Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week in review (Sept 20-26): Hasselblad launches H4D-series

Another week is in the books! Let's recap the week in five-minutes or less!

The Big Story: Hasselblad tries its hand at auto-focus
Hasselblad has just launched their HD4-series of medium format digital cameras, and they are touting their new focusing technology that promises improvements and lure in more photographers to MF world.

New stuff this week
It was new software and gimmick lens week! Adobe launched Photoshop Elements 8 (Mac/PC) and at the same time, "The Google" struck back with Picasa 3.5.

On the gimmick lens front, Horseman launched four new converter lenses for DSLRs, and Lomography is building adapters that lets their Diana lens mount on DSLRs.

Wild Rumor
On the wild rumor frontier, there was talk of a 35-megapixel 35mm-full-frame Sony DSLR, the Alpha A1R. Real or ...AIR? :)

Impact Reviews
dpreview completely disrespected the Sigma DP2 with their above average review, casting more doubts on the usefulness of one-dimensional review-rating conclusions.

On the curiosity factor, two short reviews of the Fuji 3D camera system came out, but you may want to wait for more serious detailed reviews before making any dramatic decisions.

This was a busy review week, and you can see more of them on the Reviews mini-blog, including Canon 7D first looks, a major E-P1 review, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake, along with Canon G11 samples.

Read all about it
You can follow the action from the previous week step-by-step by checking out the September 2009 archives.

Read the rest of "Week in review (Sept 20-26): Hasselblad launches H4D-series"...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week in Review (Sept 13-19, 2009): Pentax K-x color-blasts the market

Another week is in the book as time flies faster than ever before :) Here is the five-minute review of the week that was!

The Big Story: The Pentax K-x Rainbow
Pentax managed to sneak in a brand new DSLR, along with a third DA-L lens, the 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED. The new DSLR is AA-based and affordable-priced and offers a little bit of everything, including HD-Video and a 12mp Sony CMOS sensor. Read all about the new Pentax K-x.

New Gear this week
Korean manufacturer Samyang revealed a new 14mm f2.8 ED lens, available in the four traditional SLR mounts for a reasonable price - under 300 euro in Europe.

Point Grey of beautiful British Columbia in Canada is showing a prototype of a USB 3.0-powered device that can stream 1080p high-def video. Yes, stream!

In addition to the K-x, Pentax also announced two point and shoots in Europe, the M85 and E85, taking LiIon and AA batteries respectively.

Meanwhile, Zeiss made the final announcement for the Canon version of the Ikon 18mm f3.5 T* ZE lens. ZE for Z-EOS. But beware, no modern luxuries like auto-focus :)

Rumors et al
As part of the K-x announcement, Pentax mentioned that the 645D medium format is on-track for a PMA 2010 release. So the camera with a soap-opera life is heading (at least for now) towards release. We'll find out more by PMA :)

On the Nikon front, there is some buzz about a Nikon D3s reveal by mid-October. We should start hearing more as the days go by!

On the Shiguma front, a couple of rumors talk of a Sigma DP1s coming later in the year, and the SD15 having good chances of materializing.

New mini-site launched
This week we finished and launched a brand new mini-site whose whole purpose in life is to feature the latest reviews of Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses and nothing else! It will be a test of discipline and focus :-)

Read the rest of "Week in Review (Sept 13-19, 2009): Pentax K-x color-blasts the market"...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Week in review (September 5 to 12, 2009): Leica Strikes Back

Welcome to another edition of the weekly rewind, a recap of the week that was in five minutes or less!

The Big Story: Leica Strikes Back
The expected 9/9/09 Big Bang from Leica did not disappoint, as the camera company cleverly revealed its products to the whole world, not just the "media elites". We set up a long wait-a-thon leading up to the announcement of the new cameras. You can relive the excitement here. For more on each camera, be sure to check its mini-blog:
+ Leica X1
+ Leica M9
+ Leica S2

Other interesting happenings
Leica took over the week, but there were some other exciting moments in the week. For one, the hope of a Canon 1D Mark IV announcement in late September was squashed.

On the impact-review front, the printed edition of Amateur Photographer UK had the first Panasonic GF1 review, followed a few days later by DLT.

But the camera that seems to be winning the buzz wars at the moment is Canon 7D, with high-ISO samples from a concert in France and video footage from Philip Bloom. These are pre-production cameras by the way.

On the ouch front, Samsung is putting their DSLRs to sleep, but hopefully just in hibernation until they can get the NX series up and running.

Want more?
You can catch up with every single post at the main blog by checking the September archives. You can also catch up with the special-interest blogs by checking their latest headlines.

Read the rest of "Week in review (September 5 to 12, 2009): Leica Strikes Back"...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week in review (August 30 to September 5 2009)

We usually promise that the weekly rewind will finish in 5 minutes or less, but it's hard to do that this week. There were so many influential camera announcements and leaks that made this feel like a Photokina week! Here are the biggest stories of the week...

Leica leaks M9 and X1
The biggest M-series question was whether Leica would have been able to deliver a 35mm-full-frame M-series camera, and the leaked-by-Leica answer is a resounding yes! The new M9 will have a 18mp 35mmFF CCD sensor and the usual Leica design principles. The next big question is price, and for that, you'd better start cashing out 401K plans, selling gold, and used cars!

What was rather unexpected was the X1, which will be a fixed-lens camera using an APS-C sensor. This is something fans of fixed-lens compacts had been clamoring about for years, and they are partially getting their wish. Partially because this has a fixed lens (eg Sigma DP2 and Ricoh GRD3) and it will have a "Leica-tax", a price-tag that will likely be 1.5X to 2X as much as if the camera was named anything-but-Leica. So we wait and see!

Panasonic GF1 and two M43 lenses are officially announced!
After rumors and leaks, the Panasonic GF1 has been officially announced at a starting price higher than many would have liked, and coming together with a promising 20mm f1.7 pancake, and the sometimes-Leica-branded 45mm f2.8 macro lens. Both being M43rds lenses, you have to do a 2X multiplication to get to the "35mm equivalent".

In addition to that, Panasonic revealed three new lenses for 2010, occupying their 2010 lens road-map.

Canon strikes with dual-core 7D and three lenses
As leaked and rumored for weeks and weeks, the Canon 7D officially came out, offering an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor (ouch?) with a dual-core DiGiC 4 engine, and new under-the-hood features aiming to please the serious sub-$2000 photographers. No full-frame DSLR, and that sure left a bitter test in some lens openings.

Along with it came the first lens using the new Canon Hybrid IS technology, this one specifically tailored to macro photography, so every macro photographer will be very curious about the new Canon EF 100mm f2.8L IS.

The other two lenses were practical EF-S configurations, an EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS aiming to be a take-everywhere glued-on lens, and the affordably versatile EF-S 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 IS.

Samsung NX-series coming by early 2010
Samsung showed their NX prototype and three lenses under glass at IFA 2009 in Berlin, but at the same time, they gave new estimates adjusting the availability to late 2009 or early 2010. The new NX-series will attempt to provide a M43rds-like user experience but with 1.5X (APS-C) sensors instead of the 2X sensors used by 43M43.

The Stanford Experiment - a Linux camera?
Stanford university researchers made an official announcement of their Frankencamera research aiming to give photographers and techies all around the world an open-source plug-and-p(l/r)ay framework to develop and expand their imaging systems as they see fit.

Needless to say this is a very promising project and something that may cause the "SLR Traditionalists and Restrictionists" a few sleepless nights.

One Year at TypePad
We celebrate one year at TypePad this week by rounding up other blogs that are also being hosted on the professional for-pay blogging service of TypePad!

For more, be sure to check the September archives along with the latest posts from all the noisy blogs.

Read the rest of "Week in review (August 30 to September 5 2009)"...