Other Digital Camera Brands Tips

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What are some not-so-popular brands of digital cameras?

A Multimedia Digital Camera with Extras

The NV3 is a new Samsung digital camera that offers several intriguing multimedia – and other - features in a compact package. The NV3 offers movie mode in VGA resolution at 30 fps, MP3 download and playback capability, and – yes – stereo speakers.

The 7.1 MP NV3 has a 2.5” LCD monitor, an internal 3x optical zoom, 11 scene modes, an auto-macro feature for close-up photography and comes with Samsungs Advanced Shake Reduction technology.

Another nice feature is called “Wise Shot.” When you select Wise Shot, the camera takes the same scene once with the ASR on and flash off, and a second time with the ASR of and flash on. You can then select the photo which looks better to you.

   

Award-winning Panasonic Camera Offers a Full Slate of Features

Recently, the Lumix line of Panasonic digital cameras has gotten a lot of attention from viewers. One – the Lumix DMC-FZ7 – was recently named an American Photo “Best Buy” and a 2006 “Editor's Choice” by both American Photo and PC magazines.

The DMC-FZ7 features a Leica 12x (36 – 432mm in 35mm terms) zoom lens, a 6 MP image sensor, Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, the option of full manual exposure control and the ability to save shots as either JPEG or TIFF files.

MEGA OIS enables hand-held shots at up to three full stops slower than without stabilization. A second feature, High Sensitivity mode, helps reduce blur from subject movement at slow shutter speeds by moving the effective ISO to 1600. Combined, the two features give the DMC-FZ7 a low-light advantage over most super-zooms.

One other feature that photo buffs will appreciate is manual focus capability with Manual Focus Assist. MFA enlarges the central portion of the viewfinder image, to ease accurate focusing.

   

Pentax Offers Waterproof Digital Camera

The W10 is an ultra-compact Pentax digital camera that's both waterproof and dustproof. This makes it a natural choice for anyone who likes to take their camera along to the beach, skiing or anywhere else where weather may be a factor.

The W10's waterproof feature allows submersion to 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) for up to 30 minutes. This isn't the camera to take along scuba diving, but it's great for tubing, fishing, wading at the beach and anywhere else that getting seriously wet is a danger.

Pentax has included a couple of very nice features in the W10. In Portrait, Self-Portrait and Natural Skin Tone modes, Face Recognition AF/AE automatically turns on. This feature allows the camera to “recognize” faces, and it will focus on – and expose for – the face. Switching to Kid, Pet or Sport modes engages Auto-focus Tracking. This feature allows the camera's focus to track a moving subject within the frame.

Other features of the W10 include a 6 MP CCD, an internal 3x optical zoom, more than 20 scene modes (including Underwater Movie mode), 9-point auto-focus and macro focus to about 1/3-inch. Shutter lag is virtually nonexistent – a mere 0.05 seconds.

   

Fast Fuji Packs 9 MP in a Compact Camera

If nothing else set the E900 apart, this Fuji digital camera would be notable for its 9 MP Super-CCD. That's because this isn't a dSLR or advanced super-zoom camera, but a point-and-shoot. And at 4” x 2.5” x 1.4”, it's a compact point-and-shoot at that.

But the E900 is also much more than a point-and-shoot digital camera. The 4x optical zoom (32 – 128mm in 35mm terms) one-ups the 3x zoom that seems to be standard on most compacts. Its f/2.8 maximum aperture is faster than most. And it offers full manual, aperture priority and shutter priority exposure control, along with two auto options and four scene modes.

The E900 also features seven flash modes, eight white balance options and three auto-focus options.

   

How to Mix Digital with Film

While it's not technically a Leica digital camera, the Leica Digital-Modul-R is part of a system not offered by any other 35mm camera manufacturer. That's because the Digital-Modul-R is actually a digital back that fits on Leica's renowned R8 and R9 35mm film cameras, allowing photographers to switch back and forth between digital and film.

The 10 MP CCD rates extremely well in tests – even against sensors with nominally 50 percent greater resolution. But what will really please photographic purists is that the Digital-Modul-R gives the digital photographer access to 40 years of arguably the world's best optics, Nearly every Leica lens made since 1965 is compatible with the system.

Two caveats, though. Leica's R8 and R9 are manual cameras – there's no auto anything.

   

Kodak Introduces Elegant Dual-lens Solution

What do you call a camera that wins American Photo magazine's “Camera of the Year” award, is a PC World 2006 “Innovations of the Year” winner and is a 2006 “Top 10 Pick” by the Into Tomorrow radio program?

You call it the Kodak EasyShare V570, a 5 MP ultra-thin compact digital camera with a 3x optical zoom, big 2.5” LCD monitor and something that noone else has: a second lens.

This Kodak digital camera has approached wide angle in an unusual way. It features an internal 3x optical zoom lens (39 – 117mm in 35mm terms) set below a second wide angle lens – a fast (f/2.8) fixed super-wide angle that's equivalent to 23mm on a 35mm camera. This enables the camera to offer true wide angle to moderate telephoto without extra bulk.

Being an EasyShare camera, the Kodak V570 features one-touch picture transfer, and comes with a stylish dock. (You can play slideshows on the camera while it's docked.) Other features include video anti-shake, in-camera video editing and 22 scene modes (including panoramic stitch assist).

   

Olympus Offers a True d-SLR for LCD Addicts

One reason some photographers hesitate to move up to the creative possibilities of a d-SLR is the fact that – until now – no d-SLR offered the option of composing shots on an LCD screen. Making the transition to a tiny eye-level viewfinder is just too much hassle.

A true d-SLR, the Olympus E-330 uses Olympus's new “Live MOS” sensor technology to provide a live picture on an SLR's LCD monitor. The LCD is articulated, allowing compositions at angles that would require blind shooting with other d-SLR's. A true optical SLR viewfinder is part of the package, too.

The E-330 is an entry-level d-SLR, and it makes the transition easy from less complex systems. It features auto-everything, including 20 pre-set scene modes. But, as you become more familiar with the camera, the E-330 also offers all the manual control that you'd expect from a full-features d-SLR.

The 7.4 MP Live MOS sensor provides very good picture quality even at high (ISO1600) ISO settings, thanks to the optional noise-reduction software. And dust, the bane of all d-SLR's – is less of a problem for the E-330. Olympus's Dust Reduction System does a good job keeping the sensor dust-free.

   

Sigma dSLR Uses Foveon's Unique Image Sensor

Though the company is best known for its SLR lenses, there's also a Sigma digital camera that's worth a look: the Sigma SD10.

A full-featured dSLR, the SD10 is unique in one feature: no other camera manufacturer offers an SLR with the Foveon X3® Direct Image Sensor. Unlike CCD and CMOS sensors, which read only one color per pixel, the Foveon X3 reads all three colors (red, blue and green) for each pixel. this results in the camera's processor having to interpolate less information, and – Foveon claims – better images and color.

Besides four exposure modes, three AF modes, three metering modes, and all the other features one would expect from a good dSLR, the SD10 offers a couple of nice extras. There's an image sensor dust protector, a mirror lock-up feature (great for macro shooters) and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectivity (as well as USB).

   

Small, Stainless Steel and Loaded with Features

Camera fans are accustomed to seeing a lot packed into a small package, and the Casio Exilim EX-Z600 carries on this tradition – with some great new features.

Though the body is Exilim compact (3.48” x 2.24” x .81”) the EX-Z600 features a new extra-bright 2.7” LCD monitor, that adjusts itself to the brightness of its surroundings in auto mode. The EX-Z600 also has a 6 MP CCD and a 3x optical zoom.

A few of the features that Casio has packed into the EX-Z600's stainless steel body include:

* Super Life rechargeable battery – good for up to 550 shots per charge
* Anti Shake DSP vibration reduction
* Rapid Flash, which allows up to 3 flash pictures I the space of only one second
* Auto Macro focusing
* One-touch Best Shot button to access 33 pre-set “Best Shot” modes, including “Old Photo” best shot for snapping pictures of old photographs (The Ex-Z600 even restores faded colors!)
* In-camera movie editing and “Motion Print” which converts movie frames to still images

The Ex-Z600, an American Photo magazine 2006 “Best Buy,” is offered by several retailers and many dealers offer discounts of $30.00 or more.

   
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