Panasonic just announced two new cameras – the Lumix DMC-LF1 enthusiast compact with WiFi capabilities, the DMC-G6 16-megapixel mid-range Micro Four Thirds camera and a new lens – the Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH.
Let’s start with the Lumix DMC-LF1. This is an enthusiast camera in the likes of their LX7, but with a longer/slower range (28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 equivalent, compared to the LX7’s 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3.) and an electronic viewfinder. The camera also features WiFi for remote control and wireless communications which can be setup using Near-Field Communications (NFC) technology. Sitting among the ranks of the LX7, the LF-1 offers fewer direct controls but is still more adjustable than most conventional compacts. The EVF is a rather low-res 202k-dot one but the 3″ rear LCD is a more respectable 920k-dot panel.
Ricoh stunned the world this week with the announcement of the impending availability of the world’ smallest APS-C sensor compact camera, the Ricoh GR, and naturally most of the major news sites went gaga over the next few days with previews of the camera. I’m not going to rehash many of the points already mentioned and dispense with the superlatives that have been associated with this new camera. As the owner of a Ricoh GXR system with the 28mm module with a APS-C sensor, I already knew the potential of a small camera system equipped with a APS-C camera, even if most previews and writeups of the camera seem to conveniently forget the fact the GXR with 28mm module actually exists.
What I’m instead going to write about here is the raison d’etre of such a camera – I’ve read previews and comments online commenting on the commercial viability or even photographic need for such a camera, with some also alluding to the fact that the Nikon Coolpix A was already on the market, and the Ricoh was merely copying the design. A few previews tried to dissect the camera based on specs, measuring auto focus speed and comparing with the Nikon Coolpix A. Some bemoaned the lack of a built in viewfinder, and some questioned the “slow” aperture of f2.8 for the lens. All have missed the point. Continue reading One Guy’s Thoughts: The New Ricoh GR→
Alright, for those of you who keep on bleating about “equivalent aperture” like it actually means something important, well, here is a lens to keep you happy: The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens. It’s not quite a 24-70/2.8 equivalent lens, since it’s only 27-52.5mm in equivalent focal length, but I suppose it will have to do. Personally, Sigma should have just made the lens a bit bigger (it only uses 72mm filter threads), and just make it do 24mm on the wide end at least. Timing is another thing – this should have come out three, four years ago, when the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300 were going strong, and before the cheaper full-frames showed up and became the next “in” thing. I still hope this goes somewhere, because APS-C I feel is still a good balance between size and quality, and currently is mostly crippled by lens selections. Another option will greatly help. No shipping date or pricing information however, which I greatly dislike. Can we stop with the so-called pre-announcements?
CK: Given that both Nikon and Canon doesn’t look like they’ll kill APS-C anytime soon (at least on the mid-range level), this should be a good choice for those who lust after fast lenses. That extra stop of light will give an edge to photographers who frequently need to shoot in low/available light (e.g. events and wedding).
Like the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, this appears to have a more “premium” look compared to their older offerings. Hopefully the image quality will be up to snuff. Like YS mentioned, the range is a little limited, and I’d also like to see it start at 24mm equivalent too.
We’ve been gone away a little longer than expected, but we’re not dead. It’s been quite a few weeks in the photography gear land, and there are a couple of interesting developments. Going to comment on one shortly; we’ll be right back!