The new Nikon D5000 is an exciting new entry level DSLR camera. Every time an exciting new camera comes out many people will inevitably ask themselves this question. The question will be a lot easier to answer if you are rich enough to just get it and throw away if you don’t like it. The problem is, for most people, it will be something to think about hard even if it is not a brain cell killer due to inner conflict between gadget addiction and the cruel reality.

Well, to help with your thought process, here is Geek.Com’s attempt to answer this question. You should read it entirely but if you have no extra time to spend, the conclusion is short and simple:

Overall, if you’re just stepping into the DSLR category, go for the Nikon D5000. If you’ve got an investment in lenses, move on to the higher models. The soccer mom, drunken night paparazzi, artist, the dad who loves to travel, real estate agent (who mostly posts pictures online vs having a portfolio of prints), or college student would really love and appreciate this camera.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on April 16th, 2009. No Comments.

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Running out model numbers to use after the very successful D40/D40x/D50/D60 product line, Nikon provided the entry level consumer market with the all new D5000 digital SLR camera. At the first glance this is a very exciting new product. Read More…

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, News on April 14th, 2009. No Comments.

DigitalCameraReview.Com just published the review of the new DX format prime lens Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G. I will leave the details for you to read. In conclusion, the reviewer said,

“In short, the new AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G is an amazing lens with fabulous edge-to-edge sharpness, great bokeh, and an outrageously low price. In terms of overall sharpness and aperture range this lens is superior to several lenses that cost more than twice as much! Nikon finally delivered a fantastic prime lens for average consumers who own the D40, D40X, or D60. If you own one of these cameras, this lens belongs in your camera bag.”

Other reviews for AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G

  • DPreview – “Highly Recommended”
  • Photozone – “4/5 for optical quality and 5/5 for performance/price”
  • Ken Rockwell – “This could be the only lens you ever need for a DX camera”
  • Bjørn Rørslett – “… expect this lens to become very popular for DX shooters seeking a good performance under situations in which a 35 is the solution”
  • DPTnT – My impressions.

Availability

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens, Photography Gadgets on March 28th, 2009. 3 Comments.

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For body only price of $799 and kit (with 18-55 mm IS lens) price of $899, this Full HD capable entry level DSLR is destined to be very popular. It also puts some pressure on Nikon D90, which has less pixels (12.3 vs. 15.1 megapixels) and less capable video recording capability (720P vs. 1080P).

However, it seems the 1080P HD is a stretch for its underpowered hardware. At the full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080P, 16:9), the EOS 500D / Rebel T1i can only shoot 20 frames per second (fps), which is kinda awkward. 720P video (1280 x 720) is capable of a good 30 fps (compared to Nikon D90′s 24fps at the same resolution). The new Canon DLSR can also shoot up to 30 minutes (or max file size of 4GB). Nikon D90 can only shoot 5 min at 720P resolution and 20minutes at other resolutions.

Please don’t get it wrong though. Video shooting is fun and maybe important for some people, still photo taking should still be the number one consideration for a DSLR camera. In that regard, I doubt Nikon D90 is any significantly inferior than the Canon 500D. The side-by-side comparison of spec sheets can provide you with some quick ideas. Read More…

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, News on March 25th, 2009. 1 Comment.

The AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G  is a DX format lens. The equivalent focal length on a DSLR with a APS-C sized sensor is about 52.5mm, which gives roughly the same field of view (FOV) as a 50mm lens on a full frame camera such as the Nikon D700 and D3/D3X. For many D40/D40X/D60 users, this new lens should be a welcome addition because the lowest cost large aperture option AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D would not auto-focus on their cameras. I have had the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D for quite a while. The image quality is very good but the focal length is a little inconvenient for close range shots. Another aspect of the new lens I like is the ability to manually override the auto-focus by turning the focus ring without putting the camera in manual focus mode. This is not possible with the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D.  So I am very interested in finding out how the lens compares to the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. Read More…

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on March 19th, 2009. 1 Comment.

In the history of Nikon SLR cameras and Nikkor lenses, there have been many technology developments. Even though the physical dimension of the Nikon lens mount (F-Mount) has pretty much remained the same for a long time, the Camera-Lens compatibility is a lot more complicated than simply being able to mount the lens on the camera. There are several major compatibility questions:

  1. Can it mount? Sometimes the lens won’t mount at all, sometimes the rear element may break the mirror in the camera. So do a good research before you mount the odd-looking lens you bought from a yard sale.
  2. Will it meter? If it will, it may not support all metering modes especially the matrix metering mode. Flash photography can also be affected, for example by the focus distance information that only some lenses can send to the camera.
  3. Will it autofocus? Some early versions or Nikkor lenses are strictly manual focus only but even AF lenses do not guarantee auto focus function on cameras such as Nikon’s entry level D40, D40x, and D60, which do not have a built-in auto focus motor in the camera body. 

Want to find out what works and what not for your DSLR camera? Here are some excellent resources.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on February 17th, 2009. 1 Comment.

Canon released firmware 1.07 for its EOS 5D Mark II full frame DSLR camera. The new firmware “improves and mitigates” the “black dot” phenomenon and vertical banding noise when shooing sRAW1 format.  This doesn’t look like a complete fix but sounds like a workaround. After updating the firmware in camera, the Canon Digital Photo Professional and Picture Style Editor software also need to be updated in order to provide a complete solution. Otherwise, “dark, low-contrast areas in the images may appear slightly magenta”. I am curious how third party RAW converters will be able to handle this properly.

More information:

Update [January 8, 2009]:  Based on a user’s test, the new firmware seem to have fixed the black dot problem.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, News on January 7th, 2009. No Comments.

TIME’s Top 10 Gadgets of 2008 list has the Nikon D90 on its 4th spot. It was also ranked 4th in Weird Magazine’s top 10 technology breakthroughs list we reported a while ago. Currently, the D90 is the best selling Nikon DSLR camera on Amazon (as of January 1, 2009).

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on January 1st, 2009. No Comments.
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