Landscape photography needs a lot of light for properly illuminating all areas of the frame. While some users prefer shooting at incredibly small f/stops such as f/11 or beyond, there are no reasons for always insisting on such low f/stops. It is perfectly possible to shoot at f/4 or even less and yet get the perfect results. Here we shall be looking at one of the best compact pocket sized cameras for landscape photography, the Canon S100 IS.
The Canon S100 IS
The Canon S100 IS is a great camera for landscape photography. Even before we delve into its size which makes it a very easy to carry pocketable camera, let’s take a look at some of the technical features of the camera. The S100 IS replaces the S95 IS, another of the popular S series cameras from Canon. It comes with Canon’s Image Stabilization system. This ensures that the photographer has one of the most important tools at his disposal to produce virtually shake free images every time he presses the shutter release. The lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 24mm – 120mm.
Low light shooting features
A number of the Canon S100 IS’s features all add up to its superb low light performance overall. Two of those features are what makes the Canon S100 IS a force to reckon with in the Compact Point & Shoot camera segment. They are the HS system and the DIGIC 5 image processing engine. The HS system is responsible for the camera’s more than average performance when it comes to shooting landscape photos in low or tricky lighting conditions. As a matter of fact in ay low light condition the HS comes into its own. The system allows more light to be captured even when the conditions are dark. Additionally when shooting indoors, it is possible to properly expose a subject that is moving about due to this system. These technologies are also the reason why the camera has better noise handling when compared to some other compact cameras in the market.
Another important feature of the lens is its bright maximum aperture of f/2. For low light conditions, the f/2 aperture is just perfect for letting in more light. Manual controls are another important feature for being able to capture the right mood in your shots. The presence of a main mode dial with options for manual controls allows the photographer to compose the shots the way he wants before pressing the shutter release.
Additionally the S100 IS captures videos in full HD resolution at 1080p at 24 fps. At 720p HD it can capture videos at 30 fps. It can also capture super slow motion videos at 120 fps (640 x 480) and 240 fps (320 x 240). Priced at $430 a piece, this camera is perfect for users who are looking for a little more manual control than a standard compact zoom camera and avoid the complicacies which are usually associated with a DSLR.
Sony NEX-VG30 is the successor to the much acclaimed Sony NEX-VG20. This one comes with an APS-C sensor. Launched along with the NEX-VG900, the first consumer full frame camcorder, the NEX-VG30 is a camcorder that is ideal for consumers who prefer to shoot great quality videos with a larger sensor but not necessarily wishes to move up to a full frame sensor. Let’s delve a bit further into some of the features of the NEX-VG30.
The NEX-VG30 comes with a 16.1 megapixels sensor. It retains much of the features that the NEX-VG20 had while refining some of them to make it a better working model compared to the older model that it replaces. Just like the older model the NEX-VG30 can shoot still images using its 16.1 megapixels APS-C sensor to good use. It can shoot both JPEG and RAW without any issues and gives photographers who prefer not to depend on the camcorder’s built-in image processing system to shoot images and then process them on his PC.
The TruBlack LCD swivels a functional 270 degrees with 921,000 dots resolution that allows for a better composing window. The electronic viewfinder comes with XGA OLED technology for bright and functional viewing and composing ease. Additionally a new zoom control features allows the camcorder to adjust the zooming function which allows for the zooming to be more precise and more importantly smoother. Sony has introduced the new Multi Interface Shoe which allows the user to plug in a XLR microphone for better audio input. Anyways the camcorder can record 5.1 channel surround recordings for fantastic cinematic experience.
Full HD videos does not come any better on a APS-C sensor than the NEX-VG30 and the fact that this camera can shoot at variable frame rates using the provided 18-200m lens makes it a formidable competitor in the market. With the launch of the NEX-VG30 and the VG900 Sony is trying to stamp out the market with two excellent products. The only thing at this time that can create an issue is the lack of proprietary lenses. However there are many A mount Sony lenses and other compatible A mount lenses from third party lens manufacturers. These can be easily used with the NEX-VG30 with the help of a LA-EA3 mount adapter which has been provided with the camcorder. Probably Sony thought this is the best way to negate the issue of available lenses.
The NEX-VG30 comes with a digital functionality which further extends the reach of the camcorder. This functionality is also introduced into the full frame camcorder, the VG900 which was lunched with this. The digital zoom functionality is better served for the VG900 where the larger sensor size allows for more extraction of this feature.
Pricing-wise the NEX-VG30 will be sold at a price of $ 1,800 for the body only. If one is interested in the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom lens then he would have to shell out an additional $900. However even at that price he would save $300 considering that the lens alone retails at $1200 separately.
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The world’s first interchangeable lens full frame camcorder has been unveiled by Sony. The NEX-VG900 is built around a 24MP sensor. This is the same sensor that has been placed at the heart of the SLT A99 also released at the Photokina 2012 by Sony. There was a speculation whether the E-mount of Sony can actually handle a full frame sensor, and the release of the NEX-VG900 puts to rest all doubts and speculations for good. The 18-200mm powerzoom SELP-18200 E PZ lens has also been released with the camera and it actually boosts the existing slim line of NEX lenses.
Comparing the size of the sensor of the NEX-VG900 with standard camcorders is like comparing a cruise ship with a small speedboat. The camcorder’s Exmor® CMOS sensor is more than 40 times the size of traditional sensors in Sony’s current consumer model camcorders.
The Sony NEX-VG900 shoots in both 24 fps using CinemaTone Gamma and CinemaTone Color presets for cinematic experience. The audio is recorded in AVCHD formats for better clarity. Sony has also introduced an innovative new design in the Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone. This allows sound to be picked u from all directions and then recorded in 5.1 channel surround effect. The camcorder has a built in audio level indicator and controls for adjusting them while shooting. The bright LCD display gives convenient readouts of what’s happening. An external headphone jack can be plugged and the audio recording can be monitored. Additionally there are a lot of built in effects inside the camera which allows the user to capture and then do in-camera editing.
The Sony NEX-VG900 comes with a lot of built in features including aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual exposure to give the user a plethora of features to use. While balancing allows using the camcorder in almost any type of lighting conditions with minimum fuss.
Shooting great quality videos is not everything that the Sony NEX-VG900 does. Using its full frame sensor to good effect the camcorder captures great quality still as well. It shoots in both RAW and JPEG formats allowing serious photographers to use the large sensor to good effect. At close-ups the camera can also create nice soft blurring of the background for defocusing objects other than the subject. The camcorder seamlessly shifts from shooting in full frame to APS-C (crop) formats when the user has mounted an A mount or an E mount lens. Additionally Sony ships the camcorder with an LA-EA3 adapter ring that allows the use of most A mount lenses on it.
Sony has made the NEX-VG900 compatible with their Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX series along with all the SD memory cards that Sony makes.
To be retailed around $3,300 along with an A-mount adapter, this camcorder is going to make it possible for serious video enthusiasts to make sunning full frame videos at a price that is not going to dent their banks seriously. If you’re looking for the body only, then the price is going to be $1,800.