Friday, November 29, 2013

Firmware Friday: Panasonic GX7, Sigma SD1 updated; fix for Sigma lenses on Nikon D5300

<Nikon D5300 Couponsp>by Mike Tomkins

It's Firmware Friday time once more, and that means a quick wrapup of all that's new in the world of photo firmware. This week, we have updates to report on from both Panasonic and Sigma.

Sigma's updates include firmware both for cameras and lenses. We'll touch on the lens firmware first, as we'd reported earlier this week that this was on the way. It's intended to fix compatibility issues between the new Nikon D5300 camera body, and certain Sigma lenses which can be updated using the company's optional USB dock accessory.

If you own the dock, you can now update the following Sigma lenses to properly support focusing in live view mode. For OS lenses, the firmware also corrects issues with stabilization:

  • 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C013 NIKON
  • 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A013 NIKON
  • 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013 NIKON
  • 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012 NIKON
  • 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S013 NIKON

To update your lens firmware, ensure you're running Sigma Optimization Pro version 1.1; if not, get a copy here.

Simultaneously, Sigma has also issued updated firmware for its Sigma SD1 digital SLR, as well as the closely-related Sigma SD1 Merrill. The new firmware follows on from an earlier version which was released at the end of October, and corrects one issue. If you've seen occasional noise around blown highlights in your SD1 images, the new version should fix this problem. Grab the update at the link below, depending on your camera body:

That wraps up Sigma's firmware update news, but we also have new firmware to report on from Panasonic.

Just a few days ago, we finalized our Panasonic GX7 review, naming the excellent little camera a Dave's Pick. Now, the company has made its mirrorless beauty even better, thanks to two small firmware tweaks. Flash output adjustment can now be assigned to the Function button on the camera's rear panel, making it easier to tame flash strength as needed without digging through the menu system. The company has also improved manual focus compatibility with the LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS12032) lens.

Grab the firmware update from Panasonic's Joint Update Service for Four Thirds Lenses page.

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)

Source: Imaging-resource

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Week Camera Deals 2013 (UPDATED: Nikon D7000 with 18-140mm kit $800, Panasonic GH3 body now $898, Sony NEX-3N kit $400 and more!)

<Nikon D5300 Cheapp>by William Brawley

It's that time of year again, Black Friday. (Well, almost.) As we lead up to the biggest shopping day of the year, we're going to keep a running tally of the week's best camera and photo gear deals -- adding new ones as we find them and removing those that expire. We've also put together a list of pre-announced in-store and online deals for this Thursday and Friday so you can plan your holiday shopping accordingly. Keep this page bookmarked and check back often -- if last year is any indication, the deals should be good, plentiful and change quickly. Please let us know if you see a deal we've missed, or if something's expired or sold out.

Get the wallet out, credit card at the ready: It's deals time!


  • Nikon D800E with Nikon 28-300mm VR II lens - $3,897 (compare to $4,347) - Free Shipping
    Adorama has posted a series of Nikon Black Friday Deals, one being $450 off a Nikon D800E bundled with the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR II lens for $3,896.96 with free shipping and 4% rewards. Read our Nikon D800E review for more details.
  • Canon 5D Mark III lens, printer, extras bundle - $3,977 (compare to $4,477) - Free Shipping
    Adorama has also posted a series of Canon Black Friday Deals including this big Canon 5D Mark III bundle that includes the Canon 24-105mm lens, Canon PIXMA PRO-100, 50-pack of printer paper, 32GB SD card, a camera bag and a free Adorama VIP membership for $3,977.32 after a $100 instant rebate and a $400 mail-in rebate (PDF). Read our Canon 5D Mark III review for more details.
  • Nikon D7000 with 18-140mm VR lens - $799 (compare to $1,600) - Free Shipping
    Best Buy has the Nikon D7000 with 18-140mm VR lens kit for just $799 with free shipping after using the "D7000DEAL" promo code to get a massive $800 off! Read our Nikon D7000 review for more details.
  • Pentax Q7 zoom lens kits - $399.95 (compare to $500)
    It'sDay 2 of Ricoh's 12 Days 12 Deals holiday countdown. From Ricoh's online store, get a Pentax Q7 zoom lens kits for $399.95 plus shipping. Choose from Black, Silver or Yellow colors. Read our Pentax Q7 preview for more details.


  • Save up to $300 on qualifying Sony Alpha cameras - Free Shipping
    Amazon has a promotion for $300 of instant savings on Sony Alpha DSLR cameras. Get the Sony A58 with 18-55mm lens kit for $448 (compare to $600), the Sony A65 body for $498 (compare to $700) or the Sony A77 with 18-135mm lens kit for $1,098 (compare to $1,700). See the promo page for all the details. Read our Sony A58 review, Sony A65 review and Sony A77 review for more details.
  • PRICE DROP: Fuji X-A1 with 16-50mm lens kit - $500 (compare to $600) - Free Shipping
    AtB&H and Amazon, the Fuji X-A1 with 16-50mm lens kit in blue or black is only $499.95 with free shipping and a free SanDisk 16GB SD memory card. Read our Fuji X-A1 review for more details.
  • Save 15 - 25% Off at the Canon Refurbished Store
    TheCanon Store is running big discount promotion now for 15 - 25% off select refurbished DSLRs, lenses and flashes. For instance, grab a Canon Rebel SL1 + EF-S 18-55 IS STM kit for $450, a Canon 7D body for $960, or a Canon 50mm f/1.4 for $272. Check out the full listing of cameras, lenses and flashes for the latest tally of all in-stock items.
    Read ourCanon SL1 review, Canon 7D review, Canon 50mm f/1.4 review for more details.
  • New Nikon DSLR bundle instant rebates - Free Shipping
    AtB&H and Amazon, Nikon has started a new round of DSLR bundle instant rebates. Save up to $600 on Nikon DSLRs when you bundle lenses and speedlights. For example, get $400 off you buy the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Zoom Lens with either the Nikon D7100 body or D7100 with 18-135mm kit or get $350 off the new 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens when purchased with the Nikon D610 body or D610 + 24-85mm lens kit. See the promotion pages at B&H and Amazon for full details. Promotion is set to end on Nov. 30. Read our Nikon D7100 review, Nikon D610 preview (and Nikon D600 review) and Nikon lens reviews for more details.
  • Instant Savings on Fuji lenses with X-Series cameras - Free Shipping
    Fuji has also started a new round of bundle savings at Amazon for instant discounts and free accessories on seven different Fuji X-mount lenses when purchased with an X-series camera like the Fuji X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1 (including body-only and kit configurations). Note that some of the cameras themselves are also discount such as the Fuji X-E1 has been reduced to $700 for body-only or $1000 with the 18-55mm kit. Depending on the lens, you can get up to $200 off with a qualifying camera purchase. Check out the special promo page at Amazon for full details. Deal set to expire on Dec. 24. Read our Fuji X-Pro1 review, Fuji X-E1 review, Fuji X-M1 review and Fuji lens reviews for more details.

(includes current pre-holiday sales and any upcoming online or in-store deals we find)

  • Adorama
  • B&H
  • Amazon
  • Best Buy (In-stores only, starting Thursday)
    • Canon T3i with 18-55mm kit (review) - $550
        with bundled 55-200mm lens, 32GB SD card, bag - $750
    • Canon Rebel T3 with 18-55mm kit + free bag (review) - $400 (compare to $450)
        with bundled 75-300mm lens + free 16GB SD card - $449.96
    • Nikon D7000 (review) - $800
        with bundled 55-300mm VR lens, 32GB SD card, bag - $1,100
    • Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm lens & 55-200mm lens bundle + case, SD card (review) - $500
    • Nikon Coolpix P520 (review) - $300
        with bundled extra battery, 8GB SD card, bag - $340
    • Canon PowerShot A2500 Red or Silver + Case & SD card (preview) - $80
    • Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS + Case & Memory Card Bundle (preview) - $130
    • Canon PowerShot SX280 (preview) - $200
  • Costco
  • Target (in-stores, starts Thursday)
  • Ricoh (online)


  • Pentax K-5IIs body + free sling bag - $899.95 (compare to $1,000)
    It's Day 1 of Ricoh's 12 Days 12 Deals holiday countdown. From Ricoh's online store, get a Pentax K-5IIs body and a free sling bag for $899.95 plus shipping. Read our Pentax K-5IIs review for more details.
  • Refurbished Canon PowerShot S100 bundle - $195 (compare to $320 new) - Free Shipping
    Today only! The Canon Store has a Refurbished Canon PowerShot S100 in silver (black is out of stock) bundled with a Deluxe Leather Case and a 4GB SDHC Class 4 DANE-ELEC SD card all for $194.97 with free shipping. Read our Canon PowerShot S100 review for more details.

If one of these cameras is on your must-have list, don't hesitate -- these deals aren't likely to last long! And if none of these tickle your fancy, be sure to check back often.

See a great camera deal out there that we missed? Or found one that we've listed has expired or sold out? Let us know by posting in the comments section below, and we'll update our story!

Source: Imaging-resource

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New And Exclusive Micro-Site Content

ePHOTOzine's Micro-Site Roundup - Find out what's been happening on our five Micro-Sites.


Here's a roundup of the exclusive content we've got for you to have a read of on our five micro-sites this week:

On PENTAXPORTAL this week, you can take a look at some top tips for photographing seals with your Pentax camera, and check out some top Pentax sunset photos. Plus, the brand new K-3 DSLR has been reviewed on site this week, and there's news of new images from Ricoh Imaging brand ambassadors.

Over On EIZO ColorZone, you can learn how to perform a monitor viewing angle check and find out why ColorNavigator software is a great tool for aiding calibration. Plus, there's news of a new 3D CG colour management handbook that's now available.

Meanwhile, on Olympus Image Space this week, there are techniques on how to use blur creatively, and there's news on Olympus workshops taking place over the coming months with Damian McGillicuddy and Steve Gosling. Plus, news on the Olympus Impressions 'Fall' competition, and £100 accessory cashback when you buy an Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera have also gone live.

On Totally Tamron this week, you can learn some top tips for taking better photos of ice with your Tamron lens, plus there are some top Tamron portrait photos for you to take a look at. Don't forget to take a look at David Pritchard's blog the days zoom past, too, as he's been out-and-about with his newly acquired Tamron 24-70mm lens.

Last but not least, on Nikon Nation this week, you can check out some ideas and tips for on location portrait shoots, get creative with colour balance and lots more. Plus, don't miss the Nikon D5300 Cyber Monday Deal DSLR review and news of ono-to one training with Nikon School in December.

Make sure you check back to the Micro-Sites regularly, as new and exclusive content is posted weekly!

Source: Ephotozine

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Firmware Friday: Nikon cameras get better battery life; Canon updates Cinema EOS series but pulls one patch

<Nikon D5300 Black Friday Dealp>by Mike Tomkins

For this week's Firmware Friday update, we have news of firmware tweaks for nine cameras from Canon and Nikon, although two of Canon's updates have since been pulled due to issues. We'll start with Nikon, whose updates are for cameras most of us can afford. In all, the company has updated five DSLRs -- the D3100, D3200, D5100, and D5200 -- and its P7700 enthusiast compact.

For all five cameras, Nikon has officially added support for its EN-EL14a battery pack, a swap-in replacement for the EN-EL14 that shipped in the product bundle, offering greater charge density. The EN-EL14a is a 1,230mAh / 8.9Wh pack, as compared to the 1,030mAh / 7.7Wh of the EN-EL14.

Until now, you could use the EN-EL14a in all five cameras, but they wouldn't extract its full battery life since they didn't recognize the EN-EL14's updated variant. With the updates below, each camera will now extract the full battery life from the newer pack, resulting in a handy increase in the number of shots captured. The following table lists the battery life improvement for each model:

Definitely a good reason to update your firmware, and switch to EN-EL14a cells when next buying spare batteries for your camera. Get the new firmware at the links below:

Canon, meanwhile, has delivered the updates it promised for its Cinema EOS cameras back in September and October. Unfortunately, one of the updates has had to be withdrawn after just two days, due to reports of color balance issues. That means Canon EOS C300 and C300PL owners will need to wait just a little longer to get access to the new features, of which there are many.

Owners of the Cinema EOS C100, though, can get all the goodies immediately. Among the new features are peripheral lens correction for seven Cinema and eleven EF lenses, increased ISO sensitivity to ISO 80,000 equivalent, and a record button lock function. Firmware version for the Canon C100 also adds the ability to move the magnified view area to check focus of off-center subjects, and to navigate menus using the camera's buttons if the joystick is detached. Get more details on the Canon C100 update here.

And last, but not least, we come to the Canon EOS-1D C, also part of the Cinema EOS lineup. Here, the changes are more straightforward: Firmware version 1.3.4 makes but two changes. The camera can now store lens metadata in its videos for Canon EF-mount Cinema lenses, and supports them for Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration Correction functions. Canon has also added an optional line-level audio input mode for the 3.5mm audio input in the 1D C, in addition to the existing microphone input mode. Get more details on the Canon EOS-1D C update here.

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)

Source: Imaging-resource

Nikon D5300 RELEASED - Specs, Price Availibility: First Nikon Model With Wi-Fi For Single-Lens Reflex Camera Design

<Nikon D5300 Offersp>Nikon has just released its brand new D5300 DSL camera, where the Wi-Fi feature in this model is a first for the company in single-lens reflex camera design, according to Gadget Review.

The latest model of the DX-format DSLR has 24.2 megapixels, a DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter, built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, a built-in GPS, a durable light body, a 3.2-inch 1037k-dot vari-angle LCCD monitor with wide viewing angle, NAL-1 features for zoom/focus assist, and more.

Like Us on Facebook

It also has a full-HD 1920x1080/60p capability for movies, where selection can range from 24, 25, 30,50, and 60p. There are also 9 special effects for creative expression.

As previously reported, Nikon Rumors reports that the Nikon D5300 is expected to be introduced before the Photo Plus show in NYC at the end of the month or the CES show in Las Vegas in January.

It is reported that this will be the first camera to get the new EXPEED 4 processor. Some other rumored specs include 24 Megapixels, 39 AF points, built-in Wi-Fi and built-in GPS.

Photography Bay reports that the D530 will be introduced as an entry-level APS-C format camera. There are no reports yet of whether or not it will have better image quality over the D5200, but it would make sense to add additional video features to the D5300.

The price is $799 for the body only, where it is available in black, red, and a Nikon gray finish.

Source: Designntrend

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nikon D5300 hands-on review

Nikon Nikon D5300 Discount at a glance:

  • 24.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
  • 1.037-million-dot, 3.2in, 170° LCD screen
  • Expeed 4 image processor
  • 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Price £730 body only
  • See product shots of the Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 - Introduction

While the serious enthusiast is unlikely to be swayed into buying a Nikon DSLR over a Canon model purely because the Nikon camera is newer, the reality is that at the non-premium end of the market this is how some people make their buying decisions. 'Newer' must mean 'better'.

This demand for the 'new' explains why we see such short product cycles in the camera market, and why manufacturers feel the need to introduce even small advances in technology or feature sets in cameras with completely new names - rather than a 'Mark II' type of naming format.

Those familiar with Nikon's range of DSLRs may not see the sense in the company's introduction of the new D5300, especially as Nikon will maintain the D5200 alongside this model in the range - new and old together. By doing so, though, Nikon expands the number of cameras it has on offer and the number of price points it can cover, while also being able to have a model that can carry a 'New' sticker, and which introduces new features to the price band in which it will sit.

That's not to say that the Nikon D5300 isn't different to the D5200, though, as a new processor, new body design and the integration of wireless communications do genuinely bring additional benefits to the photographer.

Nikon D5300 - Design and handling

Nikon is very pleased that it has achieved a new way of constructing camera bodies, which it describes as a 'monocoque'. Instead of there being a chassis, onto which the components and the body shell are attached, the D5300 is designed to have everything screwed to the insides of the body form itself: exoskeleton, rather then the usual endoskeleton.

Image: The top of the camera houses only a few control points, keeping the layout simple and unintimidating for newcomers. A stereo microphone lives in front of the hotshoe

The D5300's body shell is also made of a new material, although Nikon won't say what that new material is - just that it is new. The upshot is that the body is less heavy than it might have been, and is 25g lighter, including the battery, than the camera it doesn't replace, the D5200.

I'm not entirely sure that when I used the camera I could appreciate the exact weight loss that has occurred, but I was able to enjoy the fact that this is truly a lightweight DSLR, of the type that we might not mind carrying all day, over the shoulder, in a bag or in a large pocket. The body is very small too, although it is balanced with a reassuringly large grip for the right hand. It seems ironic that a small and light camera should need a large grip, but I found it allowed me to be aware I was carrying the camera, and should a larger lens be attached it will help to support the forward pull of such a weight distribution.

Image: The body styling will be familiar to those used to the Nikon 5000 series, as will the standard menu. The 3.2in flip-out screen has impressive visibility

The buttons are arranged much as one might expect, with all the principal controls falling easily to the finger or thumb. The rear 3.2in LCD is very nicely bright and clear, with its 1.037-million-dot resolution. Nikon has set the viewing panel into the glass screen, so there are no gaps or internal reflections, which produces good contrast and a clear view from a quoted angled of up to 170°. I am impressed.

In live view, the screen works well when the camera is held low or high, and I found the AF quick enough and seemingly accurate. The response of the shutter in live view also seems good.

Image: Nikon has retained its choice of layouts for the rear-screen display, with text-based and graphically expressed options to suit personal preferences

Nikon D5300 - Still to test

The principal changes in this model are of the sort that will only be proved in testing, but at this stage their potential is worth pointing out. Using the higher-capacity Expeed 4 processor, Nikon claims it has been able to reduce noise in its images through the use of more complicated calculations. A related benefit is that now noise levels are lower the company is comfortable offering a higher ISO setting - the Nikon D5300 allows ratings of up to ISO 25,600. More complex calculations also provide the potential for better white balance assessment in automatic modes via a more comprehensive assessment of the scene, and a better rendition of colour overall.

Lower noise should also lead to better resolution of detail from the 24.2-million-pixel sensor, as should Nikon's decision to do without the micro-blurring effects of a low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter. Leaving the low-pass filter off the sensor has become very fashionable, and I suspect it will be a great draw for many photographers. Moiré in images created by a sensor with 24 million pixels, even an APS-C-sized sensor, is still something that is quite likely to occur, but there is also plenty of software to correct it after the event.

The other thing to note is that this model sees the introduction of a new battery cell, which Nikon says increases capacity from 500 shots to 600 compared to the cell used in the D5200. It annoys me when companies change their battery forms, but on this occasion the new cell and that used in the D5200 are interchangeable.

Obviously, I couldn't test the battery life of the camera, but we should take the increase as good news. I will also have to wait to test the Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities of this new model, but neither can be held as negative points just for their inclusion. The Wi-Fi integration means users will be able to control the camera from an Android or iOS device, and will be able to wirelessly transfer images for viewing, editing and sending while on the go.

Image: The new battery, which is backwards compatible with the D5200, offers a longer life. There is no low-pass filter on the sensor, for extra resolution

Nikon D5300 - Conclusion

It would be easy to dismiss the Nikon D5300 for being too similar to the D5200, but that really isn't the point. There is not much wrong with the D5200, and the changes that this new model brings can only make it better. Perhaps Nikon could have called it the D5200 ll, but I'm not sure it matters one bit.

The Nikon D5300 will cost around £730 body only and be available from 14 November.

Source: Amateurphotographer