Nikon may have been the first to offer an HD video-capturing DSLR, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the only ones to do that. As a matter of fact, Canon’s brand new EOS 5D Mark II also offers that same feature but does it much better with full HD 1,920x1,080 video recording capability. Video recording files size caps off at 4GB per clip, and is saved in .MOV format. Another neat feature is that you can likewise connect external stereo mics to the camera making it a very capable DSLR video recorder. On its SLR attributes, it features a 24x36mm 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor coupled with a DIGIC 4 image processor. It’s not as massive as the Sony Alpha A900, but it’s pretty close and is definitely more featured-packed. Other specs include a 3-inch Live View LCD, 15-point AF with 9 selectable AF points, 3.9fps burst rate for unlimited JPEG images and up to 14 RAW files. Those looking to upgrade to the EOS 5D Mark II better start saving up as this one sure won't come cheap. It’s expected to come out at the end of November with a body-only price of $2,699. The one bundled with a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens will sell for $3,499. I guess HD video is the in thing for SLRs these days.
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Remember that Sony Alpha A900 digital SLR we featured in our Camera issue? Well, it’s now up for pre-order in the US. For those not familiar with it, this is Sony’s latest digital SLR which showcases a massive 24.6-megapixel 35mm full frame Exmor CMOS imaging sensor. Yup, it’s not holding back on the megapixels, but unfortunately (or not) everything else looks pretty much standard fare. There’s not even a mention of Live View or a sensor cleaning mechanism built into it which has become almost a standard feature in most of the new DSLR releases. They must have decided to skip out on those features since it’ll just add to its already hefty price tag of $2,999.00, and that's just for the body only. However, if money isn’t an issue for you and you’ve been dying to get a DSLR with 20+ megapixels for whatever reason, then treat yourself to the Sony Alpha A900. It’s expensive, but it’s definitely cheaper than a Hassleblad.
Not wanting to be outdone by Canon, Nikon has finally released the official specs and price of their D90. Aside from the brand new 12.3-megapixel image sensor, it aslo comes with HD video recording capability making it the first DSLR to boast of such a feature. It allows you to shoot up to 5 minutes of 1280x720p videos at 24fps in 16:9 aspect ratio. However, video recording functionality is quite limited as focus is locked when shooting and sound is only mono, which makes me wonder; why even include it? Anyway, it’s there already, and it makes for a pretty intriguing add-on nonetheless. Other more SLR-related features include scene recognition system based on 420 pixel RGB sensor, face detection, advanced scene modes, active D-lighting similar to the D700, 11-AF points, 3-inch Live View LCD, and ISO 200-3200 which can extended to as high as 6400. There are definitely more features to the D90 than what I've mention and you can find a more thorough preview of it at DP Review. For more pics, Engadget has a bucket load in their photo gallery. Body only price is $999 while the one bundled with the new 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6VR lens will cost $1299. Putting the HD functionality aside, it’s still a pretty decent new SLR from Nikon blending in many of the high-end features in a package that’s ideal for the starting or upgrading hobbyist. It’ll be released in September and hopefully, it’ll make it to the Philippines in time for Christmas.
While we have to yet to hear from the Nikon camp, Canon has made their EOS 50D official. This 15.1-megapixel DSLR is the first to feature the new Digic 4 image processor and it also boasts of having the highest ISO speed to date topping off at a ridiculous 12800. Other notable specs include a 6.3fps burst rate, 3-inch display with face detection, HDMI, dedicated Live View button, auto-focus with microadjustment, and a cleaning system that incorporates a fluoride coating for improved dust resistance. The SRP for the body only is set at $1399 while the one bundled with a EF 28/-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens will roughly cost $1599. DP Review has an in-depth preview of this yet to be released DSLR so you might want to check it out. October will be the big day for this new DSLR in the US, and I’m guessing it might make a local debut as early as November or December. With this early announcement, that gives you enough time to either save up or sell your current gear to make room for this new DSLR.
As Photokina looms closer, rumors about upcoming products have started spreading like wildfire anew. One such product that has had its time on the rumor mill is the Nikon D90. While in the past, only pictures have surfaced, we now have some specs to further whet our appetite. Is 12-megapixels, Live View, video mode, HDMI, optional GPS and an all new 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DX VR lens enough to get you excited? That's according to Nikon Rumors. Unfortunately, there’s no way to verify the authenticity of these figures, but as DSLR rumors go, most of it is pretty accurate especially when it comes to specifications. Photokina is barely a month away and we’ll probably hear more news as September approaches. Heck, we might even spot leaked shots of the D90 before it even pops up in Photokina, and that, I can almost guarantee.
Both Nikon and Canon have a huge following in the local photography scene, but one brand which has been synonymous to quality cameras for the longest time is Hasselblad. They may not be that popular to the younger generation, but rest assured, those in the business will describe it as a trusted name in the realm of photography. This brings me to their latest model, the H3DII-50. This 50-megapixel monster features a 36.8x49.1mm Kodak sensor which easily trumps those found in commercially available DSLRs. Yup, that’s right, 50-megapixels. It allows you to capture images in all their full, elaborate detail and save them in 6132x8176 pixels. It also means that you’ll end up with an average of 65MB per RAW file that’s roughly equivalent to 30 images when using a 2GB CF card. A bit over-the-top for the average photographer, but nothing is too much for the passionate and discerning professional. Want to know more? Download the product brochure from their website. There’s no pricing available yet but you can expect this won’t come cheap. The lower model H3DII-39 sells for $37K so this should give you an idea of how much it'll probably cost. It doesn’t look quite as stylish as the cameras of today, but Hasselblad system is more than the average run-of-the-mill SLR. As they say, quality doesn’t come cheap and so is a Hasselblad camera. October is the scheduled release date of this model.
After endless speculation, Nikon has finally released the official specs of their latest digital SLR, the D700. It’s a 12.1-megapixel camera with a near full-frame FX CMOS sensor that's similar to its heftier sibling, the D3. It likewise features live view via its 3-inch display, 51-point AF with 3D tracking, scene recognition, four-speed active dust reduction, GPS, HDMI out and a bunch of other goodies. Check out the complete specs below or download the brochure. DP Review already has a preview of this soon-to-be-released monster, and based on what we’ve seen so far, this is shaping out to be the budget-friendly version of the D3 housed in the body of a D300. Inheriting most of the great features found in its higher-end brother, the D700 is a full-featured mid-range SLR that you should definitely watch out for. It'll cost $ 2999 (body only) once it hits stores later this month in the US.
If Nokia is known for releasing the most number of mobile phones models in a particular time span, Canon can probably pass as Nokia’s counterpart in the digital SLR market. With an already extensive line of cameras ranging from the entry level to the hard-core professional imaging machines, Canon has decided to add yet another one in the form of the Rebel XS/1000D. Inheriting most of the features of the XSi/450D and replacing the XTi/400D as the baby of the family, the trimmed down XS is Canon’s offering for the budget-conscious newbie without sacrificing much in terms of performance. Sure, it seems lowly with just a 10.1-megapixels and a 7-point AF area as opposed to its siblings that offer 12.2-megapixels and a 9-point AF area, but those little differences are almost negligible if you consider the greater context of things. It comes equipped with the new Digic III image processor found in the XSi albeit being lower at 12-bits instead of 14-bits. Current specs also indicate that it will ship with an 18-55mm IS lens. Specific availability dates and pricing are yet to be known. Putting all the minor differences aside, what you get from the XS is a more affordable version of the XSi. It’s not as powerful, but it’s not as expensive as well. It’s a mighty fine choice for those on a limited budget or those looking for more bang for their buck.
Technology these days is simply amazing once you stop and just think how things were a couple of years back. Who knew that eventually almost anyone can easily set-up a wireless network at home and enjoy broadband connections to surf the net. Thanks to technological wonders such as these, and the Eye-Fi SD card, Reuters reports how a tourist was able to recover her stolen camera and nab the culprits as well. While enjoying her vacation in Florida, Alison DeLauzon suddenly realized that her camera was missing and along with it, all the snapshots and videos of her son. Fortunately for her, she was using the Eye-Fi SD card as storage on her Canon camera; and to her surprise, once she got home, all the pictures from her vacation were sent to her computer including snap shots of the thieves. Apparently, there was an unsecure network that matched the settings of her home network which the Eye-Fi card detected. The card then sent all the content to her computer via the internet. It not only managed to salvage all her vacation pictures, but also helped catch those guilty of the crime. This is just another example of how technology can work for you. Of course, taking extra care of your belongings is always a better and safer route because luck won't always be on your side. The Eye-Fi SD card is avialable locally at Ynzal.
Gizmodo has come out with a head-to-head battle between four of the latest and hottest DSLRs in town: Canon XSi (450D), Nikon D60, Sony Alpha a350 and the Olympus E-420. Granted that Gizmodo is no expert in the field of photography, the results are a bit questionable especially from the point-of-view of a hardcore shutterbug, but given what they were able to come up with, you can judge for yourself which one is the best amongst the rest. Personally, I don’t agree with how weight became part of the criteria. True, in the context of things, over-all weight is significant, but not to the point that it becomes a determining factor on which is the best. Picture quality (color saturation, white balance, etc.) and performance (start-up time, shutter lag, special features, etc) would rate as being the primary things to consider when judging the value of cameras. It’s a good thing they included sample shots so readers can judge for themselves which one does a good job at which task. I just wish they provided more test shots at varied conditions and included the exact settings, not just high/low f-stop labels. Anyway, photo-centric sites such as Digital Review have yet to come up with their own comprehensive comparison between these SLRs. So let’s just take what Gizmodo has dished and judge the four by our own standards for the time being.