Hands-On Preview posted for Olympus E-P3!
Olympus Imaging America Inc. has today announced not one, not two, but three new models for its PEN series of compact system cameras, and we've just published hands-on previews of two of the three; first up, the Olympus E-P3. The Olympus PEN E-P3 follows in the footsteps of 2009's E-P2, assuming the flagship position in the PEN-series lineup. While body size and styling is very similar to that of its predecessor, the Olympus P3 sports a number of significant changes. Key among these is likely its new high-speed contrast detection autofocus system, dubbed "Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology" autofocus. Thanks to a doubling of sensor readout to 120 fps, plus even more processing power and refined algorithms, the new CDAF system is said to rival the company's phase detection module in the E-5 digital SLR for speed. As well as truly swift autofocus, the Olympus P3 gains a new generation TruePic VI image processor, a new image processor with unchanged 12.3 megapixel resolution, but improved sensitivity and low-light performance, three-inch Organic LED screen with touch screen user interface, and a built-in popup flash, among other changes. Read our hands-on preview for more, which includes sample images and preliminary performance results.
Hands-On Preview posted for Olympus E-PL3!
Alongside its new flagship P3 model, Olympus has also unveiled two further PEN-series cameras today: the Olympus E-PL3 (for which we've just published a hands-on preview), and the svelte Olympus E-PM1. Both cameras share many features with each other, and indeed, with the P3 alongside which they're announced, but there are also numerous features that differentiate between the models. The Olympus PL3 is the company's first PEN-series model to include a tilting LCD panel, capable of being viewed low to the ground or at waist-level when tilted upwards, or of shooting over a crowd when tilted downwards. While it lacks any provision for viewing from in front of the camera, there's no question that it makes the PL3 a significantly more versatile design. Both the Olympus PL3 and PM1 feature the same 12.3 megapixel image sensor, TruePic VI image processor, and high-speed "Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology" autofocus system as in the simultaneously announced P3 model. Click here to read our hands-on preview of the Olympus PEN E-PL3 for all the details. While we've not yet had the opportunity to handle the Olympus PEN E-PM1, we've also prepared detailed coverage of that model, as well.
Hands-On Preview posted for Pentax Q!
Pentax Imaging Co. has today announced the Pentax Q, an interesting interchangeable-lens model that marks the debut of a new lens mount, and an entirely new approach to the compact system camera -- and we've just posted our hands-on preview. The heart of the Pentax Q digital camera is a backside-illuminated 1/2.3"-type CMOS image sensor that's much smaller than the Micro Four Thirds and APS-C sized sensors in competing models from the likes of Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony, but which has also allowed Pentax to make the camera body and lenses significantly smaller than those from its competition. Other features of the Pentax Q include in-body image stabilization, piezoelectric dust reduction, five frames-per-second burst shooting, a 3.0-inch LCD panel, and both a built-in popup flash and hot shoe for external strobes. Power comes from a proprietary lithium ion battery pack, and images are written to SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards in either DNG raw or JPEG file formats. In addition, the Pentax Q can record high-def 1080p movies at 30 frames per second, with H.264 AVC compression. For more details, click here for our hands-on Pentax Q preview.
Lens Review: Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS!
Today's lens review on SLRgear.com is the Sony E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS. Released as one of three lenses in the Sony NEX system, the lens absolutely dwarfs either of the NEX-3 or NEX-5 cameras, but provides a 28-300mm equivalent focal length in the process. We've put the lens through its paces in our test lab: Click here to read our full review of this lens.
Review posted for Canon SX230!
Canon takes a quality pocket long zoom and adds both a GPS radio and Full HD video for a more complete package. The resulting Canon PowerShot SX230 delivers good image quality and pretty nice video quality as well, while maintaining that impressive 14x, 28-392mm zoom lens. We found some minor trouble with chromatic aberration, unsurprising at this focal length, but otherwise enjoyed the Canon SX230, indoors and out. It'll make an excellent travel camera, thanks to the wide and long zoom, as well as the GPS to match your photos to a map, and it offers as much automation or manual control as you could want. Click here for our review of the Canon SX230 HS!
Hands-On Preview posted for Panasonic GF3!
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. has today announced a followup to its GF2 compact system camera, in the form of the Panasonic GF3, and we've just posted our hands-on preview. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 reduces body size a little further beyond that of its predecessor, and like that camera, again ranks as the smallest interchangeable lens camera with a built-in flash, according to the company. There's also been a worthwhile reduction in body-only weight. These changes do come at the cost of some features absent in the new design, though. Notably, the Panasonic GF3 lacks the earlier camera's hot shoe, as well as its accessory port, changes that mean it can't offer either external flash or an electronic viewfinder. In the absence of a hot shoe, the built-in popup flash strobe has now been rehoused directly over the central axis of the lens, a change that should make for more comfortable hand-holding. One other notable removed feature is the GF2's stereo microphone, replaced with a monaural mic. Overall, the GF3's body is much softer and more modern looking than that of its predecessor. At the rear, the most significant control change is that the e-dial has been replaced with a wheel-style dial that encircles the four-way controller. The GF2's large touch panel LCD display has been retained, and now provides the only way to frame or review images. For more details, read our hands-on Panasonic GF3 preview!
Hands-On Preview posted for Sony NEX-C3!
Sony Electronics Inc. has today announced its latest NEX-series compact system camera, the Sony NEX-C3, and we've just published our hands-on preview with a nearly complete set of test shots. The Sony Alpha NEX-C3 is, says the company, the world's smallest and lightest APS-C interchangeable lens camera, besting the company's aggressively-styled NEX-5. The NEX-C3 is said to be around six percent lighter than its predecessor, and is visibly smaller, in large part due to a shallower, more gently rounded hand grip. The Sony C3 sports a newly developed Exmor APS HD image sensor shared with the simultaneously-announced Alpha A35, which offers up an effective resolution of 16.2 megapixels. The changes don't stop there, though. Sony has also updated its user interface with reprogrammable controls, added a selection of picture effects such as Toy Camera and Retro, and implemented a "peaking" function that makes it easier to determine the precise point of focus on the camera's LCD display. For more details, read our hands-on Sony NEX-C3 preview!
Hands-On Preview posted for Sony A35!
Sony Electronics Inc. has today also announced a new entry-level model in its translucent mirror camera lineup, the Sony A35, and we've just published our hands-on preview with a nearly complete set of test shots! The Sony Alpha SLT-A35 retains much of the feature set of the company's earlier translucent mirror models, with a few important changes. Notably, the Sony A35 includes a newly developed Exmor APS HD image sensor shared with the simultaneously-announced Alpha NEX-C3, which offers up an effective resolution of 16.2 megapixels. Among other changes, Sony has also added a selection of picture effects such as Toy Camera and Retro, giving creative types more in-camera possibilities. Befitting its entry-level position in the translucent mirror line, though, the company has also removed the articulation mechanism from the LCD panel, which is now fixed in place on the camera's rear. For more details, read our Sony A35 hands-on preview!
Lens Review: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro!
The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro zoom lens serves as a good walkaround zoom lens, offering a constant and fast f/2.8 aperture through its zoom range. We've put the lens through its paces in our test lab: click here to view our full review of the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro lens.
Review posted for Panasonic ZS8!
Panasonic introduces the ZS8 into a market now crowded with competitors egged on by the success of this very line of long zoom cameras. The ZS8 is a 14-megapixel digital camera with a 16x zoom lens ranging from 24-384mm. The little brother to the ZS10, the Panasonic ZS8 has no GPS or 1080p video, but it excels at providing the basics, including optical image stabilization, face detection, and a full selection of exposure modes, all features that have made Panasonic's long zooms so popular. Click here for our review of the Panasonic ZS8!
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