Nikon

Nikon Unveil D90 DSLR

Nikon have unveiled their new D90 DSLR. The D90 features a new 12.3 megapixel Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with an Integrated Dust Reduction System. The DSLR has a Low-noise capability which ranges from ISO 200 to 3200, it also has support for ISO 6400. The camera can also record video using their D-Movie mode, which records in AVI format at 320 x 216, 640 x 424 or 1,280 x 720.
Other features include:
Scene Recognition System based on 420 pixel RGB sensor for improved autofocus, autofocus and auto white balance, in addition to Face Detection.
Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus with 11 AF points.
3-inch, VGA Live View LCD.
4.5 fps continuous shooting
0.15 second startup
65ms shutter release lag.
SD / SDHC storage.
HDMI output
The Nikon should be available in kit form for around $1,299. For more info visit Nikon.com

Color Efex Pro 3.0 For Capture NX 2

Nik Software Inc. have announced the immediate availability of their award-winning Color Efex Pro 3.0 photographic filters for Capture NX 2, the latest version of Nikon's flagship photo editing software. Color Efex Pro 3.0 is a powerful and easy to use set of photographic based filters. "Unlike using plug-ins in Photoshop which require controls located in a separate interface, enhancements are made directly on the image in real-time and non-destructively in Capture NX 2, ... This tight integration dramatically simplifies enhancing images and offers photographers a powerful photo editing solution," said Michael Slater, Nik's President and CEO.

Color Efex Pro 3.0 adds nine powerful new filters that increase the traditional and stylistic range of the collection. New filters include Bleach Bypass, Cross Balance, Film Effects, Film Grain, Glamour Glow, High Key, Low Key, Polaroid Transfer, and Tonal Enhancer. Previously available filters have also been updated to provide even more options. Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2 has 52 filters, with a possibility of over 250 effects available. A complete filter list can be found at: cep3fornx2.

Nikon D3 Firmware Update

Nikon have released a firmware upgrade for the D3. there are no major bug fixes other than one for a dead battery issue that some people have been experiencing with both the D3 and D300. There are however a a few additions worthy of consideration.

Modifications enabled with upgrade of A and B firmware to v.2.00
Images captured with “Rotate tall”, in the playback menu, set to “On”, are not automatically rotated for display immediately after capture (image review).
The following changes and additions have been made to “f4: Assign FUNC.Button > FUNC. Button + dials” ; “f5: Assign preview button > Preview + command dials”, and “f6: Assign AE-L / AF-L button > AE-L / AF-L + command dials” menus in Custom Settings:
The “Choose image area” option has been separated into two options, “Choose image area (FX / DX / 5:4)” and “Choose image area (FX / DX)”
A new “Shooting menu bank” option has been added.
When “Choose image area (FX / DX / 5:4)” or “Choose image area (FX/DX)” is selected and the function button (Fn) is pressed, the image area setting is displayed in the top control panel, in the shooting information display, and at the bottom of the viewfinder.
A “Copyright information” item has been added to the setup menu. When “Copyright information” is enabled, the copyright symbol ( © ) is shown in the shooting info display.
“Recent settings” can now be displayed in place of “My Menu”.
The virtual horizon can now be displayed with shooting in LiveView mode.
The “Vignette control” setting can now be confimed in shooting information.
The “Vignette control” item in the shooting menu now supports all types of G- and D-type lenses, except DX and PC lenses.
The “Vignette control” compensation value has been optimized for shooting with “Active D-Lighting” the shooting menu.
Electronic analog exposure displays are now shown in the control panel and shooting info display while the exposure compensation setting is being applied.
The degree of the “High ISO NR” setting can now be confirmed in the shooting info display while the “High ISO NR” setting item, in the shooting menu, is being applied.
Design of the FX-format icon in the “Choose image area” setting has been modified.
Ankara, Riyadh, Kuwait, and Manamah have been added to the “Time zone” options for the “World Time” item in the setup menu.
When a GPS device is used and no heading information is available, –.–° is now displayed for the “Position > Heading” option in the “GPS” item in the setup menu.
When shooting in LiveView mode using Camera Control Pro 2 (ver. 2.2.0) or later with a PC-E lens, the aperture setting can now be adjusted from the computer.
Autofocus performance has been improved.
Auto White Balance performance has been improved.
An issue that, in some rare circumstances, caused the battery indicator to blink, regardless of actual battery charge, has been resolved.
Errors in the German help displays have been corrected.
US customers can download the Nikon D3 Firmware 2.0 here.

Nikon Release D700 DSLR

Nikon D700 DSLR
Nikon have just released the D700 digital SLR camera. This DSLR is aimed at the Prosumer and is based upon technologies found in their D3, boasting pro-level performance and an extensive array of features and innovations. It also features the Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor, Nikon’s EXPEED Image Processing System, Nikon’s renowned 51-point auto focus system with 3D Focus Tracking and two Live View shooting modes. Having seen the liveview in use on the D3 it is something I wish I had on my Canon Eos 5D.

Nikon D300 Digital SLR Camera Review

The Nikon D300 Digital SLR is a 12.3 megapixel, CMOS APS-C size (DX) sensor, 14-bit color camera. It features a high resolution (922,000 pixel) 3" LCD rear monitor suitable for spot proofing, switchable Live View through the rear LCD, weatherproofing, a 150,000 actuation synthetic shutter, UDMA high speed CompactFlash card support, a new CPU (the EXPEED processor), a switchable 51(!) point auto focus system, automatic face recognition and focus tracking by color, customizable focus calibration to accommodate focus variations in up to twenty different lenses, scene recognition, HDMI high definition video output to high definition televisions and display devices, Active D-Lighting for automated in-camera shadow & highlight control of high dynamic range (HDR) scenes, and extremely fast operation. There's lots more, but you get the idea. The Nikon D300 is an awful lot of camera. Read the full review at Kickstartnews

I've been shooting with the Nikon D300 Digital SLR camera for several weeks, so it's time to stop having so much fun for a short while and start writing. The problem is, I just don't want to put away the camera. It has its quirks and could use a bit of minor improvement in a couple of areas, but to date is the most complete digital SLR I've ever seen. My perspective is based on analysis of image quality, feature sets, hardware quality, ergonomics and general usability compared with the top-of-the-line digital SLRs from Canon (EOS 40D), Fuji (Finepix S5), Leica (Digilux 3), Olympus (E3), Pentax (K10D, K20D) and Sony (a700). If the goal of photography is to make photographs, then the Nikon D300 does the best job of any camera, except for the much more expensive Nikon D3, Canon 1D Mk III and Canon 5D, at just getting out of your way and letting you do that. Even in a direct comparison with the wonderful Canon 5D full frame sensor powerhouse, the D300 is its equal in low noise, low-medium ISO shooting, and is obviously better at image proofing and review using the glorious, bright, high resolution 3" LCD which remains almost reason enough by itself to purchase a D300. The days of using the camera LCD to review a shot you just took and never being sure if it's color balanced or properly focused are gone. The D300 LCD screen is a true monitor with the resolution, clarity and color depth that photographers have been demanding for many years.

The Nikon D300 Digital SLR, coupled with a selection of Nikon lenses, is everything you'll ever need as a snapshooter, amateur photographer, serious photography hobbyist or general photography professional. The D300 is weatherproofed which means the camera can function just as easily and at just as high quality as you'll get from it indoors. Ergonomically, the camera fits most hands well. Unusually, we found that even people with small-to-medium size hands found the camera comfortable to use, while a couple of testers with very large hands also reported the same great comfort levels over hours of continuous use. Only younger kids and people with very small hands will experience any problems with the D300 control layout, grip or body weight. We shot a huge and varied selection of subjects: wildlife at a local conservation area, sports at a local arena - hockey and volleyball, portraits of family members, urban locations, night shots, street scenes, textures, products being prepared for eBay listings, and in miserable weather, great weather, indoors, mixed lighting and you name it. We did the vast majority of our shooting with four lenses: Nikkor 12-24mm f4 DX wide angle zoom, Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 DX VR zoom, Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 DX professional zoom, and the Nikkor 105mm f2.8 VR professional prime lens.

The Nikon D300 digital SLR is ready to shoot instantly. No matter what mode you select or leave the camera in, turn it on and it's ready to go. Controls are responsive and provide positive feedback. Novice or pro, you can feel exactly how the camera is reacting to your handling and input. Novices may leave the notification beeps on for the first few days or weeks of use, but then the D300's smart design and easy handling will likely allow even still slightly nervous beginners to shut off the beeps and rely instead on the camera's mechanical sounds and natural feedback. In a lighter weight body, Nikon has actually enhanced the tradition of superb tactile feedback pioneered and revered in the FE, F4, F5 and F100 and continued through the D100/200 and the D1/2/3 bodies. I look forward to picking up the D300 and using it in any environment because it feels great and secure in-hand and because it offers controls which are smartly placed, easy to activate and well configured. All in all it's a pleasure to use.

Cons: Auto ISO is not automatically turned off when camera is set to manual (M) mode. Low noise at all normal ISO settings, but performance should be better still above ISO800.

Pros: Superb handling, ergonomics and image quality. The gorgeous high resolution LCD is a wonder to behold. Live view works well. Sensor cleaning function is very useful. Color accuracy is remarkable. A professional camera which can easily be used by amateurs and photography hobbyists. Read the full review at Kickstartnews

Nikon Coolpix P50 Digital Camera Review

The Nikon Coolpix P50 is an 8.1 megapixel, 3.6x zoom, f2.8-5.6 camera featuring a 4.7-17.0mm zoom lens. The lens actually amounts to a 28-102mm standard-to-medium zoom when you take into account the crop factor introduced by the small image sensor. The P50 contains an electronic version of Nikon's patented Vibration Reduction (VR) lens stabilization system, and a large 2.4", 115,000 pixel LCD. The top of the camera sports an optical viewfinder, mode selector dial, shutter button and on/off button. The Nikon P50 is almost identical in size to and somewhat lighter than its P5100 top-of-the-line sibling. The back of the camera keeps all other external controls clustered vertically on the right side: a zoom rocker control, playback button, command wheel (for timer, macro, flash control, EV exposure compensation), menu button and delete button. The bottom of the camera offers a plastic-thread tripod mount, and a trap door behind which you'll find the battery compartment and the SD memory card slot. Nikon has positioned a dock connector at the back of the bottom plate. The mini-USB connector is located behind a rubber snap-in door on the upper right end of the body. The flash indicator and auto-focus lock indicator LEDs are located in a column next to the viewfinder bulge. The Nikon P50 has a prominent grip bulge on the right side which is covered with a good quality piece of textured, molded rubber providing excellent feel and control. The upper right end also has a protruding metal tab for use with a neck or wrist strap.

If the Nikon P5000 and P5100 are prosumer cameras (aimed necessarily at serious point & shoot photographers and also at amateurs and semi-pros who need a point & shoot backup camera), then the P50 is an enthusiast's camera. The differences between the entry level P50 and the masterful P5100 are obvious. The P5100 has a hot shoe for Nikon external flashguns, the P50 does not. The P5100 has selectable Auto, Aperture, Shutter, Program, Manual, Scene and VR modes and controls, while the P50 offers Auto, Program, Manual and Scene modes and controls. The P5100 has a finely stepped rotary zoom control; the P50 has a more coarsely stepped rocker switch zoom control. The P5100 is built around a cast magnesium body shell; the P50 is built around a sturdy polycarbonate shell. The P5100 offers a slightly better lens and a 12.1 megapixel image sensor; the P50 lens provides a more useful zoom range and an 8.1 megapixel image sensor. The P50 costs $150 less than the P5100. Hmmm. Tough decision.

Let it be stated above all else that more megapixels don't automatically mean better photographs. I'll take the clean, relatively noise-free 8.1 megapixels of the Nikon Coolpix P50 over the slightly noisier, but greater number of megapixels often found in more expensive cameras. The reason is simply that a large number of megapixels doesn't necessarily mean greater resolution. It just means physically larger images and somewhat better detail when you zoom in or crop. But since I rarely print larger than 8"x10" who cares? I do serious shooting with my digital SLR cameras, not a point & shoot, and it's on such SLRs that you'll find extremely high resolution lenses capable of capturing clean, noise free detail at really large image sizes suitable for printing many times larger than 8"x10". Forget about megapixels. It's sufficient to state here—and please believe me—that the 8.1 megapixel P50 will capture photos suitable for beautiful printing at all normal sizes including 8"x10" (and even 13"x19" depending on subject matter).

The real test is in the shooting. Winter days with fresh white snow sitting on dark wood, the sad looking, snow-capped, black metal BBQ sitting on my backyard deck and many other similar subjects provide high-contrast, wide dynamic range challenges for all digital cameras, and represent a particularly distressing challenge for little point & shoot models with their smaller image sensors and comparatively limited processing power. The P50 does quite well outdoors in winter, so color me surprised. The exposure compensation (EV) adjustments come in handy for dialing things back slightly to help get blown out snow highlights back under control, but the basic dynamic range of the sensor and the way in which Nikon's wonderful new EXPEED processor handle the high contrast data is exemplary for a camera in this class. Here's a sample photo. Read the full review at Kickstartnews.

Cons: Minor assembly issue leaves a small dirt collecting gap where the rubber grip fits into the the body. Some focus adjustment settings aren't retained in shooting mode. ISO2000 is useful only as a marketing pitch.

Pros: Lightweight, versatile, good image quality. Nikon has, as usual, emphasized very accurate, vibrant color. Clean images for any purposes up to ISO200. Printable images up to ISO400.

Read the full Nikon Coolpix P50 review

Nikon Announce New Compacts

Nikon have followed up their announcement of the D3 and D300, with news of several new compact digicam models. This includes their 12.1 megapixel, Coolpix P5100, the 8.1 megapixel Coolpix P50, the S700 with image stabilization, and other models like the S510, the S51 and 51c and the entry level L14 and L15. All should be available in the UK from September.

Nikon Unveil Full Frame D3 & new D300

After what has to be one of the longest waits Nikon released a Full Frame D-SLR, featuring a CMOS based 12.1 megapixel sensor. D3. The D3 is centred around speed and sensitivity, with a base sensitivity of ISO 200 to 6400 and an additional two stop range above that (up to ISO 25600). The D3 can shoot at nine frames per second with AF tracking, and up to eleven frames per second without. The D3 should be available in November, at around US$5000. Other capabilities included their new EXPEED image processor, a new 51-point AF sensor, color AF tracking, dual CF compartments featuring UDMA support, an amazing 3.0" Live View Display, HDMI video output, and even a virtual horizon function which can tell you when you're holding the D3 level.

The D300 also features a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, albeit a 1.5x FCF, 14-bit A/D conversion, EXPEED image processor, sensitivity up to ISO 6400, HDMI video output, UDMA CF support and the 3.0" Live View Display. The D300 should be available in November, at around US$1800.

Visit DPReview for more info...

Nikon To Unveil Next Gen DSLR?

There are rumours that Nikon are to unveil their next generation D-SLR sometime around the 26th of this month. The indication are that the camera may feature an 18MP sensor and also that the sensor will be close to full frame in size. Time will tell...

Nikon Cancels The Release Of Their Recently Announced View Pro Software

Nikon decided to cancel the release of their high-speed image management and browsing software, Nikon View Pro.
Despite our preparations to release the software on schedule, the environment
surrounding image handling is undergoing major changes. We decided to suspend
the release based on our judgment that the new software’s performance would not
be optimal for the new environment. We are currently developing a new generation
of image management and browsing software for download from our website, and
plan to begin offering this before the end of 2007.

I look forward to seeing what Nikon Come up with...

Nikon Releases Capture NX v1.1

Nikon have released updaters for their Capture NX application which will take it to v1.1. The Mac version is now a Universal Binary with spport for native performance on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs, the Windows version has introduced compatibility with the 32-bit version of Vista. Rob Galbraith has published a page providing more details of the changes and improvements with links to all the updates.