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Archive for the ‘Digital Cameras’ Topic


Leica has a long history of making cameras and lenses. They entered the digital camera market initially by re-branding Panasonic cameras for which Leica made the optics anyway. Eventually they introduced a digital version of their famed M-rangefinder cameras to allow the superb Leica glass to be used digitally. They later added their own systems with the S Medium Format Digital Camera and the full-frame SL-system.

Leica M10

Today, DxO Mark revealed their score for the Leica M10, the newest digital rangefinder from Leica. This full-frame mirrorless is built around 24 megapixels CMOS sensor of unknown origin and paired with a Maestro II processor. Together these deliver an ISO 100 to 50,000 sensitivity range and 5 FPS continuous shooting. The camera is obviously fitted with a M-mount which the only MF-only mount for which cameras are still being developed.

The Leica M10 scores a paltry DxO Mark score of 86 which must be one of the most disappointing performances of all times, considering this is a $7000 USD Full-Frame camera. Putting this into perspective the latest full-frame DSLR scores 100 points. Even worse, the M10 scores less than a few APS-C cameras! The Nikon D7200 in particular gets a score of 87. Agreed that both these cameras are much larger yet the Sony A6500 manages an 85 score.

DxO Mark breaks down the M10 score into 24.4 bits of color-depth, 13.2 EVs of dynamic-range and 2133 High-ISO points. Compare this to the Nikon D850 that scores 26.4 bits, 14.8 EV and 2660 High-ISO points, betting it significantly by on all sides. The APS-C sensor in the D7200 fares rather well too with 24.5  bits of color-depth, 14.6 EVs of dynamic-range and 1333 High-ISO points. As we keep repeating in our reviews, physics cannot be beaten. Even a poor full-frame sensor like the one in the M10 delivers a much better low-light performance than the best APS-C sensor.

Image-quality is not everything and DxO only characterizes sensors. Leica lenses are legendary and the M-system has a certain prestige associated with it but consider this: You can get a Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera for less!

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Fujifilm X-T20

An express review of the Fujifilm X-T20 was just published at Neocamera. This is an intermediate-level Fujifilm mirrorless which slots itself below the professional and weatherproof X-T2 yet above the simpler X-A10. The original X-T10 reviewed here delivered a spectacular performance comparable to the then-flagship X-T1 yet in a more compact and efficient design.

The Fujifilm X-T20 launced at CES 2017 in January takes the image processing pipeline of the flagship X-T2 and places it in a body identical to the X-T10. This is one rather compact APS-C mirrorless, yet not quite as small as the recently reviewed Fujifilm X-E3. Still, it offers the same 24 megapixels X-Trans CMOS III sensor as the X-T2 and pairs it with the same X-Processor Pro. Together these can shoot continuously at 14 FPS with an electronic-shutter or 8 FPS with a mechanical one, plus it can record 4K Ultra-HD video as can be seen right here:

The 24 MP APS-C sensor in the X-T20 offers a 325-Point hybrid autofocus system which combines Phase-Detect and Contrast-Detect AF. This camera offers a good number of features and an impressive number of controls for its size, including dual control-dials, plus dedicated EC, Shutter-Speed and Drive Mode dials. The body is equipped with a large 2.4 megapixels 0.39″ EVF with 0.62X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor.

Read the complete Fujifilm X-T20 review at Neocamera.

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The aging Pentax 645Z made its appearance at DxOMark, slipping into the second place between the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Nikon D850 with a score of 101. Its been a great year for digital camera image quality improvements yet the 645Z is already 3 years old! Although DxO Mark did not rank it until now, Pentax 645Z users surely new of its immense image-quality!

Pentax 645Z

The Pentax 645Z is the only Medium Format DSLR on the market. Its 50 megapixels CMOS sensor is 44x33mm, just like sensors the the Fujifilm GFX-50S reviewed here and Hasselblad X1D-50c. This one though has a reflex optical viewfinder and a legacy Pentax 645 mount that was hugely popular in the film days of Medium Format. This type of camera is designed for maximum image-quality thanks to a large sensor without an anti-alias filter. Pixels are correspondingly which also  maximizes dynamic-range and sensitivity to light. The 645Z has an ISO 100-204800 sensitivity range.

The DxOMark Score of 101 places right above the best performing DSLR which is what someone getting into Medium Format would expect. The scores breaks down into 26 bits of color-depth, 14.7 EV of dynamic-range and 4504 ISO score. There is probably slightly more read-noise in a sensor of the 645Z’s age which explains why both color-depth and dynamic-range fall behind the Nikon D850 and Hasselblad X1D-50c. Where the 645Z recovers and actually takes the crown is its best-ever 4505 ISO score.

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Every year …OK, not last year, read why here Neocamera chooses which digital cameras are the best in the market among competing digital cameras. This time we ran through all digital cameras introduced in 2016 and 2017 to decide which ones are deserving the title of Best Digital Camera of 2017 in their respective class.

Best Digital Cameras of 2017

The digital camera market overall has been shrinking, so this year we had to skip the ultra-compact category,with cellphones taking over their place. At the same time though, camera prices have been rising to compensate for lost volume. Plus, the average price is also shifting because there are fewer entry-level models to choose from. For this reason, this year we have also awarded Best Budget Camera os 2017 to lower-cost models that deliver exceptional value in the Travel-Zoom and Ultra-Zoom category.

The Premium Compact category that made a resurgence in 2015 remains with no choice but to pay the corresponding Premium price.  Among mirrorless and DSLRs, there are now offerings from $500 to over $5000, so both these types of cameras were divided into sub-categories to select the Best Digital Camera at every price-point.

Find out which are The Best Digital Cameras of 2017 at Neocamera!

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Today Panasonic surprised everyone with the launch of a new flagship mirrorless digital camera. Now being called a DSLM, for Digital Single Lens Mirrorless, this new mirrorless provides a number of technological improvements aimed at professional photographers.

Panasonic Lumix G9

The Panasonic Lumix G9 is based on the same 20 megapixels LiveMOS sensor found in the GH5 yet without an Anti-Alias filter. A new Venus Engine processor has been highly optimized to improve rendering of images and throughput as well as autofocus. For the first time on a Panasonic mirrorless, the G9 offers Super-High-Resolution capture of 80 MP by shifting the sensor and stacking 8 individual exposures into an extremely high-resolution image.

  • The new image processing pipeline uses 3D LUTs to accurately interpolate colors from the Bayer sensor output. It also introduces a completely revamped noise-reduction system that preserves more details to render textures more natural.
  • When using an electronic-shutter, the G9 imaging-sensor and Venus Engine together combine to take full-resolution bursts at 60 FPS with focus locked on the first frame or 20 FPS with continuous autofocus. The internal buffer can hold 60 RAW files but with dual high-speed SDXC UHS-I slots, the  G9 can capture bursts of 600 JPEG images.
  • A completely new algorithm offers ultra-high-speed Contrast-Detect AF at 225 points using Panasonic’s unique Depth-From-Defocus (DFD) technology. The sensor is read at 240Hz to continuously drive autofocus and is sensitive down to a best-in-class -4 EV.

Mechanically, the G9 is a completely different camera than the GH5. It has a new mechanical-shutter that can shoot continuously at 9 FPS and is made to last for at least 200K actuations. The sensor is mounted on an ultra-precise 5-axis image-stabilization that delivers by itself up to a class-leading 6.5-stops of Image Stabilization.

The body of the G9 is ergonomically-designed for stability and efficiency. It offers a deep grip and triple control-dials, plus stacked Mode and Drive Mode dials. The rear of the G9 offers both a rotating 3″ touchscreen LCD plus the largest and most precise EVF of all. The built-in EVF in the Panasonic G9 offers an unmatched 0.83X magnification and an incredible resolution of 3.6 Megapixels. It shows 100% coverage and features an essential Eye-Start sensor. In very low-light, the EVF simulates an infrared display to reduce eye-strain and improve visibility. A backlit top Status LCD adds visual information needed by photographers.

Panasonic made their Lumix G9 very durable with a magnesium allow body that is fully weathersealed and freezeproof down to -10C.  All controls have seals to keep dust and moisture out. This mirrorless offers both a hot-shoe and sync-port for external lighting but no built-in flash.

The G9 offers an very complete set of connectivity features. Builtin WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 LCD, USB 3.0, 4K HDMI output, Wired Remote Port, Stereo Input and Stereo Output. A new battery gives the G9 a battery-life of 380 shots-per-charge. This can be extended to more than double in Power-Saving mode that runs the displays at 30 FPS instead of 60.

The Panasonic Lumix G9 is scheduled to ship in January 2018 for a retail price of $1700 USD or $2300 CAD. Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo are all ready to take preorders at these links. Using the links provided here gives you the same low price and great service as everyone else while helping support Neocamera.

Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F/2.8 Power OIS

Simultaneously with the new camera, Panasonic announced the Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F/2.8 lens. This bright telephoto prime lens is ideal for sport photographers and should be very suitable for wildlife when combined with an extender. Panasonic actually includes a 1.4X unit with this lens which is also compatible with a 2X one.

The Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F/2.8 Power OIS is optically stabilized while being compatible with Dual IS 2 in recent Panasonic mirrorless cameras. It can focus down to 1.15m with a focus-limiter that sets the minimum focus distance to 3m. It comes with an optional tripod color to support its hefty 1.2kg weight.

This lens will make its appearance in January 2018 too for a suggested price of $3000 USD or  $3900 CAD. Follow the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F/2.8 Power OIS link here for preodering options as they become available.

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