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Rumored Nikon D800 and Olympus OM-D cameras are introduced

Rumored Nikon D800 and Olympus OM-D cameras are introduced

Two much-rumored cameras have been officially announced this week by their manufacturers: the Nikon D800 and Olympus OM-D E-M5. It must be the season for new camera releases with the recent arrivals of the Nikon D4 and Canon 1Dx just recently.

Nikon has filled the gap in its lineup with a $2,999.95 list-priced D800, featuring a whopping 36.3-megapixel images and 1920 x 1080 HD video. The company needed an upgrade to the D700 because it doesn’t feature the video option, which most photographers expect in a camera today.

It may be officially time to start my Christmas list, which should include a giant hard drive, because these cameras just keeping producing bigger and better digital files.

Who needs a camera like the Nikon D800 at its $3,000 price? This camera is reasonably priced for the professional and it’s in the wheelhouse for the serious amateur when you check out the stats. It seems to be the perfect match for the professional wedding or portrait photographer.  For the sports photographer it would have a downside because the motor drive speed doesn’t come close to matching the Nikon D4. Of course, the D4 is double the price.

For most people, $3,000 is a lot of money, especially when it doesn’t include any lenses. I guess my vintage Canon 7D seems to work fine; I take photographs that appear in the newspaper and the Internet at a maximum width of 970 pixels. It would be tough for me to make a change. Would I see enough quality to make up the difference in cost? Probably not, plus my camera already features 1920 x 1080 HD video.

I’ve decided anything over a year in the digital camera world is vintage and over five years is an antique. Tech stuff gets old ridiculously fast.

If you don’t need the video option and large files, you should be able to find a good deal on a used Nikon D700 on the market as many photographers will be updating their photo arsenals and stepping away from the Nikon D700.

The Nikon D800 specs:

Image size – 36.3 million
Sensor size – 35.9mm x 24mm
Auto Focus Points – 9, 21 or 51
Video – 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps HD
Weight – 31.7 oz.
Maximum video recording time at high quality – 20 minutes
Top shutter speed – 1/8000 second
Continuous shooting – 4 frames-per-second

And, with the new release, there’s a new high-quality short video filmed with the Nikon D800, called “Joy Ride” by Sandro. This definitely is the new-school way of promoting cameras. And, just what you might expect, it features a model-like star racing through the darkened city streets on a motorcycle. Multiple cameras, shooters and assistants were used on this project, so please don’t compare it to your home movies.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5, which has been on the rumor mill radar for sometime, has been officially introduced. Of course, it may be some time before you see one other than on the Internet. It is available for pre-order on many websites, camera only, at a list price of $999.99

The camera with a 12-50mm lens lists for $1,299 looks great with models in silver and black. It features a 16.1-megapixel sensor, JPEG + RAW imaging, ISO range of 200-25,600 and 1920 x 1080 HD video.

The camera reminds me of the Olympus OM-1 which was introduced in 1972. It was a smaller version of the traditional film SLR (single-lens-reflex) cameras. It seems Olympus has repeated history by turning out this smaller version of today’s DSLR camera. To make this work, Olympus used its 4/3 design, also  a new high-definition electronic viewfinder, which gives the feel of using your eye to look through the lens. It also features a 3-inch touch OLED screen on the back of the camera.

It would be a great purchase for the serious photo hobbyist looking to have the look and feel of a traditional DSLR with interchangeable lenses and a lighter and smaller-profile camera.

robert.lachman@latimes.com

Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman

1 Comment

  1. February 10, 2012, 12:15 pm

    interesting article makes no mention of the most direct competitor to the D800, canon's 5DMII, instead only compare it to a APS-C sensor camera (7D) and more expensive full frame models (D4, 1DX).

    for people upgrading from nikon's DX (APS-C) systems, they can use their DX (equivalent to EF-S in canon world) on the D800, and still get 15.4mp pictures. Then they can slowly upgrade their lenses. For canon's APS-C users, they won't be able to mount any EF-S lenses they own on a canon full frame body.

    on the stills side, the D800 has improved sensor design and image processor that should provide similar low-light performance as the D700. The autofocus has also been improved, borrowing the AF module from the D4. AF in low light has been improved, down to -2EV (D700 was -1EV, the 5DMII was only -0.5EV). It can also AF down to f/8; even the 1Dx can only AF down to f/5.6. the 4fps is only a step slower than the D700's 5fps, but understandable given the D800 has much more data to process. Keep in mind the 5DMII only does 3.9fps anyway.
    On the video side, it has uncompressed HDMI out, and a headphone jack for audio monitoring. Both unique features not seen on 1Dx, so probably won't show up in the 5DMII replacement either.

    By: memmener

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