NASA has placed an order with Nikon for 11 units of its highest-end dSLR, the D3S, and 7 AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8G ED lenses to bring to space for documentation efforts. Interestingly, none of these cameras or optics will require any modifications, which attests to the ruggedness and versatility of the company's shooters.
The dSLRs will be brought to the International Space Station, where they will join a host of other Nikon products such as the D2X, lenses, and other Speedlight external flash units.
This is the second consumer camera brand we know of this year to enter … Read more
Apple released one of its routine Mac OS X updates on Wednesday to let its computers handle raw images from a handful of new Nikon and Canon SLRs as well as from Canon's newer high-end PowerShot G11 compact camera.
The update lets Mac OS X 10.6 as well as Apple's iPhoto and Aperture software handle the raw image files taken directly from the camera's sensors without in-camera processing. Raw photo formats offer more quality and flexibility at the cost of convenience and file size.
The update supports Canon's new professional EOS-1D Mark IV and high-end … Read more
The camera industry is in the throes of a digital photography revolution. But a new version of Nikon's 300mm telephoto lens announced this week, a $5,900 model intended for professionals, shows at least some parts of the photography market are constant even as the rest is overhauled.
Digital photography is profoundly different from the film era for many reasons. Here are some: new image sensors can enable photography in conditions too dark for film. The same camera can shoot video and still shots. Cameras can record not just when you took a photo, but where you took it. It's easy to publish photos globally on the Internet or to alter them significantly with software. And steadily increasing computing power lets cameras do everything from detect smiling faces to correct lens shortcomings.
And yet islands of stability remain. The high-end lens, with its complex optical engineering and premium pricing, is one of them.
Many SLR users don't venture beyond the kit lens that comes with their camera--an 18-55mm zoom that's reasonable for indoor shooting and basic tourist photography. Those who want to photograph the kids' soccer matches can step up with a telephoto zoom--usually one reaching to 200mm or 250mm and costing a few hundred dollars.
So why all the extra price for a bit more focal length to reach 300mm? … Read more
If camera phones have got people thinking twice about the need for a decent snapshot camera, no one's told the camera manufacturers. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Kodak, Pentax, Casio, Samsung, and Olympus all continue to produce point-and-shoot cameras in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and abilities. The variety is amazing, bordering on downright silly.
This is why the question "What's the best point-and-shoot?" is difficult to answer; while one camera might excel in low-light conditions or photo quality, it'll more than likely come up short in design, usability, performance, price, or in some other area. Sure, I can stack up some cameras with some similar features and prices, but with so many variables it's very difficult to be specific. But, I'll give it a shot.
Below is a list of the best cameras--or at least those worth considering--that fall under a particular type, size, or feature. These are ones that left a strong enough impression on me to make me recommend them again and again to readers, friends, and family. None of them is perfect, but they have pluses that outweigh the minuses. If you're after the best photo quality in a compact camera, Canon's PowerShots are your best bet. However, their shooting performance tends to be behind those from Panasonic and Sony.
While I'm at it, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for any point-and-shoot camera. For capturing kids, pets, or any other fast-moving subjects, you really need a digital SLR. A couple here are pretty quick--the Panasonic ZR1 and Sony WX1 come to mind--but if you're regularly shooting things in motion you'll want to step up to at least an entry-level dSLR. I suggest the same for those wanting the best in low-light shooting without a flash (though again, there are a couple here worth buying).
Optical viewfinders are all but gone from new models. Canon still has a few, but the rest of them are nothing but LCD. Lastly, most of these models use proprietary something or other: a memory card, cable, or, most typically, a battery. It's irritating, occasionally frustrating, and adds to the overall cost of a product--definitely worth keeping in mind when you're shopping.… Read more
Dateline: November 9, Manhattan. I'm inside B&H Photo, carrying a Nikon D70 SLR camera my dad was kind enough to pass down to me. It doesn't have a lens, or a memory card, or a case. Those are my responsibilities. This is why I'm spending close to an hour staring at various lenses ranging from 18-55 all the way up to 18-200mm, all the while knowing nearly nothing about SLR technology.
November 10: 11 a.m. After a long shower this morning and a fretful commute to work, I'm carrying my D70 with the … Read more
Nikon today expanded its DX lens line by adding a dedicated macro lens for close-up photography .The new AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85 mm f3.5G ED VR II. A prime focal length macro lens is something DX format shooters have desired, from general shooters to Ebay sellers.
The new AF-S DX 85mm Micro lens focuses as close as 10.8 inches, with reproduction ratios up to 1:1. with its 127.5mm 35mm equivalent focal length, it allows for a good lens-to-subject working distance while doing close-up work, as well as being suitable for portrait and nature work.
Designed … Read more
With the exceptions of decent lens specs and a specialty portrait mode, the Nikon Coolpix S570 is a fairly run-of-the-mill sub-$200 ultracompact. The f2.7-6.6 28-140mm-equivalent lens with a 5x zoom is nice to find at this price point and the Smart Portrait System works well. Which is good, considering its average-bordering-on-slow performance makes it better suited for still subjects than moving ones.
Photo quality is very good for its class, too, right up through ISO 400. The camera can shoot at full resolution up to ISO 3,200, but because of color shifting and complete loss of … Read more
Oh my awesome! If you're looking to turn your digital SLR into a toy camera, Lomography's new adapters for Diana F+ lenses let you do it for cheap. They were announced a few days ago, but that doesn't make them any less cool.
The $12 adapters are available for Canon EOS and Nikon F-series dSLRs and can be used with the Diana F+ Fisheye, Telephoto, Wide, Close-Up, and Super Wide lenses. Kits with an adapter and a lens can be purchased for between $50 to $60 depending on lens type.