Posts Tagged ‘HD’

Casio Announces the Innovative New TRYX

CES, Las Vegas: Casio has just announced a new and innovative digital camera—the TRYX. Available in April for $249.99, the TRYX catches your attention first because of its distinctive design, which is unlike anything the digital camera sphere has seen before (it looks more like a smart phone at first glance), and of which Casio says, “Thanks to its super thin (.59-inches thick), variable frame design, TRYX can adapt to fit the user’s preferred shooting style or to help them capture an image from just about any angle or in any environment. Users can hold the camera horizontally, in a traditional point-and-shoot style to capture still images or flip out the rotating, three-inch, touch-screen LCD and swivel the body to experience countless other positions. The frame rotates 360-degrees and can be adjusted so that the body can act as a tripod, allowing TRYX to stand on its own, or the LCD screen can be rotated up to 270-degrees so that users can perfect their own self portrait and see themselves in the frame.”

But what of the image making capabilities, Casio? “In addition to its good looks, the Casio TRYX also boasts an equally impressive feature set.” I see. The camera has a 12.1-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, full-HD 1080 video (30fps), Slide Panorama mode to capture 360-degree panoramic images and slow-motion video, and a 21mm ultra-wide-angle lens. Read Casio’s full press release below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share

Canon Announces New Powershot A-series Digital Cameras

CES hasn’t even officially begun and already the announcements are rolling out. Canon has announced four new, affordable, feature-packed A-series digicams: the PowerShot A3300 IS (image above), A2200, A1200 and A800. Of the new lineup, Canon says, “When capturing irreplaceable moments, it is important to use a camera that inspires artistic expression in a simplistic format,” and that’s essentially what they’ve done here. The new A-series cameras come equipped with Creative Filters, including Toy Camera and Monochrome mode; the PowerShot A3300 IS, A2200 and A1200 each have Live View Control and 32 predefined shooting situations within the advanced Smart AUTO feature; the A1200 has an actual Optical View Finder!—and all three of these cameras will retail for under $180. The $109.99 A1200 features 720p HD video, a 12.1-Megapixel CCD sensor, 4x Optical Zoom, a wide angle 28-112mm equivalent lens and a 2.7-inch LCD screen. The PowerShot A3300 IS, A2200, A1200 and A800 will be available beginning early February and into March for $179.99, $139.99, $109.99 and $89.99, respectively. Read the full press release below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share

Camcorder Comparison: High Definition at Three Price Points

Camcorder Comparison: High Definition at Three Price Points
Text, Images and Video by Tony Gomez

While some new digital cameras and DSLRs now have the ability to capture High Definition video, there are many standalone HD camcorders that can do a better job. I recently tested three such camcorders: two high end models—the Panasonic HDC-TM700 and the JVC GZ-HM1—and the more affordable Canon Vixia HF R10. All three of these camcorders shoot HD video in the AVCHD standard at 1080i (1080 lines, interlace scanned) resolution and have internal memory, plus an additional SDHC memory card slot for expansion. Each camcorder can also shoot JPEG stills, either independently, or while shooting video. All models also have an automatic zoom lens that permits smooth zooms without manual jerkiness—something that current DSLRS don’t have.

Panasonic HDC-TM700

click the thumbnails to see full-size images

The Panasonic HDC-TM-700 ($999.95 MSRP) has pro-style 3-chip (Red/Green/Blue) MOS sensor technology that provides the ultimate in color quality. The TM700 also uses the newest high capacity XDHC memory card—up to 64GB for over 8 hours of recording at 1080i quality.  The 12x Leica zoom lens control is very smooth and quiet (no pickup on the built-in microphone), with a bump to 18x without noticeable degradation. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is active and very useful in either movie or still mode.  The large 3-inch LCD monitor gives a very clear view of images being, recorded or during playback, and has an easy-to-use menu. In extremely bright conditions where the LCD screen can be washed out, the electronic color viewfinder takes over very nicely.

The 1080i playback video quality through an optional HDMI cable to my HD TV was superb, due in large part to the 3-chip sensors. For the ultimate record quality, 1080/60P (1080 lines/60 frames progressively scanned) is also selectable, and viewable on 1080/60p equipped HD TVs.  With the built-in 32GB memory, record times of 2-1/2 hours and 4 hours are possible at the 1080/60P and 1080/60i settings, respectively.  Still JPEG images can be can be captured at up to 13-megapixel max resolution. A built-in Dolby 5.1 channel surround audio microphone, external microphone jack, headphone monitor jack, and an accessory bracket for a video light are just some of the many higher-end features.

The TM700 is a beefy camcorder at one pound, but the layout of the controls and buttons makes it easy to use and select various features.  The extra weight actually makes it easy to get smoother images by reducing handheld shakiness, and OIS reduces that even further. In summary, the Panasonic HDC-TM700 is a real winner, especially if you want the ultimate in color quality in HD video.

Specifications: Video Resolution: 1080/60P HD max, with 4 other 1080i HD quality settings; Still Image Resolution: 13MP max;  Zoom Lens: 12x optical (3.4 mm wide to 41.4mm), 18x/30x/700x digital, OIS; Recording Media: Internal 32GB memory or SDHC/XDHC memory card; Special Features: 3-chip MOS sensor, 1080/60P recording;  Size: 2.6″W x 2.7″H x 5.4″D, 1 lb.

JVC GZ-HM1

click the thumbnails to see full-size images

The JVC HM1 ($1,199.95 MSRP) boasts a unique feature—a sliding blue LED touch bar (Laser Touch) on the LCD screen that lets your finger touch select Video Quality at four settings. It also has JPEG image resolution up to 10MP, and a wide variety of other features.  The internal 64GB memory allows 8 hours of recording at the XP default quality setting, or 6 hours at the highest quality UXP setting.

recording at standard speed, recording at 120 frames per second

Super Low Light video recording is another great feature. The HM1 has a newly designed backlit sensor technology that permits higher quality, more noise-free recording under low light conditions. While 3-chip sensor camcorders (like the Panasonic TM700) have the ultimate color quality, their low light sensitivity isn’t as great as a single chip design. Hi-Speed video recording, with 120 fps, 300 fps, and 600 frames per second (fps) is another exciting feature, albeit in a narrow two or four second window of time. But my personal favorite feature is a real-time audio level meter on the LCD screen.



recording at standard speed, recording at 300 frames per second

Like the Panasonic TM700, the JVC HM1 is a hefty camera at one pound, but well balanced for capturing HD video and stills.  However the HM1 lacks a viewfinder, so you are solely dependent on the LCD monitor for viewing and setup—potentially a washout problem in bright ambient light. The Laser Touch feature is a bit too sensitive for my fingers, but still useable with practice.  I compared the HM1’s low light capability with the Panasonic TM700, and the Canon HF R10. The result: the JVC-HM1 had the edge in producing a brighter image with less video noise. If the HM1’s low light feature is important to you, you should consider it.

Specifications: Single chip CMOS sensor; Video Resolution: 1080i max; Still Image Resolution: 10MP max; Zoom lens 10x optical (6.7mm – 67mm), 16x/64x/200x digital; Recording Media: Internal 64GB memory or SDHC memory card; Special Features: Low noise, Low Light recording, Hi-Speed Video Recording, Record Audio Monitor on LCD; Size/weight: 2.7″W x 2.8″H x 5.4″D, 1 lb.

Canon VIXIA HF R10

click the thumbnails to see full-size images

For a wider consumer budget appeal, the Canon VIXIA HF R10 offers a more affordable 1080i High Definition camcorder ($399.99 MSRP), with a smaller 8GB internal memory and an SDHC expansion memory slot, in a smaller package.

At the default HD Quality setting, you can record about 1-1/2 hours on the internal 8GB memory.  If you need more time, just add an SDHC memory card in the provided slot. Surprisingly, the 20x lens has the longest optical zoom range of the three camcorders tested, and a 3mm wide angle setting that’s the widest of the three.

The smaller and lighter VIXIA HF R10 is easier to hold for longer periods of time, but the decreased weight makes it more prone to handheld shaking. However, built-in Electronic Image Stabilization should help smooth out any extra camera shake. The Canon HF R10 also lacks a viewfinder, which forces dependency on the LCD, a potential problem in bright light. Video playback was very good on my HDTV. However, the 1.7MP still image resolution is fairly low compared with other camcorders.

Specifications: Video resolution: 1080i max; Still image resolution: 1.7MP max; CMOS sensor; Zoom lens: 20X Optical (3mm – 60mm), EIS; Internal 8GB memory with SDHC memory card slot; Size/Weight: 2.4″W x 2.5″H x 4.9″D, 12oz with battery.

Share

Compact Superzoom: Nikon COOLPIX P100 Review

Nikon COOLPIX P100
Text and Images by Allison Gibson

Compact Superzoom

The Nikon COOLPIX P100 may just be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re in the market for a fun, high-end, compact superzoom with impressive image quality, the ability to shoot high-speed full resolution stills at 10 frames per second (fps) and full High Definition (1080p) movie recording. The 10-Megapixel P100 has a back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 26x optical wide-angle zoom lens—and its sturdy body feels professional in-hand yet much lighter than any entry-level D-SLR. With a host of specialty shooting modes as well as full manual control, the P100 is aimed at the amateur enthusiast crowd, and could be a good option even as a back-up camera for a pro.

Nikon COOLPIX P100
click the thumbnails to see full-size images

UI & Design

The COOLPIX P100 has a solid, professional-looking body, which like most cameras in its class imitates the design and feel of a small D-SLR. The handgrip is deep and coated with a rubberized texture for maximum comfort and one-handed shooting control. Your finger naturally hits the shutter release up front and the thumb rests on another small textured pad in the back, within reach of surrounding controls. The electronic viewfinder juts out far enough from the back of the camera that you’re not forced to smash your cheek against the display screen below it, and is encased in smooth plastic for comfort.

The 3-inch high resolution (460,000-dot) vari-angle LCD pulls out from the back of the camera and tilts up and down, allowing you to more easily get shots in unique shooting situations. This comes in handy at a place like a concert, when you would normally just hold the camera up above the crowd and blindly snap away, hoping you were aimed at the stage rather than the ceiling or the tops of the audience’s heads. It worked great for me when shooting ornate cathedral ceilings in Italy, and also for capturing the carpet of pigeons that lined the ground in Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square. Although the vari-angle LCD offered me this extra freedom when shooting, I would have preferred if it hinged sideways as well—like, say, the Canon G11’s LCD—because that allows for so many more options, such as taking self portraits and shooting around corners.

Performance

The P100 was an ideal travel camera because of its superzoom capabilities and compact size. With the wide-angle (26mm) lens I was able to capture sweeping views of ancient cities, and with the telephoto range (678mm) I could close in on far-away objects from the same location. F/4.6 is not that wide an aperture, but I was able to capture vivid, selective focus photos of exotic foods and wares in markets.

Nikon COOLPIX P100: wide-angle, telephoto, Auto WB, Active D-Lighting
click the thumbnails to see full-size images

Under normal daylight conditions, the P100 did pretty well. I could capture sharp and accurately-colored (in Auto White Balance mode) images that make for crisp prints at modest sizes—which typical travelers would probably choose to print at. In high contrast conditions, there was a loss of initial detail, however. This is where Nikon’s Active D-Lighting function came in handy, darkening blown-out highlights and lightening up dark shadowed areas a bit.

Under indoor incandescent lighting, the Auto and Incandescent WB settings tended toward the warm side , so it was best to kick into Manual there. At ISO 160-400 detail held up impressively, but then noise began to sneak in going past that range, and definitely past 800. This isn’t all that shocking—or frustrating—for a compact of this class though.

Conclusion

The COOLPIX P100 was a fun travel companion and satisfied the needs of a traveler who was constantly moving from place to place, and who did not want to be weighed down by heavy equipment, nor the need to constantly swap out lenses. With this compact superzoom, I was able to capture a much wider diversity of shots than those of my travel companions who used smaller point-and-shoots. And yet, just like them, I could also slip the P100 into my small shoulder bag and keep it concealed in crowded subway cars or in sparsely populated neighborhoods at night. The handling of the camera was really nice and intuitive and the overall image quality was good for the scale of printing output that most enthusiast photographers would probably need. The standout feature of the P100, for my travel purposes, was its ultrazoom capability and the creative freedom that it offered. It is a diverse and portable compact camera that has more than a few impressive tricks up its sleeve.

Nikon COOLPIX P100

  • MSRP:
  • $399.95
  • Size/Weight:
  • 4.5”W x 3.3”H x 3.9”D; 12.5 oz.
  • Image Sensor:
  • 10.3-megapixels, CMOS
  • Lens zoom:
  • 26x
  • Memory:
  • SD/SDHC Memory Card, 43MB internal
  • Display:
  • 3-inch (460,000 pixels) Vari-angle TFT-LCD with anti-reflection coating
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • Full HD: 1920 x 1080p / 30fps; HD: 1280 x 720p / 30fps; Standard TV: 640 x 480 / 30fps; Small Size: 320 x 240 / 30fps; HS movie: (slow motion) 320 x 240 / 240 fps, 640 x 480 / 120fps, 1280 x 720 / 60 fps ; HS movie: (fast motion) 1920 x 1080 / 15fps; in MPEG-4 AVC H.264
  • ISO Equivalent:
  • Auto/160/200/400/800/1600/3200
  • Power Source:
  • EN-EL5: 250shots
  • Contact:
  • www.nikonusa.com
Share

Nikon Announces D7000 D-SLR

Nikon today announced the D7000—a 16.2-megapixel D-SLR that shoots 1080p HD movies with full time auto focus, and has a native ISO range of 100-6400 which can be expanded to a Hi-2 setting of 25,600. Following its predecessor, the 12.3MP Nikon D90 (reviewed here), the new D7000 has a “CMOS sensor with low-light ability never before seen in a DX-format (APS-C) camera.” The D7000 will be available in mid-October for $1,199.95 for body only and $1,499.95 for body and lens outfit that includes the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens. More images and info from Nikon below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share
Page 3 of 712345...Last »