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NEX Is Dead, Long Live Alpha! And, Here's the A5100


Do you remember the NEX-5T? Of course you do, because you clearly remember each of the several hundred engineer-named cameras that come out every year, right? Who doesn't? In the unlikely case that you don't remember every hard-to-remember camera model we talk about, the NEX-5T was the last mid-level model NEX camera Sony made, and is now the last of the NEX branding to be dropped in favor of the more liked Alpha brand. It's replacement is the Alpha A5100. Nothing else has changed, we're still talking about a mirrorless compact system with the Sony E mount, compact body, 1.5x crop sensor. There are specs bumps, of course, with the A5100. Resolution is up to 24 megapixels, ISO range is up to 100-25,600, there's a touchscreen, on sensor phase detect AF, a higher resolution display, and more. Actually, it's easier to think of the A5100 as a cheaper A6000 with a slower frame rate. "Cheaper?" you ask. Yep. The A5100 will run about $550 for body only, or $700 with a 16-50mm, an easy $100 less all around than its bigger bro. If a cheaper camera with the A6000's quality and only a few catches sounds good to you, hit up our preorder links below:

A5100 Body Only

A5100 with 16-50mm Kit


Sony Announces Pricing For Their A7s

Remember Sony's A7s? The new full-frame mirrorless with a focus on video and low-light? No? Come on, surely you do. OK, so, it looked like this:



And it does awesome low-light video like this:

And previously it didn't have a price, but it does now. The A7s will run $2,499.99 body only. And, if you want to read more about it or get on our list, you can do that right here.


Nikon 1 Lines Increases By 2: J4 and S2




For those of you into this sorta thing, Nikon has finally brought the 1 system J4 model to the US, and added an S2 to boot. These models are the original low-end-now-mid-end 1 (J series), and the entry-level 1 (S series). They've both seen updates to include the 20 frames-per-second shooting seen first on the V3 model. The two models are pretty similar (so much so that the press release mostly talks about both models at the same time), with the main differences being the J4 has a higher 18 megapixel sensor over the S2's 14 megapixel one, and the J4 now (finally) has built-in WiFi, while the S2 still requires everyone's favorite WU-1a adapter. They also differ in colors and kits, with the J4 coming in black, white, silver, and orange with a 10-30mm, 10-100mm, or both a 10-30mm and a 30-110mm, while the S2 comes in black, white, red, or yellow in a one lens kit with the 11-27.5mm or a two lens kit that adds a 30-110mm as well.

If you're interested in any of that, check out the links below for more information and to preorder:

Nikon 1 J4 Kits:

Nikon 1 S2 Kits:

1 Lens

2 Lens


Leica Goes Mirrorless, Intros The "T"

Leica T_23_18-56_M-Lenses

Lookit! It's a Leica, surrounded by lenses! Hold on, let's narrow our focus a bit:

Leica T_black_emo_01

Ah. There we go. Say hello to the Leica T (yes, another camera with just a letter for a model number, be prepared in the future to look back on this model as the "Typ 701," it's more unique identifier.) It's a mirrorless camera! Which is to say, it's actually a pretty stylish mirrorless camera with a solid aluminum unibody (hewn from a single block of aluminum, with no joints to creak or flex) wrapped around a 16mp APS-C sensor.



It has built-in GPS, built-in 16GB memory plus support for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, ISO 100-12,500 (12,500? Really?), and will shoot at 5 frames per second. It has two dials up top, but everything else is done via a big 3.7" touchscreen.

Leica T_black_back


Simple, yeah? There's no in-body IS (which is worth bringing up because the lenses for it will also lack IS, so, might cut back on the java use before you invest in a T there bucko), and it's only got contrast-AF. But hey, it does at least have both a built-in flash and a hotshoe. And all the accessories were designed in cooperation with AUDI design. So, there's that, right? It uses a new mount (the T mount, duh), and at first there will only be two lenses, but Leica's promising to show off two more later this year. The first two will be the LEICA VARIO-ELMAR-T 18–56 mm f/3.5–5.6 ASPH. and the LEICA SUMMICRON-T 23mm f/2 ASPH.

They're not even going to be available to us dealers until later next month, and the prices are preeeeetty much exactly what you'd expect from the infamous red dot, but if you were sold at "aluminum unibody" I have some links for you and your preorder desires right here:

Leica T (Typ 701)

Leica T 18-56mm

Leica T 23mm


Sony's Upcoming A7s Has Awesome Lowlight Video

So, earlier this week Sony announced a new A7s counterpart to its other two full-frame mirrorless bodies (the A7 and A7r). Unlike them, the A7s has a constrained 12 megapixels so it can focus on low-light and video performance. It boasts a D4s-rivaling 409,600 ISO  and 4k video (though, it can only pipe it to a separate recording device over HDMI, it cannot actually record 4k video to its own memory). Basically, it sounds like the bees' knees and kicks the competition in the mirrorless 4k space up a notch.

Anyway, today Sony has released their own official video based off an idea Den Lennie used to show off the high ISO capabilites for an F Stop Academy write-up on the camera. And it is awesome. That is all. Here it is. Enjoy.


Nikon Expands 1 System: New V3 Body, 2 New Lenses

Nikon 1 V3 With 10-30mm and Viewfinder


Check it. The Nikon 1 system (you know, the weird Nikon mirrorless line with the so-called "CX" mount built around a weird 1" sensor with a 2.7x crop factor) has grown by three today with a new V3 enthusiast body and 2 less enthusiastic lenses.

The V3, while still suffering from a little bit of an identity complex (at the end of the day, there are still only two CX lenses with apertures you can pretend are enthusiast-oriented, and the price still pits it against the incredibly well-reviewed D3300 and D5300 DSLRs), the V3 does offer some interesting bullet points. Finally the V series has picked up dual command dials (although, as DPReview is quick to point out, you still have to use the 4-way for EV comp), and boy, it's kinda fast. In addition to even snappier AF, the V3 will trundle along at 20 frames per second with continuous AF. Yeah. That. Sure, it's not quite as high as the Casio, so, maybe less appealing for analyzing that golf swing, but probably pretty helpful for pray-and-spray approaches to amateur sports. At a full 18MP resolution, to boot. And, since we do Nikon USA, you get the electronic viewfinder and additional optional camera grip in the box. So, hey, there's that?


And, there're two new lenses to go with it: a new 10-30mm (yes, another one), and a 70-300. The 10-30mm is still a 3.5-5.6 VR, just like the last one, but this one is a "PD" model with power zoom. With that CX crop factor you get an effective 27-81mm lens with smooth power zoom for video use. But no filter thread. Sure. But, it's pretty tiny, at only 1.1" as shown there.


The 70-300 model is a bit slower still, coming in at f4.5-5.6. It's also a VR model, which you would probably expect by now out of something that's an 189-810mm monster of a telephoto. And by "monster" I mean a whole 4" long closed, and under 20 ounces. Hey, there are advantages to a 1" sensor, right? A 4" 800mm f5.6 is one of them.

Also, it has filter rings like a proper god-fearing lens, and takes a 62mm one specifically. So, make that A 4" 800MM F5.6 with filters you can even afford. Neato.

Preorders for all three below. Availability says April for the V3, but doesn't actually say that's the case for the lenses too, so, er, maybe?

Nikon 1 V3 with 10-30mm

1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM

1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 


Sony's A6000 Is a Beast. Possibly Two Beasts.



Remember Sony's A5000, aka the camera that killed the NEX brand? Sure you do, because you are clearly a royal reader of this blog, as I knew you would be. So, through the sheer power of your recollection and certainly not by clicking that link back there to see our previous post on the matter, you'll recall that the A5000 is the inheritance of the NEX line mirrorless system with the 1.5x APS-C sensors and the E-mount lens system. And that it was pretty hot.

Except, it looks a little blander now that we finally get to meet its older sibling. The A6000, just announced, is on paper a gem.

It has a 24 megapixel sensor being processed with a new generation of Bionz X processor. It has 179 phase detect AF points covering 92% of the sensor, not even counting the contrast-detect AF system helping out, giving it AF times as fast as 0.06 seconds. Which is fast. And speak of fast, it'll pop out those 24mp images at 11 frames per second, and it doesn't even have to lock the focus to do it. That's right, 11 fps and you can still use focus tracking during. Hot. No, sorry. Hawt.

The back is a 3" LCD, the viewfinder is a slightly smaller OLED unit than was featured in the NEX-6, being probably the biggest gripe to level at Sony's newest mirrorless. The price points of $800 with a 16-50mm zoom or $650 without it are also pretty solid for those specs, continuing Sony's long run of super-solid mirrorless systems, especially if you don't quite need the pro-focus Oly has been pumping into their line lately.


Panasonic Announces New GH4, Freaking Awesome 4K Video Adapter Grip

DMC-GH4 4K mirrorless camera from Panasonic


So, that camera there is Panasonic's newest mirrorless system camera, the GH4. If you're new to the game, Panasonic's GH lines is a fork of the original Micro-Four Thirds line (like, on the market, actually) with a DSLR-style body and a focus on video usage. To that end, the GH4 doesn't disappoint its lineage, and becomes the first mirrorless sporting 4k video intentions. Powered by a 16mp sensor, it has all sorts of kooky features like variable frame rate Full-HD video (and stop motion animation), selectable system frequency (59.94hz, 50hz, 24hz), autofocus speeds as fast as 0.07 seconds, an electronic shutter with silent mode, a physical shutter with a 200,000 exposure life rating and shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000, a dust and splash-sealed magnesium body, built-in wi-fi, and even more specific video features like time stamp, colorbars and a 1KHz test zone, center marker, synchro scan, two "cinema-like" gamma curves, the ability to tweak the brightness over 15 steps, a zebra pattern for testing over-exposure (can be output to external monitor, too), 4096x2160 4K at 24fps or 3840x2160 4K at 30fps, focus peaking, and built-in jacks for a mic (via 3.5mm phono), monitor via HDMI mini, AV, 2.5mm remote port, and flash sync port. Whew.

But because that's not really enough to make this the last word in the burgeoning 4K video market, they've also announced the world's silliest looking and worst named grip as an optional accessory for the GH4. Behold, the AG-YAGHG Professional 4K Video Interface Unit:

Panasonic DMC-GH4 with 4K Video Unit Front



And from the back:

Panasonic DMC-GH4 with 4K Video Unit Back


Why so monstrous, you ask? What's in there? Well, two start with, 2 XLR inputs (each with their own channel volume adjustment on the back there), and Full HD (4:2:2 / 10 bit) 4-parallel output or 4K output with time-code.  Looks like this opened up:

DMC-YAGH Interface Unit Open

There's no word yet on pricing or availability, so, this is One Of Those Things, but if your 4K sense is all tingly now you can get your name down on our list to get one whenever they do become real. And by one I mean either the camera or the grip, once we know exactly how that'll work. For now, I'll leave you with the links to do that, and hit the jump for the press release:

UPDATE: February 10. Sorry folks, apparently we have been expressly told no preorders at this time, so, had to take the links down.

Panasonic GH4

YAGH 4K Interface Unit


read more


Olympus Drops OM-D Below $1000 With OM-D E-M10

Do you love hyphens? No? Well, too bad, because I'm here to talk about more from Olympus' hyphen-happy but genuinely good OM-D line. The OM-D E-M5 won hearts all around the world by finally fulfilling the E-system's long-standing promise of smaller bodies with great image quality, and it was followed up by the OM-D E-M1 with a focus on pros with better support for legacy ZUIKO glass and a chunkier grip. Today Olympus introduces a third model at the lower end, bringing the style and prestige of the OM-D line to an enviable sub-grand price point.



Like all OM-D models the E-M10 has a built-in EVF (the most apparent difference over the PEN line, where all the EVFs are optional), and retro looks. Unlike it's bigger brothers the OM-D E-M10 lacks weather-sealing, and instead of 5-axis IS (horizontal, vertical, pitch, yaw, and roll) you'll have to settle for just 3-axis (pitch, yaw, and roll, curiously enough). If you can live with those compromises, you'll still benefit from the 16mp LIVE MOS sensor with the usual 2x crop factor, the FAST AF with 81 areas, continuous shooting at 8fps burst, or an acceptable 3.5 frames per second (for 20 shots RAW, indefinitely in JPG), and the 1.4 million dot EVF with 120fps refresh rate. ISO goes from 100-25600 when expanded, and there's wi-fi built in (you know, as it should be, Nikon).

Here's a video:

It'll be in Jody-licious black or silver for $699.99 body only, or $799.99 with a new 14-42mm.

Speaking of new 14-42mm... there's a new 14-42mm! This makes number, what, three for Oly? But you're going to like this one. You know why? One word:




Mmm. Pancakes.

Sorry, wait. I meant this type:



Bam! That's right. Took'em a few years and a few tries, but Olympus finally got a standard zoom that'll collapse down to a mere 0.9" deep in its stored state, or, about the same size as Panny's 20mm pancake from way back when. Sure, it'll be longer than that when you're using it, but it's downright storable when you're not not now. That's pretty excellent. And it'll come in silver or black. Obviously you can pick up one for $100 more with your new E-M10, but you can also pick one up a la carte for your older Olympus or Panasonic m4/3 shooter for $349.99. There'll be an auto-opening lens cap available as an optional accessory for it.

Preorder that bad boy here:

But wait, that's not all! There's also a new 25mm f1.8 prime with a metal body in black or silver for $399.99, a new 9mm fisheye f8 body cap for $99.99 (similar to the awesome 30mm equiv one they already have), and a macro conversion set for 6 of their lenses ($69.99). Quite a day for Oly.

NC_MCONP02_ringsplit NC_BCL0980_BLK_stand NC_M.25mm.f1.8_BLK_stand



Sony Announces New A5000

So, if you read any of those other tech blogs (lord knows we do here), you've probably heard the line on Sony's new camera: NEX is out, Alpha is king for both A and E-mount bodies from them. Well, we'll with-hold parroting that line until we hear it confirmed from a Sony official, but at any rate the A5000 is sure an NEX-style body with nary and NEX in the name. It is still part of Sony's E mount line, which is their mirrorless system, though. And the APS-C part of that line, unlike the bigger a7 and a7r models with their full-frame sensors.



In specific, this model has a 20.1 megapixel Exmor (that means backside illuminated in Sony-speak) APS-C sensor with a 1.5x crop factor, and the usual mirrorless body style and lack of optical viewfinder. This one also lacks an integral EVF, meaning your stock usage is via the 3" mid-resolution tiltable touchscreen LCD. Unlike Nikon's DLSRs, wifi is built in here, as is NFC to make pairing it to things even easier. ISO tops out at 16,000 native, and it'll chug along at 4 frames per second, which puts it on the lower end of the pack feature-wise. It'll come in black, white, or silver and set you back $600 including a 16-50mm power zoom lens to get you started. Not a bad entry kit for the wide and exciting world of mirrorless compacts.

If  that's what you've been waiting on, here's a link to hop inline for a preorder: