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Showing posts from September, 2009

Canon announces DSLR cashback promotion for UK Photographic Students

From now until 31st October 2009, Canon is running a cashback promotion on two models within their award winning EOS range.

EOS 450D - £50 (Offer valid across all configurations)
EOS 500D - £65 (Offer valid across all configurations)

Canon UK are offering photographic students at UK institutions the chance to receive cashback on the purchase of a new Canon DSLR. Lecturers and technicians working on photographic courses are also eligible to take part.
These two Canon EOS cameras are ideal for the demands faced on almost any photographic course. The EOS 450D shooting at 3.5 fps and with a 12.2 MP CMOS sensor is compact and lightweight, great for anyone starting out. Whilst the EOS 500D is available for those wanting something a little more advanced. It has a 15.1 MP CMOS sensor, ISO up to 12800 for low light conditions and full HD movie capabilities.

Cameras can be purchased from any authorised Canon retailer. Once purchased, send the claim form (downloadable from the Canon web site), proo…

Pentax unwrap unexpected K-x

Pentax K-x - 12.4 megapixel APS-S size CMOS

For those who can't stretch to the $1300 / £1050 asked for the Pentax K7 (such as photojournalists, press photographers and indeed pretty much anyone working as a photographer these days), the company has introduced a new upper entry level model based on the K2000 (K-m). In a first for Pentax the new K-x has a 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor and has many similar features to the K7, such as the much needed 11-point AF system, shooting at a brisk 4.7fps, and sensitivity from ISo200-64,000. There's the ubiquitous Live View and HD video capture too. We think this is a mighty fine camera already, and we haven't even seen it yet.
Read the full specification in the press release after the jump.
No surprises here, it's the same layout as K2000 (K-m)

Virtual K-x, from the comparator on the Japan website
Want to see what your K-x looks in various colors (there's a choice of four in the US and Europe), but for the home market, check out …

Leica unwrap full frame M9 and APS-C X1

As expected, Leica formally announced today the new full-frame 18-megapixel M9 coupled rangefinder and the 12-megapixel APS-C size X1. While the M9 is undoubtedly the 'star of the show', the Leica X1 shouldn't be overlooked.

At $2,200 (£1,317 by currency conversion) the X1 will be going head-to-head with the likes of the Sigma DP1, DP2, Panasonic GF1, and Olympus Pen E-P1, albeit with a price disadvantage. Another shortcoming is the fixed lens (at this price), but I'm almost more excited by the X1 than the M9 (of which, after reviewing the M8.2 recently, I will almost certainly buy).

Bear in mind it's a 24mm lens on an APS-C size sensor, so it has the equivalent field of view of a 36mm lens - perfect for me, and I suspect many other photographers. Read the official Leica press release below for more details.




Leica M9 - 18-megapixel 35mm 'full-frame' Kodak CCD




Leica X1 - 12-megapixel APS-C size CMOS

Leica M9
Leica Press Release

Leica Camera AG today announces the…

Full frame Leica M9 brochure leaked

After weeks of speculation the details of full-frame 18-megapixel Leica M9 has leaked, prior to the launch on the 09 September. A pdf of the M9 brochure leaked onto the net detailing the complete specification. The M9 uses a 23.9x 35.8mm CCD with an image size of 5270 x 3516 pixels; 18-megapixels in total. The LCD remains the same at 2.5-inches (230k pixel resolution), as does sensitivity, ranging from ISO80-2500, but it's now selectable in 0.3 ISO increments.


Interestingly, apart from the sensor and steel-grey paint option very little has changed between the M8.2 and the new model. Viewfinder magnification is also the same as the previous model at just 0.68x, however a Leica spokesperson told me to expect the M9 to be correspondingly more expensive (if this is for real, that is). For confirmation of the price and availability, we'll have to wait for the official announcement on Wednesday.

Read our recent review of the Leica M8.2
Amended: I've slept on this overnight, and I …

Nikon D3x compatibility with rare 5cm Nikkor lenses

Nikon D3x with 5cm f/2 second version & 'tick-marked' (first) version (right)
I've a Nikon D3x in for some reviews I'm writing, and I happened to have a couple of early Nikkor lenses out of storage (headed for eBay). For some time I've wanted to see if the rare 'tick-marked' (i.e. first version) 5cm (50mm) f/2.0 Nikkor, from 1959, would fit Nikon's latest flagship.

The design of the aperture ring has changed many times over the years (and has now completely disappeared with the introduction of the G-series AF-S lenses). Manual focus Ai-S and modern AF lenses reveal the chrome-mount when fitted, necessitating the addition of a rubber seal (AF-S only) to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture. But this wasn't the case when Nikon announced their first SLR, the Nikon F in 1959.

Five lenses were introduced with the Nikon F initially; a 2.8cm f/3.5, 3.5cm f/2.8, the 5cm f/2.0 mentioned herewith, 10.5cm f/2.5 and 13.5cm f/3.5. Each one was 'tick-ma…

Panasonic LX3 compact in stock

With all the talk recently of the micro Four Thirds (mFT) Lumix GF1, the excellent Lumix LX3 high-end compact has been largely overlooked. As a result, maybe, those folks at Amazon (US) are now showing it as in stock. Better be quick, though.

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Panasonic DMC-LX3K 10.1MP Digital Camera with 2.5x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)


Panasonic announce Leica 45mm (90mm-e) f/2.8 macro

Panasonic has also announced today the Leica 45mm (90mm-e) f/2.8 macro. Remember, Panasonic make these in Japan under under license from Leica, but it's not inconceivable that we will see something from them, an mFT camera perhaps (though they have denied the intention to produce one). All will be revealed on the 09/09/09, though I have to say it's most likely a re-branded version of the GF1.

A New Micro Four Thirds Digital Interchangeable Lens LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. with Outstanding Image Quality and High Mobility
Panasonic today unveiled a new macro lens from world renowned imaging brand Leica. The LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (35mm camera equivalent: 90mm) is the latest edition to the LUMIX G Micro System.

Eagerly anticipated by photographer enthusiasts worldwide, the new LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. boasts a superb image quality with minimum distortion, chromatic aberrations as well as ghosts an…

Panasonic add 40mm-e f/1.7 'pancake' lens

As we reported earlier in the year (though it was unconfirmed at the time), Panasonic has introduced today the 20mm (40mm-e) f/1.7 'pancake' lens. It's considerably faster (brighter), at 1.3 stops, than the rival Olympus optic for the Pen E-P1, though that is a more desirable 17mm (35mm-e) focal length (in my opinion). Note it's too small to include a Mega O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer) unit, but you could use it with the Pen E-P1 with its built-in anti-shake system.

Press release:

New Micro Four Thirds Digital Interchangeable Lens LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 ASPH. A Compact and Lightweight Pancake with Outstanding Brightness.
Today Panasonic unveils a new pancake lens called the LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 ASPH (35mm camera equivalent: 40mm) for the LUMIX G Micro System. The new LUMIX G 20mm has an amazing compact and light weight design despite having an ultra bright and fast F1.7 lens aperture, allowing images to show an impressive soft focus.

Comprising of seven lenses in 5 groups, th…

Panasonic out rumored Lumix GF1

Panasonic has made the mFT (micro Four Thirds) Lumix GF1 official today, after weeks of speculation. This is clearly targeting the same market as the Olympus Pen E-P1, and Panasonic has even introduced a 40mm-e 'pancake' lens to go head-to-head with the Olympus 35mm-e f/2.8. An additional live view finder sounds like a good idea, in theory at least, we'll have to wait and see what's like in practice. And also unlike the Pen, the GF1 has a built-in flash and a higher res (460k dot) 3-inch screen.
Lots of comparisons will be made over the coming weeks, I'm sure, but it's not a forgone conclusion. Nice to have a choice, though. Expect to see Leica enter the fray with their own version*. I can't believe they would offer Leica-branded lenses without offering a camera and maybe a couple of lens adaptors for M and R series lenses while they're at it, like these.

Press release:

Berlin, Germany (September 2, 2009) – Panasonic today announced the newest addition t…

Canon announce 18MP EOS 7D

Canon announced today the 18-megapixel EOS 7D, a APS-C format DSLR that packs HD video with a range of manual settings and variable frame rates, including 24fps. It was an expected move, after all Canon regularly updates its APS-C size EOS models, and the 15-megapixel EOS 50D hadn't sold well. I reviewed it for several print magazines, and found its high ISO performance was lacking when compared with the previous model, the EOS 40D. I really liked the EOS 40D though it went largely unnoticed by other reviewers.
The new EOS sits at the top of the APS-C range (see here for the full press-release) and it's clearly targeting Nikon's excellent D300 (Nikon must of heard of the development of the EOS 7D and recently updated it to include video with the recent launch of the D300s). As well as HD video - the latest must-have feature (okay it's nice to have, but doesn't work well in DSLRs ergonomically speaking), I was more interested in the EOS 7D's improved sealing.
The…