Bodies Product Announcements Video

Mobius: the Canon C300 / C300PL

There really isn’t anything new to say about Canon’s new “for–Hollywood” C300. We already know it’s going to be another industry–changing camera like the 5D Mark II. So I’ll just share with you Vincent Laforet’s video made with the C300, “Mobius”, screened at the camera’s official launch.

Here’s his blog post that goes into details about just how great the Canon C300 could be.


Nikon D5100 Announced

Nikon D5100

With so many digital cameras released every few weeks, it wouldn’t be easy to notice the better ones, right? The Nikon D5100 is different though, mainly because of the new things it has to offer. Despite being an entry–level DSLR, the D5100 is one of the first Nikon cameras to offer 1080p Full HD video recording. And to make that more fun, it incorporates a new system that allows for continuous autofocus while recording video.

The Nikon D5100 also features a “Night Vision” mode, effectively equivalent to ISO 102400, which should be a nifty selling point for first–time buyers. No word yet though on how effective it will be, considering how much noise APS–C sensors produce at such ridiculous boosted sensitivity levels.

The camera will come with a new vari–angle (flip–out) LCD with 921k-dot resolution; along with the optional ME-1 stereo microphone accessory, the Nikon D5100 clearly shows a strong leaning towards being a competitive “HDSLR”—digital SLRs with strong HD video capabilities.

Would the Nikon D5100 sell as much as Nikon has positioned it for? We’ll know soon.


New DSLRs: Canon EOS-60D, Nikon D3100, Sony Alpha A33 & A55

A bunch of new digital SLRs have been released in the past weeks but I never got the chance to write about them. Here are the more important ones:

Canon EOS-60D

The Canon EOS–60D marks a new delineation in Canon’s digital SLR market. The 18–megapixel 60D (not to be confused with the EOS–D60) slots in just below the 7D and above the entry–level 550D. Effectively, Canon has demoted the 50D’s successor and it loses some of the features now only found in the more expensive 7D, notably the magnesium–alloy–based body. In line with the changes, they have also introduced various “newbie” features into the 60D, now with a more robust inline help system for the camera’s settings and functions. A first for Canon DSLRs is a flip–out LCD, suggesting this camera’s video inclinations.

Nikon D3100

Being an entry–level camera, the Nikon D3100 is not supposed to make headlines. But because of its advanced video capabilities, this camera marks a first for Nikon. The D3100 shoots 1080p video with continuous autofocus, something not found (yet) in other HD–shooting digital SLRs.

Sony Alpha A55

Sony’s Alpha A33 and A55 makes the news for reasons beyond the first two cameras above. These cameras use “Translucent Mirror Technology” which is similar to Canon’s pellicle mirror system in the Canon EOS RT, a film camera from way back 1989. Curiously, it was Nikon who first came to market with the same technology in 1976 in the Nikon F2H. Because a translucent mirror does not need to move out of the way when capturing a frame, the A33 & A55 are capable of shooting fast, 7fps and 10fps fast. And because mirror slap will no longer be a concern, these Sony Alpha cameras should allow for slower shutter speeds with minimal shake.

Bodies News

Nikon D4 leaked?

Nikon D4

Has the Nikon D4 been leaked? There have been some reports of some individuals having had a chance with the upcoming D4, but details are rather bleak and unconfirmed. Do you think this is the new Nikon D4?

Bodies Reviews

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV reviews

Reviews of Canon’s top end EOS–1D Mark IV are now slowly making its way to the web. Now with ISO 102400 and an improved autofocus system, the 1D Mark IV aims to take the top spot among sports shooters, hoping to take away some of the Nikon D3 and D3S glory that their competitor has been enjoying.

Unfortunately, the supposedly improved autofocus performance still has a lot of room for improvement, as’s review would prove. To be exact, comparing the 1D Mark IV to the D3S:

To sum up, our experience with the D3S’ AF system is that it’s trustworthy and dependable enough for us to be confident using it for peak action sports. Not perfect: it needs to be a bit faster off the line, in addition to the other quibbles we’ve mentioned. But it does work as needed most of the time, which is in stark contrast to the experience of the EOS-1D Mark IV in the last month.

There goes Canon’s hope of finally sorting out a lingering complaint on the 1D series. If you’d recall, these issues dates back to the 1D Mark II, which was released quite a few years ago. Many pro shooters would say that the 1D series haven’t been as reliable as its Nikon counterpart when it comes to autofocus performance. has also just released a review of the same camera, giving the 1D Mark IV its “Gold Award“, perhaps a new rating/ranking system that supersedes its Recommended/Highly Recommended/Etc. system.


Canon EOS-550D/T2i

Less than a year after Canon announced their first consumer digital SLR that shoots HD video, they’ve just announced the update to the 500D aptly called the Canon EOS–550D. The 550D, also known as the T2i in the North American market, takes a lot from Canon’s most recent pro–level APS–C SLR, the Canon EOS–7D.

The 550D has a similar 18–megapixel sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 6400. More importantly, this new camera shoots 1080P HD video at selectable frames per second settings: 30, 25, and 24 fps. 720P is also available with additional 50 and 60 fps settings. Simply said, the 550D is going to be the best consumer DSLR for video shooting. I’m sure this will be widely used by videographers looking to upgrade to a DSLR–based workflow.

Here’s DPReview’s coverage of the Canon EOS–550D.


Olympus E-P2


Even before it makes it way through most of the world’s camera markets, Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds camera E–P1 has been updated resulting in the new Olympus E–P2. The E–P2 is basically the same as the E–P1 save for the two new art filters for creative effects and the full manual controls for movie recording.

Yes, that’s another camera before we can even thoroughly try the E–P1. I’ve held an E–P1 a few weeks back, though very briefly, and I found it’s performance to be good. Focusing was better than P&S compacts though certainly not as DSLR fast. It felt a bit too big for a supposed “compact/rangefinder” alternative though.

Bodies Product Announcements

Canon EOS-7D

Canon EOS-7D

This month’s been filled with so much news that I almost missed this one: the Canon EOS–7D. The latest pro–level APS–C SLR camera from Canon is better than ever. With an 18–megapixel CMOS sensor paired with dual DIGIC 4 processors, this camera is capable of shooting 8 frames per second of burst shooting. And with such an astounding rate, the shutter now rated to withstand 150,000 actuations, a significant increase from previous pro–level models.

Taking from the success of the EOS–5D Mark II and other recent cameras, the 7D also HD video. It captures Full HD video at 30p (29.97 fps), 24p (23.976 fps) and 25p, while allowing for full manual control of exposure. Another rarity for a Canon digital SLR is the intelligent viewfinder that provides 100% coverage.

About a month ago, I got the chance to handle a pre–production Canon EOS–7D in a wedding photography seminar. Ergonomics and handling compares to none, not even the 40D/50D or the 5D Mark II. It just feels really good in your hands, with all the controls in familiar spots while providing a few more additions.

When asked about the suggested retail price for the 7D here in the Philippines, the local didn’t have official word yet but it was expected to be 99,950 pesos. At that price though, the 5D Mark II seems to be the better deal. But recently, local forums and sellers have been offering preorders for the 7D in the 85,000 peso range. Cheaper compared to the SRP though still a steep price for another APS–C camera. I’d rather save and go straight to the 5D Mark II if I had the money. The 7D though might just be the camera for most shooters with a healthy lineup of EF–S lenses.

Bodies Product Announcements

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Not to be outdone by its competitors, Canon has taken the curtains off its next top–level camera, the Canon EOS–1D Mark IV. Now with sensitivity going up to ISO 102400 when utilizing the extended range, we finally have a camera that can see more than the naked eye.

The new 1D has a 16–megapixel APS–H sensor with the same 1.3x crop, now going up to 10 frames per second when burst shooting. Aside from all the other top end Canon technologies, this baby shoots 1080P HD video just like the 5D Mark II. Paired with its extreme ISO range, the 1D Mark IV might just be the next video camera every indie filmmaker wants. Too bad Vincent Laforet’s movie shot with the 1D Mark IV “Nocturne” had to be taken down for now on Canon’s request.

I’m just wondering how the 1Ds version of this would turn out to be.

Bodies Product Announcements

Nikon D300s confirmed


So most of the rumors on the Nikon D300s were true after all. Nikon has just confirmed the Nikon D300s, the update to the D300. Though many features are kept the same, there are several notable changes:

  • 720p video recording
  • Dual card slots, now with CF and SD/SDHC options
  • Fast continuous shooting at 7 fps (the D300 was at 6 fps)
  • Better autofocus
  • Virtual Horizon overlay
  • Active D-Lighting Bracketing
  • Dedicated LiveView button, slightly revised button layout
  • Quiet Shutter Mode
  • Wider-coverage flash (Now at 16mm instead of 18mm)
  • Smaller HDMI port

Okay, there were more changes than “just a bit.” HD video recording is definitely welcome as most competitors are offering it now. Additionally, the dual card slots allows for various recording combinations to make you never lose a shot due to data corruption—just don’t lose the camera along with your memory cards!

Bodies Product Announcements

Nikon D3000 launched


The Nikon D3000 is Nikon’s newest digital SLR camera positioned to replace the D40 in the competitive entry–level segment. With its list of welcome improvements, the D3000 appears to continue the D40’s place as the favorite digital SLR for first–time buyers.

Here’s some of the nice things on the D3000:

  • 10 megapixel self–cleaning CCD sensor
  • EXPEED image processing with Picture Control menu
  • CAM 1000 11-area AF system, similar to the D90
  • ISO sensitivity: 100-1600 + Hi 1
  • Active D-Lighting system
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II
  • 95% coverage viewfinder
  • 3fps continuous shooting
  • 3-inch (diagonal), 230,000-dot rear LCD

Unfortunately, the D3000 does not get the HD video capabilities of its sibling. This would likely make potential buyers think twice as most new digital SLRs these days can record HD video. Pegged at USD $600 for the kit that comes with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens, the D3000 will surely be a good value. If other manufacturers decide to skip HD video for its next entry–level offerings, the D3000 might sell just as well as the D40. But it might not be that way.

Bodies Rumors

The Nikon D300s leaked

Nikon D300s

Electronista reports that images of the soon–to–be–released Nikon D300s have now been making the rounds in photogaphy blogs and forums. The update to the D300 will now have HD 720p video recording just like the Nikon D90. Also expected in an SD slot for storage and maybe an increase in continuous shooting to 8 frames per second. Of course all these are pretty much just rumors for now.

Bodies News Product Announcements

Olympus E-P1 Digital PEN now official!


Dubbed by DPReview as the “worst kept secret in the photography industry,” the Olympus E–P1 Digital PEN is finally here to be the compact camera that rivals digital SLRs in quality yet just being as big rangefinder–styled point&shoots like the Canon G10 and the bestselling Panasonic Lumix LX3. Since you’ve probably heard about this from everybody else, I’ll just give you the brief specs of this camera:

  • 12–megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor (2x crop factor)
  • In–camera image stabilization
  • ISO 100 to 6400 sensitivity
  • 3 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 720P HD video capture
  • Compatible with Four Thirds lenses as well as old Zuiko and EM lenses, through special adapters
  • USD $749 for the body or USD $799 for the kit with the ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens.

Interesting indeed. I have a feeling that this camera is as much a threat to digital SLRs as it is to the LX3, G10, and similar compacts. Unfortunately, buying the E–P1 would require similar investments as if you bought an SLR: lenses will not come cheap and will certainly be a factor in how good your photos can be. It’s a good thing that Olympus intends to release a bunch of fast–aperture primes to complement the Digital PEN, it will surely allow for creative growth for those eyeing this camera. For now, we have to wait for real world sample photos to actually gauge how good it can be, but judging on DPReview’s sample gallery, the Olympus E–P1 might just be this year’s favorite camera.

Bodies Links Product Announcements

New batch of Sony digital SLR cameras unveiled

Sony Alpha 330

Sony has just announced three new digital SLR cameras in the Alpha 230, Alpha 330, and the Alpha 380. All three cameras are equipped with APS–C/DX sized sensors that output at 10, 10, and 14 megapixels. These models also feature in–camera image stabilization that effectively increases the usability of all lenses for their system.

Numerous improvements makes these cameras considerable performers, but with one caveat: none of them can record HD video. In fact, no video recording at all whatsoever. Considering how digital SLRs with video recording are becoming common nowadays, the absence of this feature will surely cost Sony some percentage points in market share.

Sony Alpha 380

Bodies Photo Samples

Nikon D5000 sample photos

Are you wondering how the new Nikon D5000 performs with a top–notch lens like the Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED? This set of photos should answer your curiosity. Short answer: great!

Bodies Product Announcements

New Nikon D5000 with video recording


Nikon releases another product with a not too common feature. The Nikon D5000 is the first Nikon digital SLR to feature a vari–angle LCD screen. It shares the 720P HD video recording from the Nikon D90 as well several other features. Here’s the brief list of highlights:

  • 12.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
  • 2.7″ tilt and swivel LCD monitor (230,000 dots)
  • Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
  • Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection and subject tracking
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • 11 AF points (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
  • Expeed image processing engine
  • Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
  • Connector for optional GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
  • New battery with increased capacity
  • 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback

The D5000 is slated to replace the D60 in the upper entry–level segment and should be a good challenge for the Canon EOS–500D/T1i. This camera is expected late April 2009 for $729.95 body only, or $849.95 for a kit that comes with the 18-55mm VR kit lens.


Canon EOS-500D announced


Canon finally releases a camera body to go against the Nikon D90. The just announced Canon EOS–500D is an entry–level (or upper entry–level if you’d prefer) camera that has a 15 megapixel sensor that goes up to ISO 12800 with expansion, and more importantly records HD 1080P video. Just like the Canon EOS–5D Mark II, the 1080P video on the 500D beats the 720P resolution on the Nikon D90. Here’s more on the 500D:

  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Full HD movie recording with HDMI connection for viewing and playback on an HDTV
  • ISO 100-3200 (expandable to 12800)
  • 3.4 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Max. 170 large JPEG images in a single burst
  • 3.0” ClearView LCD with Live View mode
  • 9-point wide area AF with cross type centre point
  • High speed DIGIC 4 performance and superb image quality
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites, including new Speedlite 270EX, TS-E 17mm f/4L and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

As it looks now, the 500D seems to be a better camera compared to the Canon EOS–50D. They’re very much the same but with the addition of HD video, this is the camera that will make people consider a Canon.

Bodies News Product Announcements

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1


The Panasonic Lumix DMC–GH1 is an update to the micro four thirds–based DMC–G1 with an important feature: HD video shooting! Unlike most digital SLR cameras with video shooting capabilities, the GH1 can continuously autofocus while recording videos. Its contrast–detect AF system allows this capability unlike the phase–detect systems in common digital SLRs like the Nikon D90 and the Canon EOS–5D Mark II. The new 14 megapixel sensor takes some cues from the Lumix LX3 by having various aspect ratios for its images. The GH1 can now do 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 which provides for more creative possibities. If only this retails much less than the cheapest SLR cameras from Canon and Nikon, I just might want one.

Bodies Product Announcements

Olympus Micro Four Thirds coming this summer


I’m sure you’ve seen this wonderful–looking compact camera announced by Olympus several months ago. It’s supposed to be built on the relatively new “Micro Four Thirds” format which is basically just a reworking of the original Four–Thirds sensor size. But more importantly, the changes allows manufacturers to produce compact cameras just like the one shown above. I’m sure this one would give my LX3 a run for its money, considering the larger sensor size and other advantages that come with it. And most important of all, interchangeable lenses! I can’t wait for the summer!

Bodies Rumors

Nikon D65 rumors

Nikon D65

Nikon just wouldn’t stop making great new products even if they’re already shipping more digital SLRs than everyone else, so now we here about a rumored Nikon D65! Here’s how this new product shaping up to be:

  • 12 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3fps
  • 9 AF-points CAM 850, 1 Cross type
  • 720p video
  • Live view
  • Dust reduction
  • To be released in PMA 2009

This is quite a sensible list of details so this should be a true camera. And with these features, Canon better start drawing up something better, preferably something that also has HD video just to go pound–for–pound with Nikon.