Digital Photography Review Newsletter
Monday, 23 December 2013
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Hello! And welcome to the 489th Digital Photography Review newsletter.
I write this from an almost empty office, on a rainy day in Seattle as another year shudders to a soggy close. Tomorrow is Christmas eve, and I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a rest, if only to finally shake off this cold that I've had since October.
Towards the end of December, we start to do two things. Look back on everything that happened over the past few months, and look ahead to what's coming up next year. The past twelve months have been incredibly busy here at dpreview. A lot of the work has been behind the scene on site improvements, but some of it has been very public. Almost 40 camera reviews (which I'm constantly being told we 'don't do anymore'), countless detailed first-impressions articles about new cameras and lenses, nine lens reviews (with another on the way before the end of the year) plus a totally revamped buying guide section of the site with seventeen (so far) detailed articles to help you choose the best gear for your needs... the list is long and I'm incredibly proud of the team of writers and developers that have made it all possible.
Let's take a look at last week's content highlights.
Have your say: Best gear of 2013
There were many great cameras and lenses released in 2013, but which were the best? You can have your say now in our end of year readers polls. We've shortlisted standout cameras in four categories, plus another one for lenses and summarized their key selling points, but now it's over to you. Click the link below to see this year's polls and cast your vote!
Nikon Df review
The Nikon Df is, at first appearance, the camera many people have been wanting for years - a classically styled DSLR with traditional external controls. Much of what's under the Df's retro skin is pretty familiar. The Df inherits the 16MP full-frame sensor from the flagship D4, and borrows a 39-point AF system from the enthusiast D610 But does the Df bring together the best of the old and the new for a compelling shooting experience? Let's find out!
How? Why, by reading out full review of course!
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 review
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 puts the 'Micro' in Micro Four Thirds as the smallest model in that class, with a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and a collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. It offers many of the same features as its big brother the Lumix GX7, starting with the sensor, but in a much smaller package. See how it measures up in our full review.
Fujifilm announces XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS wideangle zoom
Fujifilm has announced the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS, a premium ultra-wideangle zoom lens for the company's X system mirrorless cameras. It offers an angle of view equivalent to 15-36mm on full frame, and incorporates optical image stabilization to reduce blur at slow shutter speeds when shooting hand-held. It also has an aperture control ring on the barrel, and is compatible with the company's Lens Modulation Optimizer function. It'll be available from March 2014 for $999.95 / £849.99.
What's coming up?
There's plenty on the way, including a full review of the new AF-S Nikkor 58mm F1.4 G, which we're hoping to get out before the end of this month, and of course we'll also be gearing up for the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Last Vegas, which takes place in early January. It's a good bet that we'll see plenty of new products announced at and slightly before the show, so keep an eye on our site in the first week of January.
Also in early January we'll be posting our full review of the Sony a7 and a7R, and announcing a final readers' poll, pitting the winners of our five current polls against one another to find the best overall product of 2013. If you haven't voted yet in the five categories, what are you waiting for?
Thanks for reading, Merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year from everyone here at dpreview.com.
GearShop update - a message from Laura
GearShop update - a message from Laura
New from GearShop: Whether you're deciding what to buy, or how to get the most out of the gear you already own, we hope you'll learn something from our on-going informational video series. Today we've added five new tutorial videos to our YouTube channel! This time, professional photographer Ryan Phillips tackles new topics, like the benefits of shooting with mirrorless cameras, why you should invest in a fast lens, how to choose a small camera, and more. Subscribe to our channel so you can be sure to see all of the new video content as soon as we add it.
This week's best deals: All Sony NEX mirrorless cameras on sale, from the a3000 to the NEX-7: Save $100 or more. Every Canon DSLR has significant instant savings, from the entry-level Rebels to the professional quality of the 5D Mark III or 1-D X, now until January 4th. We've got some incredible prices on popular compact cameras, too. For under $200, you can get the travel zoom Panasonic Lumix ZS20 or the pocket enthusiast Fujifilm XF1.
Until next week - Laura and the GearShop Team
Published on Monday, December 16, 2013 7:00:00 AM GMT
An eerie view from Alcatraz, the use of child labor in India and a symbol of the Soviet Union’s past industrial rush are some of the finalists in this year's international Art of Building photography competition run by the Chartered Institute of Building. A panel of judges shortlisted 15 images. Now the contest turns to you to decide the winner. Learn moreRead full story →
Published on Monday, December 16, 2013 11:15:48 AM GMT
Tamron has announced that its SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD telephoto zoom will go on sale on December 19th in Japan, and 17th January 2014 in the USA. The lens will feature optical image stabilization and an Ultrasonic Silent Drive autofocus motor, and be compatible with both full frame and APS-C SLRs. It will be available first in Canon mount, with Nikon and Sony versions to follow. Pricing is still to be confirmed.Read full story →
Published on Monday, December 16, 2013 5:07:47 PM GMT
DxOMark has just reviewed the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM, a general-purpose zoom for full frame SLRs. As part of our ongoing collaboration we've added the test data to our lens widget, and looked to see how it compares to the Canon equivalent. We've also added test data for the Nikon mount version of Zeiss's stellar Apo Sonnar T* 2/135. Click through for our full analysis, and a link to DxOMark's own reviews.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:50:01 AM GMT
Samyang has announced that, as promised in October, five of its full frame lenses are now available in Sony E-mount, and are therefore the first third-party optics with native mounts for the Sony A7 and A7R. The lenses are the 14mm F2.8, 24mm F1.4, 24mm F3.5 tilt-and-shift, 35mm F1.4, and 85mm F1.4. All feature manual focus and aperture operation and, because they're essentially SLR lenses with an adapter tube added, all are considerably more bulky than their Alpha mount counterparts. Click through for more information and images of the E-mount lenses.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:25:00 PM GMT
From gadgets that promise to make timelapse photography easier to a lens that will let your smartphone camera see in the dark, Kickstarter is brimming with interesting ideas from some forward-thinking developers. We take a look at a few aimed at photographers. Learn more on connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 6:00:00 PM GMT
We've added DxOMark Mobile's report to our camera review of the LG G2 smartphone. The report includes DxO Lab's usual industrial-quality scientific measurements. Their imaging experts analyzed 14 aspects of mobile imaging, including detailed image quality assessment, flash performance, autofocus reliability and more to calculate a final score. See their results on connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:00:28 PM GMT
As we're racing to complete our full review of the Nikon Df, we've added the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 6D to our studio comparison tool. The studio test scene shows image quality for both JPEG and Raw files. It offers downloadable Raw samples and is designed to simulate real-world daylight and low-light shooting. As always, you can compare the D4 and EOS 6D to a number of other cameras, including the Df. See test sceneRead full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 5:00:00 AM GMT
Fujifilm has announced the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS, a premium ultra-wideangle zoom lens for the company's X system mirrorless cameras. It offers an angle of view equivalent to 15-36mm on full frame, and incorporates optical image stabilisation to reduce blur at slow shutter speeds when shooting hand-held. It also has an aperture control ring on the barrel, and is compatible with the company's Lens Modulation Optimizer function. It'll be available from March 2014 for $999.95 / £849.99.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:23:18 PM GMT
Apple recently released Digital Camera RAW Compatibility 5.02 for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11. The update adds Raw image support for the following five cameras: Nikon D5300, Nikon Df, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Sony Alpha 7, and Sony Alpha 7R. Get the updateRead full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:52:55 PM GMT
A lot of lenses were released in 2013, for a growing number of camera systems. As well as additions to established mounts this year also saw newer systems grow substantially as 'road map' lenses became a reality. We've shot with a lot of this year's most interesting lenses and reviewed some, but we want to know your opinion. What was this year's best lens? We've whittled the selection down to 10, but now it's over to you. Click through for a look at the lenses, and a chance to cast your vote.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:55:35 PM GMT
2013 was a busy year for high-end compact cameras, which saw everything from iterative updates to established lines to brand new options from manufacturers entering this market segment. We've used almost all of them, reviewed a few, and in the process we've taken thousands of pictures and formed plenty of opinions. But now it's your turn - what was the best enthusiast compact camera of 2013? Click through for our selection, and a chance to cast your vote.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:55:48 PM GMT
2013 saw a lot of new mirrorless cameras, from minor updates to older models to all-new products like the waterproof Nikon 1 AW1 and the world's first full-frame enthusiast mirrorless cameras with Sony's Alpha A7 and A7R. We've used almost all of this year's crop of mirrorless cameras, published numerous samples galleries, wrote first impressions articles and reviews, but now it's your chance to have your say. What was the best mirrorless interchangeable lens camera of 2013? Click through to cast your vote.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:56:00 PM GMT
2013 saw the release of five cameras in a (relatively) new class, which we're calling 'fixed lens compact cameras'. Specifically, large-sensor fixed-lens compact cameras. Fujifilm's X100S is one of our favorite cameras of the year, addressing many of the faults of its predecessor. Sony followed up on the RX1 from last year with the RX1R, which shares the same 24MP full-frame sensor but minus an AA filter for superior resolution. Meanwhile, both Nikon and Ricoh released APS-C 28mm equivalent cameras, while Sigma's DP3 offers a 75mm equivalent lens. Click through for a chance to cast your vote and decide which is best.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:56:09 PM GMT
Several new DSLRs were announced in 2013, even as mirrorless cameras nipped at their heels in the entry-level and enthusiast segment of the market. Among the new DSLRs released this year were a handful of iterative updates to existing models, but also some all-new contenders, including Canon's high-tech EOS 70D and Nikon's entirely unconventional (or perhaps that should be entirely traditional) Df. Click through to check out the selection, and cast your vote.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:59:35 AM GMT
Sony has announced firmware upgrades that enhance the features of its QX-series 'lens-style' cameras, which clip on to the front of your smartphone. The update adds Full HD video recording and an expanded ISO range for both the QX10 and QX100, while the latter also receives a shutter priority mode. Sony's latest PlayMemories Mobile app has more seamless photo browsing and dramatically improved performance on iOS devices. Click through for more.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, December 19, 2013 7:40:00 AM GMT
We've just posted our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1. It underscores the 'Micro' in Micro Four Thirds as the smallest model in that class, with a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and a collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. It offers many features that its bigger Lumix GX7 sibling does, starting with the sensor, but in a much smaller package. See how it measures up. Read our full reviewRead full story →
Published on Friday, December 20, 2013 1:00:00 AM GMT
The Nikon Df is, at first appearance, the camera many people have been wanting for years - a classically styled DSLR with traditional external controls. A lot of what's under the Df's retro skin is pretty familiar with the 16MP full-frame D4 sensor and the AF system from the D610. But does the Df bring together the best of the old and the new for a compelling shooting experience? Find out. Read our full reviewRead full story →
Published on Friday, December 20, 2013 3:01:28 PM GMT
As Pics.io continues its efforts to launch browser-based photo editing tools — with support for Raw files — and online storage, the first of its services is available now, for free. Pics.io's Ukrainian developers have rolled out both Live.pics.io, collaborative online photo sharing, and raw.pics.io, an online Raw file converter. Learn more at connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →
Published on Friday, December 20, 2013 9:30:00 PM GMT
We've come to the end of another week here at dpreview, and as our thoughts drift to weekend shooting opportunities, it's time to take things a little less seriously. Aaron Johnson's comic strip ‘What the Duck’ is just the thing, taking a gently satirical look through the lens of a photographically inclined waterfowl. You can find it published here (and in our newsletter) every week; we hope you enjoy it, and your weekend.Read full story →
Published on Friday, December 20, 2013 10:53:07 PM GMT
Over the last few days a number of firmware updates have been posted. Fujifilm has new firmware for the following cameras: X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2, and X100S. From Sigma, there are updates for the SD1 and SD1 Merrill. And finally from Pentax, the K-3 also has new firmware. Get download links and more information about each update. Learn moreRead full story →
Published on Saturday, December 21, 2013 1:00:00 PM GMT
Our friend Jared Polin over at Fro Knows Photo is running a holiday season promotion on his latest video guide, FroKnowsPhoto Flash Guide. Until the end of the year you'll be able to buy the instant digital download version for just $57. Not bad for three hours of practical advice on flash photography delivered in the Fro's inimitable style.Read full story →
Published on Sunday, December 22, 2013 6:00:00 AM GMT
The open 'mouth' of a floating humped bladderwort plant (Utricularia gibba) took first prize in Olympus' microscope image competition. Igor Siwanowicz, a researcher from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, took the winning image of the carnivorous plant, beating more than 2,000 entries from 71 countries. See galleryRead full story →
Published on Sunday, December 22, 2013 11:44:02 PM GMT
A great many new products were released this year, and we've published in-depth content on plenty of them, full reviews of many and we've got plenty of opinions on all of them. This is your chance to have your day - which was the best gear of 2013? Click through to see our five readers' polls, and cast your vote!Read full story →