Nikon Announces D3200 Entry-Level DSLR


Nikon has just announced the Nikon D3200 DSLR camera—the upgrade to 2010′s D3100. The new D3200 features a 24.2-megapixel full-frame (DX-format, they call it) CMOS sensor, where the D3100 had a pixel count of 14.2 million pixels in the same APS-C size sensor. Nikon says that this huge jump in pixel count will not result in noisy images, but rather, “The new 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor allows for incredibly sharp images with stunning detail and less noise, while Nikon’s EXPEED 3 image processing engine helps to create clear, lifelike images and video with vivid colors, smooth tonal gradations and low noise.”

The D3200 has an ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 12,800. It also features “Guide Mode,” which gives step-by-step photo instructions to people moving into DSLR territory (and the manual controls that come along with it) for the first time. It also shoots full 1080p HD video and features a 3-inch, 921,000-dot LCD screen.

It looks like Nikon will still keep the D3100 on the market, selling the D3200 alongside it for $50 more (both kits include an 18-55mm zoom lens). The Nikon D3200 will be available in either black or red in late April for $699.95 with the F-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens.



National Natural Landmarks 2012 Photo Contest

(First Place Photo, 2011 NNL Photo Contest)

It’s a good thing entrants to this photo contest aren’t required to say the name of the competition three times fast in order to qualify, because that name—National Natural Landmarks Photo Contest—is a doozy.

The National Park Service has kicked off its 9th annual National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Photo Contest, which encourages photographers to “capture images of the scenic and diverse natural heritage found within the nearly 600 NNL sites nationwide.” (Check out the full list of the U.S.’s National Natural Landmarks if you need help finding one.)

Visit the contest website for official rules and to enter your shots.


Hearst 8X10 Photography Biennial Photo Contest

(right image: detail of Girl in Wind – King’s Palace, Kabul © Thomas Stanworth, 2011 winner)

Hearst has made a call for entries for the 2013 8X10 Photography Biennial photo contest. According to Hearst, the 8×10 Photography Biennial is a competition to identify and promote new and emerging talent among photographers in the United States and abroad. Eight winners of the 2013 contest will:

- Showcase selected works in an exhibition under the title, “8×10″ in the Alexey Brodovitch Gallery and the Hearst Gallery at Hearst Tower in New York City.
- Be published in the accompanying “8×10″ catalog and on and

The contest is free to enter and runs through August 1, 2012. For more information visit


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.



National Wildlife Federation Hosts Celebrate Nature Through Photography Contest

The National Wildlife Federation is hosting a “Celebrate Nature Through Photography” photo contest. Featuring seven categories (baby animals, backyard habitats, birds, connecting people and nature, landscapes and plant life, mammals, and other wildlife) and two entry levels (general and youth), the NWF contest invites you to enter your photos for the chance to win “thousands of dollars in prizes, get exposure, and support the National Wildlife Federation’s work to protect wildlife.”

Based on our archive of stellar nature-themed “closeUP” DP reader photos, we know that many of you have a talent for celebrating nature through photography.

The contest closes July 16, 2012 after which time the people’s choice judging period will begin. Visit for contest rules and to enter. Good luck!

(National Wildlife Federation)

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