Cameras

Canon Announces EOS Rebel T2i D-SLR

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Canon announced today the EOS Rebel T2i—the follow-up D-SLR to last year’s T1i. The T2i boasts an 18MP CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800), full HD 1080p video (1920 x 1080) at 30, 24 or 25fps. The T2i will be available in early March for $899.99 (kit—with Canon’s EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens).

From Canon:

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 8, 2010 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced the new flagship model for the Company’s highly popular Rebel DSLR line: the Canon EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera. Today’s photo enthusiast is looking for a camera that will grow with them as they learn, and that is a perfect description of the new EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera. Retaining all of the traditional characteristics that have made the EOS Rebel series beloved by entry-level photographers and an industry best-seller, the new Rebel T2i succeeds in bridging the gap between an entry-level camera and a true pro-sumer camera.

The Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera includes a variety of new features for photographic assignments as varied as grabbing that action shot from the sidelines or creating memorable family portraits, including: 3.7 fps shooting, an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800), a 63-zone Dual Layer Metering System, and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor. There are some moments in our lives where video helps capture the moment better than a still image, and the Rebel T2i offers the best of both worlds with Full HD 1080p video as well as 18-megapixel still images.  The Rebel T2i DSLR continues Canon’s industry-leading trend in Full HD DSLR video capture with manual exposure control, selectable frame rates and a new external microphone input. There is also a new feature for standard definition recording, Movie Crop, which provides an approximate 7x additional zoom with no loss of image quality when shooting SD quality video.

“There is no question that HD video is the biggest trend in DSLR technology and because of this we are seeing the creativity of still photographers transferring to the moving image. Still photographers are using the various lenses and accessories they are already familiar with to create amazing video footage,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “Taking that HD video quality and putting it in the hands of entry-level photographers with cameras like our new EOS Rebel T2i, we are seeing a new generation of creative digital artists emerge.”


Lights, Rebel, Action – EOS HD Video

Canon’s EOS HD video capture has helped spark a major movement in digital imaging, empowering still photographers with the ability to experiment, learn and capture stunning high-definition video through a variety of creative lenses. Continuing this imaging revolution, the new EOS Rebel T2i puts entry-level photographers on the frontline equipped with all the latest EOS HD video features including full HD video at 1920×1080 resolution, selectable frame rates, full manual exposure control and the visual options of interchangeable lenses. Manual video exposure control provides novice filmmakers with the image control they are accustomed to in a still camera, all while shooting professional-level cinematic video.  Professional photographers utilize creative lighting, adjustable depth-of-field and a variety of lenses to create powerful still images and video footage, and these are exactly the tools that the new Rebel T2i gives to budding photo and video enthusiasts. Adding a new professional-level feature for EOS cameras, the Rebel T2i includes an Auto ISO function that works in all Creative Zone exposure modes including Manual where users can set a limit to the highest ISO the camera will use, enabling them to retain the lighting and look they desire for a scene. By setting an Auto ISO range, videographers can retain dark shadow areas and avoid blowing out highlight areas in a scene while still retaining the benefit of automatic ISO adjustments. The Rebel T2i DSLR captures video in both NTSC (National Television System Committee) and PAL (Phase Altering Line) standards at selectable frame rates including Full  HD 1920 x 1080 at 30 (29.97), 25 or 24 (23.976) fps, and HD 1280 x 720 or Standard Definition 640 x 480 quality video, at 60 (59.94) or 50 fps.

For easier video recording operation and familiar functionality for beginners, the Rebel T2i’s autofocus can be operated before or during video recording by pressing the shutter button half-way down in video mode. Another feature debuting in the Rebel T2i is Canon’s new Movie Crop mode, where the user can achieve 7x magnification when shooting SD video for a significantly increased “telephoto” effect. Unlike the digital zoom feature found in many compact digital cameras, Canon’s new Movie Crop mode actually crops the image directly from the CMOS sensor at full SD resolution to preserve maximum image quality and provide additional zoom power. The new Movie Crop feature is especially helpful for achieving extra full resolution zoom power when filming youth sports, such as a child running to the furthest end of a field. For better sound quality when shooting video, the Rebel T2i DSLR includes an external stereo microphone jack, a first for an EOS Rebel model, in addition to its built-in monaural microphone. These audio and video features supplement a tremendous range of additional must-have video features in an entry-level Digital SLR camera.

For enhanced viewing pleasure and easy video sharing at home, the HDMI video-out capability of the Rebel T2i DSLR includes a new Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) compatibility which allows users to play back still or video files on a CEC-compliant HDTV, using the TV remote to control the camera when connected via HDMI interface.

Camera Feature Set
The EOS Rebel T2i DSLR features a newly developed 18-million-pixel Canon CMOS imaging sensor providing outstanding resolution and light sensitivity for amazing poster-sized prints with fine detail and stunning color. The camera exhibits exceptional low-noise performance incorporating many of the same technologies used to reduce noise in professional cameras such as the EOS 7D. The Rebel T2i camera’s basic ISO range is an amazing 100~6400, and via a Custom Function, it can be extended to ISO 12,800. The outstanding ISO range combined with its noise reduction technology allows the Rebel T2i to capture outstanding low-light pictures at events such as candlelit birthday celebrations or recitals where flash photography may be prohibited.

The camera provides 3.7 fps continuous shooting for still photos, making it the fastest shooting Rebel model to date and enabling users to capture that great image of a little leaguer’s first swing. The camera features Canon’s proprietary iFCL 63-zone dual-layer metering system offering intelligent Evaluative metering with much finer segmentation than any previous EOS Rebel model. The new Rebel T2i also has an expanded ± 5 EV exposure compensation range allowing for much more versatility when shooting in extremely bright or dark environments; or when shooting HDR (high dynamic range) images.

The Rebel T2i DSLR includes a number of professional-level user-selectable Canon image processing features to enhance the image quality of in-camera JPEG files, and to tag RAW images for processing later through Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software (included with the camera). These features include Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer to enhance shadow detail and add contrast to “flat” scenes, Highlight Tone Priority adding up to one stop of detail in bright highlight areas, Peripheral Illumination Correction for automatic correction of vignetting, High ISO Noise Reduction with four user-selectable settings, and Long Exposure Noise Reduction applied to exposures one second or longer. These Canon image enhancements provide new photographers with professional quality automatic image correction on JPEG files right out of the camera.

The EOS Rebel T2i digital camera includes a new enhanced 3-inch LCD monitor featuring 1.04 million dots with a wide 3:2 aspect ratio, wider than previous EOS models. The Rebel T2i camera’s LCD monitor can display a full-screen video image utilizing the entire screen during playback. For maximum storage capacity the new EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera is the first EOS model to support SDXC memory cards. With all the new and exciting features of the EOS Rebel T2i, the Rebel series continues to provide great Canon features such as Live View, a built-in pop-up flash, and the EOS integrated cleaning system, as well as compatibility with Canon EX-series Speedlites and Canon EF and EF-S lenses allowing users to fully explore multiple creative photographic possibilities.  The new EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera is also compatible with Canon’s new BG-E8 battery grip and new RC-6 wireless remote control for both still images and video capture.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be delivered to U.S. dealers in early March, and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $799.99. It will also be offered in a kit version with Canon’s EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $899.99.

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Nikon Announces Seven New COOLPIX Cameras

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Nikon has added seven new cameras to their COOLPIX lineup, including the 10.3MP CMOS sensor P100, which shoots full HD video (1080p) and has a 26x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED lens; the 14.2MP 26x optical zoom S8000; and the 12.1MP 15x optical zoom L110.

From Nikon:

At the forefront of product innovation and market firsts, Nikon Inc. today introduced seven new COOLPIX compact digital cameras, marrying performance and design for an enhanced user experience. Building on the success of the COOLPIX brand, Nikon continues to lead innovation in game-changing categories, including the introduction of a CMOS sensor and 26x optical zoom lens into the flagship Performance Series with the new COOLPIX P100. Because of the growing popularity of content-generation and High Definition (HD) video, Nikon has equipped five of its new COOLPIX cameras with HD movie capabilities, making creating and sharing memories fun and easy. A hallmark of the COOLPIX line, Nikon offers elegantly designed compact cameras in vibrant must-have colors to suit personal style, including the new COOLPIX S8000, COOLPIX S6000, COOLPIX S4000, COOLPIX S3000 and COOLPIX L22. Additionally, the new COOLPIX L110 offers 15x super zoom and HD video recording with stereo sound and easy shooting versatility.
“These latest Nikon COOLPIX cameras reflect the easy-to-use technology in compact and stylish cameras that consumers have come to expect from Nikon,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “With new features such as HD movie and long-zoom shooting capabilities, these COOLPIX cameras empower consumers with powerful, yet easy-to-use features that also serve as an expression of personal style.”
The Nikon COOLPIX cameras incorporate Nikon’s world-class NIKKOR lenses, delivering accurate detail and brilliant color, as well as Nikon’s EXPEED™ digital image processing concept, which helps to ensure high-quality pictures with stunning color and sharpness. A new enhancement in select camera models is Advanced Flash Control, which creates a more natural-looking appearance in low-light settings. Other COOLPIX features include Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization, which minimizes blur that may appear in pictures, even in low-light or unsteady conditions while shooting handheld; and Scene Auto Selector, which automatically recognizes the shooting situation and adjusts camera settings accordingly.  Also, the new Night Landscape Mode found in the P100 combines a series of consecutive shots into a single, clearer image with low noise when photographing at night. Adding to the overall functionality, many of the new models sport an easily accessible video record button to make recording movies a one-step process. To make sharing images and HD video fun and easy, many of the new COOLPIX cameras also feature enhanced HDMI connectivity.
New COOLPIX P100 Digital Camera Features 26x Super Telephoto-Zoom Lens and CMOS Technology for Shooting Versatility
Nikon continues its commitment to high performance in the compact digital camera category, offering photo enthusiasts ultra long-zoom capabilities, high-speed action and shooting versatility in a compact body. New to the COOLPIX line, the P100 is the first Nikon COOLPIX camera to incorporate a 10.3-megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor, which enables high-speed shooting at 10 frames per second (fps) at full resolution and exceptional image quality even when shooting in low-light settings. Other functions benefitting from the lower noise and exceptional image quality of the new CMOS image sensor include an in-camera high dynamic range (HDR) function, which merges images of the same scene to achieve a single image with a broader range of tonal detail.
Additionally, a Night Landscape Mode combines a series of consecutive shots taken into a single image, with reduced noise. An expansive 26mm wide-angle to 678mm super-telephoto 26x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens brings users closer to the action, which can be utilized while capturing Full HD movies (1080p) with stereo sound recording. The P100 also features a high-speed Sport Continuous Mode for shooting up to 120 fps (1.1 MP) and a pre-shooting cache to help ensure users never miss a shot.
Additional COOLPIX P100 features include: 3.0-inch vari-angle 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD; Electronic Viewfinder; 5-way hybrid VR Image Stabilization System for crisp, blur-free photos; Mode Dial; Active D-Lighting; Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System.
The P100 will be available in March 2010, and retails for $399.95 MSRP.

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New COOLPIX S8000 Digital Camera Boasts 10x Zoom, Ultra-High Resolution 3.0-Inch LCD Screen and Enhanced Creativity with Class-Leading* Slim Design
Built on the success of Nikon’s previous long-zoom compact cameras, the new 14.2-megapixel COOLPIX S8000 is the thinnest camera in its class*, featuring a powerful and versatile 10x (30mm to 300mm) telephoto Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens to capture incredibly sharp, crisp images. Additionally, the S8000 has the ability to record HD movies (720p) at 30 fps with built-in stereo sound recording, and also features a 3.0-inch ultra-high resolution 921,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD for composing and sharing images or movies.
Allowing the user to enjoy more creative freedom with convenient in-camera functions, the COOLPIX S8000 features the Creative Slider, a fun new way to apply effects when shooting in Auto Mode. Brightness, saturation and hue can be adjusted using the Rotary Multi Selector, all while watching a real-time preview on the camera’s LCD monitor. The COOLPIX S8000 also features new functions to enhance image quality in dark settings, including Advanced Flash Control to enable users to create more natural-looking flash shots by utilizing higher ISO settings and faster shutter speeds in low light.
Additional COOLPIX S8000 features include: High ISO up to 3200; 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; ultra-fast start-up; Sport Continuous Mode up to approximately 3 fps for 45 frames (3 MP); Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and an ultra-stylish design.
The COOLPIX S8000 will be available in February 2010 for $299.95 MSRP in a choice of colors, including black, red, bronze and champagne silver.
The New COOLPIX S6000 Digital Camera Delivers Super Slim Design and Fast Response
The new COOLPIX S6000 blends style and performance into a compact, go-anywhere package. Measuring at only 25mm (approximately 1.0-inch) in depth, the COOLPIX S6000 is the thinnest in its class**. With a versatile 7x wide-angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens, users can capture the action near and far. The COOLPIX S6000 includes a bright 2.7-inch 230,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD and the ability to record HD movies (720p) at 30 fps.
Additional COOLPIX S6000 features include: 14.2-megapixel resolution; ISO 3200; 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; Ultra-fast start-up (approx. 0.75 sec.); HDMI Connectivity; Sport Continuous Mode approximately 3 fps for 45 frames (3 MP); Advanced Flash Control; Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and a sleek design.
The COOLPIX S6000 will be available in March 2010 for $249.95 MSRP in a choice of colors, including champagne silver, black, red and bronze.
The New COOLPIX S4000 Digital Camera Combines Stylish Design with Intuitive Touch Controls
Integrating sleek design and intuitive touch operation, the new COOLPIX S4000 digital camera is all about the user experience. Whether it’s recording HD movies or exploring creative possibilities, the COOLPIX S4000 places the camera’s controls at the touch of a finger. The COOLPIX S4000 incorporates a new 3.0-inch, high-resolution touch-panel 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD which makes it easy to compose, review and share pictures. Advanced touch features include Touch Shutter, allowing users to select their subject with a single touch on the screen to adjust focus and exposure, and to automatically release the shutter, as well as Subject Tracking to automatically follow and focus on a subject selected by touching the screen.
The COOLPIX S4000 features 12-megapixel resolution; a 4x wide-angle Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens; ISO 3200; HD movie (720p); 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and a sleek design.
The COOLPIX S4000 will be available in March 2010 for $199.95 MSRP in a choice of vibrant colors, including plum, champagne silver, pink, red and black.
New COOLPIX S3000 Style Setter in Sleek Design, Vivid Colors
Sleek design, eye-catching colors and innovative technology make the COOLPIX S3000 the ideal tool to express one’s personal style. Measuring at just 19mm (approximately 0.8 inches) in depth, the COOLPIX S3000’s stylish looks and color options make it a great camera for capturing and sharing memories on the go.
The COOLPIX S3000 features 12-megapixel resolution; a 4x wide-angle Zoom-NIKKOR lens; ISO 3200; 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and a colorful yet compact design.
The COOLPIX S3000 will be available in March 2010 for $149.95 MSRP and comes in a vivid array of colors, including orange, green, blue, plum, black and champagne silver.

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New COOLPIX L110 Delivers Uncomplicated Awe-Inspiring Zoom
Optimized for action shots, high-powered zoom and simple operation, the COOLPIX L110 is equipped and ready to easily capture life’s precious moments up close or far away with stunning quality and clarity.  The ideal choice for consumers seeking a fully-featured long zoom camera at a great value, the COOLPIX L110 achieves its versatility through its 15x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens. Covering a focal length from a wide 28mm to 420mm super-telephoto, the lens’ broad focal range can readily handle the task of capturing all of life’s events, including action shots at the kid’s soccer game or stunning landscapes from the family vacation. The COOLPIX L110 also features Sport Continuous Mode, allowing users to capture the best highlights from the stands or the sidelines. The power-efficient L110 digital camera can shoot approximately 840 still images or record seven hours*** of HD video with a set of four AA Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries, which are included with the L110. Nikon EN-MH2 Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, which are available separately, can also be used for rechargeable convenience.

Additional COOLPIX L110 features include: 12.1-megapixel resolution; 3.0-inch high-resolution 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD; HD movie (720p) with Optical Zoom and Auto Focus while recording video and a built-in stereo microphone; 5-way VR Image Stabilization System; Smart Portrait System; Scene Auto Selector.
The COOLPIX L110 will be available February 2010 for $279.95 MSRP and will be offered in black or red.
New COOLPIX L22 Digital Camera is Compact and Easy To Use at an Affordable Price
The COOLPIX L22 is the ideal camera for consumers who are looking to easily capture all of life’s memories at an affordable price, but without compromising performance. The COOLPIX L22 features 12- megapixel resolution for stunning image detail, a 3.6x Zoom-NIKKOR lens for creative compositional freedom, while a huge bright 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD screen makes sharing and composing photos enjoyable.
Additional COOLPIX L22 features include: 3-way VR Image Stabilization System; Smart Portrait System; Easy Auto Mode and can be powered by two AA-batteries or Nikon EN-MH2 Ni-MH rechargeable batteries which are available separately.
The COOLPIX L22 will be available in February 2010, for $129.95 MSRP and will be offered in various colors, including black, red, blue and champagne silver.

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Olympus Announces PEN E-PL1

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Last week, we mentioned that Olympus was teasing a new camera, and ventured to guess that it was a follow-up to the E-P1 and E-P2. Today Olympus announced their third generation PEN, the E-PL1—a Micro Four-Thirds camera that the manufacturer bills as ideal for “shutterbugs who always wanted better pictures and considered a DSLR, but were intimidated by the bulky size and complex interface.” At $599.99, the 12.3MP Live-MOS sensor E-PL1 offers a retro body style, similar to that of its predecesors (but not quite as authentic looking), HD video (1280 x 720), built-in pop-up flash, Olympus’ now signature in-camera Art Filters, AF Live View, and more.

From Olympus:

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 3, 2010 – The new Olympus PEN E-PL1 is truly greater than the sum of its parts, with a surprisingly small camera body packed with technology normally found in bigger, bulkier and heavier professional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and High-Definition (HD) camcorders. This third-generation PEN is built for shutterbugs who always wanted better pictures and considered a DSLR, but were intimidated by the bulky size and complex interface. The new camera’s simple design and easy interface enable consumers to easily create amazing images never dreamt possible. It will make you wonder how Olympus managed to put all of these powerful features inside such a compact camera for only $599.99.

The E-PL1 equals an affordable and powerfully simple all-in-one package that travels with you to capture life in the high quality that your memories deserve.

“Many of today’s consumers want a camera with the professional still image quality of a DSLR and HD video in a compact body that’s as easy to use as a point-and-shoot,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Thanks in part to an image sensor that’s approximately eight times larger in size than what’s inside the average point-and-shoot camera, the E-PL1 delivers outstanding high-quality images. Add the flexibility of high-quality interchangeable lenses, the convenience of a built-in pop-up flash, in-camera creative features and technology designed to produce images effortlessly, and the E-PL1 is the total consumer-friendly, multimedia package.”

EASILY PEN YOUR STORY WITH A BRAND NEW PEN

This third generation of the Olympus PEN series combines powerful features in an easy-to-use package that will make capturing your life more fun. The new direct record button makes taking videos easier than ever and the new Live Guide functionality makes it simple to learn photography techniques without requiring the skills of a pro shooter.

New Direct Button for HD Movies
Recording HD movies with the E-PL1 is simple, thanks to an easy-to-reach red “direct button” (red record button) on the back of the camera body. If you’re about to snap a photo and you realize a video would capture the spirit of the scene even better, simply press the record button and instantly you’re capturing videos! Easily toggle back and forth between capturing stills and videos by using your index finger to press the shutter button or your thumb to press the red record button. Having the ability to shoot still images and videos opens up a world of imaging possibilities.

New Live Guide Sets the Scene Before You Shoot
The E-PL1’s new Live Guide interface simplifies great photography and gets the results you desire at the touch of a button. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler color? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur, or perhaps freeze the action? Simply select Live Guide and press the up and down arrows on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live – before the image is captured! Don’t worry about learning technical things like f-stops, shutter speed and white balance; jump right in by composing, adjusting exposure and more before the shot is taken.

Seeing the results before snapping the image ensures you are getting the shots you want, and it will change the way you photograph. Shooting Tips are also included with Live Guide, so you can leave the manual at home.

Automate Everything
Live Guide is just the start of automated technologies on the E-PL1 designed to free you up to focus on your subjects instead of focusing on your camera’s settings.

* 19 Scene-Select Modes: From portraits to sunset shots, the E-PL1 is equipped with 19 Scene-Select modes for effortless picture taking, including Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama, to name a few. Capturing beautiful portraits is easy with the ePortrait Mode that enables you to smooth your subject’s complexion.
* Intelligent Auto (iAuto) Mode: When you don’t want to use the scene-select modes, the iAuto mode automatically identifies what you’re shooting and adjusts settings for you to capture the best result depending on the situation.
* Face Detection: Reduce the chance of blurred subjects in images by recognizing up to eight faces, tracking them within the image area, and automatically focusing and optimizing exposure for sharp portraits.
* In-Camera Panorama: Capture three images and stitch them together to create one amazing, seamless panoramic picture. Or use the included OLYMPUS [ib] software to stitch up to 10 images together for the ultimate panorama.
* iEnhance: With this mode the warm yellow and orange colors of a sunset are heightened to a dramatically lifelike color that’s truer to what you see with the naked eye. iEnhance can be used in any mode, and automatically engages when using iAuto to enrich color in any subject.
* Share: Just connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your TV remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your personal front-row seat. The E-PL1 records to SDHC (Class 6 recommended) media cards that can be plugged directly into many devices and accommodate large files, including videos.

New Powerfully Simple Pop-Up Flash
The E-PL1 is the first camera in the Olympus PEN series with a built-in pop-up flash that makes it easy to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera is also compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R, which can be controlled wirelessly by the E-PL1 so you can dynamically control lighting as your photography skills grow.

PRO-QUALITY IMAGES

How do professional photographers capture the stunning images you see in the pages of glossy magazines and coffee-table books? Talent matters, of course, but you also need the right equipment. Rest assured that the E-PL1 has everything you need to produce vibrant, professional-quality images: a large image sensor, in-body Image Stabilization, Imager Autofocus, the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System and the TruePic™ V Image Processor.

Big Sensor, Not a Big Body
At the heart of the E-PL1 is a large-size image sensor that’s the same sensor as the one inside the Olympus E-30 and E-620 DSLR models. The only difference between this sensor and what the pros use is that this big sensor is inside the much smaller body of the E-PL1. This high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor (eight times larger than the average point-and-shoot camera sensor) delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to reduce noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas.

Stabilize All of Your Lenses
Instead of selling more expensive lenses that have image stabilization inside them, Olympus takes a different approach by having image stabilization built right into the body of the E-PL1. This means that any lens (Micro Four Thirds™, Four Thirds and any third-party lens) attached to the E-PL1 will deliver blur-free images thanks to three modes of In-body Image Stabilization that automatically compensate for camera shake, including in low-light situations or when shooting without a tripod. Since the PEN cameras are the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens cameras with image stabilization built inside the body, you can take the E-PL1 with you and capture great images, and it won’t weigh you down.

Track Your Subjects Wherever They Roam
The E-PL1’s Continuous Autofocus (C-AF) Tracking and Autofocus (AF) Target Registration locks your subject into focus and constantly adjusts focus and brightness whether you or your subject is moving. With this mode, a simple push of the shutter release enables you to keep moving subjects in focus – tracking them from left to right and from front to back – within the frame, automatically ensuring that even active subjects, like kids playing sports, are captured clearly.

The E-PL1’s Imager Autofocus in Live View enables you to compose, focus and capture the shot quickly and easily without ever taking your eyes off the camera’s large, 2.7-inch full-color, high-contrast HyperCrystal LCD for an easy, seamless viewing experience when shooting still images or videos. The LCD also provides a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees, which ensures that images can be composed from even the most obscure angles.

This Camera Leaves Others in the Dust
If you’re just starting out with a camera that has interchangeable lenses, you don’t have to worry about dust spots on your sensor ruining the perfect image every time you change lenses. Spend more time shooting with the E-PL1 and less time worrying about dust with the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System that produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter™, a patented ultrasonic technology that vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, capturing them on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on.

True-to-Life Color
The E-PL1’s Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus’ TruePic™ V Image Processor, which produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 3200), enabling great results in low-light situations.

EASILY EXPAND YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS WITH BUILT-IN EFFECTS

Express yourself with in-camera creative features. Professional images are rarely unedited images. Video and still image pros use computer-editing software to render their images with effects that set their shots apart from the pack. Olympus appreciates that you may not have hours to spend retouching your images at the computer, so the E-PL1 incorporates editing effects inside the camera to save you time. Whether you apply in-camera creative effects while shooting an image, or apply them later to images captured without the effects, all are inside the E-PL1, so you can achieve dramatic results on the go without a computer or editing software.

The E-PL1 has six in-camera Art Filters, including a new filter called Gentle Sepia. This filter gives your images and videos a soft, warm sepia cast similar to historical images from the early days of photography. The sepia tones are softer and the blacks are a true black, unlike traditional sepia images. The new filter joins Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pin Hole, Grainy Film and Diorama (the filter that makes everything look as small as the E-PL1).

With the E-PL1’s Multiple Exposure function available for still image capture, you are free to tell a visual story your way. The image capture options enable you to shoot one shot, then another and combine them in real time, or capture both shots separately and combine them within the camera later. Take a shot of your significant other, and overlay your self-portrait on top to figure out what your kids will look like. If you have kids already, overlay your kid’s face on top of a shot of his or her favorite cartoon character for laughs. Your ability to manipulate space and time makes this new creative multimedia device a veritable time machine.

You often can achieve greater photographic expression by framing a scene in a unique way. The E-PL1 provides four aspect ratios that serve as masks to frame your image to the desired proportions, including the standard 4:3 aspect ratio that is suited to an 8 x 10-inch enlargement; the 16:9 aspect ratio that will display beautifully on a widescreen television; and other popular aspect ratios, such as 3:2 and 6:6. The Multi-Aspect Shooting further expresses your creative vision when combined with in-camera Art Filters and Multiple Exposures.

With the E-PL1, you have your own living library of still images, HD video and audio to remix at your command. In playback mode, you can seamlessly mix stills and movies inside the camera to create a multimedia slideshow, and dub in one of three built-in dramatic background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation. With so many creative options, there’s no limit to what you can create. Choose whether or not you want to play back just pictures, just movies or a combination; also control playing back the whole movie or just a clip.

OPEN SYSTEM EASILY GROWS WITH YOUR ABILITY

With a basic point-and-shoot camera, you get one lens built into the camera. One lens, that’s it. And it’s likely a small lens, which doesn’t allow a lot of light through to hit the image sensor. So, you may have a difficult time in low-light conditions. And without the option of adding more lenses, you’re limited to what that one point-and-shoot lens can do. The E-PL1 solves these issues by accepting a variety of lenses to maximize its functionality. Whether shooting still images or HD video, you can add everything from an extreme wide-angle fisheye lens to a super-telephoto lens for a wide range of expressive options.

The M. ZUIKO DIGITAL Micro Four Thirds lenses are designed to be more compact and portable like the E-PL1. Choose from the ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35mm cameras) sold with the E-PL1, the ED 17mm f2.8 lens (34mm equivalent), the new super wide-angle zoom ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lens (18-36mm equivalent) or the high-power wide to telephoto zoom ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 lens (28-300mm equivalent).

If you want to have even more options, the MMF-2 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter makes the E-PL1 compatible with all Olympus ZUIKO Digital Specific™ lenses and other Four Thirds System lenses from Sigma, Panasonic and Leica. Olympus OM film-based lenses can be attached to the E-PL1 with the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter, and there are third-party adapters developed for lenses from most other manufacturers.

SOFTWARE AND ACCESSORY OPTIONS WHEN YOU’RE READY

The E-PL1 incorporates an accessory port for connecting the optional VF-2 live-finder, a detachable electronic viewfinder, or the new optional SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set (which includes the EMA-1 adapter, the ME-51S stereo microphone and a cord) for those who want to capture enhanced audio with any microphone that has a 3.5mm plug. These optional accessories easily slide into the camera’s accessory port and hot shoe.

Consumers who wish to hold the E-PL1 up to their eye rather than use the LCD will appreciate that the optional VF-2, which provides 1.15x magnification and a 100 percent field of view with sharp resolution, brightness and contrast. The viewfinder refreshes quickly to minimize image ghosting on fast-moving subjects. It also rotates up to 90 degrees to enable photographers to look down into it, which is useful when shooting subjects from challenging angles. The built-in diopter adjustment and high magnification offer easy viewing with and without glasses.

The E-PL1 offers OLYMPUS [ib] software that includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo-organizing functions. You can organize your photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by location with a Geotagging function or by event. You can easily view photos on an HDTV or on the camera’s LCD with the Photo Surfing or Slideshow functions. The name [ib] stands for image bridging, image browsing and image brightening. The software will be available for Windows operating systems only.

Underwater Housing for Aquatic Adventures
The new camera’s compact design makes it the perfect companion for all of your dive trips. The PT-EP01 underwater case has been specially customized for the Olympus E-PL1 and is waterproof to a depth of 40 meters (approximately 130 feet). With its durable, high-quality polycarbonate construction, this Olympus housing protects the camera from water while also cushioning it from knocks and bumps on land. The housing enables viewing from either the camera’s LCD screen or an optional electronic viewfinder. The flash connectors allow optional use of up to two UFL-2 underwater flash units via fiber optic cable. A nonremovable front lens port accommodates multiple Micro Four Thirds lenses.

New Exterior Design, Same PEN DNA
The E-PL1 streamlines the Olympus Micro Four Thirds PEN series form and is available in three new body colors, including Black, Champagne Gold and Slate Blue. Thanks to its compact size (4.51″ W x 2.84″ H x 1.63″ D excluding protrusions) and light 10.4-ounce body, the E-PL1 won’t weigh you down when you’re on the go.

AVAILABILITY

The Olympus E-PL1 will be available in March 2010. It includes the E-PL1 Body, M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zoom, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLS-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCS-1), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
E-PL1 Body with M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price: $599.99

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Sony Announces First Compact Cameras w/HD 1080i AVCHD Video

SonyCyber-shot_DSC-TX7_all_closed_lg

At CES, Sony has announced two new Cyber-shot cameras—the DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7—which are “the world’s first compact digital still cameras to include full HD (1920 x 1080 60i) Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video capability. They are also the world’s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable cameras,” according to the manufacturer.

From Sony:
Sony took the wraps off two new Cyber-shot® digital still cameras today that create a new standard of mobility with technologies that answer consumers’ on-the-go needs.

Sony has designed two new innovative Cyber-shot cameras (models DSC-HX5V and DSC-TX7) that are the world’s first compact digital still cameras to include full HD (1920 x 1080 60i) Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video capability. They are also the world’s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable cameras.

These are the first Cyber-shot cameras with an in-camera Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature for managing difficult lighting situations and TransferJet™ wireless technology for sharing, storing and viewing images. The HX5V model is also the world’s first still camera to include GPS + Compass and Optical SteadyShot™ with Active Mode technologies.

With Sony’s “Exmor R” back illuminated CMOS sensor technology, these cameras provide excellent low-light performance, 10fps burst shooting and the new Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature.

In addition to its cameras, Sony introduced three other devices with TransferJet technology at CES, including a Sony Memory Stick® memory card (model MS-JX8G) with a wireless transmitter/receiver, a Sony TransferJet Station (model TJS-1) and a VAIO® F Series notebook.

“Adding to the outstanding low-light performance and impressive Sweep Panorama feature, we are providing high-quality movies with full HD video, stereo sound recording when capturing movies on the go and an in-camera HDR solution for capturing high-contrast scenery. Sony can provide these solutions because of its expertise with other imaging products including Handycam® camcorders and α DSLR cameras,” said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “Our goal is not only to make it easy for consumers to get the best shot—still or video—but also to have the best sharing experience.”

High-Quality Stills and Videos

With the AVCHD format, these new cameras record movies in 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution at 60i in 17Mbps. The AVCHD format captures a high degree of detail and smooth movement, and when footage is burned to disc, it can be played back on your HDTV using most Blu-ray Disc™ players, Sony® PlayStation®3 systems and compatible Blu-ray Disc enabled PCs. In addition to the supplied PMB software for Windows users, it is also possible to edit recorded AVCHD file using iMovie® for Macintosh users.

The camera will also capture videos in the MP4 format (up to 1440 x1080 30p 12Mbps) for online sharing.

Managing Difficult Lighting

The HX5V and TX7 cameras offer in-camera multi-shot High Dynamic Range (HDR), which combines highlight and shadow detail of two separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image—even without a tripod.

HDR offers a solution for strong backlight situations which typically result in either dark shadows in the foreground or a washed out background. Sony’s “Exmor R” sensor and BIONZ™ processor help to correct these issues.

Impressive Panoramas

The HX5V and TX7 cameras have an Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature that captures wide landscapes or tall buildings in one easy “press and sweep” motion. Due to their “Exmor R” CMOS sensor technology, they can take up to 270 and 258-degree panorama shots, respectively, horizontally or vertically with an image size of 7,152 x 1,080 (horizontal wide panorama mode). In addition, these cameras’ Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature, which is comprised of up to 100 separate captures, detects faces and subject motion and intelligently adjusts the width of each picture while stitching them together, resulting in natural looking panoramic photos.

Relive the Experience

Ideal for travelers who take hundreds of photos, the in-camera GPS + Compass feature on the HX5V camera makes it easy to store and share the location and direction of where photos were taken.

With social networking sites becoming more popular, people want to share more details of their experiences. The GPS + Compass feature provides a fun new way to share where they were — beyond the location. Using the free online satellite imagery application, Google Earth™ mapping service, users can view the images from a bird’s eye view or from the direction in which the photo was taken. The GPS function automatically adjusts the camera’s internal clock by selecting the travelling area, without the hassle of setting the time manually.

A Wireless Way of Sharing, Storing and Viewing

TransferJet technology, which was developed by Sony and is supported by a consortium of other companies, allows you to transfer files between two TransferJet-enabled devices just by bringing the TransferJet marks on each product within one inch of each other without the hassle of hunting for cables or the complication of pairing. To transfer photos, TransferJet-enabled still cameras must each utilize the TransferJet Memory Stick media (sold separately).

TransferJet technology is perfect for sharing on the go. You can select up to 10 pictures and transfer them from camera to camera. For storing images, you can place the HX5V or TX7 cameras on the lower left-hand corner of the VAIO F Series notebook and import photos. For sharing at home on devices which do not have the technology, you can connect the TransferJet Station to devices with a type-A USB port, including your TV, digital photo frame or PlayStation®3.

Designed for Technology Enthusiasts

With the most innovative digital imaging technologies, the HX5V camera is ideal for everyone from travelers to party-goers.  The multi-occasion camera features a 10 megapixel “Exmor R” sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) and a 10x optical zoom with wide-angle 25mm-250mm equivalent high-quality G lens allowing easy group shots and close ups when on the move.

In addition to its AVCHD video capability, the HX5V camera has Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization with Active Mode, which lets you capture moving subjects such as kids walking or running. It allows a moveable lens element to shift with greater range of motion—10 times the range of the Optical Steady Shot™ feature at wide end in standard mode—during camera shake. The feature reduces camera shake so users can shoot smoother movie footage on the move. The cameras also have an HDMI™ output adapter for easily connecting to an HDTV for viewing pictures and movies (HDMI cable required).

Powerful and Stylish

For those seeking a sleek, compact camera, the 10MP TX7 model is just under an inch thin and is slim enough to slip into a pocket or purse.  The 3.5-inch (measured diagonally) high resolution (921K) touch LCD screen offers easy image scroll by simply swiping your finger across the display. The camera’s high-performance Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 4x optical wide angle 25mm-100mm equivalent zoom lens brings distant subjects closer and Close Focus snaps close-ups in just under a half an inch from the subject.

The DSC-TX7 camera is also compatible with the Party-shot™ (model IPT-DS1) automatic photographer, which pans, tilts, zooms and adjusts composition to capture spontaneous images. Additionally, an embedded touch sensor located on the front edge illuminates when the TX7 camera is attached.  By touching the sensor, the camera goes into the “On-demand shot” mode, which allows users to select the shutter timing without losing the advantage of Party-shot’s built-in intelligence.

To give customers greater choice and enhance the overall customer experience, the TX7 and HX5V cameras feature a memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick® (PRO Duo™) and SD/SDHC formats. Sony is also expanding its industry leading line of consumer media with the addition of SD/SDHC memory cards.

Additional features found on HX5V and TX7 include iAuto, which detects eight and nine scenes, respectively, and optimizes camera settings and Easy Mode, which simplifies the camera menu. Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization reduces blur without impacting image quality, Face Detection and Smile Shutter™ technology, which captures faces and smiles naturally.

A New Way to Share Photos and Videos Online

These models include Picture Motion Browser (“PMB”) software for viewing, editing, organizing and uploading images to many major video and photo sharing Web sites.

This spring, Sony will launch a new service and a new integration with Facebook® allowing users to easily and quickly share their photos and videos privately with friends and family. The service and the integration will be available as a downloadable update to the “PMB” and “PMB portable” software applications that are embedded with bloggie™ and Cyber-shot cameras and bundled with Handycam® camcorders, bloggie cameras, Cyber-Shot cameras and α cameras. The Facebook integration complements the existing sharing capability with such sites as YouTube™ and Picasa™ Web Albums.

Pricing and Availability

The HX5V camera will be available in black this March for about $350, and the TX7 camera will be available in silver, blue and red this February for about $400. The TransferJet-enabled Memory Stick media will be available in January for about $100, and the station will be available in February for about $150. Pre-sales begin in January.

The cameras, Memory Stick, station, and a range of accessories will be available online at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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Vivitar Announces Four Super Affordable Compact Cameras

VIVITAR_F540

At CES, Vivitar announced some extremely competitively priced compact point-and-shoot cameras with some pretty impressive specs. Not being as familiar with their image quality, I’d like to check out the noise levels in the 14.1MP VF540, which also boasts GPS tagging.

From Vivitar:
Vivitar, a leading brand of digital cameras and photographic accessories for over 70 years, returns to CES with their latest collection of affordable, multi-functional digital products. This year’s roundup of innovative digital cameras packs loads of features in sleek, easy-to-use devices.

The ViviCam V5028 is a twin-view, 5.1 Megapixel camera. The 1.8” preview screen enables easy self-portrait shots and viewing.  The compact device has 4x digital zoom, face detection and anti-shake capabilities, with a USB connection.  This camera uses 3 AAA batteries and will capture loads of memories at an SRP of just $69.

Vivitar’s ViviCam VX018 camera offers 10.1 Megapixels in a sleek design.  The high definition device features a 1.8” preview screen with 4x digital zoom, face detection, anti-shake and a USB connection.  The camera uses 3 AAA batteries and SRP is $99.

The underwater, all-weather ViviCam VT026 is 12.1 Megapixels with a 2.4” preview screen.  Bring this camera on all underwater adventures and take advantage of its 4x digital zoom, face detection and anti-shake capabilities.  The camera operates off rechargable lithium batteries, has a USB connection and SRP is $199.

Vivitar’s innovative VF540 camera incorporates 14.1 Megapixels and GPS capabilities that link to Vivitar geo-tagging software.  The model is loaded with a 3.0″ full touch panel screen, 5X optical zoom, face detection and anti-shake with a USB connection.  With lithium ion battery included, the VF530 has an SRP of $199.

Additional new models include the ViviCam V5016, V7022, V7024, VX025, VX029, VT027, VT030, VT324N, VT528, VT529, a variety of 5-14 megapixel cameras.

Cameras are available in a new range of colors including: Graphite, Strawberry, Gold, Cranberry, Black, Beautyberry, Silver, Blueberry, Kiwi and Grape.  Vivitar will also release a lineup of products including video cameras, SLR lenses and flashes, battery chargers and accessories, all expected to ship in the spring.

Located in Central Hall, booth #9841, Vivitar is taking appointments on Thursday, January 7th from 10AM-6PM and Friday, January 8th from 9AM-4PM at CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world in Las Vegas, taking place from January 7-10, 2010 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Vivitar is now owned by Sakar International, an Edison, NJ-based company with over 30 years experience in the consumer electronics space. Sakar acquired the Vivitar brand in August of 2008. Vivitar digital cameras and accessories are available at Target, Staples, Wal-Mart, RadioShack, K-mart and many other major retailers. For additional information, please visit www.vivitar.com.

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