Thursday, 10 April 2014

Digital Photography Review Newsletter: Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Digital Photography Review Newsletter

Thursday, 10 April 2014
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Welcome to the 504th Digital Photography Review newsletter

Between writing reviews and keeping up with the latest goings-on in the world of digital photography, it's been a busy week. Never before has the National Association of Broadcaster's NAB Show presented us with so many products that cross over into the realm of photography, so this was probably the right year for us to send someone down there for the first time. But 4K cameras are some one of the interesting things we've covered this week.

Pentax K-3 review

It's taken us rather longer than we originally planned, but I'm pleased to be able to announnce the publication of the Pentax K-3 review. Despite a couple of changes of ownership, Pentax has pursued an continuous process of developing some of the best high-end APS-C DSLRs. The K-3 is the latest in that line and includes noticable input from owners Ricoh, along with a host of interesting features such as an anti-aliasing filter simulation system, based on its sensor shake image stabilization. We've looked closely at this feature, as well as the camera's compeltely overhauled autofocus system, as part of our in-depth review.

Click here to read our review of the Ricoh Pentax K-3

Canon PowerShot G1 X II real-world samples

We've just received Canon's latest large-sensor zoom compact - the PowerShot G1 X Mark II. When the original G1 X was launched, it represented a new middle ground between small-sensor enthusiast models and the capabilities of interchangeable lens cameras. Now, though, cameras such as the Sony RX100 have re-defined what you should be able to expect from a small camera. The Mark II uses a similar sensor but strikes back with a brighter lens and a much smaller body. In anticipation of our forthcoming report on the experience of shooting with the camera, we've published a (rather large) samples gallery from the camera.

Click here to see our real-world samples gallery

Sony announces Alpha 7S

The NAB Show in Las Vegas has previously tended to feature launches of interest mainly to its audience of professional film makers and broadcasters, but this year held something rather special. Sony built on the sucess of its Alpha 7 series with video/stills version called the a7S. The S is the first full-frame camera to be able to read out its entire sensor fast enough to capture video (existing cameras tend to read specific lines of the sensor - lowering the quality of the output). The result is a 12MP full frame camera that offers up to ISO 409,600 for stills shooters and high-quality 4K video output over HDMI for dedicated film makers.

Click through to read more about the Sony Alpha 7S


All the natter from NAB

The a7S wasn't the only peice of equipment at the NAB Show that we thought would be of interest to a photographic audience. One of the team attended the show for the first time, helping us provide some close-up and hands-on coverage from the Las Vegas show.

Click here to read about the launches at the NAB Show


WTD #1459

Check out What The Duck in our Link Directory

GearShop update - a message from Laura

This week's best deals: Save $200 on the Panasonic Lumix GX7 body or pick up a kit, now available in black. Pair your micro four thirds camera with the fast and sharp Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 OIS lens that is also $200 off right now. The new Sony a5000 mirrorless camera is now shipping, and can be bundled with the 55-210mm zoom lens for $100 instant savings. Finally, save $100 on Canon 70D cameras and kits, or get even more discounts when you bundle the 70D with select telephoto zoom lenses.

Now shipping: A couple of pocketable vacation-ready cameras have been released this week, and are now in stock for 2-day delivery. Canon's PowerShot SX700 HS has 30x optical zoom, P/S/A/M controls, and built in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity so you can share your memories right away. Olympus has also released stock on the Tough TG-850. This waterproof, rugged, and slim compact has a super-wide 21mm lens and an articulated screen that is perfect for underwater selfies (wide enough for a group of people to fit in the frame, too), and it's only $249!

Until next week - Laura and the GearShop Team

News updates

SmugMug Films: Capturing what you can't control

Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

The latest video from SmugMug Films' ongoing behind-the-lens series is a look at water photographer Sarah Lee. She uses the unpredictability of nature and creates art that captures the interplay of people, water and light. SmugMug's videos aim to show people who follow their passions in photography. They plan to release a new clip every two weeks. See video

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Budget lighting: Flashpoint 180 Monolight review

Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 8:00:00 AM GMT

Adorama's Flashpoint 180 Monolight is a battery-powered 180-watt strobe designed for on-location shooting in the middle of nowhere. The kit comes with everything needed to provide adequate fill light for scenes or soft key-light for portraits, minus the stand, which must be purchased separately. Despite its budget price tag, does the 180 Monolight have what it takes for professional use? Find out in our review

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Mockups emerge of new Olympus OM-D 'OM-G'

Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 4:32:00 PM GMT

Mockups have been published showing a new Olympus OM-D OM-G. Apparently released to mark the 30th anniversary of the original film OM-G (sold as the OM-20 in Europe), we understand the OM-G will offer full native support for legacy manual focus Olympus lenses, and a full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor. Details are scarce but rumors suggest the OM-G will offer a hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder with a ground glass focusing screen and six-axis image stabilization. Click through to read more.

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Sony RX10 added to enthusiast compact buying guide

Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 5:30:00 PM GMT

We just added Sony's RX10 to our enthusiast compact camera buying guide and also updated our aperture comparison chart with Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II. While image quality in this class won't compete with a good mirrorless camera paired with a good lens, they pack enough features that should satisfy serious photo enthusiasts. Many cameras in this range make an excellent choice as a more portable second camera, or as a single do-it-all option. See how the RX10 ranks

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Apple patents bayonet mount for mobile devices

Published on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 3:58:28 AM GMT

The guys at Apple Insider have spotted another camera-related Apple patent at the US Patent Office. A few months ago Apple patented a magnetic lens mount. This time the iPhone maker from Cupertino is looking at interchangeable lenses for mobile devices that will attach via a bayonet mount, just like on a DSLR or mirrorless system camera. Learn more

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Canon launches XF205 and XF200 HD professional camcorders

Published on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 1:01:00 PM GMT

Canon has introduced its new compact XF205 and XF200 professional camcorders aimed at broadcast news and wedding videographers. They come equipped with a wide-angle 26.8 mm (35mm equivalent) 20x optical zoom lens and support two recording formats - MXF, a file format used by broadcast stations, and MP4. The XF205 and XF200 will be available in mid-July for $4,400 and $3,900 respectively. Learn more

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Canon announces Cine-Servo 17-120mm and HJ18ex7.6B HD zooms

Published on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 1:01:00 PM GMT

Canon has announced its new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens for shoulder-mounted application or as a traditional cinema lens. It has an ENG-style Digital Drive handgrip with zoom rocker switch and will be available in either PL- or EF-mount. Canon has also launched the HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens for broadcast news and documentary situations. Learn more

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Legendary photographer David Goldblatt shares insights from career

Published on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 7:00:00 PM GMT

Goldblatt has photographed everyone from Nelson Mandela to divorced housewives, and is especially noted for his stark portrayal of South Africa during Apartheid years. In a presentation at the 2014 Indaba Conference, Goldblatt talks about the challenge of managing the difference between his corporate work and his personal work. See video

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Ricoh to offer limited edition Pentax Q7 Premium Kit

Published on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 10:25:12 PM GMT

Ricoh Imaging will soon be offering a limited edition Pentax Q7 Premium Kit. The kit includes a black Q7, four lenses (standard prime, standard zoom, tele zoom, wide zoom) plus four hoods, a polarizing filter, and a camera bag that will surely be noticed. Only 1000 kits will be available worldwide, and those in the U.S. can pick up one later this month for $1199.95.

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Tiny lens turns your smartphone camera into a microscope

Published on Thursday, April 3, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

There is a large number of third party lens attachments for smartphones available. You can choose from fisheye, wide-angle, macro or tele lenses, or even attach an entire camera module. The Micro Phone Lens Kickstarter project is different though. It's a minuscule lens attachment made from a scratch-proof polymer that turns your smartphone or tablet into a microscope with a 150x magnification factor. Learn more

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Roll with it: Official World Cup ball goes HD

Published on Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM GMT

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil just around the corner, Adidas is getting the ball rolling with an eye-catching video series. They've outfitted a match ball, also known as Brazuca, with six GoPro-style cameras for a unique point-of-view as Brazuca's six 'eyes' provide a 360-degree view around the field from cleat-level. Watch Brazuca in action

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Up close: The beauty of butterfly wings

Published on Thursday, April 3, 2014 10:00:00 AM GMT

Some look like impressionistic paintings, while other look like colorful ribbons. It's hard to imagine the subjects of British photographer Linden Gledhill's macro photos are actually butterfly wings. A biochemist by training, Gledhill says, 'I’m completely enchanted by the physical world around me and obsessed by its natural beauty. My career in science has magnified this feeling of awe'. See gallery

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Nokia unveils 20MP Lumia 930 with Windows Phone 8.1

Published on Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:30:00 PM GMT

Nokia has launched a new high-end smartphone. The Lumia 930 is the international version of the Lumia Icon that was launched a few weeks ago as an exclusive model for U.S. carrier Verizon. Looking at the specifications, the 930's camera module appears to be identical to the unit used in Nokia's 6-inch phablet, the Lumia 1520. The 1/2.5-inch BSI CMOS sensor offers 20MP and the F2.4 aperture is combined with an optical image stabilization system and a dual-LED flash. Learn more

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Kenro launches Nissin i40 compact flash with video light

Published on Thursday, April 3, 2014 9:12:00 PM GMT

Kenro has announced the Nissin i40 compact flash gun that also has a built-in video light. It's compact in size and has a flash output of GN40 at 105mm with wireless TTL mode. The new model also has a LED video light providing nine steps of output level adjustment. The Nissin i40 is now available for Nikon and Canon, with Sony and Fujifilm fits coming soon. It will sell for £204/~$338. Learn more

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Transcend UHS-I Class 3 memory cards support 4K video capture

Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

Transcend has announced SDXC/SDHC UHS-I Class 3 (U3) rated memory cards with read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and 85MB/s. The Transcend cards meet requirements to give smooth video capture on new 4K cameras such as the Sony FDR-AX100, Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Canon EOS C500. Featuring 32GB to 128GB capacities, the new cards will available by mid-April in Japan and soon after in the U.S. Learn more

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Lensbaby brings 'Sweet Spot ' selective focus lens to iPhone

Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 8:00:00 AM GMT

Lensbaby is well known among DSLR photographers for its array of special-effect lenses. Now the Portland, Oregon-based company wants to expand into mobile photography and has launched a Kickstarter project to fund the final development stage of its Lensbaby Sweet Spot lens for iPhones. Learn more

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Waterproof camera returns to owner after being lost at sea

Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 9:00:00 AM GMT

An Olympus camera lost by a Finnish diver on a trip in Thailand has made its way back to its owner. Reported by the travel site Sail In Finland, in January the Finnish diver's tethered camera floated away after some rough weather. The point-and-shoot was found the next day by Krzysztof Torzynski, a Polish diver from Denmark who was in the same waters. He then used photos on the camera to look for the owner. Learn more

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'Dedicated': A Nikon D4s video about photographers using the D4s

Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 2:00:00 PM GMT

Photographer Corey Rich's most recent project, titled 'Dedicated', is a video detailing the working lives of three other notable photographers - Dave Black, Robert Beck and George Karbus - using Nikon's latest flagship camera, the D4s. Along with the final cut of 'Dedicated', a making-of video that shows the 21-day whirlwind tour to capture the footage and interviews for the documentary project was released. See video

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Acclaimed AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus killed in Afghanistan

Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 4:59:00 PM GMT

The Associated Press is reporting today that veteran AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed, and an AP reporter was wounded, when their car was fired upon by an Afghan police officer. They were traveling in a convoy of election workers bringing ballots to regions outside the city of Khost. Niedringhaus, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene and AP reporter Kathy Gannon was shot twice. She is listed as being in stable condition after surgery to treat her wounds. Learn more

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What The Duck #1459

Published on Friday, April 4, 2014 9:40:00 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.

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In photos: Swimming with jellyfish

Published on Saturday, April 5, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

When Seattle-based photographer Nadia Aly was diving in Jellyfish Lake in Palau, an island in the Pacific Ocean, and found herself surrounded by a swarm of jellyfish, she took advantage of the moment. Since the jellyfish in the lake have no natural predators, they have lost their sting. This enabled Aly to get unusually close and shoot thousands of photos over the course of a few days using her Canon 5D Mark II in an Aquatica Underwater Housing unit. See gallery

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Meet the UK's first female press photographer

Published on Sunday, April 6, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

The Museum of London is celebrating the acquisition of a collection of images from Christina Broom, the UK's first female press photographer. Self-taught, Broom photographed London life and British military from 1903 to 1939. She started small, learning on a borrowed camera, and in 1904 she became the official photographer for the Household Division. See gallery

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Sony announces a7S full-frame mirrorless with 4:2:2 4K video output

Published on Sunday, April 6, 2014 8:25:00 PM GMT

Sony has announced the Alpha 7S, a 12MP full-frame mirrorless camera designed for both stills and video. The camera can read out its entire sensor fast enough to output 8-bit 4:2:2 4K video over HDMI at up to 30p, without line skipping or pixel binning. This also promises higher quality for the 1080p video (at up to 60p) it can record internally. Unlike the a7 and a7R, the latest model is not constrained by the AVCHD standard, also offering the XAVC S system, with bitrates of up to 50Mbps.

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A first look at the Sony Alpha 7S 12MP full-frame with 4K output

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014 12:08:00 AM GMT

Sony has just announced a 12MP full-frame addition to its Alpha 7 series, designed to output 4K footage over HDMI. We've just got back from Sony's press conference at the NAB show in Las Vegas, where we got a chance to see the camera. We hope to get more hands-on in the coming days, but for now, here's some more details of the Sony Alpha 7S.

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Light it up: Phottix Mitros Flash for Canon review

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014 7:00:00 PM GMT

The Phottix Mitros flash is a high-end TTL flash designed to compete with Canon's 580EX II at well over half the price. The Mitros for Canon shares many features with the 580EX II, including high-speed sync and built-in IR triggering with Master and Slave modes. But is the Mitros mighty enough to match one of Canon's most beloved flash models? Find out in our review

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Blackmagic Design announces Blackmagic URSA with 10-inch screen

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014 7:14:00 PM GMT

Blackmagic Design has unveiled its latest and most expensive camera to date, the URSA. The camera features a changeable sensor design, allowing the user to swap out the Canon EF lens mount and 4K Super 35 image sensor for a similar sensor with a PL mount. The URSA features touch screens for operator control - including a 10-inch flip-out screen. It also has another 5-inch screen showing timecode, histogram, and other indicators such as a spectrum scope for checking focus. Learn more

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Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II real-world gallery

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014 8:02:00 PM GMT

Now that we have our hands on not one, but two PowerShot G1 X Mark IIs, we've running around out taking photos like crazy. This first installment of 24 photos - some of which may look familiar - should give you a taste of what the camera can do, and there are plenty of additional samples on the way. See gallery

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JVC Kenwood joins Micro Four Thirds with 4K Super 35 prototypes

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014 10:57:00 PM GMT

Update: Consumer electronics maker JVC Kenwood has joined the Micro Four Thirds standard and said it will develop products for the system. The company is showing two prototype 4K-capable cameras, including a compact, handheld model at NAB in Las Vegas. We stopped by the JVC Kenwood booth and got a first glimpse of the cameras on display. Interestingly, the company says both cameras will have Super 35 sensors (around 21 x 12mm), which is wider than the original Four Thirds sensor format which the standard was designed around. Learn more

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AJA enters cinema camera market with 4K Cion

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 4:15:00 AM GMT

AJA has announced the Cion - a production camera featuring a 4K APS-C sized sensor - at NAB in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is AJA Video System's first camera, the company being known primarily as a manufacturer of video interface and conversion products. The camera accepts lenses with a PL mount and records to a single proprietary SSD drive. Learn more

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Blackmagic Design launches Blackmagic Studio Camera

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 4:53:33 AM GMT

Touted as 'the world's smallest broadcast camera with the world's largest viewfinder', Blackmagic Design has announced its new Studio Camera. The Studio Camera employs a 12.48mm x 7.02mm sensor and a Micro Four Thirds lens mount. It also has a 10-inch viewfinder and a four-hour built-in battery. Learn more

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Get the story behind the photograph

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM GMT

Most photographs - especially photojournalistic work - exist in a void with little insight from the photographer that captured the image and what they were trying to achieve. 'The Image, Deconstructed' looks to turn this around. The website provides interviews with photographers, asking them about their techniques, their gear, their preparation, and their mindsets when they photograph. Learn more

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Adobe Lightroom goes mobile, but only for subscribers

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 3:31:24 PM GMT

Adobe has released Lightroom mobile for Apple's iPad as a companion app to the Lightroom desktop application. The app offers many of same image editing and organizing functions found on the desktop version. It also uses cloud technology to synchronize your edits across various devices with the image catalog on your desktop computer. Learn more

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DxOMark Mobile report: Sony Xperia Z2 takes top spot

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 3:45:00 PM GMT

The Xperia Z2 is Sony's latest flagship smartphone and replaces the Z1. The full-HD display measures 5.2 inches and offers better viewing angles than its predecessor's 5-inch equivalent. While a new Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM offer plenty of power, the camera specification is nearly identical to the Z1's. Images are captured by a 20.7MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor on a F2.0 lens. Nevertheless, Sony has managed to improve the image quality of its new flagship. Learn more

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Adobe Camera Raw 8.4 and Lightroom 5.4 now available

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 7:26:00 PM GMT

Camera Raw 8.4 is now available as a final release for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC. Lightroom 5.4 is also now on and available through the update mechanism in the application. The updates include bug fixes, new features and support for a number of new cameras such as the Nikon D4s and D3300, Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M10 and Fujifilm X-T1. Learn more

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NYT photo editor gives career tips for photojournalists

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

As part of their continuing video series, Photo District News has released an interview with James Estrin, founder of the New York Times 'The Lens' blog. Estrin provides a series of tips for the aspiring photographer. While many of these aren’t groundbreaking, the video has some real gems. Notably, in his advice to photographers looking to document strife or crisis in exotic places, he says to pursue stories that are closer to home. Learn more

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Call for entries: W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM GMT

The W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography is seeking entrants to win a $30,000 (~£18,062) grant to work on a current or future documentary project, and up to $5,000 (~£3,010) if a finalist is deemed 'worthy of special recognition'. Up to forty images may be submitted for the grant. Photos must be from an ongoing project but can include past work that is representative of the photographer's vision of a proposed project. Deadline for submission is May 31, 2014. Learn more 

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Atomos launches Shogun 4K external recorder

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 5:14:00 PM GMT

Atomos has released the latest in its series of field video recorders, the Shogun, at the NAB show in Las Vegas. It's capable of 4K Apple ProRes and Raw recording in 24, 25 or 30p, and up to 120p in HD. The device features a 7-inch touchscreen for operation, and accepts two SSD or HDD drives. Additionally the Shogun offers wireless remote control to trigger recording. Learn more

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Canon recalls about 14,000 PowerShot SX50 cameras

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 9:30:54 PM GMT

Canon U.S.A. has recalled about 14,000 PowerShot SX50 HS digital cameras. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 'A chemical used in the rubber part of the viewfinders on the camera can cause skin or eye irritation or an allergic reaction to the user'. The cameras in question have serial numbers beginning with 69, 70 or 71 and have 1 as the sixth digit of the serial number. Learn more

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