Cameras

Canon Announces EOS 60Da DSLR for Astrophotography

Canon announced today the EOS 60Da DSLR. Not to be confused with the Canon 60D (reviewed here), the 60Da is “optimized for astrophotography.” It offers a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. These modifications, according to Canon, allow the camera to capture photographs of “red hydrogen emission” nebulae and other cosmic phenomena. In other words, it’s built for those shooting in a specialized field.

While this isn’t a mainstream image maker, we can’t help but be fascinated (is “star struck” too horrible a pun?) by the camera. One Canon exec says, “This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated.” It features a 1,040,000 dots 3-inch Clear View LCD screen and ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Oh, and “The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H α wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.”

Should astrophotography be your thing, the Canon EOS 60Da will be available starting this month from select dealers for an estimated $1,499.00.

(Canon)

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Sony Announces Translucent Mirror Technology α57 DSLR

Sony has announced the latest A-mount series DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology: the α57. Successor to the α55, the new camera’s body is manufactured from recycled plastics and the camera chassis contains 10% recycled material. The α57 shoots still images at up to 12 frames per second, boasts a sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000, features the α65‘s 5-point AF system with three cross sensors, and, like the α65, has an OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder with 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view.

The α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available in April for about $700 (model SLT-A57, body only) or about $800 (model SLT-A57K, with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800).

(Sony)

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Pentax Announces Rugged and Compact Optio WG-2 Camera

Pentax has just announced the latest in their longstanding lineup of rugged compact cameras. The WG-2 is waterproof (to 40 feet), dustproof and shockproof (from drops up to five feet), and it features a a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS image sensor.It also shoots full HD (1080p) video. It also features a 3-inch 460K dots LCD and a 5-25mm 5x optical zoom lens.

The Pentax WG-2 will be available in March for $349.95, while a GPS model, the WG-2 GPS, will be priced at $399.95.

(Pentax)

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Nikon Announces 36.3MP D800 DSLR


click thumbnails to enlarge

 

Nikon has announced the D800 “HD-SLR,” which features a 36.3-megapixel full-frame (FX) CMOS image sensor—meaning you can make enormous prints of your high resolution (7360×4912-pixel) captures. Like its (chronological at least) predecessor, 2008′s D700, the D800 has a more compact body size than a big gun like the D4, but its price and emphasis on super high resolution output seems to narrow its market to buyers like studio and wedding photographers who are most interested in print work rather than a broader class of photo enthusiasts looking to step up to a mid-range DSLR for travel and personal photo capture purposes. This is probably why Nikon is going to continue selling the D700 alongside its successor and at nearly the same price.

At $2,999.95, the D800 boasts the same 3.2-inch 921K dot LCD screen as the flagship D4 and its viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage (as compared to the D700′s 95%). For low-light capture, it has an ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2), with the only upgrade to the D700 here being on the low end of the range (50 versus 100). The upgraded video capabilities are what have compelled Nikon to market the camera as an “HD-SLR”; the D800 shoots video at various resolutions and frame rates, including full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. Additionally, as Nikon says, “For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2).” Below is a test video shot by filmmaker Sandro with the D800.

 

 

The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for $2,999.95 (body only), and a supplementary model—D800E, which “treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography” as it “enhances the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera”—will be available in mid-April for $3,299.95.

(Nikon)

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Panasonic Announces 20x Zoom LUMIX DMC-ZS20 Camera with Built-In GPS

Panasonic has announced the the LUMIX DMC-ZS20, the “world’s slimmest” 20x digital camera. Featuring a 24mm wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, the 14.1-megapixel LUMiX ZS20 geotags captured shots with a built-in GPS functionality that features detailed map information (country, state, city, nearby landmarks). The camera also features burst shooting at 10fps and records full 1080p HD video.

The LUMIX DMC-ZS20 will be available in March for $349.99.

(Panasonic)

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