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Archive for the ‘News’ Topic

2014.04.16

Just today, Ricoh unveiled the first successor to the Pentax 645D Medium-Format DSLR. Already in a league of its own as the only weather-sealed Medium-Format digital camera and having the most powerful autofocus system among those, the new 51 megapixels Ricoh Pentax 645Z takes thing even further with the fastest performance of any competing camera, the highest sensitivity among Medium-Format models and the world’s first such camera to capture video.

Pentax 645Z

The core of the 645Z is its newly developed Sony 50 MO CMOS sensor paired with the Pentax Prime II engine designed to extract the maximum image-quality possible across a whopping ISO 100 to 12800 sensitivity range, something only achievable by a handful of cameras with smaller full-frame sensor. In fact, the 0.8 crop of the Pentax 645Z makes notably larger than all full-frame sensor.

The PRIME III processor delivers an unsurpassed performance by shooting continuous 51 MP image at 3 FPS with a buffer suitable to keep this u for 30 JPEG images or 10 RAW files. A standard shutter-speed range of 1/4000 to 30s, plus Bulb exposures of an unspecified limit, affords the Pentax 645Z great potential, minus stealth due to considerable size of 645Z.

There are currently 3 lenses optimized for the digital 645-mount of which only one is  compatible with the 645D and 645 due to its 0.8X crop-facor, rather than the usual 0.5X which is compatible with film cameras. Along with the launch, Ricoh revealed that 13 older 645 lenses will start production again. Full details to be unveiled some time on April 24th, so stay tuned.

With a suggested retail price of $8500 USD or $8999 CDN, this is certainly a high-end offering aimed squarely at professionals. It offers a plethora of buttons, including dual control-dials, more external buttons than any other camera, plus a dedicated Mirror Lockup-Up  dial. There P, A, S, T, TA, M, X and B modes with choice of meting and precise control over White-Balance. Dual SDXC memory-card slots plus dual tripod-mounts really label the 645Z as a serious digital camera.

The 645Z is limited in two areas. The most disappointing is the paltry 95% viewfinder coverage. Considering that Pentax sells cameras with 100% OVFs for 10 – yes ten – times less, this is truly a shame. The second is that they including a tiling display in this otherwise very sturdy and freezeproof body, gaving it one serious weak point which could disable the camera completely of broken.

It’s certain that the Ricoh Pentax 645Z is an innovation which can shake-up the rather small Medium-Format market. The Pentax 645Z is scheduled to be available June 2014. Preorder it now from B&H Photo or  Adorama right away!

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2014.03.31

Today, Olympus unveiled an all-new high-end compact digital camera. Looking similar to recent PEN mirrorless models, the Olympus Stylus SH-1 is the first ultra-zoom with to feature 5-axis image-stabilization. Its extending lens provides a 25 – 600mm equivalent focal-range which is highly versatile.

Olympus Stylus SH-1

The 16 megapixels SH-1 offers full manual-controls, including custom white-balance, built-in WiFi and an impressive array of video features. It supports full 1080p HD capture at 60 FPS and as time-lapse video where it can compress 5 hours into a 20s video. It can also capture high-speed 720p video at 120 FPS and 640p at 240 FPS.

The Olympus Stylus SH-1 is scheduled to be available this May for a suggested price of $399 USD or CDN.

Along with the above ultra-zoom, Olympus revealed a reworked Stylus Tough TG-3, to follow the TG-2 with a new 16 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor. It preserves the same class-leading body which is waterproof down to 15m, freezeproof to -10C, crushproof to 100kg and shockproof to 2.1m drops. All this with an unusually bright F/2 wide-angle 25-100mm lens.

Olympus TG-3

This rugged compact is built for adventurous photographers with a built-in GPS, digital compass, barometer, manometer which operate above and below water. It adds built-in WiFi for sharing and remote-control. The TG-3 can record full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS and 720p time-lapse video which shows 100 frames in 10 seconds.

New to the TG-3 is digital focus-stacking which lets the camera compensate for shallow depth-of-field at high magnifications. Between 30 and 100mm of equivalent focal-range, this camera can focus down to 1cm from the lens for extreme close-ups.

The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3 is scheduled to ship in June for a suggested price of $349 USD or CDN.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2014.03.15

Nikon just unveiled a long-awaited flagship 1-series mirrorless camera, the Nikon 1 V3. This model features a new 1″ CMOS sensor for the first time since the series launched over 2 years ago. The 18 megapixels 2.7X crop-factor sensor offers an ISO 160 – 12800 sensitivity range and full-resolution output at 60 FPS. The new EXPEED 4A processor is capable of performing autofocus between frames at 20 FPS, putting the 1 V3 into a league of its own.

Nikon 1 V3

This latest mirrorless takes the Nikon 1 system up to a new level with professional photographic controls. It features 3 control-dials and a traditional mode-dial. The EVF is now optional as is a deeper grip, making the 1 V3 versatile in terms of form-factor. The EVF offers an impressive 2.4 megapixels with 100% coverage and essential Eye-Start sensor.

The Nikon 1 V3 offers both Phase-Detect and Contrast-Detect AF, like all other 1-series models, yet now offers more points with 105 and 171 points, respectively. It also has a hybrid shutter with mechanical and electronic shutter-speeds up to 1/16000s. This digital camera becomes first to offer 720p HD video capture at 120 FPS with full 1080p HD at 60 FPS.

Simultaneously with the 1 V3, Nikon unveiled two new 1-mount lenses. The Nikkor 1 10-30mm F/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM VR offers a power-zoom version of the usual kit-lens in a very compact and self-capping design.  The Nikkor 1 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 VR provides the longest reach of any native lens, making the system more easily usable for extreme telephoto photography.

The Nikon 1 V3 is scheduled to ship next month for $1199 USD or $1299 CDN with both the optional EVF and optional grip, plus 10-30mm Power-Zoom lens. Amazon.com are already accepting preorders as are Adorama and B&H Photo.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2014.03.03

This morning, DxO unveiled stunning results from an unexpected camera, the EPIC Dragon. This is a high-end video camera which also shoots stills yet is clearly aimed at the video market. DxOMark rated the EPIC Dragon at an unprecedented 101, above the 96 achieved by the Nikon D800E.

This shows that technology already exists to deliver a substantial improvement of performance compared to digital cameras currently on the market. A breakdown of the scores, reveals that the EPIC Dragon leads in terms of Dynamic-Range and bit-depth with the former being almost 1/2 EV more than the Nikon D610 reviewed here and the latter being a full bit-per-pixel more.

Where it does fall to a respectable 10th place is in terms of low-light performance. This puts it being full-frame DSLRs and above APS-C ones. Of course, what this means is that the correlation between low-light performance and sensor-size is most significant. Exactly as expected, the laws of physics still apply!

For the consumer, this implies that large sensor cameras will still be crucial for the foreseeable future. That means that low-light performers will always be larger with correspondingly large optics. We have to hand to Sony though who keep showing that they can miniaturize better than anyone else as seen with the Sony Alpha 7R and Sony Alpha A7 which are the smallest full-frame digital cameras on the market.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2014.02.25

Nikon D4S

The next flagship DSLR from Nikon is now official. After showing a demo at CP+ in Japan earlier this month, the Nikon D4S was just unveiled. This new professional full-frame DSLR features a redesigned 16 megapixels sensor paired with an EXPEED 4 processor to deliver a record-breaking ISO 409,600!

With sensitivities starting at ISO 50 and shutter-speeds of 1/8000s – 30s, plus Bulb exposures, the Nikon D4S can handle any lighting condition. Its blazing fast 11 FPS is sustainable for up to 200 full-resolution JPEG images. The D4S even keeps continuous autofocus and updates exposure between frames. The 51-point AF system offers 3D Tracking with AF-point grouping to improve subject-tracking.

As one of Nikon’s HDSLRs, the D4S can record full 1080p HD video at 60 FPS. Full manual-controls are available during video-capture plus stereo audio input and output. The new EXPEED 4 processor also features improved handling of auto-exposure during time-lapse and interval photography.

Nikon D4S

This full-frame DSLR has an extra-large 100% coverage optical viewfinder with 0.7X magnification and a built-in shutter to prevent stray light from affecting long exposures. There is a 3.2″ LCD with 920K pixels plus two monochrome status LCD, one on top and one on the back.

The Nikon D4S is built like a tank in a weather-sealed body with dual-grip and dual control-dials on each grip. Its body is nearly identical to the D4 reviewed here and now features a Gigabit Ethernet port in addition to uncompressed HDMI, Compact Flash and XQD memory slots. Battery-life has been further improved over its predecessor for a whopping 3020 shots-per-charge now.

The Nikon D4S is scheduled to ship next month for under $6500. Amazon.com is already taking preorders. International buyers can also pre-order from B&H Photo here.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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