In the last couple of years we have seen the (very welcome) return of creative compacts with decent lenses. After the pixel wars ended photographers proved their good taste by snapping up enthusiast compacts with bright glass. It’s obvious that letting more light in is a good thing and the TG-1 rewrites the class rules by adopting this mantra.
Advances in camera design count for nothing if you can’t take them to your chosen location, never more true than when that location is underwater. Olympus’ staunch support for divers leaves it standing high and dry as the only camera maker supporting anything more than its compacts underwater.
This diminutive lens was launched with the last generation of Pens, and aside from its 100 degree wide field of view the big news then was that this is an MSC (Movie-Still-Compatible) lens. That plainly means that it’s optimised for movies and stills… and translated that means it’s fast, smooth and silent when focusing.
The E-PL2 gets underwater armour in the cobby, polycarbonate shape of the PT-EP03. I went for a nominal dunk before I could head off for my spring diving but a quick pool plunge can only tell you so much, real findings only emerge once the sea is playing ball.
The new housing for the XZ-1 may be the the junior system but expectations are sky high. It has a tough task ahead, to re-establish a line of serious underwater compacts that took a sabbatical in 2006. As a worthy successor it has the just right credentials; great lens, lots of control and designed-in dive friendly features.
Proof against more things in more ways than any of its rivals – the TG-810 can be dropped from 2m, submerged to 10m, crushed by 100kg, frozen to -10oC and apparently even resists scratches. At the same time it’s crammed to the gills with outdoor extras, so now when the going gets tough the Tough knows where it’s going.
You can be forgiven for not having come across the diminutive GoPro HD Hero before – it’s not what you might call a main-stream camera. Put simply, it’s a small, compact and easy to use HD camcorder and stills camera, capable of recording video in full 1080P high definition or capturing great quality 5 megapixel still photos. So what exactly is it that makes the HD Hero worthy of note? In a word, this…
To call the Olympus Pen range and their Micro Four Thirds brethren a watershed in the camera market doesn’t sound quite right, even if it’s true. To call the Pen E-PL1 a watershed once housed for diving is maybe a little more understandable – though it’s not any kind of shed you’d recognise from your garden. Sharing the latest toughened up styling with the housed E-620 SLR it carries off a cute Tonka toy look with aplomb, but is it merely a plaything?
When you move to an SLR there’s very little point sticking to just the kit lens… you’re buying into the idea of a system, so make the most of it! Choosing which lenses to add to your bag isn’t to be taken lightly, you aren’t Madonna picking children! Here I’ve gathered a few of my favourites together to help you navigate your first steps into a lens collection.
It’s not a subtle bag for walking around town; from the proud, chunky rubber Camera Armor (sic) logo to the reflective strip around the top this is an action bag for the kind of folk who aren’t worried so much by street crime as finding their camera downstream after rolling a canoe. The exterior is constructed from ‘Ballistic nylon and waterproof rubber’…