Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Sigma 20mm F/1.4 Art Lens Leaked

The big buzz on the rumor mill over the last day or so has been this leak regarding a supposed Sigma 20mm F/1.4 art lens. Leaks like these are rarely incorrect, and with the rumored announcement coming tomorrow, we will know soon enough.

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Rumored Sigma 20mm F/1.4 Specs

  • Designed for full frame DSLR cameras
  • Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups
  • One large-diameter double sided aspherical element
  • Two FLD elements and five SLD elements to best correct chromatic aberrations
  • In-lens HSM autofocus motor. New mechanism for full-time manual override in autofocus mode
  • Total length: 129.8mm
  • Maximum diameter: 90.7mm
  • Weight: 950g
  • 9 diaphragm blades, rounded
  • Maximum magnification: 1:7.1 (0.14x)
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Very low distortion
  • Designed to minimize coma aberration
  • Available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts

According to the reports, the lens will retail for around 162,000 yen,  which roughly translates to $1300 US, but generally the US price is still lower than a straight yen to dollar conversion. I am going to guess that this lens runs in the 1,000 to 1,100 range.

In theory, this lens will be great for those stunning astro landscapes that we see all the time. The specs also mention ‘very low distortion’, which if that is the case, maybe this could even been a half-decent lens for environmental portraiture and similar uses.

At any rate, we should know more soon. So stay tuned and once this is official, we will have all the details for you direct from Sigma!

DRM Could Be Coming to JPEG?!?!?!?

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Yes, you read the header correctly, Digital Rights Management (DRM) could be integrated into a future JPEG standard. This is the same controversial technology that music and movie industry has been trying to ram down our throats to combat illegal copying and sharing.

Well, the JPEG governing body (yes, there is such a thing) had a meeting recently to discuss the possibility of integrating DRM into the jpeg standard. From a photographer’s perspective, this could be viewed as a good thing, allowing us the control we need to prevent people from stealing and misusing our imagery. But it also likely introduces a lot more headaches into the process of digital delivery, social sharing, and just general use of images.

It is a polarizing topic, with most falling into the ‘DRM sucks’ side of the spectrum. I have no doubt that there are ways to make DRM less annoying, but people see the term DRM and think of CD/DVD copy protections and needing an internet connection to register/view details, things that would no doubt annoy anyone.

Personally, I can see both sides, but am not a fan of most implementations of DRM. If they can come up with a way to make it harder to steal/copy images without permission, that would be great, so long as it doesn’t make my experience viewing/using jpegs more of a hassle. It would also probably help if they came up with a different term than DRM, because like I said above, people see DRM and freak out.

Anyways, guessing from the public outcry over this, I doubt it will make it into the next JPEG standard. Probably for the better.

Sandisk Shopping Itself Around?

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Chance are pretty high that at least one of your SD or CF cards is a Sandisk, so this news will be interesting to you. According to the rumor mill, Sandisk is looking to get bought out.

Apparently the digital storage company has been shopping itself out to the likes of Western Digital and Micron. A purchase by Western Digital would likely be a huge deal in the tech world. Though if Sandisk does want to be purchased, it would need approval from Toshiba, due to their partnership.

Sandisk stocks jumped over 15% upon news of the potential sale, with a rough value in the neighborhood of $12.8 billion. Western Digital by comparison is valued at around $22 billion, making any deal likely very costly – but definitely a blockbuster.

So you may be asking yourself, why would Sandisk be interested in joining a larger storage media company? Well, Sandisk is a relatively small company, and that makes competing with larger players like Samsung more difficult. If Sandisk were able to join a larger company, like Western Digital for example, it could make competing with the like of Samsung a much easier proposition.

We will keep an eye on this and update you further if any more news comes about.

 

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!