BrickHouse Photo School

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Posts Tagged ‘Olympus

Picture Perfect!: National Park Foundation Announces 2008 Winners of the Share the Experience Photo 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.

The National Park Foundation (NPF) recently announced the 2008 winners of the Share the Experience Photo Contest, the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal lands, sponsored by NPF in partnership with Olympus and the federal land management agencies. The photo contest encourages Americans to explore and experience the best of our country and share the experience with all Americans when they enter their souvenir photos online.

“We’ve been hosting this contest for nearly a decade and it has become an important way that we connect Americans to their parks and federal lands,” said Vin Cipolla, Vice Chairman of the National Park Foundation. “We’re proud to be working with Olympus and all the federal agencies to inspire Americans to discover our nation’s most treasured places.”

The winners of the 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest are:

Grand Prize Winning Photo: Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Photographer: Mark Cromwell, Enid, OK

Grand Prize image by Mark Cromwell of Enid, OK.

Grand Prize image by Mark Cromwell of Enid, OK.

Mark Cromwell (60) has spent much of his life exploring the backcountry of America’s protected lands. His winning photo was taken during a bird-watching trek with his wife. Of his photo, Mark said, “The day I took this shot we were up before dawn to catch the morning light. A few cranes settled in shallow water in front of me and it was serendipity!” As the Grand Prize winner, Mark’s photo will grace the cover of the 2010 America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass. He will also receive a trip to a National Park of his choice and an Olympus E-3 digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera kit.

Second Place Winning Photo: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Photographer: Dan Sorenson, Glendale, AZ
Dan Sorensen (31) became passionate about photography at a young age with the support of his parents and a few disposable cameras. Of his winning photo Dan said, “A group of our friends rented a houseboat on Lake Powell. This photo was taken just as the sun was just about to dip behind the western walls of the canyon. My friends were frying up some striped bass around a campfire and breaking out acoustic guitars. Me, I was taking pictures.” As the second place winner, Dan will receive an Olympus E-520 DSLR kit.

Third Place Winning Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park
Photographer: Eric Feder, Aurora, CO
A retired school teacher, Eric Feder (42) and his wife have enjoyed traveling and taking pictures throughout the country. Of his winning photo of Rocky Mountain National Park, Eric said, “My photo is one of many I took as a bull elk was testing the waters. After the elk had drunk its fill, the magic was over, but the experience was ours to share.” As the third place winner, Eric will receive an Olympus SP-570 UZ.

Fourth Place Winning Photo: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Photographer: Kuang-Yu Jen, San Francisco, CA
Kuang-Yu Jen (31) says her interest in photography stems from her appreciation of the natural world. Of her winning photo, Kuang-Yu said, “I had been trying to find some time to get away from the city to do some nature photography so I picked up my gear and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Headlands. The sun, the clouds, and the light came together perfectly and allowed me to capture this spectacular moment.” As the fourth place winner, Kuang-Yu will receive an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW.

To view the 2008 winning photos and honorable mentions visit www.nationalparks.org/photocontest.

Sponsored by Olympus Imaging America Inc. and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, the Share the Experience Photo Contest showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands and draws entries from all across the United States.

The 2009 Share the Experience Photo Contest will launch on May 4, 2009.

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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.

Why You Need A Shoe-Mount Flash

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The majority of people who visit this Website are amateur photographers, photo hobbyists and students interested in pursuing photography as a future career. With that audience in mind, I try to bring articles with general appeal.

One of the main questions I get asked is about flash photography or using artificial light sources to make images. For lack of a better word, those who write me are “afraid” to use artificial – or flash – lighting because they don’t understand it and they often have taken photos with flash and had bad results. With that in mind, I am going to begin a section on flash lighting. Look for more posts to come in the near future.

With an external flash, you can direct where you want the light to go - or where you don't want it to go. Hard lighting from the side gives this image a unique look. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Schneider)

With an external flash, you can direct where you want the light to go - or where you don't want it to go. Hard lighting from the side gives this image a unique look. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Schneider)

External flash units are beneficial for numerous reasons. First and probably the most important, they allow you to become more creative in lighting. You can play around with the light and get more interesting – and more professional looking – results. Secondly, they allow you to shoot in low-light conditions. Finally, they reduce the limits on your photography. You’re no longer a slave to the sun. No lighting? No problem, you’ve got a flash.

One problem you may be having is simple: you’re using the built-in flash on your camera. You probably have a popup flash on your DSLR and have used it as your main source of strobe lighting. That’s a mistake. While good for fill light, a popup flash is often too narrow. Many times, you’ll see washed out colors in close up subjects or huge cast shadows, which are equally unappealing.
If your camera has a hot shoe mount on top, which if you’re using a DSLR, it does, you are able to attach what’s called a shoe-mount flash.

Although there are great third-party flash units (Metz comes to mind), I recommend purchasing a brand-specific flash because it syncs with all the features the manufacturer has developed.

For Nikon users, I recommend starting out with the SB-600 AF Speelight unit. It’s a great flash to begin with. Canon users should start with the Speedlite 430EX II and for Olympus users, the FL-50R is the right choice.

In future postings, we will discuss various techniques you can use with your shoe-mount flash that will help your photos look better.

Good luck and keep shooting!

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

Olympus E-620 Digital SLR Inspires Consumers To ‘Color Outside The Lines’

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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., – As children, our imaginations run wild and finger-painted artistic creations are proudly displayed on our family refrigerators. But as we grow older, we learn to color inside the lines, and have less and less time for art. We often lose touch with how satisfying it is to create something uniquely our own. Olympus delivers the new E-620 digital single lens reflex camera to bring back that free-style experimenting and the magical feeling of being inspired by our own art.

The new camera’s easy-to-use Art Filters and Multiple Exposures (built right into the camera) are fun for consumers – whether you’ve been shooting for years or picked up your first digital camera today. Enjoy capturing creative images on the go – without being tethered to a computer and editing software! Now it is possible to easily customize your images so they’re worthy of posting on the gallery wall (or at least the family fridge).

“Experimenting and creating your own unique masterpieces has never been easier or more fun,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Pop Art, Grainy Black & White, and Pin Hole are just a few creative options that can be effortlessly found on the camera’s mode dial. The access is easy, and the results are fun and limitless.”

The new camera’s freedom of expression is matched by its freedom of mobility. First, the camera travels with you to more places, thanks to its compact size and light 16.76-ounce body. Second, as the world’s smallest DSLR with in-body Image Stabilization, the E-620 adjusts when your body moves to remove blur caused by camera shake (with any lens attached). Finally, add Live View shooting with a swivel 2.7-inch HyperCrystal™ LCD that frees you to cover subjects from a range of angles, and this 12.3-megapixel DSLR seamlessly combines motions with emotions – proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.

Make Your Vision Come to Life with Art Filters
If you’re hoping to get more out of your camera than simply capturing and documenting a scene, and enjoy enhancing or customizing an image to make it your own, then you will value the camera’s Art Filters. The filters, which are built into the camera, provide incredible individual artistic control over an image, and remove the need to spend time altering images on the computer with editing software.

This camera was made for free-style shooting, experimenting and engaging with events and subjects. Enjoy the freedom of Autofocus Live View and dramatic effects to transform your day-to-day shots into compositions that you can be proud of with the following in-camera Art Filters:

  • Pop Art:  Enhances colors, making them more saturated and vivid, creating high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feeling of the Pop Art style of the 1960s;
  • Soft Focus:  Creates an ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere that renders subjects in a heavenly light without obscuring details; Pale & Light Color:  Encloses the foreground of an image in flat gentle light and pastel colors reminiscent of a flashback scene in a movie;
  • Light Tone:  Renders shade and highlight areas softly to lend an elegant air to the subject;
  • Grainy Film:  Evokes the feeling of documentary footage shot in monochrome with grainy, high-contrast film; and
  • Pin Hole:  Reduces the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center of the picture.

Art Filters are easily activated with the mode dial on the right side of the camera body. The effects are viewable right on the new camera’s 100 percent accurate swivel 2.7-inch Live View HyperCrystal™ III LCD when using the E-620 in Live View mode or when reviewing the captured image.

Express Your Inner Artist’s Multiple Personalities
With the new camera’s Multiple Exposure function you are free to tell a visual story your way, whether in a portrait, a landscape or a combination of both. For instance, capture an image of the spring leaves on a new tree and then overlay an image of your child’s face into the leaves for a stunning image that expresses the newness of the season. The image capture options allow you to shoot one shot, then another, or to capture both shots separately and combine them in the camera later. Or superimpose your own portrait with a starry night sky to create a photo with the impact you desire. Let your imagination lead you to new creative discoveries.

Ready, Steady, Go with In-Body Image Stabilization
The E-620 travels with you to more places, thanks to its compact size and light 16.76-ounce body. Capture sharp images on the go with the camera’s in-body Image Stabilization, which virtually eliminates blur with any lens attached. Three IS modes handle any situation. The IS-1 mode is for general shooting and adjusts the sensor on both the horizontal and vertical planes to compensate for movement by the photographer so images stay sharp in low light even at slow shutter speeds. To capture the motion of moving subjects, the E-620 offers two specialized modes: IS-2 mode is ideal for capturing a runner or cyclist traveling by in the horizontal mode, preserving the sense of motion while panning; IS-3 mode achieves the same effect when the camera is held vertically. In either mode, the artistic effects of panning enhance the shot and render the subject in sharp detail with blurred background. Moreover, the E-620 is the world’s smallest DSLR with built-in Image Stabilization, so you’ll feel comfortable taking it on the road with you to capture the action.

Superior Image Quality
The new camera’s high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to reduce noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas.

Its Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus’ TruePic III+ Image Processor, which produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible. The new image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies, and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Written by jeremyparce

February 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Olympus E-3 DSLR to Capture Earth’s Beauty from Space Station, Raise Awareness for Environmental Protection

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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 as needed for space.

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., – Olympus Corporation commemorates its 90th anniversary by creating the “Olympus Space Project” to photograph the majestic beauty of our planet and raise awareness to protect it. The company’s flagship E-3 digital single lens reflex camera and ZUIKO digital lenses will journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on the next Space Shuttle Discovery mission.

Dr. Koichi Wakata, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut, will take images of the earth with the Olympus E-3 throughout his three-month mission on the ISS. Specifically, he will stay in the “Kibo,” which is the Japanese Experiment Module. It is located in the ISS and is Japan’s first manned facility where astronauts can conduct experiments for long periods of time. ‘Hope’ is the English translation for Kibo, and Dr. Wakata will be the first astronaut to inhabit the new experiment module. Images captured by Dr. Wakata will be available on Olympus’ Web site.

“For 90 years we’ve continued to develop innovative products that help improve peoples’ lives every day – from capturing memories to documenting environmental changes,” said F. Mark Gumz, president, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Olympus cameras are used by the National Park Service to track air quality at our nation’s parks and by wildlife photographer Mitsuaki Iwago, whose images focus on global environmental issues and nature preservation. We’re taking this commitment to the next level by capturing our planet’s delicate beauty from space.”

Designed for professional and aspiring photographers, the E-3 offers amazing image quality, splashproof and dustproof durability, and a magnesium-alloy body that survives the toughest shooting environments. The E-3 complies with NASA’s standards for use in space. Olympus continues to be an innovator, developing new technologies to expand the frontiers of digital photography and leading where others have followed.

Details on the ISS, JAXA, the Japanese Experiment Module, Dr. Wakata and the next mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery are available here.

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.