DSLR Wars Heat Up

DSLR Wars Heat Up


While Canon got the jump on everyone for PMA 2007 with their pre-show announcement of the 10-megapixel 1D Mark III DSLR (APS-H size CMOS with a new design that Canon says will improve low-light shooting to ISO 6400, a live view mode, improved autofocus, more file saving and customization options, dust reduction), Olympus is unveiling two new DSLRs, in the under $1,000 category, in their E-Volt series that will turn a few heads as well.

The E-410 and E-510 both feature 10-megapixel resolution (with Live MOS sensors) and LiveView LCDs, as well as Olympus’ in-camera dust reduction system. The 510 adds Mechanical Image Stabilization along with Olympus’ new Supersonic Wave Drive technology that comes with the promise to “provide blur-free images – across all of the more than 30 digital-specific lenses.” Expect a body-only MSRP of $699 for the 410 and $799 for the 510.

Olympus is also adding a two-lens outfit to the package for both models – the Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 (80-300mm equivalent) lens, which, as Olympus explains, provides users with, “greater telephoto power for far-away shots in a compact size. This telephoto lens is smaller than many standard zoom lenses at 2.6-inch diameter x 2.8-inch length and a weight of 8.8 ounces – a real benefit for anyone who wants to pack a powerful zoom lens without taking up much space.” Olympus was also trumpeting the price of the kit, as for an extra $100 the buyer gets the two-lens kit that includes the lens the camera is originally packaged with – the ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens – as well as the aforementioned Zuiko Digital ED 40-150MM telephoto zoom lens.

As expected, Nikon has been busy as well, introducing their latest addition to an impressive DSLR family with the highly anticipated D40x, the 10.2 megapixel sister to the D40. The younger sibling also features faster continuous shooting capability and wider ISO sensitivity along with a 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor lens that features Nikon’s new Vibration Reduction technology in a 3.6x zoom lens.

We’ve reported that the race is on in this category for the “family photographer”, as prices have plummeted and the units have gotten significantly easier to use. Indeed, a new race is on in this category and with this new, lower-end “snap-shooter” the target we wonder what the future holds for the consumer-level digicam market. We will tease you a bit and reveal that the answer to that question may be coming from Texas Instruments later this week…all we can say is, stay tuned.

Expect Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Pentax and Sigma to return serve in this category as the week rolls along in a market that gets more interesting by the day.