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Digital Camera News Archives at DCResource.com

 
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{ Saturday, February 26, 2011 }
 

Feedback wanted on new test photo

Seeing how I probably won't be invited back to Stanford anytime soon, I've been looking for new places to take photos. The hardest photo to replace is the famous "purple fringing tunnel of doom", but I did find a decent spot in the Presidio which, since it's in a National Park, should be a "safe" photo spot. Click the link to see a larger version of the photo, and post your feedback in this forum thread. Thanks!

continue reading »

 

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{ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 }
 

Olympus E-PL2 reviewed

I've posted my review of the Olympus E-PL2, a compact interchangeable lens camera. Read the review to find how this budget-friendly camera performs!

Saturday update: I've added the church interior shot to the E-PL2's photo gallery.

 
 
{ Tuesday, February 22, 2011 }
 

Winter review survey results

The results are in from the winter edition of the "which camera should we review" survey! Here are the top ten cameras, as chosen by you:
  1. Olympus XZ-1
  2. Canon EOS Rebel T3i
  3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10
  4. Fuji FinePix F500EXR/F550EXR (I'll shoot for the latter)
  5. Fuji FinePix X100
  6. Nikon Coolpix P500
  7. Canon EOS Rebel T3
  8. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
  9. Nikon Coolpix P300
  10. Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

I'll try to review as many of those as I can! Typically I hit about 80% of them. Oh, and one camera that wasn't on the survey (oops) was the Pentax K-5, which I will be also be reviewing. And I'm still trying to get a Samsung NX100, which was one of the top ten cameras on the fall survey!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond! And hopefully some of you will take my post-survey message about ad blockers to heart!

 
 
{ Monday, February 21, 2011 }
 

Samsung announces 2011 NX lens lineup

Samsung has announced their 2011 lineup of NX lenses, which are compatible with the NX10/NX11 and NX100 interchangeable lens cameras. All of these lenses have the i-Function button, which allows users to quickly change camera settings. Three of the five also feature optical image stabilization. Below is the quick summary (minus pricing) -- now if I could only get an NX100 to review!
  • F3.5-6.3, 18 - 200 mm OIS lens - ships in May
  • F2.4, 16 mm pancake lens - ships in July
  • F2.8, 60 mm OIS macro lens (with SSA focus motor) - ships in August
  • F1.4, 85 mm lens (with SSA motor) - ships in October
  • F3.5-4.5, 16 - 80 mm OIS lens - ships in December

Press release and photos of a few of the lenses after the break.

continue reading »
 
 
{ Tuesday, February 15, 2011 }
 

Changes to Reviews & Info page

I've made a few minor changes to the Reviews & Info page that I wanted to mention. First, the memory card column has been replaced by an "Extra Features" column. Here you can quickly find out which cameras have Full HD movie modes, GPS receivers, touchscreen LCDs, or waterproofing. I've also added the ability to search for cameras with GPS units. I've got more things I want to add, so stay tuned!
 
 
{ Sunday, February 13, 2011 }
 

Pentax K-r review posted

I've posted my review of the Pentax K-r, an entry-level digital SLR that offers a lot of bang for the buck. Check out the review if you're in the market for an inexpensive D-SLR!
 
 
{ Wednesday, February 9, 2011 }
 

No more sample photos from Stanford University (updated 3/8/11)

One thing that's made this site what it is today has been the consistency of the sample photos over the years. I've taken photos of the same subjects in roughly the same conditions for over a decade. Today, at Stanford University (one of my regular stops), I was approached by a security officer (my tripod gave me away) who told me that "professional photographers" like myself were not permitted to take photos at the University without permission, and that I had to leave.

As soon as I got home, I contacted the person in charge of giving permission to take photos of the campus. In her reply, I was told that since this is a commercial website, they would not be able to give me permission to photograph anything at the University, and that they've stepped up enforcement to prevent commercial photographers from doing so.

I'm sort of at a loss about how to handle this, though I may be out of luck (see update 3 below). Stanford is a private university and can do as they see fit, but the whole policy stinks, quite frankly. I'd love to hear your thoughts about all this, so drop me an e-mail or post in our forums with your comments. You can read my original letter and their response after the link.

Update: Stanford's official policy can be found here.
Update 2: PLEASE refrain from e-mailing Stanford officials about this. Such things have only backfired in the past.
Update 3: I escalated things up a level and was told that they were unlikely to budge on their policy, so it looks like I'll be taking pictures somewhere else from now on.
Update 4: A story in today's issue of the Stanford Daily discusses the issue and mentions my situation specifically.
Update 5: Sent a letter to the President of the University hoping they'll make an exception. Can't take pictures this week anyway, due to the rain.
Update 6: Never got a response to the letter mentioned in the previous update. Not even a form letter.

continue reading »
 
 

Olympus SZ-10

Olympus also introduced some real products this week, in addition to the concept lens below. First up is the new SZ-10, a compact super zoom camera:

Olympus SZ-10 [specs]

  • 14 Megapixel CCD
  • F3.1-4.4, 18X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 - 504 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD display with 460,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation, with scene-selecting Intelligent Auto mode
  • Magic Filters (such as pop art, fisheye, and watercolor) can be used for both stills and movies
  • Can create panoramas simply by pointing the camera to designated positions
  • Capable of taking 3D photos automatically
  • In-camera help system
  • Records videos at 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with sound
  • HDMI output
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses LI-50B lithium-ion battery, 200 shots per charge
  • Available in black and silver
  • Ships in March for $249
continue reading »
 
 
 

Olympus VR-320

Want something a bit smaller than the SZ-10? Then this next Olympus camera, the VR-320, may fit the bill:

Olympus VR-320 [specs]

  • 14 Megapixel CCD
  • F3.0-5.9, 12.5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24 - 300 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD display with 460,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation, with Intelligent Auto mode
  • Most of the same Magic Filters as the SZ-10 above
  • In-camera help guide
  • Records movies at 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with sound
  • SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses LI-42B lithium-ion battery; battery life not available
  • Available in silver, black, red, and blue
  • Ships in March for $199
continue reading »
 
 
 

Olympus VG-110

The last Olympus camera for today is an entry-level model with a wide-angle lens. Here are the specs on the VG-110:

Olympus VG-110 [specs]

  • 12 Megapixel CCD
  • F2.9-6.5, 4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 27 - 108 mm
  • 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation, with Intelligent Auto mode
  • Same Magic Filters as the VR-320 above
  • In-camera help guide
  • VGA movie mode, with sound
  • SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses LI-70B li-ion battery; battery life not available
  • Available in black, red, and silver
  • Ships this month for $99
continue reading »
 
 
 

Olympus shows off high-end Micro Four Thirds lens

Olympus is showing off a high-end Micro Four Thirds lens at the CP+ show in Japan this week. They haven't released anything close to actual specs, other than to say that it's a high-end, single focal length M.Zuiko lens that will be launched later this year. Click the link below to see a mock-up of the lens.

continue reading »

 
 
{ Tuesday, February 8, 2011 }
 

Nikon introduces Coolpix P300 with F1.8 lens

Nikon today announced their first new cameras of 2011. These eight new Coolpix cameras run the gamut, from entry-level to enthusiast. Naturally, I'm going to start with the one that I find the most interesting, which marks Nikon's entry into the compact enthusiast market.

Coolpix P300 [specs]

  • 12.2 Megapixel, 1/2.3" back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • Expeed C2 image processor
  • F1.8-4.9, 4.2X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24 - 100 mm
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 3-inhc LCD display with 921,000 pixels
  • Full manual controls (but no RAW)
  • Scene Auto Selector picks one of twenty scene modes for you
  • Several modes (Advanced Night Portrait, Night Landscape, and Backlight HDR) combine several exposures into a single photo with reduced blur or improved contrast
  • New Easy Panorama lets you create vertical or horizontal panoramas by panning the camera
  • Records movies at 1920 x 1080 (30 fps) with stereo sound and use of optical zoom
    • Fast motion HS movie mode records at 15, 60, or 120 fps
  • HDMI output
  • 90MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses EN-EL12 lithium-ion battery, 240 shots per charge
  • Ships in March for $329
continue reading »
 
 
 

Nikon Coolpix P500

Next up is the Coolpix P500, which (for now) has the most powerful lens of any super zoom camera on the market. Here's more about the P500, which replaces the P100 from last year:

Coolpix P500 [specs]

  • 12.1 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • Dual Expeed C2 processors
  • F3.4-5.7, 36X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 22.5 - 810 mm (!)
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 3-inch, tilting LCD display with 921,000 pixels + electronic viewfinder
  • Full manual controls + Scene Auto Selector mode
  • 5 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, up to 120 fps at smaller sizes
  • Same HDR, Night Landscape, and Advanced Night Portrait features as the P300
  • Records Full HD video at 1920 x 1080 (30 fps) with stereo sound and use of optical zoom
  • HDMI output
  • 102MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses EN-EL5 lithium-ion battery, 220 shots per charge
  • Available in black and red
  • Ships in March for $399
continue reading »
 
 
 

Nikon Coolpix S3100 / S4100 / S6100 / S9100

Now I'm going to talk about a number of cameras in Nikon's stylish Coolpix S-series. We'll start with the slim S3100 and work our way to the compact ultra zoom known as the S9100.

Coolpix S3100 [specs]

  • 14.0 Megapixel CCD
  • Expeed C2 processor
  • F3.2-6.5, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 26 - 130 mm
  • 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation, with Scene Auto Selector
  • Records 720p video with sound
  • 45MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses EN-EL19 li-ion battery, 220 shots
  • Available in silver, red, blue, purple, pink, yellow, and black
  • Ships in late February for $139

Coolpix S4100 [specs] - changes:

  • 3-inch touchscreen LCD display with 460,000 pixels
    • Touch features include Touch AF, Touch Shutter, Touch Subject Tracking, menus, and image playback
  • 20MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses EN-EL19 li-ion battery, 190 shots per charge
  • Available in plum, silver, red, and black
  • Priced at $179

Coolpix S6100 [specs] - changes:

  • 16.0 Megapixel CCD
  • F3.7-5.6, 7X optical zoom lens, equivalent to
  • Same 3-inch touchscreen as the S4100
  • HDMI output
  • Uses EN-EL12 li-ion battery, 210 shots per charge
  • Available in silver, black, red, and violet
  • Ships in March for $199

Coolpix S9100 [specs] - changes:

  • 12.1 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • F3.5-5.9, 18X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25 - 450 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD display (non-touchscreen) with 921,000 pixels
  • 5 fps continuous shooting at full resolution
  • Same multi-exposure and panorama functions as the two P-series cameras above
  • Records movies at 1920 x 1080 (30 fps) with stereo sound and use of optical zoom
  • 74MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses EN-EL12 li-ion battery, 270 shots per charge
  • Available in black, red, and silver
  • Ships in March for $329
continue reading »
 
 
 

Nikon Coolpix L24 / L120

The final two Coolpix cameras for today are in Nikon's value category. Here are the details for the inexpensive Coolpix L24, as well as the Coolpix L120 super zoom camera:

Coolpix L24 [specs]

  • 14.0 Megapixel CCD
  • F3.1-6.7, 3.6X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 37 - 134 mm
  • 3-inch LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • VGA movie mode with sound
  • 17MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses two AA batteries; 450 shots per charge using NiMH rechargeables (and even more with disposable lithium
  • batteries)
  • Available in red, black, and silver
  • Ships in late February for $119

Coolpix L120 [specs]

  • 14.1 Megapixel CCD
  • F3.1-5.8, 21X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25 - 525 mm
  • 3-inch LCD display with 921,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • Records movies at 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with stereo sound and use of optical zoom
  • HDMI output
  • 102MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses four AA batteries; 520 shots per charge with NiMH rechargeables
  • Available in black, red, and bronze
  • Ships in late February for $279
continue reading »
 
 
 

Fuji announces X100 price and availability

Fuji has announced the pricing and availability of their new FinePix X100 camera, which was announced as a concept last year. Here are the specs of the final shipping model:

FinePix X100 [specs]

  • 12.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • EXR image processor
  • F2, 23 mm fixed focal length Fujinon lens (equivalent to 35 mm)
  • Rangefinder-style, magnesium alloy body; dials on camera allow for easy adjustment of manual settings
  • 2.8" LCD display with 460,000 pixels
  • Unique Hybrid Viewfinder can act as a Reverse-Galilean optical viewfinder (0.5X magnification) or a 1.44 million pixel EVF
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support and ISO range of 200 - 6400 (expandable to 100 - 12800)
  • Choice of 49-point focus with the EVF or 25-point focus with the OVF
  • Captures panoramic images covering as much as 180 degrees
  • Built-in neutral density filter
  • Records movies at 720p, with some manual control
  • Ships in March for $1199
continue reading »
 
 
 

Pentax introduces rugged Optio WG-1 with available GPS, plus a silver K-5

Pentax has announced a new rugged camera with an available GPS receiver. The Optio WG-1 and WG-1 GPS both feature a unique design, and can take whatever you throw at it (though I wouldn't recommend throwing the camera). Here are their specs:

Optio WG-1 [specs]

  • 14 Megapixel CCD
  • Rugged body is waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof from 5 feet, crushproof to 220 lbs, freezeproof to 14F, and dustproof; comes in black or purple
  • 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 - 140 mm
  • 2.7' widescreen LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Unique Digital Microscope mode uses five macro LEDs and a detachable stand for taking extreme close-ups
  • Face detection with self-portrait assist mode, plus smile and blink detection
  • Records videos at 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with sound
  • Optional wireless remote
  • HDMI output
  • 97MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses D-LI92 lithium-ion battery, 260 shots per charge
  • Ships in April for $349

Optio WG-1 GPS [specs] - changes:

  • Built-in GPS for easy geotagging
  • Comes in black and "yellow green"
  • Priced at $399

On a completely unrelated note, Pentax also announced a new, limited edition silver version of their K-5 digital SLR. You'll be able to get the body, plus three lenses (F3.2, 21 mm Limited / F2.8, 40 mm Limited / F2.4, 70 mm Limited) starting in April. The camera will be priced at $1699 for the body only kit -- lens prices are not available yet. Click on the link below to see some photos of the silver K-5!

continue reading »
 
 
 

Samsung ES80 / PL20

Samsung introduced ten new compact cameras in January (none of which will ever be available for review, if history is any indication), and today they rolled out another pair. The ES80 and PL20 budget cameras are practically twins, with resolution and movie mode being the main difference. Here's what I can tell you about them:

Samsung ES80

  • 12.0 Megapixel CCD
  • F3.5-5.9, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 27 - 135 mm
  • Smart Auto mode with auto scene selection, face/smile/blink detection, and more
  • LCD of unknown size
  • VGA movie mode
  • Uses lithium-ion battery
  • Available in silver, tomato red, pink, and black
  • Ships in April for $99

Samsung PL20 - changes:

  • 14.2 Megapixel CCD
  • Smart Filter feature offers special effects like fisheye, miniature, and sketch
  • Records movies at 1280 x 720 (24 fps)
  • Ships in March for $119
continue reading »
 
 
{ Monday, February 7, 2011 }
 

Canon introduces EOS Rebel T3i

Canon introduced two new entry-level digital SLRs today: the EOS Rebel T3i and its cheaper sibling, the Rebel T3. The T3i is the new "flagship" entry-level model, with the currently available T2i in the number two position. The Rebel T3 will be the cheapest model.

Here's what I can tell you about the Rebel T3i:

EOS Rebel T3i [specs]
Known as the EOS-600D in some countries

  • 18 Megapixel CMOS sensor (same as the one in the T2i)
  • DIGIC 4 image processor
  • Supports all EF and EF-S lenses with a 1.6X crop factor
  • 3-inch, rotating LCD display with 1.04 million pixels
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support (naturally); ISO range of 100 - 6400
  • 63-zone metering and 9-point AF systems
  • Integrated Speedlite Transmitter finally brings wireless flash control to lower-end EOS cameras
  • Continuous shooting at 3.7 fps
  • New "A+" Auto mode features selects a scene mode and Picture Style for you, and also brighten shadow using the Auto Lighting Optimizer
  • Shoots at four aspect ratios (3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1)
  • Creative Filters offer special effects (fisheye, soft focus, miniature) for still shooting
  • Records Full HD video (1920 x 1080 at 24p, 25p, or 30p) with manual controls
    • Digital zoom of 3X to 10X can be used while recording without a loss in quality
    • Video Snapshot feature combines short video clips into a single movie with background music (kind of like a slideshow)
  • HDMI output
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses LP-E8 lithium-ion battery, only 440 shots per charge; optional battery grip
  • Ships in March for $799 body only, $899 with the new 18-55 mm IS lens (the Mark II model, which just looks a bit different than the original), or $1099 with an 18-135 mm IS lens
continue reading »
 
 
 

Canon EOS Rebel T3

The new "basic" EOS Rebel camera is the T3. Here are the details:

EOS Rebel T3 [specs]
Known as the EOS-1100D in some countries

  • 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • EF/EF-S lens support (same as above)
  • 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Full manual controls, with ISO range of 100 - 6400
  • Same 63-zone metering and 9-point AF systems as above
  • Continuous shooting at 3 fps
  • Records movies at 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with sound
  • HDMI output
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses LP-E10 li-ion battery, 700 shots per charge
  • Ships in March for $599 with the 18-55 mm IS Mk II lens
continue reading »
 
 
 

Two new Canon Speedlites

Along with the two Rebels come two new external flashes. The 270EX II supports manual guide adjustment, and can serve as a slave in a wireless system. The new 320EX replaces the 430EX and offers a lighter body, faster recycle time, and an LED illuminator for movie recording. The lenses are priced at $169 and $249, respectively, and should ship in April.

continue reading »

 
 
 

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Canon also introduced four new PowerShot cameras today, all of which have new "HS" (high sensitivity) branding. The first is the PowerShot SX230 HS, which replaces the SX210 compact ultra zoom. Here's the scoop:

PowerShot SX230 HS [specs]

  • 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • F3.1-5.9, 14X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 - 392 mm
  • Optical image stabilization, with dynamic mode for reducing shake in videos while the photographer is in motion
  • 3-inch LCD with 461,000 pixels
  • Built-in GPS for easy geotagging; camera can track your location so you can view your route on your computer
  • Full manual controls
  • Smart Auto mode picks one of 32 scene modes for you
  • High speed continuous shooting at 8.1 fps (though not sure at what resolution)
  • Full HD movie recording at 1920 x 1080 (24 fps) with stereo sound
    • Movie Digest feature can record short 4 second clips; at the end of the day, the camera combines them into a single movie, no editing needed
  • HDMI output
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses NB-5L lithium-ion battery, 210 shots per charge
  • Comes in black, red, and blue
  • Ships in late March for $349
continue reading »
 
 
 

Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS / 300 HS / 500 HS

There are also three new ELPHs to tell you about, all of which use the same high sensitivity CMOS sensor as the SX230 above. Canon no longer calls them "Digital" ELPHs, since there's hasn't been a film version in many years. Let's go through the specs now:

PowerShot ELPH 100 HS [specs]

  • 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • F2.8-5.9, 4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 - 112 mm
  • Optical image stabilization, with dynamic IS mode for movies
  • 3-inch LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation, with Smart Auto mode
  • High speed burst mode shoots at 8.2 fps (not sure if this is at full resolution)
  • Records Full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 (24 fps) with sound; same Movie Digest Mode as the SX230
  • HDMI output
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses NB-4L li-ion battery, 230 shots per charge
  • Comes in blue, gray, pink, silver, and orange
  • Ships in March for $199

PowerShot ELPH 300 HS [specs] - changes:

  • F2.7-5.9, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24 - 120 mm
  • 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Records stereo sound in movie mode
  • 220 shots per charge
  • Ultra-thin metal body comes in red, black, and silver
  • Priced at $249

PowerShot ELPH 500 HS [specs] - changes:

  • F2.0-5.8, 4.4X optical zoom lens
  • 3.2" touchscreen LCD with 461,000 pixels; has usual touch features like autofocus, menus, and image playback
  • Full manual controls (except for focus)
  • Optical zoom can be used while recording movies
  • Uses NB-6L li-ion battery, 180 shots per charge
  • Available in silver, pink, and brown
  • Priced at $299
continue reading »
 
 
{ Tuesday, February 1, 2011 }
 

Panasonic announces DMC-GF2 pricing

Panasonic has announced the pricing and availability for their Lumix DMC-GF2 interchangeable lens camera, which I just reviewed the other day. The camera will ship in mid-February for $499 body-only, $599 with an F3.5-5.6, 14 - 42 mm OIS lens, or $699 with an F2.5, 14 mm pancake lens. The GF2 will come in four colors: black, silver, red, and white.

continue reading »