interchangeable lens

Fuji X-E2

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xe2The Fujifilm X-E2 is a premium interchangeable lens camera featuring the latest generation 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and the segment’s fastest autofocus (0.08 sec.).

This is the fifth interchangeable lens camera in the X series.

The X-Trans CMOS II sensor controls moiré and false colour generation. This is attained by using an original colour filter array with a highly randomized pixel arrangement that removes the need for an optical low pass filter (OLPF) that degrades resolution.

Fujifilm says image quality is further refined by the inclusion of the first lens modulation optimizer (LMO) for interchangeable lens cameras.

The EXR Processor II in the X-E2 more than doubles the processing speed of the previous generation. It is able to harness the information taken from more than 100,000 phase detection pixels incorporated in the sensor to deliver extraordinary imaging capability, says the company.

This advanced technology, explains Fuji, has been made possible by the integrated development of lens, sensor and processor, and is based on the optical performance and characteristics of individual lenses. With each of these components working together, the X-E2 is said to achieve astonishing resolution, extended dynamic range, and reduced noise at high sensitivity.

The X-E2 has a rapid startup time of 0.5 seconds, minimal shutter lag of 0.05 seconds, and high-speed continuous shooting of 7.0 fps (up to approx. 28 frames).

With its auto switching AF, the X-E2 combines contrast AF with an improved phase detection AF algorithm that provides accurate capture of low-contrast subjects in low light as well as high-speed responsiveness.

Manual focus has been made easier by the inclusion of digital split image technology. This helps the user achieve pin-sharp focusing by simply adjusting focus to line up the four stripes displayed in the central part of the live view.

Focus highlight peaking allows for an outline in high contrast areas of subjects during focusing.

The X-E1 features manually adjustable shutter speed and exposure compensation dials (increased to ±3 EV). The camera also allows users to customize up to four buttons on the top and back of the camera to suit their own shooting style.

The X-E2 features a bright and accurate OLED viewfinder with Fujifilm’s original optical design for a distortion-free field of view. A premium clear 3-inch LCD screen with reinforced glass gives users high viewing angles and a true view of their subject.

The X-E2 shoots full HD video at 1920×1080 with up to 60fps with AF trackingperformance for exceptional speed, accuracy and smoothness with a high bitrate of 36 Mbps.

The X-E2, adds the company, delivers quick focusing on subjects, even when panning and zooming.

With the X-E2, film simulation settings and exposure compensation (±2 EV) can be used during movie recording.

The camera includes a WiFi button that lets users transferphotos and movies to smartphones, tablets and computers for easy sharing on social media sites.

To connect the X-E2 to a smartphone or tablet, users can download the free dedicated Fujifilm camera application to their iPhone / iPad or Android smartphone or tablet device to transfer up to 30 pictures at a time from the X-E2. The app also lets users download movies.

The X-E2 also has an advanced filter function and film simulation modes to give users a range of creative filters and film effects to apply and achieve unique and artistic looks.

Other X-E2 features include: ISO 200 – 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600, Auto(maximum ISO setting from ISO 400 – 6400 available); Q Menu shortcut button; in-camera RAW converter; film simulation modes (Velvia, Astia, Provia, Monochrome, Sepia, Pro Neg.Std & Pro Neg.Hi); artistic features including Multiple exposure, Panoramic shooting,Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Pop Colour, Soft Focus, High Key, Low Key, and Partial Colour.

The Fujifilm X-E2 (body only) will be available in November in both black, and a two-tone black and silver. A kit with XF18-55 mm (27-84 mm equivalent) f/2.8-4 lens will also be available in November.

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Panasonic Lumix GM1

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pana gm1Thin is in. A prime example is the Panasonic GM1, a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera.

It features a 16-megapixel sensor, metallic alloy frame, aluminum dials and brushed metal body, WiFi connectivity to smartphones and tablets, full manual control, intelligent assistance for easy shooting, 3-inch touch screen, intelligent auto modes, 22 creative filters, Time Lapse Shot or Stop-motion Animation, Light Speed autofocus, and a silent shutter feature.

The Panasonic Image App, available free for Android and iOS operating systems from their respective app stores, gives wireless connectivity to enable remote shooting, allowing you to use your smartphone or tablet to act as a remote control.

Sony alpha 7 cameras

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Alpha 7R
Alpha 7R

Sony’s new a7 and a7R digital cameras are claimed to be the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens models.

The 7R features a 36.4 effective megapixel full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor – the highest resolution sensor in the history of Sony’s alpha line – with no optical low pass filter for added resolving power and increased image detail.

The alpha7 has an impressive 24.3 effective megapixel full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor and an innovative, fast Hybrid AF system.

Each camera is equipped with a new BIONZ X processor; fast AF capabilities; a clear, bright XGA OLED Tru-finder; full HD 60p video recording; Wi-Fi and NFC connection; as well as dust-and moisture- resistance.

Both cameras feature full customization and control. There are nine different customizable buttons and 46 assignable functions that can be adjusted based on shooting preferences, including fully customizable front and back dials, a rear control wheel and an exposure compensation dial.

Users can preview all changes to photographic settings in real-time on the high-contrast viewfinder or the high-resolution, tiltable, 3-inch LCD screen.

The new cameras share a new processor that accurately reproduces details in textures in real-time via extra high-speed processing capabilities, says Sony, and allows for exceptional low noise performance in all types of lighting conditions. Additionally, the processor, combined with the advanced, high resolution sensors, allows both cameras to shoot pro-quality Full HD video (AVCHD progressive, 1920x1080p at 60p) with richly detailed colours and ultra-low noise.

Clear Image Zoom has been enhanced for video recording as well, allowing for powerful close-up shots without sacrificing pixel count. Other pro-style movie features include an audio recording level control and display plus a “live” HDMI output for passing through video to an external monitor or recording device.

The new cameras both have on-board Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities for instant image sharing and transfer to compatible smartphones and tablets.

Alpha 7
Alpha 7

The two models can access Sony’s platform of PlayMemories Camera Apps, allowing users to add new effects, filters, utilities and more. This platform includes a new ‘Multiple Exposure’ app, which automatically combines sequential exposures into one creative shot, and ‘Smart Remote Control’, which allows for direct control of exposure and shutter speed from a connected smartphone.

The new alpha7 and 7R cameras each have a tough, magnesium alloy build and are dust and moisture resistant.

The a7R is designed for professional photographers and highly advanced enthusiasts, says Sony.

It features a new Fast Intelligent AF technology that delivers what Sony calls “blazingly quick,” accurate autofocus. Additionally, there are a total of three selectable sizes for the Flexible Spot AF frame, minimizing the risk of accidentally focusing on the wrong target.

Sony says the a7 is an entry point into full-frame photography.

The new camera has a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines phase- and contrast-detect AF methods to ensure speedy, accurate autofocus. It can also shoot at up to 5 fps continuously with non-stop AF tracking.

Among the accessories being offered for the new cameras is a new vertical grip that offers greater comfort during vertical shooting and can accommodate two separate NP-FW50 batteries for extended battery life and shooting time.

A new compact external battery charger quickly charges batteries, and an off-camera shoe allows the use of external flashes in off-camera wired applications.

The Sony a7R and a7 cameras will be available in late November. The 7R will be offered as a body-only for about $2300. The alpha 7 will be offered with a 28-70 mm f/3.5–5.6 lens for about $2000. It will also be offered as a body-only for about $1700.

Samsung NX300

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Samsung NX300The latest in Samsung’s NX series interchangeable lens, mirrorless cameras, the NX300 features a new 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.

A newly designed Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system delivers fast, accurate phase and contrast detection, and the camera offers a 1/6000 second shutter speed and 8.6fps continuous shooting mode.

Samsung’s DRIMe IV imaging engine is said to provide outstanding developments in speed and quality photography and enables better colour reproduction and greater noise reduction.

Support for full 1080p HD video capture in both 2D and 3D (more about that later) is also available.

The NX300’s 3.31-inch AMOLED screen comes with a tilt display. The screen is hybrid with touch screen capabilities and 5-way manual key interface.

The NX300 is complemented by the Samsung NX 45 mm f/1.8 2D/3D lens, the first one-lens 3D system for a consumer camera, says the company, capable of capturing both still pictures and full 1080p HD video.

With this lens, it’s the only interchangeable lens camera supporting both 3D still and 3D movie, says Samsung.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

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An interchangeable lens digital camera from Fujifilm. Rumours have been flying for a while. Seems they were true.

The company says the X-Pro1 is a “custom developed camera” designed to “carve out a distinct position in the premium camera category.”

There’s no price on it as yet (expect that to be announced by the end of the month), but note the X100 has a suggested price of about $1,200, and the newly-announced Black Edition clocks in at about $1,700, although that’s a limited edition model.

So, what do we have?

A unique, trendy retro look, and high quality finish.

Add in a brand new, custom-developed, 16-megapixel, APS-C, X-Trans CMOS sensor, incorporating a newly developed filter array and Fujifilm’s proprietary EXR Processor technology.

The company says this will give you “superlative” image quality.

There’s more, including a new hybrid viewfinder and three prime interchangeable Fujinon lenses.

What’s this new sensor all about?

Fuji says the X-Trans CMOS sensor is capable of delivering resolution superior to that found in other APS-C sensors.

The new colour filter array means the sensor does not need an optical low-pass filter. While the optical low-pass filter is indispensable for the reduction of moiré and false colour generated by conventional sensors, it also degrades resolution.

Fujifilm says its newly-developed colour filter array is inspired by the random arrangement of fine film grain, removing the need for an optical low-pass filter.

In the array, RGB pixels are arranged in 6×6 pixel sets with high aperiodicity (randomness). Increasing the degree of randomness eliminates the fundamental cause of moiré and false colours – a problem occuring in conventional arrays when shooting stripes and other repeating patterns.

The presence of an R, G and B pixel in every vertical and horizontal pixel series minimizes the generation of false colours and delivers higher colour reproduction, says the company.

As a result, a more powerful processor is required to process the image signal data. So we have the EXR Processor Pro. This technology, touts Fuji, will maximize the full potential of the sensor, delivering high speed and high precision image processing.

Fuji has a history of producing quality lenses for both broadcast TV and medium format cameras. This expertise has been applied to three compact XF Fujinon fast aperture prime lenses – to start with.

The f/2 XF18 mm F2 R (27 mm equivalent), f/1.4 XF 35 mm F1.4 R (53 mm equivalent), and f/2.4 XF 60 mm F2.4 R Macro (90 mm equivalent) are said to offer precise control over depth-of-field and deliver excellent bokeh effects thanks to the design of the molded aperture diaphragm blades. The blades are curved to create a circular image at all aperture settings, while the very edges of each blade are meticulously rounded off rather than simply cut off, which delivers a sharper image.

Each lens has a high-quality metal barrel and detailed exposure setting in 1/3 step increments using an aperture ring.

More lenses are promised, included a tele.

Specifically designed to maximize the mirrorless design of the body, the X-Mount has a short flange back distance of just 17.7 mm. This means the rear lens elements are as close as possible to the sensor. The wide opening allows the lens to be mounted deeper within the body – up to 7.5 mm (approximately) from the mount surface – reducing the back focus distance of each lens to the minimum possible, achieving high resolution to the edge of the image, the company promises.

First introduced in its X100 digital, the hybrid viewfinder has the ability to instantly switch between an optical viewfinder and electronic viewfinder.

For the brightest viewing image, and to keep shutter lag to a minimum, users can choose optical. Those wanting focus confirmation, exposure information, white balance information and depth of field indicators can switch to electronic.

The electronic viewfinder provides “Live View.”

This fusion of technologies allows users to compose images through a bright viewfinder yet overlay vital picture-taking information when required.

There’s a switch on the camera’s front for changing between the two viewfinders.

When attaching an XF-series lens on the X-Pro1, both the viewfinder magnification and bright frame size automatically switch to support the lens focal length. Viewfinder magnification switches to 0.37x for the 18 mm lens, and to 0.60x when the 35 mm or 60 mm lens is mounted.

The camera also gives you the freedom to manually set a focal distance and switch between viewfinder magnifications.

The X-Pro1 has a magnesium alloy chassis and improved user interface, with “exact and deliberate” placement of the buttons as well as precision-milled dials. The top and base are made from die-cast aluminum alloy, and, for those who notice things like this, precise engraving on the top-plate and hand-enameled lettering on the lenses.

The shutter speed dial and exposure compensation control are precision-milled from solid metal. The shutter speed dial lock mechanism and the recessed exposure compensation dial are designed to prevent accidental movement of settings.

The knurled finish on the sides of the dials features rows of minutely milled squared pyramids for grip and confidence.

The lightweight, precision-milled lens hood (included with the lens) has been exclusively designed and machined from aluminum for the XF lens. Its compact size delivers superb light shading performance in a design the company says perfectly matches X-Pro1 styling.

Diameters of the aperture and focus rings of the three XF-series interchangeable lenses are only slightly larger than the barrel for sleek uniformity of design. Precision machined from metal, the reassuring click of the aperture ring at each setting and the comfortable torque resistance when operating the focus ring enhances the shooting experience.

(Are you drooling, or gagging? There’s more.)

The synthetic leather finish offers resistance to the elements, while an original manufacturing process produces a texture with the look and feel of authentic leather, says the company.

The natural fit of the eyepiece is claimed to provide excellent shielding from light leakage. An optional dioptic adjustment lens can also be attached.

But does it take pictures? Heck, yeah.

Through advanced digital processing, the X-Pro1 can simulate film-like multiple exposures by simply selecting the Multiple Exposure mode and taking the first shot. By viewing the image through the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder (to give its full, official name) or on the LCD screen, the photographer can see how the finished multiple exposure will look, then precisely frame the second shot.

Further enhancements have been made to film simulation modes with the new professional colour negative film modes (Pro Neg. Std and Pro Neg. Hi) designed for X-Pro1 users working in the studio. The X-Pro1 also offers film simulation bracketing, along with AE, Dynamic and ISO bracketing; plus the ability to capture the colours and tonal qualities of Fujifilm emulsions (vibrant Velvia, soft skin Astia, natural Provia).

Replicating the effects of monochrome film photography, the camera lets you use colour filters to expand your photographic interpretation. Heighten contrast with the yellow and red filter, or brighten greens and deepen reds with the green filter. For those after a more nostalgic theme, there is also a sepia filter.

There are premium accessory options, sold separately: HG-XPro1 hand grip;

EF-X20 shoe mount flash, with auto and manual operation and built-in diffuser; LC-XPro1 leather case; 39 mm and 52 mm protective filters.

The company also has an adapter in the works to allow X-Pro1 owners to use M mount lenses.

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 will be available in February.

Pentax Q

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The Pentax Q is the latest camera to claim the tile of world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens (ILC) system camera. Pentax says it was designed and developed for those wanting a more compact, maneuverable digital interchangeable-lens camera.

The Q features a new generation imaging engine. Starting with a high-resolution back-illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor, the camera offers a full range of advanced features, including newly developed, compact Q-mount lenses.

The Q mount, with a mount diameter reduced to approximately two-thirds of that of the conventional K mount, was made possible by reducing the flange back (the distance from the lens mount surface to the image sensor surface) to nearly one-fifth of that of the K mount, as well as by optimizing the size of image circle of its lenses to be proportioned to the size of the compact image sensor. The Q mount system also eliminates an optical finder, mirror box, focusing screen and AF sensor.

Camera features include: approximately 12.4 effective megapixels for still images and Full HD movies; high speed continuous shooting at a maximum speed of 5 images per second; low noise at high sensitivities up to ISO 6400; a high-resolution, wide viewing angle, 3-inch LCD monitor; and a high-quality magnesium-alloy body. It also offers a multi-mode exposure system and a Custom Image function to apply finishing touches to images. The Q is equipped with an in-body SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism and a DRII (Dust Removal II) anti-dust mechanism.

The camera also offers the latest image-procesing tools, including a bokeh control function to adjust the intensity of the out-of-focus effect around the subject to a desired level, as well as a creative Smart Effect function to produce highly artistic images with distinctive touches.

Sensitivity range is ISO 125 to ISO 6400.

An HDR (High Dynamic Range) function produces one composite photo from multiple images.

By coupling the new Smart Effect function offering nine distinctive visual expressions via the easy access Quick-Dial positioned on the camera’s front panel, the user can effortlessly add a desired finishing touch to an image, while previewing the effect on the LCD monitor. The Quick-Dial has four positions, to which four favourite Smart Effect modes can be assigned in advance. The Custom Image and Digital Filter functions have been further enhanced to provide an even greater range of image processing tools. The user can also assign other options such as a custom image setting, a digital filter or an aspect ratio setting to the Quick-Dial.

Smart Effect modes: Brilliant Colour, which raises the saturation level almost to the point of over saturation; Unicolour Bold, which creates an extremely high contrast image that retains one particular colour in the image; Vintage Colour, producing a toy-camera-like effect, with a choice of several different finishing touches; Cross Processing, producing a unique image with unusual colours; Warm Fade, creating a low contrast image with the white balance slightly shifted to pink shades; Tone Expansion, producing a dramatic image with an artistic finishing touch, close to an intensified HDR effect; Bold Monochrome, producing a low-key, high contrast image with enhanced sharpness; Water Colour, creating a watercolour-like finish; Vibrant Colour Enhance, creating a flowery atmosphere with slightly enhanced contrast; and User, for a user-selected combination of custom image mode and digital filter.

Full HD movie recording function uses the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The Smart Effect modes and other in-body movie editing tools produce creative, dramatic visual expressions during movie recording. The Q has a micro-HDMI terminal (type D), which allows the user to simultaneously output both Full HD movie clips and sound to external devices via a single terminal.

The camera also offers a top shutter speed of 1/2000 second; four different exposure modes – Programmed AE (P) mode, Aperture-Priority AE (AV), Shutter-Priority AE (TV), and Metered Manual (M); built-in auto flash (guide number 7 at ISO 200/m). The user can either use it at the default position, or raise it to the pop-up position to widen its discharge angle to cover the equivalent of a 28 mm angle of view.

Other features: TTL image-sensor metering, with a choice of multi-segment, centre-weighted and spot modes; Contrast-detection autofocus system, with a face recognition function and 25 selectable focus points; CTE white-balance control mode to emphasize the predominant colour of a particular scene, such as the sunset; Auto Picture mode; 21 scene modes, including new Forest and Stage Lighting options; choice of image aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9 or 1:1); Multi-exposure mode (up to nine exposures on a single image), with an auto exposure compensation function; Interval shooting mode; choice of data storage medium – SD, SDHC, SDXC.

The External Viewfinder O-VF1 is designed for exclusive use with the new prime standard lens.

Available with a black or white body, the Pentax Q, along with five new interchangeable lenses specifically designed for use with it (see below), will start shipping in September. No pricing has been announced.

Q mount lenses

Five interchangeable lenses have been designed for exclusive use with the new Pentax Q camera. Featuring the newly designed Q lens mount, these new lenses come in two distinctive series: two models of the High-performance series offer exceptional image rendition, says Pentax, with three models in the Unique series.

The High-performance series includes the prime standard lens and standard zoom lens. The Unique series includes the prime ultra-wide-angle lens, and two “Toy” lenses, designed to produce a distinctive toy-camera-like visual effect – wide-angle lens and telephoto lens.

Featuring state-of-the-art optics incorporating special optical glass elements and Pentax lens coating technology, the Prime series delivers beautifully defined, high quality images that are sharp and high contrast, even at their edges, says the company. The AF motor installed in the lens barrel assures smooth, quiet focusing operation. The lenses are also equipped with a built-in ND (neutral density) filter.

The prime standard lens has a focal length equivalent to 47 mm in the 35 mm format, with maximum aperture of f/1.9 and incorporating two high grade aspherical optical elements.

With a focal length range equivalent to that of a 27.5-83 mm zoom lens in the 35mm format, the standard zoom lens incorporates a total of four extra-low-dispersion and low-refractive index aspherical optical elements, with minimum focusing distance of 30 cm at all focal lengths.

The Unique Series lenses all feature manual focus operation, fixed aperture and plastic lens mounts, and have no lens shutter unit — the main factors contributing to the massive reduction in size and weight and making them far more affordable than conventional interchangeable lenses.

The Pentax-03 Fish Eye ultra-wide angle lens offers an extra wide angle of view of 160 degrees along the diagonal line of the image sensor. The Pentax-04 Toy Lens Wide has a focal length equivalent to 35 mm in the 35 mm format. The Pentax-05 Toy Lens Telephoto is a prime medium telephoto lens with a focal length equivalent to 100 mm in the 35 format.