Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Site!

This site, along with several others has now merged into one big reviews site, take a look at

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Olympus EVOLT E-500

The Olympus EVOLT E-500 is a serious camera for someone who wants to take proffesional pictures.

Its main features are,

-8.0-megapixel (effective) CCD with Supersonic Wave Filter delivering image resolutions as high as 3,264 x 2,448 pixels.
-Digital SLR design and true optical viewfinder.
-2.5-inch, color, Hyper crystal LCD display for image review.
-Lens mount accommodates full range of Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses.
-Manual and automatic focus modes, with adjustable AF area and Single-Shot and Continuous settings, and manual focus bracketing.
-Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 60 seconds, with a Bulb setting (eight-minute limit).
-Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus 15 Scene modes.
-Center-Weighted and Digital ESP metering systems, plus three Spot metering options.
-Auto Bracketing and Sequential Shooting capture modes.
-Adjustable White Balance with 10 settings, including a manual adjustment, Kelvin temperature range, and a bracketing option.
-Variable ISO setting, with ISO equivalents from 100 to 1,600 (800 and 1,600 available when enabled in menu).
-Sharpness, Color, Monochrome, and Graduation image adjustments.
-Adobe RGB and sRGB color space options.
-Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes, intensity adjustment, and bracketing mode.
-Hot Shoe for attaching external flash units, compatible with Olympus' own line of dedicated flash units for better-integrated exposure control.
-JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, and RAW file formats.
-Images saved on CompactFlash cards, xD-Picture cards, and Microdrives (no card included).
-USB cable for fast connection to a computer. (USB auto-connect for driverless connection to Windows Me, XP and 2000, and Mac OS 8.6 or greater.)
-Video cable for connection to a television set.
-Optional remote control.
-Power from rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (battery and charger included).
-Software CD with Olympus' Camedia Master utility software (includes QuickTime and USB drivers).
-DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)/PictBridge compatibility and print settings.
-Supersonic Wave filter , shakes dust off your cameras lense!

Because there are a large amount of Digital SLR's on the market I found this handy comparrison table forsome of the top cameras Here

I think its important to note that with cameras its not jsut the specifications of the camera, but the feel when you use it. For may the Olympus EVOLT E-300, while a similar camera, felt incredibly off balance to most photographers, as it is weighted over to the left.

The 300 also had problems when white contrasting, or bright images were at the centre of an image, and made images appear much darker than they should have been. I am pleased to announce there has been a firmware fix for this, and the problem does not occur at all in the E-500

Overall I found that the camera produced crisp high quality photos, the fact that they seem to have redesigned the whole camera from the E-300 is a great bonus as it now much more balanced and lightweight, making the camera easier to manouver for a difficult shot. They also have put a lot of effort into the little things,

HyperCrystal LCD - This gives a much more vibrant image than normal LCDs, look out for this on more cameras in the near future!

Repositioning of on/off and shutter buttons/switches - With the E-300 I did have some difficulty in using the camera, I had to twist my finger to an uncomfortable angle to make some shots work, the slight re arrangement on the top of the camera has made a huge difference to the usablity of this device.

Battery Catch - They have attached a small latch onto the battery so it will not slip out when opening the battery cover. This is god news for anyone who has seen an expensive battery die a death when dropped onto a hard floor.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sony DSC T9

The Sony DSC T9 (Buy in the UK
latest mid range cameras , it is a 6meg resolution digital camera and has 3x optical zoom. Though this may not seem like much the camera is incredibly thin, and does well to fit so much in such little space!

People who are familiar with Sony's Tx range of cameras will notice the familiar slide down cover to activate the camera, some people have trouble with this switching itself on, although ive never had that problem myself!

The main new feature on this camera is the 'Steady Shot' system, this greatly improves shots, especially ones that you require detail on.

The DSC-T9 has the standard overlay-style Sony menu system. Here's the complete record menu (some of these options may not be available in all modes):

Shooting mode (Auto, program, magnifying glass, twilight, twilight portrait, candle, soft snap, landscape, sports, beach, snow, fireworks)

Exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV in 1/3EV increments)

Focus mode (Multi, center, spot AF, 0.5, 1, 3, 7 meters, infinity)

Metering mode (Multi, center, spot)

White balance (Auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, incandescent, flash) - no custom option as far as we are aware

ISO (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 640)

Photo Quality (Fine, standard)

Rec Mode

Normal - regular shooting

Burst - took seven shots in a row at 1.3 frames/second at the highest JPEG quality (based on
my tests using a MS Pro Duo card)

Exposure bracketing - camera takes three shots in a row, each with a different exposure value; choose the interval between shots in the record menu (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, or ±1.0EV)
Multi burst - takes 16 shots in a row (at interval selected in menu) and compiles them into one 1 Megapixel image
Bracket step (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, ±1.0EV) - for the exposure bracketing feature described above
Multi-burst interval (1/30, 1/15, 1/7.5 sec) - for the multi-burst feature described above
Flash Level (Low, normal, high)
Photo Effects (Off, black & white, sepia)
Saturation (Low, normal, high)
Contrast (Low, normal, high)
Sharpness (Low, normal, high)

There are quite a few shooting modes on the DSC-T9, though they're all automatic. There are no manual controls on the T9, unless you count the limited manual focus.

The T9's ISO sensitivity goes a bit higher than most cameras in this class -- up to 640. Later in the review you'll see how the camera performs at those settings!

Also, as it may affect your buying decision, the screen blacks out during burst mode, so it does make tracking a bit difficult!

A common problem reported with the T-Series is red eye, to anone familiar with photoshop and the like this wont present a huge problem, but it can sometimes be a pain. Also the lack of a custom white balance control can be a pain if you are working in an area with non standard lighting (Eg some studio lights)

On the plus side the majority of shots come out looking excellent, and there seems to be very little focus time, I think this camera would be great for anyone who wants a high quality camera that can slip into your pocket unobtrusively

Stylish, ultra-thin metal body
Optical image stabilizer
Very good photo quality
Impressive high ISO performance for a compact camera
Snappy performance
Large, high resolution LCD display; visible in bright outdoor light and dim indoor light
AF-assist lamp; good (but sluggish) low light focusing
Tons of built-in memory
Enhanced slideshow feature
Nice movie mode
Support for USB 2.0 High Speed protocol

No manual controls; custom white balance and long shutter speed modes needed
Annoying sliding lens cover
No optical viewfinder
Flash, while better than before, is on the weak side
Flimsy cover over memory card / battery compartment
Bundled software isn't the greatest


In the coming months I will be posting factual and most importantly impartial reviews on the latest digital cameras and digital camera equipment to hit the market. Im hoping your comments will also allow people to see the pros and cons of a product before shelling out on a bit of kit that could cost well over £500