News / New Cameras & Lenses
Pentax has announced the Optio VS20, possibly the first compact camera with a second shutter button and zoom lever for portrait-orientation shooting. Beyond that it's a pretty well-specified 20x compact superzoom, featuring a 28-560mm equivalent zoom lens with sensor-shift image stabilization for its 16MP CCD. It's not the smallest 20x zoom camera we've seen but it manages to include a anti-glare-coated 460k dot 3.0" LCD and costs $249/£199, so it's not uncompetitive.
Kyodo News International, a Japanese news service, is reporting that Olympus will introduce a 16MP camera based on its classic OM series. The news would tie-in with a recent Olympus press advert in the UK that highlighted the letters 'O' and 'M' in the text. The report suggests such a camera would sell for over ¥100,000 (around $1300) and feature 'high-speed autofocus and image stabilization functionality.' Meanwhile, Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Sony is considering investing in Olympus and forming a business alliance. Fujifilm which, like Olympus, has extensive medical interests is also rumored to be interested.
As film giant Kodak files for bankruptcy protection, everyone from photographers to economists is looking back at the company that was, for so long, synonymous with American photography. The company has entered the US 'Chapter 11' process by which a court oversees its restructuring and protects it from its creditors as it attempts to reorganize into a profitable business. However it emerges from the process, Kodak will never again be the photographic titan it was during the film era. This has prompted many retrospective articles, including a heartfelt and personal piece by New York Times writer and photography blogger David Gonzalez.
Medium format makers Mamiya and Leaf, both partially owned by Phase One, are to co-brand their operations and co-ordinate product development. The two companies' products will be sold as a single product line to create a comprehensive medium-format system. Digital backs will still be branded as Leaf, which Phase One and the Israeli company's managers bought from Kodak in 2009. Camera bodies and lenses will still be made by and branded as Mamiya, the Japanese manufacturer in which phase One has a controlling stake. However, all marketing and support efforts will be brought together, and product development integrated. [Story corrected to clarify that the move comes from the individual companies, not Phase One]
CES 2012: Fujifilm has confirmed in a discussion with dpreview, more details about its plans for the X-system. It also said a firmware update for the X10 aimed at reducing the 'white-orb' problem is due in early February, if not before. The firmware update, that addresses the hard-edged white discs or orbs generated when highlight regions clip, will reduce but not completely remove the effect. Meanwhile, the company hinted the X-Pro1 will be accompanied by at least one less expensive model.
CES 2012: Lifestyle photo brand Polaroid has been showing an Android-based camera with a 3x zoom on its stand. The company insists the device is a camera or, when pushed, says it can be thought of as a small tablet computer with a camera. This is despite its apparent similarity to a smartphone shown by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Altek late last year. The 16MP Wi-Fi compatible Polaroid camera features a 3x, 6.5-19.5mm lens and 1/2.33" CCD sensor to give a 36-108mm equivalent lens range.
CES 2012: Panasonic is showing mockups of two large-aperture zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds. The Panasonic stand plays host to mockups of a 12-35mm F2.8 and a 35-100mm F2.8 lens, prominently badged 'Concept' lenses. Next to the models is a lens roadmap confirming the company's intentions to build a 12-35mm (24-70mm equiv) and 35-100 (70-200mm equiv) 'X' grade zooms, but with a note that the maximum apertures are 'to be determined.' The diagram appears to suggest both lenses will arrive later in 2012.
CES 2012: Casio has released the Exilim EX-ZR200, its range-topping compact camera to the US and European markets. The ZR200, announced in Japan in November 2011, features a 12.5x zoom covering a 24-300mm equivalent range, with a maximum aperture range of f/3.0-5.9. It features the company's Premium Auto Pro mode, an extension of its Premium Auto mode. Rather than simply assessing the scene and using the appropriate shooting mode, the Premium Auto Pro mode will also use the multi-shot HDR and low-light shooting modes in an attempt to offer better images in a wider range of shooting situations.
CES 2012: Casio has released the Exilim EX-ZS150, EX-ZS20, EX-ZS12 and EX-ZS6, refreshing its compact camera range. The four cameras are all based around 16MP CCD sensors and feature the company's 'easy Mode' interface, which offers which offers to guide the user to the optimal setters, as well as providing the ability to simply point-and-shoot. The ZS150 includes a stabilized 12.5x, 24-300mm equiv lens, similar to the one in the flagship ZR200 but the CCD chip means it can't offer that camera's high-speed features. The ZS20 has a 6x unstabilized zoom, starting at 26mm equiv, and including the company's Premium Auto mode. The ZS12 and ZS6 lose both these features, instead including 5x, 26mm equiv zooms.
CES 2012: Fujifilm has said it will produce a Black Premium Edition of its X100 large sensor, fixed lens camera in a limited edition of 10,000 cameras. The black X100s will come with matching lens hood, adapter ring, protective filter and leather 'ever-ready' case. Each will come in a presentation case with a numbered certificate encouraging buyers to use the camera. Beyond the color scheme and accessories, it will remain the same as the standard X100. Pricing hasn't been announced.
CES 2012: Fujifilm has said the leaked lens roadmap for the X-mount used in its X-Pro1 is close but not finalized. Fujifilm's Kayce Baker, speaking to dpreview at the CES show in Las Vegas, said the leaked roadmap was 'a close estimate' of its plans but that some decisions, such as how fast the lenses maximum apertures will be, have not yet been made. The official line remains that there will be nine lenses in the next two years. Meanwhile, in an interview with Amateur Photographer magazine, Fujifilm Digital Imaging director Adrian Clarke has said the X-Pro1 will be part of a range of X-mount cameras. [Updated: video walkthrough of X-Pro1 added]
Pre-CES: Kodak has announced the Easyshare M750 Wi-Fi enabled compact cameras, along with its release of four other compacts. The M750 is a 16MP camera from which images can be pulled, wirelessly, from the camera using the Easyshare Camera App on iOS, Android or Blackberry devices. It can also connect to Wi-Fi networks, to allow simple uploading to social networks such as Facebook and YouTube. The company also says it is releasing the M215 and M565 14MP 5x zoom compacts, the C135 rugged camera and the Z5120 superzoom to its Easyshare range.
Pre-CES: Sigma has launched the Digital Neo range of lenses for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, with the announcement of the 19mm F2.8 and 30mm F2.8 lenses for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX. The two relatively compact prime lenses offer 38mm and 60mm equivalent fields of view, respectively, on the Micro Four Thirds system and, 28.5mm and 45mm on the Sony E-mount. At F2.8, neither lens is spectacularly fast, but both systems benefit from the Sigma beginning to make mirrorless-specific lenses. Pricing and availability information has not been announced.
Pre-CES: Olympus has released the VR-340, an affordable 10x compact superzoom. It features a 24-240mm equivalent zoom and stands out from most of today's other Olympus announcements by being based around a 16MP, stabilized CCD sensor. It also offers a very respectable 460k dot LCD despite its recommended selling price of $149.
Pre-CES: Olympus has unveiled the SZ-12, a 24x compact superzoom camera. The camera is based around an image-stabilized 14MP sensor and adds a 25-600mm equivalent zoom lens. Like the other releases it includes the company's Magic Art Filters, but it also features a well-specified 460k dot 3.0" LCD. The SZ-12 will sell for around $199 from March 2012.
Pre-CES: Olympus has announced the SP-620UZ, the latest in its long-running 'ultrazoom' series of cameras. The SP-620uz has a lens covering a 25-525mm equivalent range, mounted in front of a 16MP stabilized CCD sensor. It features the company's Magic Art Filters and a multi-shot 3D imaging mode for playback on 3D monitors and televisions. The SP-620UZ has a recommended selling price of $199.
Pre-CES: Olympus has revealed the VG-160 affordable style compact. The VG-160 combines a 14 megapixel sensor with a 5x optical zoom covering the 26-130mm equivalent range. It has a 3.0" LCD screen and features the company's iAuto, automatic exposure mode that will identify and use any of the 29 scene modes that it recognizes. It can capture movies at up to 720p quality and includes the company's Magic Art Filter processing options. It will cost around $99.
Pre-CES: Olympus has launched the TG-320, an affordable rugged compact camera with 3.6x zoom lens. The lens covers a range equivalent to a 28-102mm lens on a 35mm film camera. It is waterproof to a depth of 3m (10ft) and is also shockproof, freezeproof and dustproof. It features a 14 megapixel sensor and can capture 720p HD movies underwater.
Pre-CES: Sony has announced the DSC-W650, DSC-W620 and DSC-W610 entry-level company cameras. The DSC-W650 features a 16MP CCD sensor and 5x stabilized zoom lens that covers the 25-125mm equivalent range, it also features a 3.0" LCD. The W620 has a 14MP sensor, unstabilized 5x, 28-140mm equiv. lens and 2.7" LCD. The W610 has the same 14MP sensor and 2.7" screen but with a 4x, 26-104mm lens. All three offer the company's 360° Sweep Panorama mode, while the W650 and W620 also get 4 'Picture Effect' creative filters.
Pre-CES: Sigma has announced the APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, an image stabilized telephoto macro lens. The company claims it is the first 180mm macro to combine 1:1 reproduction with an F2.8 maximum aperture. It offers a closest focusing distance of 47cm (18.5 inches) and includes the company's optical stabilization and 'FLD' fluorite-like glass elements. An internal focus design and ring-type HSM focus motor allow full-time manual focus override. Pricing and availability will be announced later.