Posts Tagged ‘compact’

Canon Announces PowerShot SD4000 IS

Canon has announced the latest in their Digital ELPH lineup of compact cameras, the PowerShot SD4000 IS. According to Canon, “This new powerhouse point-and-shoot camera is the first of the Digital ELPH series to offer a high-sensitivity system, known as Canon’s HS SYSTEM, with a CMOS sensor and bright f/2.0 lens.” The SD4000 IS will be available at the end of May for an estimated MSRP of $349.99. See the full release from Canon below.

From Canon:

Placing top-level Canon features in a modern, stylish frame, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announced the newest addition to the PowerShot Digital ELPH camera series- the Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS Digital ELPH camera. This new powerhouse point-and-shoot camera is the first of the Digital ELPH series to offer a high-sensitivity system, known as Canon’s HS SYSTEM, with a CMOS sensor and bright f/2.0 lens. Offering consumers the most enhanced image quality available in an ELPH series camera, these features help to capture those wonderful moments in low-light conditions. The PowerShot SD4000 IS Digital ELPH camera also has high definition (HD) movie-shooting capabilities, providing an additional option for cataloging memorable events. Primarily, the new PowerShot SD4000 IS is great for any user with an attention for up-to-date functionality and style.

Whether attending a relative’s sunset wedding or meeting friends in a dimly lit restaurant, these are times where the new PowerShot SD4000 IS showcases its best attributes. The new 10-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, in conjunction with the DIGIC 4 image processor creates Canon’s HS SYSTEM to enhance image quality in low-light situations and helps reduce noise at high ISO speeds. Along with Canon’s HS SYSTEM, the f/2.0 lens allows more light to enter, permitting higher shutter speeds, for further reducing the effect of camera shake and increasing image sharpness and quality. In addition, the combination of Canon’s HS SYSTEM and the f/2.0 lens enables users to take photos without a flash, resulting in a more natural look while providing greater depth of field, making it an exemplary tool for portrait photography. In addition, the PowerShot SD4000 IS has the fastest high-speed burst rate to date* in a Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH camera with 8.4 frames per second (fps). New to the ELPH cameras, the PowerShot SD4000 IS has aperture and shutter controls allowing for enhanced flexibility and creative control, making this camera great for shooters who are interested in getting even more out of their photography.

“With the introduction of the new PowerShot SD4000 IS, Canon is putting the power of high-quality photography in an ultra-compact size to amplify the experience and quality customers see when shooting with a Canon camera,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “The two functions in the HS SYSTEM allow our customers to capture the clearest pictures in any setting, resulting in more of a professional look.”

For the Design-Centric
A treat for the eyes, the PowerShot SD4000 IS has beautifully crafted curves, texture and a modern look that appeals to a design-savvy user. With all of its new features, the Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS elevates the current ELPH series, offering advanced settings in a polished, sculpted, compact frame, making it an essential item to tote anywhere.

Get Creative with HD Movie
The addition of the HD Movie feature in the new PowerShot SD4000 IS is one of the most distinguished characteristics that makes this camera a must-have for anyone. This dual-purpose camera allows users to creatively compose video, helping to capture unforgettable moments from a child’s first baseball game to a son or daughter walking up to the podium on Graduation Day. Users can also have more fun with HD movie footage by using the My Color function, composed of Color Swap and Color Accent options. In addition, video content is easily downloaded from the camera via USB connection and can be easily played back on your HDTV via an HDMI output connector.

Timing is Everything
As an added bonus, the new Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS has a new Super Slow Motion movie function that allows users to record video at a very high frame rate, possessing the appearance of slow motion when played back at regular speed. The Super Slow Motion movie function captures a subject at 240 frames-per-second (fps), and later plays back the footage at 30 fps, allowing each moment of footage to be appreciated in super slow motion while maintaining great image quality.

Additional Features
# A 3.0-inch wide angle (28mm equivalent) wide screen LCD allows for easy on-camera previewing and reviewing of menus and images.
# A 3.8X optical zoom with optical image stabilization helps to ensure images will be clear and how they were meant to be captured.
# Support of the high-spec SDXC memory cards with the maximum storage of two terabytes (TB) in SDA standard.
# Eye-Fi memory card connectivity, where wireless data can directly transfer to PCs.
# New scene modes, such as miniature and fish-eye effects help to increase overall creativity.
# Smart Shutter technology, which automatically takes pictures when a person smiles or winks; resulting in less re-takes.

The new Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS is available in three different color variations: red, black and silver. In addition, while supplies last, there will be an exclusive, limited edition white PowerShot SD4000 IS model available direct from Canon (www.shop.usa.canon.com). Scheduled to be available at the end of May, the Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS Digital ELPH camera retails for an estimated price of $349.99.

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Sony Announces NEX-3 and NEX-5 Compact Interchangeable Lens Cameras

At PMA in February, we brought you the news that Sony had plans to unveil a compact interchangeable lens camera this year. Well, that time has come. Sony has just announced two new mirrorless a (alpha) compact interchangeable lens digital cameras—the NEX-3 and the NEX-5. Both offer the image quality of a D-SLR with the portability of a compact camera. According to Sony, “these models are the world’s first interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sensor to continuously adjust focus and exposure while recording video.” They will be compatible with three new E-Mount lenses. An optional LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor extends compatibility to the α family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only). The cameras and lenses will be available in July. Find additional images and the full press release from Sony below for specs and pricing.

From Sony:


SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2010 – Sony today introduced two innovative α (alpha) compact interchangeable lens digital cameras (models NEX-5 and NEX-3) that provide the quality of a digital SLR in a compact body that is easy to slip into a small purse or jacket pocket for ultimate portability.

“Consumers want better picture quality in a smaller form factor. Sony has made that a reality with these cameras. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras truly embody Sony’s make.believe spirit,” said Kristen Elder, director of Sony’s alpha digital imaging business. “These new cameras are the game-changers everyone has been waiting for and will revolutionize the consumer experience by offering outstanding picture quality with a totally pocketable size.”

With breakthrough video performance, these models are the world’s first interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sensor to continuously adjust focus and exposure while recording video. The NEX-5 camera offers Full HD movie capture (1080i AVCHD and 720p MP4) with Full HD 60i recording.

These cameras are perfect for point-and-shoot users looking to advance from snapshots to creative photography as well as existing DSLR users searching for a no-compromise compact alternative.

Innovative Design


Unlike conventional DSLR models, the “mirrorless” construction of the new models reduces the thickness of both camera bodies to just about an inch at their slimmest point (excluding grip and mount portions). The NEX-5, constructed from magnesium alloy, and the NEX-3, with a polycarbonate casing, offer a newly developed 14.2 megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor. About 60 percent larger than the sensor in micro four-thirds cameras, this sensor is key to the exceptional image quality, extremely low image noise and creative defocus background effects that are familiar to DSLR users.

HD Movie Recording and Fast, Silent Autofocus


The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first α  cameras to offer the extra convenience of high definition video recording. In addition to 720p HD recording, the NEX-5 also captures

Full HD (1920 x 1080i) video in high-quality AVCHD files that can be easily enjoyed on a compatible HD television via the cameras built-in HDMI™ terminal (cable not included). The NEX-3 shoots 720p HD video as compact MP4 files.  Both Sony cameras include built-in stereo microphones for high-quality audio recording.

Still and video image quality is further refined by Sony’s powerful BIONZ® processor that ensures quick DSLR-style shooting response with fast, precise autofocus and minimal shutter lag. Both cameras can also capture fast-moving action with a high-speed burst of full-resolution images at up to 7fps (AF/AE fixed from first frame).

Sweep Panorama
The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first α  cameras featuring Sweep Panorama. Capturing large group shots is as easy as press-and-sweep. Sweep Panorama mode lets consumers capture breathtaking shots up to 226-degree horizontal or 151-degree vertical shots.

Both models will be ready for 3D Sweep Panorama this July (with firmware update). With 3D Sweep Panorama mode, these cameras can shoot 3D panoramic still images with a single lens. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together using innovative processing techniques to automatically create detail-packed 3D panoramas. These files can be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible 3D televisions (other accessories may be required).

These cameras provide the advantages of multi-frame capture featured in Cyber-shot® cameras, including Hand-Held Twilight and Anti-motion Blur modes, which offer extraordinary low-light performance.

Simple To Use
Overcoming the complexity and intimidation that often come along with DSLR use, the NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras have a new easy-to-use interface. It makes their performance advantages and features—including the techniques of creative photography—simple to master for consumers stepping up from compact digital still cameras and simultaneously offers easy access to the important camera controls that DSLR users demand.

Images and camera settings are displayed on the 3-inch (diagonal) wide-type Xtra Fine LCD™ display with TruBlack™ technology and 921k dot high resolution LCD that tilts up or down for comfortable viewing in any shooting position. The screen features an auto-brightness control function for excellent visibility, even outdoors. TruBlack screen technology enables an even more vivid, high-contrast view of images and camera settings.

E-Mount Lenses

Three new E-mount lenses are being introduced, including a 16mm F2.8 wide angle prime lens (model number SEL16F28), an 18mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model number SEL1855) and an 18mm-200mm F3.5-6.3 (model number SEL18200) high magnification zoom lens.

The E-mount lenses provide the cameras with extreme compactness as well as the performance required for quiet continuous auto focus and auto exposure during HD video capture.  These all new lenses are of premium construction, with brushed aluminum barrels and steel mounts.  An optional LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor extends compatibility to the α family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only).

Ideal for everyday shooting, the low-profile E 16mm F2.8 lens minimizes bulk, allowing the camera to easily be carried in a coat, pants pocket, or purse. This lens’ creative possibilities can be expanded even further by the VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Converter which provides a 12mm view, and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter that delivers impressive curvi-linear distortion.

Featuring in-lens Optical SteadyShot™  image stabilization for clearer handheld images, the E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom is a perfect travel partner. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are available in kit form with either the 16mm prime or the 18mm-55mm lens.  The E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens offers a powerful 11x magnification range plus Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active mode that is used in the most advanced Handycam® camcorders.

Accessories

Both cameras are supplied with a super-compact clip-on flash that attaches via the smart accessory terminal when needed. Other optional accessories include the FDA-SV1 Optical Viewfinder plus stylish cases and shoulder straps.

As an option, the accessory shoe on both cameras accepts a compact ECM-SST1 Stereo Microphone that captures even more high-quality sound for HD video recordings than the cameras’ built-in stereo recording.

The new cameras accept both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately). Sony’s new Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX offers 30MB per second transfer rates that save you time when downloading images.

Pricing and Availability
The NEX-5A and NEX-3A cameras, which are supplied with SEL16F28 lens, will cost about $650 and $550 respectively. NEX-5K and NEX-3K cameras, supplied with SEL1855 lens will cost about $700 and $600 respectively. The NEX-3 will be available in silver, black and red, and the NEX-5 in silver and black.

The SEL16F28 and SEL1855 lenses will be available for about $250 and $300. (The SEL18200 zoom lens will be available this fall for about $800.)

The cameras, lenses and a range of accessories will be available in July at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail) and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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Leica Announces V-LUX 20

Leica has announced the 12.1MP V-LUX 20 compact camera with GPS tagging, the LEICA DC-VARIO-ELMAR 4.1–49.2 mm f/3.3–4.9 ASPH  zoom lens, and 720p video capabilities. The V-LUX 20 will be available at the end of April for $699.00**. Check out the full press release below.

From Leica:

Solms, Germany (April 20, 2010) – Leica Camera AG presents a new, 12.1 megapixel digital compact camera: the LEICA V-LUX 20. Equipped with a high performance DC-VARIO ELMAR lens, innovative GPS tagging, optional HD movie recording and various automated functions, the V-LUX 20 is a truly universal camera, capable of capturing all moments of life.

The V-LUX 20’s LEICA DC-VARIO-ELMAR 4.1–49.2 mm f/3.3–4.9 ASPH. zoom lens offers a range of focal lengths of 25–300 mm in 35-mm format, making it the ideal camera for almost any photographic environment. Whether shooting expansive landscapes, finely detailed macro studies at short distances or shots of distant objects with a super-telephoto setting, its 12x zoom captures them all in images of breathtaking quality. Integrated image stabilization helps photographers in every shooting situation and also prevents fuzzy pictures caused by camera shake or difficult lighting conditions.

“High-performance optics, compact size and simple, intuitive handling: these are the trademarks of the V-LUX 20. It is the ideal tool for effortless photography and can be utilized by the whole family – for everyday shooting, special occasions or when traveling,” says Peter Kruschewski, Product Manager Digital Compact Cameras at Leica Camera AG. “At the same time, the manual setting options of the V-LUX 20 offer more ambitious photographers absolute creative control over their pictures.”

The LEICA V-LUX 20 is characterized by clear lines, ergonomic design and evidently positioned controls. Its straightforward handling is further enhanced by a whole range of automatic functions. For the more knowledgeable photographer, manual setting options for shutter speed and aperture provide all the creative freedom necessary for image control. A selector dial on the top deck of the camera allows fast and simple selection of a wide range of settings.

The generously dimensioned, three-inch monitor of the V-LUX 20 has a large 3 inch TFT display with a resolution of 460,000 pixels, offering an extremely bright and sharp view. It is a reliable and precise tool for the assessment of image composition and framing before shooting, as well as for quality control of captured shots.

As the first Leica digital camera to feature GPS tagging, the Leica V-LUX 20 allows photographers to record not only the geographical coordinates of the location in the Exif data of the image files, but also the local time for every shot. An extremely useful aid for archiving pictures, the GPS tagging function prevents all travelers from ever forgetting where their pictures were taken. All images posted on social networks, image portals and map sites such as Google Maps or Google Earth reveal exactly when and where they were shot.* When abroad, the V-LUX 20 can also display local sights and interesting places. This feature offers a total of 500,000 so-called ‘points of interest’ in 73 different countries.

In addition to featuring GPS tagging, the V-LUX 20 is equipped with a movie function that enables the recording of moving pictures in HD quality. Together with the camera’s zoom function, smart automatic features such as face recognition, automatic scene modes and smart exposure are all available in movie mode, making the V-LUX 20 a superior movie-maker in a compact format.

The LEICA V-LUX 20 will be available at specialized Leica dealers from the end of April 2010. Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 is one of the standard features provided with V-LUX 20. A matching brown calfskin case for the camera is available as an optional accessory.

For additional information, please visit us.leica-camera.com. For media inquiries, high resolution images and loan out requests, please contact Evins Communications.

* It is possible that GPS tagging may not function in the People’s Republic of China and neighbouring regions. Satellite signal reception may be impossible, depending on the location. In such cases, the positioning data may be recorded inaccurately or not at all.

**Pricing taken from UK press release, not US (seen above).

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Canon PowerShot G11 Review

Text and Photos by Allison Gibson

Canon’s latest G-series flagship compact—the PowerShot G11—features some marked improvements from its predecessor, the G10. Image quality is sharper, thanks to the cutback in megapixels to better suit the 1/1.7-inch image sensor, and low-light performance is improved, with less noise at higher ISO ranges. The lure of the G11, and its predecessors, is that it looks and feels more professional than a standard point-and-shoot (and of course, offers full manual shooting control), while at the same time offering a much more compact alternative to an interchangeable lens D-SLR or Micro Four-Thirds standard camera. This place in the market—often referred to as “prosumer”—attracts both professional photographers who want a compact second camera, and advanced amateurs looking to move into more serious gear but who aren’t yet ready for the heft, price and responsibility of a D-SLR.

What’s Different from the G10

The MSRP for the G11 is $499.99, and it remains the same also for the G10. With this new generation G series camera, Canon recognized the need to cut back on the megapixel count—going from the G10’s 14.7 down to 10MP with the G11— despite the industry’s penchant for using these ever-increasing numbers as a selling point. Though comparing the number of effective pixels may be an easy spec for consumers to swallow, jamming more and more megapixels into a sensor the size of the G10’s wasn’t doing image quality and noise control any favors.

The G11’s CCD sensor is the same as its predecessor’s, as is Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor, but the G11 features a newly developed High Sensitivity System for improvements in low-light shooting. The improvements are noticeable—even in conventional settings—with higher ISOs. I tested the G10 last year at ISO 800 in a dark jazz club in Boston, only to find the captured image (unsurprisingly) teeming with noise. The G11 does much better at ISO 800, and even ISO 1600, yielding usable results with greater detail preserved. The G11 has essentially the same wide-angle 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 lens as the G10, bumping it up slightly to offer 5x optical zoom.

Let’s Get This Out of the Way—the Viewfinder is Awful

An optical (or electronic, even) viewfinder is expected by most photographers on a camera of this level, and it’s nice that the G11 includes one. However, it’s virtually useless for framing shots because the lens is in the way and the coverage is a paltry 77%. The good news is that the 2.8-inch, wide Vari-angle LCD is diverse in all of the various angles you can position it in. It’s extremely bright, making it functional even in direct sunlight, though it’s smaller than the G10’s 3-inch fixed screen. Having been basically forced to use the G11’s Vari-angle LCD exclusively, because of how bad the coverage of the viewfinder was, I found myself contorting it all kinds of ways—even holding it at 90 degrees to block people nearby from seeing exactly what I was shooting. (Which is admittedly neurotic, but comes in handy when you’re trying different settings and don’t need nosey folks next to you looking on.)

Handling the Camera

The G11, as I’ve said, feels more professional than other compact cameras. It’s heavier, larger and much sturdier with its magnesium alloy shell. You feel confident hanging it from a strap around your neck or shoulder—like you know what you’re doing. The controls on the body include: a shooting modes dial on top, which sits atop a very convenient dedicated ISO control dial; an on/off button; a zoom control; and the shutter release. To the left of those on top are the hotshoe mount for an external flash and a dial control for exposure compensation. On the back of the camera, to the right of the LCD, are: a four-way control pad for MF on/off, flash, self-timer and Macro, with a set button in the middle and a scrolling ring around the outside.

Shooting Modes

The G11 has the ability to shoot in RAW (CR2) and JPEG, and offers full Manual shooting, Aperture and Shutter Priorities and Auto mode. There are also 17 Scene modes, including: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene and Stitch Assist. It also shoots video (640×480 at 30fps). Capture is to SD/SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus card or HC MMCplus card. It offers no internal memory.

Comparing Options

The G11 is fun to use, with impressive image quality, as was the case with the G10 before it. The major improvements are the better quality results at higher ISOs and the Vari-angle LCD, which provides a lot of freedom for getting creative angles. The most exciting thing, though, about shooting with the G11 is actually fantasizing about what the next generation of the G series will hold. Better viewfinder? Please! Full HD video? The lens control ring found in the Canon S90? Thank you! Of course, at $500, it has been argued that one might as well jump into the entry-level D-SLR market and reap the benefits of that level of image quality, lens options and overall control. One generation back, there are several such D-SLRs at a comparable price—lens kit included—such as the Nikon D40 or Canon EOS Rebel Xs. However, as I previously mentioned, an advantage of the G11 is its stealth size, and that’s something you won’t find with interchangeable lens cameras.

Canon PowerShot G11

  • MSRP:
  • $499.99
  • Size/Weight:
  • 4.41”W x 3.00”H x 1.90”D; 12.5 oz.
  • Image Sensor:
  • 10-megapixels, CCD
  • Still Recording Format:
  • RAW, JPG
  • Memory:
  • SD/SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus card, HC MMCplus card
  • Display:
  • 2.8-inch LCD (461,000 pixels); Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • 640×480 (30fps)
  • Exposure Metering:
  • Evaluative, Center Weighted, Spot
  • ISO Equivalent:
  • Auto/80/100/200/400/800/1600/3200
  • Power Source:
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery NB-7L; AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC50
  • Contact:
  • www.usa.canon.com/us
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PMA ’10 Sony Press Conference

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At Sony‘s press conference, minutes ago at PMA here in Anaheim, they introduced a mock-up model of a new camera concept—an ultra compact a (Alpha) D-SLR model with interchangeable lenses. We also got to see the newly announced Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 and H55 in person.

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