Latest Event Updates

Nikon 70-300 mm lens

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Nikon has upgraded its 70-300 mm full-frame lens with the AF-P Nikkor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. The new lens offers enhanced Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization capability and integrates a stepping motor for fast and quiet AF performance, making it Nikon’s first full-frame AF-P lens.

Interestingly, the new version of the lens is lighter than its predecessor.

The new lens provides up to 4.5 stops of VR stabilization, for sharper photos and smoother video. Users can choose from either Normal or Sport VR Modes.

The stepping motor is said to deliver fast and quiet autofocus, reducing the sound of lens operation while recording HD or 4K UHD video. This new technology also contributes to the lens’ reduced weight.

The Electronic Diaphragm not only provides smooth exposure transitions during video capture, but also helps maintain consistent exposure during high-speed shooting, such as when photographing sports.

The lens features a minimum focus distance of 3.94 ft. (1.2 m) and a reproduction ratio of 0.25x.

The lens also features dust and drip resistance, along with a metal lens mount for durability. It features a 9-blade diaphragm for a natural, circular bokeh. The lens also features an ED element to significantly reduce instances of chromatic aberration.

UPDATE: The AF-P Nikkor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR will have a suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1,029.95; Canadian availability is to be announced.

Leica TL2

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Leica has unveiled the next model in its TL series, the TL2, which the company notes are machined from a single block of aluminium (or aluminum, as we in N.Am. say).

The TL2 is equipped with a newly developed, 24-megapixel CMOS sensor in APS-C format that, in combination with an equally new Maestro II series high-performance image processor, are said to guarantee outstanding picture quality with impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast and colour rendition, exceptional sharpness and finest resolution of details.

The camera also offers various video recording modes, such as 4K (3840 x 2160p at 30 frames per second), full HD (1920 x 1080p at 60 frames per second), HD (1280 x 720p at 60 frames per second or slow motion [SLOMO] captured at 120 frames per second).

The TL2 is said to offer “enormously improved” AF speed and precision. For instance, the camera focuses sharply on subjects in around only 165 milliseconds, and thus focuses up to three times faster than the previous model. The new image processor not only plays a significant role in its faster autofocus, but also to the considerably shorter start-up time. Another new development is an electronically controlled shutter that enables silent exposures at shutter speeds up to 1/40,000 sec. and an increase in the continuous shooting rate from 7 to a maximum of 20 frames per second.

Thanks to the integrated Wi-Fi module of the TL2 and the function for setting up a mobile hotspot, pictures and video can be conveniently transferred by wireless to smartphones, tablets and desktop PCs from anywhere and then, for example, be shared by email, on Facebook, Instagram or other social media. Data can also be transferred by cable with the camera’s integrated HDMI and USB 3.0 ports. The USB port also enables recharging without a battery charger – for example from a laptop computer or an external power bank.

With the TL App available for both iOS and Android devices, smartphones or tablets become electronic viewfinders and offer remote control of various exposure-relevant parameters such as the shutter speed and aperture. The TL App also makes it much easier to capture photos and video from unusual angles, with a self-timer or with longer shutter speeds.

By grouping menu items according to related functions, the menu of the TL2 is now more clearly and logically structured and makes camera handling easier and even more intuitive than before. With the MyCamera menu, the user interface can be further personalized to meet the photographer’s preferences or particular needs.

Thanks to significantly increased reactivity and up to eight times faster response when using the 3.7-inch LCD touchscreen, camera handling is said to be even more efficient and intuitive. The only other controls are four ergonomically positioned control elements that are intuitive in their operation.

The TL2 will be offered in a choice of two different colours. The design of both the silver and black versions of the camera has been slightly revised in comparison with its predecessor. In addition to chamfered edges the body also features redesigned control elements that have been modified not only in visual style, but also provides what Leica terms “a new haptic experience” – great for those of us who get our jollies touching things.

Tamron 24-70 mm lens

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A 24-70 mm lens offers probably one of the most versatile zoom ranges, a put-it-on-the-camera-and-leave-it range. So here comes Tamron with its new SP 24-70 mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. The constant f/2.8 aperture makes it even more interesting.

The lens features Dual MPU (Micro Processing Units) to provide rapid autofocusing with improved accuracy and the highest vibration compensation performance of any lens in its class, says the company (CIPA level of 5 stops).

The use of specialized, high quality glass materials (offering greater optical transmittance) for the lens element are said to assure superior colour reproduction and greater sharpness, while the application of Tamron’s nanotechnology-based eBAND Coating substantially curbs the ghosting and flare that are prone to occur in backlit photography, successfully improving the overall optical performance of the lens, Tamron notes. Additionally, the lens provides the added conveniences of protective fluorine coating, moisture-resistant construction and a locking lens hood.

The lens’ optical construction consists of 17 elements in 12 groups using two XR (Extra Refractive Index) elements, three LD (Low Dispersion) elements, three GM (Glass-Molded aspherical), and one hybrid aspherical lens element. Together they are claimed to minimize axial chromatic aberrations, transverse chromatic aberrations, spherical aberrations and distortion, and allow a compact design that achieves superior image quality.

The lens is equipped with Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) system. Adding an MPU dedicated to VC processing unleashes a new-generation algorithm, says Tamron, ensuring the highest vibration compensation ability in the class.
An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses.

The Tamron SP 24-70 mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts. Nikon mount will be available in August, the Canon mount in September.

Canon 6D Mark II

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Designed for the advanced amateur photographer. the 6D Mark II is a full-frame DSLR and features several enhancements over its predecessor model. Features include:

  • 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • optical viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection & Full HD 60p
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • ISO 100-40000
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen
  • 3.0-inch LCD
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and GPS technology
  • High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 6.5 fps
  • dust- and water-resistant

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is scheduled to be available in early August for an estimated retail price of $2,599.99 for body only; body and Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM II lens will be $4,049.99.

Canon Rebel SL2

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Designed for entry-level photographers, the Canon Rebel SL2 DSLR is aimed at those stepping up from a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. This small yet powerful camera features what’s claimed to be the world’s fastest AF speed at 0.03 seconds, allowing for quick focusing on subjects in the frame.

Canon says that when it was designing the SL2 it took into consideration feedback from entry-level photographers who expressed interest in learning how to go beyond a camera’s program mode. The result, says the company, was the creation of a convenient new user interface called Feature Assistant. With the EOS Rebel SL2 camera, users will be able to see on the camera’s Vari-angle Touch Screen how switching modes on the mode dial or tweaking camera settings like aperture and exposure compensation can alter the image they are about to capture.

The SL2 features several other enhancements over its predecessor model, including:

  • 24.2-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • 3.0-inch Vari-Angle LCD Touch-Screen
  • built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth technology
  • Full HD 60p and external microphone input
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • ISO 100-25600
  • optical viewfinder with a 9-point AF system

The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is scheduled to be available in late July for a retail price of $899.99 with the Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens.

Tamron 18-400 mm lens

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That’s no typo. Tamron has announced the 18-400 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (28-620 mm full frame equivalent) for APS-C DSLR cameras.

The company says the lens includes “the most advanced optical and mechanical designs,” an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system, and Vibration Compensation system.

A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming, Tamron advises.

The power-saving HLD motor produces “outstanding” driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.

The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.
The lens also features moisture-resistant construction, and the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.

The device is compatible with the TAP-in Console, an optional accessory product. This provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

The lens is 123.9 mm / 121.4 mm long (Canon/Nikon) and weighs 710 g / 705 g (Canon/Nikon).

Tamron says its 18-400 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD lens in Canon and Nikon mounts will be available in late July.

Zeiss Milvus 35 mm lens

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Zeiss has unveiled a new lens for full-frame DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon: the Milvus 35 mm f/1.4. The company suggests the lens is “particularly suitable” for portrait photography, but also notes it is “perfectly at home” when used for landscape photography.

The manual focus lens is protected against dust and splashes and features a metal barrel.

With aspherical lens elements, special glass materials and advanced correction, Zeiss says it has given the lens a completely new optical design, delivering photos which are practically free from chromatic aberrations.

The lens, adds the company, is also suitable for film productions: the manual focus with a large rotation angle can be operated with the aid of a Zeiss Lens Gear with a follow-focus system. The de-click function allows the aperture to be set continuously in the version for Nikon cameras. Zeiss also has matched the colour characteristics of the ten Milvus lenses. Filmmakers can therefore switch between the focal lengths and still have a uniform colour look.

The Zeiss Milvus 35 f/1.4 lens will be available in July. No Canadian price has been announced as yet, but its recommended retail price in Europe is 1,999 euros.

Three Nikon wide-angle lenses

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10-20 mm

Nikon has three new wide-angle Nikkor lenses on the way – the ultra-wide zoom and lightweight DX-format AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20 mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15 mm f/3.5-4.5E ED (FX-format) circular fisheye zoom, and the AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.4E ED. Both the 8-15 mm and 28 mm lenses are the latest additions to the Gold Ring Series of Nikkor lenses, a mark identifying Nikon’s premium lens offerings.

The new 10-20 mm lens is said to combine superior image quality and an attainable price. It features the equivalent of 3.5 stops of Vibration Reduction (VR) performance, utilizes Nikon’s Pulse Motor technology for super-fast and quiet AF operation, and the optical formula contains three aspherical elements for excellent image quality with minimal distortion even at the widest focal length. The lens has a close minimum focusing distance of 8.6 inches (0.22 m).

8-15 mm

The 8-15 mm is Nikon’s first fisheye zoom, an FX-format lens providing a 180-degree vertical / horizontal angle of view on full frame cameras, and zooms to a non-circular fisheye view on the long end of the focal range. The lens is constructed of lightweight magnesium alloy and employs internal focusing (IF) to retain its compact size, even while focusing.  It is also uses an electromagnetic diaphragm, for consistent exposure during high speed shooting, or smooth exposure control while capturing video.

The optical formula of the 8-15 mm zoom consists of three ED elements to reduce chromatic aberration, and two aspherical lens elements to minimize coma, even at the widest aperture, and enable a more compact lens size. Additionally, the front lens element is coated with Nikon’s non-stick Fluorine coat to help resist dirt, fingerprints and smudge, while Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat helps reduce ghost and flare.

28 mm

The 28 mm lens has a nine blade rounded diaphragm, in a body composed of lightweight magnesium alloy and featuring dust and water drop resistant sealing to withstand the elements, combined with a fluorine coating to resist dirt and smudges. The optical construction consists of 14 elements in nine groups, with three aspherical elements that virtually eliminate coma, aberration and distortion, with two ED glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration, says the company. The lens also uses Nikon’s Nano-crystal coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flare.

The Nikon AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15 mm f/3.5-4.5E ED, AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20 mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, and AF-S Nikkor 28 mm f/1.4E ED will be available in mid-summer for a  manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1699.95, $414.95 and $2699.95, respectively.

Nikon W300

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Nikon’s Coolpix W300 is a rugged compact camera designed to capture and share high-quality images and 4K UHD video. The waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof W300 features an improved grip and handling, a 3-inch LCD display and a 5x optical zoom Nikkor lens, plus built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth via the Nikon SnapBridge app.

Featuring a 16-megapixel CMOS back-side illuminated (BSI) sensor, the W300 offers a waterproof (100ft. / 30 m), freezeproof (14F / -10C), dustproof, and enhanced shockproof (7.9ft. / 2.4 m) camera body with increased grip area and ergonomically improved shutter button placement.

It also has built-in GPS plus Points of Interest (POI) and mapping functions, as well as an altimeter and depth gauge. The camera also has a dedicated button to activate an LED light for illumination, and a new Active Guide function to display location and altitude data.

Additionally, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, images can transfer automatically to a photographer’s smart device so that family and friends can instantly view vacation highlights. When connected, users can also operate the camera remotely with a smart device to capture new perspectives and explore their creative potential.

The 5x optical zoom offers 10x dynamic fine zoom. The camera’s hybrid VR technology provides up to three stops of compensation to capture sharp images and smooth 4K UHD (3840×2160/30p) videos. Video features include a variety of creative functions, such as time-lapse and superlapse recording.

The Nikon Coo;pix W300 will be available in yellow and orange for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $499.95.

Sony full-frame lenses

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Sony has announced two new additions to its full-frame E-mount lens lineup, the FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM and the FE 12-24 mm f/4 G.

The 16-35 mm zoom is the first wide-angle G Master model, and features exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness, says the company, with an optical design that includes five aspherical elements, two of which are Sony’s original XA (extreme aspherical) elements that reduce aberration and deliver the ultimate resolution throughout the entire zoom and aperture range, it notes. The front XA element is the largest XA element ever produced, Sony claims. Additionally, two ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass elements keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximizing resolution, and Sony’s Nano AR coating suppresses internal reflections to ensure excellent image contrast and clarity.

The lens features a near circular aperture shape at all settings, producing images with sharply focused subjects and beautifully defocused backgrounds or “bokeh.” It also has two DDSSMs (Direct Drive SSM) that compose a floating focusing system and ensure that AF acquisition is speedy and quiet.

The 16-35 mm lens is also dust and moisture resistant, has a fluorine coating on the front lens that helps to both prevent dust or grease marks and remove them easily if they do become a trouble.  There is also a customizable focus hold button and a hood release button.

The 12-24 mm lens produces outstanding image quality in a compact, lightweight design, notes Sony. weighing in at approximately 20 oz.

The lens features an innovative optical design with four aspherical elements that ensure excellent corner to corner sharpness and resolution. Additionally, the lens has three ED glass elements and one Super ED glass element to minimize chromatic aberration throughout the entire image. The lens also includes Sony’s Nano AR coating.

The 12-24 mm lens includes a DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) for fast, quiet and precise AF performance, plus a customizable focus hold button and focus mode switch.  It is also dust and moisture resistant.

The Sony FE 16-35 mm f/2.8 GM will ship this August and will be sold for about $3,000.

The FE 12-24 mm f/4 G will ship this July and sell for about $2,300.