Minolta CLC: The First Semi-intelligent SLR Metering System

The first SLRs had clip-on external light meters, and those meters eventually became standard components. Unfortunately with interchangeable lens cameras, the meter’s coverage only matched the standard lens and perhaps a 35mm wide-angle lens. It wasn’t through-the-lens (TTL) metering, but at least it eliminated the need to carry a separate light meter. The Topcon RE […]

Nikon D40 Provides Lots of Quality at a Nice Price

2008: I recently decided that it was finally time for me to purchase my first digital SLR. I’d been looking at various cameras, features, and megapixels, and I decided that the Nikon D40 fit my needs (and wallet). Uncle Sam’s recent generosity of the economic stimulus check made the purchase even easier.

Digital SLRs Are Affordable Enough to Replace 35mm SLRs

2008: It’s been the hallmark of serious photographers – professionals and advanced amateurs alike – for nearly 50 years now. It’s the single lens reflex (SLR) camera, and it’s seen a lot of changes, especially in the digital era.

Proposal: No More Ugly Dates in Your Digital Photos

2008: I’ve been into photography since the mid-1970s, and I’ve worked in camera stores several times over the intervening years. For me, one of the banes of good enlargements is dates in photos. I’ve seen more nice candids, animal shots, sunsets, etc. that would make excellent large prints – but they have a big, ugly […]

Busting the Megapixel Myth

2008: In the world of computers, you can never have too many megabytes or megahertz. That sounds dated in this day of gigahertz and gigabytes, but the principle remains the same: More is better, whether you’re looking at CPU speed, system memory, hard drive space, or graphics processor speed and VRAM. Where it’s not necessarily […]

FujiFilm FinePix S5000 or Minolta Dimage Z1?

2003: No sooner did I decide that the Fujifilm FinePix S5000 would be the perfect next digicam for me (see Going Mostly Digital) than Minolta upped the ante by announcing the Dimage Z1. It offers 3.2 MP, 10x optical zoom, and a $100 lower price.

Going Mostly Digital

2003: My first digicam, a 1999 Canon PowerShot A50, was a reasonable choice as a snapshot camera and first digicam four years ago, but it’s been very much left behind. The worst problem is shutter lag, which has cost me more pictures than I care to remember. Sometimes it just doesn’t want to shoot – until […]

Fujifilm FinePix S5000 and S7000 Promise Great Value

2003: Bang for the buck, the Fujifilm FinePix S602 has been one of the better choices for a serious photographer going digital for under US$1,000. The 35-210 equivalent zoom doesn’t go quite as wide as the recently discontinued Minolta Dimage 7i (28-200) or as long as the Nikon Coolpix 5700 (35-280), but the S602 sells […]

Does Four Thirds Stand a Chance?

2003: In my previous column, The Digital SLR: Affordable or Overpriced?, we looked at the drawbacks of using 35mm lenses with digital SLRs that have image sensors smaller than a 35mm frame. Dealing with the “conversion factor” is frustrating, and it only seems reasonable that we’ll eventually see digital SLRs that take 35mm lenses and produce […]

The Digital SLR: Affordable or Overpriced?

2003: Nothing has more typified the advanced amateur photographer in recent decades than a good SLR camera. That was true when I got started in photography 30 years ago, and it remains true today.

Is Digital Better than Film?

2003: In the May 2003 issue of Popular Photography & Imaging, editor-in-chief Jason Schneider declares that digital has achieved the quality of film. More specifically, the Kodak DCS Pro14n digital SLR matches the resolution of Kodak Max Versatility 400 color print film in a 35mm camera.

Megapixels and Sufficient Resolution

2003: There are lots of variables in digital photography, but the most important one is megapixels. Even a lowly 1 megapixel (MP) camera can give you just great 4-by-6 snapshots, assuming a good lens and exposure. I’ve printed pretty sharp 5-by-7 photos from my 1.3 MP Canon PowerShot A50 on my Epson Stylus Photo 870 inkjet […]

xD-Picture Cards

2002: All memory cards are not created equal. CompactFlash and SmartMedia have been duking it out over price, speed, size, and capacity for several years. Sony threw a wrench in the works with its Memory Stick technology (which hardly anyone except Sony uses), and just recently the tiny Secure Digital card has come into play […]

Memory Card Speed Matters

2001: All CompactFlash cards are not created equal. Just as some hard drives and CD-ROMs are much faster than others, some memory cards are faster than others.

Thoughts on SiliconFilm

2001: I’m a 35mm photographer from way back. Much as I’d love a digital camera that takes my Nikon lenses, until now they’ve been preposterously expensive. So I use a wonderful little Canon PowerShot A50 for digital shots and my Nikon N6006 when I want more control.

New Digital Camera Idea

I’m a 35mm photographer from way back. I got my first camera in ninth grade, my first SLR system in tenth, and my first new 35mm SLR less than a year later. I’ve owned and used Miranda, Minolta, and Olympus cameras, before settling on an autofocus Nikon last year.