Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Review Of The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

!±8± A Review Of The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Looking for a great, high megapixel camera that will meet practically all of your everyday photography needs? Well, look no further than the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. This camera looks great and you could mistake it for a D-SLR camera. What's really incredible about the SX40 HS is its long 35x zoom range, coupled with that 12-megapixel camera resolution. Yes, you read that right - a 35x zoom range - which translates to a very powerful camera with telephoto reach. Read on and find out more about it.

1. Design and Construction
What does the SX40 HS look like? Well, as you can see from the picture, the unit itself is neither compact nor light. Its dimensions are 3.6 by 4.8 by 4.2 inches (HWD) and it weighs in at 1.3 pounds. It's competitor, the Nikon Coolpix P500 is slimmer and lighter by comparison.

The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS comes with a metal body with a few plastic elements. I like the fact that there's a very deep handgrip which lets you hold the camera firmly. Throw in the SX40's optical stabilization system and it means you can get a sharp photo at the extreme end of its zoom range. I tried zooming almost 35x on the SX40 HS, without a tripod or monopod, and my pictures still came out pretty good and sharp.

2. Optics and Resolution
When it comes to long range zoom, very few non-digital SLR type cameras can match the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. The 35x zoom range is better than many digital SLRs equipped with telephoto lenses and is certainly one of the selling points of the camera.

With its 12 megapixel resolution, you'd expect that photos taken with the SX40 HS to be exceptionally sharp. Incidentally, I got to know about the Imatest software suite - which can be used to measure cameras' performance in terms of image sharpness and noise. So here's what I did - to evaluate sharpness, I shot several photos of a test chart and analyzed them using a center-weighted algorithm. The SX40 HS averaged 1,836 lines per picture height, which surpasses the 1,800-line benchmark that qualifies an image as being acceptably sharp.

I've tried many cameras in the past, including the Kodak EasyShare Max Z990 which packs a 30x zoom lens, records a slightly higher 1,946 lines. So in terms of image sharpness, the SX40 HS is not the best - but I think its other features more than make up for that.

3. User Controls
Many cameras have very obscure or weird control placements. The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS doesn't have this problem. There are ample control buttons on the SX40's body - a top-mounted dial lets you change between shooting modes, and there's a neat rear four-way jog wheel to scroll through menus, adjust ISO, set exposure compensation, activate the self-timer, and so forth.

The Canon designers obviously got the design of the menu system correct. In fact, the Canon SX40 HS menu system is one of the best I've seen around - comparable even to the top end DSLR cameras. You can quickly access most of the common controls you'd encounter in a digital camera, without having to click all around menu after menu. I also like the fact that the SX40's pop-up flash is manually operated. All I need to do is flip it up when you'd like to use it. Enthusiasts who want a better flash can fit in units like the Canon Speedlite flash, using the dedicated hot shoe.

4. Battery Life
The Canon PowerShot SX40 boasts a very good and long lasting battery life. I could be outdoors shooting photos like no one's business and the battery would still be OK. This contrasts strongly to some of the older Canon cameras I have, where the battery just dies on you when you're lining up for a very important shot.

5. Storage and Transfer
OK, the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS supports all manner of media cards - Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity and Secure Digital Extended Capacity. The camera records 1080p24 QuickTime video - which in my opinion, looks quite good. To copy photos and video into your PC, you can plug the camera into your computer via mini USB to copy the files. Alternatively, you can connect the camera to an HDTV via mini HDMI. My family loves to do that - plug a digital camera to a huge TV and enjoy the photos and video.

6. Shortcomings
I feel that the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is a great camera - but it falls short in a few areas. For one thing, the camera isn't cheap! And although it has a powerful 35x zoom lenses, I could tell that it's performance in low light is not so good - especially compared to its competitors like the Nikon Coolpix P500, which captures clean images in as little as one quarter the light as the SX40.

All in all, the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is a great camera with a powerful 35x zoom range. It has a host of innovative features which allow you to take picture after picture with ease. The quality of the photo shots are way above average and is certainly one of the better digital cameras in its class. Do check it out!

A Review Of The Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Knowing Which Digital SLR Camera Lens is Right for You?

!±8± Knowing Which Digital SLR Camera Lens is Right for You?

When shopping for a Digital SLR Camera people often overlook or skimp on the camera's lenses. Camera Lenses serve as the digital SLR cameras "eye," the lens determines what and how your camera will see your subject and how well that view is transmitted to the camera's sensor chip for recording. The way I like to look at camera lenses is as painter's brushes, broad strokes, medium stokes, all purpose brushes, and small detail brushes. There is a lot to learn about digital slr camera lenses and this article will serve as a basic outline to understanding them. The following sections explain the basic types of digital SLR camera lenses, how they work, and how to select them.

Focal Length

On a digital SLR camera the focal length of the lenses measures the distance between the lens and the image sensor, measured in millimeters. Lenses can be classified into subgroups like prime, macro, wide angle, normal, telephoto, and zoom lenses. They are also rated in regards to f-stop or speed an example would be a F2.0 50mm lens or a 1.4F 80mm lens. We will explain this later in this article.

Prime Lenses:

Prime lenses are fixed focal length lenses like a 50mm 1.4f lens. To zoom with these types of lenses you need to use your feet and to get closer or farther away from the subject. Traditionally prime lenses are sharper and faster then zoom lenses. If you are on a budget you can pick up some amazing used older prime lenses off eBay or your local camera store.

Macro Lenses:

Macro Lenses are your detail brushes they enable you to get up close and personal with your subject. These types of lenses are used for extreme close ups on small objects like daisies, pennies, and food but not limited to these types of subjects. Examples of macro lenses are 50mm and 100mm macros. These lenses are also great for selective focus types of photos.

Wide-angle Lenses:

Wide-angle lenses are your broad stroke brushes; these types of lenses have short focal lengths. The short focal length has the visual effect of "pushing" the subject away from you and making it appear smaller. The beauty of wide-angle lenses is you can be relatively close to your subject and fit a broad stroke of the background into the scene.

One problem with wide-angle lenses is known as convergence, a distortion that makes vertical structures appear to lean toward the center of the frame. A way to check if the wide-angle lenses you are interested in has convergence is to take test pictures before buying the lens. With high quality wide angles lenses like Canon L series lenses address this convergence issue well. Examples of wide-angle lenses are 15MM, 17mm, 24mm and 28mm lenses.

Normal Lenses:

Normal Lenses try to mimic how the human eye sees and are some of the most versatile lenses you can use. These are my all purpose brushes, and are somewhere between a wide angle and a telephoto lenses. If you buy just one lens try and buy the fastest normal lenses you can like a 50mm 1.4f lenses. Some examples of normal lenses are 35mm; 50mm, 65mm and some consider a 80mm a normal lens.

Telephoto Lenses:

Lenses with long focal lengths 100mm and higher are called telephoto lenses. A long focal length seems to bring the subject closer to you and increases the subject's size in the frame. Telephoto lenses also give your subjects a graphic look and flatten out your subject. These lenses are my short stroke brushes.

Zoom Lenses:

Zoom lenses are special because they can be very versatile. These types of lenses vary in their focal lengths and come in many in wide-angle, telephoto, and wide-angle to telephoto. In my bag I carry a 17mm to 35mm my wide-angle broad brush, 24mm to 70mm my medium brush, and a 80mm to 200mm my short brush. With these three lenses I get a very board range of focal lengths for any situation. All of my zooms are at least f2.8 through out the lenses range, which means my f-stop can stay constant while I am zooming in and out. These types of lenses are very expensive but so get what you pay for. When shopping for a zoom lenses check out the f-stop range rating. An example is a 24mm to 300mm f3.5-f5.6 lenses meaning the lowest f-stop you can shoot is at the 24mm range of the lenses and when you zoom to 200mm the lowest you can go is f5.6. Zoom lenses can give you flexibility and versatility all in one lenses. When buying a zoom lens try and get one that is made of glass and is the fastest you can afford, you will not regret it.

Understanding what these different groups of lenses can do will help you make more informed decisions on what lenses to purchase and what to put in your camera bag.

Knowing Which Digital SLR Camera Lens is Right for You?

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best Slr Digital Camera For 2009

!±8± Best Slr Digital Camera For 2009

Digital Slr comes from digital singular lens reflex, which is named this way because of the mirror that sits behind the lens of the camera and sends the light to the viewfinder.

The digital Slr's are designed in such a way that you can use a lot of dissimilar lenses, with dissimilar focal lengths. This versatility is the think why digital Slr cameras are so beloved among professionals. When you're using a camera that is not a Slr, you need to match the angle of the viewing lens with the angle of view. If you're doing short-range zoom or you have a fixed lens, then it's Ok, but at dissimilar focal lengths it can be much more difficult. The Slr is good because the viewing and taking lens are the same.

While entry level digital Slr cameras don't all the time have Live View, advanced models usually do, and they let you produce the photos just like you do with a snapshot camera. The basic models will lock the mirror, and the prism will divert the image towards a sensor that is small. Then, instead of sending it to a capture sensor, it will be sent to the Lcd screen, which can take down the execution a bit. If you're getting an older model you might need to focus on the image manually when you are in Live View, though dissimilarity autofocus is ready in newer digital cameras.

Digital Slr Camera Types

Digital Slr With Interchangeable-lens

These models are those carefully as Slr's by most people. They're also the ones that we'll be talking about in this article. Just like the name says, in these Slr cameras you can change their lenses. This way you're able to switch from a supertelephoto lens to an ultra wide angle.

Examples: Basically, most digital Slr cameras that are sold today belong to this type.

Digital Slr With Fixed Lens

On these digital Slr's, the versatility is small by the fact that you can't change the default lens. The mirror that bounces the light towards the viewfinder is nonmoving and semi-transparent in most of these models.

One example of a camera with fixed lens is the Olympus E-20N

Camera similar to Slr's

Cameras that look like digital Slr cameras are usually digicams that have whether an optic finder or a small Lcd. You can't consider them as digital Slr cameras since the mirror is missing, and the capability of the photos isn't even close to what you can do with a true Slr. Usually, this type of camera has a very long zoom, and another name for them is magazooms or Zlrs.

Best Slr Digital Camera For 2009

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