Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "f-mount"

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nikon Announces D600 FX DSLR Camera, 18.5mm f/1.8 Nikon 1 Lens

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:46 AM

Well, after months and months of leaks, here it is. The Nikon D600. It is basically a D7000 with a 24 megapixel FX sensor, and the video functionality from the D4 and D800. So basically the rest of the camera almost reads like a D7000 spec sheet, with a 39 AF point system, 2016 pixel colour meter, a 5.5 FPS frame rate, a new 3.2" VGA LCD, a 100% viewfinder with 0.7x magnification, 1/200 flash sync speed, and a whole raft of manual features. On the video side, it does 24, 25 and 30 FPS at 1080p, and it can stream uncompressed video over the HDMI port. Nikon seems pretty confident that they will be able to deliver on September 18th (a local Nikon employee mentioned their Thailand plant has been fully restored), and the camera will be available for US$2100 for the body alone, or US$2700 with the AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR lens. Check out the DPReview link for more photos, and a preview of the D600. On a personal note, I am somewhat crushed that there is no D400 - I have been waiting for a D300 replacement for a very long time. Even if I were to not buy it, I wanted to see Nikon's continued dedication to issuing a pro-level DX body. I guess Nikon has given their intentions here.

On the Nikon 1 side, there is the new 18.5mm f/1.8 lens, which brings a fast prime to the 1 Series. On paper it looks like a decent lens, but there is still the issue of having some cameras that are decidedly not targeted at photographers who like to be in control of their camera. Ships in November for US$190. Photo of the lens at the link. Nikon D600 Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Digital Photography Review Reviews the Nikon D800

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM

"When the Nikon D800 was announced, the specification that got everyone's attention was - and to a large degree still is - the massive pixel count of its 36.3MP CMOS sensor. When a moderately-sized full-frame DSLR body aspires to go toe-to-toe with medium format cameras and backs at a fraction of their price, other attributes can seem secondary." has reviewed the D800, and what can I say? It's a phenomenal camera. The 36 megapixel sensor is truly state of the art, and the camera built around it is no slouch either. If you ask me, this is the FX and DX camera of the moment. Shoot it at 36 megapixel for class-leading resolution, or downsize it to 12 megapixels to exceed the D700's performance. Shoot at 15.3 megapixel for a DX crop that beats the D7000. Now, if only I can find the money for it somehow. On a more curious note, I wonder why DPReview upsampled the Canon 5DIII files instead of downsampling the D800 files; usually that makes the image that is being upsampled look a lot worse. Still, great camera. Time to raid the piggy bank, I think.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nikon Announces D3200 DSLR Camera and AF-S 28mm f/1.8G Lens

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:38 AM

Nikon today unveiled the D3200, the replacement for the D3100 DSLR. What is most surprising is the sensor: It is a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor, in APS-C size. It appears to be similar to the one found in Sony's NEX-7 and SLT-A77, which also makes me wonder if the next refresh of all their DX-based DSLRs are going to use the same 24 megapixel sensor. If it is, I am going to be a little disappointed, as I was hoping that the D300/D300s replacement would use something like the awesome FX-challenging (in the high ISO noise department at least) 16 megapixel sensor found in the Fujifilm X-Pro 1.

The rest of the camera has a few upgrades, like a new 3" VGA LCD, 1080 video at 24 or 30 FPS (previously only 24 FPS) with manual exposure controls, a 4 FPS continuous mode (up from 3), and the ability to add the new WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter that lets you send images to your smartphone. In a first, Android support will come first, with iOS support coming later this year. The adapter looks rather clunky, being a small dongle that sticks out awkwardly from the side of the camera. Camera manufacturers, this is not how you build a connected camera. Until you get it, your compact camera sales will continue to dwindle in the presence of crappy smartphone cameras. The D3200 will ship in late April (isn't that a week away?) with the 18-55 kit lens for US$700, and the WU-1a for US$60.

In other news, Nikon also released a potentially nice lens for FX users: The Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8. Given the FOV equivalent of a 42mm on a DX body, its neither here nor there status means it is better to use the cheaper AF-S 35/1.8 on a DX body, as the 28mm is going to be US$700. Ships in end of May.

Press releases and photo of the Nikkor after the break.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DxOMark Declares D800 for Best Camera Imaging Sensor

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM

"The two Nikon full-frame cameras, the D800 and the D4, occupy the top two places in the full-frame category. Simple and efficient. Still, be careful: as ever, in this review we are discussing only the D800’s RAW-image-based sensor results."

Before I continue, bear in mind that DxO tests camera sensors at a very technical level, and is weighted accordingly to their own system, which you may or may not disagree with. Regardless of the actual "score", the D800 has been rated very highly by the team at DxO, and comes close to $30,000 medium format camera backs! This is an impressive feat, regardless of how you look at it. I expect one heck of a rush for this camera, despite its price. I am now tempted just a little bit...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nikon Announces D800 and D800E FX DSLR Cameras

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:27 PM

Alright, here we go! Nikon has just announced not one, but two cameras. The D800 and its sibling, the D800E. Both D800s feature a number of changes from the D700, the main difference being that 36 megapixel FX sensor. I am not sure if that many people need all those megapixels, but I guess Nikon is trying to woo the affluent amateur in addition to the thrifty professional with this camera. The sensor has a base ISO range of 100-6400, and an extended range of 50-25,600. No super high numbers like the D4 here. Still, a number of changes do carry over from the D4, including the new 91,000 RGB matrix sensor for determining exposures, the improved CAM-3500 AF module, and the 3.2" VGA LCD screen. There is an ambient light sensor for the LCD screen to boost its brightness levels, just like a smartphone, which is a nice touch.

The D800 also inherits the D4's video capabilities. That means the D800 does 1080p videos at 30, 25 and 24 FPS, with B frame compression in h.264 codec, HDMI pass through with uncompressed video data, a microphone jack, fine control of audio levels with visual indicators, a headphone jack to monitor said audio levels, and built-in time lapse recording. Each video clip is limited to 29m 59s (in other words, a second shy of 30 minutes, presumably for tax reasons in certain countries).

Back to the stills side, the camera has a maximum frame rate for 4 FPS at FX, and 5 FPS in crop mode. With the MB-D12 battery pack using other batteries than the default EN-EL15 (which replaced the EN-EL3e), the camera can do 6 FPS in crop mode. Shifting all those megapixels has made the D800 slower than the D700 in that aspect. Improved over the D700 however, is the viewfinder. It is now a 100% affair, unlike the D700 slighty cropped 95% coverage. Other improvements include faster contrast detect autofocus for live view, faster shutter response times, the addition of a SD card slot alongside the CF card slot, dual-axis virtual horizon (great for eliminating converging vertical lines), built-in two shot HDR, and overall changes to the UI. I particularly like the new frame advance setting dial on the left side of the camera. Finally one no longer has to peer at the top of the camera to confirm that self-timer mode has not been engaged. A dedicated bracketing button also means that the right function button next to the lens mount is no longer the only way to access bracketing. I hate it when camera manufacturers make features only accessible to custom function buttons, forcing you to pretty much set the custom function button to that feature anyway. It really doesn't leave much choice in setting the custom function!

Now, on to the D800E. It is essentially the D800, but with the anti-aliasing filter removed. Sounds pretty tasty. To compensate for potential moire, Nikon has added a moire removal feature in an upcoming version of Capture NX2.

The Nikon D800 will go on sale in late March for US$3000. The D800E will go on sale in mid-April for US$3300. That is right. Take away a part, promise higher image quality, charge US$300 more. More coverage at the link. Coverage of the D800 seems a bit sparse this time; DPReview even got the battery information wrong!

Update: DPReview has a preview up! Loads more information, especially on the new features.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nikon Announces D4 Flagship DSLR Camera and AF-S 85mm F/1.8G Lens

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:30 AM

So here it is. I hope the rumours have not totally spoilt it for you. The Nikon D4 is the latest flagship, and will replace the D3S. The specs look good, but most of the upgrades seem geared towards video. Let us take a look!

On the photo side of things, there is a new 16 megapixel FX sensor that does ISO 100 to ISO 12k, with ISO 50 on the low end and ISO 200k on the high with boost (I feel silly saying ISO 204,800; does this kind of precision really matter?), an upgraded CAM 3500 module that boasts fifteen cross points out of the 51 AF points, and nine that will work with the Nikon 1.4x and 1.7x teleconverters, and one (just the one?) point that will work at f/8 with 2x teleconverters. I distinctly remember my F100's AF working with a third party lens and a third party teleconverter at f/8, so this does not feel totally new, but I could be mistaken. The camera boasts a frame rate of 10 FPS, with 11 FPS if the AF tracking is disabled. The 1005 pixel RGB Matrix meter is now a 91000 pixel sensor, and is also used for other tasks like face detection and dynamic range manipulation (what Nikon calls Active D-Lighting).

There is a new bigger VGA LCD at 3.2", along with a few upgraded controls. The buttons are now backlit, which is a very nice touch, coming a few years after Olympus did that with the E-620 (a consumer DSLR, no less!). The AE-L/AF-L button is gone however, replaced by a joystick nub that looks suspiciously like Canon's one, which is also replicated in the vertical grip. Also, get ready for a new battery: the new EN-EL18 is rated for 2600 shots. Err, that does seem lower than the D3S's 4200 shots. Change in methodology? XQD support is now added, with one slot for it, and the other for the old standby CompactFlash. There is also an Ethernet port, along with a new WiFi transmitter for connectivity, which also allows remote access via the Internet. Yes that's right, the D4 can be controlled from a tablet!

Most of the big upgrades however, are in the video portion. In fact, Nikon bills this as a "multimedia SLR". See that little record button behind the shutter release? The D4 does 1080p video at 24/30 FPS at 24 Mbps bitrate, but also allows uncompressed video to be streamed out of the HDMI port. This allows a monitor with a recording device daisy-chained to it if maximum quality is desired. B frame compression is now supported, along with microphone and headphone jacks. No word if gain on the microphone jack can be controlled. Both AF and exposure can be controlled while recording, and there is a neat trick to use the FX, DX or CX (that's 1x, 1.5x and 2.7x respectively) crop for videos.

It is a nice upgrade in all, but I am not sure if current D3S owners who use their cameras for stills will be upgrading. I think most might still stick with the D3S. The D4 will be released in February 2012 with a price of US$6000. More photos and press release after the break.

There is also a new lens, the AF-S 85mm f/1.8G lens. It is, depending if it is mounted on a FX or DX camera, a nice short or medium telephoto, and an AF-S update to the older AF 85mm f/1.8D lens. Good for those using cameras like the D5100, which lack the internal AF motor. If this is like most of the AF-S primes released so far, expect the AF-S motor to be more on the slower side of fast. The lens will be available for US$500 in March 2012. Photo and press release after the break.

Nikon D4 Overview - DPReview

Nikon D4 and AF-S 85mm f/1.8G - DCResource


Monday, July 18, 2011

Lifehacker's Guide to Choosing Cameras

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM

"Choosing a digital camera used to be a simple process that was heavily dictated by the amount of money in your pocket. Now the same money can buy you different benefits and compromises, making the decision much more complex. Here's a look at your camera-buying options, the pros and cons of each, and some specific suggestions to help you pick the perfect camera for your needs."

Lifehacker has a long article on how to choose a camera (and it even includes a guide on cameras in phones), but I recommended not going through the recommended picks just because they are there. Seriously, a Sony NEX-3?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nikon Lenses on the iPhone 4 Becomes Reality

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM

The ultimate camera is now here: Attach legendary Nikkor lenses to the iPhone 4! For US$250 you can buy kit that has a casing to allow a converter tube for F-mount lenses. Time to sell that D3S and D3X?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nikon D5100 Reviewed by Digital Photography Review

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:30 AM

"The D5100 has a very similar 16.2MP CMOS sensor to the excellent one seen in the D7000 but, understandably, loses out on that camera's high-end build and feature-set. So there's no wireless flash control, magnesium alloy build or 39-point AF system but the underlying image quality is all but identical. As has become standard for a Nikon at this price point, the D5100 offers a single control dial, pentamirror viewfinder and no built-in autofocus motor. However, it gains 1080p video capability (at 30, 25 or 24fps), saved using the efficient H.264/AVC codec, and a 920,000 dot fully articulated LCD panel to help shoot it."

Nikon's D5100 looks like a very nice DSLR for the price and feature set. The 16 megapixel sensor from the D7000 certainly helps; with usable results up to ISO 3200, and for non-critical photos, even 12,800 (HI1) can be used with some post-processing. I am not too keen on the revamped layout to accommodate the articulating LCD however. Traditionally Nikon DSLRs have four to five buttons on the left hand side of the camera, where the hinge currently is located. The downside is slightly less refined controls compared to the D7000. Still, I hope Nikon eventually works out the UI for this line, because I would like to see the articulating LCD become standard; that way I can leave the right-angle finders at home!

Engadget has additional coverage if you want a mainstream tech review. Personally, I'm still baffled why 11 AF Points is a minus. In my time, we had just one, and walked both ways uphill in the snow to take photos!

Nikon Announces AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 AM

Nikon has updated their 50mm f/1.8 lens with a Silent Wave Motor, but to me, the only advantage this lens has over the incumbent is that it will auto focus with cameras that have no built-in AF motor. It is more expensive by 60%, loses the aperture ring, uses the awkward 58mm filter ring (though that might change), and if the AF-S 50/1.4G is anything to go by, it will focus slower as well. At least this has a focus distance indicator, unlike the AF-S 35/1.8G. Expect this in June for US$220.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fastec's TS3Cine Records 720p at 720fps

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

"Unlike Casio's cameras, which cut the resolution to little more than thumbnail-size as you crank the frame rate, the TS3Cine does 720p video at 720fps, and 1280 x 1024 at 500fps. It's only when you further slow down the video (up to 20,000fps) that the image size starts to shrink."

Want real high-speed footage instead of pseudo slo-mo provided by software plugins? Here is an option, courtesy of Fastec. The TS3Cine does 720p HD video at 720 FPS, and chews up 8GB of storage in 13 seconds while doing so. Comes in C-mount or F-mount (that's the Nikon mount), with an optional PL mount for mounting all your cine or adapted lenses. Of course, a hardware solution like this is going to cost, so instead of the US$300 for the software plugin, prepare to fork out a cool US$30,000 for the camera instead. Or you can rent it at US$625 a day if you're lucky enough to be in the Boston area.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nikon Pulls AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Lens From Website

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

I think we can safely conclude that this is pretty much real. AF-S will be welcomed by those on cameras without the screw drive motor, but I'm not liking the loss of the aperture ring (again) and the 58mm filter thread. Get those old AF-Ds when you still can, because if past trends are any indication, the new lens will cost more and focus slower. More details at the source.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Glass for Less: A Simple Guide to Inexpensive Lenses

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

As more people get into photography as a hobby, a common refrain heard is that it is an expensive hobby. It is not without some truth, as hobbies by their nature can involve spending large outlays of money since it is human nature to delve deeper into our interests, and hobbies that involve any kind of gear will have many opportunities for the hobbyist to spend their hard-earned money on. Not helping is today's world of marketing departments' promises of being better at what you do if you buy their companies' products or services.

Even if you ignore the messages from marketing, you still need some basic gear to take a photo, like a lens, and lenses can be very very expensive. Lenses can range from the popular f/2.8 zooms (as much as US$2,000+) to the super telephoto lenses (too much). Thankfully, there are cheap options out there, some good, some downright awful. So what does a budget (and budding) photographer buy? Well, here's a short roundup of some lenses that can be considered to be not too expensive.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things I Want to See in 2011

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 AM

Welcome to 2011! The last decade was a breath-taking one for digital photography, and the last few years have brought about a torrent of changes and improvements, along with the digital revolution settling down somewhat. Still, a new year brings new possibilities, and here is what I would like to see for 2011:

1. Open Platform Camera

One reason for the popularity of cameras in smartphones is the software you can add to it. Want different effects? Download an app to process them on the phone. Want to see said effects in real-time? Download an app to replace the default camera app. Want an intervalometer? Download an app for that too!

Having an open platform for developers to add functionality to the camera would be an amazing selling point. This would go beyond consumer-level gee-whiz; there is plenty for for enthusiasts too. Change button assignments, tone curves (this has existed but not always the easiest to do), even autofocus and auto exposure behaviour for the adventerous. There is also something to be said for spending less time in image editors...

Of course this would kill some manufacturers' unique selling points. Olympus and their Art Filters will probably be the first casualty. Coupled with most camera companies being conservative in nature, this is unlikely to happen from a traditional manufacturer. Anyone out there willing to take a chance on this?

2. Truly Connected Cameras

Tying in with the above point on open platforms, connectivity is the next big thing. Most of us share our photos digitally nowadays, and the Internet is the main way to do this. Standalone cameras still rely heavily on having a computer to do this. Smartphone cameras are showing the way this should be done, so where are the connected cameras? The Olympus E-PL2's bluetooth dongle (a leaked piece of news at this time of writing) is a step forward, and hopefully will set the tone for the rest of the year.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Nikon D3100 Reviewed by Digital Camera Resource Page

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:37 AM

"The D3100 is Nikon's entry-level digital SLR, priced from just $699 with an 18 - 55 mm lens. The D3100 is a very user-friendly camera, with help screens and a unique "guide mode" that literally spells out what you need to do in order to get the shot you want. It also has plenty of features to excite camera enthusiasts, including a 14.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 11-point AF system, a 3-inch LCD with live view, plenty of manual controls, and a Full HD movie mode."

Nikon's D3100 is actually a fairly large upgrade for this line. It features a new 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor which should give better image quality overall, and adds HD video as well. The high ISO images are turning out pretty well, and to me even ISO 6400 can be used in a pinch (with some post processing). It looks like a great camera for those wanting to get a budget DSLR, the question now is, is the camera still as cheap as some of the D3000 deals I've been seeing in North America previously?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gizmodo's List of "Budget" Lenses

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:38 AM

"If you're shopping for a new lens of some sort, you've come to just the right place. Here's ThePhoblographer's list of the best lenses you can get your hands on without breaking the bank."

Defnitely a budget lens: Nikkor DX AF-S 35mm f/1.8G

Alright, I know it's hard to write articles (else I'd do some more myself), but I wish some writers would write more for their target audience than for themselves. While some of the lenses in the list are indeed budget (normal lenses are usually not expensive), they're all prime lenses. I'm thinking a general techblog on this topic should include some budget but quality zooms in the list (Tamron's 17-50 comes to mind). Also, when going through the list, note that there's no distinction between the use of the lens on APS-C-sized and 35mm-sized sensors for Nikon and Canon systems. There's no mention of other systems, but hey, I guess they don't count in today's market.

And really, the Nikkor AF 28mm f/2.8D? The neutered version from the manual focus version that drops two elements and CRC (Close Range Correction System) is hardly what I call legendary. Budget certainly, but not my favourite wide angle Nikkor, which is hardly wide once you mount it on a DX camera; see my point on not making distinctions on sensor sizes when discussing lenses.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nikon D7000 Reviewed by Digital Photography Review

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:11 AM

"When it was announced in September the D7000 took a lot of people by surprise. Although a D90 successor had been on the horizon for some time, what wasn't expected was how close in specification terms the new camera would turn out to be to the D300S. In some respects, in fact, the D7000 actually outguns its (supposedly) semi-pro cousin, and offers a compelling upgrade option to both D90 and D300S owners, whilst nominally sitting between the two in Nikon's current lineup."

Alright, here's the DPReview review of the Nikon D7000, and the verdict is well, good. Basically if you're looking for something more advanced but not professional grade, the D7000 is pretty much it. Stills are very good (though the noise does not look much better than my D300), and the video has a lot less rolling shutter issues than the D90. I just played with one at Nikon today and was quite impressed. However I don't agree with it as an upgrade for D300s owners!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nikon's Latest DSLR Reviews: D7000 and D3100

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:30 AM

As both the D7000 and D3100 get shipped out in quantity, we're starting to see the reviews for both come in. First up is the D3100 review. How does it fair? Pretty good, actually, thought if you are not looking for video, you should take a look at the D3000 as well, as it is much cheaper. I do expect the D3100's price to go down after a few manufacturing cycles though. The D3000 is after all, based on the tried-and-tested (aka old-and-outdated in techspeak).

Nikon D3100 Review

Next up is the big hit of the season, the Nikon D7000. Nikon traditionally has been better at doing the more expensive cameras (market segmentation is not a strong suite of theirs, see F301, F401, F50, F70 as examples). I don't think I really need to tell you all how it fares in the review!

Nikon D7000 Review

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nikon D7000 Early Review

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM

"This review not to go over the specs, movies, AI metering, FPS of the Nikon D7000; instead we will talk about the camera handling, auto focus, image quality, etc. I am not here to bash or stop you from getting the Nikon D7000. In fact you can order the kit here and the body only here.My reason for getting a D7000 was for me to have a backup to my D700; in case of an emergency or just for casual use."

As the Nikon D7000 trickles out to the stores, the reviews are starting to pop up. Here's one by a working professional; I do have a little concern in using the term sharpness in reviewing output quality; there's resolution, and there's edge contrast, the latter which many people use to describe "sharpness". It's too easy to mislead apparent resolution by using some smart sharpening techniques (by smart I don't mean dialling up the sharpness to 11 either). Still, the high ISO looks impressive, and I now can't wait for the release of the D400, or whatever the D300s successor is going to be called.

Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...