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Archive for the ‘Digital Cameras’ Topic

2017.05.24

Ricoh WG-50

Just now, Ricoh unveiled their latest rugged digital camera. The Ricoh WG-50 is waterproof to depths of 14 meters for up to 2 hours, freezeproof to -10C, crushproof to 100kg pressure, shockproof to 1.6m drops and obviously completely dustproof.

This waterproof digital camera is built around a 16 megapixels BSI-CMOS sensor paired with a 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28-140mm. It has an F/3.5-5.5 maximum aperture and is surrounded by 6 LED to illuminate macro subjects. The lens is not stabilized though. The sensor can record full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS using the H.264 Codec in an unspecified format (most likely Quicktime).

The Ricoh WG-50 is expected to ship in the near future for a price of $280 USD. Both Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.05.17

Today Olympus launched their latest rugged digital camera. The Tough series is probably the most successful line of rugged digital cameras. With each iteration, Olympus has been alternately improving their basic and flagship models. The new Olympus Tough TG-5 is one of the latter with its extremely durable body building upon the already extremely tough TG-4.

Olympus Tough TG-5

The Olympus Tough TG-5 boasts the same 25-100mm F/2-4.9 lens as its predecessor which is now behind a double anti-fog reinforced glass to prevent condensation. The previous 16 MP sensor has been replaced with a new and more sensitive 12 megapixels Back-Side-Illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor which boasts an expanded ISO range of 100-12800. This new sensor can capture full-resolution images at an impressive 20 FPS with no limit for JPEG images or up to 14 RAW files. The TG-5 is 4K Ultra-HD video capable plus offers Full HD video at 120 FPS and HD at 240 FPS which gives an 8X slow-motion video when played back.

A new deeper grip was added to the TG-5 body which is still waterproof down to 15 meters, freezeproof to -10C, crushproof to 100kg, shockproof to 2.1 meter drops and, of course, dustproof. The revised design supports a wide variety of accessories such as fisheye converter, tele converter, macro flash diffuser and silicon armor. Inside, Olympus updated the sensors with a new GPS, Digital Compas, Manometer and Temperature Sensor. The TG-5 records and displays all the information gathered by its sensor. On the back, Olympus expanded the number of controls and covered the 3″ LCD with anti-fog glass.

This Tough camera is one of the most flexible rugged models out there. It offers Aperture-Priority shooting, a choice of JPEG or RAW, Spot metering and a flexible built-in flash which can also serve was wireless controller. There is a 40.5mm thread to accept filters. Its internal optics lens is capable of focusing 1cm from the front of the lens.

The Olympus Tough TG-5 is expected next month for $450 USD. Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo are all ready to accept pre-orders.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.05.16

Every one in a while, there is a significant leap in technology which results in a new level of performance. Last month, after offering 6 variations of A7 full-frame mirrorless cameras, Sony jumped forward with their new A9. Externally looking similar to the highly successful A7 series, the A9 incorporates all-new technology which delivers unprecedented capabilities.

Sony A9

The Sony A9 is a full-frame E-mount mirrorless digital camera with the world’s first Full-Frame Stacked CMOS-Sensor. This technology developed by Sony and first appearing on smaller 1″ sensors of Premium fixed-lens digital cameras, is significantly faster than traditional High-Speed CMOS sensors. It works by building layers of silicon to include memory with direct access to the imaging layer of the sensor. All layers are CMOS which allows extremely fast read-out speeds. Using such speed, the A9 is capable of continuously measuring exposure, focus and provided a Live-View of the scene without any blackout.

The key specifications of the Sony A9 are a 24 megapixels CMOS sensor with standard ISO 100-51,200 sensitivity range, expandable to a very impressive 50-2,048,00. Not only is the sensor ultra-sensitive to low-light, it is also mounted on a 5-axis image-stabilization system rated at 5-stops of stabilization, currently the maximum achieved by any camera. The Full-Frame Stacked CMOS Sensor in this mirrorless also features a whopping 693 Phase-Detection AF-points. This combines with the ultra-fast read-out to equally fast autofocus speeds.

The A9 features a whole new hybrid shutter which features all-electronic speeds of up to 1/32000s or mechanical speeds up to 1/4000s. This allows completely quiet and vibration-free operation. With both a fast shutter and read-out, this full-frame digital camera can capture full-resolution images at 20 FPS for up to 362 JPEG images or 241 RAW files, making it more suitable for high-speed action photography than any mirrorless camera.

Sony A9

Clearly aimed at professionals, the A9 is designed for efficient use in any conditions. Its magnesium-alloy body is weatherproof and offers a huge number of controls, including triple control-dials plus a dedicated EC dial, Mode-Dial, Drive-Mode dial, Focus-Mode dial and Focus-Selection joystick. Controls are highly customizable and made for easy of use while reducing the potential of accidental changes.

The back of the A9 offers a class-leading built-in 0.5″ EVF with an incredible 3.6 megapixels, 0.78X magnification and 100% coverage. All this without showing any black-out during shooting as it refreshes at 60 Hz without interruption. There is also a 1.4 megapixels 3″ Touchsreen LCD with tilting mechanism.

There are plenty of video features in this flagship mirrorless. It records 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS by oversampling to render very smooth video. Three codecs are supported: XAVC S, AVCHD 2 and MPEG-4. There are mini-jacks for stereo input and output, plus 4K HDMI, USB and an Ethernet port. The camera is equipped with Sony’s multi-interface Hot-Shoe plus a Sync-Port and Wired Remote support. Built-in WiFi is also included for good measure.

Reading this description, it clear that the Sony A9 is perfecting camera technology to an unprecedented level. This full-frame mirrorless camera is expected later this month for a retail price of $4500 USD. It is certainly bound to be a hot item among professionals, particularly those who have moved to mirrorless technology already, so pre-order yours from Adorama or B&H Photo to secure on of the first ones.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.04.17

Hanoi

As I continue my Round-The-World trip, I have been camera-spotting on 4 continents! Keep in mind that these observations are based on a random sample but it is clear that the landscape of digital cameras has changed.

  • DSLRs are still very popular. We see tons of entry-level APS-C cameras, mostly with kit lenses, and also plenty of full-frame ones and high-end lenses, some also on mid-range DSLRs.
  • Mirrorless are extremely popular in Europe and the far-east. Japanese tourists and Western Europeans now sport much more mirrorless cameras than any other types.
  • South Americans prefer mirrorless and we see few DSLRs there. We still see a good number of standard point-and-shoot cameras. Canon and Sony are easily the most popular brands there.
  • Europeans are partial to mirrorless cameras, mostly sporting Olympus. A huge percentage of cameras carried by Europeans are OM-D or PEN, at least 70%. The rest of mirrorless seems mostly divided equally between Sony and Panasonic.
  • In Africa, cellphones dominate by a huge margin. Tourists from northern Europe and, in particular Russia, bring a lot of large full-frame DSLRs there, followed by a good number of full-frame Sony mirrorless.
  • Asia is still divided. The Vietnamese particularly carry a surprisingly high number of DSLRs, mostly APS-C entry and mid-level models. Japanese seem to carry at least 80% of mirrorless cameras. Here Fuji makes quite a showing, at least 40% of mirrorless. This is followed by Olympus and then by Panasonic in similar numbers.
  • Americans more often than not carry DSLRs. When not with a DSLR, we now see a good number of premium compacts, mostly from Sony. Premium Panasonic cameras also make frequent appearance in the hands of tourists in Asia. Lots of people still use ultra-zooms from Canon and Nikon as a travel camera.
  • Spotted exactly one Nikon 1 camera. Spotted exactly 2 Leica digital range-finder, on one couple which had matching cameras and lenses. The majority of people carry one DSLR per family, although see a number of couples with two or two mirrorless. There are couples with different systems (one Fuji, one Olympus, for example), does that cause many arguments? 🙂

Mirrorless cameras are growing very strong. It is clear that Sony made some good sales! Fuji though has had the most dramatic progress. Before their mirrorless cameras were launched, Fuji has a small part of the market but now it is quite significant. Some of their premium cameras are quite popular too. Pentax, now under the Ricoh helm, is going the other way. Only 2 Pentax were spotted in the last two months of travel.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.04.12

Yesterday Nikon unveiled a new APS-C DSLR to replace the D7200 reviewed here with a revised design featuring the same class-leading sensor as the very recent Nikon D500. The Nikon D7500 has all capabilities expected of a professional digital camera. Its weatherproof body features a large 100% coverage viewfinder and dual control-dials, plus a high number of external controls including traditional mode-dial, drive-mode dial and a top-plate status display.

Nikon D7500

The big news is certainly that the D500 sensor has already been passed one camera down. Nikon is solidifying its lineup by have two parallel high-end APS-DSLRs, the D500 and D7500 now, just like it does among entry-level DSLRs with the D5600 and D3400. The main difference is that the D500 is faster and more durable. The sensor now used in the D7500 is remarkable as the most sensitive APS-C CMOS sensor to date. Its native sensitivity range is an impressive ISO 100-51200 yet expands to a stellar ISO 1.6 millions! Its resolution of 20 MP is slightly lower than the 24 MP of the D7200 it replaces. Note that this is not the first time a newer camera reduces the megapixels count compared to its predecessor.

This sensor is capable of 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS vcapture thanks to the same EXPEED 5 processor also found in the D500. For maximum sharpness, the Nikon D7500 does not use an Anti-Alias filter. The processor is energy efficient, allowing the D7500 to capture 950 images on a single charge.

Despite not being top in the lineup, the D7500 is decidedly fast. It can shoot continuously at 8 FPS with a buffer for 50 RAW files or 100 JPEG images. The 51-Point Phase-Detect AF system covers a large portion of the frame and is capable of continuous autofocus during burst shooting.

Nikon D7500

New to this model is a slim tilting 3.2″ touchscreen LCD with 920K pixels.  Its double hinge is flexible while keeping  the screen aligned with the camera. The front has been redesigned slightly with a deeper grip.

The Nikon D7500 is scheduled to ship around the middle of Summer 2017 for a suggested retail price of $1249 USD or $1699 CAD.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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