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2020.09.18

Venus just launched a new 14mm lens for Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Cameras in their Zero-D family of ultra-wide lenses prime lenses with no optical distortion. It provides a middle ground somewhere between the incredibly wide 9mm Zero-D and the still quite wide 15mm Zero-D.

Venus Laowa 14mm F/4 FF RL Zero-D

The new Venus Laowa 14mm F/4 FF RL Zero-D is delivers an extremely wide 114° angle-of-view to capture architecture and sweeping landscape without any distortion. This prime lens is completely manual with an aperture-ring and long throw focus-ring with a depth-of-field scale. Give its 27cm minimum focus-distance, it gives a low 0.07X maximum magnification.

Venus designed this to be one of the smallest ultra-wide lenses on the market. It measures just 58mm wide and 59mm long, while weighing only 228g. Its solid metal barrel ends in a builtin lens hood with 52mm filter-thread.

This new lens is designed exclusively for mirrorless cameras and comes in three mounts: Sony E, Nikon Z and Leica L, all with Full-Frame coverage.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.09.16

Nikon Z F/2.8 Trinity

The final member of the F/2.8 trinity for the Nikon Z mount just launched today. Joining the general 24-70mm F/2.8S and 70-200mm F/2.8S is new Nikkor Z 14-24mm F/2.8S. This new ultra-wide zoom turns a Nikon classic for the Full-Frame F-mount into a much lighter and relatively compact lens designed from the ground up for the wide-diameter Z-mount.

The Nikon Z 14-24mm F/2.8S is covers a  ultra-wide 114° field-of-view and zooms down to cover 84°, exactly where the 24-70mm F/2.8S takes over. This ultra-modern lens features an entirely new optical construction and nearly flat front element which allows it to be the only such lens that supports front-mount filters. Screw-in 112mm mount to the included lens hood, while there is also a builtin slot for gel filters at the back. Glass elements are coated with the latest nano-crystal coatings from Nikon that provide exceptional resistance to flare which can often be a problem when capturing ultra-wide scenes.

Nikon Z 14-24mm F/2.8S

Even among the high-end of Nikon Z lenses, the new 14-24mm F/2.8S is promising to deliver among the best optical performance of the entire S-family. This lens operates internally with multiple lens groups moving to achieve focus quickly and extremely quietly using dual linear focus motors. A LED panel shows distance digitally. The lens is equipped with a customizable control-ring and function button, in addition to a standard A/M switch. The entire lens is built to last and features a weatherproof construction.

Along with the ultra-wide zoom, Nikon unveiled their highest performing lens yet. The new Nikkor Z 50mm F/1.2S is stated to represent the crowning achievement of high-end optical design with a normal lens featuring an ultra-bright F/1.2 maximum aperture. This normal prime lens provides a standard 47° angle-of-view and razor-thin depth-of-field. It joins the Z 50mm F/1.8S already in the S-series but much lighter and the enormous Manual-Focus Only Z 58mm F/0.95S Noct.

Nikon Z 50mm F/1.2S

Taking advantage of the wide-diameter of the Z-mount, the new Nikkor Z 50mm F/1.2S manages to direct rays from the entire imaging area to achieve the most uniform sharpness and luminance possible. This makes the new lens capture extra-fine detail everywhere. The latest coating protect the 50mm F/1.2S against flare and other optical aberrations.

Nikon built the new Z 50mm F/1.2S to a high standard with a fully weatherproof body. Its extremely wide focus-ring allows for very precise control while the lens is fully capable of autofocus down to 45mm from the sensor plane. It comes at just over 1kg which twice the Z 50mm F/1.8S but half the Z 58mm F/0.95S Noct, showing exactly the balance reached by this exceptional lens. Like the Z 14-24mm F/2.8S also announced today, the new 50mm F/1.2S also features a customizable control-ring and function button, plus a standard A/M switch.

These two premium lens command an expected premium price. Nikon expects to ship the Nikkor Z 14-24mm F/2.8S for $2400 USD or $3400 CAD in November and the Nikkor Z 50mm F/1.2S for $2100 USD or $3000 CAD in December.

Amazon Canada is already accepting preorders for both lenses: Z 14-24mm F/2.8SZ 50mm F/1.2S.

US and International buyers can place preorders for the Z 50mm F/1.2S at Adorama and B&H Photo and also for the Z 14-24mm F/2.8S at both Adorama and B&H Photo.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.09.16

ZY Optics expanded their series of extremely bright lenses this morning with the new Mitakon Speedmaster 17mm F/0.95. This lens exclusively designed for the Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless platform provides a normal field-of-view of 65% comparable to a 35mm lens mounted on a Full-Frame camera. It is by far the widest focal-length available with a lens brighter than F/1.2 and provides the depth-of-field of a F/1.8 lens when accounting for the 2X Four-Thirds crop-factor.

ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 17mm F/0.95

For an extremely bright lens, the Mitakon Speedmaster 17mm F/0.95 is exceptionally compact and manages a very reasonable weight for 461g or just over one pound. It takes a lot of glass to accumulate so much light and focus it. The rest of the lens is mostly made of metal with a plastic manual focus-ring. Like all current ZY Optics lenses, this is a completely manual lens which requires manual focusing and setting the aperture directly on the lens.

The focus ring has a wide throw for the extra precision needed to focus such narrow depth-of-field. Although the aperture ring is marked in full-stops, it can scale the iris smoothly from F/0.95 to F/16. There are no steps or detents throughout the aperture-range which is helpful during video recording when stops might cause jitters or sound to be captured.

ZY Optics include an unusual even 8-blade aperture ring in their Speedmaster 17mm F/0.95. This will render sunstars with fewer spikes that most cameras as even blades overlap each other. Although unlikely to be used on such an extremely bright lens, there is a 58mm filter-thread at the front.

This lens is scheduled to be imminently available. Both Adorama and B&H Photo are ready to accept preorders for around $400 USD.  Canadian pricing has not been announced yet but these reputable affiliates of ours ship to Canada and many international locations.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.09.15

The heavily speculated Sony Alpha A7C launched tonight. This new Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera is built around a 24 megapixels EXMOR R sensor with a 693-Point Phase-Detect AF system builtin and mounted on a 5-axis image-stabilization system with 5-stops of efficiency. Its sensor spans a standard ISO 100-51200 sensitivity range which expands to ISO 50-204800. A hybrid shutter takes the 1/4000-30s shutter-speed range faster one stop to 1/8000s in electronic-mode.

Sony Alpha A7C

Even though the above specifications are very familiar and are in-fact an exact match for the Sony Alpha A7 III, this new mirrorless packs them all into a smaller body that is also 20% lighter. This makes the Sony Alpha A7C barely larger than the already exceptionally compact A6600 APS-C mirrorless and proves once more that Sony are masters of miniaturization. Most importantly, it saves this much bulk while maintaining the same 5-axis image-stabilization system performance as the A7 III and level of weatherproof construction.There simply is no other stabilized full-frame digital camera this small or this light! [2020.09.15 – Updated to reflect there are smaller and lighter unstabilized full-frame cameras]

Many of the improvements that allow the A7C to weigh a mere 509g are technological advancement that deliver the same performance a larger camera. This includes a light mechanical shutter that can sustain 10 FPS, 4K Ultra-HD video capture, an Interval Timer, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. The hot-shoe on the A7C adds a digital audio interface for exceptional sound-quality to match with full-width 4K video recorded at 30 FPS or 1080p video at 120 FPS, all down-sampled from the 6K sensor output. The result are video files with tons of details and minimal artifacts.

Sony Alpha A7C

A few savings were introduced to reach this incredibly compact-size. The most noticeable is its smaller 0.39″ EVF with rather tight 0.59X magnification, compared to 0.78X on the A7 III, although it sports the same sharp 2.4 MP resolution and builtin Eye-Start Sensor. Despite the LCD panel being the same, the A7C uses a much less convenient and durable rotating hinge. This new mirrorless also loses the front control-dial which allows for a larger and higher-capacity batter that translates to 680 shots-per-charge, which is just over 10% more that its larger sibling. There are still dual control-dials but the secondary one is uncomfortably low on the body and doubles as the 4-way controller. The smaller body does not make room for dual memory-card slots but the one there supports SDXC UHS-II cards.

Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6

To complement this new compact Full-Frame mirrorless, Sony also announced the smallest Full-Frame Zoom Lens ever made. The new Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6 is a short standard zoom with dim variable aperture that combines with the A7C to make an incredibly light combo. This small collapsible lens weighs just 167g while still being weather-sealed. It supports 40.5mm filters but not a lens hood to shave a few milimetres from its length. The requisite zoom and focus-rings are there but the Focus Mode is controlled by the camera.

The Sony Alpha A7C will be ready to ship in late October for $1800 USD or $2400 CAD. Early next year, the Sony FE 28-60mm F/4-5.6 will hit the shelves but the A7C is, of course, compatible with the entire lineup of Sony FE lens and Full-Frame E-mount ones by third-party manufacturers. There are both to be hot products and so pre-orders are already open:

Both these affiliate of ours are highly reputable and offer stellar service. Preorders are taken but credit-cards do not get charged until the products ship. Order from these links to get the same low price as everyone else while supporting Neocamera.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2020.09.08

Taking over as flagship X-series cameras from the highly-acclaimed X-T3, the new Fujifilm X-T4 reaches another level with the addition of builtin image-stabilization. This APS-C mirrorless is built around a 26 megapixels X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor capable of 20 FPS continuous shooting with an electronic shutter. A redesigned mechanical-shutter brings mechanical speeds to 15 FPS, up from 11 FPS on its predecessor. The final significant addition is a builtin HDR mode, for the first time on a Fujifilm mirrorless.

Fujifilm X-T4

An in-depth review of the Fujifilm X-T4 was just published at Neocamera. As with all our full-length reviews, it covers the extensive capabilities of this digital camera, its ergonomics – which despite the similarities to its predecessor are improved in a several ways – its image-quality and performance with an additional section for video features and output. Detailed coverage image-quality with crops from all ISO sensitivities are included as usual.

Uniquely for this review, its entire photography and videography was done in Malta! Be sure to check the review gallery to see how the Fujifilm X-T4 captured this historic island country. It is an incredible place that has been marked by thousands of years of history. See here for more Malta Travel Photography with over half those images captured by the new X-T4.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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