Latest Event Updates

Olympus Tough TG-5

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Olympus has unveiled the Tough TG-5, featuring an f/2.0 lens, a new high-performance backlit 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor, TruePic VIII Image Processor, plus a Field Sensor System that records movement and environmental data.

The company says the 25-100 mm (equivalent) lens works in concert with the new sensor and the dual quad core processor to deliver the highest image quality of any Tough model to date.

The built-in Field Sensor System, consisting of a GPS sensor, manometer, compass, and temperature sensor, records movement and environmental data independently or in conjunction with still images or videos. Data logs can be simultaneously displayed with images and videos using the Olympus Image Track app.

As its name implies, the Tough TG-5 is waterproof to 50 feet (15 m), crushproof to 220 pounds of force (100 kg of force), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1 m), freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C) and dustproof. The camera now includes Anti-Fog Lens Cover Glass.

New video functions include 4K Movie to capture Ultra HD video at four times the resolution of Full HD. Full HD 120 fps High-Speed Movie lets users capture slow-motion, and 4K Time Lapse automatically creates short videos of long periods of time.

The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5 will be available in red and black beginning in June with an estimated street price of $579.99.

Sony a9

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Okay sports and wildlife photographers, Sony has a camera you’ll want to look at. The new full-frame mirrorless camera, with what Sony claims is the world’s first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor and 24.2-megapixel resolution, is said to deliver blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 fps for up to 241 RAW / 362 jpeg images.

The alpha 9 also offers silent, vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec; 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second; an Ethernet port for file transfer; Dual SD card slots; and extended battery life.

The camera also has 5-axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage.

Sony says the full-frame stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. The sensor is paired with a new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

The 693 phase detection AF points cover approximately 93 percent of the frame, so the fasting moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The a9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter with “absolutely no” mechanical mirror or shutter noise.

The new Z battery is said to deliver approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries.

One of the dual SD media card slots supports UHS-II cards.

The processing power of the camera’s components deliver faster AF/AE calculations while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer.

The camera’s AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times.

The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25 percent faster performance when compared to the a7R II, claims Sony.

The a9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder delivering “extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction.” The new Tru-Finder, with what Sony says is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony alpha camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and “outstanding” corner to corner sharpness. The EVF also utilizes a Zeiss T* coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up, according to Sony, to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the a7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, says the company. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps to best match the action.

For those who thought the sync terminal was a thing of the past – tada! – there is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly.

Sony notes the a9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes.  The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the a9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration,” which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc.) to a custom button. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.

For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

The a9 camera features an all-new Sony battery with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models.

The sensor is back-illuminated, allowing it to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality, says Sony. The sensor also enables an ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 204800.

The a9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW.

Video? Of course. 4K video? Absolutely. It offers 4K (3840 x 2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the Super 35 mm size.

Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.

There are a number of new accessories including grips and multiple battery adaptors.

The Sony alpha 9 will ship in May for about $6,000.

Sony 100-400 mm lens

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Sony has introduced a new E-mount lens, the FE 100-400 mm f/4.5–5.6 GM OSS. This full-frame lens offers what the company calls “incredibly fast, precise” autofocus capabilities, a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional and custom functions.

The company says the lens produces outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the lens’ zoom and focus ranges. The design features 22 lens elements configured in 16 different groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements, all of which minimize chromatic aberration. The lens also has Sony’s Nano AR coating to reduce unwanted reflections.

The zoom also features a combination of double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM actuator, which also ensures precise, quiet operation. The double motor system allows rapid focus lens drive acceleration, while high precision positioning control and a newly optimized AF algorithm ensure the subject is quickly found and focused on.

The lens weighs in at 1,395 grams / 49.3 ounces, making it among the lightest in its class.

The lens has a zoom torque adjustment ring allowing the user to adjust the level of torque in the ring to zoom faster or slower depending on their shooting style. There is also a focus hold button that can also be assigned to variety of functions including focus mode selection, AF area selection or the Eye AF lock feature.

The telephoto zoom lens is dust and moisture resistant as well1, and has fluorine coating on the front lens that makes it easier to remove dust or grease. There is also a removable tripod mount.

The zoom features built-in optical image stabilization, ensuring sharp images can be captured during handheld shooting. It also offers a minimum focusing range of 0.98 m / 3.22 ft, and a 9 bladed circular aperture design.

The 100-400 mm lens is compatible with both the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters.

The Sony FE 100-400 mm GM lens is scheduled to ship in July for about $3,399.

Fujifilm 110 mm, 23 mm GF lenses

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23 mm lens

Fujifilm has announced two new Fujinon GF lenses for its GFX 50S medium-format mirrorless digital camera system, the GF110 mm f/2 R LM WR (equivalent to 87 mm) and the GF23 mm f/4 R LM WR (equivalent to 18 mm).

The company notes the G Mount has a short flange back distance of 26.7 mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting and achieves edge-to-edge sharpness. All GF lenses have been designed to support sensors of over 100-megapixels.

The company says the 110 mm lens is perfect for portraits, while the 23 mm lens is suited for landscape and architectural photography. Fujifilm states that, despite the super-wide angle of view of the latter lens, distortion is kept to a minimum.

110 mm lens

Both new lenses feature fast and quiet autofocus by using a linear motor, are dust and weather resistant, and are capable of operating in environments as cold as 14°F / -10°C.

The 110 mm lens has 14 elements in 9 groups, including 4 ED lens elements: Super ED lens and three ED lenses for suppressed chromatic aberration and high resolution performance all the way to the edges, with a 9 blade aperture. The 23 mm lens has12 groups and 15 elements construction using two aspherical lenses, one super ED lens, and three ED lenses, and uses a 9 blade aperture, plus Nano GI coating to suppress ghosting and flare.

The GF110 mm f/2 R LM WR will be available in late June for $3,599.99 and the GF23 mm f/4 R LM WR will also be available in late June for $3,399.99.

Panasonic 8-18 mm lens

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Panasonic has announced a new Micro Four Thirds zoom lens, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH., the equivalent of a 16-36 mm lens in full format.

The lens features Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosting and flaring. The lens also boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof.

Filter size is 67 mm.

Comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses, according to Panasonic, effectively suppresses spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from centre to corners.

The company also notes the new lens excels in video recording performance. In addition to silent operation achieved by an inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly capture brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming, says the company, which also notes the AF tracking performance when zooming is also improved thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.

Nikon D7500

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Nikon has taken the guts of its D500 and plunked them into a new flagship DX-format DSLR, the D7500. And, yes, that means 4K UHD video capture.

The D7500 features the D500’s 20.9-megapixel DX-format imaging sensor and Expeed 5 processing engine, eliminating the optical low-pass filter (OLPF) for maximum sharpness and clarity.

The camera’s native ISO range spans from 100 to 51,200, with an expanded ISO range up to what the company claims is the equivalent of ISO 1.64 million.

The camera is capable of shooting at up to 8 frames-per-second (fps) with full AF/AE, with an expanded buffer of up to 50 RAW/NEF (14-bit lossless compressed) or 100 JPEG images.

Nikon’s 51-point AF system covers a large portion of the frame. A Group-Area AF function has been added, handy for those shooting fast action.

The slim, tilting 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD can be used to control, compose and play back, even while mounted to a tripod. The menus can also be easily navigated using the touchscreen function.

Like the Nikon D5 and D500, the 180K RGB Metering system is used with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to help ensure balanced exposures and “fantastic” colour rendition in nearly any shooting situation, says the company.

The body offers deep grip and comprehensive weather sealing. Nikon notes the body is durable and approximately 5 percent lighter than the D7200 and 16 percent lighter than the D500.

Also like the D500 and D5, the Auto AF Fine Tune feature when in Live View allows users to automatically calibrate autofocus with specific lenses if needed.

Through the Retouch menu, users can access an in-camera Batch Process RAW Converter that can handle multiple images to optimize workflow.

The camera’s pop-up flash can act as a Commander for remote Speedlights, while the camera is also optimized to function with line-of-sight using the SB-500, SB-700 and SB-5000. It can even support the radio frequency control system of the SB-5000 when using the optional WR-R10 accessory.

A new Auto Picture Control function analyzes the picture scene and automatically generates a tone curve within the camera.

Images can automatically be downloaded to a compatible smartphone, and the camera can also be triggered remotely using Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

As noted, the D7500 offers 4K UHD (3840 × 2160/30p) video capture, and adds the ability to produce 4K UHD time-lapse movies in-camera. Video files can be stored as either MOV files or as MP4 files. Like the D500, the D7500 offers 3-axis built-in e-VR image stabilization when shooting 1080p Full HD video, and can be easily focused using the rear touchscreen function.

For the advanced videographer, the D7500 offers simultaneous 4K UHD output to card and uncompressed via HDMI, as well as a headphone and microphone jack for pro-level audio recording and monitoring. To allow for smooth exposure adjustments, the camera also supports power aperture for smooth and stepless depth-of-field transitions while users can also keep highlights in-check using visible zebra stripes in live-view mode.

The Nikon D7500 will be available in mid-summer for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1699.95 for the body only, or with an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $2099.95 MSRP.

Canon 35 mm macro lens

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Look closely at the picture and you’ll notice a white ring around the front element of Canon’s EF-S 35 mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens. That’s the lens’ own, built-in macro light.

The lens, the equivalent of 56 mm on full format is designed as an entry-level model capable of focusing as close as 30 mm.

The Hybrid IS system offers up to four stopsof shake correction and the Smooth Movie Servo AF ensures quiet AF operation. Full-time manual focus is available.

The built-in LED lights on each side of the lens let users create shadows on either side of a subject or adjust intensity to give images a sense of dimension.

The Canon EF-S 35 mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens is scheduled to be available in June for an estimated retail price of $459.99.

Canon SX730 HS

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Canon says the new PowerShot SX730 HS camera is ideal for families on vacation or parents at their kids’ sporting event looking for a convenient, easy-to- carry compact digital camera capable of producing high quality photos and videos at long distances. This new camera boasts a 20.3-megapixel CMOS imaging sensor and 40x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 24-960 mm) in a pocketable form factor.

Features include Self-Portrait and Smooth Skin modes, 3.0-inch LCD screen that rotates up 180 degrees and built-in connectivity capabilities like Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth.

Canon’s PowerShot SX730 HS is scheduled to be available in June for an estimated retail price of $499.99.

Zeiss Batis 135 mm lens

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The Zeiss Batis 135 mm f/2.8 lens is the first 135 mm AF focal length for mirrorless full-frame cameras from Sony, i.e. the Alpha 7 system with E-mount. An optical image stabilizer has also been incorporated into the design.

Like all Batis lenses, this one features an OLED display that enables precise visualization of the depth of field, and sports a metal housing with dust and dirt resistance.

Zeiss says it has corrected chromatic aberration in the lens so that there are virtually no image errors. Lens construction is 14 elements in 11 groups.

Lens weight is 614 g (1.35 lbs) without lens caps.

The Zeiss Batis 135 mm f/2.8 lens will be available starting in May 2017. The factory’s suggested retail price is 1,999 euros.

Four Sigma lenses

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sigmaSigma has announced four new lenses, three in its Art category, one in its Contemporary category: 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, 135 mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, 24-70 mm f/2.8 DG HSM OS Art, 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM OS Contemporary.

Sigma says the 14 mm lens incorporates the same aspherical element as the company’s 12-24 mm f/4 Art. Boasting outstanding image quality from centre to edge, the 14 mm lens features the largest glass mold (80 mm) in the industry, notes Sigma, offering an ultra-wide prime with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Three lens elements are made with FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass, which is equivalent to calcium fluorite in performance, and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, which reduce chromatic aberration. The company also touts the lens’ fast and efficient AF system. Minimum focusing distance is 10.6 inches at 14 mm.

The 135 mm lens boasts outstanding sharpness and great IQ from edge to edge, a new large hyper sonic motor (HSM) providing ample torque to the focus group for optimal speed while the acceleration sensor detects the position of the lens for compensation, producing faster and more responsive AF. The lens is equipped with a focus limiter.

Featuring a brand new OS and highly efficient and fast AF system, the revamped 24-70 mm includes three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements and four aspherical elements to reduce chromatic aberration. The aspherical elements use Sigma’s thicker centre glass design and highly precise polishing process. The lens boasts a new metal barrel for optimal durability with TSC composite internal moving components designed to resist thermal contraction and expansion.

The 100-400 mm Contemporary zoom lens is said to offer great IQ and usability with its lightweight, compact, dust- and splash-proof design. Equipped with new OS and AF, the lens claims exceptional performance at lower shutter speeds, and also features a macro function (1:3.8 ratio), and push/pull focal zooming.

The four Sigma lenses support Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature a new electromagnetic diaphragm.

The lenses can be updated with the latest lens software from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock (sold separately). The new Sigma lenses are also available for mount conversion services.

Canadian availability and pricing have not yet been announced.