Jeff: Flagships and Superzooms
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Jeff: Flagships and Superzooms

It was hard to top the big announcements from Photokina 2014, which saw the announcements of the Nikon D750, Canon EOS 7D II and Samsung NX1, but the 2016 show may have done it. This year’s show has, in my opinion, at least eight blockbuster announcements, from the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S to the Sony a99 II to the Panasonic GH5. And that’s not including some very exciting new lenses. Two cameras that I didn’t just mention that stood out to me were the long-awaited Olympus E-M1 Mark II and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000.

The E-M1 II isn’t something that’s only excited those who’ve already bought into the Micro Four Thirds system. As a Canon EOS 5D III owner I find the size and design of the E-M1 II as well as the MFT system’s still-growing selection of lenses (hello, 12-100 F4) quite appealing. The built-in image stabilizer already offers 5.5 stops of shake reduction (and can pull off another stop with select lenses) and the AF system sounds impressive based on reports from my colleagues. Oh, and the high bit rate (236Mbps) 4K video doesn’t hurt either.

Speaking of 4K, another camera that impressed me is Panasonic’s FZ2500 (read our preview). While stills-related updates are fairly minor compared to the FZ1000, the 2500’s longer lens, built-in variable ND filter and larger EVF are most welcome. The FZ2500 continues to use Panasonic’s frankly awesome DFD focus system. Video is where it’s at, though, with DCI *and* UHD 4K capture at up to 100Mbps, 120 fps Full HD recording and an insane amount of tools (there are even SMPTE color bars.) The lens can zoom super slowly and the camera’s LCD made it really easy to rack focus. Something that irked me is Panasonic’s $99 charge for V-Log L support - come on guys, it’s a $1200 camera!

Jeff Keller