From the monthly archives: "October 2009"

The Best Camera

BoingBoing have posted tips from Koichi Mitsui on how to take professional shots with the Apple iPhone:

“Koichi Mitsui is a professional photographer in Japan. When he’s not on the job shooting for magazines and ads, he wanders around Tokyo taking pictures with his iPhone 3GS. “The iPhone has a single-focus lens with no zoom, and this simplicity keeps me devoted to only composition and the perfect photo opp,” Mitsui says.”

Photo above by Mark Jaffray with The Best Camera iPhone App.

Lacie Black Box

A recent study showed that people were more concerned about losing digital photos than they were about losing their digital camera. This brings home the importance of making sure you have backups of your photos – if a hard drive dies in your computer and takes your photos with it – then it would be awful if you didn’t have a backup. Perhaps one of the easiest, and possibly cheapest ways, of backing up all your photos (and other data) is to buy an external USB hard drive, such as the Seagate 1TB USB Drive (£62), Western Digital 1TB USB Drive (£63), or Lacie 1TB by Neil Poulton (pictured above, £71), and setup an automatic daily backup.

Free backup software that can backup your data may have already come with your PC such as Windows Backup, or alternatively you can use one of these free programs: ToDo-Backup, or EzBackItUp. You may even be able to get free backup software included with the USB Hard Drive, for example, the Verbatim 1TB USB Drive (£69) includes Nero Back It UP Essentials. It’s also important to make sure you copy photos from your camera to your computer as quickly as possible, and regularly so that if the camera is lost, then you hopefully wont have lost any photos.

Lightscribe Disc Labelling

There are additional ways you can store or backup copies of your photos, for example, you could upload them all to one of many free photo hosting sites, for online backup. Or alternatively you could look at backup to CD/DVD, perhaps using Lightscribe (picture above) to label the discs, or even more technical storage involving RAID drives. For more information on the numerous options available, have a look at PetaPixel’s Guide to Long Term Backup.

More information on Backing up your Photos: DPReview Guide

Pentax K-X DSLR

Photography BLOG has reviewed the new Pentax K-x Digital SLR – with “100 colours, 100 styles” it features different body and grip colours (in Japan), a 12.4mp CMOS sensor, sensor shift image stabilisation, dust reduction, 2.7″ live view screen, 11 point AF, ISO6400, RAW, HDR (combining 3 photos), 1,280 x 720 (16:9 aspect ratio) 24fps video, 4.7fps shooting, SD card support and takes AA batteries. The camera is available for £599 with 18-55mm kit lens.

“The Pentax K-x is a new mid-range digital SLR that combines the compact body and simple operation of the entry-level K-m camera with some of the advanced features of the prosumer K-7 model. The 12.4 megapixel Pentax Kx offers an uncluttered design that is particularly well-suited to compact camera owners looking to make the step-up to a DSLR whilst featuring the same 11-point wide-frame AF system with 9 cross sensors and 2 line sensors as the K-7. In addition to Live View, the Pentax K-x also joins the growing list of DSLR cameras that can record video, with a best quality setting of 1280×720 pixels at 30fps.”

More Pentax K-x DSLR Reviews: ePhotoZine, Previews: NeutralDay, Photography BLOG, Imaging Resource, DPReview Hands On, Press Release at PentaxDSLRs Blog, Launch at OK1000 (via 1001noisycameras)

Olympus PEN E-P1

Digital Photography School has reviewed the Olympus PEN E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera – The E-P1 is one of the world’s smallest digital camera with changeable lens, it features the same size sensor as other Olympus Digital SLRs (meaning much better image quality with all the low-noise benefits of a DSLR), but with a camera body and lens size much more in like with a compact point and shoot. It is available for £579 (body only) or with a 17mm lens (34mm equivalent, with viewfinder £699), and 14-42mm 3x zoom lens (28 – 84mm equivalent, £599). It’s also available with both lenses for £849.

“Another feature that will please the ambitious operator is the PEN’s ability to superimpose multiple RAW pictures onto each other: additional images can be overlaid onto an earlier image and varied in exposure, white balance etc. The PEN’s face detection function can ‘read’ detects up to eight faces, optimising focus and exposure.”

Read our Olympus PEN E-P1 Review
View our Olympus PEN E-P1 Sample Photo Gallery
Olympus PEN E-P1 Unboxed at Recently Reviewed

Read more Olympus PEN E-P1 Reviews: The Digital Story (via 1001nc.com), LawrenceRipsher, DPExpert, Olympus PEN E-P1 Reviews

Panasonic Lumix GF1

ByThom has reviewed the new Panasonic Lumix GF1 Micro Four Thirds DSLR – the camera features a 12.1 megapixel live view sensor, HD 720p Video at 30fps, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1 aspect ratio, AF assist lamp, ISO100 – 3200, 3fps shooting, 3.0″ 3:2 aspect 460k pixel screen, dust reduction, and built in flash. Compared to the Olympus E-P1 – It lacks the in body image stablisation, and instead relies on optical IS in the lens. The camera is available in Black, Silver, Red and White, for £699 with kit lens, or £449 body only.

“I was quite happy to see Panasonic develop the GF1. On paper it looked like a perfect bridge between the LX3 and the G1/G1h siblings. Moreover, my biggest issue with the Olympus was autofocus performance, and Panasonic seems to have figured out contrast autofocus better than the rest of the pack. Thus, My hope was that I’d just get a “fixed” E-P1. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what I got.”

Read Panasonic Lumix GF1 Reviews: DPExpert, DPExpert GF1 and E-P1, ePhotoZine, The Online Photographer, DPReview, DCResource, Luminous Landscape, HardwareZone, Which43.com, Previews: Davids Simple Photography Hands On, Pocket Lint, DPNow, Links: Read the full GF1 Press Release, Related: Why I love Micro FourThirds (TOP).

Sony Alpha A850

Photocrati has reviewed the new Sony Alpha A850 – which sits below the A900 – it features the same 24.6 Megapixel EXMOR CMOS Full Frame (35mm) Sensor, BIONZ processor, Super SteadyShot Inside, ISO 100-3200 (boost to 6,400), 98% coverage optical viewfinder (instead of 100%), 3.0″ 921k pixel sreen, 3fps shooting (vs 5fps on the A900). The camera is available from Amazon UK for £1639 / $2000 US / €1999

“Boasting the highest resolution available in a 35mm size DSLR, the latest Sony camera is also the most affordable full-frame model on the market. Priced to sell at about $700 less than the Sony A900, the Nikon D700 and the Canon EOS 5D Mk II, the A850 is a downright bargain.”

Read Sony Alpha A850 DSLR Reviews: AlphaMountWorld, Imaging Resource, Luminous Landscape

Sony W180Amazon UK are selling the Sony Cybershot W180 for only £89 this week in black, silver or red – the camera is a compact 10 megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom lens and 2.7″ screen, plus Frame movie mode, Image Stabiliser and Red Eye Reduction, and the camera takes Sony Memory Stick Duo cards. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then here are some of the other best sellers on Amazon UK this week:

1 – Panasonic Lumix TZ7 – Pocket Zoom, 10mp, 12x zoom, £237
2 – Samsung ES15 – 10mp, 3x optical zoom, 2.5″ screen, £59
3 – Panasonic Lumix TZ6 – Pocket Zoom, 10mp, 12x zoom, review, £178
4 – Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS – 10mp, 3x opt zoom, 2.5″ screen, £137
5 – Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS, 12mp, 3x zoom, 2.5″ screen, £168

Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR

Photography BLOG has reviewed the new Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR it features a 14.3x optical zoom lens (30.5mm – 436mm), a 12 megapixel SuperCCD EXR sensor that provides high resolution, high sensitivity, and high dynamic range modes, optical image stabilisation, 2.7″ screen, SD card support, 5 Film Simulation Modes, and VGA video recording at 30fps. The camera is available for £329

“The Fujifilm Finepix S200EXR is a new super-zoom camera with a 14.3x, 30.5mm-436mm zoom lens, primarily aimed at people who want a DSLR experience without the cost and bulk of a true DSLR system. Replacing the S100FS model, the Fujifilm S200EXR inherits the innovative EXR technology that was first introduced earlier this year on the F200EXR. This essentially turns the S200 EXR into three kinds of camera in one, with one mode capturing the highest resolution possible, another the lowest noise, and the third the best dynamic range, with the camera also able to automatically choose the most suitable for the current scene.”

Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR Reviews: Cameras.co.uk, Pocket-Lint, Sample Photos: Fujifilm USA

Sony W270

DCResource has reviewed the new Sony Cybershot W290 – the camera features a wide angle 5x optical zoom lens, 12 megapixel sensor, 720p HD video recording, optical image stabilisation, 3.0″ screen, and face detection. The Sony Cybershot W270 is available for £149, while the W290 is available for £185. (The W270 is the same, except has a smaller 2.7″ screen)

“While the new Cyber-shot DSC-W290 carries on many of the traditions on those cameras (extra zoom, big LCD, fast performance, good battery life), Sony has let image quality slip. Photos are soft and noisy, even at the base ISO of 80. That, combined with many other issues, make the DSC-W290 just an average ultra-compact camera.”

Read more Sony Cybershot W270 / W290 Reviews: Cameras.co.uk, Cameralabs, Trusted Reviews, More pictures of the W270 at Focus.

Nikon D3000Cameralabs has reviewed the new Nikon D3000 – an update to the D60 – it features a 10 megapixel sensor, 3fps shooting, 11 point focus, 3″ LCD, SD support, new Guide mode, and ISO 100-1600. The Nikon D3000 is available for £399 with VR kit lens.

“The Nikon D3000 is the company’s latest entry-level DSLR, featuring 10.2 Megapixels and an easy-to-use control system aimed at DSLR beginners or those wanting to upgrade from a point-and-shoot camera. Announced in July 2009, it’s the successor to the popular D60, and sits below the D5000 in the current Nikon range. The major new features are a larger 3in screen, an 11-point AF system and a new Guide mode for beginners.”

Read Nikon D3000 Reviews: Trusted Reviews, LetsGoDigital, Photocrati, ePhotoZine, KenRockwell Review | Guide, DigitalCameraInfo, DCResource, NeoCamera, Photography BLOG, Pocket-Lint, Previews: DPReview