First test shots posted for Panasonic GF2!
We've just posted our first set of full-resolution test shots from a production-level Panasonic GF2 digital camera! The Panasonic GF2 is the smallest of the company's Micro Four Thirds-mount models, and although it doesn't quite reach the compact nature of Sony's aggressively-styled NEX-5, it's still among the smallest SLD models yet announced. The Lumix GF2 is based around a Panasonic N-MOS image sensor with twelve effective megapixel resolution, and features a 3.0-inch LCD display with 460,000 dot resolution. The LCD is overlaid with a touch-screen panel, allowing it to serve as an input device with a similar user interface to that seen previously on the Lumix G2. Touch features include the ability to lock focus and exposure, then trip the shutter release, all by simply tapping on your subject on the DMC-GF2's LCD panel. As well as still image recording, the GF2 can capture movies at up to 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, with a rate of 60 interlaced fields per second, from 30 frames per second sensor data. See our Panasonic GF2 Hands-on Preview for more details and check out the Panasonic GF2 Samples page for the images we've shot so far, including links to select RAW files.
Lens Review: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
In September of 2009, Canon announced its new 7D camera, and alongside it were two lenses: the 15-85mm, and the subject of today's lens review, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. The new lens fills a role as an alternative kit lens to the standard 18-55mm lens, offering much more telephoto reach. We've put this lens through its paces in our test lab: click here to read our full review of the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.
Express Review posted for Fujifilm FinePix S1800/S2550HD!
Among the smallest superzoom digital cameras on the market, the Fujifilm FinePix S1800 and S2550 don't overreach in terms of zoom, making both fun cameras that turn out pretty good pictures. Their 18x zooms range from 28-504mm, an impressive range for such a small camera. Both the Fujifilm S2550 and the S1800 have a 12-megapixel sensor, a 3-inch LCD, and the ability to capture HD video (720p). The only thing that separates them is a product name and an HDMI port (the S2550 has one; the S1800 does not). Neither digital camera represents the pinnacle of technology, but both are good for long-zoom snapshots when size, weight and cost are of primary importance. Click here for more on the Fujifilm FinePix S2550 digital camera; or if you don't think you'll need the HDMI port, you can save a few bucks by choosing the Fujifilm S1800.
Lens Review: Carl Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon T*
At Photokina 2004, Carl Zeiss announced a series of lenses for Leica's 35mm rangefinder cameras, including the Carl Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon T*. Six years later, we've taken a closer look at this lens on an unusual platform - the Sony NEX-5 digital camera, mated with a third-party adapter. Click here for our Carl Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon T* review.
Full Review posted for Nikon D3100!
Small and easy to use, the Nikon D3100 is a superb upgrade for anyone interested in digital SLR quality photographs. Its 14.2-megapixel sensor gives the Nikon D3100 a little more resolution than most other Nikon digital SLR cameras, and image quality is excellent, even as light levels drop and ISO is forced to rise. Though still low in price, the Nikon D3100 also captures 1080p Full HD video, while a good many digital cameras are still limited to 720p HD. Furthermore, the Nikon D3100 is one of the first digital SLRs able to focus while recording a video, which can come in handy. For novice users, the Nikon D3100 also includes a Guide mode to help users capture better images and learn a bit about photography on the way. It's a great digital camera for the money, with excellent image quality. Click here for more on the Nikon D3100!
First test shots posted for Panasonic LUMIX GH2!
We've just posted our first set of lab test shots for the Panasonic GH2, with more to come. Externally, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is quite similar to its predecessor, the GH1, with only relatively subtle tweaks to control layout. Under the skin, though, the Panasonic GH2 sports a new 18-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, whose output is piped through the latest iteration of Panasonic's image processor, now dubbed "Venus Engine FHD". The combination allows the Lumix GH2 to shoot Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) video with a sensor output of 60p. The new processor in the Lumix DMC-GH2 has three CPU cores, and allows speed improvements in other areas as well. The Panasonic GH2 offers full resolution sensitivities ranging from ISO 160 to 12,800 equivalents. The Venus Engine FHD processor also allows faster burst shooting, with the GH2 now able to shoot at 5 frames per second at full resolution using the camera's mechanical shutter, and as fast as 40fps at 4 megapixels when using an electronic shutter. Read our Panasonic GH2 Hands-on Preview for more, and visit the Panasonic GH2 Samples page for the images we've shot so far, including links to select RAW files. We'll be adding more image files over the next couple of days, so stay tuned!
Accessory Review: LensAlign MkII
The LensAlign MkII is a complete redesign of our favorite microfocusing tool for adjusting autofocus on your digital SLR camera. Using new precision manufacturing techniques, the lightweight design is easily assembled or taken apart for flat storage. And for a limited time, Michael Tapes Design is throwing in an $18 G7 Keychain WhiBal card with any LensAlign MkII order. The G7 is a redesign of the WhiBal, which we liked very much. Read our LensAlign MkII review for the whole story!
Express Review posted for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100!
Panasonic has dominated the long zoom category with its FZ-series digital cameras, and rightfully so. Despite ever longer zoom ratios, it seems Panasonic has always had a solution that offered great optical quality across the frame. The Panasonic FZ100 also has a great optic, a 24x zoom that ranges from 25-600mm, delivering an impressive wide-angle to a satisfying telephoto. The Panasonic FZ100 has the new Power O.I.S. optical image stabilization to stabilize your grip with the extra reach. A new CMOS sensor with 14-megapixel resolution sits behind the lens, with a whole list of advanced technologies to its credit. Packed with digital features, the Panasonic Lumix FZ100 almost overwhelms. Regardless of the advanced technology, though, we had a little more trouble with the image quality of the FZ100, which was both surprising and disappointing. Click here for more on the Panasonic FZ100 digital camera.
Printer Review: Kodak ESP 7250
The Kodak ESP 7250 is the company's idea of the essential all-in-one device. With a scanner for reflective originals and a printer that can handle both plain paper and photo paper, the 7250 offers a number of ways to connect: WiFi, Ethernet, USB, a card reader, Bluetooth (with an optional adapter) and even from your iOS or Android device. Like previous Kodak inkjets, the 7250's claim to fame is its durable print head, pigment inks and barcoded photo papers that deliver the lowest cost per print in the business. Unfortunately, also like previous Kodak inkjets, we had a lot of trouble with the 7250. We're happy to report we resolved the problems but they were illuminating. In important ways, Kodak still trails the competition in this category. Read our review of the Kodak ESP 7250 for the details.
Lens Review: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 pancake
Sony announced its NEX series of cameras in May 2010, and while we tested the camera shortly after its release, we have only now taken a closer look at some of its lenses. Today's lens review is the Sony E 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens, a tiny little thing which weighs in at just 70 grams (2.5 oz). Does Sony pack a lot into a little package? Click here to read our Sony E 16mm f/2.8 review to find out.
Pentax 645D Test Shots posted!
We've always wanted to get a medium-format camera in the lab to see just how much better it might be than a 35mm professional camera, if at all. Given that part of the equation is overall resolution, part is pixel size, and part optical quality, pitting the 40-megapixel Pentax 645D against the 21.1-megapixel Canon 1Ds Mark III and 24.5-megapixel Nikon D3X seems a bit unfair. But since we have no other standard with which to compare the Pentax 645D, we did it anyway. We don't have a full writeup of the test results yet, but we did do a few crops, and you can also download the massive JPEG and RAW images to see for yourself what the new $10,000 Pentax 645D can do. Click here for more on the Pentax 645D medium-format digital SLR camera! Enjoy!
First test shots posted for Olympus E-5!
We've just posted our first set of test shots for the Olympus E-5, straight from the lab! Olympus' new flagship E-5 SLR digital camera is a replacement for the 2007-model Olympus E-3. Seen from the front or above, the weather-sealed magnesium alloy body of the Olympus E-5 looks very similar to its predecessor, but from other angles there are numerous changes, and these are continued on the inside. The most noticeable external change is a switch to a larger 3.0-inch tilt/swivel LCD panel on the back. On the left side, there's a new HDMI high-def video output port, and a 3.5mm microphone jack that hints at another big feature change -- the Olympus E-5 is the first E-series digital SLR to include video, thanks to an AVI Motion JPEG 720p HD movie mode. The Olympus E-5 also includes a new 12.3 megapixel Live MOS image sensor with slightly increased resolution, a lower-strength optical low-pass filter, and a new generation TruePic V+ image processor with moire and false-color removal function. Read our Olympus E-5 Hands-on Preview for more details, and see the Olympus E-5 Samples page for the images we've shot so far, including links to select RAW files. Stay tuned for more sample images in the coming days!
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420