Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The New Cameras of Late 2009

Since my last blog entry, a multiple new d-slr models have been announced, or hit the streets. Most notable would be the new Canon 7D and the Sony Alpha 850. Both cameras bring advanced features and technology down to never before seen price points, and both up the 'game' for their respective makers. Canon now has a new autofocusing system, and its first ever built-in wireless flash commander, AND its first-ever color-aware light metering system (like the one Nikon invented in the mid-1990's, only slightly different). Canon has finally managed to come up with a $1699 price point camera that can compete on features and capabilities with the now two-year old Nikon D300,and the new Nikon D300s, which added video. Sony's Alpha 850 is almost IDENTICAL in feature set to the Alpha 900, only the newer model has a little bit less precisely calibrated viewfinder, and yet is priced at $1899. And we need to keep in mind--these prices were set AFTER a recent across the board price hike that hit virtually all major Japanese camera makers' lenses,cameras, and accessories. As I have said often, this is a great time to be involved in photography!

The new Pentax K-7 looks intriguing; I recently saw a couple of sample images from this camera that looked even higher resolution, and more filled with real,significant detail than even the 17+ MP Canon 7D's images. Of course, the Pentax has just under 15 megapixels, which is not much different than 17.6 megapixels,and as we know, there is much more to a camera's imaging chain than just the sensor. It's kind of a shame that Pentax has lost so much ground over the last 20 years,especially in North America. Pentax still has a relatively strong,loyal following in Japan, as well as a much smaller yet still loyal following in the USA and Canada. The company's DA* line of lenses seems particularly well thought out in terms of angles of view and the APS-C sensor size that Pentax has standardized on.

Looking at Nikon, most users don't see anything especially new or innovative,and of course, that's to be expected from Nikon I think; they are a slow-moving,conservative company and their product cycles are well known by now. If anything, I expect new LENSES from NIkon to be the biggest announcements they make over the next year or so. I expect that the 85mm f/1./4 and 80-400 VR lenses will be iterated, and of course, they have already announced the new,second generation of the 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens.

Canon's next professionally oriented, high-megapixel flagship camera, the EOS 1Ds Mark IV is expected soon by many people. My question though is WHEN will Canon adopt a new name for the EOS 1Ds models? When will they move to the EOS 2 generation, or add some other differentiating letters? That lower case s is getting pretty tired by now, holding up all those megapixels!

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