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).
The latest iteration of Nikon’s professional DSLR camera adds D-Movie video recording at up to 1280 x 720-pixel resolution.The D3s is the latest professional FX model in Nikon’s DSLR line-up. A small step forward, rather than a major upgrade to the previous D3 series models, the D3s introduces a new sensor and adds a couple of new features but is otherwise almost identical. The most important additions are video recording and sensor-shake dust reduction technology.
A smart-looking digicam with a 36x zoom Nikkor lens, 12.1-megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS sensor and Full HD video recording. Nikon’s 12-megapixel Coolpix P500, which was announced in early February, is the higher-featured model of two that replace the Coolpix P100, which has been on sale for roughly a year. Featuring a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, it boasts a 36x zoom Nikkor lens, the longest so far in a Coolpix camera. It spans focal lengths from the equivalent of 22.5mm at the wide position to 810mm at full tele zoom.
If you own a digital SLR (DSLR) camera – or a high-end compact digicam – you will find it provides two file format settings: JPEG and raw (often shown as RAW). When you shoot a JPEG image, the camera’s image processor with adjust the contrast, sharpness, colour saturation and white balance BEFORE the image is saved to the memory card. When you shoot a raw image, this processing is deferred until the file is opened in a computer.
Currently, no compact digital camera (‘digicam’) can match the performance of even an entry-level DSLR. Although photo enthusiasts have long preferred an SLR-type camera, the latest DSLRs have much more appeal to mainstream picture-takers than earlier models.
August 29, 2005: When I fly out of Australia today it will be my first major trip without a film camera. All the photos I take in the next five weeks will be digital. The Photo Review team decided I should share my experiences with readers as many more people are now relying exclusively on digital capture, not only when they travel but for all their other photography.