Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Digital Photography Review Newsletter: Wednesday, 16 April 2014

DP Review

Digital Photography Review Newsletter

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
The most popular weekly photography newsletter, with over 300,000 subscribers

Welcome to the 505th Digital Photography Review newsletter

We may be drifting into that middle ground between spring launches and the summer buying season, where the pace of camera announcement slows, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been plenty going on at DPReview this week...

Fujifilm X-T1 review

Following on from our review of the Pentax K-3 last week, we've kept with the theme of high-end, well-built photographers' cameras, with our review of Fujifilm's X-T1. The X-T1 is the latest in the company's X-series and adds to the sum of what the system has proved capable of. It gains weather-sealed construction, a huge 2.36m dot viewfinder, remote control over Wi-Fi and some of the most capable continuous autofocusing we've yet seen from a mirrorless camera. Add to this the kind of traditional SLR styling that's become de rigueur and the level of direct control that befits a camera of this class and it all starts to sound rather appealing, especially given the lens range the company has been building up. But, given the X-series tendency towards odd quirks, does the X-T1 live up the expectations engendered by its spec sheet?

Click here to read our review of the Fujifilm X-T1, to find out

Ricoh announces Pentax 645Z

Ricoh has been busy since buying Pentax in late 2011, in addition to refreshing the K-series of DSLRs, it's also continued the development of the 645 medium format system. The 645Z is the second digital medium format body, and the first to be built around a CMOS sensor, rather than a CCD. The Z uses a large, 51MP, 44 x 33mm sensor that, while not nearly as large as classic 6 x 4.5cm film, is nearly twice the size of a 'full frame' sensor. We've had a 645Z in the office for a little while and although we've not been allowed to shoot with it, we've been able to put together a slideshow that takes a closer look at the camera and its features. We also consider the impact the camera might have, given a price point that's as close to that of a Nikon D3X as it is to the existing 645D model.

Click here to find out more about Ricoh's Pentax 645Z

Shooting with the Samsung NX30

We haven't had as much time as we were hoping to write about Samsung's NX30 in recent weeks, but we have spent enough time with the camera to discuss what it's like to shoot with. Jeff Keller has been out and about with the NX30, getting a feel for how it handles and how its features perform.

Click through to read more about the Samsung NX30


More on the way

As always, this isn't all that's gone on this week at dpreview.com: something the long list of stories lower down this e-mail should indicate. And, on top of these, there's more we hope you'll look forward to, including more information and experiences from using the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and samples galleries from some of the latest cameras and lenses to have been released. There might even be a review on its way...


WTD #1238

Check out What The Duck in our Link Directory

GearShop update - a message from Laura

DPReview editor Barney Britton recently spent some time test-driving a couple of cool products (especially for landscape photographers) from GearShop: a new Manfrotto 055XPRO3 tripod kit and the Vizelex Rhinocam from Fotodiox. Follow the links to check out the quick overview videos we've created -- they happen to work well together too.

This week's best deals: Olympus bundle deals continue when you buy an OM-D or E-P5 mirrorless camera. Save $100-$200 on select lenses when you purchase together.  Decide on the camera you want and click the green deals button to see what's eligible.

Looking for a compact travel zoom? Check out our hands-on overview video of the compact Sony HX50V, currently $100 off. If you need more zoom power and are willing to carry around a bigger compact, the new HX400V has a 24-1200mm optical zoom and is on also on sale now.

Until next week - Laura and the GearShop Team

News updates

Nikon 1 J4 sports new sensor, improved AF system, and Wi-Fi

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:01:00 AM GMT

Nikon's recently announced flagship V3 1 System camera gave us a look at the latest technology the company has been working on, and many of those features have trickled down to the new, less-expensive J4. The camera features an 18MP CX-format sensor, an improved Hybrid AF system with phase detect points across nearly 100% of the frame, 20 fps burst shooting with continuous AF and, of course, Wi-Fi. Learn more about the Nikon 1 J4.

Read full story

Nikon Coolpix S810c with Android continues connectivity trend

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:01:00 AM GMT

Nikon introduces the Coolpix S810c, a compact point-and-shoot running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. With a 16 megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor, a 12x (25-300mm equiv.) zoom lens with VR stabilization and built-in Wi-Fi, it replaces the Coolpix S800c. The S810c offers 1080/30p HD video and built-in GPS, both offered in the preceding model, and adds a larger 3.7-inch touch screen LCD with 1.2 million dots of resolution. 

Read full story

Nikon debuts lighter 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 to DX lens lineup

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:01:00 AM GMT

Nikon has unveiled the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 ED VR (27-450mm equivalent). It doesn't replace the company's existing 18-300mm lens - rather it's 1/3-stop slower at the long end and 30% lighter, weighing 19.4 ounces. The new 18-300mm has Nikon's Vibration Reduction system, which can reduce shake by up to 4 stops. Built with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for quieter focusing, the 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 will be available in May for $899.95.

Read full story

Nikon adds underwater housing and flash to 1 System

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:02:00 AM GMT

For those who want to take a swim with Nikon's latest 1 System mirrorless camera - the J4 - the company is also releasing both an underwater housing and speedlight. The WP-N3 housing lets you take the camera up to 45m underwater and supports several 1 System kit lenses. It also has a port for connecting to a strobe, such as the new SB-N10, which has a maximum depth of 100m and works with the already waterproof AW1, as well.

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Fully loaded: Pentax K-3 review

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:56:00 PM GMT

Pentax cameras have always been innovative, and Ricoh has upped the ante with the K-3. Its image stabilization system not only reduces shake, but it can also simulate an anti-aliasing filter. The K-3 marks the latest evolution of one of the best-handling DSLRs in its class. It features a new autofocus system, 24 megapixel CMOS sensor, 8.3 fps continuous shooting, and USB 3.0 support. Has Ricoh put together a top-notch DSLR in the K-3? Read our review to find out

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Olympus sued for $273 million over accounting scandal

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:30:00 PM GMT

Reuters reports six Japanese trust banks have filed a lawsuit against Olympus for ¥27.9bn (around $273 million) in damages relating to the company’s false financial statements. According to the report this is the fifth publicly recognized lawsuit stemming from a 2011 accounting scandal. Olympus said it would set aside ¥17bn ($166.49m) to settle three of those five suits. Learn more

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Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

Designed by Lomography and manufactured in Russia by Zenit, the Russar+ is an update to the 1958 Russar MR-2 wide-angle lens. The new lens is handmade out of brass and offers a 20mm focal length. It's compatible with L39 and M mount cameras. The lens can also be used on mirrorless systems using adapter mounts. Lomography is taking pre-orders now for $649.00, or £499 in the UK. It is expected to ship in July. Learn more

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Prototype battery fully charges in under 30 seconds

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

While smartphone processing power, screen resolutions and camera performance have all improved significantly over the last few years, one area of development is seemingly standing still. Under heavy use most smartphone batteries still won't make it through the day, and once plugged in, devices take a long time to charge. Faster charging batteries are certainly welcome news to smartphone and tablet users but could also reduce the need for carrying spare batteries on longer photographic excursions. Learn more

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Sigma announces 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art pricing and availability

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 8:01:00 AM GMT

Sigma has released pricing and availability information of its new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. First announced in January at CES, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is a completely new lens, rather than a revision of Sigma's existing 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. The lens employs the company's Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) system and has 13 elements in eight groups. It will be available for Sigma, Sony, Nikon, and Canon mounts in late April for $949. The UK RRP will be £849.99. Learn more 

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Sony Alpha 7S in low-light: See video at ISO 409,600

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 4:17:29 PM GMT

Earlier this week Sony got a lot of attention with its Alpha 7S announcement - a 12MP full-frame mirrorless camera with 4k video capabilities and ISO expandable to 409,600 for stills and video. This sounds impressive, but how does it actually perform? See for yourself as Sony just released a video demonstrating the high ISO performance of the Alpha 7S. Watch video

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Tamron gives pricing and availability for 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 superzoom

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 4:32:00 PM GMT

Tamron has announced pricing and availability for its 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro 18.8x superzoom for APS-C SLRs. The lens, which was announced in February, will go on sale in mid-May at a street price of $629. The 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro will offer an unusually wide angle view for its class (24-450mm equivalent), while also allowing close-up shooting with 0.34x magnification. It has an ultrasonic-type autofocus motor, splashproof construction and optical image stabilization. Learn more

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What The Duck #1238

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 9:49:26 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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Lensbaby releases 5.8mm F3.5 circular fisheye lens

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 9:55:42 PM GMT

Lensbaby, maker of popular selective focus lenses, has announced a 5.8mm F3.5 circular fisheye lens for Canon and Nikon mounts. With a 185° angle of view, the lens produces a full-circle fisheye image when used with APS-C-sized sensor cameras. The lens also allows you to focus as close as 1/4-inch. Lensbaby is taking pre-orders now. The circular fisheye will sell for $299.95. Learn more

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Shooting with the Samsung NX30

Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 10:09:00 PM GMT

The Samsung NX30's launch got rather drowned-out by the other launches around CES. We've been shooting with it over the past few weeks and have written about our experiences. The NX series boasts a strong range of lenses, one of the more advanced Wi-Fi systems and the innovative i-Function system. What impact do these have on how we used the camera? Learn more 

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In photos: Taking the lid off America's trash cans

Published on Saturday, April 12, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

On average, Americans send about half of their waste to landfills. Focused on spreading awareness about this issue, The Glad Products Company sponsored award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio's project called 'Waste in Focus.' The photo series looks at what eight families around the U.S. are recycling, composting and sending to landfill. See gallery

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Blood moon eclipse: Night of April 14-15

Published on Sunday, April 13, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

Photographers and astronomy fans in North America are gearing up for a rare meteorological event the night of April 14-15. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, on April 15th, the lunar eclipse will begin around 1:20am ET. While astronomers race to observatories, many photographers will take to the outdoors to capture this unique event. Here are a few tips for those looking to capture a good image of the moon. Learn more

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Mary Ellen Mark to receive Sony World Photography award

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

The World Photography Organization has announced that American photographer Mary Ellen Mark is the recipient of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Photography. She has published eighteen books, with her nineteenth available this spring. Mark is known for becoming deeply ingrained in the lives of her subjects, providing a unique view of their lives without making those on the edges of society look inhuman. Learn more

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Past and present: NYC's changing streetscape

Published on Monday, April 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM GMT

Ten years ago, James and Karla Murray set out photographing New York City's distinct and varied storefronts. The project was known as Storefront: The Disappearing Face of New York. With ten years passed they revisited the same locations and photographed them again, where over and over one-of-a-kind signage has, in fact, disappeared. Banks and fast food restaurants have sprung up in some places, while others decay behind bars and graffiti. See gallery

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Object of desire? Our Fujifilm X-T1 in-depth review

Published on Monday, April 14, 2014 2:55:09 PM GMT

The Fujifilm X-T1 is surely one of the most desirable cameras of the year so far, with its SLR-like styling, huge electronic viewfinder, and wealth of external controls on its compact, weathersealed body. It also promises class-leading autofocus performance, including the ability to track focus on moving subjects -  something that's traditionally eluded this type of camera. But is this enthusiast-oriented mirrorless model really a match for a traditional SLR? Read our in-depth review to find out.

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Windows XP is dead. Long live Windows XP 'Bliss'

Published on Monday, April 14, 2014 9:00:00 PM GMT

In 2001 Microsoft released the Windows XP operating system and with it an iconic desktop photograph. Referred to as 'Bliss', the lush landscape of rolling grass hills and a crystal-blue sky has, to Microsoft's estimation, been seen by at least a billion people. To celebrate the retiring of the XP operating system, Microsoft tracked down the original photographer and talked to him about the shot. Learn more

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Ricoh announces medium-format Pentax 645Z

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:00:00 AM GMT

Ricoh has launched the Pentax 645Z, a medium-format camera with a 51.4 megapixel CMOS sensor. Boasting an articulated 3.2-inch LCD, top ISO of 204,800, 3 fps continuous shooting, and 1080/60i video, the 645Z is cold-resistant, dustproof and weather-resistant with 76 weather-seals. It's also compatible with the Pentax FluCard, offering wireless remote control and image sharing from the camera to a smartphone, tablet or computer.

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Hands on with the Pentax 645Z

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:55:00 AM GMT

It's hard to resist the opportunity to play with a new medium format DSLR, so we quickly took up Ricoh's offer to try out its 645Z. While it may look intimidating, the 645Z is surprisingly accessible, with an experience that feels strangely familiar to those who have handled Pentax cameras like the K-3. It's also a bargain by medium format standards, and not a huge step up from full-frame. Learn more about the 645Z.

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Pulitzer Prize 2014 winners announced for photography

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:00:00 AM GMT

Two New York Times photographers are honored with Pulitzer Prizes in photojournalism this year. Tyler Hicks takes the award for Breaking News Photography for his work documenting a terrorist attack at a mall in Kenya, and Josh Haner's photos of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor take the top award in Feature Photography. Five finalists also receive recognition for their contributions to photojournalism in 2014. Read more

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Compact smartphone shootout: Sony vs HTC vs Samsung

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 3:06:22 PM GMT

Most manufacturers of Android devices have designed smaller versions of their flagship smartphones to cater to those user who prefer more pocketable devices. In this shootout we pit three of those models against each other: the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, HTC One Mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 MiniLearn more

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Never lose your lens cap again with HACkxTACK

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:00:00 PM GMT

We all know the situation just too well. You're out shooting with your DSLR or mirrorless camera when you decide to swap lenses and have no idea where you've put the lens cap for the lens that's mounted on your camera body. Usually it's in the very last place you look for it. In the worst case scenario you never find it at all. Two Canadian designers have a solution to this problem. Learn more

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