Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week in Review (July 19-25)

Welcome to a new edition of the "Weekly Rewind", where we try to summarize the happenings of the week that was in five-minutes or less.

The Big Story: The Fuji trio
We had a total of fourteen new cameras this week, and of those, Fuji had the three most interesting ones. From a technology perspective, the Fuji 3D system was the headline grabber, as Fuji has now solidified their previous announcements with a product announcement. The 3D camera and 3D printer should come out in Japan next month, and most places in September.

Fuji also launched a new series of cameras, the SuperCCD-powered fun-zoom line, getting started with the F70-EXR, a 10X camera that uses a 1/2" SuperCCD-EXR sensor. It will be very interesting to see how the SuperCCD-EXR sensor scales down to a smaller sensor size and how it compares with the other "fun zooms".

The last of the Fuji Trio is the Fuji S200-EXR, a follow-up to the S100fs giant-sumer. This is the first Fuji camera to offer RAW on an EXR sensor, so that alone makes it a curiosity item. The sensor has also been downsized, from 2/3" in the S100fs to a standard 1/1.6" here. While some may be disappointed, it makes sense, as Fuji does not have the luxury of carrying multiple sensor lines.

New Cameras This Week
In addition to the Fuji Trio above, we had four Fuji P&S models, and seven shiny-silver clones from Olympus. Olympus disappointed by continuing to ignore SD/SDHC, and refreshing their P&S models at a maddening six-month cycle. There was however a silver lining, two affordable P&S models that start at 24mm and 26mm wide respectively (equivalent of course) and only cost $160 and $150. Just don't expect the lenses to perform like Zeiss/Leica :)

Reviews of Interest
From the busy world of camera reviews, we had a refreshing in-forum review of the Pentax K7 at the dpreview forums, a version 2.0 of the dpreview waterproof test with the Panasonic TS1/FT1 and Pentax W80 added, and Imaging Resource finalizing their D3X review.

And Luminous took a look at the landscape of hybrid/combocams as part of their video-priority review of the Panasonic GH1.

We have also summarized some of the recent lens reviews at the review diary.

Other Topics of Interest
Canon's R&D managed to spoil the Fuji/Olympus announcement, as they have revealed that a new hybrid lens-stabilization system is coming up.

If you are a fan of your local Ritz/Wolf camera stores, they got a new lease on life, as founder David Ritz led a coalition of money-people and outbid the liquidators. This of course does not mean that every single store is safe, but perhaps the majority of them are likely to make it to the next round.

And from leakville, SonyStyle "accidentally" revealed the names of the next three Sony DSLRs, the A500, A550 and A850. Needless to say, all eyes are on the Alpha A850 as people are wandering what type of a camera this might be. An affordable full-frame? A high-spec'ed APS-C/DT? What? What? What?

New experimental feature on Sunday night
Depending on how the news cycle is, at some point on Sunday night or early Monday morning, we will launch a new reader-appreciation feature, the "Community Feed". Stay tuned for more details.

Read the rest of "Week in Review (July 19-25)"...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week in Review (July 12-19)

Welcome to another five-minute recap of the week that was! If you can't finish this in five minutes or less, the next one is free :-)

The Big Story
Once again, the Olympus E-P1 managed to maintain the lead over everybody else, with the camera starting to get into the hands of real-world photographers and at the same time receiving more reviews and hands-on action at the various camera sites and blogs.

New Cameras this week
A rather quiet July so far, but Olympus made a little clone of their CES-2009 models, the new Stylus Tough mju 6100, which is an element-proof camera, but sadly, and stubbornly, does not support SD/SDHC.

In addition, Samsung launched three forgettable P&S cameras. What? Where are we?

New blog launched for DSLR fans
We have launched a new sub-blog, of interest to DSLR fans and numbers-geeks, the on-going soap-opera that is the Top Selling DSLR Charts. This is in the same style as our current overall-market top sellers. Both are tracking top sellers at Amazon and weaving them together to tell a story (observe patterns and trends and such).

Other topics of interest
+ The Leica S2 made a guest-appearance at the re-opening of a Manhattan store, and it looks like it is getting closer

+ Image stabilization is always a geek-friendly topic, so you may want to check out the ImagingResource/SLRGear testing of the sensor-shift stabilization of the Olympus E520.

+ Group reviews was a theme, with summer-friendly waterproof cameras and superzooms getting group-tested at two of the major review sites. This and more review roundup action at the Reviews topic. It includes among others, the DP2, a Canon TS-E lens, a most unusual review at Luminous, the GH1, K7, and a lot more.

+ We have also added review-clusters for the E-P1, K7 and GH1, three of the hottest interchangeable-lens cameras of the season

+ The good-news party for the Nikon D5000 ended when Nikon confessed that due to a manufacturing issue some of the models may not be able to turn-on when you expect them to turn on.

+ I can has 32gb MemoryStick nao.

Read the rest of "Week in Review (July 12-19)"...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week in review (July 5-12, 2009)

Welcome to another 5-minute recap of the week that was! If you can't finish this post in five-minutes or less, the next one is free ;-)

The Big Story: The Nikon Roadmap dream
We have our resident psychologist, Dr Phyl MacKroaw, DFA, analyzing the big story: The wishlistic dream, an alleged Nikon roadmap, generated some excitement as Nikonians wanted so badly to believe, believe in half a dozen new dSLRs and dozens of lenses coming out in just 18 months. The desire to believe kept this thing going and going and going, even though a quick glance at the 2010 portion of the roadmap shows that type of output all the dSLR manufacturers combined could probably not match.

Other Stories of the week

+ Samples, reviews and shipping excitement continued to keep the Olympus E-P1 in the spotlight

+ The revelation that an unknown Korean manufacturer would be making lenses for the Samsung NX-series was not exactly good news for NX. When you consider that FourThirds/MicroFourThirds has Olympus, Panasonic, Leica involvement, Kodak sensors, Sigma lenses, adapters for all sorts of quality lens mounts, and can't break out of the "Olympus mount" range, then how is NX going to win over new users?

+ The Panasonic GH1 had its moment in the sun as it was put through the paces at the dpreview labs. The finding of its Croatian origins (.hr, HR, highly recommended) thrilled 43/M43 fans all around the world.

+ The curtains could be closing for the remaining Ritz/Wolf brick and mortar stores as the company has not been able to break out of the financial troubles. In about two weeks we should know whether there is a new buyer, or a giant clearance sale.

That's the summary, but if you want to read everything, be sure to check out the blog headlines and along with the July archives at the main blog.

For previous installments, be sure to check the very long Weekly Rewind pages.

Read the rest of "Week in review (July 5-12, 2009)"...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week in Review (June 29 - July 5)

Welcome to a new edition of the "weekly rewind", where in five minutes or less, we catch up with the week that was!

The Big Story
The Olympus E-P1 was once again the story of the week, with more samples, hands-on reports and even a couple of reviews getting published. And yes, the camera has started shipping in select markets, getting in the hands of real-world photographers. You can follow all the action through the E-P1 mini-blog.

Medium Format grabs some spotlight
Sometimes a good soap opera is what it takes to get people's attention. And medium format has been provided quite a bit of drama the last few days. A divorce between Leica and Phase One on the Leica S2, a German manufacturer closing shop, a new digital back from Hasselblad and more!

New Cameras this week
Pentax has the honor of carrying the flag for the new-cameras with the new waterproof Optio W80 which replaces the W60 which finished an asterisk-second at the dpreview waterproof camera test which blatantly ignored the Panasonic FT1/TS1, even though the camera had received a review 3.5 months ago at another review site! dpreview's explanation was not convincing at all.

Coming up
The rumor carousel saw two Sony Cybershots leaked, while some expect a Samsung announcement around July 7 featuring their first NX-series camera, their next DSLR and superzoom compact.

There have been some CaNiKoN rumors as well, but nothing really concrete just yet.

No Camera Talk Allowed!
We had a special edition of the Photography Soup where we talked about everything, except cameras! Or at least we tried...

Good week for camera shoppers
We had a series of good deals for camera bargain hunters and shoppers, and some of those deals are still going on. We have summarized them at the best of current deals just a couple of hours ago.

Read the rest of "Week in Review (June 29 - July 5)"...