Category: CES 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Lenses
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The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN (“Digital Neo”) is a new fixed-focal-length lens for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) and Sony NEX users. Comprising 8 elements in 6 groups, the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN has an angle of view of 59.3 degrees on MFT and 73.5 degrees on an E-mount camera. This lens benefits from a newly developed linear AF motor which moves the lens elements directly without the need for gears or the drive of other mechanical parts, and comes with a non-rotating 46mm filter thread. The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN features a rounded 7 blade diaphragm creating an attractive blur to the out of focus areas of the image. This Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm/7.9in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7.4. Pricing and availability have yet to be communicated.

Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Lenses
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The Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN is a new “Digital Neo” lens for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) and NEX system users. With an optical formula that comprises 7 elements in 5 groups and an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN has an angle of view of 39.6 degrees on MFT and 50.7 degrees on an E-mount camera, thus being equivalent to a 60mm and a 45mm lens, respectively. The lens benefits from a newly developed linear AF motor which moves the lens elements directly without the need for gears or the drive of other mechanical parts, the company says. Note that this is not a macro lens - the maximum reproduction ratio is only 1:8.1. The Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN has a non-rotating 46mm filter thread and weighs in at 135 grams.

Panasonic Announces New Conversion Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, CES 2012, Lenses

Panasonic today announced four new conversion lenses that are compatible with the Lumix G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. and the Lumix G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH. Micro Four Thirds lenses. The DMW-GWC1 wide conversion lens turns a 14mm lens into a 11mm, the DMW-GTC1 teleconverter (only compatible with the zoom) effectively doubles the focal length of your lens, the DMW-GMC1 is a macro conversion lens that allows you to focus the 14mm lens down to 0.14m and the 14-42mm power zoom to 0.16m, while the DMC-GFC1 fisheye converter helps you shoot creative and unique photographs with a very pronounced barrel distortion and an ultra-wide 120-degree angle of view. Pricing and availability will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping.

LIVE: Panasonic CES Press Conference

Mark Goldstein | CES 2012
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15.50 CET No mention of cameras at all during the conference. So check out our news coverage and hands-on photos of Panasonic’s new compacts instead.

15.31 CET Big shout-out for the London 2012 Olympics. Panasonic partners with NBC for US coverage and 200hrs of 3D footage.

15.30 CET Z10000 camcorder for 2D and 3D broadcast quality video, complete with macro capability.

15.27 CET 3D TV. So last year. 20% of TVs sold in 2012 will be 3D.

15.18 CET Eco solutions is the intial focus.

15.10 CET Panasonic’s CES conference has just kicked-off. Expect more TVs and maybe some camera news (no promises).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Samsung WB850F, WB150F and ST200F

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras
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Samsung has launched a new range of Wi-Fi enabled travel zoom cameras. The flagship Samsung WB850F (€350, pictured) features a 21x optical zoom, 16.2-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, 3-inch AMOLED screen, Full HD video recording built-in GPS and Digital Compass. The 14.2-megapixel Samsung WB150F (€220) comes with 18x optical zoom, 720p HD video recording capabilities and the same large AMOLED display as the WB850F, while the Samsung ST200F (€200) sports a 10x zoom lens and 720p video. With the innovative Remote Viewfinder feature, users can remotely control camera settings and set-up shots via a connected smartphone using the cameras’ Wi-Fi connection. The Wi-Fi capability of the new Samsung long-zoom cameras also allows users to email photos from any hotspot or share them on social networks such as Facebook and Picasa. The WB850F and the WB150F give photographers full manual control over the picture-taking process, with a Smart Auto mode also on board to help beginners or less experienced photographers.

Samsung ST66 & ST76

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras
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Samsung has unveiled a duo of metal-bodied 16.1-megapixel compact cameras called the Samsung ST66 and ST76. The 25-125mm (eq.) f/2.5-6,3 lens available on both models is complemented by optical image stabilisation on the ST76 (pictured). Live Panorama, featured on each of the new ST models, allows users to capture wide panoramic shots by simply holding down the shutter button and sweeping the camera across the scene. Finally, both the ST76 and ST66 include 720p HD movie recording at 30fps.

Our understanding is that the Samsung ST76 will be marketed under the name Samsung ST77 in the UK and continental Europe, where consumers will also be able to purchase a third model called the Samsung ST88, which has the same features as the ST76/ST77 except that it comes with a 3” hVGA screen rather than a 2.7” LCD.

LIVE: Samsung CES Press Conference

Mark Goldstein | CES 2012
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14.38 That’s all the photo news from Samsung at CES 2012. Next up is Panasonic, so stay with us.

14.35 CET Smart cameras and camcorders introduced with - 5 new models with wi-fi. WB850 is the highlight with a 21x zoom. Can control it remotely using a smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi direct! Autobackup uploads all photos to your PC wirelessly, share them on YouTube or Picasa, and email them straight from the camera.

14,32 CET Cameras and connectivity - wireless transfer via the new All Share Play feature.

14.25 CET Camera press releases are in. WB850F, WB150F, ST200F, DV300F, ST88, ST77 and ST66 compact cameras, QF20, W300, and F80 camcorders. No surpises of note.

14.20 CET Angry birds tie-in. Thy get their own animated channel.

14.15 CET New TVs have integrated camera in the top.

14.12 CET TVs, TVs, TVs. ES8000 has dual-core processor and multi-tasking. Nice.

14.05 CET Samsung Smart TV is the heart of the home. Every device will connect, including cameras, anywhere and anytime.

4.00 CET Samsung’s event begins with some very loud music. Bear with us as the wi-fi connection creaks under the strain of thousands of devices.

13.35 CET And we’re in! 1,000 journalists are gathered to find out what digital delights Samsung have in store for 2012. We’re just hoping for the NX20 CSC and maybe an EX-2 premium compact…

13.15 CET We’ve accidentally and very fortunately jumped to the head of the 1,000+ queue for Samsung’s CES conference, which begins in 45 minutes. Stay tuned to find out if Samsung releases a new compact system camera or a high-end compact, which have both been recently rumoured.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Preview

Mark Goldstein | CES 2012, Compact System Camera
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The X-Pro1 is Fujifilm’s first compact system camera, and we saw an almost-complete prototype, one of only two in the world, at Fujifilm UK’s HQ back in December 2011. This is our detailed preview of the Fujiflm X-Pro1’s design, features and accessories.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Compact System Camera
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The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is a new compact system camera sporting a 16-megapixel, APS-C sized “X-Trans” CMOS sensor, Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and a new “X” lens mount. The completely new Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS sensor has a new type of CFA (colour filter array) “inspired by the random arrangement of fine film grain” and no optical low-pass filter. According to Fujifilm, this solution results in a higher resolution than that provided by a Bayer sensor of a similar pixel count. The new X lens mount has a short flange-back distance of just 17.7mm and a wide opening, contributing to high edge-to-edge sharpness and resolution. The Hybrid Multi Viewfinder works similarly to the hybrid opto-electronic finder found on the X100, except that it also offers variable magnification to match lenses of any focal length. The camera comes with a traditional shutter speed dial and a recessed exposure compensation control that is precision milled from solid metal. The Fujifilm X-Pro1 body will cost £1399 in the UK and $1699 in the US.

In addition to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera, the company has also announced three Fujinon XF prime lenses, the XF 18mm f2 R ($499), the XF 35mm f/1.4 R ($499) and the XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro ($599), each of which features a traditional aperture ring and an iris diaphragm with rounded aperture blades.

Fujifilm USA Announces Fuji X100 Black Edition

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras

Fujifilm USA has officially announced the Fujifilm X100 Black Edition. According to the company, “Fujifilm is also launching a limited release of the high-end compact digital camera FUJIFILM X100 Black Premium Edition worldwide. The X100 Black Premium Edition will come with a genuine leather case, a lens hood, an adapter ring and a protective filter; and will also include a Limited Edition numbered card for product authentication.”

LIVE: Fujifilm CES Press Conference

Mark Goldstein | CES 2012, Compact System Camera
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12.36 CET That’s the end of the whistle-stop tour of Fujifilm’s new mirrorless camera. Make sure to check-out our Hands-On Photos and Preview articles for more detailed information on the exciting X-Pro1.

12.35 CET 14mm is the widest lens currently planned, it will work with the optical viewfinder.

12.33 CET No external microphone support. Boo. The X100 is STILL backordered worldwide.

12.32 CET Can change focal length of lenses in-camera when using the not-yet-released Leica-M adapter. Otherwise have to use the EVF.

12.31 CET Ships with Silkypix RAW software. “Oh boy!” shouts a journalist.

12:28 CET Built-in magnifier in the hybrid viewfinder will work with future zoom lenses.

12.26 CET Leica-M adapter “in the works”! Plus other system adapters too…

12.25 CET Cost to you - around $1700 body-only, to be confirmed closer to the end-February launch date.

12:22 CET 9 lenses will be released in total for the new X-Pro1 system, including a 14mm, more primes and several zooms by the end of 2013.

12:20 CET Hybrid viewfinder. 0.6x magnification built-in that switches automatically to match the attached lens.

12:17 CET X-Trans CMOS sensor. No low-pass filter. No moire in days of film, so Fujifilm have developed a 6x6 array to avoid moire and increase resolution. EXR processor developed to handle the extra data. Will out-perform both APS-C and Full-frame sensors in terms of resolution at any ISO setting!

12:15 CET X-mount 17.7mm flange back to deliver optimum results from the XF lenses.

12:13 CET XF Lenses high resolution, all glass, unique aperture blade. 18mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4, 60mm f/2,4 macro - just what Amazon predicted yesterday. 1/3 stop aperture increments on the lens.

12:09 CET The not-so-secret X-Pro1 is officially announced. Finally!

12:00 CET Hundreds of journalists are literally squeezed into the Venetian conference room.

SD Association Adds Standardised Wireless Communication to SD Card Standards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, CES 2012

SD Association today announced the Wireless LAN SD standard that allows users to transfer pictures, videos and other content wirelessly from most existing digital cameras and digital video cameras to web-based cloud services. This standard is applicable to full size SD/SDHC/SDXC and microSD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. The Wireless LAN SD memory card standard defines two interface types, including the Web interface, which supports server upload and peer-to-peer functions, and the home network interface, which supports server upload and home network communication functions.

Casio Exilim EX-ZR15

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras
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Casio America today announced the release of the 16-megapixel, 7x zoom EX-ZR15, a new addition to its EXILIM lineup of digital compact cameras. The Casio EXILIM EX-ZR15 boasts a start-up time of 0.99 seconds, 0.13-second high-speed auto focus, and shot-to-shot speeds of just 0.29 seconds in single-shot mode. Other highlights include a background blur effect that accentuates the subject and softens the background, and the new Wide Shot function that lets users create ultra-wideangle shots by panning the camera (equivalent to 21mm or 17mm wide-angle when converted to 35mm film format). Also capable of recording Full HD movies, the Casio EX-ZR15 will be available in Black, White, Red and Gold and will ship in April for $329.99.

Canon PowerShot G1 X

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras
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The Canon PowerShot G1 X is a new compact camera with a large 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a metal body. Measuring 18.7x14mm, the sensor of the PowerShot G1 X has a 4:3 aspect ratio but is marginally bigger than a typical FourThirds imager. Utilising Ultra high refractive index Aspherical (UA) elements and precision glass moulding technology, the fixed-mount lens of the Canon G1 X offers a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 28-112mm. Catering to the needs of professionals and advanced amateurs, the Canon PowerShot G1 X offers full manual control with shooting mode and exposure compensation dials for quick and intuitive access to a range of settings, and supports 14-bit raw capture for smooth gradations. Other highlights include an optical viewfinder, vari-angle screen, built-in Speedlite, flash hot shoe, High Dynamic Range mode and Full HD movie recording capabilities. The PowerShot G1 X is available from late February, priced at £699.00/€799.00/$799.99 RRP.

Click through / scroll down for a 2-minute introductory video released by Canon Europe.

Canon IXUS 500 HS and IXUS 125 HS

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Compact Cameras
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The 10-megapixel Canon Ixus 500 HS is a metal-bodied ultra-compact camera with 12x optical zoom, while the 16-megapixel Ixus 125 is a similarly slim camera with a wide, 24-120mm equivalent lens. Both cameras feature a Smart Auto mode that can recognise up to 58 different scenes and shooting situations, a Full HD movie mode and high-speed shooting. The new Face ID feature works with Smart Auto to ensure that your loved ones “always look their best in photos,” the company says. By registering a person along with their age in the camera’s memory, the face will then be recognised and Smart Auto will automatically apply the most appropriate settings to capture a great shot, based on their age and activity, as well as the ambient scene. Other highlights include a 3-inch, 460.000-dot rear screen, a “Super Slow Motion Movie” mode, an improved Movie Digest mode and a range of fun effects. The Ixus 125 HS is available from late February, priced at £229/€259, while the Ixus 500 HS is expected to hit the shops early March, priced at £309/€349 RRP.

Note: in the USA, the Ixus 125 and Ixus 500 will be marketed under the names Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS and ELPH 520 HS, priced at $249.99 and $299.99 respectively.

Canon Legria HF R38 / HF R36 / HF R306

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Video Cameras
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Canon today unveiled its updated entry-level range of Full HD Legria camcorders with the launch of the new Legria HF R38, Legria HF R36 and Legria HF R306. The Canon Legria HF R38 is a Wi-Fi enabled model with MP4 support, 51x “advanced” zoom, a 3” touch-sensitive screen and 32 gigabytes of internal memory in addition to an SDXC memory card slot. The Canon Legria HF R36 is a very similar camcorder except for the size of its built-in memory (8GB). Both models offer intelligent optical image stabilisation, a Smart Auto mode that can recognise up to 38 different scenes and shooting situations, Face Detection, Touch Decoration, and Cinema-look filters. The least expensive model in the line-up, the Canon Legria HF R306, lacks the Wi-Fi connectivity and on-board memory of its higher priced siblings but offers and otherwise identical feature set.

Canon Legria HF M52 / HF M56 / HF M506

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Digital Video Cameras
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Canon has updated its Legria HF M-series with the addition of the new Legria HF M52 (pictured), Legria HF M56 and Legria HF M506 Full HD AVCHD camcorders. Each one of these models comes equipped with an advanced Canon HD CMOS Pro sensor, a 10x zoom lens with an iris diaphragm, intelligent optical image stabilisation, “instant” AF, audio scene selector, a 3” touchscreen. SDXC support and a range of creative cinematic features. The Canon Legria HF M52 and the Canon Legria HF M56 also feature wireless connectivity and on-board memory (32GB for the HF M52 and 8GB for the HF M56). The Canon Legria HF M506 is a cheaper model that nonetheless has all the major features of its more expensive stable-mates, sans the built-in memory and Wi-Fi.

Lexar Introduces 600x and 400x SDHC and SDXC UHS-I Memory Cards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, CES 2012
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Lexar today introduced new Lexar Professional 600x and 400x SDHC and SDXC UHS-I memory cards, including the industry’s first 128GB SDXC UHS-I card.  The cards include the latest version of Image Rescue 4 software to help with the recovery of lost or deleted photo and video files. The Lexar Professional 600x UHS-I cards are offered in capacities of 16GB (£69.99), 32GB (£119.99), and 64GB (£229.99), and the new Lexar Professional 400x UHS-I cards are available in capacities of 8GB (£34.99), 16GB (£47.99), 32GB (£79.99), 64GB (£179.99), and 128GB (£299.99).  The 16GB and 32GB Professional 600x UHS-I cards and the 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB Professional 400x UHS-I cards will be available in February, while the 64GB 600x UHS-I card and the 128GB 400x UHS-I memory card will be available in March.

Lexar Introduces Industry-First 256GB CompactFlash Card

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories, CES 2012
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Lexar has announced new Lexar Professional 400x CompactFlash card capacities, including the industry’s first 256GB memory card. Also available in 64GB and 128GB capacities, the new Lexar Professional CF cards are speed rated at 400x and provide a minimum guaranteed transfer speed of 60MB per second. The new 64GB and 128GB capacities of the Lexar Professional 400x CF memory card will be available in January, with MSRPs of £269.99, and £479.99 respectively, and include the latest version of award-winning Image Rescue software to help recover lost or deleted photos and videos. The 256GB Lexar Professional 400x CF card is expected to be released for consumer purchase in the first half of 2012.

Corel AfterShot Pro

Zoltan Arva-Toth | CES 2012, Software
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Corel has announced the release of its newest software application, AfterShot Pro, which it says is “based on technology from Corel’s acquisition of Bibble Labs”. Fully multithreaded and optimised for multi-core and multi-CPU computers, Corel AfterShot Pro delivers fast raw processing and colouraccurate images with regular support for a continually increasing number of camera models. Available for Windows, MacOS and Linux, AfterShot Pro sells for $99.99. Users of Bibble Pro or Lite 5 are eligible for a discounted upgrade priced at $79.99.