The new Nikon Df


Today Nikon unveil the hotly anticipated Full Frame Retro High End DSLR, the new Df.

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We attended Nikon’s dealer launch in London yesterday to hear from Nikon what makes this camera so special. Inspired by their iconic film cameras from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s the Df is celebration of pure photography.

Boasting looks reminiscent of a Nikon FA, but with serious cutting edge digital technology this is perhaps the ultimate tool for the purist. Lacking any video features this camera makes its intention very clear, to be a camera that is as much a pleasure to use in the process of making a photograph as the photograph itself.

The camera is a joy to handle, with a very tough durable build quality, yet lightweight. At 710g this is the lightest full frame camera in Nikon’s line up yet features the same standard of weather sealing as the D800. The magnesium alloy top plate has a plethora of controls, with dedicated mechanical dials for ISO, exposure compensation, shutter speed and shooting mode. The top plate also makes space for a solid power switch, a drive selector switch and a beautiful threaded shutter release that allows the use of a traditional cable release. On top is that classic looking finder with the same pentaprism as can be found on the D800 and D4 so a bright and accurate viewfinder is in ensured. The logo on front of the viewfinder uses an upright non italic font reminiscent of the traditional Nikon logo.

Other controls include a new body mounted wheel that sits neatly under the index finder that acts as the front control dial on conventional Nikon DSLRs for adjusting aperture. The rear of the camera is very much inline with conventional Nikon DSLRs.

At the heart of the camera is the same 16.2 megapixel full frame sensor as can be found in the flagship D4. This means incredible low light ability with an ISO range of 100-12,800 extendable right up to 204,800. This sensor is also renowned for it’s wide dynamic range and great resolving power. It has the EXPEED 3 processor which offers fast processing along with a 39 point AF system which will ensure you hit focus every time. The camera features a very efficient use of energy saving technology allowing for an incredible 1,400 shots on a single battery charge.

This camera is also unique in its support of vintage lenses from Nikon. It is the first DSLR to offer a collapsible metering coupling lever that allows owners to use vintage non-AI Nikon lenses on the Df. This effectively means that any Nikon F mount lens from 1959 to today will work with this camera. Support for these vintage lenses also extends to the ability to disable the AF display from the viewfinder to help with manual focusing.

To compliment the camera Nikon have created a special edition of the NIKKOR 50mm f1.8G lens. Finished with a white ring and classic knurled focus ring the lens fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the camera and indeed the philosophy of pure photography, the 50mm standard being as about as pure as it gets.

The Nikon Df will be available in black or silver finishes and can be pre-ordered today from Castle Cameras with a £100 deposit. The Df will retail as kit with the 50mm lens for £2749. The camera will be available in the 28th November.

Full press release from Nikon follows the image gallery:

I AM PURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Nikon unveils the Df: a retro-styled high-end D-SLR

RRP: £2749.99 / 3350 (Selected retailers only)

Sales start date: 28th November 2013

Available in black or silver

London, UK, 5th November 2013 Nikon today announces the Df, a new  D-SLR dedicated to pure photography that boast looks inspired by Nikon’s iconic 35mm film cameras and technology from the latest professional models.

The Df expresses a passion for photography in both form and function. Sitting proudly in a class of its own, this retro-style camera paints a unique picture against the uniformity of modern-day D-SLRs. Equipped with the same image sensor as Nikon’s flagship D4, it offers uncompromised dynamic range and phenomenal light sensitivity. The Nikon Df is the lightest of Nikon’s current FX-format models, yet features the durable build and reliable operation that you’d expect from a high-end Nikon camera. Perfect for camera purists and design aficionados alike, the Nikon Df is set to capture the hearts and minds of photographers who are as passionate about their camera as they are about their art

Hiro Sebata, Product Manager at Nikon UK, says: “The concept for this camera was based on the emotion of photography and will appeal to passionate photographers who enjoy pure photography and cherish their cameras, as well as their images, old and new.

“The stylish, classic design of the new Df reflects Nikon’s heritage, whilst its capability to produce flagship quality images allows photographers to focus on the creative aspect of photography. This new camera is in a class of its own; it’s an emotive product that will inspire you from the moment you pick it up.”

Pure photography

At the heart of the Df is the same 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 image processor found in Nikon’s professional flagship camera, the D4. Such a powerful combination of professional grade technology ensures the Df delivers superior image integrity under a broad range of lighting conditions. Photographs boast faithful, well-

saturated colour and natural depth, even when shooting at the high end of the ISO range, which extends to a phenomenal ISO 204,800 (equivalent).

16.2-megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor: Thanks to an optimised balance between the size of the FX-format sensor (36.0×23.9 mm) and an effective pixel count of 16.2 million pixels, the Df delivers images with stunning depth and detail, low noise, and wide dynamic range.

Superb light sensitivity: With ISO 100–12,800, extendable up to 204,800 (equivalent), the Df retains Nikon’s status as the sovereign of low-light shooting . Finely detailed images with minimal noise are possible even when you shoot under challenging lighting conditions.

EXPEED 3: From image processing to transfer, Nikon’s image-processing engine makes light work of data-rich tasks without sacrificing speed and quality. The 16-bit image processing offers optimal colour, perfect tonality, and minimised noise throughout the frame, delivering smooth gradations with abundant detail and tone all the way up the scale to pure white, even when shooting in JPEG. In addition, the powerful EXPEED 3 is fast, accurate, and exceptionally energy efficient, prolonging the camera’s ability to endure extended shooting.

Fast performance: Start-up time is approximately 0.14 s* and the shutter-release time lag is just 0.052 s* . High-speed continuous shooting is available at up to 5.5 fps in both FX and DX formats.

Iconic Nikon design: Tactile precision mechanics and flagship image quality

The Nikon Df may incorporate looks from Nikon’s iconic 35mm film SLRs, but it’s built to handle the demands of modern digital photographers. When you’re passionate about photography, you know that taking the picture is as rewarding as enjoying the final images, and the Df boasts the kind of rugged build and superior ergonomics that has made the Nikon name synonymous with durability and reliability. Crafted to respond perfectly to your command, this camera will delight the senses of any photographer who’s passionate about still images—and cameras.

Elegant mechanical dials: Comfort meets control with knurled mechanical dials that make operation simple and secure. The dials let you set ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, exposure mode, and release mode independently, enabling you to access all parameters relevant to still photography without using the camera’s menu.

Full-frame portability: Experience the creative thrill of FX-format photography wherever you go, thanks to a compact body that weighs approximately 710 g without the battery. Built to withstand severe conditions, the camera features tough yet lightweight magnesium alloy top, bottom, and rear covers, and is weather-sealed to the same degree as Nikon’s D800 D-SLR for enhanced resistance to moisture and dust.

Durable shutter unit: The highly accurate shutter unit has been tested to 150,000 cycles, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/4,000 s and flash synchronisation at up to 1/200 s.

Self-cleaning sensor unit: Reduces the accumulation of dust in front of the image sensor.

Energy-saving design: Achieves approximately 1,400 shots* (when using the EN-EL14a battery, in single-frame mode).

Classic details: The Df body comes in classic black, or silver with black highlights. The textured grip, mechanical dials, and flat top-panel hark back to Nikon’s iconic silver-halide film SLR cameras such as the F2 and F3, and the GUI boasts an original monotone colour.

Vintage glass: Compatible with non-AI lenses

Taking its dedication to pure photography a step further than any other D-SLR on the market today, the Df boasts a unique collapsible metering coupling lever that enables even vintage non-AI NIKKOR lenses to be attached directly to the camera. Nikon’s lenses are renowned the world over for their optical superiority, and NIKKOR celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Photographers using the original F-mount NIKKOR lenses broke boundaries, and those same lenses remain well-loved by many today. But it’s never been possible to use them easily with a modern D-SLR, until now.

When shooting with a non-AI lens in A (Aperture Priority) or M (Manual) mode, the Df allows full-aperture metering—equivalent to that of AI lenses. Lens characteristics such as focal length and the widest aperture setting can be easily defined via simple camera settings, enabling the camera to recognise the aperture setting and calculate correct exposure.

Professional-quality still images

The Df’s wealth of cutting-edge image technology ensures still images of the highest possible integrity. Working alongside its formidable image sensor and processing engine, the camera’s highly sensitive AF system and 5.5 frames-per-second frame rate allow even the most unexpected photographic situations to be captured with outstanding precision. Meanwhile, advanced Spot White Balance metering and features such as the dual-axis electronic virtual horizon, high-performance optical viewfinder, and Live View shooting provide valuable freedom of composition.

Highly sensitive autofocus with Multi-CAM 4800 39-point AF system: Sensitive down to -1 EV, compatible with lenses up to f/8, and featuring four AF-area modes (including 3D tracking), the Df’s AF system delivers fast and precise coverage across the frame, even in difficult lighting conditions.

Spot White Balance metering: The Df enables highly accurate manual white balance settings by letting you quickly assign a Spot White Balance to the specific area of the frame you select during Live View shooting.

Scene Recognition System: The camera’s image sensor and its 2,016-pixel RGB sensor provide precise data to the Scene Recognition System, which optimises exposure, autofocus, and white balance immediately before the shutter is released, ensuring sharply defined images.

High-performance optical viewfinder: The glass pentaprism viewfinder offers approximately 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification, as well as a DX Crop Mode with viewfinder marking.

Large 8 cm (3.2-in.) 921k-dot LCD monitor with wide-viewing-angle and reinforced glass. Delivers bright, crisp image playback with a wide colour reproduction capacity.

Dual-axis electronic virtual horizon: Roll (horizontal inclination) and pitch (forward or rear inclination) information can be confirmed via the LCD monitor, and roll information via the viewfinder.

Live View: When shooting in Live View, optional assist gridlines for 1:1 or 16:9 image ratios help with composition, and the contrast-detect AF system boasts enhanced operability, accuracy, and speed. You can also confirm exposure simply by pressing the preview button when shooting in M (Manual) mode.

In-camera tools

No matter which kind of photography you focus on, the Df’s range of creative and practical features can accommodate both your preferred style of shooting and your creative vision.

Quiet Release Mode: Perfect for discreet photography, the sound of the camera’s mirror return mechanism is noticeably reduced during the burst.

Crop Modes: DX format and 5:4 ratio. The DX Crop Mode can be automatically enabled when a DX lens is attached.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) Mode: Shoots one overexposed and one underexposed frame in a single shutter release. The range can be widened by up to ±3 EV for different looks, full of saturation and tonal gradation, while the smoothness of the edge where the two exposures meet can be adjusted for a more natural appearance.

Active D-Lighting: Nikon’s Active D-Lighting automatically retains the details in both dark and bright areas for stunning images with natural contrast when shooting in high-contrast situations.

Retouch menus: Menus include options to correct red-eye and colour balance, as well as RAW processing and resize options. Filter effects include Skylight, Colour Intensifier and Cross Screen, in addition to Soft filter effects. Quick retouch options include distortion control, perspective control, straighten, and fisheye.

Picture Controls: Customise the look of your stills by fine-tuning parameters such as sharpness, saturation, and hue before capture.

Nikon system

As an FX-format camera, the Df is fully compatible with Nikon’s extensive range of NIKKOR lenses, and the camera comes packaged together with a special edition of Nikon’s popular AF-S 50mm f/1.8G NIKKOR lens. Now boasting a retro look-and-feel to complement the Df camera body, this lens is one of the most popular primes in the Nikon lineup, thanks to its compact, lightweight build and its fast f/1.8 maximum aperture.

In addition to NIKKOR lenses, Nikon’s vast array of photographic equipment and accessories can help you realise your ideas in countless ways. For photographers who want to get creative with light, Nikon’s industry-leading Creative Lighting System includes a range of versatile Speedlights that offer extensive opportunities for on-camera or wireless flash photography. For image transfer, the Nikon WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter enables photos to be transferred straight from the camera to a smart device; and support for remote shooting comes via Nikon’s WR-R10 Wireless Transceiver and WR-T10 Wireless Transmitter, which let you control key camera functions from a distance even if there are objects between yourself and the camera.

Optional accessories

Exclusive leather straps and cases are available in classic black and brown.

New Pentax K50, K500 and Q7 launch


Pentax quietly update range, including a change to the Q system.

Pentax K50

Building on the success of the K30, the K50 offers fantastic value for money with a feature set way above it’s station. Featuring a new 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with image stabilisation built in and continuous shooting up to 6 frames per second, we’re talking some serious numbers.

Fully weather sealed, like the K30, and coming in an outstanding 120 colour variations you get a tough, personalised camera built to last. Pentax are keen to emphasise this as a life-style camera, something to offers advanced features but is still incredibly easy to use and your go to camera for active family life.

Click here to play with the colour-to-order service.

Pentax K500

What do you get if you take a K50, take out the weather sealing and… Well actually that’s about it. The spec in both cameras is identical; 16mp CMOS sensor, 6 frames per second shooting, ISO 51200, Full HD video and 100% viewfinder.

The perfect companion to fair weather photographers, or if you are just looking for something a little smaller and lighter. Having two such close cameras is no bad thing, remembering that the Pentax K30 swept up a host of awards for being the finest entry-level DSLR available.

Pentax Q7

The latest update in the niche market of the Pentax Q series is the Q7. The first Q to boast a 1/1.7″ CMOS sensor. Bigger sensors = better image quality, so this is a really welcome addition. The only downside to a bigger sensor is that now we have a crop factor on the Q’s lenses, giving a slightly wider field of view than before. In comparison to 35mm lenses the Q and Q10 would’ve been 5.5x magnification, the new Q7 is down to 4.6x magnification.

The Q7 boasts 12 mega pixels, shake reduction built in, full hd video and super speedy autofocus. Available in 120 colour variations, including a particularly Tour De France looking yellow, there is something to please everyone here.

Full pricing and availability TBC on all models. Keep your eyes peeled on our Pentax category.

Fuji X-M1; first look


Fujifilm announce the new Fujifilm X-M1, the latest addition to the X series.

Building on the success of the X-Pro 1 and X-E1, Fuji have added a more consumer friendly camera to the lineup. Boasting the same APS-C sensor as it’s siblings, the X-M1 is going to offer some of the highest quality available in a more manageable style.

New features include a regular ‘Scene’ mode on the top dial, enhanced creative filters inside and Wi-Fi. This could be the biggest selling point for the XM, you are now able to transfer your best photos direct to your smartphone or tablet and upload using your preferred method. The jpeg files that come out of Fuji’s X series has always blown us away, the ability to instantly share them offers up something very welcome.

There are a few omissions worthy of note, mainly the Pro Neg and Dynamic Monochrome Film presets have disappeared. There’s no viewfinder of any description, replaced with a 3 inch tilting screen. There’s also the redesigned layout to fit everything on a smaller camera, with no buttons for exposure as found on the X-Pro and X-E, Fuji now claim for easy one handed operation using just your right hand.

The X-M1 continues Fuji’s neat retro-inspired design and the camera will be available in 3 colour ways, there’s black on black, black on silver and a new tan on silver to choose from. The tan model will be released a little after the others, expected in August as opposed to July.

With an RRP of £679 for the X-M1 and XC 16-50mm kit it’s an attractive proposition for those moving up from a more compact camera.

Fujifilm has launched two new lenses with the X-M1.

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm f/3.5-56 OIS will be the new kit lens for the X-M1. Featuring Fuji’s precision optics but this time around mounted in a plastic body, hence the XC instead of XF in the title. Despite this the 16-50mm offers a slightly wider angle than it’s sibling, the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4, and retains the nippy autofocus of other X series lenses.

The Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 ‘pancake’ prime lens is the smallest lens available for the X series. Coming in at under an inch and weighing just 78g the lens has shed it’s manual aperture ring to become a svelte addition to the new smaller camera. The X-Pro and X-E1 will both be receiving firmware updates to allow the camera to control the aperture on these new lenses. Coupled with the new XM-1 the 27mm represents a similar sized option to the Fuji X100s, with the benefit of a wide variety of optional lenses.

Sigma launch new 18-35mm f/1.8 lens


Get ready to replace that kit lens.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Head on

Building on the huge success of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma have announced a fast zoom to it’s newly re-designed lens range. The Sigma A 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM is optimised for APS-C sized sensors and offers a versatile zoom range combined with huge f/1.8 aperture, a first among this type of lens. When you look at Canon and Nikon’s top level lenses, even these max out and f/2.8, the Sigma offers over 1 stop advantage for shooting in low light or with shallow depth of field.

The lens itself features a re-designed AF/MF switch, new lens hood with a rubber connector, a brass lens mount as well as Sigma’s top end optical setup.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

Sigma are really working hard to offer something new and worth while, the technological advancements that have been made are displayed here in a beautiful style. When Sigma announced their initial re-designed lens range there was much speculation around the web, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 has walked all over the competition and set a new benchmark for optics, here it’s shown that they may have just done that again.

If you use APS-C sized sensors then this lens is going to be an easy decision to add to your kit bag when it’s launched. We’ll keep you up to date with release dates and pricing as we get it. Make sure to Like the Facebook page and follow @Castlecameras on Twitter.

Fuji reveal new XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8R LM OIS


The latest addition to the X family gives you some real reach.

It’s official, Fuji X-series cameras now have a telephoto zoom lens. It’s not the fastest, smallest or lightest lens in the world but offering a decent telephoto zoom lens with Fuji’s excellent XF quality opens up the possibilities.

Fuji say;

The XF55-200mm offers a large maximum aperture, a linear motor to deliver high-speed AF performance and image stabilisation that allows the use of shutter speeds 4.5 stops slower.

This is a lens you can trust even in the toughest shooting conditions. Using high-performance glass lens elements throughout and containing two ED lens elements, including one Super ED lens element that boasts performance equivalent to that of fluorite lens, the XF55-200mm offers sharp and crisp image description across its entire zoom range.

With great image stabilization built in, you can forgive the relatively slow aperture and will still be capturing excellent results in low light conditions. While we may not be seeing Fuji X cameras used at Wembley or out on Safari, the X series is becoming more of a stand alone system.

At the same time as the product launch Fuji have taken the opportunity to update their lens map.

Fuji X Roadmap

Here is where the interest lies. You cannot describe how excited we are about the 56mm (83mm in 35mm terms) f/1.2 R lens. Wedding photographers everywhere should be rejoicing and possibly even trading in their kit for Fuji. There aren’t any concrete dates available on when these new lenses will become official but the map certainly leads us up to the first quarter of 2014. Enough time to get excited in any case.

Panasonic launch new GF6


Professional quality in your pocket.

The latest edition to the Panasonic G series is the new Panasonic GF6. The GF shows off just how small you can make a camera when you remove bulky viewfinders and large mirror boxes. Utilising the Micro Four Thirds sensor all Panasonic G series cameras boast excellent resolution and remarkably low noise levels.

The new GF6 boasts all mod-cons. Packed into it’s tiny frame is the latest Venus Engine, the image processor that does all the computing side to give you excellent definition with low noise, a new Live-MOS sensor and ‘Lightspeed’ AF. What this really means is the GF6 is now the most up-to-date G  series camera with 16 megapixels and a tweaked Auto Focus system to deliver faster, more accurate results.

As is becoming more common, the GF6 features some new technology borrowed from the Mobile phone market. Wifi is built into the camera allowing easy file transfer over a network and Near Field Communcation (NFC) allows two devices to be paired by touching them together, no more entering duplicate passwords and network addresses. All this means you can now easily shoot remotely from your smart phone or tablet and transfer images quickly between them.

The body has gone through a re-design since the GF5 and now has a twisting LCD screen that moves a full 180 degrees for handheld self portraits and group shots. A mode dial now takes up some space on the top of the camera allowing for quick mode changes between automatic and manual modes. Panasonic have added 5 new filters to bring them up to 19 in-built editing options which give your camera images the feel of Instagram.

The camera is expected to retail at £499 with the 14-42mm zoom lens. Available to pre-order here.

UPDATE: Stock due End of April! That means you’ll be able to try it for yourself at our Spring Show.

Nikon Coolpix S800c Review; Angry Cameras


The new Nikon Coopix S800c is the first Nikon digital camera to be built around an Android operating system, seemingly merging the Digital Camera and Camera phone categories. Whilst the tech savvy have been dreaming of crisp hi-res Instagram images the truth is somewhere a bit off perfection.

Nikon S800c Front

As a camera the S800c features a 10x optical zoom lens, 16.1 megapixels and Full HD video recording. There isn’t a huge ammount of buttons cluttering the camera itself, thanks to the touch screen, and the screen produces vivid colours and a crisp display. There is an annoyingly long delay between turning the camera on and being able to take a photo but once it’s booted up operation is simple and the touch focus and shooting mode is a joy to use. Modes and setting are changed using the intuitive touch controls, with everything from exposure compensation to playback being only a few taps away. Once in the playback mode, a separate ‘app’ to the ‘shooting’ mode can be exited with a tap of the shutter button. For all intents and purposes you can use this camera as you have since digital cameras first hit the shelves. The S800c offers much the same features, colours and image quality as the rest of the Coolpix range, including the £89.90 Nikon Coolpix S3300.

Nikon S800c Rear

The reason you are going to choose the S800c over the rest of the Coolpix range lies in the Android OS. Running on a slightly modified version of Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 the S800c has access to the Google Play store and the thousands of apps held within. As noted, Instagram doesn’t run but within minutes of setting up a new Gmail account you’ll be downloading firm favourites such as Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Angry Birds. Whilst Gingerbread may not be the newest Android OS it’s certainly no slouch and setting up your home screen to suit is simple enough. We didn’t get to test it with a full battery but hammering Angry Birds in between snapping Photos left a lot to be desired.

Nikon S800c Android

Android really holds it’s own here, operating as well as on any Android phone. Luckily  there is a host of camera apps for android aside from Instagram and downloading any one of them adds new filters and new ways of shooting to the camera. Nikon’s own app is very good but somewhat lacking in the new hip filter market. We grabbed Pudding Camera for Free of Google Play and having a decent sized lens and sensor certainly adds something.

So whilst separately all these elements work well enough, it’s the merging of them that has been made slightly awkward. Switching from the camera mode to the Android home screen takes 30 seconds longer than you expect. Hitting the shutter button at any time doesn’t take an immediate snap shot and the lens popping in and out incessantly means leaving the camera on your desk as you try e-mail yourself photos is a pain. That’s before you look at the price and realise that for £350 you could have a much better camera and a 7inch tablet to play Angry Birds: Starwars to your hearts content on.

Nikon S800c Angry Birds

Perhaps the biggest omission from the camera is the ability to attach a data plan. There is no 3G model and no space for a micro sim card so  you are stuck with Weatherspoons Wifi of switching to BT internet. That means Facebook and Twitter updates have to wait until your home, where you might as well be throwing SD cards into a big screen and choosing from there.

If you want a camera you can play Angry Birds on then the Nikon Coolpix S800c is brilliant. Odds are quality is you main concern as you’ll be swiftly uploading to Facebook or Twitter. The biggest downfall is you’ll probably never use the well thought out and feature rich Nikon Shooting app.

Conclusion:

A brilliant proof of concept but still some time away from the perfect Android camera.

Guest Blog: Canon EOS M Review


Today we’re handing over to Lauren, our favourite Canon Guru. Lauren’s been lucky enough to spend a good amount of time with the camera and has sent us some demo images.

We know Canon know how to make a really good camera, they boast a great range of dSLRs and, if you look carefully, you can STILL spot people running around with the compact G series Powershot’s as far back as the G7. Canon are the last of the big names to join the compact system camera market and I was keen to see what direction they would take it in.

Fairly innocent at first glance, it really does produce dSLR quality in a (depending on lens choice) jacket-pocketable, certainly handbag friendly, shell. The 18mp APS-C sized ‘Hybrid AF’ sensor will look familiar to those who’ve had a look at the EOS 650D. It produces the great colours we’re used to from the digital EOS system and excellent low-light performance.

The buttons are minimal, making it much less intimidating than a dSLR to those used compact cameras or mobile phones. As a dSLR user who’s used to buttons and dials, I was a little wary about using the EOS M in manual modes, but I needn’t have been. The touch screen is responsive and accurate and within a few minutes I was changing settings on the fly without giving it much thought. The layout is such that you can change the most important settings without having to use the touch screen if you don’t want to, I found using a combination of the screen and the dial on the back worked best for me. Without trying them side-by-side I can’t say for certain, but it SEEMED I was able to change settings as quickly as when I’m using my dSLR, which I was not expecting!

It’s small and light but reassuringly well built, the EF-M 18-55mm is a particularly lovely kit lens, though I have to say I’m smitten with the EF-M 22mm f/2.0. Although these are the only dedicated EF-M mount lenses available so far, the EF/EF-S mount adaptor means you can utilize the full line up of current EF and EF-S lenses as well. Both EF-M lenses sport the STM stepping motor providing fast and accurate focusing for stills and smooth focusing during video. I found the ‘Touch Shutter’ feature the easiest and quickest way to take a picture with the focus exactly where I wanted it, especially for off-center subjects.

In short, I like it a lot. If I wasn’t feeling like lugging the dSLR kit out, this is definitely the camera I’d want to chuck in the bag for general snaps. I’d feel safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be disappointed by the quality and the pictures would likely be indistinguishable from those taken with my dSLR sporting a similar lens. If you’d asked my opinion on CSCs a few weeks ago I would have said I’d always rather have a dSLR with me, but this little camera has actually changed my mind. Well played Canon!

A guide to Christmas Cashback


Ho ho ho, Merry Cashback.

Even camera companies get excited for Christmas, rolling out cashback and buying incentives across the ranges. Here’s a quick guide to the best deals around.

Sony Alpha 37 digital SLR, 18-55 SAM, 75-300 D lenses

Sony Alpha 37, Double Lens Kit

An absolutely cracking entry into Digital SLR photography. The Sony Alpha 37 boasts features from camera way above it’s price point, wrapped in an easy to use body. Add another lens and we’re talking some serious power and an excellent start to any photographic journey.

£549.00 with £100 cashback offer until 16th January 2013 – £449.00

Nikon D5100 digital SLR, 18- 55VR, 55-300VR zoom lenses

Nikon D5100, Double Zoom Kit

For the enthusiast in your life. The Nikon D5100 features a 3inch vari-angle LCD and the complete range of Nikon lenses to choose from, this is the perfect step for anyone looking for an upgrade. With £55 cashback available and extra deals for popping in the shop, it’d be a good idea to save our Nikon event in your diary.

£649.00 with £55 cashback offer until 21st January 2013 – £594.00

Pentax K-30 Black digital SLR,18-55mm DA WR lens

Pentax K30 18-55mm WR

The first ruggedised camera featured on this list. The K30 offers top quality features in a fully weather resistant body, properly winter proof for the adventurer in you. There are a ton of kits around, the one you really want is the WR lens kit, as these are the only kits that offer a weather proof lens to complement the body.

£569.00 with £50 cashback offer until 15th January 2013 – £519.00

Sony Alpha 65 body

Sony Alpha 65 Body

The most powerful DSLR body with festive cashback. The Alpha 65 will rattle shots off 10 frames per second thanks to it’s translucent mirror technology. With an OLED viewfinder and full body controls the Alpha 65 is nearing the top of the Sony range.

£629.00 with £50 cashback offer until 16th January 2013 – £579.00

There’s plenty more where these came from, with full listings on our website. Canon have launched a range of cashback available on lenses purchased over the festive period, giving an extra £25 when you buy 2 or more together. You can search for all Cashback offers on our website and narrow down the results by manufacturer. Keep your eyes peeled on our Events page as we’re hosting a new supplier each week to make the most of this seasons offers.

Follw us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook and sign up to the news letter to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

NEW Nikon D5200


The upgrade to the Nikon D5200 is here.

Nikon D5200 18-55mm VR

The long awaited replacement to the D5100 has landed. The new D5200 features a 24.1mp sensor, backed up with an EXPEED 3 image processor and shoots a very welcoming 5 frames per second. Utilising the same auto focus system as the super reliable D7000, the D5200 is set to be a winner. The biggest difference between the two is going to be the body size and functionality, as reflected in it’s positioning.

The D5200 weighs in at just 505g for the body, lacking the weather sealing and advanced controls of it’s older sibling, the D7000. The viewfinder features 95% coverage and the lack of top plate display is over come by a new menu and display layout on the rear LCD. Add a 921k dot, 3 inch vari-angle LCD and you’ve got a camera that is equally functional in a lighter weight package.

Nikon D5200 Red rear

With the same full HD video recording with full time AF and built in stereo mic the D5200 is more than capable for video users. There’s even an in-built movie editor, allowing quick edits without the need for a computer. The D5200 also features some in-built processing modes for HDR shots as well as a host of creative filters.

The D5200 will be available in a choice of three colours, Black, Red and Brown. With an RRP of £819.99 including the 18-55mm VR lens at launch there is a lot to be excited about, with the D7000 currently holding around £850 and looking a bit long in the tooth. The D5200’s biggest competition is still going to be the older D5100, especially over the festive period where you can pick a double zoom kit up for a little over £550.

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