News / New Cameras & Lenses
As the first hybrid smartphone and interchangeable lens camera, the Samsung Galaxy NX certainly cut a unique profile when we first looked at it in June. The Galaxy NX merges the features of Samsung smartphones, including a huge 4.8-inch touch LCD and 3G/4G/Wi-Fi connectivity, with a NX-mount ILC with a 20.3MP APS-C sensor, hybrid AF system, and 8.6 fps burst mode. At long last, the Galaxy NX has been given a price: $1,599.99 body only, or $1,699.99 bundled with an 18-55mm lens.
It's an open secret that many compact cameras are produced by OEMs - companies that produce large numbers of products that are then sold under other brand names. There are also consumer-grade zooms from big name manufacturers that look much alike (we know for a fact that third-party makers commonly create lenses for the bigger brands). But we were still surprised to read about Sigma's latest patent for a 75mm F1.8 prime lens...
Ricoh has announced the Ricoh HZ15, a 15x compact superzoom that will only be sold in Europe. Though it isn't sold under the Pentax name, it bears a striking resemblance to Optio compacts of recent years. It features a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, 24-360mm equivalent zoom lens, 720p HD video and sensor-shift 'SR' shake reduction (terminology definitely borrowed from Pentax cameras). Click through for more details.
Ricoh Imaging has announced an updated set of Pentax DA Limited primes, with improved lens coatings and circular aperture diaphragms. Based on the existing 15mm F4, 21mm F3.2, 35mm F2.8 Macro, 40mm F2.8 and 70mm F2.4 designs, the 'HD' versions gain Pentax's multi-layer HD (High Definition) coating, promising reduced flare and ghosting, and include diaphragms that are completely rounded at large aperture settings to give attractive background blur. The lenses will all available in September 2013, in a choice of silver or black. Click through for more details, including pricing.
Sony's latest interchangeable lens camera may look like an SLR, but underneath the hood it's all NEX. The Sony A3000 offers a 20.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, a built-in electronic viewfinder, full HD video and a Sony E-mount for interchangeable lenses all for an MSRP of $399 with an 18-55mm kit lens. The competitively priced A3000 offers all the trimmings of an entry-level DSLR including a fixed 3.0-inch LCD, built-in flash and hotshoe. Click through for the full press release and pricing.
Sony has announced the Sony Alpha NEX-5T, boasting all the same features that the Alpha NEX-5R offered with the addition of NFC. Smartphones and tablets with the technology will be able to pair easily with the NEX-5T to take advantage of its wireless connectivity. With a 16.1 megapixel APS-C sized sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity and a 3.0-inch flip-up touch LCD, the NEX-5T is introduced at $50 less than its predecessor's initial MSRP. Click through for more information.
Sony has announced three new E-mount lenses today for NEX system cameras: the Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T* 16-70mm ZA F4, 18-105mm F4 G OSS power zoom, and a black version of its 50mm F1.8 OSS. All three feature Sony's Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. According to Sony, the 50mm F1.8 and 16-70mm F4 zoom will be ready to ship to consumers in September, with the 18-105mm F4 power zoom following in December. Click through for more details.
Fujifilm has updated its venerable line of Instax instant film cameras with the new 'Neo Classic' Mini 90, which takes its styling cues from recent X-series digital cameras like the X100S and X-E1. As well as an updated (or rather backdated) design, the Mini 90 includes a lithium-ion battery and features several shooting modes including a macro focus mode, double exposure and bulb - where the shutter can be held open for very long exposures or creative effects. Click through for more details and a link to Fujifilm's (Japanese) Mini 90 microsite.
Canon has announced its PowerShot G16 and S120 premium compact cameras - both of which get only minor updates compared to their predecessors. The G16 ($550) has the same lens, sensor, and design, but with Wi-Fi, a DIGIC 6 processor, a 12.2 fps burst mode, and a 1080/60p video mode. The Canon S120 ($450) has Wi-Fi like the S110 and gains a slightly faster lens (F1.8-5.7 vs F2.0-5.9), a 12.1 fps burst mode, and 60p video recording. Click through for more.
Canon has released a version of its EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 lens that uses its STM stepping motor. STM lenses are designed for movie recording, with the goal of providing smooth and silent focusing. Unlike its predecessor, the STM version of the 55-250 has internal focusing. You'll be able to pick up the 55-250 STM lens in late September for $350. It's also a safe bet that the 55-250 STM will come bundled with Canon DSLRs in the near future.
Canon has announced its PowerShot SX510 and SX170 superzoom digital cameras. The PowerShot SX510 HS now uses a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor (versus a 16MP CCD on its predecessor), hence the new 'HS' designation. It offers Wi-Fi connectivity and what's almost certainly the same 24-720mm equivalent optical zoom lens, a 3-inch LCD and Full HD video. The SX170 is essentially the same as its SX160 that came before it, with a 16x optical zoom and 16 megapixel CCD, though it's no longer powered by AA-batteries. The cameras are priced at $250 and $180, respectively.
Canon has created a 'Facebook ready' variant of its social-media-focused PowerShot N digital camera. The 'Facebook ready' version will only be available directly from Canon (in the US, at least) and has a dedicated Facebook connect button in the place of the connect-to-device one on the standard N. Once the camera has been taught your login details, you can upload images with a choice of who gets to see them, once posted. The 1/2.3" 12MP sensor camera will cost $299.
Rokinon has made available a video version of the Samyang 16mm f/2.0 prime. The 16mm T2.2 Cine lens is available for pre-order in Nikon F, Canon EF, Micro Four Thirds, Sony A, and Sony E mounts. Like other video primes, it offers focus and aperture racks for use with cinema rigs, stepless aperture control, and calibration in T-stops rather than F-stops. Rokinon's website lists compatible mounts for Pentax, Samsung NX and Fujifilm X though they aren't yet available for pre-order, and lists the lens at an MSRP of $499.
Which words spring to mind when you think about 70-200mm zoom lenses - solid and dependable or fragile and unreliable? Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has just published an analysis of the failure rates of the 12,000 lenses he rents out, and the results may surprise you. Even having taken into account popularity and accidental damage, five 70-200s turn up in his highest failure rate table - including the latest models from Canon and Nikon.
Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal has acknowledged that the company made a 'small number' of layoffs earlier this year and that there are some 'kinks' to be worked out with its unique 'light field' camera. Meanwhile, according to an article by tech blog SFGate, industry sources report that the Lytro camera 'isn't selling well so far', due to its price and lack of appeal to professional photographers. Rosenthal is, however, bullish on the future of the company, promising 'multiple [...] breakthrough products' in 2014. More details are available after the link.
Nikon has lowered its sales and revenue estimates for this year, prompting a rethink of its 1 Series mirrorless cameras. Nikon cites poor market conditions, a large drop in compact camera sales and, most interestingly, a 'deceleration' in mirrorless camera sales growth. Nikon's measures against these changing conditions include accelerating production of entry-level DSLRs and 'reconsider[ing] product planning' of their Nikon 1 mirrorless camera system. Follow the link for additional details.
Lomography's campaign to raise funds to bring the centuries-old Petzval lens back into production via Kickstarter has now raised more than $1 million - ten times the original target. The 'New Petzval' lens looks and functions much like the originals, with a brass exterior, and the aim is to produce it in both Canon EF- and Nikon F- mounts. The lens is expected to be available next spring.
Casio Europe has announced the Exilim EX-ZR800 - a Raw-shooting compact with multi-shot-based 'five-axis image stabilization.' The 16MP BSI-CMOS camera shares many features with the existing EX-ZR700, including the 18x, 25-400mm equivalent lens and ability to capture DNG files. The ZR800 gains the ability to shoot time-lapse sequences, along with a stabilization system that can be used for both stills and movies, on top of the usual multi-shot and high speed modes that Casio has developed over recent years.
Zeiss has posted a blog article that talks about the inception and development of its latest line of lenses, led by the 55mm F1.4 that was first shown at Photokina last year. Titled 'No Compromise', it explains how the company is aiming to meet the demands of the latest high resolution sensors, to satisfy the needs of both professional photographers and ambitious hobbyists. Click through to read more, and the link to the original article.
Nikon has announced the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR, a mid-level standard zoom that looks a lot like a kit lens waiting for a camera. The 7.8x lens, designed for APS-C DSLRs, covers a 27-210mm equivalent range and includes the latest VR image stabilization system, rated as offering four stops of stabilization, according to CIPA standard tests. It will sell for around $600 / £580 / €620 and will not be bundled with any current Nikon DSLRs. We're not convinced many users will spend so much money to gain a little reach over their existing kit lens, leading us to suspect there may be a body on its way that will match its enthusiast-friendly ambitions.