There’s a great article on DPReview right now about how the quality of lenses differs and can produce unwanted results when paired with different cameras (who also show variations). It’s a fascinating article – a lot of the data is on page 2.
I’ve posted a lot about the high-end point-and-shoot cameras before, this market had some great offerings in the past two years. However, a tipping point in the market has been reached and many companies are fighting it out in the mirrorless interchangable lens camera space. Featuring larger, better sensors than point-and-shoot cameras, these systems also feature interchangable lenses. They’re generally smaller than SLR cameras because of the lack of a TTL viewfinder and it’s required optics. Lens quality is not as good as full SLR lenses, but you get a much smaller form factor. These mirrorless cameras take photos with picture quality rivaling dSLR offerings just one year ago.
While these cameras have been out for a while, this summer an explosion of offerings of mirrorless cameras have been announced. Instead of just “high-end” mirrorless offerings, there are not multiple offerings at different price points. The Olympus PEN E-PM1 is rumored to list for $500 – and probably will sell for less at retail assuming there is an adequate supply. The PM1 is the camera I am considering. Now is probably the best time to consider these cameras if upgrading from a point-and-shoot or looking to complement a dSLR.
Some people might consider the Fuji X100 and X10 to be comparable, however that camera does not have interchangeable lenses, a very strict limitation for a $1000 “point-and-shoot”.
The D7000 is taking a while to hit the stores, as all Nikon’s do. DPReview has one of the first in-depth reviews of Nikon’s new midrange camera.
Gizmodo just published a buying guide for DSLR’s. They recommended four different cameras in four different price points. They were brand-agnostic, picking the best camera regardless of whether you were in the Nikon Camp or Canon Camp (sorry Olympus and Sony).
I agree with all their picks, the Nikon D3000, Canon T1i, Nikon D90 and Canon 7D do beat out their peers in their respective price points.
Both Nikon and Canon introduced new top-of-the-line SLR’s this week:
Nikon D3s – the “s” model of the D3 indicates not a new model, but more of an update to the original D3. The D3s keeps the 12MP resolution but the new sensor is capable of much cleaner high ISO ranges. A 720p/24f movie mode is added, similar to the D90 and D300s. Many other new features are listed on dpreview.
Canon 1D Mark IV – yesterday the Mark IV was announced. It features a new 16MP sensor capable of much of the same new ISO range as the D3s. Also new is a 45-point autofocus system. The Mark IV continues the 1D line’s commitment to 1.3x crop factor.
Both cameras offer the best low-light, high-ISO, fast shooting bodies that money can buy. A full comparison of both is available on dpreview’s side-by-side compare tool. However with $5000 price tags and 1200g body weights, I’m not rushing out to buy either of them.
I’ve had this lens since it became available in stores in March. It really is an indispensable lens for the DX-frame crowd. So if you have any Nikon in the D40, D50, D70-D90 family, definitely get this lens. It will be a great beginner lens to step up to once you become used to using the kit lens that comes with most Nikon SLR’s.
Quite simpy, this lens offers great low light shooting – the f1.8 aperature, combined with the great low-light performance of SLR’s really bring out low light pictures without a lot of sensor noise. You won’t have to explore the limits of high ISO settings with this lens. As well, when the lens is used between f4 and f8, it’s incredibly sharp. When mounted on a tripod and focused on a stationary object, prepare to get some of the clearest pictures you can get.
Best of all, it’s inexpensive. I lost my original lens (don’t ask) and picked up a replacement today for only $259.
Also with the launch of the D5000, Nikon also released a new lens: 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED. With the previous release of the 35mm f1.8 DX lens and now this wide angle, it seems that Nikon is focusing on lenses for the DX format with a lot of new product. Clearly Nikon is supporting their line of DX cameras with all these new lens options. Like the 35mm that came out last month, expect a lot of supply shortages of this lens when it becomes available.
This week, the first batch of Nikon’s 35mm f1.8 lens began arriving in stores. Call first – Henry’s, Black’s and Aden were all sold out on Friday.
I’ve often tried to picture how the image stabilization optics work inside a camera lens. Both Nikon and Canon offer this technology in many of their lenses. Even compact cameras now come bundled with this feature more often than not. The camera compensates for movement of the camera in an attempt to capture a better image. This works well in low light situations where the camera increases the time the shutter is open to let in more light.
This video at Gizmodo shows how the electro-mechanices of a Canon lens with image stabilization works.
Nikon introduced four new SLR bodies in 2008. That’s quite remarkable considering there were only three launches last year and one of them was the D40x small update. RIght now, the only model that hasn’t been updated in 2008 is the D300. Expect news on this next year – I expect some new updates to the D300 but nothing like it going to use the FX sensor or anything that earth shattering. Maybe only the addition of video capabilities like the D90.
Nikon D60 – Jan 29, 2008
Nikon D700 – Jul 1, 2008
Nikon D90 – Aug 27, 2008
Nikon D3X – Dec 1, 2008