Smart move

New cam­eras are lur­ing smart­phone snap­pers away with ad­vanced fea­tures, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

This top- of- the- range com­pact sys­tem cam­era only looks retro. Inside, the first model in the Olympus OM- D range fea­tures thor­oughly mod­ern tech­nol­ogy. This 16- megapixel cam­era can cap­ture pho­tos in very low light thanks to a 25,600 ISO rat­ing, will snap up to nine pho­tos a sec­ond, or 4.2 with aut­o­fo­cus en­gaged, and uses ad­vanced im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion that cor­rects move­ment on five axes, rather than just side to side, de­liv­er­ing im­pres­sively crisp re­sults with­out a tri­pod as a re­sult. It re­sists rain, its 3- inch OLED touch­screen is mounted on a hinge for an­gled pho­tos, and that retro pro­tru­sion above its lens hides a 1.4 mil­lion­dot elec­tronic viewfinder. Pho­tog­ra­phers who are con­fi­dent enough to set their own shut­ter speed but not ready to tackle brack­et­ing and ex­po­sure set­tings unac­com­pa­nied should ap­pre­ci­ate this mid- range Sony Al­pha cam­era. The A57 is a lit­tle big­ger than its A55 pre­de­ces­sor, mak­ing it eas­ier to grip, and also sports a 16.1- megapixel res­o­lu­tion, a mov­able 3- inch screen and a built- in elec­tronic viewfinder. This cam­era also fea­tures a translu­cent mir­ror, mak­ing it quick to fo­cus and cap­ture pho­tos ( up to 10 per sec­ond). Sony also has a gim­micky new fea­ture called Auto Por­trait Fram­ing that works with Smile Shut­ter. To­gether, they can iden­tify a smil­ing face, snap a por­trait and save two ver­sions of it, one cut down to op­ti­mal pro­por­tions. Its viewfinder and im­age noise could be bet­ter. With its bright yel­low ex­te­rior and box- like body, you could call Pen­tax’s new cre­ation the ‘‘ Tonka truck of the cam­era world’’. The K- 01’ s look is cer­tainly strik­ing and the fact it was de­signed by Qan­tas cre­ative di­rec­tor Marc New­son shouldn’t sur­prise. This com­pact sys­tem cam­era also comes with an eye- catch­ing ac­ces­sory: a 40mm f/ 2.8 lens so flat you’ll barely notice it’s at­tached. De­spite its un­usual de­sign, con­trols on this 16.3- megapixel cam­era are stan­dard, with a mode dial, play­back, video and shut­ter but­tons all within easy reach. This cam­era is quite chunky at 5.9cm thick, how­ever, and it weighs as much as an SLR at 561g. Even more dis­ap­point­ing is its lack of speed. This cam­era is not for ev­ery­one. Only those will­ing to carry a li­brary of mem­ory cards will be able to make full use of its whop­ping 36.3- megapixel res­o­lu­tion. Nikon’s sec­ond full- frame DSLR cam­era re­leased this year re­places the D700 and does so in a mem­o­rable fash­ion. Its de­sign has changed ever so slightly, with fo­cus modes moved and its newly shaped grip, but it adds im­por­tant new fea­tures. They in­clude full high­def­i­ni­tion video cap­ture at 24, 25 or 30 frames a sec­ond, an in- cam­era High Dy­namic Range mode, a USB 3.0 con­nec­tion for di­rect com­puter down­loads and a dual Com­pact Flash and SD mem­ory card slot for stor­ing more of those mas­sive pho­tos. Its im­age clar­ity is ev­i­dent and im­pres­sive at close in­spec­tion. It may only take four mas­sive pho­tos a sec­ond, but they are ra­zor- sharp.

NIKON D800 Nikon, $ 3799

nikon. com. au

SONY AL­PHA 57 Sony, $ 799 ( body)

sony. com. au

OLYMPUS OM- D E- M5 Olympus, $ 1199 ( body)

olympus. com. au

4. PEN­TAX K- 01 Pen­tax, $ 849 ( w/ 40mm lens)

pen­tax. com. au

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