Monday, October 31, 2011

New Olympus SP-810UZ Photo Shoot & Product Review

New Olympus SP-810UZ Digital Camera Photo Shoot in NYC From H and B

Camera: Olympus SP-810UZ
Mode: Auto

Product Highlights

  • 14Mp CCD Image Sensor
  • TruePic III+ Image Processor
  • 3.0" Widescreen LCD
  • 24mm Ultra Wide-Angle Lens
  • 36x Wide Optical Zoom
  • HD Movie with HDMI Control
  • Dual Image Stabilization
  • 3D Photos
  • Wi-Fi Compatibility
  • In-Camera Panorama

The Olympus SP-810UZ Digital Camera is an economical option for those looking to go beyond "point-and-shoot" without breaking the bank. The SP-810UZ boasts these major selling points: 14Mp CCD image sensor and the TruePic III+ Image Processor, a 24mm ultra wide-angle lens, 36x optical zoom, and a 3.0" LCD display. That translates into detailed, high-res images filled with clarity and are composed just the way you want them to be. The generous 3.0" screen on the back of the camera gives you the ability to setup the composition and focus, as well as review your pictures after you've shot.

In addition to capturing straight still images, the SP-810UZ also takes 3D-photos. Three dimensional photos take your memories and bring them to life, literally; they'll jump off the page at you and show everyone just how wonderful a time that memory was! The camera also captures 720p HD videos. As is much the rage in the digital camera world, Olympus knows how important video capture is these days. From Facebook to YouTube you'll be sharing your memories with ease thanks to the SP-810UZ's built-in video camera. To make your life even easier, your video (and audio!) can be shared with all on your HDTV using an HDMI cable (optional).

Other highlights of the camera include Wi-Fi compatibility. Using Eye-Fi cards you can upload or email images cable or card free! It doesn't get any simpler than that. Additional features of the camera include AF Tracking, which automatically tracks unpredictable and fast-moving subjects, such as kids, and ensures sharp photos. Face Detection, Beauty Mode, Shadow Adjustment, and Magic Art Filters are just a few of the other ways this camera helps you turn your vision into reality.

Photo Shoot Images:

Click here to view or order the New Olympus SP-810UZ Digital Camera

More information about the Olympus SP-810UZ

2011 PDN Photo Expo Exclusive: Companies Worth Mentioning for Photographers

2011 PDN Photo Expo Photography Treat: 
Creative Companies Worth Mentioning For Photographers

500px, Inc. - A cool new social media platform for photographers to promote their work, view other photographers work and create a stunningly awesome portfolio for FREE

Ammonite Press - Creates and sells expanded guides which provide comprehensive and accessible guidance in the use of  and the software required for today's digital cameras. Also, brings important collections of pictures to life by creating social history books by working closely with Press Association Images' archivists to select photographs from a total of over 15 million captured during the 20th century.

Animoto - This website can take your photo images and then create a video slideshow with sound for you minutes, it cost money but it is so quick and easy, you can even use it with images taken from your phone.

Blurb, inc. - Create and design your own photo book in hardcover or softcover in quality prints and binding for a cost efficient price - definitely a cool way to showcase your work for friends, family or for a job interview.

American Society of Media Photographers - Become a member of this organization whether you are a professional photographer, advanced amateur or student, great site for networking in the photography industry, exclusive events and membership benefits - only downside is that there are membership fees on an annual basis.


You can borrow professional lenses, cameras and photography equipment if you just want to test it out or need it for a one time photo shoot - a cost effective way to shoot if you just can't afford to buy right now.

Backprint - You can create a gallery, upload images, choose products, and start selling your photography online. Backprint offers unlimited gallery and image uploads, customizable storefronts and shopping carts, and advanced image organization - including photo search tools.

Chromaluxe - An exciting new dimensional display/mounting option for images. They make creative borders produced in a range of popular photo sizes and their panels feature an advanced, highly durable, and extremely smooth photo surface.

H and B Digital will be posting more companies we thought were cool and helpful for photographers for the next few days, check back daily to see more!

2011 PDN Photo Expo Exclusive: Canon Booth - New Canon EOS-1Dx, Photos, Highlights and More!

H and B Digital visited the Canon booth for the 2011 PDN Photo Expo yesterday to find some hot new items that are soon to be released - one of the most exciting products we saw this year was the new Canon EOS-1DX Digital SLR camera.

We captured footage of the event using the new Fujifilm Finepix JX420 digital point-and-shoot camera.

H and B Digital manager, Tony, speaking with the Canon NYC Sales Representative

While Canon may have a job on its hands to persuade EOS-1D MK IV users that they don't need the 1.3x crop factor and EOS-1Ds MKIII users that they don't need 21 million pixels, the EOS-1DX doesn't fail to impress.

New Canon EOS-1DX front view

It's also clear that Canon has listened to feedback about its pro-level cameras when it was designing the 18 million effective pixel EOS-1DX.

An extra mini-joystick multi-controller, for example, now provides a means of navigating the menu and selecting AF points when the camera is used in portrait format. It makes it much easier to switch between AF points when shooting in the upright orientation. It's a shame that the menu doesn't rotate as well though.

Furthermore, the new menu arrangement has a tab and a series of screens dedicated to the AF settings. While this has similar controls to those available in the EOS-1D MK IV and EOS 7D, they are put in much clearer terms, with 6 different types of shooting conditions listed. There's also a help menu to explain pertinent features.

Perhaps the EOS 7D could have a firmware upgrade to introduce this new user interface?
Although the menu is extensive, as usual with a Canon SLR now, it is divided into sections under tabbed headings.

Pressing the Q (Quick menu) button cycles between the tabs while the multi-controllers or main dial can be used to scroll through the various options.

The large control dial on the back of the camera is also touch-sensitive during video shooting and it can be used to adjust the exposure compensation to +-5EV and sound levels.

Tapping the top or bottom of the dial switches between the two options, while tapping the left or right sides adjusts the settings. Clever and quiet.

Having 61 AF points may seem excessive, but they provide better coverage of the scene and this is particularly useful with moving subjects.

The EOS-1DX's 61 points are still clustered around the center of the frame, but they cover more of it than previous Canon cameras are able to.

Getting complete frame coverage would require a much bigger AF sensor and that would require a more fundamental redesign of the camera.

Although it's possible to select individual AF points, they can also be selected in groups of varying sizes to make their selection quicker and easier if it suits the subject.

Our time with the EOS-1DX indicates that the normal phase detection AF system is capable of locking onto subjects very quickly even in very low light. Switch to live view or video mode, however and the contrast detection system is predictably slower and more hesitant – not much new to report there then.

At present Canon is unable to confirm the burst depth of the EOS-1DX, but we are told that it will be able to shoot at least as many images as the 1D MK IV in a single hit. This means it should be possible to record at a maximum of 121 JPEG images or more. At 12fps that will take less than 10 seconds.

We weren't able to accurately time the maximum continuous shooting duration of the sample model, it varied a bit, but was somewhere approaching 10 sec. A full production sample may be able to shoot for longer.

If 12fps isn't fast enough, the EOS-1Dx can be set via the custom menu to shoot full resolution JPEGs at 14fps. While these speeds are useful for getting that fleeting moment of action, few photographers will want to spend hours sifting through lots of 100+ image bursts and ironically, perhaps more speed will bring greater precision. It will certainly reward it with fewer hours in front of a computer.

The decision to cap the EOS-1DX's effective pixel count at 18 million was made to allow better image quality at high sensitivity settings. This is a familiar argument that we heard from Nikon for many years in defense of its decision to favor 12 million pixel sensors.

In a first for a Canon full-frame SLR, the EOS-1DX's CMOS sensor has gapless microlenses. This improves the light gathering potential of each photodiode and thus enables the sensitivity settings to be pushed higher.

The EOS-1DX's photodiodes are 21% larger than those in the 1Ds Mark III. Again, this benefits image quality and helps keep image noise down, especially at higher sensitivity settings.

The EOS-1DX's maximum extended sensitivity setting (ISO 204,800) should enable images to be taken in near darkness and it will be very interesting to examine the results.

It will also be interesting to see if the claimed –2EV minimum AF sensitivity is able to match the performance. Sadly we weren't allowed to examine any of the images we shot.   

Canon tells us that the EOS-1D MK IV will continue, so those who like the 1.3x crop factor can still opt to buy that camera. But these users may look jealously over the fence at 1DX users who have the new 61-point AF system and 12fps/14fps shooting.

Other than buying longer telephoto lenses, an in-camera cropping option that is selected prior to shooting would offer a solution for these photographers. Unfortunately, the EOS-1DX doesn't currently offer such a mode and Canon was unable to tell us if one might be added as a firmware upgrade.

If the EOS-1D MK IV and EOS-1Ds MK III didn't exist we would be marveling at the EOS-1DX, it seems a truly fantastic camera. However, the fact that they do exist raises fundamental questions about the concept of the new camera for existing EOS-1 series users.

In the past Canon has given professional photographers two options depending upon the type of photography they do. A high-speed model (the EOS-1D MK IV) for reportage, sport and action work or a high-resolution model (the EOS-1D MK III) for studio use. The EOS-1Dx attempts to address both markets and we look forward to giving a full production sample a thorough test to see if it is up to the job.

H and B Digital is looking forward to the exciting new Canon products to be released at next years exhibition and as authorized Canon dealers we can't wait to see what customers think of the new Canon EOS-1DX once we have it in stock, however it won't be available for order until April 2012. 

Click here to view all of our wide selection of Canon Products

Visit H and B Digital, call us at (212) 354-1341 or leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments about the products reviewed here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 PDN Photo Expo Exclusive: Fujifilm Booth, New Fujifilm X10, Fujifilm Finepix X100 and More!

H and B Digital visited the Fujifilm booth at the PDN Photo Expo to find exciting exhibits and new product releases for viewing and testing yesterday afternoon. All footage of the event was taken with a new Fujifilm release - the Fujifilm Finepix JX420 digital camera.

One of the Fujifilm exhibits showcased their instant photo system cameras - the Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S, Instax Mini 7 and Instax 210. 

FujiFilm Instax Instant Photo Camera Exhibit

The Instax series cameras print credit card-sized photos on bold new Fuji film, but retain that classic instant analog look that everyone loves. We like to think of them as Polaroid's little brothers. Lively little whipper snappers doing their own thing in this new age of instant film.

The slim Instax Mini 25 is Fuji's second generation instant camera. The Instax 25 weighs half as much as its older brother, the Instax 7s. And its digital control screen has light/dark exposure settings, and a landscape mode for distance shooting. There's even a self shoot mirror for the avid portrait pursuer and a detachable close-up lens for macro shots.

The more affordable Instax Mini 7s prints gorgeous photos just the same. Although it doesn't have a digital control screen, it does have four exposure settings (indoor, cloudy, sunny, and very sunny). The Instax Mini 7s and 25: no USB cables, no memory cards, and no computer.Just a few basic chemical reactions that develop in the palm of your hand.

They're little wizards of when-ever-you-want-it-wallet-sized-love. 

Then there is the Fuji Instax 210 wide format instant camera. Just like its instant film predecessors, your Instax 210 prints will ever so magically develop before your eyes. No special trips to get your photos printed - it's your own little analog printing machine that does it all in one place. This magic box-o-photo is a lot like Fuji's Instax Mini with one major difference: it's bigger! The Instax 210 prints are wider at just about twice the size of the Mini's. This means big, beautiful, vibrant prints all instantly delivered into your hands.

Photo of H and B Digital Team with the Fujifilm Instax 210
Another cool camera featured at the exhibit was the popular Fujifilm Real 3D W3 Digital Camera. The Real 3D W3 has 10MP of high resolution, a 3x zoom lens (35mm equivalent--35-105mm), a 3.5" LCD display with 1,150,000 dots for superb picture quality, built-in flash, and dazzling 720p HD video. Not only can you view your 3D movies using an HDMI cable (available separately) to connect the camera to any HDTV, you can watch them with full 3D effect, but without 3D glasses, on the camera's large, bright and crisp 3.5" LCD monitor. 

Front view of the Fujifilm Real 3D W3

With a variety of operation modes, from fully automatic to fully manual control, you'll never have any trouble getting just the pictures and video you want--and a simple toggle switch lets you change instantly from 2D to 3D and back. 

There are also special modes available for your 2D pictures that no other camera can match. With 2 lenses and 2 sensors, the Real 3D W3 can take 2 photos simultaneously, 1 wide-angle and 1 telephoto. Or pictures taken at the same moment, 1 in vivid color and the other in black and white. You can even take 2 simultaneous photos of (for instance) a moving object or person with high and low sensitivity, so that 1 picture is crisp and clear (high sensitivity) and 1 has an exciting "movement" blur (low sensitivity).

A full range of other shooting modes (Landscape, Natural light with Flash, Portrait, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Party, Anti-Blur, etc.) is at your command, as well. 

Fujifilm rep shows us what the Fujifilm Real 3D W3 camera can do
An exciting new release also exhibited at the event and which was exclusively presented to us by the Fujifilm NYC sales representative was the new addition to the Fuji X-series family - The Fujifilm X10.

Picture of a Photo Sample Taken with the New Fuji X10
H and B Digital team getting the scoop on the X10
At the core of this retro-look compact camera is a 2/3-inch EXR CMOS sensor that provides Fujifilms trademark trio of shooting options: SN (Signal to Noise) for high sensitivity/low noise shots; DR (Dyanmic Range) and HR (High Resolution). ISO ranges from 100 to 12,800 although the highers ISOs can only be achieved when image quality is set to lower resolution. The EXR processor powers the X10's high speed continuous shooting of up to 7 frames per second at full resolution. The X10 can also achieve 10 frames per second by dropping the resolution. 

Exclusive viewing of the New Fujifilm X10
The camera is equipped with a new Fujinon 4x manual zoom lens with a focal range of 28-112mm, a decent range for a compact camera. At the other end of the spectrum, the X10 can capture macro images as close as 1cm. In addition to the standard manual and semi-manual exposure modes, the X10 also features exposure, ISO, dynamic range and film simulation bracketing. An electronic horizon-leveling gauge is included in the feature set and the camera is capable of shooting RAW (in-camera processing is available). Other features of note include a 360-degree panorama mode, along with full HD 1080p video with stereo sound.

Hands-on testing of the new Fujifilm X10 digital camera
No slip grip with the Fuji X10

The Fujifilm X10's aluminum body gives it a solid feel and the leather-like finish adds texture to keep it from slipping from your hands. It also has a speedy auto focus response and captures vivid and clear images that can be seen through the optical viewfinder and with a wide angle view. 

Front view of Fujifilm X10
Fujifilm X10 is equipped with a new Fujinon 4x manual zoom lens with a focal range of 28-112mm
Back view of the Fujifilm X10

Another hot new release is the Fujifilm Finepix X100, the Fuji X10's bigger brother. The Fujifilm FinePix X100 is a high-precision digital compact camera that combines modern technology with a traditional camera design to deliver the ultimate in image quality.Featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor (12.3 megapixel), a Fujinon 23mm Single Focal Length Fixed F2 lens, a 2.8-inch LCD with 460K pixel, and the world's first Hybrid Viewfinder, the FinePix X100 captures exceptionally high quality images. 

Front view of the Fujifilm X100

The FinePix X100 features a custom 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS high-performance sensor, internally optimized and developed exclusively for this model. Optimization of the angle-of-incidence in conjunction with the specially developed lens maximizes light gathering efficiency extending to the perimeter of the sensor for a sharper image with exceptional clarity. When shooting HD movies, the combination of the large-sized sensor and the large aperture F2 lens, lets users create a soft out-of-focus image--a capability not available in conventional compact cameras. The ideal combination of a fixed focal length lens, high-sensitivity sensor (approximately 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact*) and a high-performance image processor captures extremely high quality images from low sensitivity to high sensitivity. In standard form, the planned ISO range is from 200 to 6400, but this can be expanded to include 100 and 12800.

Back view of the Fujifilm X100

The newly developed EXR Processor takes EXR processing to new heights. Combined with the high-sensitivity sensor, the EXR Processor achieves the highest resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range ever produced by a FinePix digital camera for the ultimate in image quality. The high-speed CMOS sensor read-out and the EXR Processor's enhanced focusing system contribute to the high-speed AF performance, while the combination of the optical viewfinder and extremely low shutter lag time enhance the image capture experience.

The Fujifilm X10 and X100 were truly a thrill to see in action at the event and as authorized dealers of Fujifilm, we can't wait until we can get these sure to be best sellers in stock. However, they are currently available for pre-order on our website.   

Click here to view all of our wide selection of Fujifilm products

You can visit H and B, call us at (212)-354-1341 or leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments about the products reviewed here.

2011 PDN Photo Expo Exclusive: The New Nikon 1 Digital Camera, The Nikon CoolPix P7100 and More!

H and B Digital visited the Nikon Booth at this years PDN photo expo to find plenty of information on their latest products, digital camera testing, lens testing and a first time look at their new Nikon 1 digital point-and-shoot camera. 

We shot some footage of Nikon's booth and exhibit with the new Fujifilm JX420 digital camera yesterday afternoon.

Hands-on exhibits allowed consumers to see and feel what their favorite lenses can do

Aspiring event, wedding photographers and even sports photographers are taking notice to Nikons new AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. This compact lens offers an extremely versatile focal range, allowing you to shoot everything from close-up portraits to wide-angle scene setters all while maintaining a constant f/4 aperture. Additionally, the lens's VR (vibration reduction) II technology steadies shaky shots and HD videos no matter what focal length you're at. Another topline feature includes it's Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare and ED (Extra-low dispersion) elements to lower chromatic abberrations. Three aspherical lens elements cut down on coma and other aberrations even when you're shooting wide. This lens's IF (Internal Focus) is silent, fast and doesn't change the length of the lens, while Nikon's SWM (Silent Wave Motor) ensures quick, stealthy and accurate autofocus. 

New Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm F/4G ED VR Lens

Nikon also showcased their popular Nikon Coolpix point-and-shoot models. Last years model, the Nikon Coolpix P7000  has gotten some popular attention from customers looking for a compact camera with the power of a professional model. 

The Nikon CoolPix P7000 is an attractive, all-black 10.1 megapixel pocket-worthy shooter that boasts a 7.1x lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, giving you the goods to capture sharp photos in a range of shooting conditions. And because the P7000's 1/1.7-inch CCD image sensor is bigger than what's found in most compact cameras, the individuals pixels on the 10.1MP chip are slightly larger in size, so they can absorb more light. Along with offering a lens equivalent to a 28-200mm in a 35mm camera, the P7000 adds ED glass elements to cut down on chromatic aberrations. 
 Nikon P7000 powerful compact digital camera

Additionally, while most compacts are delicate, the P7000 is one tough camera, with a solid polycarbonate body and a small rubberized handgrip. Digital SLR users will appreciate the abundance of external controls, including access to full manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes on the mode dial. Best of all is the EV dial on the camera's top right, which allows you to quickly change exposure with your thumb.The Quick Manual Dial at the top left is also helpful for adjusting some of the most used settings, such as ISO, bracketing and white balance.

Offering access to full manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority modes and Quick Menu Dial
Bright 3.0" 920,000-dot LCD to review your shots
More importantly, however, is the new and updated version of the P7000 model - The new Nikon CoolPix P7100. With a handful of upgrades, mostly internal, this model has improved performance including faster and more accurate autofocus and an overall increase in operational speed. There is a Low Noise Night Mode that pushes ISO to 12,800, Virtual Horizon Indicator, Zoom Memory, Cross Processing, Optical Zoom Effect and it's bright 3.0", 921,000-dot LCD screen is tiltable for easier overhead and low angle shooting.
New Nikon CoolPix P7100

New features includes the tiltable 3.0" LCD for easier overhead and low angle shooting
The biggest highlight of the Nikon booth this year was viewing and testing their brand new Nikon 1 digital point-and-shoot series cameras - the Nikon J1 and the Nikon V1. Showcased behind a glass case for observers to take notice, the Nikon J1 digital cameras comes in a wide variety of colors to suit any preference, some even including attractive and colorful cases to match.

The new Nikon J1 comes in a wide variety of colors to suit any preference

Fortunately, a few of the Nikon 1 series models were displayed around a cleverly orchestrated mini fashion show where customers could test it out for themselves.

Once I tested it for myself, I was impressed by its responsive auto focus and super fast shooting speed which made the pictures I captured appear crisp, clear and highly detailed. The camera was easy to hold, fitting in the palm of my hand and was lightweight but not too light where it felt cheap, a good size overall. Obviously, I could not bring back the photos taken with the Nikon J1 but the above photos can give you an idea of how the cameras were creatively showcased at the event.

The Nikon V1 is the more advanced camera out of the two, while its little brother, the Nikon J1, is aimed at beginners looking for a step-up in image quality. Both cameras have similar specifications, so we've taken a look at the differences between the two.

One of the key differences between the two cameras is the size. The Nikon J1 is a smaller offering, doing away with the electronic viewfinder which adds extra bulk to the J1.It does however feature an inbuilt flash, something which you will need to purchase as an extra if you go for the V1.The J1 also uses a smaller battery than the V1 to reduce the size even further.

The internal specifications of the V1 and J1 specifications are very similar, but you do get a little more bang for your buck with the J1. Not only will you get the electronic viewfinder, but you'll also find a higher resolution LCD screen (460k dot screen vs 921k dot).Both cameras use the new 10-megapixel CX format CMOS sensor, the Nikon 1 mount and are compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card formats.
Thanks to its smaller size, the Nikon J1 battery life is approximately 230 pictures for still images, compared to the V1's 400.The V1 also incorporates both a mechanical shutter and an electronic shutter, which means it should provide more accurate exposures.

Photo taken of H and B Digital at the 2011 PDN Photo Expo with the Fujifilm Instax Instant Photo camera

The Nikon booth was definitely a treat for professionals and photography enthusiasts alike. I'm looking forward to seeing what exciting new products they will release and the interesting way they will showcase them next year!

Click here to view all of our wide selection of Nikon Products

You can also visit H and B, call us at (212) 354-1341 or leave a comment below for any questions or comments about the products reviewed here.