Historic photos go on to Flickr

The National Media Museum in Bradford has become the first UK institution to make sections of the internationally renowned National Photography Collection available to millions worldwide through online photo management and sharing application Flickr™. Continue reading

Nikon D90 12.3Mp DSLR announced – a new market for Nikon?

August 26th, London, UK: report from Richard Kilpatrick

Today saw the launch of the newest member of Nikon’s growing range of successful DSLRs, with an ongoing increase in market share clearly resulting in growing confidence for the camera brand. Prefacing the D90’s announcement, Nikon revealed that 50% of professional photographers at the Olympics were using Nikon, and their market share reached 44% of the pro DSLR market in February (this is despite the range still having a 12Mp upper limit).

D90 at launch

D90 at launch

Having introduced the D3, D300, D60 and D700 within the last 12 months, the D80 was really looking like the last man standing; today’s announcement shows that the mid-range “enthusiast” market is going to be exceptionally well catered for with a ground-breaking new model, and leaves me as a recent D3 adopter wondering if it’s possible to justify a spare F-mount body.

Continue reading

EOS 50D 15.1 mpixel DSLR announced

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 26 August 2008: Canon today strengthens its EOS range with the addition of a powerful new digital SLR: the EOS 50D. With a 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 6.3 frames per second shooting and Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor, the EOS 50D delivers unparalleled speed and resolution at a price point that is unique in today’s market.

EOS 50D with 17-85mm IS lens

EOS 50D with 17-85mm IS lens

Outstanding, clean images

A newly designed 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor delivers ultra-detailed, low-noise images – ideal for large-scale reproduction or creative cropping. New manufacturing processes, plus redesigned photo diodes and microlenses, extend the light gathering capabilities of the sensor – allowing more pixels to be fitted on the CMOS sensor without compromising image quality. These changes ensure improved high ISO performance and low noise. High-speed, low light shooting is enabled by ISO levels of 3200, expandable to an ultra-sensitive 12800.

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System – including the improved Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a new fluorine coating – increases protection of image quality by helping to reduce, repel and remove unwanted dust from the sensor. Stubborn particles can be removed automatically in post-production with Dust Delete Data and Canon’s included Digital Photo Professional software.

Rapid-fire performance

Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor is fast enough to allow up to 6.3fps continuous shooting, in bursts of up to 90 JPEGs with a UDMA card. Used with Canon’s wide area AF system, which locks onto subjects with 9 individual cross type sensors, stunning action sequences can be captured – even in low-light conditions. This makes the EOS 50D particularly suited to sports and wildlife shooting.

DIGIC 4 works with the CMOS sensor to deliver 14-bit image processing, for smooth gradation and natural-looking colours – as well as ensuring ultra-fast startup times and near-instant image review after shooting.

See everything

A new 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD provides extra-large and wide angle-of-view image review, with plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. By switching to Live View mode – which displays a real-time image on the LCD – photographers can enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles, or connect to a PC for remote shooting. Live Mode now offers three ways to auto focus: Quick AF, Live AF, and new Face Detection Live AF, which optimizes focus based on faces detected in the frame – for fast, spontaneous portraiture.

Control and ease of use

The famously intuitive EOS menu system includes a new Quick Control screen, for instant access to the most commonly-changed settings. A new Creative Auto mode offers automatic focus and exposure – while still allowing creative ‘tweaks’ to settings such as background sharpness.

“For advanced amateurs and semi-professionals – or professionals looking for a powerful backup model – the EOS 50D stands alone,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “No other camera in this price bracket offers a comparable combination of speed and image quality.”

Features at a glance:

  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 6.3fps continuous shooting, max. burst 90 JPEGs with UDMA card
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • ISO 100-3200, expandable to 12800
  • 9-point wide area AF
  • 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD with Live View mode & Face Detection Live AF
  • Magnesium alloy body, with environmental protection
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • HDMI connection for high quality viewing and playback on a High Definition TV
  • Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

Pricing & Availability

The EOS 50D (body only) is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1199.99 / €1599.99 RRP inc. VAT.  The EOS 50D EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM kit is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1499.99 / €1949.99 RRP inc. VAT. (UK/Ireland prices).

The 18-200mm ƒ3.5-5.6 IS USM lens

Canon 18-200mm IS EF-S lens

Canon 18-200mm IS EF-S lens

Breaking Canon’s claimed resistance to designing ‘superzooms’, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is designed exclusively for use with EOS cameras featuring an EF-S lens mount – including the new EOS 50D, EOS 1000D, EOS 450D, and earlier models. (The cosmetic design with the silver rings is unusual in a lens costing this much; it’s reminiscent of lower-cost Canon lenses, and an all-black design might have been better received. – Ed)

The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS features a 16 element, 12 group construction. This includes UD and aspherical lens elements, which minimise chromatic aberration and ensure crisp, corner-to-corner detail across the zoom range. A close focusing distance of just 45cm offers photographers total framing flexibility.

A Canon 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer – specially designed for the lens’ specific focal length range – works to counteract image blur that can occur when shooting handheld, or at slow shutter speeds. Automatic panning detection ensures effective performance when tracking moving subjects. Plus, because the IS system is based in the lens, results are visible through the viewfinder during framing.

Reflection off a digital camera’s image sensor can cause flare and ghosting. To suppress this, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS uses optics treated with Canon’s patented Super Spectra coatings – for crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is available from end of September 2008 priced at £549.99 / €729.99 RRP inc. VAT.

New 'micro 4/3rds' system announced

Tokyo, 5 August 2008 – Olympus Imaging Corporation (Olympus Imaging) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic) today announced joint development of technologies and devices for the “Micro Four Thirds System standard,” a new standard that extends the benefits of the Four Thirds System standard for interchangeable lens type digital camera systems by enabling dramatic reductions in size and weight. Under the terms of an agreement between the two companies, they will work jointly toward commercial production of significantly lighter and more compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems.

Micro 4/3rds logo
Continue reading