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!
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!
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.
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 First, the memory card column has been replaced by an "Extra Features" column.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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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:
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
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)
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
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.
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:
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:
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.