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Features information, tips and hints on all aspects of photography as well as photo editing technique. Your critique, comments and compliments are always welcomed to help me improve and learn.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nikon D300 review






The easy-to-use DX-format Nikon D300 offers outstanding image quality, multi-functional technologies and fast response. With class-leading 12.3 Megapixel resolution, speedy 6 fps frame advance, self-cleaning sensor unit and high definition 3-inch VGA LCD display, combined with Nikon’s legendary durability, the Nikon D300 is a breakthrough solution for photographers searching for an advanced compact SLR.

Nikon D300 Key Features

  • 12.3 megapixel DX format CMOS sensor
  • Self-cleaning sensor unit (low-pass filter vibration)
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (6400 with boost)
  • 14-bit A/D conversion
  • Nikon EXPEED image processor (Capture NX processing and NR algorithms, lower power)
  • Super fast operation (power-up 13 ms, shutter lag 45 ms, black-out 100 ms)
  • Shutter life 150,000 exposures
  • New Multi-CAM3500DX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
  • Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
  • Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning) now available (fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings)
  • Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
  • Picture Control image parameter presets (replace Color Modes I, II and III)
  • Custom image parameters now support brightness as well as contrast
  • Six frames per second continuous shooting (eight frames per second with battery pack)
  • Compact Flash UDMA support
  • 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus
  • HDMI HD video output
  • 'Active D-Lighting' (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
  • Detailed 'Control Panel' type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
  • New MB-D10 vertical grip fully integrates into body, multi battery type compatible
  • Buttons sealed against moisture
Nikon D300 digital single lens reflex:
The Nikon D300 is loaded with the latest professional technologies designed to produce images of the highest quality. The high-resolution 12.3 MP DX format CMOS sensor generates image files suitable for almost every type of output, combined with a fast standard frame advance rate of 6fps (up to 8 fps with optional Multi Power Battery Pack).

NikonD300 D-SLR camera - Anti dust and Sensitivity:
The new Nikon D300 offers fast power-up, quick response and outstanding flexibility to meet the needs of a wide variety of photographic assignments. The Nikon D300 powers-up in just 0.13 seconds, with an almost imperceptible 45 millisecond shutter lag. The Nikon D300 D-SLR camera boasts a self-cleaning sensor unit, which vibrates at high frequencies to remove any loose dust on the surface of the sensor’s optical low pass filter. The camera has a broad ISO range from 200-3200 plus Lo 1 (the equivalent of an ISO 100) and Hi (ISO 6400 equivalent). Image accuracy is also enhanced by the new Nikon Scene Recognition System, which uses the acclaimed Nikon 1005-pixel RGB colour sensor modified to recognize subjects’ shape and position before the image is captured. This also aids the new 51-Point Autofocus system in tracking subjects by their colour, while enhancing the accuracy of exposure and white balance metering. The Nikon D300 also offers Live View, which presents photographers with a live image on the LCD screen, with two modes suited to either hand held or tripod shooting. Autofocus is possible in both Live View modes.

Nikon D300 SLR - VGA display and Information panel:
The Nikon D300 is completely high definition. From the 3-inch VGA LCD screen with 170-degree viewing angle, to the HDMI interface for HD ready displays, the Nikon D300 is ready for tomorrow’s imaging environment. The controls of the Nikon D300 were designed for ease of use, with an easy-to-view top LCD panel and an information display on the rear LCD screen that can change colour according to the ambient lighting conditions. The totally intuitive 8-directional multi-area selector makes selecting any of the 51-Point autofocus settings simplicity itself.

Nikon D300 camera - Durable and Dependable:
The Nikon D300 single lens reflex continues Nikon’s long tradition of sturdiness and durability. The camera body is built from a magnesium alloy, while the camera’s shutter has been tested for 150,000-release cycles. The Nikon D300 is also designed for a high level of dust and water resistance.

Nikon D300 specification:

Effective Pixels
12.3 million

Image Sensor
CMOS, DX Format; total pixels: 13.1 million

Shutter lag
45ms

Start Up
0.13 sec

LCD Monitor
3.0-in., 920,000-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide viewing angle, brightness adjustment

Sensitivity
ISO 200 to 3200 equivalent ) in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV plus Lo 1 (ISO 100) and HI 1 (ISO 6400 equivalent)
Refined high ISO noise reduction. The new A/D converter integrated into the image sensor reduces shadow noise

Viewfinder Frame Coverage
Approx. 100%

Nikon Scene Recognition System
• Scene Recognition System: (Subject tracking and identification, highlight analysis, light source inference)

• Improved subject tracking performance realizes more rapid and accurate focus point selection.

• Improved subject identification contributes to more accurate focus lock.

• The results of highlight analysis improves exposure control accuracy.

• Light source inference uses characteristics extraction and pattern recognition to achieve optimal white balance.

Exposure Metering System
New
Scene Recognition System

Three-mode through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering

1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II improved with SRS

2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13 mm dia. circle in center of frame or weighting based on average of entire frame

3) Spot: Meters approx. 3 mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on active focus area

Autofocus
• TTL phase detection / Focal plane contrast (in Liveview tripod shooting mode)

• 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors) by Nikon Multi-CAM 3500 autofocus module; with AF-assist illuminator

• Detection range: -1 to +19 EV

• Fine AF adjustment possible: 20 non- CPU lenses supported

Focus Points
• AF51 mode: 51 focus points from which a single area can be selected

• AF11 mode: 11 focus points from which a single area can be selected (like Nikon D2Xs)

• Liveview: Full screen AF possible in contrast AF mode (tripod mode)

AF Area Mode
1) Single point AF
2) Dynamic Area AF
3) Group Dynamic AF

Auto Area AF now with primary subject priority

Dust-reduction System
• Mechanical image sensor cleaning unit.

• Enhanced weather dust protection and seals (covers have added protection versus D200)

Image Quality Settings
• 12-bit NEF (RAW):uncompressed or compressed RAW

• 14-bit NEF (RAW):uncompressed or compressed RAW. Images are recorded at a bit-depth of 14 bits, producing files roughly 1.3 times larger than 12-bit files but increasing the color data recorded resulting in smoother tones. Maximum frame advance rate decreases to 2.5 fps.

• TIFF (RGB)
• JPEG: Fine, Normal, Basic
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG Normal
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG Basic

Image Size
• 4,288 x 2,848 [L]
• 3,216 x 2,136 [M]
• 2,144 x 1,424 [S]

Storage Media
CompactFlash (CF) Card (Type I and II), High Speed UDMA compliant, Microdrive

Liveview Mode (Preview image on rear LCD live)
• Hand-held shooting mode
• Tripod shooting mode with Contrast AF

Auto Exposure Bracketing
2 to 9 exposures in 1/3, 2/3, 3/4 or 1 EV steps

Shooting Modes
1) Single frame [S] shooting mode
2) Continuous low speed [CL] shooting mode: 1 to 6 frames per second
3) Continuous high-speed [CH] shooting mode: 6 frames per second (up to 8 fps with MB-D10 power grip and 8x AA batteries or the optional Li-Ion rechargeable EN-EL4a (D2 series)
4) Liveview [LV] mode
5) Self-timer shooting mode
6) Mirror-up [Mup] mode

Flash Compensation
-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

Power Source
One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional) with one rechargeable Nikon EN-EL4a, EN-EL4 or EN-EL3e Li-ion battery or eight A6/AA-size alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH (HR6), lithium (FR6) batteries, or nickel-manganese ZR6 batteries, AC Adapter EH-5a (optional)

Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 147 x 114 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in.)

Weight
Approx. 825 g (1.82 lbs.) without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Low Light and Night Photography

Night photography requires you to flex your photographic muscles and push the limits of your camera equipment. Although most cameras have a night mode that improves your chances of taking better pictures in low light conditions, it is an automatic setting that cannot account for all the variations that you may encounter while shooting at night. That's why you have to use your camera's advanced functions, such as aperture and shutter control, white balance adjustment, ISO adjustment, bulb mode, and even a remote control (if you've got one). You'll also want to use a tripod or find other creative ways to keep your camera steady.

Fortunately, you can quickly and easily learn how to take better nighttime and low-light photographs and, in the process, learn how to better control your camera so you can take better pictures in all conditions. However, digital cameras do not have a standard interface. Even though cameras from different manufacturers (and even different models by a single manufacturer) may have common features, these features are not implemented in a uniform way. Please read your camera's manual to learn which of these features are available to you, and how to use them. Also, terms may vary from one manufacturer from the next. If you don't find a feature below listed in your camera's manual, it may have another name. Look for a similar function and see if you can use it to accomplish the same thing.

Here are some things you can do to improve your nighttime and low-light photography:

Adjust your camera's ISO setting
The ISO setting determines your camera's sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the camera is to light and therefore less light is required to take a picture. However, increasing your ISO setting does have its limitations: pictures taken at higher ISO settings have a grainy quality to them, that is the dots that make up the pictures are much more visible. Some photographers find this visually appealing while many do not. Other "noise" or "digital artifacts" that affect picture quality may also occur. Many cameras have a noise reduction feature that minimizes such artifacts, but it takes twice as long to save pictures when it is activated, so you have to wait even longer between shots.

Most compact cameras feature an ISO range from ISO 50 to ISO 400. Digital SLRs can go as high as ISO 1600.

Control your aperture and shutter settings

Your aperture and shutter settings determine how much light your camera sees and for how long.

The aperture is essentially the hole through which your camera sees the world. The wider it is, the more light gets through, but if too much light gets through, colour accuracy may suffer (resulting in colour shift), or excessive light can wash out everything.








Your aperture setting is called an F-stop and is designated as follows: F/2.8, F/4, F/5.6, (up to F/22 on some cameras). The higher the F-number, the smaller the aperture and the less the amount of light that can get through.

Your shutter is a door that opens and closes to let light in. The longer it stays open, the more light gets through, but your camera's ability to freeze motion is reduced.

The shutter speed is expressed as a fraction or number representing the number of seconds that the shutter is open. For example: 1/25, 1/500, 1, 1.5, 3, etc.

Your aperture setting also affects your camera's depth of field. Depth of field simply means how near and how far from your camera objects can be and still remain in focus. The narrower the aperture, the sharper objects in the background appear; but at the same time, objects in the foreground may appear blurry, because you have to keep your shutter open longer to capture enough light to take the picture.

As you can see, controlling your aperture width and shutter speed is very much a balancing act, but it is essential to good night photography. Professional photographers use all kinds of calculations to figure out the relationship between the aperture and shutter settings. As a rule of thumb, the wider the aperture, the shorter the time the shutter stays open. Experiment with these settings in low light conditions to discover a range of photographic effects you can achieve. You'll be surprised at the difference that even a slight adjustment can make.

Many cameras have a function called aperture/shutter priority that lets you control one of the two settings while the camera adjusts the other automatically. This can take a lot of guesswork out of the process and can ensure that your camera gets enough light to take a picture, but it can't guarantee a good shot.

Use exposure compensation

The combination of the shutter speed, aperture and ISO setting is called exposure and determines the total amount of light and that your camera can capture, as well as its ability to freeze motion.













Some cameras allow you to fine tune your exposure once you have found the best settings for your camera. This is called exposure compensation. It is used to adjust for further variations in light conditions once you have found the optimum settings for your camera in a given situation without having to change your overall aperture and shutter settings.

Adjust your white balance
Your camera's white balance setting is like a built-in filter that compensates for variations in colour that are created by the type of light around you. While an automatic setting is fine for daylight photography, you may want to adjust your white balance manually to better reflect your lighting conditions at night.

To set your white balance manually, point your camera toward a solid white object (such as a wall or piece of white cardboard) and press the white balance control. Some cameras allow you to further tune the white balance by adjusting the red and blue levels. Please consult your camera's manual for specific instructions.

Although the white balance setting is designed to help ensure colour accuracy, you may want to use it to do exactly the opposite. Try adjusting your white balance to create a pleasing eye-catching colours in your photographs, even if they don't correspond to the colours that you see.

If you do adjust your white balance manually, make sure to check/adjust it when you go from one subject/location to the next, as it may no longer be the correct setting for what you're photographing.

Manually focus your camera
Your camera's autofocus may not work properly in low-light conditions (especially if your camera lacks a focus-assist lamp). You may want to focus manually to ensure the clearest picture.

One benefit of manual focus is that, if you're taking several shots of a single subject, you don't have to wait for your camera to automatically focus before you take the next picture. This means you can take more shots in a shorter time.

Bracket your shots
Professional photographers use a technique called bracketing to improve their chances of getting the perfect shot. Bracketing means shooting a picture at the recommended exposure then taking the same shot at the next highest and next lowest exposure in the hopes that one of the three will work well. It's a technique that is especially useful when there is too little or too much light available.

Most digital cameras have a bracketing mode that automatically adjusts the exposure level so you can take 3 to 5 shots in row to bracket a picture.

Experiment with different settings. Once you're comfortable with your camera's manual controls (or even with its built-in night mode), you can further explore the challenge of low-light photography by trying some of the following:

Use a tripod

A great way to improve your night photography is to use a tripod. A tripod will keep your camera steady and will give you further control over exposure by reducing camera shake, thus enabling you to keep your shutter open longer. Tripods come in several varieties, including table-top models that you can fit in your pocket.

If your camera has a remote control, use it in conjunction with your tripod to further eliminate camera shake.




Look for light
Even at night, you're surrounded by light, especially in cities. Streetlights, traffic lights, neon signs, office interiors and car headlights are just some of the types of light you'll find at night. And let's not forget moonlight and starlight. Dealing with the variety of available light is one of the challenges of shooting at night. With practice, you'll learn what settings work best with specific types of light.

Use reflections to your advantage
Some of the most spectacular night photography involves the use of reflections. Reflections not only give you more light to work with, but they also add visual interest to your photographs. Look for reflections on bodies of water, snow banks, windows, mirrors, cars, etc.

Blaze a trail

Create trails of light with long shutter times and small apertures. Use your camera's longest shutter time or your camera's bulb mode (if available). Bulb mode lets you keep your shutter indefinitely on some cameras, or for periods of up to 5 or 10 minutes, on others.

Put your camera on a tripod and position yourself at the corner of a busy intersection or on an overpass over a busy highway. Press the shutter release and wait. As cars pass by, they will create streaks of light that travel across your picture.

When you look at your picture, you'll see the road, you'll see the streaks left by headlights and taillights, but you'll see no cars!
That's because the cars move so fast that the camera has no time to register the light reflected off their bodies and are therefore invisible to the camera.

Create abstract images
Use your camera's limitations to your advantage and create attractive abstract images. You'll truly be drawing with light. Things like camera shake and extended shutter times can be used to generate eye-catching effects and photographs that go beyond the mere representation of reality.

Take pictures at sunset
Sunset photographs can be spectacular, but despite all the colours in the sky, fading sunlight is often not strong enough for sharp images. Use a tripod and extended shutter times for better pictures.

Use the sunset as a backlight. Objects and persons photographed in front of a sunset will appear in shadow. A dark silhouette against the blazing colours of the fading sun creates a dramatic contrast.

Explore the meaning of light
Light itself is a fascinating subject. So, why not take pictures of light? Neon signs, lit-up storefronts, streetlamps and headlights are just some of the lights you can photograph. You can even photograph a fireworks display or a lit-up Christmas Tree for a festive image.


Nikon Capture NX Overview

Major Features of Capture NX


• U Point™ technology is revolutionary in how it uses Control Points to help realize results envisioned in the editing process. Using NEF files for optimal performance, Control Points allow photographers to select and isolate an entire image or selected areas within the image for enhancement, without the complications required by other photo editing software. Enhancements can be instantly cancelled or added with ease, without compromising the original quality of the image, and U Point control is perfectly compatible with each NEF file’s Instruction Set

• With Color Control Points, a photographer can adjust any of up to nine different sliders for each respective area selected. In the default setting, four sliders are available to adjust size, brightness, contrast and hue, respectively. Additional settings are available by accessing each Control Point’s Settings box.

•Other Control Points include Black and White points, both of which are convenient for setting dynamic range, Neutral Control Point to correct color casts in images even without a gray tone, and Red-Eye Reduction Control Point.

Sophisticated Edit List

• The Edit List is the master control list of Capture NX features and enhancements. Anything that affects an image will have an Edit List entry. Every entry can be removed, altered, or duplicated from this list. Entry and removal of Control Point changes can be accomplished during the initial operation prior to saving the file. For NEF files, the Control Point changes can be changed both before and after saving, JPEG and TIFF changes can only be made prior to saving the file. If additional changes are desired for JPEG and TIFF files, additional Conrol Points can be used on the already modified file.

• The Edit List automatically organizes each entry by Step. During initial editing, one or more Steps can be turned on or off at any time, enabling monitoring and comparing the consequent effect on an image. For NEF files, the steps can be turned on and off even after the file is saved and reopened.

Powerful Image Browser

• Advanced functions of the Capture NX Browser include labeling, sorting and editing.
• Most Capture NX features are accessible via the Browser, for making quick adjustments directly through each image thumbnail, or even on multiple images simultaneously. Images selected among thumbnails can be opened from the Browser into the Editor.

Improved batch processing

• Batch processing automatically applies enhancements to a series of images, and is especially useful for applying a predefined series of adjustments to several images at once.

• Capture NX supports various batch processing methods.

Selective tools

• In response to growing demand among Nikon Capture 4 software users, Capture NX includes valuable new features: choice of positive or negative application of selective tools for enhancements including Brush, Lasso and Marquee (four kinds), Gradient and Fill/Remove.

Color Management control

• The Color Management performance has been reinforced, for advanced control of how colors from an image correspond to colors that a printer can produce. Options for this feature include Perceptual, Saturation, Relative Colorimetric and Absolute Colorimetric.

Advancing the convenience of Nikon Capture 4

• Capture NX inherits advanced functions including Color Aberration Control, D-Lighting, Image Dust Off, Vignette Control and Fisheye-to-Rectilinear Image Transformation.

• Improved noise reduction features the latest, most advanced Nikon algorithms. New Distortion Control has been added to reduce pincushion and barrel distortion effects.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 Overview

Overview

Sharpening an image enhances the overall visual impression of that image, and is an essential step in creating a good digital print. nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 offers features and controls necessary to achieve optimal sharpness in any image. This tool simplifies the process by providing you with controls that are both easy to use and understand.

New in nik Sharpener Pro 2.0

16-bit

Now you can work on 16-bit images and sharpen them without having to reduce the image to 8-bits. nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 Selective
A powerful new feature of nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 is the Selective tool. Use the nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 Selective tool to apply sharpening to your images using selective brush strokes.

Advanced Panel for more control

The Advanced Panel provides you with additional controls to set the amount of sharpening both to the entire image, as well as to specific areas within the image. The Advanced Panel consists of five sliders that can control the amount of sharpening applied to specific areas within the image.

Raw Presharpening

The RAW Presharpening filter is a new sharpening tool within nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 that was designed to enhance images converted from a RAW file format.

Larger Preview

The preview area allows you to see how the sharpening alters the image. With the larger preview area you see more of the image and get a better understanding of the results.

Analysis Modes

The two different overlay modes enable you to see a visual representation of the sharpening that will be applied to the image.

Compatibility

nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 is an Adobe Photoshop compatible Plug-In that is compatible with the following operating systems:

- Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
- Macintosh OS 10.2.4 and later

Nik Dfine 2.0 Overview


Overview

Dfine 2.0 gives you unprecedented control over exactly how much and where to apply noise reduction. This makes it ultra-easy to eliminate noise in your images while maintaining detail and sharpness, thus improving the quality of every digital photo you take. Dfine 2.0 is designed to prevent the loss of detail other noise reduction tools often introduce.

U Point® Technology
One of the hottest technologies in digital photography today, U Point technology powered Control Points have been added to Dfine 2.0 making it easy to reduce noise only where it is needed, maintaining details everywhere else. Click here to see how easy it is to reduce noise using Control Points.

Selectively Apply Noise Reduction
The Control Point and Color Range methods, along with the Selective Tool offer you the most advanced ways for selectively applying noise reduction to your images. Click here to learn more about the different ways you can use Dfine 2.0 to selectively reduce noise in your images.

New and Improved Noise Reduction Engine with Automatic Profiling
Dfine 2.0 contains a brand new reduction engine that provides best-in-class noise reduction while retaining an incredible amount of detail.

Automatic camera profiling replaces the need to purchase camera profiles and fine-tunes Dfine's revamped noise reduction engine to produce the best results for your camera. You can also create and save your own profiles for batch processing images. Click here to see more about the improved noise reduction engine.

Improved User Interface
The new resizable interface lets you easily incorporate noise reduction into your workflow and quickly preview the results from the noise reduction applied. Click here to see a full-size version of the interface with information about the various enhancements found throughout.

System Requirements

Windows
  • Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP, or Windows Vista
  • Pentium III 1GHz or better
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Adobe Photoshop 7 through CS3, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 through 5.0, or Adobe Photoshop Plug-in Compatible Application*

Macintosh

  • Macintosh OS 10.4 or later
  • G4, G5, Intel Core Solo, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, or Intel Xeon
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2 and CS3, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, or Adobe Photoshop Plug-in Compatible Application*

Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 Overview


OVERVIEW

Completely Original. Completely Indispensable.

Nik Software Color Efex Pro™ 3.0 filters are the leading photographic filters for digital photography. The award-winning Color Efex Pro 3.0 filters are widely used by many of today's professional photographers around the world to save time and get professional level results. Whether you choose the Complete Edition, Select Edition, or Standard Edition, you'll get traditional and stylizing filters that offer virtually endless possibilities to enhance and transform images quickly and easily.

Patented U Point® technology provides the ultimate control to selectively apply enhancements without the need for any complicated masks, layers or selections. Control color, light and tonality in your images and create unique enhancements with professional results. With 52 filters and over 250 effects found in Color Efex Pro 3.0, you can perform high quality retouching, color correction, and endless creative enhancements to your photographs.

Updates to old favorites such as Classical Soft Focus, Darken/Lighten Center, and Vignette filters are joined by exciting new filters Film Effects, Glamour Glow, High Key, Tonal Contrast, Bleach Bypass, and more. The result is nothing less than the most complete, most useful collection of photographic filters you can add to your toolkit.

NEW FEATURES

Color Efex Pro 3.0

Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 has been significantly updated to provide photo enthusiasts and professional photographers alike with the most powerful yet easy to use set of photographic filters ever created. DSLR owners will revel in the wide range of quick and easy fixes to dramatically improve their photos with just a few clicks of the mouse. Professional wedding, nature, commercial, and portrait photographers will appreciate the speed of workflow and advanced features designed to support uniquely creative styles and deliver class-leading power.

U Point® Technology

U Point powered Control Points make it easy to selectively add, modify and remove a Filter effect using convenient sliders. Award-winning U Point technology gives you ultimate control to selectively apply enhancements without the need for any complicated masks, layers or selections.

New Filters

The new filters in Color Efex Pro 3.0 range from creative enhancements and special effects to re-touching tools and over 30 conventional film emulation filter effects. New filters include Film Grain, Film Effect, Glamour Glow, Selective Contrast, High Key, Low Key, Polaroid Transfer, Cross Balance filters, and more. Previously available filters have also been updated to provide even more options. Click here to see a complete list of filters, descriptions and before/after samples.

New Interface

The new resizable interface lets you easily accommodate large monitor configurations, preview before and after results, and quickly access the entire range of unique tools to match your workflow.

Powerful Selective Tool

Unique among photographic filter software on the market today, the Color Efex Pro 3.0 Selective Tool allows you to quickly and easily brush any filter effect into your image. Layers and masks are created automatically, so you are free to create and experiment unfettered.

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Interface

Color Efex Pro 2.0 users will notice the extensively reworked interface in version 3.0, the result of both deep study into the look and feel that professional photographers expect in modern applications and requests from Nik Software users.

The new, completely resizable interface is a professional photographic tool: color-neutral with a medium-gray background and a strong focus on efficient workflow. Color Efex Pro 3.0 groups major controls close together for greater efficiency, letting you achieve excellent results in less time.

Selective Functionality in Color Efex Pro 3.0

In addition to being able to apply photographic filter effects and enhancements to the entire image globally, selectively applying them to specific areas of an image allows photographers the greatest degree of control over their finished work. With Color Efex Pro 3.0, you can employ two primary selective options:

  • Control Points

    U Point technology automatically isolates objects based on their unique characteristics and permits you to easily apply enhancements using simple sliders. No more complicated and imprecise selections or layer masks!

  • Selective Tool

    Working in concert with Adobe® Photoshop® or Photoshop Element's Brush Tool, you can easily apply, or “brush on,” photographic enhancements to an image. Color Efex Pro automatically creates and manages layers and layer masks behind the scenes, so you don't have to. This is ideal for use with a Wacom® Pen Tablet.
These different methods were designed to enable you to work in the style that suits your workflow best and increase your efficiency dramatically.

Control Points

The U Point powered Control Points let you identify and isolate objects within a photograph by placing a Control Point on the object or area to be affected. By analyzing the color, tonality, detail, and location, the Control Point automatically determines where and how to apply certain effects, based on your needs.

If you're familiar with using more “painterly” methods to apply effects to images (as in all other image editing software), this can take a few minutes to get used to, however the learning will be well worth it!

Control Points allow for very powerful and precise selective application of filter effects within Color Efex Pro 3.0 without having to make complicated masks or selections.
  • First, open your image in Adobe® Photoshop® or Adobe® Photoshop® Elements.
  • Second, open the Color Efex Pro 3.0 interface and select the Midnight filter. The filter will be applied to the entire image by default.
  • Third, add a 0% Control Point and place the Control Point on the skin to remove the effect from the bride's skin. Adjust the size slider to select all of the skin with the U Point powered Control Point.
  • Finally, Click OK to apply the filter to the image and return to Photoshop.
Selective Tool

The Selective Tool in Color Efex Pro 3.0 lets you quickly and easily brush filter enhancements to your image in a more “painterly” manner using the built-in tools found in Adobe® Photoshop® or Photoshop Elements. Layers and masks are created automatically, so you are free to create and experiment with various enhancements that will improve the quality of your photography.

The Selective tool can also be used with pressure sensitive tablets such as a Wacom® Pen Tablet to selectively apply filter effects.

Color Efex Pro 3.0 Filter List

Recognized as the leader in digital photographic filters, the three editions available for Color Efex Pro 3.0 provide you with a wide range of filters and effects that make enhancing and transforming your images better than ever. The chart below will help you decide which edition will best suit your needs

* = New filters added to Color Efex Pro 3.0
  • Brilliance/Warmth
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Color Stylizer
  • Contrast Only
  • Detail Stylizer
  • Graduated Filters
  • Ink
  • Old Photo
  • Pastel
  • Polarization
  • Remove Color Cast
  • Saturation Stylizer
  • Skylight Filter
  • Solarization
  • Sunshine
  • B/W Conversion
  • Bi-Color Filters
  • Bi-Color User Defined
  • Bleach Bypass *
  • Classical Soft Focus
  • Colorize
  • Contrast Color Range
  • Darken/Lighten Center
  • Film Grain *
  • Flux
  • Graduated Neutral Density
  • Graduated User Defined
  • Infrared Thermal Camera
  • Midnight
  • Monday Morning
  • Paper Toner
  • Photo Stylizer
  • Vignette
  • Vignette Blur
  • White Neutralizer
  • Cross Balance *
  • Cross Processing
  • Duplex
  • Dynamic Skin Softener
  • Film Effects *
  • Fog
  • Foliage
  • Glamour Glow *
  • Graduated Fog
  • High Key *
  • Indian Summer
  • Infrared Film
  • Low Key *
  • Polaroid Transfer *
  • Pro Contrast
  • Reflector Effects
  • Tonal Contrast *
System Requirements

Windows
  • Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home Edition,
  • Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista (32-bit only)
  • Pentium III 1GHz or better 256 MB RAM
  • Adobe Photoshop 7 through CS3, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 through 6.0, or Adobe Photoshop Plug-in Compatible Application*
Macintosh
  • Macintosh OS 10.4 or later
  • G4, G5, Intel® Core™ Solo, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Xeon
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2 through CS3, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, or Adobe Photoshop plug-in compatible application

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nikon D40 review

Nikon D40 is the latest addition to its comprehensive line of digital SLRs. Designed to bring the performance, excitement and experience of Nikon’s dSLRs to more customers than ever before, the D40 is an ultra-compact, lightweight 6.1-megapixel dSLR that offers simplified new features, exceptional speed and a redesigned, visually-intuitive menu system, bringing consumers a whole new level of simplicity in a digital SLR.


Main Features

  • The lightest, most compact Nikon digital SLR ever, featuring intuitive controls and an ergonomically designed operation that even first-time SLR users can enjoy
  • Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor; 6.1 effective megapixels
  • Fast 2.5 frames per second in bursts of up to 100 JPEG frames (FINE L-size or smaller)
  • High-precision digital image processing algorithms produce natural-looking images with faithful color and tone reproduction
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II with 420-pixel RGB sensor delivers consistent and dependable automatic exposure for ideal results in most lighting conditions
  • Advanced 3-area AF system and the refined algorithms inherited from the advanced Nikon digital SLR cameras deliver fast, efficient and precise autofocus, while an AF-assist illuminator helps ensure top performance in dark situations
  • Automatic control over ISO-equivalent sensitivity from ISO 200 to 1600 plus HI 1 can also be set manually
  • Eight automated Digital Vari-Programs [Auto, Auto (Flash Off), Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close Up, and Night Portrait] optimize white balance, sharpening, tone, color, saturation and hue to match the scene
  • Near-instant 0.18-second power-up lets photographers respond to every photographic opportunity
  • Versatile shutter speed control with a range from 30 to 1/400 0 s, plus bulb
  • Creative in-camera effects and editing functions consolidated under the new Retouch menu, including D-Lighting, Red-eye correction, Trim, Monochrome settings (Black-and-white, Sepia, Cyanotype), Filter Effects (Skylight, Warm filter, Color balance), Small Picture and Image Overlay
  • Large 2.5-inch LCD monitor with viewing angle of approx. 170 degrees in all directions
  • Innovative information displays can be shown in Classic, Graphic or Wallpaper format
  • “Assist Images” help select the appropriate settings for many camera features by showing an example image typical of that setting
  • Large, bright viewfinder with 0.8x magnification ensures clear view for precise composition
  • Fast image data transfer and recording to SD memory cards of up to 4GB capacity (SDHC compliant)
  • Long-life Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9 allows up to 470 images* in single-frame shooting mode on a single charge (*CIPA standard, with Built-in Flash used for 50% of the shots)
  • Built-in Flash with i-TTL flash control and full support for Nikon's Creative Lighting System
  • Includes Nikon’s PictureProject software for easy control over image adjustment and management
  • Support for Nikon's new Capture NX software, which provides easier access to powerful and visually intuitive enhancement tools that help tap the full potential of NEF images
Viewfinder:

For a compact Penta-mirror design the D40's viewfinder is surprisingly bright and large. Magnification is up to 0.8x compared to the D50's 0.75x (not a big difference) and frame coverage is the same 95%. The rubber eyepiece isn't as large as that found on the D50 or D80 although seems to work well enough.


Camera information display:

Press the 'info' button on the top of the camera and you will by default see an information screen similar to the one on the left below. This provides an overview of camera settings as well as a graphic representation of shutter speed (the line surrounding the ap erture) and aperture. Press the 'set' (magnify) button and you can navigate around this screen to change settings such as image quality, white balance, ISO, drive mode etc. You can alternatively choose the 'classic' info display format which does away with the graphical representation of shutter speed and aperture and instead looks more like a standard control panel.


The diagram below shows a breakdown of all the potential information displayed in the 'Graphic' display mode.


1 Focus area display
2 Shutter speed
3 Electronic meter / compensation
4 Aperture
5 Mode
6 Shutter-speed display (graphic)
7 Aperture display (graphic)
8 Flash compensation value
9 Flash sync mode
10 Exposure compensation value
11 Help indicator
12 Frames remaining / Preset WB rec / PC
13 Metering mode
14 AF-area mode
15 Focus mode
16 Shooting mode
17 ISO sensitivity
18 White balance mode
19 Image size
20 Image quality
21 Battery indicator
22 Beep indicator
23 Optimize image preset indicator
24 Auto ISO sensitivity indicator
25 Manual flash control / External flash comp.

Lense and Motor:

The fact that the Nikon D40 is so small and attractively priced does not only have advantages. After all, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Still, Nikon has managed to find a good balance between possibilities and price. Maybe the most noticeable thing is that the D40 can only work with lenses with a built-in motor, the so-called AF-S lenses. Omitting the motor from the camera saves on a number of components and therefore, on costs. Seeing that Nikon has a wide range of affordable AF-S lenses, this need not be a drawback for users. Nikon is introducing a new kit lens at the same time as the Nikon D40. The new lens is an improved version of the old one. With a focal range of 18-55 mm (compared to a 35mm, that is 27-83 mm) it has a good range. The AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 G II ED has elements that are apochromatically corrected and reduce troublesome colour edges.

Nikon D40 specification:

Sensor
-23.7 x 15.6 mm CCD sensor
-Nikon DX format (1.5x FOV crop)
-6.1 million effective pixels
-6.2 million total pixels
-RGB Color Filter Array
-12-bit A/D converter

Image sizes
-3008 x 2000 (Large, 6 MP)
-2256 x 1496 (Medium, 3.4 MP)
-1504 x 1000 (Small, 1.5 MP)

Image quality
-NEF (12-bit compressed RAW)
-JPEG fine
-JPEG normal
- JPEG basic
-NEF (RAW) + JPEG basic

Color space
-IIIa (sRGB - more green for colourful landscapes) default
-Ia (sRGB)
-II (Adobe RGB)

Lens mount
-Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)

Lens compatibility
-Type G or D AF Nikkor• AF-S, AF-I
All functions supported

-Other Type G or D AF Nikkor
All functions supported except autofocus

-PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D
Can only be used in mode M; all other functions supported except autofocus

-Other AF Nikkor*2/AI-P Nikkor
All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II

-Non-CPU
Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster

-IX Nikkor
Can not be used

Autofocus
-
Three area TTL phase detection
-Nikon Multi-CAM530 autofocus module
-Only with AF-S or AF-I lenses
-Detection range: EV -1 to +19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature)

Lens servo
-Single-servo AF (AF-S)
-Continuous-servo AF (AF-C)
-Automatic AF-S/AF-C (AF-A)
-Manual focus (M)

AF Area mode
-Single Area AF
-Dynamic Area AF
-Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF

Focus tracking
-Predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in continuous-servo AF

Focus area
-
One of three areas can be selected

Focus lock
-Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

AF Assist
-White light lamp

Metering
-TTL full-aperture exposure metering system
-3D color matrix metering II
-420 segment RGB sensor
-Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to a 8mm circle in center of frame
-Spot: Meters 3.5 mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area

Exposure mode

-Digital Vari-program
- Auto
- Flash off *
- Portrait
- Landscape
- Child
- Sports
- Close up
- Night portrait
-Programmed auto (P) with flexible program
-Shutter-priority auto (S)
-Aperture priority auto (A)
-Manual (M)

Metering range
-EV 0 to 20 (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)
-EV 2 to 20 (spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20 °C)

Meter coupling
-CPU coupling

Exposure compen.
-
+/- 5.0 EV
-1/3 EV steps

AE Lock
-Exposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

AE Bracketing
-
None

Sensitivity
-Auto
-ISO 200
-ISO 400
-ISO 800
-ISO 1600
-ISO 3200 equiv. (HI 1) *

Auto ISO options
-
On/Off
-Maximum ISO (400, 800 or 1600)
-Minimum shutter speed (1 to 1/125 sec)

White balance
-Auto (TTL white-balance with 420 pixels RGB sensor)
-Six manual modes with fine-tuning
o Incandescent
o Fluorescent
o Direct sunlight
o Flash
o Cloudy
o Shade
-Preset white balance (immediate or from photo)

Shutter
-Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter
-30 to 1/4000 sec (1/3 EV steps)
-Flash X-Sync: up to 1/500 sec
-Bulb

WB fine tuning
-Yes

Viewfinder
-
Optical fixed eye-level
-Penta-mirror type
-Built-in diopter adjustment (-1.7 to +0.5 m-1)
-Eyepoint: 18 mm (at -1.0 m-1)
-Frame coverage 95% (approx.)
-Viewfinder magnification approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
-Focusing screen: Type B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V with superimposed focus brackets

LCD monitor
-
2.5" TFT LCD
-230,000 pixel

Built-in flash
-
Auto pop-up in Auto, Vari-program modes
-Manual pop-up in P, S, A or M modes
-Guide number approx. 17 at ISO 200

Sync contact
-X-contact only; flash synchronization at shutter speeds of up to 1/500 sec

Flash control
-TTL flash control by 420-segment RGB sensor. i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR and standard i-TTL fill-flash for digital SLR available when CPU lens is used with built-in flash, SB-400, SB-800, and SB-600
-Auto aperture with SB-800 and CPU lenses
-Non-TTL auto with SB-800, 80DX, 28DX, 28, 27 and 22s
-Range-priority manual with SB-800

Flash mode
-
Auto, Portrait, Child, Close-up: Auto, auto with red-eye reduction; fill-flash and red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
-Night portrait: Auto, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with red-eye reduction; slow sync and slow sync with red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
-Landscape, Sports: Fill-flash and red-eye reduction available with optional Speedlight
-P, A modes: Fill flash, rear-curtain with slow sync, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction
-S, M modes: Fill flash, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction

Flash compensation
--3 to +1 EV
-1/3 steps

Shooting modes
-Single frame shooting (S) mode
-Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 2.5 frame per second (1 fps with HI 1 sensitivity)
-Self-timer/remote control mode.

Continuous buffer
-
JPEG: Limited only by storage
-RAW: Approx. 9 frames (shooting continues at a slower rate)

Self-timer
-2, 5, 10 or 20 sec

Storage
-
Secure Digital / Secure Digital HC
-FAT / FAT32
-Supports firmware update via SD card

Video output
-NTSC or PAL selectable

Connectivity
-USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
-Mass storage / PTP selectable
-Video out
-DC-IN (optional AC adapter and adapter connector)

Power
-
Lithium-Ion battery pack EN-EL9 (7.4 V, 1000 mAh)

Dimensions
-
126 x 94 x 64 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)

Weight (no batt)
-
471 g (1.0 lb)

Weight (inc. batt)
-522 g (1.2 lb)


Conclusion:

PRO
  • Smallest Nikon DSLR to date, great for travel and all-day carry
  • Quiet shutter andAF operation: a very "polite" camera
  • Good dynamic range, particularly in the shadows
  • Excellent high-ISO performance
  • Very well laid-out controls, fewer buttons yet still plenty of depth
  • Fast AF system, good shutter response
  • AF system works down to very low light levels, even without the AF-assist light
  • Bright AF-assist lamp works whether or not flash is enabled
  • Integration of info display and function menu is superb: Easy for a beginner, handy for a pro
  • LCD display is very well organized and informative, 2.5" screen is a welcome step up from that of the D50
  • AF-S and manual focus lenses can be used with manual focusing, camera's focus sensor indicates correct focus
  • Kit lens focuses down to 11 inches at any focal length
  • Bright LED AF zone indicators in viewfinder display
  • Accurate and consistent metering, works to very low light levels (but only in manual mode at the darkest levels)
  • Nikon 3D matrix metering produces very accurate flash exposures
  • 1/500 x-sync speed for flash shots
  • Grip is comfortable for a wide range of hand sizes
  • Programmable function button is very handy, nice that it's on the left side of the body, making it easier to manipulate command dial at the same time
  • Playback zoom operation is very convenient
  • Playback display is very fast, refreshes quickly as you scroll through captured images
  • In-camera "retouch" menu is unique, permits significant image adjustment without resorting to the computer
  • Four-way controller disc works well
  • Strap eyelets are recessed, won't gouge your hand when holding the camera
  • Adjustable auto-off timers are a nice touch, surprising to find on an entry-level SLR
  • Extensive custom function menu, way ahead of most entry-level DSLRs
  • Digital "image overlay" permits creative multiple-exposure shots
  • Very fast downloads to a computer
  • Optional remote control transmitter available
  • Phenomenal pricing for a Nikon DSLR, particularly considering the feature set
CON
  • Good dynamic range, but prone to losing highlight detail
  • In-camera contrast adjustment has almost no effect
  • Only 3 AF regions
  • Auto white balance setting doesn't handle household incandescent lighting well
  • Kit lens shows dramatic flare, well in from the corners
  • Chromatic aberration is also high at wide angle
  • No Autofocus with non AF-S lenses
  • Limited support for older, non-CPU lenses
  • LCD status display is slow to update, lags behind actual camera settings when rotating command dial, particularly in "graphic" display mode (in-viewfinder display is fast and accurate though)
  • Glare from LCD info display very distracting when looking through the viewfinder (almost blinding at night), can be turned off though
  • AF assist lamp may be blocked by your fingers when holding the camera
  • Shutter time determined by "gating" the CCD at high shutter speeds, can lead to streaking or smearing of very strong highlights
  • Grip may be too small for some users
  • AF point is easily changed accidentally by hitting the four-way control pad while shooting
  • Dioptric adjustment of viewfinder optics is awkward to set, has somewhat limited range
  • Battery charger requires large external cord, just one thing more to lug along on a trip
  • No battery grip or option (yet, at least - there are contacts in the battery compartment for one, just none offered.)
  • No in-camera support for Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting System (does work with SB-800 on the camera as a controller though)
  • Kit lens does not come with hood

Useful info about Nikon D40:

http://www.nikondigital.com/d40_digitutor/eng/d40/index.shtml

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Canon EOS 400D review

The Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi digital SLR is the successor to the best-selling EOS 350D / Rebel XT. Announced in August 2006, it combines a number of anticipated improvements along with a few genuine surprises.

Most people won’t be surprised to learn the 400D / XTi now features a larger 2.5in screen and Canon’s Picture Styles, but following the earlier EOS 30D, many equally expected the new entry-level body to employ the same sensor as its predecessor.

But instead of re-using the 350D / XT’s 8 Megapixel sensor, Canon’s developed a brand new 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor for the 400D / XTi. This makes it Canon’s highest resolution digital SLR with an EF-S lens mount to date.


Improved Performance:

As well as the EOS Integrated Cleaning System, the EOS 400D incorporates a number of developments over the EOS 350D. Resolution increases from 8.0 to 10.1 Megapixels, using the superior hi-sensitivity, hi-speed, low-noise CMOS technology now found in all six EOS Digital models. At nearly twice the size of the EOS 350D display, the 2.5” hi-resolution LCD is the brightest in the EOS range and now displays all of key shooting and user interface information along with image playback. The AF system expands from 7 to 9-point, with a highly sensitive f/2.8 center point for exceptional performance in low light. Even with the image resolution increase, maximum frame burst almost doubles from 14 to 27 large JPEGs and from 5 to 10 RAW.

Dust reduction:

The EOS 400D is the first camera to incorporate the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. Based on significant research into the causes of dust in D-SLR cameras, the system combats dust in three important ways: Reduce, Repel and Remove.

  1. Reduce - Internal camera mechanisms are designed to minimise dust generation. The body cap is redesigned to prevent dust generation through wear on the cap itself.
  2. Repel - Anti-static technologies are applied to the low-pass filter covering the front of the sensor so as not to attract dust.
  3. Remove - A Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit uses hi-frequency vibrations to shake dust from the low pass filter for a period of approximately one second after each start up. For instant shooting after power up, this feature is disabled immediately the shutter release is depressed.

Canon has also developed an internal Dust Delete Data system, which can map the position of any visible dust on the sensor. This can then be deleted automatically after the shoot with the latest Digital Photo Professional software.

Viewfinder:

The EOS 400D viewfinder appears to be identical to the EOS 350D, at least that's what the specifications and our own experience tell us. Its 0.8x magnification means it's a smaller view than you'd have from an Nikon D80 (although about the same as the Sony DSLR-A100). Of course the main difference is the actual view because of the nine-point AF and new status bar.


LCD Monitor:

The EOS 400D features a new larger, brighter 2.5" LCD monitor. Not only is it bigger and has higher resolution (230K pixels) it also has a significantly better viewing angle, 160° horizontal and vertical, this most noticeable when looking down from above where the improvement is some 60° (important when you're using the main LCD for camera settings display). Canon's own white paper states that this display is brighter even than that of the EOS 30D and EOS 5D, and I can believe it. Despite the lack of an anti-reflective coating it proved bright enough to be seen even on a sunny day outdoors.


Camera setting display:

The diagram below summarizes all of the information available on the camera settings display.


Canon 400D specification:

Sensor
-
10.1 million effective pixels
-10.5 million total pixels
-22.2 x 14.8 mm CMOS sensor
-RGB Color Filter Array
-Built-in low-pass filter
-3:2 aspect ratio

Dust reduction
-
Low-pass filter vibration at power-on (can be interrupted)
-Anti-static coating on sensor surfaces
-Software based dust-removal (camera maps dust, removed later)

Image sizes
-
3888 x 2592 (L)
-2816 x 1880 (M)
-1936 x 1288 (S)

Output formats
-RAW (.CR2)
-RAW (.CR2) + JPEG Large/Fine
-JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine, Normal

Image processor
-DIGIC II

Lenses
-Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
-1.6x field of view crop

Focus modes
-Auto Focus
-Manual Focus (switch on lens)

Auto Focus
-9-point CMOS sensor
-AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)

AF modes
-AI Focus
-One shot
-AI Servo

AF point selection
-Auto
-Manual

AF assist
-Flash strobe

Shooting modes
-Auto
-Program AE (P)
-Shutter priority AE (Tv)
-Aperture priority AE (Av)
-Manual (M)
-Auto depth-of-field
-Portrait
-Landscape
-Close-up
-Sports
-Night portrait
-Flash off

Metering
-TTL 35-zone SPC
-Metering range: EV 1.0 - 20 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100, 50 mm F1.4)

Metering modes
-Evaluative 35-zone
-Partial 9% at center
-Center-weighted average

AE Lock
-AE lock button

AE Bracketing

-+/- 2.0 EV
-0.5 or 0.3 EV increments

Exposure compensation
-+/- 2.0 EV
-0.5 or 0.3 EV increments

Sensitivity
-Auto (100 - 400)
-ISO 100
-ISO 200
-ISO 400
-ISO 800
- ISO 1600

Shutter
-Focal-plane shutter
-30 - 1/4000 sec (0.5 or 0.3 EV steps)
-Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec
-Bulb

Aperture values
-F1.0 - F91 (0.3 EV steps)
-Actual aperture range depends on lens used

White balance
-Auto
-Daylight
-Shade
-Cloudy
-Tungsten
-Fluorescent
-Custom

WB Bracketing
-+/-3 levels
-3 images
-Selectable Blue/Amber or Magenta/Green bias

WB fine-tuning
-Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
-Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)

Color space
-sRGB
-Adobe RGB

Drive modes
-Single
-Continuous: 3.0 fps up to 27 JPEG / 10 RAW frames
-Self-timer 10 secs (2 sec with mirror lock-up)

Mirror lockup
-Yes (custom function)

Viewfinder
-Pentamirror
-95% frame coverage
-Magnification: 0.8x (-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity)
-Eyepoint: 21 mm
-Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
-Fixed precision matte
-Proximity sensor disables LCD shooting mode information

DOF preview
-Yes, button

LCD monitor
-
2.5" TFT LCD
-230,000 pixels
-Wide viewing angle (160° horizontal and vertical)
-7 brightness levels
-Up to 10x zoom playback

Flash
-Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
-Guide number approx 13
-Modes: Auto, Manual Flash On/ Off, Red-Eye Reduction
-X-Sync: 1/200 sec
-Flash exposure compensation: +/-2.0 EV (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps)
-Coverage up to 17 mm focal length (27 mm FOV equiv.)

External flash
-E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
-Hot-shoe

Connectivity
-USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed)
-Video out
-E3 type wired remote control

Storage
-Compact Flash Type I or II
-Microdrive supported
-FAT 12/16 and FAT 32 support
-No CF card supplied
-Up to 9999 images per folder

Power
-Lithium-Ion NB-2LH rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
-CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)
-Optional ACK-DC20/ACK-700 AC adapter kit

Direct printing
-Canon Selphy Printers
-Canon Bubble Jet Printers with direct print function
-Canon PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge
-PictBridge

Dimensions
-
127 x 94 x 65 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)

Weight
-
Body (no battery): 514 g (1.1 lb)
-Body (inc battery): 556 g (1.2 lb)

Conclusion:

PRO
  • Excellent 10.1 megapixel sensor with impressively low noise and superb detail
  • Small size is great for travel and all-day carry
  • High ISO shots are surprisingly good, easily useable at 8x10
  • Dust removal technology largely eliminates sensor cleaning chores
  • 2.5 inch LCD with a wide viewing angle for better image sharing
  • Larger folder size means less hassle with folders
  • Improved Mode dial and grip make for less hassle and greater control
  • Integrated status display includes more detail
  • IR detection turns off LCD to reduce glare and battery drain
  • Print/Share button enables quick and easy printing and image transfer
  • Fast image transfer eliminates the need for a card reader
  • Higher sensitivity AF system has more AF points and works faster and better in low light
  • Picture Styles makes choosing and customizing color modes fast and easy
  • Compatible with over 50 lenses and accessories
  • Uses CF cards like all other Canon digital SLRs
  • Selectable auto-rotation feature rotates on the camera or only in the computer
  • Fast autofocus
  • Improved buffer depth allows for more followup shots
  • Viewfinder magnification is very good at 97% accurate
  • New shutter button design allows followup shots without refocusing
  • Good macro performance
  • Excellent detail from the sensor
  • Images are sharp, but not oversharpened, and noise suppression is kept well under control
  • Color is very accurate, with only red being a little off, which consumers generally like
  • Auto white balance handles most situations very well
  • High ISO images are impressive, all the way up to ISO 1,600
  • Print quality is excellent, making tack sharp 13x19 inch prints
  • Great shot-to-shot, shutter lag, and cycle time numbers
  • Suitable for the inexperienced amateur, perfectly usable by the seasoned pro
CON
  • Kit lens is not quite matched to the camera's higher resolution
  • New interface has a few odd inconsistencies
  • AF assist lamp only works in flash-on mode, making available light photography more difficult (somewhat offset by the improved AF sensor)
  • Auto-rotation doesn't play well with all computer programs
  • Viewfinder is smaller than the competition, and its pentamirror is not as bright as the pentaprism in the 30D
  • Grip is still a little small and short for most hands
  • Kit lens produces somewhat high barrel distortion at wide angle
  • Kit lens chromatic aberration is pronounced at wide angle, and corners are pretty soft
  • Flash coverage is uneven, falling off in the corners
  • Indoor white balance is a little yellow
  • Battery capacity is reduced from the larger screen and dust off system