This mid-range D-SLR seems more like a pro-level D-SLR, but it‚’s still only $1,299
The 40D can shoot up to 6.5 images per second, for up to 75 Large/Fine JPEG or 17 RAW images—a big improvement over the 30D’s admirable 5 fps for up to 30 JPEG or 11 RAW. The 40D also provides 3 fps, silent and single-frame advance modes. The camera retains the 30D’s superquick 0.15-second start-up time.
A live-view LCD, image stabilization with all lenses and lots more
I do almost all of my shooting handheld, so I’m delighted to see more and more D-SLRs incorporate anti-shake systems. These detect camera shake and shift the image sensor to counter it. Image-stabilizer lenses are terrific and offer the advantage of letting you see the stabilizer’s effect in the viewfinder, but you get stabilization only with those specific lenses. Because it’s in the camera body, sensor-shift stabilization works with all lenses you can attach to the camera. The drawback is that you can’t see the effect in the viewfinder.
Quality and portability have made high-definition camcorders important for more than just home videos
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so you can only imagine how many words a thousand pictures are worth. Video has long been a natural extension of photography. It’s a visual medium with many of the same principles: focus, aperture, shutter speed, etc. But with video you can capture more than just a still. You can record the full motion and behavior of wildlife, and a camcorder can show an entire fluid landscape, from top to bottom in 360 degrees. And while some D-SLRs offer memos and notes, it’s just not the same as having the fully recorded audio of nature to accompany your images.
Dust problems are reduced when shooting with the new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10 because the camera features an integrated dust-prevention system that uses supersonic vibrations to shake unwanted particles off the sensor. The 10.1-megapixel DMC-L10 offers an advanced 2.5-inch LCD, which rotates 270 degrees, making it easier to shoot from high or low angles. Other key features include a film mode for mimicking the effects of various film types and the Venus Engine III processor, which helps reproduce images with high resolution, precise color and detailed gradation.
Every year, the OP editors get to check out a variety of cool, new photo products, from feature-packed digital SLRs to must-have shooting accessories. With so many items to choose from, coming up with a short list is tough. We’ve chosen more than 25 of the year’s most noteworthy products to highlight on the following pages. This collection of gear should serve you well in pursuing, capturing and sharing beautiful outdoor photography. Note: The initials show which editor has made that pick.
This fast inkjet turns out excellent 13x19-inch color and B&W prints
Being impatient by both nature and design, I’ve tended not to make many large inkjet prints of my photos. Waiting 15 minutes or longer for a print to finish isn’t my idea of fun. I mean, shoot, I can just about make a print in the darkroom in that amount of time, and digital imaging is supposed to be now. But today’s large-format inkjets are a lot faster than my old ones. Enter the HP Photosmart Pro B9180.
Canon’s pro-level D-SLR ups speed, resolution and image quality
The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a solid camera for the outdoor photographer. For starters, image quality is superb. The new 10.1-megapixel sensor provides 23% more resolution than the EOS-1D Mark II N, and in my opinion, the images are even better than those of the 16.7-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II, especially in dim light and at higher ISO settings. Handling of high-contrast subjects and scenes is excellent.
Underwater photography is entering a golden age, thanks to excellent compact digital cameras and inexpensive housings that enable anyone to get the shots
Thanks to digital photography, more and more people are experiencing and sharing the color and beauty of exotic places all over the world. Whether it’s through online image sharing, printed images, magazine articles or simply through the LCD playback screens of our digital cameras, we’re seeing more of the world through the eyes of photographers of all levels, all ages and from all walks of life. This is even more the case when considering the spectacular world that so many people have never seen—the world beneath the waves.
If you’re just getting into shooting with a D-SLR, the affordable Pentax K100D Super is packed with features and easy to use. The camera has a 6.1-megapixel sensor, advanced systems for shake reduction and dust removal, a user-friendly Mode Dial with Auto Picture, various Scene Modes and a 2.5-inch LCD with zoom capability. A compact, lightweight body makes the camera easy to carry around on backpacking trips and other outdoor adventures. The camera is fully compatible with Pentax SDMS lenses and can be purchased with an 18-55mm lens.
Lots of great features in a weather-resistant 10-megapixel D-SLR
Outdoor photographers often encounter hostile elements, such as moisture and dust, that aren’t particularly good for cameras. And the all-out pro SLR bodies that can handle such conditions cost thousands of dollars. Enter Pentax’s top-of-the-line K10D, a rugged 10.2-megapixel D-SLR with a weather-resistant body and a price under $1,000.
My favorite photo subjects are birds, and I like to travel light, so I do most of my shooting with one lens, a fast telephoto. But between close encounters of the bird kind, I often come across lovely landscapes and flowers that require a much wider or closer viewpoint. The 18-200mm zoom lenses for my small-sensor digital SLR aren’t quite long enough for most birds and other distant wildlife, while the 28-300mm lenses aren’t really wide-angle on such D-SLRs. So I have to carry another lens or two or miss out on those non-bird photo ops.
Go for a range of shots on your next outdoor photo adventure using the compact Canon PowerShot S5 IS, which features a powerful 36-432mm (35mm equivalent) 12x optical zoom lens. Loaded with advanced features, the 8-megapixel camera delivers clear images full of finely tuned detail and vibrant color, thanks to the DIGIC III image processor. A 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD, Optical Image Stabilizer technology and four movie modes are included in the 4.6x3.2x3-inch camera, which weighs less than 16 ounces.
Why this technology is a must-have addition to a photographer‚’s bag.
If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of being lost in a wilderness or a city, for that matter, or of not being able to retrace your steps to a choice location, then it might be high time to pick up a GPS. It’s one of those things you might not think about until you need it, and in situations like that, there’s usually a predictably exasperating outcome.
A creative approach to nature photography provided by this ultra-wide-angle zoom
Tokina’s AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 fish-eye zoom lens is the most fun I’ve had with a lens in a long while. It features an incredibly wide 180-degree field of view, and with its zoom, something unique for fish-eye lenses, it also acts effectively as a wide-angle lens (albeit with some barrel distortion).
Take landscape and nature shots with finely tuned color using the Sigma DP1. This high-end compact camera features the same unique Foveon X3 direct image sensor, with 14-megapixel color photosites, used in the SD14 D-SLR for capturing full and accurate color image information. The sensor uses three silicon embedded layers of photo sensors, stacked to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. The sensor is physically as big as sensors on other compact digital cameras by a factor of 10 to 12. The DP1 features a 16.6mm ƒ/4 lens (35mm equivalent of 28mm), a 2.5-inch LCD and shoots RAW and JPEG formats.