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BRIEFS: July 22

Sony big on 3D panoramas

Sony Australia announced it will add 3D capability to its Cyber-shot digital still camera range with the introduction of the Cyber-shot TX9 and WX5 cameras in September. Sony says these are the world’s first compact digital still cameras able to capture panoramic photos in 3D.

The cameras don’t capture 3D in conventional 4:3 or 16:9 formats, but use Sony’s exclusive 3D Sweep Panorama function for 3D capture. Images can then be viewed on any compatible 3D TV when connected via HDMI.

The new cameras are equipped with a 25mm and 24mm wide-angle lenses respectively, 12.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS image sensors and Full HD (1920 x 1080, 50i) AVCHD recording capability.

The Cyber-shot TX9 and WX5 are equipped with Background Defocus mode, allowing photographers to capture portrait and macro photos with a shallow depth of field effect. For capturing fast moving scenes such as sports, both cameras are also equipped with high-speed continuous shooting of 10 frames per second (fps). In addition, the new in-camera application PMB Portable enables users to upload images directly from the camera to photo sharing websites via USB without going through the hassle of downloading images onto their computer first.

Sony has raised the white flag to half mast on its proprietary Memory Stick format by rendering all new models compatible with both Memory Stick Duo and SD / SDHC /SDXC memory cards.

Panasonic photo comp captures Australia

Panasonic has pronounced its recent Lumix Life photographic competition a success, with over 7000 photos submitted.

The Panasonic Australia ‘Lumix Life – Focus on Australia’ project called on amateur photographers to submit images taken with their Panasonic Lumix camera that they felt uniquely captured Australia. Selected winning images will be included in a coffee table book alongside photos from Lumix Life ‘Pro Shooters’, including Ken Duncan, Peter Eastway, Bill Bachman, Leo Meier, Nick Rains, Frances Mocnik, Ted Grambeau, Hugh Brown – and Ray Martin.

All submitted images can be viewed at

Panasonic has also announced updated firmware for its Lumix DMC-FP3 and DMC-FH22 touchscreen models, allowing Lumix users to get even more from their digital compact cameras.
The new firmware version 1.1 offers improved performance including enhanced touch screen operation response and faster image playback for greater usability.
The updated firmware allows users to automatically scroll through images in playback mode. Users will also find setting the time and date simpler thanks to the latest update.

The new firmware is available here. This is a useful site with loads of other helpful information on Lumix cameras.

What a good idea!
Lexar has released a useful guide for retail staff to help clear some of the confusion around the ever-expanding Class ratings for SD format memory card

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