Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

9 Rating

A sophisticated and versatile ‘full frame’ DSLR with the highest resolution available in this format thus far.Canon’s EOS-1Ds Mark III is the most sophisticated professional camera yet to emerge from the company’s stable. Replacing the EOS-1Ds Mark II, which was released towards the end of 2004, it is the fourth in the line that began in 2002 with the EOS-1Ds and includes the EOS 5D. Compared with the camera it replaces, some significant improvements have taken place as a result of three years of development.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Canon’s latest professional DSLR is based on the successful EOS-1Ds model of 2002. Like its predecessor, the Mark II has a full frame CMOS sensor and almost identical body and control layout. However, the new sensor carries 16.7 megapixels and includes much of the functionality of Canon’s other current ‘pro’ DSLR, the 8.2-megapixel EOS-1D Mark II, which was reviewed in issue 19 (October/November 2004). Canon has clearly positioned its new model to compete with the significantly more expensive medium format digital backs, showing confidence in the higher functionality, better specifications and lower price of the new model. And, with its tough, well-designed SLR body, high configurability and abundant controls, the EOS 1-Ds Mark II will take some beating, especially for wedding and sports photographers.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

9.5 Rating

A leading-edge professional camera with high flexibility, ultra-fast response times and superb image quality.Released in the year of the 20th anniversary of the EOS band, the new EOS-1D Mark III is true to its EOS professional heritage. Canon’s most ambitions camera to date, it’s an amalgam of the best of Canon’s technologies and sports a water and dust resistant magnesium alloy body and a shutter that is rated for 300,000 cycles. It’s impossible to everything this remarkable camera offers in a single review so we’ve picked out the key features and new additions that place the EOS-1D Mark III so far in front of the current pack.

Canon EOS 1100D

9 Rating

A user-friendly entry-level DSLR that is compact, lightweight and available in three colours.The EOS 1100D steps into Canon’s DSLR line-up between the EOS 1000D and EOS 550D and features a 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor. Offered for the first time in three colours – Black, Metallic Grey and a limited edition Red – the EOS 1100D supports 720p HD video recording and introduces a new Feature Guide function that provides simple explanations of shooting modes and functions.

Pentax K-x

9 Rating

A compact, feature-rich DLSR camera that comes in white, bright red and dark navy as well as basic black.Ever the innovator, Pentax is the first company to offer a DSLR camera in colours other than black and grey. The 12.4 megapixel K-x model will be available in a choice of white or black, as well as bright red and dark navy. Its small body makes the K-x one of the most compact, lightweight models in its class. However, this camera also provides heaps of in-camera adjustments plus the ability to record HD video clips.

Pentax K-m

8.5 Rating

A compact, entry-level DSLR with straightforward controls and plenty of novel features to satisfy more adventurous photographers.Pentax has used many features from last year’s K200D as the basis of its new K-m DSLR. The sensors, viewfinders and LCD screens in both cameras are the same. However, the K-m is pitched more at first-time DSLR owners. It’s as easy to use as an advanced digicam and offers some novel functions – including a swag of digital filters. But some features have been downgraded from its predecessor.

Pentax K-7

8.5 Rating

A sophisticated DSLR camera with controls and functions for knowledgeable photo enthusiasts.The K7 enters the Pentax range as a high-end model targeted at photo enthusiasts because its complexity makes it most suitable for experienced SLR photographers. Featuring a solid metal body, weatherproof sealing and a wide range of user-adjustable controls, it also supports high-speed continuous shooting at up to 5.2 frames/second and HD video recording at 30 frames/second. Pentax has also improved many of the components and functions that made earlier models attractive buys.

Pentax K20D

9 Rating

A ruggedly-built, high-resolution DSLR with live viewing plus some innovative and useful shooting functions.Pentax has designed its 14.6-megapixel K20D model to appeal to demanding photo enthusiasts but many of its features will also appeal to professional photographers. Like the earlier K10D model, the K20D is built to resist dust and moisture with seals protecting 74 different parts of the camera body. Physically the two cameras are similar, with identical body dimensions, although the new model has a larger LCD and is five grams heavier than its predecessor.

Olympus E-420

8.5 Rating

An affordable, ultra-compact camera that is ideal for newcomers to DSLR photography and provides above-average picture quality.Announced early in March, the Olympus E420 replaces the E-410 model at the entry level in the Olympus DSLR line-up, providing several worthwhile updates and a lower price tag. Like its predecessor, it’s claimed as the world’s smallest and thinnest interchangeable-lens DSLR camera and sports a 10-megapixel Live MOS sensor. As such, it will appeal to photographers who wish to upgrade from a compact digicam.

Nikon D80

8.5 Rating

Many of the assets of Nikon’s D200 model in a lower-priced model with a ‘quality’ look and feel.An interesting mix of point-and-shoot and serious camera, Nikon’s D80 has been touted as a ‘little sister’ to the D200 model and offers many of the same features and the ‘quality’ feel users have come to expect from Nikon DSLRs. Like most recently-released competitors it sports a 10.2 megapixel sensor (CCD type) and a 2.5-inch LCD. Although closer in size to the D50 than the D70s, which it replaces, the D80 comes with the D200’s powerful EN-ELe battery, 11-point AF system and support for wireless flashes.