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Canon have this week announced two new IS lenses - the EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM and EF35mm f/2 IS USM. Both lenses use Canon's Image Stabilizer (IS) technology and Ultrasonic Motors for fast AF.
Details of both from Canon are below -
EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM – high performance, high flexibility, Hybrid IS
The EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM is the latest model in Canon’s elite L-series of pro lenses, and expands the range of standard zoom EF lenses available for photographers. Ideal for reportage and wedding photography, the zoom lens combines an essential ‘every day’ focal range with a premium quality L-series construction to deliver consistently sharp, professional-quality stills in a range of different situations. The new macro function optimises the placement of lens groups for macro photography, allowing shooting at a maximum magnification of 0.7x – thus reducing the need to carry a dedicated macro lens.
Its first-class optical system includes two aspherical elements alongside two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lenses, each with optimised Super Spectra Coatings to minimise chromatic aberration, colour blurring and flare. A constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range provides photographers with exceptional creative control, allowing blurring of the background of a scene at all focal lengths. A nine-blade circular iris also assists photographers in making their subjects stand out, delivering beautiful out-of-focus highlights (bokeh) in the background blur to add atmosphere to a shot.
The EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM also features a newly designed IS system, to deliver blur-free images throughout the zoom range. Canon’s advanced optical IS offers a 4-stop light advantage, while Hybrid IS effectively compensates for angular and shift shake during macro shooting for stable close-ups.
Super-fast AF performance is provided by a small, ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM). Working in combination with a high-performance CPU and advanced AF algorithms, USM technology enables accurate, silent and ultra-responsive autofocusing. Full-time manual focusing also that ensures adjustments can be made even when AF is engaged.
The EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM zoom has a revised shape to ensure ease-of-use with the focusing and zoom rings designed for easy and optimal operation. The lens has a dust- and drip-proof construction and a lock function stops the lens slipping out when being carried, thus preventing any possible lens barrel damage. Fluorine coating minimises the amount of dust, dirt and fingerprints that adhere to the front and rear lenses – helping to maintain superior image quality and reduce the need for cleaning.
EF35mm f/2 IS USM – a wider look at the world
The new EF35mm f/2 IS USM lens is designed to offer outstanding flexibility – allowing photographers to capture an even broader range of scenes and subjects. It is Canon’s first-ever 35mm prime lens to feature optical Image Stabilizer technology, which combines with high quality optics to offer outstanding performance. The 35mm focal length also provides the ability to capture everything from close-up portraits to landscapes, making it an ideal companion for travel or general reportage photography.
A bright, fixed f/2 aperture also allows photographers to employ a shallow depth-of-field, and optical IS offers users a 4-stop light advantage, allowing the photographer to minimise camera shake when shooting hand-held in low light conditions. Intelligent detection of panning motion is also supported, with the panning IS mode automatically engaged to enable photographers to capture movement with greater accuracy.
The Canon EOS-1D X is, we think, a stunning camera but not being able to shoot at f/8 was a massive issue for some and the debate as to why Canon didn't allow the camera to do so has continued to go on. Thankfully this has been fixed with their latest firmware update! They have also illuminated AF points so you now have red blinking again!
More details below from Canon's official release.
Performance redefined - Canon enables auto focus at f/8 for the EOS-1D X with new Firmware 1.1.1
United Kingdom, Republic Of Ireland, 18th October 2012 - Canon today announces a new firmware update for its acclaimed EOS-1D X professional digital SLR is now available, offering new functionality and improved performance to professional photographers. Developed in response to direct feedback from photographers around the world, Firmware v1.1.1 improves the scope and performance of the AF function and introduces minor fixes to offer professional photographers the ability to capture stunning images more easily in all conditions.
New functionality; enhanced performance
During AI Servo AF shooting in low light, viewfinder information is now illuminated, with the AF points blinking intermittently in red, allowing them to be easily confirmed whilst shooting, without affecting the metering of the scene.
Getting closer to the action is also even easier, with the firmware update allowing photographers to use extenders to increase the focal length of their super telephoto lenses, whilst maintaining the use of AF to capture a crisp, clear shot. Enabling the utilisation of telephoto zoom L series lenses plus extender, the centre AF point (one cross-type with four supporting points) can now be used to auto focus at a maximum aperture of f/8.
The firmware update v 1.1.1 is released for cameras with current firmware up to v 1.0.6. Firmware update v 1.1.1 is available to download now from: http://software.canon-europe.com
Canon EOS-1D X Firmware v1.1.1 – new features:
Auto focus with f/8
Illuminated AF points and viewfinder information in AI Servo AF mode
Canon EOS-1D X Firmware v1.1.1– fixes:
Corrects a phenomenon where the metering value of the AE sensor becomes abnormal, affecting the final image
Corrects a phenomenon where Error 70 may occur during AEB shooting
Corrects a phenomenon where the firmware of the lenses cannot be updated normally
Minor corrections to Arabic menu
Canon EOS-1D X – key features:
18.1 MP full frame CMOS sensor
Up to 12fps and 14fps shooting
100-51200 ISO, up to H:204800
61 point AF system
100,000 pixel RGB AE metering with DIGIC 4
Full HD 1080p EOS movie
Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors
Clear View II 8.11 cm (3.2”) 1040k-dot LCD
The Wi-Fi enabled HERO3: Black Edition is the most advanced GoPro, ever. No expense was spared during its development, resulting in a GoPro that is 30% smaller, 25% lighter and 2x more powerful than previous models. Wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197' (60m), capable of capturing ultra-wide 1440p 48fps, 1080p 60 fps and 720p 120 fps video and 12MP photos at a rate of 30 photos per second, the HERO3: Black Edition is the world's most versatile camera. Built-in Wi-Fi, GoPro App compatibility and the included Wi-Fi Remote (normally a separate $79.99 accessory) make the HERO3: Black Edition all the more versatile, still.
Weighing in at a scant 2.6 ounces, the HERO3: Black Edition is 25% lighter and 30% smaller than previous models.
2X Faster Video Performance
The HERO3: Black Edition captures professional, cinema-quality video at 2X the resolution and 2X the frame-rate of previous models while delivering 2X better low light performance. Slow-motion aficionados and industry professionals will love the HERO3: Black Edition's 1080p-60, 720p-120, WVGA-240, 960p-100 and 1440p-48 video modes while those desiring a cinematic look will appreciate the ultra-high resolution 2.7kp-24 and 4kp-12 (Protune only) video modes.
3X Faster Photo Performance
The HERO3: Black Edition's photo performance is 3X improved, now boasting 12MP burst capture at a staggering 30 frames per second with 2X better low light performance compared to previous models. Still Photo and Time-lapse Photo modes remain the same but are now joined by a new Continuous Photo mode that captures continuous 12MP stills at a steady 3, 5, or 10 photo-per-second rate, up to 30 photos at a time.
Improved Sharpness, Less Distortion
The HERO3's reduced-distortion, 6-element aspherical lens combines with user-selectable Ultra-wide, Medium and Narrow field-of-views to deliver more perspective-capture options than ever before. Add the totally updated flat-lens waterproof housing that delivers stunning image sharpness both above and below water and you've got one of the most powerful and durable image capture solutions on the planet.
Redesigned Audio System
Understanding that sound quality is as important as image quality, GoPro engineers completely redesigned the HERO3 to be as adept at capturing the subtle, natural sounds of voice and music as it is at capturing the immersive sounds of sport. Also improved is GoPro's already famous wind-noise reduction, ensuring that you'll hear more of your passion, be it your engine or expletives, and less of the wind during high speed activities.
Built-in Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi Remote Included)
The HERO3 Black Edition features built-in Wi-Fi and includes GoPro's Wi-Fi Remote accessory. The Wi-Fi Remote is normally available as a $79.99 accessory but is included with the HERO3: Black Edition. The Wi-Fi Remote is waterproof, wearable and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi-enabled GoPros at a time from a range of 600'. The HERO3's built in Wi-Fi means it can also be controlled by iOS or Android smartphones and tablets running the GoPro App. The GoPro App enables full camera control and live scene preview on any compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
The world is ever-changing and the camera industry is no exception. High end compact cameras and interchangeable micro system cameras have moved on at one hell of a rate and now offer not seen before quality. We have vastly expanded our range of these cameras, simply out of requests from customers, and we are determined to continue to offer the most comprehensive range of them in the UK.
Most of our regulars use SLRs for their day jobs because they are the most effective way of doing their job. However, sometimes size can be a factor and there is no doubting the incredible interest in what these smaller cameras can achieve. Let's be honest - who doesn't want to have a play?!
We have decided to give even more people the chance to try these cameras. As of today, anyone who is a Loyalty Card holder (Blue, Silver or Gold) is eligible for a 25% discount off the hire of any cameras in our Compact, Micro System or Rangefinder ranges. We will also apply that discount to lenses in this range - this covers Leica, Zeiss ZM, Sony E Mount, Fuji X Mount and Micro 4/3rds mount. This discount is over and above your Loyalty discount so Gold members will be getting nearly 40% off the normal hire charge!
Why are we doing this? Simply because most of these cameras are not cheap and very hard to justify from a commercial point of view as a photographer. We want to say a big thank you for your loyalty to us and hopefully this should give you more a chance to get your hands on them to try!
We recently added the Zeiss ZM range of manual lenses that can be used with adaptors on a wide range of mounts. Our Leica range is due to expand with the arrival of the M camera early next year and more lenses. For Fuji fans, we have the new X-E1 arriving shortly and will be stocking new lenses as they are launched. Sony have announced the new RX1 which will be available in December - a full frame 35mm sensor in a compact camera - bonkers!
And we're not stopping there. We will continue to expand the range and are currently looking at stocking the Olympus OMD system - we would appreciate customer feedback on this.
So go on, treat yourself. Just promise you'll send them back!
Our next trip was to Fujifilm's stand. Fuji have really moved the game on with their X Series of cameras. If you're not familiar with them, they have a website dedicated to them.
The first new camera we saw was the XF1. This is a stunningly pretty compact using the same sensor as the X10 and featuring a fast f/1.8 lens with a 4x zoom (25-100mm at 35mm.
Whilst it isn't something we will be putting on our hire stock, there is no doubting that all the girls would like one in the office. You can find out more details about the camera in our XF1 blog post.
Fuji just seem to have a knack of producing beautiful products and whilst the selector wall was a bit of fun on the stand, it was also a very clever way of getting feedback about not only what designs people liked but also the reaction to personalising camera exterior design going forward - very smart.
So we move onto our good old friend, the X-Pro 1. It's no secret that we are hugely biased towards this camera as I simply love it. However, it most certainly wasn't perfect with the chief culprit being slow AF (and in fact no AF in poor light conditions). I also found when using the M Mount adaptor with any manual lenses, it was impossible to focus as the expanded focus was so great, you couldn't hold the camera still enough to have a hope of focusing!
During Photokina, Fujifilm announced their Version 2 firmware upgrade. We all knew it was coming but I don't think anyone knew quite how much better it was going to be. I timed the difference between the AF speed before and after firmware update and I'm not joking when I say that it has been cut by half. Secondly the minimum distance for focusing without having to switch to macro has also been reduced. Better still for someone like me that does like using a manual lens or two, the expanded focus has been decreased to a perfectly acceptable scale now. Finally processing has been speeded up as well.
It's turned the X-Pro 1 into an even better camera now and one that really everyone should try. We bought one as customers wanted to try it with a view to having it for 'playtime'. The reality is that I know of two clients that are using them full time now for Pro work along with their SLRs. If you haven't tried one, you really should! You can find out more details on the camera on our detailed product page.
So now the X-Pro 1 has a little brother - the X-E1. This is Fuji's smaller and more affordable offering in the interchangeable X family but don't think for a moment its spec has been compromised.
The sensor is the same 16.3 million pixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as in the X-Pro 1. I've already mentioned previously how good this sensor is - because it doesn't have an optical low pass filter, the image you get off it is quite beautifiul and low light performance is astonishingly good. Put simply it is as good as some larger full frame sensors.
You will immediately notice that the viewfinder on the X-E1 is different. The X-E1 uses an electronic viewfinder only, rather than the hybrid system on the X-Pro 1. I'm not a huge fan of the electronic viewfinder on the X-Pro 1 - I tend to leave the camera on optical viewfinder unless shooting with manual lenses or in macro - BUT the X-E1 EVF is really good indeed with a 2.36m dot panel (as opposed to 1.44m dot panel on X-Pro 1). Sony really started the trend with OLED EVF's with the A77 and NEX-7. I have heard rumours that it is in fact the same OLED as in the Sony NEX-6 - would make a lot of sense as it's a damn good one. Being a glasses wearer I sometimes struggle to view the whole viewfinder on the X-Pro 1, especially if using the wide 18mm lens. The X-E1 seems to allow me to view the whole EVF without struggling.
Using the X-E1, it seems very slick indeed. As as X-Pro 1 user, all the controls seem very familiar but I watched new users on the stand very quickly get to grips with the controls.
I'm not going to talk about the quality of the photos as naturally they will be the same as the X-Pro 1 and it's clear what my opinion of that already is!
So who will this appeal to? Welll it's a fair chunk cheaper than the X-Pro 1 which I know was just a bit of out most people's range so hopefully should introduce a whole new raft of customers to the X Interchangeable family. Getting access to that sensor for less money can only be good news for everyone. Losing the hybrid viewfinder for most will not be an issue. I love it because I also have a rangefinder Leica camera and so enjoy shooting that way and the extra framing opportunities it gives you but it's not for everyone - I know of a few people that cannot get on with it.
We'll be stocking the X-E1 from the end of October. I really urge people to try it - just be prepared to go and buy one afterwards as you'll miss it once it's gone!
So let's move onto new lenses. Most users will know of the three current lenses available, the 18mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4 and 60mm f/2.4 Macro. Each has its own place for me and whilst it was a great launch line-up, Fujifilm have been keen to increase the choices.
First out the blocks is s a new wide angle 14mm f2.8 lens. It doesn't sound that much wider than the 18mm f/2 but it is usually wider (21mm equiv) and I can see people using it for interiors and landscapes. I got to have a play with it and expanding right in on playback on the LCD, it looked pretty sharp.
More interesting for me was the 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS zoom lens. This gives a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27mm to 84mm, which as anyone who uses a 24-70mm f2.8 lens on Canon or Nikon will tell you, is a very useful range. Having image stablization can only help in more challenging conditions. I love the way the frame changes in size when you're using it on the X-Pro 1 in optical viewfinder mode - just incredibly slick.
We should have both lenses available around the beginning of November.
So next year we have more X lenses on the way from not only Fuji but also Zeiss and indeed SLR Magic were showing two primes that will now bolt on.
This is great news for any X series camera user - 2013 is going to be a very good year!
So the crazyness that is Photokina has now passed and with a weekend behind me, I've had time to reflect on what a manic week it was.
Monday night saw me co-presenting on www.cameradiner.com 's first live broadcast. Camera Diner is a new website set up by ex Sony supremo Paul Genge. What Paul doesn't know about the photo industry isn't worth knowing and whilst, if you cut him in two, you'd probably find an Alpha sign in there somewhere, he's enthusiastic about other makes of cameras as well. He broadcasted every night of Photokina live. Sadly due to work and meetings, I didn't get to see them all.
So off to the show and to Zeiss. It's no secret we have significantly increased our stock of Zeiss lenses recently and there's a very good reason for this - our customers love them! We now stock a comprehensive range in ZF.2, ZE and ZM formats.
We knew Zeiss were going to be announcing some new releases for 2013 and here they are. I was fortunate enough to bump into Dr. Michael Pollman who is the Consumer Lenses Product and Program Manager for the Camera Lenses Division.
First off the blocks and great news for Fuji X and Sony NEX users are the new family of AF lenses for Mirrorless System Cameras. Initially three primes are in development - 12mm f2.8, 32mm f1.8 and 50mm f2.8 macro. Further prime lenses are planned and zoom lenses are still being considered. These lenses are for Sony E mount and Fuji X mount only - there will not be a Micro 4/3rds offering, certainly not initially. Both mounts will be offered with autofocus with slight differences - the E mount lenses will also be offered with manual focus (good news for movie shooting). The X mount lenses will interestingly also come with a manual aperture setting.
Will they be as heavy as existing Zeiss glass? Zeiss say that they have tried to continue the theme of the top end mirrorless system cameras by offering high quality as lightly as possible so where they consider metal not to be needed, it has not been used.
So we then move onto Zeiss' new high-end full frame SLR lens. This is aimed at getting the best out of high resolution full frame SLRs such as the D800. We know only too well that at full resolution the camera is quite capable of showing up any lens flaws and Zeiss claim that by matching that sensor with a much higher quality lens, it is possible to produce performance approaching medium format systems.
This one lens shown, the Distagon T* 1,4/55, will grow into a family of lenses to be offered in both ZE and ZF.2 mounts. Price wise, they won't cheap at around £2,500 but if you can get close to medium format results for under £5k when combined with a D800, as Zeiss claim, then perhaps it is good value. Zeiss are saying the lens will be available around Autumn 2013 but I got the feeling this was a worst case scenario.
Zeiss also announced the Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 lens. The longest lens we stock at the moment is the Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2. The Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 is now gives both photographers and movie shooters the extra reach a telephoto lens offers. The lens features eleven elements in eight groups and is built using Zeiss' 'floating elements' design. As the lens is apochromatic (that's the Apo in its name), chromatic aberrations are corrected with elements of special glass materials with anomalous partial dispersion and thus well below defined limits. One thing to note (and anyone that's tried to pull focus on a 70-200mm lens shooting movies will know this), the lens has a large rotation angle of 268 degrees for the focus ring so pulling precise focus is a great deal easier.
If you want to know more about the lens, have a look at Zeiss' own video, showing Michael Schielen, Director of Sales for the Camera Lens Division, explaining the lens is greater detail.
The lens should be available some time around December this year. We have just ordered them in both ZE and ZF.2 mount and will have them up on the website shortly.
So a busy year ahead for Zeiss. We will be stocking the newer lenses as and when they become available.
Well this was no great surprised as details had already been leaked the end of last week but here are the press release details in full.
Building on the prestige of the LUMIX GH2, new LUMIX G addition takes professional videography to the next level in a portable interchangeable lens camera
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Sept 17, 2012: Panasonic today launches the LUMIX GH3, its most powerful and versatile Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) interchangeable lens camera yet, featuring incredible video and picture quality in a ruggedly elegant and compact design. Offering expert control for videographers and photographers alike, the state-of-the-art LUMIX GH3 delivers crisp images and videos with a 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with the incredible processing power of Venus Engine in a portable 550 grammes compact body (incl. battery and SD card). With an exceptionally fast and accurate auto-focus, engineered for precision control and professional results in any situation, you’ll always capture the action with absolute detail.
Clarity and control for beautiful video quality:
The new LUMIX GH3, the latest addition to Panasonic’s LUMIX G ecosystem, pushes the boundaries of video quality from an interchangeable lens camera. The LUMIX GH3’s sensor advances mean that you can take complete control of stunningly clear 1080 50p Full HD AVCHD video with a video bitrate of 28 Mbps or you can shoot MOV1 videos with 72Mbps in ALL-I.
Even in low light conditions, you can pick out all the detail to give you breath-taking cinematic quality thanks to an ISO range between ISO 200 to ISO 12800 as standard, or even between ISO 125 to ISO 25600 with an extension function.
Whether you’re filming an interview or an action sequence, multiple high-quality video file outputs - including MP4, MOV and AVCHD - mean you’ll always have the right tools for the task at hand to quickly and conveniently transfer and edit your work. In addition, the all indexed video option without compression means you’ll never need to compromise.
Full-time AF, AF Tracking and Face Recognition AF are all available in video mode, allowing you to ensure the focus stays on a subject or face, even if they move around.
Professional quality on the move:
Ready for adventure, from filming a remote village to shooting insects under the darkness of the jungle canopy, the lightweight and compact LUMIX GH3 is weather sealed and ready to take on the challenges with you – the classically designed and easy-to-grip chassis is both splashproof and dustproof. You’ll always capture beautiful and authentic colours driven by the 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and enhanced 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction).
The LUMIX GH3 features ultra-high-speed and precise Light Speed AF, making it possible to capture even the most fast-moving subject with utmost clarity and accuracy. Burst shooting – at 6 fps in full resolution and 20 fps in 4-megapixel recording – means professionals can get the perfect shot, even when they’re on the move.
The powerful and versatile LUMIX GH3 is also compatible with all the accessories you would expect. It features a sync socket for studio lighting rigs as well as a range of pro-friendly accessories including noise-reduction directional microphone for exceptionally focused sound which can easily be plugged into the 3.5mm microphone jack. For longevity and even more flexibility, the new LUMIX GH3 battery grip means you can shoot for longer and benefit from the additional weight to get you more stability when you need it. For more creative control, the LUMIX GH3 vertical grip means you can make precise changes and take the perfect shot.
See the world in a different way:
Take shots no-one else can get - the lightweight design means you can comfortably carry the LUMIX GH3 anywhere and still take stunning pictures and videos. Choose how you frame shots - compose the scene with poise and precision using the high resolution 614k pixel 3.0-inch free-angle OLED screen, or use the 1,744K OLED viewfinder for a traditional shooting experience. The LUMIX GH3’s silent shutter means you’ll never be distracted or disturb the scene, and always capture the action just as it was.
GH3 - Product Details
Freedom to shoot and share:
Connecting you to the world, the intelligent built-in Wi-Fi integration gives you shooting freedom and unleashes a new versatility in professional photography and videography. You can collaborate with colleagues instantly as they review shots from moments ago being streamed to your office PCs with remote browsing via your smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile the LUMIX Link smartphone / tablet app for Android and iOS gives you remote control of the camera’s functions including the shutter, enabling you to take photos even when you’re not touching the camera.
Now you don’t have to worry about carrying data transfer cables with you everywhere, as you effortlessly and quickly back-up and share photos to the cloud with LUMIX CLUB Cloud Sync Service. Saving you time and effort after a long day shooting, the LUMIX GH3 can detect trusted Wi-Fi connections, such as your home network, and sync your photos and videos directly to the cloud.
Be part of the LUMIX G microsystem:
Ichiro Kitao, Director Imaging Network Business Unit and head of Panasonic’s global Digital Still Camera business, says: “The LUMIX G ecosystem has constantly pushed the boundaries of innovation and the LUMIX GH3 marks another significant step forward for the industry. The range and depth of features combined with an intuitive user experience make the LUMIX GH3 a powerful and versatile tool for professionals and serious amateurs alike. Those looking for a premium interchangeable lens camera will enjoy using the LUMIX GH3. The video capture is exceptional, and pictures quality is sublime – we’re incredibly proud of the innovation in the LUMIX GH3.”
As part of the LUMIX G system, the LUMIX GH3 will provide you with access to the world’s largest range of Micro Four Thirds lenses (17) and accessories, making sure you have the right set-up to capture every moment. These include Panasonic’s new high-quality weather sealed LUMIX G X series 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses, offering pinpoint sharpness and F2.8 brightness throughout the zoom ranges, with a premium and rugged design.
LUMIX GH3: Key Features
• Outstanding quality from a DSLM: With a new 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor; the Venus Engine image processor; and high sensitivity image recording even at ISO 12800 or ISO 25600 in extended mode, the LUMIX GH3 delivers incredible video and photo quality, even in low-light situations
• Adaptable and always ready: Weighing just 550 grammes (incl. battery and SD card), the lightweight design means the LUMIX GH3 is highly portable, and the enhanced auto-focus captures action as it unfolds
• Versatile and flexible: The LUMIX GH3 offers 1080 50p Full HD recording in a range of video file formats, with all footage indexed to give you complete control over editing without compromising on quality
• Powerful and easy to use: The LUMIX GH3 features a redesigned and intuitive user interface, making it easier than ever to push your own creativity to new levels and shoot sublime pictures and video. It also provides easy sharing and transferring of content thanks to its built in WIFI functionality
• Stylish yet robust: The sophisticated design of the LUMIX GH3 complements the advanced technology, and is weather sealed so it is always ready for adventure. The LUMIX GH3 offers beautiful craftsmanship without compromising on utility, with a bright and vivid 3.0 inch OLED screen and sockets for professional grade equipment
Whilst this won't interest everyone, I thought I had to post up about this - the new Fujifilm XF1. Fuji have really come on the scene since the introduction of the X100 nearly two years to the day at Photokina in 2010.
You can't help but be impressed by Fuji's ability to produce stunning looking cameras when so many of their competitors seem to produce 'boxes'.
So enter the XF1. If you've used a X10, then it will seem pretty similar. In face it uses the same 12mp 2/3 inch sensor. Fast AF is promised, even in low light conditions.
The XF1 features a fast f/1.8 lens with a 4x zoom (25-100mm - 35mm equiv) which is adjusted by turning the ring on the lens itself.
For the fashion concious, the camera is available in a choice of colours - black, red and brown. I can already see the wife wanting one of these......
We did wonder if Canon would drop in an announcement at Photokina of something to rival Nikon's D600 and here it is - the new Canon EOS-6D.
The 6D features a 20.2 megapixel sensor and DIGIC 5+ image processing to shoot at 4.5fps with ISO sensitivity running from ISO 100 up to 102,400 extended. AF is dealt with by an 11 point system with improved low light performance.
Visibly, the camera is smaller than its bigger brother, the 5D Mk III and is 20 percent lighter, weighing in at just 690g.
Confusingly reports have said that the LCD screen is 3.2" (which would make sense). Canon's own website is saying it's a 3" - we assume that's a typo but will wait to see later today. EDIT - It is 3".
Big news is the inclusion for the first time in an EOS model of WiFi and GPS! Canon have already launched their EOS Remote App which can be downloaded to allows Live View Remote, In-Camera Image Viewer and Image Transferring and Saving.
Video wise, we haven't seen the full specs yet so are not expecting anything different from the 5D MkIII. It doesn't look as though there is headphone socket (although again, this has yet to be confirmed EDIT - now seen the photos and it does not have a headphone socket).
We should have the camera available in November.
Full press release below -
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 17 September 2012 – Canon today unveils its latest EOS DSLR for serious photography enthusiasts – the EOS 6D. A similar size and weight to the EOS 60D, the EOS 6D is the world’s lightest DSLR to feature a full-frame CMOS sensor, making it ideal for travel, portrait and landscape photographers. The model creates a new entry point into Canon’s full-frame line-up, and is perfect for those who want greater control over depth of field, or to maximise the impact of shooting with the EOS system’s extensive range of wide-angle EF lenses.
The EOS 6D combines a powerful, full-frame imaging system and superior low-light performance with a compact, robust and lightweight design. For the first time in any EOS model, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity are included, empowering photographers to capture stunning images on the move, tag them with location information and wirelessly transfer them to a computer, the cloud, or smartphones.
Incredible images in all conditions
Benefiting from 25 years of EOS innovation, the EOS 6D features a newly-designed 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that allows photographers to produce poster-sized prints, or to crop into their shots with no compromise in quality. A native ISO range of ISO 100-25,600 (extendable to 50-102,400) also makes capturing crisp, natural shots in near darkness easier than ever before.
A new 11-point AF system also offers the strongest low light performance of any Canon AF system to date. With focusing down to EV-3, the equivalent of moonlight, subjects remain in-focus in even the most challenging lighting conditions – offering the freedom to shoot landscapes or portraits at night and capture the true atmosphere of the scene with minimal noise.
Explore your creativity to the full
The inclusion of a full-frame sensor offers greater control over depth of field in portraits, allowing photographers to easily isolate their subjects with attractive background blur. With the EOS 6D, photographers can now also explore the full potential of their wide-angle EF lenses to capture every detail of a sweeping landscape, with models ranging from 8mm to 800mm. Additionally powerful DIGIC 5+ image processing offers a host of automatic modes and creative shooting features, complementing full manual controls to offer total flexibility to a wide range of users.
The EOS 6D is full of advanced features to assist photographers in capturing outstanding quality landscapes and portraits. HDR mode enables the capture of both highlights and low lights in tricky lighting conditions, while Multiple Exposures allows photographers to combine up to nine separate exposures into a single image in-camera, creating a dramatic effect in the final picture. A silent drive mode offers a more subtle option for shooting candid portraits or weddings, and a single axis electronic level accessed through the viewfinder or via the LCD screen, ensures that horizons are level during image composition.
Built for sharing
The first ever EOS to feature integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, the EOS 6D enables photographers to share their work immediately after shooting. Images can be wirelessly transferred to external storage devices, uploaded to Facebook and YouTube, or printed wirelessly using a Canon Wi-Fi enabled printer. Alternatively, movies and images can be viewed on DLNA-enabled HDTVs – enabling high-quality, big-screen viewing. By wirelessly connecting to a smartphone, photographers can also remotely control the camera, adjusting shooting settings and focus before remotely triggering the shutter and viewing the captured image.
Using the EOS 6D’s integrated GPS, images can be tagged with location data as they are shot. Travellers can also build a more complete record of their trip by using the GPS logger function to track their route, which can be displayed using the supplied Map Utility software
Robust, intuitive design
Measuring just 144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm and weighing 770g, the EOS 6D is the most compact full-frame EOS DSLR ever manufactured. Its dust and drip-proof, part-magnesium body offers robust protection and an intuitive button layout for easy control. Photographers can also view their shots in stunning detail and with natural colours on the large, high-resolution 7.7cm (3.0”) Clear View LCD screen, which features an enhanced anti-glare design to permit viewing in bright sunlight and at extreme angles.
A new Battery Grip BG-E13 provides additional power for extended shooting, while also making it easy to shoot both vertically and horizontally. When used with two LP-E6 batteries, the battery grip offers double the number of shots, and it can also be used with AA batteries for added convenience and flexibility.
EOS 6D - key features
Full-frame 20.2 Megapixel sensor
Tough, lightweight construction
Max ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400)
11-point AF sensitive down to -3EV
GPS records your location
Wi-Fi file transfer and remote control
Correct at time of issue, according to Canon research (17 September 2012)
Wi-Fi support varies by device and region
GPS use may be restricted in certain countries or regions. Use of GPS should comply with the laws and regulations of the country and area in which it is being operated including any restriction on the use of electronics
In accordance with CIPA guidelines (690g body only)
Well our questions have been finally answered as to when Nikon would launch a cheaper full frame camera with less resolution - enter the D600, Nikon's 'game changing' SLR.
The D600 is noticeably smaller than its bigger (excuse the pun) brother the D800. However it's still resistant to moisture and dust and features magnesium alloy top and rear covers. It weighs 760g so is some 25% lighter than the D800.
The camera uses a 24.3mp CMOS sensor along with the same EXPEED 3 image processor as already found in the D4. That means an ISO range of 100-6400 extendable to 50 to 25,600 and continuous burst shooting at up to 5.5 frames per second.
The autofocus system is all new and offers configurable coverage using up to 39 points and like the D4 should be capable of focusing in very low light. Whilst on the subject of autofocus, you will see that the D600 has the same AF mode button as the D800, making switching between AF modes far easier.
The layout will seem pretty familiar to any Nikon user with a 3.2 in LCD on the rear and a glass prism optical viewfinder offering 100% frame coverage. Controls wise, again it's pretty familiar - you will notice Nikon have included a dedicated Movie Start/Stop button near the shutter release.
Talking of movies, the D600 supports 1080p at 30,25 and 24fps and 720p at 60, 50 and 25fps with a maximum recording time of 29 minutes, 59 seconds. Audio wise, you have ports for headphones and and external mic and the camera has manual gain control (although we have yet to see if it is adjustable whilst recording which strangely the D800 and D4 can't do). As with its bigger brothers, it also has a clean HDMI feed out..
Another big hit for movie makers is the in-built timer offering timelapse capability. Better still it's possible to save those time-lapse images as a movie file.
Media wise, the D600 features dual SDHC card slots. Nikon are also offering an optional WU-1b mobile adaptor which allows WiFi transmission of images directly to an android smartphone or tablet (iPhone and iPad apps are under development).
Nikon have also launched a new MB-D14 battery pack which will no doubt be popular not only for its ability to extend power but also for those looking for more substantial handling of the camera.
The D600 should be available to hire towards the end of October.
The Sony NEX range was started some 2 years ago with the launch of the NEX-5. Demands for a higher powered more professional camera lead to the introduction of the NEX-7 last October, not that anyone really got their hands on one until around February this year due to the dreadful floods in Thailand affecting production.
We've already talked about the new Sony NEX-5R and this, the NEX-6 fits in between the two models.
It has essentially the same 16.1mp sensor as the 5R with ISO sensitivity up to 25600. Again, like the 5R, the NEX-6 offers a new Fast Hybrid AF system that combines phase and contrast detection to give the best focussing possible. Very simply phase detection is used to quickly narrow down the focus range and then contrast detection is used for the last very fine adjustment.
Like the NEX-7, it features a OLED Tru-Finder as well as a 3inch LCD that can be angled up to 90 degrees up or 45 degrees down.
On top of the camera Sony have placed a mode dial allowing quick access to the modes without having to go near a menu. Like the 5R, the NEX-6 also have WiFi built in allowing not only sharing of photos/video out of the camera but also the ability to download Camera Apps such as Time-Lapse and Cinematic Photo.
Movie wise, full HD shooting is available at 50p, 25p and 24p. It's worth noting that unlike the NEX-7, the NEX-6 doesn't have a mic jack input - you can only record on the internal microphone. Until I see it next week, I'm not completely sure if it has Sony's new intelligent hotshoe (I assume it does) - if so, we may well find Sony offering a mic for it.
You can watch the launch video below -
We've always been a big fan of the Sony Alpha a77. It's a cracking camera that has often been overlooked purely down to the fact it's a Sony. To do so seems daft to me and there's a very good reason it's always had good press.
Today Sony has announced its successor the Alpha a99. I was fortunate enough to be asked to give my views on the camera and proposed specs at the beginning of the year and have been so excited waiting for it to finally be launched. I truly believe Sony have come up with a real contender and it was half the reason for our decision to stock a comprehensive range of Sony and Zeiss Alpha lenses.
So to the camera, the sensor is a 24.3 effective megapixel full frame Exmor CMOS sensor. One of my few criticisms of the a77 was it could have been better at low light. The a99 has this covered with an ISO range of 50-25600.
The new BIONZ processor speeds things up a bit - the camera can shoot at full resolution at up to 6 frames per second.
Things have moved on in the focussing department. The 19 point AF system is now complemented by a multi-point focal plane phase detection AF sensor with 102 AF points! This means not only fast AF for shooting stills but also much improved AF for video shooting. The a99 has a new AF-D continuous AF mode that uses both focusing methods to ensure that better tracking focus. This mode will only be supported at launch on the following lenses - SAL2470Z, SAL2875, SAL50F14, SAL300F28G2, SAL70400G and SAL500F4G lenses. More lenses will be supported via future firmware updates.
As with the a77, the a99 gets an XGA OLED Tru-finder with 100% frame coverage and the same superb three way tiltable LCD screen with WhiteMagic technology to boot screen brightness when using outdoors.
Whilst being the lightest 35mm full frame interchangeable lens camera available at present, the a99 features weather-resistant seals to protect against dust and moisture while the controls and buttons have been ruggedized.
So onto video. The a99 supports full 1080 50p, 60p, 25p and 24p recording in AVCHD2 format. Most importantly Sony have offered a clean HDMI output allowing you to connect a Ninja or other 3rd party recorder. If you want to record on-board, dual card slots are available allowing sequential or simultaneous recording.
Sony have added a new multi controller on the front of the camera which allows smooth slient adjustment of various settings.
Audio is the huge departure for this camera and it's a BIGGIE! I was so excited when I found out what Sony were going to do on this front. The hot shoe has now been redesigned and indeed it looks like a conventional shoe now (moving away from the traditional Minolta mount) but it also has a smart connection. This allows the fitment of an XLR adaptor giving you dual XLR inputs. You also have a mic input on the side of the camera if you just want to bolt a Rode mic on top. In both cases, you have complete manual gain control and great news - a headphone socket for monitoring.
Power wise, Sony have announced a new battery grip that allows the existing battery to remain in the camera, giving you 3 battery's worth of power rather than two.
We should have the camera available from early November.
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