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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), 4096×2160 4K at 24fps or 3840×2160 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


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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:


Nikon Announces First Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera For Going Underwater

You know what’s cool? Cameras that don’t fear water. I have a soft-spot for them. It’s annoying that in the age of electronics one of the most abundant substances on earth becomes a real concern for the continued working of my toys, and I like to see things take a stand against that.

Enter Nikon’s new Nikon 1 AW1.



This handsome fella has some pretty familiar looks borrowed from the Nikon 1 J-series, except this one can be submerged down to 49 feet underwater, dropped from 6.6 feet up, and left in the weather down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. You know, a lot like some other camera they make with AW in the name. Except in a 1 camera, which means you get the not-quite-1″ CX sensor with its weird 2.7x crop factor, no mirror, and all images are captured via direct sensor feed piped through the rear LCD. This particular build has 14 megapixels on offer with an EXPEED 3A processor offering ISO 160-6400 from it. The impressive 15 frames-per-second drive mode continues on, and you can hit 60fps if you lock the exposure point. Now that’s pretty darn fast. Which is good, because fish are too.

There’s no built-in WiFi, you’ll have to use Nikon’s beloved WU-1b if you want to share pictures wirelessly to your phone via their app, and that’s not going to be a watertight solution. However, we’ve heard wifi doesn’t work too well underwater anyway, so, maybe not a big deal. But, in the age of built-in wifi a separate dongle is still a drag.

Now, speak of waterproofing, the quicker of you are probably going “Hey, none of the 1 lenses are waterproof either!” Good point, and that’s why Nikon has also announced two new 1 lenses with sealing specifically for use on the AW1 (in fact, the gist seems to be they won’t actually work on other 1 bodies due to their big ol’ o-rings.) On offer here at launch will be an 11-27.5mm f3.5-5.6 zoom (about 30-74mm equiv), and a 10mm f2.8 prime (27mm equiv). The AW1 can also use any other 1 lenses you have, they just won’t be safe to take into the weather like these two will be.

The AW1 will come in silver, black, and white, and there’ll be a few accessories like silicon skins for them available too. It’ll come as a one-lens kit with the zoom for $799.95, or a two lens kit with both lenses for $999.95 next month. The skins will also be out next month and run you $36.95 in your choice of a few colors as well. Pictures of everything and a press release after the jump, or head to the link below to learn more on our site:

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Olympus Announces New Top-End OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera, Matching 12-40mm f2.8 Lens

EM1_12-40_HLD7_Low Res



Behold! The mighty Olympus OM-D E-M1 is now a thing, and steps into the light as the new gold standard for pro-ready m4/3 bodies. The retro-meets-moden body style I feel is actually quite nice. It’s still got the small body and stylish flair, but it’s got the chunkier grip with the sloped-shoulder ergonomics of a modern DSLR (and an optional matched battery grip) that should go over well with the pro set.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks. The marketing copy I has here feels the important points are  ”Incredible Speed,” “Revolutionary Design,” “Powerful Versatility,” “Professional Image Quality,” “Built-In Wireless,” and “In-Camera Creativity.” But, because those are basically the same empty-calorie points everyone gives me for every camera, what say we ignore them in favor of that’s actually cool here? Agreed? Cool.

First off, this is a new body slotting in above the existing OM-D E-M5. Which itself was no slouch and sorta rocked the m4/3 world. So, a lot of stuff inside the E-M1 is going to sound familiar. Like, the 5-axis in-body image stabilization, a 3″ tilting touch screen,1/8000 second top shutter speed, a magnesium body with weather-sealing, integral high-rez high-speed optical viewfinder, etc. There are also some upgrades. The resolution gets a bump to 16 megapixels, and it’s tied to a new TruePic VII processor that’ll let you chug along at 10fps. They added freezeproofing to the body build, as well as a PC port and a lock for the mode dial. There are function buttons by the lens now, a la Nikon. It has the 1/320 flash sync speed of it’s other little brother, the E-P5.

Digging deeper, it has a much improved dual-mode AF that combine phase and contrast detection to notably improve performance for all lenses, but where you’ll really see it shine the brightest is using the mount adapter and using older 4/3 SWD lenses, which will now work pretty much like native m4/3 lenses finally. So, if you’ve been holding on to that old 50-200mm SWD because it was one honey of a lens, this is finally going to be the m4/3 body for you.

A new “Color Creator” feature lets you try adjusting the hue and chroma of a scene and see it live before you take the shot, to see how different effects processing will look. This’ll probably be even nicer for JPG shooters (are there still many JPG shooters?)

Another neat feature they buried in the copy here is that it has a live bulb mode. Anyone who’s ever had to calculate times for bulb exposures with that touchy-feely “and a little more just in case” time calculation will be excited to now that the E-M1 will show you live your bulb exposure as it builds. So, when you see it look right on either the rear monitor or (to prevent light contamination), the EVF, you can just stop bulbing. Now that’s freaking neat.

It’s also got built-in wi-fi with a simple QR scan-code pairing system for use with its apps (if you happen to be on iOS and Android, still no WP love from any camera group yet. You’d think Olympus would have more love for the underdogs here, but alas, no.)

And all that for just $1,499.99 body only. Other than the smaller 4/3 sensor this has pretty every feature you’d find on anyone else’s compact pro model, and for half the price.

Learn more about the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

And, for those of you thinking that a pro m4/3 body is still useless without a proper pro standard zoom, well, Olympus thought of that too.

12-40mm Lens_Low Res



Bam! an M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO. For those of you not familiar with Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds conventions, there’s a 2x crop factor that makes this a 24-80mm f2.8 equivalent (though the DOF will still be different, as will compression. That’s an argument for another time, but I know whenever you talk Oly gear someone brings that up, so, let’s just get it out in the clear right now. As far as apparent focal length and light-gathering abilities go though, this’ll be a perfectly dandy 24-80mm f2.8 lens).

Its got 14 elements in 9 groups, with a veritable alphabet soup of exotics in the mix: one aspherical ED, two regular aspherical, one DSA, two ED, one HD, and 2 HR lens elements. Wowza. It’s rounded out with Oly’s newer, faster video-ready MSC focus drive, a 7-blade rounded diaphragm (f2.8-22), a 62mm filter diameter, and metal body with weather-sealing for use in wet conditions.

And, while that many exotic elements don’t come cheap (retail for the 12-40mm is $1,099.99), the m4/3 advantage of smaller lenses needing smaller (and thus cheaper) elements triumphs again, and $1100 looks pretty cheap next to Canon or Nikon’s pro 24-70mm zooms. And they won’t speak nearly as confidently about their splash-proofing as Oly will.

Learn more about the new Olympus 12-40mm M.ZUIKO.


Sony Bumps NEX Line With NEX-5T



Have I mentioned how awesome it is that we live in a world where you can buy cameras where the mount is bigger than the body? Because it is. And the NEX line is pretty good at that. This one is no exception. In keeping with the usual raffle drawing of letters to stick after a number, this is the NEX-5T, matching in no way the N, F, R, and C letters they’ve used before to indicate revised models. So it goes. And, while the A3000 is an all-new thing, the NEX-5T falls more under “routine refresh” category. In fact, it’s pretty much a NEX-5n, except you’ve got wi-fi and NFC onboard now, because sharing photos to your phone is the new “in” thing and it won’t be long before it’s as common as 1080p video and I can stop even mentioning it. But for now, it’s new, and that’s basically what’s new about the 5T. If you’ve got the 5n, I can’t say it’s worth your upgrade, but if you’re looking to get started in MSC then hey, you’re in luck, a great camera just got a few more bells and whistles for basically the same buck.

Check it out here:


Panasonic Becomes Aware Of Retro-Love, Announces Sexier GX7



That’s not it. That’s the GX1, the outgoing model in Panasonic’s GX line (and the first!)



Well, at least we won’t be mixing them up on the shelves, I can tell you that. Clearly Panasonic has read the writing on the wall, “If you want to sell ILCs, they need to look like 70′s SLRs.” Check and check, but with more curves.

So, other than some fabulous new styling, what’s the GX7 got to offer that it’s plain-jane little bro didn’t? First off, a tilting LCD, and a tilting viewfinder. That’s right, a 90-degree rotatable viewfinder. Also, it’s got some 2,764k dots of resolution packed in there with what it claims to be 100% color accuracy. It’s got eye-movement AF start too, because eye-movement AF totally works awesomely said no one ever yet. But hey, maybe this time.

Oh yeah, and it has in-body image stabilzation. You know, that thing Panasonic was never too keen on, choosing instead to originally use a lens-based system. Yeah, that’ll make things awkward for a while. Just remember, use one or the other when you have both. I recommend the body myself as it’ll be a newer system than the lenses had, but if you like the calm, soothing sensation of the lens IS kicking in then that’s cool too. Just don’t rock both at once.

For you cinematic folks, it’ll do 24p at 24mb/s, or those other high frame rates that you could maybe pull off if you’re Peter Jackson, but most of you will probably avoid anyway.

Like stealth? It has a silent mode that’ll turn the mechanical shutter off and just use the electronic one.

Otherwise, the specs are pretty solidly high-end. 1/8000 shutter, 16mp 4/3 sensor with improved color-response, ISO 25,600 (I don’t know yet if that’s native or push), 5fps with a mechanical shutter and 40 with the electronic, a bold claim of something in the AF settings letting it work down to -4EV, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. All and all, quite a nice package, and all shoved into a real magnesium body (though not seeing anything about weathersealing, just a regular old metal body).

It’ll set you back right at a grand for the body or 1100 with a 14-42mm kit lens. Preorders for those happen here:

Also announced today is that the Leica DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm F1.2  is a real thing and will be coming at some undisclosed time for some undisclosed price. But, hey, Leica, 85mm equivalent, f1.2. I mean, they gave it a new desgination: Nocticron (which sounds like someone Optimus Prime would do battle with.) So, do I really need to say more or can I just show you the render and a link to preorder it? I thought so.