Currently viewing the category: "Articles"

Looking at the Christmas and Boxing Day sales on digital cameras, you tend to get a view of what is “old” and due to be replaced, based on what cameras are seeing the biggest discounts. For example, the Panasonic Lumix G3 is for sale at Argos (in the UK) for £235 with lens – a bargain for a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera – but you can easily see why, it’s been superseded by the Panasonic Lumix G5 and then the G6.

So for old cameras that have been replaced by newer models, it’s obvious why the price is so low… and it means you can often pick up a bargain if you don’t mind the older technology. But what about “current” cameras or old cameras that haven’t yet been replaced by a newer model… Here we’re talking about these cameras:

Canon EOS 1100D DSLR

The Canon EOS 1100D – there is no newer model to this, and it’s still available new, yet has been available for at least 2 and a half years – some places are selling it for £245 with lens (Amazon) – others for £160 with lens (Tesco in-store clearance). So next year, will we see a Canon EOS 1200D (or a new model altogether)?

The Nikon 1 S1 – only been out for about a year, yet Tesco are selling it for £149 with lens. It’s either due a replacement (the Nikon 1 S2?) or will be completely discontinued.

Fujifilm XPro1

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is another camera that has been widely reduced, and even offered with a free lens, meaning a replacement is likely (the X-Pro2?) and many rumor sites have suggested this is likely.

Sony Alpha a3000

Other cameras that have seen big reductions include the Sony Alpha A3000 – reduced from £299 to £199 – which would suggest that it is being replaced – yet it has only been available for a few months? Would they really replace the camera so soon? (Perhaps with a Sony Alpha A3100 or A3000N?) Many reviews have complained about the poor screen, and poor EVF, if both the screen and EVF are poor, then it can’t be a very nice camera to use… however if they released a newer model with a better screen and/or EVF at least you’d be happy with at least one of them. Others: The Samsung Galaxy Camera, now £199, it was £399 when new… so Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera anyone?

Either way you’d be wise to bare this in mind when shopping for a digital camera in the “sales” – most likely it’s due to a newer model either being available, or coming soon, but if the price is right and it takes good photos, then does it really matter?

Ed note: Guest post from a reader who wished to remain anonymous.

Leica X Vario

Leica currently produce a number of high end Digital RangeFinders, as well as one or two compact cameras that are all Leica. Such as the Leica X Vario, Leica X2 (and previously the Leica X1), but below these premium models, they are currently partnered with Panasonic, producing similar models with Leica design touches… In the past they have worked with other companies including Fujifilm, and produced a variety of cameras, including a Four-Thirds Digital SLR. Lets have a look back at the various models in the Leica Digital Camera range, starting with the current models:

2013
Leica C Compact – (Typ 112) 12 megapixel, 7.1x optical zoom, EVF, Compact camera based on the Panasonic Lumix LF1. Details, Sample Photos.
Leica X Vario – 16 megapixel compact camera with APS-C CMOS sensor, and 2.5x optical zoom lens, 28-70mm equivalent, f/3.5-6.4 aperture.
– Reviews: ePHOTOzine, Specifications.
Leica M (Type 240) – Top of the range 24 megapixel full frame digital rangefinder with CMOS sensor, video recording(!), and live view(!), roughly £6k body only.
– Reviews: Wedding Photographer, Specifications, Sample Photos: ePHOTOzine, SteveHuffPhoto.

2012
Leica S
– 37.5 megapixel Medium format Digital SLR.
Leica M-E – A “budget” or “entry level” £4000 18 megapixel full frame CCD sensor digital rangefinder (no video, no live view).
– Reviews: AP, 50lux, RedDotForum Comparison.
Leica M MonochromBlack and white full frame 18 megapixel CCD sensor digital rangefinder (no video, no live view), £6200.
– Reviews: AP, Jonathan Slack, Phoblographer, RedDotForum, MingThein, Sample Photos PopPhoto, ePHOTOzine.
Leica X2 – Compact by Leica with 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.
– Reviews: ePHOTOzinePhotographyBLOG, Specifications, Sample Photos, SteveHuffPhotos.
Leica D-Lux 6 – based on the Panasonic Lumix LX7, 10.1 megapixel, f/1.4 3.8x optical zoom lens.
– Reviews: ePHOTOzine, MingThein, RedDotForum.
Leica V-Lux 4 – ultra-zoom based on the Panasonic Lumix FZ200, f/2.8 24x optical zoom lens.
– Reviews / Sample photos: RedDotForum.
Leica V-Lux 40 – pocket / travel zoom based on the Panasonic Lumix TZ30
– Reviews / Sample photos: PhotographyBLOG.

[Continue Reading…]

Today is the last day of Focus On Imaging 2013 – so if you’re keen to get a last minute bargain and can make it there – then there are a number of offers available from retailers with Focus On Imaging show prices! Including the Nikon D600 for £1099 refurbished body only, a number of Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses for great prices, and offers on memory cards and more…

There were some of the big camera companies, including Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm, with few other camera companies including Sigma and Minox, although you could see a number of lenses from the likes of Tokina, Carl Zeiss, Tamron, Sigma, Samyang, and bags and tripods from Manfrotto, Giottos, Gitzo, 3 Legged Thing, and others (Cullmann, Triopos, Benro etc). More tripods than you can shake a stick at?

Here’s a roundup of coverage of the show from around the web:
Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II Launched – flatbad scanners are still around.
Three new digital backs from Phase One, ePHOTOzine has the details.
BlackMagicDesign Cinema Camera EF Hands-On – 2.5k Video camera.

Lenses:
Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Hands-On – Mirrorless lens.
New 80-400mm Telephoto Zoom Lens From Nikon Announced – updates the classic lens, preview here.
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Hands-On – with built in teleconverter.
Fujifilm X Lens Roadmap Shown – along with specifications for the 55-200mm lens.
Carl Zeiss 135mm f/2 Lens Hands-On – new telephoto prime from Carl Zeiss.

Cameras:
Hasselblad H5D-50 Hands-On Preview
Canon Powershot N Hands-On Preview
Nikon Coolpix L320 Launched – entry level 26x optical zoom ultra zoom camera.
Nikon Coolpix A Announced with 16mp APS-C sensor in a compact, preview here.
Nikon Coolpix P330 Announced – Hands-On Preview – a compact with RAW, and 5x optical zoom.
Nikon Coolpix AW110 Hands-On Preview – 18m waterproof compact!
Fujifilm X100s Wide Angle Converter Preview – advanced compact with APS-C sensor.
Fujifilm X20 Hands-On Photos – serious compact with 4x optical zoom.
Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR pictures and hands-on – at Pocket-Lint.
Nikon Coolpix P520 pictures and hands-on – at Pocket-Lint.
Nikon Coolpix S9500 pictures and hands-on – at Pocket-Lint.

Sample Photos:
Sigma DP3 Merrill Hands-On Sample Photos – the new Foveon sensor camera with 50mm Macro lens.
Leica M Typ 240 Hands-On Sample Photos – Not at the show, but some of the first sample photos.

Video:
A number of videos from Focus On Imaging are on CameraDiner.
Focus On Imaging Video Roundup at DPNow – with captions.
There’s also a podcast at TheActivePhotographer.

If we’ve missed any additional kit coverage, please let us know!

Here is a run down of the best digital cameras of 2012, based on reviews from around the web, starting with the…

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Black
Olympus OM-D E-M5 – this retro styled mirrorless camera has been awarded “Camera of the Year 2012” by: TOP, Photography BLOG, DPReview (User voting), ePHOTOzine (innovative camera of the year), Gizmodo.com (AU), PhotographyReview.com, PCWorld , SansMirror (Serious Mirrorless of the Year). We liked it so much, we bought one, as did many other people.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR
Canon EOS 5D Mark III – The Full-Frame Digital SLR Camera of the year 2012, according to PopPhoto, PhotoFocus.

Canon EOS 1D X – full-frame professional Digital SLR, DigitalCameraInfo.

Sony Cyber-shot RX1 – full-frame compact camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, SteveHuffPhoto (followed by the Olympus OM-D E-M5).

Nikon D800 Front
Nikon D800 – the 36.3 megapixel full-frame Digital SLR gives image quality and resolution similar to medium format digital cameras roughly 3-4 times the price, LL, TrustedReviews (10/10), Pocket-Lint, ePHOTOzine (Best DSLR, along with D800E) for more have a look at our round-up of the Best Digital Cameras by Type.

Some would say, including me, that 2012 has been one of the most exciting years for the photography and digital camera industry, while the low-end compact camera market has been in decline due to the improvement and adoption of smartphones (such as the amazing Nokia PureView 808), there has been increasing improvements in pocket zoom cameras, ultra zoom bridge cameras, Digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Bang for buck or value for money has been at it’s highest ever, with compact 10x optical zoom lens cameras available for £99 with optical image stabilisation, such as the Panasonic Lumix SZ1. Previous years you were unlikely to get such a high level of optical zoom from a branded camera for under £100.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Bridge cameras have reached the highest level of optical zoom ever – first with the 42x optical zoom lens Nikon Coolpix P510 (equivalent to 24 to 1000mm), then with the even more incredible 50x optical zoom lens Canon Powershot SX50 HS (equivalent to 24 to 1200mm!). WOW!

Nikon D800 Front

Digital SLRs have seen a big refresh from all of the major manufacturers, with full-frame Digital SLRs from Nikon (3), Canon (3), and Sony (1), with Nikon and Canon both offering professional high speed DSLRs the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 1D X, mid-range professional DSLRs the 36.3 megapixel Nikon D800 (and D800E) and Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and new entry level full-frame Digital SLRs, the Nikon D600 and Canon EOS 6D. Sony recently introduced the full-frame Sony Alpha A99 with continuous AF during video.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Black

More mirrorless cameras have been introduced this year than ever before, with models from all the major manufacturers, with very few left out, in fact with those that haven’t joined the market suffered, with Kodak leaving the digital camera market for example. New models have been introduced by Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Fujifilm, Sony, including new weather-sealed models from Olympus, with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic, with the Panasonic Lumix GH3.

Next year should be exciting, with CES 2013 kicking off the year, where it’s usual for a whole new camera range to be introduced, particularly in the consumer of point and shoot range.

COMMUNITIES IN FOCUS: PHOTO COMPETITION LAUNCHES TO CAPTURE COUNTRY’S COMMUNITY SPIRIT

Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and national communications charity Media Trust, in partnership with the Thisis and localpeople community news sites run by Northcliffe Digital, have launched Communities in Focus, a photography competition to showcase inspiring images of people and communities from across the country.

From snapshots of local events such as street parties and farmers’ markets to portraits of people making a difference, such as charity volunteers or the village choir, Communities in Focus is designed to showcase the brilliant people, groups and activities that are the life of our communities.

[Continue Reading…]


At the Birmingham NEC, Focus On Imaging runs from the 4th to the 7th of March 2012! It’s Europe’s biggest annual imaging show open to trade and public. You’ll be able to see the latest Nikon (D800, D4), Canon (EOS 5D MARK III), Olympus (OM-D E-M5), Fujifilm (X-Pro1) cameras and many more. You’ll be able to check out all the latest lenses from Tamron, Sigma, Samyang, and the major manufacturers. Popular stores like Jacobs, Jessops, CameraWorld, Calument will be there is special show offers. If you’re covering it and want a link, email me and I’ll post the link below!

Focus On Imaging Links:
Focus Show Report Video (at DPNow)
Sigma 30mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens Sample Photos
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, C300 Preview
Hasselblad H4D Ferrari Limited Edition
New Samyang 8mm t3.8 Video Lens (For Canon/Nikon)
Nikon at Focus On Imaging
Focus On Imaging Day 4
Focus On Imaging Day 3
Focus On Imaging Day 2
ePHOTOzine Day 1 Show Report
ePHOTOzine Focus On Imaging Exhibitor Guide.
Previous show coverage here.

Olympus PEN Mini

If you’re not making a “mirrorless” / “compact system camera” (CSC) (or ILC*) then you’re not making / growing profit, and you’re not going to get very far in the digital camera market… particularly in Japanese or UK style markets (Europe for example).* see notes on Canon.

Lets look at some of the digital camera companies, and some of the things that have been happening over the last 12+ months:

Olympus: Ignoring all the bad stuff, they have grown to be the biggest selling Mirrorless camera company in Japan for 2012 (and possibly Europe / Germany – or at least Micro Four Thirds combined). Strengths in waterproof compacts. Extremely good range of mirrorless cameras this year – catching up with Panasonic for focusing speeds.

Panasonic: Growing Mirrorless market, particularly strong in the UK. The combined forces of Panasonic and Olympus on Micro Four Thirds (M43) makes M43 the most compelling mirrorless system, with sales in Japan for 2011 for Mirrorless 1. Pana, 2. Oly, and 2012 for Mirrorless 1. Oly, 2. Pana.

Nikon: Growing market share thanks to competitive DSLR products, and entry into Mirrorless market. Entry level mirrorless said to be selling increasingly well. Increasingly popular Coolpix range of compacts (year on year growth).

Sony: Bought Konica Minolta’s DSLR business, then launched the Sony A100, they said they were going to challenge Nikon and Canon for the top spot, and considering they came from nowhere, they’re now No. 3 in DSLR sales, it’s pretty impressive and something I didn’t expect if I’m honest. Extremely innovative with traditional DSLR, then the ultra fast “Translucent Mirror” SLT / SLRs with electronic viewfinders. Also No. 3 in Mirrorless after Olympus / Panasonic / Micro Four Thirds. Some would say leaders in the image sensor business (selling sensors to Apple for the iPhone, APS-C to Nikon/Pentax, Backlit CMOS sensors to everyone etc)

Pentax / Ricoh: Profitable DSLR business, fresh investment from Ricoh should inject new life into this area, and additional mirrorless APS-C camera should improve business further (with the potentially game changing camera). Ricoh are more of a niche market with premium GR Digital series (with cult following in Japan), and Leica M mount GXR (with APS-C sensor). Ricoh are profitable with a very successful print/copier business that is used in corporate and government environments for things like sending out mailings to 40,000+ people etc Serious stuff. Pentax / Ricoh combined could be a very interesting company to watch over the next 12 months. I expect growth. Pentax Q has some success in Japan as the smallest mirrorless camera.

Kodak: Ouch (recently filed for bankrupcy protection). Here is the perfect example that backs up the following statement: You don’t make profit from cheap “and cheerful” me too style point and shoot cameras. Sold sensor business (doh!).

Minox: Recently announced they aren’t going to make “cheap and cheerful” point and shoot cameras. Instead they’ll keep making those interested “Spy cameras” and “retro classics“.

Agfa/Vivitar/HP: See Kodak.

CASIO: Recently decided to close the Casio Exilim division in the UK (still available to buy through European distributers). Some innovation in High Speed cameras, but it’s very difficult to make profit from point and shoot cameras. Strong in Japan though. A mirrorless camera would really help you grow! (Why not bring high speed sensors and image processing to Micro Four Thirds?)

*Canon: Recently the CEO stepped down as profits aren’t growing as quickly as expected. Canon are being challenged by Nikon on all DSLR fronts, and then also challenged by Mirrorless cameras. So whilst DSLRs was (and is) a profitable area, Mirrorless is challenging both compact cameras, and entry level DSLR. And at the bottom end of point and shoot, this is being challenged by smartphones with decent(ish) cameras. A mirrorless camera would really help your profits!

Fujifilm: Making a market for itself by selling premium compact cameras, X100 (selling like hotcakes, in the 100k region!), X10, X-S1 (Premium Ultra Zoom Bridge camera), X-Pro1 Mirrorless, and strong in Bridge / Ultra Zoom cameras that look like mini-DSLRs. Strong in waterproof market as they can undercut competitors on price, and presumably still make profit from it?

Samsung: Sells the NX mirrorless system, with a decent range of lenses and good image quality. Not sure how well it is doing worldwide, but a good system, that can often undercut competitors on price. Compact cameras seem to be leading the way for features: WiFi, App / Phone style GUI. Samsung don’t seem to be rated in Japan though, rest of world, yes. Compact cameras can undercut competitors, making them a popular buy.

Leica: Premium ILC / Mirrorless cameras, with a premium price – growing and profitable (as far as I’m aware). “Me Too” Panasonic cameras. Really they should get back into “bed” with Fuji and make “Me Too” (premium compacts) products from the Fujifilm X series (X10, X100, X-S1,X-Pro1) or join Micro Four Thirds 😉

Others? BenQ / Aigo / GE / Polaroid / Rollei / Praktica : – see Kodak, see Casio, unless you have an extreme niche (Ricoh) and are popular in your home market (Casio/Japan), or make a mirrorless camera then how will you grow?

If you have an interest in photography, technology and digital cameras, and have a spare 15-20 minutes every day, then you might be just what we’re looking for. We are looking for someone to post daily news and updates to this site. WordPress experience would be ideal but is not necessary but would be nice. If you are interested get in touch (with subject: DigiCamReview).