January 6th, 2014

Sony Unveils Lightweight A5000 Mirrorless Compact System Camera with Wi-Fi

Sony jusSony-a5000_wSELP1650_front_whitet announced the new A5000, which the company is calling the world’s lightest interchangeable lens camera with Wi-Fi. The camera weighs less than 8 ounces and is powered by a 20.1-megapixel, APS-C sized image sensor and uses Sony’s Bionz X processor, which is the same chip in the company’s Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R full-frame mirrorless cameras.

The Sony A5000 goes on sale in March 2014 in silver, black and white for about $600 in a kit with a compact, versatile 16-50mm motorized zoom lens (model SELP1650). A new, black-finish E 55-210mm (SEL55210) zoom lens will be available in March for about $350.

More details in the press release after the jump.

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January 2nd, 2014

CES 2014: Samsung Announces 20.3MP NX30 Mirrorless Camera, Lenses and Galaxy Camera 2

Samsung-NX30-18-55mm_003_Right-Angle1_blackSamsung was first out of the gate this morning with new photo announcements ahead of next week’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The company just unveiled four new photo products: the 20.3-megapixel NX30 mirrorless compact system camera; two new lenses for the NX camera system; and a new wirelessly connected Galaxy Camera 2.

The NX30, which uses an APS-C-size CMOS sensor similar to what you’d find in entry-level digital SLRs, is the follow-up to the NX20 we reviewed in 2012. Like its predecessor, the NX30 offers a variety of WiFi-connectivity features including new Dropbox and Flickr integration.

The NX30 also has a fully swiveling 3.0-inch AMOLED display on back to help you compose images from a variety of angles. Samsung says the new rear screen is 30% brighter than the previous model.

The NX30 also, for the first time, features a pull-out electronic viewfinder, which you can lift away from the camera body and tilt at up to an 80-degree angle. The pull-out EVF and a new 3.5-inch microphone port are designed to help you shoot richer movie clips with the camera’s full HD video function. There’s also an in-camera Audio Level Meter and Input Level Adjustments for better sound. The NX30 lets you live stream your video via the HDMI port to share your footage on an external monitor.

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November 1st, 2013

Hands-On Test with Sony’s Alpha 7 and 7R, the World’s First Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

John-with-Sony-Alpha-7-close-mIf you’ve been anxious to find out if the new Sony Alpha 7 and 7R full-frame mirrorless cameras live up to the hype, Rangefinder magazine (our sister publication) has just posted an excellent hands-on review of the cameras.

According to photographer and Rangefinder columnist John Rettie, who tried out these much discussed mirrorless models, they certainly show a lot of promise.

“Overall I came away impressed with these two cameras,” Rettie writes. “It’s difficult to argue against the benefits of doing away with the flipping mirror in a DSLR camera. I feel that the benefits outweigh the disadvantage, which is more psychological, as the OLED EVF is just about as crisp as an optical finder and refreshes fast enough for just about every use other than perhaps fast action sports like football.

“Should Canon and Nikon be worried? Perhaps not right away but maybe in the future.”

Read his full hands-on test with the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R and see sample shots at Rangefinder’s PhotoForward blog.

October 16th, 2013

Sony Unveils Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras, New Lenses, and High-End Superzoom Model

Sony-7R_frontSony went where no camera manufacturer has gone before this morning, unveiling the world’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras: the 36.4-megapixel Alpha 7R and 24.3-megapixel Sony Alpha 7. Both compact system cameras use 35mm-sized Exmor-branded, CMOS image sensors but the Sony Alpha 7R has no optical low pass filter over its chip to help it capture more detail in photos. The Alpha 7, meanwhile, boasts a new Hybrid AF system, designed to quickly lock in focus on subjects.

Both cameras will go on sale this December, with the Sony Alpha 7R retailing for $2,300, body only, and the Sony Alpha 7, selling for $1,700, body only; or as a kit with a new 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens for $2,000.

You could also pair these full-frame mirrorless cameras with five new full-frame E-Mount lenses that Sony just unveiled. The new Sony E-Mount lenses include three Carl Zeiss-branded models: the Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA ($1,000) and Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA ($800) prime lenses, and the Vario Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS mid-range zoom ($1,200).

We’re curious what PDN readers think of the new Sony Alpha 7R and Alpha 7 mirrorless cameras. Does the addition of full-frame sensors make you want to give these these high-end compact system cameras a second look or do you plan to stick to your DSLR?

Read more of this story here with details on all of Sony’s announcements this morning and then leave your thoughts in the comments below.

June 13th, 2013

New Colorful DSLRs And Q Mirrorless Body From Pentax

Pentax Q7 Color CombosHave you been looking for a camera that offers 120 color combinations? Then Pentax has got some news for you with both DSLR and Mirrorless bodies that can be configured in all sorts of beautiful or garish color combos.

Pentax has announced two new 16MP DSLR bodies, the K50 and the K-500, that are both essentially updates to its existing K-30 DSLR. The K-50 replaces the K-30 “edgy” styling with a more traditional DSLR look along with adding improved image processing and upping maximum ISO to 51200. “The K-50 introduces features that raise the bar in the mid-level DSLR class,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICA. “Not only do the hardware and software specs outclass competitors, the Color to Order system is an industry first making it a truly unique offering among a sea of similarity.” The K-500 is similar to the K-50, with lack of weather sealing being the main difference.

Pentax also announced a new body in its Q mirrorless lineup, the Q7. The Q7 sees a number of new features, an advanced shake reduction system, a new electronic level, an improved Quick dial, and so on. But the most promising feature of the Q7 is that its sensor has been increased from 1/2.3-inch to 1/1.7-inch chip. This isn’t a small thing, it’s a 52% increase in surface area, and is the same size sensor used in Canon’s widely loved s110. “Don’t be fooled by the Q7’s small size and 120 color combinations,” said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING. “As the smallest and lightest compact system camera in the world, this tiny gem is packed with serious specs and capabilities including a number of digital filters and smart effects.”

The Pentax K-50 and Q7 are available now via pentaximaging.com (and nationwide retailers in July/Aug) in 120 color combos for list prices of $499 and $699 respectively. The K-500 will be available next month and has a list price of $599.

pentaximaging.com

June 11th, 2013

Samsung Announces 10mm Fisheye Lens For NX System

samsung-10mm-fisheyeSamsung has announced a new 10/3.5 fisheye lens for its NX mirrorless system. They claim that it is “the smallest AF fisheye lens on the market” that it is “half the size and weight of its competitors”. At 2.5 ounces and barely over an inch deep (including its mount), the 10/3.5 looks to be tiny indeed. With a 180 degree diagnosed angle of view, it is a true fisheye lens that should give the same look as the 15/16mm DSLR fisheyes from Nikon and Canon. The 10/3.5 fisheye will be available in July in white or black. Pricing was not announced.

http://www.samsung.com/global/nx/

May 14th, 2013

Nikon Announces New 32mm f/1.2 Nikon 1 Lens

nikon32-1.2Nikon has announced a new addition to the Nikon 1 system, a 32mm f/1.2.  Not only is it the fastest lens in the 1 Nikkor lineup, but it is one of the fastest lenses available for any mirrorless system. The lens is compatible with the entire Nikon 1 system (J1, J2, J3, S1, V1, V2),

For a run down of its features, plus pricing and availability,  see our full story on the Gear news page of PDNOnline.com.

There you’ll also find a link to information on Nikon’s website.

May 10th, 2013

Olympus Announces PEN E-P5 Micro Four-Thirds Body

P5_best_si+14-42Olympus today announced a very retro looking addition to its PEN lineup, the E-P5. While many of us thought the original Olympus PEN E-P1 styling harkened to the company’s half-frame PEN cameras, the E-P5 does it one better. An all metal casing contains a number of upgraded features:

  • 16MP MOS Four Thirds sensor
  • Dual top plate control dials with a “2×2″ function changing option
  • 1/8000 sec top shutter speed (first in a mirrorless body) and 1/320 sec flash sync
  • ’5-axis’ image stabilization with automatic panning detection
  • ISO 100-25600
  • Up to 9fps shooting (5.0 fps with continuous AF)
  • Focus ‘peaking’ display for manual focus lenses
  • Intervalometer and Time Lapse movie creation
  • 1.04m dot 3″ LCD touchscreen display
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting and image transfer to smartphone or tablet

After a short hands-on experience with the camera, the dual control dials, focus peaking, 9fps, and remote shooting/wifi features jump out as being the most interesting. But there is no denying that Olympus has done a good job overall with the E-P5. Just on style alone, it should find its way into many a camera bag. But the added features and improved specs should give even the popular OM-D E-M5 a run for its money.

The Olympus PEN E-P5 will be available in May 2013 in the following configurations:
Body only, available in Black, Silver or White, $999.99
Black or Silver body with black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 lens and VF-4 Electronic Viewfinder lens, $1449.99

More information and images can be found at:

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/digitalcameras/pen-omd/e-p5.html

May 1st, 2013

Samsung Announces NX2000 Mirrorless Body

Samsung NX2000Samsung today announced a new body in its NX mirrorless system, the NX 2000. With five bodies and 12 lenses, the Samsung NX has quietly become one of the larger mirrorless systems on the market today. The NX2000, like many cameras recently, adds  Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communications) with the goal of making camera-smartphone connections a standard part of your photography workflow.  NFC allows users to connect the camera with another properly enabled device simply by touching them together. This means no more entering wifi details on a tiny screen or searching for bluetooth pairings.

Along with a 20MP APS-C sensor, the NX 2000 has a generously sized 3.7-inch 1152k-dot touchscreen LCD, 8fps continuous shooting and Full HD video recording. Continuing the industry-wide trend, the NX2000 will be available in pink and white along with the more traditional black. Perhaps of more interest to serious photographers is the fact that the NX2000 comes bundled with a copy of Adobe Lightroom 4. Not a crippled freebie as with the terrible “limited” Photoshop versions that came bundled with cameras in the past, this is a full version of Lightroom 4. In what some may see as a drawback, the NX2000 does use MicroSD memory rather than the more common SD cards.

Specifications can be found in Samsung’s NX2000 press release. Priced at $649 for a body and 20-50mm lens kit, the NX2000 will be available later this month from Samsung dealers and at http://www.samsung.com.

 

Priced around $649.99, the camera will be available as a kit with the 20-50mm lens and a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in white, black and pink. There is currently no information about its European price and availability.

April 24th, 2013

Panasonic Announces DMC-G6 Micro Four-Thirds Body

Panasonic today announced its latest micro four-thirds camera body, the DMC-G6. It slots in between the GF6 and the GH3 in Panasonic’s lineup, a mid range body with some new features and a solid, if not class leading, feature set.

Panasonic G6

Panasonic G6

G6 feature highlights:

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 160-12,800 (extendable up to 25,600) 7 frames per second continuous shooting, 5 fps with AF-tracking
  • 3.0″, 1.04 million dot touchscreen LCD
  • 1.44 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with eye sensor
  • AVCHD video in full 1080/60p  with  manual control
  • 3.5mm external mic socket
  • Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi / NFC

As with other Panasonic bodies, the G6 is styled very much like a small DSLR and looks to continue Panasonic’s typical solid handling with its generous grip and multiple “function” (Fn) buttons. The sensor is the same previously class leading one that was used in the GH2 though Panasonic claims that its new Venus Engine speeds processing time and improves noise reduction significantly in the G6. This allows a maximum native ISO sensitivity of 12,800 (25,600 extended) and an increase to 7 frames per second shooting rate. An external mic input and full manual control over video recording are always welcome features in any body. The G6 is Panasonic’s second body, along with the GF6, to offer NFC (Near Field Communication)/WiFi connectivity. This allows users to connect the camera with a properly enabled device simply by touching them together. This means no more entering wifi details on a tiny screen or searching for bluetooth pairings. However, while becoming more common on Android devices, the feature may be of limited use to many photographers as Apple has yet to embrace NFC for its iOS devices.

Full specifications available via the DMC-G6 press release and Panasonic’s website. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.