camera

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Canon EOS Rebel T7i, 77D

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Rebel T7i
Rebel T7i

Two new DSLRs from Canon share a significant number of features while catering to two different groups of photographers. The Rebel T7i is an addition to the company’s line of entry-level DSLRs, and the 77D signals the launch of a new category of cameras for advanced amateur photographers, says Canon.

The T7i and 77D both feature an optical viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF system to help enable more precise focusing. In live view mode, both cameras utilize Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF to deliver what is claimed to be the world’s fastest AF focusing speed of 0.03 seconds. Both models also have built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth technology for easy transfer of images.

Other common features include a 24.2-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor; DIGIC 7 image processor; ISO 100–25600; 3.0-inch Vari-angle LCD Touch Screen; Movie Electronic IS; HDR Movie and Time-Lapse Movie; high-speed continuous shooting at up to 6.0 frames per second (fps).

Canon notes the T7i is the first camera in the EOS Rebel series with a 45-point, all cross-type AF system within the optical viewfinder. It is also the first in the series with Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection and the first with a DIGIC 7 Image Processor. The camera has creative filters for both still images and video.

77D
77D

The company says when designing the T7i, it took into consideration feedback from entry-level photographers who expressed interest in learning to go beyond the program mode of a DSLR camera. Users will now be able to see on-screen how switching modes on the mode dial or tweaking settings can alter the image they are about to capture.

The 77D apparently is a step above the Rebel series. Users will benefit from features like the 7650-pixel RBG+IR metering sensor, similar to the one found in the EOS 80D, and Anti-Flicker shooting mode to help combat the on-and-off repetitive flickering from artificial lights found in high-school gyms or auditoriums.

The 77D also features a top LCD panel and quick control dial for photographers who desire quicker and easier access to changing and controlling settings on the camera.

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i is scheduled to be available in April an estimated retail price $949.99 for the body only, $1,149.99 with the new EF-S 18-55 mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens, and $1,399.99 with the EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

The Canon EOS 77D is scheduled to be available in April for an estimated retail price $1,149.99 for the body only, and $1,649.99 with the EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens kit.

Canon EOS M6

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With optional viewfinder
With optional viewfinder

Canon has unveiled the latest in its M series of interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras, the M6, designed “with the advanced enthusiast photographer in mind.” Accordingly, the company also has announced an improved external electronic viewfinder, the EVF-DC2.

The new camera features the company’s 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor with DIGIC 7 image processor, and “super-fast” Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection for both stills and video.

Canon notes the camera sports DSLR-like dials and control, as well as access to the entire lineup of Canon EF, EF-S and EF-M interchangeable lenses (optional EF-EOS M adapter required to use EF and EF-S lenses).

Other features include high-speed continuous shooting at up to 7.0 frames per second (fps) (up to 9.0 fps with AF Lock); ISO 100–25600; Full HD 60p; Combination IS with five-axis image stabilization; built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth technology; intuitive touch screen; 3.0-inch tilt LCD; and 5 function dials for control and customization.

When shooting with a compatible lens featuring IS the M6 will leverage both the optical IS in the lens as well as the in-camera digital IS through a Combination IS system, to help deliver tremendously smooth videos, says the company.

Usability has been improved from the previous model with separate controls on top of the camera body for mode and exposure compensation plus the controller wheel on the back to cycle through menus and additional in-camera features. The touch screen tilts approximately 180 degrees up and 45 degrees down.

The optional electronic viewfinder is both smaller and lighter than the previous model and provides high-performance viewing with approximately 2.36 million dots.

The EVF-DC2 viewfinder is scheduled to be available in April for an estimated retail price of $329.99.

The Canon EOS M6 is scheduled to be available in April in both black and silver models as part of body-and-lens kits with the EF-M 15-45 mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom kit lens at an estimated retail price of $1,149.99, and with the EF-M 18-150 mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens for an estimated retail price of $1,449.99.