What a pretty little camera! I love the looks and the back-to-basics approach of its mechanical zoom. In my opinion there's nothing more intuitive and more instant than a properly designed, smoothly operating mechanical zoom ring.
As far as I can see from this short preview and as others have pointed out before, the only serious letdown seems to be the display of the XF1. Even Ricoh have been using high quality 920k and now 1.2m displays in their much cheaper CX series since years. Using a camera that doesn't have a view finder, a photographer crucially depends on the rear display for framing, composing, focusing, editing etc. The display of such a camera should therefore be state of the art with respect to resolution, refresh rate, brightness, anti-reflective coating etc. Fuji could have done better than using a 460k display for this little gem of a camera.
To be continued ...
A welcome upgrade of an already excellent camera. Well done Pentax! While some of the firmware improvements could have been (and should be!) made available for the existing K-5 model, the new AF sensor and the option to forgo the anti-aliasing filter certainly merit the introduction of a Mark II model. I have always found the combination of K-5's size, its excellent handling and its utilitarian good looks without par in this class of camera and I'm glad the design gets another lease of life with the Mark II. I do hope Pentax have the good sense to stick with these design principles when they will eventually replace the K-5 line with a new model. But I am not optimistic about this as the recent introduction of cheesy and toyish looking cameras sporting odd shapes and baroque decorations (K-30) hint in another direction.
Wouldn't it have been nice if Sigma had equipped this gem of a camera with a proprietary mount (no compatibility necessary) and supplied it together with a set of four high quality f/2.8 pancake lenses (24mm, 35mm, 55mm/macro, 85mm), all nicely arranged in a velvet lined gift box for, let’s say, £1199.99?
SheikYerbouti: I'm sure this will be another great little APS-C camera from Sigma. But, ahhh ... the price! $999 (£799.99 in the UK) is a lot to ask for these days, especially with Sony's compact APS-C cameras and a whole zoo of MFT cameras around. I also find the choice of 45mm equivalent a little odd for a fixed lens. Most people have long come off the idea to consider 50mm as somehow "normal". I think, a 35mm equivalent lens would have been more useful.
Provided the new Foveon sensor lives up to its promise of delivering excellent IQ, wouldn't it have been nice if Sigma had equipped this little camera with a proprietary mount (no compatibility necessary) and supplied the camera together with a set of four high quality f/2.8 pancake lenses (24mm, 35mm, 55mm/macro, 85mm), all nicely arranged in a red velvet lined gift box for, let's say, £1199.99? Am I asking too much? :-)
How can I edit my own comment here? I did it once, some months ago, but it no longer seems to work.
I'm sure this will be another great little APS-C camera from Sigma. But, ahhh ... the price! $999 (£799.99 in the UK) is a lot to ask for these days, especially with Sony's compact APS-C cameras and a whole zoo of MFT cameras around. I also find the choice of 45mm equivalent a little odd for a fixed lens. Most people have long come off the idea to consider 50mm as somehow "normal". I think, a 35mm equivalent lens would have been more useful.
tkpenalty: does this mean we will have lens reviews as well soon? Yes please.
dpreview have been doing lens reviews since 2008; have a look here ...
Sdaniella: for those unfamiliar with 'extreme low light'... or nearly so...
try starry skies and scenery lit by it alone (zero artificial light)... that's extreme
add moonlit alone to the above... that's less extreme, but still extreme
and the 'brighter' the output is of a MOONLIT STARRY NIGHT SKY and LANDSCAPE, practically matching the LOOK of a 'full sunny clear blue sky day', the longer the exposure for STILLS... the more unwanted noise (even hot pixels) creeps in... so any improvement to minimize such unwanted effects is welcome, yet RETAIN HI-DETAILS.
here is an example of 'moonlit' starry skied scenery:
Yosemite Range of Light [Shawn Reeder] 2012: 5DMkII & 5DMkIII 5K RAW - vimeo
(Shot at 5k in Canon RAW)Canon 5D Mark IICanon 5D Mark IIICanon 14L II & 16-35L IICanon 17-40L, 24-105L, 50L, 70-200L IS
The animated time-lapse clips are amazing, especially the ones where the moonlight steeps the landscape in something that looks like cool early morning daylight with a starry sky above ... beautiful, unreal, dreamlike. I wonder if such pictures can be produced with auto-exposure on? Or is it a matter of trial & error to get the exposure right for such night photography?
SheikYerbouti: I guess the majority of those commenting here have never handled or used, let alone owned the Canon EOS 5D Mark III or the Nikon D800. This makes it all the more astonishing that many are voicing such strong opinions about cameras they have no personal experience with. Why do people have to get so combative and tribal over such issues? It's ok for 8 year old boys to have arguments about the fastest car. But in a grown-up (wannabe-) photographer such behavior comes across as rather childish and immature ...
Camera reviews on this web site are among the best (if not THE best) anywhere on the Internet because they are standardized and very detailed and because they are carried out by competent people. But there seem to be some who have difficulties with the complicated results of such reviews. Maybe for those who get hung up on "scores" and "percentages" a less objective but more practical review/comparison is more useful? Have a look at this 5DIII/D800 field report ...
... very recommended reading.
I guess the majority of those commenting here have never handled or used, let alone owned the Canon EOS 5D Mark III or the Nikon D800. This makes it all the more astonishing that many are voicing such strong opinions about cameras they have no personal experience with. Why do people have to get so combative and tribal over such issues? It's ok for 8 year old boys to have arguments about the fastest car. But in a grown-up (wannabe-) photographer such behavior comes across as rather childish and immature ...
B&W instead of color? Is this austerity for the 1% ???
> But then there a many cameras that offer greater> capability, flexibility and (in most respects),> image quality than the M9, at a fraction of> the cost, but that doesn't make the Leica> any less desirable.
... oh yes it does. Being part of the economically challenged 99%, obscene pricing makes all the difference to me. I find the Leica M-M highly undesirable.
villebon: For those who think that the megapixel race has outdistanced the lens, see myth # 4.
Here's a rather subjective but nonetheless interesting comparison between the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800 ...
... which comes to the same conclusion regarding the D800's ability of resolving even finer details. Very recommended reading.
qwertyasdf: Before the PEN series came out, i thought Oly was on her way to bankruptcy.With the excellent PENs and this winner EM5, Oly is one camera company every other should learn from! LONG LIVE OLY!!!!
Pentax, i hope you are the next for a great come back.
> Pentax, i hope you are the next for a great come back.
Yes! A successor for the excellent K5, that comes with the latest and greatest APS-C sensor available and has an updated and refined image processing engine but remains otherwise more or less unchanged (no need for that) would be a great thing, indeed! I also think, that producing less colorful, plasticky and toyish gimmicks could do wonders for the company's reputation as a serious camera manufacturer.
Excellent camera! Still, looks-wise I find the original OM and cameras like the 35 RC way more attractive than today's retro-styled designs. With the exception of Fuji's X100 there seems to be nothing that comes even close to 60s/70s/80s gems from Contax, Fuji, Nikon, Rollei etc. But, since I like to think of myself as a sane, sober, secular, rational and enlightened person, I accept that form should never come before function. Image quality, responsiveness, handling, reliability and longevity are far more important criteria than mere looks, and the OM-D seems to shine in all of these disciplines. So, a big thumbs-up for the OM-D!
Now, if I could only get rid of that still small voice telling me, how much better things were, when I first went out with my brand-new Nikon FM, when I had a b/w lab in the cellar and all that ... I'm getting old, it seems :-)
How can Olympus issue a firmware update for a camera that isn't yet available in the shops? Even Amazon US say on their website ...
This item has not yet been released.
... so, what good is such an "update"? Who benefits from it other than Olympus themselves, grabbing the headlines?
Photographic and technical excellence aside, I love the classic look of this camera ... a real beauty! The X-pro 1 is a much more versatile camera but, in my opinion, it lacks a little in the "looks department", e.g. why did Fuji opt for such a cheesy looking hand grip?
coroander: You see a lot of pixel-peeping IQ comparison discussion here with things like the Sony NEX-7. The Sony is a great camera, with excellent IQ and the body is compact. But, the lack of in-body stabilisation and the larger APS-C sensor, simply means that all the lenses are bulkier and heavier (or just slower) because they not only have to have larger elements, but they have to have IS built into each lens (if you get IS). Ultimately, it's the size and weight of the lenses which defines what i'm carrying and if i wanted to carry APS-C lenses, i wouldn't be buying a compact body, because it just doesn't make that much difference (even though some of the lenses can be smaller than for APS-C DSLRs.)
This system has it all: small, lightweight, great image quality, useable high-ISO, fast (and really fast) primes, metal body, weather sealed, and even fast zooms on there way. And i can carry it with me, all the time, and use it wherever i go and whatever the conditions.
Wow! Never have I been proven wrong in such a conclusive fashion. The K5 is indeed a far larger camera than the Oly. Thanks for the links, Kirppu. I have bookmarked Camerasize for future comparisons.
... very good points. And yet, I wonder how the Oly compares to the Pentax K5, a very compact and equally well built APS-C DSLR, for which there's an impressive range of excellent Pentax primes? I don't think the Pentax is that much larger than the Oly, especially with one of their pancake lenses mounted. I'd really love to see a spec/test comparison between the two.
SheikYerbouti: This is very impressive technology, indeed. But I still find it hard to get my head around the underlying working principal of this camera. No doubt, it would be fun to toy and experiment with it for a while. But in the long run? I'm not sure, even if the resolution was adequate for quality photography. It seems to go against everything I have ever learned about photography.
Another issue that no one has addressed so far, is that this technology seems ideally suited for the spy/kill drones of the future. And this is an aspect I don't like at all. Why does stuff like this always have to end up in the wrong hands?
You won't see it that way, when your beloved government no longer only uses such technology against kindergartens and wedding parties in far away countries but also against their own domestic riff-raff, as they most certainly will at some point in the near future.
This is very impressive technology, indeed. But I still find it hard to get my head around the underlying working principal of this camera. No doubt, it would be fun to toy and experiment with it for a while. But in the long run? I'm not sure, even if the resolution was adequate for quality photography. It seems to go against everything I have ever learned about photography.
SheikYerbouti: Nobody can say anything meaningful yet about the image quality and the performance of this camera. I expect that iq, performance, build quality and such will be good and up there with the rest in this class of cameras (if not better).
But there are other things that we can comment about already today. When I read in the dpReview introduction ...
> The K-01 (which the company says should> be pronounced 'kay-zero-one')
... I wonder when Pentax will stop patronizing potential customers by telling them how to pronounce cryptic product names (*ist D anyone?). Why don't they just give it a name and shut up about it?
I have no idea, really. Some here, including the dp author, seem to have doubts about the camera's contrast detection AF. But we'll have to wait for the full review to find out how well it performs with a range of different lenses.