In the race to carve out a niche in the competitive digital camera market, Panasonic has unveiled the Lumix DMC-G1, which straddles the boundary between point-and-shoot and larger SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. Rather than an optical viewfinder you get a live view from the sensor on both a rear 3-inch display and a high-definition LCD viewfinder. This simpler design means the DMC-G1 weighs just 385 grams, around half that of a conventional SLR. It's also the first camera based on the new Micro Four Thirds System lens mount but Four Thirds System lenses can be used with an adapter. It will launch in major markets in October and will cost around â‚¬800 (US$1,140) in Europe, and a bargain US$800 in the US. It's aimed at casual users who want to take better pictures than is possible with a compact camera but don't want a bulky SLR.
Sony Alpha 900 digital SLR
Two years after entering the digital single lens reflex camera market, Sony has capped off its Alpha range of cameras with the Alpha 900, a high-end model that features a full-frame sensor and 24.6-megapixel resolution. Sony is aiming the camera at serious photographers and it carries a price to match: around US$3,000 for the body alone. The full-frame sensor, named so because its the same size as a 35mm film frame, integrates 6,000 analog-to-digital convertors in the chip to reduce picture noise, according to Sony. One neat feature is the ability to evaluate different settings without taking multiple shots. By pressing the depth-of-field button the camera grabs a preview image then, by using the 3-inch display on the rear, it's possible to try different white balance settings and adjust the dynamic range and exposure compensation before taking an actual shot. The Alpha 900 will be available later this year. In Europe it will launch in October and in the U.S. in November.
Nikon D90 digital SLR