Only one week's worth of camera announcements and already it feels as overwhelming as CES. But never fear: Here they are all summarized (in alphabetical order by manufacturer) for easy reading. And remember, we've got a few more weeks of them coming up, so stay tuned.… Read more
When a company more or less tells you that Leica can't effectively come up with a high-quality lens for its mount, that makes you pause. But that seems to be the rationale behind Panasonic's latest X series "premium" lens announcements. In this case, the term seems to apply less to the optics--Leica's reputation is safe there--than to the features and technology. And I have to admit, when Panasonic briefed us about the lenses, they seemed pretty cool. Dubbed the "Lumix X series," they incorporate lever-based electronic zooms along with manual focus and servoelectronic … Read more
We joke about the worst-kept product secrets on the Web, but Sony's late-summer camera and camcorder announcements have to be some sort of record. Finally made public today, specs and photos of its higher-end updates to the Alpha line have been floating around for a while--the semi-pro SLT-A77V was even prematurely nominated for an award. So while chances are you're already familiar with the new models--the SLT-A77V, SLT-A65V, NEX-7, NEX-5N, and NEX-VG20 camcorder--read on for my take and more details.
To be fair, there really is a boatload of interesting, potentially game-changing, stuff here, with lenses and accessories in addition to the cameras.
Starting at the top, the SLT-A77V is the long-awaited successor to the DSLR-A700, though the former uses Sony's fixed translucent-mirror technology and the latter is a conventional dSLR. The A77V incorporates Sony's newest sensor, a 24-megapixel version of its Exmor HD series, along with a new 19-point autofocus system, OLED electronic viewfinder, and 1080/60p video recording in a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. Priced at $1,400 for the body only or $2,000 with the new 16-50mm f2.8 SSM Zeiss lens, the A77V comes in a at an odd price relative to potential competitors from Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic. Sony will offer a new vertical grip for it, the VG-C77AM (October, $299.99).
Into the unenviable slot that competes directly against the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100, and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, Sony launches the SLT-A65V. The A65V sits in the SLT product line between the older A55V and the A77V, and incorporates aspects of both: the newer 24-megapixel sensor, EVF, drive mode, and video codec from the higher-end model with the older 15-point AF system, and similar body design from the A55V. Both of the new models have built-in GPS for geotagging as well.
The two SLT models have very aggressive continuous-shooting specs for their respective classes, and as long as Sony doesn't run into heat problems with video shooting on the new sensor, they sound quite nice (although, as far as I understand, there's no official way to crop into a 1080 window on the sensor while shooting video). But I'm not thrilled about the jump to 24 megapixels, though I'm sure we'll see a Nikon using some variant of that sensor next year.Related link More on the SLT-A65V and SLT-A77V… Read more
Kodak Gallery users now have one more way of viewing and sharing their photos with the addition of video slideshows powered by Animoto. For those unfamiliar with Animoto, the site/service takes your photos and video clips and edits them together into a single movie using its Cinematic Artificial Intelligence. The best part is that little is required from the user beyond uploading files and picking music, and that's pretty much the same for the Kodak service. … Read more
People--including the editors around here--tend to forget that waterproof and rugged cameras and camcorders aren't just for pools, lakes, and beaches. Kodak, perhaps for more awareness of this, has partnered again with snowboard company Burton for a special-edition PlaySport rugged minicamcorder bundle.
There's really not much to this as it's just a PlaySport Zx5 with a new coat of paint, so to speak. All the same durability claims apply, too: waterproof to 9.8 feet, dust resistant, and shockproof up to 5 feet. (It is not freezeproof unfortunately, so you'll have to keep it at least 32 degrees Fahrenheit for it to work.)
Its shooting features and everything else are the same, but it is a bundle, so along with the minicamcorder you get an HDMI cable, remote control, 4GB SDHC memory card, a gripping tripod, and carrying case.
The bundle is in stock at Kodak.com for $199.99.
Sony may be late to the game in sport optics--competitors such as Canon, Nikon, and Pentax have been supplying stalkers for years--but it's entering with a splash. Its DEV-5 and DEV-3 models are basically full-featured camcorders crammed into a typical binocular design.
I couldn't believe that while digital camera binoculars have been around for years, no one had ever taken the next step and integrated video, but it looks like Sony really is the first. The two models incorporate a pair of 1/4-inch Exmor R BSI sensors (comparable to the one in the HDR-CX360V) and a pair … Read more
If you are or someone you know is upgrading from a point-and-shoot to a digital SLR or an interchangeable lens compact camera, you might want to look at or share this video series from Vimeo. The series, called "Behind the Glass," is an introduction to lenses and terminology.
Though they're geared for beginners, the videos are entertaining enough that even people who understand how and when to use a particular lens might want to check them out. The videos are targeted at those shooting movies with their cameras, Vimeo being a video-sharing site after all, but much of what's said applies to still photos, too.
When the Cisco Flip SlideHD made its debut a little over a year ago, it was the premium pocket camcorder in the illustrious Flip line. And it came with a premium price: $279.99.
Today, eCost has the refurbished Flip SlideHD 16GB pocket camcorder for $69.99, plus $6 for shipping. That's pretty amazing, especially when you consider that its tiny 4GB cousin, the Mino HD, sells for about the same.
The SlideHD is on the chunky side for a pocket cam, but that's because it sports a 3-inch touch screen that slides up at an angle for … Read more
There are a lot of minicamcorders on the market, but not all of them can withstand a 5-foot drop or a dunk in a pool. And actually, last year you really couldn't find any that could survive those things. This year, though, you can pick from models from Kodak, Panasonic, Toshiba, JVC, GE, and Samsung.
The leaders here are Kodak's PlaySport Zx5 and Panasonic's HM-TA20. The Panasonic is more expensive than and isn't as full featured as the PlaySport, but it's still less than $200 and does just enough. It also seems better designed for … Read more
If you're into time-lapse photography and/or panoramas--or want to get started with them--and you have a camera with an intervalometer, Camarush's clever and inexpensive Camalapse mount sounds like a useful accessory to throw in your bag. Based on the same mechanical timer technology as a conventional egg timer, the Camalapse rotates up to a maximum of 360 degrees in one hour. You attach a small (less than 1 pound) camera or camcorder to its tripod mount, and optionally attach the Camalapse to a tripod, wind it up, and you're off and autorotating. You can also stack … Read more