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Tracking the Trends at PMA

(March 2008) posted on Tue Mar 11, 2008

A handful of new DSLRs took center stage at this year's show.

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By Clare Baker

Canon also introduced two new telephoto lenses for its EOS SLR cameras: the EF200mm f/2L IS USM and the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM, both of which were exhibited as prototypes during PhotoPlus (see p. 7 of the January issue of The Big Picture for detailed specs). The EF200mm will be available in April for a price of $5999; the EF800mm will be available in May for a price of $11,999.

Nikon ( added to its line of D-series cameras with the D60 DSLR. Billed as Nikon's smallest DSLR, the camera features a 10.2-megapixel DX-format CCD imaging sensor as well as Nikon's Expeed image-processing system. The D60 features a 0.18-second start-up time and fast shutter response and allows users to capture images at a speed of up to 3 frames per second for as many as 100 consecutive JPEG images.

The D60 utilizes a three-area auto-focus system and Nikon's 3-D Color Matrix Metering II, which evaluates each scene for brightness, color, contrast, shadows and highlights, and camera-to-subject distance to determine an appropriate exposure for that scene. Users can view their images on the camera's 2.5-in. LCD monitor with a 170-degree viewing angle. The camera also features on onboard Help Menu System with Assist Images to help users select the appropriate settings for many camera features. Additionally, the DSLR incorporates Nikon's i-TTL flash control, which evaluates flash exposure to achieve better automatic flash balance. The camera also features Nikon's Active Dust Reduction system.

The camera features in-camera editing capabilities through the Retouch Menu including Nikon D-Lighting; red-eye correction; image trim; image overlay; and monochrome, skylight, warm tone, and color balance filter effects. The D60 also includes new effects such as quick retouch, NEF (RAW) processing, and cross star and color intensifier filters. Additionally, the D60 includes eight digital vari-programs which adjust settings automatically for the selected scenario and lighting condition.

Included with the D60 is the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization lens.

Additionally, Nikon introduced the new AF-S Micro Nikkor 60 mm f/2.8 G ED lens designed for extreme close-up photography. The lens can focus at a distance of 0.185 m (0.6 ft) at its closest. The lens utilizes Nikon's Silent Wave Motor technology; a nano crystal coat, which reduces ghosting and flare; extra low dispersion glass to minimize chromatic aberration; and Nikon's Internal Focusing design, designed to eliminate rotation of the front lens element.

Estimated price: $549.95.

Samsung introduced the 14.6-megapixel GX-20, the fourth and most advanced addition to its line of GX DSLRs. The GX-20's CMOS sensor is capable of capturing 14-bit raw images, which can be converted to JPEG format directly on the camera. Also, the camera features an 11-point wide-area auto focus system, a high ISO setting of 6400, and a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second. The DSLR can capture up to three pictures per second in continuous shooting mode, In this mode, users can capture an unlimited number of JPEG images and up to nine raw images. The camera also features Optical Image Stabilization, an improved sensor-based shake reduction system that helps minimize blur.

Users can compose their images using the Pentaprism viewfinder that yields a 95-percent wide field of view and then view their images on the camera's 2.7-in. LCD screen. Samsung has also incorporated an advanced dust-removal system that can operate automatically or manually.

Price: $1399.95.

Tamron ( announced the development of the SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) lens, a new high performance ultra wide-angle zoom lens designed for DSLR cameras with APS-C size imagers. The lens covers a focal length of 10-24 mm and a focal length equivalent to 16-37mm when converted to a 35mm full-size format. It also has an 0.24m minimum focus distance over the entire zoom range. The lens features a zoom ratio of more than 2X and a lens' filter diameter of 77mm.

The lens uses high index dispersion and low dispersion glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and glass and hybrid aspherical elements to compensate for spherical and comatic aberrations and distortions. The lens also features an optical design to optimize the angles of light rays reaching the lens' imager. Additionally, it uses a multiple coating and internal surface coating to reduce ghosting and flare.