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Sony DSC-R1

I made up my mind: I had to have a large sensor digital camera. I looked at all that the big brands had to offer, but they were all DSLRs with their known shortcomings (changing lenses, only Olympus has Live View, etc…).

So naturally I end up with that special camera everyone talks about. At the time (but even now it would be) it caused a shockwave on the digital camera market. It was a design that no-one else dared to engineer: a large (APS-C size) sensor, combined with a fixed lens. So essentially, you get the one major benefit of a DSLR -a large sensor combined with a great lens and thus delivering fantastic image quality- and the easy of use of a ‘consumer digicam’ -live view, no hassle with several lenses, AND affordable-. Read more about the R1 and why it is so unique here [ dpreview.com ].

The fabulous Sony R1 has been around for a while (Q4 2005), but it wasn’t that cheap, not to mention never available again. Ever. So I started looking on second-hand sites and as lucky as I usually am *ahem*, I found someone who was selling his R1 for a really good price, together with a camera bag, filters, second battery, etc… Suffice to say, it didn’t take me long to decide and place a bid 🙂

He accepted and as of yesterday (Wednesday15/08/2007) I am now the proud owner of a Sony DSC-R1. I went out for some snaps yesterday evening, of which I uploaded a few to my Flickr site. Expect more -many more- to come very soon 😉

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Sony DSC-H9 Arrived Today

w00t!
I received my H9 this noon. Really looking forward to using this new camera. Still have to work for about an hour until I can try it out though. But the good part is that I had the chance to fully load my battery, otherwise I would be trying to shoot stuff with a battery capacity of 0.01% 🙂 That would be frustrating!

Once I get used to the camera, I plan to put up seperate web albums containing all sorts of (hopefully) beautiful pictures I have been taking. I’ll be trying to get some serious photography techniques down, so stay tuned.

BTW, we plan to go to Slovenia [ en.wikipedia.org ] for our yearly vacation. This will happen somewhere in early September, so expect some fantastic landscape shots in a few months. We’ll probably start off in Bled [ bled.si ], and make our way through western Slovenia, all the way up to the coast for a visit to Italy’s Trieste. Probably 🙂

Update: I activated the Flickr widget, which you see here in the sidebar of my blog. It presents a view of the 5 last photos added to my Flickr account. For complete photo albums, I will still be using Google’s Picasaweb. Too bad WordPress doesn’t seem to be able to handle the RSS feed URL, otherwise I could show you this live feed in the sidebar as well 😦

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Cyber-shot DSC-H7 and DSC-H9 announced by Sony

Finally! 🙂

Yesterday, Sony officially announced the successors of the H2 and H5. Some very welcome improvements are introduced, while the prices are more or less the same as for the old models.

Unfortunately, they won’t be in stores until April…

Read the press release here [ dpreview.com ]

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Buying a ‘Bridge’ Digital Camera

Since several months now, I’m seriously considering buying a new digital camera. My current one is a Sony DSC-P73, but I’m not satisfied with the picture quality anymore.
I began noticing it after we went to Istanbul. Some (not all) of the pictures looked very noisy, way too much than I would normally expect from a 4MP compact digicam. Was it the high temperatures that somehow damaged the lens? Did I simply not notice the noise before? I don’t know, and the fact remains I want better quality pictures.

So I began looking around on tah Intarweb, reading reviews etc. to catch up to the latest developments in the world of digital photography. The choices are really slim, because I’m looking at cameras from Sony only (being as good as the only ones usable with Sony’s Memory Stick). Although I was first looking at compact cameras, I began to think that, well, as long as I’m going for a compact one, I’ll still have noise on my photos. And was thinking… the few times I use a digicam are when I’m on holidays abroad, or at special events, right? So a camera for me doesn’t really need to be all that compact. So I broadened my ‘buyer spectrum’, and was looking at DSLR’s as well. You know, the huge ones 🙂

But that’s a bit overkill. And a bit too expensive. Than I learned of that middle-class kind of camera, the ‘bridge’ cameras. And then my eye fell on the DSC-H2. Over at the site for digital photography, it had gotten a very positive review [ dpreview.com ].
And in fact, these types of digital cameras are combining the best of both worlds. Excellent picture quality (big lens), mid-pricing and somewhat portable.

So, my mind was made up. This is the camera I want. I went searching for actual prices and places to buy it in Belgium, and as excited that I already was about getting a decent camera at last, I saw that on PixMania this camera [ pixmania.be ] came with a 512MB memory stick and a carrying bag for less than most of the other online shops offered it ! This was a done deal 🙂

I strolled around the net some longer in search of some sample photos besides the ones on dpreview, and just then, Flickr came with this new feature [ flickr.com ]. Great quality shots for non-professional users, don’t you think?

Finally, when looking at the list of Sony cameras on dpreview.com, I checked out the dates of when the cameras were released. The predecessor of the H2, the H1, was released in Feb-04, and the H2 in Feb-05. So my logical thinking circuitry predicts that maybe a new version -H3- might be released in Feb 2007. I don’t think that’s too crazy an assumption 🙂

I’ll wait a few more months, but then I’m really getting an H 🙂

Update: For those of you not into Sony, but well into other SLR-like camera brands, I strongly recommend Canon’s S3 IS [ dpreview.com ]. It has about the same release dates as the Sony, so maybe they too will be announcing a successor shortly…?

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