Toolbox: Top Compact Cameras
For candid and casual photography, today’s fixed-lens cameras offer near-SLR performance and some unique tricks all their own In terms of sheer performance and flexibility, nothing beats a digital SLR for serious photography, but try slipping one into your pocket. There are times when it’s more important to have a camera that’s portable, speedy and nimble—when a D-SLR, for all of its benefits, is too large, heavy or conspicuous.
D-SLRs: Buy Now!
Why there has never been a better time to upgrade your primary camera If you’ve been waiting to buy a new digital SLR, now is a great time. Performance, features and price have reached a happy nexus. Even the entry-level models give you very good AF performance and image quality—better than their predecessors and generally much better than compact digital cameras. D-SLRs also provide much quicker shooting and interchangeable-lens versatility. Mid-range models offer image quality and AF performance that was found only in costlier pro models not so long ago, and the latest pro models rival the very expensive medium-format digital cameras. (In fact, all six current full-frame D-SLRs scored higher overall on DxOMark.com’s RAW sensor-performance scale than the four medium-format models they tested.)
19th Century Mobile Photography Check out this amazing time-lapse video that shows a photographer setting up a wet-plate collodian, large-format photo shoot. The wet-plate process was state of the art in the latter part of the 19th century. Today a select group of fine-art shooters like Jill Enfield still use and enjoy it. The process certainly is a far cry from the immediacy of digital cameras!
Casio’s Exilim EX-F1 and Exilim EX-FH20 break the speed barrier Capturing photos at five frames per second is pretty fast. Pro SLR models can do about twice that at the top end. Then Casio released the EX-F1, with burst speeds up to 60 fps, and followed up with the higher-resolution EX-FH20, with a burst rate of up to 40 fps, making even professional SLRs seem kind of slow. But there’s a lot more to these zoom-lens cameras than mere speed.
D-SLR State Of The Art, Part II
What to know about the latest digital sensors, ISO and image quality Nikon shook up the D-SLR industry late in 2007 with the announcement that its new D3 model provided ISO settings as high as 25,600. Now, Nikon’s D700 and Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II also go up there, Canon’s EOS 50D has a top ISO setting of 12,800, and a dozen current D-SLRs have settings of at least 6400.
First Look: Olympus E-30
Aimed squarely at enthusiasts, the latest SLR from Olympus offers several unique capabilities for creative expression The new E-30 fits into the Olympus D-SLR line-up between the pro E-3 and advanced-amateur E-520 models, but closer to the E-3. It offers the most megapixels of any Olympus D-SLR and is loaded with features aimed at the creative artist who likes to go beyond the straight shot. Like the E-3 and E-520, the E-30 incorporates sensor-shift image stabilization that works with all lenses.
D-SLR State Of The Art, Part I
The line between still and video fades out as Live View evolves into HD motion video Digital cameras have come a long way since we first began covering them in 1996. The serious limitation of the early days was resolution—the first 1-megapixel camera was a big deal. We’ve reached a point now where digital-imaging technology has met and surpassed the capabilities of film and is pushing into new territories that weren’t possible in the analog world. In this first of a two-part feature on the state of digital photography, we’ll look at one of the most significant advances to date that, combined for the first time with an interchangeable-lens system, may well change how photographers record, experience and even think about photography.
Aimed squarely at enthusiasts, the latest SLR from Olympus offers several unique capabilities for creative expression The new E-30 fits into the Olympus D-SLR line-up between the pro E-3 and advanced-amateur E-520 models, but closer to the E-3. It offers the most megapixels of any Olympus D-SLR and is loaded with features aimed at the creative artist who likes to go beyond the straight shot.
D-SLRs + HD Video
New cameras from Canon and Nikon are the first SLRs to include video Digital video has been a feature of compact digital cameras for years, and recently HD capture has become more common. This feature has now made its way to interchangeable-lens cameras. Though not a replacement for your dedicated HD camcorder, this opens up the possibility to make video part of your usual photography experience, with the added benefit and control of using the optics of your choice.
New models deliver technology advances for photographers of every level It has been three long years since Canon shook things up by introducing the first “affordable” full-frame D-SLR, the EOS 5D. Now its replacement is finally here. The new EOS 5D Mark II ups the resolution by 65%, adds full HD-movie capability and a lot more, all at a price $600 less than the original EOS 5D when it came out.
Buyer's Guide 2009: D-SLRs Over $2,000
The tools of the pros, these top-tier models offer the cutting edge of digital image capture
If you make your living with your camera or simply want the very best performance and latest technologies, pro models offer uncompromising feature sets and image quality. This also is the range where you'll find "full-frame," 35mm-size sensors, allowing you to use 35mm lenses with no magnification effect.