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.

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