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New Nikon Coolpix A and Coolpix 330. A predictable entry and a big WOW!

We got a treat yesterday when Jeff Penn, our Nikon rep, brought in two new cameras that will soon be in stock at our stores.

The Nikon Coolpix A is a camera that many folks are salivating for.  My first impressions of it were good, but I was hoping for a little faster auto focus.  But first the good;  The camera is very small and easy to handle.  In terms of a smaller point and shoot with a true APS sensor, it has the competition beat as of today.  The controls are easy to get to.  Coming from the P series Coolpix cameras, the layout is very similar.  The manual focus control is very easy to manipulate and offers you many levels of electronic zooming to allow for precise focus.  The images are very sharp, color is spot on.  It is supposed to have a sensor in it very similar to that of a Nikon D7000 SLR.  I believe it.  My only reservation is the speed of the auto focus.  Not quite up to snuff.  If SLR image quality in a point and shoot is what you are after, I would still seriously give this one a look.  Pricing will be $1099.95



The Coolpix 330 was the real surprise for me.  Way to go Nikon!  This one you got exactly right.  I was expecting to be wowed by the Coolpix A, but the 330 is the one I would love to have for myself.

First, the speed.  Wow.  This thing is very fast.  As fast as many SLR’s out there.  The screen resolution is very high.  Colors pop off the screen.  It’s not an APS sensor like the Coolpix A, but it does have a larger, 1/1.7 in. CMOS sensor that dwarfs it’s predecessor in the P310.  They added RAW capture to this one.  Finally.  The close focus macro is the best that I have seen in a Nikon to date.  GPS and 5x optical round it out.  At $379.95 this will be a big contender.  It will give those Canon S110′s a run.  I can’t understate how impressed I am with this one!



We should start to see these beauties by the end of this month (March 2013).  Can’t wait!


Marc Lebryk Reviews Fuji XPro-1


Whew, busy day over here at Roberts blog central. Now the news is that Indianapolis-based photographer Marc Lebryk has finished up a hands-on review of Fuji’s hot new X-Pro 1 we were able to wrangle him for a weekend. With it’s uber-retro form factor and its clear aims at eroding some of Leica’s digital rangefinder market, the X-Pro 1 was probably the most hotly anticipated mirrorless compact we’ve seen announced since Panasonic and Oly created the market a few years back. And if you’re one of those people with the itch, but not the scratch (see what we did there?), you can read Marc’s thoughts to help ease the sting for a while. Or maybe convince yourself to take the plunge. Either way, your reading enjoyment is at the link below.


EOS 5D Mark III Puts Canon In DXO Mark’s Top Ten


While we wait on Canon to get back to us about it’s going to do about the pesky light leak, how about some shop talk about the EOS 5D Mark III’s technical prowess under the hood? Luckily, that’s exactly what DXO is giving us the ability to do, with another of their infamously objective sensor test barrages. The final word? The EOS 5D Mark III ranks highest of any Canon sensor to date, with 24 bits of color, 11.7 stops of ISO range, and capture details uncompromised by ISO all the way up until 2293. Not a bad show, we think you’ll agree. Now, it’s just back to waiting to see what happens with more of the new Canon king getting sent out…

Check out the full DXO break-down via the link.

Results By DXO Labs


Fuji X-Pro1 Amazingness and Other Such Goodies

Hello Readers,

I dont know about you, but ever since Fuji announced the X-Pro1 in January i have been anxiously waiting to put it through its paces.   This is my extremely cursory upfront first impression review.

WOW!  Wowsers!  Yep…speechless.  Almost.

I have seen some great shots from this camera out there on the internet.  The tonal value of the black and white images have especially impressed me.   Unfortunately, the internet can’t tell you everything you need to know about a camera.  It can’t tell you how it feels in your hands, how well it balances or if the dials move smoothly and precisely.  Fuji nailed it.  This camera is more friendly to operate than the little brother and award winning X100.  I was up and running at full speed within 10 minutes of first holding the camera.  Its EASY.  For the nostalgic, old school, rangefinder photo bugs, you will be right at home.

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Local Derby Shooter Marc Lebryk Talks D4

Photo by Marc Lebryk

Following up hot on the heels of the last D4 love post, we have one of our favorite local photogs today getting his initial thoughts about Nikon’s new D4 up. As a long-time Nikon shooter for his personal work, and a Canon shooter for his day job, Marc Lebryk is often a pretty good source for balanced thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of both systems. And, after burning in excess of a thousand frames with a D4 in his first weekend with it, his review seems to stop at nothing short of glowing. But, don’t take our word, go on over to his blog to see his exact thoughts, some high-iso crop samples, one full-size high iso shot from a Derby bout, a video sample, and more.



Nikon Cleans Up At DXO Mark’s SensorParty

So, you might be aware Nikon has recently released two highly anticipated cameras, the top-pro D4 and the compact pro D800. And as always with new cameras, the pending question have been: can they improve upon the image quality of the last generation? This is especially true in the somewhat controversial D800 with it’s massive resolution which is criticized online for challenging one of the common rules of digital imaging: the smaller your pixel, the more noise you’ll have. Considering it’s predecessor was one of the low-light kings, people have been waiting with some anticipation, we feel, to see how such a drastic change is going to affect the legacy Nikon’s been building in low-light performance.

And now, DXO Mark, makers of analytic sensor evaluation software, have finished their purely empirical analysis of Nikon’s two new sensors. Their conclusions? Nikon has nailed it.

DXO's Results For The Nikon D800

The D800 is a runaway success by their measure, and is now their top-rated sensor of any type. Yup, any type. Even medium format. And in case you skimmed that graphic up there, I invite you to go back and pay attention to that reported 14.4 stops of dynamic range. Now that’s impressive. For you low-lighters out there, ISO performance is rated at the point where image noise begins to compromise detail and resolution. So, the D800 doesn’t quite rule the way the D3s did (it made it up to 3253 ISO in that measure), but it does best the D700, which only made it up to 2303. Not bad for a camera with more megapixels than I have years to my name, right?

And, what about the D4, you ask? Well, it’s apparently no slouch either, and currently sits at the third best sensor they’ve ever reviewed, below only the D800 and Phase One’s IQ 180 back. None too shabby there. High ISO performance here edges really close to the D3s (which remains the highest-rated low-light shooter in their database), falling a mere .15 stops lower in exchange for those extra megapixels.

So, you Nikon folks shouldn’t have any worries about the new generation of cameras left except one: do you need more resolution, or do you need a machine gun that can fire shots fast enough to assemble a zoetrope from the results?

For you Canon folks, we’re still waiting for results on the EOS 5D Mark III, we’ll report back once they’re in. For everyone else, why not go ahead and get on our preorder lists for Nikon’s two new champs, or hit the links below to check out DXO mark’s full reports on them?

D800 Preorder

D4 Preorder


DXO Mark Analysis for D800

DXO Mark Analaysis for D4

DXO Mark Sensor Rating Chart


Engadget Reviews Casio Tryx

The Casio Tryx is something of an odd product. It’s a point-and-shoot, and maybe a bit of a Flip alternative. No worries there. But it’s got this trick, you see, where the body with the LCD hinges and swings and swivels out from inside a metal frame so you can… something. Prop it up on tables, use it like a handle, do those… other extreme things. And, it’s got all of two buttons, the rest being done through a touch interface. So, it’s an interesting product, to say the least. And, now you can read what popular tech blog Engadget thought of it. Yup, they’ve posted their own hands-on thoughts about Casio’s most original little camera. What’d they think? Why, hit the link below to find out.


Engadget Talks Frankly About Nikon’s D3s

Is it fun to watch $5,200 evaporate from your savings account? Hardly. But being able to elevate your game to new heights can only be good — nay, great — for business, and if you’ve had the D3S on your mind, we can’t say a single word to stop you from pulling the trigger. Any minor annoyances that might irk you — the lack of a 1080p movie mode, a smaller-than-desired 12.1 megapixel sensor and the dearth of inbuilt wireless flash support are the only ones that come to mind — pale in comparison to the stellar low-light images you’ll be able to acquire, and we’d surmise that your worries of spending too much on a camera would all but vanish the first time you capture a noise-free, blur-free handheld shot of a couple’s first kiss… at ISO 10,000.

-Darren Murph, Engadget

Read their in-depth thoughts about ISO performance and handling niggles via the external link, but that excerpt was too good to pass up.

Carel Struycken

User Review: Sony A550 Image Gallery

Note : “original_from _raw.jpg” is a straight conversion from raw. This image was converted to 16 bit tif and then adjusted with PS Shadow/Highlight, which produced “with_Shadow-Highlight-adjustment.jpg” By comparison, “in_camera_DRO.jpg” was shot at the same time, using in camera DRO set the maximum level.

Read the full review here

Carel Struycken

Hands On Review: Sony A550

The Alpha 550 is the first Sony DSLR I have handled. It offers a few advantages over Canon’s and Nikon’s offerings in the same price category and for those who don’t mind the more limited choice of lenses, or those who happen to have a collection of Minolta DSLR lenses, it could be an excellent choice. It should be noted that the A550 does not have a video mode, while equivalent Nikon or Canon models offer at least 720p.
The camera body has a very comfortable grip (even for my outsized hands) and the many dedicated control buttons are also thoughtfully laid out. The A550 has an excellent 920K dots LCD screen. The screen can also flip up or down 90 degrees for the parade and dachshund shots. I usually prefer using the optical viewfinder for the extra stability one gets from pressing the camera close to one’s face. The viewfinder is adequate, but like most digital SLRs I have used, it provides a smaller screen than your average film SLR and is therefore harder to use for manual focus. >> There is also a separate LCD mode for the viewfinder       <<My single gripe with the layout of the controls is the dial in front of the shutter. I kept turning the camera off when using the dial to adjust the apperture.