MIRRORLESS CANON Canon enters the mirrorless, interchangeable-lens camera category with the EOS M. The camera shares many of the same features found in the EOS Rebel T4i, such as an 18-megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor, which includes contrast and phase-detection autofocus. Like the T4i, this camera offers Movie Servo AF mode, which allows for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, manual exposure control and the use of multiple resolution and frame rates. For still capture, the sensor delivers a shallow depth of field and solid low-light image quality. Touching the three-inch LCD lets you zoom or change images, access menus and settings, and control focus and the shutter release. New M-series mount lenses are designed for pairing with this camera, but any of the EF and EF-S lenses can be used with the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, as well. With Canon's Stepping Motor Technology, the EF-M 22mm ƒ/2 STM kit lens and the optional EF-M 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens deliver smooth and silent autofocus, ensuring that you only capture the sound of the scene you're recording. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Having an all-in-one zoom like the Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM on hand can be helpful when you're out on a hike or on a trip and the goal is to keep your pack light. To make this lens smaller and lighter, Sigma used a material called Thermally Stable Composite, or TSC. Often compared to polycarbonate, it has a high degree of elasticity, and expansion and contraction of the internal barrel is less prevalent in extreme temperatures. The material also reduces the size and weight. So while Sigma's nonmacro 18-250mm is about 22 ounces, this version of the lens weighs about six ounces less. Besides having your macro-to-telephoto needs covered, the lens includes Optical Stabilization technology for capturing sharp, steady shots. Estimated Street Price: $750. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Among the key features in HDR Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software is a new tone-mapping engine that improves color rendering and delivers more natural-looking high-dynamic-range images. The program benefits greatly from Nik's U Point technology, which allows you to fine-tune color and contrast locally for a refined HDR effect. You can review your adjustments and experiment with different looks using the History Browser, which records every enhancement you make in an editing session. There are also new tools for adding depth and realism, reducing color fringes around objects and controlling white balance. An algorithm for ghost reduction was updated, as well, so artifacts created by moving objects can be removed with a single click. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Nik Software, www.niksoftware.com.
The AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens from Nikon has all the qualities a nature photographer could ask for—it's sharp, has Vibration Reduction technology for producing blur-free images and sports a compact, lightweight body. Along with the VR image-stabilization system, which allows you to shoot handheld at shutter speeds up to four times slower than would be possible otherwise, the lens features an Auto Tripod detection mode. With this technology, the lens automatically reduces vibration caused by shutter release when the camera is mounted on a tripod, even during HD video recording. Adding to its versatility is the popular focal length range, which has you covered from wide-angle to medium telephoto. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
THE G LINE
Keep up with wildlife and other fast-moving subjects with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5. With the upgraded Light Speed autofocus system, the camera locks onto subjects faster than its predecessor, the G3. You can control focus through the three-inch touch-screen LCD by using your finger to move the AF area across the frame while framing shots through the large, bright viewfinder. The LCD screen's 920,000-dot resolution is double that of its predecessor's, and it rotates 180º to the side, tilts 270º up and down, and provides 100% field of view. High-speed-burst shooting is possible at six frames per second in full 16-megapixel resolution. The newly developed Live MOS sensor delivers improved high-ISO performance, which now goes up to 12,800. When shooting full HD video, the camera records in MP4 format, as well as AVCHD. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.