News / New Cameras & Lenses
Ricoh has announced the Pentax K-3 - a 24 megapixel enthusiast APS-C DSLR. In addition to the higher pixel count, the range-topping camera gains a 27-point autofocus system and a more advanced 86,000 pixel metering sensor, compared with the K-5 II. Rather than offering versions with an without an optical low-pass filter, the company has found a way to selectively use the image stabilization system to mimic its effect. It also offers twin SD card slots and USB 3.0 connection. Click through to find out more.
Ricoh has launched the HD Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR, a telephoto zoom that's weathersealed to complement the company's recent SLRs. It also gains Pentax's latest 'High Definition' coating to minimize flare and ghosting. Aside from that, the specifications are practically identical to the existing smc DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED. It'll be on sale in November 2013 for a suggested retail price of $449.95 / £399.99.
Zeiss has announced the Otus 1.4/55, a premium manual focus 'normal' lens for full frame SLRs. It's the first in a new line of lenses aimed at 'uncompromising professional' photographers, with a price tag to match - €2,940 or US$3,999 (excl. VAT). According to Zeiss it's named Otus after 'a type of owl known for its excellent vision in darkness'. On the technical side, it employs a Distagon design that's unusually complex for this class of lens, to minimise aberrations even when shooting at maximum aperture.
Leica has announced the Elmarit-S 45 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens for its medium format S system. With an angle of view equivalent to a 35mm lens on full frame, it offers a classic moderate wide-angle field of view. Like several of the other S lenses it'll be available in two versions, either with or without an in-lens 'Central Shutter' (that allows flash sync at shutter speeds up to 1/1000 sec). At the same time, Leica is offering firmware updates for its S, S2 and S2-P cameras to give 'optimum functionality' with the lens. The Elmarit-S 45 mm f/2.8 ASPH will be in dealers this month at a price of £4650, or £5500 for the CS model.
Mount adapters are incredibly useful for their ability to make lenses from one manufacturer usable with camera bodies from another. But do they have any impact on image quality? LensRentals' Roger Cicala, not one to take manufacturer's claims at face value, investigated. Knowing that slight mis-alignments between a lens and even its native mount can cause softness in images, the added complexity with a lens adapter in the mix seemed likely to cause more problems. His findings are indeed interesting.
Google+ has introduced improved Raw-to-JPEG conversion for a number of cameras with some help from Nik Photography. As before, Raw files may be uploaded to Google+ for storage, and are automatically converted to JPEGs for previewing. The conversion from Raw has been fine-tuned for about 70 cameras, including high-end models like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 and D800E. Click through for the full list of cameras and see how it handles a Raw file from the Sony RX100.
The ever-increasing video capability of digital SLRs has seen manufacturers such as Canon, Samyang and Zeiss make video-optimised versions of their conventional lenses, and now Kenko Tokina is getting in on the act. The Tokina 16-28mm T3.0 is a manual focus version of the AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX wideangle zoom, with a redesigned barrel that features the usual refinements for video work, including geared focus, zoom and aperture rings, and scales designed to be read from the side of the camera. It'll be made in Canon EF and Arri PL mounts, with a suggested retail price of ¥580,000 - almost 5 times that of the lens it's based on.
Nikon has announced the 1 AW1, the world's first rugged, waterproof mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It has also made AW versions of its 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 10mm f/2.8 lenses that are both shock and waterproof. The Nikon 1 AW1 features similar underlying specifications to the J3, featuring a 14MP sensor capable of shooting at up to 15 fps with continuous AF (60 fps with focus fixed), but is waterproof to a depth of 15m (49ft) and shockproof from a height of 2m (6.6 ft). It will cost around $800/£750/€799 with 11-27.5mm lens and $1,000/£950/€1019 with the 10mm f/2.8 added to make a two-lens kit.
As part of its 'AW' launches, Nikon has announced the Nikkor 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 and 1 AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses. Both lenses are existing designs built into waterproof, shockproof housings and are only compatible with the Nikon 1 AW1 body. The 1 AW 10mm f/2.8 offers a 27mm equivalent field-of-view and will be sold separately for around $200/£300/€319. The Nikkor 1 AW 11-27.5mm zoom offers a rather limited 30-74mm equivalent range and will only be available as part of a kit with the camera - meaning there are no image-stabilized AW lenses yet.
Fujifilm has announced the X-A1, its most basic X-mount mirrorless camera yet. The X-A1 shares a body with the X-M1 but is based around a 16MP sensor with a conventional, Bayer color filter array, rather than the X-Trans design used in the other X-series models. The X-A1 retains the 920k-dot tilting LCD and Wi-Fi offered by the X-M1, and is being launched with an MSRP of $599 with the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens - $200 cheaper than the X-M1 cost at its launch. The company has also announced the Fujinon XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS - a relatively small, lightweight telezoom that would pair well with either the X-A1 or X-M1.
Space robots, including the Curiosity rover currently roaming Mars, have been great at following orders. Now, scientists are looking for ways to put more decision making power within the grasp of the rover itself. A team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing a camera system called TextureCam to do just that. They've developed an algorithm to allow the rover to analyze 3D images and determine whether an object in front of it deserves further investigation. Click through to read more.
Olympus has announced the OM-D E-M1, now the flagship of its Micro Four Thirds lineup. Rather than calling it the follow-up to the E-M5, Olympus says that the E-M1 is actually the 'successor' to the E-5, the Four Thirds camera introduced back in 2010. The E-M1's standout feature is its new 16.3MP Live MOS sensor with on-chip phase-detection autofocus, designed to work with legacy Four Thirds lenses.
Olympus has unveiled a high-end standard zoom to match the E-M1: the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. It offers a 24-80mm equivalent range and is dust, splash and, freezeproof, and uses a manual focus clutch design similar to the 12mm F2 and 17mm F2.8 primes. Olympus has also announced the development of a matching 40-150mm F2.8 telezoom, which is scheduled for release next year. Click through for more details.
Leica has announced an enthusiast compact with a 12MP 1/1.7" MOS sensor, 28-200mm equivalent F2.0-5.9 zoom, and built-in 200k dot EVF, which it's calling simply the Leica C (Typ 112). If the specs look familiar, that's because this is essentially Leica's reworking of the Panasonic DMC-LF1. It offers such goodies as Full HD movie recording, optical image stabilisation, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, and RAW format recording. It'll be available in October with a choice of two rather fetching finishes, 'Dark Red' and 'Light Gold'.
Nikon has announced the Coolpix P7800, which sits at the top of its compact camera lineup, replacing last year's P7700 as flagship zoom camera. The P7800 is extremely similar to its nominal predecessor, the most notable change being the addition of an electronic viewfinder. Other specifications are more or less unchanged. The camera is built around a 28-200mm (equivalent) F2-4 zoom lens, and features a fully-articulating rear LCD screen, and plenty of manual control and exposure options, at an expected MSRP of $549.99. Click through for pictures and Nikon's press release.
Fujifilm has announced the FUJINON XF23mm F1.4 R, a premium fast wideangle lens for its X system mirrorless cameras. It offers the same moderate wideangle view as the fixed-lens X100S, but with an extra stop of brightness. The overall design approach is similar to the company's recent XF14mm F2.8 R, with distance and depth of field scales for manual focusing, and fully optical (rather than digital) correction of distortion. The 23mm F1.4 will be available in October 2013 with an SRP of $899.95 / £849.99. Click through for the full press release.
Nikon has taken the wraps off the Coolpix S02 - a tiny metal-bodied 13MP compact camera with a smartphone-sized CMOS sensor and 2.7-inch touch-sensitive LCD. The entire package, built around a 3x (30-90mm equiv) zoom lens is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. In possibly the most cringeworthy press release we've seen from a major manufacturer this year, Nikon describes the S02 variously as 'stylish', 'hip', and 'fashionable', and suggests that it would make an ideal gift for a 'trendy individual'. If this is up your street, note that the S02 will be available later this month in no less than three colors, at an MSRP of $179.95.
The Sony QX cameras are mobile-photography-targeted modules that allow you to clip a larger sensor, zoom lens and additional battery to your smartphone to extend its capabilities. The modules use a Wi-Fi connection to allow their control from a camera app - making them some of the most connected cameras yet. So just what do we make of the compact 10x QX10 and the larger-sensor QX100? Click through for links to our first impressions content at dpreview.com and connect.dpreview.com.
Sony has announced a pair of mobile photography camera/lens modules, the QX10 and QX100. Both units are essentially self-contained cameras that can be controlled by smartphones, using Wi-Fi. The QX10 features a standard compact-camera 1/2.3" sensor and a 25-250mm equivalent zoom lens. The QX100 uses the 1" sensor and 28-100mm equivalent zoom used in its high-end RX100 II compact. Both are NFC-compliant to make connection to some smartphones even easier. We've had both modules in the office and have had a close look - click through for more details.
Nikon has patented a technology that can adjust a camera's low-pass (AA) filter based on the situation. By using an electronically controlled liquid crystal panel, the AA filter can either be turned on and off, or set to 'normal' or 'high' intensity. The first design would allow for a D800 that become a D800E at the push of a button. The second design would have a mild anti-aliasing effect for stills, and a stronger effect to reduce moiré in movies. More details on this exciting development after the link.