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February 13, 2014

DIY: Epson R-D1 battery life boost without modding the camera itself

While it is raining cameras in the DSLR and mirrorless segments, it is mostly quiet in the world of digital rangefinders. So if you are a fan of digital rangefindering but not too hot on digital Leicas, the options are very few. If you happen to have or considering to get the Epson R-D1 camera, JL Williams alerted us of their DIY battery boost solution that gives the camera a longer life, while leaving the camera itself untouched and unmodded.

You can find the two minute video explaining this DIY at the JL Williams YouTube channel, and also find it YouTube embedded below...


February 12, 2014

Camera & Lens Reviews updated: eight new camera and three new lens reviews

The big wave of CP+ 2014 new product announcements is finally slowing down, so we updated the Lens Reviews stream with three new reviews (including Tamron 150-600mm) and Camera Reviews stream with eight new reviews including two more for the Sony a7r, and one each for the Nikon D3300 (Dxomark) and Nikon D3300 (dpreview) and Nikon Df and Sony RX10 and Olympus Stylus 1 and Samsung Galaxy NX.

You can keep up with latest reviews as they get added at the following places:

+ Camera Reviews website and/or Camera Reviews RSS feed

+ Lens Reviews website and/or Lens Reviews RSS feed

New Sandisk Ultra Dual USB drive is a Do-It-All-Paul of sorts

If you frequently back up and/or transfer your pictures from/to your mobile devices (cameraphones, tablets, etc) to/from your computers, Sandisk came up with a new multi-purpose device, the Ultra Dual USB drive. It has built-in memory, plus a USB port on one side and a micro-USB port on the other. This is a wire-free non-wireless option to quickly transfer files between different types of devices.

Your mobile device needs to support USB OTG (On The Go). A list of compatible devices is provided in the Specifications tab at the Sandisk product page. It will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB denominations.

Via Android Central.


UPDATE: here is a review of this creature at PC World.


Sandisk produced a 60 second video promo visually explaining it better than I can with words, YouTube embedded below (the music is fairly loud, adjust volume/headset accordingly)...


Coming Soon for the Pentax K-mount: Sigma 30mm f1.4 Art lens

Pentax K-mount prime fans can soon join the Art Prime party. More specifically, the Sigma 30mm f1.4 Art series SLR lens is coming soon in the Pentax K-mount as well! More via the Pentaxforums website.

Canon S200 (RAW Eunuch) arrives in Europe

The Canon Powershot S200 was a RAWless camera announced in Japan in August 2013. As the name suggests, this has body parts of the other Canon S-series compacts with RAW, but this one has no RAW *cry* and a CCD sensor. Six months later, and Canon is now announcing this RAW-eunuch to more markets, including Europe.

European announcement at What Digital Camera? and Quesabesde (computer translated) and Fotopolis.pl and Dkamera.de.

This camera should not be confused with a very old Canon Elph S200 digital camera. That one was an "Elph S200". This one is just a "S200". Plus the names of these are different in Japan and Europe. Recall the whole Ixus, Ixy, Elph thing.

It is cameras like these that worry me that one day we are going to wake up to an announcement of an interchangeable lens camera WITHOUT RAW!

New SLR Magic 1.33x50 Anamorphot-50 anamorphic lens

SLR Magic has announced a new specialty lens, the 1.3xx50 Anamorphot-50 lens, designed in part thanks to feedback from photo-video-graphers at EOS-HD and Personal View. Announcement and details at EOS-HD and Photography Blog and ePhotozine.

Reader Picture Showcase powered by flickr


New Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-II SDXC and SDHC memory cards

Sandisk is back with a new memory card announcement. They are now launching the Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-II SDXC and SDHC memory cards that promise write speeds of up to 250MB/sec and read speeds of up to 280MB/sec. To get the maximum theoretical speeds, it has to be a lunar eclipse, on a leap year, that coincides with the Year of the Unicorn, and only on Tuesdays that fall on the 5th or the 21st of an even-numbered month with 30 days or less :)

Kidding aside, Sandisk is primary targeting this towards 4K video shooters with UHS Speed Class 3 rating. So far three models have been announced in this line-up, 64GB, 32GB and 16GB, with root model number SDSDXPB-XXXGB-A46, where XXX is the storage capacity (eg 064, 032, 016).

You can find more details at Sandisk and CNet News and Engadget.

February 11, 2014

New Olympus Professional M43rds Lenses: 7-14mm f2.8 and 300mm f4 [corrected]

Olympus announced two new professional Micro Four Thirds lenses in the runup to the CP+ 2014 trade show: the 7-14mm f2.8 and the 300mm f4 (not f1.4; corrected!). These are in development with a 2015 release estimate. Since this is a development announcement, don't expect pre-orders right now for these.

Details at Photoscala.de (computer translated) and fotointern.ch and Four Thirds User.

New Sony a6000 E-mount mirrorless camera [with hands-on reports]

The NEX name may be gone from Sony marketing, but it still lives in the hearts of many NEX photographers! But the new NEX E-mount cameras have the new naming scheme, it is the brand new Alpha a6000! The body only is priced at $650, while the kit with the 16-50mm power zoom lens goes for $800. It is already available for pre-order at Amazon.


Sony a6000 First Impressions
+ four pages at dpreview based on pre-production model
+ hands-on at CNet.com with spec-sheet comparison of various mirrorless cameras and slide show
+ hands on at Trusted Reviews
+ hands on at ePhotozine
+ Photography Blog with sample pictures
+ Pocket Lint
+ Digital Camera Review
+ ThePhoblographer


Press Release Parade
+ Quesabesde

FE E-mount Lenses: Sony 70-200mm f4G OSS for $1500

The new Sony 70-200mm f4G OSS NEX E-mount mirrorless-system lens has a price, and it is a premium full frame price, $1500 as pointed by dpreview. Not sure if anyone would be interested in sticking this not-so-tiny lens on those NEX camera bodies, so it is perhaps of interest mostly to the full frame E-mount shooters (a7, a7r). UPDATE: the lens is now available for pre-order for $1500 at B&H Photo.

New Canon D-Rebel T5 entry-level DSLR [with hands-on reports]

One of Canon's first attempt at combating the mirrorless movement was a basic and simpler DSLR, the D-Rebel T3 aka 1100D. That was a while back in camera years. Fast forward to today, and Canon is revealing a new model in the entry-level D-Rebel series, the new T5 aka 1200D.

The T5 has a 18mp APS-C CMOS sensor, with DiGiC 4, with a 9pt AF system, ISO 100-6400 (up to 12800), up to 3fps burst mode (up to 69 JPEGs or 6 RAW), Creative Filters, 3-inch monitor (460k pixels), etc. As you can see by the DiGiC 4, this is "recycling" other D-Rebel hardware.

The new T5 is available for pre-order with the 18-55mm II lens for $550 at Adorama.


Canon T5 previews
+ Trusted Reviews
+ What Digital Camera?
+ DSLR Magazine
+ Pocket Lint
+ Fotopolis.pl


Press Release
+ dpreview

New Canon G1X Mark II Compact with RAW [with hands-on reports]

Canon took a while before making real the big sensor fixed lens zoom fantasy of Powershot shooters with the Canon G1X first generation [reviews]. Fast forward to today, and Canon is revealing their second generation model, the G1X Mark II, with a starting price of $800.


Canon-g1x-second-generation


Canon G1X Mark II Key Specs
+ 12.8mp 1.5" CMOS sensor
+ DiGiC 6 and HS system
+ 5x optical zoom lens, 24-120mm eq, f2-3.9
+ optical image stabilization
+ dual control rings on the lens barrel
+ rings have customization options
+ nine blade aperture
+ up to 5.2 fps
+ 14-bit RAW
+ 31 autofocus points
+ 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD (1~ million pixels)
+ optional EVF, model EVF-DC1
+ Wifi and NFC


Canon G1X Mark II First Impressions
+ Quesabesde (computer translated)
+ What Digital Cameras
+ Trusted Reviews
+ ultra short preview at DSLR Magazine
+ Pocket Lint


Sensor Size
Below you will find green-annotated the Canon press material comparing the camera's sensor versus APS-C cameras and "conventional" 1/1.x" rawsumers.


Canon-g1x-ii-sensor

New Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II for $550

Macro Ring time for Canonites. Canon has revealed the new Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II with a starting price of $550. It has 12 custom functions (on the flash; in addition to the camera) and supports E-TTL wireless autoflash when linked to Speedlite 600EX-RT flashes. Control in E-TTL Mode: FP Sync, FE lock, Flash +/-, compensation, Flash Exposure, and Bracketing. It is powered by four AA batteries in the controller and per the press release, alkalines, lithium, NiCD and NiMH are okay. It is composed of the Ring Lite, twin circular flash tubes, and the separate Controller Unit that has the power. It is available for pre-order for $550 at Adorama.

New Canon Powershots: SX700 HS superzoom, D30 waterproof and three new Elphs

Canon has announced five new Powershot P&S cameras, one superzoom, one waterproof and three new Elph models.

The Canon Powershot SX 700 HS has a 16mp 1/2.3" backlit CMOS sensor with DiGiC 6, a 30x optical zoom lens (25-750mm eq), stabilized, with built-in NFC and Wifi, CameraWindow app compatibility, burst mode up to 8.5fps, 1080p video, 3-inch LCD, no EVF, PASM but no RAW, etc. It will come out in black or red with a starting price of $350.

While other manufacturers have been iterating waterproof and elementproof digital cameras like crazy, Canon has been very measured in its waterproof models. And now they have a new one, the Powershot D30, with a 12mp 1/2.x" backlit CMOS sensor with DiGiC 4, waterproofness up to 82 feet, shockproofness up to 6.5 feet, temperature range of 14 to 104 Fahrenheit, 5x optical zoom lens (28-140mm eq), 3-inch display, no EVF, 24fps 1080 video, etc. It has a starting price of $330.

Next up, we have three Elph models, the Elph 150 IS, 140 IS and 135, with 1/2.3" CCD sensors. As the "IS" in the model name suggests, these are powered by CCD sensors, not CMOS sensors. This means slower burst modes and 720p video among other things. The 150 IS has a 10x optical zoom, the 140 IS has an 8x optical zoom lens, while the 135 does not actually have image stabilization but it has an 8x optical zoom lens as well. The 150 IS has a 20mp sensor while the other two have 16mp sensors. The starting prices are $150, $130 and $120 respectively.

You can find them all available for pre-order at Adorama.

New Sony Cybershots: four H-series superzooms (one is 63x optical) and two W-series compacts

Sony announced six new Cybershot P&S digital cameras today in the build-up to the influential Japanese CP+ 2014 trade show. Three of the new cameras are superzooms in the H*-series and two are compact P&S models in the W*-series. No RAW. You can see them all, available for pre-order at Adorama.

UPDATE: one more camera was announced, the new Cybershot HX60v with a 20mp 1/2.x" CMOS sensor and 30x optical zoom lens. More on this at the previews at ePhotozine and Photography Blog which also includes sample pictures.

The leader of this pack is the Sony Cybershot HX400 with a 20mp 1/2.3" Exmor R CMOS sensor and a 50x optical zoom lens, 29-580mm eq f2.8-6.3 with Optical Steady Shot, carrying the Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* branding. It is available for pre-order for $500 at Adorama.

Next up, the Sony Cybershot H400 with a 20mp 1/2.3" CCD sensor with a crazy 63x optical zoom lens, 24.5 - 1550mm eq, f3.4-f6.5, Optical Steady Shot, etc. Yes, the Zoom Ratio Wars continue! Preview at CNet.com. Here is annotated photographic evidence of its existence:


Sony-cybershot-h400


Next up, a deputy to the H400 is the Cybershot H300 with the same CCD sensor as above but a more modest 35x optical zoom lens, 25-875mm eq, f3.0-5.9, Optical Steady Shot, etc. We've come a long way when a 35x optical zoom lens is "modest" :)

The Cybershot WX350, as the "X" in the name suggests, uses a CMOS Exmor R sensor, of the 20mp 1/2.x" variety as well, with a 20x optical zoom lens, f3.5-6.5,etc. This has a Sony G lens.

The Cybershot W800, as the lack of an "X" in the name suggests, has a CCD sensor, of the 20mp 1/2.x" variety, with a 5x optical zoom lens, f3.2-6.4.


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