Photokina Sees d-SLR Intro Blitz

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NEW YORK

– Camera manufacturers lined up some of their most ambitious new entries of the year in time for this week’s Photokina Show in Cologne, Germany.

Predictably, the emphasis heading into the critical holiday selling season was on d-SLRs and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, which represent some of the biggest growth categories of the year.

Nikon

unveiled its answer to Canon’s recently introduced EOS D60 d- SLR in the D7000, offering a step-up from the popular D90 midrange model in the company’s consumer d-SLR line.

The D7000, which will be available in October at a $1,200 suggested retail for the body alone, or $1,500 for a kit with an 18-105mm f/3.5 AF-S DX Nikkor ED zoom lens, was engineered for durability and functionality, Nikon said.

Features include a new 16.2-megapixel DX CMOS image sensor, improved Xpeed 2 image- processing engine, FullHD 1080p video recording with full-time autofocus, native ISO settings up to 6,400, and a 2,016-pixel RGB 3D Matrix metering system.

Also added is a 39-point AF system with nine cross-type points, 3D focus tracking, 6 fps burst shooting, dual auto white-balance systems, dual SD memory card slots, top-mounted Active-Dlighting control and an optical viewfinder with 100 percent field-of-view accuracy.

Olympus

introduced its latest midrange consumer d- SLR in the E-5 (shipping in October for a $1,700 estimated street retail for the body and accessory kit). The camera features a 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS sensor and TruePic V+ image processing engine, with Fine Detail Processing technology for greater detail. Other new features include a 270-degree, dual-axis, swivel 3-inch LCD monitor with 920,000-dot resolution, and 10 in-camera art filters, including new dramatic tone that can be used in all shooting models.

The E-5 also introduces 720p/30 fps HD video capture in an E-System d-SLR for the first time, and includes a stereo mic input and HDMI port. When paired with new Olympus lenses, the E-5 is said to enable one of the fastest AF systems in the market.

For action shots, the E-5 offers up to 5 fps burst continuous shooting and a 1/8000 second top shutter speed.

The camera’s ISO range is 100 to 6,400, for improved low-light shooting flexibility.

In-body mechanical image stabilization compensates for camera shake, and works with both long focal length lenses, and wide, ultra-wide and fisheye lenses.

Pentax

introduced its new K-5 (shipping in October at a $1,799 suggested retail for the body only) d-SLR, which targets the company’s high-end prosumer customers.

The camera has a 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor 80 to 12,800 ISO range with better noise reduction, up to 7fps burst shooting, an 11-point SAFOX IX AF system, FullHD 1080p video capture, HDMI output and a stereo mic jack.

It also features an SD card slot that will support SDXC format cards following a firmware update to be issued after shipping.

The K-5 was constructed to be weather-proof, cold-proof and dust-resistant and has a magnesium-alloy body.

The camera will capture 14-bit RAW files and includes in-camera HDR image-processing capability.

Samsung

unveiled the NX100 as the next iteration in its line of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, as a followup to the NX10.

The camera is billed as the world’s first to accept new i-Function lenses, offering the ability to control the camera through the lens without moving it away from the eye during framing. Pricing and availability were not released at press time.

The NX100 uses a 14.6-megapixel APS-C size CMOS image sensor, a 3-inch AMOLED screen, a fast AF system and ISO settings up to 6,400.

Samsung said the compact camera’s design was inspired by the shape of a dew drop on a leaf and offers two color choices — black and brown.

Other features include a Super Sonic dust-reduction system and a “Smart Filter” that applies creative effects in playback mode, 720 HD video recording and a Sound Picture mode that records audio when a still photo is taken.

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