Posts Tagged ‘Cameras’

Sony Announces first CCD Cameras w/Sweep Panorama Technology

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At CES, Sony has announced two new 14MP Cyber-shot cameras—the DSC-W370 and DSC-W350—with a CCD image sensor that provides the Sweep Panorama mode that we first saw at PMA last year in the Sony DMC-HX1 mid-range camera.

From Sony:
Sony today announced two new 14 MP Cyber-shot® cameras (models DSC-W370 and DSC-W350) with a CCD image sensor that provides the innovative Sweep Panorama™ feature in a slim, compact body, making it easy to get the best shot.

Sony also announced three cameras (models DSC-W330, DSC-W310 and DSC-S2100) that offer a new thin, stylish design with advanced features such as longer zoom and wide-angle lenses, which provide versatility when shooting.

“We’re expanding Sweep Panorama, which has been such a well received feature, to our more affordable models,” said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “Allowing users to capture the impact of a full panoramic scene with an easy to use, practical camera provides a great value to our customers.”

Innovative Sweep Panorama™ Technology

Sweep Panorama mode, first introduced in Sony’s breakthrough Cyber-shot DSC-HX1, DSC-TX1 and DSC-WX1 CMOS models, utilizes a CCD sensor to capture dramatic panoramic scenes. The W370 and W350 cameras shoot images continuously to capture wide landscapes or tall buildings in one easy “press and sweep” motion. They automatically stitch the images together to create one stunning panoramic photo.

The W370 and W350 Cyber-shot models can take up to 243 and 268-degree panorama shots, respectively, in one easy press-and-sweep motion with an image size of 7152 x 1080 (horizontal wide panorama mode).

Compact Design and Rich Technologies

The W370 and W350 cameras are designed for customers who seek Sweep Panorama technology at an affordable price. For those seeking a long zoom and a compact body, the 14 MP DSC-W370 camera has a 7x long zoom lens for capturing far-away subjects, a 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) for scrolling through images, Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, 720p movie recording capability and HDMI™ output for easily viewing movies on compatible televisions.

For those looking for the ultimate in portability, the W350 is the smallest camera in height and depth in the Sony 2010 line. It has a 2.7-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) for viewing and sharing photos, a Carl Zeiss® wide angle 26mm equivalent lens for excellent close-up shots and a 4x optical telescopic zoom. With 720p movie recording capability and Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization on the W350 camera, it helps overcome camera shake when taking photos and videos on the move.

With HD video capability, these cameras record HD movies in 720p high definition MP4 format  for stunning large-screen home movie playback. You can record up to 29 minutes (or up to 2GB file size) in the 720p format.

If sharing with friends and family is your first priority, the 14MP W330 camera has a large 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) that makes viewing images easy.  Additionally, it has a 4x Carl Zeiss lens with a wide angle 26mm equivalent lens.

Designed with size and affordability in mind, the 12MP CCD W310 model has a 2.7-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally) and 4x zoom with wide angle 28mm equivalent lens. For ultimate convenience and simple, straightforward image capture, the 12 MP S2100 model covers your basic camera needs with a 3x zoom, 3-inch LCD screen (measured diagonally), and it is powered by AA batteries.

Auto Intelligence and Easy to Operate

All five cameras include core Sony technologies: Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode and Easy mode, which recognize scenes, lighting conditions and faces, and adjusts settings resulting in clearer images, faces with more natural skin tone and less blur. They also have Smile Shutter™ technology, which automatically captures a smile.

To give customers greater choice and enhance the overall customer experience, the 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.

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 cameras 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. Presales begin in January.

* The W370 camera will be available in silver, graphite black, green and red this March for about $230.
* The W350 camera will be available in silver, black, pink and blue this January for about $200.
* The W330 camera will be available in silver, black, red and blue this February for about $170.
* The W310 camera will be available in silver, black and pink this March for about $150.
* The S2100 camera will be available in silver, black and orange this February for about $120.

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Samsung Announces NX10

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Samsung has announced the NX10, which they will be unveiling at CES this week in Las Vegas. DP first got a taste of this camera at PMA in March of 2009. According to the manufacturer, the “NX10 has the heart of a D-SLR embedded inside the compact frame of a digital camera, successfully integrating the APS-C size CMOS sensor with a mirrorless interchangeable lens, for a sleek, lightweight camera that users can easily take with them everywhere they go.”

From Samsung:
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the Samsung NX10 – an innovative digital camera that provides users with optimum image quality in a sleek, compact body. Delivering creativity without compromise, users can now be as creative as they want on the move, without having to compromise perfect images. The NX10 will be on display during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, January 7-10, in the Samsung booth #11026 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The NX10 incorporates a fast and decisive auto focus (AF), 14.6 MP APS-C size CMOS sensor and unique, large 3.0” AMOLED screen, allowing users to easily view their images, even in bright sunlight. Users can also record in HD movie to create the full story. Available in two colors, Noble Black and Titan Silver, the Samsung NX10 is small, light and ergonomically designed to ensure maximum portability for everyday use.
The Samsung NX10 ensures users never miss a moment, with one of the fastest AF in its class on the market. The company’s latest innovation, the new DRIMe II Pro engine and advanced AF algorithm, also provide ultra fast AF speed with the higher precision of contrast AF.
The Samsung NX10 has the heart of a DSLR embedded inside the compact frame of a digital camera, successfully integrating the APS-C size CMOS sensor with a mirrorless interchangeable lens, for a sleek, lightweight camera that users can easily take with them everywhere they go.
Consumers are not just limited to taking shots but can also tell their own stories in video format with HD movie recording (H.264 codec).
Samsung continues to extend the usage of AMOLED screens across many products, using a large 3.0” AMOLED screen in Samsung NX10. AMOLED provides easier viewing even in bright sunshine and at acute viewing angles, meaning users no longer need to shield their screen with their hand. The category leading screen also provides 10,000 times faster response rate than conventional LCDs, has a far lower power consumption and higher contrast ratio – 10,000:1 vs. 500:1.
“The new Samsung NX10 marks the start of the next generation of cameras,” said Mr. SJ Park, CEO of Samsung Digital Imaging Company. “We know from our detailed research over several years that what consumers want from their cameras is evolving, which we’ve reflected in the development of the Samsung NX10. With specialist equipment open to everyone and no longer restricted solely to the professional, more and more people want to capture something creative and tell a story through their camera – but they also want something compact that they can carry around with them all day. The large sensor and the ultra fast auto focus give consumers the quality they demand as well as the compactness they want in one exceptional package.”
Mr. Park continued: “Samsung has always been quick to implement cutting edge technology and no more so when it comes to quality of images. For the first time in the market, Samsung has successfully integrated an APS-C size sensor into a compact body by eliminating the mirror box, meaning that our users can now be as creative as they want to be on the move without having to compromise on image quality.”
The Samsung NX10 also contains a range of intelligent features to put professional quality images within reach of the amateur photographer. The Samsung NX10 includes in-depth manual controls and also a Smart Auto function which automatically detects the surrounding environment of the shot and selects the best shooting mode. Its Smart Range feature also enables the user to vividly express both bright areas and dark areas in the same frame, and the Supersonic Dust Reduction system keeps those dust particles clear of the image sensor that can often impair an image. It even senses when the user brings the camera close to their face to look through the viewfinder, and puts the AMOLED screen on standby to conserve power.

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The Best of 2009- Camera Reviews

D-SLR Cameras:Canon5dmkii_front

Pentax K-x

Sony A330 (fall 2009 issue)

Canon Rebel T1i (fall 2009 issue)

Nikon D5000 (summer 2009 issue)

Olympus E-620 (summer 2009 issue)

Canon 5D Mark II (summer 2009 issue)

Nikon D90

Olympus E-30

Nikon D700

Sony A900

Compact Cameras:SonyG3_Right-Open_lg

Sigma DP2 (fall 2009 issue)

Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 (fall 2009 issue)

Nikon P6000 (summer 2009 issue)

Canon PowerShot SX110 IS

Canon G10 (spring 2009 issue)

Sony Cyber-shot G3

Canon PowerShot SX110 (winter 2009 issue)

Medium Format Cameras:hasselblad6

Hasselblad H3DII-39

Camcorders:

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Sony HDR-XR520V (fall 2009 issue)

Canon Vixia HF-S100 (summer 2009 issue)

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Pentax K-x Review

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Text and Photos by Allison Gibson

An Intuitive Entry-Level D-SLR with Surprising Features

Walk down the street with the white Pentax K-x D-SLR in hand, and you’ll likely attract the attention of enthusiastic strangers who will stop in their tracks to ogle the camera, or even shout compliments from across the street. But even beyond its eye-catching looks (it also comes in black and a limited edition red or navy blue color), the K-x is attractive to a large number of consumers because it offers the market an affordable entry-level D-SLR with High Definition video recording and a built-in HDR processing feature. Because the $650 MSRP includes the body and kit lens, the Pentax K-x is more affordable than many new entry-level D-SLRs, including the Nikon D5000 ($630, body only) and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi ($699, kit).

An Ideal Entry-Level D-SLR

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Camera manufacturers have begun to hone in on a growing, and long ignored, demographic: the Pro-Amateur, or “Prosumer.” This photographer finds the typical point-and-shoot digicam lacking in features, but isn’t yet ready to move on to a pro-level D-SLR. The Pentax K-x might offer perfect entrée into the SLR world because it boasts a few of the advanced features of its big sister, Pentax’s flagship D-SLR, the K-7, yet it also offers features like Auto Picture and Scene Modes, which are typically found in many consumer-level compact cameras.

We tested the K-x with its kit lens, the limited edition white, weather resistant DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. While shooting, we focused on how the camera could introduce D-SLR photography to those new to it by experimenting with features that might serve as good learning tools—shooting with capture modes like Shutter and Aperture Priority, and shooting in RAW+ mode for more control of exposure in processing.

The K-x’s 2.7-inch LCD features Live View, which people used to point-and-shoot cameras have come to expect, but the feature is only now becoming common in D-SLRs. The LCD also has adjustable brightness and Face Detection Auto Focus for up to 16 faces. The optical viewfinder is small, offering only 96% coverage, but is still preferable to the LCD for composition.

At 4.8-inches wide by 3.6-inches high, and weighing only 20.5 ounces fully loaded, the camera is easily light and compact enough for one-handed shooting, and won’t weigh you down when it’s around your neck for long periods of time. The grip is substantial enough that the camera feels secure in-hand and there is a nice, large space on the back of the camera for the thumb to rest, where it won’t accidentally bump buttons. It seems like a triviality, but that happens too often the way some other manufacturers’ models are set up. The K-x is compatible with every Pentax lens ever produced.

A Full Range Of Features

Replacing the 10.2-megapixel Pentax K2000, the K-x boasts a 12.4MP CMOS sensor with sensor-shift Shake Reduction. One of the major upgrades from the K2000 is the ability to capture widescreen HD videos in 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24 frames per second (fps), and sound with the built-in microphone. Other new, more advanced features are borrowed from the pro-level K-7, including: built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) image capture, which blends three bracketed images into a single picture for low, mid-range and highlight detail, and also a faster, more responsive11-point wide angle SAFOX VIII auto focus system. The PENTAX PRIME II image processing engine has a fast, 4.7 fps capture speed and a top shutter speed of 1/6000 of a second.

Digital Art Filters

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The K-x also offers Creative Processing and Filter modes, which Pentax boasts as offering photographers “the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.” These digital filter modes appeal to the photographer who is new to shooting with a D-SLR because they offer in-camera effects that a more advanced professional photographer might seek to capture with alternative optics or manual adjustments—rather than through digital manipulation—like for instance, the “Fish-eye” effect.

We’ve seen creative art filters in D-SLRs before, most notably in Olympus’ E-series lineup. As we pointed out in our hands-on coverage of the Olympus E-620 mid-range D-SLR and even the more advanced E-30 D-SLR, built-in creative filters can offer surprisingly stunning results. DP Technical Editor, Tony Gomez, was particularly fond of the “Grainy Film” black-and-white filter offered in both Olympus cameras. However, I wasn’t instantly impressed with many of the digital art filters in the K-x. To begin with, the feature is buried deep within the digital menu options in the camera, which is not the place a major selling-point feature like this should be hidden. There is a “Green Button” on the top of the camera near the shutter, which can be customized to be a quick-jump to any feature in the menu, so I ended up setting it to jump to Digital Filters after growing tired of going through the menu each time I wanted to change the filter. The Digital Filters that the K-x offers are: Toy Camera, High Contrast, Soft, Starburst, Retro, Color Extract, Fisheye, and room for eight Custom options. The Fisheye filter was one that I was initially most excited to try out, however I would hope to see it tweaked for the next generation of this camera because it was less than impressive. There are three levels of intensity that can be set with the filter, though the effects of each did not really resemble the wide, hemispherical results of shooting with an actual fisheye lens—rather the images appeared flat with only an abrupt bulge in the center of the frame. The Color Extract filter was much more successful. The processed images appear completely desaturated save for the one color you set it to focus on (there are six colors to choose from).

Shining in Low-Light

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Where the K-x shined was auto focus, which captured moving subjects very well, and in low-light, where it did well capturing low-noise images at higher ISOs. Overall, the Pentax K-x is a feature-rich entry-level D-SLR that has impressive image quality and bonus features such as HD video and HDR capture. The digital filters have the potential in the next generation to be outstanding, though they leave much to be desired for now. The compact design and Auto Picture shooting modes make it attractive to first-time D-SLR photographers, who will learn a lot about D-SLR photography from experimenting with this camera.

Pentax K-x

  • MSRP:
  • $649.95 (comes with a DA L 18-55mm lens)
  • Size/Weight:
  • 4.8”W x 3.6”H x 2.7”D; 18.2 oz., loaded
  • Image Sensor:
  • 12.4-megapixels
  • Maximum Resolution:
  • 4288 x 2848
  • Still Recording Format:
  • RAW (PEF, DNG), JPG, AVI
  • Memory:
  • SD/SDHC
  • Display:
  • 2.7-inch LCD (230,000 pixels); Optical Viewfinder
  • Manual Exposure Control:
  • Full manual, aperture-priority, shutter speed-priority, sensitivity-priority
  • Exposure Metering:
  • Multi-pattern, center-weight, spot
  • Special Features:
  • Live View, Face Detection, Scene Modes, Creative Filter Modes
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • 720p/24fps in .AVI format
  • Provided Accessories:
  • 4 AA Lithium Batteries, shoulder strap, USB cable, Hotshoe cover, Eyecup, Body mount cover, printed manual and a CD-ROM
  • Power Source:
  • AA batteries
  • Contact:
  • www.pentaximaging.com
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Check out the New Issue of DP!

DPFall09Cover

The new issue of Digital Photographer features profiles on top photographers, including renowned night/low-light photographer, Jill Waterman, and fine art photographer, David Julian. The issue also features hands-on reviews of new D-SLRs, compact cameras and camcorders,  including: The Canon Rebel T1i, the Sony A330, the Olympus Stylus Tough-8000, the Sigma DP-2 and the Sony HDR-XR520V. Also, check out reviews of the latest optic swap system from Lensbaby and Nik’s Dfine 2.0 noise-reducing software. Brush up on your understanding of focal length with a Back to Basics article and learn about special effects in video production.

Of course, there are always the columns you love: Digital Insider, Exposure and Inside the Image, which features the work of a DP reader. Learn how your photograph could be featured in the next issue here. We look forward to your feedback on the new issue, and as always, you can catch us on Twitter for up to the minute photo world news and Facebook for photo community discussions.

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