Nikon D3X Reviews and Resources

The Nikon D3X was announced on Monday, December 1, 2008.  At 24.5 megapixels, the Nikon D3X is geared toward maximum resolution, which is something many Nikon pros have been asking for.  The D3X compliments Nikon’s current 12 megapixel D3, which has become a photojournalism and sports workhorse since its release in Fall 2007.

Nikon D3X Availability

Amazon

Adorama

Calumet

Ritz Camera

Wolf Camera

Camera World

Nikon D3X Key Features

  • 24.5 megapixel 35.9×24mm sensor
  • 16-bit EXPEED engine
  • 5fps at full-resolution
  • 7fps at DX crop mode (viva DX!)
  • Dual Compact Flash slots (at 35MB/s)
  • MultiCAM 3500 autofocus w/51 points
  • 3″ LCD (922000 dots, 170 degrees)
  • Live View
  • Battery EN-EL4a (like D3)
  • 12ms startup
  • 41ms shutter release lag

Nikon D3X Reviews

PhotographyBLOG

In comparison with the D3, viewing images from that and the D3x side by side, the former’s images are noticeably smoother and as we mentioned at that time of our initial review, more film-like while the D3x’s do reveal more clearly defined detail – particularly on close ups – when viewed at 100%.

PopPhoto

Especially for pros and enthusiasts who are already invested in the Nikon system, and can afford the eight grand, this is one smart big-ticket purchase.

Thom Hogan

As I’ve written above, the D3x is probably the best DSLR in terms of image quality so far. But the problem is value. There simply isn’t US$5700 worth of value in a D3x over a D700.

Moose Peterson (first impressions)

Final images from the D3x…freakin stunning!!!! D3x is for everyone…NOT freakin even! Does Moose love it? Final file, hell yeah!

Tech Radar

Like the Sony Alpha 900, the incredibly high resolution of the D3x delivers files of an extraordinary quality, both in and out of the studio, between ISO 100-400.

Joe McNally (brief hands-on)

My standard for detail has always been Kodachrome 25, and the D3 zoomed past that pretty handily, and now this thing gives you a file that is like frikkin’ Stargate.

Digital Rev

For Nikon users, they have finally got a pro DSLR body that could offer them high resolution beyond the measly 12.1 megapixels ceiling that had to live with before without having to consider going medium format.

Amateur Photographer

I have already had the rare opportunity to shoot with a pre-production sample D3x with final firmware, and although the raw files remain inaccessible, low-compression JPEGs taken at ISO 100 at standard settings in a studio environment look stunning.

ePhotozine

From the time I had with the D3x, I was blown away. The image quality is excellent and being able to crop really close in on the rear monitor and still see detail in the eyes and hair of the model was great.

Trusted Reviews

The viewfinder is very bright and clear – essential for studio work – and focusing in low-light was quick and accurate, although on occasion it did get a little confused in gloomy, low-contrast scenes – hardly unusual for any DSLR, professional or not. However, overall, it feels superbly solid and totally up to the job.

Studio Impressions Blog

Even though the camera was a pre-production model I was extremely impressed with both the camera and lens. As you will see with the images I have posted the clarity, sharpness, dynamic range is exceptional.

Nikon D3X Sample Images

Nikon USA

PhotographyBLOG

Full Res Samples via Flickr:

Nikon D3X Press Release

NIKON UNVEILS A DIGITAL MASTERPIECE: THE D3X DIGITAL SLR

With Extreme 24.5-Megapixel Resolution, Processed Image Files Exceeding 138 MB, Five Frame-per-Second Burst Speed and Nikon Core Technologies, the D3X Ushers in a New Level of Image Quality

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Nov. 30, 2008) – Nikon Inc. today announced the D3X, an FX-format digital SLR featuring extreme 24.5-megapixel resolution and superb low-noise capabilities, which provides professional photographers with commercial-quality image performance in a familiar and extraordinarily versatile D-SLR form factor. In conjunction with the groundbreaking Nikon FX-format D3, the D3X tops off a collection of flagship level, rugged, professional caliber digital single lens reflex cameras engineered to excel in all types of professional photographic disciplines from photojournalism and sideline sports, to commercial in-studio applications.

The foundation of the enhanced performance of the D3X is its FX-format, 24.5-megapixel (6048 x 4032) CMOS sensor providing commercial, high fashion, fine art and landscape photographers with the extreme resolution, dynamic range, color depth, detail and sharpness that clients demand. Whether creating catalogs, magazine covers, billboards or gallery prints, the large 5.49-micron pixel size and high signal to noise ratio produces vibrant images with breathtaking image fidelity while reducing lost highlights and shadows, and ensuring smoother tone reproduction with minimized noise. With full resolution shooting speeds of up to five frames-per-second (fps), and 14-bit files, that when processed are approximately 138 MB, the D3X offers today’s photographic artists an extreme level of performance and versatility ready for demanding assignments in the studio or on location.

“In 2007, the 12.1-megapixel FX-format D3 delivered groundbreaking digital SLR image quality, coupled with incomparable high ISO, low noise performance and high-speed handling. In doing so, the D3 broke photographic barriers, enabling photographers to work in ways never before possible,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. “Now, the new 24.5-megapixel FX-format D3X D-SLR provides the extreme resolution and high dynamic range capabilities needed to meet the extraordinary needs of photographic disciplines such as high fashion, commercial advertising and fine art. The D3X delivers this remarkable capability while fitting seamlessly within the Nikon system, taking full advantage of Nikon’s world-renowned collection of NIKKOR lenses and Speedlights.”

Image Quality Takes Center Stage

To re-emphasize the importance of image quality above all else, the D3X delivers an incredible level of digital SLR performance to provide photographers with extremely high resolution, exceptional dynamic range, phenomenal total gradation and outstanding color reproduction. Image files can be recorded as TIFF, JPEG or NEF (RAW) formats in either 12- or 14-bit compressed or uncompressed formats, and recorded to UDMA compatible CompactFlash™ cards for optimum speed. Photographers can save image files directly to the dual card slots as overflow, backup, or as separate file formats to different cards. Building on the D3X’s flexibility, users have the creative option to shoot in the 5:4 crop mode with 20.4-megapixel resolution, the ideal format for creating 8 x 10-inch portraits. While using DX-format lenses, faster continuous shooting of up to seven frames per second can be achieved at a resolution of 10.5 megapixels.

The exceptionally low noise of the D3X is essential to any professional commercial application, and it provides photographers with an ISO range of 100 to 1600, expandable to 50 (Lo-1) and 6400 (Hi-2). The ultra smooth tones and lack of grain at ISO 1600 as well as at low sensitivity settings result in smooth, natural skin tones and exacting detail that, before the D3X, required larger and far costlier studio-bound camera systems.

Advanced Technologies, Meticulously Executed

In a commercial setting or on location, imaging professionals need high performance in both speed and processing. The Nikon D3X can shoot at up to five fps at full resolution or up to seven fps in DX crop mode, allowing photographers to catch the split-second difference in a model’s expression or capture all of the action in a sequence. Just like the D3, the D3X achieves a start-up time of a mere 0.12 seconds and a shutter release time lag of 0.04 seconds.

The D3X’s speed, as well as high levels of performance, leverages Nikon core technologies including a newly enhanced EXPEED™ Image Processing System, specially designed for the D3X to provide superior image quality, faster processing speeds and lower power consumption. This advanced system is able to achieve extremely precise color reproduction for a broad spectrum of hues, in addition to vivid saturation and smooth gradation. What’s more, Nikon’s advanced noise processing function is engineered to minimize noise at all sensitivities and operate seamlessly without interfering with other image color parameters.

The D3X also features Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System, which continuously analyzes information from the 1,005-pixel RGB light sensor, to further refine auto exposure, auto white balance and autofocus calculations. This results in flattering portraits and awe-inspiring landscapes that portray accurate color and fine details. Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II helps ensure accurate exposures, even in the most challenging lighting conditions. Instantly evaluating each scene before capture, input data from the system’s sensor is automatically referenced against an internal database of more than 30,000 images derived from actual photographs to calculate correct exposure values. Active D-Lighting, used in combination with 3D Matrix Metering II, helps to determines proper exposure, and creates realistic contrast while compensating for lost shadows and highlights. Prior to shooting, users can choose from Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off settings, as well as an Auto mode.

Additionally, the D3X features Nikon’s exclusive Multi-CAM 3500FX focus module, with 51 AF points, 15 cross type sensors and 36 horizontal sensors that easily track and lock onto moving subjects, delivering the same fast and accurate AF performance that helped make the D3 immediately successful. Users can select any of the AF points, making it easy to consistently attain accurate focus right on a subject’s eyes, frame after frame. Additionally, three AF-area modes – Single point, Dynamic-area AF and Auto-area AF – are available to maximize the use of the 51 focus points by selecting the most suitable one to match subject conditions. AF is also available in one of two Live View modes optimized for the studio, including a phase detection handheld mode and a tripod mode. This feature allows the user to zoom in up to 27x on the LCD screen to ensure critical focus. While in Live View, the graphic indication of a virtual horizon is also available, making it easier than ever to confirm camera orientation.

To further ensure each photographer’s ability to balance their personal style, Nikon’s Picture Control System enables users to adjust their images to pre-set parameters such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome that apply tweaks to image sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, overall tone and saturation. Photographers have creative control over these image parameters with the use of up to nine available customizable presets.

Synchronizing Both Form and Function

Engineered for real-world functionality, the D3X retains a rugged shell with moisture, dust and shock resistance that has become a hallmark of flagship Nikon D-SLRs, while preserving the usability and ergonomics that allow the camera to remain an extension of the photographer’s vision. Attention to detail goes so far as to include a self-diagnostic shutter system that is tested to exceed 300,000 cycles for maximum durability and longevity. The camera’s body also maintains the resilient magnesium alloy construction and form factor of the D3, promoting consistent Nikon system synergy.

A bright and accurate viewfinder offers 100 percent coverage with 0.7x magnification. The body also houses Nikon’s acclaimed 3.0-inch super density LCD screen, now relied upon by so many photographers. The high-resolution 920,000-dot screen is viewable at wide angles up to 170 degrees, and will allow photographers to quickly zoom in to confirm critical focus. Users can also output the video signal to an external display via HDMI to allow client viewing. Thanks to incredibly efficient internal circuitry, the D3X can capture up to 4400* shots per single charge of the camera’s Lithium ion battery.

System Strength Withstands the Test of Time

The D3X is fully compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) to give photographers a mobile lighting solution that is easy to manage. To further enhance mobility, the D3X is compatible with Nikon’s GP-1 GPS receiver to gather information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and date of shooting. Photographers can easily shoot tethered via USB, or use the WT-4a wireless transmitter to send images wirelessly when speed and mobility are essential. D3X users will also enjoy the system strength of more than 50 genuine NIKKOR lenses that provide outstanding sharpness and high resolution across a broad range of focal lengths.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D3X will be available at Nikon Authorized Professional Dealers starting December 2008, and will be available for an estimated selling price of $7999.95.**

* Based on CIPA Standards
** Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Canon 5D Mark II Reviews and Resources

Canon has, after much anticipation and rumors, announced the Canon 5D Mark II.  The 5D Mark II follows in the formidable foot steps of its predecessor with a full frame sensor, which packs in 21.1 megapixels and features sensitivity settings up to ISO 25,600.  Below you will find an abundance of resources, reviews and other information regarding the 5D Mark II and available accessories.

The Canon 5D Mark II is available (depending on supply) from the following trusted vendors:

Canon 5D Mark II (body only) – Amazon.com

Canon 5D Mark II w/ 24-105mm L lens – Amazon.com

Canon 5D Mark II (body only) – Adorama

Canon 5D Mark II w/ 24-105mm L lens – Adorama

Canon 5D Mark II (body only) – B&H Photo

Canon 5D Mark II w/ 24-105mm L lens – B&H Photo

Canon 5D Mark II (body only) – Ritz Camera

Key Features

  • New 21.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (E.I.C.S.)
  • New Full HD 1080 resolution movie recording
  • 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • High performance DIGIC 4 providing superb image quality
  • Maximum 310 large JPEG images in a single burst with a UDMA card
  • 3.0″ VGA (920k dots) Clear View LCD
  • ISO 100-6400 (expansion from 50 up to 25,600)
  • 9 AF points + 6 Assist AF points

Photography Bay Review and Additional Coverage

Canon 5D Mark II Review

Canon 5D Mark II Low Light Demonstration

Canon 5D Mark II vs. Nikon D700 Brief ISO Comparison (Sample Images)

Canon 5D Mark II vs. Nikon D700 In-Depth ISO Comparison (Sample Images)

Canon 5D Mark II News

Full Manual Exposure for Video (via firmware update)

Firmware Version 1.0.7 Update

Black Dots Fix

DXO Mark Sensor Ranking

Canon 5D Mark II Reviews

Photocrati

A full-frame EOS DSLR gets even better-with 21.1 MP CMOS sensor and much more.

DC Resource

All things considered, the Canon EOS-5D Mark II is a very impressive digital SLR. For the Canon enthusiast who wants to step up to a full-frame body, it’s an excellent choice.

Neutral Day

It’s 21.1 megapixel sensor is capable of taking breathtaking imagery, it’s AF system is very fast and entirely competent (if a bit dated), and it’s ISO performance opens up possibilities likely not seen by most photographers, especially those moving up from prosumer level cameras.

MacWorld

For users who’ve been wanting a full-frame SLR, there’s no doubt that the EOS 5D Mark II is a great option. Kudos to Canon for taking a great camera and finding ways to make it better.

DP Review

We have always placed a heavy emphasis on image quality, and all other things aside this means the 5D Mark II has to receive our highest rating.

DCI

The full-frame sensor translates to superior flexibility when shooting wide-angle and panoramic scenes, the high megapixel count means more flexibility in cropping and editing files, and the extraordinary level of customizability allows users to tailor the camera features to precisely match their image style desires and shooting preferences.

Canon Professional Network

I can see some of the ‘weaknesses’ it has compared to the 1 series but, those aside, it is really good. For me, the image quality coupled with the size and weight of the camera are very, very appealing.

PDN Gear Guide

While there are some definite stumbles-in particular, the focus system in low light was disappointing-other features live up to the hype. As a very solid low-end full-frame camera, the 5D II is definitely no flash in the pan.

Photo.net

It represents an advance in features over the original EOS 5D and the overall image quality is generally higher-though that higher quality may only be revealed in large prints.

What Digital Camera?

Canon users may now have the resolution of the 1Ds Mark III in a smaller and much cheaper body, but it’s clear that the similarities end there. Rather than being a straightforward derivative of its pro sibling, the 5D Mark II has its predecessor as its template, but with its 50D sibling as a strong influence.

Steve’s Digicams

With superb image quality and performance, the new 5DMk2 can confidently continue to fill the gap between Canon’s entry/consumer-level and all out pro dSLR models.

B&H Photo

Priced under $2700, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is an impressive camera that enables the user to capture monstrous, pro-quality still and video image files for far less than half the price of Canon’s flagship EOS 1Ds Mark II.

Imaging Resource

The Canon 5D Mark II is indeed a premium digital SLR. It’s not just the very high resolution that makes it stand out, but the excellent high ISO performance, effectively giving you the freedom to shoot handheld in conditions where you’d normally need a flash or a tripod.

The Digital Picture

It is a great upgrade to all owners of non-1-Series bodies – and even some 1-Series body owners are going to want one.

Cnet Asia

The EOS 5D Mark II is a very good camera for enthusiasts who are looking for a full-frame option, and has all the bells and whistles which makes this shooter not only a decent still image shooter, but also an industry grade video camera, too, as long as you have proper equipment.

Roland Lim

The image quality is simply amazing with very high resolution and very good high ISO performance. As far as image quality is concerned, I think most users would be more than pleased with the 5D Mark II. However, in areas such autofocus, Canon still lacks behind the competition.

Photo Review

Image noise was barely visible in test shots taken at ISO settings up to 3200, regardless of whether they were short or long exposures. Beyond that point, the visibility of noise increased steadily, although colour accuracy and sharpness were retained right up to ISO 25,600.

Camera Labs

Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II is a powerful and feature-packed DSLR that represents a significant upgrade over the original 5D, and a tough rival in the growing ‘affordable’ full-frame market.

The Online Photographer (First Impressions)

I don’t find a thing to complain about with regard to the build-quality of the 5D Mark II body. You have to realize, however, that I consider lightness in a camera to be an asset, not a liability.

PopPhoto

It takes a great full-frame DSLR, the original 5D (Pop Photo’s 2005 Camera of the Year), boosts damn near everything, adds high-definition video capture, and turns in an overall performance that makes it a virtual steal (or at least as close as a steal comes in this price bracket).

Ken Rockwell

Any image defects you see are most likely due to your own lack of expertise, and you had better have some extraordinarily good lenses to take advantage of the resolution.

Phil Holland

The body and autofocus alone make it my camera of choice. However, if I shot more street work, shot weddings, or just needed to finally get rid of that pesky Canon D30 finally (you guys know you’re out there) I’d say the 5D Mark II is a great buy.

Pro Photo Home

The point here is to review the video mode for the regular purchaser of the cam. They will most likely be disappointed in the video mode. I didn’t bother to mention how “fiddly” the whole operation is compared to a proper pro camcorder with zoom controls, a shoulder mount, etc., etc.

PhotographyBLOG

There’s virtually no visible noise at all from ISO 50 all the way up to ISO 3200, with even the three faster settings of 6400-25600 producing perfectly usable images. Canon seem to have matched the low-light performance of the Nikon D3 and D700 whilst substantially increasing the resolution.

Anandtech

Resolution is as good or better at the same ISO as the original 5D, but the range is extended somewhere between one and three stops in a sensor with 65% more pixels.

Digital Rev (hands-on preview)

Whether you were thrilled with the idea of the HD movie recording or not, one thing is for sure and that’s the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has improved over its formidable predecessor and offers solid performance as a semi-pro camera.

Digital Pro Talk (hands-on preview)

I can’t wait to permanently get my hands on this baby. The phenomenally high ISO capabilities promise some unbelievable benefits especially to us event shooters.

DP Review (hands-on preview)

So here is the 5D Mark II, which punches high in terms of both resolution and features, headlining: 21 megapixels, 1080p video, 3.0″ VGA LCD, Live view, higher capacity battery. In other words, a camera that aims to leapfrog both its direct rivals, either in terms of resolution (in the case of the D700) or features (in the case of the DSLR-A900).

Canon 5D Mark II Sample Images and Video

PhotographyBLOG

Cameratown

What’s in the Box

  • EOS 5D Mark II Body
  • Eyecup Eb
  • Wide Neck Strap EW-EOS5DMKII
  • Stereo Video Cable STV-250N
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-200U
  • Battery Charger LC-E6
  • Battery Pack LP-E6
  • EOS Digital Solution Disk
  • Software Instruction Manual

Canon 5D Mark II Accessories

Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip

Canon LP-E6 Rechargeable Battery

Canon LC-E6 Battery Charger

Canon ACK-E6 AC Adapter Kit

Canon DR-E6 DC Coupler

Canon BGM-E6 Battery Magazine

Canon CBC-E6 Car Battery Charger

Canon WFT-E4A Wireless File Transmitter

Canon EG-A Focusing Screen (Standard)

Canon EG-D Focusing Screen (Grid)

Canon EG-S Focusing Screen (Super Precision)

Canon EW-5DMK II Strap

Canon 430EX II Speedlite

Canon 580EX II Speedlite

Canon STE2 Speedlite Transmitter

Canon RS-80N3 Remote

Canon TC80N3 Timer Remote

Canon RC1 Wireless Remote

Canon RC5 Wireless Remote

Canon 5D Mark II Resources

Instruction Manual and Software Download Page

Canon Digital Photo Pro v3.5.1 (for 5D Mark II RAW support)

Canon 5D Mark II Press Release

United Kingdom/ Republic of Ireland, 17 September 2008: Canon announces the full frame, 21.1 Megapixel EOS 5D Mark II: the first EOS with full High Definition video capability.

Compact, lightweight and with environmental protection, the successor to the EOS 5D boasts a newly designed Canon CMOS sensor, with ISO sensitivity up to 25,600 for shooting in low light conditions. The new DiG!C 4 processor combines with the improved CMOS sensor to deliver medium format territory image quality at 3.9 frames per second, for up to 310 frames.

Triggered from Live View Mode, HD video capture allows users to shoot uninterrupted at full 1080 resolution at 30fps – for amazing quality footage with outstanding levels of detail and realism.

The integration of HD movie capability into a high-end 21.1 Megapixel camera opens a multitude of new possibilities for photojournalists and news photographers. With its full frame CMOS sensor and outstanding ISO performance, the EOS 5D Mark II will appeal to any photographer in search of the finest camera equipment available – from studio and wedding to nature and travel photographers.

Enhancements from the original EOS 5D include:

  • Addition of Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System, with a new Fluorine coating on the low-pass filter
  • Larger 3.0” Clear View LCD with VGA resolution, a 170° angle of view and anti-reflective coatings
  • Improved menu system including Quick Control Screen for more direct access to common settings
  • Automatic peripheral illumination correction, utilising detailed EF lens information to optimise JPEG images straight out of the camera
  • Magnesium alloy construction with additional environmental protection
  • UDMA memory card compatibility

“Professional photojournalists and wedding photographers already choose the EOS 5D for its discrete size and outstanding image quality,” said Mogens Jensen, head of Canon Consumer Imaging. “The addition of HD movie recording opens a new chapter for EOS. It creates new possibilities for EOS photographers to capture and share their stories and to stay relevant in a rapidly changing digital landscape.”

Key Specifications:

  • New 21.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (E.I.C.S.)
  • New Full HD 1080 resolution movie recording
  • 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • High performance DiG!C 4 processor providing superb image quality
  • Maximum 310 large JPEG images in a single burst with a UDMA card
  • 3.0” VGA (920k dots) Clear View LCD
  • ISO 100-6400 (expansion from 50 up to 25,600)
  • 9 AF points + 6 Assist AF points

Pricing & Availability:

The EOS 5D Mark II (body only) is available from end of November 2008 priced at £2299.99 / €2999.99 RRP inc. VAT.

The EOS 5D Mark II, EF 24-105mm f4.0L IS USM kit is available from end of November 2008 priced at £3049.99 / €3999.99 RRP inc. VAT.

Additional information

New CMOS sensor
The EOS 5D Mark II newly designed full frame 21.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor features ISO sensitivity from 100-6400, expandable to 50, 12,800 and 25,600. Large 6.4µm2 pixels have been redesigned to capture more light and yield a better signal to noise ratio to ensure lower noise images throughout the ISO range. The full frame sensor has the same dimensions as a frame of 35mm film. This means that wide-angle lenses stay wide, without the change in angle of view associated with smaller sensor cameras. As well as benefiting from finer control over depth of field, photographers moving up to the EOS 5D Mark II full frame format will find the newly designed wide, bright 98% coverage viewfinder a joy to work with.

New DiG!C 4 processor
A new DiG!C 4 processor combined with 14-bit analogue to digital conversion provides smooth gradations in mono-tonal areas such as skies, and highly accurate colour rendition. As well as HD movie shooting, DiG!C 4’s high speed provides for long uninterrupted continuous bursts of large JPEGs, near-instant start-up times and immediate and fast review after shooting. DiG!C 4 also provides for improved noise reduction algorithms, complementing the already low noise images from the EOS 5D Mark II CMOS sensor.

HD video capture
The EOS 5D Mark II is Canon’s first D-SLR to incorporate full HD 1920×1080 video capture. Once filming is started from Live View mode, photographers can fire off either single or continuous stills, with video capture continuing after the final frame is captured.

See everything
A new 3.0” VGA resolution LCD provides a wide 170º angle-of-view, providing plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. The screen brightness can automatically adjust to suit viewing conditions, extending battery life in low light and improving viewing in bright conditions. A new dedicated Live View button switches modes to display a real-time image on the LCD. This allows EOS 5D Mark II  photographers to enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles. Simple connection to a PC provides easy remote shooting.

Precision focus and metering
A 9-point auto focus system is supported by 6 additional invisible Assist AF points, located inside the spot-metering circle to optimise subject tracking performance in AI SERVO AF mode. For accurate exposure readings in tricky lighting conditions, the spot metering circle covers just 3.5% of the frame.

Control
The EOS 5D Mark II redesigned menu system includes a new Quick Control screen, for instant access to the most commonly changed settings. A new Creative Auto mode allows photographers to cede control of key settings to the camera, while retaining control over creative variables such background blur, drive mode and image brightness. Custom user settings allow photographers to switch between two completely different camera setups. This is ideal for changing quickly between two different environments, such as switching from working inside a church without flash to outdoors with fill-flash at a wedding.

Accessories
Shooting flexibility is enhanced with a range of new accessories. Shooting capacity can be extended with either the high capacity 1800mAh lithium-ion Battery Pack LP-E6, or Battery Grip BG-E6. A new optional Wireless File Transmitter – the K271 – offers external HDD and GPS compatibility along with the ability to transmit images direct to computer or FTP server, or operate the camera wirelessly. Both the BG-E6 and K271 feature a vertical orientation shutter release and other key controls for comfortable portraiture work, with a substantial grip to help balance the camera when used with long lenses.

Olympus E-3 Reviews and Resources

The Olympus E-3, which is Olympus’ flagship DSLR, was announced October 16, 2007 in the US. The E-3 has a 10.1 megapixel Live MOS sensor along with Olympus’ TruePic III™ digital processing engine. Additionally, Olympus touts the new autofocus system as the fastest AF speed in the world with the new ZUIKO SWD lenses.
As noted, Olympus has 3 new ZUIKO lenses:

Olympus E-3 Availability

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Adorama

Olympus E-3 Reviews

Photocrati

If you don’t mind the smaller Four Thirds sensor or being limited by 10.1 MP resolution (little room to crop), this is definitely a camera to own and use.

The Online Photographer

The system works perfectly okay for static subjects, and for some things—notably macro photography of non-moving subjects, especially close to the ground—it can work a lot better than the regular optical viewfinder.

Camera Labs

The viewfinder and AF are two usual scapegoats, but with the E-3, Olympus has significantly improved both. The tunnel-vision of earlier Four Thirds viewfinders has been upgraded to a large and bright experience that inspires you to use the 4:3 aspect ratio. The older basic 3-point AF system has been replaced by a new 11-point system which with the right lens and conditions can perform extremely quickly.

Trusted Reviews

What the Olympus E3 brings to the table is excellent images, a great build quality, and a lovely user experience, but fails to match the innovation of the E-1, or even other models from the Olympus range. Instead it’s taken the best bits, refined them and put them all into a very usable camera.

Let’s Go Digital

All in all the Olympus E-3 impressed greatly. It is a very well thought-out camera with emphasis on the user. That doesn’t go for many other camera brands.

Shutterbug

Because of its great reliability, comprehensive feature set, and great image quality, the Olympus model should certainly appeal to the most advanced photo enthusiast. More importantly perhaps, the price is right! In fact, in the professional category, this one deserves my “Best Value” award. It’s not only the most affordable but offers excellent return on the investment, making Olympus competitive in the high-end category.

Luminous Landscape

If you need a tough, durable and very capable camera to endure harsh conditions the E3 would be near the top of my list for any camera category. I shoot in many of these situations, can see the utility of the E3 in these circumstances, and would welcome being able to use it. The camera is just not very quick on its feet for general purpose photos or when a quick capture of an elusive moment is called for. And this so perfectly mirrors the DSLR scene in general.

PhotographyBLOG

It makes sense given that Olympus has pinned its hopes on the E-3 as its most serious digital contender to date. Still, the amount of time you’ll spend penitently wading through the manual will reward you with some seriously good images. Colours are lovely and true-to-nature, and although Olympus may not have quite cracked the old white balance conundrum when faced with tricky conditions, at least you can work around it.

Photography Review

Photographing with the Olympus E-3 is a bit like driving a sports sedan. You may not need the speed and power most of the time, but you’re sure glad it’s there when you do. Plus, you get comfort and style with your scoot. The E-3 is more than competent for everyday shooting, and its speed and burst depth handle demanding moments with ease. Then, when you’re pushing pixels, the E-3’s files help you get back to pushing shutters sooner.

Robert Watcher posted some thoughts and sample images from his in-store shooting spree with the E-3. Check his site out for more:

It’s pretty cool when you can see the white balance change on the screen before you take the shot. Made it very easy to select the right setting for the light, just by scrolling through the presets and stopping at the one that looked best.

Biofos.com: The excerpt below does not do this series of several hands-on reviews justice. Click through for a ton of information on the new E-3. (Thanks to John Begin for pointing this resource out.)

I’m glad Olympus set about improving the various processing algorithms with their conservative hat on. From colour to noise reduction it seems just about a perfect balance. I’m relieved as I was expecting some pretty aggressive non-selectable Noise Reduction.

Photogaphy Review (Hands-On Preview)

The first thing I noticed was how fast the new auto focus is. Olympus is claiming that the E-3 combined with their new Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD lens has the fastest auto focus currently available. It certainly feels like it could be the fastest, although controlled testing needs to be done. The camera is noticeably larger than the E-510 and has the sturdy solid build and professional feel that the E-1 had. It really feels and behaves like a professional digital SLR body.

Popular Photography (Hands-On Preview)

The autofocus system is highly sensitive and significantly faster, with selectable 11 AF zones. Olympus says that the AF’s unique design uses a layered, slightly offset, CMOS sensor array to improve accuracy and low-light sensitivity. As a result, all 11 AF zones should be active cross-sensor types with any aperture lens. This may be the best AF system we’ve ever seen on an Olympus DSLR.

Imaging Resource (Hands-On Preview)

The Olympus E-3 is by far the most advanced Olympus digital camera I’ve used, very satisfying to shoot with, and one of the more compelling SLRs launched this season. Its design, though big, is ergonomically pleasing and handsome, and it gives you a feel of confidence and control. The E-3′s build matches the sturdy feel of Olympus’s high-end lenses, which are some of the tightest we’ve seen.

Official Olympus Resources

Olympus RAW codec for Vista

Free HLD-4 grip and backpack for Olympus UK customers.

The Official Olympus America E-3 Page

Four-Thirds.org

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your camera through these links helps support this site.

Nikon DSLR Reviews

Reviews of Current Generation Nikon DSLRs

Nikon D3000

Nikon D5000

Nikon D90

Nikon D300s

Nikon D700

Nikon D3s

Nikon D3x

Reviews of Previous Generations Nikon DSLRs

Nikon D40

Nikon D40x

Nikon D50

Nikon D60

Nikon D70

Nikon D70s

Nikon D80

Nikon D200

Nikon D300

Nikon D2X

Nikon D2Xs

Nikon D2H

Nikon D3

Canon DSLR Reviews

Reviews of Current Generation Canon DSLRs

Canon Rebel XS

Canon Rebel T1i

Canon 50D

Canon 7D

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 1D Mark IV

Canon 1Ds Mark III

Reviews of Previous Generations Canon DSLRs

Canon Rebel XSi

Canon Rebel XTi

Canon Rebel XT

Canon Digital Rebel

Canon 40D

Canon 30D

Canon 20D

Canon 10D

Canon 5D

Canon 1D Mark III

Canon 1D Mark IIn

Canon 1D Mark II

Canon 1Ds Mark II

Sony Alpha A700 Reviews and Resources

Sony announced the a700 on September 6, 2007. The new a700 is available in body only, kit w/ 18-70mm lens or kit w/ 16-105mm lens. You can find the original press release here.

Sony A700 Key Features

  • 12.24 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ image processor
  • 11 point autofocus system
  • ISO 6400
  • 5fps (for 17 shots in RAW mode)
  • 1/8000th shutter speed
  • 3 inch LCD screen (with 921,000 pixels)
  • Optional battery grip
  • Wireless Flash support
  • Both MemoryStick and CompactFlash cards supported w/ dual slots

Sony A700 Reviews

Buy-n-Shoot

Don’t be fooled by the hype that Nikon and Canon are the only two ‘serious’ competitors in the DSLR market because with the Alpha A700, Sony are undoubtedly making a push for the front.

Photography Review

This camera has the ergonomics, ease of use, and overall quality I have always had with Minolta’s high end film cameras.

Professional Photographer Magazine

The The Sony α (Alpha) DSLR-A700 is a solid piece of equipment that combines strong performance with affordability. I reviewed the Sony’s original DSLR, the A100, and liked it, and the A700 is a step up. It has a higher-resolution sensor, is more responsive and feels better built.

PhotographyBLOG

Offering a compelling combination of intuitive design and handling, sophisticated functionality and excellent image quality, the Sony A700 is an easy DSLR camera to recommend. Being based so clearly upon a previous Konica Minolta camera has given Sony the benefits of an already installed user-base, eager for a new body to use their lenses with, and a proven design on which to build.

Think Camera

A major advancement for Sony over the last year has been the development of the ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor. You can expect great images from the Sony DSLR-A700 from ISO 100 through ISO 800, and ISO 1600 is more than useable. The noise at ISO 3200 is not great however, becoming fairly useless when pushed to the ISO 6400 limit. It’s not so much the noise that’s an issue at this ultra high sensitivity – it’s the colour shift being much bluer and flatter due to the excess noise.

DP Review

Overall then the A700 is a good performer with good overall image quality with a nice range of features – even if on the negative side there are some quirky design decisions which may or may not affect you. Best of all though is the fact that it weighs in at the lower end of the price band for this category of DSLR, that makes it about $400 less than the Nikon D300 and $300 less than the Olympus E-3.

Luminous Landscape

It’s fast 5 fps frame rate and focus acquisition are easily on par with the 20/30D (which is my reference for comparison as I have used them for years) making it a joy to use for fast paced sports or news coverage. The A700 has a great viewfinder – large and bright, it’s also easy to see the outer frame with the information overlay through the eyepiece even with glasses and most importantly, with sunglasses. The camera is heavy, and very solid, inspiring confidence in its long-term durability, and comfortable to hold for extended shoots.

DC Resource

With their Alpha DSLR-A700, Sony has created a midrange digital SLR that keeps up with the “big boys”. The A700 offers an excellent mix of photo quality, performance, features, and build quality — not to mention support for legacy Minolta lenses. Yes, it’s lacking the live view feature of its competitors, but I don’t really miss it, to be honest. While I don’t see Canon and Nikon owners rushing to eBay to sell their gear to buy the A700, it’s a great D-SLR for those with a collection of Minolta lenses. I enjoyed my time with the DSLR-A700, and can recommend it without hesitation.

Megapixel

While the Alpha 100 was Sony’s first dSLR camera and the result of its acquisition of Konica Minolta’s camera division, the A700 is much more stamped as a Sony camera, and probably indicates the company’s intention to anchor itself solidly in the dSLR market segment. Still, although Sony products tend to command a premium, the A700′s price point places it in direct competition with very well established dSLR systems and lacks the Live View function adopted by most others, things that could hinder its success.

Trusted Reviews

Having produced what is arguably the best entry-level DSLR on the market in the A100, Sony has followed it up with another outstanding camera. The A700 is a superb tool for the enthusiast or semi-professional photographer, providing high quality results in almost any conditions. The combination of rugged durability, fast performance, a class-leading AF system, on-board image stabilisation and great handling will prove hard to beat.

Popular Photography

It also focuses faster than the Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D80, and Nikon D200 down to EV 4, then gives up a fraction of a second at EV 2 through -1. It’s slower than the Canon at EV -2, but faster than the Nikons. And it focuses faster at all light levels than either the Pentax K10D or the Olympus Evolt E-510.

Let’s Go Digital

My conclusion after extensively using the Sony DSLR-A700 in practice and testing it thoroughly can be short. Sony’s Alpha 700 is a beautiful DSLR and offers the demanding photographer as well as the amateur a perfect tool to practice photography on a high level. The camera is not perfect but if you put some effort in getting to know the camera and making it part of your digital work environment, you will soon find that you have a refined DSLR camera in your hands. If you are looking for a new DSLR or ready to get acquainted with an advanced camera system you definitely ought to put the Sony Alpha 700 on your wish list.

Cnet

A top-of-the-line amateur digital SLR camera, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 will delight Konica Minolta diehards and makes a great choice if you don’t already have a stake in other lens systems.

Steve’s Digicams

Even though Sony says the “DSLR-A700 is the perfect DSLR for serious amateurs” I found nothing amateur about this camera. In fact it elevates the “Prosumer” definition and will have the other manufactures working to catch up.

What do I mean by that you say? How about the continuous 5 FPS advance at full 12.24 megapixel resolution? And what about the high-speed processing power of the Bionz™ engine, a quick-response coreless motor to drive the shutter, and dual mirror stoppers to prevent mirror bounce? All this enables the a 700 to shoot continuously to the limit of available memory in JPEG Fine mode. Not too amateur at that.

FAQ on Dyxum Forum

PhotoReview

Despite taking a while to produce this camera, in the DSLR-A700 Sony has delivered a camera that enthusiasts can enjoy with features that will be of value to many professional photographers. A nice step up from the A100, it goes head-to-head against Canon’s recently-released EOS 40D and Nikon’s D300, which is expected in November.

e-Photographia hands-on preview (with test shots):

I’m not really convinced by the image quality. Nevertheless, this is not the final production firmware, so let’s not judge too hastily.

. . . .

It seems to mee that there’s just too much noise reduction.

PopPhoto.com field test:

When we later viewed some of the images (unenhanced) on big HDTV screens, it was clear from the sharp, saturated images that the cameras were working very well.

DPReview.com has a thorough hands-on preview of the new a700.

Camera Labs (pre-production preview)

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 is certainly an impressive DSLR and a significant step-up from the debut A100. It proves Sony can produce a camera tailored for higher-end enthusiasts while also incorporating the neat gadgets we’ve come to expect from the electronics giant.

Sony A700 Sample Images

Sony Japan sample images.

Photoclub Alpha – More High ISO Samples (ISO 3200-6400)

Real World Sample Set (includes ISO 6400 shots)

Official Sony A700 Resources

Sony a700 product page.

Firmware version 3

Sony A700 Accessories

Sony VG-C70AM Alpha Vertical Grip

Sony HVL-56AM Speedlight

Sony HVL-36AM Speedlight

Sony A700 Magic Lantern Guide

Where to Buy

If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

Nikon D200 Reviews and Resources

The Nikon D200 is a DX format 10.2 megapixel DSLR and is the predecessor to the Nikon D300. Both are slated as Nikon’s “advanced amateur” models and have a number of pro-level features while still keeping the price in the reach of serious amateur or semi-pro photographers. The D200 incorporates a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, an 11-point AF system and 5 frames per second shooting capability, among others. With features such as these, it is often found in professionals’ camera bags as a backup to the likes of the Nikon D2Xs.

Reviews

DPReview.com

It’s one of those cameras which you look forward to picking up, I really got on with its design and ergonomics, it’s small enough not to break your back yet sturdy enough to feel absolutely purposeful, solid and reliable. It fills the photographer with an air of confidence that each time they need it the camera is going to perform.

Thom Hogan

Was the wait for the D200 worth it? Absolutely yes. D100 owners especially should be very happy with their upgrade. Better-than-35mm resolution? Check. Better color? Check. Better metering, AF, and white balance? Check. Improved handling? Check. More pro features? Check. Anything broken in the process? No.

Ken Rockwell

Having used both pro and amateur cameras for many decades, the professional élan with which the D200 dispatches its duties is something I appreciate compared to the D70s. It just feels better. These finesse issues never come across on paper, but are obvious when you pick up the camera and start working.

Let’s Go Digital

For the semi-pro or pro photographer the D200 D-SLR could be the perfect solution and they can have it functioning as a second camera, an all-round backup. The built-in features and technique, inherited from the professional D2x, are just great. The technique is high-level and for its price you will get just about everything you could wish for.

Steve’s Digicams

With a host of features typically reserved for professional cameras, 10.2-megapixels of resolution and excellent image quality, Nikon has not only surpassed Canon in the enthusiast market, they have blurred the distinction with their own professional D2X.

Digital Camera Resource Page

As you might expect, camera performance is first rate. The D200 starts up instantly, focuses quickly, and there’s no shutter lag or delay between shots. The continuous shooting mode was amazing, especially with a high speed memory card.

Cnet

Aggressively priced and stuffed with pro-quality features, the rugged Nikon D200 digital SLR offers the best of the D2X at about one-third the price.

Digital Camera Info

The Nikon D200 delivers excellent 10 megapixel images, and it’s easy for the experienced photographer to operate. It’s an excellent step-up camera for photographers buying a second Nikon DSLR, or for experienced film users who are finally jumping to digital (do such people still exist?).

Imaging Resource

A great part of the appeal of the D200 is its combination of 10.2 megapixel resolution and 5 frame/second continuous shooting speed. It also has a very deep buffer memory, and is no slouch when it comes to offloading images to a host computer either. All in all, an impressive performer by almost any measure.

Where to Buy

If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.