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Friday, February 2, 2007

Complete D-SLR System Guide

With 10 companies offering D-SLRs today, there’s something for everyone

Variety of D-SLRs Panasonic
Panasonic offers one D-SLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, which has the classic look and feel of a rangefinder film camera, but is actually a Four Thirds System D-SLR that shares some technology with the Olympus EVOLT E-330 and Leica Digilux 3, including the 7.5-megapixel LiveMOS image sensor and mirror box and the Supersonic Wave Filter that keeps dust off the sensor. The DMC-L1 utilizes Panasonic's own Venus Engine III image processor, which was designed especially for the LiveMOS sensor. The DMC-L1 shoots in three aspect ratios, uses SD cards (including SDHC cards) and features simple, intuitive operation.


System Accessories: The DMC-L1 is sold with a Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm ƒ/2.8-3.5 zoom that incorporates a MEGA O.I.S. system. But all Four Thirds System lenses can be used with the camera. Other accessories include the FL-360 and FL-500 flash units, a wired remote control, camera bags and filters.

Pentax has produced seven D-SLRs, and the current lineup consists of two affordable 6.1-megapixel models and a new 10.2-megapixel camera. The newest model is the top-of-the-line K10D, a rugged dustproof and weather-resistant camera that sells for well under $1,000. It's loaded, with 10.2-megapixel resolution, a sensor-shift Shake Reduction system that works with almost all existing Pentax lenses (we haven't had a chance to try the K10D, but the SR system in the K100D proved very effective), a two-pronged Dust Removal system meant to keep the image sensor spot-free, a new 22-bit A/D converter and new PRIME imaging engine for better image quality and faster operation, and more.

The middle-of-the-line K100D sells for under $600 and provides excellent performance and a host of features, including effective in-camera Shake Reduction, 11-point AF (with nine cross-type sensors), 16-segment metering, ISOs from 200 to 3200, a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, many picture and scene modes, and more. The K110D is essentially the same camera but without the Shake Reduction function and a $100 lower price.



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