Olympus is positioning its new PEN E-PL7 as the smartphone user’s Interchangeable Lens Camera. Smartphone users take lots of pictures with their phone’s built-in camera and most of these end up on their social sites, shared with friends and families.
The tiny sensor in the smartphone cameras puts limitations in the image quality that can be obtained. That is when smartphone users eagerly look to upgrade to a dedicated camera with a larger sensor that is as easy to use as the one on their smartphone but that will give them much better image quality and more flexibility in exposure, lenses and accessories.
Enter the Olympus PEN E-PL7. It has a proven form factor, is drop dead gorgeous in its retro design and is filled with practical features prized by smartphone users.
16M Live MOS Four-Thirds Sensor
TruePic VII engine
81-Point FAST AF
3-Axis VCM In-body Image Stabilization
8fps High-Speed Sequential Shooting
3.0-in. Tilting and Swiveling Capacitive Touch Panel Monitor (1.04M-dot)
The Sigma dp2 Quattro features a 29MP APS-C Foveon X Sensor (23.5 mm x 15.7 mm) with Contrast-detect AF. It has improved performance and AF speed compared to the model (DP2 Merrill) it replaces. Buyers of the dp2 Quattro will however be more concerned with its image quality from RAW files and the new Foveon X Quattro sensor seems to deliver.
The dp2 Quattro is no-frills, no nonsense. There are no AUTO mode, Scene modes, Art Filters (though it does have digital filters that simulate the optical filters we used to screw onto our lenses), touch panel screen or Wi-Fi. There is not even movie. If that is what you crave, head over to another brand altogether.
But, if you are still reading, you must know something that this camera delivers and that matters to you a lot: depending on who you talk to, the dp2 Quattro has probably the best image quality from RAW from any enthusiast camera. But it does not come easy: you will need to post process the RAW files through the proprietary SIGMA Photo Pro RAW Editor, which is not the fastest image editor out there. The result for those who know what they are doing is described using superlatives: “outstanding,”phenomenal”and “breathtaking.”
Features advanced photographers will appreciate: RAW file support, PASM shooting modes, manual focus ring (fly-by-wire), and two of the best control dials I’ve ever used.
This video presents “α77 II from Sony: Official Video Release.”
“Introducing the Sony’s α77 II interchangeable-lens digital camera with the world’s highest number of AF points*1 in a newly developed 79-point*2 phase-detection AF system (including 15 cross points) that stays solidly locked on the subject to ensure supremely reliable focusing.
The long-waited α77 II also features fast approx. 12fps*3 continuous shooting (up to 60 frames*4).“
*1 Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras equipped with a dedicated phase-detection AF sensor (as of May 1, 2014) according to Sony research. *2 The number of AF points used depends on the lens. *3 Approx. maximum speed in Continuous Advance Priority AE mode. *4 In Fine quality mode, L size.
Who else is claiming that its camera is for ‘The Purist?’ Fujifilm is, with the X-T1. Its promotional video ends with the message that the X-T1 is for ‘Pure Photography. Pure joy.‘
You got to admit that the X-T1 has quite an impressive spec sheet: dedicated shutter speed dial, aperture ring, exposure compensation dial, ISO dials (without PASM Mode Dial and other distracting dials); large and extremely fast refreh 2.36M-dot OLED EVF; Multimode Real Time Viewfinder with info that automatically switches depending on orientation; proven low noise X-Trans CMOS II sensor; weather-resistant, dust-resistant, water-resistant, -10°C low temperature operation; availability (sometime middle of the year) of weather-proof lenses: XF50-140mm F2.8 R OIS WR, XF16-55mm F2.8 R OIS WR and XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R OIS WR; AF speed of 0.08 sec.; wireless remote shooting and wireless image transfer to smart phones and tablets. However, no built-in flash (though a small external flash is bundled).
Interestingly, Fujifilm refers to the X-T1 as a “camera system” though for now, it’s just lenses, a couple of speedlites, a handgrip and a vertical battery grip. Hopefully, more, much more to come.
Weather-resistant. The Fujifilm X-T1 is a premium compact system camera targeted to serious and advanced photographers. It inherits the beautiful retro design, the innovative APS-C 16MP X-Trans CMOS II image sensor, and the X Mount that accepts the full range of interchangeable XF and XC lenses. It is weather-resistant and three new weather-sealed lenses will be available in June 2014: XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R OIS WR, XF16-55mm F2.8 R OIS WR and XF50-140mm F2.8 R OIS WR.
The X-T1 has a huge 2.36m dot resolution OLED viewfinder with the world’s highest magnification (0.77x). The digital info automatically rotates when the camera is held vertically. Manual Focusing is assisted by an innovative Dual View display, Focus Peak Highlight and Digital Image Split. The tilting 3.0-in. LCD features 1.04m dot resolution. The LCD is not touchscreen.
The X-T1’s body is magnesium-alloy, is dust and water-resistant with approximately 80 points of weather sealing. It is freeze resistant to -10°C. The direct control dials are beautifully designed with the right amount of resistance when turning them: shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO, plus aperture ring on the lens.
There is no built-in pop-up flash, but an external one is included in the box. There is a hot shoe to allow you to attach an external flash unit.
The Fujifilm X-T1 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 8fps at full resolution.
The X-T1 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.
Other practical features include built-in Wi-Fi (with remote control), One-touch Movie Recording button, six customizable Fn buttons and a Quick Menu button. A number of bracketing functions are also available. Interval timer shooting for Time Lapse photography is available with intervals of 1 second to 24 hours and up to 999 frames. The X-T1 is the world’s first camera that can use the Ultra High Speed UHS-II SD memory cards. Accessories include a Vertical battery grip VG-XT1.
The Fujifilm X-T1 is not only beautiful, intuitive, weather-proof and built tough, it also delivers superb image quality especially at high ISOs in low light. It is uncompromising in its handling with direct controls that allow an enjoyable user experience.
Travel with style with the Samsung WB350F SMART CAMERA. It is a super zoom digital camera featuring 21x optical zoom (23-483mm equiv.), optical image stabilization, 16.3MP resolution on a 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor, a 3.0-in. Touch LCD, and is brimming with Wi-Fi capabilities. Plus it’s pocketable, making it a carry-anywhere travel companion.
Under its deceptively clean and uncluttered exterior lie some impressive features: 21x optical zoom, PASM shooting modes, Auto Backup, Remote Vewfinder, Tap & Go sharing, and lots of filters.
The WB350F is well constructed, feels solid and handles well. It is elegant in its textured leatherette covering that comes in 3 to 6 colors (country dependent). You can use the control buttons or the responsive touch LCD (460k-dot) to choose your settings. Though this is basically a point-and-shoot camera, advanced photographers will appreciate the availability of PASM shooting modes. You can record HD 1080p movies 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps with monaural sound.
The WB350F features the latest NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity. Tag & Go allows you to connect to smartphones by simply touching the two devices together. You can transfer images being viewed on the camera to the paired smartphone. Remote ViewFinder allows you to control the camera wirelessly. Auto Backup allows you to transfer pictures from the camera to your computer without the need of a USB cable.
The Samsung WB350F is a compact travel camera with a powerful wide-angle zoom, flexible shooting modes and wireless capabilities. Put it in your pocket or purse and you’ll always have a camera ready to capture a wide landscape, street scene or tele shot. Continue Reading »
The Samsung SMART CAMERA NX30 is Samsung’s flagship mirrorless camera, featuring a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor (23.5 mm x 15.7 mm) with Hybrid AF that combines 105 Phase detection AF and 247 Contrast-detect AF for lightning-fast and accurate autofocusing.
The NX30 ticks almost all the features enthusiasts look for and adds one more that you may not even have thought of: an XGA (2.36M-dot) EVF that conveniently tilts 80° up. A Proximity eye-sensor automatically switches the display from the AMOLED screen to the EVF when you bring your eye up to the viewfinder, and back to the AMOLED screen when you move your eye away from the viewfinder.
A top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. allows freezing fast-moving subjects and capturing the decisive moment in action photography as well as allowing the use of a large aperture in bright daylight to obtain shallow depth of field bokeh effects. Continuous Shooting is at 9fps with autofocus.
The Samsung NX30 is brimming with Wi-Fi capabilities, including Embedded NFC (Near Field Communication) and Wi-Fi to allow you to send pictures to your smartphone or tablet by simply touching the camera to the device.
Shoot Full HD 1080 / 60p video with stereo sound with a 3.5pi microphone. A standard 3.5 mm microphone jack allows the use of an external microphone. The Smart Range+ feature automatically gives tonal detail a boost, so shadows are a little brighter, and highlights are a little darker. Dual IS features both optical and electronic image stabilization. HDMI interface connects your camera to your HDTV.
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.
You won’t have to suffer through a cheap image viewer and editor here: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is bundled free with your NX30.
The Samsung NX30 retails (street prices) for CAD $ 969 / US $799 / £652 with the 18-55mm OIS III kit lens. Check latest prices / Buy
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 »