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Showing posts from July, 2012

Schneider Optics iPro lenses in stock at B&H Photo

B&H Photo have the Schneider Optics iPro lenses in stock, at $99 for the x2 tele and $189 for the system (doesn't include the x2 tele lens), they're a compelling addition to the iPhone 4 and 4s. Please see our expert review at our sister-site, theappwhisperer.com.Buy from B&H Photo (they ship worldwide).

Canon announces EOS-M as expected

After leaks via the rumor sites (presumably the soure is the affiliate retailers (not Amazon)) Canon has indeed announced their first mirroless EOS-M model as expected. Unfortunately, there is little in the way of innovation, though, like, Nikon they now have a platform to compete with the likes of Panasonic/Olympus and Sony, should they ever decide to do so. All of the system can be pre-ordered at Amazon. From this picture, the new mount adaptor appears not to have rubber sealing, suggesting no pro-level EOS-M model for sometime. Olympus recently upgraded theirs (MMF-3) for use with the introduction of OM-D and SHG lenses.

Canon set to launch mirrorless EOS M next week UPDATED

UPDATE: Images of the camera body (without lens attached) have surfaced on the net with what looks a 3:2 aspect ratio sensor (providing they're not photoshopped), suggesting Canon has chosen APS-C instead. If that is the case, it's almost certain to be the same sensor as found in the EOS T4i / 650D (though the camera will be without phase detection AF). Another image shows an 18-55mm EF-M lens, more-or-less confirming Canon has adopted the APS-C format for its mirrorless range. Canon are set to launch a new mirrorless range next week, according to reports on the web, the first in the EOS M range is believed to be the camera shown above. The model shown features an interchangeable 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. The STM lens uses a stepper motor for 'smoother' focusing operation (though by all accounts in its current form it's not noiseless, thus at odds with the intended video market). AF is performed by contrast detection (CD) sensors embedded in the CMOS imaging sens…

Focus Shift with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G

I'm currently reviewing the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G and one of the first tasks with any new lens is to check focus accuracy and to test for focus-shift. This particular lens and camera, a Nikon D800, showed consistent front-focus using AF and the combination also revealed focus shift. Both are problematic, though focus shift is the more difficult to deal with (requires conscious effort). To my knowledge there are no Canon or Nikon cameras that make any attempt to compensate for the effects of focus shift (unlike some MF cameras I could mention). I've used the Michael Tapes Design Lens Align Mk II to demonstrate the focus shift - it's a first class focus calibration tool which was originally designed to highlight issues with DSLRs and AF lenses but it's perfectly suited for this particular purpose. The following images are unretouched JPEGs displayed at 1:1 in Adobe Lightroom 4. F/1.8 This photo, taken at maximum aperture and focused manually using Live View on…

Fujifilm X-Pro1 review

UPDATE: Fuji has announced the X-E1, a much more compelling offering on the face of it (it still has to be reviewed, but it looks promising). See here for the announcement.


After the unexpected success of the fixed lens rangefinder-esque X-100 Fuji were quick to develop and launch the X-Pro1, a similarly designed model featuring the unusual hybrid viewfinder but with interchangeable lenses. Fuji also used the opportunity to develop a new higher-resolution APS-C size X-Trans sensor with a unique RGB filter array consisting of 6x6 pixel sets as opposed to the conventional 2x2 tile arrangement.

The larger pixel set allows Fuji to adopt a more random RGB pattern which they claim leads to reduced moiré and improved colour accuracy yet at the same time allowing Fuji to drop the optical low pass filter (OLPF) of conventional sensor designs. As the OLPF is in effect a blur filter, everything else being equal, the benefit to X-Pro1 users should be an increase in fine detail rendering over a…

Olympus announce firmware update for OM-D E-M5

Olympus have released a firmware update for the OM-D E-M5.   The update will be available on the OIMC website from today. Compared to the firmware version 1.1 the new version 1.2 has following improvements:
    •    Improved sleep recovery operation
    •    AF target is indicated while using C-AF+TR in sequential shooting mode L
    •    M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 underwater support has been added when using underwater macro or underwater wide mode the lens will move automatically in tele or wide setting

Nikon announces development of AF-S 800mm f/5.6 G VR as expected

After a report on this site of a patent application shown late last year, Nikon has now officially announced the development of an AF-S 800mm f/5.6 G ED VR. A prototype will be shown to professional photographers at the Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, between July 19th and 22nd 2012. I also expect the prototype lens will be used at the Olympics in London later this month.

The above diagram which was used to describe the optical construction in Nikon's patent application last year shows internal focusing (IF) at G2 and VR compensating optics at G3, the latter accounting for the high number of elements in modern telephoto designs. It's also safe to assume that this lens will also feature a SWM and Nano Crystal coat. Nikon's last 800mm f/5.6 was a manual focus AI-S lens, with 8 elements in 6 groups. The Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 IFED, shown above weighed 5450g and was produced in batches between 1986 and as late as 2005, thoug…

Bowens adds Limelite LED panel to lighting range

Bowens, the UK lighting manufacturer, has announced a new daylight only LED panel for videographers (and stills photographers).The 30x30cm panel provides 4200 Lux of high quality, brilliant 5600°K daylight and retails at £714.00 (inc. VAT). There's no word on availability and the Limelite website is showing the panels and accessories as currently 'out-of-stock'. Press release:Bowens’ Limelite launches new ‘three times brighter’ LED panel for videographersBowens has launched Mosaic Daylight - a new high specification, lightweight LED panel for both studio and location video lighting and photography.The company, which is marketing the unit under its new Limelite videography subdivision, says the panel is capable of producing output three times brighter than more expensive lights of similar size.The rugged 30x30cm panel provides 4200 Lux of high quality, brilliant 5600°K daylight and retails at £714.00 (inc. VAT).Robert Cook, Bowens marketing director said: “This new panel w…

Lexar to make XQD memory cards

Lexar has announced that it will support the XQD™ memory card specification for compatibility with Nikon D4 and future XQD-based camera models. The first cards are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2012.Apart from the obvious adavantages of increased data transfer, this design is a significant step forward from the delicate pin-connector system used on CF cards (and readers). Press release: Lexar Announces Support for XQD Memory Card SpecificationLexar XQD Memory Cards to be Compatible with Nikon D4 and Future XQD-based Camera Models

Fremont, CA, 11 July, 2012 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory products, today announced its support of the XQD™ memory card specification for compatibility with Nikon D4 and future XQD-based camera models. Expected to be available in the third quarter of 2012, Lexar® XQD memory cards will offer high-speed performance in a range of capacities to effectively capture and store high-quality images, 1080p full high-definition (HD) vid…

Calumet UK offer Canon EOS-1D X test drive

Press release:Your chance to ‘drop in’ on the new Canon EOS-1D XCalumet is offering photographers a unique opportunity to ‘test drive’ the new Canon EOS-1D X, dubbed ‘the next generation camera for professionals’.The photographic retailer has scheduled a series of special ‘Drop In’ and ‘Mentor Me’ days nationwide during July and August.Explained Sian Hamer, Calumet marketing executive: “This is a chance for photographers to book a free and bespoke thirty minute session with a Canon expert to get hands on with this flagship Canon DSLR for professionals. At ‘Drop In’ days photographers can get expert advice on the 1D X with its 18.1 MP full-frame CMOS sensor; 12 frames per second shooting capability; high resolution solution’ in the darkest conditions and an Ethernet port for fast image transfer.”She added: “ The ‘Mentor Me’ programme is the option photographers can choose if they are seeking help and advice with any product in the Canon portfolio and looking to improve their overall …

Olympus OM-D EM-5 carries Sony sensor, yes or no?

[Update] -The general consensus is that the OM-D E-M5 uses a Sony made sensor, and that is interesting for a number of reasons. When I attended the launch of the Pen E-P3 in Vienna, Austria the rumor beforehand was that sensor was made by a rival to Panasonic, but when it was subsequently announced at 12-megapixel, everyone (me included) assumed the sensor was from the same source. But what if it wasn't? And what if the sensor used a four-colour filter array; R, Gr, B and Gb (emerald)? Who might have made that?At first I discounted reports that the Olympus OM-D E-M5 carried a Sony made sensor, simply because it requires a huge investment to fabricate a new format like this for a single camera manufacturer, let alone a single model. But the Japan based site, DC Watch are reporting the comments made about Sony as the fab-maker by the Olympus President were directed towards the camera and not a microscope, which was apparently the subject being discussed at that time. Sony is a suppl…

Nikon D800 and D800E in stock at Amazon

The Nikon D800 is in stock at Amazon for $2,999 and so to is the D800E at $3,299, albeit in very limited numbers. Related PostsNikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 best wide-angle zoom for Nikon D800