10 Best New Camera Features
New technologies are refining what’s possible The early generations of digital cameras focused mainly on matching the quality, speed and performance that photographers had come to expect from their film cameras.
Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000A
The latest generation of Sanyo’s unique form-factor cameras boasts impressive still and HD-video capabilities
Basic Tech: HD Video And Autofocus
DSLRs with HD video are the wave of the future. Is lagging autofocus a thing of the past? If, the first time you picked up an HD video-enabled DSLR, you blasted full-speed ahead into figuring out how to shoot video without reading the owner’s manual (as I did), you were undoubtedly surprised to discover how poorly your camera focused (as I was).
Nikon D700 Positioned directly in between the D300 and the D3 both in price and in functionality, the Nikon D700 brings full-frame to an affordable level for prosumers and advanced amateurs. The 12.1-megapixel, FX-format camera takes the best of the D3 and packages it into a compact D-SLR, with the same CMOS sensor and EXPEED processing.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony’s DSLR-A900 brought the Alpha series of D-SLRs into full-frame territory, with an industry-leading 24.6-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and Dual BIONZ processing. For photographers without strong brand loyalty from years of shooting with 35mm SLRs and lenses, the A900 is a strong contender as a full-frame system to buy into, particularly since Sony manufactures the same sensor for the Nikon D3x, which is priced at upwards of $5,000 more.
Canon EOS 50D The lowest-priced model in the midrange D-SLR category, the EOS 50D nevertheless offers the second-most megapixels, excellent performance and lots of features. It was Canon’s top APS-C-sensor model until the EOS 7D was introduced at press time.
Nikon D3X Replacing the D3 as Nikon’s flagship D-SLR, the full-frame D3x, now almost a year old, was the eagerly anticipated evolution of Nikon’s solid D3. On the exterior, the D3x is identical to the D3. The build, interface and many of the features so familiar to D3 users have been carried over directly to the D3x. Underneath the hood, however, there are a few substantial improvements that make the $3,000 price hike reasonable, including a brand-new sensor and a 16-bit processing pipeline with your choice of image file capture at 14-bit (16,384 tones) or 12-bit (4,096 tones) for incredibly high picture quality and subtle tonality.
Leica M8.2 Leica and the little red dot that serves as its logo are synonymous with a certain photographic mystique—and phenomenal optics. As the name implies, the Leica M8.2 is the sequel to the M8, Leica’s initial foray into digital. The M8 itself, released in 2006, continues the traditional aesthetics and minimalist elegance of the analog M Series, which goes back more than 50 years.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III While many of the features of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III have trickled down to the 5D Mark II, the EOS-1Ds Mark III model still offers photographers professional features and functionality that the 5D Mark II does not. The 1Ds Mark III is the flagship D-SLR of the Canon EOS line, and as such, everything about it is designed to offer top-of-the-line performance, speed and image quality.
Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 With a brand-new 14.2-megapixel Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor and a brand-new BIONZ processor, not to mention a host of new features previously seen only in top-tier D-SLR models, the recently announced Sony Alpha DSLR-A550 offers pro-level functions, phase-detection focusing and extended live-view benefits.
Sigma SD14 Most image sensors don’t see color; they see brightnesses. To get color data, conventional sensors used in other D-SLRs place a Bayer filter array over the pixels, such that each pixel is covered by a red, green or blue filter. Data for the other colors is provided for each pixel via interpolation using complex proprietary algorithms.