"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."
"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."
"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 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
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
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.
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
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
"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
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
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....."
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'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'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
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
"The X20 is generally a very responsive camera. The startup time can be as little as 0.5 seconds, allowing you to capture any moment that appears. The X20's new Hybrid AF system - which builds phase detection right on the CMOS sensor - is noticeably faster than the X10's contrast detect-only system, and among the best in its class. Shot-to-shot delays are reasonable, and the X20's burst mode allows you to shoot at full resolution at speeds exceeding 9 fps. It can take over twenty seconds for the camera to flush the buffer after a burst of Raw images, though. The two main performance issues that bothered us were . . . read more
"The Nikon AF-S 80-400/4.5-5.6G VR delivers very good optical performance throughout the zoom-range. But with a price at the time of writing of 2600 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) you would expect as much. This resolving-power makes the lens the best performer up to its price point. Combined with effective image stabilization up to 200mm, fast and reliable AF, and a maximum magnification of 1:5.1 in a package that is small and light enough to be carried around all day this is the answer many have been waiting for since Nikon released the predecessor some 13 years ago.
To make it perfectly clear: This lens has clearly better optical performance and better image stabilization than its predecessor or the Sigma 120-400 or the Nikon AF-S 70-200/2.8G VR II when coupled with the TC-20E III. Especially compared to its predecessor which can currently be had for half the price the new zoom is much sharper especially at the long end, has a much faster AF.
What are the downsides?"
"The D7100 delivers outstanding image quality and detail rendition at low ISOs in both JPEG and Raw mode. Noise does start to become visible at the pixel level even at moderate ISO sensitivities, but is kept well under control given the pixel density of its 24MP APS-C sensor. While not a surprise, it is worth pointing out that if you're after the very best that this sensor can deliver, you'll not be well-served by the 18-105mm kit zoom. In both our studio and real-world shooting, we've found noticeably better results with Nikon's high-end primes and fast zoom lenses.
While the camera's video specs are impressive, its video output is a bit softer than we'd like. If you want to record at 1080 50i or 60i, keep in mind that this is only possible after you've set the camera to its 1.3x crop mode. Unfortunately, using this crop mode results in output that is upsampled to 1920 x 1080, making this mode of little use for even amateur videographers.
The Nikon D7100 rounds out Nikon's recently revamped lineup of enthusiast-targeted DSLRs. It may sit below the full frame D800 and D600 in price, but . . . read more
April 24, 2013: Panasonic is proud to announce a new addition of Digital Single Lens Mirrorless DMC-G6 that realizes real-to-life photo and video recording even in higher quality. The Digital Live MOS Sensor achieves high-resolution, high sensitivity image recording. The new Venus Engine is attains high-performance signal processing with the advanced noise reduction system. Combined with the high sensor performance, DMC-G6 minimizes noise and even achieves shooting at max. ISO 25600(Extended) high sensitivity image recording.
The DMC-G6 boasts quick response featuring high speed burst shooting at 7 fps in full resolution. Getting ready to shoot in only 0.5 sec*1 after start-up, the DMC-G6 never misses fleeting shooting opportunities together with its high speed, high precision Light Speed AF. Newly integrated Low Light AF enables accurate focusing on the target subject even in low-lit situations. . . . read more
"The X20 makes for a great little “Mini Monochrom” camera...
The X20 also makes for a nice B&W only camera if you shoot it in B&W mode because I find the color images a little lackluster once you get past ISO 640 if you are not in the perfect light. While it is nowhere near as versatile as the Leica MM in ISO, smoothness or lens capabilities it can create some nice B&W images on the cheap.
Now I am in no way saying the Fuji X20 can replace a Leica Monochrom, because it can not. But it can be fun to head out with it with the mindset of shooting only in B&W. While gorgeous color can come from the X20, it can do B&W equally as well. With a 28mm to 112mm lens on board you also have some versatility although I admit I prefer just shooting it at 28mm and f/2 when I can. When the X20 is slung around you many will think you are shooting an old film camera, and you can go out with that mindset and if you do I suggest turning off the LCD and just using the OVF. Set it to B&W JPEG mode and fire away."
Please note that Rico Pfirstinger test a pre-production model of the newly announced telephoto zoom lens.
"If you already know Fuji’s 18-55mm kit zoom lens, the new telephoto zoom will immediately feel familiar. It’s obvious that Fujifilm wants you to buy this zoom as an extension to your already existing standard zoom. Both lenses offer the same key features: a manual focus ring, an aperture ring without engravings, a zoom ring, an optical image stabilizer (OIS) and fast/silent linear autofocus motors. Everything is located in the same place: There’s one switch to turn the OIS on and off, and there’s another one to toggle the lens between automatic and manual aperture settings. Design, build quality and used materials appear to be quite similar, as well."
While most of the previews are based on pre-production models, a small Korean web page posted several sample images taken with the new lens, mounted on both APS-C size cameras and Full frame (Canon EOS 600D and EOS 5D Mk II)
DPreview hands on "Overall though the 18-35mm F1.8 is certainly an intriguing product, and we applaud Sigma for pushing the boundaries of lens design ahead of the more conservative camera manufacturers. It's a lens we think is worth investigating in more detail, and we'll be reviewing it just a soon as we can lay our hands on a shootable copy. Until then you can read more about the lens's design and operation on the next page of our preview."
PhotographyBlog hands on "We’ve been lucky enough to have some hands-on time with the new Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM ahead of it launch. . . . read more
"There's an awful lot to like about the Nikon 1 S1's photos, too, though it’s not without its faults.
The Auto White Balance system consistently renders colours correctly with a noticeable absence of any particular colour cast. If anything, colours are a tad subdued – if you have the skill it’s worth boosting them when editing afterwards. The S1's exposure system is also generally reliable, with metering only exhibiting the slight tendency to underexpose.
One area where the Nikon 1 S1, somewhat predictably, suffers, is noise control at high ISO settings. Owing to the smaller sensor employed in the S1 in comparison to other similar CSCs, noise is problematic even at lower ISO settings. Although the camera managed to maintain a certain amount of detail at these higher settings, the necessary noise reduction results in some detail lost and sharpness loss."
Press release: RONKONKOMA, NY, Apr. 18, 2013 — Sigma Corporation of America (www.sigmaphoto.com), a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider for some of the world's most impressive lines oflenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens, the market’s first zoom lens to achieve a maximum aperture F1.8 throughout the entire zoom range.
This revolutionary, wide aperture, standard zoom lens is created for DSLR cameras with APS-C size sensors, which translates to a focal range of 27-52.5mm on a 35mm camera. With a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches, and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.3, the 18-35mm is ideal for landscapes, portraits, still-life, studio, close-up and casual photography. . . . read more
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is issuing an updated version of the roadmap for FUJIFILM X-mount lenses for its FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and FUJIFILM X-E1 compact system cameras. This is further to the last XF lens roadmap issued in June 2012.
In response to the large amount of feedback and many requests from users regarding its interchangeable lenses, Fujifilm aims to further improve the quality and has carried out a review of the lens design and has added new technology.
When you combine the below 10 XF Lenses with the three X-Mount Lenses that Carl Zeiss announced in September 2012*, there will soon be 13 high-performance lenses available for the X-Mount system which should meet the needs of every photographer and will support a wider range of photography from ultra-wide-angle at 15mm** to super-telephoto at 305mm**. . . . read more
The new telephoto zoom lens will feature a linear motor for high-speed AF performance and up to 4.5 stops image stabilization.
Fujifilm Press Release:
Launch of the first telephoto zoom for the XF Lens series: FUJINON XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Fast aperture of F3.5-4.8 across the entire zoom range and outstanding image stabilisation
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is proud to announce the launch of the new “FUJINON XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS” lens for the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras.
FUJINON XF lenses feature advanced lens engineering, capable of drawing the maximum performance out of the highly-descriptive “X-Trans CMOS Sensor” in the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras. The new FUJINON XF55-200mm lens produces sharp images across its entire zoom range, well resolved corner-to-corner. The fast F3.5-4.8 lens facilitates image capture in scenes requiring a fast shutter speed. Its image stabilisation function enables the use of shutter speeds 4.5 stops slower, preventing camera shake even when shooting hand-held in low-light, or at a stopped down aperture. Furthermore, it is built to include two linear motors for high-speed AF of 0.28 seconds*1, instantaneously focusing on your subject. . . . read more
"One key new feature in the X100s—and a worldwide first—is the Digital Split Image (DSI) manual focusing assistant, which makes clever use of Fuji's phase-detection AF system integrated into the new X-Trans CMOS II sensor. The DSI mode is effectively a kind of digital stigmometer that splits an out-of-focus image in two. As you focus the lens manually, the images look to blend together until they form one when you find the right focus position.
From a technical point of view, the DSI function is a very clever use of the AF system. In fact, it's hard to image how no-one has thought of doing this before. In reality, though, it's a little less exciting. This function definitely makes manual focusing easier, but it can be hard to see exactly when you've found the right focus, as the split image just doesn't look sharp or precise enough onscreen. A touch of peaking over the top could have made a nice addition here (note that a separate peaking mode is available). Plus, seeing as the lens uses an electronic rather than a mechanical focusing system, the whole experience could generally be more pleasant and more accurate. The DSI mode is therefore best left as an occasional helping hand in complex situations that the autofocus may have trouble dealing with (shooting in conditions that are too bright, working with uniform subjects, etc.). All in all, it's an impressively innovative function, but it feels like it still needs a little polishing.
Thankfully, the X100s has a secret weapon:
"Perhaps understandably, a lot of the attention it has received since its launch has focused on its absent optical low-pass filter, with inflated expectations of a resultant boost in sharpness and definition. It now looks like any resulting increase in quality over the company's other 24 Megapixel DX bodies is at best, marginal, and many will no doubt be disappointed by that. But don't lose sight of the fact that OLPF or not, the D7100's sensor produces superb quality 24 Megapixel images; it's just that they're really close to what the cheaper D5200 delivers.
Where it matters to advanced enthusiast and semi-pro users though, the D7100 delivers, with enhancements to build quality and handling, more capable AF and improved continuous shooting, deeper bracketing, a bigger screen and new shooting modes including HDR and effects filters. There's also something to tempt videographers, with new movie modes, built-in stero mics and a headphone socket.
"Though I had expected a larger leap in image quality over the GH2, the GH3 is by far the better all-round camera. The image is much cleaner when shooting high contrast scenes with a lot of shade and it's better in low light. While it no longer offers the slightly wider 1.86x crop sensor of the GH2 or such bullet-proof performance in terms of moiré & aliasing, it extends the already attractive feature set to new levels. 1080/60p gives you the creative freedom of smooth slow-motion at the highest resolution. 72Mbit ALL-I and 1080/60p in the same camera are missing from the $15,000 Canon EOS C300, let alone the GH3's full-frame DSLR rivals.
For me, yes, the new 'Advanced Healing Brush' and the Horizon leveling thingie do the trick nicelly. From the Adobe Photoshop Blog:
"We’ve been working hard on the next version of Lightroom, and now we’re giving our customers a chance to try out some of the new technology available with the release of Lightroom 5 beta. Since the initial Lightroom public beta release in 2006, we’ve learned a tremendous amount through a collaborative dialogue with our customers, and I’m excited to continue that collaboration to receive feedback on the Lightroom 5 beta. . . . read more
Even though this les was released back in the 2007, the DxO answers the big question: How does this lens perform on demanding high-resolution bodies, such as the 36-MPix Nikon D800? The resolution of this lens is impressive, but the huge front element prohibits the usage of filters and it is very prone to flare. . . . read more