Recap: The Summer of SLRs

Manufacturers have renovated the camera industry with newly launched consumer DSLRs and pushed new higher-end flagship models, all within just days of each other, making this recent tidal wave of cameras a summer of SLRs. New features include an emphasis

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September 6, 2007 – The digital camera industry has undergone a major renovation this summer with the announcement of full-featured consumer DSLRs and new flagship models by almost every major camera manufacturer. The new cameras place emphasis on CMOS sensor technology, faster processing and shooting speeds, Live View LCDs, and dust reduction. The cameras range in price from $519 for the Pentax K100D Super to $8000 for the Canon 1Ds Mark III.

Making headlines this summer are a new breed of elite camera models. The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Nikon D3, and the Nikon D300 all include Live View LCDs, a function that was once limited to point-and-shoots and compacts. The Live View capabilities allow users to shoot at steep angles and provides 100% frame coverage.  

The cameras' autofocus systems have also been greatly improved. The Canon 1Ds Mark III has autofocus 45 points, including 19 cross-type points, and the Nikon D3 has 51 with 15 cross-type.

Pro DSLR Camera Comparison Chart

Some of the trends mentioned above are incorporated into prosumer cameras, geared for serious hobbyists. There is a particularly heavy emphasis this season on the CMOS image sensor, instead of traditional CCD sensor. CMOS technology consumes less power than CCDs and are more cost effective to produce. The Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D300, and most recently, the Sony Alpha A700 have CMOS chips. Burst rates rose to a range of 5 frames per second to 6.5fps. Dust reduction and live view LCDs were also prevalent in the new models.

Prosumer DSLR Camera Comparison Chart

The entry-level Pentax K100D Super and Panasonic Lumix L10 DSLRs also include dust reduction systems. The L10, interestingly enough, also borrowed features from point-and-shoots including face detection, a first for SLRs, and a rotating LCD screen.

**Consumer SLR Camera Comparison Chart


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