mirrorless

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.

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Fujifilm X-T2

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XT2Let’s get the hype out of the way: Fujifilm is calling its X-T2 the “ultimate mirrorless camera.” More down to earth it’s a splash-resistant, premium, interchangeable lens camera with a large OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF), a camera housing the latest generation 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter, producing crisp image resolution comparable to that of cameras equipped with larger sensors and higher pixel counts, says the company, all in a more compact and classically-designed body.

To top it off, the X-T2 supports 4K video recording that can use each available Film Simulation mode, including ACROS, to easily produce premium-quality footage.

The camera has a dramatically improved autofocus system, increasing the overall single AF points to 325, and the number of Zone focusing points to 91 (expanded from 49 in previous models). Approximately 40 percent of the imaging area (centre area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection autofocus pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection autofocus area that can be used in a variety of scenes.

Fuji says with the high-speed X-Processor Pro and the use of improved algorithms, the X-T2 refocuses more frequently, enabling predictive AF of advanced accuracy. The camera also has an enhanced ability to autofocus on small points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine and delicate textures such as bird feathers and animal fur.

The X-T2’s contrast detection AF performance, enabled for approximately 65 percent of the imaging area, also has been improved. The data read speed has been doubled compared to previous models to achieve AF performance of higher speed and precision. Photographers will enjoy accurate focusing in all shooting situations, even in -3EV light.

Another area of improvement is the AF-C algorithm that has been significantly enhanced for even higher accuracy when focus-tracking moving subjects in the AF-C mode. According to the type of movement, users can choose individual settings for Subject Retention Characteristic, Acceleration / Deceleration Tracking Characteristic and Focus Zone Characteristic, or select one of five presets or customize specific settings for these three elements.

The camera reproduces warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green foliage in beautiful colours. The X-T2 includes the ACROS Film Simulation for smooth gradation, deep blacks and beautiful textures to create monochrome images. The camera also has the Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function is available in Strong and Weak options, and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. You can easily obtain the effect of film-based photos, notable especially when the image is printed out.

XT2 backBasic response specifications, such as startup time, shooting interval and shutter release time lag, have all been improved. The high-speed processing power and the use of improved algorithms have significantly improved the basic autofocus performance, and the X-T2 gives users AF-C Custom Settings for even higher accuracy in focus-tracking moving subjects.

The X-T2’s electronic viewfinder is capable of displaying up to 100 frames per second, while also maintaining the magnification ratio of 0.77x and a display time lag of 0.005 seconds. The duration of the viewfinder blackout, in which the EVF blacks out temporarily while the camera reads picture data, has been reduced by more than half.

The camera’s body is made of magnesium alloy, has weather-proofing at 63 points to achieve a high level of resistance to dust and moisture, and will operate in temperatures down to -10C (14F).

The company says similar ruggedness is applied to the new Vertical Power Booster Grip; it is dust-resistant, rugged and capable of operating at low temperatures. It holds two batteries, with one in the camera, to increase the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approximately 1,000 (Normal mode). In Boost mode, multiple batteries can operate at the same time to give a boost to camera performance in continuous shooting, shooting interval, shutter release time lag and blackout time, while also extending the duration of 4K video recording to approximately 30 minutes. The grip also features a shutter release button, focus thumbstick, AE-L button, AF-L button, command dials, Q button and Fn button plus headphone jack to enable audio monitoring during video recording. The grip itself has battery-charging functionality where by using the supplied AC adapter, users can fully charge two batteries at the same time in about two hours.

Other features:

Phase detection AF and motion predictive AF delivers continuous shooting up to 8 frames per second (up to 11fps using the Booster Grip); continuous shooting of 5fps in Live View.

Full 4K 3840×2160 30P/25P/24P shooting (using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher), with continuous recording up to approximately 10 minutes; Full HD 1920×1080 60P/50P/30P/25P/24P, with continuous recording up to approximately 15 minutes; HD 1280×720 60P/50P/30P/25P/24P, with continuous recording up to approximately 29 minutes.

Four different display modes: Full, Normal, Dual and Vertical. Full mode displays shooting information at the top and bottom of the screen to avoid obstruction of the view; Dual mode adds a small second screen for checking focus point with Focus Peak Highlight or Digital Split Image; Portrait mode, in Full or Normal modes, rotates the shooting information interface when the camera is turned vertically.

Wi-Fi and remote camera operation.

ISO 200 – 6400, extended ISO 100, 12800, 25600, Auto(maximum ISO setting from ISO 400 – ISO 6400 available) with High ISO 51200 setting.

The company says its Lens Modulation Optimizer technology maximizes each lens’ performance.

There’s an in-camera RAW converter.

Interval timer shooting for time lapse photography is available with intervals of 1 second to 24 hours.

Also new is the high-end, multi-function, external EF-X500 Flash. It is a hot-shoe mount flash with a maximum guide number of approximately 50, and includes support for the FP mode (high-speed flash sync) so that the flash can be fired at any shutter speed. The EF-X500 also supports multi-flash lighting. Through-the-lens (TTL) lighting control is available with single flash and also in the multi-flash setup.

The flash will handle lens coverage from 24 mm to 105 mm, up to 20 mm when the wide panel is used.

The flash head can be tilted up by 90° degrees, down by 10° degrees, to the left by 135° degrees and to the right by 180° degrees.

It’s equipped with an LED video light that can also be used as an AF assist light and catch light.

It registers up to 10 combinations of various settings to suit specific shooting conditions for quick activation.

The Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) will be available in September. The X-T2 and XF18-55 mm (27-84 mm equivalent) kit also will be available in September. The EF-X500 Flash will be available at the same time.

Panasonic GX85

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pana gx85Panasonic has unveiled another member of its G-series mirrorless cameras, the Lumix GX85, featuring no low pass filter and therefore delivering a nearly 10 percent boost in fine detail resolving power when compared to other 16-megapixel sensors, says the company.

The GX85 incorporates a new 5-axis Dual I.S. (image stabilizer) for more effective suppression of blur. Combining an O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for a larger range of movement than ever before, says Panasonic.

The 16.0-megapixel Live MOS sensor without a low pass filter and a new Venus Engine combine to achieve crisp, high resolution images in detail with high contrast, impressive colour reproduction, the company states. The camera adopts a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit; the shock caused by the movement of the shutter is said to be reduced by about 90 percent in comparison with a conventional spring-powered shutter unit. Shutter sound is also minimized. The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and is claimed to excel in both speed and accuracy by exchanging the digital signal between the camera and the lens at up to 240 fps, resulting in ultra-fast auto focusing of approx. 0.07 sec. A variety of AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF, and advanced Low Light AF are available.

The GX85 integrates a LVF (Live View Finder) with 2764K-dot equivalent high resolution and approximately 100 percent colour reproduction. This 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts 100 percent field of view. The new 3.0-inch high resolution static-type touch monitor with approximately 100 percent of field of view tilts up by 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees for shooting at either high or low angles.

For even more creative photography, the GX85 integrates the new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style that offers monochrome capture with rich gradation comparable to that of B&W film. Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket are also new additions to conventional Exposure Bracket and WB Brackets.

Thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity, users can connect the camera to their smartphone / tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting/storing/sharing images.

The camera is capable of recording 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in addition to the full-HD 1920 x 1080 60p videos with full-time AF.

4K PHOTO is on tap, to extract photos from video. Three modes are available: 4K Burst, 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. All these enable saving pictures in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution.

The GX85 comes with the Post Focus function that enables users to select an in-focus area even after shooting. You can get multiple shots with different focus points with a single shutter release to choose from. This function has been developed by combining the DFD (Depth From Defocus) autofocus technology that enables measuring the distance to the subject, and 4K technology. Just shoot an image in a Post Focus mode and touch on the point where you want to set focus while playing it back.

In addition, the camera incorporates the Light Composition function as a new option of 4K PHOTO mode. The camera synthesizes the images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel. Panasonic says this makes it possible to produce a more luxurious, dramatic image of situations such as fireworks or night scenery in camera.

The camera also enables 4K Live Cropping in video that yields stable panning or zooming while video recording. In panning shots, you can just set the viewing angle to start and end to get smooth panning imagery without using special equipment such as a slider. When zooming, you can set the after-zoomed viewing angle first, so that the subject can fit perfectly in the frame. Thanks to the digital operation, the imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not physically move the zoom lens.

About that 5-axis Dual I.S.: Panasonic says it makes possible a 4-step slower shutter speed, and works in both photo and motion picture recording, including 4K video. Most of Panasonic’s lenses will comply with this 5-axis stabilization, says the company, even when a lens without O.I.S. is used.

The Venus Engine is said to reproduce vibrant, impressive colour by dividing hue, saturation, and luminosity, and finely adjusts them separately. The GX85 enables users to choose a preset of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction according to the shooting subject in Photo Style.

Minimum noise is claimed even at ISO 25,600.

The Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely even without the AF assist lamp in low-lit situations down to -4EV, which is as dark as moonlight, according to the company. Plus, the GX85 integrates Starlight AF which allows users to shoot a star in the sky at night with autofocus.

There are 49 focus detection areas; with Custom Multi AF mode users can select the focus blocks. In addition to the conventional Face Recognition AF, the GX85 incorporates Face / Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus on the eye of a human face. With the Pinpoint AF, users can magnify the target area to set precise focus.

The camera’s viewfinder comes with Eye Sensor, and Eye Sensor AF starts auto focusing by just looking into the LVF.

The GX85 has a thick, solid grip. The front/rear dual dial system enables direct setting; for example, users can adjust white balance with a front dial and set ISO with a rear dial while choosing the shutter speed or seeing the noise effect.

Creative Control mode features a total of 22 filter options. The effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. Now it is possible to apply one of these filters even in P/A/S/M mode. Users can combine a favourable setting and filter to make specific effect. TheGX85 is capable of taking pictures “with” and “without” filter effect simultaneously, so that users can compare them and choose later.

The GX85 integrates Wi-Fi connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) for instant image sharing via smartphone/tablet.

The camera also offers RAW data development in camera, silent mode, and Time Lapse Shot / Stop Motion Animation.

Also announced is an accessory flash, the DMW-FL200L with 90-degree vertical bounce lighting. It also can be used as LED light when video recording.

No word yet on Canadian availability and pricing, although it will be available in the U.S. in May, in both silver and black versions with a 12-32 mm kit lens.

UPDATE: Available at the end of May in Canada. Body only $999.99 and with a 12-32 mm kit lens, $1099.99.

Sony α6300

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sony alpha 6300Sony’s latest mirrorless camera is the alpha 6300. The camera boasts a 4D FOCUS system which Sony says can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, laying claim to the world’s fastest AF acquisition time.

But perhaps the biggest “wow” are the 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over the entire image area (another ‘world’s first’ claim for Sony, the highest number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera). The 6300 can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking.

The camera also has the ability to support full live-view continuous shooting on the Tru-finder or LCD screen at up to 8 frames per second, which Sony says combines all the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of a through-the-lens optical viewfinder.

The camera is equipped with a newly developed 24.2-megapixel APS-C sized Exmor CMOS sensor that works with a BIONZ X image processing engine to produce outstanding image quality throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 51200, says the company.

The 6300 can also shoot and record high resolution 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the popular Super 35 mm format.

The 6300 also debuts a new High-density tracking AF technology said to significantly improve subject detection and tracking performance. This new technology can quickly activate a large number of AF points surrounding a subject – approximately 7.5 times more density than the alpha 6000 – and intelligently adjust them in accordance with the subject’s motion.

Of note, the 425 phase detection AF points, enhanced tracking and focus accuracy are all available on the 6300 when using A-mount lenses with a mount adaptor such as the Sony LA-EA3. This is a first for Sony E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, as the only other cameras to feature this capability are the full-frame alpha 7R II and 7 II models.

Other enhancements to the 6300 include silent shooting functionality, the ability to use AF in focus magnifier mode, expanded flexible spot AF, and Eye AF in AF-C mode.

Sony notes the new image sensor employs copper wiring in its structure, which improves light collection efficiency and significantly accelerates readout speed. The processor features an upgraded image processing algorithm designed to maximize the sensor’s overall capabilities. The two key components work together to produce images with low noise and exceptional resolution in sensitivity settings up to ISO 51200, in particular in the mid-to-high sensitivity range, says Sony.

In another first for non-full-frame Sony interchangeable lens camera, the new model offers internal 4K movie recording in Super 35 mm format. When shooting in 4K, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 20 megapixels of information – approximately 2.4x (6K equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality  footage with exceptional detail and depth.

The camera utilizes the XAVC S codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during standard Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats.  Additionally, the camera will focus approximately twice as fast as its predecessor during movie shooting thanks to its new and improved AF system. AF speed and AF tracking sensitivity are also adjustable for expanded creativity.

Other professional calibre video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at 100 Mbps, another first for alpha interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sized sensors.  This mode allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD8 (24p or 30p) resolution with AF tracking.  The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider colour space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.

Also included on the new camera is a microphone line input that accepts external microphones and also supports XLR input with Sony’s XLR adapter kit, as well as Gamma Display Assist, a new function allowing users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies. The new model has enhanced Zebra functionality for greater exposure control. Picture profile settings are available, as well as Time Code / User Bit.

The 6300 is equipped with a high contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 2.4 million dots to offer exceptional corner-to-corner visibility, notes the company. There is also a new mode available for the viewfinder to allow display of images at 120 fps, ensuring action is displayed smoothly with very few afterimages, making subject tracking through the Tru-finder easier than ever.

As well as having a magnesium alloy design, the camera can be customized, offering 9 customizable buttons for assignment of one of 64 different functions. The camera adds a digital level gauge as well as upgraded dust and moisture resistance, a reinforced lens mount structure and a new shutter release button and mode dial with improved operability and grip.

The 6300 camera is Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app available for Android and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps, which add a variety of creative capabilities to the camera. It also supports QR code for easy connection to non-NFC smart phones.

The Sony alpha 6300 camera will be available in March for about $1,350 for the camera body or for about $1,500 paired with a 16-50 mm f/3.5–5.6 kit.

Leica SL

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Leica-SLIt’s a Leica. And it’s a mirrorless camera. Not a rangefinder, a mirrorless camera. Oh, and it’s full-frame.

Aimed at pro photographers, made in Germany, and sporting a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor. This just gets more and more interesting.

Developed for the Leica SL, the camera’s electronic viewfinder is the first to feature Leica EyeRes technology. The company says it has a latency time below the threshold of perception, a resolution of 4.4 million pixels and a magnification reminiscent of a medium-format camera. The EyeRes viewfinder is activated simply by looking through it. In addition, the camera also has a nearly 3-inch back panel display with a viewing angle of up to 170° and touchscreen menu navigation.

The Maestro II series processor and 2 GB of buffer memory make it possible to capture consecutive exposures at rates of up to 11 frames per second at full resolution, and 4K video with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Pictures can be saved simultaneously to an SD memory card as both a JPEG and DNG. The company claims the camera achieves the best performance currently possible in the professional camera class.

The full-frame sensor is said to deliver impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness, the highest resolution, and noise-free images in almost all lighting conditions.

Shutter speeds range from 30 minutes to 1/8000 sec. ISO maximum is 50,000.

While there are new lenses for the camera, see below, it is also designed to use Leica M lenses, supporting all their functions.

Videos can be recorded in UHD at 30 frames per second or even in Cine4K at 24 frames per second. In full HD, the camera records video at up to 120 frames per second and makes use of the entire sensor area.

As soon as the camera is in video mode, the display shows only relevant information for video recording, such as safe area, aspect ratio, zebra function, or the recording level of the microphone. An optional audio adapter allows you to connect an external microphone and the audio recording level can be set without accessing the menu. Videos can be output in 4:2:2 10-bit format in 4K resolution over HDMI 1.4.

Body components machined from solid aluminum and precisely engineered seals around controls and in the lenses provide optimum protection against dust, moisture and splashes, says Leica. Integrated ultrasonic sensor cleaning removes dust and dirt from the sensor. The glass covering the back panel display is extremely scratch-resistant and features an anti-reflex coating.

Now, those new lenses. Leica says they are distinguished by superior optical and mechanical precision. The Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. is the standard zoom lens in the system’s lens portfolio. There’s also the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8–4 and the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. Further Leica SL lenses will follow, says the company.

All lenses for the Leica T camera can be used without an adapter. In addition, appropriate adapters allow Leica S, M, and R system lenses and lenses from other manufacturers to be mounted on the Leica SL.

The Leica SL body will be on sale mid-November. The Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. zoom lens will be available at the same time. The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2,8-4/90-280mm ASPH will be available in the second quarter of 2016, and the Leica Summilux-SL 1:1,4/50mm ASPH. will be available Q4 of 2016.

Panasonic GX8

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The camera will be sold "body only" – lens is extra
The camera will be sold “body only” – lens is extra

Panasonic’s new flagship mirrorless G-series camera is the GX8 with 20-megapixel sensor, dual image stabilization and 4K video and photo capabilities. The weather sealed camera also comes with a magnesium alloy full diecast frame.

For the first time in a Lumix G camera, the GX8 boasts a dual image stabilizer. By evolving the in-body image stabilizer, the new model integrates Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) to secure a more powerful hand shake correction. Almost any type of hand shake can be effectively suppressed with this, says the company.

The new 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor excels both in response, sensitivity and dynamic range, Panasonic modestly suggests. The Venus Engine boosts its performance with a quad-core CPU that enables high speed signal processing. Integrating superior noise reduction systems, the GX8 allows for shooting at up to ISO 25600. Sensitivity, gradation performance, resolution and colour reproduction are “dramatically improved” to achieve even higher picture quality. It is also capable of high speed burst shooting at 8 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC).

The GX8 is capable of recording high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3840×2160 at 30p (60Hz) or 24p in MP4 in addition to the full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (60 Hz) videos in AVCHD Progressive or MP4 (MPEG-4 / H.264) format with practical full-time AF. Users can capture 4K photos at 30 fps in 8-megapixel resolution. There are three 4K Photo modes: 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst.

The GX8 boasts newly developed high-speed dual OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays for the LVF (Live View Finder) and 3-inch free-angle rear monitor. The tiltable LVF features the highest magnification ratio for a Lumix camera at approximately1.54x / 0.77x (35 mm camera equivalent) magnification and 100 percent field of view. Adoption of OLED for the LVF and static-type touch control system rear monitor achieves high speed response with minimum time lag of less than 0.01 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast, Panasonic notes.

A range of functions are allocated to the dials and buttons.

The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology which exchanges a digital signal between the camera and the lens at up to 240 fps, resulting in ultra-fast autofocusing of approximately 0.07 sec. AF functions include Face / Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF, and advanced Low Light AF.

Thanks to the connectivity of Wi-Fi with NFC (Near Field Communication), users can connect the camera to their smartphone / tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting, storing, and sharing images.

About that Dual I.S. – both Body I.S. and Lens I.S. work at the same time to take maximum advantage of both stabilizers in wide angle as well as at the tele end.

For video recording, 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus), corrects complex movement for stable imagery on multiple axes.

The Venus Engine with its quad-core CPU enables high speed signal processing. Optimizing the combination design of the sensor, the imaging engine and the low-pass filter enhance the resolution by approximately 15 percent in comparison to the GX7. The aperture filter is capable of controlling a wide frequency range and adjusts the amount of sharpness according to the frequency level, resulting in faithful stereoscopic effect. Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) applies effective noise reduction and detail processing according to each component frequency. Plus, newly added Random Filter granulates chromatic noise to be blended into the image even more naturally.

The Venus Engine also improves colour reproduction, saturation and luminosity. In addition, the Venus Engine in the GX8 excels in diffraction compensation to make images crisp and clear with a small aperture.

4K Photo can be used to capture photos at 30 fps in 8-megapixel resolution by cutting any frame out of the 4K burst file. 4K Burst Shooting allows almost unlimited shooting at 30 fps, which can be used just like photo burst shooting. The 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) mode starts consecutively shooting with a single press of a shutter button and stops it with a second press, more suitable for shooting opportunities requiring a longer waiting time. The 4K Pre-burst automatically records a total of 60 images right before and after the shutter release.

All these functions in 4K Photo allows the user to save pictures in 8-megapixel resolution: 3840×2160 (16:9), 3328×2496 (4:3), 3504×2336 (3:2), 2880×2880 (1:1). Images shot with 4K Photo mode have the EXIF information embedded and can be handled in the same way as images shot during normal photo shooting.

The camera’s tiltable LVF offers the ability to look down into the viewfinder to level the camera straight on the subject. Thanks to a newly designed larger eyecup, the visibility of the LVF is dramatically improved, says Panasonic.

Live view images can be displayed in monochrome through the LVF which emphasizes the contour when using Focus Peaking.

The GX8 comes with an exposure compensation dial in addition to the front / rear dials, which lets users set -5EV to +5EV. Users can change settings such as aperture, shutter speed with the front / rear dials and can also customize the assignment of these dials as well as the Fn buttons. For example, users can adjust white balance with a front dial and set ISO with a rear dial while choosing the shutter speed or seeing the noise effect. Either AFS/AFC/MF can be switched with the dedicated focus lever.

Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely even without an AF assist lamp in extremely low-lit situations to -4EV, which is comparable to a moonlit sky. The GX8 also integrates Starlight AF which allows users to shoot a star in the sky at night using autofocus.

Focus detect area is increased from 23 (GX7) to 49 points for more flexible composition together with Custom Multi AF mode in which users can freely select the areas of focus out of the 49 possible points. In addition to the conventional Face Recognition AF, the GX8 incorporates Face / Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus right on the eye of a human face.

With Pinpoint AF, users can magnify the target area to set precise focus. With the new algorithm of AF Tracking, not only the colour but also the size and motion vector of the target are recognized, enabling the camera to lock on the subject even more securely. The result is the AF tracking performance of approximately 200 per cent or greater which means the camera has less chance of losing the subject.

The GX8 offers a maximum shutter speed of 1/16000 sec (electronic).

The GX8 is capable of developing RAW images in camera. In addition to the colour space setting (sRGB / AdobeRGB), the parameter of white balance, exposure compensation, contrast, highlight / shadow, saturation, and noise reduction or sharpness can be flexibly adjusted while Lumix’s Photo Style, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Resolution can also be applied.

Creative Control mode features a total of 22 filter options. The effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. Now it is possible to apply one of these filters even in P/A/S/M mode. Users can combine settings and filters. Also, the GX8 is capable of taking pictures “with” and “without” the filter effect simultaneously, so that users can compare them and choose later.

Panorama Shot function allows capture of horizontal / vertical ultra-wide panoramic images by shooting sequential pictures.

The Panasonic Lumix GX8 will be available September in either black or chrome metal with an MSP of $1,599 (sold body only).

Olympus OM-D E-M10

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oly E m10The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a mirrorless, Micro Four Thirds, interchangeable lens camera described by company reps as the EM-5’s little brother. Olympus says the E-M10 combines the image quality, speed and power of the flagship E-M1 and the E-M5 into an extremely compact all-metal body.

The camera features the new TruePic VII image processor, the same found in the E-M1, 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, Wi-Fi technology, a large electronic viewfinder, 3-axis image stabilization, ultrafast autofocus, and a built-in flash.

Olympus says the combo of 16-megapixel sensor and TruePic VII image processor with M.Zuiko lenses will deliver beautiful image quality with high resolution, superior colour reproduction and high sensitivity that exceeds other cameras in its class.

Maximum sensitivity is ISO 25600, and ISO LOW mode (100 equivalent) expands the low-sensitivity end.

oly e m10 backThe sensor’s rich dynamic range is said to make smooth gradations possible and beautifully depicts high-contrast highlights and shadows. Fine Detail Processing II technology configures the appropriate sharpness processing for each individual lens resulting in natural, high-quality resolution.

The E-M10’s in-body 3-axis image stabilization system is derived from the 5-axis system in the E-M5 and E-M1. The 3-axis version effectively counteracts yaw, roll and pitch with both still shots and HD movies, regardless of the lens attached to the camera.

The on-board FAST AF is Olympus’ fastest-ever AF system and uses 81 target areas that cover the whole image. Small AF Target and Super Spot AF modes make it possible to zoom in and focus accurately on minute sections of the frame.

The E-M10 is also capable of capturing high-speed action with 8fps sequential shooting, the fast processor supports continuous capture of up to 20 RAW frames or an unlimited number of JPEG frames, and the Continuous Auto Focus with Tracking mode accurately tracks and captures moving subject as fast as 3.5 fps.

The slim, compact and lightweight E-M10 body is built with precision-machined metal parts and a premium feel.

Two easy-to-reach metal dials give excellent operability and improved control, and the grip is designed to rest comfortably in the user’s hand.

Despite its size, the E-M10 is the first OM-D with a built-in flash that is optimized for 1/250 second synchronization, a benefit for daytime flash photography.

The 1,440,000-dot electronic high resolution viewfinder (EVF) located on the optical axis of the E-M10 features a 120-fps refresh rate, a 100 percent field of view and maximum 1.15x magnification to help accurately frame shots.

An eye sensor seamlessly switches the display between the tilting, 3.0-inch touch-screen monitor and the electronic viewfinder.

Camera setting information is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder and photographers can take full advantage of the EVF’s ability to display the effects of various exposure adjustments, Art Filter effects and Creative Controls like Colour Creator, Image Aspect control, Highlight/Shadow control, Live Histogram, Display of five different grid patterns and even a Level Gauge, all without having to remove your eye from the viewfinder.

New features include Live Composite Mode and Photo & Movie Capture. Live Composite Mode is a tool that offers previews of long exposures in the EVF. Photo & Movie Capture lets users shoot high-quality still images without interrupting the video recording.

A dozen Art Filters, three HDR capture modes and Photo Story add to the mix.

The E-M10 includes built-in Wi-Fi. By scanning the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD with a smart device, it syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. The free Olympus Image Share smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and E-M10 so the camera’s Live View is effectively displayed on the phone. In this way, the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display as if it were the camera itself, and users can send selected images directly to websites and social media.

The Olympus OM-D EM10 will be available in March in black or silver. Estimated street price: $699.99 body only, $799.99 with M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens.

Olympus has also introduced two new Micro Four Thirds lenses to its line-up.

The super-slim M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom lens measures just 0.9 inches thick, making it the world’s slimmest standard zoom lens, says the company. It has a smooth electric zoom that is suitable for shooting movies, and can also be zoomed in and out remotely using compatible smartphones through the updated Olympus Image Share app. Price: $349.99.

25 mm lens
25 mm lens

The super-bright, lightweight, high-performance M.Zuiko Digital 25 mm f/1.8 lens has a fixed focal length and is ideal for capturing portraits or close-ups from as little as 9.8 inches away. Price is pegged at $399.99.

Several new Micro Four Thirds accessories join the Olympus line-up.

The fixed-aperture f/8 Fish Eye Body Cap lens has a focal length of 9 mm (equivalent: 18 mm). It’s an ultra-slim accessory for creative wide-angle shooting through its 5-element, 4-group lens construction. The multi-use lens barrier MF lever switches from pan focus shooting to close up 8-inch shooting with a single press of the lever. Price: $99.99.

The ECG-1 matching ergonomic grip is a removable grip exclusively for use with the E-M10. The grip, says Olympus, is the perfect thickness for resting the ring finger and pinky when holding the camera. A single press of the lever on the bottom of the grip easily removes it, making replacing batteries and memory cards seamless.

The MCON-PO2 macro converter is compatible with six Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses and adapts them for close-up shooting.

The Automatic Opening Lens Cap LC-37C is available exclusively for use with the new 14-42 mm EZ. When the camera is turned off, this accessory protects the lens from dust and scratches, and when the camera is powered on the lens cap instantly opens for snapshots and quick shooting.

Fujifilm X-T1

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fuji XT1The Fujifilm X-T1 is a weather-resistant premium compact system camera with a large OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) that delivers a near-instant image preview, 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor, and what the company says is the world’s fastest auto focus speed of 0.08 seconds.

Aimed at professionals and enthusiast photographers, the camera has sealed, water, dust, and temperature resistant body.

The OLED viewfinder boasts 2.36 million dot resolution with magnification of 0.77x and display lag-time of 0.005 seconds.

The viewfinder uses a newly designed graphic user interface (GUI) that provides what Fuji calls “an exciting shooting experience” with clear details and a comfortable at-a-glance view of settings.

There are four OLED EVF display modes:

“FULL” mode takes full advantage of the high magnification ratio of the X-T1’s viewfinder to give an unrivalled view of the scene.

“NORMAL” provides an optimum view, including shooting settings.

“DUAL” is specially designed for manual focusing with a split view. The regular view and manual focus area can be simultaneously checked (with Digital Split Image or Focus Peak Highlight).

PORTRAIT” view in “NORMAL” and “FULL” modes automatically rotates the displayed information when the camera is held vertically.

The X-T1 uses the EXR Processor II and X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in phase detection that delivers focus speed of just 0.08 seconds and a 0.5 second start-up time, along with a 0.05 second shutter time lag and a 0.5 second shooting interval.

The X-T1 can shoot up to 8 frames per second with intelligent AF tracking.

Fujifilm says this is the first-ever compact system camera (CSC) to be compatible with SDXC UHS-II format memory cards for data writing speed (in Continuous Mode) that is approximately twice that of a conventional SD card.

fuji XT1 backThe X-T1 lays claim to being the first weather-resistant X-Series CSC (when used with a weather-resistant lens) that performs in a wide range of challenging environments. The X-T1 has approximately 80 points of weather sealing, and the camera body is dust-resistant and water-resistant. The X-T1 is also freezeproof to -10°C, while the 3-inch LCD screen is made of tempered glass for additional outdoor protection.

The X-T1 offers one-touch WiFi connectivity that lets you easily shoot remotely via a smartphone or tablet using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app. It also allows sharing of images to a smartphone or tablet.

The camera has a die-cast magnesium body, five mechanical dials on the top-plate, twin front and rear command dials, and six fully customizable function buttons.

The top-plate includes two precision-milled aluminum double-deck dials for shutter speed and metering, and ISO sensitivity and drive modes, and each is designed to turn with a reassuring click, while their textured surfaces gives a firm confirmation when setting up a shot.

The X-T1’s settings can be checked at a glance without using the rear LCD and the dials are arranged so functions can be changed without removing your eye from the viewfinder.

The optional vertical battery grip (VG-XT1, battery not included) has the same structure as the X-T1, so when added to the body it is completely secured against the elements and provides double the shooting power when a second battery is used.

Fujifilm has said it will launch three weather-resistant zoom lenses to complement the X-T1 in 2014, the XF18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 R OIS WR, XF16-55 mm f/2.8 R OIS WR, and XF50-140 mm f/2.8 R OIS WR.

Included with the X-T1 is a weather sealed external flash (EF-X8) with a guide number of 11 (ISO 200).

The Fujifilm X-T1 (body only) will be available in March for a suggested retail of $1,299.95, and the X-T1 with the XF18-135 mm (27-203 mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6 lens (kit) will be available in June for a suggested retail of $1899.95.

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.