Archive for September, 2009
Pentax, a popular brand in the digital world, is completely owned brand of Hoya Corporation. The company was found by Kumao Kajiwara in Tokyo, Japan during the year 1919. The Pentax digital camera was the first candidate to slot in a pentaprism view finder and a response mirror setup.
During 1960’s, a campaign slogan for Pentax spoke “just hold a Pentax”. That little statement was more than enough to speak for Pentax.
In the year 2005, Pentax Corporation clubbed with Samsung Techwin to do work in the field of camera technologies and retook market from Canon and Nikon. Then both of these majors started manufacturing new DSLR products from this collaboration. The Pentax *istDS2 and *istDL2 models were also seen as the Samsung GX-1S and GX-1L.
The cameras that were manufactured by Pentax Corporation during 1960’s-70 were compact and functional, with smooth controls for operating. The design of the body was simple and clean, with not many fancy trappings. No sooner did you picked one up and held it; your hands knew that it had a precision device capable of delivering the highest quality results.
As such Pentax manufactures a large range of digital cameras, ranging from tiny point & shoots till full-featured SLRs; the major business of the company is composed by its compact Optio series of cameras. Some of the latest digital cameras from Pentax are the Pentax K200D, Pentax K20D, Pentax Optio W60, Pentax K10D.
The Pentax K20D digital SLR model follows the footsteps of the company’s successful K10D model. The K20D camera is a newly manufactured 14.6-megapixel with CMOS sensor. The Pentax K20D continues to provide both; the dust-reduction policies used in the K10D as well as K100D cameras like vibration of the sensor which will remove the dust particles. Pentax has even included a “dust alert” functionality which helps more leaning methods, by locating exactly on which part of the sensor do the stubborn dust particles reside.
Taking a picture is more than just pointing and shooting. Simple cameras are lovingly referred to as PHS models (push here, stupid). After ten years of photography and teaching it as well, I will attempt to write even complex topics easily to help you sound like a professional in just one page! Note that we’re only talking about black and white photography.
Photography – “Light writing.” When you write with light, you’re really affecting grains of a silver-based compound on the film. More light has more effect. A lack of light (or dark) doesn’t trigger an emulsion that “sticks” the silver to the film. The developing process begins with a chemical we call Developer. It removes silver that wasn’t stuck. The next chemical is called a fixer; it stops the film from reacting further to light and ‘fixes’ the image on the negative.
With light sticking the silver and dark not sticking the silver, the negative now is dark where there was light and is transparent where there was dark. The chemical reactions will continue on paper when we make a print. The paper will do just what the film did: It will get dark where light hits it and will remain paper-colored where there is no light. So the negative then reproduces the original scene by being opposite light values of the scene.
Ignoring all physics and accepting this as gospel truth, you now know that ‘depth of field’ is caused by a change in the camera’s aperture or f-stop. A small hole, or aperture, restricts the amount of light hitting the film and produces a “great” depth of field meaning many distances are in focus. With an open f-stop or a large aperture, light has more ways in and a blur occurs at distances where you didn’t focus; the depth of field is then considered “shallow.” The f-stop settings have small numbers for big openings and large numbers for small openings: This is the result of a mathematical equation decided years ago.
When using a starter manual camera, you probably preferred the Pentax K1000 or the K1000SE. If you were a Canon lover, the AE1 was your only obvious choice. Your favorite rule in photography is the “Sunny 16” rule. If you really know nothing of photography and must pick up a camera to use in front of others, ask what speed the film is (64, 125, 200, 400, 800), and set the Shutter Speed (usually on top) to a number that comes close. The F-stop ring will be a ring that makes clicking noise around the base of the lens. It has strange numbers measuring that old equation. Set the number to 16. This shortcut to a printable image (meaning the film receives an amount of light that neither over exposes or under exposes it) is only good in sunny conditions.
Having controlled numbers in the darkroom helps. The red light’s wavelength is long and used to light your way around the enlargers and chemical trays. The first tray of chemicals is developer, then a wash, then a fixer and then another wash and possibly a final rinse. These chemicals do to paper what the same named chemicals did to the film (although washes are usually just water). If you’re in the darkroom, the developer tends to be a fixed time of two minutes so that there’s a constant. Any changes are then made at the enlarger when exposing light to the paper. A yellowing print means the fixer wasn’t applied long enough; someone was in a hurry.
If you’re viewing a picture with lots of grays, you’re looking at the definition of “full range;” if you’re looking at a picture that’s high in contrast with black blacks and white whites, you’re looking at the definition of “full scale.” These brief comments are great compliments to knowledgeable photo students. Your basic understanding from this page will hopefully get you over the hump of having to ask questions a photographer has heard a million times before. It’s more interesting for an artist to discuss their take and variations on the process rather than explain the process itself. If you find a black and white photographer, you can now, basically, chat it up!
This slim metal-bodied compact cameras which started with the Optio S, the Optio S12 is a slimline, easy to use point and press camera with a massive 12Mp resolution and 3x optical zoom.
For less than £150 you get an easy to use point and shoot camera with 12Mp, 3x zoom and a 2.5in screen.
Pentax Optio S12:
Pentax have jam packed loads of features into the S12 to keep the casual snapper more than happy. The auto mode saves you searching through menus for the correct scene setting by selecting the correct one automatically. This is ideal for those who would normally just snap away without botheriong top fiddle and adjust settings. If you prefer to select your scene mode manually, there is a good range on offer including the usual settings for landscape, portrait, sports and so on. For each mode highlighted in the menu, a handy explanation of the ideal shooting scenario is displayed after a second or so, saving you plundering for the manual if you’re unfamiliar with each setting.
Another smart feature that enhances the ease-of-use is the Green Auto mode. Basically if you’ve changed a setting by accident, or can’t remember what you have set, the Green mode allows you to quickly reset the camera to auto everything so you can get the shot you want.
A surprising addition for a camera of this ilk are the dynamic range adjustment settings, which I would normally consider a fairly advanced feature. This can help to retrieve details in the highlights and shadows that would normally be lost in high contrast scenes. I found this feature more effective in retrieving details from shadows rather than highlights, although it does do well when the limited dynamic range of a small sensor, such as the one in this camera, is taken into account.
The controls are set out in a fairly standard fashion, with the shutter release, power button and face detection control all on the top. On the back, Pentax have made the most of the tiny space left over by the screen and the controls have plenty of space around them for people, like me with large thumbs.
The Pentax Optio S12 is a cinch to use, fits comfortably into just about any pocket and looks as stylish as its predecessor. Although it lacks some key functions the camera earns points with its ease of use.
On the down side, we found the night scene mode (one of the few scene modes that we use on point-and-shoots) to be pretty useless: the shutter speed was consistently too slow, producing overexposed images with excessive streaking however the camera showed good sharpness and colour, and its 12Mp of detail means that you can click to your heart’s content.
The Best Digital SLR
If money is no object and you are looking for the best possible 35mm digital SLR, then you will want to know exactly which is the best digital SLR. At the moment most people would probably reply the Nikon D3, but this is about to change. This summer Leica, who were always known as the Rolls-Royce of 35mm cameras, will be launching their latest offering in digital SLRSs – the Leica S2.
The only problem there is likely to be with the new S2 is the cost. With this new digital SLR Leica are taking aim at the medium-format digital camera market, by creating a 35mm camera that can provide the same quality image as a medium-format camera such as a Hasselblad. The Nikon D3 for example has a 24 megapixel sensor, which is about double that of the ‘average’ high-quality digital camera.
The Leica S2 will be taking this even further by featuring a 37.5 megapixel digital sensor. In Leica’s own words the Leica S2 is a “remarkable new camera from Germany that redefines the professional DSLR class with a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body”.
This digital camera is expected to seriously shake up the digital camera world and will force other manufacturers to significantly improve their products.
The 37.5 megapixel 30 x 45 mm sensor on the Leica S2 is almost 60% larger than full frame 35mm and the quality it offers is “well beyond that obtainable by conventional pro-caliber DSLRs”.
The aim is to combine the quality of a medium-format digital camera with the ergonomics, and ease of use of a 35mm DSLR.
Back in 1925 Leica redefined photography when they created the legendary model A. The S2 is expected to have the same effect on digital photography in the 21st century.
The S2 is completely weather-sealed for use in the studio and also outdoors as it is, according to Leica, the ideal camera for “people who actually want superior image quality, but the nice hand-held option of taking pictures. So more the moving kind of taking pictures.”
Although the S2 approaches medium-format quality, it is significantly lighter and less cumbersome, you can therefore take it with you up mountain sides with relative ease, which cannot be said for medium-format cameras which are heavy and generally also require a tripod to be carried up the mountain too.
Leica are keen to emphasize that the S2 is a “tool, not a toy,” and that it has been created for professional photographers and pro-am photographers who require quality and reliability, it also has only enough buttons as are absolutely essential to professional photographers, i.e. there is no unnecessary no clutter.
The launch of the S2 is expected for the summer of 2009 and will be up against medium-format cameras such as the Hasselblad H3DII-39 megapixel with an 80mm lens. The Hasselblad sells for around $22,000 – the Leica S2 is expected to be priced around $20,000 – so start saving.
The Pentax brand brings to mind a lot of memories for many photographers, enthusiasts or semi-pro, who began with a K1000, KM, Spotmatic, or ME Super. Pentax’s position in the market is not as good as it was during the prime of 35mm film. But still, Pentax continues to attract a legion of photography enthusiasts.
We now have the latest Pentax K-7, the company’s latest semi-pro/ enthusiast level DSLR. It is a handsome creature, replacing the Pentax K20D’s slightly plump utilitarianism by a pared-down and sleek elegance.
Read on for the Pentax K-7 review.
Many photographers will include the Pentax K-7 on their wish list. Here are some of the highlights of this DSLR: 720p/1080i HD video recording, smaller steel/magnesium alloy body, updated sensor with four-channel readout, and 3-inch VGA (920,000 dot) LCD screen.
The Pentax K-7 also features an enhanced viewfinder with greater coverage (although less magnified) and a shutter mechanism with a shutter speed of 1/8000th. The DSLR also sports and AF illumination lamp and a much faster continuous shooting of up to 5.3 frames per second. What is more, this camera features 77 segment exposure metering sensor and a new dust removal system.
These are just some of the big stuff; the implications of these changes are almost as significant as the apparent effects of these changes. This DSLR camera now has faster videos and frame rates. Also, the enhanced 4-channel sensor makes less noise as compared to the Pentax K20D version.
Moreover, the Pentax K-7 has many more subtle upgrades and additions that reveal just how fundamental a change the camera is from its predecessors. It has an improved ISO button, three-shot built-in HDR capture, and distortion and chromatic and aberration correction for DA and DFA also found in RAW conversion. It is a great idea to buy Pentax K-7.
The Pentax K-7 also features an adjustable shadow correction and dynamic range highlight. As with composition adjustment, it uses the SR system in repositioning the sensor to fine-tune the composition.
Today people are switching over from film cameras to digital models. The obvious reasons are the ease with which objects are framed and shot, pictures are stored, recorded, and displayed. To top it all you can download at the comfort of your home and print the pictures. However if you are buying one for the first time, there are chances that you will be literally lost reviewing the specifications and features offered by the numerous brands out there in the market. Do you go by mega pixels or do you go by manufacturers or by price range or by….well, there are many more classifications possible. The following guide is prepared with the intention to help you arrive at a practical model of your choice.
This factor depends a lot on the usage of the digital camera. You want one to carry around in your pocket or purse, go for the light weight ones. No doubt they are convenient, but the have tiny buttons, controls and dials which may make the handling a little difficult. The bigger ones weigh more and have more features too.
Cameras are categorized as mega pixels of resolution. It narrows down the range of cameras and helps you sort out beginners, intermediate and advanced groupings from these. The range is 0.1 mega pixel to 18 mega pixel and some even more. The key to choosing the right pixel camera depends on how close you wish to get to target.
2 mega pixels and less- you get reasonably sharp images and enough details for prints of 8×10s and smaller. Prints are not of very high quality but suitable enough to be posted on emails and web sites. These cameras are inexpensive.
2 to 6 mega pixels- As the resolution keeps increasing in this range, the picture quality keeps getting better. You get sharper images all at an escalated price.Eg Canon PowerShot S3, Fuji FinePix V10 etc.
6 mega pixels and more- More aren’t always good. Keep in mind higher mega pixels mean larger image sizes, expensive memory cards, and take more space of your computer’s hard drive.Eg. Canon PowerShot Pro1, Canon PowerShot S80 etc.
Optical zoom lens- Image gets magnified by lens-3x, 4x, 10x and more, however keep in mind that very long zooms are prone to camera shake. Use a tripod to cover up for this problem. A 3x optical zoom means it can make a subject appear thrice as close. An optical zoom produces the best quality images. You can’t get too close to the object, but then a photo editing software can help you crop the image. It gives better result than using the digital zoom.
Digital zoom is a simulated optical zoom; it enlarges only the central portion of the image. The lens is not used in this case. The digital zooming effect is given by software inside. The result is most often a blurry and digitized picture. You can use both zooming effects in cameras that offer both these features.
A lousy lens can spoil all that extra resolution and image processing controls. So, before you buy one assess the final image on a computer based on these criteria:
check the lens for overall focus and sharpness, whether corners are as sharp as in the middle
check for flaring, i.e. colored circles and reflections when shooting towards light source
check if the lens offer attachments, you can add wide angle or telephoto attachments to extend the focal length range
whether manual or electronic zoom control, manual zoom offers more speed and flexibility
Unlike the film cameras the digital cameras store images in memory. Thus each time the memory is full, you can download them and the camera is ready to shoot again. Memory is of two main types: built-in and removable. Most low end cameras have the built-in memory. Removable memory cards have the advantage of upgrading the memory, particularly useful when you are taking lot of pictures in one trip.
It all started with photographers igniting a tray filled with gunpowder to illuminate a scene. Today digital cameras come with built in automatic flash unit combined with a sophisticated light measuring and exposure control system. They are so convenient and easy to use that we often fail to notice it. Digital cameras are specified by a guide number which basically gives the flash power. Higher the guide number, greater the flash’s useful range. With changes in sensor speed and /or lens focal length, the guide number changes. So manufacturers instead specify the flash’s maximum range with the assumption that flashes is fully charged and the lens aperture is wide open.
Some of the common modes:
Auto mode is well known! Cameras with red eye reduction mode first fires a short burst to close the subject’s irises then the main flash and finally the picture is taken. Fill flash modes to fill in shadows.
Flash off mode to capture the object in natural light.
Night scene mode exposes the foreground subject without underexposure of background. For maximum flash flexibility select a camera with an external hot shoe.
Some models come with just the external flash units.
Some varieties have both external and built-in flash units.
Some very compact digital Camera models come with no flash units.
Most digital cameras have a combination of different focus modes. In the automatic mode, when you press the shutter-release button half-way down, the focus is locked. It is also confirmed by a change of color of the focus indicator.
The Auto focus is achieved in different modes. The most common of them is the single area focus mode. The focus is on the central area of the image you find on the screen. In the spot focus mode, the focus is precisely on the center area of the screen. For shooting slow moving objects you can use the continuous auto focus mode. Be aware of the huge consumption of power in this mode.
Manual focus- This feature allows you to manually focus on the portion of a scene which may or may not be at the center of the screen. Select the area to be focused by using one of the several focus area indicators by toggling a cursor button to achieve close ups and macro shots. Some models have the focus rings for manual focus, turn it till the subject is in focus.
Fixed focus- This feature can be used to your advantage when there is pre-determined distance between the camera and the object.
The various combinations of the focus types are:
Auto focus and manual focus
Auto focus and fixed focus
Auto, manual and fixed focus
Standard Point and Shoot cameras- Point and shoot models are available with basic features to the ones with advanced controls and options and excellent macro capabilities. The flexibility with which these cameras can be used like in situations where it is hard to frame the subject or shooting at waist levels makes these models much sought after. It is a silent performer ideal for shooting in locations where a loud shutter clack is not appropriate.
SLR/Professional- More interesting features like interchangeable lenses, flashes, sophisticated controls and other accessories, these models are specifically designed for photographers and professionals. Eg. Nikon D40, Nikon D40x etc.
Compact- The features are moderate, yet small enough in size to slip it in to your pocket before you go for the party. These models are comparatively higher priced than the similarly featured standard sized cameras. Eg. Canon PowerShot SD800, Kodak EasyShare V550 etc.
Ultra compact- With technology improving at a fast rate the size of the cameras is getting smaller and smaller. Cameras of the size of credit cards, slightly thicker shoot amazing pictures. No compromise on features like LCD screens (as small as 2 inch), optical viewfinder, good resolution (some with even 7 mega pixels), and good battery life too. Eg. Casio Exilim EX-S500, Samsung NV3 etc.
There are two types: rechargeable ones and disposable ones. Since digital cameras consume power very fast, especially if you are using a LCD, it is best to invest in the rechargeable ones. Some digital cameras come with AC adapters, if yours doesn’t have one, purchase one separately. Some batteries are:
NiMH batteries are the most sought after ones today. They are rechargeable, last long, and come in various compact designs and no memory problems.
Alkaline ones are not rechargeable and don’t last long.
Lithium ion batteries are small and recharge quickly.
NiCad batteries if not charged properly can have loss of memory.
AC adapters enable you to keep shooting long after your batteries are dead!
Luckily you don’t have to spend huge amounts to own one.
Even a couple of hundred bucks can fetch you a very good camera with video capabilities and nice zoom. And they are not the sub-par models of yester years. Eg. Nikon COOLPIX S5,Canon PowerShot G7 etc.
A lot more features get added, more of mega pixels, and more powerful lenses are available in this range of cameras. Eg. Nikon D80, Nikon D200 etc.
These ranges of cameras are mostly for professionals with superb image rendering capacity and produce excellent photos. Eg. Nikon D2Xs, Canon EOS-1D Mark III Body Only etc.
The Nikon L100 camera is virtually a camera that will give you perfect pictures every time. If you are looking for a camera that works easily for a beginner, takes amazing quality photos but also allows the user to grow their camera skills if they wish then this camera is perfect.
Nikon’s superior lens quality is evident once again in this camera, offering a 15x zoom lens ranging from 28mm wide angle to 420mm super telephoto, that you normally only get in advanced super zoom lens cameras. Along with the ability to operate with the simplicity of a fully automatic point and shoot compact camera, Nikon has created a virtually unique camera with their L100 offering.
With a large comfortable, rubber coated hand grip the Nikon L100 camera is easy to hold with one hand and has a stunningly large 3″ LCD screen with anti-reflection coating that is clearly visible in the brightest sunshine, taking pictures with this camera is a breeze.
The Nikon L100 camera is another example of why Nikon is regarded as a industry leader when it comes to digital cameras. Whether you are looking for a camera to take on vacation or a camera that you can use everyday the L100 is perfect for all uses. The unit is still small enough to be easily portable and can guarantee good snap shots in any circumstance.
At a price range that can’t be beat for the features offered the Nikon L100 camera is something that the majority of camera shoppers should consider.
While far from being a professional photographer, I believe I have quite a good understanding of it as a hobby and I know what to look for in a camera. I have been using a Nikon D40x for quite a while and as I started to realize that I have reached its limitations, I decided I had to keep up with the trend in technology and move on to a new model.
For a while I was looking to buy a Canon 40D, until I spotted the new Nikon D90. Here’s a list of pros and cons I came up with after several weeks of using it.
- Separate buttons on the camera to control parameters like ISO, shooting mode, white balancing and automated focus. So no more pushing one MENU button and browsing for ages to get to the function I need.
- 12.3 Megapixel image sensor, pretty much enough for all needs.
- Shoots great with high ISO settings. I managed to get great photos at ISO 1600 and decent ones at ISO 3200!
- A second LCD screen that shows the shooting parameters. Great if you messed with the settings and forgot what mode you are shooting in.
- Built in focus motor, allowing the photographer to use cheaper lenses! (With my old D40x I had to buy lenses with focus motor, which cost around $250 a piece. The motor-less ones for this camera are in the range of $100)
- Great image quality in auto mode. For normal photos with low demands you don’t need any post-shooting processing.
- The greatest flaw I came across was that the buffer fills after 8-10 continuous shots in RAW mode and the camera will freeze for a couple of seconds. I haven’t documented it properly, but it could be a software bug, as it works just fine when shooting in JPEG mode.
- Also, the camera isn’t weather proof, which is quite surprising, since weather sealing is found on a lot of lower class cameras.
And a few tips, coming from my personal experience.
- Download Nikon ViewNX from Nikon’s site, it will let you inspect images shot in RAW and allow you to export to JPEG or TIFF for further processing with a piece of software like Adobe Photoshop.
- If you shoot directly in JPEG format, you should increase the sharpness, saturation and contrast default settings. It could be a matter of personal taste, but I believe the pictures with these settings look more natural.
Capture each and every moment of yours with your film camera. It will make sure you get amazing pictures with superlative precision. At the same time, you do not have to engage yourself in a tedious task. It has features that will make photography easy for you and at the same time let you get an idea about your own creative energies.
Nikon N80 with 28 80 lens 35mm film camera is almost similar to its close cousin N90S. However, it has some features that make it a bit different from the elder one. For example, N90S has a shutter speed of 30-1/800sec. On the other hand, N80 has a shutter speed of 30-1/4000 sec. It can shoot 2.5 frames per second. N90S, on the other hand, can capture 4.1 frames per second. Otherwise, all the features are almost similar. Nikon N80 with 28 80 lens 35mm film camera has SLR type camera. It is enabled with a zoom lens. It needs 2x 3V lithium Batteries. It has both auto and manual focus. It is enabled with manual shooting modes like Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Fully Manual. It does not have a mirror lock up. It also has four light metering modes. It also has auto exposure feature.
User friendly aspects
Nikon N80 with 28 80 lens 35mm film camera is extremely compact and light in weight. It weighs only 515 grams. When you fall short of time, you can change all the settings without even looking at the camera from your eyes since the buttons are placed and the settings are easily to manage.
Nikon D80 with 28 80 lens 35mm film camera comes with a Red Eye Reduction option. This feature causes the flash to emit a burst of light before the photograph is taken, which narrows the pupil of your subject which in turn does not allow the red color to appear in the photograph.
Nikon N80 with 28 80 lens 35mm film camera is an ideal camera for professional use. However, when compared with N 90S, it takes a fall back.
The latest Leica mini digital camera offered by Minox can make an ideal choice which perfectly combines classical vintage style and outstanding technology in just one unit. The compact and stylish digital camera features a commanding 32 megabytes internal memory, 1.5 inch color display, 5 mega-pixels resolution and around 2 GB space for storage on SD cards to help photographers take images in the best quality. Being exceptionally effortless to use, this latest camera from Minox is one of the best choice for all those who need to get into photography.
This equipment is tiny enough to fit in your pocket making it an ideal device for all the sports personals. Movie sequences can even be recorded though its DCC technology in AVI format. The digital camera offers a magnificent quality images and hence is a popular choice among people who have great photographic skills. Being designed with 5 mega-pixels resolution, the images taken are perfectly explained through its higher tone. Some other great features of this digital camera include the lenses, a picture editing system and the sensors. These great features along with others are combined in this digital camera to offer magnificent image quality. The essential speed of ISO 160 in union with the CCD picture sensors which is extremely low sound, works perfectly with the camera. ISO 25000 is said to be the fastest speed needed and so there are different ranges from minimum to maximum.
This actually makes the use of Leica M3 digital camera with light photography one of the best choices. However, this has really been one of the best features of the M model. This latest mini digital camera is an adorable and impressive mini camera which is wrapped with scale reproduction of 1/3 of the new Leica rangefinder. This latest miniature digital camera appears to be one of the best choices which cost just about $225. Some other amazing features of this digital camera includes excellent video mode that can capture motions in AVI format, digital zoom of 4X, 5 mega-pixels resolution, 1.5 inches LCD/TFT screen display, 32 megabytes internal memory, USB interface that includes a cable, Li-ion rechargeable batteries, SD card space to extend the memory to more than 8 GB and is compatible with the Classic camera series of Minox digital cameras.
So, with all these excellent features, this latest offers a detail setting and the best quality images to anyone looking to capture perfect images. The CCD imaging sensor of this digital camera was specially created to fit the settings of the entire series and due to this the resolution of 5 mega-pixels is magnificent. This latest CCD technology helps in reducing the noise considerably making the photographer to get excellent quality photos. Overall, the Leica mini digital camera is entirely covered with all the necessary features making this camera the best choice for everyone.