Jan 192017
 

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera that will launch late February, 2017 with an initial selection of three FUJINON lenses – the GF63mmF2.8 R WR, the GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR, and the GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro. These lenses encapsulate the design philosophy of FUJINON lenses that are renowned by photographers around the world.

The innovative GFX system utilizes a Fujifilm exclusive 43.8 x 32.9mm (FUJIFILM G Format) 51.4MP CMOS sensor. The GFX 50S combines the heritage of over 80 years of imaging and the innovative award-winning functional design of our X Series digital camera system in the relentless pursuit of image quality. Continue reading »

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Sep 202016
 

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Olympus Corporation (President: Hiroyuki Sasa) is pleased to announce the development of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. This Micro Four Thirds System standard compliant Compact System Camera achieves a maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting in AF/AE tracking. The newly developed TruePic VIII image processor, 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor equipped with the new 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor, and advanced 5-axis Image Stabilization culminates in excellent image quality and responsiveness in the Olympus OM-D series flagship model. A prototype of this model will be displayed as a reference exhibit at Photokina 2016, the leading international trade fair for the photography and imaging sector in Germany from September 20, 2016.

Main Features

  1. High-speed sequential shooting and AF performance for capturing split-second moments, and maximum 18 fps sequential shooting performance in AF/AE tracking
  2. Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) performance in a compact, lightweight design for both excellent mobility and reliability
  3. Excellent image quality achieved with the high-speed TruePic VIII image processor and 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
  4. Advanced in-body 5-axis Image Stabilization and Electronic Stabilization provide beautiful hand-held image quality and support for 4K-compatible OM-D Movie
  5. Silent mode and other original Olympus shooting features expand the realms of shooting

Olympus OM-D E-M1 (on sale October 2013), a flagship model of the Olympus OM-D series, features a reliable dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design for shooting in difficult shooting conditions. It is equipped with DUAL FAST AF which allows the camera to set optimal contrast AF and On-chip Phase Detection AF, along with the high-performance TruePic VII image processor, making it a Compact System Camera with pro-level performance and it has been supported by many users. Later firmware updates added features such as Live Composite and Focus Stacking, and along with the excellent optical performance of dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design of the M.Zuiko PRO lens series, a high-performance camera system has grown to meet the needs of users.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is equipped with the newly developed high-speed TruePic VIII image processor that is 3.5 times faster than previous processors, and the new 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor equipped with a 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for better image quality and faster speed than ever before. Even in AF and AE tracking, a maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting is possible at 20.4 Megapixel for both excellent image quality and high-speed performance.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is packed with an array of shooting features making new types of imaging expression possible. This includes Pro Capture Mode for time lag-free shooting of split-second moments, 50M High Res. Shot for a clear high resolution image quality, 5-axis Image Stabilization with a maximum of 5.5 shutter speed steps*1 of compensation performance, and 5-axis sync IS for a maximum of 6.5 shutter speed steps*2 of compensation when combined with the latest M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO. The dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) performance in a compact, lightweight design provides a high level of both reliability and mobility, and we are confident that our continuing development will result in a new Olympus flagship model that will be loved by all photo enthusiasts.

*1 Lens: M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO, focal length: 40mm (35mm equivalent focal length: approx. 80mm), CIPA standard compliant, when correction is carried out on two axes (yaw and pitch), as of September 2016
*2 Lens: M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO, focal length: 100mm (35mm equivalent focal length: approx. 200mm), halfway release image stabilization: OFF, CIPA standard compliant, when correction is carried out on two axes (Yaw/Pitch), as of September 2016

Main Features Details

1. High-speed sequential shooting for capturing split-second moments, and maximum 18 fps sequential shooting performance in AF/AE tracking

The newly developed high-speed TruePic VIII image processor and new 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor provides the full 20.4 Megapixel image while achieving a maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting performance in AF/AE tracking.

Live MOS sensor TruePic VIII Image

Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII Image

1) High-speed and excellent image quality due to the TruePic VIII and 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor

The newly developed high-speed TruePic VIII image processor has a double quad core system with 4 CPU cores and 4 image processing cores which achieves high-speed image processing that is approximately 3.5 times faster than the TruePic VII. The high pixel count of the 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor and the 121-point all cross-type On-Chip Phase Detection sensor improve functionality while achieving a transfer speed that is approximately 3 times faster than the OM-D E-M1. This synergy maintains the full 20.4 Megapixel image while achieving a maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting performance in AF/AE tracking. The new Pro Capture Mode is also included for time lag-free shooting of full pixel images of split-second moments, achieving high-speed and excellent image quality.

2) Advanced DUAL FAST AF with 121-point all cross-type sensor, and a new moving subject tracking algorithm

DUAL FAST AF which selects optimal On-chip Phase Detection AF and contrast AF, and utilizes both together is further advanced. On-chip Phase Detection AF uses 121 all cross-type points for accurate detection of subjects and significantly improved focusing performance. The new moving subject tracking algorithm takes advanced measurements for continuous focus tracking on moving subjects. Furthermore, by using both contrast AF and On-chip Phase Detection AF together, it enables a fast and precise AF performance in a difficult scenes such as where the depth of field is shallow and using the widest aperture settings for a large-diameter single-focal-lens. DUAL FAST AF is advanced for a completely new AF system. The AF limiter is now included for faster focusing achieved by limiting the AF operating area.

121-point all cross-type sensor AF image

121-point all cross-type sensor AF image

3) Controls that support FAST AF

AF functions such as AF Target Mode*3, AF Target Position, Face/Eye Priority AF can easily be set with a single action. Operations are also improved with the cluster display, which displays focusing area when they are being focused on movie subjects, and the AF Targeting Pad, which lets you move the AF point using touch operations while looking through the viewfinder.

*3 There are now 4 modes in AF Target, including the new 5-point cross group pattern, All Targets, Single Target, and 9-point cross group pattern

4) High-magnification, high-speed Electronic Viewfinder

A 0.74x (35mm equivalent) high-magnification, high-definition electronic viewfinder is used on this model that rivals that of high-end full-frame interchangeable lens cameras. With high-speed performance that includes a maximum frame rate of 120 fps and a minimum 6msec display time lag during shooting, you won’t lose track of fast-moving subjects.

5) High-speed response that supports comfortable shooting

The release time lag has been reduced to approximately 30% of the OM-D E-M1 so you will never miss a photo opportunity. Frame advance speed during playback is also approximately three times faster for smoother image checking. Basic operations are also faster for more comfortable shooting.

2. Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof performance in a compact, lightweight design for both excellent mobility and reliability

The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features sealing throughout the camera to achieve a highly reliable dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design so that you can shoot with peace of mind in the harsh outdoor conditions, such as snow or rain. Because the overall camera system is compact and lightweight, it offers superb mobility.

1) Compact, lightweight system with excellent mobility

Despite providing amazing high-speed sequential shooting and excellent image quality as a flagship model, this camera is compact and lightweight. When combined with an M.Zuiko lens, the entire camera system is extremely compact, providing excellent mobility during shooting or transportation. For example, hand-held shooting is possible even when the large-aperture super-telephoto M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO lens (35mm equivalent: 600mm f4) is combined with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and is still compact enough to put in carry-on luggage when flying.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO attached

M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO attached

2) Excellent reliability with the dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design and dust reduction system

The entire camera features high-level hermetic and weather-resistant sealing for excellent dustproof and splashproof performance so you can shoot in difficult weather such as rain or snow and even outdoors during the winter. Strict cold-weather operation checks of each and every unit guarantees freezeproof operation down to -10°C. 
These “proofing systems” are not limited to the camera body, but are extended across the entire camera system including the dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) performance of the M.Zuiko PRO lens*4series. 
The traditional dust reduction system SSWF (Supersonic Wave Filter) is also incorporated which vibrates the SSWF at an ultra-high speeds of more than 30,000 times each second and powerful gravitational acceleration is generated to remove dust and dirt, keeping the imaging sensor surface clean when switching interchangeable lenses.

*4 Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) performance applies to the following non-M.Zuiko PRO lenses as well: M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro, M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ, and M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 II.
Sealing image

Sealing image

3) High-performance shutter that clears durability tests of 200,000 operations

The newly developed shutter clears durability tests of 200,000 operations*5, withstanding the hard usage of pro photographers. A floating shutter construction is employed so that shutter shock is not easily transmitted to the camera body.

*5 According to Olympus testing conditions

4) Dual Card Slots due to popular demand by pro photographers

Dual Card Slots enables simultaneous use of two cards for more versatile shooting. Because the slots are located in a staggered layout, cards are easy to remove. You can select from 4 types of setting: “Standard” records only to the specified card, “Automatic Switching” automatically switches to the other card when the specified card becomes full, “Distribute” records to each card according to the specified image quality setting, and “Equal Writing” records to both cards simultaneously at the same image quality setting. Slot 1 supports UHS-II/UHS-I and slot 2 supports UHS-I.

5) New high-capacity battery and rapid charger

The capacity of the new Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery, BLH-1 is approximately 37% higher than the BLN-1 used on the OM-D E-M1, with a 1720 mAh high-capacity. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features a % display on the monitor so you can accurately check the remaining battery level, the charging status, number of shots, and battery serial number. The new Lithium Ion Battery Charger, BCH-1 charges the battery 50% faster than traditional chargers. The optional BLH-1 comes with a hard case with a small window so you can check whether the battery is fully charged and see which battery needs charging after usage.

Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery, BLH-1 Lithium Ion Battery Charger, BCH-1

Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery, BLH-1*6 (left), Lithium Ion Battery Charger, BCH-1 (right)

*6 The hard case next to the BLH-1 comes with the optional BLH-1.

3. Excellent image quality achieved with the high-speed TruePic VIII image processor and 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor

The new TruePic VIII image processor, 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, and advanced 5-axis Image Stabilization provide the excellent image quality that meets the demand of pro photographers, when combined with a high-performance M.Zuiko PRO lens.

1) High pixel count and improved dynamic range

The new 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor provides a high pixel count and improves resolution with a low-passless filter. It also enhances gradation through pixel characteristic improvement for a wide dynamic range*7that rivals that of cameras with larger sized APS-C sensors. This makes smooth representation of high-contrast scenes possible. By applying Anti-Reflective coating on the both sides of the sealing glass of the sensor, flaring and ghosts are reduced for clearer image quality.

*7 As of September 2016, according to Olympus testing conditions

2) Improved image quality at high sensitivity settings, Normal sensitivity ISO 6400

The TruePic VIII image processor dramatically improves image quality when shooting at high sensitivity settings, making it possible to capture images with minimal noise that retain details. The normal sensitivity ISO (ISO AUTO) range has been expanded to ISO 6400 for greater flexibility in a variety of shooting scenes. Fine Detail II, which applies the appropriate magnification chromatic aberration correction and sharpness processing according to lens and aperture information, has been further optimized to maximize the potential of the lens for natural, sophisticated image quality and resolution. This camera is also equipped with low-passless compatible moire removing processing.

3) ISO 64 equivalent ISO LOW setting

ISO LOW is now equivalent to ISO 64 for lowering the ISO speed during studio photography and when shooting portraits on clear days. This is an easy to use sensitivity setting when shooting with an external flash and using the widest aperture setting on a bright lens.

4) Ultra high-resolution image quality with 50M High Res. Shot

High Res. Shot precisely moves pixels at 0.5 pitch to capture a total of eight shots and then composites them into a single 50M equivalent ultra high-resolution image*8. This feature is perfect for scenes that require precision image quality such as when shooting architecture and works of art. The new TruePic VIII image processor on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II effectively suppresses image blur due to subject movement, making it possible to cope with a wider range of shooting conditions. In addition to 80M RAW and 50M equivalent JPEG images, it is also possible to switch to a smaller 25M equivalent file size.

*8 In RAW+JPEG mode, three types of image are saved including 50M JPEG, 80M RAW (ORF), and 20M RAW (ORI). 80M RAW images can be processed to 50M JPEG images on the camera. 80M JPEG images can be processed using Olympus Viewer 3 (64-bit OS).

5) Stable shooting with 5-axis Image Stabilization

This model is equipped with the latest in-body 5-axis Image Stabilization that compensates for all types of camera shake. An optimized correction algorithm boasts the best compensation performance in its class with approximately 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation performance. Also, when combined with the lens with in-lens image stabilization*9, 5-axis sync IS provides the world’s most powerful 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation performance for greater possibilities in hand-held shooting. The rear thumb grip contributes to a stable, secure hold on the camera.

*9 M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO and M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO, as of September 2016.
5-axis Image Stabilization image

5-axis Image Stabilization image

4. Advanced in-body 5-axis Image Stabilization and Electronic Stabilization provide stable image quality and support for 4K-compatible OM-D Movie

Combining specialized electronic stabilization for movies with 5-axis Image Stabilization makes it possible to enjoy hand-held shooting of high-definition 4K movies. Digital cinema-compatible 4K movies are also supported.

1) Advanced 5-axis Image Stabilization and Electronic Stabilization for hand-held 4K movie recording

4K movies, with four times the resolution of Full HD, are easily affected by camera shake, and generally a require tripod, mini jib, crane and other accessories specialized for movies. However, the powerful 5-axis Image Stabilization and Electronic Stabilization specialized for movies (M-IS)*10 on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II combine to effectively reduce camera shake, making 4K movie hand-held shooting available. The rear monitor is a vari-angle LCD monitor, which can be adjusted to your preferred angle while shooting movies. The effective image stabilization means that you can easily shoot movies with minimal blur and shake.

*10 The angle of view is narrowed when using electronic stabilization for movies (M-IS1).

2) Compatible with Digital Cinema Standard 4K movies for authentic movie production

This camera supports Digital Cinema Standard 4K (4096 x 2060 pixels), frame rate (24P), and high bit rate (237 Mbps)*11 for authentic movie production. The 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor provides a reading speed three times faster than traditional models for effective suppression of movement distortion that tends to occur when shooting movies, and for sharp, clear image quality in movies. The movie-specific Picture Mode “Flat” is perfect for color grading and finishing the footage exactly as you wish.

*11 General 4K movies are 3842×2160 pixels

3) HDMI Monitor connection and Rec Sync for pro movie shooting

This model is equipped with the HDMI Monitor connection feature for high image quality monitoring while shooting. You can select from Monitor mode for an external monitor, and Recording mode for an external recorder. Magnified display on the camera monitor only or display the actual size on the HDMI monitor to fit your shooting purposes. The camera is equipped with a synchronization signal for HDMI output recording so an external recorder can be synced with starting and stopping movie recording on the camera. 4:2:2 external output was added to meet a wider color correction range due to professional demands. The Rec Sync function made popular on the OM-D E-M1 (firmware V4.0 and later) and the OM-D E-M5 Mark II (firmware V2.0 and later) makes easy to synchronize audio recording with the connected Linear PCM Recorder LS-100 while recording movies. The Slate Tone function is also included for advanced movie production, making it easier to match recorded audio to movies.

5. Silent mode and other original Olympus shooting features expand the realms of shooting

The various shooting functions made popular on the OM-D series for shooting in a wide variety of shooting situations are polished for further ease of use and functionality.

1) Silent Mode for completely silent shooting

This mode mutes the shutter sound and focus sound for completely silent shooting. It is convenient for shooting in venues where sounds are not appropriate, such as plays and concerts. You can also activate or deactivate the AF Illuminator, autofocus sound, and flash.

2) Focus Stacking mode / Focus Bracketing

The depth of field is shallow in macro shooting, making it difficult to capture an image that is completely in focus from the foreground to background when stopping down the aperture. Focus Stacking mode*12 captures 8 different shots at different focal positions and composites them to form a single shot that is entirely in focus. This makes it possible to capture a depth of field that is deeper than the smallest aperture setting and obtain high-resolution images at the same time, without worrying about diffraction phenomenon. Up to 7 lenses will be compatible for a variety of shooting scenes. Focus Bracketing mode can capture up to 999 shots at different focal positions with a single shutter operation, letting you choose shots with the optimal focal position or use commercially available software with Focus Stacking mode for a photo with an even wider range of focus.

*12 Lenses compatible with Focus Stacking mode: M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro, and M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro

3) Live Composite / Live Bulb

Live Composite is also available for shooting fireworks and cityscapes against starry backgrounds. The exposure of the dark sections is left as it is and only the part which changes brighter is composed as an image, ensuring that the city silhouette is not overexposed. Live Bulb and Live Time will let you enjoy the long exposure shooting more efficiently as you can check the image on the monitor in real time, instead of relying on your experience.

4) Keystone Compensation

The camera is equipped with Keystone Compensation, which is convenient for photographing architecture, etc. In addition to carrying out tilt-shift shooting on all lenses, you can shoot while checking the compensation in Live View for easily and more accurately. Because trapezoidal compensation can be applied simultaneously to both vertical and horizontal directions, it is possible to shoot various subjects in a wide range of situations.

5) Perfect camera control for studio photography

Effective camera control is available for studio photography where many shots are captured. The software Olympus Capture is now available in Ver. 1.2, and supports OM-D E-M1 Mark II 121-point focus points and Dual Card Slots recording settings. The new TruePic VIII image processor, high-speed data processing and transfer via USB 3.0, and optimized saving processing compared to Olympus Capture 1.1 results in four times more speed. Cable Clip, CC-1 is also bundled for securing and stabilizing the cable to a strap when the camera and computer are connected.

Cable Clip, CC-1 connected with E-M1 Mark II

Cable Clip, CC-1 connected with E-M1 Mark II

Other New Functions and UI

  • “C-AF tracking” sensitivity for optimal focusing by adjusting autofocus tracking sensitivity to match the subject and shooting scene in five levels.
  • “AF scan” lets you adjust the lens scan operation settings when the camera is significantly out or focus or when the camera cannot focus in low-contrast environments.
  • “Preset MF” lets you quickly set a preferred focal position when using manual focus.
  • “AF Home settings” can be assigned to one of the buttons, and program your most frequently used AF target position, AF Target mode, and AF mode as your AF Home setting. Simply by pressing the assigned button, you can reset various registered AF settings.
  • “Lowest S/S (shutter speed) setting” lets you set a shutter speed to automatically begin raising the ISO speed when using ISO AUTO. This is a convenient function for when you want to shoot at low ISO speeds.
  • “Save setting/Mysets” lets you backup customized camera settings on a computer so they can be applied to a camera whenever necessary. This is useful when you want to use the same settings on multiple cameras, and to maintain settings after a firmware update.
  • “Specify folder to record to / Create new folder” let you select a folder as a recording destination, and create new folders to make image editing and management easier. This function is especially useful for commercial shooting.
  • “Grid settings” lets you set a highly visible grid color for display as a guide when shooting in dark locations such as stages, etc.
  • “Date/Time/Second” display lets you organize images by a second unit. This is an effective feature for high-speed sequential shooting.
  • “Tab scroll menu” lets you scroll through a screen with tabs that collects different genres, making it much easier to access the menu.

Optional Accessories

1) Power Battery Holder, HLD-9, designed for both horizontal and vertical shooting 

This is a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design power battery holder for exclusive use with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. With this HLD-9, the user will have the power of one, BLH-1 Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery in the camera body and a further one in the HLD-9. The rear of the HLD-9 power battery holder is equipped with the same arrow pad, two Control Dials, and two function buttons, as on the camera body so that there are near identical controls whether the camera is held in a vertical or horizontal position. The optional AC Adapter, AC-5 can be used for studio photography or other situations when using the camera for long periods of time so that you don’t need to worry about battery levels. You can also attach the optional Grip Strap, GS-5 (currently available) for an enhanced fit when using a telephoto lens. The shoulder strap can also be attached simultaneously.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO + Power Battery Holder, HLD-9

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO 
+ Power Battery Holder, HLD-9

2) Electronic Flash, FL-900R

This is a high-intensity flagship flash boasting a maximum guide number of GN.58. This clip-on flash has the highest sequential shooting tracking performance in its class at 10 fps*13. It features a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design in a compact, lightweight form, with Wireless Lighting Mode for simultaneous control of multiple flash units, and support for Multi Flash mode, High Res. Shot, Focus Stacking, and Focus Bracketing modes. It is also equipped with a built-in LED light for recording movies. For further details, please see the FL-900R press release.

*13 When used with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, at a flash ration of 1/32
Electronic Flash, FL-900R

Electronic Flash, FL-900R

3) Macro Flash, STF-8, the world’s first*14 with a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design

This is the world’s first macro flash built with a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) design that can be used in any kind of environment, whether raining or snowing. The flash heads and controller feature a compact design and it makes it possible to use in any shooting environment such as woods or thickets. When combined with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Focus Stacking mode and Focus Bracketing are supported for flash photography, which are useful for shooting flowers, insects, and commercial photos in the studio. The bundled adapter ring is compatible with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro, and M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO.*15

When using both heads the GN is 8.5, and when using one it is 6. In addition to TTL Auto Sync mode for precision control, you can set the flash in 1/3 step increments on the camera when in manual mode, and in 1 step increments with the flash dial. The main flash can also be used as a commander to control multiple flash units. The flash head angle can be adjusted within a range of -60 to 40 degree. It is powered with four AA batteries*16.

*14 Among ring flashes and twin flashes currently on sale as of September 2016. According to Olympus research
*15 Any lens with the appropriate diameter can be used with a commercially available step-up ring
*16 Both commercially available alkaline batteries and rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries can be used.
Macro Flash, STF-8

Macro Flash, STF-8

4) Release Cable, RM-CB2

This is a release cable with a pin jack terminal (2.5mm diameter) used for long exposures on a tripod, and features a bulb lock function which is convenient for long exposures. The connector terminal features an L-shaped design ensuring a compact form when connected to the camera.

Release Cable, RM-CB2

Release Cable, RM-CB2

5) Underwater Case, PT-EP14 with waterproof up to the depths of 60m

This is a compact underwater case for use with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with water depth/pressure resistance up to 60m. It provides a clear field of view to each corner of the screen, designed to be easy to hold with the grip and to frame and to zoom easily with a pick-up viewfinder. The Macro Lens Port, PPO-EP03 was developed simultaneously with a water depth/pressure resistance up to 60m for exclusive use with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro and M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro. The tapered end shape makes for greater lighting freedom when shooting close-ups. Diffuser, PPODP-EP03 is for exclusive use with Macro Lens Port, PPO-EP03, and Flash, FL-LM3 bundled with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II must be paired with PT-EP14 and PPO-EP03. Both the PT-EP14 and PPO-EP03 feature water depth/pressure resistance up to 60m, and specifications that cover a wide range of shooting areas.

Underwater Case, PT-EP14 + Macro Lens Port, PPO-EP03

Underwater Case, PT-EP14 + Macro Lens Port, PPO-EP03

6) High-capacity and functionality – Camera Backpack, CBG-12

This is a high-capacity camera backpack developed specifically for OM-D users. This large-capacity backpack can easily fit multiple Olympus cameras and several interchangeable lenses including lenses such as the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO while maintaining a compact size that can be used as carry-on luggage when flying*17. This backpack features padded back that reduce strain on your body and a back length and shoulder straps that are designed to minimize the load on your body, side openings for quickly removing necessary items, and water repellent materials for a superbly functional design. The design of this backpack features a genuine Micro Four Thirds mount emblem in the center of the backpack.

*17 Except for some routes that service remote islands with small aircraft.
Camera Backpack, CBG-12

Camera Backpack, CBG-12

Sales Outline for Optional Accessories

Product Name MSRP Planned Launch Date
Power Battery Holder, HLD-9 TBD TBD
Grip Strap, GS-5 3,600 yen 
(3,888 yen incl. tax)
Currently available
Electronic Flash, FL-900R TBD TBD
Macro Flash, STF-8 TBD TBD
Release Cable, RM-CB2 TBD TBD
Underwater Case, PT-EP14 TBD TBD
Macro Lens Port, PPO-EP03 TBD TBD
Diffuser, PPODP-EP03 TBD TBD
Camera Backpack, CBG-12 TBD TBD
Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery, BLH-1 TBD TBD
Lithium Ion Battery Charger, BCH-1 TBD TBD
AC Adapter, AC-5 TBD TBD
Cable Clip, CC-1 TBD TBD
Large Eye Cup, EP-13 2,200 yen 
(2,367 yen incl. tax)
Currently available
Sep 192016
 

Valhalla, N.Y., September 19, 2016  In response to unprecedented interest from professionalphotographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces the development of the new medium format FUJIFILM GFX mirrorless digital camera system that will deliver unmatched and exceptional image quality. The innovative GFX system will reach a new Fujifilm photographic standard, andsupport its ongoing commitment to providing the total imaging solution for photographers.

 

GFX_Front_63mm

 

Photographic Excellence and Innovation

Over the course of its proud history that extends over 80 years, Fujifilm has developed

and manufactured photographic films with advanced image resolution, outstanding

color reproduction and tonal qualities to meet the needs of professional photographers as well as photoenthusiasts. Fujifilm offers an extensive range of professional cameras under the consistent philosophy that “a camera is a tool for capturing your creative vision, and high quality FUJINON lenses are an indispensable part of that commitment. All of the technologies and expertise of Fujifilm have been amassed to develop the new GFX, which uses a medium-format sensor to achieve the highest level of image quality and a completely new type of mirrorless system, and its companion FUJINON GF lenses.

 

FUJIFILM GFX 50S

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S mirrorless digital camera will feature the new FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 x 32.9mmsensor with an astonishing 51.4MP resolution and six FUJINON GF Lenses that will be introducedsequentially in early 2017.

 

Professional-use Mirrorless Camera System

As a long-term manufacturer of photographic films and medium-format film cameras,

Fujifilm was always aware of the impact that different formats have on

photographic expressions. Using a larger format gives an ultimate enhancement to a

camera’s ability to capture “texture,” “depth” and “dimension,” which cannot be attained even by substantially increasing the sensor’s pixel count.

 

Since the launch of the X Series, an increasing number of professional photographers

and photo enthusiasts expressed their desire to achieve the ultimate photographic expression with the X Series’ signature color reproduction. The GFX camera system with the G Format is Fujifilm’s response to their requests.

 

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S 51.4MP sensor can be adapted to various aspect

ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17, which were available in large and medium formatfilm cameras. The GFX 50S will use the high-performance “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor to provide Fujifilm’s outstanding color and tone reproduction at an extremely high level. The result is the ultimate capability in photographic expressions that only Fujifilm can deliver thanks to its extensive knowledge in film and medium-format cameras.

 

Revolutionary Design Concept

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S revolutionizes the concept of medium-format cameras, and compared to conventional medium-format digital SLR cameras, the GFX is lighter in weight, and achieves a far more compact form factor. With regards to functionality, the camera follows in the footsteps of the X Series by featuring numerous physical buttons and dials, and is designed with an ergonomic grip, shaped carefully and optimized for the camera body and lenses.

 

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S will feature a detachable electronic viewfinder, which users can remove when using an external monitor or wanting to make the system even lighter. In addition, an optional adapter makes it possible to fit the EVF at any angle, giving greater freedom in the

choice of shooting angle. Other optional accessories that will be available at launch include the Vertical Battery Grip, which enhances functionality when shooting in the portrait orientation. The camera also supports tethered shooting, which has become an essential part of the professional photographers’ workflow, and will be compatible with various RAW conversion application software.

 

Newly-developed FUJINON Lenses

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S will use newly-designed FUJINON lenses with a new lens mount for highestperformance and image quality.

 

A new lineup of FUJINON GF lenses, designed specifically for the GFX, supports the

new G Mount. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has

the short flange back distance of just 26.7mm to shorten the back focus distance as

much as possible. This prevents vignetting to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness of the

world’s highest level.

 

The initial lineup will include the following six FUJINON lenses:

1. Standard prime “GF63mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 50mm in the 35mm format)

2. Wide-angle standard zoom “GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 25-51mm in

    35mm format)

3. Mid-telephoto macro 1:0.5 “GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR” (equivalent to

   95mm in 35mm format)

4. Fast aperture mid-telephoto “GF110mmF2 R LM WR” (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format)

5. Ultra-wide “GF23mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format)

6. Wide “GF45mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)

 

Additional Features

The new FUJINON lenses will feature an aperture ring, a popular feature in the X Series, and have a newC (Command) Position on the ring to enable aperture adjustments with the Command Dial on the camera body. Each lens will be dust and weather resistant, built to withstand operation at temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ –10 degrees Celsius allowing photographers to take them outdoors with confidence in challenging weather conditions.

 

FUJIFILM GFX 50S Key Features:

  • 51.4MP Medium Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor for superior sharpness and image quality for all professional photographers
  • Can be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17
  • FUJIFILM “G Mount” with short flange back distance of just 26.7mm
  • “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor
  • Detachable electronic viewfinder
  • Weather and dust resistant; operates as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius

 

Availability and Pricing

The new FUJIFILM GFX system will be available in early 2017 in the U.S. with pricing to be announced at a later date.

 

* Design and specifications may be subject to change without notice.

 

About FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging

For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com/northamerica, go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to www.facebook.com/FujifilmNorthAmerica to Like Fujifilm on Facebook. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.

 

About Fujifilm
FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation is based in Valhalla, New York, and is the regional headquarters for the Americas. It is comprised of fourteen directly owned subsidiary companies in the U.S. and Canada, and two in Latin America: Brazil and Colombia.  The company manufactures, markets and provides service for a broad spectrum of industries including photographic, medical imaging and informatics, pharmaceutical and other life science industries. Industrial segments include data storage, electronic materials, chemical, and graphic arts products and services.  For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com.

 

FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a vast portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies.  In the year ended March 31, 2016, the company had global revenues of $22.1 billion, at an exchange rate of 112.54 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.

Jul 072016
 

Valhalla, N.Y., July 7, 2016 – As a leader in advanced digital camera technology and outstanding image quality, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X-T2, a splash-resistant premium interchangeable lens camera with a large OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF). The X-T2 houses the latest generation 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III with an APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter, boasting the highest performance in the history of X Series. The new X-T2 produces crisp image resolution comparable to that of cameras equipped with larger sensors and higher pixel counts, all in a more compact and classically-designed body.

And for the first time, the new FUJIFILM X-T2 now supports 4K video recording that can use each available Film Simulation mode, including ACROS, to easily produce premium-quality footage that is as unique as the photographer behind the viewfinder.

Dramatic improvement to auto focus system
The FUJIFILM X-T2 receives a dramatically improved auto focus system (AF) that increases the overall single AF points to 325, and the number of Zone focusing points to 91 (expanded from 49 in previous models). Approximately 40% of the imaging area (center area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection auto focus pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection auto focus area that can be used in a variety of scenes.

With the high-speed X-Processor Pro and the use of improved algorithms, the X-T2 now refocuses more frequently, enabling predictive AF of advanced accuracy.
The X-T2 also has an enhanced ability to autofocus on small points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine and delicate textures such as bird feathers and animal fur.

The X-T2’s performance of contrast detection AF, enabled for approximately 65% of the imaging area, has also been improved. The data read speed has been doubled compared to previous models to achieve AF performance of higher speed and precision. Photographers will enjoy accurate focusing in all shooting situations, even in low light with a -3EV.

Another area of improvement is the AF-C algorithm that has been significantly enhanced for even higher accuracy when focus-tracking moving subjects in the AF-C mode. According to the type of movement, users can choose individual settings for Subject Retention Characteristic, Acceleration / Deceleration Tracking Characteristic and Focus Zone Characteristic, or select one of five presets or customize specific settings for these three elements.

Image Quality
Fujifilm’s commitment to superior image quality remains a guiding principle, and the FUJIFILM X-T2 is the latest effort to deliver outstanding picture resolution, all from a compact and sophisticated body that is both weather-sealed and easy to travel with in any location. With
Fujifilm’s proprietary image design technology, produced through the development of photographic films, the X-T2 reproduces warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green foliage in beautiful colors, just as you remember seeing in real life. The X-T2 includes the ACROS Film Simulation for smooth gradation, deep blacks and beautiful textures to create monochrome images that far outperform even the most demanding expectations.

The X-T2 also has the Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function is available in Strong and Weak options, and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. You can easily obtain the effect of film-based photos, notable especially when the image is printed out.

Speedy throughout
Basic response specifications, such as startup time, shooting interval and shutter release time lag, have all been improved to the extreme in pursuit of a camera that operates exactly as the photographer demands. The high-speed processing power and the use of improved algorithms have significantly improved the basic autofocus performance, and X-T2 now gives users AF-C Custom Settings for even higher accuracy in focus-tracking moving subjects.

The X-T2’s electronic viewfinder, which is used to continuously track a moving subject, is capable of displaying up to 100 frames per second, while also maintaining the magnification ratio of 0.77x and the display time lag of 0.005 seconds. The duration of the viewfinder blackout, in which the EVF blacks out temporarily while the camera reads picture data, has been reduced by more than half, enabling continuous shooting to ensure tracking subject movements.

Body and grip offer ultimate stability
The X-T2’s body is fully made of magnesium alloy making it not only compact and lightweight, but also solid and highly durable. The X-T2 body has weather-proofing at 63 points to achieve a high level of resistance to dust and moisture, and coupled with its ability to operate in temperatures down to 14°F (-10C), is ready for full-fledged field photography. Similar ruggedness is applied to the new Vertical Power Booster Grip.

The Vertical Power Booster Grip (optional VPB-XT2) is a dust-resistant grip, rugged and capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F that maximizes the performance of the X-T2 beyond expectations. It fits two batteries, bringing the total number of batteries the X-T2 can use to three, including the one in-camera, to increase the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approximately 1,000 (Normal mode). In the Boost mode, multiple batteries can operate at the same time to give a boost to camera performance in continuous shooting, shooting interval, shutter release time lag and blackout time, while also extending the duration of 4K video recording to approximately 30 minutes.

The Vertical Power Booster Grip also features a shutter release button, focus thumbstick, AE-L button, AF-L button, command dials, Q button and Fn button and headphone jack to enable audio monitoring during video recording to provide the same level of excellent operability in vertical shooting as you get in horizontal operation. The grip itself has battery-charging functionality where by using the AC adapter supplied (AC-9VS), users can fully charge two batteries at the same time in about two hours.

FUJIFILM EF-X500 Flash
The new high-end multi-function external FUJIFILM EF-X500 Flash is now official for the lineup of accessories for the X Series of digital cameras. The EF-X500 is a hot-shoe mount flash with a maximum guide number of approximately 50, and includes support for the FP mode (high-speed flash sync) so that the flash can be fired at any shutter speed. Photographers can now concentrate on shooting when a faster shutter speed is required, for example, in order to use a near-maximum aperture to produce beautiful bokeh.

The EF-X500 also supports multi-flash lighting. Users can set up multiple flashes to freely control light on a subject and background for a creative result. Through-the-lens (TTL) lighting control is available with single flash and also in the multi-flash setup, so that users can start shooting without having to make cumbersome adjustments to light output.

EF-X500 Flash key features:

  • Maximum guide number of approximately 50 (ISO100・m) / 164 (ISO100·ft)
  • Zooming the illumination angle for the focal lengths of 24mm – 105mm, and covering the illumination angle of approximately 20mm when the wide panel is used
  • Flash head that can be tilted up by 90° degrees, down by 10° degrees, to the left by 135° degrees and to the right by 180° degrees for bouncing light
  • Equipped with LED video light that can also be used as AF assist light and catch light
  • Registers up to ten combinations of various setting to suit specific shooting conditions in advance for quick activation when needed

FUJIFILM X-T2 key features:

  • 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III Sensor
  • Dust and moisture-resistant body with approximately 63 points of weather sealing; Freeze resistance to 14°F
  • X-Processor Pro
    • Fast AF of 0.06 seconds
    • Startup time of 0.3 seconds
    • Shutter time lag of 0.045 seconds
    • Shooting interval of 0.17 seconds
    • Phase detection AF and motion predictive AF for continuous shooting up to 8 frames per second (fps)
    • Up to 11fps using Booster Grip
  • High-precision 0.48-inch, 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder
    • Viewfinder magnification for digital cameras of 0.77x
    • Wide viewing angle (diagonal 38° and horizontal 31°)
    • Ultra-fast Real Time Viewfinder with a lag-time of 0.005sec (less than 1/10 of existing models)
    • Automatic Brightness Adjustment function
    • EVF refreshes at a rate of 60fps, or as high as 100fps in the Boost mode
    • Continuous shooting of 5fps in Live View
  • Full 4K 3840×2160 30P/25P/24P shooting (Using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher)
    • Continuous recording: up to approximately 10 minutes
    • Full HD 1920×1080 60P/50P/30P/25P/24P, Continuous recording: up to approximately 15 minutes
    • HD 1280×720 60P/50P/30P/25P/24P, Continuous recording: up to approximately 29 minutes
  • Four different display modes: Full, Normal, Dual and Vertical
    • Full mode: Displays shooting information at the top and bottom of the screen to avoid obstruction of the view
    • Dual mode: Adds a small second screen for checking focus point with Focus Peak Highlight or Digital Split Image
    • Normal mode: Lets you concentrate on framing the shot in Auto Focus mode while keeping you aware of how the shooting conditions are changing, making it the perfect setting for sports and action photography
    • Portrait mode: When in Full or Normal modes, it rotates the shooting information interface when the camera is turned vertically
  • Tempered glass 1.04 million dot high-precision 3” tilting LCD monitor
  • Digital Split Image and Focus Highlight Peaking
  • Wi-Fi and remote camera operation
  • ISO200 – 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600, Auto(maximum ISO setting from ISO 400 – ISO6400 available) with High ISO 51200 setting
  • Lens Modulation Optimizer technology maximizes each lens’ performance
  • In-camera RAW converter
  • Die-cast magnesium body provides a sturdy and durable, while compact and lightweight design
  • Two command dials and six Function buttons for instant control and customization
  • Interval timer shooting for Time Lapse photography is available with intervals of 1 second to 24 hours and up to “∞”  frames
  • Advanced filters and Film Simulations, including ACROS

FUJIFILM X-T2 Accessories:

  • Vertical Power Booster Grip (optional VPB-XT2) New
  • X-T2 Metal Hand Grip (MHG-XT2) New
  • X-T2 Bottom Leather Case (BLC-XT2) New
  • X-T2 Cover Kit (CVR-XT2) New
  • NP-W126S Rechargeable Battery New
  • Five dedicated flash models to choose from depending on requirements (EF-X500 New, EF-X8, EF-X20, EF-20, EF-42)
  • Battery Pack EF-BP1, compatible with EF-X500 New
  • Protective Filters (PRF-39, PRF-52, PRF-58, PRF-62 and PRF-72)
  • M Mount Adapter for additional lens compatibility
  • Remote Release (RR-90)
  • Stereo Microphone (MIC-ST1)

Availability and Pricing
The new FUJIFILM X-T2**** (body only)**** will be available in September 2016 in the U.S. for USD $1,599.95. The X-T2 and XF18-55mm (27-84mm) kit will be available in September 2016 in the U.S. for USD $1,899.95.

The FUJIFILM EF-X500 Flash will be available in September 2016 in the U.S. for USD $449.99.

Jul 062016
 

Recently, we saw two announcements in the photographic world regarding mirrorless cameras:

  1. Sigma announced pricing and availability for its recently announced SD Quattro Mirrorless camera.
  2. Hasselblad announced the X1D, the world’s first medium format mirrorless cameras.

I have been covering mirrorless cameras on my blog for years and am very well versed in the nuances of the genre. Let’s analyze the two announcements and see why I make the claim that “mirrorless is no longer a niche.”

Sigma SD Quattro

SD Quattro System

Sigma Corporation of Japan is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of camera lenses. Their line of lenses supports practically every major 35mm camera brand in the industry. They have a native mount as well for their own line of cameras (Foveon based DSLRs) and earlier this year they announced at CP+ their SD Quattro line of mirrorless cameras. And they didn’t just announce one camera, they announced two (the SD Quattro – an APS-C model and the SD Quattro H – an APS-H model). The SD Quattro announcement included flashes, battery grips, USB docks and a whole passel of accessories. In short, an entire system except for lenses.

Why no lenses?

Sigma made the decision to buck the current trend in mirrorless camera design and make a mirrorless system that uses existing DSLR lenses. So the SD Quattro family has access to the entire Sigma lens stable in SA mount at launch. This is one of the most comprehensive mirrorless camera systems I have ever seen. On top of that, lenses launched under Sigma’s Global Vision Initiative can have their mounts converted at the factory to SA mount, so you won’t have to sell off your lens kit (assuming you have these recent vintage Sigma lenses) in order to switch.

This shows a level of commitment to the mirrorless platform that no other camera maker has ever been willing to do. Olympus & Panasonic came the closest with Micro 4/3, but they created an entirely new platform that required a whole new set of native lenses. However, they had few lenses at launch.

The pricing was set at $799 for the body and $999 for body plus kit lens. In recent times, the term “kit lens” has come to mean some shabby try-hard lens that doesn’t cost the manufacturer much to make. Not in this case. Sigma chose their 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Art Lens as the “kit lens” for this system. This lens has received high praise from everyone who has ever reviewed it.

SD Quattro Kit

This is very aggressive pricing for a mirrorless camera with this many features.

Robust camera, tons of lenses at launch, advanced Foveon sensor, and a full line of accessories – what’s not to love?

Well the weak link in this system is the camera’s Foveon sensor. Not the sensor itself per se, just Sigma’s reluctance to share the “secret sauce” of processing the raw images coming our of the camera. In order to process raw files, Sigma’s raw conversion software (Sigma Photo Pro) must be used. No other raw converter supports it. SilkyPix supports older Foveon based cameras, but I am investigating their plans for Quattro support. Adobe has no support for Foveon of any flavor, nor do any of the other players.

What does this mean?

It means that there will be an extra step in your workflow. SPP will be needed to convert the RAW images into something that Lightroom/Photoshop/Capture One Pro/(Insert your favorite raw converter here) can use. That can slow your work down if you process large amounts of images all the time. But if the images produced by the Foveon are your cup of tea then it may be worth the extra effort.

Image taken with a Sigma DP1 Quattro

Hasselblad X1D

The second big announcement was the Hasselblad X1D-50c. This was earth-shaking in its own way.

  1. The world’s first medium format mirrorless camera.
  2. The world’s smallest and lightest medium format camera.
  3. The least expensive Hasselblad medium format digital camera ($8995 USD for the body).

World’s First Medium Format Mirrorless Camera

OK, technically speaking, the Alpa 12 series is also a mirrorless camera too, but I am talking about a modern mirrorless camera that uses an electronic viewfinder and has auto-focus. The Alpa 12 is just a metal frame that allows you to mount a large-format lens (like a Schneider or Rodenstock) with a Copal shutter on the front and a digital back on the back and an optical viewfinder (or an iPhone) bolted on the top.

Alpa STC with iPhone as viewfinder

Mirrorless? Well, there is no mirror in the skinny pair of plates that Alpa calls a camera body. That’s for damned sure. But sexy as it is, this is not what I am talking about.

Hasselblad X1D

This is what I am talking about. A modern mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder, auto-focus and all of the modern amenities. The sensor in this camera is medium format (that is, larger than a full-frame 35mm sensor) but it is not full-frame medium format. Made by Sony (and used by Hasselblad, Pentax, and Phase One) this CMOS sensor can be considered the APS-C of the medium format world. It is, however, 1.67 times larger (1,441mm2 vs 864mm2) than a 35mm full frame sensor.

This is huge. The camera isn’t, but the announcement is. Medium format had long been the staple of professional wedding and portrait photographers. When the digital revolution came to medium format, MF camera makers (having learned long ago that keeping their customers happy was the key to repeat business) avoided some of the pratfalls that beset their 35mm brethren and created modular systems that were easily upgraded. However, their prices became stratospheric (with some digital medium format cameras rivaling BMWs in price) and their less affluent clientele dumped their gear in favor of digital 35mm. (Nobody said they were perfect.)

The point of this system is two-fold:

  1. Bring former medium format photographers back into the fold.
  2. Entice new customers to make the jump to medium format.
  3. Make a really sexy medium format camera that doesn’t cost a mint.

Ok, that’s three, but you get the idea.

So what is wrong with this one?

Smaller mirrorless cameras have developed certain features that the X1D lacks.

  1. Image stabilization – the X1D does not have this. To be honest, no medium format camera does. As my friend Doug Peterson pointed out, other medium format cameras have what he terms as Inertial Image Stabilization meaning that medium format cameras, until now, were so heavy that they did not require image stabilization. This camera is about the size of the Leica SL but does not have image stabilization of any flavor.
  2. The ability to adapt legacy glass freely – the X1D uses central (leaf) shutter lenses. This means that the shutter is located in the lens, not the camera body. The only lenses that can be adapted at launch are Hasselblad H lenses. Whether adapters for other leaf shutter lenses (like Phase One LS lenses) remains to be seen.
  3. Low cost – This is a relative term with Sony A7r II’s bopping around $3,300. Most mirrorless cameras are well under the $2000 mark with many lower end models under $1000. The X1D will cost $8995 for the body only and up to $13k+ with a two lens kit, making it simultaneously the most expensive mirrorless body on the market (beating the Leica SL by $1000) and the 2nd least expensive medium format camera on the market (the Pentax 645z costs $6,996.95).

What’s the point?

So here we have to pro-level mirrorless systems joining the Leica SL. The Sigma is the lowball entry with its fascinating Foveon technology and affordable pricing. The Hasselblad is the first Medium Format Mirrorless camera and is sure to be the herald for more systems to come. There are rumors that Fuji is about to jump into the MFM arena as well. We live in truly fascinating times.