Sensor developer Rokton has announced that it has developed a circular image sensor. The company add the strapline ‘Circular sensors for your circular lens, why throw away half of the image?,' to an idea often raised on the dpreview forums. It has made the idea a reality by developing a novel fabrication process that uses a clever approach laying down sensors in a honeycomb pattern on the wafer, allowing the production of circular image sensors with a diameter of 43mm – the same as the diagonal of 35mm full frame. These sensors will therefore allow the full image circle of any lens to be used in a mirrorless camera body – with fully flexible in-camera format selection and cropping either during shooting, or after the event. The company says it has developed a prototype with interchangeable lens mounts – allowing you to use virtually every lens ever made for 35mm or smaller formats.
Sony has released the latest version of its Image Data Converter camera software. Version 3.2 is based around new image processing algorithms and features additional noise reduction at ISO 800 and above, with minimised color noise up to ISO 12800. Registered Alpha DSLR users can download the latest version from Sony's website.
Leaf has announced the availability of its latest Aptus II 10R digital back equipped with an internal rotating sensor. Previously available in its AFi-II cameras, the system can change from portrait to landscape orientation without removing the back. Priced at €24,995, the back includes a 56 x 33mm sensor (with 56MP on an area over twice the dimensions of a 'full-frame' sensor), 3.5" touch screen LCD, 80-800 ISO range and is compatible with most medium and large format cameras.
Print-on demand book publisher Blurb has announced its third annual international Photography Book Now competition with a chance to win a US $25,000 cash prize. Participants must design a photo book in one of three categories, using the company's software. A soft copy or three hard copies must then be submitted with an entry fee of US $35 per category. Category winners will receive a Sony DSLR-A850 plus 28-75mm f/2.8 lens amongst other goodies, with the top prize awarded to the best of those three winners. Entries need to be submitted before July 15, 2010.
Just posted! Our Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G lens review. Sony's fast telephoto zoom is the reincarnation of a Minolta design which first appeared in 2003, and features goodies such as professional-level build and quiet ultrasonic autofocusing. But like many camera makers' own-brand lenses, it costs much more than third-party alternatives from the likes of Sigma and Tamron, without (on paper at least) offering a huge deal more. So does it justify this premium, and how does it measure up to the standard set by Nikon's latest 70-200mm F2.8 VR II we reviewed last month?
Sigma has released the latest version of its Photo Pro RAW conversion software for its DP and SD camera series. The latest version is based around new image processing algorithms and features additional noise reduction at ISO 400 and above, amongst other enhancements. It is available for immediate download via Sigma's website. In addition, as previously announced, firmware v1.04 for the DP2 compact that adds the non-hardware aspects of the DP2s' faster AF is now available for download.
Phase One, DxO Labs and Apple have released updates to their RAW workflow software. Phase One has updated its Capture One 5, PRO and DB programs to version 5.1.1, bringing in improvements for Sony cameras and extending tethered shooting and RAW support to the Canon EOS 550D, Mamiya DM40 and Leaf Aptus II 8 digital cameras. DXO Labs has added 70 lens and cameras combinations to its Optics Pro software. And finally, version 3.0.2 of Apple's Aperture brings in several improvements and bug fixes. All updates are available for immediate download.
The start of the second public beta of Lightroom 3 gives the first glimpses at a new raw processing engine from Adobe. While at PMA 2010, we got a chance to speak to senior product manager and writer of Adobe’s Lightroom blog, Tom Hogarty about the Lightroom 3 public beta program and he told us about some of the changes that had been made. We also did some processing to see how it compares to the current version of Adobe Camera Raw.
Adobe has put up an online teaser for the forthcoming versions of its Creative Suite design and production software packages. To be unveiled on April 12, photographers are likely to be particularly interested to see what the CS5 version of Photoshop has to offer.
Eye-Fi has announced the addition of two wireless SD cards in to its X2 line-up of memory cards. The 4GB Connect X2 and 8GB Explore X2 both feature the Endless Memory Mode first seen in the RAW-compatible Pro X2 card. They also share its class 6 (6MB/s ) transfer speeds and high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi. In addition, the Explore card uses location data from nearby WiFi points to geotag images. Both cards are now available in the US at a retail price of $49.99 and $99.99 respectively.