Imaging Resource induces the Canon 5D Mark III to the DSLR hall of fame, calls it a real 'Superstar' camera.

The 5D Mark III has been called many things, but 'Superstar'? Wow. To live up to that status, Imaging Resource has thrown a whole army of rabid fans reviewers at its disposal: Roger Slavens, Shawn Barnett, Mike TomkinsZig Weidelich and Ellis Vener have all pitched in, the latter using the 20-105mm l f/4.0 IS USM kit lens to shoot the review gallery pics.

"The Canon 5D Mark III is a true "superstar" camera, with impressive capabilities for both still and video shooting. It suits the needs of well-heeled amateurs and working pros equally well, and while its resolution is only very slightly higher than that of the 5D Mark II, the Canon 5D Mark III offers so many improvements over its predecessor that it'll be an easy upgrade decision for many 5D Mark II owners. . . . read more

Pentax launches Q10 limited Evangelion NERV edition, for Japan only, for Mushroom lovers only.

Pentax does what it best can with the Q10, outing it in yet another color scheme. 1,500 of each hallucinogens will be made, to be sold in Japan only, with the usual kit lens, and custom packaging of equally epic colonization. Each camera has its own name of course: PENTAX Q10 Evangelion model TYPE00: Ray, PENTAX Q10 Evangelion model TYPE01 and PENTAX Q10 Evangelion model TYPE02: Asuka. Deliveries will begin in April, and for those of you not dazzled enough, here's the Press Release chewed by Google Translator:

"PENTAX Corporation Ricoh Imaging (President: Noboru Akahane) are: limited quantity of 1500 each set, collaborative model "PENTAX Q10 Evangelion Model" of digital SLR cameras to commemorate the release of "Evangelion Q" Three types of will be . . . read more

Lindsay Dobson writes about her impressions of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ lens, and impressed she is.

This kit lens may come out mauled by most the reviewers, but a minority like Lindsay-and others, see it otherwise. It may not be the optically best mirrorless kit lens there is (that distinction should probably go to the Fujinon XF 18-55mm), nor the cheapest, BUT, it is sharp enough, has a good zoom range, and is unbeatable when it comes to features., the 'Jack of all trades-master of none' equivalent of lenses.

And for those buying the E-M5 and get rid of this kit lens within 5 minutes because they read a bad review of it, just try it first, will ya? You get Weather sealing, 24-100mm range, power zoom and macro mode, all in one convenient package. Too dark for you? Just bump up the Iso and you're set. Don't believe me? Check out Lindsay's pics, many of these are shot at Iso 1250-1600:

"But the question got me thinking, and I asked myself if there might be situations where the Olympus M Zuiko ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ would prove useful to me. And actually, the answer is yes. . . . read more

Nikon celebrates 80 years of Nikkor lenses

No word by Nikon on commemorative-or any, lenses to be released in 2013, just 'promotions and other forms of communication'. For the history, among the first lenses was the pictured R-Aero-Nikkor 50mm f/5.6 lens used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service during the Second World War. Understandable a very rare lens, since most of the reconnaissance planes carrying it were shot down or destroyed on the ground.

Nikon Press Release

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation celebrates the 80th anniversary of the launch of its NIKKOR photographic lenses this year
In commemoration of NIKKOR's 80th anniversary, Nikon hopes to strengthen and increase awareness of the historic and . . . read more

New Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH MEGA OIS lens revealed, set to launch in March.

Panasonic is set to unveil yet another slow and cheap kit lens, their forth micro 4/3 lens in this zoom range. The previous 14-42mm lens was updated to 'HD' status via firmware back in September, the new one comes HD ready out of the box, complete with the sticker. In Panasonic terms HD is:

" Specifically these HD lenses excel in tracking focus in video recording while offering silent auto focus and exposure control. In addition, there is enhanced stability of O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) in video recording"

Furthermore, the new lens is downsized compared to its predecessor, in every dimension: Its lighter, smaller, and takes smaller filters too (46mm vs 52mm). Price will remain unchanged, availability date is set to March 2013.

Portrait Of A Magnum Photographer: Thomas Höpker by Peter Köhn, at ISO 1200

Mr. Chowder's photography rule #56 states that: "Two pair of ümlauts in a photography related article always invoke a Leica", and this story does not disappoint. Thomas Hoepker is very well known by the mainstream crowd for his (in)famous 9/11 photo.

"In 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern (magazine). In the 1970s he also worked as a cameraman for German TV, making documentary films. In 1976 he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmoeller, relocated to New York as correspondents for Stern. From 1978 to 1981 he was director of photography for American Geo. From 1987 to 1989 Hoepker was based in Hamburg, working as art director for Stern.  . . . read more

Akvis announces MultiBrush 7, a light and easy photo editing software.

Akvis Press Release

Jan 29, 2013 -- AKVIS releases AKVIS MultiBrush v.7.0, photo editing software, for Windows and Macintosh. The new version comes with many improvements, offers more flexibility, awesome new features and tools! New to Version 7.0: Selection tools, Crop, Move, and Text tools, alignment options, HotKey Manager, and other changes. 

 AKVIS MultiBrush is rich in features and easy-to-use image editing software. It is an all-in-one photo enhancement and . . . read more

ARGO-IS, a drone with a 1.8 Gigapixel camera consisting of 368 5MP cellphone cameras.

The impressive spec list goes on:Whith its 368 cameras in a grid layout, the ARGO-IS can scan an area 100 times greater (25 square miles) than that of a Predator drone, and can spot objects as small as 6 inches, from as high as 17,500 feet above the ground. The drone can process up to 1,000,000 terabytes per day, that's an exabyte. More info and mouthwatering scary details at the new PBS Nova documentary, the 'Rise of the Drones'. . . . read more

Apple Aperture 3.4.3 review by Jmeyer at Digital Camera World: Aperture’s image-editing tools aren’t bad, but its real strength lies in its image browsing and sharing tools.

"You can carry out basic adjustments such as cropping, Levels adjustments, Curves and sophisticated hue, saturation and tonal adjustments, but while Aperture can correct chromatic aberration, it doesn’t fix lens distortions, either with automatic lens correction profiles or even manually. It does offer localised adjustments via Quick Brushes, for tone and colour enhancement, sharpening and noise reduction, for example, but they’re not as straightforward to apply as Lightroom’s Adjustment Brushes. . . . read more

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens review by Ken Rockwell: "The Canon 40mm is insanely sharp at every setting throughout the entire full-frame on the 22 MP 5D Mark III"

"This Canon EF EOS 40mm f/2.8 STM works perfectly with every Canon EOS camera ever made, meaning every Canon DSLR and every Canon autofocus 35mm camera made since 1987. Of course it works great on today's 5D Mark III and Canon 7D, but it also works great on my original 1987 Canon EOS 650! The only oddness I noted on my 1987 EOS 650 is that while auto and manual focus and depth-of-field preview and everything work great, manual focus override doesn't work: you have to set the lens to manual first. Manual-focus override works flawlessly on my 35mm EOS Rebel G from 1996 and EOS 3 from 1998, so I'm not worrying about it." . . . read more

Kyle Clements revisits the Nikon D600 oil/dust/? on sensor splatter issue, finds its still there, but less gory.

Kyle is the original 'Nikon D600 sensor oil/dust on sensor time-lapse showcase©' inventor. In the 4th installment of the series, he has this to say:

"After having the camera serviced by Nikon, my D600 is still suffering from an accumulation of dust, even after 5000 shutter releases"

Now, as someone that has used everything but a toilet brush (darn thing didn't fit in the mirror-box) to clean out goo off my various EOS cams, I have just one thing to say: If you buy a Dslr, especially a full-frame one, you have got to learn cleaning  the sensor yourself. Don't be afraid of it, there's a very high chance the official service center will do a worse job than you anyway. Befriend Google, check out some of the myriads of tutorials out there, get some cheap cleaning accessories and swab that CMOS (CCD if you're unlucky) clean! . . . read more

Steve Huff reviews the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 Pancake lens and finds beauty where others find mediocrity.

"This one is easy. This lens has the build, the speed, the feel, the looks, the design and the performance in IQ that makes it a no brainer for your Olympus Micro 4/3 camera (especially the E-M5). If you shoot a Panasonic camera I can not say how the lens does as I did not test it on a Panasonic body but on the E-M5 it rocks just as much as their other premium lenses. . . . read more

Pentax Q10 review at the Tech Radar: Those in pursuit of the best image quality for their money, while retaining the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, will be better served by camera with a larger sensor, such as the Sony NEX-F3

All fine and dandy when it comes to describing the body and features of the Q10, but the image quality is a whole other issue. A reputable site can't say it outright, so I'll step in and say what they think: It just plainly sucks, a camera not to be taken seriously. Even Pentax themselves thinks somewhere along these lines, designating the Q lenses as 'Toy Lenses'. 

The Pentax Q10, like its predecessor, is quite an interesting camera. With it being no bigger than many other advanced compact cameras, yet able to accept interchangeable lenses, it fills the gap between traditional advanced compact digital cameras and larger mirrorless camera systems well. The price is reasonable too. At £379.99/US$529.99 (around AU$579) with the standard 5-15mm lens, it's competitively priced when compared to rivals, such as Canon's PowerShot S110. . . . read more

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens grabs the 'best in class' award at DXO Mark, as the highest scoring professional fixed-aperture mid-range kit zoom of any brand, but scores very high in the price department too.

"With an DxOMark score of 26, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 MkII is the highest scoring professional fixed-aperture mid-range kit zoom of any brand in the DxO Mark database and comfortably outperforms rivals as well as the firm’s earlier Mark I version, particularly with regard to the sharpness levels across the frame. We’re used to seeing a noticeable deterioration in performance in the outer fields at longer focal lengths even with high-quality optics from the big-name marques but the new Canon bucks that trend. . . . read more

RawDigger version 0.9.14 is out, adds new functionality, bugfixes, and a slew of new suported cameras (Notably, X-E1, 6D, EOS M, GH3, D600, p7700, XF1, and many more)

RawDigger is a cool Raw app that does many good things, costs nothing, and is compatible with Windows (32 & 64bit) and Mac OS. Changelog:

New functionality and major improvements
The list of recently opened files is moved to a separate sub-menu and now has slots for 25 files.
Added convenience for processing color targets for profiling and field (non-)uniformity analysis (Selection Grid).
Added an option to filter out bad pixels in raw files produced by Panasonic cameras.
Changed the display of metadata in raw files: 
Added: display of type of metering, exposure compensation, lens used, focal distance. . . . read more

Dan Valicek: Is the Fujifilm X-Pro1 the Leica for the poor man?

I'd say its the camera for the Smart man and woman, the poor Leica snobs suckers usually go with a dented semi-functional Leica M4 they snatched off Ebay or Craiglist for a few hundred bucks. 

"Initially my choice fell with a Leica M9. I’ve dreamt of this camera for years, but the price always made me quickly stop and think. I wanted to give the Leica a chance, so I borrowed an M9. I was excited by the Leica, in fact a lot for me. So of course there was a 9,000 Euro start up cost, with only a 35mm lens. After intense consultations with my conscience and lots of sorrow on my brow, I came next to the M9 and engaged with the mirrorless system cameras. There were a good . . . read more

Famous Photographer Dave Kai Piper posts a gallery of gorgeous pics taken with a Fuji X-Pro1, taken with a Nikon D700, or maybe something else. (Updated)

Dave Kai Piper is famous for his award winning model & portrait work and also known to work with only 'with natural light or an Orbis Ring Flash'. So, here's his wonderful X-Pro1 gallery, but at least the dozen or so images I've checked out so far are all shot with a Nikon D700., according to their EXIF. The disparity is compounded by the fact that each file name contains the words 'fuji-Xpro1'.
Since the same EXIF information is repeated in photo after photo, all shot on the same day, with a 85mm lens, at ISO 200 and 1/200 sec speed, it makes this probably a case of EXIF manipulation gone wrong, but it still begs the question: Why?

Update: Dave Piper sent us this message:

"Hello Sir, I can clear up this problem - All of the photos in the gallery had been placed onto a template in photoshop ( all of the photographs in my portfolio have been laid out this way

Instagram keeps attracting controversy: Now demands photo IDs and even birth certificates from some users.

Why can't corporations have some human TOS content, like 'Hey, try to be nice to others" instead of "We reserve the right to modify or terminate the Service or your access to the Service for any reason, without notice, at any time, and without liability to you"?  The totally Fubar part of this thing is that Instagram does NOT ask a new user to only use his real name as a username, as Facebook does. I gues Instagramers like 'Ducklover1919' and 'Whispeting Tuna 555' will have a really hard time proving their identities. Carl Franzen from TPM reports:

"Over the past week, a number of users of the popular photo sharing app Instagram and parent company Facebook have been locked out of their accounts and prompted by both services to upload images of their government issued photo IDs to regain access, as CNET first reported on Tuesday. Concerned users seeking to regain account access have turned to several outlets online, including Yahoo Answers, to try and determine whether or not the prompts asking for images of their IDs are real or are hacking attempts. . . . read more

Canon EOS 6D On-Camera tutorials posted by Canon Digital Learing center

The 12 tutorials seemingly cover a lot of ground, from the very mundane to Time code operation. Canon promises more videos to follow soon.

"Canon On-Camera Tutorial Videos explore a specific feature or technology of the EOS 6D. These instructional videos are designed to be viewed at your convenience: Watch them online, on the go, or even on your camera's rear LCD* screen -- so you can follow along, every step of the way! Check back soon for additional tutorials on the EOS 6D's built-in WiFi and GPS features." . . . read more

5 reasons why you need an 85mm lens, at DigitalRev TV.

Kai W chooses the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens as a showcase for the 85mm necessity. Coming up: 5 reasons why you need a pinhole lens.

"Carrying on from "5 reasons you need a 50mm lens" and "5 reasons why you need a 35mm lens", we are giving you 5 reasons why you need a bokehlicioius 85mm lens!"

Fujifilm X-E1 review at the Phoblographer: Do yourself a favor and go pick one of these up for yourself right now!

Christian Rudman reviewed the camera with the Fujinon 18-55mm kit lens. Unfortunately no full-sized image samples are provided with the review.

"This camera is yet another worthy installment in the X-Series of cameras that Fujifilm is producing. While my personal favorite remains the X-Pro1 for its innovative hybrid viewfinder combined with the interchangeable lens mount, this camera I hold in high regards and appreciate the cost savings of $700 (before they started discounting the X-Pro1). However, if you are pairing this camera with a legacy lens that would be focused manually and using the EVF, I would much prefer the X-E1 over the X-Pro1 for its much improved EVF. The pop-up flash is a nice touch, especially since the articulating arm allows you to bounce the flash vertically (I mentioned this in the First Impressions article on this camera). . . . read more

AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED-IF review at Digital Photography School: So good, it can be tempting to switch systems just for this lens.

Professional photographer Peter West Carey tested this lens with a Nikon D800E body. Lots of gorgeous full size EXIF-ed sample photos inside:

The lens is a joy to use and the results, to me, are stunning. It has me seriously thinking of adopting a Nikon camera and this lens in the future. It was very useful both in Utah when I had to get a little closer, without getting physically closer, at Mesa Arch. It was also helpful when shooting from a helicopter over Hawaii, The Big Island as the blades and skids started to show as I could zoom in just a little and make it work. If I had a Nikon camera body, I would already own this lens and it will be the first Nikon lens I ever buy. It is an excellent lens. . . . read more

Nikon D5200 video review by Kai at DigitalRev TV: Is it just a D3200 with a twisty flippy screen? Maybe, but the autofocus system is vastly improved.

Kai Wong doesn't think too much of the new Nikon D5200. He thinks the body is too small and cumbersome to handle, and, If it's biggest achievement is incorporating the D7000's AF system, why not buy the latter in the first place? The difference in price is not that great, and as an added bonus you'll get the ability to autofocus with some of Nikon's older AF lenses, plus plenty of real estate to put your creative fingers on. . . . read more

How to clean your Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor: Rico Pfirstinger goes through the process of performing blow jobs, using Rockets and digging the dust, while having a snack.

Everything in this article, besides the Fuji menu options of course, apply to every other camera body, be it a mirrrorless, or a Dslr, so its time to brush up (heh) on the cleaning skills:

"You can run a test to check whether dust has already settled on your sensor. Take an exposure of a blue or white sky, a bright wall, or a white piece of paper with a fully dimmed lens (= the highest f-stop possible). It’s best to use the camera’s automatic exposure bracketing feature (DRIVE button > AE BKT) and to manually set the lens to be out of focus—for the sky, set the focus for a short-range shot, and for a piece of paper, set the focus to infinity. If you then transfer your images to . . . 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

Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 ASPH VS 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens sharpness comparison by Fredrik Gløckner

From my own findings, there's the issue of Sigma's much lower CA and purple fringing when used on Olympus bodies. In any case, the Sigma is an automatic buy anyway, due to its current very low price.

"We see that the Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 has an impressive level of sharpness, even wide open. The Sigma 19mm, on the other hand, needs a bit of stopping down before reaching the same level of sharpness. At f/2.8, the 19mm lens is a tad bit dull, even in the centre of the image frame. This finding is consistent with other tests I have seen. Generally, it is observed that the Sigma 19mm lens is not the sharpest at f/2.8, and improves when stopped down to f/4 and f/5.6. Stopping down beyond f/5.6 does generally not add anything to the overall sharpness, but does give you more depth of focus (DoF). If you need a deep DoF, it may still be wise to stop down to f/8 or even further, but this will give you slightly worse sharpness at pixel level.

. . . read more

Nikon D800 Review at Digital Camera Review: It's great for studio, portrait and product photographers, as well as landscape shooters who want the ultimate amount of information.

The reviewer, Theano Nikitas tested the D800 with the Nikkor 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm and 24-120mm lenses, with the latter struggling to meet the demands of the camera's sensor in the detail department.

"With its 36 megapixel sensor, sophisticated feature set and amazing image quality, the Nikon D800 offers a solid--and more affordable--alternative to photographers who crave medium-format files without stretching a budget to the breaking point. It's no speed demon with a continuous shooting speed of about 4fps but it's not designed that way. It's great for studio, portrait and product photographers, as well as landscape shooters who want the ultimate amount of information. Heed our warning, though. Be sure your computer and storage systems are up to the task of handling large files. This . . . read more

Pentax K-5IIs review by John Riley at EPZ: does it make a difference? Yes, a significant difference. Is it worth the difference in price? Yes.

This is a review of the K5-IIs model, one of two Dslr cameras without an Antialiazing filter currently available on the market, the other being the Nikon D800E. The Camera was tested with the smc DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WRsmc DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR and the smc DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 SDM lenses, a bit of a curious choice when evaluating a highly resolving camera like the K-5IIs. And for all us peepers, there are many full-res images with intact EXIF information accompanying  this review:

"This review was started as a journey of discovery, hoping for the answer to the basic question – does it make a difference and is it worth the difference in cost? The camera is basically well established – compact, efficient, rugged, weather  . . . read more

Interesting Retro review: The Nikon S3 Rangefinder camera, by Ken Rockwell

What is really interesting is that Nikon-in a streak of sentimentality-revived this model 13 years ago, as a Year 2000 Limited Edition Celebration model. Strangely the S(P) Rangefinder camera was revived yet again, in 2005.  Even stranger,, that was the third time Nikon revived this Lazarus-on-Steroids of a camera, the first one was in 1964 for the XVIII Tokyo Olympic Games, the camera was made only in black, and came with a titanium curtain shutter. 

Nikon still makes two film cameras, the F6, and the FM10, and keeps much of the older film body tooling & machinery in a mothballed state. In 4 years Nikon will celebrate its centenary, and there's no doubt in my mind that we'll see yet another revival of a classic Nikon film design. Or maybe a totally new Nikon F7? 

"The life-size finder is excellent, however it's always cluttered with all the framelines at the same time. It's fine for use . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 review and DXO Mark score: This is best lens DxOMark have tested for the Micro Four Thirds hybrid camera system.

"The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 is best lens DxOMark have tested for the Micro Four Thirds hybrid camera system. Available for both Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras it’s an excellent choice for portraits, sports or low-light photography but costing $899, or $975 including the lens hood, it’s not cheap. Money aside however this lens delivers good results for a Micro Four Thirds lens in all DxOMark Lens Metric Scores and with a Sharpness Score of 11P-Mpix it’s the sharpest lens available for this system. . . . read more

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