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Monday, September 22, 2008

Pentax Publishes new Lens Roadmap

New Lens Development Roadmap from Pentax

Pentax KM. A 10.2mp entry-level

Official, Pentax KM. A 10.2mp entry-level camera with some reduced functions, reduced size, weight, but improved to 3.5fps (prev models of Pentax DSLR's limited to a max of 3fps) However the buffer is a small 5 frames.
This camera takes minimalism to a new level for Pentax, reducing everything to the rear LCD, and the non-shutter side of the lens is shaved down to reduce size/weight.

Official Specs/Release...

HOYA CORPORATION PENTAX Imaging Systems Division is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-m digital SLR camera. Designed primarily for beginning digital SLR photographers, this new entry-class model offers simplified, user-friendly operation, and an easy-to-maneuver compact, lightweight body.

The PENTAX K-m was developed as an entry-class digital SLR camera offering simple, straightforward operation, making it possible for first-time digital SLR users and family photographers to enjoy high-quality digital SLR photography with little trouble or confusion.

It features an upgraded version of the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which automatically detects the type of subject or scene, and sets the proper shooting mode for the photographer. It also features a host of advanced features and sophisticated functions — including the innovative in-body Shake Reduction mechanism — to assist the photographer. It also offers a compact, lightweight body, designed by incorporating PENTAX’s advanced downsizing technologies, accumulated over the years of digital SLR development, into different body parts. As a result, the PENTAX K-m assures simple operation and outstanding operability, even for inexperienced first-time digital SLR users.

Along with the PENTAX K-m, PENTAX will also launch two DA L-series interchangeable zoom lenses: the smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mmF3.5-5.6AL and the smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200mmF4-5.6ED. Designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, these DA L-series lenses are designed to be more compact and lightweight than conventional counterparts, without sacrificing any of the exceptional optical performance common to all PENTAX lenses.

The smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mmF3.5-5.6AL and smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200mmF4-5.6ED lenses will be marketed only as a part of the PENTAX K-m Lens Kit or PENTAX K-m Double Zoom Kit.

PENTAX K-m [ ⇒ Product Image]
smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mmF3.5-5.6AL [ ⇒ Product Image]
smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200mmF4-5.6ED [ ⇒ Product Image]
Main Features
  1. Compact, lightweight body for enhanced portability and maneuverability

    Despite the incorporation of a large-sized image sensor (23.5mm by 15.7mm), the PENTAX K-m offers a compact, lightweight body to assure remarkable portability and maneuverability. This was made possible by the development of a compact, lightweight and high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis, the downsizing of the Shake Reduction mechanism and circuit boards, the employment of latest high-density packaging technologies assuring most efficient positioning and layout of various parts, and the repositioning of the battery compartment. The camera grip has also been redesigned to assure firm, comfortable hold of the camera body.
  2. Simplified operation system for easy camera handling

    The PENTAX K-m features a newly designed control system, which positions most of buttons and levers on the camera’s grip side, making it easier for first-time digital SLR users stepping up from their compact models to operate the camera. What’s more, the functions of each button or lever are instantly displayed on the camera’s LCD monitor with a single press of the help button to facilitate camera operation — especially for those who are unfamiliar with digital SLR cameras.
  3. PENTAX-original Shake Reduction mechanism for sharp, blur-free images

    The PENTAX K-m comes equipped with the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively reduces camera shake for sharp, blur-free images even under demanding shooting conditions — such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark or at night without supplementary flash illumination, or using extended exposures for sunset scenes. This innovative SR mechanism shifts the position of the image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the shifting speed in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by a built-in sensor. It offers an outstanding compensation effect — up to the equivalent of approximately four shutter steps. As a result, it does not require special anti-shake lenses, and can be used with almost all existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses.

    *** Lenses compatible with this mechanism are: the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2-, and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapther); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.

  4. Comprehensive Dust Removal system with prevention, removal and confirmation devices

    The PENTAX K-m features the user-friendly DR (Dust Removal) system to prevent dust from appearing on captured images. Applied to the CCD image sensor surface (or low-pass filter) through the vapor deposition process of a fluorine compound, the PENTAX-original SP (Super Protect) coating effectively removes dust and stains from the surface. In the next step, dust that still remains on the surface will be shaken off when the SR system shifts the image sensor at high speed. Finally, the dust that is shaken off the image sensor will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, eliminating any possibility of it returning to the image sensor surface. This DR system even offers a Dust Alert function, which allows the user to confirm the dust-adhesion status of the CCD in advance.
  5. Auto Picture mode for automatic selection of optimum shooting mode

    The PENTAX-developed Auto Picture mode is programmed to automatically select the most appropriate shooting mode — from such choices as Portrait, Landscape and Macro — for a given subject. With the PENTAX K-m, this user-friendly mode is further upgraded, with automatic detection of situations requiring the Night Scene Portrait mode. Since all camera settings, including aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness, are automatically adjusted by the camera for optimum results, the user can concentrate on image composition and shutter opportunity.
  6. High-quality image

    The PENTAX K-m combines a large, high-performance CCD image sensor (23.5mm by 15.7mm) with the sophisticated PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) as its imaging engine. With its approximately 10.2 effective megapixels, it produces beautiful, fine-detailed images with subtle gradations and delicate texture description. It also features a Custom Image function, which offers a choice of six finishing touches to help the user create intended images.
  7. High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 3.5 frames per second

    The PENTAX K-m lets the user keep shooting images at the speed of approximately 3.5 frames per second (in the JPEG recording format), allowing the user to capture a sequence of a fast-moving subject with great ease.
  8. High-precision 5-point AF system

    The PENTAX K-m incorporates a five-point wide-area AF system (SAFOX VIII with five cross-type sensors) to assure dependable, high-precision autofocusing. Using the five sensors positioned in a cross pattern over the image field (one in the middle, two at sides, and two at top and bottom), this system automatically and unfailingly selects the optimum sensor for a given subject. It also allows the user to fix the AF detection point at the middle sensor. Thanks to a thorough review of the AF algorithm, this AF system also offers improved autofocusing speed under poor-lighting conditions, in which conventional AF systems take longer to focus on the subject.
  9. Auto sensitivity control up to ISO 3200

    The PENTAX K-m’s auto sensitivity control function automatically sets the optimum sensitivity between ISO 100 and ISO 3200, based on such data as the subject’s brightness level and the lens’ focal length. Since this function allows the user to take advantage of faster shutter speeds in poor lighting situations (such as indoor sports events and nighttime scenes), it helps the photographer to effectively reduce camera shake and subject shake and prevent blurred images.
  10. Effective gradation compensation

    The PENTAX K-m’s dynamic-range expansion function allows the user to expand a dynamic range (or a range of gradation reproduction) to minimize white-washed areas in the image. On the other hand, its shadow compensation function minimizes pitch-black areas lacking details. Combined, they help the user to produce beautiful, rich-gradation images when shooting high-contrast subjects.
  11. Large, easy-to-view 2.7-inch LCD monitor

    The PENTAX K-m features a large 2.7-inch color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots on its back panel. This monitor’s wide-view design allows the photographer to check the on-screen image from approximately 170 degrees both vertically and horizontally. It even offers digital zooming of playback images up to 16 times for easy confirmation of the image’s focusing status and details.
  12. Bright, clear viewfinder

    Thanks to a combination of a lightweight penta-mirror prism, a PENTAX-original finder optics and the acclaimed Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, the PENTAX K-m’s viewfinder delivers a large, bright subject image with an approximately 96-percent field of view and an approximately 0.85-times magnification.
  13. Digital filters for unique visual expressions

    The PENTAX K-m’s built-in digital filters let the user effortlessly add some creative and artistic touches to recorded images — without the use of a PC. The user can select one of 14 different digital filters — including the new Toy Camera and Retro filters — to create a desired visual effect.
  14. Other features

    1. 10 Scene modes, switchable with simple icon selection
    2. Energy-efficient power supply, recording approximately 1,650 images with four AA-size lithium batteries
    3. Status screen, displaying camera settings on the LCD monitor on the camera’s back panel for at-a-glance confirmation
    4. Index function, for five different types of display and printing modes
    5. Choice of 16-segment multi-pattern metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering to accommodate various photographic applications
    6. Simultaneous recording of RAW- and JPEG-format images
    7. Compatibility with SD and SDHC memory cards as external data-recording media
    8. In-body development of RAW-format images
    9. Compatibility with SDM-equipped lenses for quiet, smooth autofocus operation
    10. PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 3 RAW data processing software and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 3 browser software included

[Main Features of the smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mmF3.5-5.6AL Lens]

  1. A compact standard zoom lens with focal lengths from 27.5mm to 84.5mm (in the 35mm format) covering wide-angle to medium-telephoto ranges
  2. Latest optical design featuring high-performance aspherical lens element and super-low dispersion glass element for effective compensation of various aberrations

[Main Featurs of the smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200mmF4-5.6ED Lens]

  1. A super-compact, ultra-lightweight telephoto zoom lens with focal lengths from 76.5mm to 307mm (in the 35mm format)
  2. ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical element for effective compensation of chromatic aberrations over the entire zoom range and enhanced image-description performance

  • PENTAX, and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
  • PENTAX PHOTO Browser, PENTAX Laboratory, and SDM are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
  • All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies
  • Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice

Full Specs

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pentax K-M?

Rumors are spreading on a new Pentax budget DSLR, the Pentax K-M or KM. With original links back to the Pentax Germany site, this seams to be a slip-up by web-staff and found by savvy Internet searchers. I am not posting any pictures because there is no way of telling if they are 100% real, but I will post some specs that have been listed elsewhere.
Apparently Amazon UK also leaked this body and alowed it up on their site for a few hours, complete with specs:

60+ Weather Seals
AA Batteries
3.5fps (buffer??)
no live view
Pentamirror (no pentaprism)
5 focusing points
16 segment metering
ISO up to 3200

This could be a nice Little camera they have shaping up for the entry market.

Again I note that all specs are not official and have been obtained threw various sources who clam to be legit with this info.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Partnership with Imaging Insider!

Just announced, Brendan has officially teamed up with Imaging Insider, The photo Industry's first stop source for news, reviews and more.

Over the coming weeks Brendan will be migrating most of his posting to their site but will continue to post here with news and reviews that are more personalized.
Look for us at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC Oct. 23-25th

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Printing Seminar with Lexjet

I am currently attending a Printing and color management seminar/workshop with Lexjet. I am learning many new things as well as getting to see printers and paper in action. The color management is helpful in defining what happens and why you should do things a specific way. They also cover the various different (big 3) profiling devices.
Printing section covers RIPs, drivers, ICC profiles and printing solutions/options.
I am enjoying the seminar so far and think my $49 has been well spent, and it comes with a $25 coupon to Lexjet
Full review coming later. For info on the tour Great Output Tour

NEW Canon EOS 5D Mark II (At Last)

Just as I am about to go to bed, and after the teaser ad post earlier, Canon USA breaks this news. More to follow with Lenses and Powershot additions later tomorrow (I do need to sleep people)

This camera really ups the ante with 21MP, Full HD Video capability (Max 4gb file with just under 30min recording), a new Silent Shooting mode in live-view, 3.9FPS and Dust Shake system
Other features are 3" LCD and a 150,000-actuation shutter life (Most cameras in this class only have a 100,000-actuation) and a whopping ISO 50 to ISO 25,600 (upper and lower limits set threw user choice)

The sensor is the same used in the 1DsmkIII with some additional programing and tweaks to produce what canon is claiming to be the best image yet. (Doesn't this sound familiar, Nikon D3-700) With what should be a price comparable to the D700 this promises to throw the punch back at Nikon and Sony in an attempt to keep their #1 spot in DSLR sales and Keep Pros who were looking elsewhere from leaving, while enticing others to switch over.

Official specs and Press release...

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Escalates Full-Frame Digital SLR Photography to the Next Level with HD Movie Recording Capabilities, DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor, and 21.1 Megapixel Resolution

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 17, 2008 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, the long-awaited successor to Canon's highly popular EOS 5D, introduced in 2005. Building upon the qualities that made the EOS 5D camera so successful, Canon has coupled the creative power of a full-frame CMOS sensor in a relatively compact and affordable camera body, together with groundbreaking HD video capture that opens the door to a much wider range of imaging possibilities for photographers. Along with the ability to capture full HD video clips at 1920 x 1080 resolution, Canon's EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera features a 21.1-megapixel full frame 24 x 36mm CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 imaging processor and significantly lower noise, with an expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600.

"The anticipation surrounding the launch of this camera model has exceeded our greatest expectations, and we believe our loyal customers will be awed by the level of innovation and features built into the new EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR. Once they have the chance to experience the camera, we believe they will agree that it was worth the wait," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

Among the many advancements in Canon's new EOS 5D Mark II camera is the Company's proprietary DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor that powers the camera's fast 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion for smooth color tones and exceptional gradation. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR offers a full-frame 24 x 36mm, 21.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and continuous shooting at 3.9 frames per second (fps) for an unlimited number of full-resolution JPEGs to the capacity of the memory card or up to 14 RAW images in a single burst when using a UDMA CF card. The camera includes a 15-point Autofocus (AF) sensor with nine selectable AF points plus six additional Assist AF points (three center AF points sensitive to f/2.8 lenses) with enhanced light source detection and AF microadjustment for greater autofocus performance. The EOS 5D Mark II camera also features a large, clear 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution, four times the pixel count of the EOS 5D camera's 2.5-inch screen, for enhanced clarity and color when viewing images. The new camera is equipped with a high-performance, high-magnification optical viewfinder providing 98 percent coverage, giving a new dimension to the saying, "what you see is what you get." Professional photographers will also appreciate the enhanced 150,000-cycle shutter durability of the EOS 5D Mark II camera.

Canon, the first company to introduce a full-frame digital camera, has improved the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera's newly developed full-frame CMOS image sensor. Utilizing proprietary Canon technology, the Company has reduced noise and expanded the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor up to ISO 25600, which is three full stops higher than the ISO 3200 limit of the original EOS 5D camera. Although the individual pixel dimensions of the EOS 5D Mark II camera are the same as the 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR, the new sensor incorporates an improved output amplifier and a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction. By applying the same kind of advancements in sensor design and image processing technology as the recently introduced EOS 50D camera, but at higher resolution and with larger pixels, the EOS 5D Mark II achieves the highest level of image quality of any EOS Digital SLR released to date.

With the combination of its improved CMOS image sensor and the powerful new DIGIC 4 image processor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera provides ISO speeds from ISO 100 up to ISO 6400 in 1/3-stop increments, along with two high-speed settings - H1 and H2 - of ISO 12800 and ISO 25600, respectively, as well as a low-speed setting of ISO 50. The full-frame sensor maximizes the performance of Canon EF lenses, the world's largest selection of autofocus lenses.

HD and SD Video Capture
Canon has taken its expertise in imaging, photography and video capture technology to a new level with the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR. Answering the question of where SLR technology is going next, the EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. Video capture is part of the camera's Live View function, using the Picture Style that has been set for Live View still image shooting. This allows skilled photographers and cinematographers to adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image. When recording video, the camera's rear LCD screen can be letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size. Moreover, the EOS 5D Mark II camera's HD video capability enables new levels of creative expression through its unfettered access to the complete line of more than 60 Canon EF lenses, which provide an incredible variety of visual effects including everything from ultra-wide-angle and fish-eye to macro and super-telephoto, including many large-aperture L-series professional lenses that can keep the main subject in razor-sharp focus while blurring the background beyond recognition.

The EOS 5D Mark II will record video up to 4GB per clip or a maximum continuous movie capture time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, whichever comes first. Depending on the level of detail in the scene, a 4GB memory card can record approximately 12 minutes of video at full HD resolution or approximately 24 minutes in standard definition.i Video clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression and sound is recorded using linear PCMii without compression. The new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone for convenience. To help show off those fantastic movies as well as still photos, the EOS 5D Mark II camera includes an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output to display crisp, clear images on a High-Definition TV.

Live View Shooting
For both still images and video, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera features Live View, one of the most sought after features in digital SLRs today. The 5D Mark II features three Live View AF modes - Quick, Live and Face Detection Live mode - for capturing either still photos or video, each with its own attributes. Quick mode automatically sets One-Shot AF using the camera's phase detection AF system. It also allows users to select the AF point, even while the Live View image is displayed. Although the camera's reflex mirror must be lowered briefly to take an AF measurement in Quick mode, it is the fastest way to set focus automatically when the 5D Mark II camera is set for Live View.

Live mode uses contrast-detection AF with the image sensor and here, as with Quick mode, users can change the AF point using the Multi-controller. Face Detection Live mode uses contrast AF to recognize human faces. When multiple faces are detected, the largest face closest to the center of the frame is targeted as the AF point. While Live View is engaged users can still change settings including the AF mode (Quick, Live, Face Detection Live mode), drive mode, ISO speed, Picture style, White Balance, and more.

Peripheral Illumination Correction
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera automatically conducts peripheral illumination correction when shooting JPEG images, a function that previously could only be accomplished through post-image processing using software such as Canon's Digital Photo Professional, which Canon supplies at no extra charge. Peripheral illumination correction evens brightness across the image field, making an image of a blue sky even toned throughout and reducing light fall-off at image edges. This new feature essentially eliminates one of the limitations of previous full-frame digital SLRs.

Auto Lighting Optimizer
Canon's enhanced Auto Lighting Optimizer technology helps ensure each picture's subject is clearly visible by analyzing image brightness and automatically adjusting dark areas in images so that they appear brighter. This function is ideal in high-contrast situations such as urban landscapes captured on sunny days, where the tops of buildings are brightly lit while street level details are obscured by heavy shadows. In this type of scene, the 5D Mark II camera's Auto Lighting Optimizer technology preserves accurate exposure of the highlights while opening up the shadow areas for a more pleasing tonal rendition.

Canon's New Creative Auto Mode
Recently introduced with the new EOS 50D, Canon's "CA" Creative Full Auto setting can also be found on the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera's mode dial. This setting allows users to make image adjustments such as aperture or shutter speed through an easy-to-understand navigation screen on the camera's LCD menu, allowing them to "blur the background" or "lighten or darken the image." These easy-to-understand image options allow photographers to experiment with image options while still shooting in an automatic mode.

Two Small RAW Formats
For photographers seeking the flexibility and creative possibilities of shooting RAW format images, without the large file size, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera offers two more manageable file size options with sRAW1 and sRAW2 recording formats. At the sRAW1 setting, resolution is 10.0-megapixels with a file size that is approximately 25 percent smaller than a standard 21.1-megapixel RAW image. With the sRAW2 setting, resolution is 5.2 megapixels at less than half the file size of a standard RAW image, retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, conventional RAW images. Wedding and portrait photographers, in particular, will appreciate the options of variable resolution and file size which allow them to fine-tune the 5D Mark II's operation for their specific needs.

Silent Shooting in Live View
Canon has equipped the EOS 5D Mark II with two Silent Shooting modes in Live View which will prove particularly helpful to law enforcement officials, and for behind-the-scenes shooting on movie sets. In Mode 1, the camera will shoot with the mechanical shutter open at the beginning of the exposure, using the electronic 1st-curtain function of the CMOS sensor and a reduced shutter-cocking noise, allowing multiple shots to be taken with minimal noise. In Mode 2, to minimize shutter noise during single frame photography, shutter cocking does not occur until the shutter button returns to the half-way position after shooting.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System
With the introduction of the EOS 5D Mark II camera, the entire Canon EOS system is now equipped with the highly acclaimed EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has been upgraded with a fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for better dust resistance.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera is compatible with Canon EF lenses and is scheduled for delivery by the end of November. The EOS 5D Mark II will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $2,699iii. It will additionally be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $3,499iv.

New EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
The new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens is the successor to Canon's EF 24mm f/1.4L USM professional wide-angle lens released in 1997. Targeting professional photographers, the new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens has been introduced to address the advancements high-resolution digital SLR cameras with re-designed optics and use of a new anti-reflection lens coating called SWC (Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating) to minimize ghosting and flare. Features such as dustproof and waterproof construction that have been adopted make this a high-performance lens with specifications that respond to the demands of professional users. A welcome complement to the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens is scheduled to be in stores this December at an estimated retail price of $1,699v.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked third overall in the U.S. in 2007†, with global revenues of $39.3 billion, is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is on the 2007 BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting

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SamDisk? Samsung's $5.85bil. Hostile Bid for SanDisk

(Image is a design composite by this site for amusement only!
This does not represent either company or entity that may result.)

Korean (South) based Samsung has offered $5.85 Billion for US Company Sandisk in what is being defined as a "hostile" bid by offering a Cash price of $26 in cash for each SanDisk share which is over 70% of what the current market share price is. Sandisk is currently rejecting this bid but speculators are not seeing a holdout for long.

This is being regarded as Samsungs first true hostile-take over as the company says (bascaly) it is no longer playing nice and will be going after the chips-market.

Samsung had a 42.3 percent market share in the NAND flash memory-chip market in the second quarter, compared with Tokyo- based Toshiba's 27.5 percent and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.'s 13.4 percent, based on estimates at iSuppli Corp. Industry sales will probably rise 9 percent this year to $15.2 billion, according to the El Segundo, California-based research firm. Asia

What impact does this have for cameras? Samsung who has partnered with Pentax (Hoya-Pentax now) announced last spring at PMA that it was going for the #3 spot in the camera world. Sony has done the same and the two companies rivalry is likened to that of the Hatfield's and McCoys. Acquiring more memory manufacturing capabilities secures that Samsung could guarantee cheaper memory for their cameras and help to undercut and offer better speed etc. than its competitors.

We will have to see what happens but for now has the full story and specs for numbers buffs

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Canon Teaser, 5D replacment?

In keeping with new DSLR teasers...

Another camera company with an official banner-ad (this one on Canon USA's site) that contains a silhouetted camera. I question if it is a 5D replacement because this is their oldest camera and with the current competition from the Nikon D700 it is only logical that the 5D is next for an upgrade.
These rumors have been floating around for almost a year now, but this is the first real hope from Canon that they may have something up their sleeve.
We will let you know ASAP when
anything becomes official.
(Image from Canon USA website using screen capture to freeze the action)

New Pentax DSLR at Photokina?

Various reports are floating around the Net about a new Pentax DSLR. Now a few sites have official banner ads (in German) with the above image showing a silhouetted 3rd DSLR-like camera.
Could this be the long awaited/talked about Kx000D (entry-level oriented) A new "Super" model (slightly-upgraded existing model) or even a Pro-oriented one?
Who knows. We will let you know ASAP when we have official news.
(Image from a screen capture)

Hands-On Preview Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC!

Just announced the New Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC and CF cards and we got one for testing!
Last week Lexar sent us a 16gb Platinum SDHC card to do some speed and general purpose testing with. First thoughts were, 16gb, Cool! I can shoot almost all day and not swap cards. Followed by OMG, What if this thing crashes with a full day of assignments and all my clients’ files on it.
With big cards come big gains and potential big losses. The convince of not swapping cards is blissful, however, if the card is lost, fried etc. you just lost what many have over 4-8 cards (4gb and 2gb cards) since until now the Larger cards were very pricey being over $200, and when price per gig is that high, but halved when you use a 2 or 4gb card, Many decide to opt to change more cards.

Continue reading:


Working with a Pentax K20D DSLR my normal file sizes range about 12-18mb for RAW, and about 10MB for best Jpegs. I was really worried that going to a class 4 SDHC from Class 6 card, was going to kill the speed of my K10D to the snails-write pace of the *ist-D
Pleasantly Surprised, I found the in-camera write times to seam not overly much longer. This does not equal over when downloading in the computer. I do not care who you are and how fast your drivers are, but 16GB of info takes a long time to download no matter what the speed is.
The best part of this card is its size and capacity. SD is a great format to keep in the camera, or carry 8 where you could only put 2 CF cards. It’s not so great when you drop it in a pile of papers on the desk. Since SD is now rather standard for Point and shoots as well as amateur and semi-amateur/pro DSLR's we will not talk about its physical size pros and cons here, that's another d
Capacity is where this card shines. Sure I can get an 8gb Class 6, but for almost the same price estimates (when comparing current street prices of existing SD cards from Lexar) I have doubled my memory and the average consumer will not notice that much of a drop in-camera speed.
I was able to fit o
ver 1000 images on my one card with still a Little room to spar. I would download after every assignment but would not clear the card, testing how many I could fit. (I never did reach the limit)
The best 2 things were when I was shooting in the rain Friday Night and didn't have to worry about swapping cards and getting rain in the open camera. And photographing a company dinner Saturday and never worry about the card getting full or not in the middle of the gig.

Official Test Results:
(Tested on Windows XP Pro with 4gb ram, using 150gb/10000rpm Western Digital Raptor HDD as OS and separate one for files (non OS drive) Transferred using Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader to non OS Raptor Drive. Times averaged than average used to find fallowing results)
Using a File folder containing a mix of photo files totaling 1.01Gig (1010mb)
Write times: 7.30mb/sec Read Times: 14.26mb/sec
This is consistent with 14gig’s (max I filled it with from the camera) taking about 25-30min

So times from computer to card are a little slower with my test card than expected (Lexar Claims 9mb/sec) But I often find that all companies list the best time possible and this can be burst speed but average I find all cards to write about 1-2mb/sec slower on my machine than the factory clams.
I will conduct some camera write times soon and post here, but on average it seams to take about 8-10sec longer to clear my K20D’s buffer compared to their Pro 133x/class 6 Cards

Overall though from hands-on usage test I would say go buy this card. It should be cheep, reasonable fast (class 4/60x) and is perfect for all but those who demand massive burst capability and fastest camera to cart times. If you can tolerate some slightly slower downloads to the computer and the slightly slower write times, the benefits of having a 16gig card for your average DSLR (Nikon D40/60, Pentax K200D, Canon Xti) are wonderful, Almost an entire trip without swapping cards (depending on how you shoot) seams great and less chance you’ll loose/drop the card when changing. (But see note about keeping your eggs in one basket)
Also Note no matter what the speed, 16gb is a lot if information to transfer at once, even from 2 internal HDD it takes me at least 15min on high-speed drives. The only way to really improve speed times would be threw Firewire 800 with the ultra fast UDMA CF cards. When I get their 16GB CF card to test I will let you know about this, but I do not expect to see a drastic change in time of 16gb)
I know that I will go and buy one of these cards when they come out for trips, long-image intense assignments, weddings etc. My K20D eats memory cards like snacks (only about 150 on a 4 gig card shooting RAW+ And though I would not pick this card first for sports shooting (I did miss a few due to a full buffer that I normaly dont have with the pro/class 6 cards) I think it should work for most other events just fine.

Cheaper than Pro cards
16gb in a SD card form
Comes with Lexar Image Rescue (I like this program the best for image recovery)

Only Class4 (Not as fast as Class 6 SDHC)
16gigs takes along time to download no matter what the speed of the card.
A lot of eggs in one basket

Overall Result:
I Would/Will Buy One (for use in everything but sports)

New Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC and CF

Expanding the popular Platinum II line, Lexar adds high capacity 16GB Lexar SDHC and CF cards with a reasonable read/write rate and a very nice price.
Though maybe not for speed demon's the Platinum II series offers a compromise for the pro-sumer that doesn't want the base speed (slow) cards but doesn't need/cant justify a pro card at often twice the price. The Platinum II series is basically "last years pro model" and that's good for the consumers.

I got a chance to hands-on their new 16GB SDHC and loved it, Review Here!

Official Specs and Press Release...

Increased Capacity of Lexar Platinum II Memory Cards Enhances Experience for Value-Conscious Video and Photo Enthusiasts

New 16GB Secure Digital High Capacity and CompactFlash Memory Cards Enhance Video- and Photo-Capturing Capabilities of Flash-Based Digital Cameras, Camcorders and Digital SLRs

Fremont, CA, September 16, 2008 -- Lexar Media, a leading global provider of memory products for digital media, announced today that the company has further increased the capacity of its widely popular Platinum II flash memory card line by introducing a Platinum II 60x 16GB Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card and Platinum II 80x 16GB CompactFlash® (CF) card. The new, high-capacity cards give value-conscious video and photo enthusiasts the ability to shoot longer and faster, while taking advantage of new higher-resolution and high-definition digital camcorders, digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras. When used with many of today’s popular flash-based digital camcorders, the Platinum II 16GB memory cards allow up to six hours of 1080 high-definition video recording. The Platinum II SDHC memory card is speed-rated at 60x, capable of a minimum sustained write speed of 9MB per second, while the Platinum II CF memory card is speed-rated at 80x, which represents a minimum sustained write speed of 12MB per second. The high-speed cards provide faster transfers of high-resolution video and photos, as well as large audio and digital multimedia files.

“With the rapid increase in camera resolutions now exceeding 10 megapixels resulting in larger image file sizes from newer digital cameras, flash-enabled digital camcorders, and digital SLRs, consumers need a higher-speed, higher-capacity memory card to ensure optimal performance while shooting,” said Manisha Sharma, director of product marketing, Lexar. “The new Lexar Platinum II 16GB cards provide the quality and dependability that customers expect from Lexar, with the increased capacity required to record and shoot longer.”

The new Lexar Platinum II SDHC and CF cards include a limited lifetime warranty and valuable image-related software—the full version of Lexar Image Rescue™ 3, Lexar’s award-winning image recovery software, and a six-month trial of Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4. The Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC and CF memory cards will be available in September.

Lexar will be displaying the Platinum II SDHC and CF cards at Photokina 2008 at stand F022 E023 in hall 04.1.

About Lexar Media
Lexar Media is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of NAND flash and DRAM memory products under the Lexar and Crucial brand names. Lexar offers products in all major flash and DRAM memory categories, including: consumer and enterprise-level USB flash drives, industry-leading memory cards for photography, and all popular form factors of memory cards for mobile devices. For computers, Lexar also offers a full range of DRAM computer memory upgrades for PCs and Mac systems, and solid state drives (SSD). An industry leader in innovative, patented flash memory technology, Lexar is vertically integrated with Micron Technology, one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers worldwide.

For more information about Lexar, visit For more information about Crucial products, visit, or Lexar Media, Inc. is a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc. Lexar Media is a division of Micron Europe Limited, a division of Micron Semiconductor Asia Pte. Ltd., and a division of Micron Japan, Ltd.

About Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAM, NAND flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit

©2008. Lexar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Information is subject to change without notice. Lexar, the Lexar logo, and Image Rescue are trademarks of Lexar Media, Inc. Corel and Painter are trademarks or registered trademarks of Corel Corporation, in Canada, the United States and/or other countries. Lexar Media, Inc. is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash trademark. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lexar Media, Inc. is a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Eye-Fi + D90 = wireless bliss

Nikon again has teamed with the programmers over at Eye-Fi to integrate the wireless SD Card solution into the new D90. This is their second paring with Nikon as the D60 also had improved Eye-Fi functions/capability
Eye-Fi has been in production-commercial business just about a year now and have grown from their humble beginnings when everyone said they can't do it. Proving everyone wrong they now offer a computer with 2gig of memory into an SD card. With this second Teaming with Nikon they are offering easy wireless photo transfer from camera to computer/net with an SLR at a tenth of the price of other wireless transfer solutions. More details after the Jump...

Press Release:
Eye-Fi, Inc.(, makers of the world’s first wireless memory card for digital cameras, today announced that it collaborated with Nikon Corporation, a world leader in digital imaging and precision optics, to deliver enhanced integration of its Eye-Fi cards with Nikon’s newly announced digital SLR camera, Nikon D90. The D90 is Nikon’s second “Eye-Fi Connected” camera, following the Nikon D60, which was released earlier this year. Eye-Fi Connected cameras make it easier for photographers to use their Eye-Fi cards to wireless upload images to their computer or favorite online photo sharing site.

While Eye-Fi cards work seamlessly with conventional SD-compatible digital cameras, the Eye-Fi Connected Nikon D90 gives users an improved out-of- box experience and more control of wireless capabilities. The camera will detect when an Eye-Fi card is inserted and manage its power settings to ensure that photos upload effortlessly for sharing and storing. In addition, the Nikon D90 will include an Eye-Fi menu that allows users to turn the wireless function on or off, giving the user more freedom to customize how and when they want to use the Eye-Fi card. For example, if a user is in a hospital or on an airplane, or anywhere else where wireless connectivity is not allowed, the user may disable the wireless function through the Eye-Fi menu.

“Working with Nikon on this Eye-Fi Connected camera allows us to provide an even better experience for our users,” said Yuval Koren, chief product officer and co-founder of Eye-Fi. “This is a great example of how a non-wireless camera can be optimized for the Eye-Fi card to create the best experience possible. Together, we continue to find ways to make taking, saving and sharing digital memories as automatic and effortless as possible.”

The Eye-Fi Connected Nikon D90 will be unveiled at Photokina in Cologne, Germany on September 23, 2008.

Eye-Fi’s family of products, including the Eye-Fi Home, Share and Explore cards range from $79-$129 USD, and can be purchased at major online retail locations or at Circuit City and Ritz Camera Centers nationwide. Eye-Fi has won numerous awards, including PC World’s “The 100 Best Products of 2008” and Yahoo! Tech’s “Last Gadget Standing 2008” at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For more information, please visit


About Eye-Fi Inc
Founded in 2005, the company is dedicated to building products and services that help consumers navigate, nurture and share their visual memories. Eye-Fi’s patent-pending technology works with Wi-Fi networks to automatically send photos from a digital camera to online, in-home and retail destinations. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., the company’s investors include LMS Capital, Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures and TransLink Capital. More information is available at

*Nikon has collaborated with Eye-Fi but is not responsible for the quality of Eye-Fi’s products and services.

LaCie 4big Quadra RAID System

With 7 RAID modes, max capacity of 6TB, and is almost 50 percent quieter and
saves up to 80 percent more energy that traditional RAID towers. This new Disk-system shines more light on the dark stage that is Storage of Digital Files. With Cameras putting out larger and larger files and long-term archival storage is still expensive (Tape drives are the only pseudo archival digital storage medium) RAID systems are becoming all the rage. With the assistance of more user-friendly interfaces the average photographer can now manage a RAID system to make sure his files are backed up and safe.
LaCie is quickly adressing this problem with their new series of RAID towers
Specs and more ...

For Immediate Release

LaCie 4big Quadra Sets a New Standard in RAID Technology

? RAID power: add up to 6 Terabytes on your desk
? Huge capacity for backing up all your data
? Superior protection and speed for creative pros
? Four hot-swappable disks for non-stop data access
? Designed to complement and enhance working environments

PORTLAND, OR (September 2008) ­ LaCie today announced the 4big Quadra, the
most complete four-bay RAID solution for small servers, creative pro
workstations or offices that need large storage and backup capacity,
superior speed and advanced security. Offering capacities of up to 6TB
(6000GB) and a versatile hot-swap feature, the 4big Quadra supports seven
RAID modes including RAID 0 and RAID 5 for optimal performance and data

Thanks to its native RAID controller that conserves computer resources, the
4big offers burst transfer rates reaching up to 200-230MB/s* through eSATA
3Gbits. This solution integrates perfectly with most applications that
demand high speed, such as photo processing, audio/video projects,
pre-press, and even HD post-production. Compatible with Time Machine , the
4big also comes with Genie Backup Manager Pro and Intego Backup Manager
Pro for customizable backup and computer recovery.

³The LaCie 4big Quadra definitely sets a new standard in RAID Technology for
creative professionals and small sever backups,² said Arnaud Prézelin, LaCie
Product manager for Creative Pro solutions. ³For instance, the 4big Quadra
enables digital content creators to work on multiple HD video streams or to
manage RAW photos libraries with live effects.²

The 4big Quadra not only sets a new standard in RAID technology and
performance, but was also designed with the modern professional office in
mind. Its stackable and chainable design helps to save space, and it is
expandable and scalable up to four units (providing up to an amazing 24TB
capacity and 600 MB/s transfer rates). The 4big Quadra¹s universal
connectivity (with eSATA, Firewire 400/800, and Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interfaces)
helps to ensure maximum compatibility with any Mac or PC.

Compared to traditional RAID towers, it saves up to 80 percent more energy,
and its revolutionary ultra-reliable cooling system is almost 50 percent
quieter, making it the perfect choice for creative professionals. The
technology, performance and design of the 4big Quadra make it an ideal
addition to any workspace.

The LaCie 4big Quadra will be available in 2TB, 4TB or 6TB in October
through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie Reseller+ or LaCie Storage Partner at
the suggested retail price starting $899.00 (excluding VAT). For more
information, visit .

About Neil Poulton
Neil Poulton was born in Thurso, Scotland. A graduate in Industrial Design
from Edinburgh University and Milan's Domus Academy, Poulton first came into
public view in 1989 as the creator of "the ageing pens,² pens made from a
³living,² wearing plastic that changes color and form with use. Today, Neil
Poulton designs and develops best-selling, award-winning products for a
variety of international clients including LaCie & Artemide. Since 1991,
Poulton has lived and worked in Paris, France.

About LaCie
Located in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Europe, Singapore and Hong
Kong, LaCie is the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals for Windows,
Apple and Linux users. LaCie creates external storage solutions and color
monitors that help professionals and everyday people easily manage their
digital lives. LaCie has differentiated its products through original
designs and leading-edge technology. Established in France in 1989, LaCie is
listed on Euronext under FR0000054314 (LAC). For more information, visit

Zeiss for Canon (at last)

After waiting what seams like forever, Canon EF users can finally enjoy the wonders of manual-focus High Quality and Speed Zeiss glass with the first 2 lenses being their Planar T* 1.4/50 ZE and Planar T* 1.4/85 ZE

Official Press Release:
More optics for everyone

ZE: Carl Zeiss SLR Lenses Now Also With EF Bayonet

Thornwood, NY, September 2008: Carl Zeiss is expanding its successful line of SLR lenses with the introduction of the Zeiss ZE Lenses with EF bayonet for all analog and digital EOS camera models...

As with all EF compatible lenses, the new ZE lenses from Carl Zeiss transfer all information exclusively via electronic contacts. This means that all exposure modes such as programmed auto exposure, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual setting are supported. The aperture setting is controlled from the camera body and the automatic focus confirmation remains available to an unlimited extent with these manual focus lenses. With digital SLRs, the lens data and all exposure data can also be accessed via the camera’s EXIF file. Even E-TTL flash metering is supported.

The first lenses to be available will be the Planar T* 1,4/50 ZE and the Planar T* 1,4/85 ZE in the last quarter of this year. Further focal lengths will be added to the line within the next few months.

Focal length: 50mm 85mm

List price: $660 $1,170

Friday, September 12, 2008

2 New Micro 4/3's Lenses, Kit and Telephoto

2 Lenses to go with Micro 4/3's

To go along with the New DSLR is a Kit lens: LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S
And a nice range telephoto: LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S
Details and Specs...


Two New Lenses Compatible with LUMIX G1, the World’s Smallest & Lightest Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera, Part of the Micro Four Thirds System

SECAUCUS, NJ (September 12, 2008) – Panasonic today announced the world’s first interchangeable lenses designed for the new Micro Four Thirds System. The LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S will be the standard kit lens with the LUMIX DMC-G1, the world’s first Micro Four Thirds System digital camera, which also debuted today. In addition, the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S. telephoto lens, also designed for the Micro Four Thirds format, offers an enhanced zoom range for use with the DMC-G1 and other cameras based on the new standard.

Panasonic’s two new Micro Four Thirds System lenses produce professional-level images, typical of digital single-reflex lens (DSLR) cameras, while greatly reducing the size. For instance, the LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S lens is nearly half the size and weight of traditional DSLR lenses with comparable focal lengths.* Both lenses feature Panasonic’s Mega O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer), which helps reduce blur caused by hand movement when snapping photos, and are compatible with Panasonic’s Contrast AF (Auto Focus) system found in the LUMIX DMC-G1. Contrast AF in the G1 allows the user to choose from a wide-range of AF modes, including: multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas; 1-area AF with a selectable focus area; Face Detection; and AF Tracking. The lenses also feature a durable metal mount and multi-coated lens to reduce ghosts and flares on images. In addition, seven aperture blades create a rounded shape that produces smoothness when shooting out-of-focus areas, helping to deliver top optical performance.

“The introduction of the Micro Four Thirds System is a huge advancement for digital photographers as the reduction in size and weight of these lenses will really change the market and make this format more approachable,” said David Briganti, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Average consumers interested in purchasing an advanced camera were previously deterred by the bulkiness and inconvenience of DSLRs, so these new lenses provide the same level of quality that consumers demand, but in a package much more suitable for active lifestyles.”

The LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. will be part of the kit with the LUMIX DMC-G1 body and will be available in mid-November. The LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S. will also be available in November. Pricing for the both lenses will be announced in early October.

*Compared to LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm / F3.8-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S. lens, available with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10 kit.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In its commitment to provide consumers with extensive imaging resources, Panasonic LUMIX established the Digital Photo Academy, a series of nationwide workshops designed to instruct consumers how to optimize the features on their digital cameras and produce high-quality photos. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE – The World’s Heritage, a project that will create the world’s largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images. Information about Panasonic LUMIX digital still cameras and its affiliated programs is available at

# # #

LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. Specifications

Lens Construction
12 elements in 9 groups (1 Aspherical lens)

Micro Four Thirds mount

Optical Image Stabilizer: YES

Focal Length: f=14mm to 45mm (35mm film camera equivalent 28mm to 90mm)

Aperture Type
7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm

Aperture: F3.5(Wide) - F5.6(Tele)

Minimum Aperture: F22

Closest Focusing Distance: 0.30m at all focal lengths

Maximum Magnification: Approx. 0.17x / 0.34x (35mm film camera equivalent)

Diagonal Angle of View: 75°(W)~27°(T)

Filter Size: φ52mm / 2.05 in

Max. Diameter: φ 60mm / 2.36 in

Overall Length: Approx. 60mm / 2.36 in

Weight: Approx. 195g / 6.88oz

Standard Accessories
Lens Cap, Lens Hood, Lens Rear Cap, Lens Storage Bag

LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S. Specifications

Lens Construction
16 elements in 13 groups

Micro Four Thirds mount

Optical Image Stabilizer:YES

Focal Length: f=45mm to 200mm (35mm film camera equivalent 90mm to 400mm)

Aperture Type: 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm

Aperture: F4.0(Wide) - F5.6(Tele)

Minimum Aperture: F22

Closest Focusing Distance: 1.0m at all focal lengths

Maximum magnification: Apporox. 0.19x / 0.38x (35mm film camera equivalent)

Diagonal Angle of View:27°(W)~6.2°(T)

Filter Size: φ52mm / 2.05 in

Max. Diameter: φ 70mm / 2.75 in

Overall Length: Approx. 100mm / 3.93 in

Weight: Approx. 380g / 13.4 oz

Standard Accessory
Lens Cap, Lens Hood, Lens Rear Cap, Lens Storage Bag

First Micro 4/3 DSLR: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1

Pannasonic announced today the first First Micro 4/3 DSLR: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1, With a weight of only .85lb (385grams) it is the worlds lightest (and smallest) DSLR in production.
It features a 13mp sensor (12.1 effective) 3fps burst, LiveMOSS sensor, no mirror: Live view only, both threw rear LCD and viewfinder. A swath of scene modes, Standard WB presets and more...

Aimed at the amateur/travel photographer market (presumably) this camera reminds me of the little Pentax 110 SLR. With the Micro 4/3 system we finally have the possibly of a true Pocket DSLR. I can not wait to get some image samples and hands on with this little thing. I have a feeling full-featured ZLR's (Just barley larger than the Panasonic Lumix FZ28) (others like the Canon G series and Nikon P5100) may start to become a even smaller market as this system potentially will eliminate this advance point and shoot category.

More details, Specs and official Press Release:


World’s First Micro Four Thirds System Camera Features Portability, Ease-of-Use and Colorful Blue and Red Models For Personalized Style and Active Lifestyles

Secaucus, NJ (September 12, 2008) – Panasonic today announced the world’s first Micro Four Thirds system camera, the LUMIX DMC-G1, the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera, weighing in at approximately 385 grams (0.85 lbs).* Based on the new Micro Four Thirds System standard, the LUMIX G1 eliminates the internal mirror structure that defines digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, thus reducing the size and weight by nearly half.** With the mirror-less system, the G1’s flange back, which is the distance between the mount and the image sensor, has been reduced from 40 mm – as specified in the Four Thirds System – to approximately 20 mm.

The new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 will enhance the advanced photo quality and flexibility made possible by the Four ThirdsÔ System, and with its innovative design, consumers will appreciate the portability of a smaller camera body and lenses. The G1 will be available in mid-November as a kit with the new LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S lens. Also available in November, and announced today, is the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.lens.

“With the LUMIX G1, we are filling a void that has existed for a long time in the digital camera market because consumers wanted the power of an SLR, but previous models were bulky and inconvenient,” said David Briganti, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The LUMIX G answers this challenge as consumers can benefit from the flexibility of changing lenses; a quick Auto Focus; and a sensor that produces high-quality photos. By packing all those powerful assets into an extremely compact body with easy-to-use features familiar to point-and-shoot users, we are excited about G, as it brings new possibilities to the consumer.”

The LUMIX G1 is also the world’s first interchangeable lens camera that will come with color variety – with availability in black, blue and red models – allowing consumers to personalize their style through color, something very popular with point-and-shoot camera models.

For current Four Thirds users with a collection of lenses, an optional mount adapter will allow Four Thirds lenses to be compatible with the LUMIX G1.*** Also, today, with the introduction of the Micro Four Thirds System, Panasonic is announcing a wide-variety of accessories including: External Flash DMW-FL220(GN22); PL Filter: DMW-LPL52; Mount Adapter: DMW-MA1; Battery Pack: DMW-BLB13; DC Cable: DMW-DCC3; Soft Case: DMW-CG1; Soft Bag: DMW-BAG1; Shoulder Strap (Stylish) DMW-SSTG1-A/C/R; Shoulder Strap (Woven) DMW-SSTG2-W; Shoulder Strap (Leather) DMW-SSTG3-T. The G1 is also compatible with current accessories: External Flash: DMW-FL360(GN36)/DMW-FL500(GN50); ND Filter: DMW-LND52; MC Protector: DMW-LMC52; Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1; HDMI mini Cable: RP-CDHM15(1.5m), RP-CDHM30(3.0m).

The G1’s compact size can also be attributed to its electronic full-time Live View Finder, as opposed to a conventional optical viewfinder. The electronic Live View Finder, with an impressive and high-resolution 1,440,000-dot equivalent, allows the user to shoot the exact image the camera sees while also displaying information about the camera’s settings through the view finder. The G1 also features a clever built-in eye sensor, so the camera can detect when the user is nearing the view finder and automatically switches off the LCD, thus conserving battery life. Furthermore, the Live View Finder has a large 1.4x (0.7x on a 35mm equivalent) magnification and when using the G1 in manual focus mode, the frame in the view finder or LCD will enlarge by 5x or 10x (can adjust using the dial).

The Live View Finder and the bright 460,000-dot resolution, 3.0-inch LCD provide a 100% field of view, letting the user adjust settings before taking a shot, which is a great learning tool for consumers beginning to use manual controls as they can visually confirm the effects of changed settings. The LCD can also swivel 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically, giving the consumer flexibility to take high and low-angle shots, and its Auto Power technology will automatically boost brightness by as much as 40% depending on the shooting condition so it remains visible in all lighting environments.

The G1 introduces a new Contrast AF (Auto Focus) function that is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide-range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking. In the 1-area AF mode, the AF frame size can be changed by simply turning a dial. The G1 also has a Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as the user aims the camera – no need to wait to press the shutter button halfway. This provides quicker focusing that can help capture the subject before the crucial moment passes.

Users familiar with point-and-shoot digital cameras, and new to the world of advanced interchangeable lens cameras, will benefit from Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) mode. When in iA mode, the G1 will detect the shooting condition and automatically adjust for the ultimate shooting results. Panasonic’s iA includes the following intuitive technologies.

· AF Tracking – Automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the need to hold the shutter halfway down.

· Intelligent Exposure – Helps prevents photos from being under- or over-exposed by analyzing the framed image and adjusting the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash.

· MEGA O.I.S. – Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand movement from creating a blurry image.

· Intelligent ISO – Determines if the photo subject is moving and changes the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.

· Intelligent Scene Selector – Senses the ambient conditions and will automatically select the appropriate mode from Scenery, Portrait, Close-up, Night Portrait or Night Scenery.

· Face Detection – Detects faces in the frame (up to 15 faces), even if they are moving, and selects optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear. Also features Digital Red-Eye correction.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1, a 12.1 Megapixel camera, also includes the following advanced features.

· Live MOS Sensor – Provides the best of both worlds with high image quality from a CCD sensor, and the lower-power consumption of a CMOS sensor. New technology makes it possible to read four channels of data simultaneously and deliver 60 frames-per-second full-time Live View images.

· Venus Engine HD – New imaging processor enhances noise reduction and provides independent gradation control for each of the R, G and B colors.

· Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System – Designed to prevent dust from adhering to the image sensor by vibrating 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles.

· My Color Mode – Users can freely adjust the color, brightness and saturation while composing shots, allowing for more expressive and creative shots.

· HDMI Output – With an optional HDMI cable, the G1 can connect to an HDMI-capable High Definition television, such as a Panasonic VIERA Plasma or LCD. When connected to a VIERA, using VIERA Link capability, the TV’s remote control can direct the slideshow on the G1.

· My Menu – This new tab automatically stores the five most recently used menu selections for quick, convenient retrieval. The custom-setting can also be used to program a frequently-used function, which can be activated by pressing the down arrow on the cursor key. The color of the menu viewed on LCD can also be changed to three different colors: black, red, blue.

Pricing for the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 and its Micro Four Thirds accessories will be announced in early October.

* As of September 12, 2008.

**Compared to the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10.

*** Needs an adapter (available as an optional accessory) to use Four Thirds lenses. Lenses that are not compatible with the Contrast AF function can be used with manual focusing. There are also some limitations to other functions. For details, see the following customer support site:

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In its commitment to provide consumers with extensive imaging resources, Panasonic LUMIX established the Digital Photo Academy, a series of nationwide workshops designed to instruct consumers how to optimize the features on their digital cameras and produce high-quality photos. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE – The World’s Heritage, a project that will create the world’s largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images. Information about Panasonic LUMIX digital still cameras and its affiliated programs is available at

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LUMIX DMC-G1 Specifications

-K(Black), -A(Blue), -R(Red)


Digital interchangeable lens system camera

Recording media: SD memory card, SDHC memory card, Multimedia card

Image sensor size: 17.3 x 13.0 mm

Mount: Micro Four Thirds mount

Type: Live MOS Sensor
Total pixels: 13.1 Megapixels
Camera effective pixels: 12.1 Megapixels
Aspect ratio: 4:3 (Horizontal : Vertical)
Color filter: Primary color filter
Dust reduction system: Supersonic wave filter

Recording file format: JPEG(Design rule for Camera File System, based on Exif 2.21 standard), RAW, DPOF corresponding

Aspect ratio: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
File size: 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 3000 pixels, 2816 x 2112 pixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 2672 pixels, 2816 x 1880 pixels, 2048 x 1360 pixels
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 2248 pixels, 2816 x 1584 pixels, 1920 x 1080 pixels

Image quality: RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard

Color space: sRGB, Adobe RGB

Type: Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equivalent)
Field of view: Approx. 100%
Magnification: Approx. 1.4x / 0.7x (35mm film camera equivalent)
with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
Eye point: Approx.17.5mm
Diopter adjustment: -4.0 ~ +4.0 [m-1]

Type: Contrast AF system
Focusing mode: AFs/AFc/MF
AF mode: Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing
AF detective range: EV 0-18 (ISO100)
AF assist lamp: YES
AF lock: AF/AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed in AFs mode

Light metering system: 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Light metering mode: Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Metering range: EV 0-18 (F2.0 lens, ISO 100)
Exposure mode: Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual

ISO sensitivity: Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / Intelligent ISO
Exposure compensation: 1/3EV Step ±3EV
AE lock: AF/AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed
AE bracket: 3,5,7 frame, in 1/3 or 2/3 EV Step, ±2 EV

White balance: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1,2 / Color temperature setting
White balance adjustment: Blue/amber bias, Magenta/green bias
Color temperature setting: 2500-10000K in 100K
White balance bracket: 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis

Type: Focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed: 1/4000 ~ 60 and Bulb (up to approx. 4minutes)
Self timer: 2sec / 10sec / 10sec, 3 images
Remote control: Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)

Advanced SCN mode:
Portrait (Normal/Soft Skin/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / Scenery (Normal/Nature/Architecture/Creative) / Sports (Normal/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / Close-up (Flower/Food/Objects/Creative) / Night Portrait (Night Portrait/Night Scenery/Illuminations/Creative)
SCN mode:
Sunset / Party / Baby 1,2 / Pet

Burst speed: 3 frames/sec (High speed) or 2 frames/sec (Low speed)
Number of recordable: 7 pictures (when there are RAW file with the particular speed)
Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW file) (depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)

Type: TTL Built-in-Flash, GN11equivalent (ISO 100 ・m), Built-in Pop-up
Built-in flash: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction,
Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off

X-Sync speed: Less than 1/160 second
Flash output adjustment: 1/3EV Step ±2EV
Flash synchronization: 1st. Curtain Sync, 2nd Curtain Sync.

Hot shoe: TTL Auto with FL360/FL500/FL220 (Optional)

Type: Low temperature Polycrystalline TFT LCD
Monitor size: Free-angle 3.0inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide viewing angle
Pixels: 460K dots
Field of view: Approx. 100%

Digital zoom: 2x, 4x
Extra optical zoom Max.2x
(Not effective with full pixel recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels.)

Other functions:
Highlight Display
Guide Lines (3 patterns)
Real-time Histogram

Color: Standard / Dynamic / Nature / Smooth / Nostalgic / Vibrant
Black and white: Standard / Dynamic / Smooth

My Film1 / My Film2 / Multi Film

Playback mode: Single / 12, 30-thumbnail display, Calendar display,
Zoomed playback (16x max.), /image rotation (except for RAW)
Slide show (duration is adjustable, also manual controllable), Playback of favorite pictures/ Resizing (selectable number of pixels)
Trimming / Protection / Aspect conversion / DPOF print setting

Protection: Single / Multi or Cancel
Erase: Single / Multi / All / Except FAVORITE

Print: PictBridge(Print size, Layout, Date setting is selectable )

USB 2.0 High Speed

Digital video
MiniHDMI TypeC (1.3b corresponding)

Analog video
NTSC/PAL Composite (Switched by menu)
*Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the products that are available in your market.

OSD language: English,German,French,Italian,Spanish,Polish,Czech,Hungarian,Russian, Chinese(Traditional),Chinese(Simplified),Dutch,Thai,Korean, Turkish,Portuguese,Arabic,Persian,Japanese,Finnish,Danish,Swedish

Battery: Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1250mAh) (Included)

Battery Charger/AC Adapter (Input: 110-240V AC) (Optional DC cable(DMW-DCC3) is required)

Battery life: CIPA Standard : Approx. 330 images(LCD)
LVF : Approx. 350 images
with LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S.

Dimensions (W x H x D)
124 x 83.6 x 45.2mm

Weight: Approx. 385g(Body only)

Operating temperature
0℃ to 40℃

Operating humidity: 10% to 80%

Software: PHOTOfunSTUDIO -viewer- 2.1 E
SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.0 SE
USB Driver

Standard accessories
Battery Charger/AC Adapter, Battery Pack, Body Cap,
Video Cable, USB Connection Cable, AC Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM

*Shooting conditions: 23°C with 50% humidity; LCD on; using SD Memory Card; starting to shoot 30 seconds after turning on the power; shooting once every 30 seconds with the flash in full operation for every other shot; changing the zoom setting from telephoto to wide, or wide to telephoto, for each shot; and temporarily turning the power off after each 10 shots (long enough to lower the battery temperature).

The DMW-BLB13 comes with a function to check whether the battery and unit can be safely used together. •Batteries made by other companies which have been certified by Panasonic may be used with these units, but we offer no guarantee as to the quality, performance or safety of such batteries. •Exercise care when purchasing batteries. Many fake or imitation batteries have been found among those sold at unusually low prices and those which customers cannot check for themselves before purchasing. •Please confirm the latest information about batteries on the following website. (This website is in English only.)

*Some accessories are not available in some countries.

*The use of recorded or printed materials that are protected by copyright for any purpose other than personal enjoyment is prohibited, as it would infringe upon the rights of the copyright holder.

*Four Thirds, Micro Four Thirds are trademarks or registered trademarks of Olympus Imaging Corporation.

*All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.

*This unit is compatible with both SD Memory cards and SDHC Memory cards. You can only use SDHC Memory cards on devices that are compatible with them. You cannot use SDHC Memory cards on devices that are only compatible with SD Memory cards. (When using a SDHC Memory card on another device, be sure to read the operating instructions for that device.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Full Frame Sony DSLR the A900

With the announcement at PMA of a Full Frame DSLR, expected by the end of the year, everyone in the industry thought, Well they will show it and have specs, maybe a working model. Not actually have it on shelf's. Well they proved at least me wrong. Looking very much like it did at PMA and having that big 24mp sensor with sensor-shift (in camera stabilization)
This Camera is showing that Sony is serious about wanting to be in the top 3 and fast. Unlike Samsung who announced the same at PMA, Sony is kicking butt at least in producing bodies, lenses and system accessories. Though Pentax is still clinging to #3 with the help of Samsung, how much longer will Sony still be an outsider looking in to the top 3? I will comment later on the camera market showdown, stay tuned.

For now here is the Press release:


SAN DIEGO, Sept. 9, 2008 — Sony is introducing its full-frame α (alpha) DSLR-A900 camera, aimed at serious photo enthusiasts looking for traditional SLR performance with the added benefits of digital photography.

It is designed to deliver ultra-fine picture quality with the world’s highest resolution, 24.6-megapixel, 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and fast image processing with a new dual BIONZ® processing engines. The camera is also the first to have a body-integrated image stabilization system for a full-frame sensor with Sony’s SteadyShot® Inside anti-shake system.

One look at the camera’s distinctive pentaprism and nostalgic body design will evoke its full-frame optical performance. It features a bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage that would impress even film photography loyalists.

“The α (alpha) DSLR-A900 introduction solidifies Sony’s position as a leading camera manufacturer that can meet the demands of serious enthusiasts,” said Phil Lubell, director of digital camera marketing at Sony Electronics. “It represents the best in sensor and image processing technologies and offers enhanced functions, performance and reliability so photographers can push their creativity to the limit.”

Ultra-Fine Images As The Human Eye Perceives Them

The camera’s Exmor™ CMOS sensor delivers the photographic expressive power of wide angles and perspective that only a 35 mm full-frame sensor can offer, and is designed to take advantage of the resolving power of high-precision α (alpha) lenses. Its high pixel count and large size provide enhanced image detail and a wider dynamic range for natural color reproduction and subtle tonal gradations.

The sensor is produced using proprietary Sony planarization technologies to ensure an ultra-flat surface across the entire imaging area. Instead of a single analog/digital convertor, the sensor uses over 6,000 on-chip, column-parallel A/D converters to convert analog signals to noise-resistant digital signals at the earliest possible stage. The result is reduced noise and high-speed transfer of data.

Image processing gets a boost in speed and power from the application of two BIONZ image processing engines. Large amounts of data captured by the 24.6-megapixel sensor can be quickly processed to achieve a fast shooting response. Additionally, this dual BIONZ processing system applies advanced noise reduction algorithms producing images of exceptional quality and detail, especially at high ISO sensitivities.

World’s First Anti-Shake System for a Full-Frame Sensor

The camera’s newly-developed, body-integrated SteadyShot Inside unit achieves an anti-shake effect equivalent to shutter speeds faster by 2.5 to 4 stops. This new unit provides stabilization for Sony, Minolta and Konica-Minolta wide angle, large-aperture lenses, which is difficult for lens-integrated systems.

State-of-the Art Optical Performance and Responsiveness

The ultra-bright viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage and 0.74x magnification enables accurate framing and preview. It features a high-power condenser lens, an eyepiece with high reflective-index glass, and a multi-layer, anti-reflective coating on every optical surface to deliver its extraordinarily bright and accurate view.

Additionally, the focusing screen is user-replaceable, with additional L-type (grid pattern) and M-type (super spherical acute matte) screens sold separately.

The camera’s newly-developed autofocus system consists of nine wide-area sensors with 10 assist points for improved tracking of moving subjects. A center dual cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors as well as a dedicated f/2.8 sensor are included to achieve greater precision, especially when using fast-aperture lenses.

It also offers high-speed continuous shooting of 24.6 megapixel images at five frames per second. A newly-designed mirror box features a unique parallel-link mirror mechanism that moves on two horizontal axes to accommodate both 100% viewfinder coverage and the body-integrated image stabilization system without increasing the camera’s size. The mirror box also has a new moving magnet actuator, a high-powered coreless motor for a faster shutter charge, and a magnet catcher to minimize mirror bounce and light refraction within the box.

Versatility to Unleash Creative Possibilities

The model’s innovative intelligent preview function takes the guesswork out of setting up a shot and the hassle of taking multiple shots to achieve a desired effect.

After pressing the depth of field preview button, the camera “grabs” a RAW preview image which is processed and displayed on the LCD screen. You can then fine tune white balance, determine the best level and effect of dynamic range optimization, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data, all before you actually take the picture. Preview images are not recorded on the camera’s memory card, thus saving capacity.

Other key features aimed to expand creative options include the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) with five levels of user-selectable correction as well as DRO bracketing for enhanced scene analysis and graduation optimization. EV bracketing with ±2EV range makes it easy to create high dynamic range composite images.

Thirteen creative styles can be selected to enhance images and then fine-tuned by customizing contrast, sharpness, zone matching and other parameters, while 3 user-programmable memories provide instant access to as many as 26 different mode settings.

Powerful RAW file processing control is put in the photographer’s hands with the included Image Data Converter SR3 software that delivers faster file processing speeds, easy adjustment of image parameters, Dynamic Range Optimization and a new Peripheral Illumination function that compensates for corner light fall off.

With the camera’s HDMI output and Photo TV HD mode, your creative output can be enjoyed on a compatible HD television. This mode brings the look of actual printed photography to the television, by fine-tuning such image parameters as sharpness, gradation and color.

Comfort in Your Hands

Its construction features rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy with moisture-resistant, rubber seals for buttons and dials, an anti-static coating to prevent dust adherence to the imager, and a high-endurance shutter rated for more than 100,000 release cycles.

It has a 3-inch, Xtra Fine LCD screen (921K) makes it possible to check focus and image quality with accuracy. It incorporates an easy-to-see display with a quick navigation menu to easily access common functions without interrupting your creative flow. A backlit LCD panel sits on top of the camera and displays key settings.

System Expansion with New Accessories

The A900 camera will be accompanied with an array of accessories like the recently-announced Sony HVL-F58AM flash unit with its innovative Quick Shift Bounce system, powerful performance with a guide number of 58, and wireless auto flash ratio control.

The Sony® VG-C90AM vertical grip offers the same ease of operation when shooting vertically as horizontally, with its button layout and low-position shutter-release button. It also houses two InfoLITHIUM® batteries (sold separately) for longer shooting and playback.

The DSLR-A900 body will be available in November for about $3,000 along with related accessories. All will be available at authorized dealers, at military base exchanges, Sony Style retail stores ( and at Online pre-orders begin online on Sept. 10.

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