Nikon's Consumer Range expands – D5100 & ME-1

Nikon D5100April 5th sees the announcement of the fourth Nikon “thousand” model, the D5100. Following on from the D7000 and D3100 launches last year – both excellent cameras that introduced new sensors to Nikon’s range and left the D5000 mid-ranger looking a bit orphaned, the D5100 takes the logical step of bringing the larger 16.2Mp sensor from the D7000 into a cheaper, more consumer-oriented camera. Nikon have sensibly retained the swivel screen of the 5000, albeit with a more conventional side-hinged layout rather than the quirky (and tripod-unfriendly) base hinge of the original, and introduced a new body design with a slightly aggressive edge to the top plate. All of this is very predictable – with an older 12Mp sensor the D5000 was looking increasingly uncompetitive (despite the fantastic results it’s capable of delivering) whilst the D3100 introduced 1080p video – 14.2Mp and 1080p in the model below the former consumer video star couldn’t last!

So with the D5100, priced at £669, rising to £779 for lens kits, Nikon have given the sensor of the D7000 and the size and flexibility of the D5000. It makes for a comprehensive lineup. What else has Nikon brought along to the party…

Continue reading

Nikon D5000 short film with pull focus

Though autofocus is not possible with live video in any current true DSLR (the Panasonic GH1 promises this) it is possible to use pull-focus effects with a little planning. We now have a Nikon D5000 – it won the competition for best fine image detail when comparing results frame by frame with Canon’s nominally higher resolution rival. It was also a very good deal, £629 inc VAT with an 18-55mm VR kit lens and a SanDisk Ultra II 8GB SDHC card plus Crumpler Messenger Boy 2500 bag thrown in free (from Jacobs). You Tube sample –

Continue reading

Pentax K-7 – pinnacle of video?

PENTAX UK is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-7 lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera. The K-7 combines a variety of advanced functions and user-friendly features to ensure outstanding reliability and capability within a compact, lightweight body.

k7front

The K-7 joins the current PENTAX K digital SLR camera series as a high-end model in the range. True to its series concept, it has been designed to deliver outstanding image quality combined with ease of use, to benefit photo enthusiasts of all levels, including advanced amateurs. The K-7 also includes revised and upgraded features including viewfinder, shutter unit, continuous-shooting capacity, and exposure and autofocus systems.

Protected by a durable, high-quality metallic body, the K-7 is extremely compact and functional — as with all other K-series models — delivering enhanced portability and manoeuverability. The model includes several new user-friendly features, including video recording, high dynamic range (HDR), and automatic horizon correction. All of these features serve to deliver a highly effective photographic tool, perfect for all discerning digital SLR photographers.

Continue reading

Canon EOS 500D video test

The clip originally shown here has been replaced by an edited selection, shot in a mixture of 1080 and 720 modes, assembled using iMovie and written as a 720p final project for YouTube. Don’t mean to cause confusion, some visitors may have linked to this post already, and I do not want to add another post. Please feel free to link directly to the YouTube vid or to this page.

Continue reading

Nikon D5000: live view, HDv, articulated screen

Nikon UK is pleased to announce the D5000, its latest digital SLR camera that is perfect for capturing family fun and developing the skills of photography hobbyists. Packed with features that make taking pictures easy and fun, this camera stands out above the competition with its unique Vari-angle LCD monitor, allowing you to shoot easily from almost any angle. (Press release from Nikon UK, April 14th).

Continue reading

Canon EOS 500D – 15.1 MP plus HD video

Received from Canon press office today: United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 25 March 2009: Canon announces the new 15.1MP EOS 500D which offers photographers an outstanding combination of features. Following the launch of the first Canon EOS camera to shoot movies – the EOS 5D Mark II in September 2008 – Canon now brings Full High Definition (HD) video capability to consumers in a compact and lightweight DSLR.

Continue reading

Sekonic's camera calibration

The Sekonic Digitalmaster L-758D meter offers the solution to variable ISO/EI ratings, and apparent sensitivity and contrast curves variations found in DSLRs. With a USB interface to link it up to a PC/Mac calibration program, the L-758D can remember three different cameras, two types of lighting (ambient or flash) and two measuring methods (incident or reflected) plus a range of ISO values for each of the cameras. There are twelve basic ‘profiles’ that can be stored, and within each profile a range from ISO 3 to ISO 8000.

Continue reading

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

Canon 5D MkII: 30fps 1080p, 21mp, ISO 25,600

United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 17 September 2008: Canon announces the full frame, 21.1 Megapixel EOS 5D Mark II: the first EOS with full High Definition video capability. They also announced a new 24mm f1.4 lens.

Continue reading

Nikon D90 12.3Mp DSLR announced – a new market for Nikon?

August 26th, London, UK: report from Richard Kilpatrick

Today saw the launch of the newest member of Nikon’s growing range of successful DSLRs, with an ongoing increase in market share clearly resulting in growing confidence for the camera brand. Prefacing the D90’s announcement, Nikon revealed that 50% of professional photographers at the Olympics were using Nikon, and their market share reached 44% of the pro DSLR market in February (this is despite the range still having a 12Mp upper limit).

D90 at launch

D90 at launch

Having introduced the D3, D300, D60 and D700 within the last 12 months, the D80 was really looking like the last man standing; today’s announcement shows that the mid-range “enthusiast” market is going to be exceptionally well catered for with a ground-breaking new model, and leaves me as a recent D3 adopter wondering if it’s possible to justify a spare F-mount body.

Continue reading