Olympus E-PL9

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It was announced in February, but North America was conspicuously absent from its list of destinations. Now the company says it’s available here.

The Pen E-PL9 combines Olympus’ latest touchscreen controls with an array of interchangeable lens options for those wanting to go beyond smartphone photography. The camera’s design is bolstered by aluminum accents, metal dials, and leather grain that complements each colour option: Pearl White, Onyx Black, and Honey Brown. The 180-degree flip-touch LCD monitor simplifies selfie stills and videos with an easy-to-use interface that automatically switches the camera to Selfie Mode when the monitor is flipped downward to its front-facing position.

In-body image stabilization delivers sharp images and smooth 4K video even in low light environments or when using a telephoto lens.

The latest TruePic VIII image processor, the same one included on the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II, is said to improves image quality and responsiveness. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allow owners to connect to a smartphone to wirelessly transfer images and upload to social channels.

In Auto Mode, the camera instantly detects a scene and chooses the best settings. Scene Modes let you choose from preset scenarios like People, Motion, Indoors, Nightscapes, Scenery, or Close-ups. Advanced Photo Modes are readily available using the touch LCD monitor and facilitate high-end photo techniques such as nighttime Live Composite and multi-exposure shooting.

The Olympus Pen E-PL9 is available in Pearl White, Onyx Black, and Honey Brown for a street price of $699.99 for the camera body and $899.99 for the one lens kit. The one lens kit includes the camera body, M.Zuiko 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens, custom camera bag, custom camera strap, 16GB memory card, Quick Tip Card, and Quick Start Guide.


Sony alpha 7R III

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Sony has added to its full-frame mirrorless camera lineup by introducing the alpha 7R III. The camera combines a high-resolution 42.4-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with shooting speeds at up to 10 fps with full AF/AE tracking, as well as 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, says 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, Sony notes.

These components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its ISO range of 100 – 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images) and 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings.

This new full-frame model was 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 that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a claimed 5.5 step shutter speed advantage, said to be the world’s highest compensation performance for an image stabilization system.

There’s also a new low-vibration shutter that reduces vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting, as well as several advancements in accurate colour reproductions of skin tones.

At 10 fps, the camera is said to deliver continuous, accurate 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, Sony says.

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.

The upgraded focusing system 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 is said to deliver AF acquisition in about half the time as the 7R II in low-light conditions, with tracking that is approximately twice as 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, and flexible touch focus functionality.

Sony says the 7R III is “exceptionally capable” as a video camera, offering 4K (3840 x 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.

A new HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is available on the camera to support 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.

There are two 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, and relay recording.

Battery life has been greatly 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 with approximately 3,686k dots for what Sony calls extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The Tru-Finder, also found in the 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.

The LCD screen has been upgraded as well, with a resolution of 1.44M dots and WhiteMagic technology that improves 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 convenient 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 extends 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 on the 7R III is a new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, which takes full advantage of the advanced 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 together and processed utilizing the new Imaging Edge software.

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

Canon EOS Rebel T7

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The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is the latest addition to the Rebel line of entry-level DSLRs, with an upgraded CMOS sensor to deliver sharp, high-resolution images, says the company.

The camera, featuring a 24.1-megapixel resolution sensor, is the successor to the Rebel T6. Offering easy sharing of high-quality photos and videos on social media sites, the EOS Rebel T7 provides continuous shooting up to 3.0 frames per second (fps), a nine-point autofocus system and a three-inch LCD monitor.

Additional features include built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity; Scene Intelligent Auto Mode; and an optical viewfinder.

The EOS Rebel T7 is scheduled to be available in April, and will be sold as a lens-and-body kit with the EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II for an estimated retail price of $549.99.

Canon M50

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For those wanting to step up from a smartphone, Canon has a camera it thinks you’ll want, the EOS M50, an interchangeable lens camera with 4K video recording.

Canon describes the M50 as an “all-around,” entry-level camera with features that encourage users to broaden their creative visions.

Providing improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a 24.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is said to deliver less noise and high definition in low-light situations.

Camera features include a new DIGIC 8 image processor; HD 120p High-frame video rate; built-in OLED electronic viewfinder with Touch and Drag Autofocus; a Vari-Angle LCD touchscreen; Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth connectivity; automatic image transfer to compatible devices while shooting; and a new Silent Mode.

The Canon EOS M50 is scheduled to be available in April for an estimated retail price of $779.99 for the body only. The camera will also be available with the EF-M 15-45 mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens in both black and white for an estimated retail price of $899.99. Additionally, the M50 will be sold with the EF-M 15-45 mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and the EF-M 55-200 mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM in black only for an estimated retail price of $1,249.00. A Video Creator Kit will also be available for the M50 for an estimated retail price of $999.99.

Pentax K-1 Mark II

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The Pentax K-1 Mark II full-frame DSLR is an updated version of the original K-1, delivering even higher image quality and enhanced performance, becoming the new flagship model in the process.

The Mark II uses the same full-frame Anti-aliasing (AA)-filterless CMOS sensor with 36.4 effective megapixels as its predecessor model. However, a new accelerator unit has been added, along with the camera’s PRIME IV image processor, enables the new model to produce high-resolution images with minimal noise, suggest Ricoh, up to ISO 819200.

The camera also incorporates Pixel Shift Resolution System II. This new technology uses the same in-camera shake-reduction (SR) mechanism and sensor-shift capabilities as the original Pixel Shift Resolution System found in the K-1, which captures four images of the same scene, and then synthesizes them into a single, super-high-resolution composite image.

A new feature in the Pixel Shift Resolution System II is Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution mode. This, suggests Ricoh, allows photographers to produce crisp, ultra-high pixel shift resolution images without the need of a tripod.

The Pentax K-1 Mark II camera body will be available in April. The camera body plus HD Pentax-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR will also be available.

Fujifilm X-H1

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Billed by Fujifilm as the “highest performance camera” in its X-Series lineup, the X-H1 features a 24.3-megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine. It is the first in the X series to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a new Flicker Reduction mode that allows for stable exposure under fluorescent and mercury lighting, and DCI 4K video capabilities.

The X-H1 boasts a newly designed, robust and durable body, and a range of features that support shooting in various situations by professional and experienced amateur photographers, and videographers. When used in combination with Fujinon lenses and Fujifilm’s signature colour reproduction technology, the X-H1 produces outstanding image quality and video reproduction, says the company.

The X-H1, with in-body image stabilization, harnesses three axial accelerometers, three axial Gyro sensors, and a specially-developed dual-processor to achieve approximately 10,000 calculations per second. When combined with compensating mechanisms, the X-H1 is claimed to produce uncompromised image quality and precision. The 5-axis image stabilization is possible with all XF and XC lenses, with certain lenses capable of up to a maximum of 5.5 stops. In addition, a new spring mechanism has been added to reduce micro-vibrations caused by operation of the mechanical shutter. Photographers may also choose to use the electronic front curtain shutter or the electronic shutter, virtually eliminating the effect of vibrations to maximize the benefits of image stabilization, Fujifilm notes.

In addition to its dust and water-resistant properties and ability to operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, the X-H1 also features 25 percent thicker magnesium alloy than the X-T2. The camera also features a high quality, scratch-resistant coating and a compact, lightweight body that maintains high precision and strong resistance to impact shock torsion and other sources of deformation.

The X-H1 features a high-magnification and high-precision electronic viewfinder with a magnification ratio of 0.75 times and 3.69 million dot resolution, leading the class for APS-C mirrorless cameras, Fujifilm suggests. The viewfinder display is extraordinarily smooth, with a display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and a frame rate of 100 frames per second, allowing the user to instantly confirm the movement of the subject and position the focus with great precision. The X-H1 also features a 3-direction tilt, 3-inch electrostatic touch-panel LCD, which can be set to the desired angle. In addition, the 1.28-inch sub-LCD on the top of the camera, which emulates the design of the mirrorless medium format GFX 50S, allows for instant confirmation of shooting information.

The camera incorporates additional improvements which the company says are based on feedback from professional photographers, including a large grip design, leaf-spring switch for the shutter-release button, near-silent shutter sound, a new focus level, and a new AF-ON button and enlargements of buttons on the rear of the camera.

The X-H1 is the first camera in the X Series to include Eterna, a new film simulation mode that Fujifilm says is ideal for shooting movies. This mode simulates cinematic film, creating understated colours and rich shadow tones. The X-H1 boasts many functional and performance improvements to video image quality, including the 1080/120p high-speed video mode (1/2, 1/4 and 1/5 speed slow motion) for recording spectacular slow-motion footage; F-log SD card recording which aids smooth workflow; a DCI 4K shooting mode (4096 × 2160); a 400 percent dynamic range setting (approximately 12 stops); 200

Mbps high bit rate recording; a high-sound quality internal microphone (24 bit/48 kHz); and verbal time codes.

Also in the X-H1’s repertoire is a flicker reduction mode, allowing for stable exposure during burst shots even under fluorescent and mercury lighting. In addition, improvements to the autofocus (AF) algorithm have achieved a number of performance enhancements. Low-light limit for phase detection AF has been improved by approximately 1.5 stops – from 0.5EV to -1.0EV – raising the precision and speed of AF in low-light environments. The minimum aperture has been expanded from f/8 to f/11, and major improvements have been made to the AF-C performance while operating in zoom, ideal for shooting rapidly moving subjects.

The Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XH1) is a weather-resistant grip capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C that fits two additional batteries to increase maximum number of shots to 900 (in normal mode) and increases the maximum period for shooting movies in 4K to about 30 minutes.

This grip features a shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-ON button, command dial, Q button, and Fn button. The grip is equipped with a headphone socket to allow monitoring sound while recording, and includes recharging capability.

The Wide Eyecup EC-XH W covers a broad area around the eye, greatly reducing light interference. The eyecup can be rotated in 90° increments, making it adaptable for either eye and for shooting either vertically or horizontally.

The Fujifilm X-H1 will be available at the beginning of March. The body will be available for $2,449.99 and the body with power booster grip kit will be available for $2,799.99.

Panasonic GX9

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The Lumix GX9 from Panasonic is a compact Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera featuring a 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter, and Venus Engine image processing.

The L.Monochrome D mode is newly added to Photo Style, making it easy to shoot detailed dynamic monochrome photos with emphasized highlights and shadows. Plus, Grain Effect can also be adjusted in all monochrome modes with Photo Style.

A 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the GX9 is claimed to effectively suppresses blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the Dual I.S. compensates for a wider range of movement to enable blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light conditions.

A new wide screen LVF (Live View Finder) tilts up approx. 90 degrees. Plus, the camera’s 3.0-inch high resolution static-type touch monitor provides nearly 100 percent of field of view and tilts up approximately 80 degrees and down 45 degrees.

The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology is said to deliver autofocusing in approximately 0.07 sec. A range of AF functions include Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF. Live View Boost makes it possible to check composition even in total darkness by boosting sensitivity just for live view.

The GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. 4K PHOTO is said to be easier to use in more creative ways with Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, two new additions to Post Focus, Focus Stacking, Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

The Light Composition function, a new 4K Photo option, sees the camera synthesize images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel to easily produce more dramatic images of fireworks or night scenery in-camera.

The GX9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Lumix DC-GX9 with a Lumix 12-60 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens will be available in April with an MSRP of $1,300.

Panasonic ZS200

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The Lumix ZS200 is Panasonic’s new flagship camera in its Travel Zoom series. The camera comes with a 15X optical zoom (24-360 mm equivalent) Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens. The camera also includes 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer Plus to suppress hand-shake in both photo and video recording.

The company notes it has added a new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style for monochrome images with rich B&W film gradation.

The camera’s 1-inch MOS sensor produces high-quality images with stunning details, says Panasonic.The combination of a High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine delivers up to ISO12,800. There’s also an upgraded Live View Finder (LVF). Both it and a 3-inch touchscreen display provide approximately 100 percent field of view.

Panasonic says the ZS200 boasts exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity with minimum distortion and flare. This new lens system also enables stunning close-up shots with its 3 cm macro capability.

Yes, there’s 4K video recording – QFHD 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. There’s also 4K Photo to extract single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent images. In 4K Photo, Auto Marking and Sequence Composition are included in addition to Post Focus and Focus Stacking.

A Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.1 sec.

The ZS200 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for instant image sharing.

The camera also features independent dials and a Control Ring located on the lens barrel.

The Lumix ZS200, in black or silver, will be available in April at an MSRP of $1,100.

Fujifilm X-A5

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The Fujifilm X-A5, sporting the new Fujinon XC15-45 mm lens, is the lightest camera-zoom lens combination within the X Series lineup, says the company. The new 15-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens is the first electric powered zoom lens for X Mount digital cameras.

Available in three colours of synthetic leather, the X-A5 is equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology for quick and easy image transfer and allows for a broader range of video capabilities with its 4K output.

The camera features a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor equipped with phase detection autofocus and a newly developed image processing engine with a processing speed 1.5 times faster than that of previous models, says the company. The X-A5 is claimed to achieve outstanding image quality and outperforms previous models in its scene recognition accuracy and skin tone reproduction.

The X-A5 is the first in the X-A series to feature phase detection pixels, and an intelligent Hybrid AF system that focuses twice as fast as previous models to ensure capture of swiftly moving subjects. With an ISO sensitivity range now up to ISO12800 and extended sensitivity range up to ISO51200, camera shake and noise are significantly reduced.

The camera features a variety of 4K video capabilities. Utilizing the Burst Function, users are able to shoot 15 frames per second in 4K image quality. An HD video function records videos up to quad speed for slow motion clips and a Multi Focus Mode stacks 4K quality images and automatically changes the depth of field setting.

The camera allows for automatic transfer of images and videos to paired smart devices using the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app. The camera is compatible with Instax Share printers to instantly transfer and print images directly from the camera.

There are 11 Film Simulation Modes. In addition, the camera offers 17 variations of Advanced Filters including the new Fog Remove and HDR Art.

The large LCD screen uses new touch-panel GUI, facilitating intuitive operation and is capable of rotating 180 degrees, making the X-A5 perfect for taking high quality selfies. When the panel is rotated 180 degrees, the Rear Command Dial switches to the Zoom and Shutter Release function and automatically activates the Eye AF function for sharp focus on the subject’s eyes. Additionally, the Portrait Enhancer Mode allows for users to select from three levels of skin tone enhancement with easy touchscreen operation.

Also part of the package: in-camera RAW processing; improved battery life (approx. 450 frames)

The Fujifilm X-A5, with 15-45 mm lens, will be available in early February for $749.99. The lens will also be available separately beginning in March.

Fujifilm XP130

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Fujifilm’s FinePix XP130 is the newest addition to the rugged XP series. It’s the first in the line to feature the latest Bluetooth technology for easy to use, instant image transfer, and is also equipped with new shooting functions such as an Electronic Level and Eye Detection.

The XP130 is waterproof up to 20 m / 65 feet, shockproof up to 1.75 m / 5.7 feet, freeze proof to -10°C / 14°F and dustproof, and features a protective, double-locking mechanism for the battery compartment.

The camera can instantly transfer images to a smartphone or tablet, while syncing time and location information from the camera to the images. Utilizing the free remote app, users can take advantage of this new feature to quickly and easily share photos and videos. Images can even be transferred from the XP130 directly to an Instax Share printer.

The XP130 is equipped with a 16.4-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens that includes a 28 mm wide-angle setting and according to the company provides unique colour reproduction technology and advanced sharpness. With Intelligent Digital Zoom technology, the optical zoom range can be doubled to 10x, and, utilizing optical image stabilization, the XP130 minimizes the effects of camera shake even in low light conditions.

There’s a 3.0-inch high definition LCD monitor, and the camera’s operation buttons are of optimal size and positioned to enable smooth operation and ease of use even while wearing gloves or holding the camera with one hand.

The XP130 features a new Electronic Level feature that is said to be particularly useful when capturing horizontal subjects. There is also a new Eye Detection feature that is designed to focus on the eyes of the subject. Additional features include Cinemagraph mode that produces still images with moving elements, the Time-Lapse Video function that automatically converts images to video format utilizing the interval timer, the Burst Mode that captures up to 10 fps, and smooth HD video recording of 60 fps.

The Fujifilm FinePix XP130 will be released in March for $239.99.