PMA

3 New Panasonic Point-and-Shoots That I Like

Panasonic has announced a lot of new products at PMA, but besides the Lumix GH1, which I already gushed over here, these three compact cameras were what really caught my eye. I mentioned a few of them in January when they were first announced, but now I’ve had my hands on them.

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Nik Software’s Viveza Now Available for Lightroom

Nik Software has announced that Viveza, it’s popular U-Point powered plug-in filter (reviewed in DP October/November ’08 issue), is now available for use with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 and higher, in addition to its already having been available for Photoshop, Elements and Aperture. Additionally, the complete lineup of plug-ins, including Dfine 2.0, Viveza, Color Efex Pro 3, Silver Efex Pro (see DP Winter 2009 issue soon) and Sharpener Pro, will now be on shelves at Apple Stores and apple.com.

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Olympus Announces E-620

After Olympus was done demonstrating that their Stylus Tough-8000 can withstand 200 pounds of pressure from a hand-cranked contraption weighing down on it, they got to their big PMA release: the E-620 D-SLR. Like the E-30 earlier this year, the 620 is an addition to their now pretty comprehensive lineup of D-SLRs, not an update to an existing model. The most notable thing about the 620 (and the 30 for that matter), besides the technical specs that I’ll get to, is that they both have an “Art Filter” mode. I was surprised to see a D-SLR with such a feature that at first seems pretty gimmicky on a professional piece of equipment, but I was won over through the demonstration.

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Panasonic Announces Lumix GH1

Panasonic has announced the next generation of the Lumix G line– the Lumix GH1. The brand new Lumix GH1 comes right on the heels of the G1–the world’s first Micro Four-Thirds interchangable lens digital camera– as the G1 was just announced at CES and has only now become available to consumers. The GH1 really only differs from the G1 in that it can shoot HD video at full 1080p, has a stereo mic and employs Panasonic’s popular Continuous Image Stabilization technology. It also utilizes the Intelligent Auto (IA) technology found in the G1 and in Panasonic’s lineup of Lumix point-and-shoots, wherein Panasonic encourages users to “set it and forget it”. Both generations of the Lumix G line are ideal for a photographer who wants much more features and freedom than are typically available in a point-and-shoot, yet may not be ready for, or have the necessity for, a D-SLR. Pricing and availability will be announced soon, though they are hoping to see it released mid-summer.

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Samsung Announces NX Series Hybrid Camera (Kind of)

Hand-crafted mock-ups of Samsung‘s big PMA announcement– the inaugural NX Series “Hybrid” digital camera– sat on display behind thick glass today at their booth, as we were told vague details about this product that won’t be available until the second half of 2009. The NX (and the entire series to follow) are considered “hybrid” because they utilize technology specific to both D-SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras. On the D-SLR side, the NX will employ an APS C sized image sensor, though it will not feature a mirror box, like D-SLRs. This is the first big step in Samsung’s focus being heavily tilted towards what they’re calling the “hybrid digital camera market”.

Also mentioned was their new TL320 compact camera, which Samsung thinks will probably be their best selling camera this year. It looks neat with retro themed dials, and also comes packed with features, like 12MP, a 24mm Wide Angle Schneider lens, 5x optical zoom, a 3-inch OLED screen, 720p HD video at 30fps and optical image stabilization– all for $379.

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