Olympus E-5 Review

December 18th, 2010 104 Comments   Posted in Digital SLR Cameras

The Olympus E-5 has a large pentaprism like most of the other pro and semi-pro digital SLRs, but part of that size is due to the pop-up flash. The large pentaprism inside is big and bright, looking similar if not identical to that on the E-3, sporting a magnification of 1.15x.

The Olympus E-3′s viewfinder has eleven autofocus points, which appear as black squares until they are illuminated with bright red LEDs.

The grip on the Olympus E-5 is pretty much the same as the E-3: very comfortable, with a nice indentation for the middle finger, and a good counter-grip on the back.
Output from the Olympus E-5′s new sensor is handled by a new generation of Olympus’ proprietary image processor, dubbed TruePic V+. This is several generations evolved from the TruePic III processor in the E-3, with the TruePic III+ design having since featured in the E-30, E-450, and E-620 digital SLRs, followed by TruePic V in the company PEN-series single-lens direct view cameras.

Sensitivity. Despite the slight increase in sensor resolution, Olympus has expanded the E-5′s sensitivity range, as compared to that of the E-3. The minimum sensitivity of ISO 100 equivalent is unchanged, but where the E-3′s maximum sensitivity was ISO 3,200 equivalent, the Olympus E-5 tops out at ISO 6,400. Like its predecessor, this still lags the competition somewhat, perhaps showing the difficulties faced by the smaller sensor format of Four Thirds cameras, compared to their APS-C rivals.

Shutter. Like its predecessor, the Olympus E-5 can capture full-resolution JPEG or Raw images at a rate of five frames per second. Information on burst shooting depth isn’t currently available. The Olympus E-5 also retains the Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system that debuted on the 2003-model Olympus E-1, and which has since been mimicked by the company’s DSLR rivals.  Another important feature retained from the E-3 is Olympus’ in-body image stabilization, which works using a sensor shift mechanism. Olympus claims the system offers the same potential five-stop correction as it did with the E-3.

The Olympus E-5 is capable of shutter speeds from 1/8,000 to 60 seconds, plus bulb. The computerized focal plane shutter is identical to the one in the E-3, and has a rated life of 150,000 shots. Three metering modes are available — Digital ESP, Center-weighted averaging, and Spot. The Digital ESP mode considers the frame as 49 separate areas when shooting using the viewfinder, and 324 areas in live-view shooting. Spot metering has three possible modes — standard, Highlight control, and Shadow control. The metering system has an operating range of EV 1 to 20 (ISO 100, 50mm f/2 lens, room temperature). Exposure modes include Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority, Manual, and Bulb. Exposure compensation is available within a wide 5.0EV range in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps. The Olympus E-5 also offers exposure bracketing, but with a wider range than was possible in the E-3. The E-5 can now bracket 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots with 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV steps between exposures.

White balance. Like the E-3, the Olympus E-5 uses a hybrid white balance system, considering information both from the imaging sensor, and from a dedicated white balance sensor on the front of the camera body. White balance modes include Auto, seven presets, four user settings, and direct entry of color temperatures between 2,000 and 14,000 Kelvin. Preset white balance options include Sunny, Shadow, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Underwater, and Flash — the Underwater preset being a new addition, and the E-3′s Neutral White and Daylight Fluorescent presets having been removed.

Flash. The Olympus E-5 retains the built-in popup flash strobe from the E-3, with a guide number of 18 meters at ISO 200 (13m at ISO 100). Like its predecessor, the E-5 also has a hot shoe, and supports wireless flash with the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R external strobes, with three independent wireless flash groups, and the ability to enter and check flash setup from the camera’s LCD display.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9 Review

December 18th, 2010 105 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

The Sony DSC TX9 Slimline is a prefect compact camera for all types of on the go shooting and video.
Extraordinary HD imaging experiences
Take your passion for amazing photos into another dimension. Experience 3D imaging, Full HD video and smart shooting features in a beautifully slim camera that puts DSLR-like picture quality within everyone’s reach.
DSLR-like picture quality
Now you can enjoy DSLR-style picture quality, but without the size and weight of a DSLR camera. New Superior Auto Mode intelligently combines up to 6 images for stunning results with low noise and high dynamic range.
Add a new dimension with 3D
Discover an incredible new world of 3D imaging, made possible by Sony. Sweep Panorama now lets you capture amazing 3D images to enjoy on your 3D TV. Sweep Multi Angle creates amazing 3D-like effects you can enjoy in 2D by simply tilting the camera screen from side to side.
Sensational images, even in low light
Many cameras struggle to produce crisp, clear images in low light. The revolutionary Exmor R™ CMOS sensor boosts sensitivity while reducing image noise for brilliant, detail-packed pictures.
Magical movies
Left your camcorder behind? One touch is all that’s needed to start shooting brilliantly crisp, detailed HD 1080i video clips with your Cyber-shot™ camera. Picture quality is brilliantly clear and smooth, while efficient AVCHD video compression keeps files smaller for storing and sharing on your PC.
Great images at your fingertips
A colourful, detail-packed LCD screen helps you frame every shot with more confidence. The wide, high-contrast touchscreen lets you see exactly what you’re shooting – even in bright light when you’re outdoors. The touchscreen also simplifies quick adjustment of shooting settings.
Features:
- Exmor R™ CMOS Sensor – Highly efficient sensor design boosts sensitivity while reducing image noise for superb low-light pictures
- 4x optical zoom /25mm wide angle
- 3D Sweep Panorama – Sweep the camera from side to side and capture extra-wide 3D panoramic images. Enjoy the dramatic results either in 2D or on a 3D TV
- Sweep Multi Angle – Shoot a burst of images to see your subject with a 3D effect from different angles. View on the LCD screen or on a connected HD TV
- 1080i Full HD movie – One-touch record with zoom of high quality Full HD video clips using AVCHD format (1920x1080i): many HD playback options
- 12.2 megapixels – Captures extremely high quality images, allowing detail-packed enlargements
- BIONZ processor – Powerful image processing ensures clear, detailed, low-noise images and quick, responsive shooting
- 8.8cm/3.5″ touchscreen LCD – Large, widescreen Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack techology for high brightness and contrast: enhanced touchscreen for intuitive operation
- Superior Auto mode – Achieve DSLR-like quality easily: settings are adjusted automatically for stunning images with low noise and high dynamic range
- Background defocus – Create professional-looking images with a crisp foreground subject against a smoothly blurred background, just like a DSLR camera
- High-speed continuous shooting – Press the shutter button and freeze the action with a high-speed burst of images at up to 10 frames per second
- Double anti-blur – Optical SteadyShot and high sensitivity ISO 3200, with Clear RAW Noise Reduction for high quality handheld images with less blur, even in low light
- Backlight Correction HDR – Produces natural, balanced results with high contrast when shooting strongly backlit scenes
- Face Detection – Automatically adjusts focus, exposure and white balance for clearer portraits: priority selectable for children/adults
- Smile Shutter – Automatically fires shutter when subject smiles: with adjustable smile threshold and priority selectable for children/adults
- Soft Skin mode – Automatically retouches portraits, removing blemishes and boosting skin tone for beautiful faces
- D-Range Optimizer – Adjusts exposure and contrast for natural results in high-contrast scenes and backlit portraits
- HD output – View video and still images on HD TV (requires optional cable): enhances viewing on compatible BRAVIA®
- HD  Slideshow with music – Fun image display with effects and music on  LCD  or connected HD TV
- Easy Shooting mode – Fuss-free operation for beginners with simplified controls and easy-to-read on-screen instructions
- PMB Portable – Built-in transfer software allows quick, easy uploads to image sharing sites when camera is connected to any web-enabled PC
- In-camera retouching – Fun in-camera image retouching functions including trim, red-eye correction and unsharp mask