical viewfinder, while the translucent mirror and EVF combination provides fast auto-focus for both stills and video and 100% scene coverage, although the burst shooting mode is disappointingly slower and more limited in buffer size and file format than previous SLT cameras."

. . . read more

Nikon 5200 review @ DPreview "At high ISO sensitivities, the noise performance of the D5200 is the best that we've seen from a DSLR at this price point"

"The Nikon D5200 is a solid performer that offers an impressive array of specifications for a camera of its class. Indeed, the number of features it shares with its higher-end Nikon stablemates is to be applauded. In addition to an excellent 24MP sensor that gives up precious little to that of the (non-AA filtered) D7100, the D5200 boasts a 39 point AF system, lens-dependent Auto ISO implementation and class-leading high ISO noise performance.

The D5200 stands out as the only recent-model Nikon DSLR to sport an articulated screen which comes in handy for both stills and video shooters, though we can't help but wish it was touch enabled as is the one on the Canon EOS T5i/700D. The D5200 offers a reasonable number of external controls, but as you'd expect on a camera of this class, more advanced users will have to satisfy their needs with visits to the main menu. You do have a customizeable Fn button though, and the camera's '[i]' button allows more direct access to 14 separate camera and shooting settings. If we nitpick, we'd like to see even faster access that omits a second confirmation click before you can actually change a setting in this manner. Overall though, we find that the D5200 strikes a nice balance between providing essential shooting controls without overwhelming novice DSLR users."

Canon’s EF 200-400mm f4/L IS 1.4x Officially Announced

Canon's latest professional telephoto zoom lens features a built-in switchable 1.4x teleconverter, up to 4 stops image stabilizer with IS 'mode 3' that only applies stabilization at the point of exposure, aiding panning, Power Zoom for movie shooting and weather sealing construction. it will be available on May at at an RRP of €14,000

press release:

Introducing the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x – improved performance and versatility for professional sports and wildlife photographers

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 14 May 2013 – Canon today adds a new category to its range of high-performance super-telephoto lenses, with the introduction of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x to Canon’s acclaimed L-series. The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features a flexible 200-400mm focal range with a fixed f/4 aperture, 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer and for the first time in a commercially available lens, a built-in 1.4x extender. These features combine to provide an outstandingly versatile lens for professional sports or wildlife photographers. A robust magnesium alloy design, environmental protection and specialised lens coatings also make it ideal for mobile use, combining with the finest quality optics to deliver exceptional results, even in the harshest conditions. . . . read more

Nikon releases the fastest lens for it's mirrorless system, the Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2

The lens was known for some time now, it was first announced back in October 2012, but from June it will be available for sale at $899.95 making it the most expensive lens for the 1 system.

press release:

1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 – the fast and portable portrait lens

London, UK, 14 May 2013 Nikon today launches the ultra-fast 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens and brings large-aperture portrait photography to the Nikon 1 system.

With a focal length that’s ideal for portraiture and a compact design, this impressive CX-format lens combines superior image quality with convenience. And, as the first 1 NIKKOR flagship lens to be announced this new lens marks an expanding line-up. . . . read more

Olympus PEN E-P5, a 16megapixels Wi-Fi enabled PEN flagship

The new Olympus PEN E-P5 is almost similar to the OM-D / E-M5 minus the EVF but with higher shutter speed (1/8000s) and built in WiFi. At the core of the camera are the same technologies found in the E-M5: the same 16-megapixel CMOS sensor (ISO range is 100-25600), 5-axis image stabilization system. E-P5 features a tiltable 1.04-million-dot touchscreen, fast contrast detect auto focus with Touch AF functionality and a new Super Spot AF feature, a Focus Peaking option for manual focusing enthusiasts, a 9fps continuous shooting mode and  2x2 Dial Control system encased in an all-metal body reminiscent of the 50-year-old PEN F half-frame film camera. 

Olympus Press Release:

London, 10 May 10 2013 – If you asked an optical engineer, a design expert and a professional photographer to imagine their ideal take anywhere system camera, they would describe a device like the new Olympus PEN E-P5.

With its all-metal casing and all but invisible screws, the new PEN flagship is beautifully crafted. The retro design alone singles it out as a future classic but the technology inside is setting new standards too.

The 1/8000th second shutter speed is a world first for the compact system camera class and a 16-Megapixel Live MOS sensor emulates Olympus’ award-winning OM-D camera. This ensures the image quality of the new camera does justice to PEN’s proud heritage. Olympus also prides itself on PEN portability and usability. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G6 Review at Photographyblog "It may not offer too many genuine surprises, but the new Panasonic Lumix G6 is a compelling, very well-balanced compact system camera"

"Falling into the mini-DSLR category of mirrorless models, the Panasonic G6 in many ways matches and even betters similarly priced DSLRs. Indeed we can't think of any DSLR or CSC model that offers all of the G6's features, which happily are matched by great performance, proven handling and seemingly endless customisablity.

Image quality is really the only obvious achilles heel of the G6 when comparing it . . . read more

Fujifilm X100s Review by Nick Devlin at the Luminous Landscape: Good enough to fall in love with.

When the "only fatal flaw" found on a camera is its (Silver-ish) colour scheme, you know that we're dealing with a momentous camera:

"The more significant development, in my mind, is that the autofocus can see in the dark. It was able to focus in light levels approach EV -6. It focused on my cat in the sink at midnight with only reflected street light to see with. Why I am taking pictures of my cat in the can in the middle of the night is a whole other story, but should your photographic perambulations take you into the outhouses of Borneo under a full moon, rest assured, any rare felines co-inhabiting the facilities will be autofocused-upon accurately. . . . read more

Winston Hendrickson (Adobe VP of Creative Solutions) and Bryan O'Neill Hughes (Senior Product Manager for Ps) answers questions about the new line of Cloud based applications at DPreview

Following the announcement by Adobe about it's Creative Suite and the backlash that created on the web,  Adobe's VP of Creative Solutions, Winston Hendrickson and Bryan O'Neill Hughes, Senior Product Manager for Photoshop aswers a series of questions at DPreview

"Were you expecting such a negative response from the photographic community?
We expected a higher degree of this type of reaction from the hobbyist photographic community because currently there's not a lot of photography-specific value in our subscription products. That's why we've taken the unusual steps of Tom Hogarty's appearance on The Grid [a Scott Kelby webisode] showing potential Lightroom CC features and the Photoshop Sneak Peek where we showed new features like Camera Shake reduction.

Is a subscription model less prone to piracy?
While service options that connect to our servers are inherently less prone to piracy, once a user downloads software to their computer the piracy threat is the same as for our perpetual products....."

The next version of Photoshop will be Cloud based only

Adobe moves all the CS applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign ...) on its membership based Creative Cloud. 
Adobe has published an open letter explaining the future of the Creative Suit 

Creative Cloud and the future of the creative process.
To our creative users,

At Adobe, we believe our customers are some of the most influential people in the world. You are storytellers. You capture and relate the human experience — be it through a Hollywood blockbuster, an interactive iPad app, or photos from your child’s school play. For decades, building the tools that shape those stories and the world around us has been our passion. . . . read more

Canon EOS 700D review at DxO Mark "...offers no improvement in sensor scores"

Canon's new flagship DSLR for beginners uses the same "old" 18mp CMOS sensor with no significant improvements over it's predecessor.

"The 700D isn’t a significant improvement over its predecessor the 650D and with almost identical specifications and sensor scores they are effectively the same camera. Our Sensor Score analysis of APS-C DSLRs shows that while Nikon and Sony are making steady improvements the same can’t be said for Canon with none of their APS-C sensors breaking through the 70 points barrier."

Canon EOS SL1 / 100D review @ Cameralabs "a very interesting DSLR which takes-on the rise of mirror-less models with its compact and lightweight body"

"Canon's EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D is a very interesting DSLR which takes-on the rise of mirror-less models with its compact and lightweight body. At the time of writing, this was the World's smallest DSLR with an APS-C sensor, shaving a comfortable centimeter in every dimension from Canon's previous smallest models to produce a camera that's roughly the same size as mirror-less models equipped with viewfinders, like the Panasonic G6.

It's obviously a very small body in DSLR terms, but rarely felt cramped or . . . read more

Canon releases new firmware for the EOS 5D MkIII featuring uncompressed HDMI output as well as autofocus up to f/8

The new firmware enables HDMI output functionality, ideal for professional videographers, as well as improved AF performance for photographers shooting with telephoto lenses.

Following feedback from cinema and TV production professionals, the new firmware includes ‘clean’ HDMI output, enhancing overall video editing and monitoring procedures. Videographers will be able to output high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) without any embedded icons or symbols, from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder using the camera’s HDMI terminal. The new functionality will enable easier editing of data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during production, as well as the option to record to the internal memory card at the same time.

The enhanced features also include . . . read more

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