February 5th, 2015

Canon 5Ds Takes Aim at Medium Format with 50-Megapixel Sensor

HR_5DS_5DS_R_COMBINATION_CLAfter making their obligatory appearance on the Internet rumor mill, Canon officially launched the 5Ds and 5Ds R, a pair of high-resolution DSLRs based on the 5D Mark III, in advance of the CP+ Show in Japan.

The new 5Ds and 5Ds R will have mostly the same build and feature set as the 5D Mark III but will use a 50-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor of Canon’s own design. The 5Ds R will have a low pass filter cancellation affect to soak up even more resolution (more on that in a minute).

According to Canon, the cameras will offer a 4.14 micron pixel pitch, giving them roughly the same pixel density as the new 7D Mark II. However, the new 5Ds and 5Ds R won’t offer the low light performance of either the 7D Mark II or the 5D Mark III — instead, they’ll top out at a native ISO of 6400, with  a high setting of 12,800 and a low of 50. Canon says that noise levels in the cameras will fall short of the performance of the 5D Mark III or 1-Ds but be comparable to the 7D Mark II, as will the dynamic range.

Powered by a pair of Digic 6 processors, the 5Ds and 5Ds R will offer 5 frames per second continuous shooting as well as 1080p video recording at 30 fps. However, Canon was quick to emphasize that the video capabilities of the new cameras will be sharply limited compared to the 5D Mark III. They won’t offer movie servo AF, clean HDMI output or headphone jacks.

Movie makers won’t be completely neglected however. Canon is debuting a new time-lapse movie mode in these cameras that lets you select how many frames you want in the movie as well as the interval between those frames.

HR_5DS_EF24-70_3Q_CLBoth models will feature a 3-inch display, a CF and SD card slot (with newly added support for UHS-1 cards), and USB 3.o connectivity. Sharpness settings have also been enhanced. Photographers can now adjust sharpness along three specific vectors — strength, fineness and threshold. Automatic white balance has been improved with the addition of ambience or white priority.

As mentioned above, both the 5Ds and 5Ds R will be built from the 5D Mark III’s body with a few subtle tweaks designed primarily to keep the camera as stable as possible during shooting. The mirror will be motor driven, not spring driven, to soften its impact when it moves internally. The mirror lock setting has also been upgraded. In prior Canon cameras, to lock the mirror you had to tap the shutter twice. While that setting is still available, there’s also a menu to set a delayed automatic second shutter. You can designate the interval between when you lock the mirror and when the shutter releases a second time. The ultimate effect, Canon says, is to reduce vibrations when using a tripod.

Finally, the internal chassis, base plate and tripod socket have been reinforced to make the cameras rest more securely on tripods.

The 5Ds R will have a specialized “low pass filter cancellation effect” that increases the apparent sharpness of its images relative to the 5Ds. Canon didn’t ditch the low pass filter entirely, they said, in order to avoid a costly redesign of the camera body. As such, the 5Ds R will be aimed especially at landscape photographers who want a super-sharp image and who don’t shoot repeating patterns as the lack of a low-pass filter will make the 5Ds R more susceptible to moire, Canon warned.

Both models will arrive in June. The 5Ds will retail for $3,699 and is available for pre-order now. The 5Ds R will set you back $3,899 and is also available for pre-order.

Do these strike you as medium format killers? Let us know what you think.

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April 14th, 2014

New 51MP Pentax 645Z Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor Shoots HD Video and Will Sell for $8,500

645Z_wo_Food_Pentax became the latest company to introduce a medium format camera with a CMOS sensor tonight but the new model comes with several major twists. For one, the new 51.4-megapixel Pentax 645Z camera can shoot full HD video, which is a first for a medium format camera.

The Pentax 645Z is also one of the fastest medium format cameras on the market, capable of shooting up to three full RAW images per second. In contrast, the Phase One IQ250 digital back and Hasselblad H5Dc camera system, which both use CMOS sensors, can shoot at up to 1.5fps.

The Pentax 645Z is also weather sealed with 76 seals, making it cold-resistant, weather-resistant and dustproof; and it sports a 3.2-inch, tilting LCD screen on back with 1,037,000 dots of resolution, which are both firsts for a medium format camera.

Competitively Priced
But the biggest thing that differentiates the 645Z from its competitors might be its low price for a medium format camera. When it goes on sale in June 2014, the Pentax 645Z will sell for $8,499.95. In comparison, the Phase IQ250 retails for $34,990, and the Hasselblad H5Dc is selling for $27,500.

Read the rest of this story here.

February 11th, 2014

New Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor to Debut This Week

Hasselblad-rumorsRemember the forthcoming Hasselblad H5D-50c medium-format camera system we told you about in January? The camera, which will use a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, will makes its official debut at the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Japan this week, Hasselblad revealed today.

The H5D-50c will then go on display in the U.S. at the WPPI show in Las Vegas, before officially going on sale in March. Pricing has not been revealed for the medium format camera yet.

“We are delighted to provide CP+ visitors with a unique preview opportunity – a chance to get to grips with our superb new medium format option before its official launch at the beginning of March,” Hasselblad CEO Ian Rawcliffe said in a press release.

The Hasselblad H5D-50c is one of three new medium format camera systems to use a new CMOS imaging sensor. Last month, we did a hands-on test of the new Phase One IQ250 digital back, which uses a 50MP CMOS chip made by Sony. We found that the sensor in the IQ250 did an excellent job of producing relatively low noise images shot at high ISOs.

Earlier this month, Pentax announced that it will unveil a new 645D medium format camera with a CMOS sensor at the CP+ show this week as well.

January 24th, 2014

Phase One Launches 50MP Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor (We Test It Out!)

Phase One just launched a new 50-megapixel IQ250 medium format digital camera back that has the potential to be a serious “game changer.” The IQ250 IQ250-sideuses a groundbreaking CMOS sensor (designed by Sony) that allows it to capture relatively low noise images in low light at ISOs of up to 6400, just like many pro digital SLRs using smaller, 35mm-size sensors.

PDN was one of the few media outlets in the world to gets its hands on the new IQ250 ahead of this morning’s official launch of the medium format back by Phase One. For the past week I’ve had a chance to try out the IQ250 with my frequent co-tester, photographer Jordan Matter, and we’ve both come away extremely impressed with what this back can do.

Our hands-on test of the Phase One IQ250 is posted here.

Here are some other key specs and details of the new Phase One IQ250.

• Sony-built 50MP CMOS sensor sized at 44x33mm, that’s slightly smaller than what’s in Phase One’s current 80MP IQ280 (53.7×40.4mm) and 60MP (53.9×40.4mm) IQ260 backs, but with 68% more image capture area than sensors in full-frame DSLRs.

• ISO range of 100 to 6400

• 14 stops of dynamic range (as rated by Phase One)

• Exposure time options of 1/10000th of a second to one hour

• Maximum 2 frames per second shooting speed

• Improved Live View with faster frame refresh rate (less jittery effect)

• Built-in WiFi for displaying images or live view wirelessly on computers, iPads, or iPhones

• 3.2-inch touchscreen display

• USB 3.0

• IQ250 price: $34,990 (you didn’t really think it would be cheap, did you?)

• On sale now

Check out our hands-on test of the Phase One IQ250 here.

July 2nd, 2013

Canon Announces 70D DSLR

HR_70D_EFS18-135_IS_STM_3Q_CLCanon today announced the successor to their 60D DSLR, named the Canon 70D. Featuring a very interesting new Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that promises “instant and precise focusing of video as well as still images,” the EOS 70D also has a completely new 20.2 megapixel APS-C Canon CMOS sensor and uses Canon’s  DIGIC 5+ Image Processor. The 70D is wi-fi connected, has a 19-point AF sensor (including a high-precision f/2.8 dual cross-type AF center point), , a 63-zone Dual Layer IFCL (Intelligent Focus, Color & Luminance) AE metering system, an ISO range of 100 to 12800 (expandable to 25,600), and a vari-angle touchscreen LCD (allowing a “touch to focus” feature).

While the improved low-light performance, wi-fi and touchscreen LCD will grab some attention, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is the crowning feature of the 70D. Essentially, Canon has figured out how to have each pixel on the sensor perform both imaging and phase-detection AF simultaneously. This is achieved by each pixel on the CMOS sensor having two independent photodiodes sending independant signals that can be used for both imaging and AF. It also allows continuous phase detection AF during movie recording. Eliminating slow or jumpy AF due to contrast detection or hybrid systems will be a big deal for a lot of photographers who shoot video with their DSLRs.

For more on the EOS 70D, including availability, pricing and more, see our full news story on PDNOnline.

www.usa.canon.com/eos