Amateur Photographer reviews…

Amateur Photographer seem to have had a run of reviews recently. First off were the Olympus E-410 and E-510 that they seemed to like. Then, they moved onto the Ricoh Caplio GX100 and they seemed to like that too, though they did say that quality wasn’t up to SLR standards. But then again, it is a compact and that might be expecting a bit too much. This week, Paint Shop Pro comes under the spotlight as does Epson’s V350 scanner. I have yet to read these but I have been engaging in a spot of equipment acquisition anyway. My CanoScan 5000F scanner has been usurped by Epson’s Perfection Photo 4490 and very happy I am with it too. The quality of the scans that I have been doing of prints has been good and the presence of an on/off switch is a creditable one. None of the other scanners that I have had possessed it and having to plug something in and out from the power socket is inconvenient to say the least. I have also gone and got myself a new DSLR. Seeing Pentax’s K10D going with a 18-55 mm lens for £499 at Jessop’s overrode my better reason and put paid to ideas of purchasing any other electronic goods for the rest of this year. It’s an award-winning gadget and Photography Monthly’s Will Cheung seemed to get on fine with it. Which Digital Camera said it was heavy but it has to stand up to use in the great outdoors. The sensor may be a 10 megapixel affair so this will be an upgrade to my Canon EOS 10D; that has a sensor in need of clean right now (I plan to get it done by the professionals) and every time that I want to use an image that it has made, Photoshop’s healing brush has to be pressed into service. Pentax does boast about all of the seals that it has added to the K10D, a good thing if they cut down on the dust entering the camera. And if dust does get in, the sensor cleaning feature will hopefully see it off from the photos. Image stabilisation, another value adding feature, is also there and may prove interesting. Strangely, there’s some motion picture capture as well and I hope that it doesn’t get the EU coming after me to collect retrospective camcorder duty. In any case, it’s not a feature that I really need and the Live View functions on the equivalent Olympus offerings fall into the same category anyway. It’ll be interesting to see how the K10D performs and it’s a change from the Canon/Nikon hegemony that seems to dominate digital photography these days.

Pentax K10D

Update: I have since perused the current issue of Amateur Photographer and seen that Paint Shop Pro suffered from performance issues on computers that worked fine with Photoshop. Otherwise, it compared well with Adobe’s offerings even if the interface wasn’t seen to be as slick. Epson’s V350 was well received though it was apparent that spending more got you a better scanner but that’s always the way with these things.

A tale of two reviews

Olympus E-410

I have two very different reviews of the newly launched Olympus E-410 DSLR in Which Digital Camera? and Practical Photography, respectively. The review in the former was a positive affair, though it was a first look at the camera, but impression formed by the latter reviewer was lukewarm in nature. The camera features a live electronic viewer on its back, a carry over from digital compacts and a feature that I may never use. While that might be the unique selling point for the camera, good image quality and the fact that it possesses a cleaning mechanism for its sensor are of more interest to me. Ironically, the Practical Photography review spent most of its time talking about the very feature of the camera that interests me the least with only a scant mention of quality; to be frank, I didn’t find it a very useful appraisal even if the electronic viewfinder may not be all that it’s cracked up to be and it’s picture quality and camera handling that ultimately matter to the photography enthusiast. In contrast, Which Digital Camera? seemed to give a more rounded view and proved to be of more interest and I’d be interested to see what the likes of Photography Monthly and Amateur Photographer might have to say. I also shall be awaiting the Which Digital Camera? appraisal of Ricoh’s Caplio GX100 in their next issue.

Ricoh Caplio GX100?

Ricoh Caplio GX100

Because my digital SLR has needed to be sent away for cleaning for a while now (in the meantime I have got good at using Photoshop Elements to clean up up pictures…), I have been on the lookout for a backup camera so that I can add photos to any trip reports on my hillwalking blog without having to wait for film to be processed. Previously, my eye was on Ricoh’s GR Digital but they have now introduced the award-winning Caplio GX100. The zoom range is a very useful 24-72 mm in 35 mm film terms and that removable electronic viewfinder looks very neat. Having a 10 megapixel sensor adds to the appeal and advanced exposure modes like manual and aperture priority. The feature list has almost ensured its ousting of the GR Digital from any wish list that I might have; the only thing outstanding is seeing how it performs in a photography magazine’s full test review. A thumbs up from there might even get me onto the acquisition trail…