Digital Camera News: Panasonic L1 Firmware Update, Pentax and Hoya Merger Update

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Firmware Update

Panasonic has rolled out an update for users of their L1 digital SLR. The new firmware improves exposure, white balance, AutoReview, and zoomed image playback. Here’s the full list of enhancements (from the press release):

  • An added multiple exposure function.
  • Panning mode [MODE3] as an addition to the optical image stabilizer.
  • Three new viewing options: Low-angle mode that makes it easier to view the LCD display when the camera is held below eye level; a "HOLD" option in Auto Review that enables continuous viewing; and an added feature to allow zoomed playback of photos.
  • Added feature that simplifies setting the aperture when using a lens without an aperture ring.
  • Two new manual white balance settings added to the GUI, plus removal of a time restriction on the settings.
  • An AUTO option for ISO sensitivity in the aperture-priority AE mode [A] and shutter speed-priority AE mode [S]

You can get the update here:

Pentax, Hoya Merger News

Bloomberg is reporting on some hiccups that are affecting the Pentax and Hoya merger that was announced back in December. On April 4, the Pentax board voted to cancel the merger with Hoya. Two days later, Hoya decided to raise the takeover bid. The tentative new offer is worth about 17% more than the previous bid that would have paid Pentax shareholders with 0.158 Hoya stock. The new offer will pay cash – 770 yen per share to Pentax shareholders. The Hoya board will meet to determine the exact offer, so the 770 yen number may be revised.

On this news, Pentax stock rose 9.1 percent to 800 yen per share, its biggest gain in 18 months. Also, after the Pentax board rejected the previous bid from Hoya, it was announced that Pentax President Fumio Urano and Chief Financial Officer Katsuo Mori will resign in May.

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