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Archive for January 7th, 2011

Pentax releases firmware updates for 645D, K-5 and K-r DSLRs

January 7th, 2011 No comments

Pentax has released firmware updates for its K-5 and K-r digital SLRs, and 645 medium format camera. The latest update for all cameras extends compatibility to SDXC memory cards. Version 1.02 for the K-5 and v1.01 for K-r also brings improvements to the Contrast AF operation and Bulb mode shooting. The latest firmware versions are available for immediate download from the company’s website.

Click here for more information and to download the firmware v1.01 for Pentax 645D

Click here for more information and to download the firmware v1.02 for Pentax K-5

Click here for more information and to download the firmware v1.01 for Pentax K-r

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Fujifilm unveils Finepix HS20 EXR advanced superzoom

January 7th, 2011 No comments

Fujifilm has unveiled the Finepix HS20EXR advanced superzoom. Replacing the company’s HS10, its comes with a 16Mp EXR CMOS sensor and 460K dot 3.0″ LCD rather than its predecessor’s 10Mp sensor and 230K dot screen. It features a 30x (24-720mm equiv.) optical zoom lens, full 1080p HD video recording capabilities, RAW capture and P/A/S/M shooting modes. It also offers 7.6fps full-resolution continuous shooting and high speed video capture at up to 320fps.

Record-breaking, innovative, versatile; the new Fujifilm FinePix HS20 is all this and so much more. Replacing the multiple award-winning FinePix HS10, this latest addition to the range of Fujifilm bridge cameras represents the perfect picture taking solution for photographers who want the specification and picture quality of an SLR without the heavy camera bag and huge dent in their bank balance. With a class-leading feature set that includes a brand new EXR CMOS sensor, high speed continuous shooting capability, improved user interface, versatile video functions, 30x zoom lens and a 16 megapixel resolution, the HS20 sets new standards in bridge camera functionality and performance.

Fast, brilliant, results in all lighting conditions
Sitting at the heart of the FinePix HS20 is an all-new sensor that marries EXR and CMOS technologies to deliver truly outstanding results, regardless of the lighting conditions.

The secret lies in the combination of Back Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS and Fujifilm’s unique EXR sensor technology. The design of conventional CMOS sensors is such that the light has to pass through a layer of wiring before hitting the photo diodes. But the BSI-CMOS configuration places this wiring layer behind the photo diodes improving light sensitivity and dramatically boosting results, particularly in low light. Couple this to the triple-layer EXR array, the performance of which can be split according to the lighting conditions, and you’ll see why the FinePix HS20 sets new standards in sensor technology.

As with other FinePix models featuring EXR sensors, three shooting options are available. In the High Resolution mode, users can take advantage of the huge 16 megapixel resolution (the world’s largest for a sensor of this type) for truly breathtaking levels of detail and sharpness. The Dynamic Range function uses dual capture technology to provide a maximum range of 1600% – which is almost a full stop wider than any other camera – for stunning results on high contrast scenes. While the Signal to Noise mode increases pixel size using Pixel Fusion to produce outstanding images in low lighting conditions.

With this unique sensor combination, capturing great pictures has never been easier.

High speed, high quality
Thanks to the FinePix HS20’s heady mix of sensor and processing technologies, brilliant action shots are possible no matter how fast the subject is moving. Whether you’ve got the HS20 trained on sport, wildlife or just the kids running around, continuous full resolution shooting at 8 frames per second will make sure they’re stopped in their tracks. And if that’s not fast enough for your needs, how does 11 frames per second at eight megapixel resolution sound?

There’s also no need to worry about slow auto focusing making you  miss your shot; the HS20’s contrast AF system takes no longer than 0.16 seconds to focus. So, it’s more likely to be human reactions that fail before the camera, but the HS20 even has that eventually covered as well with the Best Frame Capture Mode. Here, the camera starts recording images from the moment you half-press the shutter release to focus. When you do take a picture, the HS20 also capture seven frames before or after you’ve taken the shot to make sure you get one perfect image. Friends and family will think you’ve turned into a professional sports photographer overnight.

EXR engine drives key picture-taking benefits
EXR technology isn’t purely limited to the FinePix HS20’s sensor, the camera also features a newly developed triple core EXR processing engine, which speeds up processing time & boosts performance and picture quality on both still and moving images.

Photographers who like to point and shoot will benefit from the expanded scene recognition function. In addition to nine subject-based scene scenarios, the HS20 also employs object recognition to identify whether the scene includes a conventionally-lit portrait, a backlit portrait or no portrait at all. This delivers a total of 27 different scene scenarios for which the camera then optimises exposure and white balance before adding a relevant tag to make the images easier to find later.

The EXR processing engine also has the capability to spot and reduce purple colour fringing, most common on dark subjects against a light backgrounds, and improve the resolution at the corners of an image for more uniform image sharpness.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of the EXR engine, however, is the new Rich User Interface, which employs Flash and Vector fonts and graphics to dramatically improve the appearance of the FinePix HS20’s menus. Users can wave goodbye to pixellated graphics and enjoy smooth text and icons on the camera’s menus, now presented on a three inch LCD screen which doubles the pixel count over its predecessor to 460,000. Plus, because the Vector fonts and graphics are scaleable, you’ll get the same high quality on an HDTV when the camera is connected via its HDMI socket.

For users who struggle to find images on increasingly-large capacity memory cards, the FinePix HS20’s improved image searching capabilities will come in very handy. Now, searching through thousands of images can take seconds, not minutes. Once you’ve found the shots, it’s easy to put them in to a photobook using the Photobook Assist function where the HS20 creates the book, tags the images and then lets you ‘turn’ the pages to simulate the final book – all on the rear LCD or your HDTV.

Make broadcast quality movies
The FinePix HS20 isn’t just a camera for shooting stills; it also offers an impressive level of video functionality using the H.264 (MOV) Full 1080p HD format and stereo sound. The mainstay of broadcasting and Blu-Ray technologies, the H.264 format produces file sizes that are smaller and easier to handle than AVI, plus they’re compatible with many applications and websites, making it simple for you to share video content via sites such as YouTube.

For those wanting the highest quality movies, the FinePix HS20 captures 1920 x 1080p footage at 30 frames per second. Versatility is further increased thanks to the High Speed Movie options, which include 320 x 112 pixel capture at an incredible 320 frames per second or 640 x 480 pixel capture at an impressive 80 frames per second. With features like this, even the fastest moving subjects can be captured and watched in super-slow motion.

Video shooting in low light also just got easier, thanks to the inclusion of the EXR HD Movie mode. By employing the same Pixel Fusion technology as it does for still images, the FinePix HS20 delivers high sensitivity and low digital noise for movie capture in low lighting conditions without the need to resort to additional lighting. Now you can capture the mood of sunsets, interiors and parties in both still and movie form.

A lens for every application
With a 30x zoom range covering focal lengths from 24-720mm (35mm equivalent), the FinePix HS20 EXR really is ready for anything. Boasting high quality Fujinon optics, the mechanical zoom lens is now even easier to operate thanks to a reduction in the size of the integral flashgun. Zooming through the range can be done quickly and precisely to ensure perfect framing for every shot.

The HS20 has ways and means to combat all kinds of camera movement, and with its three image stabilisation methods, you can be reassured that regardless of what focal length you choose, your images will be blur free. Firstly, the EXR CMOS sensor moves during exposure to eradicate shake. Secondly, the camera will employ Pixel Fusion to increase sensitivity and boost shutter speeds and finally in EXR Auto, the HS20 features an Advanced Anti-blur technology where four images are taken in quick succession then combined to deliver a single shake-free image.

And the improvements don’t stop there…
Further enhancements have been made over the HS10 to enhance the user experience and make the FinePix HS20 the perfect all in one camera. These include an improved Motion Panorama mode for simple, high quality 360° image capture, compatibility with the RR-80 remote release, film simulation modes and the provision to accept high capacity SDXC cards.

Flash users will be pleased to hear that the HS20 also offers TTL flash metering and will be supported by two new compatible flashguns; the fixed head EF-20 and bounce head EF-42, which also offers auto zoom and an AF assist illuminator.

Fujifilm FinePix HS20 key features:

  • All-new 16 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom covering 24-720mm (35mm equivalent)
  • 3.0 inch tilting rear LCD with 460,000 pixels and new Rich User Interface using Vector fonts and graphics
  • Full resolution high speed shooting at 8fps, high speed video capture at up to 320 fps (320 x 112 pixels)
  • Advanced Anti-blur technologies
  • 1600% wide dynamic range
  • Longer battery life (up to 350 frames with 4 x AA batteries)
  • Electronic Horizon level function
  • RAW shooting (RAW or JPEG or simultaneous RAW+JPEG)
  • Full HD movie capture using H.264 (MOV) format
  • New 27 mode EXR Auto mode
  • Colour fringe reduction and improved corner sharpness
  • Film simulation modes
  • Quick start mode
  • 360° Motion Panorama mode
  • TTL flash control with optional external flashes
  • Lens hood included
  • Photobook Assist function

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 specifications

Sensor • 1/2″ EXR-CMOS sensor
• 16.0 million effective pixels
Movie clips • 1920 x 1080pixels @ 30fps
• 1280 x 720pixels @ 60fps
• 640 x 480pixels @ 30fps
with stereo sound
Movie mode functions • High Speed Movie(80/160/320 fps)
• Vertical movie shooting tagging
• Still Shooting during in Movie Recording
File formats • Still image : RAW, JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3 )
• Movie : H.264 (MOV)
Lens • Fujinon 30x Optical zoom lens
• F2.8 – F5.6
• f=4.2mm – 126mm
• 24 – 720mm equiv.
Image stabilization Yes, Sensor-shift
Metering TTL 256-zones metering
Aperture F2.8- F11 (Wide)
F5.6- F11 (Tele)
Modes • Program
• Shutter Priority
• Aperture Priority
• Manual
• Custom
• Auto
• SP
• Movie
Scene EXR AUTO (27 scenes)
White balance • Automatic scene recognition
• Preset (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light)
Self timer Approx. 10 sec./ 2 sec. delay
Continuous shooting • L : Top – 8 / 4 (3, 5, 8 fps)
• M : Top – 16, 8, 4 (3 / 5 / 8 / 11 fps)
• S : Top – 32 / 16 / 8 / 4 (3, 5, 8, 11 fps)
Flash • Auto flash(super i-flash)
Electronic Viewfinder • 0.2-inch Colour LCD
• Approx. 200,000 dots
LCD monitor • 3.0 inch
• approx. 460,0000 pixels
• TFT colors LCD monitor
Digital input/output • USB 2.0 High Speed
• HDMI Mini connector
Video output NTSC / PAL selectable
Storage • Internal memory (Approx. 20MB)
• SD  / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I)  memory card
Power 4 x AA batteries
Number of frames • Alkaline : Approx. 350
• Ni-MH  :  Approx  400
• Lithium  :  Approx.  700
Weight (no batt) Approx. 636g
Weight (inc. batt & card) Approx. 730g
Dimensions 131 (W) x 91 (H) x 126 (D) mm
Included accesories • 4 x AA type alkaline batteries
• Shoulder strap
• USB cable
• AV cable
• Lens cap and Lens cap cord
• CD-ROM
• Owner’s manual
• Lens hood
Optional accesories • AC Power Adapter AC-5VX
• DC coupler CP-04
• Lens hood LH-HS10
• Remote release RR80
• Shoe Mount Flash EF-42 / EF-20

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Fujifilm introduces FinePix S2950 superzoom

January 7th, 2011 No comments

Fujifilm has announced the FinePix S2950HD with 18x optical zoom lens. Almost identical to the S2800HD released last year, it offers the same 28-504mmm lens, 3.0″ LCD, a 14Mp sensor. The only new feature is an easy upload function. The rest of the features remain the same as well including 720p HD video recording alongside features such as AF tracking and P/A/S/M shooting modes.

Following on from the success of the FinePix S2800HD, the S2950 will be available from Spring 2011. This is the latest addition to Fujifilm’s S-Series long-zoom range of “bridge cameras” which are renowned for their ease-of-use and excellent tele-photo capabilities – all packaged up in a neat compact shell and with the added bonus of an all-important EVF.

With a generous 18x Fujinon optical zoom lens, the S2950 really packs a punch, especially when matched with its 14 megapixel sensor, large 3.0” LCD screen and 720p HD (30fps) movie capture.

Electric powered Fujinon 18x  zoom lens
The S2950 sports an impressive 28mm – 504mm* high precision Fujinon optical zoom lens. Simple to operate with an electric powered zoom lever, the huge zoom range means that you can capture all the detail, even when you’re at a considerable distance away.  You can even operate the zoom during video recording.  Unlike a bulky D-SLR, bridge cameras allow you great versatility of zoom, without the hassle of carrying a bag of lenses.

Facebook/YouTube easy web upload
NEW in 2011 for the S series range of cameras is Fujifilm’s easy web upload function. It allows you, in-camera, to tag pictures for speedy upload to Facebook and YouTube once you connect to a PC and launch My FinePix Studio. A great time saver, it allows you to organise your photos when you’re on the move!

Sharp, clear shots
Even at the longest zoom settings or in the most challenging of lighting conditions, the S2950 is able to produce crisp, clean results. With its mechanically stabilised 1/2 3”, 14 megapixel CCD sensor, and high ISO sensitivity settings, Fujifilm’s Dual Image Stabilisation technology combines to reduce the blurring effects of both hand-shake and subject movement to provide superb pictures.

Impressive panoramas
With its easy to use Panoramic shooting mode you can get creative on the S2950, however basic your skills, and rest assured that you will not risk shooting uneven landscapes or shaky horizons. The camera enables you to take three successive shots with a helpful tool which automatically releases the shutter once the images are fully aligned to seamlessly stitch the shots together in-camera. It’s so easy and the results are impressive.

Advanced HD capabilities for Both Movies and Stills
For the complete viewing experience, the FinePix S2950 is HD enabled and can therefore  play-back both HD stills (Full HD) and movies (720p) in superb quality on any HDTV. It’s yet to become the standard method of viewing photos, but it’s certainly not to be knocked. And given that this camera has a mini HDMI port it’s very quick and easy to connect it up to a HDTV* and play back your photos on the big screen.

Frown or blink and the picture’s spoilt
Not anymore! With Fujifilm’s Smile and Shoot mode the camera can recognise the exact moment your subject smiles and releases the shutter only when this happens, ensuring that all your photos are happy ones! Additionally the Blink Detection function warns you if any of your subjects have blinked so that you can re-take the photo if necessary.

Preserve your memories for longer by creating a Photobook!
The S2950 allows you to select in-camera the images you want to feature in your Photobook; this task is particularly simple if you have already star rated your favourite photos! You literally tag the images that you want to have in your photo book & select which one you want for the front page and then when you are ready to order the book it’s a much quicker easier task. You can also simply enjoy viewing the selected images in an in-camera Photobook with pages that actually turn!

S2950HD Key features at a glance:

  • 14 Megapixel CCD
  • Fujinon 18x optical zoom (28-504mm)
  • 3.0” LCD screen (230K dot resolution) and EVF (200K dot resolution)
  • NEW Easy web upload to Facebook & You Tube
  • HD stills (Full HD) and 720p HD movie capture (30 fps)
  • HDMI mini port for easy image display on any HDTV
  • Up to ISO6400 (at reduced resolution)
  • Face Detection with Blink detection and Smile and shoot mode
  • SR Auto (Scene Recognition Auto)
  • Full Manual Controls
  • Tracking AF
  • Motion Panorama mode
  • Image Search function with Photobook assistant
  • Auto Rotate
  • 4 x AA batteries

* Mini HDMI cable required (not included)

Fujifilm FinePix S2950HD specifications

Sensor • 1/2.3 ” Type CCD
• 14.0 million effective pixels
Movie clips • 1280 x 720pixels @ 30fps
• 640 x 480pixels @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 pixels @ 30fps
File formats • Still image : JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3 )
• Movie : AVI (Motion JPEG )
Lens • Fujinon 18x Optical zoom lens
• F3.1 – F6.4
• f=5.0mm – 90.0mm
• 28 – 504mm equiv.
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Focus Auto Focus
AF area modes • Cente
• Area
• Multi
• Tracking AF
Metering TTL 256-zones metering
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400 (at 3M)
Aperture F3.1-F6.4 (Wide)
F5.6-F11 (Tele)
Modes • Program
• Shutter Priority
• Aperture Priority
• Manual
• Custom
• Auto
• SP
• Movie
White balance • Automatic scene recognition
• Preset (Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light)
Self timer Approx. 10 sec./ 2 sec. delay
Continuous shooting • L : TOP-3    1.2 fps
• M :TOP-10  3.3fps
• S : TOP-10  3.3fps, TOP-20  8fps
Flash • Auto flash (i-Flash)
LCD monitor • 3.0-inch
• approx. 230,0000 pixels
• TFT colors LCD monitor
Digital input/output • USB 2.0 High Speed
• HDMI mini connector
Video output NTSC / PAL selectable
Storage • SD / SDHC memory card
Power 4 x AA batteries
Number of frames • Alkaline : Approx. 300
• Ni-MH  : Approx  500
• Lithium  :  Approx.  700
Weight (no batt) Approx. 341g
Weight (inc. batt & card) Approx. 437g
Dimensions 94 (W) x 56(H) x 24(D) mm
Included accesories • 4 x AA type alkaline batteries
• Shoulder strap
• USB-A/V cable
• Lens cap and Lens cap cord
• CD-ROM
• Owner’s manual

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