Digital Cameras to Inspire Performance
By Emily Tipping
Moving on Up
Digital single lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras are a different ballgame from the point-and-shoot cameras, said Canon's Romeo. And until recently, they've typically been too pricey for many photographers. But manufacturers have created many entry-level models that are accessible, and although the Camera & Imaging Products Association forecast shipments of all Japanese-made cameras to drop 0.7 percent in 2009, it predicted that shipments of DSLRs will be up 6.8 percent.
These are not usually a person's first camera purchase. In fact, according to data from PMA, only 10 percent of DSLR cameras purchased in 2007 were the first camera purchase by that consumer. More than a quarter were purchased as a replacement, and nearly two-thirds were bought as an additional unit.
Digital SLR cameras are meant for users who want to experiment and have more control over what the camera is doing, but many of the newest models also offer plenty of automatic features, so they can bridge the gap for those just getting into photography.
"Digital SLR is a higher price point as well as a different ballgame," Romeo said. "These cameras are more for someone who wants to explore a little bit more. We have over 60 lenses they can switch with. This is someone who wants the macro lens to get the bee on the flower. Corporate-gift-wise, it's a higher-level-executive piece."
The main trend in DSLRs is ever-better technology at prices that have been gradually coming down. Entry-level DSLRs are more accessible than ever, and are bringing new technologies to play, such as HD video.
Olympus E-620 Digital SLR (approximately $700 for body, $800 with lens)
An entry-level DSLR, Olympus' E-620 allows users to engage in experimentation with Art Filters and Multiple Exposures (built into the camera).
"Experimenting and creating your own unique masterpieces has never been easier or more fun," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "Pop Art, Grainy Black & White, and Pin Hole are just a few creative options that can be effortlessly found on the camera's mode dial."
The 12.3-megapixel camera is also notably lightweight, with a 16.76-ounce body. It is the world's smallest DSLR with in-body image stabilization, adjusting when your body moves to remove blur. Live View shooting with a swivel 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD frees the user to cover subjects from a range of angles.
Consumers who are used to point-and-shoot cameras will love the E-620's seamless experience and autofocus options. Additional features include face detection, shadow adjustment technology, Perfect Shot Preview, wireless flash capability, dust reduction and more.