Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nikon D3 strikes back with deeper buffer!

Question: "How can an existing digital camera improve its physical specifications?"

Answer: "When a manufacturer offers a hardware update".

And that's what is happening to the buzz-king of DSLRs, the Nikon D3! Nikon is offering this service for an extra $500. This effectively doubles the shooting buffer for most situations, while for the all-important 14-bit RAW shooters it goes from 16 to 36 (or 37) shots in FX mode (35mm full frame), depending on the RAW compression mode chosen (lossless, uncompressed, compressed). More on this via Imaging Insider, at dpreview, and Rob Galbraith. For in-depth technical details on the burst mode improvements, be sure to look for Answer ID 15997 at the Nikon tech support page.

As you can see in the picture, the Nikon D3 stares down on the competition ;-) The Nikon D3 is currently selling at Amazon by Amazon itself for $4542 with free shipping. The buffer upgrade is NOT included!

For a list of D3 reviews, be sure to check the D3 reviews page at the DSLR Reference Map. The DSLR Map is blog that is the total opposite of this one: simple and non-chaotic. The DSLR Map is the evolution (or intelligent design if you prefer) of the DSLR Review Matrix.

For future reference, here is the permalink.

Reactions in the forums
What do the Nikon users think of the upgrade? We start with dpreview, where the D3 users are discussing. Another forum user uses this to speculate on D3x. And a price talk discussion with 50+ messages.

At the radio forums (FM, Fred Miranda), a buffer upgrade discussion is picking up momentum.

And what do the Photo Net users think of the upgrade? Shun Cheung starts the discussion.

At the LL-Cool-L forums (Luminous Landscape), one user wonders what will Nikon do, and presents three options as to the future. He also brings up the potential of a "D3s".

Read the rest of "Nikon D3 strikes back with deeper buffer!"...

Discover blog posts the fun way: Randomly!

With over 1000 posts in this wacky blog, it takes forever to go through them all. But now there is a much more fun way to discover them: the "Read Random Blog Post" button located at the top corner of the right column. Simply click on the button, and a random blog post from this blog will load. Click on it again, and another random post will appear. You can play this game forever! What gems will you uncover? Will you find any tragically unhip posts?

And if you can't wait to play, here is the button right below:

Please note that this won't work with rss feedreaders (online or desktop), since this is a javascript-powered button.

Thanks to the Purple Moggy for this fun widget!

Read the rest of "Discover blog posts the fun way: Randomly!"...

eBay Watch: Lot of 12 K-mount lenses (17 bids, $162 final price)

In this new segment, we find items of interest on eBay and present them to you. So what has caught our eye today? A 12-lens lot of K-mount lenses offered by Donovan's Kenmore Cameras. None of the lenses are Pentax-branded. Lenses included in the listing are Sears, Cosina, Tokina, CPC, Kalimar, Hanimex, Soligor, CPC, and JC Penney. Five days remain before the auction closes. The auction is now final! And as always with eBay auctions, please be sure to do your homework!

The image above is from the auction, courtesy of Donovan's Kenmore Camera.

If you want to research these lenses, B. Dimitrov's K-Mount Lens page is a great starting point, along with the PentaxForums, and the Pentax SLR Talk forum at dpreview.

Bid History snapshots

  • As of 1pm NYC time, Saturday, there are 2 bids and the current bid price is $21.50. This is what some may call a "poor man's LBA" :)
  • As of 845pm NYC time on Sunday, there are 3 bids and the current bid price is $31. 3 days and 20 hours remain before the eBay server rings the bell.
  • As of 1pm NYC time on Monday, there are 4 bids, highest bid at $34. Three days and four hours until the declaration of "auction complete!". The LBA sirens are calling!
  • As of 5:20pm NYC time on Monday, there are five bids, price is $36 and change. Two days and 23 hours remain!
  • As of 1pm NYC time on Tuesday, there are nine bids and the price is around $58. Two days and four hours remain before the auction ends!
  • As of noon NYC time on Wednesday, there are 13 bids and the price is $103. One day and four hours remain until someone gets a bag full of K-mount lenses.
  • As of noon NYC time on Thursday, there are 15 bids and the price is $123. Less than five hours remain! See the countdown clock above for an exact time estimate, regardless of your time zone
  • And we have the final results! The auction is complete, and the lucky winner is getting 12 lenses for $162, roughly $13 per lens! Feed your inner LBA! 17 bids were placed in this auction.

PS> If you have seen any exciting or "bang for the buck" eBay auctions, please let us know by email, and we may feature them in an upcoming "eBay Watch" segment.

Read the rest of "eBay Watch: Lot of 12 K-mount lenses (17 bids, $162 final price)"...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New 56mp Leaf AFi 10 medium format (Medium Format Strikes Back!)

Medium format strikes back once again with a third 50+ megapixel offering. We've already seen the megapixel-leading 60mp Phase One P65+, and the 50mp Hasselblad H3DII-50, using a Kodak CCD sensor.

Meet the Leaf AFi 10
Now we turn the ...leaf, with a new 56mp Leaf AFi camera and digital back, using a Dalsa (not salsa) sensor, at 6 microns. But the most "fun" aspect of this is a internal sensor rotator, the sensor flips in place and you can go from portrait to landscape and vice versa. This is of interest, because the resolution is 9288x6000, and you don't want to be on the wrong side of the crop :)

Other major features include 1fps speed, ISO 50-800, 56x36mm sensor size, and files 114MB/171MB (MOS/RGB TIF 8bit).

Leaf AFi 10 on the Net
Direct from the horse's mouth, there is a Leaf Afi 10 mini-site, with some details along with specifications and a PDF datasheet (direct PDF link, 2 pages long).

There are two informative discussions of the new announcement to check:

  1. Luminous Landscape forums
  2. GetDPI forums. Interestingly, the person who started the thread (related to Leaf/Kodak) says "more to come".

Details of this at Studio Lighting, Photography Blog, and DC Views. Image Sensors World verifies the sensor manufacturer.

Desensitized perhaps by the 50mp and 60mp models, this one has not generated as much buzz, even though it looks like an interesting alternative for the medium format crowd.

Do note that there is a popular music group called "AFI", which may create some confusion :) Be sure to bookmark this post and share it with your friends using the permalink.

Read the rest of "New 56mp Leaf AFi 10 medium format (Medium Format Strikes Back!)"...

B&H Photo has Nikon D700 (body only: out of stock, with 24-120 shipping)

Update again II! Now it has gone into "back ordered" mode...

Thanks to one of our readers for the update! The Nikon D700 body only is now out of stock at B&H Photo (price is $3000 plus shipping and handling). However, the Nikon D700 plus 24-120mm VR is currently shipping for $3600 plus shipping and handling fees. We do not know how many units B&H Photo has, or how big the demand is, so be sure to check early and often if you are interested.

In fact the demand for this was so big, that B&H Photo stopped accepting email notification requests on the availability of the D700s. Another indicator of their popularity. While the D700 doesn't have the Beatle-mania of the D3/D300 power duo, it comes a close second so far.

The D700 is also shipping from Calumet, J&R World, OneCall, Ritz/Wolf, and Amazon.

The Life of the Nikon D700 so far

  1. Announcement on July 1st
  2. Various sample pictures, big and small, hit the internet from every corner of the globe
  3. First hands-on review by Dr Nyman of Still Photographie.
  4. Second hands-on review by LL-Cool-Landscapes, also known as Luminous Landscape
  5. And now, D700 starts shipping

Read the rest of "B&H Photo has Nikon D700 (body only: out of stock, with 24-120 shipping)"...

New Tamron 18-270mm Di-II VC zooms past all zoom lenses

Oh boy! If you think the "horsepower" battles are only among the number of megapixels and the zoom ratio of fixed lens digital cameras, think again! Tamron has pushed the envelop(e) again, this time with an 18-270mm Di-II (digital only) VC (vibration correction, aka stabilized) lens. This is Tamron model B0003.

This roughly translates to 28-420mm, and it joins the fixed-lens superzooms with a 15X zoom ratio. Zoom! Zoom! It will be available in Canon and Nikon flavors, and the Nikon flavor will have a built-in focus motor to facilitate one of its major target audiences, the D40/D40x and D60 users.

We searched Amazon but could not find it listed for pre-orders.

Coverage on the net

Reactions in the forums
It's just 28 ounces exclaims a Nikon user.

Is this going to kill Fuji S100fs sales, asks a worried Finepix user.

The non-denominational News forum users have a detailed existential discussion.

And how good will it be asks someone in the Pentax forum.

Read the rest of "New Tamron 18-270mm Di-II VC zooms past all zoom lenses"...

Photography Shows on TV (August 2008)

Welcome to another "photography tv guide". All times mentioned here are pacific. Please always double-check with your local listings. Schedule may change at any time. This post is not updated live.

Ant Wars (Science Channel)
Macrophotography work on ants and their "adventures". On August 6, 6pm, 9pm, and 1am.

When Cameras Cross the Line (Fox Reality)
Yes, paparazzi is the theme of this reality TV show, on Fox-Reality. Scheduled to air at 4pm and 10pm on August 6.

Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks (HBO Signature)
The title says it all. A must see. August 7 at 4:35am. If you don't have HBO or TiVo or you don't want to stay up late, you can buy the DVD (Amazon, $22).

Digital Photography Made Easy (QVC)
Make fun of clueless reps and spaced-out studio hosts as they try to figure out how to turn on a camera ;-) 2pm on August 9.

40 most shocking celebrity mugshots (VH1)
Move over Ansel Adams! 1am on August 3rd.

Look-a-like (TV Guide channel)
A photographer wants to look like a reality tv starlet. Noon on 7/31.

Craft Lab: Photographic floral arrangement (DIY Channel)
1130am on August 7. As the title suggests.

Impact: Stories of Survival "Photographer Electrocuted" (Discovery Health)
At 1am August 2nd. This is one of many stories in the feature.

A Makeover Story: "Knicks City Knockouts" (Discovery HD Theater (HDT))
Dancers prepare for team photo-shoot.

Get Married (Lifetime)
This reality TV show features among other things the photography of Mike Colon. Airs at 730am on August 1st.

Movies with photography theme

  1. Guinevere (1999), Encore and Starz on 7/31 and 8/1
  2. Bereft (2004), Showtime Women Channel, 8/1
  3. November (2004), IFC, 8/1 and 8/2
  4. Bound by Lies (2005), Showtime, 8/4 and 8/5
  5. The Caveman's Valentine (2001), Encore and Starz, 8/4, 8/5, 8/9

If you are worried about ratings, suitability and "subject matter", please do your own research. We are not your cyber nanny :)

Read the rest of "Photography Shows on TV (August 2008)"...

New Pentax Optio M60 joins the E60 (10mp 1/2.33", 5x optical, 210 CIPA)

Hot on the heels of the quietly announced Optio E60, Pentax follows up with the brand new battery-starved Optio M60.

Meet the Pentax Optio M60
Just like the E60, the M60 is powered by the 10mp 1/2.33" sensor, which is the sensor du jour in 2008. But the M60 features a 5x optical zoom lens, with an equivalent focal range of 36-180mm. It does not have optical or mechanical image stabilization, but offers a "digital" version, which usually means adjusting the ISO and shutter speed and things like that.

It has a 2.5" LCD (230k dots), uses SD/MMC memory cards, and is powered by the Rechargeable lithium-ion D-LI78, which has a rather low battery of 210 CIPA. Meanwhile the E60 can get there in CIPA measurements with disposable alkalines. Aye!

Coverage on the Net

We searched Amazon which usually is among the first to offer newly announced cameras, but we did not find any pre-orders as of the time of writing of this blog post.

The M60 has been added to the Digital Camera Reference List.

Read the rest of "New Pentax Optio M60 joins the E60 (10mp 1/2.33", 5x optical, 210 CIPA)"...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let there be light! Lightroom 2.0 is released (and Camera RAW 4.5 too!) [updated]

Yes, Lightroom 2.0 has been released to the world! David Ziser of Digital Pro Talk has been using the Beta version for a while, and now he has prepared a 17-minute video tutorial on Lightroom2. A great job by Digital Pro Talk!

And you don't have to wait long for a web review! Mike Pasini at Imaging Resource has already posted a Lightroom 2.0 review. As always, we won't spoil the conclusions, you have to jump to the bottom of the review and DIY... There's also another review featured on Adobe's blogs, by Ian Lyons, you can read the full review after jumping about half a dozen links on Adobe's urls, or you can go directly to the feature review at

But it's not just Lightroom! Camera Dojo informs us that there is also the Camera Raw 4.5 release today! Raw 4.5 adds support for the Olympus duo of the adorable E420 and the sensor-shift-stabilized E520 DSLRs. Also be sure to check their LR2 video overview.

There is also a (free) public beta for the DNG Profile Editor 1.0 and camera profiles. And speaking of free, the DNG Converter converts 190 RAW digital cameras to DNG.

The full Adobe press release can be found at the Imaging Insider.

Reactions in the blogosphere
Photoshop guru Scott Kelby has wall to wall coverage of LR2, including a comparison of his wish list vs the actual LR2 feature set. How close was it? We won't reveal! No spoilers here :) And if you live in a major city, there is a full day "My Lightroom 2 Live Tour" and workshop coming up!

Terry White informs us on his blog that the NAPP has launched a free Lightroom 2 learning center. Yes, free! But that's just the tip of the iceberg. In this must-read post Terry White goes in detail pointing out the cool LR2 features, and also has a 22-point comparison between LR2 and LR1. Be sure to read and bookmark!

A round-up of LR2 coverage can be found at Papa Bear's blog ;-) Oops, it's the other O'Reilly, the O'Reilly media Lightroom blog

Wall to wall coverage of all the new stuff also at Inside Lightroom, and at Lightroom News, including a week old interview with LR UI designer Phil Clevenger.

Ryan Brenizer talks Lightroom and colors on his blog.

"Ten things I like about LR2", blogs Thomas Hawk.

One of the Popular Photography blogs has posted a first look at LR2. Post by Debbie Grossman, a senior editor at Pop Photo. And tomorrow she will be posting about her recent trip to the Adobe factory. Factory??? Stay tuned to find out :)

Heninger Fotographik has posted their 10 favorite things about the new LR2. This is a detailed list, with screen-shots showcasing each one of the items discussed.

Reactions in the Forums
A 19-post discussion on LR2 in the dpreview news forum and the retouching forum.

The new Camera Raw profiles are discussed in the Open Talk forum and the Retouching forum.

After his excellent video tutorial at the top of the blog, Digital Pro Talk talks about their ten favorite things about LR2, from a wedding photographer's perspective. And if you want more on the LR2, be sure to check their round-up of LR2 posts from around the blogosphere.

Buying Adobe Lightroom 2

You can buy Lightroom 2 directly from Adobe for $300 if you are a new user, and for $100 if you are upgrading. The download is close to 100mb and has the benefit that you can use the new software almost immediately... Adobe has a number of promotions to save more and they all involve buying Photoshop CS3 (extended or full or upgrade) combined with Lightroom 2 (full or upgrade). Combined savings can be as little as $50 if you buy both upgraders, and as much as $125 if you buy both full/extended versions. They also offer other combinations: full/upgrade or upgrade/full.

If you prefer the boxed edition, Amazon is offering it for pre-order for $290, with free shipping and an estimated shipping date of August 15, 2008. If you are upgrading from the previous version, then you can pre-order the upgrade for $95. Also free shipping and August 15 estimated release date.

Lightroom 2 Books Coming up
Scott Kelby has a 450-page book coming up on New Riders on LR2, "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers", with a pre-order price of $30 and a pre-order price guarantee.

Martin Evening has a new book coming up as well, but you can't buy it this evening, you have to place a pre-order. The book is now shipping from Amazon, my joke is ruined! The book is "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers" (Now Shipping!)

But that's just the tip of the book iceberg. There's a lot more books coming up:

Read the rest of "Let there be light! Lightroom 2.0 is released (and Camera RAW 4.5 too!) [updated]"...

Impact review: Nikon SB-900 by Thom Hogan

Nikon super-guru Thom Hogan has posted his review of the Nikon SB-900, adding up to the review of lighting sensation Strobist which we covered a few days ago.

A nice discussion of the review in the Nikon dpreview forum. And for the battery geeks, a discussion on what batteries to use with the SB-900.

Read the rest of "Impact review: Nikon SB-900 by Thom Hogan"...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Noisy at Nite: A very busy day

On busy days, when we post just way too many things, we try to summarize the day's action for our readers who are just now checking in, with the "Noisy at Nite" round-up. And today is one of those days for sure!

Noisy Shopper Express: Apple MacBook Air price drop
And if that wasn't enough, the Apple Store has just lowered the prices for the super-skinny 1.8GHz MacBook Air to $2600 from the previous price of $3100.

Read the rest of "Noisy at Nite: A very busy day"...

Photokina 2008 Speculation: Power Compacts

We continue our on-going series with the "power compacts", the fixed-lens digital cameras that support RAW natively or are advanced enough one way or another to be of interest to photographers. We've already had a special on superzooms, so we won't discuss them here. It's best to explain this by looking at the type of cameras discussed below.

Photographer's Compacts
More LikelyLess Likely
speed demon

Canon G10, CMOS sensors and big A-series
The safest bet is that Canon will release some kind of a G9 replacement. The questions are: 1) how many and 2) what. We think that a sequential G9 update will happen regardless of what else they do. Some people are calling this the "Powershot G10", and are estimating that it will be using the 14-megapixel (okay, 13.7mp) sensor that we first saw in the Sony Cybershot W300.

What type of a camera the G10 may be may depend on what else Canon decides to announce. It's no secret that Canon is planning to unleash non-DSLR digital cameras using their own CMOS sensors at some point in the future. If they are indeed ready to unleash them at Photokina, they may do so with a bang, perhaps producing a camera with a bigger sensor than the 1/1.7". Whether they'll go to 2/3" or larger or even all the way to APS-C/DX, it will be interesting to see.

One thing that would please traditional G-series fans is if they get the G-series back in spirit, not just in name. Don't get me wrong, both the G7 and the G9 are great cameras on their own, especially considering prices and the competition. But when compared to the traditional G-series, one is justified to call them GINO (G-series in name only).

So some of the possibilities are:
  1. Sequential G9 update with the 14mp 1/1.7" sensor
  2. Sequential G9 update with the 15mp 1/1.7" sensor (oh dear!)
  3. Sequential G9 update but not jumping to higher megapixels (please?)
  4. Beefed up G9 update (speed, buffer, BATTERY, etc)
  5. G9 update using the new Canon CMOS sensors instead
  6. More advanced model using the new Canon CMOS sensor

Our prediction? There will be a sequential G9 update and if Canon decides to unleash its new CMOS sensors, it is likely that they will have one more advanced/expensive camera above the "G10". If their CMOS sensors are similar in size, but offer some other significant advantages (eg lower noise, dynamic range, HDR, etc) they may release the same body in two sensor configurations, and charge more for the CMOS version.

Unless of course they follow the example of Kodak and launch their home-grown CMOS sensors with a 5-megapixel 1/2.5" sensor. OUCH!

On the big-sensor A-series front, the A650-IS is holding down the fort, after Canon went away from the dual camera strategy. The A650-IS was supposed to be a poor man's G9, but A650 proponents will point out that the A650-IS actually has twice the battery life. Just like the G9, the A650 IS was announced last August, so a replacement is very likely. We expect a sequential update, let's call it A660-IS, likely using the 14mp 1/1.72" sensor. We hope that Canon does the right thing and offers RAW with it, but the chances are against it :(

Nikon SeriousPix for real this time?
We forgot about the biggest one of the whole lot, but thankfully one of our readers reminded us in the comments section: The highly anticipated/wished-for APS seriously serious fixed-lens camera from Nikon. This has been buzzing around the forums for a while now, and with the APS-C/DX size sensors becoming more and more affordable, it could make an exciting yet relatively affordable model. Needless to say there is pent up demand for advanced fixed-lens and "EVILs" and the first one who gets it right, could have a big hit on their hands. Look at what it did for Ricoh in the 1/1.8" segment. Now imagine if it has the Nikon label on it instead and uses a "DSLR-size" sensor. We are cautiously optimistic on this one, because a potential letdown would be a big drop. [New!]

Nikon has teased fans of small cameras twice now with the P5000 and the P5100, but despite using a 1/1.7" sensor, they did not offer RAW. Offering RAW would have made both of these cameras more desirable.

The rumors and leaks on the internets are pointing to a Coolpix P6000 using the aforementioned 14mp 1/1.7" sensor, RAW, hot-shoe, wide-angle and such. That would be a good start for sure! It's been a while since Nikon announced a RAWsumer and it's about time. The renaissance of their DSLR line-up has tidal impact, and adding a serious Coolpix will make the tide go higher.

And what about a P5x00 model? The P5000 came out in early 2007 and the P5100 at Fauxtokina 2007, so it looks like there is room for a P5200 if the six-month pattern holds. The P5200 would most likely be a sequential update, and not offering the more advanced features one would hope/expect to find in the P6000. But there is a also the possibility that if there is a P6000, there may not be a P5200 at this time. Nikon has been known to keep Coolpix models around longer than the average digital camera manufacturer.

Vroooom! How about the Sony 6mp 1/1.8" speed-demon sensor?
There is nothing that binds the speed-demon sensor found in the Casio EX-F1 to superzooms, so we may see it in a compact digital camera. Granted, it makes more sense in a superzoom because then you can also draw from the camcorder crowd, but one could make a speed-demon compact, something that hasn't been done in recent memory.

Theoretically anyone could make this, realistically, we don't know if anyone would. Either way, this would be a fun camera to make, and as the market gets more and more congested, perhaps the manufacturers will open their minds and start trying new things. And this would be one of those new things!

Kodak escapes the mid-range?
It's been a while. No, not the song, but since Kodak attempted a non-mid-range digital camera. We are taking of course about the misunderstood P880. Considering Kodak's release history, this may be the year we get a new one because it is after all Photokina. But on the other hand Kodak has handed off digital cameras to a 3rd party, so that decreases the chances.

Our prediction? It would be nice to see such as a camera from Kodak, but we don't think we'll get one at/by Photokina 2008.

Sony wake up please!
If you look at the Sony forums and blogs, you may have seen a petition circulating, asking Sony to come up with a V5. The mythical V5 of course would be a resurrection of their V1 and V3 line. Considering what Sony has now, either a V1 or V3 re-emergence would be welcome.

With more companies shyly returning to the prosumer/RAWsumer segment, Sony cannot be left behind, especially if they want to be #1. And they don't have to take a big risk, a 1/1.72"-based camera with RAW, hot-shoe, manual control, photographer-priority features and things like that would satisfy a number of Sony fans.

For bonus points of course Sony could go for a more advanced digital camera. After all it was Sony who brought us the now-legendary R1 and the "Big Daddy" F-series models (F707, F717, F828). And for even more bonus points, they could revitalize and modernize the Minolta A-series too!

So as you can see, Sony has plenty of options based on the blended history and tradition of both Sony and Minolta prosumers. We hope they do wake up and produce more cameras in this segment. Realistically, one "safe" "V-series type" model is possible. The more exotic models? We hope but don't expect them. Sony, prove us wrong!!!

Fuji, your SuperCCD children are waiting!
Fuji is quite possibly the manufacturer that deserves the award of under-utilizing their advantages over the competition. No need to rehash their inability to capitalize on their 6mp "magic" SuperCCD sensor.

The E900 is three years old, and Fuji has not released any non-superzoom "serious" model since. They have been very stingy with the features on their F100fd/F50fd models, and stingy on the use of sensors that showed a competitive advantage to the traditional Sony sensors.

Their strategy to release multiple models in different markets at different times is a bit strange, to put it mildly, and it's not helping the brand from a global perspective.

So having said all that, what would Fuji do? The F100fd was announced in January 2008, and the F50fd in July 2007, so there is some sequential-momentum (hope) for a F120fd or so that would build upon and improve on the F100fd. RAW is one of the things that would make people happy, and make the cameras more appealing to the non-Fuji fans, just like the addition of SD cards did.

While not in lockstep with Sony on megapixel numbers, Fuji has been trying to keep up with the Bayer-Joneses. A welcome surprise was the "moderation" they showed with the 11-megapixel 2/3" sensor in the S100fs. But we wouldn't be surprised if they pulled out a 15-megapixel SuperCCD either at Photokina or PMA 2009.

And speaking of the 11mp 2/3" CCD, I'm sure there would be a niche for an advanced compact using that and offering some kind of wide-angle, perhaps 28mm since the larger sensor could/would make a wider lens more difficult/expensive.

Infact, Serious Compacts has pointed out that Fuji could make a really nice digital camera if they borrowed ideas from the body and design of the Fujiklasse film cameras. A "luxury" advanced compact to make Leica fans jealous and happy at the same time?

And a bearish prediction: Sadly, nothing in this segment at/by Photokina 2008.

Olympus, the C-series is calling
Olympus is another company that once upon a time was synonymous with advanced digital cameras, but since then, they have slowly and steadily faded out of the segment. They signaled a return to RAW with the SP-superzooms, and have been making 1/1.8"-based Stylus models, but nothing "serious".

So will Olympus try to jump back on the bandwagon or take a wait and see approach? They do offer affordable DSLRs, and the E410/E420 are adorably small, so they may not want to tempt Olympus fans with non-FourThirds cameras at the $500 price point.

Let's not forget that Olympus's prosumer swan song earned raving reviews from dpreview's Phil Askey, so it would be interesting to see what they could come up with if they decided to go for it, and put their hearts in it.

Once again, we are having a bearish prediction, NADA from Olympus in this segment, but once again we will be thrilled if we are proven wrong in our predictions! The ultimate win-win situation? :-)

Pentax Opt-es out again
Not many puns with a name like Optio so forgive the "opt out". Pentax is concentrating on specific niches, and historically they haven't really gone after the serious non-DSLRs, so we don't expect anything other than perhaps a sequential A-series model. Their last A-series model was the battery-troubled A40.

Casio watches the clock, anything?
Once upon a time Casio was an influential manufacturer in the market. But then the big electronics giants and the SLR traditionalists jumped in, and Casio's influence and market share subsided outside of Japan.

While Casio is no stranger to making semi-serious models, they went all cutesy the last couple of years, but that streak was broken by the speed-demon, the EX-F1.

This raises the potential of a possibility of perhaps Casio looking at the possibility of a feasibility study of the potential of re-entering this market. They have after all done the R&D for the Casio EX-F1, so they can make the most out of their investment by cutting/pasting what they developed into other models.

Prediction? Once again bearish, we don't see anything advanced coming, but as alawys, we'll be pleasantly surprised if they do come up with something photographically fun!

Samsung wants to be #1 without RAW
Samsung tried their hand with exactly one advanced non-DSLR of their own. And it was a big one, the Pro815, but they haven't really released anything else in the above-the-mid-range segment. At the same time Samsung wants to take over the global #1 in terms of market share, but we think it's hard for a company to be a global #1 without a presence that gets the enthusiast-photographers involved and excited about the brand, and sparking sales among the average electronic superstore consumers.

And while their newly announced TL34hd (NV100hd) wears the megapixel-crown at the moment, it doesn't really have the features that allow it to escape the orbit of the Planet Mid-Range (no RAW, hot-shoe, etc).

We have another empty prediction, but Samsung, please prove us wrong :)

Panasonic Loves RAW, anything else in the cupboards?
Panasonic spared us the predictions when they announced four hot new cameras that include the tempting LX3, the megapixel-bloated FX150 (but with RAW!), and the RAW FZ28. If only more digital camera manufacturers showed more "RAW love".

With Venus Engine IV promising a new wave of miracles and wonders, and Monet showing unbelievable staying power (ouch!), Panasonic may be done in non-DSLRs for 2008. If you look at their historical announcement patterns, they rarely squirt new non-DSLRs after July. Their two DSLRs came at PMA 2006 and Fauxtokina 2007 (August), which may suggest an 18-month cycle, in which case perhaps the DSLR fans may have to wait until PMA 2009.

One possibility (read: wishful thinking) is to put a Four Thirds sensor in a fixed-lens body. They did have a solid fixed lens camera in the 2/3"-based Panasonic LC-1 so there is a slimmer of hope. Perhaps if they are not planning to announce a mass-market sub-$1000 DSLR this year, a more advanced fixed-lens camera becomes less unlikely.

And of course there's always the possibility of a big FZ-series model with RAW, which is covered in the SuperZooms speculation.

Sigma loves Foveon, Foveon loves Sigma
Normally we wouldn't expect anything, but the Sigma founder told Amateur Photographer UK earlier this year that two more DP-series models are coming, and quite possibly one of them may have a zoom lens of some sort.

We know what a Foveon sensor is, we know what the Sigma DP1 is, but we don't know what the alleged DP2 and DP3 may be. If they stick to prime lenses, they will obviously try different focal lengths that appeal to different crowds, and if they try a zoom lens, they will try something that is technically feasible and at the same time photographically practical.

As far as the timing and availability of these, we are obviously on "Sigma time" and judging by the DP1, your dart shot is as good as mine. But one would hope that after the DP1, Sigma may have straightened up their processes and may be able to deliver faster.

GE, the new kid in town
GE is not exactly going to take the market by storm from the top tier, but if they want to get "pho cred" they have to make cameras that at least partially appeal to photography enthusiasts. We don't expect them to do so this year. Maybe in 2009 or 2010, assuming they are still in the market. (Ouch! Who let the Bears in?)

HP, well, we had to include them
We are including them for completeness, we don't really expect anything serious from HP.

Leica, Leica, where are you Leic-a-sonics?
It has been a while since we saw a new Leica-sonic! Wlll we get 2-3 of them at Photokina 2008? Obviously the new LX3 screams Leica version, so if they do just one, this might be it. But I think we will also see one of the three 25mm FX-series models (FX35, FX37, FX500) in Leica uniform. As far as the superzooms, I'm not sure, the TZ5 is a fun camera, but I don't know if it will appeal as a Leica model? The other Leica possibility is the FX150, and RAW would make it even more Leica-palatable. And the 15-megapixel sensor would give Leica fans megapixel-bragging-rights beyond the Red Dot.

Ricoh rebooted the RAWsumers! Well done!
With the GX200 just recently announced, and the GRD II announced in late October 2007, Ricoh is set on their power duo line-up going into the 2008 holiday shopping season.

Their GX100 and GRD I were quite possibly what has put pressure on the other digital camera manufacturers to revisit this segment, and it is quite possible that in the next few months they may be "outdone" by the Big Boys. But we have to take a moment and praise Ricoh for revitalizing this segment.

Speculation Discussions in the blogosphere
  1. Serious Compacts
  2. LightDescription speculates on future Canon G-series models

More Photokina Rumors, Speculations and Predictions

  1. Photokina 2008 rumors
  2. DSLR Speculation and Predictions
  3. SuperZoom speculation and predictions
  4. Vote on rumors digg-style at
  5. World of Imaging, a Photokina site
  6. Official Photokina website
  7. RAWsumer speculation
  8. 2007 Fauxtokina Speculation and Predictions
  9. The DigitalCameraList has all the current and recent models. For the RAWsumers and power compacts, check column #2. RAW is indicated in italics next to the camera's name

Read the rest of "Photokina 2008 Speculation: Power Compacts"...

Even the mighty fall (was: 40D jumbo drop - New Top Sellers Charts)

Welcome to a new episode of the on-going market-opera that is the Amazon top selling digital camera charts. Avoid the spoilers, and jump to today's new top sellers episode!. The screen-shot teaser below is also a link to the new chart.

Canon dSLRs: With the Canon 40D jumping to higher prices after the end of the instant rebates, the D-Rebel XSi 450D EF-S IS kit, now under $800, is the king of all DSLRs, running unopposed in the top ten, with the next DSLR being the XTi 400D at #20... As expected, the bottom fell out of the 40D body only, dropping from #8 to #23, with a price of around $975, sold and shipped by Amazon, versus the cool instant rebate price of $900... Meanwhile the 40D+EF28-135ISUSM (decode the name and win fabulous prizes?) has pulled on the breaks and managed to remain in the top 50, after its dramatic drop. The price is around $1300 compared to $1100+ during the Instant Rebate Glory days.

Nikon DSLRs: The top ten is a distance memory for the Nikon D60 VR kit. A dip under $600 was what propelled the kit in the top ten, but the price of $630 is sending it back to its regular spots, floating towards the end of the top 25.

SuperZoom Wars: Canon restores order in the universe, as the S5-IS finally reclaims the [Top Zoom] belt from the wacky trio of Panasonic TZ5 funzooms. What made the S5-IS jump was a $300 price from Amazon itself, which now has it in a "1 to 2 month" backorder status... The TZ5K follows up closely, still in the top ten!

HyperZoom Wars: The FZ18K continues to be carried upwards thanks to the "magic" $289 price via Vanns. Now that Vanns has gone to $300 and the FZ28 is announced, what will happen? Only time will tell... Meanwhile, the Nikon P80 continues to show staying power as it remains around the Top 30 and is waiting for the FZ18 to drop out of the Top 25, so it can claim the [Top HyperZoom] belt... Meanwhile the Sony H50 is trying to establish itself at the bottom of the Top 50, and being the #3 hyperzoom of the top 100... Next in line is the Olympus SP-570uz, which is the most expensive of all current hyperzooms... Fuji made price adjustments of its own, and at $340, the 18X S8100fd has returned in the top 100. Will it stay? Will it go? Stay tuned to find out!

Beyond Canon and Nikon DSLRs: Olympus is cheering because the expiration of the Pentax Gear Up rebates caused the two Pentax K-series DSLRs to drop, and made the E510 2-lens kit at $600 the top non-CaNiKoN DSLR... But the K200D kit is the second one despite having doubled up from #35 to #73. The end of the $100 mail-in rebate was an essential $100 price hike, and you don't need Alan Greenspan to figure out that $550 is better than $650... Representing the Alpha, but just barely, is the Sony A300K (A300 + 18-70 DT lens) at the bottom of the top 100.

New in the Hot 100: Make shy humble entries in the Hot 100 are the black Olympus Stylus 1010 and the silver Panasonic TZ50>. As you can guess, the reason the TZ50 wireless made its Top 100 debut is because its price dropped way off the list price of $400, selling for $320 by Amazon itself.

LX3 watch: The LX3K, which in typical Panasonic fashion is the most popular among the colors, has dropped from #79 to #90, on the strength of pre-orders alone.

Read the rest of "Even the mighty fall (was: 40D jumbo drop - New Top Sellers Charts)"...

New Pentax Optio E60 pushes entry-level with 10mp 1/2.33" sensor

Hooray for fans of the Pentax Optio E-series! All three of you will be thrilled to know that today Pentax is announcing a new model, the E60 :) The press release can be found at the Imaging Insider.

Meet the Pentax Optio E60

The 10mp 1/2.33" sensor is not the only pleasant surprise in this camera. This will be popular among the "greenies" as it can take up to 200 shots on alkalines and 600+ on lithium. Being on lithium in a good kind of way. No numbers are given for AA NiMH batteries, but judging by the alkalines and lithium disposables, it looks quite promising. These are CIPA numbers based on standardized CIPA testing, so your actual usage numbers will vary.

The lens is of course your typical 3x, but it is slightly wider than usual, it starts at 32mm, which will be seen as a plus for fans of wider than 38mm, and as a minus for those who want a longer reach. The display is a thrifty one, a 2.4" (112K) which is why Pentax can make this one available at around $140. The estimated shipping date is $140. We checked Amazon as of the time of writing but did not find the E60 listed for pre-orders.

More E60 coverage on the net

The E60 has been added to the spartan yet comprehensive Digital Camera List.

Update! The Japanese announcement is now official and there we learn that the initial monthly production output will be 75,000 units per month, which makes sense for a mass-market affordable AA-based point and shoot digital camera. This and a lot more, computer-translated, via Pentax Japan.

Read the rest of "New Pentax Optio E60 pushes entry-level with 10mp 1/2.33" sensor"...

Photokina 2008 Superzoom speculation and predictions

We started the giant Photokina 2008 DSLR Speculation and Predictions yesterday, and we continue today with the fixed-lens digital cameras that have a zoom ratio of 10X or more, aka the superzooms. Stay tuned for upcoming posts for RAWsumers/prosumers and the ultracompacts. Please note that this is speculation and predictions, not to be confused with the Photokina rumors or facts. By definition, speculation casts a wider net.

This will be updated multiple times, so if you want to keep up with the updates be sure to bookmark it using the permalink.

Photokina SuperZoom Predictions
Canon Superzooms

Superzooms with the 6mp 1/1.8" speed demon sensor?

Fuji superzooms

Sony superzooms

Panasonic SuperZooms

Leica superzooms

Olympus superzooms

Kodak SuperZooms

Nikon superzooms

Samsung superzooms

Pentax superzooms

New Term: A RAWZoomer!

Photokina 2008 Speculation and Predictions: The SuperZooms

This is the hottest segment of the non-DSLR digital camera market among photography enthusiasts at the moment. The superzooms picked up the mantle when the traditional SLR manufacturers pulled the rug from underneath the Prosumers/RAWsumers when DSLRs starting becoming feasibly affordable.

Will anyone else use the 6mp 1/1.8" Speed-demon sensor? Not Sure
Certainly Casio did, with their super-fast, super-serious, sweet-delirious EX-F1 (now we owe REM 5-cents in royalties), but since then, it was a bit of a surprise not to see anyone else take advantage of the speed-demon capabilities of this sensor. We obviously do not know whether Casio had an exclusive on the sensor, or the price is prohibitively expensive or perhaps the companies who also sell camcorders do not want to tinker with their camcorder sales by offering a camera than can do both, and really fast.

So with the technobabble out of the way, it is time for a prediction. Well, sort of, because our crystal ball is very hazy on this one. Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Samsung all have a long line of camcorders and presumably would not want to risk sales of both their current superzooms and their camcorders by offering a viable all-in-one model. But Sony makes the sensor! Sure, they do, but will they make a camera too?

So who is left? Fuji? Olympus? Nikon? Kodak? Pentax? Another one from Casio? Olympus certainly has the tradition of the UZi (C2100uz) and EZi (E100/RS), so they could be a good candidate. Fuji already has their own giantsumer (Fuji S100fs), while Nikon, Kodak and Pentax depend on 3rd parties. Would a 3rd party maker take the risk of offering an expensive camera like that in different flavors?

The bottom line: Crystal ball hazy, would be mildly (and pleasantly) surprised if we saw more than one of these announced at or by Photokina 2008. Heck, even one of them would be nice, preferably available for sale online as well (*hint* *hint* Casio, e-commerce is calling).

Canon Superzooms: S5-IS and SX100-IS replacements: Three?
Once upon a time Canon was thought as invincible. Then came the Nikon D40/D40x and the D3/D300 and the D700. But that didn't stop at DSLRs. It expanded in the compacts. Regular readers of the Camera Charts may have noticed a disturbing trend for Canon, their superzooms are getting beaten by the Panasonic superzooms at Amazon, and Amazon is a "Canon shop". We've been following the Amazon top sellers for years, and it was very rare to see other superzooms ahead of Canon on a regular basis. For the last few weeks, the Panasonic TZ-series along with the FZ18 (when in stock and under $300) are kicking Canon's "zoomhind".

So to summarize, Canon badly needs to introduce new superzoom models because the market has moved along, with superzooms ranging from 15X to 20X from Olympus (3), Fuji (3), Sony (3), Panasonic (2), Nikon (1) and Kodak (1) too. As we said many times before, Canon likes to trail the trends, and then blitz the market (see CF-to-SD conversion, 4AA-to-2AA, larger LCD camera displays, etc). But it looks like they have waited for too long this time.

Nothing wrong with the S5-IS as is, but we should expect an S5 IS replacement by
Photokina. The S5-IS was announced in May 2007, and that's more than 12 months already! The big question is whether Canon announces one or two models to follow-up on the S5 IS. One reasonable approach would be to introduce a sequential update to the S5-IS featuring the same 12X IS lens and the new 10mp 1/2.33" sensor, and another more expensive model featuring a long(er) zoom lens, perhaps a 28-400mm at a minimum. Canon may be a bit more conservative on the lens as they have their reputation of image quality to maintain, which is why we may see a more "conservative" 28-400mm instead of the 18X or 20X zoom ratios. Let's call them "S7 IS" and "S10 IS".

The SX-100 IS was announced in August 2007 at Fauxtokina, and we should expect to see an SX100 IS replacement by Photokina, using the new 10mp 1/2.33" sensor. This was Canon's second attempt at a "fun zoom" camera, after the failure (by Canon standards) that was the TX-1. The SX100 IS is doing much better, but still has not been able to fend off the momentum of the Panasonic "Monet" TZ-series, which started with the TZ3 and continues with the TZ5 and TZ4. Let's call this "SX 120 IS" or "SX 110 IS". Yes, we are predicting model names too :)

Panasonic superzooms: FZ50 is waiting for company!
The recent Panasonic announcement took out the chance for a FZ28 prediction, and with the TZ5 and TZ4 coming earlier this year, the focus is on the big FZ-series.

The availability of the TZ-series and the 18X FZ18/FZ28 have pretty much squeezed out the FZ8, and reduced the chances of a FZ8 replacement although we do have to point out that Panasonic would be going from 10X to 18X, without the traditional 12X stop in between. It would be nice if we saw a FZ9 with RAW, but think it's not very likely. The FZ8 was announced in January 2007. Unless of course Panasonic has other ideas (eg try a speed-demon sensor), which also sounds more wishful thinking than anything else.

It took Panasonica two years to replace the LX2 with the brand new LX3, so there is some hope for those who are anxiously and impatiently waiting for a FZ50 replacement. Some hope, not "Obama 200K @ Berlin" type of hope.

The FZ50 was announced in July 2006, along with the LX2. Coincidence? We think not! So what are some of the options or alternatives or follow-ups for the FZ50?
  1. Use the LX3 10mp 1/1.63" sensor and issue a straight up replacement, let's call it the FZ60.
  2. Release a similar camera, but starting at 28mm wide, while preserving a reasonable (or even shorter) zoom ratio, eg 28-300mm equivalent or perhaps follow the Fuji example and go with something like the Finepix S100fs (28-400mm equivalent). Let's call this FZ55 or FZ60 or FZ70.
  3. Jump on the big zoom ratio bandwagon with the FZ80 featuring an 18X lens. Because horsepower megapixels zoom ratio sells!

We still don't know whether Panasonic plans to release an affordable DSLR. If they don't, this increases the chances of them making an advanced superzoom that boldly takes the FZ-series to the next level.

Our prediction? We'll be pleasantly surprised if we see FZ50 or FZ8 follow-ups or replacements.

Sony superzooms: Minolta A-series please come back and save the day!
While the Sony H-series superzooms have their fans, you can't swing a mouse cord without hitting a so-so review. Neither the move to 15X nor the "fun zooms" have been a smash hit, and if Sony wants to challenge Canon for the #1 spot without subsidizing market share with sub-$200 S-series and W-series cameras, they need to come up with a couple of solid superzooms.

Our preference is for Sony to revitalize the Minolta A-series cameras, and "modernize" them with today's latest sensors and technology. But this is (sadly) highly unlikely. Sony, prove us wrong please :)

The "flagship" H50 came out in late February 2008, so we shouldn't expect a replacement for it, unless Sony plans to leapfrog it with a longer zoom ratio camera, or perhaps, yes, perhaps, use its own 6mp 1/1.8" speed-demon sensor and produce a hybrid. See the section at the top for more of our mumblings on that sensor. Their previous superzooms, the H7 and H9 came out in late February 2007, so it looks like Sony is on a time-table. Oops, I mean, time horizon :)

The top "fun zoom", the H10, came out at PMA 2008, and it's unlikely to be replaced, unless Sony is in a hurry to give it the 10mp 1/2.33" sensor or 9mp 1/2.5" sensor, in which case it will be more of a co-runner instead of a replacement. Their first "fun zoom" was the Cybershot H3, which was announced in August 2007. But then again, perhaps Sony is on the half-year cycle for these models.

Clearly Sony needs to do something in this segment, but we just don't know what they'll do for Photokina 2008 or (sadly) if they'll announce anything new. They need to make something that makes the H-series look more exciting when compared to the Canon S-IS tradition and the Panasonic buzz.

Nikon SuperZooms: Anything else?
After a few half-hearted attempts at "fun zooms" (read Coolpix S-series), Nikon signaled a partial return to more "serious" superzooms with the 18X Coolpix P80. But sadly that camera did not get RAW, and that may have left some red and raw in the face ;-)

Will Nikon go in burst mode and crank a couple more superzooms, perhaps with RAW and a larger sensor? They certainly were not shy in 2004 when they came up with the 8400, 8700 and 8800. And will Nikon take another shot at the "fun zoom" segment, either with a variation of their once popular "twist and shout" design, or a more "TZ-like" design?

Our crystal ball is hazy, we could see one more superzoom from Nikon this year, but we just can't pinpoint what it might be.

Olympus SuperZooms: No room for fun zooms, anything else?
Olympus is pretty much leaving very little room for a "fun zoom" line-up, since their Stylus line has now grown to a 7x room ratio lens, effectively making those their small zooms. So we don't think Olympus will try any TZ-like cameras this year.

As far as their bigger zooms, the SP-570uz was announced in January, pushing the superzoom ratio to a whole "nuther" level at 20X. Before that we had the SP-560uz in August 2007, and the SP-550uz in January 2007. So is Olympus on a six-month cycle, or was the SP-560uz a "bug fix release" to address some of the SP-550uz bugs, issues, complaints and concerns? The answer to that question will determine what we see from Olympus.

Kodak superzooms: We are done for 2008?
Kodak just recently announced their first post-12X superzoom, the EasyChair Z1015-IS (typo intended), and considering they already have about half a dozen "active" superzooms in their line-up, it just doesn't make sense to announce any more, unless they are planning to go for something different.

Occasionally Kodak wakes up from the mid-range and produces a camera that dares to take a peek into the upper tier (remember the P880?), but for the most part they stick to the mid-range and below. If they do decide to "brave" something new, then perhaps they could take a chance on the 6mp 1/1.8" Sony sensor, since they don't have their own camcorders to worry about. Their recent move to make a "Flip competitor" hybrid, the Zi6 may be a sign that they are waking up. And a speed-demon would generate enough buzz that could have a "tide effect" on their other cameras.

Another, even more remote perhaps possibility is a more advanced superzoom with RAW.

Fuji superzooms: Infrared perhaps?
Fujifilm has about as many superzooms as films in the market today ;-) They go from the 11mp 2/3" giantsumer S100fs to the lowly S5700/S5800 (S700/S800) affordables. In-between, we find the 18X S8100fd/S8000fd, along with the S1000fd. Image stabilization seems to be a bit of an issue for Fuji, in that their lower tier superzooms don't have it, and their upper tier superzooms have a reputation of not having as good of an image stabilization system as the competition. But at least they have fixed the xD problem and turned it into an advantage with their xD/SD dual-purpose memory card slots (Olympus, wake up and smell the SD card!).

So the only thing we can think of from Fuji is the possibility of a UVIR. Yes, an infra-red sensitive version of one of their superzooms, and the S100fs seems to be the most likely candiate. They have already released two DSLR UvIr versions (S3 Pro and S5 Pro) and an S9x00 version, at CES 2007, known as the IS-1.

So our Fuji prediction is that we will see an infra-red sensitive version of the S100fs! And considering our track record, it means we won't ;-)

Samsung superzooms: {}
For a company who seems amp'ed to take over the global #1 spot from the likes of Canon, Sony and Kodak, Samsung is ignoring the superzoom segment, which is one of the hottest and most buzzworthy segments of the market.

Granted, Samsung has their own camcorders and their gadget-hybrids, but neither one of those appeals to the mainstream photographers. Samsung tried their hand with the 8mp 2/3" Pro 815 giantzoomer, which was the last of the 8mp 2/3" Mohicans, but that was it from Samsung superzooms.

While common sense says that they should try to attack this segment, it doesn't look like Samsung will be testing the superzoom waters this year (prediction).

Pentax superzooms
Pentax has stayed away from superzooms since their weird looking hybrid models of a few centuries ago. We predict that they will continue to stay away as they continue to focus on specific niches in the market (eg the waterproof W-series (the cool blue W60 is so adorable!)).

Leica Superzooms
Leica came out with the V-Lux 1, which was of course a Panasonic leica-sonic clone-a-sonic. Will Leica take a chance on any of the other available Panasonics? Will a "fun zoom" TZ-series Leica make sense in the eyes of the Leicaphiles? How about a FZ28?

It's been a while since Leica announced a fixed-lens clone digital camera, so the question is, are they planning a big (2 or 3 models) announcement at Photokina 2008 or are they fading out of that business? One camera that screams Leica is the LX3, which we'll cover in the Prosumer/RAWsumer predictions segment, which is coming up tomorrow soon.

New Term: RAWZoomers
We love creating new terms or blending existing terms to create new ones, so today we are introducing a new term today, RAWZoomers, which refers to superzoom digital cameras with a fixed-lens that support RAW natively. RAWZoomers are a subset of RAWsumers. For this purpose, a superzoom is defined as one that has a zoom ratio of 10X or more, regardless of the focal length range. The new term has been added to our repository of 1001 Noisy Terms.

More Photokina 2008 coverage

  1. DSLR Predictions
  2. Photokina 2008 Rumor Central
  3. Vote up or down various rumors at CameraRumo(u)
  4. Last year's predictions (Fauxtokina 2007)
  5. Official Photokina site
  6. World of Imaging

  • The Digital Camera List, where all the current and recent models are listed in one giant yet spartan table. See the "SuperZoom" column for all the superzooms. It is the 3rd column of the table.

    Read the rest of "Photokina 2008 Superzoom speculation and predictions"...
  • LX3 Samples from respected Japan site hit the forums

    While perusing the dpreview forums we noticed a discussion of new LX3 sample pictures, posted by highly respected Japanese site DC.Watch.Impress.Jp. The link to the pictures is in the original post of the discussion thread. The sample pictures cover ISO 80 to 3200. We won't comment so as to avoid introducing bias.

    These are also discussed in the dpreview news forum.

    And in case you are weight conscious, DC Watch has weighed the camera and includes a picture of its weight while on the scale. Jenny Craig for Cameras?

    Panasonic LX3 recap

    1. Official announcement coverage
    2. Websites and blogs discussing
    3. Forum discussions (mainly dpreview)
    4. Panasonic Japan's announcement reveals the monthly production output will be 20,000 LX3 units per month
    5. LX3 pre-orders
    6. LX3 saves the world, cures all diseases, ends hunger (coming soon)

    Read the rest of "LX3 Samples from respected Japan site hit the forums"...

    Deal Alert: PocketWizard PWP-TR 801-125 PLUS II Transceiver for $160

    [Update: The $160 special price has expired. Now it is back to $188].

    This is an instant alert! The price is good only for the next 30 minutes! The $150 $160 special price ends at 9pm eastern time. It is the PocketWizard PWP-TR 801-125 PLUS II Transceiver. The regular Amazon price is $188, the sale price is $160. To see the sale price, check your Amazon Gold box. The gold box is the gold thingy that looks like it came from the Pirates of the Caribbean. The gold box savings are $28. Special expires at 9pm eastern. Currently 40% of the available units are claimed.

    If you are not familiar with this item, there are nine user reviews at Amazon, and the featured review compares it to the Elinchrom EL-Skyport.

    Read the rest of "Deal Alert: PocketWizard PWP-TR 801-125 PLUS II Transceiver for $160"...

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Blog update: Short posts hybrid approach

    We are right now testing a new hybrid approach where we will be showing short summaries of some of the longer or older posts. This will make it easier for people to scan through the headlines without having to page down 10-page essay posts. It also allows more posts on the front page, we are currently having the last 20 posts featured. To see some examples, page down to the "Photokina 2008 Speculation" posts and see that they have been reduced to a couple of paragraphs instead of 10 pages!

    This only affects the main page of the blog, the RSS feed remains full-text!

    If you experience any problems, or you have any objections to this format, please let us know in the comments or by email.

    A big thank you to Amanda at Blogger Buster for the tutorial!

    Read the rest of "Blog update: Short posts hybrid approach"...

    Nikon author hints of new Nikon camera (DSLR?) to be announced soon!

    Veteran DSLR guidebook writer David Busch is hinting at his Amazon blog of a new Nikon camera (DSLR?) coming soon. He says, quote:

    My guidebooks for the D700, D3, and a soon-to-be announced additional camera...

    So that seems to suggest that there is at least one more impact Nikon camera coming up. We can't tell for sure whether this refers to a DSLR, an impact compact, or perhaps something else. The text says "camera", not "DSLR", so we cannot jump to conclusions.

    And of course there could be more than one coming, but the author is planning a book about one of them.

    This has been added to the Photokina Rumor Central, which is by the way less than sixty days away!

    Speculation based on the above
    To further clarify, guide books are usually written for DSLRs or advanced fixed-lens compacts. You are not likely to find a print guidebook or tutorial DVD for the Nikon Coolpix L18 for example, but you could find one for an advanced prosumer like the Nikon 8800 (dvd example).

    So to summarize the possibilities (and this paragraph is pure speculation on my part):
    1. New DSLR (flagship, or D90/D80x or mythical modular or "insert speculation here"...)
    2. Mythical rangefinder
    3. The rumored-leaked (?) Coolpix P6000
    4. The rumored advanced fixed-lens APS-C/DX that has been wished/wanted/dreamt about
    5. etc, etc, etc

    Read the rest of "Nikon author hints of new Nikon camera (DSLR?) to be announced soon!"...

    Week in Review (July 21-27, table-top edition)

    Welcome to another weekly recap! We continue with the easy to read "table top" format, with less blah-blah and more meat, just like the Quiznos 5-meat sub. We are after all using up our quota of words in the giant speculation spectacular.

    Photokina 2008 Speculation SpectacularNikon D700 is King
    +DSLR Speculation and Predictions
    +SuperZoom Speculation
    +Power Compacts Speculation
    +Photokina Rumor Central
    +Luminous Landscape reviews the D700
    +D700 shipping from many reputable retailers
    +D700 in-stock at B&H Photo
    +Three new D700 first impressions

    Panasonic LX3 maniaThe other three new Panasonics
    +Meet the new Panasonic LX3
    +Preorder the LX3
    +10 things I like about the LX3
    +LX3 reactions in the forums
    +LX3 reactions in the blogosphere
    +LX3 sample pictures
    +Early LX3 leak
    +Meet the new Panasonic FZ28
    +Meet the new Panasonic FX150
    +Meet the new Panasonic FX37
    +Executive summary of the new Panasonics
    +Preorder the new Panasonics

    Impact StoriesRegular Features
    +Strobist reviews the SB-900
    +12 K-mount lens lot on eBay
    +Top Seller Charts (Friday)
    +Top Seller Charts (Monday)
    +dpreview reviews the XS 1000D
    +More RAWsumer reviews
    +Photography Soup Express
    +Discover New Sites and Blogs
    +Reader Picture Showcase
    +Stunning Camera Phone Pic Tips?
    +Viewers Like You (support this blog)

    Read the rest of "Week in Review (July 21-27, table-top edition)"...

    New Panasonic production output numbers from Japan

    As you probably know by now, Panasonic announced four new digital cameras this week. The cameras were also announced officially in Japan, and thanks to Panasonic Japan and, we learn their initial monthly production output numbers, in camera units!

    1. Panasonic LX3, produced at 20,000 units per month (reference)
    2. Panasonic FZ28, produced at 15,000 units per month (reference)
    3. Panasonic FX150, produced at 30,000 per month (reference)
    4. Panasonic FX37, produced at 80,000 units per month. (reference)

    As you can see, the FX37 is the expected mass market model at 80K/month, while the LX3, FZ28 and FX150 are targeting a more specific audience and have higher prices. Apparently the high-megapixel number of the FX150 is not scaring Panasonic who's making them at 30k/month.

    All the links in this post, except for the first one, are computer-translated from Japanese to English using Google Translate.

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    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    A couple of Nikon D700 hands-on first impressions

    As the Nikon D700 starts shipping from more retailers, more people are getting it in their hands, and we should expect to see even more first impressions posted on the net!

    Such is the case today, with photographer, tech blogger and author Terry White posting his quick first impressions of the D700.

    In what feminists may point as DSLR preview exploitation, Digital Rev has posted their hands-on review of the Nikon D700. And just for you pixel peepers, there's a collage of ISO tests going through the whole ISO range! Digital Rev offers four full size JPEG samples and promises more pictures coming up.

    But wait, there's more! Photographer Mike Fullerton has received his D700, and he is posting sample pictures on his blog. Big plus if you are a dog fan!

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    Photography Soup Express (Dollars and Gear)

    All apologies to fans of the photography soup, but we are officially in Photokina mode, and that means more technobabble posts, such as the giant DSLR Speculation and SuperZoom speculation and predictions posts.

    The Economy and Camera Gear
    Imaging Insider has a very interesting poll, touching upon the current state of the economy, and asking if you have sold camera gear to pay bills?

    And in hard economic times, you can feed your need for gear the affordable way, for example, a dozen old(er) K-mount lenses on (fe)eBay.

    A good cause
    If you are going to be in Southern California on August 2, Camera Dojo is inviting you to participate in a fun event that has a higher purpose, the Save the Boobies Benefit that benefits the Susan B. Komen breast cancer walk.

    Around the Internets
    Does your business lack discipline and feels like it is spinning out of control? Inspired by a tour of the Naval Academy, David Ziser has some business tips that can help you tighten up your business ...ship!

    We have two new instant classics from Ken Rockwell, the "Talk about your salary" post and the must-read "How much does Nikon pay me". Both are interesting reads that will be enjoyed by both fans and haterz of Ken Rockwell :)

    A great write-up on the usefulness of digital cameras at the Wouter 28mm blog. There you will also find a lot of talk and pictures of and from compact but serious digital cameras.

    We already mentioned this during our Panasonic LX3K coverage, but this is our favorite headline of the month, by Ryan Brenizer, discussing the new LX3: "Out-rangefindering the rangefinder".

    Stuck? Running out of ideas? Not sure in which creative direction to go? Jim T of Pro Photo Life has some suggestions on how to get creatively inspired.

    Success Stories
    Thomas Hawk has reached another milestone, 2000 10-timers at Flickr. And by that we mean 2000 photos that have been "faved" 10 times or more at Flickr.

    DCR informs us that Home Depot has reached another milestone, they are selling digital cameras. Judging by their prices, the local camera stores might be cheaper ;-)

    If you have any success stories of your own or of your favorite websites, photographers or blogs, let us know by email and we'll feature them.

    We are not hiring, and if we were, the payment would be a Big Mac per day, but dpreview is hiring web developers. So if you are really good with the "computer stuffs" and want to work in cosmopolitan London, be sure to apply! Two positions are available which doubles your chances :)

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