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Archive for the ‘Photo Plus Expo’ Topic

2019.10.27

Photo Plus Expo 2019 just wrapped up yesterday in New York City. This annual convention of photography companies gathers huge crowds looking to discover the latest cameras, lenses, papers, lights and everything else related to the art. In the weeks leading to the convention, manufacturers announce new products being showcased or demoed at the event.

As the photography market collapses, Photo Plus Expo has been thinning in content. Many well-established companies decided not to appear this year and Pentax, Ricoh, Lowepro, Think Tank Photo, Acratech, Arcaswiss and many more were missing. The surprise was Sony who had no both at Photo Plus Expo 2019 only to create their own miniature version just two blocks away! This caused a huge buzz from people wondering where Sony went and finding out a marked path and bycicles leading from the Javits Convention Center to the Sony Alpha event.

Sony Alpha Event Panel

Sony focused its event around the creator concept with photographers and panelists discussing their process. A number of stations and sponsors laid out around the venue showcased different sides of Sony Imaging, from ultra-compact cameras to professional cinematography gear. All their latest digital cameras, including the just-announced Sony Alpha A9 II were on display. This is an improved version of the original A9 that broke boundaries of mirrorless by offering ultra-fast blackout free shooting. Externally, these versions look identical. Compared to the A7-series, it offers an extra dial on the left shoulder yet remains extremely similar in ergonomics. The A9-series though is designed for action photography.

Canon Photo Plus Expo 2019

The largest tenants of the expo were Nikon and Canon both having made a few announcements just prior. Canon recently joined the Full-Frame Mirrorless market and continued to demonstrate their commitment with the announcement of the RF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM and the RF 85mm F/1.2L [SPECS TO COME]. The zoom is actually quite short for a 70-200mm lens but is also exceptionally wide. The prime is a heavy lens designed for optical excellence. This shows that Canon is boasting their RF-platform as a high-end system to maximize the potential of mirrorless instead of trying make smaller cameras. This is balanced out by their EF-M-mount system which uses 1.6X-crop sensors in very compact mirrorless digital cameras.

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II Chassis

A slightly less polished announcement was the development of the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III. This new flagship action camera is described as having a vastly improved autofocus system with more speed, more sensitivity and wider coverage.  It will also feature a Dual-Pixel CMOS sensor that uses Phase-Detection at every pixel to create a virtual 525-Point AF system with 90% horizontal and 100% vertical coverage. A newly development mechanical shutter is expected to handle 20 FPS and even around 16 FPS with continuous AF and AE. The throughput of this professional DSLR with be supported by Dual CF-Express memory cards.

This is the first announced digital camera to record 10-bit (per-component) images which will be stored in HEIF format. Its a surprise it is took so long to reach this point, considering that JPEGs use only 8-bit and most high-end digital cameras can record 14+ stops of dynamic-range! Ultra-HD video at 60 FPS will also be recordable in 10-bit 4:2:2.  No dates or pricing information were released yet.

Nikon Photo Plus Expo 2019

Nikon showcased a huge lineup of digital cameras and lenses. Their new product of the show was the Nikon Z50 which is a APS-C sensor mirrorless digital cameras built around their new Z-mount. Looking a lot like the Z7 and Z6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Cameras, the Z50 is a little smaller and lighter. The huge Z-mount looks oversize compared to its 1.5X-crop sensor and its lack of built-in image-stabilization is surprising, as it forces Nikon to start producing VR-lenses for their mirrorless platform. Along with the Z50 though, Nikon introduces two extremely compact zoom with a collapsible design that make the whole package exceptionally light. It will be interesting to see how this plays out between Nikon that is sharing a mount for their Full-Frame and APS-C and Canon which is going to support two entirely disjoint systems.

Fujifilm announced their X-Pro3 shortly before Photo Plus Expo 2019 and they had two pre-production units on display. This unusual rangefinder shows that Fujifilm has no fear of trying out radical designs. This mirrorless follows their X-Pro2 with a similarly unique hybrid viewfinder that instantly switches between EVF and OVF modes. The major change this time is a rear LCD screen that must be tilting down to be seen as it normally rests against the back of the camera. An additional square Color E-Ink display shows status in retro fashion by looking like a film box.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2018.10.30

While most digital camera and lens manufacturers announced their new products for Photokina last month, Ricoh saved one announcement for Photo Plus Expo 2018 in New York City last week.

The Ricoh WG-60 is a highly rugged compact digital camera which follows the WG-50 with a nearly identical feature-set safe for support of Toshiba Flash Air cards. This strictly point-and-shoot model keeps the same basic 16 MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor paired with an internal 5X optical zoom lens. This is one of the few modern fixed-lens cameras to be built without image-stabilization.

This new digital camera is waterproof down to 14 meters for up to 2 hours, shockproof to 1.6m drops, crushproof to 100kg of pressure and freezeproof to -10C. It is built with close focusing macro capabilities and an infrared remote sensor.

While this is a rugged camera, it has been built to be highly affordable with a suggested retail price of $280 USD. This comes at a cost of no image-stabilization, a dim F/3.5-5.5 maximum aperture, just 9 AF-points and low-resolution 2.7″ LCD.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.11.01

By far the most popular announcement of Photo Plus Expo 2017 in New York City last week was the Sony A7R III. For the first time, the Sony skipped the unqualified A7 III to start the latest generation of their full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Sony Alpha A7R III

The Sony A7R III closely follows the highly-acclaimed A7R II with a nearly identical body and a new imaging pipeline. One can only actually see this is a generation III model by looking at the back of the camera since the front simply says A7R which means it is high-resolution model of the 7-series. Inside an all-new 42 megapixels BSI CMOS sensor with built-in 399-Point Phase-Detect system claims to deliver an unprecedented 15 stops of dynamic-range.

The new sensor offers faster read-out of 10 FPS and 4K Ultra-HD video down-scaled from full-width sensor output. A deep buffer allows the A7R III to shoot up to 76 RAW files or JPEG images at full-resolution. The sensor is mounted on an improved 5-axis image-stabilization system which is effective to a best-in-class 5.5 stops. It is also sufficiently precise to move the sensor in single pixel increments, allowing the A7R III to capture super-resolution images with full-color information at each pixel by stacking 4 frames just like the Pentax K-1 does.

Its 399-Point AF system features extremely precise and fast Eye-Tracking as well as traditional subject tracking which it can do even when shooting continuously at 10 FPS. Inside the A7R III, a hybrid shutter makes it possible to shoot completely silently. Continuous AF is also available while recording 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS and full 1080p HD video at an incredible 120 FPS.

The body of the Sony Alpha A7R III offers a huge 3.6 Megapixels 0.5″ EVF with a class-leading 0.78X magnification, 100& coverage, an Eye-Start Sensor and true Live-View capability. As a professional-grade full-frame camera, this one includes triple control-dials, a traditional mode-dial and plenty of customizable controls in a weatherproof body.

The Sony A7R III is expected to ship on November 30 for $3200 USD. Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders at these links.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.10.31

Photo Plus Expo at Javits Convention Center

One of the biggest announcers at Photo Plus Expo 2017 was Olympus. Right from the entrance and stairways, huge signs were introducing the Olympus M.Zuiko F/1.2 family, now with two new members.

Joining the M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 PRO, introduced 13 months ago, are the M.Zuiko 17mm F/1.2 PRO and M.Zuiko 45mm F/1.2 PRO. These prime lenses are part of the professional series of Micro Four-Thirds lenses, complete with a direct manual focus ring in weatherproof bodies.

Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F/1.2 PRO

The 17mm F/1.2 is a high-end lens with an ultra-bright F/1.2 maximum aperture. It gives an equivalent 35mm F/2.4 on a full-frame camera yet is considerably lighter. The fly-by-wire focus-ring slides down to become mechanical and reveal a focus scale with depth-of-field markings.

Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F/1.2 PRO

The 45mm F/1.2 is a high-grade portrait lens with maximum F/1.2 aperture. It is equivalent to a 90mm F/2.4 lens on a full-frame which is an ideal focal-length and aperture for producing flattering portraits. It offers the same dual fly-by-wire and mechanical focus-ring as the 17mm F/1.2 above. Both these lenses have an optimized 9-blade aperture to deliver ultra-smooth bokeh.

While these lens both retail for $1200 USD, the M.Zuiko 45mm F/1.2 PRO is scheduled to be available by the end of this month while the M.Zuiko 17mm F/1.2 PRO is expected to ship by February 2018. These lenses are available for pre-order already:

Pre-ordering helps being one of the first to get these professional lenses but you credit card will not be charged until the items ship. Canadians may order from B&H Photo with Free Shipping (since the items are above $99 USD) and even get the items pre-cleared through customs.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.10.31

As every year, the Javits Convention Center hosted Photo Plus Expo in New York. This is the biggest photography convention in America with plenty of new products unveiled just before the show or as it opens.

Canon sprung the gates open with their Powershot G1 X Mark III announced here just 10 days before the opening of Photo Plus Expo. This is their new flagship Premium Compact, now sporting an APS-C sensor and a large 2.4 megapixels EVF built right in. It is essentially one of their mirrorless yet with a fixed 24-70mm F/2.8-5.6 optically stabilized zoom lens.

Nikon used the show to celebrate their 100th anniversary, with an enormous show case of cameras from their entire history. The main attraction though was the Nikon D850 that has recently started shipping to customers. This is their flagship 46 MP Full-Frame DSLR with a class-leading 0.75X magnification viewfinder.

Ricoh is still reeling from their first and only full-frame DSLR, the Pentax K-1. It was on display, along with the K-P and 645Z Medium Format camera at a very small both. No sign of the K-3 II and no word about its successor was said.  They made two surprise pre-announcement at the show:

Pentax D FA 50mm F/1.4 Prototype

The Pentax D FA* 50mm F/1.4 is a huge lens with a bright aperture for Full-Frame Sensors. It is said to have a new type of Sonic Drive Motor that is faster and much more reliable than the original. It should appear around the middle of 2018.

Pentax DA 11-18mm F/2.8

A prototype Pentax DA 11-18mm F/2.8 made its appearance. This is an ultra-wide angle constant aperture zoom for APS-C cameras to replace its aging DA 12-24mm F/4, arguably one of the best ultra-wide zoom of its time but now a rather old lens. Oddly, it seems to have been already removed from Pentax Canada and Pentax USA websites, leaving a significant gap in the range until the new DA 11-18mm F/2.8 is launched during the second half of 2018. This lens is slightly wider and offers an additional stop of light-gathering ability. It is surprisingly not weather-sealed.

More Photo Plus Expo announcements coming up in the next blog posts.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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