GUIDES & SUPPLEMENTS
TEXT BY DIANE BERKENFELD
The popularity of digital photography has triggered
explosive growth throughout the industry and a renaissance in
Nikon, Canon, and Fuji have brought innovative digital SLRs to the marketplace. New 35mm SLRs released by Minolta, Contax, and Canon enjoy novel features once seen only on digital models. And Pentax, in collaboration with Hewlett Packard, is hinting at a breakthrough 35mm AF SLR and digital SLR.
The quality of today's SLR optics and film, combined with the freedom they afford photographers to shoot and scan at high resolutions or shoot digitally and output oversize prints, is enticing more and more medium-format pro shooters to 35mm cameras.
No longer is 2 1/4 the only way to go. Wedding, sports, and event photographers have long preferred 35mm SLRs for their portability; diversity of lenses, flashes, and other accessories; and their ability to perform in the high-pressure realm of photojournalistic photography.
The new breed of pro SLRs offers a moderate price tag — between $1,000 and $5,000 — considering their multitude of functions and customizable options.
These new kids on the block — traditional and digital — are making themselves at home, and proving that the Single Lens Reflex camera is here to stay!
SLRs FOR FILM
For the Pro with Zeiss Taste — Contax
The N1 utilizes N mount Zeiss lenses; when coupled with the NAM-1 mount adapter, the N1 accepts all seven Zeiss T* 645 AF lenses-good news for the pro who already owns the Contax medium-format camera system. Four new Zeiss lenses were introduced along with the NI: Vario-Sonnar T* 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5; Vario-Sonnar T* 70-300mm F/4-5.6; Planar T* 50mm F/1.4; and Makro-Planar T* 100mm F/2.8.
Watch for these other Contax products to debut in the spring of 2001: an optional FE-1 tethered TTL LCD viewfinder, Planar 85mm F/1.4 and Vario-Sonnar 17-35mm F/2.8 lenses . . .and the 6-megapixel digital SLR.
Lucky Number Seven — Minolta Maxxum 7
A large LCD screen positioned on the rear of the camera body displays the information vertically when the camera is positioned that way. The display allows for scrolling through custom functions, describing each function and how to access it. Who says a professional photographer has to memorize the instruction manual . . .. Minolta also introduced four lenses and two flashes with the Maxxum 7. The flash works on the hot shoe or off, triggered by an IR sensor, so there's no need for radio slaves or sync cords.
Infrared Flagship — Canon
EOS Link software allows PC connection for uploading exposure information to a PC or downloading some 30 Personal Functions to the camera. The EOS-1v is the most weather-resistant camera in the EOS line, with 72 different parts either gasketed or weatherproofed, in addition to O-rings surrounding the lens mount and back cover of the camera. The optional Power Drive Booster PB-E2 and NP-E2 battery pack allow the camera to achieve 10 fps with a moving mirror. Canon offers more than 50 current lenses, eight Speedlites, including two ring flashes, numerous focusing screens, and a host of other accessories.
DESIGNED FOR DIGITAL
For the Pro Who Knows — Nikon
Fine Flexibility — Fuji FinePix S1
Digital Pro-Canon EOS D30