Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The DSLRs Of 2009
Despite the slow economy, nature photographers were treated to more than a dozen new high-tech D-SLRs this year. We’ve compiled a selection of the models that you’re sure to want to know more about.
List Price: $1,199 (body only)
Featuring the same 14.6-megapixel resolution as its K20D predecessor, the new K-7 provides enhanced image quality, thanks in part to sensor improvements and a new PRIME II imaging engine. You can shoot RAW images in either Pentax’s PEF format or Adobe’s “universal” DNG format, and switch between RAW and JPEG shooting at the touch of a button.
The K-7 improves on the K20D’s LCD monitor, featuring a 3.0-inch, 921,000-dot unit with improved Live View and even HD video recording. You can shoot 1280x720p HD video in 16:9 format or 1024p video in 3:2 format, both at 30 fps, with stereo sound via an external microphone.
The K-7 features the latest iterations of Pentax’s sensor-shift Shake Reduction and sensor-dust removal systems. Shake Reduction works with any lens you mount on the camera, while the dust-removal system is handy on a camera whose lenses will be changed in the field on a regular basis.
List Price: $649 (with 18-55mm zoom)
Pentax’s newest D-SLR, the K-x offers a lot of features at a low price. A new 12.4-megapixel CMOS sensor and PRIME II imaging engine provide normal-range ISO settings from 200-6400, expandable to 100-12,800. Quick for an entry-level camera, the K-x can shoot at 4.7 fps and has a top shutter speed of 1⁄6000 sec. Images are stored on SD cards, including the high-speed SDHC variety.
Other handy features for the outdoor shooter include Live View with phase-detection or contrast-based autofocusing (or manual focusing on a magnified image), the ability to shoot in either of two RAW formats, sensor-shift Shake Reduction that works with all lenses and a sensor-dust removal system.
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