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Archive for the ‘CES’ Topic


Today, Fuji unveiled the successor to their entry-level mirrorless digital camera. The new Fuji X-A3 boasts a standard 24 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with Anti-Alias Filter and a Bayer Color-Filter-Array, just like its predecessor. Recall that higher end siblings use a 6×6 Pseudo-Random X-Trans sensor and do not need a Low-Pass filter. As an entry-level model, the X-A3 has a single control-dial and no viewfinder, nor provision to add one.

Fuji X-A3

The 24 megapixels Fuji X-A3 has a hybrid design, combining a retro look and modern digital controls which should be familiar and intuitive to entry-level users. Thanks to the presence of an aperture-ring on most X-mount Fujinon lenses, this camera can be operated more efficiently than most mirrorless aimed at beginners. For lenses without an aperture-ring, the camera control-dial toggles between exposure parameters with an easy press.

The advantage of having a standard CMOS sensor is that this camera produces more conventional rendering and is more easily supported by RAW processing tools. The anti-alias filter also avoid moire artifacts at the expense of critical sharpness. The sensor is paired with a fast processor which lets the X-A3 shoot continuously at 6 FPS. Its hybrid shutter offers an ultra-fast 1/32,000 shutter-speed and Bulb exposures up to an hour. A 3″ LCD with 1 megapixels which tilts upwards 180° and built-in WiFi round-up the important features of the X-A3.

The Fuji X-A3 is expected in October for a low suggested price of $599 USD, including a Fujinon XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II lens. Preorders are already accepted by B&H Photo and Adorama.

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Fuji X-Pro2

The original Fuji mirrorless was upgraded today. The new X-Pro2 introduces the first 24 megapixels X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Pro processor to provide a worthy upgrade over its predecessor.  With what is a highly analog design, the X-Pro2 offers a hybrid viewfinder which switches between EVF and OVF modes like the original X-Pro1, except with several refinements later introduced with the X100T.

The 24 megapixels APS-C sensor uses the X-Trans pseudo-random color filter-array made of 6×6 grids which make an anti-alias filter unnecessary to prevent moire artifacts. It keeps a base ISO of 200 and expands its standard sensitivity range up to 12800, up one stop from previous generations despite having 50% more pixels. Its expanded range covers ISO 100-51200. A new hybrid shutter offers mechanical speeds up to 1/8000s and electronic ones up to 1/32000s. It can also capture full-resolution images at 8 FPS with a deep buffer for 83 JPEG images or 33 RAW files.

The design of the X-Pro2 remains largely the same as the original X-Pro1 with a few changes, including a two-level shutter-speed and ISO sensitivity dial, plus a small joystick to move the active AF-area. The EVF remains at 2.4 megapixels with 100% coverage while pushing the refresh rate to 85 Hz.  The rear LCD now has a much higher resolution at 1.6 megapixels.

The new Fuji X-Pro2 is weather-sealed and freezeproof down to -10C, completing its professional feature-set, including dual control-dials. It is the first Fuji mirrorless to feature dual memory-card slots, both SDXC but one UHS-II and one UHS-I. It is unclear what this means when using the slots in redundancy mode.

The X-Pro2 is expected at the end of next month for $1700 USD or $1900 CDN. Pre-orders are already accepted. Check out the Fuji X-Pro2 specifications page for locations.

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As mirrorless digital cameras aim to replace DSLRs, they must make their systems are complete as possible. While all manufacturers started with standard and wide lenses, where the advantage of mirrorless cameras is the greatest, they are now growing towards longer focal-lengths. Just last week at CES 2016, the Micro Four-Thirds system got its longest native zoom and prime lenses. Today Fuji introduced a telephoto zoom as well.

M.Zuiko 300mm F/4 PRO IS

The Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F/4 Pro IS is the longest prime lens for Micro Four-Thirds. The new 300mm is equivalent to a 600mm lens on a full-frame, providing super-telephoto reach with a comparatively light body weighing around 1.2kg.  It is also the first Olympus lens to feature built-in optical image-stabilization which coordinates with in-body 5-axis stabilization to provide unprecedented stabilization performance. Like other Olympus PRO lenses, the M.Zuiko 300mm is fully weatherproof.

Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm F/4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS

On their side, Panasonic launched the longest native mirrorless zoom. The new Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm F/4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS equates to a 200-800mm zoom on a full-frame camera. While relatively dim at the long end, such reach only exists with much larger lenses, while this one weighs in less than 1kg. It offers optical image stabilization in a weatherproof body.

Fujinon XF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6R OIS WR

Fuji just unveiled their Fujinon XF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6R OIS WR today, another weatherproof super-telephoto zoom with built-in image stabilization. While this timing is highly coincidental, the story for Fuji is different. First, no Fuji mirrorless offers image-stabilization, making it essential in the XF100-400mm lens. Second, Fuji mirrorless cameras use an APS-C sensor with 1.5X crop. So, while it has the exact same focal-range as the Panasonic, it equates to a 150-600mm on Fuji cameras instead. It is also necessarily heavier at almost 1.4kg.

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Five new members of Canon Powershot fixed-lens cameras were just introduced at CES 2016. These new models offer refreshed sensor and features. All these new digital cameras feature a standard-sized 1/2.3″ sensor with 20 megapixels of resolution which is the highest resolution currently possible with such sensor. This year, Canon opted for a mix of CMOS and CCD technologies, the former being faster but theoretically slightly noisier, despite reaching higher sensitivities.

Canon ELPH 180

The Canon Powershot ELPH 180 is the new entry-level ultra-compact. It packs an 8X optical zoom lens in a pocket-sized body for a low price. Despite covering 28-224mm, the lens is not stabilized and quite dim with a maximum F/3.2-6.9 aperture, so this one is for daytime shooters looking for a relatively powerful optical zoom to got beyond what a cellphone is capable of. Since the ELPH 180 is based around a CCD, it records HD video in 720p.

Canon Powershot ELPH 190 IS

Next is the Canon Powershot ELPH 190 IS which is a version of the above with a longer stabilized lens, plus built-in WiFi and NFC. The ELPH 190 IS offers an ultra-wide 24-240mm focal-range with an F/3-6.9 maximum aperture. It offers the same basic features as most ELPH cameras with fully automatic exposure. Like its lower-cost sibling, the ELPH 190 IS features a 20 megapixels CCD which can record 720p HD video. This model offers easy sharing thanks to its comprehensive connectivity features.

Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS

The upper-range of ultra-compact is the Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS. This digital camera is built around a 20 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor and powerful wide 12X optical zoom lens with image stabilization, equivalent to 25-300mm which makes it less wide than the ELPH 190 yet with a longer reach. Its CMOS sensor allows it to capture full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS.

The ELPH 360 HS features fully automatic exposure and easy sharing with both WiFi and NFC connectivity built right in. It offers a large 3″ LCD with 460K pixels, compared to 2.7″ and 230K pixels on the previous models.

Canon Powershot SX420 IS

Among a pair of ultra-zooms which refine their predecessors, the Canon Powershot SX420 IS features a powerful 42X stabilized optical zoom lens paired with a 20 megapixels CCD. The sensor can record 720p HD video. Exposure is fully automatic on the SX420 IS. The rear display is a large 3″ LCD with 230K pixels.

Canon Powershot SX540 HS

Lastly, the Canon Powershot SX540 IS features a whopping 50X optical zoom, covering a 24-1200mm range with F/3.4-6.5 maximum aperture. This model is built around a 20 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor which can record full 1080p HD video at 60 FPS and shooting continuously at 5.9 FPS. As with all but one camera introduced here, the SX540 HS incorporates built-in WiFi and NFC to facilitate sharing.

All these new Powershot digital cameras are expected next month (February) except for the SX540 HS which arrives the month after. The ELPH 180 carries a suggested price of $119 USD or $159 CDN. The ELPH 190 IS, $159 USD or $209 CDN. The ELPH 360 HS, $209 USD or $269 CDN. The SX420 IS, $299 USD or $399 CDN and the SX540 HS, $399 USD or $529 CDN.

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Nikon D500 and D5

Nikon showed a double-release at CES 2016 with a pair of new DSLRs. The flagship full-frame D5 and cropped-sensor Nikon D500 share a newly developed Phase-Detect AF system sensitive to -4 EV with 153 points of which 99 are cross-type and are the first Nikon DSLRs to record 4K Ultra-HD video. The D5 is actually available in two variants, a double Compact-Flash D5 and a double XQD D5. The D500 itself has one slot for each of these kinds of memory.

Each of these DSLRs offers a 20 megapixels CMOS sensor with class-leading sensitivity. The full-frame D5 offers a never-heard-of-before maximum expanded ISO of 3280000 with the cropped-sensor D500 reaching 1634000, many stops over any digital camera before. These new sensors are paired with fast mechanical shutters that reach 1/8000s maximum shutter-speeds and a continuous drive of 12 FPS and 10 FPS for the D5 and D500, respectively. The D5 can also reach 14 FPS with the mirror locked up which can be useful for automated capture of a predictable subject. Each of these offer a buffer for 200 14-bit RAW files at their maximum resolution.

Nikon D5

Both new Nikon DSLRs are professional offers with full manual-controls, including dual control-dials, a 100% coverage viewfinder and weather-sealed body. The D500 features the largest OVF on any APS-C DSLR with a 1X magnification, equivalent to 0.67X on a full-frame. The D5 still has a fairly large viewfinder with 0.72X magnification. These cameras are highly expandable with support for external lighting via a standard hot-shoe or sync-port and stereo minijacks for input and output. 4K output is provided via HDMI.

Nikon D500

Nikon built both cameras to last with magnesium-allow chassis reinforced by carbon-fiber. The shutters are rated for 200K actuations while battery-life is stellar on both cameras with the D5 reaching a whopping 3780 shots-per-charge and the D500 managing an excellent 1240 shots-per-charge. Not needing to match the ruggedness of its larger sibling, the D500 features a tilting LCD for convenience. The LCD panel is actually the same on both cameras, measuring 3.2″ and having class-leading 2.4 megapixels of resolution.

Nikon clearly has been working at pushing the limits for both sensor formats with the D5 and D500. Both these cameras are expected in late March 2016. The D5 carries a suggested price of $6500 USD or $8500 CDN while the D500 is expected for $2000 USD or $2700 CDN. These new professional DSLRs are already available for pre-order:

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