These are incremental improvements to five good existing lenses that will offer a little extra to new buyers. It's probably uneconomic to upgrade for those like me who already own the current versions. It's also a pity Pentax didn't add seals to make them water resistant to match its camera bodies
Tomskyair: If you think these things are big - wait until the FF NEX-style system arrives if it ever does. That system's lenses will make the new NEX lenses looking much smaller.
Maybe then the eager FF MILC adepts will eventually realize that a "faaaast" 2.8 standard zoom for FF is going to be huge and heavy regardless whether there's a mirror in the camera or not. "Where can I buy a large and heavy battery grip to balance this monster on my small and flimsy camera?"
Ever tried to cheat the laws of physics? Well, simply doesn't work as they are laws and not an opinion. And as APS-C is the second largest sensor format being used in consumer cameras it requires relatively large lenses especially when aiming at fast f-stops and decent quality.
It's not true that all FF lenses are huge. While f2.8 zooms and long teles may well be quite large, a wide range of prime lenses can be relatively small. There are millions of small light legacy AF DSLR lenses with FLs from 24mm to about 85mm with filter threads of 46mm, 49mm and 52mm. Not large at all. I suspect that most of the people looking for a FF NEX plan to use primes for landscape, street and travel rather than very large zoom and long tele lenses.
It will be interesting to see the performance of the 16-70f4. There has been quite a bit of whining about the f4 maximum aperture, but if it's IQ excels corner to corner at f4, that would be fine for many users.
Fuji's 18-55 f2.8-4 is undoubtedly the best 18-55 standard zoom currently on the APSC market and one reason for many buyers to consider their X series mirror-less cameras. Sony's Zeiss 16-70 is wider, longer and physically smaller (if a stop slower). If it performs as well as its premium price suggests, it might be a real asset to the e-mount range.
Human filing cabinets. Not a leaf to be seen. Sad that it's probably the future in many places.
I'm still using my G12 and G1X. The G15 & 16 offer a brighter lens than the G12, but I'm not yet persuaded to part with it. There's no news here re any developments to their larger-sensor compact cameras like the G1X and EOS M. I'll be interested to see what emerges later in the year.......
Agree with photo nuts - a great shot. It's much more than a moon shot, it's a night shot with wonderful lighting and enough mood and interest to keep your eye roving around in the image.
tvstaff: These are poor choices. I'm sorry but the quality leaves little but for the novice consumer. At some point Canon or Nikon will get serious in this space. I like to shoot Kitesurfing and it would be a GREAT pleasure at under $1,500 to have a quality camera with good IQ I could take in the water as I shoot at times up to my neck to get a great perspective. The KEY word here is IQ. I don't need GPS, a can opener or wi-fi. I JUST WANT IQ and DR.... It seems that Canon and Nikon are leaving the market open for some new 4K cameras coming out of China. Make fun of LG if you want but they are about hit Nikon, Canon and Sony in the chest. Fluff cameras like the 70D and such will be the rope that hung them. For under $1,500 I should have a Point and Shoot camera I can throw in my bag that can take the elements. As good as a H4D-60 or Leica S NO!! But how about the IQ of a stripped down camera devoted to IQ and sans all the FLUFF. Enough DR to deal with PP issues in PS. IMHO ;)
To LaFonte. Here we go yet again...... I don't know why so many commentators seem to offer the suggestion of a high grade pro camera (usually a DSLR) in a housing as the only alternative to these little 'tough cameras'.
Quite apart from the expense of a DSLR housing, you can't conveniently dangle a D4 in a housing off your climbing harness, stuff it in your life jacket or drag it through a cave. Nor can you use all of them one handed. They're huge!
What we NEED is the missing middle ground. Something like a digital equivalent of the old Nikonos. Yes it wasn't a light weight camera or cheap, but it was simply the absolute best at what it did. There are many here who'd pay for something like that again today. One problem is that no-one makes one. The second problem is that no-one is listening!
Hi DPR, thanks for your review.
People buy these things because there's no alternative other than a bigger camera and a housing. I'd like to see a manufacturer opt for a new approach. Year after year your reviews (and others) comment on their small sensors and poor IQ. The internet is also littered with leak complaints and poor company response on guarantees.
There seems to be a view that wilderness/outdoor/water sport followers don't value better IQ, which is absolutely untrue. And that serious photographers should have a D4 in a housing. Try stuffing one of those in your life jacket. The middle ground - the old Nikonos - is gone.
We need a manufacturer to make a robust, WR, direct light path camera with an APSC sensor, a fixed 24-85eq zoom (or primes) and real "O" rings. One 25mm "O" ring cover could give access to an SD card, a shaped battery and USB plug. Add a decent grip. And useable with gloves please.
Yes it would be bigger and cost more. But worth every cent.
Mr Fartleberry: Don't think I'll be running out to buy a 50 to do landscape with.
Every lens is potentially a landscape lens but I sill prefer modest WAs. It just depends how you see the world, what you want to capture and what you have with you. Stitching has also come incredibly far (though there are still issues with subject movement) but some of us prefer to spend more time out there and behind a camera than on a computer doing PP. Each to his own.
Rod McD: "It was decided to focus on portraits, landscapes and still lifes". Personally I'll be interested to see the landscape lens(es). I'm assuming that they'd have to be looking at a couple of FLs (say 24mm & 35mm at the very least). And I sincerely hope that they're going to make them significantly smaller and lighter than this one. Zeiss need to understand that size and weight can be a compromise too. Serious landscapers will want lighter kit if they've got to carry them and all the hiking gear on a two week trek.......
I don't care too much for AF, and have no interest in the other lenses.
I know the existing line of excellent Zeiss lenses - they've been available for years. Given all the "no compromise" hype in their new blog, I've read this to mean that this is the first of a new line of Zeiss lenses, perhaps analogous to Sigma's new "Art" line. Maybe I'm wrong in that, and the lenses you refer to are indeed the landscape lenses. (A 55mm lens can also be used for landscape of course but if I was going to carry this one, I may as well carry a 4X5").
BobYIL: Such news should be a message to Nikon. Specifically for the D800/E series we need highly corrected, hi-resolution primes, say from 18 to 50mm; not necessarily faster than f2. Just a few primes designed to deliver flawless IQ from corner to corner on the 36MP sensor starting from f2.8 or f4, for instance.
And we know that if Nikon do them then the prices would be more "reasonable".
Yes - Agree that some slower high res lenses would be an excellent idea. I've never needed f1.4 wide angles and it seems to me that they often come with many compromises..... size, weight, flare, distortion, vignetting, cost, etc
And to peevee - Most LF & MF lenses are unsuited to DSLR adaptation. And their FLs are typically too long for routine FF FOVs.
"It was decided to focus on portraits, landscapes and still lifes". Personally I'll be interested to see the landscape lens(es). I'm assuming that they'd have to be looking at a couple of FLs (say 24mm & 35mm at the very least). And I sincerely hope that they're going to make them significantly smaller and lighter than this one. Zeiss need to understand that size and weight can be a compromise too. Serious landscapers will want lighter kit if they've got to carry them and all the hiking gear on a two week trek.......
Beautiful image - well composed and perfectly exposed.
There's a lot to like in this camera and I think Panasonic should be commended for getting all the features into one body. It redeems (for me) their earlier VF-less designs. I might consider one when we know a bit more about the sensor and its performance.
There's one thing that I'd like to see in any future model - environmental sealing. For some strange reason all the mirror-less manufacturers (except Olympus with the OMD) seem to take the view that this just doesn't matter. Well it does. And they're premium cameras at premium prices. There are several low level DSLRs with sealing for half the price. Tsk.Tsk....
It's certainly also true for me that my DSLR is getting used less. I already use both types of camera. The DSLR is faster and more versatile at the expense of size and weight. I use a mirror-less for travel, hiking and social occasions, and the DSLR for macro, birds, wildlife and so on. It's horses for courses, and not either/ or.
Rod McD: I understand why some people might want one, but it's not for me. Nor do I want the faster XF55-200, as good as it is. Or the 56/f1.2. I'm with those who think Fuji need to offer a small (ie modest speed) telephoto prime around say 85/90mm f2 or 100mm/2.8. That would provide an AF lens with some reach, a step up from the 18-55mm zoom, and still capitalize on the mirror-less advantage of small size. If I want a case full of big zooms, I may as well stay with a DSLR.
@samhain. I didn't "poo-poo" Fuji's 56mmf1.2. I just said that I didn't want one in favor of a longer FL. It's predominantly a portrait lens and I don't do much of that type of work. For more general short-tele photography I generally prefer a slower lens because you don't suffer the downsides of fast design. Hence being happy in concept with a 85-90mm lens in the f2 - 2.8 range. There is no "THE" lens for any system. It depends entirely on your needs. I'm more into landscape - a 56mm 1.2 is of little practical use to me. As usual in photography, it's horses for courses.
I understand why some people might want one, but it's not for me. Nor do I want the faster XF55-200, as good as it is. Or the 56/f1.2. I'm with those who think Fuji need to offer a small (ie modest speed) telephoto prime around say 85/90mm f2 or 100mm/2.8. That would provide an AF lens with some reach, a step up from the 18-55mm zoom, and still capitalize on the mirror-less advantage of small size. If I want a case full of big zooms, I may as well stay with a DSLR.
Hasslebling #2. Obviously I and my fellow readers are not the target audience for this camera. What a descent from photography to tacky! I suppose a good point is that (unlike Sony) they recognised the need for a grip on a camera and didn't leave it to the after-market.
I've turned over a few cameras too in my time. I think one of the key things that has driven GAS in the last decade has been the development of digital from its infancy (nerdy accessories to computers) to fully fledged photographic tools. In this short period, improvements were annual and every model was superceded when you walked out the shop door. It's slowing down now and people are lamenting that new models are appearing more slowly and that upgrades are incremental....... It'll take a few years to get used to changing expectations, but it has to be a good thing.
Rod McD: Quote from the conclusion :- "Details are smudged at base ISO (though likely not an issue for target audience)"
Why is there this ongoing assumption that people who like the outdoors aren't interested in better IQ? In my experience, people who want tough, WR cameras to take to wild places greatly value where they go and the images they bring back. Perhaps the target audience who buy these cameras do so because there's simply nothing better available. It doesn't mean it isn't wanted and wouldn't sell. And no, one shouldn't have to carry a D4 in housing. We need something in-between - a modern day Nikonos with a fixed wide to standard zoom.
Surely someone could make a better small WR camera with a 1"- APSC sensor, a WA zoom, and real O-ring seals? Yes it would weigh more and cost more, but many would be prepared to pay more for a comprehensively better outdoor camera.
@ seilerbird666 : It seems you're not letting facts interfere with your post....... I did not say I expected DSLR IQ from a $300 camera. What I actually said was "it [my preferred option] would weigh more and cost more, but many would be prepared to pay more for a comprehensively better outdoor camera." The Nikonos showed that you don't need a DSLR in a housing to get high IQ. The camera was itself water proof to 40 metres and far tougher than any of these rugged compacts. And it was small enough to stuff into a life jacket or a caving suit. Try that with a DSLR in a housing. There's no technical reason there couldn't be a similar camera in the digital era. And once again, I'd pay a good price for it.