Call (802) 651-4100

digital camera

  • Nikon Celebrates 80 Years of NIKKOR Lenses

    80 Years of NIKKOR Lenses

    80 Years and 80 Million Lenses--That's a lot of Glass

    We recently received an email with a link to a very interesting infographic about the history of NIKKOR lenses. Apparently this year marks the 80th anniversary of the NIKKOR brand. In addition to it being 80 years of producing NIKKOR lenses, Nikon recently manufactured their 80 millionth lens. When you figure it out, on average, Nikon has produced 1 million lenses a year. Break that down even further, that averages out to 2,739 lenses a day. Yep, a day. That number seems pretty impressive, and quite unbelievable. Keep in mind too that that's an average, spread out over the last 80 years. I'm sure in the early years of Nikon lens production it was much more difficult to produce lenses in mass quantities, so the output now must be much greater.

    Nikon Aero-NIKKOR Lens Example of Aero-NIKKOR Lens

    In 1933, Nikon marketed its first camera lenses under the NIKKOR brand name. The first lenses were Aero-NIKKOR, for aerial photography. The first orders came from the Japanese Army Air Force for the 70cm F5 (700mm), as well as for the 18cm F4.5 (180mm) NIKKOR lens for small-scale aerial photography. The lenses were also exhibited at an exposition held that year, and sale of the lenses began.

    The NIKKOR brand of lenses became famous in the 1950s by David Douglas Duncan whose photography appeared in LIFE magazine. Duncan used a NIKKOR lens attached to a Leica camera body, and this brought the brand a lot of recognition. The legend goes that a Japanese photographer showed Duncan some photographs that he had taken using a NIKKOR lens. The photographs had come out clearly despite the fact that they had been taken indoors, in poor light. Duncan was impressed, so he went out and bought two NIKKOR lenses the very next day.

    In 1971, NIKKOR lenses and Nikon cameras went up with the Apollo 15 space mission. NIKKOR lenses have been going into space ever since, and have been subjected to some rough physical conditions. Space walks will subject these lenses to temperatures of negative 150 degrees Celsius or less.

    Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Lens Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Lens

    There are currently over 80 types of lenses still in production today (I guess everything has to be 80 for Nikon this year). Included in this count are 17 DX format (crop sensor) lenses, and 62 FX format (full frame sensor) lenses. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Lens has the most lens elements. Most people would probably assume that something like the heaviest lens (600mm f/4), or the longest lens (800mm f/5.6) would have the most elements. But, no, the 70-200mm has 21 lens elements in 16 groups.

    Nikon's NIKKOR brand is now also being used with the Nikon 1 camera system. In addition, Coolpix cameras feature built-in (not interchangeable) NIKKOR lenses. Nikon has been producing great NIKKOR lenses for 80 years now. It will be interesting to see what the next 80 years will hold.

     

  • Sony A7 Real-World Samples and RAW File Download

    We were recently at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. There wasn't a whole lot of camera gear there we haven't already seen, but there were a couple of cameras worth noting. Besides the Olympus OM-D E-M1, we were excited to check out the Sony A7 and A7r. The display area for both cameras was packed, and it was hard to get a chance for a hands-on look. We had our sights set on checking out the new Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens too. We weren't able to grab an A7r, but we were able to look at the Sony A7 with the 55mm lens.

    The Sony A7 is a world's first. It is the first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera to feature a full-frame image sensor. The A7 packs 24 megapixels, while the A7r boasts an impressive 36 megapixels. We currently have both cameras on order, and are hoping they will show up in early December. We anticipate this will be a limited early release, and the demand will be pretty high, so we won't have cameras in stock for very long. If you are interested in a pre-order to secure a camera for you, please give us a call at (802) 244-0883.

    The A7 has a solid feel to it, and there are lot of external controls for manual manipulation. The camera is overall snappy and intuitive for the average advanced camera user. Sony must have heard of the complaints coming from NEX-7 users who were accidentally hitting the video record button. Sony moved this button to a better, safer position on the A7.

    While at the PhotoPlus Expo we switched out the memory card in the A7 we were using for our own memory card. We were able to pop off a couple of shots within the convention center. The lighting wasn't great, and the images weren't thought through, but here are some real world samples straight from the camera. The camera was set to aperture priority, ISO 400, and the aperture was set to f/1.8. The image of the older gentlemen looking down was shot at 1/60 of a second, so there is definitely some shake. The others were 1/125 of a second and are more solid.

    Sony A7 Sample Image Sony A7 Sample Cropped Sony A7 Sample Image Sony A7 Sample Cropped Sony A7 Sample Image Sony A7 Sample Cropped

     

    These images are sized down to play nice on the website. They were actually all shot in RAW, so they've been converted. If you are interested in looking at a RAW file, you can download one here. It is a relatively big file, 25MB. You will need high-speed internet, or it might take you while to download. Please note that there is no 3rd-party software out there that will allow you to view the A7 RAW file, like Photoshop, etc.. You will need Sony's Image Data Converter. The Mac version can be found here, and the Windows here.

  • Sony Introduces SLT-A37 Digital SLR, NEX-F3 Mirrorless Camera, and Two New Lenses

    Sony Introduces Speedy α37 Camera with Full-time Continuous AF Powered by Translucent Mirror Technology

    Sony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera

    New Model Features High-Quality 16.1MP APS-C Image Sensor, up to 7 fps Shooting, High- Resolution Electronic Viewfinder and more

    SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 – Lightweight, easy to use and packed with a variety of useful features, the new Sony SLT-A37 camera is an ideal choice for consumers eager to explore the world of interchangeable lens DSLR photography.

    The new Sony α37 digital SLR camera is the latest to feature Sony’s acclaimed Translucent Mirror Technology, which delivers a potent combination of fast shooting, non-stop phase detection autofocus and continuous live image preview during still and full HD video (60i/24p) shooting.  This innovative technology also allows the new Sony α37 camera to grab split-second action with a burst of sharply focused images.  Shots can be captured at up to seven frames per second in Tele-Zoom High Speed Shooting Mode, where the central portion of the sensor’s image is magnified by approximately 1.4x.

    The Sony a37 camera has a precision 3-cross 15-point AF system with tracking autofocus that keeps faces and fast-moving subjects in sharp focus.  From action-packed sports to spontaneous family portraits, it will ensure that all the drama and beauty of that special moment is captured.

    “Delivering lightning-fast shooting speeds and autofocus plus advanced full HD video capture, our innovative Translucent Mirror Technology continues to serve as the backbone of our A-mount line of cameras,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha business at Sony.  “Featuring this unique technology plus a host of exciting new features and an attractive price tag, our new α37 camera brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘entry level DSLR’.”

    Framing and focusing is easy with the Sony a37 camera’s high-resolution Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder.  With a high 1440k dot resolution, excellent contrast and 100% field of view, it matches or exceeds the abilities of many optical viewfinders.  Adjustments to exposure and other creative picture settings can be previewed in real time, either via the Tru-Finder™ EVF or the tilt-angle 6.7 cm (2.7") Clear Photo™ LCD screen, making it easy to create shots with a customized, professional finish.

    Additionally, the Sony α37 camera helps inexperienced photographers create top-quality portraits with ease.  The new Auto Portrait Framing mode identifies the subject’s position in a composed image and follows the “rule of thirds” to trim the scene and create a beautifully framed portrait.  The cropped photo is then boosted to full resolution using Sony’s unique By Pixel Super Resolution technology, which uses pattern matching to maintain superb image detail, tones and textures in the photo.   Both the original and cropped image files are saved for review.

    By Pixel Super Resolution Technology is also used for the “Clear Image Zoom” feature, which digitally doubles the effective magnification of any lens attached to the camera. Ideal for travel and everyday shooting, it’s a great way to boost maximum focal length without carrying extra hardware.

    The 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor inside the Sony α37 camera captures finely detailed, low noise stills and Full HD video. It’s teamed with the latest BIONZ® image processor that extends sensitivity to an ISO 100-16000 range, broadening options for low-light shooting without flash.  Shared with all α A-mount cameras, SteadyShot INSIDE™ stabilization cuts the effects of camera shake by up to 4.0 stops for clearer handheld images with any A-mount lens.

    The new Sony α37 camera also features Superior Auto Mode, which intelligently recognizes a wide range of scenes and subjects and adjusts settings automatically.

    The new Sony α37 digital camera will be available this June with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $600.

    Sony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera Front

    Sony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera RearSony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera Lens Mount

    Sony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera Top

    Sony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera Left SideSony Alpha SLT-A37 Digital SLR Camera Right Side

    New Sony A-Mount 18-135mm Telephoto Zoom Lens (SAL18135)

    Sony SAL18135 A-Mount 18-135mm Lens

    A versatile match for the Sony α37 and other Sony A-mount camera bodies, the new SAL18135 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens offers a generous 8x (approx.) zoom range in a compact, go-anywhere lens that’s great for travel, street photography and everyday shooting.  The lens features a SAM design that assures smooth, rapid, whisper-quiet autofocus operation and Direct Manual Focus for accurate fine-tuning of focus.  This sharp telephoto zoom lens will also be offered as a kit lens with the Sony α37 and other Sony A-mount camera bodies.

    The new Sony SAL18135 telephoto zoom lens will be available as a stand-alone product this July for about $500, and will be offered as a kit lens with other Sony A-mount cameras beginning this August.

    Sony’s New α (Alpha) NEX-F3 Camera Packs DSLR-Size Sensor and Advanced Feature Set into Small, Stylish Body

    Sony NEX-F3 Mirrorless Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera

    Lightweight Model Features 16.1 Megapixel APS-C Sensor, 180° Tiltable LCD, Built-in Flash, Auto Portrait Framing and more

    SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 – Sony’s α NEX-F3 digital camera delivers professional quality photos with a compact, pocket-sized body, allowing consumers to explore the creative world of high-quality, interchangeable lens photography in a refreshingly fun and entertaining way.

    The new Sony NEX-F3 camera features the same space-saving mirrorless design as other models in Sony’s E-mount family as well as an advanced, 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor, identical in size to sensors found in traditional DSLR cameras.   The large sensor of the Sony NEX-F3 takes in more light during image capture, resulting in flawless, low-noise photographs and crisply detailed Full HD videos (60i/24p).  Photographers can also easily create images with beautiful defocus effects, where the subject is focused sharply against a smoothly blurred background.

    “Sony continues to redefine digital photography with our E-mount series, packing a large APS-C size sensor into a small, lightweight camera body to produce professional-quality images with ease,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha business at Sony.  “Featuring a diverse set of imaging technologies and offered at a great price, the new Sony NEX-F3 model reinforces our commitment to this rapidly growing compact system camera market."

    The Sony NEX-F3 camera adds a whole new perspective to self-portraits with a 180° Tiltable LCD screen, a first for Sony’s E-mount camera line.  By simply holding the camera at arm’s length and flipping the LCD screen vertically, users can adjust the on-screen preview image and properly frame photos.

    Additionally, the new model features a useful built-in flash to broaden shooting options indoors or in low light situations.  Already introduced on Sony’s acclaimed NEX-7 camera, this pop-up flash handily brightens portraits and other shots without the need to carry an additional flash accessory.

    The new Sony NEX-F3 camera also includes the new Auto Portrait Framing feature for creating top-quality portraits quickly and easily.   This innovative feature identifies a subject’s position in a composed image, and follows the “rule of thirds” to trim the scene appropriately around the subject’s face, creating a beautifully composed portrait.  The cropped portrait is then boosted to full resolution using Sony’s unique By Pixel Super Resolution technology, which uses pattern matching to maintain superb image detail, tones and textures in the photo.   Both the original and cropped image files are saved for review.

    By Pixel Super Resolution Technology is also used for the “Clear Image Zoom” feature, which digitally doubles the effective magnification of any lens attached to the camera. Ideal for travel and everyday shooting, it’s a great way to boost maximum focal length without carrying extra hardware.

    Other convenient essentials added to the new Sony NEX-F3 camera include the Superior Auto mode,  which intelligently recognizes a wide range of scenes and subjects and adjusts settings automatically. Battery stamina has been boosted to an industry-leading 470 shots (approx.) on a single charge – an approximate 18% improvement over its predecessor, the NEX-C3 model.

    The camera is compatible with the FDA-EV1S viewfinder accessory (sold separately), which offers a high-contrast, high-resolution OLED viewfinder display and a wide viewing angle.  The Sony NEX-F3 model also features a high-quality, premium-feel grip for more comfortable handling and can be charged via either USB or a standard AC outlet.

    The new NEX-F3 compact digital camera will be available this June in silver, black and white with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $600.

    Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Mirrorless Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Front

    Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Mirrorless Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Back

    Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Mirrorless Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Lifestyle

    New Lightweight 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony α (Alpha) NEX (SEL18200LE)

    Sony SEL18200LE 18-200mm E-Mount Lens

    An ideal travel partner for the Sony NEX-F3 camera, the new Sony SEL18200LE E-mount 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE telezoom lens offers a powerful 11x zoom range and superb resolution in an easy-to-carry package.  Smaller and 12% lighter than the SEL18200 lens, the new E-mount model features Optical SteadyShot to compensate for the effects of hand-shake.  It also features Direct Manual Focus to give users precise control over focus settings, resulting in crisp, beautiful images.

    The new SEL18200LE telezoom lens will be available this July in black for about $850.

  • Classic Olympus OM Design Revived Into a New State of the Art Digital Camera

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Digital Camera

    The Olympus E-M5 Unites an Intuitive Built-In Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s First*1 5-Axis Image Stabilization and World’s Fastest*2 Autofocusing System inside a Powerfully Portable and Rugged Dustproof and Splashproof Body

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Front with 12-50mm Lens

    The Olympus OM-D E-M5 can be purchased from our website here.

    CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012, 9:00pm – Today Olympus builds upon the 40-year legacy of the OM SLR film camera series and marks the beginning of the new digital imaging era with the launch of the Olympus E-M5, the first of the new Olympus OM-D (OM Digital) Series of Micro Four Thirds™ products. Designed to meet the needs of advanced photographers, the Olympus E-M5 is packed with a built-in electronic viewfinder, superior image technology, blazing fast speed and total creative control in a classic, rugged body ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.

    Evoking the classic design of the original OM Series introduced 40 years ago, and transforming it for the modern age, the Olympus OM-D Series is a new and entirely unique Micro Four Thirds camera system. It combines outstanding features found in the Olympus E-System DSLR line with those of the compact Olympus PEN® Series to meet the requirements of discerning photographers who demand more performance and portability from their interchangeable-lens cameras. The compact and ready-for-action Olympus E-M5 boasts breakthrough innovations inside, including:

    • A built-in 120-fps (frames-per-second) refresh rate, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) with outstanding image quality, eye detect and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions
    • A 16.1-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and TruePic VI image-processing engine for superior image quality and high sensitivity
    • The world’s first*1 5-axis image stabilizer to compensate for multi-directional camera shake during both still photography and HD moviemaking
    • The world’s fastest*2 autofocusing system (FAST AF) plus new 3D AF tracking for improved performance following moving subjects at up to 9 frames-per-second sequential shooting
    • A lightweight magnesium alloy body that is enhanced with the same dustproof and splashproof durability of the Olympus E-5 DSLR
    • A tilting 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and new Movie Effects: One Shot Echo, for a semi-transparent frame at your whim and Multi Echo, for a multi-motion trail effect.

     

    Intuitively Designed Electronic Viewfinder

    The OLYMPUS E-M5 is the first Olympus interchangeable-lens camera to incorporate a 120-fps refresh rate, High-Definition electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor to seamlessly switch the display between the tilting, 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and the electronic viewfinder for ease-of-use, features a 100-percent field of view, maximum 1.15x magnification and an eye point of 18mm for fatigue-free viewing. Camera setting information, such as shutter speed, is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder so photographers can concentrate on framing shots and take full advantage of an EVF’s ability to display the effects of various exposure adjustments and Art Filter effects – all without having to take the eye away from the viewfinder.

     Olympus OM-D E-M5 Back with Tiltable LCD

    Superior Image Quality

    The Olympus E-M5 uses a new 16.1 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor offering improved performance and exceptional clarity and speed in all aspects of image capture. Olympus’ TruePic VI image-processing engine dramatically improves image quality in low-light environments. The camera’s sensor allows for a maximum ISO of 25,600, and the dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful color reproduction.

    Click any of the images below for full-resolution output samples from the OM-D E-M5:

     Olympus OM-D E-M5 Output Image Sample
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Output Sample Image
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Output Sample Image

    Unprecedented 5-axis image stabilization

    The Olympus E-M5 is distinguished by the world’s first 5-axis image-stabilization mechanism capable of reducing the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions on stills and video, even including motion blur caused by the photographer walking or running.     Previous IS mechanisms compensated for camera shake by addressing only two kinds of movement along the vertical and horizontal axis. However, camera shake can actually be caused by five different kinds of movement: horizontal shift, vertical shift, rotary motion, as well as the yaw and pitch. While some technology has attempted to correct for camera blur by building the Image Stabilization mechanism into the lens, the Olympus E-M5 IS mechanism is incorporated into the camera body itself so that all lenses mounted on the body can take advantage of this sophisticated technology, whether shooting stills or HD video.

    Blazing Speed

    Focus and shoot faster with record-breaking autofocus speed and imaging processing. The Olympus E-M5 employs the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, introduced in the PEN E-P3, but with even greater speed. The 16MP Live MOS chip drives image data off the sensor at a blazing 240 frames-per-second, a 2X speed increase in Continuous Autofocus, with reduced image blackout enabling photographers to track fast action, Maximum frame rates in sequential shooting have also increased more than 2X with a max frame rate of 9-fps in Single AF. A new 3D tracking AF system can follow the subject through the X-, Y- and Z-axes to dramatically improve focus on moving subjects. Paired with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50-mm f3.5-6.3 electronic zoom lens for optimum focusing speed, fast camera start-up times and operational speeds enable the photographer to keep up with the most challenging shooting situations, while dual control dials and dedicated function buttons help them adjust settings on-the-fly.

    Creative Freedom

    The Olympus E-M5 features a 3.0-inch tilting OLED touch-screen to enable photographers to get up high or down low for any shot. The touch screen interface offers intuitive focus and release of the shutter and review and enlargement of images in playback with the touch of a finger. The new Live Bulb feature updates the Live View image on the OLED screen at pre-set intervals during long exposures and enables the user to preview continually unfolding action such as fireworks or waterfalls and adjust the exposure time accordingly while capturing the image at the desired moment. An innovative new interface, EVF Creative Control, produces a tone curve overlay on the viewfinder screen to enable separate adjustment of highlight and shadow brightness, white balance, magnification and aspect ratio can also be manipulated via the EVF

    A new “Key Line” Art Filter joins ten other available filters on the Olympus E-M5 and enhances the edge lines of the image to make it look more like an illustration. New “Cross Process II” and “Dramatic Tone II” Art Filters provide variations on the popular existing filters, and the two new Echo effect for movies leaves a momentary residual image of a subject’s movements when activated during movie recording. Users who like to perform their movie post-editing on a PC will particularly appreciate the Full HD 1080i movie recording function, which adopts the MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264).

    Powerful Portability and Rugged Durability

    The striking, iconic design of the Olympus E-M5 is more than just looks; its magnesium alloy body is rugged enough to stand up to severe environmental conditions like heavy rain and blowing sand. The Olympus E-M5 employs internal seals extensively and, when the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens is attached, this combination delivers an integrated dustproof and splashproof camera system. The electronic viewfinder section of the body is also made of magnesium alloy to ensure durability, and the FL-LM2 Electronic Flash that ships with the camera features the same dustproof and splashproof construction.

    New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge

    The HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, in the same dust- and splashproof construction as the Olympus E-M5 body, is an adaptable, two-part grip that can be used either as a landscape grip for easier handling or as a portrait grip with an additional shutter release. The portrait grip accommodates an extra lithium-ion battery to supplement the one in the E-M5, thus extending battery life. The FL-600R electronic flash (GN 50 at ISO 200 or GN 36 at ISO 100) offers improved recharge time and enhanced flexibility and operability for movie recording, and with a wireless control option. Equipped with a built-in LED, the FL-600R can be used to light movies and as a brighter AF auxiliary light. The MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter is designed for mounting a Four Thirds Standard-compliant lens on a Micro Four Thirds Standard-compliant camera body. The MMF-3, which also features dust- and splashproof construction, is ideally suited for use with Olympus’ similarly constructed High Grade and Super High Grade lenses.

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Front (Silver) with 12-50mm Lens

    The Olympus E-M5 is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses, including two new lenses that Olympus will introduce later this year: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 macro. The 75mm lens is a high-quality metal design with fast aperture settings for portraits and indoor sports shooting, while the dustproof and splashproof 60mm lens features 1:1 macro and a closest shooting distance of just 7.5 inches.

    *1 As of February 2012. Among interchangeable-lens cameras.

    *2 As of November 2011. Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras on the market, and using Olympus’ in-house test conditions. In C-AF Tracking mode, maximum frame rate is 4.2fps.

    U.S. Pricing and Availability

    The Olympus E-M5 will be available in April and ships in the following configurations:

    Estimated Street Price:

    $999.99 (Body only, available in Black and Silver)

    $1,299.99 (Black or Silver body with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens)

    $1,099.99 (Black body with black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens)

    For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1583

    To find out more about the OM-D E-M5, visit the OM-D site at: www.olympusomd.com

    ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.

    Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

    Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

     

    *Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holders.

    ©2012 Olympus Imaging America Inc.

4 Item(s)