High-tech tools to keep your images secure when you're in the field
Multimedia storage viewer (MSV) is a fancy name for a compact, handheld image viewer that has a built-in, high-capacity hard drive and certain audio and video functions. They have been around for a few years now, and the current crop is bigger and better than ever. Keen competition has encouraged rival manufacturers to refine existing features and add many new ones‚ and the prices have never been lower.
Capture sunsets with smoother transitions from light to dark colors using the 12.2-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel XSi, which has an enhanced 14-bit A/D converter, along with many other features and technologies found in the company’s pro models. A fast autofocus system, three-inch Live View LCD with two types of AF and a 35-zone metering system round out some of the top-of-the-line features. The XSi also has the optional Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise Reduction functions first introduced in the EOS-1D Mark III.
All-in-one watches that do more than tell time for photographers
As we go farther into the wilderness for our photography, some tools have become an integral part of our sense of direction and help us to survive and calculate any sort of conditions or odds that may rear their ugly heads. As technology consolidates these tools, such as GPS units, altimeters, thermometers and compasses, into one highly functional device, the easier it’s becoming to get off the beaten path to find a one-of-a-kind shot.
Sony expands its α (Alpha) digital SLR system with the DSLR-A200. The 10.2-megapixel camera features continuous shooting of 3 fps, an integrated anti-dust cleaning system and an eye-level penta-mirror optical viewfinder with 0.83x magnification. The Super SteadyShot image-stabilization system helps prevent blurring caused by camera shake. It comes with an 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 zoom with a 35mm equivalent of 27-105mm.
Get sharp handheld exposures with image-stabilization technology
Shooting at fully extended telephoto lengths without a tripod is a recipe for a blurry shot—unless you have image-stabilization technology. With image stabilization, you can get sharp handheld exposures at longer focal lengths and slower shutter speeds.
Shoot with a pair of newly designed high-end, wide-angle Nikon zooms built for digital photography. The AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G ED lens lets you go for that ultrawide landscape shot, while the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm ƒ/2.8G ED lens can be used for capturing various types of photographs. Both feature Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor, which delivers fast autofocusing without much noise. Extra-low-dispersion glass elements prevent chromatic aberrations, so you capture sharp, clear images with great contrast.
Frame your wildlife shots with one of the big-lens additions to Nikon’s super-telephoto lineup. The AF-S Nikkor 400mm ƒ/2.8G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 500mm ƒ/4G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 600mm ƒ/4G ED VR are designed for Nikon FX and DX format D-SLRs. All include the VR II Vibration Reduction system, which lets you shoot handheld at shutter speeds four times slower than would otherwise be possible. A Nano Crystal Coat, which is an extra-low refractive index coating, reduces potential ghosting and flare and nearly eliminates internal lens element reflections. Three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements minimize chromatic aberrations. To reduce the weight, the lens barrel is constructed out of rugged, die-cast magnesium.
A trio of new high-quality optics are available for the Nikon line of cameras
A new player has entered the arena of digital SLR nature photography. While it’s a name synonymous with exceptional quality and performance in its optics, that reputation has mostly centered on medium-format camera lenses, binoculars, spotting scopes and motion-picture lenses used by Hollywood’s movie industry.
I own 10D, 20D and 30D cameras, so I could hardly wait for the new Canon EOS 40D to arrive. While the 30D represented a relatively minor upgrade of the 20D, the 40D represents a major overhaul of its excellent predecessor. New features include a 10.1-megapixel Canon-produced CMOS image sensor, a 3-inch LCD monitor with live-view capability, 6.5 fps shooting, a self-cleaning image sensor unit, a latest-generation Canon DIGIC III image processor, 14-bit A/D conversion and more—for $100 less than the 30D when it was introduced.
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.
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 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.
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.