Oct 142013
 
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PhotoPlus is almost upon us and with this being a non-Photokina year, most of the new announcements for this year will occur around this event. This year, due to the economic downturn and my daughter’s quince (she wanted a trip to Europe, not a party) I will not be able to attend personally. I will be keeping up with all of the interesting press releases, so please keep coming back for news and updates.

Olympus

Olympus has already announced (and is shipping) their new flagship, the OM-D E-M1. This Micro Four-Thirds camera is aimed squarely at professionals who want top of the line features in a smaller form-factor.

There are technical reviews ad-nauseum on the web, so I will summarized what I have found:

Pros

  • Pro quality body with weather sealing (there are videos of this camera working under running water).
  • Vertical grip.
  • Vastly improved EVF with focus peaking.
  • Industry leading In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS).
  • Wide variety of lenses including new PRO Zuiko lenses (also weather-sealed).
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Tablet integration
  • Fastest AF in the mirror less segment.

Cons

  • 2x crop factor not landscape friendly. (Lensmakers are designing wides specifically for this platform, however)
  • 4:3 crop is not the same as 35mm (can be annoying to shooters accustomed to the 35mm aspect ratio)
  • No built-in flash (not a con to me, but others like to have it there)

Sony

Last year, Sony introduced the SLT-A99V, the full frame Alpha SLT camera. I was so taken by this camera, that I jumped ship from Nikon and got into this system. Now, the A99 is slated to be discontinued in favor of the new Sony Alpha A7/A7r.
Image courtesy of digicaminfo.
These new Sony’s will be the first full frame mirror less interchangeable lens cameras (besides the Leica M). The A7 is rumored to sport a 24Mp sensor with on-sensor phase detection AF while the A7r will be packing a 36Mp sensor with no AA filter and will use contrast detection AF. These are both new sensor designs. The lenses are the new FE mount, but older E-mount lenses can be directly mounted and used in crop mode while A-mount lenses can be used with a new adapter. There is an optional vertical grip as well. Both cameras feature WiFi and NFC wireless technology.

Fuji

Fuji X cameras have been shaking things up in the world of photography for the last coupe of years and this year is no exception. The X-Trans sensor produces some very lovely images and the X cameras that house them are stylish and well built. I currently own an X-E1 that I used exclusively on a trip to Europe and managed to get some very nice images out of it.
Image courtesy of Fujirumors
The Fuji X-E2 (pictured above) is rumored to have the new X-Trans sensor found in the X100s which incorporates phase detection AF on the sensor itself. The camera remains at the APS-C size (1.5x crop) and there are no announced plans for going full frame. Assuming the phase detection system is as good as the one on the X100s, the X-E2 should easily overcome the X-E1’s only real shortcoming: bad low-light AF performance.

Conclusion

The state of the art in photo technology is rapidly progressing. The paradigm shift to mirror less camera is well underway with a Pro level system from Olympus and Sony, and the 2nd generation of the X-E camera family. What would I choose? That’s a tough question as all three systems are appealing to me. The Olympus has great ergonomics and the widest selection of unadapted lenses of the three systems, plus industry leading IBIS that works with any leans mounted on the body. Sony offers us a full frame system for a fraction of the cost of a Leica with the highest resolution sensors in the segment (but with no IBIS). Fuji gives a system with nothing but amazing glass and overcomes the only issue with the system: slow AF.
Apr 142013
 

Digicam.into has posted an image of the upcoming Fujinon XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. They further speculate that:

  • the OIS will be good for up to 4.5 stops
  • the AF speed will be very fast due to the use of dual linear motor
  • it will be announce shortly (and later mention April 17th)

Specification unprecedented, AF with dual linear motor will enjoy the performance. Stage so that the 4.5-minute image stabilization as well, I have a pretty powerful thing is likely to be installed. In addition, the specifications such as weight and size of the lens structure because it is previously published in this article please see the.

Release date and announcement date accurate of this lens, but I do not know yet, Fuji Rumors so that said and announced on April 17, it seems highly likely to be officially announced in the near future very in any case .

Fuji xf55 200 s1

Aug 242012
 

Images of the upcoming Fujifilm X-E1 interchangeable lens mirror less camera were leaked on the japanese camera blog digicame-info.com. Fuji’s new camera looks to be a smaller brother of the X-Pro1 and lacks the former’s hybrid OVF/EVF in favor of a pure EVF. The camera uses the same X-mount and has a standard hotshoe and possibly a pop-up flash. More news as I come across solid leads. All images courtesy of the aforementioned blog.

Fuji xe1 f1
Fuji xe1 f2
XF18 55 2 8 4
Oct 172011
 

Sony Japan posted the following press release on their site (the following is google translated):

For assistance to the victims of the flood affected areas in Thailand
The people the victims of flooding due to heavy rain in Thailand, We sincerely sympathy.  The Sony Group in order to help rescue and rehabilitation of areas affected by flood victims, will donate 30 million yen as a donation. In addition, employees from soliciting donations Sony disaster, and also conducted a matching gift company will contribute the same amount from it.  This is a disaster area, Sony’s manufacturing facilities are located, is an important area for Sony. At Sony, we would love to celebrate the reconstruction of affected areas as soon as possible.

While the statement reports that Sony is donating money to the afflicted areas (¥30M ~ $389K USD), it also states that their factories are located in the disaster area and that it is important to them. To me, this means that if production is delayed, they can blame the floods.

While the timing of this flood is unfortunate for consumers, it is more unfortunate for those Thais living in the area who have been flooded out. Please give generously to one of the various Flood Relief Organizations listed below:

www.crs.org

www.sos-usa.org

donate.salvationarmyusa.org

Oct 032011
 

Those of us who hope to soon get our hands on the Sony NEX-7 will have to cool our jets a little more as Sony has pushed back the release date for the highly anticipated camera/lens combo.

I just got an e-mail from my dealer who spoke to his Sony rep that the NEX-7 will be delivered in November and the Carl Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens will not hit the shelves until December.

This is at least here in the USA.

I must patiently meditate until it arrives. Ohhhhmmmmmmm. Ohhhmmmmmm.

Aug 202011
 

Photorumors has gotten ahold of the specs for the upcoming Sony α77 cropped sensor pro camera. The camera is expected to be announced on August 24, 2011. While the specs hold great promise, many pros I have corresponded with are on the fence about this camera due to Sony’s use of an Electronic View Finder (EVF) instead of a traditional optical one. Though not listed below, the OLED EVF is supposed to sport around 3 million pixels which would make it the highest resolution EVF on the market to date.

Sony a77 camera front
Full specs and analysis after the jump.

Continue reading »

Aug 122011
 

Sony’s highly anticipated SLT-A77 DSLR is expected to be announced on August 24th. Rumor sites have been all in a tizzy speculating on specifications, leaked images and so forth. A YouTube video has even virally surfaced.

I’m going out on a limb here and say that all of the stuff we have seen or read in the last two weeks are actually from Sony, who is taking advantage of the situation to generate interest.

 

Sony a77 camera front back
The SLT-A77 looks to be a fascinating camera.

 

Continue reading »

Sep 052010
 

Reader Dr. Josesph forwarded me a copy of a letter sent to him by Leica concerning the R-System and a possible solution that might be announced

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shortly. A m4/3 based system with an adapter would make all of those R lenses floating about quite viable again and would not limit the camera to a niche market.

 

30. August 2010/
Ulrich Deiß / Infoservice / Telefon 06442 208 – 111 / Telefax – 455 / info@leica-camera.com

Dear Mr. Dr. Joseph,

Thank you very much for your e-mail regarding the LEICA R System. I can understand your disappointment that there will be no “R10″. Please let me explain the reason for this:
At photokina 2008 Leica Camera AG announced that a digital reflex camera “LEICA R10″ would compliment the R-System. At this time the technical and economical assessments for the project were in progress. The findings have shown that under the present technical capabilities of Leica and the current competitive situation the market potential for a digital reflex camera with R-Bayonet would be limited to current R customers. Chance for getting new customers using competitor´s products would be quite low. The installed customer base using R-equipment would not have been sufficient to pay back the investment into the development of such a digital system. For this reason Leica Camera AG was forced not to proceed with this project.

We are fully aware that you like to use your valuable R lenses on a digital Leica body in a adequate way. This need has been integrated into the development of new camera systems. We kindly ask for your understanding that we cannot make a more precise statement or detailed information concerning new developments or possible market introduction dates.

Mit freundlichen Gruessen / kind regards

i. A. Dipl. Photo Ing. Ulrich Deiß / Leica Support Specialist
Leica Camera AG / Informationsservice /
Gewerbepark 8 / D-35606 Solms / www.leica-camera.com / info@leica-camera.com /
Telefon +49 (0) 6442-208-111 / Telefax 49 (0) 6442-208-339

Aug 182010
 

An interesting tidbit cropped up on the Mecablitz 58 AF-2 announcement on Photoscala:

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Depending on the model offers the mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital, the main special features of Canon (E-TTL and E-TTL II), Nikon/Fujifilm- (i-TTL and D-TTL, 3D-flash mode), Olympus / Panasonic / Leica (Four Thirds-TTL mode), Pentax (P-TTL) or Sony (ADI DSLR) cameras.

Can this possibly mean a Leica branded M4/3 camera is in the offing?

May 272010
 

David Farkas has dropped a big tease on his blog. An image there shows a Leica S2 sporting Hasselblad V-mount lenses. Looks like some adapter goodness for the S2 is just around the corner. This is huge as this allows the S2 to tap into the mass of Hassy V lenses floating out in the wild. Read it all (and there isn’t much, David is being a real tease) here: David Farkas Photography Blog: The Leica S2 meets Hasselblad V lenses

May 052010
 

LeicaRumors has received a tip that Leica is planning to introduce an EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera at Photokina 2010.

“We will see a full frame Leica EVIL on Photokina 2010. It will look like the Leicaflex 18X24 prototype. Of course without mirror or the film lever and so on. It will be a VERY small system camera, but there will be a big battery grip you can use, if you want. The AF is very special, moving chip, the phase AF is ON the main sensor. Only in black, 21 mp, 2fps, native ISO from 50 to 6400. Full magnesium. Price: body only 3200 EUR. Will start with 3(!) pancakes, 2 primes, 2 zooms.”

 

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Image Source

[Speculcations]

  • This bodes for a very radical change in lens design. Moving the AF into the body is not new (Contax did that with their N-system), but Leica’s strength has always been lens design.
  • Dedicated lenses for this platform would be much simpler in design and construction as they will lack a focusing mechanism.
  • Manual focus will have to be controlled from the body since having a lens barrel focusing mechanism would throw off the AF.
  • The rumored quantity of lenses will make a very strong showing for the platform. 4/3 & m4/3 had the benefit of being able to access a huge backlog of existing lenses.

[/Speculations]

 

Sep 022009
 

In anticipation of the 09/09/09 launch (does Tim Burton own a Leica?), someone cracked and posted images of the new cameras. The new cameras are the Leica M9 and the Leica X1. leica_M9_leica_x1 Specs (courtesy of Leicarumors.com) The Leica X1 is real (not sure about the Leica M9 picture). Here are some of the specs (they were part of the picture comments on flickr, but are now all gone):

  • 12 mp APSC CEMOS sensor
  • Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH lens (equivalent to 35mm)
  • Manual exposure operations (shutter dial/aperture dial)
  • Autofocus
  • Built-in flash (this is the circle cover on top right)
  • Bundled with Adobe Lightroom
  • Made in Germany

Here are the Leica M9 specs:

  • Full frame CCD 24×36mm 18.2 mp sensor
  • Improved image noise performance at high ISO settings
  • Improved operation reactivity
  • SD card slot
  • Bundled with Adobe Lightroom

Regarding availability: the rumor is that the Leica M9 will be available for sale next week and the Leica X1 will be in stores in few months.