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SanDisk today has announced new CompactFlash - CF cards offering the fastest performance so far: Extreme Pro, able of up to 97MB/s read speeds (about 647x) in Rob Galbraith tests. Sizes will be 16, 32 and 64 GB.

Also Transcend has announced new CF cards with 8 GB size and 600x speed (about 90 MB/s).

Lastly, also PhotoFast (a not worldwide known manufacturer based in Taipei -Taiwan-) has announced 2 new CF cards with 533x speed.

The pixel race pumps up this faster and faster cards.

Adobe has released Camera Raw 5.5 for Photoshop CS4 (not compatible with earlier versions of Photoshop) and Lightroom 2.5.

Let's see the changes in the new versions:

A couple of days ago Corel has launched Digital Studio 2010: a software for both video making (also DVD burning) and for photo retouch and organizing. The new version offers touch operation.

That means that with, of course, a dedicated device it leverages the Windows Touch feature available with latest Microsoft® Windows® 7 and allow touch based operations like photo organizing.

The product is available for download at a retail price of about 100 $. Link to US Corel website: http://www.corel.com/us/

On 1st of September, Canon has announced a new professional DSLR model: EOS 7D. It's not full-frame but offers many interesting and pro features.

Infact it is not an evolution of the full frame 5D (older model or newer 5D Mark II) but a "crop sensor" model, so compatible with EF-S lenses. Nevertheless it offers professional features, much more than the latest prosumer model EOS 50D (a crop sensor model), in terms of burst rate, focusing, build and other capabilities that we will describe here.

Let's see the main innovations of this model:

Olympus has announced a smaller brother for E-620: the E-600. The few differences: no more backlit button (a pity), less Art Filters (in-camera effects), multi exposure mode (2 shots) and control of aspect mask.

All of this to save around $ 100 on the bigger brother (around $ 600 with kit lens). In my opinion it was not necessary to launch such a similar model.

It will be available from November 2009.

A couple of days ago, Sony has announced its second full frame DSLR: the Alpha 850 (A850). It is a "simplified" version of the topline A900 : it employes the same CMOS sensor with... 24.6 megapixels, 3 inches LCD with 921'000 pixels, in-camera image stabilization and same image processors (named "Dual Bionz").

The main simplification are:

  • slower burst shooting of 3 frames per second (5 fps in A-900);
  • no infrared port;
  • 98% of scene coverage through the viewfinder (100% in A-900).

The new full frame camera will have an initial price of $ 2000 (same price in euro...) and should be available from next month of September.

 

A couple of days ago, Sony announced two new DSLR models: Alpha 500 (A500) and Alpha 550 (A550).

The Alpha 500 employs a new Exmor™ CMOS sensor (like Canon that always used CMOS sensor in DSLR) and enhances live view mode with Face Detection and the possibility of having a focus confirmation when in manual focus.

A couple of days ago, Sony announced new DSLR model Alpha 550 (A550), together with Alpha 550.

The new models employs a new Exmor™ CMOS sensor (like Canon that always used CMOS sensor in DSLR) and enhances live view mode with Face Detection and the possibility of having a focus confirmation when in manual focus.

Leica has announced the pricing for its new DSLR, the S2 that should ship from end of September: around 23'000 $ for the body only (!).

The camera will be a bit bigger than a Canon EOS 5D or a Nikon D700 and it will be weather and dust sealed (given the price it is mandatory in my opinion), with a big 30x45 mm sensor (more than 50% bigger than full frame sensors!) packing an incredible 37.5 Megapixels but, given the size of the sensor, we expect very good dynamic range (12 stops according to Leica) and extremely low noise.

Together with the camera, two fixed focal lenses for that format will be introduced: 70 mm f2.5 (around 4'500 $) and 180 mm f3.5 (around 6'400 $), while two other ones are expected by Christmas (120 mm f2.5 and 35 mm f2.5, same price range...).

Good quality but quite expensive.

Adobe has announced that next major upgrade of Lightroom as well as next major upgrade of Photoshop will no longer support Power PC platforms on Macintosh. Only Intel based PC will be supported (both Windows and Mac Os).

This choice is to focus development on more new platforms (like native 64 bits) more than keeping "legacy" support, like Power PC, whose latest PC models date back 4 years ago, a time that in the IT world seems to be quite long.