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February 27, 2006

PMA Day 1: Digital SLR Roundup

Day 1 is nearly over at PMA; and there have been a flurry of unveilings on the hot category - Digital SLRs. It seems an appropriate time for a quick summary.

Canon EOS 30D - no surprise here, the successor to the 20D was announced before the conference began. While it's still drawing crowds, Canon owners are salivating over the accompanying announcements of a 17-55mm f2.8 EFS lens with Image Stabilization and the 2nd generation of the superfast 85mm f1.2 L prime.

Olympus E330 - again, not a surprise, with the curtain rising on the E300's successor a few weeks before the show. However, this is the first DSLR to offer full-time color Live Preview thanks to it's dual CCD design that allows a second sensor to provide a picture without being blocked by the mirror and shutter.

Pentax *istDL2 - Pentax continues it's successful line of entry level bodies with the latest DL model. Featuring slight improvements on Picture Modes and the AF system, this camera is only available in Asia and Canada. It's also a dead-ringer for the Samsung GX-1S.

Pentax Unnamed 10MP DSLR - we reported on this during Sunday's coverage, but it's worth noting here again. Also, a 21mm f3.2 AL digital only prime was also announced, as well as the much-awaited 645 format DSLR with a new Kodak 18MP sensor.

Samsung G1X-1S and GX-1L - the first fruits of the Samsung/Pentax alliance, the cameras appear to be rebadged Pentax *ist series cameras, but are marketed with Schneider-brand lenses. Of course, they have complete compatibility with KAF mounts. Expect to see more from this brand as the two companies begin to work on a new DSLR from the ground-up.

Panasonic Lumix LC-1 - here we see another tie-up between major makers, this time with Olympus providing a lot of the camera know-how. The buzz around the LC-1 is three-fold; first, it's an Olympus Four-Thirds based system that will enjoy compatibility with an increasing number of lens manufacturers; secondly the body is an E330 derivative, but with different ergonomics and third; it's able to take advantage of Panasonic's Mega OIS image stabilization system. The companion announcement of a Leica Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm/2.8-3.5 with OIS built-in is the icing on the cake. Given Panasonic's background with the previous Leica digital compact cameras, it's entirely possible we could be looking at the basic chassis for the rumored Leica digital rangefinder.

Other sundry announcements: Sigma has finally come onboard with the Four-Thirds lens system by updating five of it's current inventory to the new standard: Olympus E owners can now take advantage of the 105mm/2.8 DG Macro, the 150mm/2.8 DG Macro, the 50-500/4-6.3 DG EX HSM super telephoto, and the 30mm/1.4 DC HSM and 18-50/2.8 DC EX HSM.

Posted by covey22 at February 27, 2006 6:53 PM