Olympus E-P1 ISO Performance

Olympus E-P1

The Olympus E-P1 has captured a lot of buzz.  The initial impressions seem to be quite promising for the new Micro Four Thirds camera.

I have been using the Olympus E-P1 for a little while now.  While you can expect a full review of this new camera soon, below you will find my results from a quick ISO test shoot on a tripod in a tungsten lit room, with white balance set to tungsten and exposure set via Program mode. [Read more...]

Panasonic Lumix FZ35 Reviews and Resources

The Panasonic Lumix FZ35 is a super-zoom point and shoot camera, featuring an 18x optical zoom Leica lens.  The zoom range is equivalent to a 27-486mm zoom on a full frame camera.  The FZ35 records HD video at 720p resolution in the AVCHD Lite format (MPEG-4/H.264).  Additionally, the FZ35 offers a stereo mic for better sound quality to go along with your HD video.

The FZ35 will carry an initial retail price of $399.99 and will be available in September 2009.

Check availability on Amazon.com.

Panasonic Lumix FZ35 Reviews

Buy-n-Shoot

Aside from its portability, the FZ35 has an expansive zoom range that will easily cover a variety of scenes you come across in your travels without having to carry and fiddle with multiple lenses.

Panasonic Lumix FZ35 Press Release

Secaucus, NJ (July 27, 2009) – Today, Panasonic announced the new LUMIX DMC-FZ35, a digital camera featuring AVCHD Lite, High Definition (HD) video recording capability, combined with a powerful 27mm wide-angle, 18x optical zoom LEICA DC lens. A successor to the popular FZ28, the FZ35 packs enhanced creative features combined with the power to shoot HD videos, including motion zoom capabilities to take full advantage of the 18x zoom. The operational layout of the FZ35 includes a dedicated video record button, making it a true hybrid – a single model that performs seamlessly at capturing both still and motion images – while still providing smooth and easy operation in either mode.

“The LUMIX FZ35 is truly unique as it includes advanced features like HD video recording, but still resembles and functions like an intuitive point-and-shoot with the ability to capture beautiful photos and video,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “This model’s versatility makes it a great choice for a new or advanced user who wants a hybrid device that shoots high-quality still and motion images.”

For users looking for increased creativity while shooting both video and still images, the LUMIX FZ35 delivers. New manual controls and creative options, include:

- Creative Movie Mode – Allows the user to set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances.

- My Color Mode – This special option gives free reign to the user’s creativity. The color, brightness and saturation parameters can be freely adjusted while seeing how the adjustments affect the picture, live on the monitor.

- High Dynamic Mode – Helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure even though the scene may contain both bright and dark areas.

The 12.1 mega pixel-FZ35 features the upgraded POWER Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.), which allows for double the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S., and ultra high-speed Auto Focus (AF) for capturing action scenes as they happen. Additionally, with the super-powerful 18x optical zoom lens, it is easy to capture subjects that are far away or take dramatic close-ups.

With the enhanced energy-efficient image processing LSI – the Venus Engine HD* – the FZ35 has an extended battery life of approximately 470 pictures, making it the ideal choice for active photo enthusiasts. As with all Panasonic LUMIX cameras, the FZ35 features Intelligent Auto (iA) Mode, a suite of intuitive technologies including Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure and Face Recognition. With the improved Face Recognition, the FZ35 recognizes up to three faces simultaneously while taking photos** and allows users to specify the age of the registered subject. When babies under 3 years-old are registered, the camera will automatically switch to Baby mode if the baby appears to be in the frame.

The LUMIX DMC-FZ35 will have a suggested retail price of $399.99 and will be available in September 2009 in black.

*Based on a CIPA standard.

**Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance.

Sony A330 vs. A300 vs. A700 Review – ISO Comparison

The Sony A330 is one of the new entry-level Sony Alpha DSLRs, replacing the revolutionary A300.  The standout feature in the A300 and A330 is the fast-autofocus Live View display.  One step behind this awesome feature is the fact that the screen articulates.  These features are solid and, frankly speaking, put Nikon and Canon’s efforts of Live View in a DSLR to shame.

However, fancy features mean nothing if image quality is not up to snuff.  In today’s digital imaging world, a big component of overall image quality focuses on low light performance – and that means clean images at high ISO.  The Sony A330 and A300′s max sensitivity setting is at ISO 3200, while the Canon Rebel T1i and Nikon D5000 cover the sensitivity range up to ISO 12800 and ISO 6400, respectively.  Sony’s A700 has a max sensitivity up to ISO 6400. [Read more...]

Sony A850 Reviews and Resources

Sony A850

The Sony A850 is a full frame 24.6-megapixel CMOS sensor.  The A850 also features SteadyShot sensor-based image stabilization, a 3-inch 921k dot LCD and a 9-point AF.  Check out the full Sony A850 Review.

The A850 should be available in November 2009 at an initial retail price of $2000.  Check availability at Amazon.com.

Sony A850 Key Features

• Full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel ExmorTM CMOS sensor and dual BIONZ processors for detail-packed, low-noise images with high sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with expanded ISO range)
• Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage
• SteadyShot INSIDETM offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with all lenses
• Photo quality (921k dot) 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
• Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points

Sony A850 Reviews

Buy-n-Shoot

Cnet Asia

Photocrati

Imaging Resource

Sony A850 Press Release

SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2009 – Aimed at experienced shooters looking for value and sophisticated SLR performance, Sony today introduced the full-frame α (alpha) DSLR-A850 camera and a new 28-75mm F2.8 lens.

The α850 model shares the same 24.6 megapixel sensor and most features of the flagship α900 camera, introduced last year, but will be available for just under $2000 (body only).

“Sony is bringing the benefits of a full-frame digital SLR camera to a broader group of consumers,” said Kristen Elder, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “The α850 strengthens Sony’s alpha DSLR line, which now offers models in each step from high-end professional down to the amateur enthusiast.”

The α850 camera is designed to deliver ultra-fine picture quality with a high resolution, 24.6-megapixel, 35-mm full-frame ExmorTM CMOS sensor and fast image processing with dual BIONZTM processing engines. It also offers high-speed continuous shooting of 24.6 megapixel images at up to three frames per second.

Ultra-Fine Images

The camera’s Exmor CMOS sensor delivers the photographic expressive power of wide angles and perspective that only a 35 mm full-frame sensor can offer, and is designed to take advantage of the resolving power of high-precision alpha lenses. Its high pixel count and large size provide enhanced image detail and a wider dynamic range for natural color reproduction and subtle tonal gradations.

Image processing gets a boost in speed and power from two BIONZ processing engines. Large amounts of data captured by the 24.6-megapixel sensor can be quickly processed to achieve a fast shooting response. Additionally, this dual BIONZ system applies advanced noise reduction algorithms producing images of exceptional quality and detail, especially at high ISO sensitivities.

Capture the Right Shot the First Time

The camera’s innovative intelligent preview function takes the guesswork out of setting up a shot and the hassle of taking multiple shots to achieve a desired effect.

After pressing the depth of field preview button, the camera “grabs” a RAW

preview image which is processed and displayed on the LCD screen. You can then fine tune white balance, determine the best level and effect of dynamic range optimization, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data, all before you actually take the picture. Preview images are not recorded on the camera’s memory card, thus saving capacity.

The camera’s autofocus system features nine sensors with 10 assist points for improved tracking of moving subjects. A center dual cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors as well as a dedicated f/2.8 sensor are included to achieve greater precision, especially when using fast-aperture lenses.

Ultra-Bright Viewfinder with 98 Percent Coverage

The ultra-bright viewfinder with 98 percent field of view coverage and 0.74x magnification enables accurate framing and preview. It features a high-power condenser lens, an eyepiece with high reflective-index glass, and a multi-layer, anti-reflective coating on optical surfaces to deliver its extraordinarily bright view.

A mirror box features a parallel-link mirror mechanism that moves on two horizontal axes to accommodate both the large full frame mirror and the body-integrated image stabilization system without increasing the camera’s size.

Anti-Shake System for a Full-Frame Sensor

With its body-integrated SteadyShot INSIDETM image stabilization, the camera achieves an anti-shake effect equivalent to shutter speeds faster by 2.5 to 4 stops. The anti-shake system stabilizes all Sony, Minolta and Konica-Minolta compatible lenses even wide angle or large aperture lenses.

Versatility to Unleash Creative Possibilities

Other key features aimed to expand creative options include the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) with five levels of user-selectable correction as well as DRO bracketing for enhanced scene analysis and graduation optimization. EV bracketing with ±2EV range makes it easy to create high dynamic range composite images.

With the camera’s HDMITM output and Photo TV HD mode, your creative output can be enjoyed on a compatible HD television. This mode brings the look of actual printed photography to the television, by fine-tuning such image parameters as sharpness, gradation, and color reproduction.

The a850 model features a 3-inch (diagonally), Xtra Fine LCDTM screen (921K) making it possible to check focus and image quality with accuracy. It incorporates an easy-to-see display with a quick navigation menu to easily access common functions without interrupting your creative flow. A backlit LCD panel sits on top of the camera and displays key settings.

The camera includes dedicated slots for high-capacity Memory Stick PRO DuoTM, Memory Stick PRO-HG DuoTM, HX series and CompactFlash® media.

Bright Lens

The choice of full-frame lenses to complement the α850 model is enhanced with the new SAL2875 28-75mm F2.8 SAM lens. This compact, easy-to-carry lens is ideal for photo enthusiasts looking to add a bright, general purpose zoom to their collection of full-frame optics.

Delivering excellent imaging quality at an accessible price, it offers a wide F2.8 aperture over its entire zoom range. Ideal for day-to-day shooting tasks, its bright constant aperture makes the 28-75mm F2.8 SAM particularly valuable for depth-of-field control and available-light portraits.

Pricing and Availability

The a850 (model DSLR-A850) will be available in September for about $2,000 (body only) along with related accessories. All a900 accessories are compatible with the a850 camera, including the dedicated vertical grip (model VG-C90AM). The SAL2875 lens will be available in November for about $800. All will be available at authorized dealers, at military base exchanges, Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail) and at sonystyle.com.

Fuji FinePix F70EXR Reviews and Resources

The Fuji FinePix F70EXR is a compact 10x optical zoom point and shoot camera.  It features a 10-megapixel Super CCD sensor with the popular and effective EXR technology.  The F70EXR carries a retail price of $279.95.

Fuji F70EXR Availability

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Adorama

Fuji F70EXR Reviews

Cnet

A compact megazoom with a lot to offer, the Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR is very good for its class, but with a few limitations.

DC Resource

The Fuji FinePix F70EXR is a compact ultra zoom camera whose low light shooting is best in its class.

Trusted Reviews

The Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR is a stunningly versatile camera, a pocket-sized superzoom that can take superb pictures in any lighting conditions, and is better in low light than anything else in its class.

Buy-n-Shoot

The results can be quite striking, especially for portraits, and particularly considering compact cameras don’t always have the best control over depth-of-field.

PhotographyBLOG

All of our previous lavish praise about Fujifilm’s EXR mode applies equally to the F70EXR – it is as effective in practice as it is revolutionary in principle.

Fuji F70EXR News Release

Valhalla, NY, July 22, 2009 – FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. today announced the FinePix F70EXR, a sleek, compact digital camera that combines intuitive use with the most advanced features and technology available in a point-and-shoot digital camera. The announcement of the FinePix F70EXR also marks Fujifilm’s first model in the growing long-zoom compact segment with an impressive Fujinon 10x wide angle optical zoom.

Encased in a beautifully sculpted metal shell with a double coated lacquer finish and measuring only 22.7mm thick, the FinePix F70EXR offers several enhancements over its predecessor, the FinePix F60 and boasts marked improvements over competing long-zoom digital cameras, particularly in the areas of design, image quality and capture technology.

“The FinePix F70EXR, which has been designed specifically for taking demanding shots in challenging conditions, requires a sophisticated sensor and control algorithms to ensure every shot looks the very best,” said David Troy, marketing manager, Consumer Digital Cameras, Electronic Imaging Division, FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. “By adding our EXR technology to the FinePix F70EXR, users will achieve outstanding images in virtually any lighting condition, and have the advantages of a 10x zoom that fits in your shirt pocket.”

Super CCD EXR

Long zoom compact cameras, as opposed to standard compact digital cameras, typically use a smaller sensor that is vulnerable to difficult lighting conditions since light has a harder time reaching the CCD sensor. To mitigate this vulnerability, Fujifilm has introduced its award-winning EXR technology into the FinePix F70EXR, allowing for significant improvement in image quality against the competition.
Introduced earlier this year with the FinePix F200EXR, Fujifilm’s EXR technology uses the human eye as the basis for the perfect camera sensor, creating a Super CCD sensor capable of registering excellent levels of detail when switched to its HR (High Resolution) mode. The FinePix F70EXR is also capable of offering excellent quality in low light and superb highlight detail in contrast light when switched to its SN (High Sensitivity and Low Noise) mode and DR (Wide Dynamic Range) modes respectively.

EXR Modes

An advanced feature on the FinePix F70EXR, ‘EXR Auto’ helps take the guesswork out of setting the camera by doing it for you. EXR Auto is a sophisticated set of program modes that can automatically detect six different types of scenes – Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Backlit Portrait, Night, and Night Portrait. The camera will recognize the scene and optimize focus, color balance, exposure, flash and sensitivity and will automatically switch the sensor to HR, SN or DR mode depending on the lighting conditions of the scene. By using EXR Auto, users can let the camera do all the hard work and concentrate more on getting the best shot possible.

Multi Frame Technology: Pro Focus Mode / Pro Low-light Mode

New Fujifilm EXR digital cameras, including the FinePix F70EXR will offer several new shooting modes that combine the power of Super CCD EXR with Multi Frame Technology to enable users to capture exceptional images that rival the most expensive professional D-SLR cameras.

Typically, one of the ways to distinguish ‘D-SLR’ photography from ‘compact’ photography has been the use of ‘wide aperture’ to create mood and depth in a picture. These ‘professional’ shots are now possible on the FinePix F70EXR, which uses Pro Focus Mode to combine two or three burst shots together. Through complex digital imaging technology, a crisp shot of the subject is synthesized against a defocused background and foreground. Ideal for portraiture, nature photography or any subject that needs ‘lifting’ from its background, the FinePix F70EXR Pro Focus Mode provides satisfying professional results at the touch of a button.

Meanwhile, Pro Low-light Mode is applied to solving the problems of noisy low light shots. With current cameras, it is possible to achieve relatively blur-free low light shots using high ISO and CCD shift mechanical image stabilization. However, high ISO settings typically come at a cost, as the ISO 1600 setting will invariably produce distracting and ugly noise. In Pro Low-light Mode, the camera will take bursts of four high sensitivity images using Pixel Fusion Technology[*1] in quick succession. With Multi Frame Technology, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th images are overlapped to create one image with extremely low noise.

Super Slim 10x Zoom Lens

In conjunction with the Super CCD EXR sensor, the FinePix F70EXR features a Fujinon 10x optical zoom lens that produces crisp high resolution results throughout the focal range, from 27mm wide-angle to 270mm telephoto. The lens of the FinePix F70EXR features Super EBC Coating that keeps ghosting and flare to minimum to allow for optimal picture quality.

Film Simulation Modes

Similar to other high-end FinePix models, the FinePix F70EXR offers five different film ‘modes’ to allow the photographer full creative expression to explore a variety of pre-set color and contrast modes designed around Fujifilm’s most famous film emulsions. The modes are:

• Velvia/Vivid mode for rich and luscious landscapes
• PROVIA/Standard mode for excellent, sharp, standard photography
• ASTIA/Soft mode for soft, fine, smooth tonality
• Black & White mode captures the dramatic honesty of your image in black and white
• Sepia mode creates a sense of nostalgia with the warm brown “antique” tones of Sepia

In the Provia, Velvia and Astia modes, the dynamic range can now be set to 800% to improve and highlight details further.

New ‘Super Intelligent’ Flash

The FinePix F70EXR offers a radically improved flash control system which efficiently controls the level of flash for a given exposure to produce beautifully balanced flash illumination across the foreground and background. Gone are the ugly washout shots where the subject is blasted with light and the background dark and unexposed. Super Intelligent Flash is most useful in macro photography where the contrast between subject and background can be especially challenging, but is also effective for night and backlit photography.

New High Contrast LCD

The FinePix F70EXR is fitted with an improved high contrast 230K-pixel 2.7″ LCD. The high contrast LCD is a considerable benefit in bright light, and means that the camera can be pitched
at various shooting angles to enable framing of awkward shots. Viewable at 160 degrees both vertically and horizontally, the LCD is bright and clear for beautiful rendition of shots in playback.

Dual Stabilization

Long zoom cameras need stabilization more than any other compact, with handshake and subject movement a particular problem in low light at telephoto range. The FinePix F70EXR reduces blur to a minimum by deploying Picture Stabilization to automatically increase shutter speeds to freeze action, and CCD Image Stabilization to counteract the problems of handshake. By cleverly combining these two, blur is reduced to an absolute minimum.

Face Detection 3.0 and Automatic Red-eye Removal

To provide perfectly exposed and focused portrait shots, the FinePix F70EXR is fitted with Fujifilm’s latest Face Detection technology which is able to track up to 10 faces simultaneously, at almost any angle to the camera. The system instantly corrects red-eye and then saves both the original and the corrected image file automatically.

The FinePix F70EXR will be available August 2009 at a retail price of $279.95.

Nikon D5000 Review

The Nikon D5000 sits at the low-end of Nikon’s DSLR lineup.  It is the second Nikon DSLR to offer video recording capabilities (the Nikon D90 was the first).  It’s also Nikon’s first DSLR with an articulating LCD – a feature that has received both praise and criticism.

The compact D5000 steps up to a 12.3-megapixel sensor.  The Nikon D60, which previously ruled the low-end roost, offers a 10.2 megapixel sensor.  The 12.3-megapixel sensor is the same piece of equipment as is found in popular Nikon D300 and D90.  It’s a proven sensor, so it only makes sense for Nikon to drop it in this generation of entry-level DSLRs as well.

The Nikon D5000 is a bargain of a camera at its introductory price of $850 with a 18-55mm VR (vibration reduction) lens.  The D90 is $100 more for just the body only.

I spent a lot of time over the past month or so shooting the Nikon D5000 side-by-side with the Canon Rebel T1i.  These cameras are obviously situated as direct competitors with each other.  As a result, I make several references to how the Nikon D5000 compares in relation to the Rebel T1i.  Suffice it to say that both cameras are excellent offerings from Nikon and Canon.  Each camera truly lives up to the expectations and is probably the best entry-level DSLR from either company to date.

[Read more...]

Olympus E-P1 Review at Digicam Review

Digicam Review has posted a review of the Olympus E-P1.

Image quality is excellent – with excellent colour, and good levels of saturation and contrast with excellent detail. Noise levels were very low and provided useable ISO1600 (and possibly higher) – with less colour noise than even the Canon 450D, and provided much better detail from the Olympus kit lens, than the Canon’s kit lens.

For more on the E-P1, see Photography Bay’s Olympus E-P1 Reviews and Resources.

Nikon D3000 Reviews and Resources

Nikon D3000

The Nikon D3000 is a 10.2-megapixel DSLR and replaces the Nikon D60 at the low end of Nikon’s lineup. Improvements over the D60 include a larger 3-inch LCD, improved interface and 11-point autofocus system.

The Nikon D3000 should be available in August 2009 at an initial retail price of $599.95 that will also cover the included AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens.

Nikon D3000 Availability

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Ritz Camera

Wolf Camera

Camera World

International Availability:

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon Japan

Photography Bay Resources

Nikon D3000 Review

Nikon D3000 Sample Images

Nikon D3000 Reviews

Buy-n-Shoot

It offers the complete gamut of usability from point-and-shoot simplification right through to more advanced manual control and image design expected of a DSLR and produces a standard of image that far outperforms anything a digital compact could produce.

Photocrati

During extensive action, travel and wedding photography, the D3000 proved to be very responsive in most situations.

Imaging Resource

Very good printed results in terms of detail, capable of producing good 13×19-inch prints from ISO 100 to 800

Let’s Go Digital

In terms of user-friendliness, the Nikon D3000 reaches a high rating, and the integration of innovative imaging editing and processing technologies even increase the user’s ease.

Neocamera

The Nikon D3000 is an excellent option for new DSLR owners. It is a well-built camera with very good image quality and excellent speed of operation.

Pocket-Lint

Though this DSLR offers a top resolution of “just” 10 megapixels, we found very little difference comparing results with that of a 12MP model.

PhotographyBLOG

It’s a solid model in every sense of the word that should see the amateur photographer through years of happy service.

Tech Radar

This is a great first SLR and a genuine pleasure to use. It’s fast and intelligent, with a good quality kit lens, and comes with all the advantages of Nikon’s optical heritage.

Demystifying Digital

Like the D40 before it, the D3000 is a great “no-brainer” digital SLR with a responsive and quiet shutter that begs to be pressed.

Cnet Australia

For beginners or prosumers who want a compact digital SLR to complement their existing set up, Nikon has made a very nice camera for a good price.

Electric Pig

A little pricey at the moment, but it makes an ideal first camera for DSLR newbies

British Journal of Photography

Yet another entry-level DSLR camera arrives this week with the introduction of Nikon D3000. But look beyond some of the more idiosyncratic features aimed at novices, says David Kilpatrick, and you’ll find its versatility also makes it extremely pro-worthy

Photo.net

For consumers who into family, travel and children sports photography, this is an excellent camera at a very reasonable price.

Nikon D3000 Press Release

MELVILLE, N.Y. (JULY 30, 2009) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the D3000 digital SLR camera, an affordable answer for users looking to experience the superiority of digital SLR photography or enthusiasts seeking a capable, compact D-SLR. The 10.2-megapixel D3000 has features that make it easier than ever to take great pictures, including the new Guide Mode, which lends a smart helping hand to new D-SLR users, and an extensive Retouch Menu, enabling consumers to edit photos, even without a computer. The D3000, which offers an 11-point autofocus system, also leverages proven Nikon D-SLR technologies, including the exclusive EXPEEDTM image processing, Active D-Lighting system and 3D Color Matrix Metering II, enabling entry-level D-SLR shooters to take stunning pictures.

“The D3000 combines the best of both worlds, providing picture takers with the ease-of-use currently offered in point-and-shoot cameras alongside the speed, precision and exceptional results that have made Nikon D-SLRs so popular,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. “The D3000 offers everyone the ability to discover the superiority of D-SLR photography at an affordable price point. We look forward to enabling more consumers to explore the possibilities of D-SLR picture taking and, more importantly, capture life’s memories faithfully.”

Intuitive Assistance On-the-Fly

The D3000 includes the all-new Guide Mode with an easy-to-use interface to help new photographers build confidence in using a D-SLR with step-by-step instruction and inspiration. The Guide Mode, easily accessed by the Mode dial on the top of the camera, displays a variety of shooting situations via the LCD screen, indicating the most appropriate settings for a particular scenario. Users can also see sample photos on the LCD screen, which illustrate the effects of different photo-taking techniques. The Guide Mode also helps users easily review, organize and delete images.

Whether new to D-SLR photography or simply mastering new shooting techniques, the D3000′s Guide Mode assists users in exploring effective picture taking solutions at their own pace to make capturing great pictures even easier.

Small in Size, Big on Features

With elegant ergonomics, softly rounded corners, and a comfortable grip, the D3000 packs powerful technology into a compact form factor. Though the D3000 is tiny when compared to professional D-SLR cameras, it boasts a large, bright three-inch 230,000-dot LCD screen, and now features an easier-to-read font size, 20 percent larger than in previous Nikon D-SLRs.

Quick performance and response are at the core of the D3000′s design and its 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus system makes it easy to find and focus on a subject. Also, the D3000 offers split-second shutter response, eliminating the frustration of shutter lag, as well as the ability to capture images up to three frames per second, allowing users capture every moment. Users can enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s advanced 3D Subject Tracking, which continuously focuses on a fast moving subject throughout the frame.

The D3000 provides multiple ways for users to engage with their pictures, post capture. It uses Nikon’s extensive in-camera Retouch Menu, which allows users to easily apply a variety of fun and dramatic effects to their images even when away from a computer. The D3000 introduces a new Miniature effect, which changes the appearance of distant subjects to look like close-ups of miniature models. The D3000 also inherits the Soft Filter and Color Outline Retouch options from the D5000, allowing users to express their photography in a new and artistic way. As with all Nikon D-SLRs, the camera creates the new retouched image, while preserving the original.

For users who want to take their creativity to the next level, the D3000 also includes the ability to capture images in the NEF (RAW) format, in addition to traditional JPEG. Images captured with D3000 in the NEF (RAW) format include a greater amount of image data, which in turn, affords finer image control and higher uncompressed lossless image quality. With NEF (RAW) images, users can fine-tune the appearance of an image with simple adjustments to things like exposure, color saturation, brightness, and overall tone – especially in the post-production process. Users can use Capture NX 2, Nikon’s powerful image editing software, to achieve these desired effects.

Nikon extends the creativity with Stop-Motion Movie Mode. With this mode, users can choose a collection of images within the D3000′s Retouch Menu, and the camera then compiles and stitches them into a fun and creative video file.

Renowned Nikon Technology

The D3000 leverages proven Nikon technologies to create the most positive picture taking experience for consumers. The D3000 delivers highly detailed images with vibrant color reproduction and low noise across a broad ISO range, due to its 10.2-megapixel CCD image sensor coupled with Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED image processing system. The D3000′s normal ISO range extends from ISO 100 to 1600, allowing for low light versatility. Additionally, the D3000′s ISO range can expand to a Hi-1 setting of ISO 3200, furthering the opportunities for shots that other cameras miss.

The D3000 also makes use of Nikon’s Active D-Lighting system, which automatically compensates to reveal veiled details in shadows and highlights in high-contrast situations. For instance, when selected, Nikon’s Active D-Lighting can improve the appearance of fine detail in a person’s face that was previously hidden in dark shadows or bring out the highlights in a beautifully backlit landscape.

Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II, in conjunction with the EXPEED image processing system, contributes to the D3000′s ability to capture breathtaking images by instantly evaluating the exposure elements of each scene and comparing it to an onboard database of information from more than 30,000 images. These split-second calculations allow the D3000 to ensure beautiful exposures-even when conditions are extreme.

The D3000 also incorporates Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, which offers a comprehensive solution that combats the accumulation of image-degrading dust from the camera’s image sensor. The system not only utilizes an active sensor cleaning function that activates whenever the camera is turned on or off, but also the Airflow Control System to redirect dust particles, limiting their ability to reach the sensor.

System Expandability

Photographers and enthusiasts alike can also appreciate the D3000′s system expandability, as the camera can work in conjunction with a variety of Nikon accessories, including a broad assortment of legendary NIKKOR AF-S interchangeable lenses. While the D3000 offers a versatile built-in flash, the camera is also compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and capable of Advanced Wireless Lighting when using the SB-900 Speedlight or the SU-800 Wireless Commander.
The D3000′s design also supports Eye-Fi memory card functionality, enabling the convenient wireless transfer of images from the D3000 to a computer, when using Eye-Fi memory cards.* Additionally, photos can be securely written to readily available SD cards, high-capacity SDHC cards and Eye-Fi memory cards, offering users a range of data storage options.

Price and Availability

The D3000 outfit, including the versatile AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens, is scheduled to be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in late August 2009 at an estimated selling price of $599.95.

Canon Rebel T1i Review

The Canon Rebel T1i (also known as the 500D and Kiss X3 outside of the US) is the follow-up to the Rebel XSi, which was (and still is) a very appealing entry-level DSLR.  With the Rebel T1i, however, Canon steps into a new feature set for entry-level DSLRs.  This camera is leaps and bounds above what we saw in the original Rebel.  The T1i also pushes the entry-level boundary beyond what we previously expected Canon to offer in a camera at this price point.

While you may not consider the Rebel T1i cheap (a retail price of $800 for the camera body and make it $900 if you want an 18-55mm lens in your kit), it offers considerable value as compared to other cameras at or above its price range.  Over the past couple of years, Nikon and Sony have pushed Canon out of its comfort zone at the top of the digital camera world.  Competition has forced Canon to really push its camera development (particularly in DSLRs) to new levels.  The Rebel T1i is demonstrable evidence of this renewed competitive environment among what can fairly be characterized as the “big three” camera manufacturers.

Over the past couple months, I have shot with the Rebel T1i on a regular basis in my ordinary photographic endeavors.  Everything from backyard snap shots, fast moving cars and motorcycles, and the occasional indoor play or event.  I have tried to make use of this camera in the way that I expect most purchasers of entry-level cameras would use it.  Additionally, I have taken a bit of time out of my normal shooting to pit it against its most direct competitor, the Nikon D5000.  Anyone shopping for the Rebel T1i is likely considering the similarly equipped Nikon D5000.  It was useful shooting with these cameras side-by-side, and below I will direct you to some more specific image and video comparisons for these two cameras. [Read more...]