My next camera

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's been a while since PMA 2006, but I waited with baited breath to hear of the new digital camera offerings being served up this year. Two cameras intrigue me and I'll tell you why.

As anyone who knows me knows that I love taking pics of my two small kids, I have the problem that there is never enough light inside the house to get decent shots (read unblurred) without a flash. I got an external hot-shoe flash for my Fuji S7000Z at Christmas which allows me to bounce the flash off the ceiling (this is great if you haven't tried it), but it still doesn't allow for moody light shots or a lot of control over depth of field.

So I was considering a DSLR (the Rebel XT). But these things aren't cheap and the one thing I love about my Fuji is the LCD screen which I use most of the time.

At PMA 2006, Fuji announced the F30. This camera is the first consumer level camera (read non-DSLR) to have ISO3200. This means that low light photography without a flash is possible indoors and at night. In fact, it has 3 more stops of light than my existing Fuji (ISO400 and F2.8 at 6 megapixels). And, when you need a flash, it has a smart flash technology which varies the flash level depending on the ambient light in the scene. A tiny camera with 6 megapixels and some decent manual control. I like it!Click here for more info.

The second offering that whetts my appetite is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1. This is a fully feature DSLR that has a live preview LCD screen. While it may not be the first/only DSLR to have live preview (Olympus were first and are at the present time the only alternative) it is the only one to have full time live preview. Like the Oly it also has a "dust-shaker" to remove dust from the mirror by vibrating. Lastly it has some great features that the Oly doesn't have: a shutter speed dial mounted on top of the camera, an adjustable angle built-in flash and an on-lens aperture ring, as well as using Leica lenses. This camera is a thing of beauty and if I only hope I have the cash when it comes out. Click here for more info.

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