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January 09, 2014

Curiosity Factor: Panasonic Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 gets completed review, samples (some RAW) and hands-on previews

The new Panasonic Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 micro four thirds prime lens was announced as a product (finally going beyond the development announcement) at CES 2014 and it cannot be accused of being vaporware. The lens has already picked up a completed lens review at detailed lens review website with 12 pages of action, including 24 sample shots of the JPEG variety taken with the Panasonic G6.

But that's not all. This new prime lens got more action in Las Vegas and it didn't say in Vegas, it made it to the internets:

+ detailed hands-on report at Quesabesde including nine RAW samples and more JPEG samples and a vignetting test, shot with Panasonic GX7 - check also computer translated

+ 14 sample pictures and 3 minute video unboxing at (formerly Digital Camera Info) shot with the E-M1 and E-M5. Video also available on YouTube

+ 33 sample pictures at dpreview shot with the Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic GH3 among others, some JPEGs, others shot RAW and converted to JPEG with ACR. Shot by former DC Resource Jeff Keller. Samples discussed in dpreview comments

+ hands-on with 8 full size JPEG samples at Imaging Resource

+ hands-on and pre-production samples at Thephoblographer

+ pictures of the lens at DC Watch Impress

+ text-based first impressions at What Digital Camera? plus 3-minute YouTube slideshow preview

+ price is $1600 and it is available for pre-order at B&H Photo.

Kodak (JK Imaging) Micro Four Thirds System officially announced

The world of micro four thirds is officially welcoming another company making cameras and lenses for the system. It is the ghost of Kodak, currently controlled by JK Imaging. The first camera in the system is the 17mp Kodak S1 with a tilting LCD, RAW (.DNG), hot shoe, and such. There are two lenses coming as well. It will sell for $500 with one lens and for $600 in a two-lens kit.

Seven slide hands-on at dpreview along with the previously mentioned slide hands-on at CNet at CES.

Kodak (JK Imaging) has one press release for all their new products, so search for the relevant parts at ePhotozine and Trusted Reviews and dpreview and Photography Blog.

Kodak (JK Imaging) announces two new Sensor-Lens modules for smartphones

The Sony QX-series was the first attempt by a major camera manufacturer to provide sensor-lens modules that can be attached to smartphones and co-operate with the smartphones via apps.

Fast forward to now at CES 2014, and we have a second recognizable brand name announcing two new sensor-lens modules. It is the Kodak brand, under the control of JK Imaging, launching two new sensor-lens modules, one 10x optical zoom and another 25x optical zoom, with MSRP prices of $200 and $300 which undercut the current Sony prices of $250 and $500. They work with iOS and Android. Three hands-on pictures of the new sensor-lens modules attached to smartphones at dpreview.

Press release parade at Pocket Lint and dpreview and WDC?.

With smartphones becoming more and more popular worldwide, a company needs only to convince a very small percentage of the market in order to have a successful product. Assuming of course they are able to survive the avalanche of thousands of other companies swimming in the same accessories ocean.

Kodak (JK Imaging) dethrones Samsung with new 65x optical zoom digital camera

Samsung briefly held the "zoom ratio wars" crown earlier in the week with the announcement of their new WB2220F (60x optical zoom), but they didn't hold on to the crown for too long. JK Imaging announced a new 65x optical zoom digital camera under the Kodak brand, it is the new Pixpro AZ651 with a 65x optical zoom lens (24-1560mm eq.) and a starting price of $350. Kodak also announced a few more superzooms, including a 52x and a 42x optical under their AZ-series of Astro Zooms.

Press release parade at ephotozine and and Photography Blog et al.

Ricoh GXR system discontinued in the UK (and maybe elsewhere)

In an interview with Amateur Photographer UK (AP UK) at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, a Ricoh UK director told AP UK that the Ricoh GXR system is discontinued in the UK market and perhaps elsewhere as well. This is not an official announcement that the GXR system is discontinued world wide, but the writing's on the wall.

After the Pentax-Ricoh marriage, it was inevitable that the combined company with a fairly small marketshare would not be able to support multiple camera systems. The Q system seems to have found a niche among some affluent buyers in Japan and other high-tech hubs in Asia (Hong Kong, etc) but it doesn't look like the GXR system found a niche anywhere?

Interview: Olympus stopped DSLR development but may return later

In an interview with Amateur Photographer UK, Olympus planning manager Toshi Terada said that Olympus stopped DSLR development, has no plans for DSLRs, but they may return to DSLRs in the future with this precondition: "...once we can get a very nice share [in mirrorless] we may expand the business to DSLR again...".

Considering the nature of the camera market and the DSLR vs mirrorless dynamic, it may take some big changes/disruption in the market for that happen?

Reader Picture Showcase powered by flickr

January 07, 2014

JK Imaging (Kodak) talks to AP UK about their M43rds plans

Earlier today we mentioned the CNet hands-on with the new Kodak S1 m43rds mirrorless camera. Now Amateur Photographer UK has updated their Kodak/JK Imaging report with more details about JK Imaging's plans for their M43rds mirrorless camera line with an interview with JK Imaging's marketing director, revealing where the different body parts of the system are made, and what they are planning in the next few months!

Panasonic shows tiny 4K wearable camera with fisheye lens

4K video is fairly rare right now, especially in small devices, but the major consumer electronics manufacturers, especially the ones that sell TVs, are additionally motivated to have 4K become a big success story, especially after the lukewarm reception of the confusion that was 3D.

With that in mind, at CES 2014, Panasonic is showing a tiny wearable 4K video camera with a fisheye lens. It has the same shape as their previous non-4K model. Five pictures and early details at Engadget at CES.

Panasonic says next GH camera will record 4K video and cost under $2K

Engadget used advanced interrogation techniques to get Panasonic to reveal that their next GH-series digital camera will be able to record 4K video at 200 Mbps and save to UHS III SDXC cards or feed via mini-HDMI. The price will be $2000 or less. Keep in mind, $1999.99 is technically under $2000. More details in the future. A seven picture slide show is also available at Engadget.

Kodak (JK Imaging) shows 17mp Kodak S1 M43rds camera

The original Rochester Kodak was part of Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds but never released an actual 43M43 camera. Now the Kodak cameras name is owned by JK Imaging and this made-for-licensing company is showing a 17mp Kodak S1 micro four thirds camera at CES 2014, with a 3-inch tilting screen, 5fps, Wifi, and 12-45mm f3.5-6.3 collapsible kit lens, PixPro branding and more. More details and 13 pictures of the camera in a CES slideshow at CNet at CES.

New at CES 2014: Toshiba retro-focus module, Lexar CFast 2.0, JVC camcorders, EyeFi, etc

And now lettuce serve up some of the side dish announcements that were not on the main menu at yesterday's announcement luncheon. Wow, so many food puns in one sentence! *hangs head in shame*

+ the 60x Samsung WB2200F superzoom we mentioned earlier today actually has a dual grip, an interesting choice, more of Samsung's throw-everything-and-the-kitchen-sink at the market - see picture at Engadget

+ Toshiba is shipping (to manufacturers) a retro-focus (light field photography) camera module via The Verge and Toshiba Press Release

+ Lexar announces new faster CFast 2.0 memory cards with theoretical speeds that can keep up with 4K RAW video via Engadget

+ JVC announces element-proof ("quad proof") camcorders via Engadget (drops, water, freeze, etc)

+ Mac users now can have an Eye-fi desktop receiver via Engadget. What about ChromeOS and Open VMS users?

+ Polaroid C3 cube action camera with hands on at Engadget (not to be confused with the cube-y Socialmatic)

+ meMini wearable camera via Engadget

+ another affordable 4K display option, ASUS announces new $800 28-inch PB287Q with 3,840 x 2,160 resolution via Engadget

+ Olympus did not announce new cameras at CES but they did announce a new Wifi-enabled voice recorder via Engadget

Kelby Training and NAPP merge into Kelby One (current members pay same prices as before)

And now some CES 2014 news that are not of the gadget variety. Scott Kelby is now merging two of his groups, Kelby Training and NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) have been merged into one group, "Kelby One". Members of either group have access to the material provided by both. Existing members can continue to renew at their existing annual prices, even those grandfathered at the $100 NAPP annual membership. For new members, the price is $250/year or $25/month. A short video and an FAQ are available at the Kelby Blog. A 3 minute video with Scott Kelby explaining this is after the jump...

»» Continue reading "Kelby Training and NAPP merge into Kelby One (current members pay same prices as before)" »»

Samsung launches a 60x optical zoom superzoom dual grip digital camera (five new ones today)

Samsung announced today five new Wifi superzooms. They did not announce these during their CES presentation yesterday. These five cameras feel dissed ;-) But Samsung is grabbing the headlines by "winning" the "size" wars with a new 60x optical zoom superzoom.

The WB2200F has a 60x optical zoom lens, Yes SIXTY. Oh the craziness. It is an f2.8-f5.9 (W/T), starts at 20mm equivalent (so do the math, 20-1200mm eq), OIS, EVF, 3" LCD, NFC and Wifi, SDXC (up to 64GB), 16mp 1/2.x" backlit CMOS sensor, etc... UPDATE: this is a dual-grip camera as you can see from the picture at Engadget.

The WB1100F has a 35x optical zoom lens (starting at 25mm eq), OIS, f3-5.9 (W/T), 3" LCD, NFC and Wifi, SDXC up to 64GB, 16mp 1/2.x" CCD sensor

The WB350F has a 16mp 1/2.x" BSI CMOS sensor with 21x optical zoom with OIS starting at 23mm eq. (f2.8-5.9), etc

The WB50F has a 16mp 1/2.x" CCD and 12x optical zoom OIS (starts 24mm eq) with NFC and Wifi and 3" LCD and microSD* support (up to 64GB)

The WB35F has similar specs as above but 2.7" LCD

January 06, 2014

New smaller Nikon D3300 DSLR with new 18-55 kit lens, new 35mm f1.8G SLR lens (and various Coolpixies)

Nikon is back with a new APS-C DSLR announcement, it is the D3300, the fourth in the D3xxx series. Small is the key feature here, Nikon claims significant reduction in size and weight over the previous models. To match the change, a new smaller 18-55mm kit lens is coming along for the ride. Bundled together they will sell for $650. It has a 24mp sensor but unlike its predecessors, it jumps on the Bayer-hating bandwagon (anti-anti-aliasing).

Details via The Verge and dpreview and Steve's Digicams and PDN Pulse et al. Details on the new 18-55 kit lens via

UPDATE #1: Nikon D3300 sample pictures are available from Nikon Japan, the last two taken with the new 18-55 kit lens. (via Foto Actualidad).

UPDATE #2: the D3300 is now available for pre-order with the new 18-55 kit lens for $650 in black or red or grey at Amazon. The new 18-55 kit lens is also available for pre-order on its own for $200.

New 35mm f1.8G SLR lens
On the SLR lens front, Nikon has officially announced the new 35mm f1.8G FX lens for $600. Details via dpreview and

UPDATE: the new 35/1.8G lens is now available for pre-order for $600 at Amazon.

New Coolpixies
Coming along for the ride are five new Coolpix point and shoot models, headlined by the L830 mid-size superzoom. The others are of the "pointless point and shoot" variety, S6800, S5300, S3600 etc. Details via dpreview and CNet at CES and Engadget et al.

UPDATE #1: also coming in are two very basic P&S, the L30 and L29, press release at Photography Blog.

UPDATE #2: this litter of Coolpixies is now available for pre-order.

Nikon Development Notice: Nikon working on D4S flagship

Nikon issued a development notice - they are working on a brand new Nikon D4S flagship camera! Spartan announcement at The Vergedpreview and PDN Pulse et al.

The good old Nikon D4 was officially announced in early January 2012, so I guess Nikon's numerologists wanted to have a symmetrical announcement of sorts, two years later.

This new development perhaps puts the Nikon Df release into better perspective.

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