The camera industry and photographers, having just gotten accustomed to the arrival of video in point-and-shoot cameras, just now are beginning to grapple with its arrival in the more serious SLR realm.
Chuck Westfall, technical adviser for Canon's professional products marketing division and a 26-year veteran at the Japanese company, is in the thick of it. Nikon was the first to market with a single-lens reflex camera equipped with video, the D90, but Canon offers video in two SLRs: the high-end EOS 5D Mark II, with a large sensor the size of a full frame of 35mm film, and the Rebel T1i, a more affordable, mainstream model.
These cameras combine high-definition video--1900x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second in the case of the 5D Mark II--with SLRs' advantages when shooting in dim conditions and with a broad variety of lenses. But even though today's video SLR features offers hold some appeal to enthusiasts and professionals, they're something of an awkward afterthought. SLRs and those who use them that haven't yet had much time to adapt.
Welcome to the world of digital photography, where change is incessant. In an interview with CNET News, Westfall talked about not just video, but also OLED displays, the arrival of rival full-frame SLRs from Sony and Nikon, changing flash card and file format standards, wireless networking, and more.
Question: The age of the video SLR has begun. A lot of people in the high-end camera market are set in their ways, and video is a radical difference for a lot of them. How does that change the camera design, the marketing, and everything you have to do to sell a camera?… Read more
Nikon's lower-end SLR line is due for a revamp, and there are some signs that it could come soon in the form of a model featuring an articulated screen.
Photos of an SLR with a screen that pivots out and twists surfaced Sunday at the Something Awful forum and Monday at Engadget; the photos depict the production of a Nikon commercial in Eastern Europe, according to the forum posting from "indyjb" and Engadget.
Articulating screens are nothing new; some Olympus and Panasonic SLRs feature them, while some Sony models have a pivoting LCD that can be useful. … Read more
Olympus was founded in 1919, which makes this year its 90th birthday. To celebrate this special occasion, the Japanese company is sending itsbeyond the stratosphere into outer space.
Astronaut Koichi Wakata will take with him to the International Space Station the Olympus E-3 dSLR, with its 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lens, ED 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD telephoto optics, and peripherals such as a battery grip. Wakata will snap pictures of Earth from Kibo, a Japanese experimental module built within the ISS. As a new facility is being built near it, the view of Earth will soon be … Read more
The specifications remain similar at 10.2-megapixel resolution, a 5-point autofocus system, 3.5 frames-per-second burst mode, and a 2.7-inch LCD on the rear. All that's missing to make this dSLR a rugged commando are shockproof and waterproof features.
Rambo wannabes will also be glad to know that this iteration of the K-m will ship with an 18-55mm olive green lens, too.
According to tech blog Akihabara News, the camouflage-colored Pentax dSLR will … Read more
Eventually, it'll become old hat, but for now, the addition of video capture to dSLRs still merits some oohing and aahing. Especially as it comes down to the less expensive models--you know, the ones within reach of the rest of us. So let us buzz eagerly about Canon's latest consumer dSLR, the EOS Rebel T1i, which becomes the cheapest dSLR thus far to support video capture.
Slipping neatly into the company's dSLR product line between the XSi and 40D, the T1i pushes the XTi off the edge of the bed into discontinuity. When it ships in May, it will occupy the popular $800 price segment: $799.99 for the body and $899.99 for the kit with the veteran f3.5-5.6 18-55mm IS lens. … Read more
Three midrange Sony SLRs now are included in DxO Labs' measurements of image sensor performance, and the Alpha A700 proves to be reasonably competitive.
Sony's A700, which costs about $1,100 with an 18-70mm lens, has a score of 66.3 on the test, which calculates how well the sensor handles color, a range brightness and darkness, and low-light shooting. That puts it behind the top-scoring camera with a comparably sized sensor, the Nikon D90, almost ties it with the Pentax K10D and Nikon D300, and gives it a a few points' lead over Canon's 40D and 50D.
Meanwhile, the A200 scores 62.9 and the A300 an even 64, according to the DxOMark Sensor test results that were updated Tuesday. A five-point difference makes a difference of about 1/3 stop in exposure, DxO says, meaning that a higher-scoring camera can attain the same raw image quality as a rival even though the higher-scoring camera is using a faster exposure or higher ISO.
DxO Labs, a French company, makes a business of measuring camera image quality, developing technology for image-processing hardware and software, and selling software to convert the raw files produced by higher-end cameras into less flexible but more convenient formats such as JPEG. The DxOMark score measures sensor performance based on the raw file, a foundation for overall image quality but only a facet of a camera's overall performance. … Read more
A correction has been made to this story. See below for details.
LAS VEGAS--Olympus has declared an end to the megapixel race.
"Twelve megapixels is, I think, enough for covering most applications most customers need," said Akira Watanabe, manager of Olympus Imaging's SLR planning department, in an interview here at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA). "We have no intention to compete in the megapixel wars for E-System," Olympus' line of SLR cameras, he said.
Instead, Olympus will focus on other characteristics such as dynamic range, color reproduction, and a better ISO range for low-light shooting, he said.
Increasing the number of megapixels on cameras is an easy selling point for camera makers, in part because it's a simple concept for people to understand. Even though having more megapixels can enable larger prints and enlargement of subject matter through cropping, adding megapixels comes with some drawbacks.
For one thing, smaller pixels can mean more noisy speckles at the pixel level and can reduce the dynamic range, so brighter areas wash out and darker areas become swaths of black. For another, images take more room on memory cards, hard drives, and Web servers, and cameras need more powerful image processors to handle them. And yesteryear's cameras already had plenty of pixels for making 8x10-inch prints, a size few people exceed. … Read more