Monday, April 30, 2012

Canon PowerShot A810 Digital Camera Review, Sample Images, Photos in NYC

We've finally worked our way through the newest members of the Canon A-series family with the testing of the new Canon PowerShot A810 compact point-and-shoot camera. Not only is this PowerShot affordable but it also comes equipped with many of the same features as it's new A-series companions. 

The Canon PowerShot A810 is highly compact, lightweight and durable. It has a sleek and modern design. It also has a curvature on one side of its body that serves as a hand grip offering more stability and comfort while shooting. It comes in your choice of 3 colors - silver, black or red.

The Canon PowerShot A810 features a high resolution 16 megapixel sensor, a DIGIC 4 Image Processor, a 5x optical zoom, 28-140mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle lens, a bright 2.7 inch LCD display screen and 720p HD video capture. This camera comes with all the essentials for you to not only take stunning stills but captivating videos as well.

The Canon PowerShot A810 features a powerful 5x Optical Zoom

Although I've already tested a majority of the new Canon a-series models, sometimes shooting in a highly populated and busy city like New York can detract your memory. That's why I love the "Help Button" featured on the back of the PowerShot A810. Just press the round button with the question mark in the middle and the camera assists you with simple explanations of the controls.

Adding to the Canon PowerShot A810's ease of use is the Smart Auto mode function which can automatically choose the correct settings, based on 32 predefined common shooting situations, for wherever you are and for whatever you are shooting. The PowerShot A810 also comes equipped with Digital IS Image stabilization which significantly reduces blur in photos even in low light situations. With Smart AUTO and Digital IS at your fingertips all you have to do is push the shutter button and you'll capture impressive images in any situation.

Smart AUTO Mode
Smart AUTO Mode + Macro Mode

The Canon PowerShot A810 also comes with a selection of  Scene Modes like Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and Monochrome, just to name a few, that give you plenty of new ways to exercise your creativity. 
Below are several sample images taken on using the various scene modes. 

1. Super Vivid Mode -  intensifies existing hues, saturating the scene with bright colors.

Super Vivid + Macro Mode

2. Fisheye Effect - a classic photographic distortion – without a fisheye lens.

Fisheye Effect Image 01

Fisheye Effect Image 02

3. Monochrome Mode - Choose from three single-tone effects: Black-and-White, Sepia, or Blue.

Monochrome - Black and White

Monochrome - Blue

Monochrome - Sepia
4. Toy Camera Mode - Simulates photos taken with “toy” or pinhole cameras, darkening the image at the edges to create a vignette effect.

Toy Camera Effect Image 01

Toy Camera Effect Image 02
5. Miniature Effect - Give images a miniature look with an effect that emphasizes perspective by blurring the top and bottom of the image.

Miniature Effect Mode
These are not all of the Scene Modes the Canon PowerShot A810 comes equipped with but they do give you a sense of the creative features offered. As I've said in past posts, the variety of Scene Modes built into the new a-series models are one of my favorite features. They definitely breathe new life into your subjects and scenery which when combined with the A810's high resolution sensor, Digital IS image stabilization and of course, your creative eye, can produce extremely vivid and interesting images/videos.

All of your images and videos can be stored on a SD/SDHC memory card, which is sold separately of course. Like most inexpensive point-and-shoots, the Canon PowerShot A810 is powered by 2x AA batteries, which do come in the box, however, it might be wise for you to purchase an extra pair.

The final verdict - If you're on a tight budget, let's say you'd like to spend no more than $150 for a digital camera including a memory card and an extra pair of batteries, and you are interested in purchasing one of the new compact point-and-shoot models without compromising the essentials especially great image quality - then the new Canon PowerShot A810 digital camera would be an excellent choice for you. 

For pricing and availability, you can go to our Canon PowerShot A810 product page or visit our H and B Digital retail location at 29 West 46th Street, Between 5th & 6th Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan, NYC.  

Call (212) 354-1341 or email us at for more information.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Canon PowerShot A1300 Digital Camera Review, Photos, Sample Images in NYC

Another new addition to the recently released Canon A-series family - the  Canon PowerShot A1300 digital camera is a compact point-and-shoot packed with an impressive combo of brilliant image quality and creative features.

As far as appearance goes, the Canon PowerShot A1300 has a sleek and modern design. It has a compact body with a curvature on its side that serves as a hand grip offering more stability and comfort when shooting. While many of the new A-series point-and-shoots comes in a variety of different colors, the Canon PowerShot A1300 only comes in two classic colors - black and silver.

The Canon PowerShot A1300 is a powerful addition to the A-series compacts, especially for its price. With desirable features like a 16 megapixel high resolution sensor, DIGIC 4 Image Processor and a 5x optical zoom, 28-140mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle zoom lens, it's no surprise why this camera is flying off the shelves at our storefront. And yet, I haven't even told you the best feature of them all. With the Canon PowerShot A1300 you have the option of composing your shots on its bright 2.7 inch LCD screen or through its optical viewfinder. Most professional photographers prefer the method of composing photographs through their cameras optical viewfinder making this one of the most desirable features of the PowerShot A1300. 

You can capture better quality images with less blur and greater clarity due to the PowerShot A1300's Digital Image Stabilization (IS) and its Smart AUTO mode which programs the optimal settings for 32 predefined shooting situations. Not only does Smart AUTO mode make the PowerShot A1300 easy to use but also the new "Help Button" on the back of the camera assists with simple explanations of controls. Simply press the button with the question mark on it and instantaneously you will have an easy to understand and convenient guide directly on your LCD screen.

Sample images using the Canon PowerShot A1300 Smart AUTO Mode:

Smart AUTO Mode Image 01

Smart AUTO Mode Image 02

One of my favorite features found in the new Canon A-series models are the built-in Scene Modes.  You can creatively enhance your shots with these built-in filters. Some of these filters include, Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Mode, Monochrome Mode among various other effects. It is always fun and interesting to see what you can come up with when using these modes! Below are "creatively enhanced "sample images showcasing some (but not all!) of the different scene modes the A1300 has to offer.

1. Fisheye Mode

Fisheye Effect Image 01
Fisheye Effect Image 02
2. Toy Camera Mode

Toy Camera Mode
3. Miniature Effect

Miniature Effect Image 01
Miniature Effect Image 02
4. Poster Effect

Poster Effect Image 01

Poster Effect Image 02
4. Macro Mode

Macro Mode
5. Vivid Color Mode

In addition to spectacular stills, the Canon PowerShot A1300 can also shoot vivid 720p HD videos quickly and easily. By simply pressing the dedicated movie button you can begin recording the world around you.

All of your images and videos can be stored on a SD/SDHC memory card, which is sold separately of course. The Canon PowerShot A1300 is powered with 2x AA batteries, which do come in the box, however, it might be wise for you to purchase an extra pair. This was really the only disadvantage I found with the Canon PowerShot A1300. The fact that it is powered by AA batteries as opposed to a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. I wouldn't like having to consistently purchase new batteries to use my camera, but that's just my preference. Keep in mind that 2x AA battery power comes pretty standard for less expensive point-and-shoots like the Canon PowerShot A1300. Additionally, some users might actually prefer AA battery power over a rechargeable battery. For example, if your recharge battery dies and you are nowhere near an electrical outlet - the fun is done, but with a camera that runs on AA battery power,  you can just pick up a pack of fresh fuel at any convenience store. There are always two sides to the coin, it is truly a matter of personal preference.

Overall, the Canon PowerShot A1300 is a good compact digital camera equipped with many commendable features. It is easy to use and produces really vivid and clear quality stills/videos. Although it offers many similar advantages as the other models in the new Canon A-series family, its built-in optical viewfinder is an exceptional rarity not found in most budget point-and-shoots.

For pricing and availability, you can go to the Canon PowerShot A1300 product page or you can visit our H and B Digital storefront location in Midtown, Manhattan.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pentax Optio RZ10 Travel Compact Digital Camera Review, Sample Images, Photos in NYC

The Pentax Optio RZ10 is an inexpensive travel-compact digital camera with a long 10x optical zoom wide angle lens offering a versatile focal range of 28-280mm. The Pentax RZ10 also features a 14 megapixel sensor, a Dual Shake Reduction system, a 2.7 inch LCD screen, 720p HD movie recording, 1 cm macro mode, a range of digital filters and an Auto Picture Mode. It is available in five different colors - black, white, purple, green, orange.

Don't let the toy-like body design of the Pentax Optio RZ10 fool you. It is exceptionally durable and easy to handle. Not only was the Optio RZ10 comfortable to hold while shooting and filming but it also proved to be highly portable as well.

The Pentax Optio RZ10 makes taking great pictures easy and fun. There is a mode button on the back of the camera right next to the LCD display screen that allows you to select the best possible settings for whatever environment you are in without having to go into the menu. By pressing this mode button once, your image will appear on the LCD screen  in the various different scene settings (Portrait, Outdoor, Landscape, Night Scene, Kids, Fireworks, Surf & Snow, Party, Food, Pet, etc.) You can choose whichever setting or filter that you feel makes for the best possible image. 

Auto Mode + Macro

If in Auto Picture mode some settings (governing the likes of white balance, metering and exposure compensation) are automatically deselected, so switch to Program instead to access the full gamut. It's here that one can adjust movie resolution and quality levels - as well as that of stills - plus access a D-Range setting so the camera automatically corrects for shadows, for highlights - or for both. This isn't an automatic default feature, you have to select it.

Surprisingly, some compacts have a little lag time
when surfing through their menus and options, but the Pentax Optio RZ10 has a speedy response time when pressing any of the cameras buttons. Well, expect for the initial start-up, there was a bit of a slower than expected response when turning the camera's power on. But aside from that minor inconvenience, the Pentax Optio RZ10 has some other highly desirable features. For example, the Optio RZ10 comes equipped with 1 cm Macro Mode which allows you to take shots of your subjects as close as 1 cm from the front of the camera.

1 cm Macro Mode

The 10x optical zoom is also a commendable feature as well. Images remained sharp and clear when using the full 10x optical zoom. Although images did blur a little once zoomed in using the 6.7x digital zoom. But that is expected, not even in the most advanced point-and-shoots take stills with full clarity when surpassing the optical zoom focal length. I also noticed that the Optio RZ10's zoom button is on the top right but  the control nob is towards the back of the camera as opposed to the top right towards the front of the camera as most point-and-shoots are constructed. At first, this placement difference was a tad difficult to get used to, but I eventually adjusted!

Auto Mode Image 01

Auto Mode Image 02

The 720p HD video capture is of a decent and standard quality especially for the cameras price range. Additionally, it's Shake Reduction Image Stabilization served to be beneficial especially while recording video.

You can store your stills and videos taken with the Optio RZ10 on a SD/SDHC card or a wireless capable Eye-Fi card. 

Lastly, the Pentax Optio RZ10 comes with a lightweight and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Most budget cameras require AA batteries, so this extra detail definitely gives the Optio RZ10 an advantage over its competitors. 

Overall, the Pentax Optio RZ10 delivers perfectly satisfactory performance with little to be compromised or sacrificed. The Pentax Optio RZ10 is a good choice for a beginner point-and-shoot user or as a travel companion for your trip.

For pricing and availability, you can go to our Pentax Optio RZ10 product page or visit us at our H and B Digital storefront in Midtown, Manhattan.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Important Manufacturer News and Updates on The New Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera

Manufacturer News and Updates
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - Concerning the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera, when the LCD panel illuminates in extremely dark environments, the displayed exposure value may change. Canon has concluded the investigation of this phenomenon, and this announcement informs you of our findings as described below. 

In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change. However, based on the results of extensive testing this change in exposure value will not noticeably affect the captured image. 

Affected Product
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera
*Products whose sixth digit in the serial number is 1 or 2 are affected.
For example, “xxxxx1xxxxxx” or “xxxxx2xxxxxx” ([x] represents any optional number.) 

Under almost all shooting conditions (including dark environments) this phenomenon will not affect your captured images. However, if you would like Canon to inspect your camera, Canon will provide this service free of charge upon request beginning in mid-May. Please contact Canon using the information below to request service. 

This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

Please register the EOS 5D Mark III. By registering, Canon will be able to notify you via email when service updates are available. If you already registered, please ensure you are opted-in to receive the notification. 

Currently, H and B Digital cannot provide an availability date to customers interested in purchasing the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Canon will notify authorized dealers as soon as they have a new release date. Check back for updates and news regarding the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pentax Optio WG-2 Weatherproof Digital Camera Review and Sample Images in NYC

The new Pentax Optio WG-2 is a rugged and compact adventure camera that is an all-around weatherproof model. This includes waterproof to a depth up to 40 feet, shockproof from a drop of up to 5 feet, coldproof to sub-freezing temps of minus 10 degrees C (14 degrees F), crushproof withstanding weights up to 220 LBF (pound-force) and dustproof from sandy beaches to dry deserts. 

The Optio WG-2 is a 13th generation model that features a backlit 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, a large and bright 3.0" wide-angle LCD screen with anti-reflective coating, 5x optical zoom, a durable lens cover, full 1080p HD video capture and Digital Microscope mode (among various other convenient modes) which uses a 6 macro LEDs and a detachable macro focus ring for perfect focus  on subjects as close as 1 cm from the front of the camera.

Waterproof to a depth of 40 feet is perfect for use when submerged in a pool, lake, or ocean, or simply when caught in a sudden downpour.

Shockproof, ruggedized design protects from drops up to 5 feet, ensuring stable operation during rigorous activity or for life’s everyday mishaps.

Crushproof construction withstands weights up to 220 LBF (pound-force), preventing damage at the bottom of a backpack or handbag, or when accidentally wedged between a body and a solid object.

Coldproof to sub-freezing temperatures of minus 10 degrees C (14 degrees F) is ideal for use in cold, snowy, wet conditions from skiing to snowmobiling, snowshoeing to sledding, or just building a snowman in the front yard.

Dustproof design protects the camera from dry, dusty environments from the beach to the desert.

16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
The backlit 16 MP CMOS sensor offers superior high resolution imaging with excellent image quality, color accuracy, and noise performance.

Full 1080p High Definition Video Capture 
Record full HD video in widescreen 1080p resolution (1920x1080) with efficient, high quality h.264 compression at 30 frames per second.

6 Macro LEDS
Digital Microscope mode uses 6 macro LEDs and a detachable macro focus ring for perfect focus and smooth even lighting around the smallest of subjects as close as 1 cm from the front of the camera.

Durable lens cover
Tough mineral crystal cover protects internal lens elements, and an easy-to-clean SP coating helps water sheet off the optical surface, minimizing blur due to water droplets.

Below is a sample image taken of a yellow rose using the Optio WG-2, the image on the left is using Macro Mode without the detachable Macro Focus Ring, the image on the right is using the 1 cm Macro Mode with the Macro Focus Ring attached.

Pentax Optio WG-2 Capture Modes: 
Mode selection: Auto Picture
Below are a few examples using the Pentax Optio WG-2 on Auto Picture Mode:

Auto Mode Image 01

Auto Mode Image 02

Mode Selection: Program, Night Scene, Handheld Night Snap (ISO 125-1600), Movie, Underwater, Underwater Movie.
Digital Microscope (2M)
Below are examples using the Optio WG-2 Digital Microscope mode on various flowers.

Digital Microscope Mode Image 01

Digital Microscope Mode Image 02

Digital Microscope Mode Image 03

Digital Microscope Mode Image 04

Mode Selection: Landscape

Landscape Mode

Mode Selection: Flower

Flower Mode

Mode Selection: Portrait, Interval Shot, Interval Movie, High Speed Movie (VGA, 120 FPS capture, 30 FPS playback), Digital SR, Surf & Snow, Kids, Pet, Sport, Candlelight, Fireworks, Night Scene Portrait.  

Text Mode:

Mode Selection: Food, Digital Wide (5M), Digital Panorama (2M per frame), Frame Composite (3M or 2M), Report (1280x960, ISO 125-1600), Green (ISO 125-1600), Voice Recording (via reprogrammable Green button)

Auto Picture modes (cont.): Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Standard, Flower, Sport, Candlelight, Blue Sky, Sunset, Text, Group Photo, Pet, Portrait x Blue Sky, Portrait x Sunset, Portrait x Backlight

Custom Image modes: Bright, Natural, Monochrome

Green simplified mode available: Yes (ISO 125-1600)

Face detection available: Yes (up to 32 faces), Smile Capture, Blink Detection, Self Portrait Assist, Self Portrait Assist + Smile Capture, Pet Recognition (1 face detect, 3 faces pre-registered)

Powerful 5x Optical Zoom
The wide-angle 5x internal optical zoom lens (28-140mm equivalent)  provides flexible capture of subjects from a near or far distance.

Face Detection
Capture perfect portraits with fast Face Detection technology, including Smile Capture and Blink Detection functions, as well as exposure modes specifically designed for portrait photography.

PENTAX Shake Reduction
Pixel Track, Digital, and Movie Shake Reduction ensure sharp, blur-free images and video, even in dim lighting.

Autofocus assist lamp
An autofocus assist lamp helps to quickly and accurately focus, even in the most challenging of lighting conditions.

Extended Dynamic Range
Extended dynamic range functions help bring out extra detail in shadow and/or highlight areas of an image to prevent exposure clipping.

Green Button
Flexible multi-purpose Green Button allows for quick access to many common camera settings, including Movie Mode, Voice Recording, and other functions.

Optional infrared remote
Take pictures remotely using an optional PENTAX infrared remote control, perfect for self-portraits or group shots, small subject photography, or rock steady exposures.

This Pentax Optio WG-2 was easy to use and produced some excellent images. It is unfortunate that I wasn't able to test it underwater or on a snowy mountain, but I could at least give you some solid examples of what this camera can do on an adventure around New York City aka the Concrete Jungle!

For pricing and availability, check out our Pentax Optio WG-2 digital camera product page or visit our H and B Digital retail location in Midtown, Manhattan.