Making photography fun is the hobby's number one requirement. When wanting to add some spunk to your picture-taking routine (and potentially come up with some seriously amazing images in the process), check out these lenses that can be swapped out for your regular DSLR lens.
Gone are the days when only professionals used digital SLRs. With prices dropping and online tutorials galore, even we amateurs are feeling at ease with advanced gear. The downside of our newfound nearly pro status? DSLRs are bulky! Enter the Canon EOS M ($800; available in October).
The latest offering in the growing interchangeable lens and mirrorless camera market (Sony's NEX camera line is also a popular option), the EOS M features much of the same power of a DSLR in a compact, more travel-friendly size. Don't let that small size fool you, though; this camera packs an 18MP CMOS sensor and a mount adapter so that nearly any lens you may already have will fit on the EOS M.
Keep reading to learn why the Canon EOS M — and compact mirrorless cameras in general — will make your DSLR one lonely gadget.
Ever wonder what sort of craftsmanship goes into making a $50,000 camera? With fascinating precision, luxury camera maker Leica partnered with Hermès to create the limited special-edition Leica M9-P Edition Hermès camera. Watch as artisan camera makers and leather craftsmen take painstaking care to produce this extraordinary camera and its custom-fit leather case.
We may talk a lot about iPhoneography in these parts, but there's no substitute for an "old-fashioned" camera in all its double-digit megapixels, HD video, and interchangeable lens glory. The latest in Sony's camera offerings comes from the brand's Alpha line: the NEX-F3, suited for a more casual photographer, and the SLT-A37, a DSLR kit for those who want to get a little more serious with their hobby.
Available in June, the NEX-F3 ($600 with an 18-55mm zoom lens kit) packs 16.1 MP, 60i/24p HD video capture, and a full-size mirrorless APS-C image sensor into its pocket-sized frame, giving photos SLR-quality results without the intimidation of a bulky SLR body. Beyond its technical prowess, the NEX-F3 has sweet features that any level of camera enthusiast will love: the 180° tilt LCD screen shows a mirror image when flipped vertically, a must for framing self-portraits, and the new Auto Portrait Framing feature crops an image of a subject within perfect rule-of-thirds parameters.
For the photographer who needs extra power, the 16.1 MP SLT-A37 ($600 with an 18-55mm zoom lens kit; available in June) captures 7 frames per second with a 15-point auto focus system intended to keep fast-moving subjects crystal clear. The camera has an ISO range up to 16000, helping you the make most of a low-light scenario. What we may love most about the A37 is the little extras: it includes Auto Portrait Framing as well as an electronic viewfinder, ensuring that every bit of what you see in a frame is captured in the image.
Tour close-ups of the camera in our gallery, and share your favorite interchangeable-lens camera in the comments!
No offense, Sony, but if Apple were to build a camera, it might look a little like the Sony Cybershot TX200V ($500). The sleek lines, 3.3-inch OLED touch screen, and glass body of the TX200V resembles an iPhone, but it's obviously packed with extra power in the optical department. An 18.2MP sensor, full HD 1080/60p video capture and recording, and quick focusing in low-light situations ensures that you capture the best images possible, while the airtight construction — making it water- and dust-proof — keep it safe in up to 16 feet of water or the depths of your bag.
While you have the option of three different hues — violet, silver, or red — the color splash is limited to the sides and rear of the camera, making the TX200V a little less conspicuous for candids. Look for the Sony Cybershot TX200V to hit stores on March 23 for $500.
We know that looks aren't everything, but man — the new Nikon Coolpix P310 is quite a looker. Coming with a retro-styled bod and a 16MP sensor, it's the pocket cam for professionals, and a great investment for mobile photographers who want a little more power behind their pics.
The camera itself comes with a 3-inch LCD screen on the back, improved image stabilization, 19 scene modes, full 1080p video recording, Eye-Fi SD card support, and is pocketable and light at just 6.9 ounces. It shoots fabulously well in low light thanks to high ISO and a wide angle f/1.8 lens, which means all those concert and party pics you like to take will look even better. Plus, a smart backlight HDR mode will piece together multiple shots to get you better clarity and vibrancy. The P310's manual mode — that lets you adjust shutter speed, aperture, and other settings — will help you step out of your "auto" comfort zone.
You'll be able to get your hands on the P310 sometime in March for $330, but in the meantime, check out Nikon's sample images in the gallery to see what this camera can do.
Photojojo was kind enough to send me the plastic Diana+ lens and digital adapter ($60) last week, allowing me to ditch the film while still getting that lo-fi feel to my images. Coming with three distance settings (1-2m, 2-4m, and Infinity), the Diana+ lens is a fun addition to your digital lens arsenal. Good news, plastic camera fans: if you already have a Diana+ lens, you can get the adapter for just $15.
Snapping on the lens is a breeze — just attach the adapter to your Canon or Nikon DSLR, then twist the lens on to the adapter and away you go. I found that the Diana+ works best when shooting in natural light outside, as opposed to indoors, and capturing pops of color. If you do grab this lens for your digital, don't bother trying to get close-up and macro images; that's not what this lens is for. It definitely creates a dreamy ambiance for your pics, so strap it on next time you're at the park with your friends, watching a parade, or taking a walk around town.
Want to see a few unretouched sample images? Click through the gallery!
With the amount of professional-grade DSLR cameras on the market today, the only thing stopping you from capturing vacation shots worthy of National Geographic is the prohibitive price point. Traditionally these powerful cameras cost close to $1,000 and more, but after this year's CES, GE hopes to make high-performing digital cameras an affordable option.
At the show, the company better known for its household appliances, unveiled a line of bridge cameras that include pro-level features for under $200. Check out specs and images for the new line of cameras in the gallery.
There's a trend in the air at CES — a WiFi-enabled camera trend, to be exact. Polaroid is among the companies offering a camera to get you online. The SC1630 Smart Camera harnesses the power of an Android-operating smartphone minus the monthly texting plan.
The 16MP, 3X optical zoom camera uses a 3.2-inch touch screen display to easily share pictures and videos across the World Wide Web of social networks, thanks to its included WiFi and Bluetooth connection. Photos are automatically organized within the camera by date, location, and those smiling people in the shot. Just like any other mobile device, the camera includes a geo-location feature so you don't forget where each memory was made.
The price of Polaroid's SC1630 Smart Camera is still up in the air; look for the camera to hit stores sometime in 2012.
Instagram has become an incredibly popular app for mobile photographers since its launch in 2010, and camera manufacturers are taking notice. Panasonic is hoping to lure mobile photography enthusiasts away from the smartphone by adding Instagram-style effects to its hardware. The Panasonic Lumix GX1 has two things going for it — its awesome retro style and customizable built-in photo filters that let you change the look and feel of your images without a secondary program like Photoshop.
Eight different filters — from "retro" to "toy camera" — give your photos a distinctive personality by adding a dose of color, contrast, and vignetting. The good news is, you can control just how much of the effect goes into your pics with the addition of a slider bar on the three-inch touchscreen LCD panel. Add a little or a lot — it's totally up to you. Additionally, the GX1 comes with a Touch Defocus tool that helps you achieve the Tilt-Shift effect, or just bring a subject into sharper focus by blurring out the background. You can even choose from four different aspect ratios, including 1:1 square if you can't get enough of that Instagram styling. An interchangeable lens model, the GX1 can be used with other Micro Four Thirds lenses as your skills improve.
You can get the Panasonic Lumix GX1 now for $700.