Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fujifilm Finepix XP50 Waterproof Digital Camera Review, Photos, Sample Images and Videos!

I took my summer vacation in Long Beach Island, New Jersey last week and I was fortunate to have a chance to test the Fujifilm Finepix XP50 in an environment fitting for this new waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and dustproof compact digital camera. While 4-way outdoor protection is it's most appealing feature, the Fuji Finepix XP50 comes equipped with other features that help it stand out among the others.  The XP50 features a 14 megapixel CMOS sensor, a Fujinon 5x optical zoom 28mm wide-angle lens and a clear 2.7 inch LCD screen with anti-reflective coating which improves visibility even in bright sunlight or while shooting underwater. The Fujifilm Finepix XP50 is the newest edition to Fujifilm's Finepix outdoor point-and-shoot digital camera models and comes in 5 vibrant colors - orange, green, blue, silver and black.

The Fuji XP50 is waterproof up to 5m or 16.4 ft deep, shock proof to survive a 1.5m or 5ft fall, works in temperatures down to -10°C or 14°F and is tightly sealed against dust and sand. Other features for outdoor fun include:

Double Lock
The battery compartment is sealed with a double lock as an extra safeguard when using the camera underwater or in the field.
Water-repellent Coating Lens
The reinforced lens cover is treated with a water - repellant coating - just shake the water off the lens and go right on shooting.
Shockproof Bumper Design
A shockproof bumper protects the LCD in the midst of all the fun.
Anti-slip Rubber Grip
The shaped anti-slip rubber grip lets you keep a firm hold on the camera with bare or gloved hands.

The ocean was a tad too cold for me to take any sample shots with the XP50 underwater, but I did hold it underwater for several minutes and not to my surprise but of course to my relief I can attest to the XP50 being waterproof. I can also say that the XP50 is indeed dust/sand proof and held up very well while shooting on the beach. The anti-reflective coating on the LCD screen also proved to be helpful and allowed me to take shots even with the clear sky and blazing sun overhead.

On the Left - "Conventional" Camera | On the Right - Fujifilm Finepix XP50 Camera

As I mentioned earlier, the XP50 also comes with a high quality Fujinon 5x zoom 28mm wide-angle lens. The lens isn't really the highlight of this camera but it does delivers really crisp and vibrant shots from wide-angle to close-ups.

On the Left - Wide-angle (28mm*)  | On the Right - 5x Optical Zoom (140mm*)

Sometimes camera shake or subject movement can blur and ruin your photos. Fortunately, the Finepix XP50 has additional features such as CMOS-shift and high ISO image stabilization that will  improve your image quality even while taking long telephoto shots. Together these two features ensure clearer images even while using the XP50 at the full 5x zoom.

The Fuji XP50 comes with a variety of shooting modes to help you maximize your shots potential. These modes include:

6 scene SR AUTO shooting modes - Portrait, Landscape, Night, Macro, Night Portrait, and Backlit Portrait. Framed scenes are automatically detected and selected into the appropriate camera scene mode.

Pro Low-Light Mode is ideal for shooting non-moving subjects in low light. This mode automatically takes a series of four high-sensitivity & low-noise exposures and then combines them into an image with less noise than the single exposures.

Dynamic Range mode uses Multi Frame technology to capture three consecutive photos shot at high speed-under-exposed, normal exposure, and over-exposed. The three images are then layered to an optimum balance of detail in shadow and highlights, eliminating "blackout" or "washout" and producing pleasing, natural gradations.

Natural Light and with Flash mode allows you to capture the same scene twice: once with high sensitivity and natural light, and the second time with Intelligent Flash. So later on you can choose to keep one or both photos.

Face Detection optimizes people pictures by identifying faces and adjusting focus and exposure to ensure bright, clear results. Red-eye removal automatically detects and corrects flash reflection. The Face Detection can simultaneously recognize up to 6 faces in a photo. Share your group portraits using the zoom up function in playbacks, checking each detected face. Each expression can be cropped and saved in clear high resolution results.

The Face Detection Self-timer automatically sets off after the number and position of faces in a scene are detected, snapping the photo at the right moment, with the faces in focus and properly exposed.

Couple Timer mode waits until two faces are close together in the frame. Select “Near,” “Close Up” or “Super Close” depending on the level of intimacy you're aiming for...

Group Timer mode gives you time to get into position as it waits until the number of faces are detected in the frame. You can select up to 4 faces.

Motion Panorama 360 mode allows you to press the shutter button and sweep the camera to pan the scene. The FinePix XP50 produces a stunning 360° panorama shot, effortlessly and automatically.

Tracking Auto Focus keeps fast moving subjects in the frame and in focus, even at 5x zoom extended. Great for capturing dynamic close-ups.

Below are sample images taken in LBI and Atlantic City, NJ using the Fujifilm Finepix XP50:

In addition to a wide range of shooting modes, the Fuji FinePix XP50 offers a selection of versatile scene positions that ensure optimum results no matter what the scene.

Frame your shot and SR AUTO intelligently recognizes the scene and selects the ideal settings.

The easiest mode for taking pictures. Use this for ordinary photography.

Program AE
An automatic mode to set the white balance and exposure.

Pro Low-light
Choose for shooting a subject under low light or a still subject by using the telephoto zoom.

HDR (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, pre-serving detail in highlights and shadows.

Natural Light & with Flash
Shoots 2 images continuously, without flash and with flash. Comes in great handy during marginal shooting situations.

Natural Light
Produces beautiful images that retain the natural ambience when shots are taken in low-light conditions.

Set for shooting portraits. Skin tones are softened as it enhances the overall natural look.

Portrait Enhancer
Enables automatic enhancements of skin tone.

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.

A quick recognition of persons in motion or objects for a faster shutter speed to help you catch the perfect moment.

Mode for shooting evening and night scenes. A picture is taken with a slow shutter.

Night (Tripod)
Clear shots of twilight scenes using tripod.

Capture sunset scenes vivid in color.

Most adaptable to snow scenes without unnatural darkened images or where the whole screen appears white.

Clear shots of people without darkened images under strong sunlight.

Best for shooting underwater capturing clear images of the ocean blue.

Underwater (Wide)
Clear underwater picture in wide view capturing the dynamism of the wondrous water world.

Underwater (Macro)
Capture the underwater subjects up close with clarity and in eloquent colors.

Best for shooting indoor weddings or parties. Retains the natural ambiance in low-light conditions.

Capture a clear close-up shots of blooming flowers rich in color.

Clear shots of letters on a document or white board.

Not only does the Fujifilm Finepix XP50 ensure excellent still image quality but also offers full high definition 1080p video recording as well. You can capture both photos and movies in high-definition 16 : 9 format for full screen HDTV image display. A handy Micro HDMI connection allows you to plug the camera directly into your TV or entertainment system. Additionally, actually recording movies is simple as well. There is a red one-touch movie record button on the back of the camera right next to the LCD screen. This proved to be especially useful when I wanted to catch my mother on stage at some free act in Atlantic City one evening. It was dark in the audience so I would have never been able to capture the moment if I had to fuss around the camera menu to find the video record feature!

The Fuji XP50 also features in-camera editing functions. For still images the XP50 offers: 

Aspect Ratio - Images are trimmed to fit the ratio aspects. 
Sepia - 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 to image. 
Face Mosaic - Mosaic to faces can be applied.

For movie and video in-camera editing the XP50 offers:

Movie 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 easy.
Movie Join - Select any previously recorded movie file and “resume” shooting to create a movie up to 2GB size.
If you want to share your photos and movies with the world, you can organize and then automatically upload your photos and videos for Facebook or Youtube using the MyFinePix Studio software which is included with the XP50. The Fujifilm XP50 comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and battery life was very efficient. I charged the battery once for only about 20 minutes (the battery was almost fully dead to start) and it lasted me the entire week. I used a Kingston 16GB SDHC Class 10 memory card to store my images and videos. However, you can use your Fujifilm Finepix XP50 with any high-capacity Secure Digital (SDHC/SDXC) memory card.
 For pricing and availability, visit H and B Digital online or our NYC retail location:  
- Fujifilm FinePix XP50 Digital Camera 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Portrait Photography Contest - Win $300, $150, $100 H and B Digital Gift Cards

Namaste Photography Lovers! I have good news to share!

H and B is holding a Summer Portrait Photography Contest and three winners will be chosen, the Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a $300 H and B Digital Gift Card, the 2nd Prize Winner will be awarded a $150 H and B Digital Gift Card and the 3rd Prize Winner will be awarded a $100 H and B Digital Gift Card!

H and B Digital gift cards can be used on ANY merchandise sold at the H and B Digital storefront or online at Essentially, this means boat loads of electronic devices, digital cameras, lenses and photography gear/equipment to choose from!

H and B Digital is holding the contest through their Facebook fan page and Contest Entry is FREE, no fee and no purchase necessary to enter.*  All they ask is that you press the "Like" button on their H and B Digital Facebook Fan Page. Join the event on Facebook and then submit your photo to the email that they provide. (*Please Note You must also be 18 years of age and reside in the United States to enter.)

1. Join the event and learn more details about The H and B Digital Summer Portrait Photography Contest

2. Go to the H and B Digital Summer Portrait Photography Contest Official Rules

*What do we mean by a"Summer Portrait Photo?" *

Wikipedia describes Portrait Photography or Portraiture as a photography of a person or group of people that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. Like other types of portraiture, the focus of the photograph is usually the person's face, although the entire body and the background may be included.

However, we are going to be a bit more flexible with the summer portrait photo submissions we receive. We will accept candid shots, snapshots, street shots, as long as the photograph is of a person or a group of individuals. In addition to there being people in your shot, we also require the photograph to express or give the impression of or  feeling "summer."  So while you are capturing the essence and feeling of the people in the photo, you are also capturing the essence of summer..."Summer Portrait" is essentially a photo where the rules of portrait photography or portraiture apply but in a "summer" setting/scene ((beach, sunny day, green grass, flowers, ocean, warmth, light, joy, long day short night etc.) or any other creative way the photographer would like to express "summer" in the portrait they choose to submit.

Hope this helps! Happy Shooting!

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Consumer Rebate Extended to July 21, 2012

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera has been on continuous back-order because of the high consumer demand for this hot new item and as a result, I know some of you've been worried about the deadline for the rebate on it...

But, do not fret!! I have good news for you..Olympus JUST announced an extension on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 rebate until July 21, 2012! still covers the retail of either the FL-300R, MMF-3 or the MF-2 OM adapter when an E-M5 is purchased along with the accessory.

And even better news...H and B Digital has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera with a 14-42mm lens kit in STOCK! 

(Unfortunately, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with a 12-50mm lens kit are promised to other customers at the moment...but please feel free to call us at 212-354-1341 and we will see what we can do for you.)

So anyway, YES the Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera with a 14-42mm lens kit is available NOW but they are gonna go quick (seriously) so if you want one, please don't hesitate for too much longer!

View and Order the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 14-42mm Lens Kit:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review, Photos, Sample Images, Video in NYC

The new Nikon Coolpix S9300 is a slim 18x optical zoom digital compact travel camera. Travel compact cameras typically have a built-in GPS to track and correlate your photos as well as a lengthy optical zoom and wide-angle lens. All of which come equipped with the Nikon Coolpix S9300 but that's not all. The S9300 also sports a back-illuminated 16 megapixel CCD image sensor for low light photography, lens-shift vibration reduction, full 1080p HD video, a 3.0 inch high resolution (921k dot) LCD screen and a range of special effects/shooting modes that can enhance your shots as well as your creativity. The Nikon Coolpix S9300 also comes in a variety of colors, you can choose from black, silver, red or blue. 

The Nikon Coolpix has a large 18x optical zoom 25mm wide-angle lens on the front and pop-up flash. Images transport to a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor which takes up less battery life as opposed to a CCD sensor which can create sharper images. On the top of the camera, the circular mode dial allows you to choose from 8 different modes including, Auto, Effects, Burst, Smart Portrait, Backlighting, Night Landscape, Scenes and Scene Auto Selector. Scene Auto Selector is a convenient option that will analyze your environment and subject when you compose your shot and then automatically select the best scene mode for that particular setting. To choose different effects from your photos, turn the dial to the Effects mode and then press the menu button. You can choose from many effects including Soft, Nostalgic Sepia, High-contrast Monochrome, High Key, Low Key and Selective Color.

Below are some images I shot using the camera on the various Special Effects Mode options:

On the top middle of the S9300, you'll see a small raised area where the GPS system is located. GPS enabled cameras correspond the time and date you set for the camera with where the GPS tracking device says the camera was at the time of use. You can upload your images to Google Maps once you are done shooting.This is a convenient tool for travelers who want to share their trip with family and friends or if they would like to remember where they were located at the time of shooting.

On the rear of the Coolpix S9300 you'll find a wheel to the pad for speedy navigation through the camera's menu. The wheel is not super speedy but it is faster than if you were to have to press a button to scroll through the menu options. If you want to record full HD videos, simply press the button with the red dot that has an image of a video camera to the left of it. You can press this button to start recording video immediately regardless of whichever mode you have the dial set on. You will also find the standard variety of options on the navigation pad for flash options, macro mode, self timer and exposure compensation.

The Coolpix S9300's main menu will vary depending on the mode you set the camera dial on. Everything is pretty easy to work through right out of the box. The menu is set into four sections for shooting, video, GPS and set-up. Pressing right will go into the highlighted tab whereas pressing left will go back to the tabs for faster navigation.

Unfortunately, as I've experienced with several other Nikon point-and-shoot compact cameras, when using the Nikon Coolpix S9300  for an extended period of time (1 -2 hours) the response time on the camera began to take longer when taking photos, switching from stills to video and when changing between modes or effects. I did periodically shut the camera off when I was not shooting, however, I still experienced some difficulty with it and was forced to keep shutting the camera off and then turning it on again towards the end of my shoot in order for it to stop lagging in response time and to readjust its settings smoothly. Granted the response time from turning the camera's power on to focusing and then snapping the photo was already pretty slow to begin with, a little over 3 seconds. Perhaps the extra slowness was due to decrease in battery power or it may have been experiencing some overheating. Either way it was annoying but in general, it wasn't a big deal. Plus, the S9300's burst mode made up for it anyway, with a burst rate of 7 frames per second, it timed precisely and thus lived up to some of its time expectations. Afterwards, you can go into the playback menu and then apply some in-camera editing options such as D-Lighting, auto quick retouch and filter effects to any of your images shot in burst mode.

The impressive image quality the Coolpix S9300 produces also helps makes up for any glitches experienced in the cameras functionality. The images were sharp, clear and produced vibrant, well-balanced color. In Macro mode, the Coolpix S4300 has a macro focusing distance of 4cm which proved to work well. And of course, the 18x optical zoom lens offered a versatile focal range for shots as well.

Below are sample images I took while using various shooting modes:

Another excellent feature is the Coolpix S9300's GPS functionality. The GPS menu gives you plenty of options. Once you are in the GPS menu, you'll be presented with 5 initial options which once accessed will expand to give you even more options. Some of the GPS options include switching the GPS on, synchronizing the camera's clock, updating the profile, adding Points of Interest, and recording logs of GPS data in 6, 12 and 24 hour periods. The last option places a compass on the screen so you can keep track of the direction you're traveling in.

The most impressive feature of the Nikon Coolpix S9300 is its focusing system, low-level light performance and high-quality images which are due impart to the camera's lens as well as its back-illuminated sensor. Additionally, the price for the camera is fair for its large amount of megapixels (16 megapixels), optical zoom capability (18x) and built-in GPS feature.

For pricing and availability:

- Call us at 212-354-1341 if you're interested in purchasing the new Nikon Coolpix S9300 digital camera (we currently do not have it for sale on our website because we only have a limited amount left in stock!)