Nikon COOLPIX S1

Nikon COOLPIX S1 in Ivory WhiteRight out of leftfield (for Nikon) is their answer to Sony’s nice supercompacts: COOLPIX S1. Using folded optics, that they imaginatively call “right-angle” optics, the specs are the usual: 5.1Mp, 3x zoom (35-105mm equiv.) The LCD looks decent: 2.5inch covering most of the back, Sony T3-style. It’s available in “Ivory White” (iVory White?), “Pure Silver” and “Ebony Black” and comes with a dock which isn’t as nice to look at as the camera. Obviously much better than in SonyLand, the S1 uses standard SD cards. It also has 12Mb internally, so you can grab a few shots when your card’s full. It’s got face-priority AF, which I’ve never witnessed but would like to try out. Blur Warning looks like a good idea, too – a warning after taking the shot that probably it was messed up by shake, so you better shoot another to be safe. Anyway, if you need to, read more on the official press release.

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro review at dpreview.com

Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro - photo copyright dpreview.comDigital Photography Review has just posted a full review of Fujifilm’s S3 Pro DSLR. This body uses Fujifilm’s own SuperCCD SR for more dynamic range. Fujifilm cameras with their SuperCCD design have always produced images with an odd artifacted look to them. Believe me, I’ve seen it up close, having used a S602Pro for so long. IMHO, the images can best be described as “muddy”, with a passing resemblance to the “watercolour” look of noise-reduced images. This effect is worse onscreen than printed, but it’s there (to my and other eyes, anyway.)

Anyway, check the review – as usual dpreview.com has plenty of information, as well as samples.

Pentax 645 Digital

Pentax announced today that they will be unveiling the 645 Digital medium format camera at the Photo Imaging Expo in Tokyo.

From the release:

The PENTAX 645 Digital camera will offer professional quality digital image reproduction. The camera will also feature:

  • A reliable PENTAX 645 AF mount
  • Compatibility with existing smc PENTAX 645 interchangeable lenses
  • A Kodak developed extra-large CCD image sensor with 18.6 total megapixels.

At the same time, Kodak have issued a press release [PDF] with a little more information on the 18 megapixel KAF-18000CE sensor in this camera.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D Field Report

The Luminous Landscape has a field report on the new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D (or for that matter “Kiss n Digital” as it is in Japan). It’s confusingly referred to as the “350XT” in the review in typical LL contrariness. (It then gets referred to as the “Rebel 350”, but I won’t go on…)

Anyway, Michael likes it (I think it’s Reichmann writing) with a few minor quibbles, but what do you want for the price?

DSLR comparison: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D versus Nikon D70

Digital Review has a comparison between the Canon and Nikon offerings at the affordable end of the DSLR scale. It looks like it would largely come down to what lens collection you might have already. Then again, as these cameras are aimed at the first-time DSLR buyer, this might not even come into it. Another point is that the Canon is quite a bit smaller than the Nikon, which you can take however you want to. Smaller for travel, larger for more grip and balance… useful review.

MiniDisc with built-in camera

Bit of a mad one from Sony: an MD player that can take photos. It’s more on the cameraphone level than a “proper” camera, but slightly mad anyway. Also new is that it plays MP3 files as well as ATRAC. They’ve got a new standard to go with it: “Hi-MD PHOTO”. Interesting not necessarily for this release itself, but more that cameras are finding their way into more gadgets. TechJapan has more…

Mamiya ZD release info

Mamiya say: “Mamiya are pleased to announce that initial production tests of the ZD camera have been successful. To ensure that the camera meets the high demands and requirements of the professional photographer there are significant field tests now taking place in Japan. It is estimated that these tests will conclude at the end of March and that once any modifications have been implemented full production will start and then be launched during summer 05.” Prices to be confirmed, but “no more than £8,000” for the body has been mentioned.

Sigma go zoom-crazy!

Sigma have also announced the 11x zoom 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC. This is an extremely compact package giving you 35mm equivalent of 28.8-320mm on a Canon 20D or Rebel. As a user of the 18-125mm I can say that this certainly interests me as a possible replacement – Sigma manage to squeeze more quality into that zoom factor than seems possible. Let’s see if this even wider range can follow up on that.

Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-5.6 EX DC HSM

An interesting super-wide zoom from Sigma is the 10-20mm with HSM focusing. Always the tricky area for APS-C cameras, getting down to a 35mm equivalent of 15 or 16mm is a welcome addition to the lens selection.

Polaroid X530 available

The very interesting (to me, anyway ;) Polaroid X530 with Foveon X3 sensor has finally become available, albeit in the US only. I’d almost decided to go the Sigma SLR route for the Foveon sensor, so it’s certainly interesting to see it in a compact. It should be interesting to see the output of this… It’s also nice to see they restyled the camera from the original designs.