Leica Mini Digital Camera

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.

Some Tips For Good Travel Photography

Photography and travel photography in particular have been a passion of mine for a long time and now I would like to share some of the most important stuff I’ve learned over the years with our dear readers. I started with a Nikon EM SLR making mostly slides and upgraded to digital in 2002. The SLR had served me very well but I realized I could cut the cost of photography to almost nothing with digital technology. Making dozens of shots of the same subject means you’re bound to have a good one eventually! Only a couple of years later I discovered the benefits of image editing software like Photoshop.

Enough history, let’s move on to my tips. In this article I assume you have some experience with (digital) photography already and I concentrate on the specifics of “shooting on the road”.

First, choose the right equipment. I like a semi-pro camera with a fixed lens and long zoom. The Panasonic Lumix series for example has exceptional value for money. Best travel photos happen fast. Most of the time you don’t have time to change lenses. Fixed lens also means you have fewer problems with dust. I always keep my camera on auto-focus and auto-exposure. Remember, best photos happen fast. You can lose the action and/or the right light in seconds. Gone forever!

Also, have a decent quality back-up. I like my second camera to be quite small. If you get invited to a party usually nobody objects to photos taken with a small innocent looking “toy-camera”. The same goes for temples, gatherings etc. However, do respect other people’s privacy and local customs.

A small light-weight tripod is useful for night/sunrise/sunset photography. Make sure it folds into your day-bag.

Secondly, learn to use your equipment at home before you travel. Know it inside out. Practice, practice, practice. When you get that once-in-a-lifetime shot you don’t want to ruin it by fiddling with your camera.

Also, read a few good books about photography in general and also on digital shooting techniques. Read them again and practice different techniques.

Ok, so now you’re on the road. You see something captivating. Start shooting! Shoot a lot, maybe 10-20 shots of the same subject. Vary angles, shoot from distance and go closer, by foot or with your zoom. Where is the light coming from? What is essential for the shot? How to compose the shot? If you have done your homework, it helps.

Photographing people: This is a sensitive issue. Basically, you should always ask first. Even pointing at your camera and looking like a question mark is usually enough and you get a positive nod. If you are told “no”, respect it. You’ll find lots of people who actually want you to take their picture. If you talk with people, maybe show them some of your shots on your LCD they often get relaxed and trust you. Hang around later and you can shoot all you want. They might even pose for you voluntarily.

Photographing landscapes: Put your camera on aperture-priority and experiment with different apertures. Do you want a full depth of field or bring out details focusing on something interesting and using a wide aperture setting? If you shoot early in the morning or just before sunset you can get a much livelier and a more “three dimensional” photo because of the shadows. This is especially important for rural landscapes as fields of any crop look really flat without shadows.

Some maintenance tips: Remember that moisture, salt and dust are real digital camera killers! If the conditions are difficult keep your camera in its bag until the last moment. Take your shots, wipe out any visible moisture and dust (carefully!) and put your camera back in its bag. If it starts raining heavily, wrap your camera bag in a plastic bag. When you get back to your hotel, clean your camera at once. Don’t give corrosion a chance. Take out the battery, memory card and everything else that comes off. Clean everything, preferably with a camera care kit. Don’t forget to wipe the lens and filters. Fully charge your batteries and delete unwanted shots to free space on the memory cards.

You get home and download the treasure to your hard-drive. Now begins, at least for me, the most rewarding phase. But wait a second! Calibrate your monitor first. Many monitors ship with calibrating software. If yours didn’t, most image-editing software come with something similar. If everything else fails, just use your eyes! Do pictures on this or any other site look natural to you? Adjust your monitor’s brightness and contrast if necessary.

Make a hard-copy of your photos on CD/DVD and start playing with image-editing tools. Delete really bad shots. Copy the best ones to a different folder and edit them to your liking. I like to crop my photos a lot to bring out what is essential in every photo. Also adjust colours, shadows etc. Print on paper, put on your website or upload to Flickr or some other photo sharing site for everyone to enjoy and comment on.

Done! Can’t wait for the next trip… Practice more, read books, seek information over the internet, maybe join a camera club, attend photo exhibitions, even have your own? Ask at local libraries, shopping malls etc if they allow you to post your pics.

This is the equipment I use currently.

1. Primary camera: Panasonic Lumix DMZ-FZ30 , a real bargain these days with its 12x Leica lens, 8 MB and excellent usability

2. UV filter to protect the front lens of the camera

3. Polarizing filter for shooting early in the morning and late in the evening

4. Manfrotto tripod . These are widely regarded as the best

5. Camera bag

6. Lots of 2 GB SD memory cards and spare batteries

7. Plastic bag to protect my camera when it rains

8. Camera cleaning kit

9. Backup camera: Nikon Coolpix 3200

10. Photoshop for image editing

The following are the best photography books in my opinion. I really like Lee Frost’s clear no-nonsense writing and step-by-step approach to showing you things.

Lee Frost’s Creative Photography Handbook covers photography in general from basics to advanced issues, giving you lots of sound advice on composition, using light and other essential stuff. This book is a must if you want to learn from the master.

He has several other books published as well. I particularly like The A-Z of Creative Digital Photography which is all about digital shooting techniques as well as lots of very useful Photoshop hints for polishing your photos. Some other tips show you how to make really weird, yet interesting creations using Photoshop’s filters. I’ve had many days of fun with this book!

Thank you for reading!

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L1: Their 1st Ever Digital SLR Camera with Interchangeable Lenses

Panasonic has announced the launch date for the DMC-L1, its first digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera with interchangeable lens. From 22nd July 2006 this camera will be available in Japan and already looks set to be a firm favourite.

Leica D Lens provides a superior optical performance and matches perfectly with the digital SLR camera body

The DMC-L1 has a new LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 lens equipped with an aperture ring, focus ring and zoom ring, for easy, direct aperture setting. The focal length range is equivalent to 28mm (wide) to 100mm (medium telescopic) on a 35mm film and provides exceptional results.

The lens also provides outstanding macro shooting due to a 29cm minimum shooting distance (0.32x maximum magnification, 35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range.

Superb image rendering with MEGA O.I.S

The DMC-L1 comes with Panasonic’s Optical Image Stabiliser feature which minimises jitter from shaky hands. Thanks to the gyrosensors and Venus Engine Plus LSI built into the lens, the system detects camera movement at a rate of 4,000 times per second

O.I.S features two further corrective modes. Mode one constantly and continuously compensates for movements, ensuring that the image in the LCD and viewfinder is always clear. Mode two only stabilises the image the instant the shutter button is pressed. Both modes work with the DMC-L1, providing consumers with outstanding benefits. Mode one will be available for Olympus users if they are using the new Leica D lens.

Refined design makes the camera a pleasure to hold and use

This new camera features a shutter speed dial on top of the camera body, enhancing the sense of camera control. Combined with a classic design this ensure the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 is distinct in both design and operation. The body periphery and grip are covered with textured, simulated leather ensuring a secure and comfortable hold.

Complies with Four Thirds™* Standard

The DMC-L1 incorporates a live MOS sensor that conforms to the Four Thirds standard and offers 7.5 megapixels. It can be used with lenses made by a variety of manufacturers, giving users a host of equipment options. Noise is minimised by a special processing technology the runs on voltage as low as 5V.

*Four Thirds? is a registered trademark.

The power of the Venus Engine III LSI

The Venus Engine III is a newly developed image processing LSI which maximises the performance of the Live MOS sensor. Offering high resolution, superior colour reproduction and detailed gradation, the Venus Engine III also reduces noise to the level expected from a digital SLR, thus achieving stunning picture quality. The Venus Engine III also improves camera responsiveness supporting high-performance consecutive shooting and a short shutter interval. The Venus Engine III requires only 80% as much power as its predecessor and when combined with the Live MOS sensor’s low energy consumption results in longer battery life.

Full-time Live View for a whole new style of Digital SLR shooting

The heart of a digital SLR is the mirror box unit, which integrates a quick-return mirror, viewfinder, and AE sensor. This, combined with the full-time image output function of the Live MOS sensor, achieves a full-time Live View function that displays the image on the LCD directly from the sensor signal. This incredibly useful function can be selected in both Auto Focus and Manual Focus modes. In Manual Focus, photographers can enlarge an image within the frame and then select the area focusing, making it easier to check the focusing condition on the large 2.5inch, high resolution, 207,000 pixel LCD. It is also possible to check the depth of field by pressing the Aperture button.

Shake off dust with the Supersonic Wave Filter system

A big problem with digital SLRs with interchangeable lenses is the possibility of dust getting inside the camera during the lens changes and contaminating the image sensor. If this happens, professional cleaning is often required. The DMC-L1 manages this problem by incorporating a Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction, which uses supersonic vibration to shake off dust that might otherwise affect the image.

A Digital SLR offering home networking capabilities

As with all Panasonic Lumix cameras, the DMC-L1 is uses SD memory and is also compatible with mass-storage SD standard based on FAT32. This includes the upcoming super-high-capacity SD Memory Cards allowing more than 2GB (SDHC).

Leica S2 – the new standard in professional digital photography

The new Leica S2 was introduced during the Photokina 2008 show and it is now scheduled for market delivery in October 2009. The S2 is equipped with 37.5 megapixel CCD sensor. The 30X45mm sensor was designed by Kodak and it boasts an area over 50% larger than comparable products. As the result, the S2 provides highest image quality. The new Leica also offers many features such as: high speed image processor (twice faster than the competition), precise autofocus, four exposure modes, three metering modes, dual shutter system, rugged, durable, waterproof design, reduced power requirements. The price for a basic kit with one lens is around $30,000.