Nikon D810 Review
Nikon Df Review
Three Guys’ Review: Nikon D5300

Panasonic Announces the Lumix DC-G9 With 20fps Burst and Enormous EVF

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DC-G9, a 20MP Micro Four Thirds Camera targeted at professional stills photographers. It’s capable of shooting at a continuous burst of 20fps, and has the same 20MP sensor as the well-regarded GH5. It is also able to produce a 80MP raw file by shifting its sensor eight times.

The image stabilisation of the G9 is capable of reducing shake at up to 6.5 stops, one of the best so far on interchangeable lens cameras. The stabilisation also works at wider focal lengths with non-stabilised lenses, and with longer focal length lenses with built-in IS, the G9 can utilise Dual IS 2.

The AF system on the G9 has 225 selectable AF points with improvements in both speed and tracking, allowing the camera to shoot at 20fps with continuous AF engaged, using its electronic shutter. When using the mechanical shutter, this drops to 9 fps. Using single AF, the camera can deliver up to 60fps of continuous shooting when using the electronic shutter, and 12 fps with the mechanical shutter. The buffer has enough space for up to 50 RAW images to be stored in a single burst.

The G9 is freeze-proof at temperatures down to -10ºC, and is sealed from the elements. The OLED EVF has a resolution of 3.68M dots with a magnification of 0.83x, making it one of the largest around. There is also the more traditional 3″ articulating LCD touch screen. There are SD card slots on the camera, and both supports UHS-II media for fast data transfers.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Flip LCD

Video-wise, the G9 can shoot 4K Ultra HD at up to 60fps at a bit rate of 150Mbps. There is no crop when shooting video at any resolution, which is a good thing as you will be using the full sensor. Slow motion video can be recorded at up to 60fps at 4K, and 180fps at 1080p Full HD.

Using the same DMW-BLF19 battery as the GH5, the G9 delivers up to 400 shots per charge. A Power Save LVF improves battery life by 2.3x but putting the camera to sleep when the EVF is not in use, turning it on instantly when the shutter button is half-pressed.

While most cameras’ WiFi is still on the older 802.11/b/g/n standards, the G9 uses the modern 802.11ac standard for faster wireless file transfers to compatible devices. You can also remotely control the camera using the Panasonic Image App.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 will ship in Jan 2018 at a price of US$1699 for the body alone. There is a optional vertical grip which will be sold for $349 at the same time.

 

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Sony Releases the a7R III With 42MP, 10fps, 15-stop DR, 5.5-stop IS and 4K Video

Sony a7R III with FE 24-70mm f/2.8

Sony has pulled all the stops with the release of the a7R III, an update to the highly successful and highly-acclaimed a7R II. It probably has everything you could ask for—a resolution of 42MP, 15-stop Dynamic Rage (DR) and shoots at up to 10fps with full AE/AF tracking. This is twice as fast as the 5fps offered by the a7R II Additionally, the in-body image stabilisation provides 5.5 stops of stabilisation—the world’s highest for a full-frame camera. The buffer is able to store up to 76 JPEG/RAW photos and 28 uncompressed RAW files, and the updated BIONZ X processing engine is able to process them at 1.8 times faster than the a7R II. This means that you can still use many of the camera’s key features while a batch of photos are still being written to the memory card.

The a7R II features a ISO range of 100-32,000, expandable to 50-10,2400, and at the low ISOs, the camera is able to achieve an extremely high dynamic range of 15-stops. There’s also a Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, similar to what Olympus have on their OM-D E-M5 II, which captures 4 separate photos shifted by 1 pixel to produce a 169.2MP image.

The AF system has been substantially improved, with 399 phase-detection AF points spanning 68% of the image area, in addition to 425 contrast-detect AF points. With this improvement, the a7R III can lock focus twice as fast as the a7R II in low light. Eye AF is also twice as accurate as the a7R II.

At the back of the a7R III is a 3.686M dot OLE EVF with coatings that reduce reflections, and dirt resistance. The refresh rate can be toggled between 60 and 120fps. Below the EVF is a 1.44M dot tilting LCD screen.

Sony a7R III back

On the video side of things, the a7R III can record 4K video using the full width of the sensor, and also shoot in super 35mm without pixel binning. There’s Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), S-Log2, S-Log3 and full HD recording at 120fps at up to 100Mbps.

The Sony a7R III will be available from November at US$3,200.

 

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Canon Announces Their First APS-C PowerShot—The G1 X Mark III

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

Canon has announced the G1 X Mark III, the first camera in the PowerShot Series to feature a APS-C sensor. The sensor is the same one as used by the EOS 77D and EOS M5, with a resolution of 24MP and Dual Pixel AF capabilities. Image processing is performed by the DIGIC 7 processor, also the same as the cameras mentioned previously.

ISO range is between 100 to 25,600, and the fixed zoom lens has a range of 24-72mm f/2.8-5.6 (35mm equivalent.) The compact body weighs just 400g, so essentially, it’s like a EOS M5 with a fixed zoom lens. The G1 X Mark III can shoot continuously at 7fps, and up to 9fps with fixed AF and the Dual Pixel System. There is optical image stabilisation on the lens, and 5-axis movie image stabilisation to help with the low light situations.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Rear LCD

At the back of the camera is a 2.36-million dot OLED EVF as well as a 3″ Vari-angle touchscreen LCD. You can also use the touch and drag AF to move the focussing point while shooting without taking your eyes off the EVF. The G1 X Mark III is also weather-sealed and does 1080/60p video recording. Sadly, no 4K recording is available.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III will be available from November 2017 at US$1,299.

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Yashica Launches Y35 digiFilm Camera on Kickstarter

Yashica digiFilm Y35

After weeks of teasing about an unprecedented return to camera world, Yashica has launched the Y35 digiFilm camera on Kickstarter. And boy, what a disappointment! For those who are old enough to know, Yashica was a Japanese camera maker known for their Electro 35 GSN rangefinder camera and FX-3 Super SLR cameras.

Yashica Electro 35 GSN

The teaser videos had shown a Electro 35 lookalike, and it’s reasonable to assume that they are coming up with a mirrorless camera modelled after it. It’ll really, really be nice if it was something like the Fujifilm X100 series—a fixed lens mirrorless camera with a reasonably large (meaning at least M43-sized) sensor, perhaps with rangefinder focussing like the Leica M-series. Unfortunately, what they released was far from it.

Yashica Y35 with digiFilm

The Yashica Y35 is a digital camera with a 1/3.2″ CMOS sensor with a resolution of 14MP, a fixed 35mm f/2.8 equivalent lens which can focus from 1m to infinity. Only five shutter speeds are available—1s, 1/30s, 1/60s, 1/250s and 1/500s. It runs on 2xAA batteries and images are stored on regular SD cards.

digiFilm in Yashica Y35

The highlight feature is the digiFilm modules. These looks like the APS-C film cartridges from the days of yore and contains the pre-processing algorithms for different looks in the final image. There is a high-contrast, high-grain ISO 1600 colour one, a high-grain, high-contrast B&W one at ISO 400 (probably simulating the Kodak Tri-X), a ultra-fine grain ISO 200 one with standard colour balance, and laughably, a “120 Format (6×6)” one, which is ”fits for Instagram (sic)”! The last one shoots square-format photos at an ISO of 200. The idea is that you pop in one of these, just as you would with film in a film camera, and you pick our (digi)Film according to the look you want to achieve. I see this as an opportunity to make more money from buyers.

digiFilm ISO 1600
digiFilm ISO 400 B&W
digiFilm ISO 200 Ultra Fine
digiFilm 120 Format (6×6)

But it’s now 2017 and such things can be done in-camera without having to swap fake film in and out. One can simply have a dial to select the mood desired and let the camera can do the rest. Also, did I mention there is no LCD screen and no delete function on the camera?

There is what looks like a film advance crank on the Y35, but there is no mention of what it does on the Kickstarter page. Perhaps, you do need to crank it after every shot. I am surprised they did not implement a limit on the number of shots you can take. It’d be fun if it stops shooting at 36 frames, requiring you to change your SD card and/or digiFilm regardless of your SD card’s capacity!

Also bear in mind that this is no longer the same Japanese Yashica that we knew, just as Nakamichi is no longer the high-end Japanese audio company. The Y35 is just a hipster camera to appeal to the hipster crowd with gimmicky features. I am sure there will be many people interested in getting one or more, and judging by the Facebook comments I’ve seen, this appears to be the  case. But sorry, this just doesn’t cut it.

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Fujifilm Launches 24MP X-E3 and Touch Controls

Fujifilm has announced the X-E3, featuring 24 megapixels and 4K video recording. This is an update to the X-E2S launched previously. The X-E3 has several features trickled down from the flagship X-T2, including a 325-point AF system. The subject tracking algorithms has also been improved over the X-E2S, allowing the X-E3 to capture subjects half the size or moving twice as fast as before.

The X-E3 is the first X-series camera to offer Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless communication. This allows photographers to pair the camera with a smartphone / tablet for easy transfer of pictures via the free Camera Remote application. The 3″ touch screen has a resolution of 1.04M dots, and the ability to select a focus area by tapping on it. There’s also intuitive smartphone-like gestures like double-tap to zoom, swiping between images, pinch to zoom etc. You can also create custom functions by swiping left, right, up, or down. Unfortunately, Fujifilm has removed the built-in flash on the X-E3, but a EF-X8 accessory flash is included in the box.

The Fujifilm X-E3 will be available in September for US$900 for the body alone, US$1300 with the XF 18-55mm kit lens, or US$1150 with the 35mm f/2R WR.

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Olympus Announces OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark III with Zuiko 14-42mm EZ.

Olympus has released the OM-D E-M10 Mark III, an update to the popular entry-level camera in the OM-D series. This new iteration brings 4K video recording at 24, 25 and 30fps and minor ergonomic improvements to the handling of the body.

The image processor utilises Olympus’s TruePic VIII, the same one featured in the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Combined with the in-body, 5-axis image stabilisation, the EM-10 Mark III delivers high quality images even in low-light situations which typically causes camera shakes.

The sensor remains at 16MP, the same as the predecessor, but the number of AF points has been increased from 81 in the Mark II to the 121 AF points in the Mark III. Continuous shooting speeds have been increased ever so slightly to 8.6 fps (from 8.5.)

The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is expected to ship in late September for US$650 for the body alone, or US$800 bundled with a M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ lens.

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Canon Launches EOS M100 MIrrorless Camera

Canon EOS M100

 

Canon has added a new mirrorless camera to the EOS M-series lineup with the M100. According to Canon, the new camera is targetted at those who are looking to step up from smartphone photography.

The M100 features a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 7 Image Processor. It’s capable of a continuous shooting speed of 6.1fps with AF locked, and 4fps without. Like the recently launched EOS 6D II, there is no 4K video recording, but you can record 1080p up to 60fps.

Canon EOS M100 with LCD flipped up

At the back of the camera is a 3″ touch screen with a resolution of 1.04 million dots, which you can tap on to change the focus points. The screen also tilts upwards to face the front, making it a good camera for vlogging.

The M100 will be available in either black or white starting in October 2017 at US$600 when bundled with an EF 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, or US$950 bundled with a EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and EF-M 55-200 f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lenses.

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Canon Launches EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Canon has launched the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM, joining the current EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lenses in the 85mm lineup. The new f/1.4L version provides up to four stops of image stabilisation, as well as dust and weather resistance. The 9-bladed iris aperture lets you have beautiful bokeh in your shots.

The lens will ship in November for US$1600.

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Canon Launches a Trio of Macro Tilt-Shift Lenses

Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L and TS-E 135mm f/4L

Canon has launched three new tilt-shift macro lenses—The TS-E 50mm f/2.8L, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L and the TS-E 135mm f/4L. Each of them are capable of a 1:2 magnification, while the TS-E 50mm f/2.8L is capable of achieving a 1:1 magnification via an optional adapter ring.

The TS-E 50mm f/2.8L and TS-E 135mm f/4L features SubWaveLength Structure Coating (SWC) to reduce flare and ghosting, and a new anti-reflective Air-Sphere Coating (ASC) is used on the TS-E 50mm f/2.8L and TS-E 90mm f/2.8L. All the lenses offer a larger tilt range, shift-and-lock knobs, and a mechanism to lock the lens at its zero tilt position.

All the lenses will be available in November at a price of US$2200.

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Nikon Launches the D850 45.7MP Full-frame, High-Performance DSLR for Professionals

Nikon D850

After posting a teaser last month, Nikon has officially launched the D850. Nikon has pulled all the stops in the development of this flagship DSLR with a combination of speed and resolution. The 45.7MP D850 is also Nikon’s first full-frame (FX) DSLR to use a back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, offering high-quality images and full-frame 4K UHD video recording.

Nikon D850 rear

Despite having such a high resolution, the D850 is able to shoot continuously at 7fps natively, or up to 9fps with the optional MB-D18 battery grip and EN-EL18a/b battery. The buffer is capable of  storing 51 frames of 14-bit lossless, or 170 frames of 12-bit lossless RAW files. ISO range can be set between 64 to 25,600, expandable to a range of 32 to 102,400.

The D850’s AF system uses the D5’s 153-point, Multi-Cam 240k AF system with 99 cross-type sensors. Out of these, 15 are sensitive down to f/8, allowing the photographer to achieve AF lock in low-light conditions.

Dual card slots

Other notable features include a 3.2″ tilting LCD like the D500, radio flash control, dual card shots (XQD + SD), illuminated buttons, focus stacking, and what Nikon claims to be their widest and brightest optical viewfinder, with a magnification of 0.75x.

Nikon D850 tilting screen

One interesting new feature is negative/positive scanning, which allows you to digitise your 35mm slides or negatives via the optional ES-2 film digitising adapter and compatible Micro-NIKKOR lenses. This sure beats scanning using a traditional film scanner.

On the video side of things, the D850 features zebra stripes to indicate blown highlights, 4K UHD capture at 24/30fps, slow motion at 1080p at 120 fps, and a 4K/8K time lapse mode.

The D850 will be available for US$3,299.95 from September 2017. The MB-D18 battery grip will cost US$399.95 and the ES-2 film digitising adapter will go for US$149.95.

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