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f3

 Kodak Hawkeye II DSLR NASA

Did you know that one of the first digital SLRs was actually used by NASA back in 1991? Neither did we. It was in fact the very first camera that qualifies to be called a DSLR. However, back then, that meant something entirely different from what it means now. In 1991, Kodak retrofitted a Nikon F3 SLR body (yes, one of those old-school cameras that ran on this ‘film’ stuff) with a digital back that contained a tiny CCD sensor. In order to get the image information out of the camera, you needed a separate processing and storage unit that you’d carry over your shoulder.

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Mirrorless cameras have grown tremendously in popularity. Not everyone has jumped on board yet though; but luckily enough for you there are tons of them that excel in features and image quality and are now really affordable.

Here’s a quick rundown for you for Sony NEX and Micro Four Thirds cameras: the two most developed camera systems. But if you’re already locked in, consider this post on essential upgrades for M 4/3. Want even more? Check out our reviews index.

 

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We were very, very impressed with the Sony NEX C3 and when we had our hands on experience with it, both Peter and I were very impressed with its successor, the Sony NEX F3. I’ve spent almost a month shooting with the camera and have warmed up to the 30mm f3.5 vs the kit lens.

Combining elements of the older C3 and its bigger brother the NEX 5n, the F3 attempts to give more to the entry level camera user. But is it enough?

Editor’s Note: Take a look at our other posts previously written and hyperlinked in the first paragraph.

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As the current creme-de-la-creme of Sony’s NEX lenses, the 24mm f1.8 renders a near 35mm field of view on the 1.5x Crop APS-C sensor inside of their NEX cameras. When the NEX 7 came in for review, we nearly had it constantly mated to the camera. Plus, when the F3 was announced, the lens spent its fair amount of time on the camera.

When I say we, I mean that I and a little more than half of the staff took it for a run.

And we essentially all thought nearly the same thing.

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Today, Panasonic announced their new cameras aimed towards techies, enthusiasts and beginners. Those of you who read this blog and consider yourselves mid-level to entry-level users may want to take a look at these. Outstanding features include a touchscreen on one, better/improved battery life, sleek profiles and other features that will appeal to this segment of the market. Additionally, they also announced their new SDXC cards. More after the jump.

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