HP lands Snapfish

Following on from Yahoo!’s buyout of Flickr’s creator Ludicorp, Snapfish, the online photo sharing, storage and printing site has agreed to be acquired by HP. Snapfish is definitely a foward-thinking company because if you’re already a member, you will “receive the same high level of quality and service you’ve come to expect since Snapfish’s UK launch in November 2005 [sic]”. In addition, you can “look forward to a whole host of exciting new features and services, designed to improve, enhance and simplify your digital photography experience – whether you print with Snapfish or through your home printer”. Love that last bit ;)

Brighter, sharper, faster: Lensbaby 2.0

Lensbaby 2.0 has been released, and adds some nice upgrades from the version 1 (which I never got around to trying out, although I keep meaning to.) Lensbaby 2.0 adds a brighter aperture of f2.0 (in addition to the f2.8-f8.0 (in steps) of the original. It also uses better optical elements, of coated low dispersion glass. Changing apertures is faster thanks to magnetic positioning of the aperture disks, instead of rubber gaskets. You just drop them in and they jump into position. Anyway, worth a look and maybe I’ll finally get around to trying one.

Yahoo acquires Flickr

As some of the rumours have been saying, Yahoo have gone ahead and bought Ludicorp and its unstoppable Flickr.

It seems from Caterina’s own account on the Flickr Blog that the main change will be the cashflow. Yahoo Photos (haven’t tried to use that for a while…) will get some Flickr features. Here’s hoping that Flickr doesn’t get many or any Yahoo “features”. As she says “Flickr would also suffer from a sudden deluge of LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg! so we’re going to grow it carefully.” Hope so…

Nikon COOLPIX S1

Nikon COOLPIX S1 in Ivory WhiteRight out of leftfield (for Nikon) is their answer to Sony’s nice supercompacts: COOLPIX S1. Using folded optics, that they imaginatively call “right-angle” optics, the specs are the usual: 5.1Mp, 3x zoom (35-105mm equiv.) The LCD looks decent: 2.5inch covering most of the back, Sony T3-style. It’s available in “Ivory White” (iVory White?), “Pure Silver” and “Ebony Black” and comes with a dock which isn’t as nice to look at as the camera. Obviously much better than in SonyLand, the S1 uses standard SD cards. It also has 12Mb internally, so you can grab a few shots when your card’s full. It’s got face-priority AF, which I’ve never witnessed but would like to try out. Blur Warning looks like a good idea, too – a warning after taking the shot that probably it was messed up by shake, so you better shoot another to be safe. Anyway, if you need to, read more on the official press release.

SimCam: Film and Digital Camera Simulator

Photohead, which for some reason I’ve never noticed, have got The SimCam, in which you can play with the your exposure on a virtual camera. The (side) effects you can see include camera shake, depth of field, grain. Pity they didn’t include a page with all three of shutter speed, aperture and ISO. That’s a bit like digital camera manufacturers, isn’t it? Oh well…

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro review at dpreview.com

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro - photo copyright dpreview.comDigital Photography Review has just posted a full review of Fujifilm’s S3 Pro DSLR. This body uses Fujifilm’s own SuperCCD SR for more dynamic range. Fujifilm cameras with their SuperCCD design have always produced images with an odd artifacted look to them. Believe me, I’ve seen it up close, having used a S602Pro for so long. IMHO, the images can best be described as “muddy”, with a passing resemblance to the “watercolour” look of noise-reduced images. This effect is worse onscreen than printed, but it’s there (to my and other eyes, anyway.)

Anyway, check the review – as usual dpreview.com has plenty of information, as well as samples.

Pentax 645 Digital

Pentax announced today that they will be unveiling the 645 Digital medium format camera at the Photo Imaging Expo in Tokyo.

From the release:

The PENTAX 645 Digital camera will offer professional quality digital image reproduction. The camera will also feature:

  • A reliable PENTAX 645 AF mount
  • Compatibility with existing smc PENTAX 645 interchangeable lenses
  • A Kodak developed extra-large CCD image sensor with 18.6 total megapixels.

At the same time, Kodak have issued a press release [PDF] with a little more information on the 18 megapixel KAF-18000CE sensor in this camera.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D Field Report

The Luminous Landscape has a field report on the new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D (or for that matter “Kiss n Digital” as it is in Japan). It’s confusingly referred to as the “350XT” in the review in typical LL contrariness. (It then gets referred to as the “Rebel 350”, but I won’t go on…)

Anyway, Michael likes it (I think it’s Reichmann writing) with a few minor quibbles, but what do you want for the price?

DSLR comparison: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D versus Nikon D70

Digital Review has a comparison between the Canon and Nikon offerings at the affordable end of the DSLR scale. It looks like it would largely come down to what lens collection you might have already. Then again, as these cameras are aimed at the first-time DSLR buyer, this might not even come into it. Another point is that the Canon is quite a bit smaller than the Nikon, which you can take however you want to. Smaller for travel, larger for more grip and balance… useful review.