The Low-Pass Filter

What it does, and why ditching it can be a good thing

The optical low-pass filter (OLPF), also known as an anti-aliasing or blur filter, has been in the photo news a lot lately, mainly because several manufacturers have eliminated it from some of their DSLRs and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. What’s the deal? The low-pass filter’s purpose is to do away with the moiré and aliasing... Read more

Nikon D5300

The D5300 is even more compact than its predecessor, measuring 4.9×3.9×3.0 inches and weighing 16.9 ounces.

Estimated Street Price: $2,999 (with 50mm Special Edition kit lens). INTRODUCED 11/2013 The Nikon D5300 offers a number of improvements over its excellent D5200 predecessor, while retaining the features that made the D5200 so popular. The pixel count remains the same, but the 24.2-megapixel DX (APS-C) CMOS sensor in the new camera was designed without... Read more

Nikon Df

The Df can use all current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D Nikkor lenses, but it’s also compatible with classic Ai and non-Ai Nikkor lenses with full-aperture metering.

Estimated Street Price: $2,999 (with 50mm Special Edition kit lens). INTRODUCED 11/2013 Nikon went back to its roots to create a full-frame DSLR for the old-school photographer who likes to control everything without messing with multiple menus. The new Df ("Digital Fusion") features a design reminiscent of Nikon’s classic 35mm film... Read more

Nikon D610

The D610 shares the ruggedness and dust- and moisture- resistance of the D600 (and D800), and its shutter is tested to 150,000 cycles.

Estimated Street Price: $1,999 (body only). INTRODUCED 10/2013 A little more than a year after Nikon introduced its most affordable full-frame DSLR—the well-featured D600—we have its successor in the D610. The new camera retains its predecessor’s assets, adding a new shutter mechanism that ups maximum frame rate to 6 fps (from 5.5) and offering... Read more

Pentax K-3

Like the K-5 models, the K-3 features a rugged magnesium-alloy body housing a metal chassis, and is fully weather-sealed and cold- and dust-resistant.

Estimated Street Price: $1,299 (body only) INTRODUCED 10/2013 Pentax has a new flagship DSLR, with lots of improvements over the very good K-5II for not much more cost. The K-3 features a new PRIME III imaging engine and APS-C 24.35-megapixel CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter for optimal sharpness. But for those rare occasions where moiré... Read more

Advanced AF

DSLRs use quick phase-detection auto-focusing for viewfinder (non-live view) shooting.

DSLRs use quick phase-detection auto-focusing for viewfinder (non-live view) shooting. Phase-detection AF can determine from a single reading whether the subject is in focus, and if not, in which direction and by how much. This makes it great for fast-moving subjects—it’s quick and can do predictive AF. The SLR mirror has to be in the viewing... Read more

Nikon D600

Nikon’s new full-frame DSLR, the D600 features a 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and delivers 12- or 14-bit images at 6016×4016 pixels.

1. Unusual in full-frame DSLRs, the D600 has a built-in pop-up flash unit. It’s also compatible with Nikon’s highly respected i-TTL flash system. 2. Image files and videos are saved on SD/SDHC/SDXC media, with dual card slots. 3. The release-mode dial makes it quick and easy to... Read more

Canon EOS 70D

The camera can use all EF and EF-S lenses; the new Dual Pixel AF system is, at the time of this writing, compatible with 103 of them.

Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (K-5 II/body only) INTRODUCED 2/2010 Since the first DSLRs that could do video, a big problem has been poor video AF performance. The video-capable DSLRs’ quick phase-detection AF systems were rendered inoperative in Live View (and, thus, Movie) mode, so contrast-based AF off the image sensor had to be used. And... Read more

Sigma SD15

The straightforward design and operation will appeal to purist photographers who aren’t into bells and whistles, but the unique Foveon image sensor is the camera’s key feature.

ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $989 INTRODUCED 2/2010 Though Sigma hasn’t introduced a new model in a few years, the SD15 remains available, and at a lower price. It features the unique Foveon X3 image sensor, and is able to shoot up to 21 RAW image bursts at 3 fps. It also boasts 77-segment metering and a rugged body built for rigorous pro use. ... Read more

Top Cameras

Smallest, DSLR over $1000, mirrorless, fixed-lens, best sensor rating, highest resolution, innovation, under $1000

TOP CAMERAS: SMALLEST SMALLEST DSLR Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Dimensions:?4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 inches Though it features the same 18-megapixel sensor of the EOS?Rebel T5i, the SL1 is nearly 30% smaller in volume. DSLR OVER $1,000 Pentax K-5 II Dimensions:?5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 inches The K-5 II packs a lot of capability—16.3-megapixel stills, Full 1080... Read more

Nikon D7100

Nikon’s D7100 DSLR improves on its popular D7000 predecessor in a number of ways.

Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (body only) INTRODUCED 2/2013 Nikon’s D7100 DSLR improves on its popular D7000 predecessor in a number of ways: better sensor, better processing, better AF system, better LCD monitor, better video capabilities, better weather resistance, a new "1.3x DX" crop mode and more. Yet it carries the same $1,199... Read more

Is It Time To Go Full-Frame?

Full-frame DSLRs are hot! The reasons?

Full-frame DSLRs are hot! The reasons? Well, image quality, for starters: All other things being equal, a full-frame sensor can collect more light than a smaller one, and that means a better signal-to-noise ratio (see the sidebar for more about this). And that means better image quality, with less noise, especially at higher ISO settings—full-frame... Read more
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