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February 11, 2014

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 Here is annotated photographic evidence of its existence:


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.

February 10, 2014

Review Streams updated: added 43 Camera Reviews and 35 Lens Reviews

We fell 25 days behind (*GASP*) the latest reviews, but after a marathon session, we finally caught up! During this update, we added 43 new camera reviews and 35 new lens reviews. Given the high volume of new additions, we have a couple of different ways for you to catch up...

By Chronological Order (roughly)
+ Latest Camera Reviews: Page #1 of Reviews and Page #2 of Reviews and Page #3 of Reviews

+ Latest Lens Reviews: Page #1 of Reviews and Page #2 of Reviews

By Sensor Size
+ cameras with 35mm full frame sensor (DSLR or mirrorless or RF)

+ cameras with APS-C sensor (DSLR or mirrorless)

+ cameras with 43rds M43rds sensor

+ cameras with 1-inch sensor

+ smaller sensors: 2/3" and 1/1.x" and 1/2.x"

Latest DSLR Reviews
+ latest DSLR reviews

+ Nikon D3300: first completed in english review

+ Nikon D5300: two new ones

+ Nikon Df: two more

+ Nikon D610: two more

+ Pentax K-3: three new ones

Latest Rangefinder Reviews
+ Leica M Monochrom(e): one new one

Latest Mirrorless Reviews
+ latest Mirrorless reviews

+ Fuji X-T1: one new (total of three)

+ Sony a7r: three new ones

+ Sony a7: two new ones

+ Sony a5000: two new ones

+ Sony a3000: two new ones

+ Panasonic GM1: two new ones

Latest Compacts with RAW
+ latest RAWsumer reviews (fixed-lens cameras with RAW)

+ Sony RX10: three new ones

+ Panasonic ZS60 aka TZ40 (travel zoom with RAW): first two in English

+ Olympus Stylus 1: four new ones

+ Fuji XQ1: two more

Problems, Typos, Errors, Confusions, Etc
As usual, we may miss some reviews, especially during a long catch-up-a-thon like this. Also, with updates like these, the chances of typos, errors, confusions, mislabeling, etc are higher than usual. If you notice any of these and want to see them corrected, please let us know using the online contact form or leave a comment at the place of the problem. Staring at the screen angrily won't fix the problems, because we don't know they exist unless you tell us!

Camera and Lens Reviews update (UPDATE: completed)

We sadly fell 25 days behind the latest camera and lens reviews. So after a marathon session we finally caught up! You can see the 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

+ NOTE: we will try to post the reviews over there roughly in the general order in which they were published, however, the priority is to complete the updates, not engage in time-consuming internet-forensics to figure out the exact publication order. This is especially the case for reviewers that may not have reliable RSS feeds.

New Foveon DP-series cameras from Sigma: The Three Quattros

No, it's not the Audi Quattro, it's the Sigma DP Quattro! Three new cameras are announced today by Sigma who claims that everything was redesigned for these cameras, the sensor, the lens, the engine, etc. They are of course all primes (19mm, 30mm, 50mm native; multiply by 1.5x for "equivalent"), starting at f2.8, with 23.5 × 15.7mm Foveon X3 sensor, etc. You can find detailed specs and a slide-show of camera body pictures at the Sigma Global website. Yes, these have unusual looking camera bodies. Why not? It sets them apart :) There are hundreds of conventional looking cameras, so embrace diversity ;-)

More via Quesabesde and Photography Blog and Pop Photo and dpnow and Foto Intern et al.

As usual, prices will be revealed at a later date.

February 08, 2014

500px Shocker: Photographers Only Get 30% of the Image License with their new Commercial Licensing program

Apple has come under fire for getting 30% of the digital sales made using its iOS app store. Wait until you hear what 500px wants as its "marketplace share" - 70% of the sale! Let's start from the beginning.

500px is launching a new commercial licensing service, Prime. Licenses start at $250 or higher. Participating photographers will only get 30% of the license. Yes, the ones who did the work, they get 30%. The ones who provide the infrastructure, they get 70%. This is very crystal clear in their blog post announcing this:

" We are giving you, the photographer, 30% for every one of your images that we license. It doesn’t matter how it is bought, who buys it, or under what license, your 30% comes off the top."

This development is discussed by many surprised photographers in the 500px blog post comments section.

Via Engadget.

February 07, 2014

Action Camera Bliss: GoPro files for IPO

It looks like action cameras, at least for now, have carved out a small but safe little kingdom. Safe from the crossfire of the digital cameras vs smartphones war. Another sign of increasing action camera success is that GoPro is now going public. They have filed the paperwork for an IPO!

Camera manufacturers are not usually quick to adapt and adjust, but it looks like they are planning to "invade" action cameras territory after all. For example, this week's Pentax-Ricoh elementproof P&S camera announcement, did not just reveal a new camera, but a whole (optional) system for essentially using an elementproof camera in similar situations as one would use an action camera like a GoPro.

IPO announcement via The Verge and The CNet News and The TechCrunchies.

February 06, 2014

New Panasonic GH4 is a new 4K mirrorless camera - with detailed hands-on previews!

We rarely get new camera announcements at this point in the week, because it is Friday afternoon or later in many parts of the world, and most people tune out on Fridays. But with the CP+ Japanese show on the horizon, this is an exception to the "rule".

Panasonic is making 4K waves today with the announcement of their new DMC-GH4 mirrorless camera. It has a 16mp Live MOS sensor, Wifi and NFC, 4K video, 49-Area autofocus, focus peaking, OLED in both the EVF and Monitor on the back, etc.

In addition to the camera, Panasonic announced the DMW-YAGH accessory that turns the camera into something that can be used for 4K broadcasting. Hands-on with this at Pocket Lint. This potentially has a $high ceiling$ for Panasonic if all the pieces fall in place.

Panasonic GH4 Previews
+ very detailed preview at EOS HD 4K [HOT!]
+ detailed preview at Quesabesde (computer-translated) [HOT!]
+ detailed hands-on at (formerly DCI)
+ hands-on at Pocket Lint
+ first look at Thephoblographer
+ first look at Trusted Reviews
+ detailed spec-sheet comparison at along with slide-show

Press Release Parade
+ dpreview and summary of new features

Panasonic Websites for the GH4
+ GH4 Special Gallery

+ the camera is listed at Adorama but no option to pre-order yet
+ the FL580L flash is listed at Adorama but no option to pre-order yet

Panasonic GH4 Video Previews
+ by WEX Photographic on YouTube
+ also YouTube-embedded below

Panasonic Promotional Videos
Panasonic posted six promotional videos on its YouTube channel, including impressions by four different creatives. You find them all in the YouTube Playlist right below...

New Casio EX-100 compact with RAW (DNG) and CMOS announced in Japan

Casio announced a new 12mp 1/1.7" CMOS compact with RAW camera in Japan, the EX-100. It uses Adobe's DNG format and has a 28-300mm f2.8 (eq) stabilized lens, 6fps, 1080p, etc. Details at ePhotozine and Fotopolis and

Updated: 7/30/14 at 10:45am ET
Amazon (via 3rd parties)
B&H Photo
eBay Search
Amazon itself (TOOS)
B&H Photo
Adorama (openbox, $1900)
Amazon ($1900+ via 3rd parties)
B&H Photo

New Nikon Coolpix models headlined by P600 (60x superzoom) and P340 (rawsumer)

Nikon too joined the Friday announcement party with a new round of Coolpix digital cameras. Among them is the Coolpix P600 with a 60x optical zoom and the Coolpix P340, a 1/1.x" compact with RAW with Wifi. The rest? No one will probably remember them by this time next year - except for those who own them :) The P530 with 42x zoom, the S9700 with 30x, and the AW120 and S32 waterproofs. Sadly for fans of Superzooms with RAW (RAWzoomers), their Coolpix P600 superzoom leader still does not offer RAW. Come Armageddon, come!

Details at dpreview: superzooms and P340 rawsumer and waterproofs and Nikon Press Center.

UPDATE: the new Coolpix models are now available for pre-order at Adorama with a February-27-2014 release estimate. The P340 goes for $380, the P600 for $500.

In-Stock Nao: Nikon D3300 kit and Olympus E-M10 body (also: E-M5 Premium Edition deal)

Two of the latest interchangeable lens digital cameras are now shipping at their starting prices at various reputable online dealers.

The Nikon D3300 with the 18-55mm DX VR II lens goes for $650 and it is in-stock by various at Amazon along with (Huppin's) and Cameta on eBay and BuyDig on eBay and Best Buy (online or Store PickUp).

The Olympus E-M10 body only is in-stock for $700 by Amazon itself and B&H Photo and Adorama.

Speaking of Olympus, Adorama has the Olympus E-M5 Premium Edition with the 45mm f1.8 silver lens on sale for $1000 plus 4% promotional rewards... Research with Olympus E-M5 reviews list...

For more specials, check the Camera Deals blog with easy to remember url and free full-text RSS feed.

Over 62,000 pictures in the Readers Flickr Pool

We have another new milestone in the Readers Flickr Pool. Over 62,000 pictures submitted by photographers like you. As usual, we mention the milestone picture, picture #62,000, Neko Case in Concert at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, captured by photographer Joel Williams using the Olympus E-M1 and the 75mm f1.8 prime lens.

Since Flickr introduced a new feature, Flickr picture embedding (similar to how you embed YouTube videos), we are adding a new feature to the milestone posts, Flickr-embedding the milestone picture using the Flickr embed feature.

This new Flickr embed feature is also a great opportunity to feature more of the Readers Flickr pool work. We will experiment with it in the next few weeks. If you have any ideas, suggestions or feedback, use the online contact form or leave a comment below or tell us or DM us on Twitter...

If you are not familiar with the Flickr Readers Pool, you can check the details (three paragraphs) after the break...

»» Continue reading "Over 62,000 pictures in the Readers Flickr Pool" »»

February 05, 2014

New Tamron PZ lenses at CP+: 16-300mm f3.5-6.3 and 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 [updated]

Tamron will show/announce two new superzoom lenses at/by the Japanese 2014 CP+ trade show, the 16-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di II (APS-C) and 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 Di (full frame). Both will be PZD (piezo drive) and VC (stabilized).

Early details at Focus Numerique (computer-translated).

UPDATE: the official Tamron press release with more details is now out. Prices will be revealed later on. Here are the details for the 16-300mm f3.5-6.3 and here are the details for the 28-300mm f3.5-5.6. Both stabilized (VC) and PZD (ultrasonic monitor) and Di (digitally optimized).

Pentax will announce new CMOS-based 645D medium format camera by CP+ 2014 (also: new 645 and Q lenses coming)

The Medium Format action is picking up steam again. Earlier on, Hasselblad and Phase One announced new CMOS sensors for medium format cameras and digital backs respectively. Now it is Pentax-Ricoh's turn. Pentax has officially announced that a new 645D medium format camera will be shown at the Japanese CP+ 2014 trade show (February 13-16), with the camera expected to come out in the nebulous Spring 2014.

The Pentax press release promises three features for the new camera:
+ Latest, super-high-resolution CMOS image sensor
+ High-speed response in a variety of photographic applications
+ Tilt-type LCD monitor

In the same press release, Pentax also announced that at some point in the future they will announce a new ultra-wide-angle zoom for the 645 system and telephoto macro lens for the Q system. Perhaps the strategy of an announcement of a future announcement is to signal to current and potential customers of the respective systems that Pentax-Ricoh continues to be committed to them?

There is also an interesting contrast, in the same press release, announcing a lens for a giant 645 sensor and one for a tiny 1/2.3" sensor. [Note: As Stefan pointed out in the comments, the most recent Q camera uses a 1/1.x" sensor!]

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