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DSLR Guide News, July 2006 - Nikon's Back!
July 26, 2006

A New Nikon

Table of Contents

Intro - Newsletter Light
SLR Q and A - RAW vs JPG
Photo Recipe - Archives
The Gear - The New Nikon
Recent Updates - What's new at the Guide
SLR E-course - Master Your Digital SLR
Learn More - Digital SLR Resources


This month's newsletter is going to be abbreviated.

A lot of other work is being produced for the Digital SLR Guide right now, and the end of the month snuck up on me before I knew it. I'm also heading up to Seattle to visit friends (and take pictures of course) so that will eat up several days that I would typically devote to writing this.

Let's get right into it with this month's Q and A.

Digital SLR Q&A

Question: What's the difference between RAW and JPG?

Answer: Rather than answering this question in the newsletter, I'll point you to an article I just wrote on this topic: RAW vs JPG - The Great Digital SLR Debate

Photo Recipe

A photo recipe is a simple way of breaking down a photography technique.

Since I don't have a great deal of time this month, I am going to skip the photo recipe. Check back in next month for another practical or quirky idea about how to use your digital SLR camera.

If you're new to the Digital SLR newsletter and want to read some past photo recipes, here are some archived newlsetters that you can read through:

  • June - zooming with slow shutter speeds
  • May - fill flash
  • April - ghost images
  • March - product photography

If there is a digital SLR technique that you are baffled by, or just want to learn how to take better photos of flowers, cats, planes or whatever suits your fancy, please contact me and let me know. I'll use your idea in a future newsletter for the photo recipe.

Digital SLR Gear

After a year chock-full of new digital SLR announcements from companies like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony, I was beginning to wonder when we were going to hear again from the big two: Canon and Nikon.

I didn't have to wait too long: Nikon will announce their latest digital SLR camera in early August - you'll be able to find out more about it in the next newsletter. Right now, all that I can tell you for sure is that it will feature 10.2 megapixels.

But I can speculate wildly about it, and that's part of the fun of only having limited information about a new digital SLR camera.

Take into account that Sony is releasing their first digital SLR camera in August, and that it will not only include 10 megapixels, but it also has a host of other features that help photographers improve the quality of their photographs.

It is no longer enough for a camera company to rely on megapixels alone as a selling point. Once you realize that 6 megapixels will make gorgeous 11 x 14 inch prints the extra megapixels are only nice to have if you crop your photos extensively or want to print larger than 11 x 14 inches.

I don't know about you, but I rarely make prints larger than 8x10.

So this already puts the 10 megapixel cameras in a league of their own for the mega-large print crowd. Megapixels aside, these cameras have to differentiate themselves somehow, which is why the Sony Alpha A-100 also features anti-shake, a dust-cleaning sensor, eye-start autofocus and wide dynamic range.

And all of that for less than $1,000.

So one prediction about the new 10 megapixel Nikon is that it will fall under the $1,000 price mark if it's their intention to compete with the Sony. This is also likely because Nikon's other 10 megapixel digital SLR (the D200) is already priced closer to $2,000.

With Nikon's consumer digital SLR cameras like the D50, D70 and D70s getting older by the day, the new camera will presumably act as a lure to entry-level digital SLR enthusiasts and will have to be priced accordingly.

Another guess is that Nikon is going to pull a "special feature" out of the hat for this camera.

One of the many special features that the camera could have include: extended dynamic range, a self-cleaning sensor (available in every Olympus digital SLR), a specialized LCD (live preview LCDs are only available now on the Olympus E-330 and Panasonic DMC-L1) or a sophisticated autofocus system.

It's unlikely that Nikon will include built-in anti-shake like the Sony A-100 since Nikon also sells many lenses that feature the anti-shake technology (Nikon calls this Vibration Reduction or VR).

Nikon has a long and storied history of producing exceptional cameras, so it will be interesting to see what their latest digital SLR has to offer.

Recent Updates to The Guide

Yes, it's the usual here at the Guide - lots of content changes to keep the information current so you're not getting advice that's out of date.

These changes will help you understand more about the special features of an SLR, and how it compares to compact digital cameras:

And these additions will help you find the best digital SLR camera if megapixels is your starting point:

Each one of the previous articles not only groups all of the latest camera models by megapixels, it also provides a quick comparison between all the cameras in a category, so that you can get a better sense if one is more suited for your photographic needs.

Coming soon:

  • A Guide to the Nikon D70s (as requested by readers)
  • A Guide to the Sony DSLR-A100
  • The Panasonic DMC-L1 vs the Sony DSLR-A100
  • Digital SLR cameras sorted by skill level: beginner, amateur and professional

For all the latest updates to the Guide, keep an eye on the Digital SLR Weblog.

SLR Guide E-Course

Don't miss great photo opportunties!

Learn how to adjust your camera settings to get the most out of every shot you take with 5 photography lessons from the Digital SLR Guide.

It's a lot easier to leverage all the features of your digital SLR than you might think.

Find Out More

Digital SLR Learning Resources

Each month I will present a new photography book or online resource that will take your photos to the next level, and help you continue to learn about photography (if that's your desire).

June Resource: Digital Photography School

This educational web site provides you with a lot of guided tips that are similar to the photo recipes I provide in this newsletter. For example, the latest installment is "How to Photograph Birds".

The site is updated on a regular basis, and they are constantly adding new content that will help you maximize the use of your digital SLR camera.

From learning how to adjust your white balance to finding the best way to photograph babies, there's a lot to learn here provided you have the time to read it all and then experiment with your camera.

In Conclusion

I told you this newsletter was going to be short and sweet!

If you like this abbreviated version better, please contact me and provide your feedback. I want the newsletter to suit your needs, and if you have found that recent editions have become too long-winded please let me know.

On the other hand, if you enjoy getting a little bit more out of the newsletter than a 30-second jaunt through the world of digital SLR cameras, I will be happy to keep producing the more detailed newsletters.

Thanks for reading, happy picture-taking, and I'll see you next month!

--Chris Roberts, Your Digital SLR Guide

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