Olympus has just announced the brand new TOUGH TG-810—the latest in Olympus’ TOUGH lineup of shockproof , waterproof, freezeproof and crushproof cameras. The rugged new TG-810 is equipped with Dual IS, Wi-Fi compatibility “for instant image sharing via an option Eye-Fi Card,” High Definition (720p) video, and 3D still image capture both “in and out of the water.” Additionally, the TG-810 features an Electronic Compass, which “allows you to track your shooting direction in the field”; GPS, which automatically records the location of a photo; and a Manometer, which “measures water and air pressure, enabling you to accurately monitor the depth or altitude of your images.”
Being an Olympus image maker, the TOUGH TG-810 also boasts the manufacturer’s celebrated Magic Art Filters, including: Pop Art, Pin Hole and Fish Eye, among others. Two new art filters are Sparkle and Punk. The TOUGH TG-810 will be available in April for $399.99. More from Olympus below.
Nikon has just announced the 36x zoom COOLPIX P500, featuring the longest zoom ever integrated into a COOLPIX camera. The new super-zoom compact is an upgrade to the 26x COOLPIX P100, which we reviewed last year and called “an ideal travel camera.” This new generation obviously breaks the zoom barrier with its wide-angle (22.5mm-810mm) optical Zoom NIKKOR ED glass lens, but also boasts Nikon’s EXPEED C2 dual image processor for enhanced performance and noise reduction, as well as a new shooting mode button that “facilitates quick setting of continuous frame shooting, in addition to the pre shooting cache that starts to snap photos before the button is fully depressed.” I got to handle this camera behind the scenes at CES last month and was excited by the new features, such as full HD (1080p) video capability and the Easy Panorama mode. The P500 will be available for $399.95 in March. See the full press release for the COOLPIX P500, as well as two other superzoom camera announcements, below.
Nikon has just announced the COOLPIX P300—a 12.2-megapixel back-lit CMOS sensor compact camera that features a wide-angle 4.2x NIKKOR glass lens (24mm-100mm, 35mm equivalent) with a maximum aperture of f/1.8—the widest aperture NIKKOR lens ever seen in a Nikon COOLPIX camera. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at this camera at CES last month, and was very intrigued by its professional look and feel and impressed with results of test shots, particularly when taking advantage of that wide aperture. The camera features full manual controls, ISO sensitivity up to 3200, shoots full HD (1080p) video, and has a high resolution 921,000-dot 3-inch LCD screen—the same featured on Nikon’s flagship D3x DSLR. The P300 will be available for $329.95 in March. See the full press release below.
Canon EOS 60D
Text and Images by Lynne Eodice
Video by Dennis Eodice
The EOS 60D is Canon’s most recent digital SLR aimed at the enthusiast/serious shooter market, and is the next generation of the EOS 50D. This camera is a good upgrade for photographers seeking to move into more professional territory, beyond, say, the entry-level Canon EOS Rebel T2i. But it’s so user-friendly right out of the box that photo hobbyists can easily go from a point-and-shoot camera to shooting with the 60D.
Overview of Features
The 60D features an APS-C sized 18-megapixel CMOS sensor (as compared to the 50D’s 15MP), and a new DIGIC 4 Image Processor. I was impressed with the quality and color rendition of the images I captured, especially compared to those taken with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel from several years back. The 60D also offers an ISO range from 100 to 6400. This can even be expanded to ISO 12800 to shoot under extremely dimly lit conditions. But for most low-light situations that you’re likely to encounter, ISO 6400 is more than adequate, and ISO 12800 is bound to reveal digital noise.
Canon EOS 60D
click thumbnails to enlarge
The 60D’s mode dial offers the typical standard basic scene zone (including Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports and Night Portrait modes), as well as a basic zone (Full Auto, Flash Off, and Creative Auto), and a creative zone (P, Tv, Av, M and B) for more advanced shooting. What I really appreciated was the addition of the more conveniently located on/off switch right under the mode dial (with my other Canon EOS cameras, this switch is located on the bottom right side on the back of the camera). There’s also a lock button in the center of the dial to prevent accidental operation.
ISO 100, 400, 3200, 6400
click thumbnails to enlarge
Canon has switched from a AF-point-selecting joystick in the EOS 50D to a multi-control dial on the back of the 60D. With this dial, I found it very easy to scroll through images that I had previously photographed and to change the auto-focusing points. You can also correct white balance, move the AF frame or the magnifying frame during Live View shooting.
The 60D is also the first EOS DSLR to include a 3-inch Vari-Angle LCD monitor, which flips out from the back of the camera body. It allows you to set menu functions, do Live View shooting, shoot video, and play back images and video. You can also rotate the angle of the LCD monitor, which is a great tool for times when you want to shoot a subject that’s positioned low to the ground (but when you don’t want to get down low yourself), or when you want to shoot over the heads of a crowd and actually see what you’re shooting. I set several menu selections and really enjoyed playing back my images on this screen. The only issue I had was with shooting still images with the Live View screen. I found that auto-focusing operated slower when using Live View than when I used the viewfinder.
The Ambience option in the basic scene modes is a new feature in the 60D. For example, you can choose from vivid, soft, warm, intense, cool and brighter settings. Each ambience is a modification of the respective shooting mode’s image characteristics. You can also select the “Lighting or Scene Type,” which is very similar to a list of white balance presets.
Also new are the Creative Filters, which enables you to apply Grainy black-and-white (seen above), Soft Focus, Toy Camera, or Miniature filter effects to an image in-camera and save it as a new file. I had fun with several of these (particularly Grainy BW). The 60D offers a RAW conversion mode too, which allows for a range of camera settings like Auto Light Optimizer, Noise Reduction, White Balance and Picture Style to be applied to a RAW file.
This camera also offers the ability to tag your images, which makes it easy to find and filter your photos, or as a way to organize slide shows. These tags are also accessible through the supplied software or even third-party packages like Adobe Lightroom and Bridge.
One of the ways you can purchase the 60D is in a kit with an EFS 18–135mm f/3.5-f.6 IS (image stabilizing) lens. I put the camera and this lens through its paces at several local scenic areas. To begin with, I found the camera easy to handle and on the lightweight side (especially compared to my sturdier EOS 5D Mark II). I used some of the basic scene modes (Landscape, Action, and Close-up), as well as the Av and Tv modes. I found that the image stabilizer enabled me to get sharp images without using my tripod, and several times I was shooting indoors in rather low light. I also enjoyed experimenting with a few of the Creative Filters after the shoot.
The D60 is capable of shooting full High Definition (1920×1080) and (1280×720), as well as Standard Definition (640×480) and (Crop 640×480) movies. My videographer husband shot video with this camera, and was impressed by the sharpness he got, even with moving subjects. The camera has several manual controls—shutter, aperture, ISO speed and audio recording—which allow you to customize your videos. Another plus is the camera’s capability to use an external microphone for greater audio quality. The only limitations are the lack of true AF and automatic zoom. The maximum recording time for one movie clip is 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
Overall, I found the Canon EOS 60D to be a great and highly user-friendly camera. The image quality is wonderful, it has great ergonomics, and an awesome feature set.
ISO 100-6400, expand to 12,800 with a custom function
Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash, Live View, Creative Filters
Canon EF mount; Compatible lenses: Canon EF lenses (including EF-S lenses)
(35mm-equivalent focal length is approx. 1.6x the lens focal length)
EOS 60D Body, Eyecup Eb, Wide Strap EW-EOS 60D, USB Interface Cable IFC-130U, Stereo AV cable AVC-DC400ST, Battery Pack LP-E6, Battery Charger LC-E6, EOS Digital Solution Disc and Instruction Manuals “Great Photography is Easy” Booklet and “Do More with Macro” Booklet
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion LP-E6 battery; Built in battery (date/time backup); Optional AC adapter