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Olympus Posts Finalist Images and Kicks Off Public Voting for ‘Photographer of Tomorrow’ Contest

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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.

Olympus today unveiled the 20 finalist images for the second annual Photographers of Tomorrow contest, commencing the public vote portion – which is new this year! The contest is designed to inspire students enrolled in top photography programs across the country. This year’s theme is “YOUR WORLD: The Art of Technology Through Your Eyes” and all images were captured using E-System products. The 20 finalist images were chosen by award-winning Olympus Visionaries, professional photographers Larry C. Price, Maki Kawakita and Nick Kelsh.
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While many students participated in the contest, there can only be one (popular vote) winner. Through May 15, 2009 the public is encouraged to visit www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld to vote for the student who best captured the innovation or technology that had the greatest impact on his/her life.

“The Photographers of Tomorrow contest is a way for the next generation of pro photographers to showcase their work nationally, build their portfolios, and be recognized by their peers and critiqued by some of the world’s most accomplished photographers,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The online popular vote is a great way for fans to view unique photography and to support young, gifted photographers.”

In June, the winner of the public vote will be announced and will receive an Olympus E-520 kit. Additionally, one grand-prize winner chosen by our esteemed judges will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an Olympus E-3 camera, ED 12-60mm f2.8/4.0 SWD Zoom lens, ED 50-200mm f2.8/3.5 SWD Zoom lens and gadget bag. The Grand Prize winning student’s professor will also receive a matching Olympus E-3 outfit.

The Olympus E-System is designed with revolutionary features that expand the frontiers of digital photography. Based on the Four Thirds Standard, Olympus offers 100 percent digital lenses for edge-to-edge sharpness in a durable, yet portable design. Olympus pioneered Full-Time Live View, Dust Reduction and other technologies for DSLRs, leading where others have followed.

New E-System cameras provide easy-to-use Art Filters, Multiple Exposures and Multi-Aspect Shooting (built right into the camera) for capturing creative images on the go – without being tethered to a computer and editing software. Proof that Olympus technology combines innovative features with intuitive product design to enhance what you see and what you can do.

This year’s finalists include students from the Art Institute of Colorado, Hallmark Institute of Photography, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Texas A&M University at Commerce and the University of Missouri. Complete rules and regulations are available at www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld.

About the Judges

  • Larry C. Price – A two time Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist, Price has published photographs in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and National Geographic among others and has worked as an industry leading photojournalist and a photo editor at many of the country’s top newspapers and newswires.
  • Maki Kawakita – A rising star in the global photographic scene and known for her “Kabuki Pop” style, Kawakita divides her time between celebrity portraiture, commercial work and a personal series she calls “Makirama.” She has photographed numerous celebrities and pop and style icons including Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Hillary Duff and many more. Kawakita’s Japanese, American and European influences shape her style and creativity, making her one of America’s most coveted fashion photographers.
  • Nick Kelsh – One of the world’s top photographers, shooting for many of the “Day in the Life” series of books, and a renowned family and commercial photographer, Kelsh has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has written numerous best-selling books including Siblings with Anna Quindlen and How to Photograph Your Baby. Kelsh is best known for his radiant, engaging, black and white images of children and babies.

About the Olympus Visionary Program
Established by Olympus Imaging America Inc. in partnership with some of today’s most talented photographers, the Olympus Visionary program is dedicated to creating superb digital images with the help of Olympus’ digital cameras and lenses. Olympus Visionaries span all fields of photography and work in a diversity of styles and subject matter, but they are united in realizing their creative vision through digital photography. The Visionaries use Olympus digital cameras in their daily assignments and personal work; participate in speaking engagements and appearances; and provide Olympus with input into equipment development. The Visionaries include several Pulitzer Prize-winning and Magnum photographers, as well as internationally-renowned photographers who have photographed assignments around the world.

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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.