Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun, Flexible and Affordable - Olympus SZ-12 Digital Camera Review, Product Images, Photos, Video in NYC

The new Olympus SZ-12 is a compact and super-zoom digital camera that is not only cost-friendly but also packs in a variety of impressive features. The Olympus SZ-12 has a 24x optical zoom, a 25mm wide-angle lens,  a 14megapixel resolution image sensor, a bright 3.0 inch LCD screen, 720p HD Movie Mode along with other fun features to enhance your shots like 3D Photo Mode and Magic Art Filters.

Shots were quick and easy to capture while using the camera on iA (Intelligent Auto) but I also liked having some flexibility and control of the settings by switching over to Program mode as well. 

iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode

Program Mode
Using the camera at its full 24x optical zoom was also a treat. Although it was a bit chilly that day which  made my hands a tad shakier than normal, it did not disrupt the image quality even at maximum zoom. Images appeared vibrant and clear. View the two photos I took of the fruit stand near our store. I shot both of these photos while standing in the same place, one photo with no zoom and the other photo at 24x zoom.

Additionally, the SZ-12 comes equipped with Scene Select Mode, you can choose from Portrait, Beauty, Landscape, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fire Works, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet (Cat), Pet (Dog), and the camera will automatically choose the best settings for whatever scene you're shooting. For example, the image below was shot on the Scene Select  - Landscape setting. Landscape is meant to emphasize the greens and blues in your photo.

Scene Select Mode - Landscape

You will find that changing your SZ-12 camera settings is very easy to do. Just look to the back of your camera right next to the bright  3.0" LCD screen. Another popular mode the SZ-12 features is Beauty Mode. Beauty Mode makes beautiful portraits by softening shadows and smoothing wrinkles and blemishes on your subject's face. Edits can also be made inside the camera after taking the picture.

If you have a 3D device to view your images on, you can set your camera to 3D Photo Mode and the SZ-12 will take two pictures and then combine them into one image creating a 3D effect. Adding another dimension to your already incredible photos enhances their aesthetic quality and brings the memories to life. 

Of course this camera also offers Panorama Mode, which is becoming a standard feature in the newest point-and-shoot models but for good reason. By panning your camera slowly over the wide landscape or scene you want to capture, Panorama Mode will piece together 3 images into one consecutive composite for you. This allows you to capture the full scene without limiting your shots to the size of one frame. Below is a panorama photo taken of Times Square in New York with the Olympus SZ-12.

Panorama Mode

Another cool feature are the 10 Magic Art Filters built-into this camera. These filters include Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Water Color, Reflection and Miniature. You can choose to add a Magic Art Filter while taking stills OR while recording movies. A simple, one-touch button allows you to record videos with amazing clarity in high-definition, right from your camera. HDMI output and control makes viewing your videos on an HD television simple. Below  are multiple photos taken with each of the different Magic Art Filters.

Pop Art Filter:

Pop Art Filter Image 01

Pop Art Filter Image 02

Pinhole Filter:

Pinhole Filter Image 01
Pinhole Filter Image 02

PinHole Filter Video:

Fisheye Filter:

Fisheye Filter Image 01

Fisheye Filter Image 02

Drawing Filter:

Punk Filter:

Punk Filter Image 01
Punk Filter Image 02

Sparkle Filter:

Sparkle Filter Image 01
Sparkle Filter Image 02

Watercolor Filter:

Watercolor Filter Image 01
Watercolor Filter Image 02

Watercolor Filter Image 03

Watercolor Filter Video:

Reflection Filter:

Reflection Filter Image 01

Reflection Filter Image 02
Reflection Filter Video:

Miniature Filter:

Miniature Filter Image 01

Miniature Filter Image 02
There are only so many places in midtown to get some good shots, after testing over 100+ cameras in the area (gotta stay relatively close to the store!) some of my shots have become redundant due to convenience and time restraints, but thankfully, that's where the Magic Art Filters came in and spiced up my shots! If the scenery gets repetitive (in a bad way) or the weather is drab, you can easily select one of the filters and just like that, your creativity is regenerated and you can start having fun again!

As someone who enjoys shooting subjects close-up, I was impressed by the SZ-12's macro and super macro capability. I was able to get closer than I expected to my subjects while still maintaining image quality. This is also due to the SZ-12's Dual Image Stabilization, which combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to capture crisp, clear images in a variety of situations. 

Macro Mode Image 01

Macro Mode Image 02
Macro Mode Image 03

Macro Mode Image 04

Macro Mode Image 05

Macro Mode Image 06

All of your videos and stills can be recorded onto a SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card. Memory cards have to be purchased separately, of course. You can also share your images wirelessly on your social networks or on your computer if you purchase an optional Eye-Fi card for your Olympus SZ-12 as well. 

More notable specifications include a compact and easy to hold hand grip body, noise reduction, a built-in flash, and a self-timer. The Olympus SZ-12 also comes with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and battery charger. 

For prices and availability, you can visit our Olympus SZ-12 product page or you can stop by our H and B Digital retail location in Midtown, Manhattan.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Testimonial For Olympus Weatherproof and Waterproof Digital Cameras!

Summer is approaching and if you are thinking of investing in a weatherproof or waterproof digital camera for your summer adventures, perhaps a recent article published in The Royal Gazette will persuade you. According to the article, a woman lost her Olympus Stylus Tough digital camera while diving in the Turks and Caicos and 9 months later, to her astonishment, she received an email from a friend telling her that her camera was found intact 870 miles north of Bermuda!

If this doesn't convince you of the impressive durability of Olympus' weatherproof and waterproof digital cameras then I don't know what will, expect maybe trying one out for yourself!

You can read the full article by clicking here.

If you are interested in purchasing a weatherpoof/waterproof digital camera, we have a large variety of cameras to chose from, including the new Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS digital camera!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When Two Worlds Collide - The New Fujifilm FinePix S4200 Review, Video and Photos in NYC

If you’re interested in upgrading from your standard point-and-shoot digital camera but aren’t quite ready for the expense or the complexities of a professional DSLR camera, the newly released Fujifilm FinePix S4200 might be a good option for you.  A few days ago I tested the Fuji S4200 in NYC and found it to be a very portable and easy to use digital camera with excellent image quality and an array of impressive features not typically found on your standard point-and-shoot.  The Fujifilm S4200 features a 14 megapixel resolution, a 24x optical zoom lens, an electronic viewfinder and a bright 3.0 inch LCD, among other noteworthy attributes, including a 1920 x 1080 high definition video record mode. Videos record continuously for approximately 9 minutes from start to finish.

Another great feature is the Fujifilm S4200 body which is compact but also comes equipped with a hand grip, a useful attribute when taking shots amongst the crowds of people swarming the city streets.  Although the S4200 is equipped with advanced features, it still stays true to its point-and-shoot roots, such as AA alkaline battery power, a speedy start-up time of 1.8 seconds and a variety of auto modes and functions.
The flexibility to choose and change lenses that fit your creative or professional needs is one of the reasons many amateur and hobbyist photographers eventually upgrade to an interchangeable lens camera.  The Fujifilm S4200 is equipped with a Fujinon 24x optical zoom, 24-576mm wide-angle, super-zoom lens which also utilizes a 42-step electronic powered zoom control for smooth transitions – making this lens versatile enough to shoot close-up (macro) or to capture distant subjects. Additionally, the lens has a Super EBC coating to reduce ghosting and lens flare for clearer and crisper images.

The fun and easy to use auto features are one of the reasons so many people are attracted to point-and-shoot cameras.  Point-and-shoot fans will be pleased to know that Fujifilm S4200 comes with 6 different Scene SR AUTO modes including Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro, Night Portrait and Backlit Portrait. Another great function is the Natural Light and With Flash mode, this function takes both a natural light image and an image with flash when you can’t decide which way you want it. You can save both images and keep the ones you like best.

Essentially, you can get the best of both worlds with the Fujifilm FinePix S4200.

For pricing and availability, view the Fujifilm FinePix S4200 Product Page or visit us at our NYC camera store.

- OR -
You can read more details and view video footage and sample photos taken with the Fujifilm FinePix S4200

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Digital Camera Review, Video, Photo Testing in NYC

I took to the streets of NYC yesterday afternoon  to test the new Fujifilm FinePix SL300 - a 14 megapixel point-and-shoot digital camera equipped with an impressive Fujinon 30x optical zoom  24mmm wide angle lens! The camera was easy to handle and it's 160 degree angle, ultra wide and bright 3.0" LCD screen made composing shots and viewing images easy and fun. However, it was nice having the flexibility to frame some of my shots through the electronic viewfinder. Although the Fuji SL300 already comes with a built-in flash, there is also a hot-shoe which can accommodate an auxiliary TTL flash, for shooting scenes beyond the capability of the built-in flash.

Getting back to the SL300's most exciting feature - it's super-zoom lens. The 30x zoom 24mm wide angle lens has been treated with multilayer Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating), which according to Fujifilm, is the same process used for Fujinon broadcasting video lenses and large-format camera lenses acclaimed by professionals. This helps to reduce ghosting and lens flare which is expected to improve image quality. The lenses powered 30x zoom features smooth 45-step zoom control to help  frame every shot with greater accuracy. You can also shoot macro photography at a distance of 2cm and with Dual Image Stabilization, the SL300 works to eliminate blurred photos by freezing action and minimizing blurs at maximum zoom range.

For prices and availability,  visit our Fujifilm FinePix SL300 product page or visit our H and B Digital photo store in NYC.


View video footage, images and more details about the Fujifilm Finepix SL300 >>>

Product Highlights:
  • 14.0Mp Resolution
  • 3.0" LCD Monitor
  • 24-720mm Fujinon 30x Optical Zoom Lens
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Storage
  • 1280 x 720 HD Video Capture
  • 64-6400 ISO Sensitivity
  • CCD Shift Type Image Stabilization
  • Electronic Viewfinder
  • TTL Hot Shoe
  • 45-Step Electronic Powered Zoom
Video Footage Taken with the Fujifilm FinePix SL300:

Photos Taken with the Fujifilm FinePix SL300:

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 01

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 02

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 image 03

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Photo 04

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Photo 05

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Photo 06

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 07

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 08

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 09

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 10

Fujifilm FinePIx SL300 Image 11

Fujifilm Finepix SL300 Image 12

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 13

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 14

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 15

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 16

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 17

Fujifilm FinePix SL300 Image 18

More Details/Features of the Fujifilm FinePix SL300:

Of course, the SL300 doesn't just take still images; it also captures 1280 x 720 high def video with monaural sound. Other helpful highlights include the TTL hot shoe for attaching optional flash units that can go beyond the capabilities of the built-in flash. Additionally, the SL300 is powered by a lithium-ion battery that is capable of capturing up to 300 frames on one charge.
A number of auto modes also grace the SL300, taking the guesswork out of shooting - in almost any situation. Whether you're taking advantage of face detection or Tracking Auto Focus, you'll end up with great looking memories without frustration.
When you're done shooting, the post-production features help you share both stills and videos on social media with in-camera tagging, MyFinePix Studio, and Photobook Assist. Playback functions also abound, including Micro Thumbnail View, By Scene, and By Favorite Rank, among others.
Lens X Finder - Experience the Extreme Shooting Sensation
The combination of versatile & functional Fujinon lens and a bright viewfinder give a sensational shooting experienceFujinon 30x Optical Zoom and Wide 24mm Zoom LensThe widely renown Fujinon Lenses are used popularly in numerous situations including satellites in outer space, TV/film, surveillance, and compact cameras. With the highly adept manufacture of Fujifilm, high precision optics and technology are provided for the best 24mm wide angle and 30x optical zoomSuper EBC - Aiming for High Quality ImagesThe lens elements used in the SL300 have been treated with multilayer Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating), the same process used for Fujinon broadcasting video lenses and large-format camera lenses acclaimed by professionals. Reducing ghosting and lens flare, the treatment promises clear image quality45-Step Electronic Powered ZoomThe powered 30x zoom features smooth 45-step zoom control, giving you the ability to frame every shot with precision accuracy2cm Super Macro At a distance of just 2cm, macro photography using the SL300 allows you to capture all the exquisite detail of your subject from really close up
High Sensitivity + CCD Shift Image Stabilization
Dual Image Stabilization is the combination of high sensitivity and CCD shift image stabilization that works to eliminate blurred photos by freezing action and minimizing blurs at the maximum zoom range
Electronic Viewfinder
The FinePix SL300 offers the flexibility of framing your shots through the crisp, clear electronic viewfinder. In addition to enhanced visibility in bright daylight, the bright EVF accommodates a traditional shooting style, making it easy to steady the camera, even when shooting with the 30x zoom fully extended
3.0 Inch Large LCD
With its ultra-wide view angle of 160 degrees, the bright, high-contrast (1:1100), 3.0", 460,000 dot LCD screen makes composing, viewing, and sharing images a pleasure
Li-ion Battery
The hard-working li-ion battery is capable of capturing up to 300 frames on a single charge
TTL Hot-Shoe
A hot-shoe accommodates an auxiliary TTL flash, for shooting scenes beyond the capability of the built-in flash. A selection of versatile compatible flash units is available separately
Fast Startup
Turn the power ON from a cold start and FinePix SL300 is ready to shoot in only 1.8 seconds
6 Scene SR AUTO Modes
Framed scenes are automatically detected and selected into appropriate camera settings: Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro, Night Portrait, and Backlit PortraitPortrait:Recognizes portraits by detecting the faces quickly in the frame and optimizing focus, brightness, and white balanceLandscape:Scenic shots such as mountains and buildings are automatically recognized. Colors of the sky, forests, and flower fields are captured in vivid colors and depthNight:For low-light and nighttime scenarios, shutter speed, and sensitivity are automatically adjusted producing blur-free pictures with minimal noiseMacro:Macro mode sets the focusing position of the details of small flowers or tiny subjects accuratelyNight Portrait:When photographing people at night or in low-light, SR AUTO optimizes flash range, shutter speed, and exposure of the portraits, while capturing a smooth and luminous backgroundBacklit Portrait:Optimizes brightness of the faces that usually end up in shadow and underexposure caused by the light behind
Blink Detection
The camera will warn you when people in the frame are blinking, giving you the option to retake the photo, or enlarge the face so you can save or delete the image before you take the next shot
Smile & Shoot Mode
The Smile & Shoot mode of Scene Position, automatically releases the shutter when the smile appears so you won't miss the adorable smile the moment they happen
Face Recognition
The FinePix SL300 not only detects faces in a frame but it can also recognize who is who! You can register up to 8 people in your camera and next time you take a photo of them it will bring up their name and optimize settings in favor of your registered faces. In playback, you can search for all photos containing registered faces to quickly find photos of your favorites
Natural Light & With Flash
Can't decide whether it's best to use flash? Choose this mode, press the shutter and automatically capture the same scene twice: once with high sensitivity and natural light, and the second time with intelligent flash. Later choose one or keep both!
Face Detection
Face detection optimizes people pictures by identifying faces and adjusting focus and exposure to ensure bright, clear results
Red-Eye Removal in Detected Faces
Red-eye removal automatically detects and corrects flash reflection for a prefect end result
Instantly Detect Up to 10 Faces!
The Face Detection can simultaneously recognize up to 10 faces in a photo. Share your group portraits using the zoom up function in playbacks, checking each detected face. Each priceless expression can be cropped and saved in clear high resolution results
Motion Panorama
Lets you take panorama photos as simply as 1, 2, 3! The camera automatically stitches together three consecutive shots, with simple in-frame guidance to ensure the images are aligned. The resulting image is saved to the memory card as an impressive panorama
Tracking Auto Focus
Keeps fast moving subjects in the frame and in focus, even at 5x zoom extended. Great for capturing dynamic close-ups
Instant Zoom
A function to follow moving subjects in standard wide view for easy framing at high zoom settings. With a single press of a button, the subject tracked within the selected frame on the LCD will be captured and saved at a high zoom ratio (1.4x or 2.0x digital zoom)
Zoom Bracketing Mode
Enables three shots to be taken at the single press of the button, at varying degrees of magnification (original, 1.4x and 2.0x). This enables instant editing on the camera to choose the ideal shot, rather than having to go back to a PC to facilitate a digital crop
Date Stamp Function
Shooting date and time can be embedded in the lower right-hand corner of the images files
HDTV-Compatible Photos and Video
Able to capture both photos and movies in high-definition 16:9 format, the SL300 lets you discover the impact of full-screen HDTV image display. Capture high resolution images in 16:9 formatPhoto Shooting:Capture high resolution images in 16:9 format (4288 x 2416 pixels, 3072 x 1728 pixels, 1920 x 1080 pixels)Movie Shooting: Capture high resolution images in 16:9 format (1280 x 720 pixels)
Versatile Shooting Modes
In addition to a wide range of shooting modes, the SL300 offers a selection of versatile scene positions that ensure optimum results no matter what the sceneSR AUTO:Choose for shooting a subject under low-light or a still subject by using the telephoto zoomAUTO:The easiest mode for taking pictures. Use this for ordinary photographyProgram AE:An automatic mode to set the white balance and exposurePro Low-Light:Choose for shooting a subject under low-light or a still subject by using the telephoto zoomHDR (Dynamic Range):Each time the shutter button is pressed, the camera takes a series of shots, each with different exposure. These are combined into a single image, preserving detail in highlights and shadowsNatural Light & With Flash:Shoots 2 images continuously, without flash and with flash. Comes in great handy during marginal shooting situationsNatural Light:Produces beautiful images that retain the natural ambiance when shots are taken in low-light conditions
Portrait:Set for shooting portraits. Skin tones are softened as it enhances the overall natural look
Portrait Enhancer:Enables automatic enhancements of skin tone
Landscape:Best for shooting scenery in daylight capturing clear and sharp shots of buildings and mountains effectively
Motion Panorama 360: Sweep the camera right or left to create panoramic image
Sport:A quick recognition of persons in motion or objects for a faster shutter speed to help you catch the perfect moment
Night: Mode for shooting evening and night scenes. A picture is taken with a slow shutter
Night (Tripod): Clear shots of twilight scenes using tripod
Sunset: Capture sunset scenes vivid in color
Snow: Most adaptable to snow scenes without unnatural darkened images or where the whole screen appears white
Beach: Clear shots of people without darkened images under strong sunlight
Underwater: Best for shooting underwater for capturing clear images of the blue ocean
Underwater (Wide): Clear underwater picture in wide view, capturing the dynamism of the wondrous water world
Underwater (Macro): Capture underwater subjects up-close with clarity and in eloquent colors
Party: Best for shooting indoor weddings or parties. Retains the natural ambiance in low-light conditions
Flower: Capture a clear close-up shot of blooming flowers rich in color
Text: Clear shots of letters on a document or white board
Share Your Images with Built-In Social Networking
Don't wait until you get home to start choosing which pictures to upload to FaceBook. Start the process in-camera by tagging the pictures you want to share. The next time you connect to your home computer your images will upload automatically. The same goes for movie clips too, which can also be uploaded to YouTube
Easy Web Uploading to YouTube and Facebook via MyFinePix Studio
It's as easy as one, two, three. Shoot pictures and HD video clips, edit them in-camera, and tag them for upload to your Facebook profile page or YouTube accountIn-Camera Editing:In-camera edit functions let you edit captured images, which can then be marked with a touch of the convenient upload buttonUpload:When the SL300 is connected to a PC the marked images are uploaded to the designated site, eliminating the need for time-consuming PC-based image processing or selectionMyFinePix Studio Automatically Searches for New Images to Upload:MyFinePix Studio detects new images to upload. When finding new images to upload, the uploader starts automatically
Photobook Assist
Create a photo album in your camera. Easily accessible and mobile, you can share images with family and friends anytime, anywhere. Installed in-camera, you can create a photobook folder where tagged images will be stored and organized accordingly. Your photobook can also be ordered online, when you are connected to the Internet
Post Capture Editing
Try the in-camera movie and image editing functions to artistically enliven photos, creating distinctive ambiancesMovie EditingMovie Trimming:After you take a clip, just set the IN and OUT points to crop and save only the part you want. It's that easyMovie Join:Select any previously recorded movie file and "resume" shooting to create a movie up to 2GB in sizePhoto EditingAdd an artistic dimension to any recorded image in your camera with your choice of special effectsAspect Ratio:Images are trimmed to fit the ratio aspectsSepia:Adds tone effects of sepia that can be adjusted at 5 different levels
Contrast:10 contrast levels can be selected from softening to sharpening controls
Cropping:Images can be cropped to fit your blog
Color:Adds miniature effect to image
Brightness:10 brightness levels can be adjusted
Face Mosaic:Mosaic to faces can be applied
Playback Functions
Easy and simple search function with slideshow and red-eye removal during playbackImage Search: With the convenient Image Search function you can search pictures by Date, Face, Scene, Type of Data, Favorite Rank, and photos you've marked to uploadBy Date:View your saved images by date, making it easy to locate specific events or occasionsBy Face:All your portraits can be selected and replayed based on composition: group photos, couples pictures, and so onBy Scene:Photos shot with AUTO or SR AUTO mode can be replayed according to the type of scene: portrait, landscape, night scene, and macroBy Type of Data:Display the content of your image library according to the type of data: still photos, edited images, or movie footageBy Favorite Rank:Rank your photos according to your favorites with star ratingsBy Upload Mark:Images marked for upload to YouTube and Facebook can be grouped and displayed togetherSlideshow: Close-ups of detected faces are shown in slideshow style
Red-Eye Removal during Playback: This function corrects red-eyes while reviewing detected faces
Micro Thumbnail View:Up to 100 pictures can be viewed at a time in a 10 x 10 array of micro thumbnails. Convenient for smooth and comfortable playback
Movie Recording
1280 x 720 pixels / 640 x 480 pixels / 320 x 240 pixels (30 frames/sec.) with monaural sound. Optical zoom function can be used
SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Slot
The versatile card slot is compatible with high-capacity Secure Digital (SDHC/SDXC) memory cards

For prices and availability, visit our Fujifilm FinePix SL300 product page or visit our H and B Digital photo store in NYC.