It’s not every day that a camera company launches two major models the same day, but Pentax has done just that with the Q10 mirrorless interchangeable and the K-5 II / IIs cameras. The Q10 joins its equally tiny stablemate, the Q, to round out its line of mini-sensored, playing-card-sized cams that still let you change lenses. The new model boasts the same bokeh control and effects dial of the original Q, but adds a new grip and several color options, like the now-ubiquitous red shown above. Other features include a K-mount lens adapter, an included 15-45mm zoom telephoto, improved AF performance, full HD video recording, anti-shake technology, 5 fps continuous shooting capability and a pop-up flash. The new mini-shooter will go on sale in October at around $600 with the kit lens.
If you have bigger (and deeper) pockets for something more sporty, Pentax has also announced it’s top K-5 II and K-5 IIs models to replace the popular K5, which has been around since 2010. The weather- and cold-resistant, dustproof DSLRs retain the same 16.2-megapixel resolution of their predecessor, but Pentax claims the new SAFOX X AF sensor has improved sensitivity in low-light conditions and improved auto-focus. The K-5 IIs eschews the anti-aliasing filter found on its sibling, but is otherwise the same, with a 3-inch, 925k LCD, 7fps burst mode, magnesium alloy / stainless steel body and RAW data retrieve function. These models will also appear in October and dent your wallet to the tune of $1,200 and $1,350 for the K-5 II and IIs, respectively. All that might address some of the AF and light sensitivity beefs we heard before, but we’ll have wait for the next round of reviews to find out.
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.
We can count on one hand the number of times a waterproof camera was the only suitable option for any given photo shoot, but drizzle and even flash monsoons can strike at any moment, especially in some locales. Most clothing and other analog gear can survive such attacks of mother nature nearly unscathed, but smartphones and cameras are another story altogether — unless they’re coated in head-to-toe weather sealing, of course. Pentax may not be a top player in any digital imaging category, but the company does have a few serious DSLR contenders, and should be taken seriously for anyone in the market for a new ILC. The manufacturer’s latest swappable-lens model, the K-30, is quite a respectable beast, and a fairly solid value at $900 with an 18-55mm kit lens. Beneath that steel and polycarbonate black housing there’s a 16.3-megapixel APS-C sensor with shift-based stabilization, a 100-percent FOV optical viewfinder, a color-adjustable 921k-dot 3-inch LCD and a bevy of manual control options, for stills and video alike.
As powerful as they’ve become, Mirrorless camera systems can’t match the versatility of a full-size DSLR. One key component we haven’t seen is a constant-aperture lens, offering a consistent large aperture size throughout the zoom range. That changed today. Panasonic’s new Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm optic packs one incredible advantage over its compact competitors — a constant f/2.8 aperture. Because of the Micro Four Thirds system’s 2x multiplication factor, this 12-35mm lens covers the same zoom range of 24-70mm glass on a full-frame camera, in a significantly smaller package. The optic consists of 14 elements in nine groups, and includes UED and UHR lenses to increase image quality and minimize distortion, along with built-in image stabilization and Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating to reduce ghosting and lens flare. It’s also splash- and dust-resistant, and features a metal mount on the rear. Panasonic has yet to release pricing in the US, but the European price tag has been estimated at €1,100 (about $1,400) — by comparison, Canon’s equivalent optic (from a specification perspective) will run you $1,600. For its part, the 12-35mm MFT lens is expected to hit stores in August. Full PR is just past the break.
You probably know Samsung best as the mobile tech giant that it’s exploded to become. The Korean company has also unleashed a blockbuster television or two in the past few years, along with some of the most gorgeous tablets to come out of the Far East. One area where Samsung has yet to dominate is the digital camera market, however — the company pumps out some pretty innovative imagers, that for one reason or another haven’t caught on like their Japanese counterparts, including those from the likes of Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. Sure, Samsung’s point-and-shoots could be labeled as gimmicky under-performers, despite their success in Asia, but its mirrorless cameras have been established as viable competitors in the fast-growing ILC market — from a performance perspective, at least.
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.
Sony is on a roll with some fairly incredible product unveilings this morning. The Alpha A65 is almost an afterthought when compared to today’s NEX-7 and A77 announcements, but this $900 (body only) DSLR targets the vastly popular entry-level category, while still including a new OLED electronic viewfinder, 24.3 megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor, and 1080 / 60p AVCHD video capture. Many of the A77′s other features made the cut as well, including Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology, an ISO range of 100-16,000, object tracking autofocus, and a high-speed shooting mode (though the pricier model can shoot 12 fps, compared to 10 fps on the A65). You will be missing out on the A77′s nifty three-way tilt and swivel LCD, though the A65′s display does support tilt. Also missing is a 19-point AF sensor (the A65′s has 15 points), a secondary text LCD, and support for an optical vertical grip. Jump past the break for a brief video walkthrough from Sony, along with a sneak peek at the A77.