News / New Cameras & Lenses
One of the busiest stands at this year's Photo Plus Expo belongs to Fujifilm, which is showing off its new XQ1 and X-E2 cameras, as well as this year's other key products, the X20 and X100S. We're running around the show having meetings and trying out all the latest gear, and we made sure to stop by and say hi to Fujifilm. Click through for a quick hands-on look at the latest products.
Just in time for the holiday season, Leica has announced a 'Silver Edition' of its D-Lux 6 premium compact camera, with a high-gloss black body and silver lens barrel. The camera also gets a new accessory: the Leica Soft Pouch in lambskin nappa leather, which the company says features a 'fascinating wrap-around design'. The camera is otherwise the same as the standard D-Lux 6 (and by extension, very similar to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7).
Ricoh has announced a 'Limited Edition' GR camera, which features a 'high-end' design plus bonus accessories. The Limited Edition GR's magnesium-alloy body comes in a 'metallic vintage green wave-tone finish' and features a 'marbleized ebony grip patterned in burl wood'. To sweeten the deal, Ricoh is including a lens hood as well as a leather case and strap, all of which complement the camera's color scheme. Click through for a closer look.
Forget the Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4, Sony Alpha 7R and RX10, Nikon 58mm F1.4 or the tiny Panasonic GM1 - last week's real news was Lomography's introduction of an 'Experimental Lens Kit' for Micro Four Thirds. Comprising a 24mm F8 standard lens, a 12mm F8 wideangle and a 160° F8 fisheye, the kit costs £79 / €89. Each of the lenses even has a built-in shutter with speeds of 1/100sec and Bulb, allowing in-camera multiple exposures, plus a T mode to hold the shutter open for normal live view. In addition all three have a slot for colour gel filters. Click through for full details.
Fujifilm has announced the X-E2 - its latest mid-range mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The X-E2 gains many of the upgrades seen in the X100S, including on-sensor-phase-detection that underpins the company's unique digital-split-image focus aid. Beyond this the 16MP X-Trans camera has received a series of hardware adjustments and revisions in response to feedback about the X-E1.
Fujifilm's new XQ1 enthusiast compact takes the fast lens and slim design from last year's XF1 and adds a 12 megapixel 2/3" X-Trans II CMOS sensor with hybrid AF. The XQ1 features a 25-100mm (equiv.) F1.8-4.9 lens with optical image stabilization and claimed focus times as fast as 0.06 seconds. Other features include a 3-inch LCD, lens control ring, focus peaking, Raw support, 1080/60p video, and Wi-Fi. You'll be able to pick one up for yourself this month for under $500.
Panasonic quietly announced the development of a Leica DG SUMMILUX 15mm (30mm equiv.) F1.7 lens, which the company says will be an ideal companion to the DMC-GM1 also released today. Details are scarce at this point, but the lens will have a manual aperture ring and will ship sometime next year. Also coming in 2014 are a Leica DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm F1.2 lens, as well as a budget-friendly Lumix G 35-100mm.
One of the original promises of the Micro Four Thirds system was to permit the design of small mirrorless cameras. Today Panasonic released its Lumix DMC-GM1, a tiny camera which can literally fit in the palm of your hand. Don't be fooled, though: it shares the same 16 megapixel sensor as the GX7 and also offers silent shooting at shutter speeds as high as 1/16000 sec, Wi-Fi, and 1080/60i video recording. It's bundled with a new 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 lens (also available separately) that rivals a pancake lens for compactness when 'collapsed'.
Nikon has announced its new D5300 midrange DSLR which, as you might have gathered, is the follow-up to the D5200. New features include the omission of an AA filter from its 24MP CMOS sensor, a larger 3.2in articulated LCD and also a slightly larger optical viewfinder, 1080/60p video, and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. Nikon claims that the D5300's Expeed 4 processor improves performance (allowing for 5 fps burst shooting) and photo quality, while reducing power consumption. You'll be able to pick up the D5300 this month, in your choice of black, red, or gray. Click through for more details.
Nikon has announced the AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G, a premium standard prime for full frame SLRs that's designed to deliver the best possible images, even at maximum aperture. It's highly corrected for coma, meaning that point light sources are rendered correctly right across the frame, and is specifically designed to give an attractive rendition of out-of-focus regions of the image. It can also be used on Nikon's DX format SLRs, on which it will behave like a classic 85mm 'portrait' lens. This all comes with a hefty price tag, though; $1699.95 / £1599.99. It'll be on sale in selected retailers at the end of this month.
Sigma has announced the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM - an image stabilized normal zoom for full frame DSLRs. The 24-105 becomes the latest addition to the company's 'Art' series of lenses designed to offer high image quality. The lens features a 19 element/14 group design including Sigma's FLD glass and both single- and double-sided aspherical elements which the company says will minimize aberrations. It has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm throughout its range, giving a maximum magnification of 1:4.6. Prices and availability have yet to be announced.
Sony has announced the A7 and A7R - the world's first consumer-oriented full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Externally, the two bodies are nearly identical and feature a pentaprism-like EVF housing, generous handgrip and plenty of manual controls. The differences are internal - sporting a 36 megapixel sensor, the A7R has no optical low-pass filter and is limited to contrast-detect autofocus, while the less expensive A7 has a 24 megapixel sensor with a low-pass filter and on-chip phase detection. Both bodies are designed around the Sony NEX E-mount, though new 'FE' lenses are needed to take advantage of the larger sensor. Click through for more details.
Sony has announced an addition to its RX-series of premium fixed-lens cameras, the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10. With the same 1" sensor as the RX100 II, the RX10 offers a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24-200mm equivalent zoom lens with an F2.8 constant maximum aperture. It uses a Bionz X image processor with offers improvements in resolution, noise reduction, and diffraction reduction. Other features include a tilting 3-inch LCD, OLED electronic viewfinder, Wi-Fi with NFC, and 60p video recording. Click through for more details.
Sony has announced no fewer than five 'FE' full frame E-mount lenses to accompany the A7 and A7R. First up is the FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, an image-stabilised 'kit' zoom for the A7. There are three premium lenses with Zeiss badges: the FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*, the FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*, and the FE 24-70mm F4 Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T*. The fifth lens is a 'G' class telezoom, the FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS. Sony has also updated its Alpha-mount fast telezoom to make the 70-200mm F2.8G SSM II.
Samyang has announced that it will be making five full frame lenses in E mount, which will be the first third party optics compatible with the A7 and A7R. The lenses are all based on existing designs, namely the 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC, 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC, 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC, 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC, and the T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC tilt-and-shift. All feature manual focus and aperture operation, and will be available within 2 months. As these are essentially SLR lenses with an adapter tube permanently fitted, they won't offer any of the size advantages achievable by 'native' lenses.
Canon has announced special edition versions of its PowerShot G16 and S120 digital compact cameras. The 'premium' versions appear to be intended for the Japanese domestic market, and will be available in different color finishes, with a custom engraving option. Color customization appears to comprise the option of red, gold, silver and black finished on select components and both cameras are supplied with unique accessories - a cowhide leather pouch for the S120 and a leather hard case for the G16. Click through for pictures.
Sigma USA has announced availability of the Nikon-mount version of its 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art fast zoom for APS-C DSLRs. The Nikon version will retail for around $799, the same price as the Canon version, and will be available from November. We've been shooting with one for the past few days, and have put together a sample gallery of images showing what it's capable of.
Jony Ive, design mastermind at Apple, and Marc Newson, the creative force behind the thoroughly unconventional Pentax K-01, have collaborated with Leica to design a special edition Leica M for a good cause. The unique M will be sold at auction, at an event raising money for The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The one-of-a-kind camera is the product of 85 days' work and nearly 1000 prototype parts. Click through for the full details.
Nikon has announced the much-rumored D610 24MP full-frame DSLR. Coming just a year after the D600, the D610 appears to be a very minor refresh, with a quiet continuous shooting mode, improved white balance and faster continuous shooting touted as its major changes. Beyond this, the D610 is essentially the same camera as the D600 and, given its launch at the same $2000 SRP, it's extremely likely that the D610 replaces the older camera. Click through for more details.