Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nikon D80 DSLR


What Nikon say:
The D80 features a new 10.2 effective megapixel DX Format CCD image sensor, bringing a new level of high resolution and sharp detail to the class while also providing plenty of freedom to crop creatively and print impressive enlargements. Nikon's DX Format sensor and Nikon F bayonet lens mount design assure unprecedented compatibility across the comprehensive assortment of AF Nikkor lenses and DX Nikkor lenses designed exclusively for Nikon digital SLR cameras.

What I say:
It has been a while since the D70 (and the marginally improved D70s) were released. Their 6 megapixel sensors were becoming well out of date and were losing sales to little brother D50. This release now puts the mid-prosumer DSLR back in its place in the Nikon range. A 10.2MP APS-C sensor (the same as the D200?) makes a lot more sense and has out done Canon's rival - the EOS 30D in terms of resolution. What I am wondering is: why would anyone purchase the D200 after this is released (status maybe) - both cameras have very similar specs. May be it will become more clear on its release when I can put both DSLRs side by side.

For more info on the eagerly awaited D80 check out DPreview.

On release you can buy the Nikon D80 from Elizabeth Digital Camera Centre - Nikon Pro Stockists.

drephotography blog update

Hello everyone, its been a while since I posted anything. I have been really busy and haven't found enough time to post. I'm going to try and turn that round right now and begin posting some more because there are a whole heap of new digital cameras being released at the moment.

I have decided to take a bit of a turn in the focus of this blog also. I am now going to post less of the tedious press releases and more on my opinions and objective reviews of the cameras. Which is what you readers are looking for.

Each post will now contain the following:
  • Breif introduction and specifications from press release
  • Images of the cameras
  • My thoughts on the camera (pre-release)
  • Brief review (post-release)
  • Hopefully some sample images from some of the cameras
Futher to this I will post links to more information on the camera and where to buy. I will usually source the information from DP Review and/or the camera manufacturer. I recommend my trusted friends at Elizabeth Digital Camera Centre for the best prices and largest range of digital cameras available online and in store.

Thanks for your time - hope to see you back soon!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sony Cybershot DSC-W70 & DSC-W100 Released

ORLANDO (PMA 2006, Booth #4150), Feb. 25, 2006 — Sony rounds out its new W-series line of digital still cameras with two top-end models packed with powerful features -- the Cyber-shot® DSC-W100 and DSC-W70.

“Our W-series feature intelligent functions that work behind the scenes, said James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “Users can focus on those moments of inspiration that make great photographs without the hassle of worrying about camera settings.”
The DSC-W100 model packs in an eight-megapixel imaging sensor, and has a compact metal body with a stylized finish in black and silver. It features a manual exposure mode with extended control for up to 46 steps of adjustable shutter speeds (30 – 1/1000 sec.) and two steps of aperture control.

Both the DSC-W100 camera and the new seven-megapixel DSC-W70 model have an updated traditional camera style with their eye-level viewfinders and large 2.5-inch LCD screens.
They both incorporate precision Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lenses; MPEG1 movie recording; high-light sensitivity settings; and a mode dial to quickly switch among photo, video, and preview.

The cameras’ high light-sensitivity facilitates shooting at higher shutter speeds to capture fast-moving subjects with reduced blur. It also allows for shooting without a flash to capture more natural-looking images in low-light settings.

The DSC-W70 model has a maximum ISO setting of 1000, while the DSC-W100 model extends to IS0 1250 for even greater control. Sony’s Clear RAW ™ imaging technology helps increase the cameras’ ISO settings and, at the same time, reduces the chances of blurry or grainy pictures by keeping picture noise to a minimum.

Intuitive Operation That Takes Out The Guesswork

These W-series models feature a new function guide and resolution guide. When menu icons are selected, such as a specific shooting function or scene mode, a simple text explanation is displayed on the LCD making it easier to maximize the camera’s performance. This function guide can be turned off as you become more familiar with the camera.

The resolution guide is helpful when deciding on the best resolution for prints. When you select the resolution, a pop-up screen informs you of the ideal print size for that particular setting.
The cameras also feature auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus functions. Sony’s multi-point auto-focus system can intelligently focus on the subject and avoid mistakenly focusing on the background by evaluating five separate focus areas of the frame.
According to Neal, “With this kind of intelligence working behind the scenes, pictures come out right the first time.”

Cameras That Can Match Your Stamina

Sony’s ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuit delivers quick start-up, fast shot-to-shot times, and long battery life. Both cameras snap up to 360 shots on a single full charge.
If you leave home without your memory cards, the W100 model features 64MB of internal memory while the W70 has 58MB so that you can keep on shooting. When you are ready to expand their capacity, optional Memory Stick Duo™ media cards can hold up to four gigabytes of data.

Make The Most of High-Resolution Images Through Prints

These high-resolution cameras are ideal for making high-quality prints. When you connect them to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer, you can create prints, postcards, or even calendars using the printer’s supplied software.
With Sony’s ImageStation® online photo service, you can expand your options to print tens or even hundreds of pictures, create online photo and video albums, or make customized gifts such as photo books and calendars with your own life as the creative inspiration.

The Cyber-shot DSC-W100 camera ships in April, and the DSC-W70 model will also be available in April. Both models are available in black and silver.

Optional accessories for the W70 include a lens adapter (VAD-WB), a wide conversion lens (VCL-DH0730), a tele-conversion lens (VCL-DH2630), and a sports pack (SPK-WA). Accessories for both the W100 and W70 include a travel charger (BC-TRG) and a leather case (LCS-WE).

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My two cents:

Sony Cybershot DSC-T30 Released

SAN DIEGO, April 5, 2006Sony is building up its arsenal of anti-blur, digital still cameras to help people who are out on the town win the fight against blur with the introduction of the new 7.2-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-T30 model.

“When people are out having a good time, they don’t want to spend it learning how to avoid taking blurry pictures,” said James Neal, director of marketing for digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “We’ve engineered our flagship T-series camera with intelligent, automatic features so people can spend more time having fun and less time understanding technology.”

No More Buzz Kill

Everybody’s feeling the vibe and you want a group shot before leaving dinner or the party. Don’t make everyone pose and re-pose, smiling as if they’re suffering from lock jaw, while you take shot after shot trying to get a good picture.

Equipped with double anti-blur protection, you can press the DSC-T30 model’s Super Steady Shot® optical image stabilization and high-sensitivity mode buttons in seconds, and reduce the chance of taking a blurry picture the very first time – especially in low-light conditions.

The Super Steady Shot technology minimizes blur caused by shaky hands, while the new camera’s high light sensitivity (ISO 1000) mode reduces blur resulting from shooting at faster shutter speeds. There’s even added defense with Sony’s Clear RAW™ noise reduction system, which kicks in to counter picture noise associated with high-sensitivity shooting.

These technologies make the camera ideal for shooting in low-light conditions, such as restaurants, bars and clubs. Combined with its stylish finish and svelte dimensions, the DSC-T30 camera is the perfect accessory for even the most discerning “fashionista.”

Armed with features for optimal shooting and sharing, the new camera with its Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® 3x optical zoom lens combines power, portability and distinctive playback. Its slide show with music function is ideal for viewing on the camera’s three-inch, Clear Photo LCD Plus™ screen.

This is Sony’s first T-series model to feature selectable color modes. Choose natural mode for subtle color variations or vivid mode for more intense colors, depending on how you want to preserve the mood from your night on the town.

Sony’s ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry increases the camera’s efficiency for quicker start-up, faster shot-to-shot times, higher-quality movie capture, and longer battery life. Its supplied InfoLithium® battery provides plenty of power – up to 420 shots per full charge. That’s nearly double the performance of previous T-series models.

The camera has 58MB of internal memory, just in case you forget your memory card. Its capacity can be expanded up to two gigabytes, however, with an optional Memory Stick Duo™ media card.

The Cyber-shot DSC-T30 camera will be available next month for about $500 (US) at Sony Style retail stores and at authorized dealers nationwide.

The camera is supplied with an InfoLithium battery, battery charger, multi-connector cable, wrist strap and software CD-ROM. Optional accessories include a travel charger (BC-TR1), Cyber-shot Station (CSS-TNA), a marine pack (MPK-THC), and a genuine leather cover (LCJ-THA).

Make the Most of High-Resolution Images through Prints

This new high-resolution camera is ideal for making high-quality prints. When you connect it to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer, you can create prints, postcards, or even calendars using the printer’s supplied software. And with Sony’s ImageStation® online photo service, you can expand your options to print tens or even hundreds of pictures, create online photo and video albums, or make customized gifts such as photo books and calendars.

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My two cents:
  • I will be reviewing this camera upon its release in Australia. Check back soon.
  • The Sony Cybershot DSC-T30 will be available from Elizabeth Camera Centre.
  • See the complete range of Sony Cybershot Digital Cameras at Elizabeth Camera Centre.
  • Soon I will post reviews on the Canon IXUS 60, 65 and 800IS as well as other cameras in the Sony Cybershot and Nikon Coolpix ranges.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Nikon Coolpix P3 and P4

Press Release:

Maxwell Optical Industries, National distributor for Nikon Imaging products, has announced NEW premium COOLPIX P3 and P4 compact digital cameras. Higher performance, further functionality and extended photo enjoyment in a stylish body, both designed to take more than your everyday picture.

The two new COOLPIX P models combine exceptional 8.1 effective megapixel resolution, with an array of advanced features, to maximise picture-taking enjoyment. Both cameras deliver outstanding imaging power that’s not only enough to show beautiful skin texture and capture the myriad colours of the human eye; but also enough to ensure shots stay breathtakingly clear even when significantly enlarged.

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 both feature a 1/1.8-inch CCD imaging sensor, while also incorporating a 36-126mm (35mm equivalent) Zoom-Nikkor optical zoom lens. This offers ample freedom to zoom-in close for tight telephoto images, or zoom right out for stunning wide-angle scenery or group portrait shots.

Perhaps the most exciting element of the COOLPIX P3 and P4 is the innovative VR (Vibration Reduction) capability. Originally developed for Nikon top-end SLR lenses, lens shift VR capability is available in two modes. This compensates for camera movement to realise a shooting experience akin to shooting at shutter speeds three stops faster than actually used. ‘VR Normal’ compensates for the minor movements that can happen all too easily during handheld shooting, while ‘VR Active’ compensates for more pronounced movements – so you can even achieve rock-steady results while shooting from a moving vehicle.

Delivering further photographic fun and freedom through built-in Wi-Fi capability, the COOLPIX P3 comes with built in Wi-Fi LAN support. Surprisingly easy to set up and use, it lets users send images instantly to a selected computer, wirelessly! Wireless freedom also extends to printing too, so users can carry out cable-free printing to PictBridge-compatible printers*.

A range of advanced imaging features make the COOLPIX P3 and P4 stand out from other compact digital cameras, giving photographers greater control to produce shots better matched to discerning personal tastes. 11-zone wide-area AF achieves more accurate autofocus through analysis of a wider area of the frame, not just the centre. As a result, photographers can experiment with more imaginative compositions, with main subjects positioned away from the centre, or even multiple subjects, while still being assured of crisp, sharp results.

Both cameras also offer Aperture-priority Auto mode, allowing photographers to benefit from aperture control in 1/3EV steps, so they can select large apertures for attractive background blurring or stop down to small apertures to extend crisp focus into the distance. All this occurs while the camera automatically selects the most appropriate shutter speed for optimised exposure. Surprisingly easy to understand, both cameras provide advanced display of shadow levels on the left and highlight levels on the right of the large LCD, so users can avoid under- and overexposure, even before pressing the shutter.

There is also a range of 16 Advanced Scene modes (9 Advanced Scene modes; 7 regular Scene modes) that give photographers the ability to capture a single scene with entirely different moods through the use of three effects that vary brightness, colour intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more.

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 feature continuous shooting at up to 1.8 frames per second, helping photographers capture the action as it happens. This capability is also complemented by a 5-shot image buffer, that allows users to keep shooting in a continuous burst and have the camera record the last five images taken. Such functionality can be great when trying to capture an event that could happen just when it’s least expected.

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 make it easy to shoot movies with sound, with a choice of three modes offering up to 30fps performance. There’s also a Time-lapse movie mode that uses pictures shot with the Interval timer shooting function to create a movie in which the action occurring over an extended period appears speeded up.

Images can even be improved in-camera through the use of three innovative Nikon functions. Face-priority AF** cleverly detects people’s faces to achieve sharp focus on them, no matter where they happen to be located in the frame. In-Camera Red-Eye Fix helps users make red-eye a thing of the past; detecting the annoying red-eye effect that can sometimes occur in flash photography and eliminating it. There’s also Nikon’s unique D-Lighting function available in playback mode, which can improve underexposed images or shots taken with too much ‘backlight’, by creating a copy of an image that adds brightness and detail wherever necessary, but leaves well-exposed areas left exactly as they were.

Operation of the COOLPIX P3 and P4 is exceptionally smooth and user-friendly. The COOLPIX P3 and P4 have also been made even more desirable through attention to sophisticated ergonomic design. In fact, the exteriors convey a distinct air of quality, with attractive yet simple lines that also make the camera fit more comfortably in the hand. The use of aluminium throughout the exterior builds on this sense of quality, while the lens and grip sections have been given a flatter, more space-efficient form.

Like all COOLPIX cameras, the COOLPIX P3 and P4 come bundled with Nikon’s complimentary and exclusive PictureProject software. Now featuring special Wi-Fi functions for use with the COOLPIX P3, PictureProject adds even more possibilities to digital photography. Complete with an interface that’s easy for virtually anyone to use, it makes for simple image editing and supports easy image organisation and sharing, while compatibility with a range of plug-ins lets users add exciting new capabilities on demand.

* Requires optionally available Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10.

** Face recognition capability may be limited in some shooting conditions.

Both camera are expected to be available in Australia from March and pricing has yet to be announced.

Available at all leading camera and consumer electronics stores.

Nikon COOLPIX P3/P4 Camera Feature Highlights

Vibration Reduction

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 feature the VR (Vibration Reduction) system originally developed for Nikon SLR cameras. Comprising two modes, it allows selection of VR Normal mode that compensates for the minor camera movement commonly encountered when taking handheld shots, and VR Active mode that compensates for more pronounced movements, such as when shooting from a moving vehicle. Providing a shooting experience akin to shooting at shutter speeds three stops faster, it enables photographers to shoot without blurring in lower light, keeps subjects clear when panning, and also helps support faster framing on the LCD. What’s more, the benefits of VR (Normal mode) assurance also extend to movie shooting so users can capture action with welcome stability.

Built-in Wi-Fi capability

The COOLPIX P3 comes with built-in Wi-Fi capability that’s easy to set up and virtually effortless to operate. Adding greater freedom and versatility to compact digital photography, such IEEE 802.11b/g support means users can send individual images from the camera to a computer the moment they are shot. Users can also send a whole batch of images to a computer simultaneously and even carry out cable-free printing with PictBridge-compatible printers*.

* Requires optionally available Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10.

Advanced imaging features

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 also offer a range of imaging capabilities extending beyond the norm. Covering a broader area of the frame, 11-zone wide-area AF achieves better results in more diverse compositions – leaving photographers free to concentrate on the shot while the camera automatically achieves superior, sharp focus. Advanced Scene modes allow photographers to produce pictures better suited to their own personal tastes – offering a choice of three effects that vary brightness, colour intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more so that the same scene can be captured to convey entirely different moods. The COOLPIX P3 and P4 also offer the versatility of Aperture-priority Auto mode, which gives photographers control over aperture while the camera automatically selects the optimal corresponding shutter speeds, so users can choose larger apertures to achieve attractive background blur, for example, or select a smaller aperture to extend sharp detail into the distance.

Features for in-camera image correction

The COOLPIX P3 and P4 feature a selection of three Nikon innovations that give the photographer the ability to actually improve the quality of images in-camera. The Face-priority AF* function has the ability to cleverly locate the presence of human faces in the frame and then provide optimised focus accordingly for sharper portraits time after time. In-Camera Red-Eye Fix helps to eradicate the annoying red-eye effect that can sometimes be encountered during flash photography by detecting red eyes in the shot and compensating automatically. There’s also D-Lighting, which can improve underexposed images or shots taken with too much back light by creating a copy of a selected image with light and detail automatically added wherever necessary and well-exposed areas left exactly as they are.

* Face recognition capability may be limited in some shooting conditions.

Nikon COOLPIX P3/P4 Cameras: Other Features

- Highly compact dimensions of (W x H x D) 92 x 61 x 31mm (3.6 x 2.4 x 1.2 in.) excluding projections

- Carry-anywhere light weight of approx. 170g (5.6 oz.) (without battery and SD memory card)

- USB connectivity enables fast data transfer to computers and other peripherals

- Battery Charger MH-61 supplied

- Ample 23MB (approx.) of internal memory, SD Card compatibility

- BSS (Best Shot Selector) identifies and saves the sharpest image automatically from ten sequential shots

- Date Search function makes it easy to locate a desired shot

- Menu available in a choice of 20 languages German/English/Spanish/French/Italian/Dutch/Swedish/Japanese/ Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese/Korean/Russian/Thai/ Portuguese/Polish/Indonesian/Finnish/Danish/Norwegian/Czech

- Rechargeable EN-EL5 Li-ion Battery (supplied) can shoot approx . 200 shots on a single charge

- Direct printing with PictBridge-compatible printers via USB cable

- Macro Mode lets users compose as close as 4cm from the subject

- Noise Reduction produces better results when shooting in low light

- Time zone function enables the camera clock to be set to local time, anywhere in the world

- 4x digital zoom extends compositional freedom

- Continuous shooting at up to 1.8fps so you never miss a shot

- Choice of White Balance Auto with TTL control, 7-mode manual (Direct sunlight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Shade, Flash and Custom White Balance Preset)

- Voice memo appends 20 seconds of audio to a selected photograph

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The Nikon Coolpix P3 and Nikon Coolpix P4 are currently available at Elizabeth Digital Camera Centre. They also stock the complete range of Nikon Coolpix digital cameras.

For more information please visit the Nikon Australia Website.

Check back soon for a review of the Nikon Coolpix P4.

Nikon Coolpix S5 and S6

Press Release:

Maxwell Optical Industries, National distributor for Nikon Imaging products, is pleased to announce the release of two exciting ultra-slim digital compact cameras, with new photo-sharing entertainment capabilities packed into attractive wave-surface designs.

The new COOLPIX S5 and COOLPIX S6 have been created for digital photographic enjoyment, combining high-quality imaging performance, ability to improve images in-camera, an outstandingly large LCD screen, and the powerful new Pictmotion function that allows users to create entertaining in-camera shows.

The Pictmotion function creates so much more than a slideshow in-camera – in fact, it’s an imaginative function offering totally new entertainment – allowing users to select favourite image and movie files, pick a style, and then select a music file from one of the 5 pre-installed in the camera. The photographer can even add their own music (via PictureProject for Windows only) to suit the show! These shows can then be played back anywhere, anytime on the ample-sized LCD screens. Because each of the new COOLPIX S-series displays offer such a wide viewing angle of 170° (both horizontal and vertical), such in-camera entertainment can be enjoyed by more than just the photographer, all at the same time.

With the COOLPIX S5 and S6, image quality is also pleasingly high. Both cameras offer a 1/2.5-inch CCD and 6.0 effective megapixel resolution to produce images that stay crisp and sharp even when printed at significant enlargement. They also each feature a superior quality 4x optical zoom with a range of 35-105mm (35mm equivalent) that gives the photographer the freedom to zoom out for beautiful wide-angle landscapes, zoom in for tightly composed portraits, and enjoy macro photography from as close as 4cm.

More than merely having great styling, the eye-catching wave-surface designs, with ultra thin, compact dimensions, make the COOLPIX S5 and S6 feel more comfortable in the hand. And in terms of control, they also feature a new Rotary multi-selector that allows fast circular scrolling for speedy image browsing at up to 10 frames per second. Furthermore, users can either select functions by name or icon according to their preference.

The COOLPIX S5 and S6 also feature a new One-Touch portrait button conveniently located at the top of the camera body that makes it much simpler to take better quality pictures by offering easy access to Nikon’s unique Face-priority AF, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix and D-Lighting functions. With Face-priority AF*, the cameras can automatically detect a person’s face in the frame, no matter where they are located, to produce sharp portraits. In-Camera Red-Eye Fix can detect the unfortunate red-eye effect that can sometimes happen in flash photography in some lighting conditions, then automatically compensate for it in-camera to produce more flattering results. D-Lighting (available in playback mode) enables users to improve images that are underexposed or taken with too much back light. The camera creates a copy of the image, adds light and detail where necessary, and leaves well-exposed parts exactly the way they were.

The COOLPIX S6 delivers the additional advantage of Wi-Fi capability allowing users to send images wirelessly to a selected computer. The COOLPIX S6 even supports cable-free printing**, enabling images to be sent directly to PictBridge-compatible printers without the need to use a computer at all. (Such printers include models by most leading inkjet printer manufacturers).

A selection of 15 Scene modes – 4 with Scene Assist – let users of the COOLPIX S5 and S6 achieve pleasing results with clear focus and optimal exposure in diverse situations. All the user has to do is select the Scene mode best suited to the scene at hand, and then compose the shot while the camera automatically selects the most appropriate settings. Three movie modes with sound are also available for capturing action at up to a smooth 30 frames per second. Both cameras also feature Time-lapse movie mode, which allows dramatic results to be created out of slow-moving action. Examples of time-lapse include when shooting a sunrise, a flower opening or creating a movie of clouds rushing across the sky.

The COOLPIX S5 and S6 even speed the search for recorded images with the Calendar function that automatically sorts images according to the date they were taken.

For further versatility, the COOLPIX S5 and S6 come complete with the COOL-STATION MV-14 and MV-15 docking stations respectively, which allow batteries to be recharged while they are still in the camera. They offer USB connectivity and can even be hooked up for TV display. Furthermore, the COOLPIX S5 and S6 come bundled with Nikon’s complimentary PictureProject software. Now featuring special Wi-Fi functions for use with the COOLPIX S6, PictureProject makes it easy to edit pictures, organise shots and share images, while a range of available plug-ins lets users extend capabilities as they wish.

* Face recognition capability may be limited in some shooting conditions.

** Requires optionally available Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10.

The stylish new Nikon COOLPIX slim models S5 and S6 will be available nationwide early in March 2006 and pricing has yet to be confirmed.

Available at all leading camera and consumer electronics stores.

Nikon COOLPIX S5 and S6 Digital Camera Feature Highlights

Pictmotion with high-quality music

Nikon’s new Pictmotion is much more than a simple slide-show function. Available on both the COOLPIX S5 and COOLPIX S6, it allows you to select favourite images and movie files, then pick a style and add a music file of your choice from among 5 pre-installed ones, or load your own choice of music* to suit the images. The COOLPIX S5 and S6 then automatically analyse each element to produce an entertaining show with pace and transitions determined by music and style for in-camera viewing anywhere on the generous LCD with an impressive 170° viewing angle that makes it easy for everyone to see. Furthermore, to heighten enjoyment of audio elements, both cameras also feature a large speaker that delivers increased sound levels and a sampling frequency increased from 8 to 22kHz that makes for noticeably enhanced sound clarity.

* Via PictureProject for Windows only.

Eye-catching wave-surface design

Both the COOLPIX S5 and S6 have been created with a unique wave-surface design that is both aesthetically appealing and very comfortable in the hand. They are also available in an attractive range of colours (availability may vary by country or region), with each exterior combining a range of attractive textures comprising a high-grade glossy main aluminium body with elements of protective acrylic, resilient stainless steel and silicone panelling.

Large LCDs

The COOLPIX S5 and S6 feature large 2.5-inch and 3.0-inch 230,000-dot TFT LCD’s respectively. Such generous size and bright illumination does away with the need for a viewfinder and makes for easier composition. Both LCD’s also offer an impressive 170° viewing angle that makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the playback of still images, movies and entertaining Pictmotion shows anywhere, at any time.

Rotary Multi-selector and improved Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Operation has been made smoother, simpler and faster. A new Rotary multi-selector incorporated into the camera back enables high-speed image browsing with circular scrolling action at up to 10 frames per second, while a range of buttons built into the Rotary multi-selector make for more intuitive operation. There’s also an on-screen icon with a cursor that tracks Rotary multi-selector scrolling to make function selection even simpler still. The COOLPIX S5 and S6 also feature various screens and menus created with a colour scheme that’s easier on the eye, functions can be selected by the user’s choice of name or icon, and all icons have been optimised and made clearer for easy viewing.

Built-in Wi-Fi

The COOLPIX S6 features the additional advantage of built-in Wi-Fi capability to add further enjoyment and flexibility to digital photography. Providing IEEE 802.11b/g support, it enables individual images to be wirelessly transferred to a computer as soon as they’re recorded, allows all stored images to be sent to a computer simultaneously and also supports cable-free direct printing* with PictBridge-compatible printers.

* Requires optional Wireless Printer Adapter PD-10.

One-Touch Portrait functions

A standalone One-Touch Portrait button is conveniently located on the top of the COOLPIX S5 and S6, giving direct access to three innovative Nikon features for in-camera improvement. Face-Priority AF automatically finds and then focuses on people’s faces no matter where they are in the frame for pleasingly sharp portraits time after time. In-Camera Red-Eye Fix can automatically detect the annoying red-eye effect that sometimes occurs in flash photography, then compensate for it in-camera to give natural-looking portraits. And D-Lighting can improve underexposed images or shots taken with too much back-light, by creating a copy with light and detail added wherever necessary and well-exposed areas kept exactly as they are.

Nikon COOLPIX S5 and S6 digital Cameras: Other Features

- Highly compact dimensions of (W x H x D) S5: 93 x 59 x 20mm (3.7 x 2.3 x 0.8 in.); S6: 100.5 x 60 x 21mm (3.9 x 2.4 x 0.8 in.)

- BSS (Best Shot Selector) identifies and saves the sharpest shot automatically from ten sequential shots

- Exposure BSS automatically selects and saves the shot most closely matching user-selected criteria from five sequential shots

- USB connectivity supports easy transfer of data to computers and other peripherals

- Swift start-up of approx. 0.8 seconds; Continuous shooting at up to 2.2fps

- Date Counter visually records countdown of days to an occasion or number of days since an important event

- Help Button provides easy-to-understand explanations for functions on main menu

- Blur Warning informs user after shooting if an image is blurred

- Menu available in a choice of 20 languages

- Noise Reduction produces better results during low-light conditions

- Time zone function enables the camera clock to be set to local time, anywhere in the world

- Rechargeable EN-EL8 Li-ion Battery (supplied) can shoot approx. 210 shots (S5)/ 200 shots (S6) on a single charge

- Dock Insert PV-10/PV-11 (supplied) enable direct printing to compatible ImageLink printers

- Choice of White Balance Auto with TTL control, 6-mode manual (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash and White Bal. Preset)

- Voice recording available for duration of up to 5 hours or until memory capacity is reached

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End press release.

The Nikon Coolpix S5, Nikon Coolpix S6 and the complete range of Nikon Coolpix Digital Cameras are available at Elizabeth Digital Camera Centre.

For more information please visit the Nikon Australia Website.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sony Cybershot DSC-W30 and DSC-W50

PRESS RELEASE: SAN DIEGO, Feb. 13, 2006 — Sony has re-engineered its W-series of top-performing Cyber-shot® digital still cameras to embody the virtues of a traditional camera style and satisfy modern tastes for sleek, compact design.

In addition to sporting eye-level viewfinders in the fashion of traditional cameras, the new DSC-W50 and DSC-W30 models have large LCD screens and are significantly more compact than previous W-series models.

Both new cameras offer six-megapixel image resolution for high-quality prints, high-light sensitivity for fast-action shooting and more natural-looking pictures in low-light conditions, precision Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lenses, and MPEG1 movie recording.
Available in silver, the DSC-W50 model features a 2.5-inch, easy-to-view LCD screen wrapped in a metal-alloy body with sophisticated etching and details. The DSC-W30 model also comes in silver with a two-inch LCD.

“These new models will be attractive to people who prefer the look and feel of a traditional camera, but without the bulk,” said James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “We’ve also increased the light sensitivity, which minimizes the need for flash photography, and improved the cameras’ user interface for better photography results and overall camera experience.”

No More Guessing What those Icons Mean

Anyone who has ever found menu icons on a digital still camera mysterious will appreciate the new function guide on the latest W-series models. When menu icons are selected, such as a specific shooting function or scene mode, a text explanation is displayed on the LCD making it easier to take a great shot. This function guide can be turned off once the user becomes more familiar with the camera.

Built for Better Performance

Both new models include high light-sensitivity settings up to ISO 1000, which allow for shooting at higher shutter speeds to capture fast-moving subjects with less blur. With higher light sensitivity at your fingertips, you can shoot in available light without a flash for more naturally-exposed, “true-to-life” pictures. With Sony’s Clear RAW ™ imaging technology, you can up the camera’s sensitivity without dramatically increasing picture noise, which makes pictures look blurry and grainy.

Sony’s ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuit delivers quick start-up, fast shot-to-shot times, and long battery life -- up to 400 shots on a single charge for the DSC-W30 model. It also speeds up the cameras’ sophisticated auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features so that users get the picture right the first time.
Both cameras have 32MB of internal memory, which can be expanded further with an optional Memory Stick Duo™ media card or Memory Stick PRO Duo™ card, now offered in capacities up to two gigabytes.

Make the Most of High-Resolution Images through Prints

You can make high-quality prints by simply connecting these models to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer. You can even create postcards or calendars using the printer’s supplied software.
With Sony’s ImageStation® online photo service, you can expand your options to print tens or even hundreds of pictures, create online photo and video albums, or make customized gifts such as photo books and calendars.

The Cyber-shot DSC-W50 will be available in early March for about $250, and the DSC-W30 is available this month for about $230. Bundled accessories include rechargeable Lithium ion batteries (NP-BG1), charger (BC-CSG), USB and AV output cables, and Cyber-shot viewer software. Options include a lithium ion battery (NP-BG1) for about $50, a travel charger (BC-TRG) for about $60, a sports pack (SPK-WA) for about $100, and a 30mm lens/filter adapter (VAD-WB) for about $30.

Both models can be purchased at Sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), and at authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin today at http://www.sony.com/w30 and http://www.sony.com/w50.

END PRESS RELEASE

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Check out the Sony Cybershot DSC-W30 and Sony Cybershot DSC-W50 and the whole Sony Cybershot Digital Camera range at Elizabeth Digital Camera Centre.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Canon IXUS 800IS

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 21 February 2006: Canon today releases the Digital IXUS that advanced photographers have been waiting for – the 6.0 Megapixel Digital IXUS 800 IS. Redefining the boundaries of compact camera design, the new flagship of the Digital IXUS range fits a 4x optical zoom lens and Canon's optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology into an incredibly slender body.

Exquisitely styled with a unique 'Curvature and Stream' design, the camera incorporates a host of cutting-edge features and shooting options to satisfy the most demanding of photographers, including:

  • ISO 800 and optical IS for flash-free indoor shooting
  • Canon's DIGIC II image processor, iSAPS and 9-point AiAF
  • Wide viewing angle 2.5" LCD screen
  • 16 shooting modes
  • My Colors photo effects
  • Widescreen (16:9) stills recording
  • 30fps VGA movies

"IXUS is synonymous with distinctive style and leading technology," comments Mogens Jensen, head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "The Digital IXUS 800 IS adds another dimension to the range with a new level of functionality that will thrill serious photo enthusiasts."

4x optical zoom with Image Stabilizer

Smaller, lighter camera bodies are more susceptible to camera shake from handheld shots, especially in low light situations. The Digital IXUS 800 IS employs the same optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology used in Canon's professional EF lenses to reduce the image blur caused by camera shake. IS allows for sharper flash-free shooting by enabling photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower. It also allows for steadier macro shooting when using the camera's 2cm Macro mode. To incorporate this technology into such a compact space, a new IS processor chip was developed by Canon's engineering team. The new chip accurately controls the movement of lens elements, delivers fast, precise shake correction – processing up to 4000 signals per second – and contributes to lower power consumption.

The 4x optical zoom lens incorporates an Ultra-High Refractive Index Aspherical (UA) lens to achieve a focal length range of 35-140mm (35mm equivalent) while allowing the camera to maintain a slender profile. The camera retains a real-image optical viewfinder despite its compact size, enabling users to frame without the LCD and further extend the camera's impressive 240-shot battery capacity.

Increased ISO speed

The Digital IXUS 800 IS incorporates ISO 800 to facilitate flash-free shooting indoors - ideal in low-light environments where the use of flash is not desirable or appropriate, such as churches and concerts. A new High ISO Auto setting automatically sets exposure using the higher range of ISO sensitivities, prioritising faster shutter speeds to avoid blur from camera shake or moving subjects.

New design

In keeping with its status as a new class of IXUS, the Digital IXUS 800 IS has a resolutely unique appearance that sets it apart from its predecessors. In an evolution of the Perpetual Curve design found on the Digital IXUS 750, the camera's elegant contours are accentuated by a striking tri-coloured design – 'ice metal' silver and 'moonlight' silver in satin and glossy finishes, complemented by an ebony black gloss surrounding the LCD screen. Designer Kosei Takahashi has dubbed his concept 'Curvature and Stream', a reference to the elliptic curves of each coloured segment and the bold, flowing lines that appear where segments meet.

The large 2.5" LCD screen gracing the back of the camera features a wide viewing angle for easy sharing of images. A selectable Grid Line Display helps with image composition, while Night Display aids screen visibility after dark. The camera's mode dial is embedded into the body of the camera, leaving thumb space clear for an easier grip.

Creative shooting

Canon's My Colors photo effects can now be applied to images both before and after shooting, offering users more opportunities to customise their creations without having to connect to a PC. The Digital IXUS 800 IS offers 16 shooting modes including Manual mode. Preset scene modes assist with tricky lighting conditions, including an Underwater mode for shooting underwater with the optional Waterproof Case. Color Accent and Color Swap modes enable dramatic colour effects to be applied to both images and movies.
A new Widescreen recording mode (2816 x 1584 recording pixels) allows for still image capturing in 16:9 format – perfect for viewing images on widescreen television or printing wide photos with a SELPHY CP series Compact Photo Printer.

The camera's powerful movie features enable recording of 30fps VGA movie clips of up to 1GB . A 60fps QVGA mode is ideal for recording fast action sequences and analysing them in slow motion, while the handy Compact mode records up to 3 minutes of footage in low resolution for easy sharing via email.

Printing and other new features

A new Print menu simplifies printing of multiple images. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. The camera's ID photo and movie stills features are also available when connected to a SELPHY CP Compact Photo Printer. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.
The camera's menu system now features support for Arabic, bringing the total number of supported languages to 23.

Optional Accessories

An optional Waterproof Case (WP-DC5) allows users to bring the camera to a depth of up to 40 metres for compelling underwater shots. Specially designed Weights (WW-DC1) are available to control camera buoyancy.
Other accessories include:

  • High Power Flash HF-DC1
  • Soft Leather Case (DCC-70)
  • Digital IXUS Metal and Leather Neck Straps
  • Compact AC Power Adapter (ACK-DC30)

The camera is compatible with MMC/SD cards, and comes supplied with a 16MB Canon memory card.

Technologies Explained

DIGIC II

Canon's purpose-built DIGIC II (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor links all primary camera functions for maximum efficiency. High-speed processing results in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance and minimal noise. DIGIC II operates efficiently to extend battery life, for longer shooting on a single charge.

iSAPS

iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.

9-Point AiAF

Canon's 9-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) automatically scans and selects subjects from a set of nine focusing areas across the scene. This ensures accurately focused images even when subjects are not in the centre of the frame.

Optical Image Stabilizer

Canon's optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology uses special vibration sensors to detect and correct slight camera shakes that can cause image blur. It allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur. IS is extremely helpful in low light situations, at full zoom and when shooting macro photography.

Ultra-High Refractive Index Aspherical (UA) lens technology

Canon's UA lens was the world's first ultra-high refractive index glass moulded aspherical lens. Made from glass with a higher refractive index than other aspherical lenses, it allows for an exceptionally slim and compact lens unit. The glass moulded aspherical shape delivers remarkable image quality and avoids the image aberrations that can occur with spherical lens designs.

The Canon IXUS 800IS digital camera will be available in April.

For further information and specifications see the DP Review website.

Check out the Canon Digital IXUS 800IS camera and the complete range of Canon IXUS digital cameras at Elizabeth Digital Camera Centre.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 & DSC-H2 Announced

ORLANDO (PMA 2006, Booth #4150), Feb. 25, 2006 — Sony is expanding its high-zoom digital still camera line with two new Cyber-shot® models that are sure to zero in on the subjects you most desire.

Clad in black, the new DSC-H5 model has a 7.2-megapixel CCD imager and extra-large, three-inch LCD screen. It also shimmers in silver along with the stage-worthy DSC-H2 model, which has a six-megapixel imager and two-inch LCD. Both cameras flaunt Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar 12x optical zoom lenses and focal length ranges of 36 to 432 millimeters (35 mm equivalence).

“High-zoom cameras are one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry,” said James Neal, director of digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “They are powerful enough to get those hard-to-see distant shots, and have the easy-to-use functionality of point-and-shoot cameras.

Ready, Steady, Shoot

Even without the steadiest of hands (or subjects), the cameras’ anti-blur technologies ensure challenging shots can be executed with ease. These new models incorporate Sony’s Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization to help reduce image blur caused by hand movement. Because these cameras feature high-light sensitivity settings up to IS0 1000, fast-moving cars and people along the boulevard can also be captured with considerably less blur and graininess. Sony’s Clear RAW™ noise reduction technology minimizes picture noise, making it easier to shoot at faster shutter speeds.

These anti-blur technologies are an advantage when shooting in low-light conditions, such as outdoor shots in the evening or inside dark museums. These shots can be taken without a flash, resulting in naturally-exposed images that truly capture the drama and atmosphere of the moment. And, you can get as close as you want with the cameras’ significant macro mode of three-quarters of an inch.

You Are Big! The Cameras Got Smaller – And Smarter

The new H-series cameras are substantial, without feeling bulky, and feature a comfortable grip with controls easily accessible by thumb. You can count on detailed image previews using the H5 model’s three-inch, high-resolution LCD screen, with a pixel count of 230K and Sony’s Clear Photo LCD Plus™ technology. The LCD features high-quality color reproduction and displays pictures with vivid clarity.

Sony’s ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry increases both models’ battery efficiency for quicker start-up, faster shot-to-shot times, higher-quality movie capture, and longer battery life. The H5 camera delivers up to 340 shots on a single charge, while the H2 model offers 400 shots per charge.

The new cameras include auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features along with pre-set scene modes customized for specific shooting conditions, all working silently in the background while you concentrate on the “center-stage” action. When greater creative control is needed, aperture/shutter priority and manual exposure modes are available options.

Both models have 32MB of internal memory, which can be expanded with an optional Memory Stick Duo™ media card or Memory Stick PRO Duo™ card, now available in capacities up to four gigabytes.

My Autograph, Please

Make the most of your close-ups by producing high-quality prints. Simply connect these models to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer and produce lab-quality photos at home. You can even create postcards for all of your budding fans with the printer’s supplied software.

With Sony’s ImageStation® online photo service, you can expand your options to print tens or even hundreds of pictures, create online photo and video albums, or make customized gifts such as photo books and calendars.

Bundled accessories include rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, charger, lens hood with adaptor and lens cap with strap, and USB and AV output cables. Options include a wide conversion lens (VCL-DH0758), a tele-end conversion lens (VCL-DH1758), a close-up lens (VCL-M3358), a jacket case (LCJ-HC), and a soft carrying case (LCS-HA).

Check out the Sony Cybershot DSC-H2 and Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 as well as the complete range of Sony Cybershot digital cameras at Elizabeth Camera Centre Online.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Canon IXUS Wireless released in Australia!

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 25th October 2005: Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today releases the Digital IXUS WIRELESS – Canon's first wireless digital compact camera. Bringing IXUS style and performance to the wireless age, the camera's Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) support offers users a new level of flexibility and convenience in digital photography.

The Digital IXUS WIRELESS supports several innovative features, including automatic wireless image transfer and wireless control of camera shooting functions from a PC. It comes supplied with the Wireless Printer Adapter (WA-1E) for out-of-the-box wireless direct printing to any Canon PictBridge compatible printer.

A sleek new Slit & Frame design complements the camera's wireless capabilities while staying true to the iconic IXUS style. Appealing to admirers of high-tech elegance, the compact Digital IXUS WIRELESS sports a silver finish and incorporates a stylish blue LED that illuminates during wireless communication. Image quality is assured with a 5.0 Megapixel CCD sensor, a compact 3x optical zoom Ultra-high refractive index Aspherical (UA) lens and Canon's second generation DIGIC II image processor. Other features include a bright 2.0" LCD display and 14 shooting modes for creative experimentation.

"With wireless technology extending beyond the office to personal home networks, Canon expects Wi-Fi support to be the next big trend in the digital photography market," said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "The Digital IXUS WIRELESS delivers freedom and ease-of-use that consumers expect from wireless devices."

Wireless convenience

The Digital IXUS WIRELESS offers hassle-free wireless communication for printing and transferring images from any room in the house. The camera can be registered quickly and easily with up to 8 target devices including wireless access points, allowing for integration with existing wireless home networks. Key wireless features include:

  • Wireless direct printing: The supplied Wireless Print Adapter plugs into the PictBridge port and is pre-registered for instant, wireless direct printing to any Canon PictBridge compatible printer2 – including the SELPHY CP range of portable Compact Photo printers. Users can also connect wirelessly via PC1 and configure to print automatically to a USB connected photo printer.
  • Auto Transfer mode: The camera automatically transfers each image as soon as it is taken and the supplied software displays the images on the PC as they are received, allowing for real-time full screen viewing with friends.
  • Wireless Remote Capture: Enables users to wirelessly control camera shooting functions from the PC1 – ideal for candid party shots or home wildlife photography.

Security

The Digital IXUS WIRELESS uses a secure communication system to prevent eavesdropping or interception of wireless transmissions. In addition to the industry standard WEP, the camera employs WPA-PSK with TKIP/AES encryption for enhanced data security.

Resolution and optics

Featuring a 5.0 Megapixel CCD sensor, the Digital IXUS WIRELESS provides enough resolution for detailed photo prints up to A3 size. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens (35–105mm equivalent) includes two Ultra High Refractive Index Aspherical (UA) elements, allowing the camera to retain a slender profile without compromising on picture quality.

Visionary technology

The DIGIC II processor ensures fast responsive camera performance and image rendering. DIGIC II powers the camera's 9-point AiAF for accurate auto focussing even when subjects are off-centre. iSAPS technology assesses the scene and adjusts camera settings before every shot to achieve the optimum results.

Shooting modes and special effects

With 14 shooting modes, the camera is designed to deliver great results in a wide range of situations. A selection can be made from Auto, Manual, Digital Macro, Portrait, Stitch Assist and Night Snapshot modes, or from the 6 Scene Modes. Movie mode allows users to record extra long (up to 1 GB in size) high quality 30fps VGA movie clips with sound. With the addition of My Colors, users of the Digital IXUS WIRELESS can become more creative in their digital photography. Special effects such as Color Swap or Custom Color, which allows users to select their preferred colour balance (reds, greens, blues and skin tones) for any given shot, can be performed in-camera and viewed on the LCD while shooting stills and movies.

Playback features
Canon's Intelligent Orientation Sensor technology recognises when the camera is rotated from horizontal to vertical, automatically rotating stored images for correct playback. Contemporary Slide Shows can also be created in camera for seamless viewing of captured images on the camera's bright 2.0" LCD screen or on a TV using the AV connection (cable supplied).

Software and CANON iMAGE GATEWAY

The Digital IXUS WIRELESS comes bundled with a comprehensive software suite, including Canon’s ZoomBrowser EX 5.5 (Windows) and ImageBrowser 5.5 (Mac) for editing and organising photos, movies and slide shows. The software package also includes easy printing software PhotoRecord 2.2, PhotoStitch, and ArcSoft's photo manipulation software, PhotoStudio. The user-friendly Canon Wireless Camera Setup utility1 contains simple step-by-step instructions for quick and easy setup of target devices.

Purchasers of the camera are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, which offers 100 MB of online space for uploading and sharing images. Membership also allows users to download start-up images and sounds to customise their My Camera settings.

Supported operating systems are Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000 (SP4), XP (SP1/2) and Mac OS X v10.2-v10.4. Wireless communication software is compatible with Windows XP SP2 only. The camera supports PTP for driverless transfer to supported Windows XP or Mac OS X.

Accessories

A complete range of optional accessories is available that complement the
Digital IXUS WIRELESS, including:

  • A stylish leather Soft Case DCC-500
  • High Power Flash HF-DC1
  • Battery Charger CB-2LVE
  • Ultra-thin Battery Pack NB-4L
  • AC Adapter kit ACK-DC20 for mains power

The camera is compatible with MMC/SD cards, and comes supplied with a 16 MB Canon SD card.

Recommended retail price is AU$799.

I will post a reveiw of the IXUS Wireless soon!

Check out the Canon IXUS Wireless Digital Camera and the complete range of Canon IXUS Digital Cameras at Elizabeth Camera Centre - The Digital Camera Specialists.