Nikon D3X announced at last!

RRP: £5499.99 / €7728.00
Availability: Late December 2008

Nikon UK is pleased to introduce its new top-of-the-range premium D-SLR – the D3X. Building on the reliability, handling and durability of the award-winning D3, the D3X offers an imaging sensor with over twice the resolution* of the revolutionary D3, breaking new ground in image quality.

(*Nikon’s own words – actually, it’s twice the pixel count, and approximately 1.42 times the linear resolution, as resolution is normally understood, though the visual information density is more than doubled).

The all-new 24.5MP CMOS* sensor makes the new model eminently suitable for the broadest range of shooting situations, both in the studio and on location – ideal for photographers seeking unrivalled detail.

(*Nikon’s own words again – we must wait to find out whether it is really all-new, or is a derivative of the Sony 24.x megapixel sensor. See features below of gapless microlens array and 12-channel readout, which are not claimed by Sony. Samsung pioneered gapless microlenses in the 14.6 megapixel sensor for the Pentax K20D/Samsung GX20).

“This is the camera that many professional photographers have been waiting for,” said Robert Cristina, Professional Products and NPS Manager at Nikon Europe. “Just as the D3 has become the professionals’ camera of choice in sports photography, the D3X’s extremely high imaging resolution will raise the bar for commercial, fashion and stock photography. The results speak for themselves: this is without doubt our highest-quality camera to date.”

The World is Your Studio

The D3X boasts a specially-developed FX-format CMOS image sensor with 12-channel readout, gapless micro lens array and on-chip noise reduction. It delivers class-leading levels of continuous shooting speed and noise management at higher sensitivities without sacrificing detail.

The D3X supports a broad ISO range from ISO 100-1600, extendable down to ISO 50 and up to 6400 equivalent with up to 5 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, or 7 fps in the 10MP DX-crop mode. The acclaimed MultiCAM3500FX 51-point autofocus system enables extreme accuracy with outstanding dynamic tracking for fast moving subjects in low light.

The camera’s LiveView function offers a smooth workflow option, perfect for studio work or other situations where the use of the viewfinder is impractical. The camera also delivers a superb response rate, with a start-up of just 12 milliseconds and 40ms shutter lag. The Kevlar/carbon fibre composite shutter has been designed for intensive professional needs and tested to 300,000 cycles.

Images with the X factor

The D3X reaps the benefits of the very latest developments in sensor design and image processing technology. Designed to produce files suitable to meet the demands of tomorrow’s commercial and stock requirements, the camera produces 50MB 14-bit NEF (Raw) files. Using Capture NX2 software, NEF files can be processed into medium format terrain; 140MB (16-bit TIFF-RGB). Fine details are reproduced with incredible clarity, whilst shadows and highlights contain tonal gradation with minimal clipping for pictures with a unique look and feel.

Intuitive control

The D3X shares the same ergonomics and handling as the D3, which have been designed to enable anyone to get to work quickly and efficiently. The bright, uncluttered viewfinder features 100% coverage and comprehensive illuminated displays, while the high-definition, 3-inch, 920,000-dot VGA TFT monitor enables outstanding playback quality for on-the-spot image assessment. The D3X’s magnesium body, which is sealed for moisture and dust resistance, also supports Nikon’s wireless system (the WT-4), HDMI output, offers a dual slot for CF cards and is compatible with the new GP-1 GPS unit.

See: http://www.europe-nikon.com/product/en_GB/products/broad/1726/overview.html

EOS 50D 15.1 mpixel DSLR announced

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 26 August 2008: Canon today strengthens its EOS range with the addition of a powerful new digital SLR: the EOS 50D. With a 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 6.3 frames per second shooting and Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor, the EOS 50D delivers unparalleled speed and resolution at a price point that is unique in today’s market.

EOS 50D with 17-85mm IS lens

EOS 50D with 17-85mm IS lens

Outstanding, clean images

A newly designed 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor delivers ultra-detailed, low-noise images – ideal for large-scale reproduction or creative cropping. New manufacturing processes, plus redesigned photo diodes and microlenses, extend the light gathering capabilities of the sensor – allowing more pixels to be fitted on the CMOS sensor without compromising image quality. These changes ensure improved high ISO performance and low noise. High-speed, low light shooting is enabled by ISO levels of 3200, expandable to an ultra-sensitive 12800.

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System – including the improved Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a new fluorine coating – increases protection of image quality by helping to reduce, repel and remove unwanted dust from the sensor. Stubborn particles can be removed automatically in post-production with Dust Delete Data and Canon’s included Digital Photo Professional software.

Rapid-fire performance

Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor is fast enough to allow up to 6.3fps continuous shooting, in bursts of up to 90 JPEGs with a UDMA card. Used with Canon’s wide area AF system, which locks onto subjects with 9 individual cross type sensors, stunning action sequences can be captured – even in low-light conditions. This makes the EOS 50D particularly suited to sports and wildlife shooting.

DIGIC 4 works with the CMOS sensor to deliver 14-bit image processing, for smooth gradation and natural-looking colours – as well as ensuring ultra-fast startup times and near-instant image review after shooting.

See everything

A new 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD provides extra-large and wide angle-of-view image review, with plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. By switching to Live View mode – which displays a real-time image on the LCD – photographers can enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles, or connect to a PC for remote shooting. Live Mode now offers three ways to auto focus: Quick AF, Live AF, and new Face Detection Live AF, which optimizes focus based on faces detected in the frame – for fast, spontaneous portraiture.

Control and ease of use

The famously intuitive EOS menu system includes a new Quick Control screen, for instant access to the most commonly-changed settings. A new Creative Auto mode offers automatic focus and exposure – while still allowing creative ‘tweaks’ to settings such as background sharpness.

“For advanced amateurs and semi-professionals – or professionals looking for a powerful backup model – the EOS 50D stands alone,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “No other camera in this price bracket offers a comparable combination of speed and image quality.”

Features at a glance:

  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 6.3fps continuous shooting, max. burst 90 JPEGs with UDMA card
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • ISO 100-3200, expandable to 12800
  • 9-point wide area AF
  • 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD with Live View mode & Face Detection Live AF
  • Magnesium alloy body, with environmental protection
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • HDMI connection for high quality viewing and playback on a High Definition TV
  • Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

Pricing & Availability

The EOS 50D (body only) is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1199.99 / €1599.99 RRP inc. VAT.  The EOS 50D EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM kit is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1499.99 / €1949.99 RRP inc. VAT. (UK/Ireland prices).

The 18-200mm ƒ3.5-5.6 IS USM lens

Canon 18-200mm IS EF-S lens

Canon 18-200mm IS EF-S lens

Breaking Canon’s claimed resistance to designing ‘superzooms’, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is designed exclusively for use with EOS cameras featuring an EF-S lens mount – including the new EOS 50D, EOS 1000D, EOS 450D, and earlier models. (The cosmetic design with the silver rings is unusual in a lens costing this much; it’s reminiscent of lower-cost Canon lenses, and an all-black design might have been better received. – Ed)

The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS features a 16 element, 12 group construction. This includes UD and aspherical lens elements, which minimise chromatic aberration and ensure crisp, corner-to-corner detail across the zoom range. A close focusing distance of just 45cm offers photographers total framing flexibility.

A Canon 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer – specially designed for the lens’ specific focal length range – works to counteract image blur that can occur when shooting handheld, or at slow shutter speeds. Automatic panning detection ensures effective performance when tracking moving subjects. Plus, because the IS system is based in the lens, results are visible through the viewfinder during framing.

Reflection off a digital camera’s image sensor can cause flare and ghosting. To suppress this, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS uses optics treated with Canon’s patented Super Spectra coatings – for crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is available from end of September 2008 priced at £549.99 / €729.99 RRP inc. VAT.