DigitalCameraReview.com
Digital Camera News, 4/19/08
by David Rasnake -  4/19/2008

Samsung to develop full-frame sensor?

Following on the heels of a similar announcement from Sony at PMA, it looks like Samsung may be the latest maker to dive into full-frame CMOS sensor production for DSLRs. PhotographyBlog.com is reporting on a story in the UK's Amateur Photographer magazine this week that suggests that Samsung is already working on such a sensor.

Samsung

An official from the Korean corporation that developed the current generation of APS-C sized CMOS sensors seen in its own GX DSLRs, as well as Pentax's new K20D, apparently informally brought this piece of information to light in a discussion with one of Amateur Photographer's reporters during an industry event. No official word on when we might actually see prototypes, or whether this development also suggests that Samsung partner Pentax will be working to develop an advanced full-frame camera as well (though the report also notes that Samsung's close relationship with Pentax is "ongoing").

Larger than the current generation of APS-C sensors found in the majority of DSLRs, full-frame sensors are the size of a frame of 35mm film, making it easier to attain smoother images with lower noise and eliminating the crop factor for lens focal lengths. Canon and Nikon currently offer pro-level cameras with full-frame sensors, and Sony is well into the development of a competitive model.

For more information, check out the original story from Amateur Photographer.

Specs on new high-speed CF format with SATA interface coming soon

In a press release this week, the CompactFlash Association previewed the release of full specs on the new CFast high-speed transfer protocol. The latest version of CF is slated to use a SATA interface for transfer speeds of up to 3GB/second.

CFA

The new standard was on display at the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley Expo, which wrapped up yesterday in San Jose, CA. Full specifications for the standard are scheduled for publication next month.

The current CompactFlash standard uses a PATA interface, which limits data rates to 133MB/second. In addition to faster file transfers, the new CF standard will make CFast cards compatible with now-common SATA hard disk drive interfaces.

Current-standard CompactFlash cards provide storage up to 48MB on a single card, with transfer speeds topping out at 45MB/second. In addition to their use in digital cameras and other consumer electronics, CompactFlash memory is utilized in several commercial applications – including industrial and medical systems.

Nikon D3 firmware released, withdrawn

We've been interestedly following a firmware release and subsequent withdrawl for Nikon's D3 professional DSLR. On Tuesday, Nikon announced that firmware version 1.10 was available for download from its website. The newest firmware version added vignetting control for some lens and made a few other relatively minor fixes.

Nikon D3
(view large image)

Before many sites even reported the update, however, users on several forums were reporting file corruption issues with the new firmware that caused ghosting during continuous shooting in both JPEG and RAW files when shooting in NEF or NEF+JPEG modes. After some additional testing, the reviewers over at RobGalbraith.com have reported a consistent, repeatable issue with the firmware version.

Following up on these concerns, Nikon acknowledged the problem on its website, outlined the combination of settings under which the issue arises, and withdrew the firmware update with an anticipated revised release coming in a few weeks. In the meantime, users who already upgraded to version 1.10 are advised to "not shoot with the combination of settings" listed in Nikon's announcement.

For a more detailed discussion of the entire unfolding saga, take a look at the reports on RobGalbraith.com.