Nikon I024mm

ultra-wide zoom with swm £800

Nikon complemented the launch of Its new D5000 DSLR with the announcement of a new ultra-wideangle zoom lens - a type of lens that is becoming a popular addition to the DSLR photographer's kitbag. The AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, to give the lens its catchy full title, is designed for a DX fit and offers a focal range starting at 15mm on FX bodies. The new lens features Nikon's patented Silent Wave Motor (SWM), a technology that allows silent and prompt focusing. The lens is well-suited to the brand's mid-range models, namely the D300 and D90, but is also suited to the D40 and D60, neither of which have built-in motors.

When it comes to judging whether one camera is better than another, there are many different factors to consider. For example, there's the menu layout, the design of the camera's body, whether the specification suits your needs and, some would say most importantly, image quality.

While image quality can, at times, be quite a subjective feature to judge, there are certain ways to 'test' an image sensor. DxO Labs is an imaging software manufacturer, with an inclination to the more technical side of photography, and makers of the acclaimed DxO Optics Pro. The brand has recently utilised the expertise of its scientists to create the DxOMark website - a Raw-based image quality database, ranking cameras based on the quality of their sensors in a wide range of performance tests.

The DxOMark Sensor scale gives each camera a mark out of 100, and marks in sub-categories for Colour Depth, Dynamic Range and Low-Light ISO performance. The database is being frequently added to with a wide range of cameras now ranked, from DSLRs to compacts, and more to soon follow. Not only can you check out how a camera has performed in isolation, but the DxOMark website also gives you the option to compare models side by side. So, whether you're looking to buy a new camera or are simply curious as to how your camera performs, there's now one more stat to consider.

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