In an announcement early this morning, Olympus unveiled the presumed successor to its SP-560 18x ultra-zoom: the 20x, 10.0 megapixel SP-570 UZ. Offering a level of manual control rivaling that found on a DSLR and a 35mm-equivalent zoom range of 26mm to 520mm, the SP-570 sports a large 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD display with a wide viewing angle, an external flash hotshoe, and a unique bezel-ring zoom control.
Two new models in Olympus's Stylus SW series of shockproof/waterproof cameras continue the company's tradition of building devices that can stand up to the elements. The 8 megapixel Olympus Stylus 850 SW and 10 megapixel Stylus 1030 SW are shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof, and dustproof, providing a high level of protection for outdoor shooting in extreme conditions. Additionally, the 1030 SW is touted as crushproof up to 220 pounds per square foot, and is able to survive drops of up to 6.6 feet.
With the release of the Stylus 840, Stylus 1010, and Stylus 1020, Olympus brings Dual Image Stabilization and sharp 2.7-inch LCDs to their Stylus line of premium compact cameras. All three new models feature sensor-shift image stabilization in addition to ISO boost functionality. The 8.0 megapixel, 5x zoom Stylus 840 and 10.1 megapixel, 7x zoom Stylus 1010 and 1020 all use Olympus's TruePic III image processor developed for the company's DSLRs which promises improved high-ISO performance and better color reproduction.
The options in Olympus' slimline FE series of compact point and shoots will see some refreshing this year, with the addition of the FE-310, FE-320, FE-340, and FE-350. The new FEs share an 8.0 megapixel CCD and offer face detection, digital image stabilization, and Olympus's Perfect Shot Preview and In-Camera Help Guides across the board.
Choosing a photo editing software suite these days is nearly as hard as choosing a camera. There are so many options currently out there (with prices running the gamut, from "free" to "more than a used compact car") that it's often hard to know where to start when you're looking to buy or download. In an effort to help sort out the confusion, we've gathered up some info from our most popular software reviews and recommendations of the last few months.
Panasonic has jumped the gun on even the pre-PMA announcement field with the release of a new basic compact: the Lumix LS80S. The features set covers the basics: 8.1 megapixel 1/2.5-inch CCD, ISO from 100 to 1600, 3x zoom, and 2.5-inch screen. The AA-powered digicam offers a limited range of user controls, focusing heavily on its scene and Intelligent Auto modes, but with true optical image stabilization it could challenge some of the more established budget compacts.
We've seen some great photos submitted so far for our Point-and-Shoot Photo Contest, and there's still plenty of time to get your entry posted. As we announced last week, we're encouraging regular forum contributors and new readers alike to show off your best point-and-shoot pictures. Creator of the winning image will receive a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T200 touch screen ultra-compact, and the top three photos will be recognized in a follow-up story published on the site. To find out more more, read on...
The 8.1 megapixel, 10x zoom Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 offers a suprisingly deep feature set in a compact package. Some cheap plastic design elements aside, mechanical image stabilization, fast shot-to-shot times, and some of the most impressive battery life numbers around give the sleeper H3 the potential to be one of the most highly capable compacts you've never considered.
The difficult truth, as any working sports or nature photographer will tell you, is that shooting action photos is equal parts skill and art. Good instincts, intuition, anticipation, and the ability to read a scene and make choices quickly all play a part in getting the best possible photos in fast-moving situations. While there are no shortcuts to great photos, some basic knowledge of which camera settings and what shooting techniques to depend on in these situations will go a long way toward improving your action photos.
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