News / New Cameras & Lenses
Fujifilm Japan has announced a shortage of its FinePix X100 large-sensor compact camera and accessories because of higher than expected demand. The company says it is attempting to boost production to meet demand. The latest word from Fujifilm USA is that cameras will be available in the US during the last week of March or first week of April.
Samyang Optics has shown a prototype 7.5mm F3.5 fisheye lens for the Micro Four Thirds system at the Focus on Imaging trade show in Birmingham, UK. The new lens is considerably more compact than the company's existing 8mm fisheye designed for SLR cameras. In a brief press release, the company also reveals that this lens is intended to be the first in a new series of optics designed specifically for interchangeable-lens compact system cameras.
Samyang Optics has released the final version of its 35mm F1.4 lens in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung NX, Sony Alpha and Four-thirds mounts. Announced at Photokina 2010, the company said it has revised its design since then. It retains the underlying 12 element in 10 group design announced at that time. It will sell at a recommended retail price of €379.
Pentax has launched the Optio S1 digital compact camera in three apparently 'gem-like' finishes. Sporting a 14MP sensor, 2.7" LCD and 5x optical zoom that starts at a wide 28mm equivalent, it features 720p HD video recording, sensor-shift image stabilization and a High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode. The camera also comes with the latest set of image-processing filters including Miniature and HDR filter.
Olympus has announced the SZ-30MR compact, which allows simultaneous capture of 1080p HD videos and full resolution stills. The 24x superzoom is built around a 16MP CMOS sensor and is capable of 9 fps full-resolution continuous shooting and can generate 3D images. It features a 3.0" LCD and zoom lens stretching from 25 to 600mm equivalent. The spec is rounded out with the company's Magic Filters for both stills and videos, AF tracking and image stabilization. Also announced is the UK-only SZ-20, which houses a 12.5x (24-300mm equiv.) zoom in a slightly smaller body. The SZ-20 loses the multi-record function but is otherwise essentially the same specification.
Olympus has released the Tough TG-810 rugged compact featuring built-in GPS, electronic compass and manometer (air/water pressure gauge). It features the same 14MP sensor, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens and 920K dot 3.0" LCD of the recently released TG-610, but in a tougher body. It is dustproof, waterproof to 10m (33 ft), shockproof to 2m (6.6 ft) and freezeproof to -10 C (14 F). The camera features 720p HD video recording and a two-shot 3D option that can even be used in underwater mode. It will be available from April 2011 at a retail price of $399.99.
Lensbaby has introduced the Sweet 35 optic for its selective focus lens system. With a focal length of 35mm, it features an internal 12 blade aperture controlled by a dial on the front of the lens with an available range of f/2.5 to f/22, in contrast to previous optics which used drop-in aperture discs. The optical unit is composed of 4 multi-coated glass elements in 3 groups, has a 46mm filter thread and is compatible with the Composer, Muse, Control Freak and Scout lens bodies.
Samyang has released a version of its 8mm F3.5 Fish-eye lens optimized for the Sony NEX-VG10 camcorder. The 8mm f/3.5 Fish-Eye CS VG10 manual focus lens features the same optical construction as the still photography version, but has been adapted for smoother focusing. The company also plans to introduce a smaller f/2.8 E-mount optically redesigned version of the lens for the NEX-5/3 cameras.
Samsung has announced details and release dates of five lenses for its NX interchangeable camera system. The latest additions include three prime lenses, alongside two movie-optimized zooms. The previously announced 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OIS will be joined by a 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 in December 2011. Meanwhile the previously discussed 16mm F2.4, 60mm F2.8 OIS Macro and 85mm F1.4 will be launched between July and October 2011. All five lenses are compatible with the company's i-Function focus-ring-as-function-dial feature.
CP+ 2011: Sigma has announced that it intends to make lenses for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount (NEX) system cameras. In a brief statement on its website the company says that 'specifications, product names, pricing and launch schedules will be announced in due course'. A mockup lens will be displayed during the CP+ trade show that's currently being held in Yokohama, Japan.
CP+ 2011: Nikon has announced three Coolpix superzoom compact cameras, two of which incorporate 12MP CMOS sensors. The P500 and S9100 offer wide-angle 36x (22.5-810mm equiv.) and 18x (25-450mm equiv.) optical zoom lenses, 920K dot 3.0" LCDs and record 1080p Full HD videos. The P500 also features the company's latest Expeed C2 dual image processor. The 14MP CCD-based L120 offers a 21x zoom lens starting at a wide 25mm, 920K dot 3.0" LCD, records 720p HD videos and is powered by AA batteries. All three cameras will be available from March 2011 at estimated retail prices of $399.95, $329.95 and $279.95 respectively.
CP+ 2011: Nikon has announced five Coolpix compacts. Top of the range is the S1600 with a 16MP sensor, a 460K dot 3.0" LCD and 7x (28-196mm equiv.) zoom lens. Next come the S4100 and S3100 with 14MP sensors and 5x (26-130mm equiv.) zoom lenses and 3.0" and 2.7" LCDs respectively. Last comes the 14MP L24 that is powered by AA batteries and offers a 37-134mm equiv zoom lens. All four can record 720p HD videos and offer SDXC compatibility. They will be available from next month at estimated retail prices of $199.95, $179.95, $139.95 and $119.95 (available late February 2011) respectively.
CP+ 2011: Olympus is showing a mockup of a 'high-end' M.Zuiko Micro Four Thirds prime lens it says it will release later this year. The mockup is being shown at the CP+ 2011 trade show in Yokohama, as the company celebrates 75 years of Zuiko-branded lenses. The lens is being displayed alongside a Semi-Olympus II from 1938, the second camera to feature the Zuiko name. The company gives no further details of the lens' focal length or maximum aperture.
CP+ 2011: Major lens makers have backed Sony's decision to share 'basic specifications' of its E-mount with lens and mount adapter manufacturers. Sony has issued a press release which includes endorsements of its decision by leading lens makers. Sigma, Carl Zeiss, Tamron and Cosina have all thrown their weight behind the move. Following the recent announcements of new inductees to the Micro Four Thirds group, it looks like the mirrorless camera sector could be about to benefit from a major expansion in lens availability. Unlike the Micro Four Thirds announcements, Sony's move appears to have the support of the two biggest makers of third-party autofocusing lenses.
Sony has officially confirmed it will be sharing 'basic specifications' of its E-mount for free to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors starting April 1, 2011. A company statement says 'this move will open the way for manufacturers of various lenses and mount adaptors to develop products conforming to 'E-mount' specifications, allowing users of the NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-VG10 and other 'E-mount' compatible Sony digital imaging products to be launched in the future to be able to use interchangeable lenses from both Sony and other manufacturers.' The company has not specified whether these 'basic specifications' will extend to the AF protocols or just the physical construction of the mount.
CP+ 2011: In addition to its latest lens announcements, Sigma has announced the price and availability of its 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM and Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM weather-resistant lenses. Announced at Photokina 2010, the lenses will start shipping from the end of this month and next month respectively at suggested retail prices of $4700 and $1600. The company has also announced the DP2x digital compact, an OS version of its 50-150mm F2.8 and 105mm F2.8 Macro, and a redesigned 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 ultrawideangle for full frame.
CP+ 2011: Five months after first showcasing it at the 2010 Photokina trade show, Fujifilm has announced the commercial release of the X100, a large-sensor compact camera aimed at professional and enthusiast photographers. Based around a 12MP APS-C CMOS sensor, Fuji EXR processor and a 23mm F2 Fujinon lens (equivalent to a 35mm semi-wideangle), the classically-styled camera features traditional analogue controls for shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation. Of particular note is the 'hybrid' viewfinder system which allows the user to switch between optical and electronic viewfinders and project detailed shooting information into the OVF. It will be available from March 2011 at a suggested retail price of $1200 in the US market and €1000 in Europe.
CP+ 2011: In a group of releases, Sigma has unveiled an optically stabilized version of its 50-150mm F2.8 fast telephoto zoom for APS-C DSLRS. The 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM gives a field-of-view range equivalent to around 75-225mm on a 35mm system, but in a design that is smaller and lighter than full frame 70-200mm F2.8 designs. The latest, 'OS' version is claimed to offer the ability to get stable shots at shutter speeds four stops slower than without it. It features a completely revised optical design with 21 elements in 15 groups.
CP+ 2011: Olympus has announced the SZ-10 superzoom with 18x (28-504mm equiv.) optical zoom lens. Sporting a 14MP CCD sensor and a 460k dot 3.0" LCD, it features 720p HD recording , a 3D capture mode, AF tracking and HD output. It also includes the latest set of Magic Filters for both stills and videos. Priced at $249.99, it will be available from March 2011 in black and silver.
CP+ 2011: Olympus has announced the VR-320 and the Europe-only VR-330 compact superzooms, the first in its latest VR series of affordable compacts. Both feature 24-300mm equiv. zoom lenses, 14MP sensors and include features such as 720p HD recording, image stabilization, the latest set of Magic filters and HD output. The only difference between the two is the VR-330 offers 3D capture mode, an HD output and a 460K dot 3.0" LCD, while the VR-320 has only a 230K dot display.