First Shots posted for Pentax K20D!
We've shot most of our test suite with the Pentax K20D, but have found the "hot pixels" some readers have reported with the camera, even at low ISOs. We're awaiting word from Pentax as to whether a firmware fix is in the works, but in the meantime, have posted our Pentax K20D test images to date for your perusal. (The firmware fix should deal with the hot pixels, but other characteristics such as normal ISO noise, tonality, color accuracy, etc should all remain unchanged.) We'll update our Pentax K20D review page if/when we get a firmware patch, but the images should still be useful for evaluating other aspects of image quality in the meantime.
UPDATE, 5/30/08, 14:44pm US EDT: Dave's run some tests, can confirm that the hot pixel problem only appears when the 2-second self-timer is used. (Which of course, is how we shot all our lab-based test images!) He's posted a note on our forums describing his tests, with links to examples, for those interested in learning more about the problem. Pentax has confirmed the issue, says that there'll be a firmware update to fix it, but we don't have an ETA for the patch yet.
New Test Subjects! (Marti "retires"!)
Longtime readers will be well-familiar with Dave's wife Marti, the subject of countless thousands of test shots on the Imaging Resource website, over the last 10+ years. After a long and fabled career though, Marti is finally retiring from the modeling business! In her place, we'll be using two lifelike mannequins, fitted with human-hair wigs. At the same time, we've also upgraded the Daylight Simulator light source, used for our "sunlit" test shots. The result is our new "INB" and "OUTB" test subjects: Everyone please welcome Lauren and Jody! (That's Jody to the right.)
Quite a bit of thought went into the composition of these new test scenes and the lighting employed to capture them. A full discussion is beyond the scope of this short posting, but you can read full details on the new test subjects and lighting in the following set of articles we've prepared:
So... A hearty thanks to Marti for her years of long-suffering service, and a relieved welcome to the new Ladies of the Lab, Lauren & Jody!
Review posted for Canon PowerShot SD890 IS!
Pocket digital cameras usually compromise on something, and it's most often the lens focal length. The Canon PowerShot SD890, however, gives you a fairly long zoom in a small package, equivalent to a 37-185mm lens, and adds optical image stabilization to help prevent blur due to camera motion. The Canon SD890 IS also has Face Detection with a new twist: the ability to track a subject's face even as it moves. With resolution sufficient for 13x19-inch prints, the 10-megapixel Canon SD890 IS is a pretty well-rounded digital camera, and great to have along when you need a longer zoom in a small size. Click here for our review of the Canon PowerShot SD890 IS. Note: this is the first review to use our new Indoor and Outdoor Portrait test scenes. We'll be posting some news about them shortly, but in the meantime, you can find out find out more about them in our The New IR Indoor/Outdoor Portrait Tests article.
Express Review posted for Olympus FE-340!
Thin, compact, and fun with its array of body colors, the 8.0-megapixel Olympus FE-340 is a good choice for beginners. Its well-rounded selection of preset scene modes, in-camera guides and correction tools make this one of the easier digital cameras to use. The Olympus FE-340's 5x zoom is flexible and useful, and its 2.7-inch LCD is generous and bright. Face Detection, Smile Shot, Digital Image Stabilization and adjustable ISO up to 3,200 make the Olympus FE-340 a capable digital camera in a wide range of situations. Click here to read our Express Review of the Olympus FE-340 for more.
Review posted for Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS!
Though the minimalist tribute to the original Canon ELPH has faded, the Canon SD1100 IS is still an impressive digital camera that makes a few significant improvements to one of the most popular digital cameras in recent history: the Canon SD1000. Those improvements only add to the excellent image quality we found on the Canon SD1100's predecessor. Optical image stabilization is the most significant enhancement to the Canon SD1100, offering better performance indoors and at night, with greater assurance that you'll get the shot. The slightly higher resolution is quite welcome, and doesn't impact overall high ISO performance; in fact, it's slightly better than the SD1000, turning out quality 13x19-inch prints. We think the Canon SD1100 will again be incredibly popular, deservedly so. Click here for our review of the Canon PowerShot SD1100.
Accessory Review posted for Pandigital PanTouch Photo Frame!
The PanTouch series of frames features one big advance over previous Pandigital frames: a patent-pending touch sensor that is sensitive enough to work behind multiple surfaces. We were goofing around with it last weekend when a Genuine Mom dropped by (not ours, but Genuine all the same). She fell in love with it. Even better, she though it would make a great Mother's Day present for her own mom (the Original Genuine Mom). When her mom visits, she sits at their computer to see pictures the kids took of recent visits and family affairs. With the PanTouch, she won't have to mouse around any more. A swipe of the finger to the right and the frame displays the next image. Swipe left to see the previous one. There's more to the story. Read our review for the rest of it.
Review posted for Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750!
The 7.2-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 is small, trim, and compact, with a 2.5-inch LCD and a 3x optical zoom lens. The Sony S750's straightforward interface is reminiscent of older Sony Cyber-shots, without the new Home menu we find so confusing on other Sony digital cameras. A small selection of user-adjustable exposure options give the Sony S750 a little more than the usual full-auto mode. The Sony S750 also offers a range of useful preset scene modes, as well as Face Detection technology to help optimize the camera for portraits and other special situations. Though the Sony S750 was handsome and worked well enough, we had more than a little trouble with its image quality. Click here for more on the Sony S750.
Review posted for Canon PowerShot A580!
The Canon PowerShot A580 ranks as one of the less expensive digital cameras on the market. But that was only one target Canon hit with this A-Series digital camera. With 8 megapixels, a 4x optical zoom and a 2.5-inch LCD, the Canon A580 is clearly not a stripped-down digital camera. Canon popped a DIGIC III under the A580's hood to give it enhanced image quality and more than a few cool features. The Canon A580 tracks motion as you compose your shot to determine if it should increase the ISO to avoid blur or lower it to enhance detail. And the Canon A580's face recognition can track any single face through the frame. In the Canon A580's Edit mode, you can even quickly review every face in a group portrait to see who wasn't smiling. The Canon A580 offers a lot for just a little money. Click here to read our review of the Canon PowerShot A580.
Review posted for Sigma DP1!
Promising high image quality in a small package, Sigma built their DP1 with an APS-C-sized sensor, hoping to attract discriminating photographers who want a little more from a digital camera. Two years after its announcement, the Sigma DP1 is finally out, and we've run it through its paces. Though the 14.1-megapixel sensor only outputs 4.6-megapixel images, those images have quite a bit more detail than you'd expect, thanks to the unique Foveon X3 sensor. The Sigma DP1 is a bit of an odd fit for most shooters who aren't used to digital cameras with a fixed-focal-length lens, though. And while the Sigma DP1 is easy to bring along, a few necessary accessories make it bigger than it should be. Click here to get a closer look at the Sigma DP1.
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420