Olympus E-30

8.8 Rating

A feature-rich Four Thirds System DSLR for photo enthusiasts.Designed for photo enthusiasts and amateur photographers who want a more sophisticated camera, the new Olympus E-30 is the first in a series of ‘double-digit’ models that will slot in between the ‘three-digit’ entry-level models and the professional ‘single-digit’ camera. The new camera’s 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor replaces the 10-megapixel imager currently used across the company’s DSLR range. The E-30 also features a new image processor.

Olympus E-620

8.3 Rating

A compact, lightweight DSLR camera with built-in image stabilisation and a wide range of adjustable functions.Positioned between the E-520 and the E-30, the new Olympus E-620 is another ‘in-betweener’ model offering features from both cameras. Claimed as the smallest and lightest DSLR with built-in image stabilisation it is smaller by roughly 12 mm in all dimensions and almost 250 grams lighter than the E-30. Despite having the same 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic III+ image processing engine as the E-30 the E-620 lacks much of the finesse of the higher-priced model.

Nikon D7000

8.8 Rating

A new pro-sumer-level Nikon DX-format DSLR body that offers durability and functionality for serious photographers.Nikon’s widely anticipated D7000 slots into the company’s range between the popular D90 and D300s models. A tempting upgrade for D90 owners, it features a 16.2-megapixel (effective) sensor, new EXPEED 2 image processor and expanded sensitivity range that reaches up to ISO 25,600. A new AF system uses 39 focus points, including 9 cross-type sensors in the centre, while a new 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor underpins the built-in Scene Recognition System.

Nikon D700

9 Rating

Nikon’s second FX-format DSLR combines the D3’s image quality with the D300’s handling characteristics and functionality.Nikon’s D700 is positioned between the ‘pro-sumer’ D300 and the professional D3 models and is the second Nikon DSLR with an FX-format (35mm sized) CMOS sensor. Like the D3 it can use lenses designed for both FX and DX formats and will automatically recognise a DX lens when it is fitted. However, while the D3 includes a 5:4 aspect ratio crop measuring 30 x 24mm, the D700 offers two image area selections: FX format (36 x 24mm) and DX format (24 x 16 mm).

Nikon D3100

8.5 Rating

Nikon’s new entry-level DSLR features a 14.2-megapixel sensor and 1080p video recording. The D3100 steps into the entry level position in Nikon’s line-up featuring a new sensor with higher resolution than its predecessor’s and an expanded sensitivity range. It also adds Live View shooting plus Full HD video recording. Autofocusing is supported in Movie mode and the Guide mode settings from the D3000 have been ported into the new model and enhanced with extra functions. The D3100 is also compatible with Nikon’s GP-1 GPS Unit, which is sold separately.

Nikon D300S

8.5 Rating

Nikon’s flagship DX-format DSLR adds D-Movie capabilities and dual card slots to the feature set of the D300.Depending on how you rate the addition of video capture and dual card slots, Nikon’s D300S can be rated as either a major or minor upgrade to the D300. Aside from these features, little has changed from the earlier model. The sensor is the same DX-format 12.3 megapixel (effective) chip and both models include Nikon’s latest EXPEED image processor which is the same as in the D90 (the first DSLR to offer HD video recording).

Canon EOS 550D

8.5 Rating

A lightweight, easy-to-operate DSLR with high resolution for creative photography.Canon’s EOS 550D slips into the company’s line-up between the EOS 500D and the EOS 50D and offers higher resolution than both models without displacing either. It boasts the same 18-megapizel sensor as the EOS 7D but has only one DiG!C 4 processor. A key feature is the addition of a new, high-resolution 3:2 aspect ratio LCD monitor and a redesigned interface. Video capabilities have also been extended to support Full HD movie recording at a range of different frame rates.