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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.

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Underwater cameras

Every year, everyone yearns for summertime when we get to bask in sea and sand all day long with friends and family. A trip to the beach is highly anticipated especially by the young and the young at heart, and photography is a favorite activity, probably next only to swimming.

With the rise of digital cameras, people thought twice before shooting with a digicam near the water. I know I rarely did, since water and electronics have never been known to like each other.

Olympus Stylus 720SW

Fortunately for us, there are now several digital cameras made to get wet. The Olympus 720 SW is a good example of this, capable of shooting up to ten feet underwater! This camera is a good performer that even Dynamism has it on their list of great gadgets. Aside from its love for water, it can also withstand a 5 foot drop and it has digital image stablization along with a 2.5–inch LCD screen. A great camera for 399 dollars.

Pentax Optio W10

Another alternative for water lovers is the Pentax Optio W10 which I found sold at Mayer’s Quiapo for 15,000 pesos. In the US, this underwater camera should be available for less 300 dollars on the street. This one is rated for underwater use up to 1.5 meters.

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Tokina 50-135/2.8 DX


The recently announced Tokina 50-135/2.8 DX is probably the first of its class, an APS-C lens that intends to fill the 70-200mm equivalent for cropped frame DSLRs. Interestingly, the constant F/2.8 across the range should make this a premium lens, hopefully comparable to the full frame counterparts it is trying to emulate.

Expected later this year, I find this the most interesting among Tokina’s upcoming lenses, considering the specific range it is trying to fill. A 70-200mm F/2.8 equivalent will likely be a welcome entry in the DSLR lens market. This one will probably outsell the Tokina 16-50/2.8 DX and the Tokina 10-17/3.5-4.5 DX as well as the Tokina 17-135/3.5-5.6 DX.

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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.

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Tokina 10-17/3.5-4.5 DX


One of the most expected upcoming lenses is the Tokina 10-17/3.5-4.5 DX, a wide–angle lens for cropped frame sensor cameras like the EOS 30D and the Nikon D200. This lens is rumored to be based on Pentax’s similar lens, and rightfully so, since Tokina and Pentax are now collaborating for an extra to their products in the digital photography market.

This lens is part of an extensive roadmap from the lensmaker who plans to release several lenses designed specifically for APS-C type digital SLRs.

Curiously, this lens may put a good fight against Canon’s 10-22 offering, as well as Sigma’s budget standout, the 10-20 DC. Surely in the next few months, the good competition will be very beneficial for the consumers as it will surely lead to reasonable prices and better quality.

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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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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.

Lenses Product Announcements

Tamron SP AF17-50MM F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF

Tamron SP AF17-50MM F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF

This fast zoom from Tamron promises to be a good alternative to the popular Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, which has proven to be an affordable walkaround lens for 1.6x crop crowd. However, the list price of almost US $800 is much higher than the Sigma which retails in the street around the US $400 dollar range. It is much closer to the upcoming Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, expected at the US $1200 price point. However, the Canon has image stabilization which puts it a technical advantage.

This Tamron is expected to perform very well as it is based on their top–selling SP AF28-75MM /2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF, but for it to sell well, it should be much closer to the 500 dollar range, in the vicinity of the Sigma.

Currently, sample photos are not yet available online and we are eagerly awaiting the first ones from this new lens.