Digital Photography Review Newsletter
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
The most popular weekly photography newsletter, with over 300,000 subscribers
Hello! And welcome to the 467th Digital Photography Review newsletter.
Well, the world hasn't ended... I didn't seriously think it would, but our announcement last week of a new dpreview store certainly sparked some heated debate.
Our new store is called GearShop, it's been in beta for a few weeks (thanks for your feedback if you were one of the logged-in dpreview users who used it) but now it's live, and public, and shipping cameras lenses and accessories to US-based customers. If you're not based in the USA, believe me when I say that we have not forgotten about you...
GearShop is a specialist camera/photo store with an intentionally narrow inventory, comprised of products that we would recommend to our friends and family. We think it combines the best bits of Amazon (our parent company, known for reliable security and great customer service) with the authority and honesty of dpreview's product reviews, although some of you might have understandable concerns about what it means for the future of the site.
To cut a long story short, in order for dpreview to survive in the long term, we need to look beyond simply generating revenue through advertising alone (which up to now has been pretty much the only business model for magazines and content sites like ours). We could put up a paywall, but c'mon. No-one wants that. We concluded that creating a store - a service - for our readers is far preferable to making you pay to read our content.
This might sound like a lot of things are changing. That's not the case. There's a lot of dust blowing around at the moment but at dpreview it's business as usual (no pun intended). The GearShop team is managed and located separately to editorial, and we're 100% committed to keeping it that way. Our reviewers don't sell cameras. You'll find a welcome note from the GearShop content editor, Laura, below.
OK, so we launched a store! But we did other things last week too. Let's take a look at some recent highlights.
Panasonic WG-3 GPS review
The Pentax WG-3 GPS is a uniquely shaped camera that can handle whatever nature throws at you, and the fast lens (at wide-angle) doesn't hurt, either. There's one more review left in our waterproof camera series, followed by a wrap-up article that will help you pick the best one. In the meantime, click below to find out what we thought about the WG-3 GPS.
Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-FZ70
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16.1MP compact superzoom with a 60x optical zoom. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm it's the largest zoom lens available in a consumer compact. The FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9, and the camera introduces a new 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor capable of 1080/60i video. A wind shield built into the camera's stereo microphone is designed to improve sound quality on windy days (Panasonic claims a 70% improvement in signal-to-noise ratio), and the microphone itself is designed to 'zoom' with the lens.
DxOMark investigates lenses for Canon EOS 6D, and Sigma 30mm F1.4
Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been investigating lenses for the Canon EOS 6D, and have tested no fewer than 95 lenses from Canon, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss to see which score highest. The results are presented in a multipart article, that also compares the EOS 6D results to those from the EOS 5D Mark III and the Nikon D600. Meanwhile for APS-C SLR users, this week DxOMark also reviewed two fast lenses from Sigma, the 30mm F1.4 DC HSM and the 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM.
Hasselblad announces distinctly RX100-esque 'Stellar' compact
Hasselblad has unveiled a rather familiar-looking compact camera - the Stellar. The very RX100-esque compact offers the same 28-100mm equivalent Zeiss-branded zoom and 20MP 1"-type sensor as the Sony, but comes with a substantial hand-grip made from a choice of exotic materials and, we suspect, a significantly higher price tag.
Aptina's Clarity+ sensor tech promises 1EV improvement
Sensor maker Aptina has given more details of its Clarity+ technology that it claims will offer a 1EV improvement in sensitivity over conventional sensors. The company believes it has found a way to use clear pixels to capture more light while retaining the image quality of a standard Bayer sensor. Although initially intended for smartphone sized sensors, the company says it could have applications in larger formats.
Welcome to GearShop - a message from Laura
As a fellow camera junkie and longtime DPReview devotee, I'm thrilled to be a part of the GearShop team. I've spent the better part of the last decade alternating behind the viewfinder, covering Seattle's music scene, and the camera counter in a specialty brick-and-mortar photo store, slinging gear to pros, newbies, and everyone in between.
My experience lends itself well to the challenge of working with the experts at DPReview to curate GearShop's selection, and I look forward to shaping the store into exactly what you - our customers - want. The team at GearShop is eagerly awaiting your feedback, which will serve as the driving force behind our ongoing efforts to create the best photo specialty shopping experience available anywhere.
When using the site, don't forget that the team behind it is made up of real people with a real passion for photography. We'll do our best to offer you high quality products with easy navigation, fast shipping, great customer service, and competitive prices. As part of our grand opening, we've matched up some of our favorite accessories with dozens of cameras, and are offering one to you for free (up to $150 value) with a qualifying camera purchase. You can find these freebies by shopping with our rebates tool, and they can be combined with other current promotions too.
We thank you again for trying us out, and hope to become your favorite photo-specialty store.
Laura and the GearShop Team
What's coming up?
The final in our series of reviews of this year's waterproof compacts - the Sony Cyber-shot TX30 no less - as well as our final word on the Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D and (wait for it.... wait for it....) the FUJIFILM X100S! For real this time! As soon as I've sent this newsletter I'm going to start work on the conclusion. As well as the SL1 and X100S, we're also pulling together our review of the innovative Pentax Q7 and there's also a review of the new Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM just around the corner.
Until then, remember that you can leave feedback, share images and ask questions in our forums, and if there's something you really want to write about, you can also submit your own articles for consideration. We'd love to hear from you.
As always, thanks for reading!
WTD (from the vaults)
Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 3:06:55 PM GMT
We've just updated our preview of the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM with lens test data, courtesy of DxOMark. This lens has generated a lot of excitement as the fastest zoom ever made for SLRs, but the big question is whether its speed comes at the cost of optical quality. We've looked into this by comparing the 18-35mm to some current benchmark designs - and the results may surprise you. Click through to read all about it.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:33:39 PM GMT
Sensor maker Aptina has given more details of its Clarity+ technology that it claims will offer a 1EV improvement in sensitivity over conventional sensors. The company believes it has found a way to use clear pixels to capture more light while retaining the image quality of a standard Bayer sensor. Although initially intended for smartphone sized sensors, the company says it could have applications in larger formats. Find out more over at connect.dpreview.comRead full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:58:37 PM GMT
Engineers at Tokyo University's Ishikawa Oku Laboratory have come up with new technology to track extremely fast motion. Their new system - which uses 'Saccade Mirrors' for pitch and tilt, a 'pupil shift system', and very fast image processing - is able to keep even the quickest subject in the center of the frame at all times. According to engineers, the initial application for this system could be to capture video at sporting events. They expect it to be market-ready in about two years. Follow the link for a video demonstration of this intriguing new technology.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:59:50 PM GMT
Florida-based photographer and blogger Olivier Duong has concluded his examination of so-called 'gear acquisition syndrome' with an article that explains how he broke free from his addiction. Starting with the mantra 'there is more to photography than gear', Duong describes how he make a conscious effort to appreciate the equipment he already owns, and to concentrate on using it to improve his photography. Click through for more details.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 11:41:08 PM GMT
Toshiba has announced the Exceria and Exceria Pro ranges of SD cards - the first to conform to the UHS-II standard and the fastest SD cards yet announced. The Exceria Pro cards will be available in 16GB and 32GB sizes from October 2013 and will offer read/write speeds of 260MB/s and 240MB/s respectively. 32GB and 64GB Exceria series cards offering the same read speeds but half the write speed will follow a month later.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 5:00:00 AM GMT
Fujifilm has given more details about its upcoming firmware updates for the X-Pro1 and X-E1 (Versions 3.00 for the X-Pro1, and 2.00 for the X-E1). In addition to the existing promise to improve autofocus speed, it says that focus accuracy will be improved with difficult subjects. The updates will also add a 'focus peaking' function to aid manual focus, and improve image stabilisation during movie recording with the 18-55mm F2.8-4 lens. They are due to be available for download on 23rd July.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 10:40:50 AM GMT
The 2013 UK Picture Editors Guild Awards are now open for entries. Amateur photographers can show off their skills by entering the 'BT Citizen Photographer of the Year' category; images must have been taken between July 17th, 2012 and July 16, 2013, and the final date for submission of entries is September 1, 2013. Meanwhile professionals can enter images into a range of categories, for a £20 fee. Click through for full details and entry links.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 7:36:04 PM GMT
The folks at Magic Lantern are no stranger to adding new features to Canon DSLRs, courtesy of their EOS Camera Tool software. Their latest creation, Dual ISO, increases the dynamic range of the 5D Mark III and EOS 7D by four stops, bringing the total dynamic range to 14EV. This allows you to pull detail out of the shadows with a lot less noise than with the 'stock' firmware. Click through for more details.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 9:00:36 PM GMT
Today, DPReview officially opens GearShop to the public. GearShop is a highly curated and content-rich online store for buying cameras, lenses and photography accessories. Utilizing DPReview’s comprehensive testing and research, GearShop provides photography enthusiasts with expert guidance when buying photography equipment online. In celebration of the launch, GearShop customers will be able to claim up to $150 in free accessories with select camera purchases now through July 27, 2013. Click through for more details. Apologies to our international visitors: At this time GearShop is only able to ship to customers in the USA.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM GMT
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16MP compact superzoom with a 60x optical zoom that more than doubles the zoom reach of its 24x FZ60 predecessor. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm, the FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9 and is claimed to be both the longest and widest in its class. The FZ70 effectively replaces the FZ60, but the constant-F2.8 Lumix DMC-FZ200 remains in the lineup.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:49:39 PM GMT
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-XS3, a budget zoom compact camera that's just 14mm thick. It sports an optically-stabilised wideangle 5x zoom lens (24-120mm equivalent), a 14.1MP 1/2.3" High Sensitivity MOS sensor, and can record Full HD video in MP4 format. It includes a range of Creative Filters which can be applied either during or after shooting, and can also be used when shooting panoramas. The XS3 appears to be a Europe-only release, and will be available in September at a price of £119.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:20:19 PM GMT
A good summer photo project doesn't necessarily require a lot of expensive equipment, just a camera, an idea and the persistence to see it through. Chances are you've already got everything you need to kick off a photo series of your own. At DPReview we're always looking for new and interesting photos on the web and lately we've noticed a lot of inspired projects. Some are fairly laborious, while others take a simple idea and run with it. Check out these projects and why not get started on your own?Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 12:29:04 AM GMT
We love this 50 Things I've Learned About Mobile Photography List (and iPhone Photography) by Misho Baranovic, an accomplished mobile photographer and Connect contributor. You'll find some universal truths in there and maybe a few things you disagree with, but Baranovic's list is guaranteed to get you thinking, and laughing, too. Click through for some extracts and a link to the full article.Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 2:20:01 PM GMT
Our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been investigating lenses for the Canon EOS 6D, and have tested no fewer than 95 lenses from Canon, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss to see which score highest. The results are presented in a multipart article, that also compares the EOS 6D results to those from the EOS 5D Mark III and the Nikon D600. Meanwhile for APS-C SLR users, this week DxOMark also reviewed two fast lenses from Sigma, the 30mm F1.4 DC HSM and (in case you missed it earlier this week) the 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM. Click through for the links.Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 6:11:26 PM GMT
With newspapers laying off photographers and picture editors, and the rise of 'citizen journalism', can traditional photojournalism survive? Nonprofit news organization Mother Jones has published an interesting interview with photographer Fred Richin, whose new book 'Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary and the Citizen' aims to explore the current state of the profession, and answer some of the questions about its future. Click through for extracts from the interview, and a link to the full article.Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 6:54:50 PM GMT
Nikon has released distortion correction data v1.009, adding support for additional lenses for the D4, D90, D600, D800, D800E, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D7100. The latest update means these cameras can now correct distortion in 107 Nikkor lenses. The latest update includes recent launches such as the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED and can be downloaded from Nikon's global website.Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 7:48:20 PM GMT
Rumor and tech sites have been buzzing about Sony's upcoming smartphone, code-named Honami. Recent rumors have shifted to the possibility that the new phone will be capable of working with an interchangeable lens that may have its own sensor and some sort of storage built in, with the ability to communicate with smart-devices wirelessly and via NFC. Click through for more details about the rumors at our sister site, connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 9:06:52 PM GMT
We've been fans of Aaron Johnson's comic strip 'What the Duck' for years. 'WTD' is one of the best satirical comic strips in the world, and it's published here every week, as well as being included in our weekly newsletter. Barbed, topical and always amusing, we hope you enjoy WTD as much as we do. Click through for one from Aaron's archive. Appropriate this week, we think...Read full story →
Published on Friday, July 19, 2013 9:31:56 PM GMT
We've just posted our review of the Pentax WG-3 GPS. This uniquely shaped camera can handle whatever nature throws at you, and the fast lens (at wide-angle) doesn't hurt, either. There's one more review left in our waterproof camera series, followed by a wrap-up article that will help you pick the best one. In the meantime, you can read more about the WG-3 GPS after the link.Read full story →
Published on Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:00:41 PM GMT
It's not uncommon for photographers to feel much more at ease behind the camera rather than in front of it. Duo, a concept from Chin-Wei Liao, a Korean design school graduate, aims to transform the person behind the lens into photographer and subject simultaneously. Each half of the Duo is an individual camera. Assembled as one unit, pressing the shutter will record an image while capturing a picture of the person using the camera. Click through to read more about this modular camera system.Read full story →
Published on Monday, July 22, 2013 6:30:46 PM GMT
Hasselblad has unveiled a rather familiar-looking compact camera - the Stellar. The very RX100-esque compact offers the same 28-100mm equivalent Zeiss-branded zoom and 20MP 1"-type sensor as the Sony, but comes with a substantial hand-grip made from a choice of exotic materials and, we suspect, a significantly higher price tag.Read full story →
Published on Monday, July 22, 2013 6:56:44 PM GMT
Photography has been around for almost two hundred years, but amazingly, it's only in the past couple of decades that it has gained widespread acceptance as an artform. These days, images by significant photographers command very high prices. But just how high is 'very high'? Internet community FreeYork.org has published a list of the ten most expensive photos ever sold. Click through for the list.Read full story →
Published on Monday, July 22, 2013 7:48:54 PM GMT
A prototype for a new DSLR add-on is poised to bring plenoptic capabilities to consumer cameras. The KaleidoCamera is designed to sit between a standard DSLR's sensor and lens. A diffuser splits light passing through the lens into nine different beams, each passing through a filter before it reaches the camera's sensor. Click through to read on about this prototype's capabilities and potential applications.Read full story →
Published on Monday, July 22, 2013 11:51:22 PM GMT
Sandisk has announced its new Connect line of wireless flash memory storage devices, including the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive and SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. SanDisk says its Wireless Flash Drive allows for wireless connectivity from a smartphone, tablet or computer without an Internet connection. It's available in 16GB or 32GB capacities, priced at $49.99 and $59.99 respectively. Click through for more details on our sister site, connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →