Here's a frustrating combination: traveling and serious photography. At precisely the time you want to photography interesting new surroundings, you also don't want to be burdened with inordinate amounts of gear.
Olympus has one interesting answer to the conundrum, though: the E-3 (click here for CNET's full-on review). Its top-of the line SLR is rugged, waterproof, and when combined with the company's Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD and 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD lenses provides a flexible package that's portable if not actually lightweight.
I hauled the E-3 with those lenses and the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F4.0 wide-angle zoom to Argentina for a month of vacation and was pleased with the performance. I had to lug the gear not only on the usual buses and city tours, but also in much more demanding conditions: two four-day backpacking trips with a three-year-old, Patagonia's uncertain weather, and serious weight-carrying constraints.
The result was good photos of people, flower close-ups, skittish wildlife, and beautiful mountains.
The gear costs about $1,950 for the camera and 12-60mm lens, $950 for the 50-200mm lens, and $1,400 for the 7-14mm lens. … Read more
With a price gap of about $900 between the Olympus E-520 and the E-3, Olympus has long had a pretty big hole in its dSLR lineup--a hole populated by extremely popular competitors like the Nikon D90, the Canon EOS 40D, and the Canon EOS 50D. But with the announcement of the E-30, it looks like Olympus is entering the ring swinging.
First, some key specs:Canon EOS 50D Nikon D90 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-3 Sensor 14.7-megapixel CMOS 12.3-megapixel CMOS 12.3-megapixel Live MOS 10.1-megapixel Live MOS Color depth 14 bits 12 bits 12 bits 12 bits Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 3,200/12,800 (expanded) ISO 100 - ISO 3,200/6,400 (expanded) ISO 100 - ISO 3,200 ISO 100 - ISO 3,200 Focal-length multiplier 1.6x 1.5x 2x 2x Continuous shooting 6.3 fps 90 JPEG/16 raw 4.5 fps 100 JPEG/n/a raw 5 fps n/a JPEG/12 raw 5fps n/a JPEG/12 raw Viewfinder 95% coverage 0.95x magnification User interchangeable focusing screens 96% coverage 0.94x magnification fixed focusing screen 98% coverage 1.02x magnification fixed focusing screen 100% coverage 1.15x magnification Mfr. interchangeable focusing screens Autofocus 9-pt AF all cross-type 11-pt AF center cross-type 11-pt AF all cross-type 11-pt AF all cross-type Live View Yes Yes Yes Yes LCD size 3 inches 3 inches 2.7 inches 2.5 inches Approximate street price (body only) $1,399 $999 $1,299 $1,499
Generally, camera firmware updates fall into the random, infrequently occurring bug- or compatibility-fix category, and unless you've experienced the issues an update resolves, I suggest against updating your camera. Every now and then, though, an update comes out that--theoretically, at least--affects most or all users. The version 1.1 update for the Nikon D300 falls into this category. Buried among the usual host of minor changes, like "The Highlights playback option has been moved from Display Mode > Basic photo info > Highlights in the playback menu to Display mode > Detailed photo info > Highlights" are … Read more
update 9/26: It turns out that the product will not be named E-A1; that was just a random name that appeared in a graphic accompanying the press materials. So mentally replace each instance of "E-A1" in this post with "Olympus 4/3rd's DSLR concept."
Of all the major camera manufacturers, Olympus stands out as lacking a prosumer model. Between the approximately $600 E-520 and $1,500-ish E-3 lies a huge gap for competing with the likes of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi and 40D, the Nikon D90, and the Sony Alpha DLSR-A700. And … Read more
Last Olympus announcement today, I swear. This is the new $299.99 Stylus 1050 SW, another entry into the company's innovative shock-and-waterproof digital camera lineup. It has all the features of the Stylus 1040 announced today, such as its 10-megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, and various shooting options including a 16-person face detection system. However, the 1050 SW can absorb drops up to 5 feet, is waterproof down to 10 feet, and is freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, while touch screens may be all the rage, they won't do much good when your … Read more
OK, maybe it won't make you popular, or rich for that matter, but at least the Stylus won't make it look like you're smuggling squirrels in your pockets. The $199.99 all-metal camera available in black and silver models this October is the thinnest Stylus yet at just 0.65-inch thick and weighs in at just a touch less than 4 ounces. And, of course, it's chock full of convenience shooting features like intelligent scene and smile recognition, in-camera editing and panorama picture creation, and face detection for up to 16 people in a shot (so … Read more