BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Posts Tagged ‘equipment profiles

Entry-Level Digital SLR From Olympus Debuts Mother’s Day Weekend

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Olympus announces its new entry-level digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, which is small in size and powerful in creativity. The new E-450 continues the E-400 series’ heritage of a small and portable design, powerful features, and ease of use for any skill level, including first time digital camera users. Thanks to Art Filters pioneered with the E-30 and E-620, the E-450 provides consumers with the creative freedom to capture their images in new fun and exciting ways.

The three Art Filters – Pop Art, Pin Hole and Soft Focus – bring greater creativity and freestyle experimentation to the new E-450. The creative filters were first introduced in Olympus’ E-30 prosumer DSLR earlier this year, and now enable consumers to express themselves and capture it all – limited only by their imagination. The E-450 offers the 10-megapixel imager and other features from the E-420.

The new camera also provides heavyweight technologies, including a bigger, more viewable 2.7-inch LCD and fast consumer-friendly On-Screen Autofocus, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology and Perfect Shot Preview to get the most out of the Live View experience. Additionally, when it comes to Live View, not all LCDs are created equal. At 2.7-inches, the portable E-450 LCD is large enough for users to compose and review images without squinting. The small camera’s LCD is part of a camera with technologies intelligent enough to take advantage of the Live View photography experience. These innovative technologies include:

  • On-Screen Autofocus works as seamlessly as a point-and-shoot to display subjects in focus on the LCD the instant the shutter is pressed half way;
  • Face Detection Technology targets and locks on up to eight faces to ensure they are in focus and crystal clear for amazing portraits;
  • New and Improved HyperCrystal II Technology delivers twice the contrast and better viewing in extreme lighting conditions, a broader range of color detail, and a wider angle of view on the LCD so you and your friends can see it up to 176 degrees off-center;
  • Shadow Adjustment Technology captures detail in the bright areas of a frame and opens up detail in the shadows that other cameras would render too dark or underexposed; and
  • Perfect Shot Preview enables you to view and select your favorite effect right on the LCD, and see how the image will look before you even capture it, so you know that what you see is what you get.

Olympus is scheduled to launch the E-450 DSLR on leading multimedia retailer QVC Saturday, May 9.

“We are thrilled to debut the much-anticipated Olympus E-450,” said Rob Ellerstein, director of electronics merchandising for QVC. “Thanks to our strong relationship with Olympus, we are not only offering the most innovative new products but we are also giving our customers the opportunity to order them before they hit stores.”

The product will be widely available in the U.S. and Canada in July.

The Live View Experience
Olympus was the first to bring Live View to a consumer DSLR (the E-330 in 2006), and Live View has revolutionized DSLR photography. Anyone who has photographed young children knows that you get the best reactions when you hold the camera away from your face and maintain eye contact and an engaging smile. If you have tried to take photos high above the heads in a crowd or low near the ground, you will appreciate that it is easier to use the LCD screen than to climb a ladder or lie on the ground.

The E-450 solves these problems with its Live View LCD, which enables photographers to easily and comfortably hold the camera at angles that could not be reached by using the optical viewfinder alone. The E-450’s Live View autofocus functionality now simplifies the process by working just like a point and shoot. By simply pressing the shutter button halfway, your subjects come into focus on the LCD, so when the perfect moment occurs it is easy to capture sharp images.

Bright Day or Deep Shadow, Never Miss a Detail
Shooting scenes with shadows can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas. The E-450 addresses this challenge with Shadow Adjustment Technology that compensates for extreme contrast when shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. Now users can preview and capture images with the same fine contrast they see with their own eyes.

Preview All the Possibilities
With 18 pre-set scene-select modes for every imaginable shooting scenario and full manual controls, the E-450 offers a world of possibilities to photographers. Additionally, Perfect Shot Preview enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-window screen on the LCD before snapping the shot. This feature shows photographers what their images will look like beforehand under various settings, ensuring that they capture exactly what they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

Enlarge Your Photos
Capturing, enlarging and displaying amazing images on your wall is a snap thanks to the E-450’s 10 million pixels for high-resolution photos. The 10-megapixel sensor gives users the flexibility to enlarge prints to the sizes supported by many of today’s printers, or crop the image to print only a part of the image that is important to them. The high-performance Live MOS image sensor in the E-450 delivers excellent dynamic range for accurate color fidelity and a state-of-the-art image processor dramatically reduces noise and captures fine image details in the highlight and shadow areas.

TruePic III+ for Image Clarity & Speed
Olympus’ TruePic III+ Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible for every photo with accurate color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal representation in between. TruePic III+ also lowers image noise by one step to reduce graininess in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Worried about missing the winning goal at the soccer game? The image processor on the E-450 enables it to shoot up to 3.5 frames per second in sequential shooting mode, which means that photographers will be able to capture fast-paced action as it happens.

Dust Reduction System for Spot-Free Images
Life moves too fast to spend time worrying about dust ruining your images. Olympus’ proven Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter. The patented ultrasonic technology vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor and captures it on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on. This results in beautiful images free from dust spots, which could ruin or be distracting on an image.

Media Versatility
Accepting both CompactFlash Type I & II, Microdrives, and xD-Picture Cards, the E-450 provides a choice of data storage options for enhanced flexibility, and it is possible to transfer image files from one card to the other right inside the camera.

Wireless Flash Capability
If you decide to venture into the arena of advanced lighting, the E-450 is ready to meet the challenge. The E-450 is compatible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes that are designed exclusively for digital photography. When these flashes are used in combination with the E-450, wireless multi-flash photography is possible. The E-450 can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, with several flash units per group.

Availability
The Olympus E-450 DSLR will be available in July 2009. It includes E-450 Body, ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens, ED 40-150mm f4.0/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLS-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCS-1), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master 2 Software CD-ROM, Manuals and Warranty Card.

U.S. Pricing
E-450 Two-Lens Kit Estimated Street Price: $699.99

Written by jeremyparce

April 2, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Sigma announces the launch of the new 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM lens

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

This autofocus fisheye lens is designed for use with digital SLR cameras equipped with APS-C size image sensors. The Nikon version produces a diagonal angle of view of 180°(154° for Sigma, 167° for Canon).
The diagonal field of view of this fisheye lens produces striking images with exaggerated perspective and distortion. The minimum focusing distance of 5.3 inches, and maximum magnification 1:3.3 allows subjects to be as close as 0.7 inch from the lens’ front element.

Sigma's 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM lens. (Photo Credit: Sigma Photo)

Sigma's 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM lens. (Photo Credit: Sigma Photo)

This close focusing capability allows close-up photography and also it is possible to make use of large depth of field that covers wide range of subjects. The Integral hood blocks out extraneous light and the Super Multi-Layer Coating minimizes flare and ghosting, creating superior image quality. The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures fast and quiet autofocusing and allows full-time manual focus override by rotation of the focus ring. This lens is supplied with a gelatin filter holder at the rear.

The lens is now available for Sony/Minolta digital SLRs, and Pentax digital SLRs.
The street value of the lens in about $1,000 US.

Equipment Profiles: Nikon’s AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 D lens

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Nikon’s AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 D lens is the perfect portrait lens for any serious photography hobbyist. This lens provides very sharp images in a lightweight, well-constructed design.

Nikon's AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 D lens. (Photo Credit: Nikon USA)

Nikon's AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 D lens. (Photo Credit: Nikon USA)

Who Needs This Lens?
This lens needs to be in the bag of every serious amateur photographer. This lens will allow you more creative freedom to explore photography with its fixed and super-fast f/1.8 maximum aperture. The focal range on this lens is perfect for portrait work.

Where Will I Use This Lens?
The wide aperture setting will really allow beginning photographers and advanced hobbyist the ability to achieve a shallow depth-of-field, thus giving portraits a professional look. Furthermore, with its f/1.8 maximum aperture, photographers are able to shoot quality images in low-light situations. The lens is also perfect for indoor sports photography, especially capturing images at basketball games.

By the Numbers
Lens: Nikon’s AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 D
Minimum Focus Distance: 2.8 feet
Focusing: Auto and manual focus.
Weight: 13.2 ounces
Price: About $450 US

Domke: The Camera Bag You Should Own

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There are a multitude of camera bags to choose from and it seems that most people just grab the first one they see on the shelf or they buy the bag that matches their camera. (“Hey, I bought a Nikon and look, there’s a Nikon bag!)
That’s too bad, too. Camera bags protect the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars you spent on your camera, lenses, flashes and other gear. It just stands to reason that you want a bag that can withstand a little wear-and-tear.

One of the best-made camera bag systems – yes they are “systems” – comes straight out of the photojournalism trenches. It’s a Domke bag and these bags are worth every penny they cost.
The bags aren’t cheap. If you want one, expect to spend about $150 US. But if you get one, you’ll probably have it for life.

My Domke bag has been through a rough life and even though it doesn’t look the best, it’s still a durable as the day I bought it.

The bags were created by Jim Domke, a photojournalist and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the 1970s, the Inquirer changed the way it allocated work cars. Before, each photographer had his own private work car so the trunk became the camera case. Then, the Inquirer decided to go to a car pool, meaning the photographers had to switch their gear from car to car.
The problem was, there were no portable camera bags available. Camera storage was mostly large metal boxes that were no where near portable.
So Domke, with the go-ahead from the Inquirer, started designing camera bags that would fit the bill for photojournalists. Thus, the Domke bag was born.

Domke bags are made of canvas. Durability has never been a factor – these bags can withstand the day-in-day-out life of a photojournalist so I have no doubt they can withstand the abuse from a student photographer or a photo hobbyist.

Find your nearest Domke retailer and give one a look. Even better, buy it. You’ll be glad you did.

Written by jeremyparce

February 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Equipment Profiles: Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens

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Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is the photojournalist’s workhorse lens. Because of its zoom range, 70-200mm, and it’s wide maximum aperture, photojournalists have relied on this lens as the de facto lens of choice. This lens provides razor-sharp images in a well-constructed design.

Canon's EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Who Needs This Lens?
Obviously, this is the lens of choice for working pros. Students should seriously consider saving up their pennies to purchase this piece of equipment, especially photojournalism students and those considering sports photography. Finally, serious photo enthusiast, especially those of you who have children in sports, should consider making the investment in this lens.
This is an ideal lens for sports photography because of its zoom range, it’s large maximum aperture and because of the Image Stabilization (the IS in the camera’s name) technology. The IS technology provides three-stops correction for camera shake.

Where Will I Use This Lens?
This lens is heavy (it weighs a little over three pounds) and most people – especially those not used to heavy, pro-grade lenses, will find it uncomfortable as a walk-around lens. If you’re a photo hobbyist and have children in sports then you should absolutely consider owning this lens. It’s ideal for all sports and with the f/2.8 maximum aperture, even crisp images of indoor and night sports are possible.

By the Numbers
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Lens Construction: 23 elements in 18 groups
Focusing: Auto Focus and full-time manual focus even in AF mode.
Price: $1,200-$1,900 US

Mamiya Announces New Medium Format Digital Camera System

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Elmsford, NY – In medium format digital photography, price and performance are usually at opposite ends of the digital spectrum. Normally you have to pay more – a lot more – for better quality, performance and features, certainly for the latest technology. The new Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System totally changes that way of thinking.

The Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System offers professional features and benefits found in much more expensive cameras. For example, even though the DL28’s resolution is an impressive 28 megapixels, its large sensor allows a pixel size of 7.2 microns, producing images with unmatched richness and color accuracy, low noise, and striking highlight and shadow detail. Its 3.5-inch (diagonal) screen is the largest in the industry and offers a bright, high-contrast touch screen that is ideal for outdoor or indoor work.

Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System. (Photo Credit: Mamiya)

Mamiya DL28 Digital Camera System. (Photo Credit: Mamiya)

The DL28 marries the professionally proven Mamiya camera system to the innovative 28 megapixel Aptus-II 6 Digital Back from Leaf – a system capable of unrivaled performance, image quality and value. The 645AFD III body has a new coreless motor for faster, more accurate autofocusing and an enhanced interface system that provides total communication between the camera, lens and digital back. The 645AFD III and Leaf Aptus-II 6 Digital Back work as an integral unit so you’ll never miss the action.

With 16-bit capture, 12 stop dynamic range and an ISO range of 50-800, the Mamiya DL28 is a full featured professional digital solution that allows photographers to focus on creating the image and not worrying about the technology. The 28 MP back provides raw files of 53Mb, and 16 bit TIFF files in excess of 159 Mb – ensuring that you’ll have the information needed for virtually any size reproduction.

Compact flash media storage makes it easy to shoot untethered on location or in the studio. You can also use the included firewire cable and Leaf Capture 11.2 software to shoot directly to your computer. And the latest Leaf Capture software allows other people – in the field or in the studio – to view your creativity on their iPhones as you continue shooting

The Mamiya DL28 has an estimated price of $14,999.

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Sigma Announces New Zoom Lens Available in March

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of new SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM on March 10.

The Sigma 18-250mm lens will be available March 10.

The Sigma 18-250mm lens will be available March 10. (Photo Credit: Sigma)

The SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM incorporates Sigma’s original anti-shake compensation function, with a 13.8 times zoom ratio. As opposed to having an anti-shake function in the camera body, this lens’s Hybrid Optical Stabilizer provides not only an anti-shake function for the camera body, but also compensates for image shaking in the view finder as the Optical Stabilizer is built in to the lens.

Incorporating four Special Low Dispersion glass elements and three aspherical lens elements provides excellent image quality throughout the entire zoom range. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm (17.7 inches) at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification of 1: 3.4 reproduction ratio, making it ideal for close-up photography. An inner focusing system eliminates front lens rotation, making it suitable for use with circular polarizing filters and the supplied petal-type hood. Incorporating super multi layer coating reduce the ghost in the backlight photography.

Written by jeremyparce

February 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Picture Perfect Image Quality with New Sony Digital Photo Frames

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

LAS VEGAS – Sony recently put the spotlight on its new 10-inch digital photo frame, the company’s first to offer a super clear LCD and TruBlack technology, which minimizes the reflection on the display and adds more contrast.

The contrast is 15 times sharper and is 13 percent brighter than the company’s previous photo frames. Additionally, Sony announced three more digital photo frames that are designed to display crystal clear images.

“Our digital photo frames make the best centerpiece for your bedside table or home office,” says Koba Kobayashi, director of digital imaging accessories at Sony Electronics. “Their modern, super slim design and intelligent features make them the perfect addition for almost any décor.”

Feature-Packed Frames

In addition to the top-end DPF-X1000 model, Sony introduced another 10-inch frame (model DPF-V1000). Both frames offer new alarm clock, auto dimmer and a variety of slide-show features.  The auto dimmer feature automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on the (ambient) lighting.

Using the multiple auto power setting, you can set times that the digital photo frames will automatically turn on and off, which conserves power.

The new frames offer a convenient auto orientation sensor, which automatically detects whether the frames have been positioned horizontally or vertically, and then adjusts the display of the pictures accordingly. When the frames are horizontal, the Sony logo will light up. When the frames are vertical, the logo turns off and blends into the piano black finish. You can also turn the Sony logo on or off from the menu.

The calendar or clock can be viewed in different slide show modes. Choose from four scrapboking templates in slideshow mode and 18 templates in creative edit mode to view pictures against a personalized background.

Additionally, the digital photo frames automatically correct the white balance in digital photos to provide best picture quality.

It is easy to store thousands of digital images on the frames’ internal memories. Search by date, folder, marked photos or photo orientation (vertical and horizontal) to easily find and organize photos.
The DPF-X1000 frame has 2GB of storage and comes in black with wood trim. The DPF-V1000 model can store thousands of photos on its 1GB internal memory and comes in black with silver trim.

Both frames also connect to Sony BRAVIA® HDTVs and other compatible HDTV sets to display your photos in high definition via an HDMI™ cable (sold separately).

Digital images can be loaded onto the internal memory of the digital photo frames from several types of flash memory cards, including Memory Stick PRO™, Memory Stick PRO Duo™, SD Memory Card, MMC, SDHC, Microdrive®, xD-Picture Card and Compact Flash Card.

Photos can be transferred from the frame to a printer or transferred to the frames via a USB cable (not included) from a PC or digital still camera. These new S-Frame models support JPEG, BMP, TIFF and RAW (SRF, SR2, ARW) image file formats.

Pricing and Availability

The DPF-X1000 and DPF-V1000 digital photo frames will be available in March for about $300 and $250, respectively, direct at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores around the country, and at authorized dealers nationwide.

Written by jeremyparce

February 19, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Canon Introduces the New TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lenses

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. – Canon U.S.A., Inc., recently introduced two new Tilt-Shift lenses, the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L.

Both the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L are specialty lenses ideal for landscape and architectural photography and are compatible with all Canon EOS system SLR cameras.

Canon's TS-E 17mm f/4L lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's TS-E 17mm f/4L lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

The TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, a replacement for Canon’s TS-E 24mm f/3.5L introduced in 1991, has significantly improved operability with low distortion when photographing buildings, consistent image quality throughout the image and reduced chromatic aberration when shooting at ultra-wide angles. The TS-E 17mm f/4L is the world’s shortest focal length Tilt-Shift lens with full-frame 35mm coverage.

“These two new lenses are Canon’s answer to photographers who have requested wider angle Tilt-Shift lenses, with the new TS-E 24mm for wide angles and the all new TS-E 17mm for ultra-wide angles. We continually seek to expand our optics portfolio to meet the demands of our photographers to ensure that they have the best tools available to capture some of the most stunning images on the planet,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

An innovative feature on both the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L lenses is Canon’s new TS Revolving System. This feature allows tilting and shifting lens movements to be adjusted in parallel or at right angles to each other, with detents at 45˚ intervals. Additionally, once the TS Revolving System has been set, the orientation of the entire lens can be rotated freely through a range of ±90˚, with detents at 30˚ intervals. The amount of tilt is ±8.5˚ for the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and ±6.5˚ for the TS-E 17mm f/4L. The amount of shift is ±12mm for both lenses. The image circle diameter for both lenses is an impressive 67.2mm. (The diagonal measurement of the full-frame 35mm format is only 43.2mm.)

The high-precision glass molded aspherical and UD glass lens elements and accurate aspherical GMo along with a large diameter in new TS-E lenses deliver outstanding image quality, high resolution and super-low distortion to all edges of the image. Each lens incorporates a new type of anti-reflection coating, Canon’s SubWavelength structure Coating (SWC) that continuously changes the refractive index on the lens surface via wedge-shaped structures more minute than wavelength of visible light. Canon’s SWC helps minimize flare and ghosting caused by bright light from large angles of incidence. The new TS-E lenses are the 2nd and 3rd Canon EF series lenses with SWC, following the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM that was introduced in 2008.

Canon's TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Pricing and Availability
The TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II is expected to ship in May for an estimated retail price of $2,199.00. The TS-E 17mm f/4L is expected to ship in May for an estimated retail price of $2,499.00.

Written by jeremyparce

February 19, 2009 at 1:17 am

Making the Switch to a DSLR? Cameras to Consider

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If you’re planning to switch from a point-and-shoot camera to a digital SLR, then congratulations, it probably means you’re ready to get serious about photography.

DSLRs allow you tons more creative freedom than do point-and-shoot cameras. With the vast selection of lenses and lighting equipment, you can really start to control the way you make images.

There are many DSLRs to choose from and all of them offer various features that will appeal to different users. So, let’s first determine what kind of user you are.

User Profiles
In order to make this simple, I’m going to categorize users into three categories: family event photographers, hobbyists and students.

Family event photographers, as the name implies, utilize a camera mostly for special events: birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. They need a camera that’s user friendly and relatively low priced.
Hobbyists are photographers who explore photography. They go beyond candid photos and snapshots and make composed photographs. The need a camera that allows more creative freedom and often look for mid-range priced cameras.
Students are photographers who either want to make photography a career or at least a serious part of their lives. They need a camera system that grows with them as they advance in photography.

With these categories in mind, let’s examine some entry-level DSLRs that can fit the bill for the various photographer categories.

Cameras for Family Event Photographers

  • Canon Rebel XS with 18-55mm IS Lens Kit: This is a great camera for the family photographer. It’s easy to use, relatively lightweight and at 10.1 megapixels, you can make great prints. Street value: Around $600 US.
  • Nikon D40 with NIKKOR 18-55mm Lens Kit: This camera features a 6.1-megapixel image sensor with easy-to-use controls all packaged in a very lightweight body – about 17 ounces. Street value: Around $500 US.
  • Olympus Evolt E-410 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm Lens Kit: With a 10-megapixel image sensor, a handy dust reduction system and a kit that contains two lenses, the Olympus Evolt E-410 is a great deal. The camera is easy to use and the controls are quite intuitive. Street value: Around $650 US.

Cameras for Hobbyists

  • Nikon D90 body only: Honestly, I would tell hobbyists to skip the Nikon D60 and D80 and go straight for the D90. It’s a great camera that will meet any challenge you throw at it. The D90 is built well, designed well, has a 12.3-megapixel image sensor and all the controls are very intuitive. Even if you never use the video capture mode, the D90 makes beautiful still images. Street value for body only: Around $1,000 US.
  • Canon EOS 40D body only: This camera has a 10.1-megapixel image sensor, Canon’s Integrated Cleaning System to help reduce dust on the image sensor and boasts a whopping 6.5 frames-per-second shooting speed. This is a fast little camera that will be a great tool for hobbyists, especially those who shoot sports and/or wildlife. Street value for body only: Around $1,100 US.

Cameras for Students

Students are a unique category. As a student, you have two choices: Either buy a camera listed for hobbyists in order to see how far you want to go in photography or if you’re absolutely CERTAIN you want to be a pro photographer, buy one of these cameras so you won’t need to upgrade later.

  • Nikon D300 body only: This cameras has it all – a 12.3-megapixel image sensor, 6 frames-per-second shooting speed that can bump to 8 fps with the optional battery pack, and a great ISO range with low noise in the higher ISOs. This is the camera that will get you through school and will work well in your early career. Street value for body only: About $1,800 US.
  • Canon EOS 50D body only: At 15.1 megapixels and 6.3 frames-per-second, this is a workhorse camera. Canon serves up some great cameras and this is one of them. You won’t be looking for an upgrade for this camera for quite some time. Street value for body only: About $1,400 US.
  • Olympus E-3: The Olympus E-3 is the flagship camera of the Olympus DSLR lineup. It’s a great camera built for heavy-duty use. It shoots fast – 1/8000 second is the highest shutter speed and has the ability to shoot 5 frames-per-second. Olympus also has a great lineup of lenses to compliment this camera. Street value for body only: Around $1,700 US.