Favorite Photo Gear of 2005

Nikon P2
The Nikon P2 is among my favorite photo gear selections for 2005. Read on for more...

Lots of great hardware was released in 2005. So much in fact, that I don't have time to list it all. But I certainly have my favorites. Here's my short list of the best of the best.

Nikon Coolpix P2 -- This beautiful compact camera takes great pictures providing you with 5 megapixels of resolution, a Nikkor 36-126mm glass lens, 2.5 inch LCD monitor, and WiFi connectivity. In other words, it's a great Nikon compact that allows you to wireless connect to your computer or printer. The P2 is also one of the few compact cameras that gives you decent control of the aperture. Not bad for less than $399.

Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D) -- I have lots of cameras, but this light, powerful digital SLR body is my absolute favorite for casual shooting. The 8-megapixel CMOS sensor, compact body, and tasteful design makes it as beautiful to hold as the pictures it produces. You can pick one up with an 18-55 mm lens for less than $899.

iPod video with Camera Connector -- Talk about having your music and your photos too. The latest iPod is a great digital music device, can play video, and is a wonderful storage container for your photos. If you purchase the $29 Camera Connector, you can upload images directly from your camera to the iPod for backup and storage on the go. For less than $300, you have a terrific camera accessory and the best digital music player on the planet.

Not a bad lineup. Soon I'll post my favorite software of the year too.

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? How does it give you decent aperture control? Or, conversely, how do other compact cameras make it difficult?

I've used Olympus & now a new Canon. They both use a 4-point rocker switch in manual mode to change the aperture & shutter speeds. (As an aside: THANK YOU, Canon & Olympus, for setting your switches opposite to each other, making it a F#$*ing migraine headache to migrate from one to another!) Does the S2 do it in a smarter way, or maybe they've found a new way to confound people migrating from one to another platform? ;-)

Thx, Derrick, I love your podcasts/blog.

RE: the Nikon's aperture control, here's the blurb from their site:

"the 10-step Aperture Priority Mode lets you select one of 10 depth-of-field settings (in 1/3 EV increments) with Live Histogram."

This is pretty darn good stuff for a compact camera that fits in the palm of your hand. Most compacts give you no aperture control what so ever... you have Program mode, and that's it.

BTW: Next audio show is this coming Tuesday, and the topic is Histograms.

Does the Nikon P2 seamlessly work with iPhoto, in that it will automatically transfer photos into albums of your choice? Automator workflows?