Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Photography Soup (7/31/07) - Leica M8 review is out!

  • The big news of the day is the publication of the highly anticipated Leica M8 review by dpreview. If you are not familiar with rangefinder cameras, fear not, page one of the review gives us a history and introduction to rangerfinder cameras, including a concise pros/cons. This 21 page review was written by Phil Askey. As always I won't reveal the findings, you have to read it yourselves :) And I promise I won't say "this Leica is your mate (m8)". Ooops, I guess I just did :) And for those not familiar, this is not a cheap camera. You can buy a decent used Honda Civic for the same price! Forum discussion on the camera dnd the review here. here, and here

    Financial Results from Japan
  • Dollars and sense at digitalcamera.jp (computer-translated) as they report the financial results reported by Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Here is what I can make out from the computer-translated text:
  • Very good financial numbers for Nikon... Favorable mention of the Coolpix P5000... 211% increase in DSLR sales, total of 760,000 units (which could mean their #1 spot in Japan may not be the only one)... Lens sales are up 292%, and compact digital cameras are up 122%, to 2.03 million units. All these are compared to the same time period of last year.
  • Pretty financial numbers from Olympus as well. Favorable mention of the Stylus and FE-series presumably in the domestic (Japanese) market.
  • Good financial numbers from Pentax as well, as they may exceed previous expectations.
  • It's always a good thing when camera companies are doing well :-)

    Overheard in the dpreview forums
  • JPEG, JPEG XR and Microsoft HD Photo. A new standard?
  • Sony vs Nikon & Canon?.
  • And a discussion on usability and user interfaces
  • An alternative to B&H Photo?. A number of reputable dealers are listed in this thread, so if you are looking for retailers near or nearer you, check it out.
  • Top 3 lens threads are the new fad it seems. Canon, Minolta-Sony,
  • Photo permits required in New York City?
  • On RAW, TIFF and Olympus
  • As reported a few days earlier by DigitalCamera.jp, demand far exceeds supply for the new Pentax DA * SDM lenses. Also discussed here
  • Good Ole Boys Club?
  • And some old fashioned DSLR vs P&S debate with landscapes being the starting point.
  • You bet the new new Canon firmware update 1.1.0 for the Canon 1D Mark III would spark a spirited discussion
  • Discussion on the 7th generation Fuji SuperCCD based on information from Fuji Japan.
  • Opinions on best digicams ever made

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/31/07) - Leica M8 review is out!"...
  • Monday, July 30, 2007

    Photography Soup (7/30/07) (updated)

    Late Edition

  • Canon issues Firmware 1.1.0 for the Canon 1D Mark III according to their Japanese website. I am not sure from the computer-translated text what type of issues this tries to fix. One of them talks about "AI servo AF", but I can't read Japanese, so I have no way of knowing.
  • Speaking of Canon, DSLRPhoto reports on Canon's financial report for the first half of 2007. A lot of positive numbers from Canon, 12.9% increase in sales (in $$$), 20% increase in units (thank you falling prices and A4xx). As it is typical with Canon, the percentage of profit increase was higher than the aforementioned numbers. Check the story for all the details.
  • Where do you/should you not take a digital camera with you?
  • Hungry for more on the Fuji F50fd? Keep checking for official sample pics at the Fuji Global site. TheOnlinePhotographer opines on the F50fd as well
  • Normal Lens = Universal Lens? also at the online photographer
  • The Samsung post has been updated with the latest specs and details
  • Favorite panorama software?
  • Canon S5 IS discussions
  • What do you think of Olympus's three auto focus points?
  • Rechargeable AA battery discussion

    News from Japan via digitalcamera.jp
  • Nikon celebrates 40,000,000 million Nikkor "F" lenses produced since 1959
  • Film news from Fujifilm involving the Superia X-TRA 400 and Fujicolor 100

    Early Edition
  • Waiting to find out more about the four new Samsung digital cameras, the NV20, NV15, NV8 and i85
  • I am hoping someone implements this great feature that builds up on the successful face detection feature: Mother-in-law face detection and removal :-)
  • Hard to find camera alert: Fuji E900 at Overstock for $220.
  • Today's eye candy is...

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/30/07) (updated)"...
  • New cameras: Samsung NV20, NV15, NV8 and i85 P(i)MP (updated)

  • dpreview informs us of four new Samsung digital cameras, three of which from the NV series and one from the iSeries.
  • The three NV-series have new "improved processing technology", which includes improved noise reduction they claim, 3x Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan lens (they charge by the letter), the sleek Smart Touch interface, 2.5" LCD, face detection (still waiting for mother-in-law face detection and removal feature), digital ASR, ISO 3200 (Monet called and he wants his paintings removed from everyone's digital camera), 14 scenes, and ACB (auto contrast balance) which adjusts lighting (similar feature to other makers).
  • Meet the NV20: 12 megapixels, UK price 250 pounds in September. US price: $400 MSRP in the Fall. Replaces NV10.
  • Meet the NV15: 10 megapixels, UK price 230 pounds, September. US price: $300 MSRP in the fall. Replaces NV10.
  • Meet the NV8: 8 megapixels, UK price 200 pounds, September. US price: Not determined, which could mean either they haven't decided or probably this camera won't make it to the US, at least not initially perhaps. Replaces NV3. Nope, it also replaces the NV10. But this is not a 1:1 replacement, it's a wraparound replacement!
  • Meet the i85: 8 megapixels, the multimedia P(i)MP model, 5x optical (6mm-30mm native) with folded optics, 3" LCD, UK price 230 pounds, late August, US price: $350, Fall 2007. Replaces the i7*. More details on this one at digitalcamerareview. Note the 5x folded-optics optical zoom. Fuji also went after the Sony T100 with their 5x (Z100fd (not coming to the US)). Hopefully the pictures won't come out folded ;-)
  • Details have yet to emerge. It is fascinating that manufacturers announce products in this day and age yet they can't even co-ordinate putting their own press releases on their website! The day you announce a new product is the day you have a shot at a lot of publicity!
  • The US version of the laconic press releases can be found here and here
  • Updates with detailed specs!!! at dpreview, and IR

    Opinionated Analysis
  • Disappointment: No attempt to make a more advanced camera
  • Promising? new "improved processing technology", which includes noise reduction
  • Disappointment: What happened to the NV7 OPS replacement?
  • Megapixel question: It is no longer a question of "who will come up with a 12 megapixel camera?", but rather "will anyone not do so?"
  • Interesting: Look at the price differences between the NV20 and NV15 between the UK and the USA. 20 UK pounds vs $100 dollars!
  • Disappointment: What happened to the 5x lens? They came up with the NV11 early this year. They also added 5x lenses to the S1050, S850 and even the 1/2.5"-based S85. So why release two 3x clones in the NV20 and NV15, instead of making one 5x and one 3x?
  • Speculation: Will they attempt a more advanced model? I was expecting at least one 5x 1/1.7x" based camera after the NV11 and the other 5x cameras. Is perhaps something else coming above the NV20? I would hope so, but Samsung seems obsessed with grabbing the #3 global market share, so perhaps they are thinking in those terms... They obviously have at least one more announcement, for their DSLRs, of which the Pentax K100D Super looks like a prime candidate to be Samsung-ized... At the rate they have been announcing things, I am going to have to start a new daily blog just to keep up with all the new Samsung digital cameras ;-)

    Opinionated Analysis, Part II (after the detailed specs came out)
  • Samsung has actually come up with three cameras that essentially replace the NV10 by wrapping around it. A 12mp, 10mp and an 8mp version. It's a wraparound replacement!. No replacements for the NV7 OPS which lives on in the L77, and the NV3 which is not that much different from the i-Series, which got an update (the i85)
  • Now sensor-wise we have some interesting things. The 12mp sensor of the NV20 is a 1/1.72" while the 10mp and 8mp sensors in the NV15 and NV8 are 1/1.76". Which will raise the obvious question: Who makes the sensors, especially the 1/1.76" size which I believe we have not seen elsewhere (I could be wrong)
  • Sadly we only get scene modes, not even shutter priority. Of course there is always the age old trick of using particular scene modes to influence shutter speed.
  • And those keeping track at home, Samsung has now announced nine (9) new cameras in July 2007

    Read the rest of "New cameras: Samsung NV20, NV15, NV8 and i85 P(i)MP (updated)"...
  • Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Photography Soup (7/29/07)

  • The Canon G7 is listed as a clearance item in the Fry's sunday paper ad. It doesn't necessarily mean anything, but usually it's a sign...
  • Intense discussion: Pentax K10D vs Olympus E510/E410. Speaking of which some magenta discussion
  • Rumor Morphing: The recent news item about a 50mp sensor Canon has been converted into a 50mp 35mm FF camera for 2008.
  • Beware of fake memory cards
  • Latest news from Japan at digitalcamera.jp (computer-translated). Latest post: New miniature MicroSD card reader and miniSD cards go on sale.

    Pictures only, no technobabble allowed! (links to dpreview forum picture threads)
  • Weekly Wildlife
  • Sunday Flower
  • Sunday Bird
  • Weekly Sports
  • Hummingbirds!
  • Wedding

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/29/07)"...
  • The Situation Room Recap: The Unanswered Questions

    What are we waiting for? No this is not a philosophical or metaphysical question. What new digital cameras are we (anxiously and impatiently) waiting for? Our Situation Room editor Volf KameraBlitzor is here to ask the questions, but not provide the answers.

    Please note that the following is based on rumors and speculation, I do not have any inside knowledge - although I wish I did :) Below is a summary, more long-winded and elaborate speculations, broken down by manufacturer, at the Fauxtokina 2007 table of contents


  • Canon 40D for sure, how about a new 1Ds flagship or a 5D follow-up? More EF-S lenses? Another Digital Rebel is unlikely since there are two of them out already (XTi, XT aka 400D, 350D) and the 30D is already under $1000. I doubt Canon will attempt a sub-$500 DSLR. It does not seem to fit their dollars-and-sense style.
  • Nikon is also a mystery, will we see the new Nikon D3 flagship? If yes, would it make sense to also release a D200 follow-up at the same time? Perhaps yes, if there is a big difference between them (eg different sensor size). But if that does not happen, we'll probably see only one of the two. The D200 follow-up could be an incremental update, like a D200s or D200x, or perhaps something entirely new like the D300. A D3 and a D300 at the same time? Again, only if the sensors are of different size. Rumors also talk about a new wave of lenses.
  • The Olympus flagship is coming. That is known. The codename E-P1 will be revealed sometime before Xmas. Unless it has already been revealed in the famous PDF file leak of a European powerpoint presentation.
  • We are also expecting a DSLR announcement from Panasonic. From what was said a few months ago, it would something along the lines of the E410/E510. How about new Leica lenses?
  • Also expecting Sony's next move. It's been a while since the A100 came out, and Sony has been cooking up something. The expectation is for a mid-range and a high-end to follow. Rumors also talk about a new wave of lenses.
  • Two are also expected from Pentax. With the K100D Super the entry-level is set, will the K10D get Super'ed as well? A 10mp version of the K100D Super? Is a new source of sensors going to be a factor in any other releases? Will Pentax try for something above the K10D? Also, the future of the 645D is yet to be determined.
  • What about Samsung? The K100D Super looked like it was destined for placement in the Samsung line-up, assuming they continue to pick up Pentax bodies. The obvious question is whether they will make DSLR sensors, and will they continue with the Pentax bodies or additionally try their hand at them? They did produce the Pro 815 monster after all.

  • The question now changes from "who will use the 12mp sensor", to "will anyone not use a 12mp sensor?"
  • Will the highly anticipated Sigma DP1 come out? Everyone hopes it won't take as long as the Polaroid X1. (Ouch!)
  • Will Panasonic provide FZ60 or LX3 updates this year? How about a more high-end TZ5 with full PSAM? Remember the FZ-series started from the very humble Panasonic FZ1 with a 1/3.2" sensor. And look how it has grown now!
  • Will anyone go crazy with a 14 or 16mp 1/1.6" sensor? (I hope not!)
  • Will Fuji update the S9100 (S9600), S6000fd (S6500fd) and E900?
  • Will the Canon G7 and Nikon P5000 get updates that include RAW and other user-requested updates/fixes/improvements?
  • Will Kodak and Canon feel pressure to quickly release a 15x or 18x super zoom?
  • Rumors of a Ricoh GRD2 are out there. Judging from the improvement Ricoh made with the GX100, it could become a hot item. And a 12mp version of the GX100 to go with the megapixel flow? Ricoh has a big opportunity here with the traditional DSLR makers not particularly interested in making prosumer cameras.
  • The Kodak P880 found a following after its price fell. Two years later, will Kodak attempt a follow-up? And what plans do they have for the future with regards to their new CMOS sensor (the first one found its way in the lowly Kodak C513)
  • Samsung is expected to release its top of the line cameras this summer/fall. Will they try something above their current line-up or just sequential updates of the NV-line up? They did come up with the monster Pro815 after all... But they are concentrating on the sub-$300 level, which will bring them the market share they need for their ambitious goal of becoming #3 in global market share for 2007. Kodak's $80 C513 certainly does not help Samsung's chances.
  • Thanks Richard Alan Fox for the reminder of the possibility of a follow-up to the Sony R1. Will Sony try its hand at the R-series again? Or will it go DSLR-priority and stay under $500 for their non-DSLRs. Check Richard Alan Fox's comment in the comment section for a bit more on the R1... Another thing that I thought would be a nice idea would be if Sony resurrected the Minolta A-series of cameras. They would fit right in, below the R-series and above what they currently have. Perhaps even they could have a more expensive version (eg A2 EVF) and a more affordable model.
  • Which brings me back to this: The prosumer (and RAWsumer market is wide open. There is plenty of opportunity for the manufacturer who is brave enough to give it a try. Ricoh is a candidate, if they are able to continue to improve with their GRD and GX100 follow-ups, they could make a big splash!

    More detailed speculations, broken down by manufacturer, at the Fauxtokina 2007

    Read the rest of "The Situation Room Recap: The Unanswered Questions"...
  • Saturday, July 28, 2007

    Photography shows on TV (USA)

  • Please check local listings for exact airtimes.
  • Sun July 29, Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, on HBO Signature
  • Mon July 30, Playboy's Photographers on the Playboy channel. Mature audiences and subscription required.
  • Mon July 30, Radical Sabbatical, fashion/beauty photographer wants to open a dog spa? on Fantasy Living
  • Tue July 31, and August 6, some PBS stations may be featuring two photographers respectively in the series A World of Art: Works in Progress. The first one is photographer Lorna Simpson, and the 2nd is photographer/painter Beverly Buchanan.
  • Wedn August 1, Impact: Stories of survival: Photographer Electrocuted is the feature story on this documentary series on the Discovery Health Channel
  • Fri August 3, Inside the Tornado, photographers and storm chasers try to measure the inside of a tornado, National Geographic Channel
  • Fri August 3, Saving Jazz, on Sundance. Jazz photographer Herman Leonard returns to New Orleans where his studio, darkroom and part of his photographic archives were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina
  • Mon August 6, How it's made, one of the topics is optical lenses, Discovery Channel (two showings on that date)
  • Mon Aug 6, Seneca Ray Stoddard: An American Original, landscape photographer, on some PBS stations
  • Tue Aug 7, Judge Maria Lopez, a couple sues a wedding photographer for blotched wedding pictures, syndicated
  • Thur Aug 9, How it's made, one of the topics is photo booths, Discovery Channel
  • Thur Aug 9, Garden Insects, exploring close up photography of garden insects (carefully typing this word), some PBS stations.

  • There's also a number of programs that have photography and photographers in their plot but they are not necessarily focused on photography. If people are interested in those, please let me know and I will try to include them in the listings.

  • Those in the UK, they can watch on BBC 4's Digital Photography Britain in Pictures with Tom Ang. Details here in this dpreview forum thread

    Read the rest of "Photography shows on TV (USA)"...
  • Photography Soup (7/28/07)

  • For those not familiar with the Photography Soup, it is what the name suggests. A soup of photography and camera related topics!

    Late Edition
  • Well, that's coming ...later! Update: Obviously there was no late edition :)

    Early Edition
  • A straw poll of Pentax users. Which lens do you use most often?
  • A retouching challenge of an eagle picture in the dpreview retouching forum
  • For the historians among you, at the beginning of each month I will be summarizing the new camera releases of the previous month. So expect around August 1st a recap of July. And July has been an interesting month so far!
  • And a thread full of pictures using the Canon 85mm F1.8 wide open. And how about some sunsets?
  • For the latest in Imaging Sensors check Image Sensors World
  • Numbers! What sold well in Japan in May 2007?. The sales data comes from two of the biggest stores in Japan, BiC and Yodobashi.
  • A total of three sample images of the Fuji F50fd are posted at fujifilm.com. All three are at ISO 100. I'm sure a lot of people would love to pixel-peep ISO 400 and 800 :)
  • This is an interesting discussion: Products or companies that undeserverdly failed or went out of business.
  • Image Stabilization wars! In-body vs In-lens stabilzation? A test at CameraLabs. Forum reaction to this here and here
  • More camera awareness in the newspapers! The Pentax K10D according to this post will be featured in a number of big city newspapers starting August 3.
  • It's a small world!, really!
  • Today's eye candy segment: Is the Olympus SP320 back in circulation?

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/28/07)"...
  • Friday, July 27, 2007

    Photography Soup (7/27/07) (updated)

  • Just posted at dpreview, the highly anticipated Canon S5 IS review!. A nice 21-page review by Simon Joinson. As always, I won't spoil the findings, you have to read it yourselves :-) Elaborate dpreview forum discussion of the review here

    Late edition
  • Catch up with my long-winded but comprehensive predictions and speculations for the rest of 2007. Start here
  • Big announcement coming from Sony "soon"? There is also discussion on a potential Sony lens recall from some retailers. As always, the speculations fly all over the place! And some comprehensive speculation earlier in the month from a Photoclub Alpha, a Minolta Club in Great Britain. Also another interesting Sony DSLR thread.
  • An Olympic ...kerfuffle
  • A second sample from the Fuji F50fd has been posted, disected and discussed.
  • Can't stop shopping?
  • On pixels
  • What do you want to see in an potential Nikon D300?
  • Discussion on the Pentax DA * 15-50 F2.8
  • How is Pentax doing in the UK
  • Battery choices, NiMH vs Lithium vs CRV3

    Early edition
  • digitalcamera.jp informs us that Pentax learns a lesson in supply and demand. The demand for the smc PENTAX-DA * 50-135mmF2.8ED IF lens is much greater than the supply. This is both good news and bad news for Pentax users.
  • Interestingly shortly after the Fuji announcement, the price of the Fuji S6000fd (aka S6500fd) has gone up $20. Coincidence or someone is paying attention? Nevertheless, with the $50 mail-in rebate it remains one of the biggest bargains among current digital camera models at around $300.
  • And what is today's dessert? Well none other that the Fuji S8000fd!

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/27/07) (updated)"...
  • Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Photography Soup (7/26/07) (updated)

    Late Edition

  • Law & Order Camera & Photo edition: dpreview informs us that Kodak is suing Matsushita (Panasonic, JVC, etc) on Kodak patent infringement. Apparently similar cases were settled with Sanyo, Olympus and Sony. More at Bloomberg. I guess that's a better way for Kodak to make money, $80 cameras are not very profitable :-)
  • Panasonic users react to the new 18x Fuji S8000fd.
  • digitalcamera.jp is updated with the US announcements from Fuji. Of the seven cameras announced, only three are going to Japan right now (S8000fd, Z100fd, and of course F50fd). The UK and Singapore seems to be getting all seven, while the US is getting five (no Z100fd, no S5800fd).
  • Official F50fd sample picture(s) from Fuji
  • Pet Photography Tip: When I walk around I sometimes see posters for lost pets. And the pictures the people have are not very good at identifying the pet if you happen to run into it. So here is a tip for pet owners: Take nice and clean pictures of your pets such that you can use to make prints and posters in the unfortunate case of your pet being lost.
  • IrfanView and usability
  • How about some podcasts? (iPod not required)
  • Historical data: 2006 market share numbers in the USA market
  • Mosquito sucking photographer's blood. Link has pictures in it! If you are uncomfortable with the topic, do not click!
  • Wanna know more about the Olympus E1 successor? Could it go on sale in late September?
  • Confession time! Who uses 3rd party lenses?
  • A Sigma SD14 review, bound to cause an interesting discussion
  • How about a model?
  • 35mm full frame, another topic bound to cause a kerfuffle
  • Sensor size debate. Smaller sensors better? You decide.

    Morning Edition
  • The latest talk of the photo town are the seven new Fuji cameras!. Complete specs on all seven can be found at dpreview. This seems to answer the unanswered questions on the Fuji S8000fd: A 1/2.35" Bayer sensor and sensor-shift image stabilization. And a RAWsumer take on the new Fujis.
  • Awards time! Pop Photo gives out its 2007 Editor's Choice awards. Lots of cameras were given awards! Eight DSLRs, one digital RF, one larger than 35mm, and 21 non-dSLR digital cameras received awards. Granted there are over a hundred current digital camera models. Sadly my CokeBottle-on-a-Matchbox ultra-compact camera was a runner-up ;-) PopPhoto has a 207-page online Editors Choice article. Camera phones were also given awards, but sadly for film fans, nothing film-related. But regardless this looks like PopPhoto is finally "getting" the internet.
  • Today's dessert is the delicious looking Fuji Z10fd

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/26/07) (updated)"...
  • Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    New cameras from Fuji: F50fd, S8000fd, Z100fd, Z10fd, A920, F480, S5800fd

  • Details at DigitalCamera.jp
  • Recurring theme: Sensor-shift image stabilization, first 7th generation SuperCCD at 12mp, new version of face detection that can detect faces at angles or even profiles.

  • Fuji joins the 18x super zoom party with the S8000fd, featuring an 18x 27mm-486mm equivalent lens, 8mp sensor (presumably dropping to 1/2.5" size), not SuperCCD, September at 50,000 yen or $400 in the USA. Shoots at the blazing speed of 1.3 fps (three shots) at full resolution (how sad is that for a 2007 model!). It does have full manual controls, image stabilization, although it's not clear whether it's optical or sensor-shift (conficting reports), and runs on AA batteries. The sensor is also conflicting, some places say SuperCCD but the digitalcamera.jp story says "no honeycomb CCD". Fuji's Japanese site says it uses a 1/2.35" CCD, but not SuperCCD, and sensor-shift stabilization.

  • Once upon time known for their low noise performance, the F50fd goes megapixel crazy at 12mp 1/1.6". Ouch! But it addes sensor-shift stabilization, something Fuji was lacking. Late August and 45,000 yen. In the US, it is $300 in September. This one has full manual controls (hoooray!), a 2.7" LCD, ISO to the moon, an makeover portrait mode (I kid you not!), 230 CIPA LiIon. And to clear up the confusion, the F50fd is a new 12mp camera. The F40fd is at 8mp, the F45fd is a blue version of the F40fd, and the F47fd is a 9mp version of the F40fd. The F50fd is different.
  • Not to be outdone by the Sony T100, Fuji comes up with the Z100fd using a 5x optical zoom hidden inside the camera body. Also sensor-shift stabilization, 8mp 1/2.5" sensor, not SuperCCD, 40000 yen in late september. The Z100fd has not been announced for the US market!
  • Fuji's Japanese press release says that Fuji will adjust to the users of each market, so some cameras will be here, some there and some over there.
  • With that in mind, the following cameras were not announced in Japan today:

  • The Z10fd, a 7mp, 3x optical bijou for the Y generation with a blog function. Late September for $200. Jeff Keller (of dcresource) praises the design of this one. 2.5" LCD, 200 CIPA LiIon, in five fashionably vibrant colors.

  • The Fuji F480 on the entry-level of things, with 8mp and 4x optical starting at 28mm wide. Priced at $180 in the US this looks like a market share grabber candidate, with a September 2007 release. Also features 2.7" LCD, 230 CIPA LiIon battery.

  • The Fuji A920, a follow-up to the A900, remains at 9mp 1/1.6", 4x optical starting at 39mm, 2.7' LCD, uses 2 AA batteries for a change. The A920 is compatible with the Fujifilm WP-FXA800 Aquamask
  • But wait, there's more! According to CNet Asia there's also the S5800fd, which looks like a sequential update to the S5700 (aka S700). Specs of the S5800fd. It will be available in Singapore, not in Japan, not in the USA. I do not know about the rest of the world.
  • The Fuji CEO talked about having 10% market share based on CIPA numbers and wanting 15%. Not sure if he is talking about the Japanese market, or worldwide.
  • More details emerging at DCI, and at IR, dcresource, PopPhoto, and CNet's Crave Blog. Buy.com has the F50fd listed but their server cannot handle the hits at the moment.

    My Early Opinion
  • The introduction of sensor-shift stabilization was much needed for Fuji as they were the last of the major manufacturers to add it. This was the positive news.
  • And now the bad news: Pixel-stuffing the F50fd whose claim to fame was low noise performance at 6mp. We do have to give the 7th generation SuperCCD a chance to showcase its results, but we've already seen a loss in low noise improvements with the 8mp and 9mp 1/1.6" sensors. Finally Fuji added full manual control but not looking good on paper. Also gone is the SuperCCD sensor from the S8000fd, which opts for a standard 8mp 1/2.5" sensor and an 18x optical zoom that's becoming popular now. At least this one has image stabilization. The Camcorderization of Long Zooms continues!
  • The Z10fd and F480 look like models that could bring in new sales to Fuji, especially since they can take SD cards and they cost under $200

    UPDATE: Questions Answered! Unanswered questions on the Fuji S8000fd As of right now (3am New York time), there are unanswered questions on the Fuji S8000fd because of conflicting information on the various websites. Here is a quick summary:
  • Sensor: Is it a 1/2.5" standard, 1/2.35" standard, or 1/2.5" SuperCCD (not SuperCCD more likely). Update: It uses a 1/2.35" Bayer sensor, not SuperCCD.
  • Image Stabilization: Is it sensor-shift or optical. (Sensor-shift more likely). Update: It uses sensor-shift image stabilization
  • This will probably be sorted out by tomorrow morning.

    Read the rest of "New cameras from Fuji: F50fd, S8000fd, Z100fd, Z10fd, A920, F480, S5800fd"...
  • Photography Soup (7/25/07) (updated)

  • My previous post talking about the highly anticipated new Panasonic announcement has been updated with pictures of the Panasonic FZ18, FX55 and the FX33. Also updated at the RAWsumer blog. RAWsumer is relatively new blog that tries to keep track of all non-interchangeable lens cameras that support RAW.
  • Don't miss an update! Grab the RSS feed of this blog. And while you are at it, grab the RSS feed of the RAWsumer blog as well
  • It's July 25 but where are the new Nikon cameras? Well, so far we got a press note celebrating Nikon's 90th birthday! See below.
  • Imaging Insider discusses a new design concept by Samsung, the SS700, a digital camera photo frame.
  • Don't be shy when critizing a camera with all sorts of image quality problems!
  • A dpreview forum user is giving us his hands-on impressions on the Samsung L700 and has some surprising findings.
  • Yet another Canon 40D rumor, this time from a magazine

  • Google Chatter: There has been an increase in google chatter for "Kodak Z812 IS", presumably an 8mp 1/2.5" update of Kodak's optically-stabilized long zoom series. Unless of course Kodak decides to go longer, perhaps 15x or 18x.
  • UPDATE Aug-14-2007: Kodak has quietly posted the Z812-IS on their website

  • Another source for digital photography news: Kensei News & Information Service
  • A very interesting website both on photography and on classic film cameras and equipment is PhotoEthnography.com by Karen Nakamura, a Yale professor. This is the equipment page. Also a blog. The blog features a mini-review of the Panasonic LX2 as a field camera.

    Computer-translated News from Japan
  • Happy 90th birthday Nikon! There was a news item at digitalcamera.jp celebrating Nikon's birthday. A brief history of Nikon
  • Fuji firmware update for SDHC support in F40fd, S5700 (aka S700), A900, A800 and A610.
  • Two Sigma lenses will go on sale in late August, the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO HSM (around 69000 yen) and 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO HSM (around 79000 yen).

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/25/07) (updated)"...
  • Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Rumors: Is July 25 Nikon Day? A Nikon D3X tomorrow?

    The rumors are flying on tomorrow (Wednesday July 25) being Nikon day. NikonWatch.com, a website specializing on all things Nikon is linking to a Hong Kong website talking about a potential Nikon D3X. They also discuss the recent dpreview post talking about a pro and a semi-pro DSLR in August. They are also discussing the possibility of 20 new lenses. Other things mentioned: DXII sensor, potential D200s or D200x, and a lot more. For all the details, check Nikon Watch

    Read the rest of "Rumors: Is July 25 Nikon Day? A Nikon D3X tomorrow?"...

    New Kodak C513, 5mp CMOS sensor, 3x, and under $100

  • Buried among the excitement of the Panasonic FZ18 is the new Kodak C513, a very basic entry-level camera that becomes interesting because it uses Kodak's new 5mp CMOS sensor that Kodak recently talked about. The camera also features a 3x optical zoom lens, and is priced at under $100 MSRP. (Kodak said they were exiting the entry-level market. HA!).
  • Meet the Kodak C513: Uses a 5mp Kodak CMOS sensor, 3x optical zoom, 2.4" LCD, SD/MMC, AA batteries, under $100 MSPR price, coming out in August. It uses the KODAK KAC-05011 CMOS image sensor. It can even afford a "digital image stabilization" mode.
  • Kodak Press Release. A more detailed page from Kodak including specs. This page reveals a price of $80. Perhaps Kodak marketing was too embarassed to admit to a $80 price, so they wrote the press releases to say "under $100" which caused some speed-reading websites to report it as "$100 MSRP". Yes folks, you can have this camera for $80. And some cameraholics will buy it just out of CMOS-curiosity. The price will certainly not get in the way in this case :)
  • dpreview forum discussion of this here and here
  • More on this camera at dpreview which includes detailed specs, and PhotographyBlog, and engadget and digital trends, and Amateur Photographer UK

  • Opinion: A number of companies are eating Kodak's lunch, so they probably had to do this in order to maintain a respectable market share. Kodak managed to win 4-5 quarters in the US market a few years ago because it was the lowest price seller and the other manufacturers hesitated to introduce real low end models, perhaps worried about the cameraphones. But then one by one they came up with super cheap models. Samsung's S630 is 6mp, 3x at $100, Nikon L10 is 5mp, 3x at $100, even Canon has built-up it's super cheap A4xx series that's around $110-ish. And Sony has also made a market share grabber model, the S650 at $120-ish. I call all these cameras market-share grabbers for obvious reasons :)

    The camera is available at Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo

    Read the rest of "New Kodak C513, 5mp CMOS sensor, 3x, and under $100"...
  • Photography Soup (7/24/07)

  • Latest Nikon rumors from the D200/D100 forum talk of one new Pro and one semi-pro coming in August. The poster of the thread is a reputable forum users, so it's not just another rumor. But unless something is officially announced, it should be treated as rumor.
  • Sony Electronics has a new blog
  • Deep discount on PS CS3 from Adobe?
  • New blog feature: I have decided to do a new blog feature. At the end of each month I will be doing a recap of all the cameras announced during that month. Sort of like a quick summary for people to catch up and also a quick reference for the future! If you have any suggestions for other blog features and such, please do not hesitate to make them!
  • New cameras today: The Panasonic FZ18, FX33 and FX55, and the Kodak C513 using a 5mp Kodak CMOS sensor.
  • For those always on the lookout for yet another digital camera, without breaking the bank
  • I missed this one earlier, BenQ demoted its CEO after creating a big financial mess speckled with bad decisions.
  • How about some phototagging? (it's not what you may think it is!)
  • It was suggested to add some pictures since this blog is so full of ...text. So I'll be adding some ...dessert with each ...soup.

    Read the rest of "Photography Soup (7/24/07)"...
  • Official Panasonic announcement of FZ18, FX33 and FX55

  • dpreview officially announces the new Panasonic digital cameras that were leaked late last night. The three new cameras are the FZ18, along with the compact FX33 and FX55
  • The US price and availability is as follows: FZ18 $400 in September (Wow!), FX55 at $350 in September and FX33 at $300 (the mass market model). Unless you want a 3" LCD, the FX33 is the one to get. Prices according to dcresource
  • Sample pictures gallery from Panasonic Japan. First impressions by Pop Photo
  • Mark Peters took sample pictures at the Panasonic press conference in Dublin, Ireland.
  • dpreview Panasonic Talk forum reaction here
  • A nicely done graph mapping aperture and focal length by a Panasonic dpreview forum user!
  • Wall to wall discussions on the FZ18 in the dpreview Panasonic Talk forum. New threads with samples, commentary, and previews are showing up every few minutes. If you are interested in the FZ18, the dpreview Panasonic forum is the place to be! Also reaction from Canon users
  • Also taking an early look at the FZ18 is digitalcamerainfo and pixinfo. Given the multiple press events Panasonic held for these cameras in different countries, expect more of these to show up
  • An interesting comparison betwen the FZ18 and the Fuji S6000fd (aka S6500fd)

    Information from Japan
  • Japanese introduction of these cameras at digitalcamera.jp (computer-translated to english)
  • Production output: FZ18 at 15,000 units per month. FX55 at 30,000 units per month, while the FX33 is the mass market model at 70,000 units per month.
  • Colors in Japan: The FZ18 will be available in silver and black, the FX55 in silver, black and pink, while the mass market FX33 in silver, blue, shell white, blue and delicious chocolate brown.
  • Japanese prices: FZ18 for 55000 yen, FX55 for 45000 yen, and the FX35 for 42000 yen.
  • Some of the things mentioned in the presentation according to digitalcamera.jp: The FX30 and TZ3 are best sellers in Japan. The TZ3 is establishing a new genre of cameras. FX100 is in the top 10. Panasonic wants to be #1 in market share. Currently at 20% in Japan (I think).

    Can the FX-series get some love?
    Pictured below are the FX55, in three colors, in the first row, and the FX33 in four colors in the second row (blue, silver, chocolate brown and black). The main difference is a 3" LCD on the FX55. Based on the production numbers posted above Panasonic expects to sell a lot more FX33 than FX55.

    Read the rest of "Official Panasonic announcement of FZ18, FX33 and FX55"...