Bodies News Product Announcements

The new Nikon D80

Nikon D80 (Photo courtesy of

Nikon UK has just officially announced the new Nikon D80, the latest addition to Nikon’s digital SLR lineup. This camera handily slots in between the D70s and the recently new D200, and should provide good competition in the DSLR market.

Highlights of this new Nikon body includes:

  • New 10.2 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor delivering images at 3,872 x 2,592 maximum dimensions.
  • Refined 11–area AF system inherited from the top of the line D2 series.
  • Auto ISO which works very much like aperture and shutter priority, varying the sensor’s sensitivity as needed. The effective ISO range is 100-1600, with extended settings labeled as HI-0.3, HI-0.7 and HI-1. ISO is adjustable in 1/3 EV steps, and several levels of noise reduction can be cofigured.
  • Startup time of 0.18 seconds is a direct attack on Canon’s 0.2 or 0.15 value, all of which passable as “instant startup.”
  • Creative in–camera effects like “D-Lighting” which is expected to mimic Picasa’s “I’m feeling lucky” mode, or “auto contrast” and “auto levels” in Adobe Photoshop terms. Also available is red eye reduction and several filter effects.
  • A first for DSLRs is multiple exposures merged in one image file, another creative effect available only to the D80.
  • Like every new camera these days, a 2.5–inch rear LCD monitor offering a better view of everything. Examining sharpness and details through the LCD is now more plausible.

More details on this release is available from, and they have a detailed hands–on preview as well.

Nikon D80

Bodies News Product Announcements Rumors

The new Canon EOS 3D

Canon EOS 3D

Pictured above is said to be Canon’s upcoming EOS 3D, but really, is it? The same picture has circled the various photography sites and forums, and many have already ignored it as a hoax. However, a recent thread on the Fref Miranda forums appears to contain convincingly genuine details regarding a “Canon EOS 3D“, said to be launched in around three weeks.

Rumored features appear very exciting and if true, this camera will indeed be a worthy competitor to the Nikon D200. Some of the highlights:

  • High performance AF system with 27 AF points, 11 of which are cross–type sensors up to f/4, with the center point cross–type up to f/5.6 and capable of AF up to f11. This performance is comparable or even better than the 1D series.
  • ECF: Eye–controlled focus. A unique feature carried over from the Elan 7NE.
  • 13.3 megapixel APS-H (1.3x) sensor with DIGIC III, capable of ISO 50 and 3200 plus ISO 25 and 6400 as expanded options.
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting speed, up to 40 JPGs or 18 RAW files.

If this rumoured camera is indeed real, this should push down the prices of other models significantly. Maybe we can have a full–frame Canon EOS 5D breaking the 2000 dollar barrier along with a Canon EOS 30D for less than a grand. Good times are coming if this is true.

The text of the “supposedly leaked” Canon document is provided below:

Introducing the revolutionary EOS 3D.

Built from the ground up to represent the new face of digital imaging the EOS 3D will represent a breakthrough in high performance yet affordable photography. Featuring an elegant yet supremely functional design it takes the best of Canon’s previous designs and enhances the experience even further. A high performance AF system featuring 27pt of which 11 are x-type down to f/4 while and the centre point is cross-type to f/5.6 and allows AF down to f/11. The AI servo performance has been significantly improved too, exceeding that of the 1D Mk II.

Also Canon proudly brings ECF to the digital era and is greatly enhanced in performance over that found in the Elan 7NE.

However, the true revolution lies in the heart of the camera. Packing an amazing 13.3MP into an APS-H sized sensor the images are processed by a new DIGIC III engine. The next generation DIGIC III Image Processor builds on the legendary abilities of the digic II with double the processing power necessary to deliver unprecedented levels of resolution, speed and dynamic range. Despite the EOS 3D having smaller pixels than the EOS 5D, the DIGIC III provides even greater DR, more accurate colour rendition improved WB and lower noise. ISO 50 and 3200 are now part of the standard ISO settings and ISO 25 and 6400 are now included as an expanded option. Also it further reduces power consumption allowing class leading battery performance.

Thanks to DIGIC III the EOS 3D also boasts an impressive burst rate of 6fps for 18 shots in RAW and 40 in jpg.

In addition the body adds several sealing gaskets to the all magnesium shell allowing for operation in more extreme environments. A new evaluative algorithm allows more accurate metering in extreme lighting and can even correctly expose subjects like snow. Also a 2.4% spot meter allows for precise metering of any part of the scene. The viewfinder shows an impressive 98% of the scene both horizontally and vertically. Also for the first time Canon will be employing 2.75″ OLED display screen, offering superior resolution, brightness and power consumption to LCD screens and having markedly better performance in bright daylight.

Visit this site for more updates on this new product.

Lenses News Product Announcements

Sigma Macro 70mm F2.8 EX DG

Sigma Macro 70mm F2.8 EX DG

A few weeks ago, Sigma announced the Sigma Macro 70mm F2.8 EX DG, a dedicated macro lens suited for digital and film SLR bodies. Though announced for both digital and film, it is strategically placed as a replacement for 105mm macro lenses. When used with the latest Canon EOS 30D or the Nikon D200, the effective focal length is in the 105mm range, a commonly used focal length for macro photography.

This lens is designated as a Sigma EX, a label of quality reserved only for their best lenses. Contrast this with the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro, which isn’t marketed as such though performs just as good as the EX-designated Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, with extra range to boot.

A unique feature of this lens is a “Focus Limiter Switch” which is used to limit the focusing range, improving AF speed and accuracy.

This new entry from Sigma is interesting in that it addresses specific needs that many longtime film shooters have gotten used to. They now have lenses providing digital equivalents of the 28-70, the 16-35, and now the 70mm macro. I’m left thinking, will they be producing a 70-200 f/2.8 equivalent for digital SLRs? And will the 70mm f/2.8 macro be good enough for macro photography enthusiasts?

Bodies Links News Product Announcements

Nikon D2Xs

Nikon D2Xs

Nikon’s flagship digital SLR, the D2X, has been updated and now named the D2Xs. The new camera uses the 12.21 megapixel sensor from the previous model, delivering 5 frames per second of continuous shooting. New for this model is the “viewfinder masking” when shooting in Hi–Speed Crop mode, allowing the shooter to easily distinguish the smaller frame captured.

Rob Galbraith has an article covering the new camera which will surely be talk of the Nikon world in the coming months. Though some would contend that this will spark new rounds Nikon versus Canon debates, I refuse to agree. But I sure do hope that Canon picks a few innovations from the Nikon camp and makes it available to their loyal users. Certainly, advancements no matter how small or significant continue to enhance the state of digital photography for everyone concerned.

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A100

 Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 (Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

I’m sure you’ve heard about the latest newcomer in the digital SLR market: Sony. Yes, the Japanese consumer electronics giant is entering the digital SLR market via its partnership with Konica–Minolta. We reported on this news before and now it’s finally here, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100.

The camera was previewed by popular photography site DP Review almost a month ago and they even have sample photos from the promising newcomer.

Commentary Links News

The Jill Greenberg-Thomas Hawk Controversy

Most of us photography enthusiasts prefer to take photos rather than partake in gossip, but this just one I just had to write about. This is about Jill Greenberg’s work featuring children in a state of distress, emotionally provoked to tears.

Thomas Hawk took offense, criticizing her work and method to achieve such photos, no matter what the true objective is. Going through his weblog entry entitled ” Jill Greenberg is a Sick Woman Who Should Be Arrested and Charged With Child Abuse”, I can feel that Thomas was very disturbed by Jill’s work. In many ways, he had every right to. Any person wouldn’t be comfortable knowing how the photos were staged and captured — they handed lollipops to the children then took them away, intentionally provoking them to cry or be angry. All in the name of art, or is this a sick mind using art as an excuse?

Emotions were very high for those involved and even Jill’s husband stepped in. An online fight like this wouldn’t be uncommon, but Jill took matters to a different level when she responded through the magazine “American Photo” without much regard for Thomas’s statements, twisting them to her benefit and not addressing the issues in question. To make matters worse, the popular national publication did not bother to give fair coverage, much less ask for Thomas’s side.

What makes this even more intriguing is Jill Greenberg’s recent actions, as told by Thomas Hawk. According to the entry, Jill pressured Thomas’s employer and even called his boss to get them to intervene in these matters. Threats of legal action were also made by the controversial photographer.

Scrutinizing these events, I feel that Thomas Hawk may have offended Jill Greenberg for writing about his opinions and strong objection regarding the work mentioned above. However, being upset does not give her the right to skirt the issues and attack the other party personally. Threats of legal action shouldn’t have been made. Thomas’s opinion were protected by his constitutionally guaranteed rights, no matter how different it may be as Jill would’ve preferred. In fact, other people have also written on their disapproval of Ms. Greenberg’s work. Personally, I take strong offense as well.

Now what would happen to the parties involved in the coming days? I sure will be following this one. And I just hope Jill Greenberg learns to respect the opinion of other people, especially considering her stature and position, being a well–known artist at that. Before it’s too late to make amends.

Lenses News Product Announcements

Tokina 17-135/3.5-5.6 DX


The Tokina 17-135/3.5-5.6 DX is a conventional lens with a great zoom range, translating to 28-200mm in 35mm terms. Clearly, this one is destined to fight the walkaround lens market. Hopefully, this can put up a good fight against Sigma’s 18-125, a sharp lens I’ve been shooting with since last year. Just like most walkaround, this lens is on the slow with the maximum aperture at both ends hardly something to brag about.

For their expected price though, lenses of this type are bang for the buck performers that can very well serve the needs of the casual enthusiast and even those of serious amateurs.

Since this lens is more than a year younger compared to Sigma’s offering, Tokina should’ve made this better in many respects and addressed the shortcomings of its competitors. Hopefully, we have another viable walkaround alternative in the next few months.

Commentary Lenses News Product Announcements

Tokina 16-50/2.8 DX

Tokina 16-50/2.8 DX

The Tokina 16-50/2.8 DX is an APS-C lens for designed for DSLRs with a 1.5x/1.6x sensor crop like the Canon EOS 30D and the Nikon D70s. The zoom translates to a 28-80mm range for traditional film cameras, a range widely used in almost all types of photography.

This lens from Tokina is expected to compete against the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, the Tamron SP AF17-50MM F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF, and the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC.

It would be a long shot to expect this lens to be better than the Canon and Tamron offerings; comparably this should be at par with the popular Sigma zoom. But let’s hope Tokina proves us otherwise.

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ACDSee 8.1

ACDSee 8 Photo Manager & ACDSee Pro

ACDSystems has just announced an update to their two famous products, now upped to version 8.1, both for ACDSee 8 Photo Manager and ACDSee Pro Photo Manager. Several feature improvements are included in this update, along with increased performance and improved RAW support.

ACDSee 8 Photo Manager is a very good organization tool for your photo library, and ACDSee Pro is an advanced version with even more capabilities. If you haven’t tried them, they could just be the photo library management tool you’ve been looking for.

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Sony Alpha DSLR

Sony has just announced their own DSLR system, curiously dubbed as “Alpha.” The system is actually the same as the Maxxum mount from Konica–Minolta, suggesting more collaborative work from the said companies in the future. For sure, this group aims to take a chunk of the pie that Canon and Nikon are currently enjoying.

Do they have what it takes? This is something for us to see in the next few years, though judging based on Sony’s involvement in digital photography technology, they should be able to capture the mainstream market, notably those who equate the Sony name with quality consumer appliances without knowing the history of the big names in traditional photography like Nikon, Canon, and Pentax. Of importance is Sony’s part in Nikon’s consumers DSLRs, as they supply the company with the CCD sensors used in the entry–level D–series bodies. In addition, Pentax also uses the same CCD sensors for its *ist digital bodies. Will this lessen their relationship with Nikon and Pentax?

Using the Konica–Minolta system as their starting point, Sony now has a good system to build upon, and provide products for their market. Personally, their success in the DSLR market would be greatly dependent on business/market moves they make, and most likely not based on technical advantages.