A well-built, ultra-compact DSLR camera with some excellent features for novice users.The smallest DSLR on the current market, the Olympus E-410 is 100 grams lighter than its nearest rival and offers 10-megapixel resolution. Targeted at ‘Everyday’ photographers (i.e. novice DSLR users), it’s as easy to operate as many long-zoom digicams but has the benefit of producing much better pictures, thanks to its significantly larger image sensor. Developed by Panasonic, this ‘LiveMOS’ sensor uses CMOS technology and has been developed to allow photographers to compose and capture shots with the camera’s 2.5-inch LCD.
The first DSLR to provide a continuous live view of subjects in full colour plus an adjustable LCD monitor.FIRST LOOK: Olympus is renowned for product innovation so it should be no surprise to hear that it’s the first company to produce a digital SLR camera that provides a full-time, live view of the subject you’re shooting on its LCD screen, making a DSLR just as straightforward to use for shot composition as a compact digicam. To date, the only DSLRs that provided any kind of live view were the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro and a special version of the Canon EOS 20D that was designed for astronomical photography. However, in both cases the “live” view was in monochrome and the display only lasted a second or two. In the E-330, the full-colour display is continuous.
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.
A solidly-built, professional-quality DSLR for Four Thirds system enthusiasts.Olympus is targeting professional photographers and ‘advanced enthusiasts’ with its E-3 DSLR model, which replaces the four-year-old E-1, the world’s first Four Thirds system DSLR. However, the promise of smaller, lighter cameras claimed for the Four Thirds system is not delivered in the E-3, which is one of the heaviest DSLR bodies in the under-$5000 category. (Only Nikon’s D200 and D300 weigh more.) But size and weight aren’t the only factors influencing camera choice and the E-3 has plenty to recommend it.
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.
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’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).
An entry-level DSLR with many features to help novice users but also a good set of manual controls.Nikon is touting its D60 model as ‘one of the smallest Nikon digital SLRs ever’. Released less than a year after the slightly lighter D40, it’s identical in size and also the same size and weight as D40x that followed. It also has the same 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor and a very similar feature set to the D40x. The review camera was supplied with the new AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens, which will be bundled with the camera body and sports a built-in Silent Wave Motor and Vibration Reduction.
A high-resolution DSLR camera for everyday photographers with most of the same features as the popular D40 model. Nikon’s successful entry-level D40 DSLR has been given an upgrade in the new D40X by replacing the 6-megapixel CCD with a 10.2-megapixel imager, similar to the chip used in the D80 model. The new camera is identical to the D40 in all but a few areas and shares its position as the smallest and most compact DSLR cameras in Nikon’s range (although the D40’s body is20 grams lighter). The bundled kit lens is the same 18-55mm, F3.5-F5.5 AF-S Nikkor as you get with the D40.
A versatile DSLR that family photographers can learn and grow with.Just over six months after launching the D90 – the first DSLR to offer video capture – Nikon has released a second video-enabled model, the D5000. Positioned between the D60 and D90 models, this new DSLR combines features of them both. It’s priced $200 below the D90 and has the same 12.3-megapixel (effective) resolution but lacks many of the refinements of the higher-priced model.