Successor to the GX1. After watching other competitors claim the throne to the compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, Panasonic has finally decided to make a claim itself with the Lumix DMC-GX7. From a new image sensor that promises higher resolution and higher sensitivity to a tiltable high resolution EVF, the GX7 seems to tick off all the wants of the enthusiast photographers.
Inside the magnesium alloy full diecast frame, there is a new 16MP Digital Live MOS Sensor which, paired with the Venus Engine’s advanced noise reduction, achieves max. ISO25600. The built-in EVF (Panasonic calls it the LVF – Live Viewfinder) features a high 2764K-dot equiv. resolution. It is also tiltable by 90° upward. (An optional Eyecup DMW-EC1 is avauilable for a more comfortable fit for both the naked eye and glasses.)
A new high-speed Light Speed AF allows fast focus tracking of moving subjects. Low Light AF allows the camera to lock focus in -4EV lower lit situations (e.g. under a starry sky). Focus Peaking with color choice (blue, white, orange) is available to help in Manual Focus.
A new for Panasonic is the in-camera Sensor-shift Image Stabilization that will now allow lenses without optical I.S. to gain an image stabilization advantage. When an optically image stabilized lens is mounted, the sensor-shift IS is disabled.
Movie recording is full HD 1920 x 1080, 60p (60 Hz) / 50p (50 Hz) for smooth, high quality video recording in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 with stereo sound. Full-time Tracking AF is available in video recording. You can manually set aperture and shutter speed by using PASM modes during video recording.
Burst shooting is at 5 fps at full in 16MP resolution (4.3 fps when AF Tracking enabled). Use the electronic shutter and a max. 40 fps is achieved. Maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 sec.
The LCD is 3.0-inch with 1040k-dot resolution. It is touchscreen and tilts up by 80° and down by 45°. Touch AF in video recording lets you enjoy professional-like rack focusing. The Touch AE (Auto Exposure) function lets you set the appropriate exposure by simply tapping the subject displayed on the monitor. Even when you are peering through the LVF, the Touch Pad function keeps the monitor functioning so you can still perform touchscreen functions.
Twin control dials control exposure setting. One is around the Shutter Release button and a second one on the back. Major controls, such as the aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation settings, can be quickly adjusted with the front and rear dials.
The GX7 has a built-in flash has a light intensity that is equivalent to GN5.0 (ISO100), GN7.0 (ISO200), and you can adjust the intensity within a range of ±EV 3 in 1/3 EV steps. It can be synchronized with max.1/320 second shutter speed (max.1/250 second for External Flash).
Four function buttons and five Menu tabs allow you to customize the camera to the way you prefer shooting. Time Lapse allows you to record a series of consequent images at a set time interval that can then be recombined to produce a time lapse video. Stop Motion Animation enables producing a stop motion (stop frame) video in camera with the pictures that are sequentially shot while moving the object by degrees. There are 22 filters available for creative photography. Multiple Exposure lets you take up to four exposures in a single frame and Clear Retouch erases unwanted objects or figures in an image by just tracing over them on the monitor with a fingertip.
The GX7 features built-in Wi-Fi with NFC (Near Field Communication) to allow easy picture sharing and instant photo transfer (the picture is transferred to designated electronic device right after shooting) with a smartphone or tablet. To connect the camera with the smartphone or tablet, just bring them near each other. The free Panasonic Image App allows you to instantly upload and share your images on an SNS (Social Networking Service).
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 is compact, elegant and targets the enthusiasts who desire a configurable and compact high quality interchangeable lens camera with DSLR-level image quality and performance without the bulk and weight associated with a traditional mirrored DSLR.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 is currently the world’s most powerful superzoom camera with a whopping 60x (20-1200mm equiv.) optical zoom. It features 16.1MP resolution (1/2.3-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor), a 3.0-in. (460k-dot) LCD, Continuous Shooting at 9fps, and Full HD Movie 1920 x 1080/60i. Point-and-Shoot users will choose to leave the camera on Intelligent AUTO mode while beginners and more advanced users have access to all the semi-auto and manual modes with PASM shooting modes and RAW file format.
The 60x optical zoom lens is a Lumix-branded DC VARIO starting at an ultra wide angle 20mm (equiv.), perfect for taking group shots or wide vistas. The tele ends at 1200mm (equiv.) and built-in optical image stabilization effectively helps stabilize the camera at the long focal lengths.
The max. aperture ranges from F2.8 at the wide-angle end and gets progressively smaller to F5.9 at the tele end, not as impressive as the constant max. F2.8 aperture of the FZ200.
Get creative with Creative Control, Photo Style, and 3D Photo Mode. Continuous Shooting is 9fps at full resolution, 5fps/2fps with AF Tracking, 10fps at 3M.
A 3.0-in. 460k-dot fixed LCD and a 0.2-in. EVF (202K dot equiv.) features a 100% field of view.
The DMC-FZ70 shoots Full HD Movie 1920 x 1080/60i in AVCHD. Sound is recorded by a stereo Windshield zoom microphone to suppress wind noise. Mechanical noise caused by zooming during movie recording is also suppressed to improve the clearness. You can select your preferred shooting mode: iA, PASM or Scene mode for movie recording. There is no High-speed / slow motion playback option. You can also take one still image (3.5-megapixel at 16:9) without interrupting video recording.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 is for those who desire an all-in-one powerful camera with a super zoom and full manual control. It’s perfect as a snapshot travel camera and for beginner photography students.
Beginner Classic. The Fujifilm X-M1 is a more compact and affordable version of the X-E1, targeted to beginner photographers. It inherits the beautiful retro design, the innovative APS-C 16MP X-Trans CMOS image sensor, and the X Mount that accepts the full range of interchangeable XF lenses. It is accompanied by a new line of cheaper XC lenses with plastic barrels but which do not compromise with the construction and premium glass elements used. The first of the XC lenses is the XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens.
The X-M1 does not have any viewfinder, optical or electronic, nor is an optional external viewfinder available. Instead, it has a 3.0-in. LCD with 920K-dot resolution that tilts 90° up and 85° down. The LCD is not touchscreen. You can display a live histogram and framing guide lines but not an Electronic Horizon Leveling Gauge.
Unlike its more expensive big brothers, the X-PRO1 and the X-E1, the X-M1′s body is mostly polycarbonate plastic but is nevertheless solidly constructed and has a feeling of quality. It also reverts back to using a more contemporary Mode Dial so as to make readily available AUTO and Scene Modes. It does, however, sports twin command dials that control the shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation, depending on which shooting mode you have selected. The dials are beautifully designed with the right amount of resistance when turning them.
There is a built-in pop-up flash, and a hot shoe allows you to attach an external flash unit. The Shoe Mount Flash EF-X20 (sold separately) is a compact external flash that has a matching retro design. Also optional is the Hand Grip HG-XM1 (sold separately) for those who prefer a bigger handgrip. Other accessories include a Remote Release RR-90, Protector Filters and Leather Case BLC-XM1. There is also an M Mount Adapter to use LEICA M lenses.
The Fujifilm X-M1 boasts a quick start time of 0.5 sec. (when in sleep mode) and a shutter time lag of approx. 0.05-sec. Continuous Shooting is a fast 5.6fps at full resolution.
The X-M1 also offers the Film Simulation Mode popularized in its compact digital cameras to simulate the color and tonal qualities of its acclaimed film brands: PROVIA for a true-to-scene natural look, Velvia for vibrant tonality and saturated colors and ASTIA, for a silky soft look and beautiful skin tones. You can also shoot double exposure and a number of filter effects are also available in still photography.
Advanced photographers can use PASM modes and RAW for full control over exposure and image creation. The in-camera RAW Converter lets you view and edit your results without the need for your PC. Other practical features include built-in Wi-Fi (but no NFC or remote control), One-touch Movie Recording button, a customizable Fn button (doubles as Wi-Fi button in Playback), a Quick Menu button, and Super Intelligent Flash when shooting macro shots in dim lighting. Focus peaking is available when using manual focus. A number of bracketing functions are also available for the advanced photographer: Dynamic Range, Film Simulation, AE, and ISO.
The Fujifilm X-M1 is targeted to beginner photographers looking to move up to a mirrorless DSLR. Advanced photographers who are unwilling to compromise with image quality will also find the X-M1 a very alluring proposition. The X-M1 is available in all black, black/silver or brown.
Retro. The Olympus PEN E-P5 is the successor to the popular E-P3. It merges the cool retro design of the compact PEN F rangefinder camera with the high-end qualities of a [mirrorless] DSLR. New is the requisite Wi-Fi social sharing features (with easy set-up using QR code) we see cropping up in all new cameras. This allows Wireless Touch AF Shutter (view the image on your smartphone and use touch AF on smartphone to trigger the shutter on the camera) and Geo-tagging.
The distinctive styling of the PEN F rangefinder camera is carried over quite attractively. The use of high-quality textured metal for the top plate, shutter button, lens release button and arrow pad cover lends a premium look and feel to the camera. Olympus claims countless mock-up prototypes were used to finalize the design and placement of controls and dials. The PEN E-P5 will be available in an all-black, silver top and black, or white body.
The PEN E-P5 probably comes closest to match the high-end features of a DSLR: 1/8000 sec. max. mechanical shutter speed, Continuous Shooting at 9fps, 5 axis image stabilization, 1/320 sec. sync speed with the built-in pop-up flash, up to 1/4000 sec. sync speed with Super FP external flash, a high-speed AF (30% faster than E-P3), short release time lag mode, 3.0-in. 1.04 million pixels tiltable LCD, 0.5 sec. start-up, Focus Peaking function with use of manual focus lenses, optional external VF-4 EVF (2.36 million dot and 1.48x viewfinder magnification) with eye-sensor.
A new feature for those who travel a lot is the Photo Story theme that allows you to include multiple photos (or views of the scene) in a single one. Other features include Time Lapse and Art Filters. Continue Reading »
The Samsung NX300 sports a new hybrid 20.3MP APS-C CMOS (23.5×15.7 mm) sensor with Contrast AF and embedded Phase Detection AF, a 8.4-cm (3.3-in.) AMOLED display (768k-dot), and Full HD 1080p 1920×1080 Movie. A 18-55mm (27-84mm equiv.) F3.5-5.6 3x optical zoom kit lens with optical image stabilization is included.
Samsung continues to establish itself as a serious player in the Intercheangle Lens Camera (compact mirrorless) category and continues to add new lenses to the NX System. The NX300 is feature-rich and provides all the semi-automatic and manual shooting modes the serious photographer requires.
The NX300 does not have a built-in viewfinder, and Samsung does not provide an external electronic viewfinder (EVF). The NX300 also does not have a built-in flash, but a small external flash is included in the box.
Features advanced photographers will appreciate: RAW file support, PASM shooting modes (with full shutter speed range available), manual zoom ring, manual focus ring (fly-by-wire), and a iFn feature that turns the focus ring into a Function ring.
The Samsung NX300 is available in black/silver, white/silver or brown/silver and is priced at about US $749.99 (CAD $).
Classic with a twist. The Fujifilm XF1 is a compact premium digital camera with a retracting lens. It is beautifully designed with a clean retro look and incorporates the latest technology of the Fujifilm ‘X’ series. Its body is lightweight with durable aluminum body parts and synthetic leather covering. The XF1 makes a fashionable statement and is available in black, tan (brown) or red.
The XF1 uses a 2/3-in. 12MP EXR CMOS sensor paired with a bright F1.8 lens. The lens provides 4x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Point and shoot with EXR Auto mode or select one of the PASM modes for total control of exposure settings. The XF1 features Film Simulation and Advanced Filter for creative effects.
The XF1 is fast with no practical shutter lag and AF is precise. The camera does not have a power button; instead, a 3-step process (twist the lens, pull and twist further) extends the lens and power the camera on at the same time. Zoom is manual and so you get precise control on the zooming speed and focal length desired. The 4x optical zoom provides a 25mm ultra-wide angle coverage as well as 100mm portrait coverage.
The 3.0-in. (460k-dot) LCD allows approx. 100% coverage and is ideal when composing macro shots (as close as 3cm) and other scenes that demand high-precision framing. The LCD gains up in low-light and a brighten feature makes it easier to view in bright sunlight.
The XF1 has 2 command dials and you can customize almost all the control buttons to set up the camera the way you like to shoot. Practical features include a Live Histogram and Electronic Horizon Leveling Gauge. Creative features include Partial Color, Multiple Exposure and Motion Panorama 360°.
Movie is shot at Full HD 1080p Movie 1920×1080 pixels at 30fps with stereo sound. Since the zoom is manual, you can zoom during movie recording.
The Fujifilm XF1 is for beginners who want a premium point-and-shoot digital camera or advanced photographers desiring an all-purpose everyday digital camera with point-and-shoot ease-of-use. This pocketable camera is as automatic or as manual as you desire it to be.
Full-frame HD-SLR for enthusiasts. The Nikon D600 puts a full-frame FX-format sensor in a relatively compact and lightweight HD-DSLR. It is Nikon’s smallest and lightest full-frame offering at an affordable price that enthusiast photographers will find very attractive. The Nikon D600 features 24.3MP, ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable from 50-25,600), 5.5fps burst rate, 39-point AF system and Full HD (1080p) video.
For those who like to stay connected, a new optional WU-1b wireless adapter allows users to shoot high-quality HD-SLR images and transfer them to their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The optional WU-1b Wireless Adapter allows users to remotely fire the D600’s shutter from up to 15.24m (50ft) away
The auto focus system features nine cross-type sensors for maximum accuracy, while seven AF points are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8 for extreme telephoto applications.
The D600 is ready to shoot in 0.13 seconds, with a 0.052 second shutter release. It is capable of bursts of images at 5.5 fps at full resolution to capture decisive moments. To enhance speed and workflow, images and videos are rapidly transferred to dual SD card slots that are compatible with the latest SDXC and UHS-1 high-speed standards.
The optical viewfinder provides 100% frame coverage. Or use Live View on the large 3.2-inch 921,000-dot LCD that features automatic brightness control.
The D600 records Full HD 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24p, and 720p video at 60, 50 and 30p. When shooting HD video at the highest quality setting, up to 20 minutes can be recorded, or up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds in normal quality. The onboard microphone captures monaural sound; you can record stereo audio using an optional external stereo microphone. Audio can be monitored through the headphone jack and levels can be displayed on the LCD with peaking. For monitoring and streaming applications, the image can be displayed on the LCD screen while simultaneously shown on another monitor through the HDMI, regardless of whether they are shooting data. Furthermore, the D600 adds the ability to transfer uncompressed videos via the HDMI connection, which can then be routed to a digital recorder or similar device.
The D600 uses Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS). A built-in Speedlight commander can control multiple Speedlights such as Nikon’s SB-700, SB-910 or Wireless Close Up Speedlight System. The camera can also control up to two individual Speedlight groups for further creative control. X-Sync Speed is 1/200 sec (synchronizes with shutter at 1/250s or slower) while top FP High Speed Sync is up to 1/4000 sec.
The body of the D600 is sealed with gaskets for resistance against dirt and moisture. The camera is built with a magnesium alloy top and rear construction. The shutter is rated for 150,000 cycles. The battery lasts for approximately 900 shots; an optional MB-D14 Multi Power Battery Pack extends the grip for comfort and can effectively double the battery capacity when using two batteries.
The Nikon D600 will appeal to enthusiasts who are itching to get back into full-frame photography. They can now do so at an affordable price with a full-featured HD-DSLR.
Enthusiast Perfect. The Fujifilm X-E1 is a more compact and affordable version of the X-PRO1. It inherits the beautiful retro design, the innovative APS-C 16MP X-Trans CMOS image sensor, and the X Mount that accepts the full range of interchangeable XF lenses.
It is basically the X-PRO1 minus the hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder; instead, it sports an OLED viewfinder with a very high resolution of approximately 2.36 million dots and 100% coverage. Though this is not an optical viewfinder, it does comprise a couple of optical lenses through which to view the electronic panel, providing a comfortable and natural view of the entire scene with an horizontal apparent field of view of 25°. A diopter correction dial allows you to adjusts the strength of the viewfinder from -4m-1 – +2m-1 (dtp).
Like the X-PRO1, the X-E1 has a magnesium die-cast top and front cover, and employs numbered dials for aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation for a more intuitive exposure control. The analog control dials allow you to check and change settings, even when the camera is turned off — allowing you to start shooting in the right settings as soon as you turn the camera on. The dials are beautifully designed with the right amount of resistance when turning them.
While the X-PRO1 has a 3.0-in. 1230k-dot LCD, the X-E1 sports a 2.8-in. 460k-dot LCD. The LCD is not tiltable. It can switch to show a simple shooting information display (useful when you prefer to use the viewfinder to compose), can display framing guide lines and an Electronic Horizon Leveling Gauge.
There is a built-in pop-up flash, and a hot shoe allows you to attach an external flash unit. The Shoe Mount Flash EF-X20 (sold separately) is a compact external flash that has a matching retro design. Also optional is the Hand Grip HG-XE1 (sold separately) for those who prefer a bigger handgrip. Other accessories include a Remote Release RR-80, Protector Filters and Leather Case BLC-XE1. There is also an M Mount Adapter to use LEICA M lenses.
The Fujifilm X-E1 boasts a quick start time of 0.5 sec., shutter time lag of approx. 0.05-sec and an autofocus time of 0.1 sec. Continuous Shooting is at a fast 6fps at full resolution.
The X-E1 also offers the Film Simulation Mode popularized in its compact digital cameras to simulate the color and tonal qualities of its acclaimed film brands: PROVIA for a true-to-scene natural look, Velvia for vibrant tonality and saturated colors and ASTIA, for a silky soft look and beautiful skin tones. In addition, Multiplex Exposure mode lets you take multiple exposures: take the first shot and while viewing it on the LCD screen, frame and shoot the second exposure.
Advanced photographers can use PASM modes and RAW for full control over exposure and image creation. Other practical features include 4 Auto Bracketing Functions (AE Bracketing, ISO Sensitivity Bracketing, Dynamic Range Bracketing and Film Simulation Bracketing), In-camera RAW conversion, selectable AF with a 49-point Metering Matrix, Motion Panorama, and Full HD 1080p Movie 1920×1080 pixels at 24fps with stereo sound.
The Fujifilm X-E1 is targeted to enthusiast photographers. Its good looks, traditional retro control dials, high resolution EVF, high quality images and more affordable price (vis-à-vis the X-PRO1) may convince many photographers this is the camera they have been waiting for. It is available in all black or black/silver.