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2017.01.19

Today Fuji announced three new cameras and four new lenses. Part of the announcement unveiled upgrades to two extremely well-regarded X-series cameras, the X100T and the X-T10. which is the smallest mirrorless camera to get awarded our rare Excellent+ rating.

Fuji X-T20

The Fuji X-T20 is looks extremely similar to its predecessor, keeping all of its ergonomics and controls. What has changed is a new 24 megapixels X-Trans CMOS III sensor with 425-Point Phase-Detect AF built-in. This sensor achieves one more stop of standard sensitivity and features much faster read-out. It can now shoot at 14 FPS with the Electronic-Shutter and record 4K video at 30 FPS.

The new X-T20 is expected to ship next month for $900 USD or $1200 CDN. Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo are all ready to accept pre-orders at these links. Canadian customers may also order directly from Amazon Canada.

Fuji X100F

The Fuji X100F is the replacement for the aging X100T. This premium fixed-lens camera offers a rangefinder-style with a bright 35mm-equivalent F/2 lens. It provides the same Hybrid Viewfinder as its predecessor. Outside, the X100F adds a control-dial and AF-Point Selection joystick. The rest of changes are internal. It seems to use the same X-Trans CMOS III sensor with 425-Point Phase-Detect AF as the X-T20, although the processor cannot read-out as fast. Unlike the X-T20, the X100F can only record 1080p HD video and shoot at 8 FPS.

The Fuji X100F is scheduled to ship next month for $1200 USD or $1700 CDN. It can be pre-odered at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Adorama and B&H Photo.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.01.18

Today Leica unveiled the long-awaited Leica M10 as their latest digital rangefinder. This M-Mount digital camera supports Leica manual focus lens which are still regarded as being among the best lenses in the world. The M10 is built around a newly developed 24 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor paired with an also new Maestro II processor which lets it shoot continuous at 5 FPS for up to 100 JPEG images or 30 RAW files. The new sensor offers a wide ISO 100-50,000 sensitivity range for improved low-light usability.

Leica M10

The refined body of the Leica M10 makes it the slimmest digital rangefinder to date and is fully weatherproof. Additionally, the LCD screen at the back of the camera is now covered with Corning Gorilla Glass, giving it the durability of cellphone screens. The viewfinder that gives it its rangefinder namesake is 30% larger than on the M9 with a magnification of 0.73X. Keep in mind that this optical viewfinder has a fixed field-of-view, so this is the maximum magnification. Longer focal-lengths results in lower magnification.

The M10 offers built-in WiFi but no other type of connectivity, not even wired ones. It has a single SDXC memory-card slot which is accessible via the same removable plate at the bottom as the battery. In order to keep its size low, a smaller battery had to be introduced which results in about 210 shots-per-charge. The Leica M10 supports a new combined EVF and GPS unit. No idea why these come together as they are completely independent concepts but the EVF is the only way to frame accurately with the M10, so we suspect most users will buy it along with the camera.

Leica revised controls of the M10 yet it still remains an anachronistic oddity. Aperture is of course set on the lens. The shutter-speed dial on the top plate selects only full-stops with a rear control-dial to select smaller steps. They added a tiny ISO dial with only some sensitivities and an M position which is a customizable ISO setting. There is clearly room for a dial with more settings (the Shutter-Speed Dial proves it), so it is very odd that only ISO 100-6400 can be selected directly.

For such a small company, it is surprising that they are managing to maintain so many systems with an SL mirrorless platform and S medium-format DSLR hybrid, plus a number of fixed lens cameras with small to large sensor sizes. They are also managing to avoid following the crowd by not provided video on the M10, and other of their digital cameras. This is certainly a testament to the endurance of the Leica name on the market.

The Leica M10 is available this month for about $7000 USD. Adorama is already accepting pre-orders. They also have the M10 available in Black.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.01.05

For their CES 2017 press conference, Fuji announced a new Graphite finish for their excellent X-Pro2 and X-T2 mirrorless cameras. They also unveiled a new waterproof digital camera available in 4 colors.

Fuji X-T2 Graphite

The Fuji X-T2 Graphite is  a Graphite Silver version of the original X-T2. Except for the new finish one the top and bottom plates, it is completely identical to the black version. The X-T2 Graphite is scheduled to be available this month for $1799 USD or $2199 CDN.

Fuji X-Pro2 Graphite

The Fuji X-Pro2 Graphite comes in a dark Graphite finish. Except for the new finish, this mirrorless is identical to the original black X-Pro2. For this one though, Fuji also introduced a Fujinon XF23mm F/2R lens of the same finish to be sold as a kit with the X-Pro2 Graphite. The X-Pro2 Graphite and 23mm lens are also expected to ship together this month, this time for $2299 USD or $2899 CAD.

Fuji Finepix XP120

The Fuji Finepix XP120 is the must rugged Fuji camera to date. It can be taken underwater to a depth of 20m, dropped from 1.75m or frozen to -10C and will still remain fully function. As such rugged cameras always are, the XP120 is also dustproof. The XP120 is built around a newly-developped 16 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor which can capture full-resolution images at 10 FPS.

While Finepix XP120 is always driven by fully automatic exposure, it boasts a good amount of video capabilities: Full 1080p HD video capture at 60 FPS, High-Speed video at up to 320 FPS, Time-Lapse Video and a unique Cinemagraph mode which makes a short video with parts of it still. The Fuji Finepix XP120 is scheduled to ship at the end of next month for a retail price of $229 USD or $239 CAD.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.01.04

At some point past 30X, the zoom race started looking pointless. There is little difference between a 720mm and 750mm photo while both require truly fast shutter-speed, so good light in order to avoid increasing the ISO which causes very poor image quality on tiny sensors of ultra-zooms.

Panasonic today is changing this by introducing the widest ultra-zoom of all: The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 which features a 60X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 20-1200mm. This puts at 2mm ahead of its closest competitors which gives it roughly 10% wider field-of-view. Each mm is much more significant at the wide-end than at the long end of the zoom. At 20mm, the FZ80 shows a 94° field-of-view which is extremely useful for architecture. At 1200mm, it shows about 2° which is good enough to tightly frame almost anything which can be seen with the naked eye.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The new Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is built around an 18 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor with 10 FPS full-resolution read-out and wide ISO 80-3200 sensitivity range. This is paired with an optically stabilized 20-1200mm F/2.8-5.9 lens. This camera can record 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS too.

This mid-level ultra-zoom offers a tiny 0.2″ EVF with 1.2 megapixels and 0.46X magnification. The rear of the camera has one control-dial to help set parameters but offers a limited number of controls. The FZ80 this way remains relatively light-weight at 616g, much lighter than even most ultra-wide or long lenses alone.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is schedule to ship the second half of March for a retail price of $399 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are both ready to take pre-orders.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.01.04

At CES 2017 today, everyone expected Panasonic to unveil the Lumix GH5 and announce a new Leica DC 12-60mm F/2.8-4 lens. They also updated 4 more lenses with a new weatherproof construction and improved stabilization.

The surprise this morning though is the introduction of a new and very tiny Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless, the Panasonic Lumix GX850. This consolidates the naming of most Panasonic mirrorless under the GX branding with, presumably, a 3-digit series starting at the GX850, sitting below the larger GX85 added last year.

Panasonic Lumix GX850

The new Panasonic Lumix GX850 is positively tiny, measuring only 34mm (1.3″) thick and being barely taller than the lens mount. It is reminiscent of the GM-series which impressed with its performance-to-size ratio, competing with premium compacts while providing the versatility of interchangeable lenses. The GX850 offers the same proposition, only with an upgraded imaging sensor and processor.

A 16 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor without anti-alias filter promises to deliver extremely detailed images from a mirrorless camera which is barely larger than an ultra-compact. A fast processor in the GX850 allows it to capture 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS and shoot continuously at 10 FPS when using an electronic shutter and 5.8 FPS with the mechanical one. Its shutter-speed range is an impressive 1/16000s-60s but there is no Bulb mode in this digital camera.

Ergonomics are at a premium in a form-factor this small, so the GX850 only has a single thin control-dial low on the back of the body, no grip and no viewfinder, nor any provision to add one.

The Panasonic Lumix GX850 is expected to be available within one month for a suggested retail price of $549 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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