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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hi-Tech Studio: Pro Backup Cameras

Think about going mirrorless for your go-anywhere, anytime camera. These compact systems give you high image quality and HD video capability.

Mirrorless systems aren't as extensive as DSLR systems, but that's in keeping with the genre's very compact raison d'être. However, each system offers some useful accessories, which are generally also smaller than equivalent items in a DSLR system.

For the J1 and V1 cameras, Nikon offers a wireless remote control, a geo-tagging GPS unit, a stereo microphone and the SB-N5 flash unit (the V1 only; the J1 has a built-in flash).

Accessories for Olympus PEN mirrorless cameras include the MAL-1 Close-up Spotlight/Macro Arm Light, PENPAL Bluetooth Communication Unit PP1, Electronic Viewfinders VF-2 (1.0x magnification) and VF-3 (1.5x magnification, 100% field of view), External Microphone Adapter Set, and two electronic flash units—all of which connect via the accessory port atop the camera (and thus can be used only with models that have this port).

Panasonic Lumix mirrorless cameras can take any of three flash units, a remote shutter release, an AC adapter, filters, cases, bags, straps and SD cards. Video accessories include the DMW-MS1 Stereo Microphone and DMW-ZL1 Zoom Lever, plus wide, tele, macro and fisheye converters.

For its tiny Q model, Pentax offers the optional accessory Viewfinder O-VF1, which provides eye-level viewing (it's a glass optical device, not electronic). For the K-01, there are three flash units (including a macro ring light), off-camera flash adapters, a remote control and a GPS unit.

Samsung offers a GPS unit and two flash units for its NX mirrorless cameras. The newer NX camera models have Wi-Fi capability built-in.

Sony accessories for the NEX mirrorless cameras include a compact stereo microphone, an optical eye-level viewfinder, a portable monitor (especially useful for video work), a remote controller, a tripod, an external flash unit and an OLED eye-level electronic viewfinder (for the NEX-5N and NEX-F3 only).

Editor's Note: As we went to press, the Canon EOS-M had just been announced. The specs are included in the chart. Look for more reporting on the EOS-M in the next issue of DPP and at www.digitalphotopro.com.


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