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Sony alpha 7R III

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Sony’s full-frame mirrorless alpha 7R III combines a 42.4-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with shooting speeds of up to 10 fps with full AF/AE tracking, and 4K video quality, 15-stop dynamic range, and high sensitivity with noise reduction of almost a full stop.

The image sensor utilizes a gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s seal glass to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, according to the company, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.

The camera also features a new front-end LSI that effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor, as well as an updated BIONZ X processing-engine that boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the 7R II. These components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling an ISO range of 100 – 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images) and 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings.

The camera is built without an optical low pass filter to maximize resolution, while also having the ability to output 14 bit RAW format even when shooting in silent or continuous mode. The camera is equipped with a 5-axis optical image stabilization system, resulting in a 5.5-step shutter speed advantage.

There is also a new low-vibration shutter that is said to reduce vibration and image blur in all modes, including 10 fps, as well as several advancements in accurate colour reproductions of skin tones.

The camera’s image processing system allows it to shoot full 42.4-megapixel images at up to 10 fps with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 76 JPEG / RAW images or 28 uncompressed RAW images. This high speed 10 fps mode is available with either a mechanical shutter or completely silent shooting. The camera can also shoot continuously at up to 8 fps in live view mode with minimal lag in the viewfinder or LCD screen.

While large groups of burst images are being written to the memory card, many of the cameras key functions are operable, including access to the ‘Fn’ (Function) and ‘Menu’ buttons, image playback and several other menus and parameters including image rating and other functions that facilitate on-location image sorting.

Additionally, if there is fluorescent or artificial lighting present in a shooting environment, users can activate the Anti-flicker function to allow the 7R III to automatically detect frequency of the lighting and time the shutter to minimize its effect on images being captured. This minimizes any exposure or colour anomalies that can sometimes occur at the top and bottom of images shot at high shutter speeds.

The upgraded focusing system of the camera is comprised of 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68 percent of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions. There are also 425 contrast AF points, an increase of 400 points compared to the 7R II. This delivers AF acquisition in about half the time as the 7R II in low-light conditions, says Sony, with tracking that is approximately two times more accurate as well.

The Eye AF feature is also approximately twice as effective, and is available when utilizing Sony’s A-mount lenses with an adapter.

Additional improvements in focusing flexibility include AF availability in Focus Magnifier mode, focal-plane phase-detection AF support when using A-mount lenses, an ‘AF On’ button, a multi-selector or ‘joystick’ for moving focusing points quickly, as well as flexible touch focus functionality.

The 7R III offers 4K (3840 × 2160 pixels) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. When shooting in Super 35 mm format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth, notes the company.

A new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is available on the 7R III that supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TVs to playback 4K HDR imagery. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased colour grading flexibility. The camera can also record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.

The cameras also offers dual media slots, with support in one slot for UHS-II type SD memory cards.  Users have a variety of options for storing their content, including separate JPEG / RAW recording, separate still image / movie recording, relay recording and more.

Battery life apparently has been extended as well, as the new camera utilizes Sony’s Z series battery that has approximately 2.2 times the capacity of the W series battery utilized in the 7R II.

The 7R III features an upgraded high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder. The finder, also found in the Sony alpha 9 camera, utilizes a Zeiss T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt. It also has a customizable frame rate, with options of either 60 fps or 120 fps to best match the action. The LCD screen has been upgraded as well, with WhiteMagic technology that is said to improve viewing in bright, outdoor conditions. “Standard” or “High” display quality settings are also available for both the viewfinder and monitor as well. “High” takes advantage of the large amount of data read from the sensor to provide extra fine viewfinder and monitor displays for a more natural view. The new camera also offers a multi-selector joystick that provides a fast, efficient way to shift focus points, as well as an ‘AF ON’ button to activate autofocus when shooting stills or movies.

The 7R III allows for transfer of files to a smartphone, tablet, computer or FTP server via Wi-Fi, while also including a sync terminal, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for flash sync. A SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C Terminal is also available for increased flexibility in power supply or connected accessories, as well as a faster image transfer speed when connected to a PC.

New with the 7R III is a software suite called “Imaging Edge” that is calimed to extend the creative capabilities of the entire shooting process – from pre-processing to post-processing. Imaging Edge provides three PC applications called ‘Remote’, ‘Viewer’ and ‘Edit’, available for free download, which support live-view PC remote shooting and RAW development.

Also making its debut is a new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, which takes advantage of the 5-axis optical in-body stabilization to create super-high resolution composite images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in 1-pixel increments to capture four separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of approximately 169.6-megapixels of image data. These four images can be composited and processed utilizing the Imaging Edge software. This ultimately results in a still image with what Sony calls “overwhelming” resolution and an unprecedented level of colour accuracy, and is claimed to be ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life photography subject with many intricate details and colours.

The Sony alpha 7R III will ship in November for about $4,000.

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Sony FE 24-105 mm lens

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Sony’s full-frame E-mount FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS lens offers the most lightweight design in its class, says the company. This lens also features fast, precise and quiet autofocus capabilities in both still and video shooting, notes Sony.

The lens is claimed to deliver excellent corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the entire zoom range, while also producing beautifully rendered ‘bokeh’ at all focal lengths.

This high image quality is made possible thanks to its advanced optical design featuring four aspherical lens elements, two of which are high precision AA (advanced aspherical) lenses. There are also three strategically located ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that work in combination with the aspherical lens elements to minimize chromatic aberration.

The lens also has Sony’s Nano AR coating to minimize flare and ghosting, and utilizes a circular aperture.

The new 24-105 mm lens weighs approximately 663 grams (23.4 oz).

The lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.25 ft. It also includes built-in optical image stabilization.

The new standard zoom lens features a DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) system that is capable of rapid positioning of the lens’ focus groups with high accuracy and very minimal noise, says Sony.

The lens also features a customizable focus hold button, a dust and moisture resistant design and a fluorine coating on the front element to help minimize dust, water, oil and other contaminants.

The Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS lens will ship in November for about $1,700.

Zeiss Milvus 25 mm

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The Zeiss Milvus 25 mm f/1.4 lens is the company’s latest full-frame single-lens reflex camera lens. The lens, which was developed for the DSLR systems from Canon and Nikon, is claimed to be suitable primarily for landscape and architecture photography, and for journalistic shots and videos.

The completely new optical design is said to ensure superior performance across the entire image field, delivering high-contrast photos and a harmonious bokeh.

The company claims even at full aperture there are hardly any colour fringes.

The metal housing makes the lens robust, and it offers dirt and dust protection. The 172-degree focus rotation angle is said to enable precise manual focusing.

The lens is not just for photography, with the company saying the lens is suitable primarily for interviews and documentaries where the videographer can utilize natural light. Thanks to the de-click function in the version for the Nikon mount the aperture can be adjusted continuously.

The Zeiss Milvus 25 mm f/1.4 will be available in November.

Leica 90 mm Thambar-M

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Quick, which one is the new lens? It’s the one on the right.

What’s that line: everything new is old again? Leica has reached back into its classic lens bin and come up with the Thambar-M 90 mm f/2.2, the modern version of a 1935 soft-focus lens, designed for portraiture. The optical design of its ancestor remains almost unchanged. The only difference is that the four elements in three groups that make up the design have now been single-coated to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion. The 20 blades of its iris deliver a unique bokeh with perfectly round rendition of point light sources.

The soft look of the Thambar is the result of intentionally accepted under-correction of spherical aberration. This under-correction increases towards the edges of the optical system with the consequence that not only the depth of focus, but also the degree of softening can be precisely controlled by means of the stepless aperture setting. The effect is more pronounced as apertures increase, and is continually reduced as the lens is stopped down to smaller apertures.

The design of the original lens has been almost completely preserved. The black paint finish, the proportions of the lens and its aperture engravings in red and white correspond to the appearance of the original. In addition to this, slight modifications have been made that bring the lens into line with the current, minimalist design of modern M-series lenses. These include the knurling, the lettering and scales and the specific use of sharp edges and bevelling.

The Leica Thambar-M 90 mm f/2.2 will be on sale from mid-November.

Canon G1 X Mark III

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The new flagship addition to the G-series of premium compact cameras, the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III features a 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Auto-Focus) technology.

Canon says the new model offers “dramatic improvements” from the series’ previous flagship, noting the sensor delivers “fantastic” image quality in both stills and video. This upgrade pairs with a 24-72 mm equivalent lens with Optical Image Stabilization delivering maximum brightness and increased sharpness in images and an ISO range of 100-25,600.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system provides extremely fast and smooth autofocus capabilities across nearly the entire focal plane, says the company.
The camera is dust and water resistant.

It has a 2.36 million dot Organic LED electronic viewfinder; Touch & Drag AF linking the viewfinder and touch panel monitor to quickly adjust focus targeting without looking away from the viewfinder, or using Smooth Zone AF to track subjects with the touch of a finger.

The camera also has a 3.0-inch Vari-angle Touch LCD Monitor.

The new model is capable of fast continuous shooting up to approximately 7 frames per second (fps), or up to 9 fps with AF fixed, working with Dual Pixel CMOS AF.

A new shutter release function is said to offer a sophisticated sense of operation, similar to high-end EOS models, providing a comfortable hold during continuous shooting.

You can connect to a smart device via built-in Wi-Fi, NFC or Bluetooth to facilitate easy sharing or utilize the Camera Connect app to shoot remotely.
Panoramic Shot Mode allows users to capture panoramic photos, simply be swinging the camera while shooting either vertically or horizontally.

The camera offers Full HD 1080/60p video with high ISO speed shooting and smooth accurate focus when used alongside Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology, while 5-axis movie IS helps reduce the effect of camera shake when shooting handheld.

You can capture Time-Lapse Movies with intuitive settings that help determine intervals and exposure.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is scheduled to be available in November for an estimated retail price of $1599.99.

Sony RX10 IV

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Sony has a new flagship model in its Cyber-shot RX10 series, the RX10 IV. The company says it features the world’s fastest AF acquisition time of 0.03 seconds and up to 24 fps continuous shooting with full AF/AE tracking, 315 phase-detection AF points and a whopper of a lens: 24-600 mm (equivalent) f/2.4-F4 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*.

The camera is equipped with a 1.0-inch, 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS stacked image sensor with DRAM chip along with a BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI. These key components all work together, says Sony, to maximize overall speed of operation and performance.

A first for the RX10 series, the new model features a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines the respective advantages of 315 phase-detection AF points covering approximately 65 percent of the sensor and contrast-detection AF to ultimately enable the camera to lock focus in as little as 0.03 seconds. Additionally, for the first time in a Cyber-shot camera, the RX10 IV employs High-density Tracking AF technology, previously available only in a select few of Sony’s alpha interchangeable lens cameras. This tech concentrates AF points around a subject to improve tracking and focus accuracy.

Other AF improvements include an enhanced version of the Eye AF, Touch Focus and Focus Range Limiter.  AF-ON setting is also assignable, as well as multiple AF modes including AF-S, AF-C and AF-A, which can be easily adjusted based on user preferences and shooting situations.

The camera offers continuous high-speed shooting at up to 24 fps with full AF/AE tracking, with buffer limit of up to 249 images. EVF display lag during continuous shooting has been substantially reduced, suggests Sony. Also, for convenience during image playback, continuously shot images can be displayed in groups instead of individual shots.

The camera also has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32000 second) that reduces the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects, and can shoot completely silently in all modes, including continuous high speed shooting, when electronic shutter is engaged. A mechanical shutter mode is also available as well.

Sony says the camera’s lens helps achieve outstanding image quality throughout the entire zoom range. It includes a super ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element and ED aspherical lenses to minimize chromatic aberration, and Zeiss T* Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.

The lens also has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. When the feature is activated, it is equivalent to an approximate 4.5 steps shutter speed improvement.

Additionally, with a minimum focusing distance of 72 cm (2.36 ft) and 0.49x maximum magnification at a fully extended 600 mm, the lens is capable of producing amazingly detailed tele-macro images, says Sony.

The new model offers 4K (QFHD 3840 x 2160) movie recording, with its Fast Hybrid AF system realizing about 2x faster focusing speed compared to the RX10 III.

In 4K mode, the new camera utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning, capturing approximately 1.7x more information than is required for 4K movie output to ensure that all the finest details are captured accurately. The camera utilizes the XAVC S codec, recording video at a high data rate of up to 100 Mbps depending on shooting mode. Users have the option of shooting at either 24p or 30p in 4K mode (100 Mbps), or in frame rates of up to 120p in Full HD mode.

The new camera also has a variety of other pro calibre video features including Picture Profile, S-Log3/S-Gamut3, Gamma Display Assist, Proxy recording, Time Code / User Bit and more, as well as input for external microphone and output for headphone monitoring.

Super slow motion video recording is also available, with an extended duration of about 4 seconds (in quality priority mode) and 7 seconds (in shoot time priority). This feature gives users the ability to choose among 960 fps, 480 fps and 240 fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats.

The RX10 IV features Sony’s latest 3.0-inch tiltable LCD screen with Touch Focus and Touch Pad function – another first for Cyber-shot RX series – for quick and smooth focusing operation, and WhiteMagic technology, ensuring that LCD viewing is bright and clear in even the harshest outdoor lighting conditions. Additionally, it is equipped with a high resolution, high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality, Sony suggests Triple lens rings for aperture, zoom and focus are also available, with a completely quiet, smooth option for the aperture ring that is ideal for video shooters.

To enhance customization, “My Menu” functionality has been added, allowing up to 30 frequently used menu items to be custom registered. Menus are colour coded for easier recognition and navigation, and a new Movie Settings menu has been introduced to improve the overall video shooting experience.

The camera is also dust and moisture resistant, and Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth compatible.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV camera will ship in October for about $2,200.

Fujifilm X-E3

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Fujifilm says its new X-E3 rangefinder style mirrorless digital camera offers outstanding image quality and enhanced handling. The camera features the 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III image sensor and the X-Processor Pro high-speed image processing engine, along with a new image recognition algorithm.

The X-E3 also features a large phase detection autofocus (AF) area and provides enhanced tracking performance for moving subjects. Equipped with a newly developed image recognition algorithm, the X-E3 is able to track moving subjects half the size, or moving twice as fast as previous models.

The camera supports both Full HD and 4K video recording. Videos can be shot with Film Simulations in-camera.

High-speed response times include a start-up time of just 0.4 seconds, shooting interval of 0.25 seconds, shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds and autofocus speed as fast as 0.06 seconds.

This is the first X Series model to feature Bluetooth low energy wireless communication. This feature offers the ability to pair the camera with a smartphone or tablet for easy transfer of pictures via the free Fujifilm Camera Remote application.

The X-E3 features a high-resolution 3.0 inch static touchscreen LCD monitor. The touchscreen can be used to select the focus area, or focus on a specific point before taking a picture. For playback, users can swipe or scroll through images, double-tap to enlarge, drag an image once enlarged, along with pinch-out and pinch-in sizing. A new Touch Function feature lets users create customized camera functions by swiping left, right, up and down on the touchscreen panel.

The company says the X-E3 is the most compact and lightweight model with a viewfinder within the X Series interchangeable lens camera range. The camera also features a Focus Lever positioned on the rear side of the camera that allows photographers to use joystick-type operations in eight directions to easily select a focus area.

The top plate features two precision-milled aluminum dials, giving the camera a premium feel and allowing users to easily adjust the shutter speed and exposure compensation while maintaining focus while taking a picture. The Exposure Compensation Dial now has the C position for exposure compensation up to ±5 stops. The X-E3 is also equipped with an Auto mode selector lever for selecting the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode where the camera can automatically select the optimum settings for a given scene.

4K video can be recorded at [3840 x 2160] 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98P, 100Mbps; continuous recording is up to approximately 10 minutes. Full HD video can be recorded at 59.94 fps, 50 fps, 29.97 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps and 23.98 fps, and with Film Simulation effects.

Video can be outputted to an external monitor via the HDMI port and input audio from an external microphone.

The Fujifilm X-E3 will be available in three versions in late September: body only, black or silver; body with XF 18-55 mm lens kit, black or silver; and body with XF 23 mm f/2 R WR lens kit, black or silver.

Fujinon XF 80 mm

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New from Fujifilm is the XF 80 mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens, the first 1.0x magnification mid-telephoto macro lens in the X Series lineup. The lens features a focal length equivalent to 122 mm (in the 35 mm format).

The lens features an optical construction of 16 elements in 12 groups, including one aspherical lens, one Super ED lens and three ED lenses.

The lens has enhanced AF capabilities utilizing a Floating Focus System that suppresses aberration. The lens also supports handheld shooting with Optical Image Stabilization. A fluorine coating has been applied to the front lens element, making it less susceptible to smudges, water and dirt.

The lens is also designed to be weather and dust resistant, and operates in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C.

The Fujinon XF 80 mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens will be available in November.

Fujinon GF 45 mm WR lens

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Fujifilm has unveiled the Fujinon GF 45 mm f/2.8 R WR for the GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera system. The new lens has a focal length equivalent to 36 mm (in the 35 mm format).

The company says that, as with all GF lenses, the 45 mm lens is a professional quality lens capable of reproducing rich tones and unique colours.

With a construction of 8 groups and 11 elements using one aspherical lens and two ED lenses, the new lens is said to provide the highest image quality while reducing aberrations. The lens features Nano GI coating to suppress ghosting and flare, and is weather and dust resistant capable of operating in environments as cold as 14°F/-10°C.

The Fujinon GF 45 mm f/2.8 R WR lens will be available in November.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

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Olympus’ new OM-D E-M10 Mark III is a compact, lightweight, easy-to-use interchangeable lens camera aimed at the snapshooter looking to expand his/her photography. The camera includes image stabilization compensation and the same TruePic VIII Image Processor used in the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

The 5-Axis Image Stabilization system – for both stills and 4K video – is built into the camera body, which also features a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, a tilting rear LCD monitor with touch controls similar to a smartphone, and a built-in flash.

The intelligent AUTO Mode detects the shooting scene, subject, camera movement and light transmitted through the lens, then automatically chooses the optimal settings. The other assist modes include Scene Mode (SCN), Advanced Photo Mode (AP), and Art Filter Mode (ART), each of which appear on the mode dial alongside AUTO Mode for easy access. In Scene Mode, users can touch one of six shooting environments, each displayed on the LCD monitor. Advanced Photo Mode offers nighttime Live Composite and Multiple Exposure. Bleach Bypass is a new filter in Art Filter Mode that reproduces the silver retention method used when developing film. Type I produces a glossy look, like shining silver metal, and Type II produces a nostalgic look reminiscent of old film.

The Touch AF shutter, which now takes advantage of 121 autofocus points, allows users to choose the precise area of focus and trip the shutter simply by touching the LCD screen. Continuous AF (C-AF) Mode maintains focus on moving subjects when the shutter is pressed halfway. The camera is equipped with Face Priority AF and Eye Priority AF to ensure sharp focusing on the face or eyes of the person closest to the camera. Also available is C-AF for continuous focusing on moving subjects, and up to 8.6 frames per second high-speed sequential shooting.
The Mark III is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, which can be used in conjunction with the Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) app to connect to a smart device and wirelessly transfer images for quick editing and uploading to social media.

The new Shortcut Button on the left-hand side of the camera instantly displays the setting menu most relevant to the current shooting mode so that users can quickly change settings. For example, users can press the Shortcut Button while shooting in Scene Mode to quickly switch to another shooting environment.

Settings are assigned to the four arrow pad buttons on the back of the camera, including ISO, flash, drive and focus settings, which can be activated with the press of the corresponding icon. Two customizable function buttons can be programmed with one of 11 different functions, such as Digital Tele-Converter for instant activation with one button press. Two dials on the upper section of the body can be used to change settings and make adjustments on the fly.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III will be available in a black and silver body or black body beginning in late September with an estimated street price of $799.99 (body only) and $999.99 (M.Zuiko 14-42 mm EZ Lens kit).