Olympus has commenced development on an interchangeable lens type digital camera based on the “Micro Four Thirds System”. The forthcoming camera will bring dramatic reductions in size and weight to the Olympus E-System, and will comply with the new Micro Four Thirds System standard which was jointly announced with Matsushita Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic), on 5 August 2008. A concept model of the new camera will be exhibited at photokina 2008 Show, the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held in Cologne, Germany, running from 23 to 28 September.
Not entirely unexpectedly, Canon announced a new digital SLR camera; the Canon Rebel XS (Europe model name: Canon EOS 1000D). In addition to the fact that this is a new DSLR, Canon introduce a new segment at the same time; that of the absolute entry level camera class. This means we have finally reached the thousand so we will find a sequence row from 1000 to singular figures. Introducing this new segment, Canon create space for their assortment, which was considered somewhat tight over the last few years.
The new Sony Alpha A700 was launched during a Sony press conference in Italy. Unfortunately, the surprise element was lost because one day earlier the Alpha introduction was disturbed by a leak caused by Sony. The Sony Alpha 700 is Sony’s second digital SLR camera that has to contribute to a continuously compiling series of SLR cameras, with which Sony manifests itself as renowned DSLR manufacturer. The Sony Alpha DSLR A700 is a digital SLR camera which is positioned in the middle segment, and with that, has to compete (heavily) with the new collection of Canon and Nikon D-SLR cameras, among others. During my stay in Italy, I had the chance to work with the Sony A700 for a short period.
During our meeting with Kazuto Yamaki, Chief Operating Officer, from Sigma Japan, I had the opportunity to touch and try the new Sigma DP digital compact camera. Although the status of the Sigma DP1 is pre-pre-pre-production, in the words of Kazuto Yamaki, we can already share our thoughts with you based on this model. The Sigma DP1 is compact and is basically similar to ordinary compact camera models. However the big difference between an ordinary compact camera and the Sigma DP1 is its image sensor.
At the end of August, we were invited to come to Hamburg to attend the press meeting of Olympus. During this European meeting, Olympus introduced their latest compact digital cameras, together with a preview of the new Olympus digital SLR camera: the Olympus E-400. During the press conference, there was a thick queue of four rows of journalists all trying to catch a glimpse of a trio of E400s; making it impossible to get a proper impression of this FourThirds DSLR. Therefore, we are grateful to Olympus for providing us with a pre-production model, so that we can share an extensive first impression with you. Olympus did not yet reveal the retail price at the press meeting, but it will surely be a very competitive price!
The Nikon Coolpix S10 is one of a new series of Coolpix digital cameras launched by Nikon and introduced before the start of Photokina 2006. In addition to the series of Nikon Coolpix cameras to which the Nikon Coolpix S10 belongs, Nikon is also presenting a new digital SLR camera: the Nikon D80. In doing so, Nikon has added an interesting series of digital cameras to its range that are sure to arouse the interest of a great many consumers. One can't help noticing that there is still no digital compact camera for serious photographers, a camera where aperture, shutter speed and other functions can be operated manually. A compact camera like this would have a price tag similar to that of Nikon's entry-level D-SLR model, the Nikon D50. We may assume that this is the main reason behind the absence of a segment of advanced compact cameras for semi-professionals. Still, the Nikon Coolpix S10 has some very interesting functions; 6 Megapixels, one for Nikon's new Image Sensor Shift VR (Vibration Reduction) to correct undesired camera movements, a 10x tilting optical zoom (equivalent to 38 - 380mm in a 35mm) and a 2.5 inch format LCD screen. We had the chance to work with a pre-production model, to enable us to describe the camera in greater detail.
An LED placed besides the lens serves as an indicator for the self-timer, and more importantly, as an AF assistance illuminator. The AF assistance illuminator will be automatically activated if there is not much surrounding light or if a subject is being photographed in poor lighting conditions. The assistance illuminator has a maximum range of approx. 2.0 m (W) to 2.0 m (T). The assistance illumination will not be activated if turned off in the menu or if the camera is recording in certain modes, such as twilight, night landscape, etc. The Nikon Coolpix S10's assistance illuminator is activated when it is delivered from the factory.
As the Nikon Coolpix S10 has a tilting lens, it follows that the LCD screen can also tilt. The camera consists of two halves when tilting. The Nikon S10 has a large format 2.5 inch screen. It is hard to remember the days when 1.5 and 1.8 inches at the most were the standard size in a digital camera. The Nikon Coolpix S10’s LCD screen has an extra large viewing angle of 170° and the combination of tilting lens and extra large viewing angle means you can take photos from practically every angle with the Coolpix camera. It is also handy for showing saved pictures; whether you want to look at the pictures straight on, from the left, right, above or beneath, they remain clearly visible.