Online Nikon D600 review

Photography blog have posted an extensive review of the new full frame DSLR from Nikon, the Nikon D600.

The Nikon D600 is designed to fill the gap left by the hugely popular D700 and can currently be bought (body only) for less than £1,800.

Nikon D600 Full Frame DSLR 24-85mm Lens Kit

Amongst Photography Blog’s conclusions:

“At full resolution, the Nikon D600 captures an astonishing amount of detail – not quite as much as the D800 but still more than most people will ever need. In addition, the camera has better auto white balance than any previous Nikon we’ve tested, even in incandescent and Tungsten balanced fluorescent light, where it manages to leave just the right amount of warmth in the images for a perfectly natural look. The photos, especially those shot in NEF format, also have great dynamic range and generally low levels of noise.

In use we have found the Nikon D600 to be a great, responsive and versatile tool. The 39-point auto focus system has proven to be fast and generally accurate, with the fastest speeds achieved using the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G lens. We’ve found the focus system to work well in most conditions except  for really low light, where the D800 proved to be superior. That the D600 is lighter than any other Nikon FX digital SLR camera is a real boon to anyone planning to use it for extended periods of time, though be prepared that it’s still quite a handful and noticeably heavier than the cheapest auto focus SLRs of the film era (then again, it’s a much higher specified model than any of those). The Nikon D600’s mirror is surprisingly quiet for a full-frame SLR camera and in normal use it produces only minimal viewfinder blackout. The only major gripe we have with the camera is that you cannot change the aperture in Live View or during movie capture, unless you use an old lens with a manual aperture ring, of course.If you think you can live with that and a few other limitations / omissions versus the D800; the smaller, lighter and cheaper Nikon D600 will serve you just as well as the more expensive model – and even give you faster frame rates and more manageable raw file sizes as an added bonus”.

My Take.

I’d say the Nikon  D600 is a savvy purchase for any wannabe Nikon full frame upgrader or indeed anyone wishing to enter the full frame. In some ways its a sort or mini D800 being say 80% of the mighty D800 but at considerably less cost. As for image quality, well its top notch. Nikon should be applauded for producing the Nikon D600 because it looks absolutely first rate, and dare I say great value full frame DSLR.

Mark Baynham (October 2012)

World’s first full frame compact: The Sony RX1

Sony have stunned the photographic world by announcing the release of the worlds first full frame compact, the Sony RX1.

This beefed up (but still compact) RX100 like compact sports the 24Mp full frame CMOS sensor from the newly announced Alpha 99 SLT, paired with a fixed 35mm F2 Zeiss lens. The RX1 is a truly ground breaking camera that is bound to shake the likes of Canon and Nikon to the core and hopefully hasten the big boys into producing something similar?

Whilst The RX1 will also be the most expensive compact out there by some margin (expected to be around the £2,400 – 600 mark?) it will be simply unrivalled and when it hits the market. I can see pro shooters queuing get their hands on it. As the ultimate portable 35mm “street” camera there will be nothing like it. Regrettably the RX1 will be beyond my reach I hope its release may just herald the availability in the future of some sort of more “affordable” full frame compact that us mere mortals may just get to own.

Specs:

    •  24MP full-frame (24x36mm) CMOS sensor
    • 35mm F2 lens
    • ISO 100-25600
    • Focus range switch for focus down to 0.2m (14cm from the front of the lens)
    • Dedicated aperture ring
    • Five user-customizable buttons
    • Multi interface hotshoe (combines ISO 518 standard contacts and proprietary connector)
    • 1.23M dot RGBW ‘WhiteMagic’ LCD
    • 1080p60 HD movies in AVCHD (50p on PAL region models)
    • Focus peaking to aid manual focus
    • Bulb mode and threaded cable release socket in shutter button

Mark Baynham (September 2012)

Sony announce a “mini” NEX7: The Sony NEX6

Sony have announced their latest addition to the NEX series of mirrorless cameras, the Sony NEX6.

The NEX6 is in effect a clever and pragmatic fusion of NEX7 and  NEX5N technologies. Specification includes:

    • 16.1MP CMOS sensor (from the NEX5N)
    • 2.3 million dot resolution OLED EVF (From the NEX7)
    • ISO 100-25600
    • Control dial
    • Dedicated Fn button
    • ‘Quick Navi’ display
    • Multi interface hotshoe (supports standard contacts and proprietary connector)
    • Wi-Fi for connection via Wi-Fi networks or to smartphones
    • Proprietary in-camera apps
    • Built-in flash (GN 6)
    • Electronic First Curtain shutter
    • 1080p 60p HD movies in AVCHD (50p on PAL region models)

 

To accompany this new camera Sony have announced some new “E” series lenses including a petite 16- 50mm F3.5 – 5.6 OSS Power Zoom and an ultra wide 10- 18mm F4 OSS wide zoom.

My Take.

The Sony NEX6 is a sensible, pragmatic and dare I say exciting development of the Sony NEX range, while the the new lenses announced are the sort of lenses that the system has been screaming out for. By embracing the EVF from the Sony NEX7, using the tried and proven sensor from the NEX5N and adding connectivity (via wi fi) the NEX6 finally becomes (to my mind) a real, viable and useful alternative to the compact cameras systems from the likes of Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung. Only the curious omission of touch screen capacity dents an otherwise impressive spec sheet. The newly announced lenses aid the overall portability of the system and finally the NEX system look like its coming of age. It also appears Sony will be highly competitive when it come to pricing. Whilst the NEX6 may dent some potential NEX7 sales its presence does pave the way for a full frame “Pro NEX”?

 Mark Baynham (September 2012)

Panasonic FZ200 Superzoom (online review)

CNET UK has recently posted a full Panasonic FZ200 Superzoom review.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ200 Black Digital Camera

Here’s their conclusions.:

Conclusion
The big draw here is the FZ200’s long lens and, in particular, the maximum aperture of f/2.8 at everything between 25mm and 600mm equivalent focal lengths. The physical build has clearly been very carefully thought out, so all of the key controls are in the most logical places and fall easily to your fingers. It’s no problem to quickly affect a range of common settings to cater for changing conditions.With a conservative resolution of 12.1 megapixels, I would have liked to have seen the FZ200 perform a little better in low light, as zooming in on the results revealed some dappling. But if you’re looking for a more versatile superzoom than this, you’d have a tough job finding one.

Verdict
The lens in the extremely well designed Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is tempting and its asking price is fair. If you’re looking to trade up from a compact, don’t discount this entirely in favour of a DSLR. Performance is on a par with a consumer DSLR, and you needn’t invest in a bag full of expensive lenses to go with it.

Good

    • Bright lens
    • Long zoom
    • Excellent movie soundtracks
    • Good button layout

Bad

    • Noise at high sensitivities
    • Some fudging of fine detail in very complex shots

My take:

Panasonic have pretty much always lead the way with their “FZ” series of superzooms and with the FZ200 things haven’t changed. This latest model builds on the established strength of the FZ but adds even greater flexibility via a F2.8 lens. I have tested a number of FZ models over the years and have never been disappointed. Yes the small sensor limits the cameras low light capacity but to some extent the new F2.8 lens counters this. The FZ200 is a sensible and well executed development of the FZ150. Fortunately core strengths have been maintained and expanded (i.e. RAW capture, good ergonomics, PSAM, hotshoe & great lens with excellent focal range). Anyone in the market for a portable, capable and flexible superzoom need not look any further.

Mark Baynham (September 2012)

Online Canon EOS 650D review

Photography blog have conducted a review of Canon’s new mid range DSLR the Canon EOS 650D a camera they seemed to have enjoyed using..

From Photography blog:

During the review, the Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T3i produced images of outstanding quality. The resolution is absolutely best in class, though you will want to shoot RAW for best results and possibly purchase something else than the 18-135mm IS zoom lens we had in for testing, as it does not do the camera full justice“.”The Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i is the best mid-range Canon DSLR yet. In summary the new 650D / Rebel T4i is the most complicated yet friendly mid-range Canon DSLR yet, truly a camera that you can grow into as your photography skills develop. It only misses out on our highest Essential award because of the still slow Live View auto-focusing and a small price increase over the 600D, but is more than deserving of our still-coveted Highly Recommended award”.

My Take:

As I suspected the Canon EOS 650D is a very competent camera and clearly worth serious consideration if your in the market for a mid range DSLR.

Mark Baynham (September 2012)