PMA 2010 Report
In addition to the many interviews, attending various lectures, and receiving the information about (upcoming) product introductions, I went out to take photos with several new digital cameras. One of which is the Sigma DP2 compact camera, and although not a final production model, we are already able to provide you with a number of test photos which were made in Las Vegas with the Sigma DP2. The Sigma DP2 digital camera was first mentioned during the Photokina 2008. At that time, the process of the development of the Sigma DP2 camera was announced. This time, however, during the PMA 2009, it has become clear that Sigma is ready to launch the Sigma DP2 and deliver the new camera to its distributors.
We've managed to get hold of the first full production Olympus E-620 DSLR camera, and we have made several sample pictures on the famous Strip in Las Vegas. The Olympus E-620 is currently the world's smallest and most light-weight DSLR with built-in image stabilization. However; it's not only the weight that makes the E620 stand out from the crowd. The camera uses techniques of the semi-professional Olympus E-30, lifting the bar for quality again. In addition to the Live MOS sensor with 12.3 Megapixels, the Olympus E620 features a handy vari-angle LCD display that can be folded in and out, which is ideal when you want to take pictures from an awkward angle. Live View provides the extra ease.
The arrival of a new GH1 of Panasonic did not exactly come as a surprise, while at the Photokina 2008 we already saw an early prototype of the Panasonic GH1 showcased behind glass Panasonic's press event. The introduction of the Micro Four Thirds system, in cooperation with Olympus, was a good start for Panasonic. In 2008, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 was awarded with the DIWA Gold Award for overall quality and the highly appreciated LUMIX G Vario 14-45mm kit lens. The official introduction of the Panasonic LUMIX GH1 is now a fact, and certainly creates high expectations. The Panasonic GH1 will take video capture with a DSLR to a different level.
During the Photokina, Nikon introduced a new wide aperture fixed-focal length lens, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G lens. This lens has a fast maximum aperture of f/1.4 respectively for a bright viewfinder experience, beautiful background blur with shallow depth of field. Due to its fixed focal length, the Nikon 50mm lens is considered as standard lens for the FX DSLR such as the Nikon D3x, D3, and D700. If the Nikon 50mm is mounted on a DX DLSR such as the Nikon D300, D90, D60, or D40x, the picture angle reaches 75mm, thanks to the 1.5x focal length multiplier on DX DSLR cameras. Both this Nikon lens and the Nikon D3x became available in December, so we decided to take the pair along on one of our strolls.
At the beginning of this year, Nikon introduced a new lens specifically designed for DX format cameras. Yet, thanks to the DX support, it is also possible to use the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G in combination with Nikon FX DSLR cameras. During my visit to the PMA in Las Vegas, I took the wide-angle lens along and used it in combination with the Nikon D3x. Two extremes, but with extensive Nikon support for Nikon products mutually, just as we have come to expect from Nikon. The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens provides a maximum aperture of f/1.8 for a nicely blurred background with a very small depth of field. What's more, the length of the lens does not change while focusing.
During the worldwide introduction of the new Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR, we were already able to provide a preview. During the PMA in Las Vegas, I took a production model of the Fujifilm F200EXR along to get started for the upcoming review. The Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is the first camera to feature the new Super CCD EXR image sensor. This sensor was officially introduced at the Photokina 2008 and is a technical innovation of which Fujifilm has very high expectations indeed. The history of Fujifilm sensors shows that a lot of effort is generally put into research, in order to improve pixel quality without prioritizing on pixel amounts. As far as we're concerned, this is an excellent choice.
Just before the PMA, we were invited by Panasonic for a press event, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the event I was given the opportunity to use the new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ7. The Panasonic LUMIX TZ7 is Panasonic's flagship of the new assortment LUMIX digital cameras for the upcoming season. It is the successor to the TZ5 and Panasonic's hope to continue the successful Travel Zoom series. The specifications aren't bad at all upon first glance. Whereas the TZ5 distinguished itself by featuring a 10x optical zoom in a compact housing, the Panasonic TZ7 even surpasses this with a 12x zoom! This is enough to reach a range of 25-300mm (35mm equivalent) without any effect on the compact size.
Two years have already passed since Ricoh digitalized the famous GR camera and introduced the GR Digital. In September 2005 I received a pre-production model of the Ricoh GR Digital and now, two years later, the successor lies in front of me: the Ricoh GR Digital II. Over the past few years many hundreds of new digital cameras have been introduced and to say that each and every one of them is a unique piece, would be exaggerated. The majority of these digital cameras belongs to the compact camera category and these cameras offer more or less the same functions and quality compared with each other. Once in a blue moon a camera will stand out and boost on a unique concept.