Built-in Wi-Fi lets you transfer photos to smartphones, PCs, tablets, and other devices; a new Play Memories app (for iOS and Android) will let you upload your photos to popular social networking sites
I've posted my review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20, a compact travel zoom with a pretty fancy GPS setup. I didn't recommend its predecessor due to its lackluster image quality. Has Panasonic improved things on their 2012 model? Find out in the review!
Tuesday update: I added another sample movie and replaced the examples for the Intelligent Zoom feature.
I've posted the photo gallery for the Fuji X10, including some pictures from a favorite spot which I can no longer frequent. So far, I've only found one instance of the "white disc" issue that I wrote about yesterday.
There's been a lot of talk on popular photo forums about the "white orb" or "white disc" problem on the Fujifilm X10. I've been working on the review (which is taking forever due to the weather) and have encountered the problem myself. Four nights ago, I took my night test photos, and couldn't miss the huge white discs in several places in my photos. As luck would have it, Fuji released the 1.03 firmware upgrade which is supposed to reduce the problem, so I installed it right away.
Jump to Monday night, and I was back out at my usual spot on Treasure Island, re-shooting the night photos. I didn't bother waiting until I got home to see how things looked -- I went right into playback mode and zoomed in. The results: exactly the same as before. Some thoughts:
The firmware upgrade did not reduce the problem
The problem is not limited to EXR mode, as the firmware upgrade notes state
Shooting RAW does not reduce the blooming
I'm starting to think that this is a hardware issue that cannot be easily fixed
Crops of the night shots can be seen after the link. The full review will be posted shortly after the sun comes back out.
Kodak, who recently filed for bankruptcy protection, has announced that they will cease production of digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames in the first half of this year. It's expected to save the company $100 million dollars per year, but the move will result in "significant" job losses in Rochester. Kodak intends to focus on online, retail, and home photo printing, as well as brand licensing. More details can be found in this Reuters article.
Olympus has released their first true high-end Micro Four Thirds camera: the E-M5. The E-M5 takes the best technology out there now -- namely a new 16 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, super-fast AF system, 5-axis image stabilization, an OLED display, and much more -- and puts it into a weather-sealed body resembling the classic OM from 40 years ago. Oh yeah, and it's only $999 for the body.
I got a chance to try one out a few weeks ago, and it felt nice and sturdy in my hands (though a bit slippery). Unfortunately, Olympus didn't include a battery with the review unit, so I can't tell you any more than that. Needless to say, this is a step in the right direction for Micro Four Thirds, which has leaned more toward the consumer end of the spectrum in the last year or two. That's why the E-M5 is a member of the new OM-D family, and not a Pen.
Here are the highlights of the E-M5, with lots of photos after the break.
In-body 5-axis image stabilization corrects for vertical, horizontal, and rotational movement, plus yaw and pitch; system works using magnets
Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body resembles the original Olympus OM
Twin dials on the top of the camera for manual setting adjustment
Supports all Micro Four Thirds lenses, with a 2X crop factor
Supports classic Four Thirds lenses via the new MMF-3 adapter ($179), which is also weather-sealed
Articulating 3-inch touchscreen OLED display with 610,000 pixels
Touch features include focus, shutter release, and image playback
Large electronic viewfinder has a magnification of 1.15X and 100% coverage; 120 fps refresh rate makes everything nice and smooth
Eye sensor automatically switches between the main display and EVF
Full manual controls, with RAW support
ISO range of 200 - 25600
Shutter speed range of 60 - 1/4000 sec
New "FAST" autofocus system is the world's fastest (at least for this week), with a 240 fps drive speed when in continuous AF mode; new 3D tracking function can follow moving subjects, no matter which way they go
Included external flash (GN 7) is also weather-sealed, and can be used to control wireless external flashes; hot shoe also available
Continuous shooting as fast as 9 frames/second
New EVF Creative Control feature overlays the tone curve on the viewfinder, allowing adjustment of shadows and highlights
More Art Filters, such as Key Line (very cool, actually), Cross Process II, and Dramatic Tone II
New "Live Bulb" feature updates the view on the display/EVF while a long exposure is underway
Records Full HD video at 1080/60i with stereo sound using the H.264 codec
Efforts have been made to reduce jaggies and the rolling shutter effect
New one-shot and multi echo mode
Optional battery grip ($299) come in two pieces: just the bottom for extra battery life, and the side for extra "gripability" (pun intended)
Accessory Port 2 supports EVF, external mic, macro arm light, and PenPal Bluetooth adapter
SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
Uses BLN-1 lithium-ion battery; battery life not available
Available in silver or black
Ships in April for $999 body only, $1099 with a 14 - 42 mm lens (black only), and $1299 with the new 12-50 mm lens
Along with the camera come two news lenses and a flash. On the lens front, we have an F1.8, 75mm M.Zuiko model (which is all-metal), as well as a weather-sealed F2.8, 60mm macro lens. They'll be officially introduced later this year. Something you can buy sooner is the new FL-600R flash, which has a guide number of 36 (at ISO 100) and a built-in LED lamp which assists in focusing, and brightens up the scene when you're recording movies. The FL-600R is priced at $299, while the lenses will have prices when they are officially released.
Believe it or not, Olympus released other cameras beside the E-M5 today. The first of the two compacts to tell you about is the SZ-31MR iHS, where the MR stands for multi-recording (video and stills at the same time) and the iHS is for "Intelligent, High Sensitivity, and High Speed". Here's what else this camera with a long name has to offer:
While some camera manufacturers are just now getting into rugged cameras, Pentax has been doing it for many years. In fact, their new WG-2 models are their 13th generation of rugged camera! As with the WG-1, these cameras come in two flavors: regular and GPS. Here's more:
Canon has released the new PowerShot SX260 HS, which is the replacement to last year's SX230. The biggest changes to the SX260 include more zoom power and a new GPS receiver. Here's more about Canon's latest travel zoom camera:
Next up are two Wi-Fi-equipped ELPH models: the ELPH 320 HS and ELPH 530 HS. Similar to how other manufacturers are handling Wi-Fi these days, the ELPHs will be able to upload pictures directly to social networking and photo sharing sites when connected to a Wi-Fi network. There will also be an app available (first for iOS, later for Android), which will transfer photos to your smartphone, from where you can send them onto further destinations. The cameras themselves are otherwise identical to the ELPH 110 (don't ask me to explain Canon's numbering system) and ELPH 520 that were announced last month. Here are the full specs:
Is it a whale, or a camera? Apparently the new PowerShot D20 is indeed a camera, and Canon's replacement to the aging D10. If you've been looking for a fish-shaped camera to take into the great outdoors, this one might be right up your alley:
Nikon F-mount; no crop factor with FX-format lenses, 1.5X with DX-format (resolution drops to 15.4 MP, as well)
Very solid magnesium alloy construction, sealed against dust and moisture; shutter rated to 200,000 cycles
3.2-inch LCD display with 921,000 pixels, with live view
Large optical viewfinder has magnification of 0.7X, coverage of 100/97 percent (FX/DX format)
51-point AF system, with fifteen cross-type sensors
91,000 pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering system
Full manual controls (in case you were wondering)
ISO range of 100 - 6400, expandable to 50 - 25600
Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/8000 sec
Continuous shooting at 4 fps (FX mode), 5 fps (DX mode), or 6 fps (DX mode with optional battery grip)
In-camera HDR feature (two shot)
Built-in flash can double as a wireless master; hot shoe and flash sync port for attaching something more powerful
Records video at 1080p @ 24 or 30 fps, or 720p at 60 fps
Uses H.264 and B-Frame compression for super high quality, 24 MBps video (20 min limit); standard compression can be used for longer videos (30 min)
Full manual controls available while recording
A lens' power aperture can be adjusted for changes in depth-of-field while recording
Dedicated movie recording button on top of camera
Stereo mic input, headphone output
Can output uncompressed video through its HDMI port (like the D4)
USB 3.0 port (backward compatible)
Dual memory card slots support SD and CompactFlash
Uses EN-EL15 lithium-ion battery, 900 shots per charge
Optional battery grip (which can use another EN-EL15, the D4's EN-EL18, or AA batteries), wireless file transmitter, and GPS receiver
Ships in late March for $2999, body only
Nikon will also be releasing a companion model, known as the D800E. This is the same body, but with the low pass filter removed, for the ultimate in resolution (but more color moiré). The D800E will be available in limited quantities for $3299.
Fujfilm has released the U.S. pricing for their X-Pro1 interchangeable lens camera, which was announced back at CES. The camera will ship at the end of this month for $1699, body only. As for the three new lenses, they're priced as followed:
camera that uses the venerable K-mount. What makes it unique is its one-of-a-kind design created by Marc Newson, whom I admit I'd never heard of until I saw the camera last month. The retro modern design and color scheme is certainly going to garner a lot of attention, sot he K-01 is not for photographers who don't want to be noticed.
What about the specs and features, you ask? Here you go:
Supports all Pentax K-mount lenses, with a 1.5X crop factor
Sensor-shift image stabilization
Unique design by "world renowned" designed Marc Newson comes in black, white, and yellow; body is machined aluminum with rubber accents
3-inch LCD display with 921,000 pixels
Full-time live view with 81-point contrast detect AF, face detection, focus peaking (like on Sony NEX cameras), grid lines, and a histogram
Loads of manual controls, with RAW (DNG) support
ISO range of 100 - 12800, expandable to 25600
Auto Picture mode selects the right scene mode for the situation
Continuous shooting at 6 frames/second
Plenty of special effects, plus an HDR mode
Multi-exposure and time-lapse modes
Built-in flash (GN 12) + hot shoe
Full HD video recording at 24, 25, or 30 frames/sec with stereo sound using H.264 codec
Manual controls available
Stereo mic input if you want higher sound quality
Optional wireless remote, GPS receiver
SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
Uses D-LI90 lithium-ion battery, 500 shots per charge
Will come in two kits: body only ($749), or with the new DA 40mm lens described below ($899)
Ships in March
Yes, that really is a lens on the camera in the picture to the right! Marc Newson had a hand in this one too, creating an F2.8, 40 mm DA lens that is just 9.2 mm (0.36") thick. You'll be able to get this lens bundled with the K-01, or separately for $249.