Nikon Df Review

Nikon Df with the AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition
Nikon Df with the AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition

Introduction

The Nikon Df was introduced last year to a host of fanfare and hype, with the initial rumours going as far out as claiming to be a “full-frame” mirrorless camera which it is not; it is a standard F-mount SLR. The two biggest standout features of the camera are the much talked about and much hyped manual film SLR design and user interface, and the less discussed, but still noteworthy, D4 sensor, in what is probably the only way to get it at an affordable price point without having to wait for the D4 itself to be obsolete and on sale in the secondary for three pieces of toast and a cup of coffee.

We have looked at the Df before, but now that we have handled it and shot with it for a longer period, what did we think? Continue reading Nikon Df Review

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Sony Announces the Much Rumoured Cyber-shot RX100 III With EVF

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Sony released the second incarnation of the popular Cyber-shot RX100. Today, Sony officially announced the launch of their RX100 III. While the second generation RX100 II adds a hotshoe, the latest model eschews it in favour of a very innovative pop-up EVF (much like a pop-up flash) with a resolution of 1.44 million dots. Continue reading Sony Announces the Much Rumoured Cyber-shot RX100 III With EVF

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Nikon Releases US$12,000 AF-S 400mm f/2.8E and Matching 1.4x AF-S Teleconverter

Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL E VR
Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL E VR

Not to be outdone by Canon’s recent release of a pair of ultra-wide angle lenses, Nikon has released a new super telephoto. This is an update to the AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR and costs US$3,000 more. The newly released AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR features a new magnesium alloy die-cast barrel and 2 fluorite elements (hence the FL moniker), shaving 820g off the weight of the predecessor. Continue reading Nikon Releases US$12,000 AF-S 400mm f/2.8E and Matching 1.4x AF-S Teleconverter

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Canon Announces EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lenses

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Holy cow. No, I am not talking about the 16-35mm f/4. Though has IS and will leave many tempted to get an ultrawide L that is better than the 17-40 without spending too much, my reaction is for the smaller lens: The EF-S 10-18mm. Not because it’s remarkable, but the pricing for it is, which comes in at US$300. That has to be the cheapest ultra-wide ever for a major lens mount. That’s barely S$400! For a 16-29mm equivalent lens! Even if the aperture is slower than the current 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 by about one stop, the IS can help with static subjects, so it is not a total loss either. The only other lenses that come close to this pricing are the mirrorless ultra-wide zooms for Nikon and Canon’s systems, which both did not sell well and are thus unlikely to have the same sales impact. If the performance is even decent, nevermind good, watch the lens get snapped up real quick. Heck, that might even push a few DSLRs, even with Canon’s ageing sensors.

Something to ponder: You can assemble a pretty complete system from Canon for cheap now, and it will cover 16 to 400mm in 35mm equivalent terms. This is Canon’s answer to the mirrorless tide it seems: Just undercut them with superior pricing based on economies of scale, using light lenses and small DSLRs to mitigate the size and weight difference. Continue reading Canon Announces EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lenses

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Sony Tweaks A77 with A77 II

Sony A77 II with DT 16-50mm f/2.8 Lens Minolta lovers, Sony’s still not totally given up on the Alpha mount yet, and while the A77 II does not add much, the changes are likely to be welcome. The sensor is now a 24 megapixel sensor that will probably be best-in-class if not for the “translucent” mirror robbing about half a stop of light, thus making the sensor having to work that little bit harder. The autofocus is improved now, and features a 79 point autofocus sensor with 15 cross type sensors with additional options. I remember when having more than one autofocus point was something great, and now we have 79! Will we break 100 before 2020?

Other upgrades include a new LCD, which uses Sony’s newfangled “White Magic” screen that adds another bunch of white sub-pixels (resolution should still be VGA), and there is also Wi-Fi now, though GPS was lost in the process. The rest of the camera is still pretty much the same, including that rather nice EVF. It is not a bad upgrade, but I still think the overall concept is flawed; giving up half a stop of light hitting the sensor just for live view. Half a stop might not seem like much, but that means you are getting dangerously close to Micro Four Thirds level performance, while Canon and Nikon pull away with their more traditional designs.

The A77 II will be available in June for a body-only price of US$1200.

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