There have been plenty of false alarms in recent months, but Canon’s first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC) is finally here — in fact, we’re holding it in our hands. The EOS M is clearly reminiscent of a point-and-shoot, such as the company’s high-end PowerShot S100. Sure, Canon could have added some of the dedicated controls that its professional user base would demand, but photojournalists aren’t the target here, for a few reasons. Canon’s primary motivation, at least from an official perspective, was to create a camera that serves to bridge the gap between pocketable compacts and full-size DSLRs with a simple user interface designed to educate, not intimidate. Also key, however, was avoiding cannibalization of the company’s low-end and mid-range Digital SLR models, which clearly still have a place in the lineup one tier above this ILC.
Canon touts EOS Rebel T4i with improved video focusing system, EF-S 18-135mm and EF 40mm silent lenses (hands-on)
There wasn’t much reason to upgrade with last year’s T3i, but that’s certainly not the case with the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. This new entry-level DSLR packs a redesigned 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with brand-new focus capabilities, enabling the camera to use both phase- and contrast-detection autofocus when paired with one of two new STM lenses. The center portion of the sensor uses traditional phase-detection technology, while points nearer to the perimeter aid by recognizing contrast in a scene, enabling a more accurate autofocus technique for both stills and video shooting. On the video front, the new lenses — an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM for $550 or the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM “pancake” for $200 — allow for much more silent zoom and focusing during video capture, so you don’t need to worry about those sensitive stereo mics picking up mechanical noise. The camera still did a bit of focus hunting while recording video during our hands-on, but autofocus performance was quite impressive while capturing stills, even in low light.
Japanese camera manufacturer Olympus has just introduced the successor to its SZ-30MR compact shooter. The new snapper not only sees a minimal increment on its stage name, SZ-31MR, but it also keeps the same 16-megapixel backlit sensor as its predecessor, as well as an identical 24x (25-600mm) optical zoom. Though, the newcomer does get a fresh image processor, making the jump from a TruePic III to a TruePic V, thus bringing along better low-light performance, scene enhancements and keeping high-quality shots while using the zoom feature. Amongst other traits, the device is packing a 3-inch (920,000-dot) LCD, 6400 ISO and 1080p video capture at 30fps. Olympus is also implementing a new technology dubbed iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed), which the company claims will produce sharper and more vivid images. All this can be yours for a mere $399 this April when it’s released, but if you want to know more before parting with that cash, check the pic gallery below and the PR after the break.
Olympus has embraced the camera designs of yesteryear for several generations, from its first Micro Four Thirds models to last year’s E-P3. But now the Japanese camera maker is stepping up its retro game, announcing a brand new line of Micro Four Thirds cams. Meet the OM-D. A dramatic departure from the more modern-looking PEN cameras, this new line of mirrorless models, specifically the E-M5, in many ways duplicates the design elements of the 1970s-era OM System. The first consumer camera in that SLR lineup, the OM-10, served as clear inspiration for the slightly boxy, black or silver and black magnesium alloy digital model we have today. We were able to spend some time with the Olympus E-M5 before tonight’s announcement, and were very impressed with what we saw. Jump past the break for our impressions and an Olympus-guided video walkthrough, and thumb through the gallery below for a detailed look at the company’s answer to the Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Exactly twelve months after the unveiling of the Optio WG-1 family, Pentax is now introducing the successors to its colorful and ruggedized shooters. And while its macho design hasn’t changed much, the newcomers usher in a host of predictable spec bumps. The new all-terrain shooters are sporting a 16-megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 1080p (30fps) movie mode, micro-HDMI for when you feel like sharing your adventures and a 3-inch, 460,000 -dot LCD to help you frame your shots. Of course, this wouldn’t fall under the rugged category if it couldn’t handle anything you threw at it, which is why any WG-2 is waterproof up to 40 feet, shock-resistant and dustproof. If you’re thinking about taking one of these on the trails with you, be ready to unleash around $350 for the unguided model or about $50 more for a GPS-enabled number. Neither will be available until March, so you’ll have to wait a while, but in the meantime we’ve got the full PR below along with some press shots.
Thirty six megapixels. That’s the native resolution of Nikon’s long-awaited FX-format digital SLR. The D800 was designed with all professional photographers in mind, but with 36.3-megapixel captures (yes, that also means 36.3 megapixels in RAW, or 15.4 in DX format), the Japanese camera maker’s latest DSLR output is likely to far exceed the needs of many. It also limits low-light shooting capabilities — the D800 is a full-frame camera, but even so, with a standard sensor capturing 36.3 megapixels, its high-ISO performance is unlikely to match the likes of the D4, or Canon’s new 1D X. It’s for this reason that Nikon limited the camera’s top native sensitivity to ISO 6400, or 25,600 in Hi2 extended mode. Want to see more? Thumb through the gallery below and jump past the break for a closer look at the latest full-frame DSLR to hit the market.
Remember the NEX-7? Ever since a days-long shooting session back in September, Sony’s prized mirrorless cam has eluded us — and the rest of the world. As you may recall, the flagship Alpha ILC was hit by the Thailand floods, resulting in delay after delay, eventually missing the holiday shopping season entirely before resurfacing late last month. Another week later and our beloved Sony Alpha NEX-7 has finally arrived, ready to take on the streets of New York City. So what exactly is the NEX-7, and why does it cost as much as a mid-range DSLR? First off, the 24.3-megapixel APS-C ILC captures, well, 24.3-megapixel images, offering the highest resolution of any mirrorless model on the market. Its APS-C sensor is identical to the one found in Sony’s A77 DSLR, measuring larger than Micro Four Thirds and on par with most full-size digital SLRs.
If having the ability to capture mural-size images ranks fairly low on your digicam wish list, you may take comfort in some of the NEX-7′s other features, such as its gorgeous and durable magnesium alloy body, built-in XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, 3-inch, 921k-dot articulating LCD and unique tri-navi control interface that enables direct access to key settings adjustments, including both aperture and shutter speed in manual mode. There’s also 1080/60p HD movie capture with full manual control and microphone input support, a 10 frames-per-second continuous shooting mode (with exposure and focus locked) and a BIONZ image processor that’s capable of delivering low-noise images all the way through ISO 16,000. These features combine to make the NEX-7 one of the most powerful mirrorless cameras to date, but are they enough to justify the $1,200 body-only price tag? Join us past the break to find out.
Those of you seeking a more-pocketable P-series may want to consider the Coolpix P310, which offers the same 16.1 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a 921k-pixel 3-inch LCD, a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200 (Hi1 of ISO 6400) and a 4.2x 24-100mm f/1.8 (maximum) optically stabilized zoom lens. As Nikon’s high-end pocketable model, the P310 offers advanced exposure modes, including program, shutter- and aperture-priority, along with a full manual mode. There’s also 1080/30p video capture with stereo sound and in-camera editing. Both cameras will be available in February, with the Coolpix P510 shipping in black and red for $430 and the black-only P310 running you $330. Oh, and don’t forget about that plenary P-PR past the break.
We’ve seen Panasonic’s 2012 lineup of ruggedized and entry-level point-and-shoot cameras, but now the Japanese-based manufacturer is unleashing a pair of compact “Traveler Zoom” cams to the 2012 mix. The Lumix DMC-ZS20 and ZS15 include 20x (24-480mm) and 16x (24-384mm) optically stabilized zoom lenses, respectively, 3-inch 460k-pixel LCDs, 1/2.3-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensors and a 10 fps burst shooting mode (5 fps with continuous AF). The higher-end ZS20 features a 14.1 megapixel sensor and 1080/60p video shooting while the ZS15 captures 12.1 megapixel stills and 1080/60i HD clips. Both cameras include 0.1-second “Light Speed Autofocus” and top sensitivity levels of ISO 3200, though you’ll need to opt for the ZS20 to take advantage of GPS with map logging and a noise-canceling stereo mic. The pair will ship in March, with a black, red, white or silver ZS20 running you $350, compared with a $280 price tag on the black or silver ZS15. As always, you’ll find the full PR after the break.
This week, Canon reinforced its commitment to not producing a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera by launching the PowerShot G1 X. The company’s latest G-series camera is by far the most powerful, and most expensive model, ringing up at $799.99 — approaching (and in some cases exceeding) DSLR territory. Its pricing and spec list imply that the G1 X could be a DSLR competitor, but is it? No, not by a long shot. Instead, the company’s most powerful compact cam is designed to be a companion to cameras in Canon’s DSLR line, acting as a second, third or fourth shooter to professional photographers. The G1 X includes a 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) 14.3 megapixel sensor — which puts it in almost the same class as APS-C models, but with a fixed 4x, 28-112mm optical zoom lens and a compact camera form factor, it’s a completely different beast. So is the G1 X able to justify its nearly $800 price tag? Join us past the break to find out.
You were expecting Canon to announce a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, weren’t you? Well, we’re not getting that today — if ever. Instead, Canon has introduced a large sensor model to its PowerShot G-series of cameras. The G1 X joins (but doesn’t replace) the G12, which previously held the title as the company’s largest point-and-shoot. While the camera itself is not any smaller, the G1 X’s 1.5-inch 14.3 megapixel CMOS sensor is what really makes it unique, offering a sensor size nearly as large as the APS-C found in larger mirrorless models and many full-size DSLRs. Larger sensors require larger lenses and therefore larger body sizes, but for professional and advanced amateur photographers, the benefits typically outweigh the inconvenience associated with carrying a bulkier model.
With a large 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) sensor, the Canon G1 X should theoretically be able to capture higher quality images in low light (with sensitivity boosted to ISO 12,800), and with more shallow depth of field — the 4x 28mm lens has an aperture range of f/2.8-16, making it ideal for everything from sports action to landscape shoots. The “EOS-like” feature set includes 1080p video, 14-bit RAW and JPEG capture and full compatibility with Speedlite flashes and other accessories. A 3-inch 922k-dot LCD is on the rear with full tilt and swivel, and a mode dial up top provides direct access to shooting modes, including full manual. The G1 X is scheduled to ship in February for $799.99, but check back here next week for the hands-on, live from the show floor at CES.q
We hope you like cameras, cause Fujifilm has more digital shooters than you can possibly keep track of. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on the company’s latest until next week, but it was kind enough to send over some PR ahead of time. On the superzoom front we’re looking at the FinePix HS30EXR and HS25EXR, a pair of 16-megapixel cams with half-inch CMOS sensors and 30x (24mm-720mm) optical zoom lenses. Both also sport three-inch tilting LCDs and can capture full 1080p video at 30 frames a second. If resolution can take a backseat to speed, then you’re free to shoot clips at 320fps. Both will be landing in March for $500 (HS30) and $400 (HS25). But we’re not done yet — a sextuplet of other magnification focused devices await after the break.
There are some cameras that we absolutely love, some we find downright disappointing and others that get the job done, albeit with mediocre results. Samsung’s digital imaging devices typically fall within that last category — they’re moderately innovative, generally affordable and often well-designed, but when it comes to image quality and performance, we’re left… underwhelmed. So, when we first had a chance to try out the CE giant’s new NX200 at IFA in Berlin, we weren’t expecting a mind-blowing imaging device.
The NX200 is Samsung’s latest entrant into the interchangeable lens (ILC) category — it’s a mirrorless model, to be more precise, and a fairly impressive one at that — at least when you glance at the spec sheet. It’s the company’s latest ILC to use an APS-C size sensor, which is the largest we’ve seen in a mirrorless cam. This sensor type implies that the NX200 may have a chance at competing with Sony’s NEX-C3, which has been our top pick in the category, and its 20.3 megapixel rating suggests that Samsung wants to be taken seriously here, with a true contender on its hands. But has Samsung delivered a winner? Jump past the break for our take.
Well, we have to hand it to Canon — this was one tight-lipped product launch. The imaging company just unveiled its C300 cinema camera at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios, in front of a crowd of hundreds of journalists and film industry elite, including Martin Scorsese. Canon is no stranger to the professional photography community, but it has yet to make a name for itself in Hollywood, where cameras such as the Arri Alexa and RED EPIC dominate the digital filmmaking world. The C300 may not appear to be overwhelmingly powerful on paper — stock features include an EF or PL mount (not both), 1080p capture, a pair of CF card slots, timecode and HD-SDI output — but judging by the sample films we saw today, its incredibly powerful sensor and versatile form factor are likely to play a more significant role in making this camera a success.
Fujio Mitarai is saying that the camera is especially well-suited to accurate color reproduction, particularly skin tones. We’re also receiving word that the C300 will cost somewhere in the range of $20,000 — how’s that for affordable? It contains a Super 35mm CMOS sensor and delivers up to 4K resolution with the outfit’s new “top-end” EF zoom lenses, which come in four flavors: two 14.5-60mm lenses and two 30-300mm. And the lenses keep on coming, with three EF prime lenses in 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm variations. That CMOS sensor offers 1920 x 1080 pixels for the reds and blues and 1920 x 2160 for greens. Like we said before, list price for the C300 will be $20,000 when it hits stores in late January 2012. And that appears to be it for this very long announcement, but we’ll have our first impressions soon. Full PR awaits you after the break.
Professional photographers know the drill: every few years, Canon or Nikon announces a game-changing DSLR, often prompting top photogs to unload their complete kits and switch to another system in a never-ending attempt to shoot with the best. This time, Canon is first out of the gate, with its flagship EOS-1D X — the latest in a series that dates back to 2001 with the EOS-1D. As you’ve probably noticed, the company’s new top model looks virtually identical to its decade-old ancestor, but is otherwise a far cry from that four megapixel CCD sensor-sporting dinosaur. We’ve been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to check out Canon’s new $6,800 18.1 megapixel full-frame model since first getting word of the beastly camera last week, and just had a chance to go hands-on during the company’s Pro Solutions event in London. Jump past the break for our impressions and a video walkthrough.
Stick a piece of gaffer tape over the unmistakable X, and Canon’s latest EOS-1D pro-level camera will look virtually identical to every 1D model that came before it. But once you flip up the power slider, this new king of the jungle will hum like no other. Canon’s phenomenally powerful EOS-1D X really sounds like the DSLR to rule them all. Its 18 megapixel full-frame sensor uses oversized pixels to battle noise and is supported by a pair of Digic 5+ imaging processors, which also help drive a 61-point high density reticular AF system, a top ISO setting of 204,000 (51,200 native), a 252-zone metering system, a 14 fps JPEG (or 12 fps RAW) burst mode and a built-in wired gigabit LAN connection, for remote shooting and image transfer. The camera’s curious single-letter name represents a trio of industry milestones: the X is the 10th generation Canon professional SLR (dating back to the F1 in the 1970s), it’s a crossover model, filling in for both the 1D Mark IV and 1Ds Mark III (which has been discontinued), and, well, it sounds to be pretty darn “Xtreme.”
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It’s not every day that we see a new camera hit the market — it only feels like it is. And today it’s Canon’s turn in the spotlight. Beefing up its point-and-shoot lineup with a trio of PowerShots, the company just announced its SX150 IS, ELPH 310 HS, and ELPH 510 IS — that last one is billed as the thinnest camera to include a 12x optical zoom lens with 28mm wide-angle. All three models include a new IS system, Smart Auto with 32 shooting scenes, high-speed burst, and HD video capture. Photographers looking for manual control may want to focus on the $250 14.1 megapixel SX150, which includes aperture- and shutter-priority modes, a discrete-shooting mode, and a 3-inch LCD, but uses a CCD sensor. If you don’t mind sacrificing manual control in favor of a slimmer body design, the $260 ELPH 310 HS and $350 ELPH 510 IS both include 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensors with improved performance in low light, and 8x and 12x optical zoom lenses, respectively. Both ELPH models will ship in early October, while the SX150 is slated to hit stores in the beginning of September. Canon is also announcing a new flash — the $150 HF-DC2 — scheduled to ship just in time to capture bright holiday pics this December.
Leica’s new M9-P digital rangefinder taps the till at $7,995 — the same price the original M9 commanded when it was released in 2009 — but you don’t stay in the business of making pricey cameras for nearly a century without doing something right. The new version adds a virtually unbreakable sapphire crystal covering on the LCD, produced using diamond cutting tools, and an anti-reflective coating. The body includes a vulcanite leatherette body finish, for a more secure grip, but curiously lacks the familiar red Leica logo and M9 lettering on the front, in line with the camera’s elegant “minimalist styling.” Beyond that, the P includes the same full-frame 18 megapixel sensor featured on the M9, an “almost silent” shutter, and is compatible with Leica’s full range of astronomically expensive M lenses. The M9-P will be available in black or chrome for $7,995 beginning next month, or $15,990 for two — since we know you’re planning to buy both.
With PSN issues abound, April and May were certainly not banner months for Sony. Things are looking up for the electronics maker in June, however, with well-received PlayStation Vita and NEX-C3 camera announcements last week, and now a top rating for its highly-capable Cyber-shot DSC-HX9Vpoint-and-shoot over at Photography Blog. The 16.2 megapixel camera includes a 16x wide-angle zoom lens and a 921K-dot 3-inch LCD, and the reviews site highlighted the cam’s excellent image quality and 1080p video capture, going so far as to say that the “Sony CyberShot DSC-HX9V is the best travel-zoom camera that we’ve reviewed to date.” Hot damn! We expect a lot of camera for $350, and it looks like this superzoom delivers for advanced shooters as well, with a 10 fps full-res burst mode, full manual control, and an f/3.3 wide-angle aperture. We’re sold. If you don’t want to step up to the slightly larger and pricier NEX series, this über-versatile digicam seems to be the next best thing.
When you think of manufacturers that create products to go hand-in-hand with the Apple iPhone, Leica probably wouldn’t come to mind. The seemingly brilliant minds at Black Design Associates hope to change that, however. The Leica i9 concept pairs an iPhone 4 with a fixed-lens rangefinder camera, and the result is nothing short of extraordinary. Slipping your iPhone 4 — black or white — into the back of the i9 brings the camera to life, activating the compact optical zoom, dedicated aperture and shutter dials, flash and light meter. Images are instantly viewable on the iPhone, where it’s safe to assume they’re stored as well. The camera back doubles as a case, but you’re probably going to want to use it with a headset, unless you like talking to a camera. There’s no sign that the i9 will even reach the prototype phase, but nobody is going to stop the high-end camera’s designer from dreaming — especially when said dreams make us weak at the knees.