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Digital Camera News Archives at DCResource.com

 
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{ Sunday, September 30, 2012 }
 

Canon EOS Rebel T4i reviewed

I've posted my review of the Canon EOS Rebel T4i digital SLR. This camera, also known as the EOS-650D, is the first Canon model to use the new Hybrid CMOS AF system. Find out how well that works -- and more -- in our review.
 

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{ Tuesday, September 25, 2012 }
 

Canon EOS Rebel T4i gallery posted

I'm still pounding away at my Canon EOS Rebel T4i review, but in the meantime, I put together a photo gallery for you. I'm hoping to get the review posted by the end of the week.

Friday night update: it's been foggy all week so I've been unable to get the night shots needed to complete the review. This weekend should be better.

 
 
{ Tuesday, September 18, 2012 }
 

Sony and Hasselblad announce partnership

Sony and Hasselblad have announced a new long-term partnership. Hasselblad, long known for their medium format cameras, wants to get into the D-SLR and mirrorless market, and the first product they're releasing is the Lunar, a rather gaudy version of the Sony NEX-7. It's not clear what Sony is going to get out of this deal, but I'm sure we'll find out in the not-too-distant future.

continue reading »

 
 
 

Samsung adds two new lenses to NX system

Samsung has added two new lenses to their NX mirrorless camera system. First up is an F4.0-5.6, 12 - 24 mm zoom, which is equivalent to 18.5 - 37.0 mm on an NX camera. The other lens is an F1.8, 45 mm prime (equivalent to 69.3 mm), which is great for low light shooting and portraits. Both of these lenses support Samsung's i-Function feature, which lets you use the focus ring on the lens to adjust camera settings. Pricing and availability will be disclosed at a future date.

continue reading »

 
 

Pentax K-30 review reminder

My review of the Pentax K-30 was posted on Sunday, but was quickly buried by all the news you see below. So in case you missed it, here it is again!
 
 
{ Monday, September 17, 2012 }
 

Panasonic unleashes flagship DMC-GH3 mirrorless camera, with weather-sealed body and pro-level movie features

Panasonic has pulled back the curtain to reveal their new flagship Lumix DMC-GH3 Micro Four Thirds camera. This camera has a ton of improvements over the GH2 that came before it, especially in terms of build quality and movie recording. Here are the specs on this exciting new mirrorless "Creative HD" camera:

Lumix DMC-GH3 [specs]

  • New 16.1 Megapixel Live MOS sensor promises improved dynamic range and less noise
  • Latest Venus Engine (they don't number them anymore) combines 3D and multi-process noise reduction for better high sensitivity photos
  • Supports all Micro Four Thirds lenses with a 2X crop factor
  • Light Speed AF system offers improved focusing speeds compared to the GH2
  • Splash and dustproof magnesium alloy body features more direct and customizable buttons than ever before
  • Flip-out, rotating 3-inch touchscreen OLED display with 614,000 pixels
    • Touch functions include focus, shutter release, menus, and image playback; touch pad AF lets you set the focus point using the LCD while you're looking through the EVF
  • Electronic viewfinder has 1.37 million dots and a magnification of 1.34x (0.67x equivalent)
  • Tons of manual controls
    • ISO range of 200 - 12800, expandable to 125 - 25600
    • Shutter speed range of 60 - 1/4000 sec
  • Intelligent Auto mode offers scene selection, face detection, dynamic range correction, and blur reduction
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with smartphone connectivity; user can change camera settings and release the shutter using a phone or table; photos can also be backed up automatically to your PC
  • Full resolution continuous shooting at 6 frames/second; can shoot at 20 fps at 4 Megapixel
  • Always-handy electronic level
  • New electronic shutter function eliminates mirror-slapping noise; new shutter delay function releases the shutter after a set number of seconds
  • New HDR, time-lapse, and multiple exposure modes, plus plenty of Creative Controls (aka Art Filters)
  • Built-in flash (GN 12) offers wireless control of other flashes; camera also has hot shoe and a PC sync port
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p, 30p, or 60p with stereo sound, continuous AF, and manual controls
    • Can record at ultra-high bit rates using ALL-Intra (72 MBps) or IPB (50 MBps) codecs; regular MPEG-4 and AVCHD supported, as well
    • Auto file partitioning lets you keep recording until your memory card is full (outside of Europe)
    • External microphone and headphone ports; Panasonic also offers a new stereo shotgun mic which attaches to the hot shoe
    • Live video output over HDMI
    • Can take 12 Megapixel stills while recording video
    • Slow/fast motion modes available, even at 1080p resolution
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses DMW-BLF19 lithium-ion battery, 500 shots per charge (with the 14-140 lens)
    • Optional battery grip doubles battery life, adds additional controls
  • Pricing and availability TBA; rumors point to a roughly $2000 price point

Well that sounds really nice -- how about a new weather-resistant lens to go along with it? The new F2.8, 35 - 100 mm Lumix G X is the smallest and lightest lens in its class, and it offers a nano surface coating to reduce flare and ghosting, a splash/dustproof body, and Panasonic's Power OIS image stabilization system. No word on pricing or availability yet.

continue reading »
 
 
 

Olympus announces two new and improved mirrorless cameras and several lenses

Big Photokina launch day continues with three cameras and four lenses from Olympus. First up are two models in the Pen series of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. These two cameras, the E-PM2 and E-PL5, are quite similar, with size and LCD design being the main differences. Both cameras share the sensor and AF system of Olympus' flagship E-M5, and that's a good thing. Here are the details on these two models, followed by the four new lenses you can attach to them:

Olympus E-PM2 [specs]

  • 16.1 Megapixel Live MOS sensor (same as in the OM-D EM-5)
  • TruePic VI image processor (again, same as the EM-5)
  • Supports all Micro Four Thirds lenses with 2X crop factor
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization means all lenses have shake reduction
    • New Lens Priority IS feature automatically uses the IS system built into certain m4/3 lenses (namely from Panasonic)
  • Ultra-compact body comes in silver, black, white, and red
  • 35-point "FAST" autofocus system (yep, E-M5)
  • 3-inch touchscreen LCD display with 460,000 pixels
    • Touch functions include focus, shutter release, menus, and image playback
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support
    • ISO range of 200 - 25600
    • Shutter speed range of 60 - 1/4000 sec
  • iAuto mode selects a scene mode for you; Live Guide makes it easy to change depth-of-field, white balance, and more
  • Continuous shooting at up to 8 frames/second
  • Eleven Art Filters, including a new watercolor effect
  • No built-in flash; compact external flash included
  • Improved in-camera RAW editing feature
  • Optional electronic viewfinder
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/30p with stereo sound, continuous AF, and manual controls
  • Supports Toshiba's FlashAir SD cards, which create their own wireless hotspot; user can control the cards settings using the camera's interface
    • New Olympus Image Share app (for iOS and Android) lets you access the images on the FlashAir card, apply Art Filters, and share them with friends
    • Regular SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and presumably Eye-Fi cards, work just fine too!
  • Uses BLS-5 lithium-ion battery, 360 shots per charge
  • Ships in October for $549 body only, or $599 with an 14 - 42 mm lens

Olympus E-PL5 [specs] - changes:

  • Chunkier body supports interchangeable grips; comes in silver, black, and white
  • Articulating LCD can flip up 170 degrees to face your subject
  • Priced at $649 body only, or $699 with a 14 - 42 mm lens

Now how about those lenses? First, the crazy one: the BCL-15 F8.0, 15 mm body cap lens. That's right, instead of a body cap, you can have an actual lens, so you can literally take a photo at any time! This lens is just 9 mm thick and is equivalent to 30 mm when attached to a Micro Four Thirds body. It has a focus switch that lets you move between pan, macro, and manual focus. I can't seem to find a price or release date for the BCL-15, but I'll ask.

For more serious photography, Olympus also has this trio of fast primes:

  • F2.8, 60 mm M. Zuiko Digital ED lens: for 1:1 macro shooting at a minimum distance of 19 cm; sealed against dust and moisture; inner focus mechanism for fast and silent AF; ships in early October for $499
  • F2.0, 12 mm M. Zuiko Digital ED lens: okay, this lens isn't new, but the fact that you can get it in black is; like the 60 mm lens it's Movie & Still Compatible (read: quiet AF); unlike that lens, the 12 mm is not weather-sealed; you'll be able to pick up this limited edition black model for $1099 in early October
  • F1.8, 17 mm M. Zuiko Digital lens: Olympus is only announcing the development of this lens today; it'll have a snapshot focusing mechanism (like the 12 mm) and will be available in the first half of next year
continue reading »
 
 
 

Olympus Stylus XZ-2 arrives with fast lens, articulating LCD, and unique lens ring

But wait, there's more. Olympus has brought the Stylus brand back from the dead, and are using it first on their new XZ-2 premium compact. While it's a bit pricey, this camera sounds like a solid competitor to the likes of the Panasonic LX7. Here's why:

Stylus XZ-2 iHS [specs]

  • 12.0 Megapixel, 1/1.7" back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • TruePic VI image processor
  • F1.8-2.5, 4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 - 112 mm
    • Customizable ring around lens can be set to digital or analog control, so it always feels right
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Articulating 3-inch touchscreen LCD display with 920,000 pixels
    • Touch functions include focus, shutter, menus, and image playback
  • Full manual controls, with support for RAW format
    • ISO range of 100 - 12800
    • Shutter speed range of 60 - 1/2000 sec
    • Built-in neutral density filter
  • iAuto mode and Live Guide make point-and-shoot photography easy
  • Plenty of Art Filters, plus an HDR mode
  • Electronic level
  • Detachable grip
  • Hot shoe for external flash
  • Optional electronic viewfinder
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/30p with stereo sound
  • Support for Toshiba FlashAir SDHC cards (see above), as well as regular SD/SDHC/SDXC media
  • Uses Li-90B lithium-ion battery, 310 shots per charge
  • Ships in November for $599
continue reading »
 
 
 

Canon announces *their* budget-friendly full-frame camera: the EOS-6D

Canon today took the wraps off of their latest full-frame D-SLR, the EOS-6D. Like the Nikon D600 from last week, the 6D is Canon's "budget-friendly" full-frame model. The big difference between the EOS-6D and its Nikon competitor is that the former has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS receivers -- both of which are optional on the D600. Here are the specs:

EOS-6D [specs]

  • 20.2 effective Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor (same as the 5D Mk III)
  • Supports all Canon EF-mount lenses with no crop factor to worry about
  • 3-inch LCD display with 1.04 million pixels; naturally, the 6D supports live view
  • Optical viewfinder has 97% coverage and 0.71x magnification
  • Full manual controls, with 14-bit RAW support
    • ISO range of 100 - 25600, expandable to 50 - 102400
  • 11-point AF system (with center cross-type point rated to -3EV) and 63-zone dual-layer metering
  • Continuous shooting at up to 4.5 frames/sec
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
    • Wi-Fi allows you to transfer images to other wireless devices, to Canon's cloud service, or directly to your PC
    • Apps for Android and iOS let you send images onward to social networking sites; a new EOS Remote app will let you control the camera from your smartphone or tablet
    • GPS saves location, altitude, and current time into the EXIF data of photos and movies
  • HDR and multiple exposure modes
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p, 25p, or 30p (as well as 720/60p) with monaural sound
    • Camera can record just under 30 minutes of continuous video, with auto file partitioning
    • Choice of All I-Frame (All-I) or IBP compression
    • Manual exposure controls are available, naturally
  • External mic input
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses LP-E6 lithium-ion battery, 1090 shots per charge
    • Optional battery grip supports two LP-E6 or six AA batteries
  • Ships in December for $2099 body only, or $2899 with the F4L, 24 - 105 mm IS lens
continue reading »
 
 
 

Canon's flagship PowerShot G15 gets much-needed fast lens, improved AF speeds

Canon is also showing off three new PowerShot models at Photokina. I'll start with the new PowerShot G15, which finally brings a fast lens (and improved AF performance) to one of Canon's flagship models. Unfortunately, Canon did away with the rotating LCD that's long been a trademark of their G-series cameras. Here are the details:

PowerShot G15 [specs]

  • 12.1 Megapixel , 1/1.7" CMOS sensor (versus a 10MP CCD on the PowerShot G12 that came before it)
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • F1.8-2.8, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 - 140 mm
  • Optical image stabilization, with Intelligent IS feature (which picks the right IS mode for the situation)
  • Updated autofocus system is twice as fast as on the G12; shutter lag has also been greatly reduced
  • 3-inch LCD display with 922,000 pixels; display does not rotate like the one on the G12
  • Optical viewfinder
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support
    • ISO range of 80 - 12800
  • Smart Auto mode selects one of 58 scene modes for you
  • Hot shoe for external flash
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p with stereo sound and use of optical zoom
  • Optional conversion lenses and underwater case
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses NB-10L lithium-ion battery, 350 shots per charge
  • Ships next month for $499
continue reading »
 
 
 

Canon introduces PowerShot SX50 HS with unbelievable 50X zoom lens

Next up is Canon's big zoom camera, the PowerShot SX50 HS. And when I say big, I'm not kidding: the SX50 packs an unbelievable (in more ways than one) 50X zoom lens! I wonder if Canon will be including a coupon for a free tripod?

PowerShot SX50 HS [specs]

  • 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3" CMOS sensor (same as on its predecessor, the SX40 HS)
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • F3.4-6.5, 50X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24 - 1200 mm (!!)
    • Zoom Frame Assist feature lets you "back out" when you're near the telephoto end of the lens so you can figure out where your subject went; new "lock" feature uses the image stabilizer to try to keep your subject in the center of the frame
  • Optical image stabilization (and you're gonna need it)
  • Autofocus speeds are twice as fast as on the SX40, with similar reductions in shutter lag
  • Flip-out, rotating 2.8" LCD display with 461,000 pixels
  • Electronic viewfinder with 202,000 pixels
  • Full manual controls, now with RAW support
    • ISO range of 80 - 6400
  • Smart Auto chooses one of 58 scene modes for you
  • Hot shoe for external flash
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p with stereo sound, use of optical zoom
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses same NB-10L li-ion battery as the SX40, 315 shots per charge
  • Ships in October for $479
continue reading »
 
 
 

Canon PowerShot S110 ultra-compact adds Wi-Fi, touchscreen LCD to S100's winning formula

The final Canon compact camera for the day is the PowerShot S110 (no, not this one). The S110 replaces the PowerShot S100, which was the follow-up to the S90 and S95. The big story here is the addition of a touchscreen LCD and Wi-Fi, with most of the other specs remaining the same. Here's what I can share about this camera:

PowerShot S110 [specs]

  • 12.1 Megapixel, 1/1.7" CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • F2.0-5.9, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24 - 120 mm
    • Same customizable ring around lens as previous models
  • Optical image stabilization, with Intelligent IS feature
  • Autofocus delays reduced by about 30%
  • 3-inch capacitive touchscreen LCD with 461,000 pixels
    • Touch features include focus, shutter, menus, and image playback
  • Plenty of manual controls, including RAW support
    • ISO range of 80 - 12800 (up from 6400 on the S100)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi lets you upload photos to Canon's cloud service, to your PC, or to your smartphone
    • Free CameraWindow app lets you transfer photos to your smartphone or tablet, and can also be used to provide GPS information to the camera
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p with stereo sound, use of optical zoom
  • Optional underwater case
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses same NB-5L li-ion battery as the S100, 200 shots per charge
  • Available in black and white
  • Ships in October for $449
continue reading »
 
 
 

Fuji introduces new XF1 premium ultra-compact at Photokina

Fuji has rolled out a new premium ultra-compact camera known as the XF1. This camera features a fast lens, a larger-than-average sensor, and a retro design complete with faux leather. Here are some additional details:

Fujifilm XF1 [specs]

  • 12 Megapixel, 2/3" EXR CMOS sensor is larger than average, and can prioritize resolution, high sensitivity, or dynamic range
  • F1.8-4.9, 4X optical zoom Fujinon lens, equivalent to 25 - 100 mm
    • Zoom is controlled manually using the ring around the lens, just like on the Fuji X10; ring is also used to turn on the camera, and can be set to a "standby mode" which allows for quick startup times
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Ultra-compact metal body comes in black, tan, and red, and features a synthetic leather accents
  • 3-inch LCD display with 460,000 pixels
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support
    • ISO range of 100 - 12800, though highest sensitivities are at lower resolutions
  • EXR Auto mode chooses both the EXR and scene mode for you
  • Snappy performance, with a 0.55 sec startup time, and AF times as low as 0.16 sec
  • Plenty of special effects and Film Simulation modes
  • 360 degree in-camera panorama stitching
  • In-camera RAW conversion
  • Records Full HD video (presumably 1080/30p) with use of the optical zoom
  • 300 shots per charge using include lithium-ion battery
  • Ships in October for $499
continue reading »
 
 
{ Sunday, September 16, 2012 }
 

Pentax K-30 review posted

Just in time to get buried under all of tomorrow's camera announcements, it's my review of the Pentax K-30 digital SLR. The K-30 offers a lot of features -- including a weather-proof body -- for just $850. Read the review to find out how it performs!
 
 
{ Thursday, September 13, 2012 }
 

Nikon releases slightly more budget-friendly D600 full-frame D-SLR

Nikon has announced their new D600 full-frame digital SLR. This is now their entry-level full-frame camera, though that doesn't mean it's cheap -- it'll still run you over $2000. Even so, it's nice to see FF cameras getting more affordable. Here are the details:

Nikon D600 [specs]

  • 24.3 effective Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor
  • EXPEED 3 image processor
  • Supports all Nikon F-mount lenses with no crop factor (except when using DX-format lenses)
  • Magnesium alloy body is sealed against dust and moisture; shutter rated to 150,000 cycles
  • New 39-point autofocus system has nine cross-type sensors and 3D subject tracking
  • 3.2' LCD display with 921,000 pixels
  • Optical viewfinder has 100% coverage and 0.7x magnification
  • Full manual controls, with 14-bit RAW support
    • ISO range of 100 - 6400, expandable to 50 - 25600
    • Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/4000 sec
  • Continuous shooting at up to 5.5 frames/second
  • HDR and time-lapse modes
  • Electronic level
  • Built-in flash with wireless control, plus a hot shoe for something more powerful
  • Records Full HD video (1920 x 1080) at 24p, 25p, or 30p with monaural sound, plenty of manual controls
    • Live video mirroring over HDMI
    • Stereo mic input, headphone output
  • Supports new WU-1b Wireless Adapter ($59), which lets you use your smartphone to download and share images, as well as release the shutter remotely
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Uses EN-EL15 lithium-ion battery, 900 shots per charge
    • Optional battery grip ($322) holds an additional EN-EL15 or six AA batteries
  • Ships next week for $2099 body only, or with an F3.5-4.5, 24 - 85 mm lens for $2699
continue reading »
 
 
 

Nikon releases fast prime lens for 1 System

The other news from Nikon today is a new F1.8, 18.5 mm CX-mount lens for their 1 System mirrorless cameras. When attached to a J1, J2, or V1, it'll have a focal length equivalent to 50 mm, making it a great choice for portrait shooters. This compact lens weighs just 2.5 ounces and will come in black, white, and silver. You'll be able to pick one up in early November for $189.

continue reading »

 
 
{ Wednesday, September 12, 2012 }
 

The rumors are true: Sony announces full-frame Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 compact camera

Sony has announced three intriguing new cameras today, all of which will likely pique your interest. It's hard to decide which to present first, so I'll start with the camera that was leaked over the weekend: the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1. This compact camera does indeed have a full-frame 24 Megapixel sensor and a fast 35 mm lens, though it won't come cheap. Here are all the details:

Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 [specs]

  • 24.3 effective Megapixel, full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor
  • F2.0, 35mm Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens
  • Compact body is about the size of an NEX-7, weighs just over a pound
    • Manual aperture and focus rings, plus dials for exposure compensation and focus mode
  • 3-inch LCD display with WhiteMagic technology (for improved outdoor visibility) and a total of 1.3 million pixels
  • Optional optical and (XGA) electronic viewfinders ($450 and $600, respectively -- ouch)
  • Full manual controls (of course), with 14-bit RAW support and focus peaking
    • ISO range of 50 - 25600, expandable to 50 - 102400 (using Multi Frame NR at the highest sensitivities)
    • Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/2000 sec
  • 25-point autofocus system
  • Continuous shooting at 5 frames/sec
  • Plenty of special effects, plus HDR and Sweep Panorama features
  • Electronic level
  • Built-in flash (GN 6), plus new Sony Multi Interface Shoe, which can fire a standard external flash, and has an additional interface for Sony-designed flashes, microphones, etc.
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p or 60p with stereo sound and manual controls
  • Supports SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards
  • Uses NP-BX1 lithium-ion battery, 220 shots per charge
  • Ships in November for $2800
continue reading »
 
 
 

Meet Sony's new Alpha SLT-A99 flagship translucent mirror D-SLR

The next camera shares the same 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor as the RX1, but puts it in a slightly larger body. The new SLT-A99 is Sony's flagship SLR, and is the first camera in this price range to use an electronic (rather than optical) viewfinder. As you probably have figured out by now, that means that the A99 uses Sony's Translucent Mirror technology, which has been replacing traditional SLRs across Sony's lineup. Here's what else makes the A99 unique:

Alpha SLT-A99 [specs]

  • 24.3 effective Megapixel, full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor
    • New BIONZ image processor offers 14-bit RAW support, new area-specific noise reduction, and super-fast performance
    • Multi-segment optional low-pass filter increases sensor's resolving power
  • Supports all Sony/Minolta A-mount lenses, with no crop factor on most lenses (DT lenses optimized for APS-C sensors are the exception)
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Dual phase detection AF system combines a 19-point main sensor with 102 more focus points overlaid on the sensor itself, allowing for fast continuous AF and subject tracking
    • New AF-D (depth) mode allows for "wider and more dense coverage of the frame", allowing for better AF performance with "fast or erratically moving subjects against complex backgrounds"
    • AF range control lets the photographer select the beginning and end of the focus range that the camera will use
  • Magnesium alloy, weather-sealed body is the lightest full-frame D-SLR on the market
    • New multi-controller on the front of the body allows user to silently adjust common settings (silence during movie recording = good)
  • 3-inch LCD display with WhiteMagic technology (1.3 million pixels) can tilt in three directions
  • Super-sharp OLED electronic viewfinder has XGA resolution and 100% coverage with all lenses
  • Tons of manual controls, with 14-bit RAW support
    • ISO range of 100 - 6400, expands to 25600
    • Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/8000 sec
  • Improved Quick Navi Pro interface lets you change settings without menu diving
  • Continuous shooting at 6 frames/second at full resolution, or 10 frames/sec in the cropped Tele-Zoom mode
  • Uses new Multi Interface Shoe, which can fire an ISO-standard flash and also supports Sony-designed flashes, microphones, and even an XLR adapter kit
    • An adapter is available to let you use Minolta-standard flashes on the A99's new hot shoe
  • Built-in GPS attaches your location to your photos and videos
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/60p or 24p with stereo sound and manual controls
    • Real-time video output over HDMI
  • I/O ports for headphones, external mic, PC flash sync
  • Dual memory card slots supports both SD and Memory Stick Duo cards
  • Uses NP-FM500H li-ion battery, 500 shots per charge (with LCD)
    • Optional battery grip ($380) holds two additional batteries
  • Ships in November for $2799, body only

Along with the camera come several new accessories. They include:

  • F2.8, 300 mm Sony G SSM II lens: new Nano AR coating reduces flare/ghosting, improved AF performance, dust/moisture resistant; ships in November for $7500
  • F1.4, 50 mm Carl Zeiss Planar T* lens: coming next Spring
  • HVL-F60M external flash: works with the new Multi Interface Shoe, has a guide number of 60 (!), has unique Quick Shift Bounce system, and is weather-sealed; ships in October for $550
  • RMT-DSLR2: new wireless remote lets you take stills and videos on the A99 and other compatible Sony cameras; ships in October for $30
  • Shoe adapters: the ADP-MAA lets you use Auto-lock Accessory Shoe (Minolta's hot shoe) flashes on cameras with the new Multi Interface Shoe; the ADP-AMA adapter lets you use new flashes on cameras with the Minolta shoe; pricing not available
continue reading »
 
 
 

Sony rolls out enthusiast-friendly NEX-6 ILC, plus 3 new lenses

Last, but certainly not least, we have the new Alpha NEX-6. This camera adds two things that have been missing on all other NEX cameras: a real mode dial, and a non-proprietary hot shoe (well, sort of). Add in the the same XGA OLED electronic viewfinder as the NEX-7, the Wi-Fi / Camera Apps from the NEX-5R, and you've got a camera that'll interest the enthusiast crowd. Here's the full story:

Alpha NEX-6 [specs]

  • 16.1 effective Megapixel (APS-C-sized) Exmor CMOS sensor
  • Supports all Sony E-mount lenses with a 1.5X crop factor
  • Fast Hybrid AF system combines contrast and on-sensor phase detection AF for fast focusing and subject tracking, even while shooting continuously; note that only certain lenses will take advantage of this AF system
  • 3-inch articulating touchscreen LCD display with 921,600 pixels
  • Super-sharp XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support and focus peaking
    • ISO range of 100 - 25600
    • Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/4000 sec
  • Mode dial, customizable Function button, and Quick Navi interface make changing settings a lot easier than on other NEX models
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with downloadable "Camera Apps" that add additional features to the NEX-6; users can use smartphone apps to operate the camera remotely, or share photos on social networking sites
  • Handy features include HDR, Anti Motion Blur, and Sweep Panorama
  • Built-in flash (GN 6) plus Multi Interface Shoe for something more powerful (see above for more details)
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/60p with stereo sound, continuous AF, and manual controls
    • Auto Slow Shutter feature lowers the shutter speed to brighten dark scenes
  • Supports SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards
  • Uses NP-FW50 li-ion battery, 360 shots per charge (with LCD)
  • Ships in November for $850 body only, or $1000 with the new 16 - 50 mm power zoom lens (see below)

There are three new E-mount lenses to discuss, as well. They are the:

  • F3.5-5.6, 16 - 50 mm Power Zoom IS lens: this lens collapses to less than 30 mm when powered off; dual function ring controls both zoom and manual focus, depending on the setting; equivalent to 24 - 75 mm on an NEX camera; ships in January for $350
  • F1.8, 35 mm IS lens: nice to see some fast E-mount primes showing up; equivalent to 52.5 mm; ships in November for $450
  • F4.0, 10 -18 mm IS lens: this lens has a fixed aperture across its 15 - 27 mm (equivalent) focal range; also available in November, for $850
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{ Monday, September 10, 2012 }
 

Pentax announces K-5 II and K-5 IIs D-SLRs, plus two new lenses

Pentax today introduced not one but two successors to their excellent K-5 digital SLR. These cameras are known as the K-5 II and K-5 IIs. The difference between the two is the same as with the Nikon D800 and D800E: the K-5 IIs is the same as the K-5, but without an anti-aliasing filter. This means better resolution, at the expense of increased moiré and false color.

The main improvement on these models is autofocus performance, but there's plenty more to talk about. Here are the details:

K-5 II / IIs [specs]

  • 16.3 effective Megapixel CMOS sensor
    • K-5 IIs model lacks an AA filter, improving resolution at the expense of moirĂ© and false color
  • Supports all Pentax K-mount lenses with a 1.5X crop factor
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Magnesium alloy body is sealed against weather, dust, and cold
  • 3-inch LCD display with 921,000 pixels
  • Optical viewfinder has a magnification of 0.92X and 100% coverage
  • New 11-point SAFOX X autofocus system promises "the broadest range (-3EV to +18EV) in its class"
  • Full manual controls, with support for 14-bit RAW files (DNG or PEF)
    • ISO range of 50 - 12800, expandable to 51200
    • Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/8000 sec
  • Continuous shooting at 7 frames/second
  • Electronic level
  • Auto distortion and purple fringing correction, plus dynamic range expansion (for highlights and shadows)
  • Plenty of special effects and filters, plus an HDR feature
  • In-camera RAW editing
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/25p with monaural sound
  • I/O ports for stereo mic input, remote shutter release cable, and PC flash sync
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses D-LI90 lithium-ion battery, 740 shots per charge
  • Optional battery grip holds an additional D-LI90 or six AA batteries
  • The K-5 II ships in October for $1199 body only, $1349 with an 18-55 WR lens, and $1549 with an 18-135 WR lens
  • The K-5 IIs will also be available in October, for $1299 body only

In addition to the two new bodies, we have two new K-mount lenses. They include:

  • F3.5-5.6, 18 - 270 mm ED SDM DA zoom lens: 15X total zoom power, fast/silent "supersonic" autofocus system; ships in November for $799
  • F5.6, 560 mm ED AW DA lens: uses new HD lens coating that reduces flare and ghosting, dust and weather resistant, built-in filter holder, quick shift focus system; ships in December for a whopping $6999
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Pentax rolls out tiny Q10 interchangeable lens camera

I had thought that the Pentax Q mirrorless camera was going to be a one-hit wonder, and boy was I wrong. Today Pentax introduced the new Q10, which offers more resolution, faster performance, and Full HD video recording in a body that's the smallest on the market (by far). In addition, there's a new telephoto lens, and an adapter that lets you use K-mount lenses (maybe even that new 560mm model?). Here's more:

Q10 [specs]

  • 12.4 effective Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Supports Pentax Q-mount lenses with a 5.5X crop factor
    • K-mount lenses can be used with new adapter ($249)
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Ultra-compact body isn't much larger than a deck of cards, and comes in silver and red
  • 3-inch LCD with 460,000 pixels
  • Full manual controls, with RAW support
    • ISO range of 100 - 6400
  • Auto Picture mode selects a scene mode for you
  • Improved performance from the Q10's 25-point AF system
  • Continuous shooting at 5 frames/second
  • Plenty of special effects and filters, plus an HDR mode; Quick Dial on the front of the camera lets you quickly switch effects
  • Built-in flash (GN 4.9) can stay in default position, or pop up and away from the camera; hot shoe lets you attach something more powerful
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/30p with monaural sound, continuous AF
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses D-LI68 lithium-ion battery, 250 shots per charge
  • Ships in October with the 02 zoom lens (27.5 - 83.0 mm equivalent) for $599

Also coming in October is the long-awaited Pentax 06 telephoto zoom Q-mount lens. This F2.8 lens has a focal range of 5 - 15 mm, which is equivalent to 83 - 249 mm when attached to the Q or Q10. It has a Quick Shift function, so you can quickly switch from auto to manual focus. And did I mention that it weighs only 3.2 ounces? The new telephoto lens will be priced at $299.

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{ Sunday, September 9, 2012 }
 

Rumor: full-frame compact Sony RX1 coming soon

I don't normally get to report on rumors due to non-disclosure agreements. But I haven't signed anything regarding the leaked Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, so enjoy this leak, courtesy of Sony Alpha Rumors. This camera will reportedly feature a full-frame 24 Megapixel CMOS sensor, an F2.0, 35mm Carl Zeiss T* lens, manual dials for aperture and exposure compensation, a 3-inch LCD display, a standard-looking hot shoe, and viewfinder support -- all in a compact package. The rumored price: $2799. Hopefully we'll get official news soon.
 
 
{ Friday, September 7, 2012 }
 

Panasonic LX7 review updated

I've updated my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review with new night photos, as well as RAW vs. JPEG comparisons. For those who remember the focusing problems I had with the night shots, those were resolved by using a full production camera.

I will be adding RAW vs. JPEG comparisons to the Sony RX100 review shortly.

 
 
{ Thursday, September 6, 2012 }
 

Fuji rolls out X-E1 mirrorless camera, two new XF lenses

Fujifilm has announced the X-E1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, which is the little brother to their X-Pro1 (introduced earlier this year). The X-E1 uses the same 16 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor and lens mount as its more expensive sibling, and puts them into a body 30% smaller. Here are the details:

X-E1 [specs]

  • 16.3 Megapixel, APS-C-size X-Trans CMOS sensor
    • Unique color filter array eliminates the need for a low pass filter, allowing for resolution "equal to even some full frame sensors"
  • Fuji X-mount supports small but growing collection of XF lenses (see two new models below) with a 1.5X crop factor
    • Optional adapter lets you use Leica M-mount lenses
  • Magnesium alloy body (made in Japan, naturally) is around the same size as the Fuji X100, comes in black or two-tone silver/black
    • Dials on top of camera allow for easy shutter speed / exposure compensation adjustment
  • 2.8" LCD display with 460,000 pixels
  • Super-high resolution OLED electronic viewfinder has 2.36 million dots for incredible sharpness
  • Full manual controls, of course, including RAW support and four types of bracketing
    • ISO range of 100 - 25600
    • Shutter speed range of 30 - 1/4000 sec (plus bulb mode)
  • 49-point autofocus system, with focus times as low as 0.1 sec
  • Continuous shooting at 6 frames/second
  • Built-in flash (GN 7) + hot shoe for something more powerful
  • In-camera panorama stitching and RAW editing
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/24p with stereo sound
  • External mic input
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Uses NP-W126 lithium-ion battery, 350 shots per charge
  • Ships in November for $999 body only, or $1399 with the new 18 - 55 mm kit lens

There are also two new lenses to talk about, which brings the number of XF lenses to five (Fuji says five more are coming next year). The first is not your ordinary 18 - 55 mm lens. This one's fast, with a maximum aperture range of F2.8 - F4.0, and optical image stabilization with a 4-stop advantage. It'll ship in November for $699. The other lens is a fast F2.8, 14 mm prime (equivalent to 21 mm on an X-mount body). You'll also be able to pick up this lens in November, at a price of $899.

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