News / New Cameras & Lenses
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.
Budding young photographers (and curious adults) can put together their own camera with Bigshot, a DIY point-and-shoot aimed at teaching kids tech hardware basics. Developed partially with funding from Google, the kit includes everything needed to construct the camera including a 3 megapixel image sensor, LED flash, 1.4 inch LCD and a wheel with three built in lens options. Bigshot's website also contains an impressive learning section packed with information about the technology behind digital photography. Click through for more details and pricing.
Nikon has announced the Coolpix S6600 - a Wi-Fi equipped 'connected compact' with an articulated screen and 'gesture control'. When the screen is facing forward in 'self portrait mode', a photographer in front of the camera can use hand gestures to zoom the lens and record stills or movies. The camera sports a 12x, 25-300mm equivalent optical zoom and 16MP backlit CMOS sensor, and will be available in a choice of black, silver, pink, purple and red. It will go on sale in early September for £200 / €229.
Nikon has unveiled the Coolpix L620, an ultra zoom camera in its budget-friendly L-series. It sports an F3.3-5.9, 25-350mm equivalent lens coupled to an 18.1 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. Other features include lens-shift Vibration Reduction, a 3", 480k dot LCD, 1080p video recording, and use of AA batteries. You'll be able to pick up the Coolpix L620 in your choice of black and red in September for around $250/£199/€239.
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-GX7 - the follow-up to the DMC-GX1 - which is its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera to include in-body image stabilization. This 16MP, rangefinder-style camera also includes a high-resolution, widescreen EVF that can be tilted upwards 90 degrees. Panasonic claims that their newly designed Live MOS sensor improves both detail and color saturation by 10%. Other features of note include a tilting LCD, a 'silent shooting' mode, focus peaking, 1080/60p videos, and Wi-Fi with NFC capability.
Alongside the enthusiast-oriented DMC-GX7, Panasonic has announced the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 - the fastest autofocus lens ever created for the Micro Four Thirds system. If you're getting a sense of deja vu that's because Panasonic actually announced this lens already (sort of) at last year's Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany. But what was then a dummy lens behind glass now appears to be a real product, albeit one without any firm availability date or pricing information.
Sigma has announced a 'Mount Conversion Service' for any of its recent 'Global Vision' lenses - a paid-for service designed to reduce the uncertainty of changing camera systems. The company says it will charge between $80 and $250, plus shipping costs, depending on the specific lens. The Global Vision range currently includes seven lenses - from the huge 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS Sport for full-frame DSLRs, down to the 19mm F2.8 DN Art for Micro Four Thirds. The company has also extended the warranties on all new products to four years (USA only).
British company OMG Life has announced that its Autographer camera is now on general sale. Billed as the 'world's first intelligent, wearable camera', it uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment. It has an ultra-wideangle lens with a 136° view, a 5MP sensor, and 8GB of internal memory for up to 28,000 images. Images can be shared with smartphones using a Bluetooth connection, and assembled into stop-motion movies. It's available from the company's website for £399, shipping initially to the UK and most European countries.
The people at Lomography have built a business around promoting and selling lo-fi cameras and accessories. What's (really) old is new again in their latest Kickstarter campaign, an effort to bring the centuries-old Petzval lens back into production. The 'New Petzval' lenses look and function much like the originals with a brass exterior, and would be produced in both Canon EF- and Nikon F- mounts. Click through and read more about the project.
Fujifilm has updated its X-mount lens roadmap to include a 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS lens as part of its more affordable 'XC' series. The 75-350mm equivalent tele-zoom joins the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 XC and the ten existing or announced high-end XF series lenses in Fujifilm's lineup. The company also highlights the three Touit lenses available or planned by Zeiss for the X-mount system. The Fujinon XC50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS appears in the fourth quarter of 2013 on the roadmap.
Hasselblad has unveiled a rather familiar-looking compact camera - the Stellar. The very RX100-esque compact offers the same 28-100mm equivalent Zeiss-branded zoom and 20MP 1"-type sensor as the Sony, but comes with a substantial hand-grip made from a choice of exotic materials and, we suspect, a significantly higher price tag.
It's not uncommon for photographers to feel much more at ease behind the camera rather than in front of it. Duo, a concept from Chin-Wei Liao, a Korean design school graduate, aims to transform the person behind the lens into photographer and subject simultaneously. Each half of the Duo is an individual camera. Assembled as one unit, pressing the shutter will record an image while capturing a picture of the person using the camera. Click through to read more about this modular camera system.
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16MP compact superzoom with a 60x optical zoom that more than doubles the zoom reach of its 24x FZ60 predecessor. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm, the FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9 and is claimed to be both the longest and widest in its class. The FZ70 effectively replaces the FZ60, but the constant-F2.8 Lumix DMC-FZ200 remains in the lineup.
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-XS3, a budget zoom compact camera that's just 14mm thick. It sports an optically-stabilised wideangle 5x zoom lens (24-120mm equivalent), a 14.1MP 1/2.3" High Sensitivity MOS sensor, and can record Full HD video in MP4 format. It includes a range of Creative Filters which can be applied either during or after shooting, and can also be used when shooting panoramas. The XS3 appears to be a Europe-only release, and will be available in September at a price of £119.
Pentax Japan has unveiled a new colour variation of its Marc Newson-designed K-01 mirrorless camera, with a white body shell, blue grip covering, and black accents. There are no spec changes or updates compared to the existing K-01, which was announced early in 2012 and available in black, silver, or yellow. So the camera sports a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor, in-body image stabilisation, 3" 921k dot LCD, and the same K-mount as the company's SLRs. It comes with the ultra-slim smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 XS pancake lens, and will go on sale in late July.
Metabones has introduced Nikon G-type versions of its Speed Booster lens adapter for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras, which include a control ring for aperture setting with lenses that don't have aperture rings of their own. The Speed Booster itself is a lens adapter that that reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.71x, and increases the maximum aperture by 1 stop, effectively allowing lenses to give very similar angle of view and depth of field control on APS-C mirrorless cameras as they do on full frame. The Nikon G-type adapters are available to buy now for $429 from Metabones' website.
Canon's new 70D features a ground-breaking 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor which splits every single pixel into two photodiodes for on-chip phase detection autofocus, promising greatly improved AF performance in live view and movie mode. Canon has created a sample video, called 'Handmade', shot with the 70D, which showcases the new AF technology, alongside another short video feature going behind the scenes. Click through to watch the videos.
Canon has announced the EOS 70D, a mid-range SLR for enthusiast photographers. Its headline feature is a brand-new 20.2MP 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor which splits every single pixel into two photodiodes for on-chip phase detection, promising vastly improved autofocus performance in live view and movie mode. It also gains the 19-point AF module from the EOS 7D for viewfinder shooting, touchscreen control via its fully articulated 3" LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi for image sharing and remote camera control from your smartphone or tablet. Click through for more details, including full specifications.
The other big announcement from Sony today is a 'Mark II' version of its popular Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 compact camera. The RX100 II features a new 1-inch, 20.2 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, which Sony claims is 40% more sensitive in low light than its predecessor. Other improvements including a tilting rear LCD, Multi Interface hotshoe, and Wi-Fi and NFC capability. Click through for more details.