Editorial

The Future Is Full-Frame Mirrorless

We always like to spot trends at Photoxels and see which direction the camera industry is heading. It’s a fun activity and, more often than not, we are not always right, but we did correctly predict that “The future is mirrorless” and that mirrorless technology would dethrone DSLR technology way back when mirrorless AF (auto focus) was still struggling, and the mirrorless EVF (electronic viewfinder) could not quite stand up to the DSLR OVF (optical viewfinder). DSLR technology was then at its zenith.

Why did we fearlessly (and in many eyes, foolishly) proclaim that mirrorless technology would eventually come out on top?

Simple: 1) With the improvements in image sensor Live View technology, we saw that the mirror had simply become redundant. While the DSLR mirror allowed the photographer to see what came through the lens (but not necessarily what the camera was capturing), the mirrorless image sensor Real-time Live View allowed photographers to not only see what was coming through the lens, but more importantly exactly what the camera was capturing. 2) Technology improvements in EVF, LCD and AF would eventually catch up and surpass DSLR technology. We knew it was just a matter of time before mirrorless technology would catch up with — and eventually surpass — DSLR technology. It has taken a good ten years, but that seems like only yesterday.

But that is looking back in the rear-view mirror. If we look forward to the trends in the camera industry, we believe that “The future is full-frame mirrorless.

What trends? New models are increasingly full-frame models. Take the following two examples:

1) The full-frame Panasonic S5 (rumors) is slightly smaller than the MFT Panasonic G9, though about 56 g heavier.

2) The Sony A7c (rumors) is the entry-level “compact” rangefinder-style version of the A7 III. It is full-frame, not APS-C like the previous compact models are (e.g. the A6600). Interestingly, a new range of more compact and lighter lenses will apparently be introduced for this new model.

Yes, it’s still early in the game, and we are already predicting that Micro Four Thirds (MFT) and, eventually, APS-C will both become a thing of the past. Not that they would necessarily completely disappear — just like film has also never completely disappeared — but going forward, more and more mirrorless cameras would be full-frame models, until full-frame (FF) would once again become the de-facto camera standard.

Now, why do we say this?
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Contests Olympus

Olympus Invites 7 US and Canadian Photographers to “Break Free”: Deadline September 13

PRESS RELEASE

OLYMPUS LAUNCHES THE BREAK FREE PROGRAM

AN OPPPORTUNITY FOR EMERGING CREATIVES TO WORK WITH OLYMPUS MENTORS AND BUILD THEIR PASSION PROJECTS

Center Valley, PA, August 28 – Olympus wants to hear from photographers between the ages of 15-291. What you would do if you had professional camera equipment from Olympus to create your passion project? What do you dream of creating? Designed to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers, The Break Free Program is a three-month, hands-on opportunity to provide emerging photographers both the tools and mentoring support to bring their vision to life. To learn more, visit: https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/the-break-free-program.

Applicants must reside in the United States or Canada and be between the ages of 15-29. Those under the age of 18 must have consent from their parent or legal guardian.

Whether your vision is to chronicle an adventure, discover big details in the miniature world of macro photography or direct a short film in 4K video—Olympus wants to help you fulfill your creative dreams.

Applications will be accepted August 28th through September 13th, 2020. Applicants may submit a description of their photo series or video project they would like to complete for consideration by Olympus as part of The Break Free Program here: https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/breakfree/application.

Olympus will select up to seven applicants to participate in the Program based on creativity of the project, skill level of the photographer, and how well the project fits within the Break Free brand values. As part of the Program, participants will be able to use equipment from Olympus’ product line up. Additionally, participants in the Program will have the opportunity to select an Olympus Mentor, consisting of Olympus Visionaries, Educators and Explorers, to support, educate, and guide them as they complete their project and bring their proposals to life.

During the three-month duration of the program, Olympus will share the progress of the Program participants via the Olympus Learn Center. Some finalists will be selected to participate in Story Takeovers on Olympus social channels with updates on the progression of their projects.

On or around December 20th, Olympus will launch an online gallery featuring the completed work of program participants, accompanied by their blog updates. Olympus will promote their work on social channels and to email subscribers.
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Cameras Pentax

PENTAX K-1 Mark II DSLR and 3 HD PENTAX-D FA* lenses Now Available in Silver Edition

Ricoh, the parent company of Pentax, has announced the availability of a silver model of the Pentax K-1 Mark II full-frame DSLR camera. To accompany this silver model, three HD PENTAX-D FA* lenses will also be available in a silver edition: HD PENTAX-D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4.

Note that the K-1 Mark II is not a mirrorless camera, but old technology full-frame DSLR, and so Ricoh is pushing the Pentax K-1 Mark II Silver Edition more as a collector’s item, targeting a very niche market segment. Only 1,000 units of the Pentax K-1 Mark II Silver Edition, and 600 units of each of the three above-mentioned lenses, will be available worldwide.

PRESS RELEASE

Ricoh announces Silver Edition of PENTAX K-1 Mark II, plus three HD PENTAX-D FA* Silver Edition lenses

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the PENTAX K-1 Mark II Silver Edition, a special silver-colored version of its digital single-lens reflex (SLR) flagship model. Ricoh is also releasing for the first time silver versions of its D FA* series lenses, with high-grade silver coating that is especially well suited to the top-of-the-line PENTAX optics.

The camera will be available in a limited quantity of 1,000 units worldwide, and the three lenses—HD PENTAX-D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4—will be available worldwide in limited quantities of 600 units for each model. These lenses join the silver-edition PENTAX full-frame lenses currently available: SMC PENTAX FA 31mm F1.8 LTD, SMC PENTAX FA 43mm F1.9 LTD and SMC PENTAX FA 77mm F1.8 LTD.

The limited-edition silver models of the camera and lenses are coveted by PENTAX photographers worldwide. The PENTAX K-1 Mark II Silver Edition camera sports contrasting black parts–a shutter release button and hot shoe—to provide a handsome complementary color and enable it to be color coordinated whether used with traditional black or the special silver-colored lenses.

Previously issued limited-edition cameras include the PENTAX K-7 Limited Silver (March 2010) and the PENTAX K-1 Limited Silver (September 2017).

Pricing and Availability
The PENTAX K-1 Mark II Silver Edition camera body will be available in September for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2099.95. The HD PENTAX-D FA* Silver Edition lenses will also be available in September with prices ranging from $1199.95 – $2099.95. Both the camera and lenses can be purchased at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and at select Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets.
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Canon Firmware Updates

Canon Releases Firmware Version 1.1.0 for EOS R5

Canon Firmware Version 1.1.0 addresses a number of fixes, including display, FTP connectivity, CFexpress access card times, and temperature detection and shooting time control improvements.

Download EOS R5 Firmware Version 1.1.0

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Olympus Software & Apps

Olympus OM-D Webcam Beta Now Supports macOS

Expanding upon Olympus’ July 1st announcement regarding the availability of OM-D Webcam Beta Software, Olympus is now offering OM-D Webcam Beta Software for Mac OS users, for compatibility with various video conferencing and virtual meeting applications, simply by installing the software on a computer with a supported operating system, and connecting a supported camera using a USB cable.

OM-D Webcam Beta software is compatible with five Olympus OM-D Models, the E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III and the E-M5 Mark II, utilizing the USB cable provided with the camera at purchase, and has been tested Mac native desktop applications: OBS, Google Chrome, and Zoom through Google Chrome.

OM-D Webcam Beta software is now compatible with Apple computers with macOS 10.15 (Catalina), 10.14 (Mojave), 10.13 (High Sierra) or 10.12 (Sierra), and is easy to install. Simply download the installer from DL site, open the dmg, open the pkg, follow the instructions displayed, and restart your Mac. Once the software has been installed, connect any compatible OM-D camera to the computer utilizing the provided USB cable, turn the camera on, select the connection icon on the monitor, turn the web conferencing application on and select “OM-D Webcam Beta in the device settings menu in the application.

OM-D Webcam is now available for download and installation. It is available in the English and Japanese languages, only. Download link and installation procedures can be accessed at https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/olympus-om-d-webcam-beta. Due to the pre-release nature of this beta software, it is not eligible for operational warranty or customer support.

The following video by Olympus Guru Lewis Speight will guide you through setting up OM-D Webcam Beta, as well as a few more common applications such as OBS, Zoom, and Teams.

Note that the OM-D Webcam Beta software does not output sound from the camera, so you’ll need to use an external recorder such as the Olympus LS-P4 recorder as a USB microphone attached to your computer.

Download Olympus OM-D Webcam Beta software

Read more about the Olympus OM-D Webcam Beta software.

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