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9 New D-SLRs

Hot 2008 models add high-tech features for less money

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If the first few months of 2008 are any indication, this will be another big year for D-SLRs. Nine D-SLR models have been introduced so far, adding many new choices in the entry-level and midrange categories. All offer 10 megapixels or more, and seven of them sell for $800 or less, including a 14-megapixel model. There’s also a new 10-megapixel D-SLR with live-view capability for under $500. Interested? Let’s check them out.

The 12.2-megapixel EOS Rebel XSi’s Live-View Mode contrast-detection AF provides quick and accurate autofocusing during live viewing without lowering the reflex mirror.
Canon EOS Rebel XSi
The fourth model in Canon’s best-selling entry-level EOS Digital Rebel series, the new Rebel XSi offers nearly twice the resolution of the first, thanks to its 12.2-megapixel Canon CMOS sensor. It packs a lot more in its compact body, too, including features borrowed from Canon’s hot pro models—latest- generation DIGIC III image processor, 14-bit A/D conversion, 3.0-inch LCD monitor with live-view capability, and Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise controls.

Other features include a self-cleaning image sensor assembly, excellent autofocusing and metering performance, Auto Lighting Optimizer for better shadow and highlight detail, Face Detection technology to correctly expose backlit faces, new Live View Mode contrast-detection AF that provides autofocusing during live viewing without lowering the reflex mirror, 3.5 fps shooting and more.
SPECS

Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XSi
Image Sensor: 12.2-megapixel (effective) CMOS
Resolution: 4272 x 2848 pixels
Sensor Size: 22.2x14.8mm (1.6x focal-length factor)
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch Live View
AF System: 9-point
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄4000 to 60 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄200 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-1600
Maximum Continuous Firing Rate: 3.5 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG
Metering: 35-zone Evaluative, 4% spot, 9% partial, center-weighted
Storage Media: SD, SDHC
Dimensions: 5.1x3.8x2.4 inches
Weight: 16.8 ounces
Power Source: LP-E5 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $799 (body only)


 

Nikon’s new EXPEED Image Processing Concept, introduced in the high-end D3 and the D300, makes its entry-level model debut in the 10.2-megapixel D60.
Nikon D60
A step above the popular D40X entry-level D-SLR, Nikon’s new D60 retains that model’s 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor and compact body and adds a new Active Dust Reduction System with Airflow Control, Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED Image Processing Concept to optimize image quality and camera performance, and a stop-motion video mode that creates animations from a sequence of still images.

Other features include superquick startup and shutter response, 3 fps shooting rate, 2.5-inch 230,000-pixel LCD monitor, 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 3-area AF and more. In-camera image editing includes such new features as Quick Retouch and in-camera RAW-image processing, and cross-screen and color-intensifier filters, as well as Nikon’s D-Lighting to optimize highlight and shadow detail. The Optimize Image feature lets you adjust color, contrast, sharpening and more.

SPECS

Camera: Nikon D60
Image Sensor: 10.2-megapixel (effective) CCD
Resolution: 3872 x 2592 pixels
Sensor Size: 23.6x15.8mm (1.5x focal-length factor)
LCD Monitor: 2.5-inch
AF System: 3-area
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄4000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄200 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-1600, plus 3200
Maximum Continuous Firing Rate: 3 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG
Metering: 420-segment Color Matrix II, 2.5% spot, center-weighted
Storage Media: SD, SDHC
Dimensions: 5.0x3.7x2.5 inches
Weight: 17.4 ounces
Power Source: EN-EL9 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $629 (body only)


 

The world’s smallest
and lightest D-SLR, the 10-megapixel E-420 incorporates some excellent features, including enhanced autofocus Live View mode.
Olympus E-420
The 10-megapixel E-420 is billed as the world’s smallest D-SLR—it weighs a mere 13.4 ounces without battery or lens. The 0.9-inch-thick Zuiko Digital 25mm ƒ/2.8 lens introduced simultaneously complements the compact body nicely, but the camera can use all Four Thirds System lenses. The E-420 features instant autofocusing of the live image on the new HyperCrystal II 2.7-inch LCD monitor, which itself provides twice the contrast of its predecessor for better viewing in bright lighting. Shadow Adjustment technology provides better detail in dark areas while retaining highlight detail, while Face Detection technology sets focus and exposure for up to eight faces in a shot. Perfect Shot preview lets you preview effects on-screen before shooting; you also can preview exposure, white balance and gradation adjustments.

Other features include Olympus’ Supersonic Wave Filter dust-reduction system, the ability to record on both CompactFlash and xD-Picture Card media, 18 pre-set scene-select modes, improved white balance, a TruePic III image processor, wireless flash capability (with compatible Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R flash units) and simple operation, plus lots of control when you want it, 3.5 fps shooting and more.

SPECS

Camera: Olympus E-420
Image Sensor: 10.0-megapixel (effective) Live MOS
Resolution: 3648 x 2736 pixels
Sensor Size: 17.3x13mm (2.0x focal-length factor)
LCD Monitor: 2.7-inch Live View
AF System: 3-point
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄4000 to 60 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄180 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-1600
Maximum Continuous Firing Rate: 3.5 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, RAW + JPEG
Metering: 49-point, 2% spot, center-weighted
Storage Media: CompactFlash, xD-Picture
Dimensions: 5.1x3.6x2.1 inches
Weight: 13.4 ounces
Power Source: BLS-1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $499 (body only)




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