Sony RX1 review by Mark Goldstein at the Photography Blog: "Sony have truly blurred the lines between compact and DSLR in terms of the RX1's features, performance and image quality."

If you ever get bored by the 35mm Zeiss lens on your RX1, you can always use this nifty tool to change the lens to something wider or longer~

"As the RX1 is a Sony camera, it boasts a long list of other stand-out features. Shutter lag is only notable by its apparent absence, and image processing times are thankfully non-intrusive, even for the large Raw files that the RX1 produces. This camera really does deliver DSLR-like performance and image quality in a pocketable format, music to the ears of most enthusiasts, with the exception of the auto-focusing speed, which lags behind the very best contrast-based systems. It's certainly not bad enough to prevent us from recommending the RX1, but it does limit the camera's versatility somewhat.  . . . read more

Sigma DP2 Merrill review by Jim Keenan at Digital Camera Review: "Clearly this is not the camera for most average shooters, but it is a magnificent still imaging tool when operated in a fashion that plays to its strengths."

Every review of Sigma's DPx cameras saddens me a bit. The reviewer usually writes something along the lines of 'best image quality there is' immediately following up with a string of negatives and reservations, all-more or less, valid. Sigma is sitting on a gold mine with the Foveon X3 sensor combined with its prime lenses, but the reality is, in this time and age just producing the best image quality is not enough of a deciding factor for most people, myself included. IMHO, Sigma needs to fix a couple of issues, mainly the AF and general responsiveness speed, Iso performance, and for Jeeber's sake, if I'm going to plow  $1000 on a fixed lens camera, I demand an optical stabilizer somewhere between the front lens element and the lcd screen at the back. Until that happens, their DP cameras can not (by me) be considered as serious propositions, the ultimate decisive moment cameras they ought to be.

"SIGMA's DP2 Merrill produces the finest still images I've seen in any compact digital camera I've had my hands on, thanks to an optically terrific lens and well off the beaten design path sensor combination. Unfortunately, this is not the compact digital for everyone and, in fact, most casual users and in . . . read more

Nikon P7700 passes the DXO Mark bench with honors: The best compact camera Nikon has made to date, it seems to have been designed around a wish-list of all the things that a photographer or a serious amateur would want on an everyday camera.

"Best Nikon camera" means of course that-sensor wise, it is still a fair bit behind Fuji's X10, but ahead of Canon's Powershot G15. Ben Boswell from DXO Labs writes the conclusion:

"Nikon divides its cameras into a number of different categories: DSLR, Nikon 1 (their compact system cameras) and Coolpix, its compact range. Coolpix is further divided: All Weather, Life, Style and Performance. The Coolpix P7700 is at the top of the Performance division, which is in turn the top of the Coolpix Division. That is to say that this is, for Nikon, the best compact they make. This is a camera that has been designed around a wish-list of all the things that a photographer or a serious amateur would want on an everyday camera and Nikon have delivered something really good." . . . read more

The Panasonic Fz200 superzoom gets its DXO Mark badge: "It boasts a top specification but if image quality is more important the Canon SX50 HS or Nikon P7700 both rank higher in the DxOMark Sensor Scores and cost less on the high street too."

Panasonic is 'doing a Canon' here, and manages to spew out a flagship that ranks a bit lower than its predecessor, the FZ150. How on earth did they accomplish that? The sensor size is unchanged, and according to their marketing blurb the new one is better than the old, in every possible way:

"With an Overall DxOMark Sensor Score of 37 for the Lumix DMC-FZ200, compared to 40 for its predecessor the FZ150, this latest Panasonic Bridge camera maintains the good image quality of the DMC-FZ line. Despite the slightly lower score than its predecessor a difference of only 3 points equates to less than -1/3 of a Stop overall and in real world terms there’s no difference. The FZ200 also boasts some impressive specifications, the most notable of which is the fixed f/2.8 maximum aperture. If you’re after a compact style camera for sports and wildlife photography this is significant as it enables you to use lower ISO settings for better quality images when fully zoomed in. . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Joshua Waller at EPZ: Without doubt, the Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is capable of delivering stunning images.

"The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is currently unique in being the only compact camera with fixed lens and full-frame sensor. Due to the expense of developing a camera like this, it's likely to be unique in its field for a long time to come, with APS-C sized sensor (or smaller) compact cameras being developed in greater numbers. . . . read more

System Camera Production increased 34% in volume, 43% in value during 2012, compact camera production shows further decline.

A few notes: These numbers come from CIPA, Japan's Camera & Imaging Products Association, and as thus, production numbers from China and Korea are not included. However, seeing the onslaught of Chinese branded digicams in markets everywhere, my guess is that China's compact camera output has not declined at all, and since Samsung's latest earning report stated a slight volume increase too, the Cassandras predicting the imminent demise of the compact camera segment can just pack up and go home. Also, the biggest increase in volume occurred in Europe, maybe photography is a good outlet for austerity related stress :)

Chris Cheesman at Amateur Photographer reports:
Production of interchangeable-lens cameras rose 34% in 2012 and shipments of lenses broke through the 30 million unit mark, Japanese trade figures have revealed. But total digital camera shipments – including compacts – dropped 15%, according to Japan's Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).

. . . read more

Sony RX100 vs Fujifilm X10 vs Canon S110 vs Canon G15 mega shootout by Ron Martin: He prefers the Fuji X10 for most situations, and his wife agrees.

This is the follow-up to Ron's RX100 review from a week ago:

"I like the RX100 and feel like it makes great images. If you do a comparison of the RAW images you’ll quickly find that it has great RAW images that are hampered by fairly poor in-camera processing compared to the other cameras I’ve tested. At low ISO’s it’s not an issue and they are quite good, but as the ISO’s climb the poor in-camera noise reduction really hurts. As a result, my “always keep your raw images” applies more for this camera than any of the others I’ve tested.

. . . read more

More specs revealed about the Olympus XZ-10 camera and M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 Mk. II Lens.

Lens first: Everything appears unchanged, except for the new ZERO coating (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating), same as the one that adorns many of Olympus Prime Lenses. Availability set to March 2013. The lens is also slightly redesigned, it looks a bit less like a designer flower-vase now and more like a proper lens. 

As for the XZ-10, it is a smaller, lighter and cheaper successor to the similarly looking XZ-2, with little else in common. The lens is now a 5x optical zoom of 26-130mm F1.8-2.7, and the sensor is very sadly a smaller 1/2.3" 12 Megapixel story, that kinda puts this cam out of the 'prosumer' range we're covering at Estiasis. If this digicam is still of any interest to you, grab your Google transgorbler and head over to for the rest of the spec list. . . . read more

Fujifilm goes back to Film Era technology to battle moire in its new mini wundercam, the X20.

Fujifilm's marketing department always comes up with a bit of a hyperbole when describing some of the their tech, but this time its genuine advancement-or should we say-regression in technological progress. Roy Furchgott at NY Times Gadgetwise blog writes:

"There are a lot of ways to avoid the moiré pattern, but they degrade picture quality, often by making it a little fuzzy. In digital cameras, that is often accomplished with an optical low pass filter, a translucent filter which restricts light. Old fashioned analog photographs didn’t get a moire pattern because the crystals in film and photo paper aren’t even in size and placement. That randomness breaks up the moire effect. . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Kai Wong at Digital Rev: Big balls, gutter talk, and pure slick slickness.

Btw, this is what Kai wrote about the RX1 when it was first announced:

"The Sony RX1 is possibly one of the most important developments in digital photography. Why? Because it is supposed to be a 24-megapixel full-frame compact camera. Not a DSLR, but a compact camera. You remember those old film compact cameras that used 35mm film? They were "full-frame" too, but it seems like APS-C sensors have become the limit for cameras smaller than the full-frame DSLRs and Leica M9. We've all come to accept that, and any such suggestions of a full-frame compact camera have been laughed off" . . . read more

Sony RX1 vs Fujifilm X-E1 comparison by Steve Huff proves that the basic laws of thermodynamics still holds up well (And in this house, we obey them)

Just remember that you can buy ALL currently available Fujinon primes + the X-E1 body and come up with less money than needed  for the RX1 + viewfinder. While this is a quick review, it covers the essentials and is straight to the point.  Initially there's was some readers' uproar about the usage of Lightroom converted RAW files by Steve (X-E1 raws+Lightroom=meh), but then he posted a couple of OOC Jpegs and everybody went "oooh!"

"The RX1 JPEGS are much sharper than the Fuji’s and have that more “robust” look to them as well. As for AF speed, the Sony and Fuji are about the same with AF speed after the new Fuji firmware update of the body and lens and both seem to lock on well in my low light tests (see video above). After shooting them both and handling them both and processing files from both, for me the winner is the Sony. I much prefer the feel, build and lens on the Sony RX1. I also enjoy almost limitless DR and amazing sharpness in my files. I love the shallow DOF and the “Zeiss Pop” from the RX1 and with the Gariz case on my personal camera it feels like a work of art. . . . read more

Quick comparison in image quality between the Leica Monochrome, Hasselblad 39CF and Sigma DP2 Merrill at Steve Huff Photo: Sharp, sharper, sharpest.

SHP reader Michael Ma happened to have all three cameras in his possession and decided to make the best of it. The Hassy came with the 80mm CFE Lens, The Leica had a Summilux f1.4 ASPH mounted on it, and the DP2 had to deal with its own tiny built in 30mm F2.8 pancake lens.  Having seen full sized jpegs coming from the Sigma myself, i knew where this was going to:

"Conclusion? Well this is a very clumsy test. But besides the poor testing conditions I think there’s a story to be told here. All three are great camera systems. The Hasselblad is older and the lens probably could have used with more stopping down. But this is also a 9000 dollar set up (used price). The Monochrome setup is 12K all in (when bought new). The Leica . . . read more

David Cleland tries out the Fujifilm X100s and X20 for a week: Genuinely I think both the X20 and X100s are cameras to get excited about. I suspect they will appear on the “Camera of Year” lists of 2013.

Although he had very early prototype cameras in his hands, he's very pleased by the experience. This from his X100s hands-on preview:

"Fujifilm are certainly leading the way in the mirrorless camera market and we all knew it was only a matter of time before we saw an upgrade to the X100. Despite expecting to see the Fuji X200 the announcement of the X100s came with a very large wave of excitement. I was lucky enough to have the X100s for a week in December and I used it to capture some images around Northern Ireland. Like the X20 I decided to visit Belfast, County Down and my favourite location ‘The Dark Hedges’. . . . read more

Canon Powershot SX50 HS Review by Jeff Keller at Digital Photography Review: If you're looking for a camera that can really cover some distance, then you should certainly be looking at the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS HS.

This review has all the hallmarks of a DC Resource Page review: There's Mickey, the night shot of the Frisco San Francisco Skyline, Melinda's Amarillo hot stuff, and Jeff's red eyes, its all there, wrapped in the hi-tech environment of DPReview:

"For photographers who just can't get enough telephoto power, there's the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS HS. This camera packs a whopping 50X, 24 - 1200mm lens, which is more than you'll find on any other super zoom on the market (at least for now). While having all that telephoto power sounds appealing, keep in mind that you'll need to either use a . . . read more

Sigma DP3 Merrill preview by Mike Tompkins at Imaging Resource

"In other respects, the Sigma DP3 is again very closely-related to its current siblings. It shares the same 15.4-megapixel Foveon X3 CMOS image sensor as seen in both previous fixed-lens Merrills, as well as the SD1 DSLR and its rebranded variant, the SD1 Merrill. Like all Foveon sensors, this captures full color information at every pixel location, unlike other cameras which typically capture only red, green, or blue at each pixel, and then interpolate the other two colors. This leads to a significant increase in perceived resolution beyond that you might expect from its megapixel rating; in testing of the same sensor in the Sigma SD1 we've found it to compare well against a 24-megapixel Bayer-filtered sensor. (But not by as much as the 46-megapixel rating used by Sigma might suggest.)

. . . read more

The Sony RX1 in India, a great user report by Richard Geltman at SteveHuffPhoto.

"The camera is weighty-feeling and very solid. It feels like a miniature M9. I was unable to obtain the EVF so used, in addition to the LCD, an optical viewfinder. I found after a few experiments that the Voightlander 28 mm finder gave the best match for the 35 mm lens field of view. I’m sure the Zeiss finder made specifically for the RX1 is nice but I think it somewhat over-priced. I fitted the lens with a 49 mm B+W clear filter and purchased a very inexpensive screw-in vented lens hood on Ebay for around $10. These two served to protect the front surface of the lens . . . read more

Sony RX1 walks by the DXO Mark lab, makes a big impression: Bests the a99, matches the D600, comes 4th overall.

"Ranking 4th overall in the DxOMark Sensor Score Ratings the Sony RX1 compact camera performs as well as and better than many professional DSLRs. Featuring the same full frame Sony CMOS sensor used in the Nikon D600 we already knew how impressive the results could be and engineering it into a compact shell with a fixed lens hasn’t negatively affected picture quality. ISO performance isn’t quite as good, but nearly, and Sony should be congratulated for pushing the boundaries of camera technology with the RX1. . . . read more

Sigma expands its DP compact digital camera line with DP3 Merrill with a 46 megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor and 50mm (75mm equiv.) F2.8 lens

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2012 — Sigma Corporation (CEO: Kazuto Yamaki) is pleased to announce the new SIGMA DP3 Merrill, featuring a 50mm F2.8 lens, will join the lineup of the “SIGMA DP Merrill” series. The SIGMA DP3 Merrill is the next generation of high image quality compact digital cameras. Equipped with the Foveon X3 image sensor, the DP3 Merrill ensures outstanding resolution and natural rendering with rich gradation as well as a three-dimensional feel.

Featuring a high performance 50mm F2.8 lens (a focal range equivalent to 75mm on a 35mm SLR camera), the SIGMA DP3 Merrill offers incredibly high levels of optical performance and takes in every detail of the subject's information. This state of the art lens also offers enhanced macro functionality as well.

. . . read more

Fujifilm X20 preview by Andy Westlake at DP Review.

"The X20 uses an all-new sensor, which like the X10's is of the 2/3" type (~8.8 x 6.6mm), and therefore larger than those used in most of its competitors (see diagram below). But instead of its predecessor's EXR design, it gets Fujifilm's latest 'X-Trans' colour filter array, as used in the company's X-Pro1 and X-E1 mirrorless models and the X100S fixed-lens APS-C compact. This doesn't use an optical low-pass filter, and according to Fujifilm should give higher resolution than conventional Bayer-type 12MP sensors. The sensor is also of the 'backside illuminated' . . . read more

Fujifilm X100S Preview by Andy Westlake at DP Review.

"The X100S sees Fujifilm revisiting the concept and, while the external design is essentially unchanged, it's a very different camera inside. It uses a 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS sensor similar to that seen in the interchangeable lens X-Pro1 and X-E1 models, but now with on-chip phase detection promising much-improved autofocus speed. This is supported by a new processor, the 'EXR Processor II', which includes a 'Lens Modulation Optimizer' function that according to Fujifilm 'overcomes' lens aberrations such as diffraction and peripheral aberrations. The electronic . . . read more

Various Fujifilm X100S and FinePix x20 tidbits, and the conclusion of the Fuji press Event.

  • Fujifilm produced 130.000 X100 cameras during 2012. The demand was far higher than what they anticipated, and at times they struggled to produce enough cameras. The natural disasters that occurred in japan and Thailand also played their role in this.
  • Fujifim senses there is an  increased level of interest this year, after the announcement of the X100S (and X20) and will be better prepared to increase production if needed.
  • The new 55-200mm lens is slated for an April release. Fujifilm will of course honor its published lens road map, but also expand on it. 
  • Price for the X100S will be $1300 and for the X20 $600. European, and especially photographers from the UK will of course pay a whole lot more that that, A.K.A "the Royal Euro Screwjob". Availability is said to be end of March 2013.

Zach Honig at Engadget goes hands-on with the Fujifilm X20 and X100s, check out the 'Digital Split Image" demo!

"At Fujifilm's press conference today, the company announced that both the X100s and X20 will hit stores at the end of March, with the X100s running you $1,300 and the X20 shipping for less than half, at roughly 600 bucks. A new 55-200mm lens will ship in April, with more options planned for later this year. We had a chance to check out both models, and while the X20 appears to be a perfectly capable shooter, the X100s is definitely the premium variant here. The camera has a very solid feel and quite an elegant retro design, as you might expect based on its . . . read more

Pentax announces the brass-clad MX-1 prosumer camera a "classic design reminiscent of film cameras"

Denver, CO (January 7, 2013) — PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION (PENTAX) has introduced the MX-1, an advanced digital compact camera whose craft design and vintage lines appeal to a wide variety of photo enthusiasts. It’s fast F1.8-2.5 lens produces sharp and crisp imagery in a variety of settings and the camera’s 1/1.7 inch, 12.0 effective megapixel backlit CMOS sensor renders impressive low-light performance. . . . read more

New Sigma DP3 Merrill images and some specifications posted at dslrmagazine.

Reading from the Spanish web site, the upcoming Sigma DP3 Merrill will feature a 46 megapixels (15.36 Mpx. × 3 layers) Foveon sensor and an new 50mm f / 2.8 lens with manual focus ring located in the lens barrel. . . . read more

Romanas Naryskin at Photography Life analyzes and comments on Fujifilm's new X100S camera: Fujifilm is big on customer opinions – they seem to have heard the more known complaints and reacted accordingly.

I'd say Fuji overreacted, no fan of Fuji would ever dream of such a leap in (claimed) improvements. Only major bummer for the people on the street (or so i hear) appears to be the retained rear LCD screen of the X100.

"Lets start with an improved, sharper OLED EVF (still hybrid, thank goodness, and can be switched to optical viewfinder) with 2,360,000 dots. It is likely the very same unit found in Fuji’s latest mirrorless camera, the X-E1. It is also used in other cameras with some tweaks and is, as of today, more or less state-of-art. I’m not a fan of electronic viewfinders as I believe they are not quite there yet in replacing OVFs, but this one comes close enough for me to consider buying the X-E1 or X100S. Expect great sharpness, good dynamic range and deep blacks. EVF allows one to see very well in dark . . . read more

Fujifilm X20 released, gifted with a X-Trans CMOS II sensor, Hybrid AF and a zooming Advanced Optical Viewfinder.

The X20 is aimed straight at the top of the compact prosumer market, having essentially received every upgrade of its bigger sibling, the X100S: From the X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase Detection pixels to the new EXR II processor and the focus peaking feature, almost everything is there. What's missing is the "Digital Split Image" feature (Leica rangefinder style focusing), that Fuji reserved for its more upmarket X100S: . . . read more

Fujifilm X100 vs X100S features compared: what are the main differences?

Not only were the rumors about an upcoming X-Trans sensor true, but Fujifilm managed to squeeze a lot more than that under the hood of the X100S. This newbie will give every high end prosumer camera a run for their money, not least, Sony's RX1. The areas that have received most of the attention are speed, sensor and video: . . . read more

Fujifilm unveils the X100s, a camera that takes manual focusing to a whole new level. Also, Hybrid EVF and AF and a new X-Trans Sensor.

Here it is Ladies and Gentlemen, the new, much rumored and talked about Fujifilm X100S: It comes with a high-res hybrid viewfinder, a new X-Trans CMOS II sensor, Hybrid AF, and the what Fuji calls, the world's first 'Digital Split Image' feature which together with the focus peaking should make this camera one of the best there is for manual focusing purposes. Fuji must introduce this combo quickly to where it is needed, their interchangale lens cameras.     Price: $1,299. Availability: March 2013 . . . read more

Sigma Announces DP3 Merrill Compact Camera, B&W Mode for Photo Pro Software and Pricing and Availability for The New Lenses.


Sigma Corporation of America announces new products at Consumer Electronics Show 2013

Company introduces compact camera, invites attendees to shoot with Merrill cameras to enter 35mm lens sweepstakes
LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2012 — Sigma Corporation of America a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, will be exhibiting at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show at booth 7904 in Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Jan. 8 to 11. . . . read more

Fujifilm unveils its latest superzoom flasgship, the FinePix HS50EXR, now with Hybrid technology and focus peaking.

Avoiding the '40' because of the bad luck it brings, Fuji makes the jump from HS30EXR directly to HS50EXR, and the specs are dazzling: A super fast Hybrid AF,a new 24mm to 1000mm equivalent f/2.8 to f/5.6 lens, 11 fps continuous shooting, focus peaking, and a lot more:

Fujifilm Press release

FUJIFILM is proud to announce a new addition to its popular top-end series of FinePix Long zoom bridge cameras. The new flagship FinePix HS50EXR features a manual zoom mechanism for high precision zooming over the huge 42x focal . . . read more

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