Cameras

Panasonic Announces Lumix G10

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-G10, a new addition to their G series lineup of compact, interchangeable lens Micro Four-Thirds cameras. It’s being hailed by the manufacturer as “the world’s lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a [digital, with 100% field view] viewfinder.” The G10, like its predecessors in the G series,  “uses a mirrorless structure as part of the Micro Four-Thirds standard, eliminating a number of components that are found in a conventional interchangeable lens camera, including the mirror box and optical viewfinder unit.” The 12.1MP Live MOS sensor G10 will be available in black only, though there won’t be word from Panasonic as to availablility or prices until 30 days before they ship. See the press release below.

From Panasonic:

Secaucus, NJ (March 7, 2010) – Panasonic today introduces an addition to its Panasonic LUMIX G Series, the LUMIX DMC-G10, the world’s lightest* digital interchangeable lens camera with a viewfinder, which packs a host of advanced digital camera functions designed to be easy-to-use for users new to system cameras. The new compact and portable LUMIX G10, which can record High Definition (HD) video in addition to high-quality still images, joins the LUMIX DMC-G2, also introduced today, as part of the Panasonic LUMIX G Series.
“The LUMIX G Micro System has revolutionized the photography industry ever since the release of the Panasonic G1, the world’s first interchangeable lens system camera based on the Micro Four Thirds System standard,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.  “We continue to expand this award-winning LUMIX G Series, and with its easy-to-use features and compact size, we expect the G10 to attract a lot of new users who want to step-up from their point-and-shoots.”
The LUMIX G10, with its incredible compact body and portable design, uses a mirrorless structure as part the Micro Four Thirds System standard, eliminating a number of components that are found in a conventional interchangeable lens camera, including the mirror box and optical viewfinder unit. This innovative structure allows for the LUMIX G10 to be the world’s lightest system camera in a compact digital camera design that is a desired feature for new users.  Adding to its lightweight body, the LUMIX G10 will come equipped as part of its kit, with the newly announced LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens. The new lens offers a versatile zoom range of 14-42mm (35mm camera equivalent: 28-84mm), making it suitable for shooting a wide-range of scenes, from dynamic landscape to portrait.
Panasonic designed the LUMIX G10 to be easy to use offers iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – with its shooting assist functions that have proven extremely popular in LUMIX compact cameras. Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto), an easy shooting mode with automatic optimization according to the scene in either photo and video recording, is helpful to beginner users unfamiliar with an interchangeable lens system camera. With the new dedicated iA button, which illuminates in blue when engaged, activating this mode is even easier and can be used to shoot both photos and videos.
When shooting still photos, iA offers the following: MEGA O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves; Intelligent Exposure optimizes exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced properly; Intelligent Scene Selector detects the most common shooting situations – Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery, Close-up and Sunset – and switches to the appropriate Scene mode automatically – no setting changes needed.
The LUMIX G10 can record 1280 x 720 HD video in Motion JPEG, QVGA, VGA and WVGA formats. Users can enjoy recording HD videos while taking advantage of the high quality lens and the flexibility to change to other lenses. Even users new to recording videos will find the LUMIX G10 makes it easy. Panasonic’s iA for video offers the following: Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using high-powered zoom; Face Detection** automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion; Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows; Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.
With AF Tracking, the LUMIX G10 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves – making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots of moving subjects, such as children and pets. Simply aim, lock, and shoot. The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on the people. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback.  The contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX DMC-G10 is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including AF Tracking, 1-area AF, Face Detection AF/AE and 23-area AF.
The LUMIX G10’s Live View Finder, with a resolution of 202,000-dot equivalent, 1.04x (0.52x*) retains the viewability of an optical viewfinder and displays information about its settings that users can see without removing their eye from the subject.  The 60 fps Live View is powered by the Live MOS sensor, which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD, in real time. Both the Live View Finder and LCD provide approximately 100% field of view. This allows the user, when composing a shot, to check the framing accurately from corner to corner. The 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD with wide viewing angle automatically controls the brightness according to the situation as an Intelligent LCD.
The 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and the new Venus Engine HD II help to separate chromatic noise from luminance noise and apply the optimal noise reduction to each, so users can capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels.  The high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD II, which has been re-engineered to incorporate the new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, enables the recording of beautiful photo and HD video with high quality signal processing. With Intelligent Resolution technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation –are automatically detected. The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges increased clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accentuation to the textured areas so they look finely detailed. For the soft gradation areas, the improved noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to achiever a smoother effect.  Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way, resulting in images that are naturally clear.
All Panasonic LUMIX G Series digital cameras are equipped with the highly-efficient Dust Reduction System. If dust or other foreign matter gets inside the LUMIX G10 while changing lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in your photos. However, with the Dust Reduction System, it helps eliminate this possibility by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectively.
Other features of the LUMIX G10 include:

* My Color mode with a total of seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, Silhouette. Also includes Custom mode, which lets users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels. For beginners, the LUMIX G10’s full-time Live View function lets users see how these settings will affect the images before they shoot, making it easier to capture the exact mood or atmosphere desired.
* Scene modes total 26, including the Peripheral Defocus mode, which lets users take a photo where the foreground is in focus and background is blurred – or vice versa.  This popular effect can be intimidating for a beginner, but in the Peripheral Defocus mode, by simply selecting the objects to be blurred and focused using the camera’s keypad, it is simple for photographers of any level.
* Exposure meter can be displayed in the P/A/S/M shooting modes. The correlation between shutter speed and aperture is shown, with a color-coded warning system that alerts users when the settings are not in the proper range. For those new to system camera digital photography, this makes it easy to learn proper settings both visually and logically, enhancing their photography skills.
The Panasonic LUMIX G10 is compatible with Micro Four Thirds System lenses, allowing users even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-G10 and LUMIX G Micro System can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1 and with the prestigious Leica M/R Lenses via DMW-MA2M or MA3R.
Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX G10 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date.  It will be available in black.  To learn about the Panasonic LUMIX Micro Four Thirds System and all the available accessories, visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.
*As of March 7, 2010.
**Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance.

·     Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

·     Some functions may not be available depending on the lens that is mounted.

·     Lenses that are not compatible with the contrast AF function can be used with manual focusing.

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Mamiya Announces DM40

Mamiya has just announced a new large-sensor D-SLR, the DM40. With a resolution of 40MP and a peak capture rate of 0.8 seconds per frame, the DM40 will be available for $21,990 this month. Read the full press release below.

From Mamiya:

Elmsford, NY – March 1, 2010 – Mamiya today announced the addition of the new Mamiya DM40 to its lineup of professional large-sensor DSLRs. Featuring a resolution of 40 megapixels with a peak capture rate of .8 seconds per frame and a sustained capture rate of 60 frames per minute, the Mamiya DM40 is the industry’s fastest large-sensor DSLR.

The heart of the DM40 system is the new “DF” camera-core technology, developed by Mamiya, featuring two user-selectable shutter systems: leaf or focal plane. In demanding daylight situations, photographers can use predictable high speed flash synchronization to fill-in or overpower even the brightest ambient light on one of three new leaf-shuttered lenses designed by Schneider-Kreuznach and manufactured by Mamiya. The lenses – available in focal lengths of 55mm, 80mm, and 110mm – deliver an effective maximum flash sync speed of up to 1/1600th of a second. For more conventional situations, photographers can choose any one of 15 other world-class Mamiya optics, from 28mm to 300mm APO, designed for use with the cameras’ focal plane shutter system.

Also newly announced, the Mamiya DM40 Digital Back will be available for those customers who wish to obtain the latest in high-speed and resolution digital capture for their existing Mamiya or large format camera. Supported cameras include: Mamiya 645AFD series, 645DF, Mamiya RZ series (via optional adapter), Mamiya RB series (via optional adapter), and 4×5 view cameras (via optional adapter).

Specifications Highlights
CCD: 44 x 33mm, 40 Megapixel
Largest file size: 240 MB 16 bit TIFF
ISO: 80-800
Capture rate: 0.8 sec/frame
Digital imaging user interface: 6x7cm LCD touchscreen

Pricing and Availability
The Mamiya DM40 DSLR kit will be available in the U.S. at $21,990, including Mamiya 80mm f.2.8 D lens. The Mamiya DM40 Digital Back, also available in the U.S. at $19,990. Both are expected to be shipping in March, and include Capture One and Leaf Capture software.

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Pentax Announces Optio W90

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Pentax has just announced its latest Optio W-series rough and compact camera—the W90. This thing is seriously tough looking and feeling (I got my hands on it in a sneak preview at PMA), and has some major upgrades from the previous W line models, including a more rugged appearance (complete with attached carabiner for clipping the cam to your body as you scale mountains) and Digital Miscroscope Mode with LED lighting. The LEDs are bright too. When you take super close up shots in Macro or Digital Microscope modes, you tend to shadow the small objects you’re trying to capture, but with this triangle of three bright lights shining directly onto the subject you combat that shadow. This 12MP camera is waterproof up to 20-feet, shockproof up to 4-feet, coldproof to sub-freezing temperatures and includes Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity. The Optio W90 will be available in April for $329.95.

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From Pentax:

GOLDEN, CO (February 24, 2010)…PENTAX Imaging Company has announced the eleventh generation PENTAX Optio waterproof digital camera built for rugged adventure in every way. The PENTAX Optio W90 offers enhanced waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and coldproof performance and features an inventive Digital Microscope mode with LED lighting to capture small but intriguing subjects. Designed with the look of mountaineering equipment, the Optio W90 kit includes a woven web fabric strap complete with a carabiner to attach the camera to a backpack and other outdoor gear.
Adventure photography doesn’t get any better than this. The rugged Optio W90 offers photographic performance, innovative features and style that surpass other outdoor compact digital cameras now available on the market.

  • Waterproof to 20 feet for reliable underwater photography
  • Shockproof to 4 feet withstanding the rigors of extreme use
  • Coldproof to sub-freezing temperatures for use in wintery, snowy activities
  • 12.1 megapixel sensor and wide angle 5X optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent)
  • Digital Microscope mode with LED lens lighting perfectly captures the smallest and closest macro subjects as near as 1cm from the camera
  • Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity for built-in Wi-Fi capability to transfer photos and videos from the camera to a computer or an online sharing site such as Picasaweb, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. (Eye-fi cards sold separately.)
  • Large 2.7 inch LCD with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio that is easy to view in strong light or underwater
  • Capture movies in widescreen 720p HD video at 30 frames per second
  • An HDMI port plays back beautiful high resolution imges and video on HDTV’s
  • Advanced Pixel Track Shake Reduction captures blur-free images in any lighting
  • Fast Face Detection, Smile Capture, Blink Detection, and processing modes specifically designed for portraiture, and new Pet Recognition captures up to 3 pre-programmed pet faces in memory
  • Infrared remote control compatibility with new waterproof Remote Control WP, as well as other PENTAX infrared remotes
  • Autofocus assist lamp helps to quickly and accurately focus, even in challenging lighting
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Pentax Announces X90 Megazoom Camera

Pentax_X90_3QLeftView_FlashUp_sm

Pentax has just announced the new X90—a compact camera with a D-SLR-like body and a 26X megazoom, super-telephoto lens (26-676mm equivalent). It also boasts a 12MP image sensor and triple shake reduction technology, as well as Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity. The X90 will be available in April for $399.95.

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From Pentax:

GOLDEN, CO. (February 24, 2010)…PENTAX Imaging Company announced the latest model in the manufacturer’s megazoom digital camera line: the PENTAX X90. Featuring an extra-wide zoom, longer battery life than its predecessor and an electronic viewfinder, the X90 delivers effortless picture-taking in a wide variety of situations to photographers of all levels. The key feature of the PENTAX X90 is the 26X megazoom, super-telephoto lens (26-676mm equivalent) also designed with a Macro mode that focuses to less than one inch away to capture images of subjects that are near or far.

Pentax_X90_BackView_sm
Other important features of the PENTAX X90 include:

12.1 megapixel sensor, ideal for large prints or cropping flexibility

2.7 inch LCD with anti-reflection coating or electronic viewfinder with new diopter adjustment for composing and playback of images and video

Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity for built-in Wi-Fi capability to transfer photos and videos from the camera to a computer or an online sharing site such as Picasaweb, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. (Eye-fi cards sold separately.)

HDMI port plays back beautiful high resolution images and video on HDTVs

A perfect blend of digital compact and SLR technology including powerful automatic operation or creative manual and priority modes

Triple Shake Reduction technology includes a high quality mechanical sensor-shift SR mechanism, Digital Pixel Track and high ISO SR, and Movie SR

High speed continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second

Fast Face Detection technology quickly finds up to 32 faces

Powerful, lightweight Lithium Ion battery and improved power efficiency.

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Hands on with the Samsung TL500

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Announced this weekend at PMA in Anaheim, the new Samsung TL500 has been creating a good amount of buzz for the past few days. Samsung‘s new flagship compact  fits right into that increasingly popular “prosumer” category, making it an ideal step-up camera for those looking to move into more advanced equipment without jumping straight to D-SLR, and for those pro shooters who like to keep a more compact camera on-hand alongside their D-SLR.

The TL500 has a 24mm ultra‑wide angle Schneider KREUZNACH f/1.8 lens, and as shown above, can be paired with an optional wide-angle adapter that takes the lens from 24mm to 18mm. It has a super bright 3-inch swiveling AMOLED screen that shows deep blacks and really rich colors. The camera has a sturdy, pro-like feeling when it’s in-hand, and I anticipate this high end compact—with full manual shooting modes—will be giving others in its category a run for their money. Samsung is definitely emerging as the dark horse in the digital camera game, thanks especially to their new CES announcement, the NX10, and now the TL500.

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