X-Rite. Advancing technology creates challenges for all involved.  The latest Apple Macintosh operating system upgrade (OS 10.7 Lion) has resulted in a number of compatibility issues with peripherals like printers and color management devices, and manufacturers have been moving rapidly to patch the disconnects.  X-Rite is the latest, and they have now published a list of X-Rite products showing whether they are supported by Lion, what software is needed for compatibility, and any upgrade path.  If you own an X-Rite color management solution and use a Mac, this list will be very helpful in making appropriate choices to keep all your tools working together harmoniously.

Sony. While neither Canon nor Nikon has announced any new high-end equipment in the last few days, Sony has.  Top of the heap is the Alpha SLT-A77 which uses a 24MP CMOS sensor and translucent mirror design with electronic viewfinder with 100% frame coverage, as well as a host of additional features too numerous to list here.  Aimed at enthusiast/semi-pro use, it packs a great deal into a small, svelte package that will likely have wide appeal.  There’s lots of info floating around already, but tow good sources are DPReview’s preview and Michael Reichmann’s hands-on first impressions.

Additionally, Sony has made public the Alpha NEX-7, a decidedly upscale version of their very popular series in the compact system camera (CSC) category.  Of course as with every new model, the proof is in the pudding and we won’t know for some time how all the attractive new features work in the real world, but a few things set the NEX-7 apart.  First is a high-resolution eye-level electronic viewfinder.  This isn’t a tacked-on version but a built-in unit situated at the upper far left of the body so using it with one’s right eye will tend to avoid skin oil smears on the read LCD.  This may sound like a small thing, but it gets old after a while with conventionally located eyepieces except on a rangefinder like the Leica M9.  Imaging Resource has a good rundown here.  Interest in the emerging CSC category continues to flourish as new models proliferate.  The Nikon entry is reportedly right around the corner (see discussion of possible capability and features here), and Leica is apparently working on one that would fall between the X1 and M9.  A very detailed article on the Luminous Landscape site specifically addresses image quality but also covers major differences between this group and DSLRs is well worth perusing.

Fuji. Smaller camera categories have gotten rather complicated of late.  Models with sensors roughly the same size (physical size as well as megapixel count) as used in consumer-oriented point-and-shoots but with more serious aspirations such as the Panasonic LX5 and Canon G11/G12 have earned ardent followings and have the capability to make some very nice images, even though new units with larger sensors have raised expectations for increased image quality and larger print capability.  Recently Fuji’s X100 created a huge splash with its elegant retro styling, innovative hybrid viewfinder technology, and a feature set aimed squarely at other than casual users.  Now Fuji is here with another offering—the X10—which has a smaller sensor than the X100 (though physically larger than most point-and-shoots), a high-quality fixed manual zoom lens, and an optical zooming viewfinder.  Styling is once again aimed at photographers who want to retain the ability to control the image-making process.  I’d say Fuji is on a roll here and it will be very interesting to see how the X10 pans out in real-world use in a few short months.

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