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Derek

Fuji Announces New X30 Compact


Fujifilm (a name which, really, gets more antiquated with each new camera from them) has today announced the upgrade to their popular X20 compact, with the rather predictable name of the X30.

Fujifilm X30 Digital Compact

If you were hoping for some upgrades to the core guts, you're gonna be disappointed. The 12 megapixel 2/3" sensor, maximum ISO of 12,800 and the 28-112mm f2-2.8 lens all match the specs of the outgoing X20. For the differences we'll have to look elsewhere, though differences there do be. The rear LCD is up to 3" from 2.8", and up to 920k dots from the more tepid 460k of the X20. And it tilts! Battery life is considerably improved, up to 470 shots CIPA average from 270 (for those too lazy to grab a calculator that's a 74% improvement). The optical viewfinder is gone though, which is kind of a bummer. They have replaced it with a pretty solid EVF with a .005 second refresh rate, 2.36 million dots, OLED construction, and using 4 lenses for .65x magnification and 100% coverage. Still, we suspect many of you will still miss the optical one however good the electronic may be, but we'll give them credit for at least continuing to try and make ever-better EVFs.

There's a new control ring around the lens, which is slowly but surely becoming a standard idea. There's also a new classic chrome film emulation mode, if you're into those. And there's a remote control app for iOS and Android now.

The X30 will come in black or silver, and set you back $599.95 late next month. As always, feel free to put in a preorder, or head over to Fuji's site to read the full press release.



Derek

Sony Announces RX100 III With Faster Lens, Selfie-Ready LCD, Popup EVF


RX100M3_image7-1200

 

Oooh. Shiny. Look, it's a (very moodily rendered) RX100 III. Yup, Sony's announced the third entry in its stellar high-end RX100 compact line, and it's just as awesome as you'd hope. So, here's what's going on:

  • It's still a 20 megapixel 1" CMOS BSI sensor
  • The lens is a 24-70mm zoom now (not a 28-100), but it's aperture specs are now f1.8-2.8 instead of f1.8-4.9 (!)
  • There's an EVF built in. It's pop-up, like a flash (!)
  • The LCD can flip up over the camera, for taking those "selfies" the young people are so fond of

Let's look at that popup EVF, shall we?

RX100M3_image4-1200

Yeah. OK. That's hot. And here's the tilting LCD:

RX100M3_image5-1200

That's not quite as hot, but I'm not going to knock it's usefulness.

Other specs are not changed overtly much, or hit all the minor upgrades you'd expect. It's still packing WiFi and NFC, the 1080p video is bolstered with zebra-pattern mode, it can do 3-stop ND. You know, all the goodies we've pretty much come to expect from Sony in its R line compacts and A line mirrorless bodies.

But, this is about the lens, and with a 24-70mm f1.8-2.8 lens mounted an a Nikon 1-sized 1" 20MP BSI sensor, we suspect this product has already hit this point for exactly the market it was aimed at:

ShutUpAndTakeMyMoney

And just how much money will we need to take? $799.99 next month. Until then, it'll cost you nothing to get on our list for one (and it's no commitment, we'll get ahold of you when we have yours and you can buy it or decline at that time). You can do that conveniently right here.



Derek

Nikon Announces New Android Camera, New 18-300mm


S810c_WH_HighRes.low

Getting our day started today is Nikon, who has "dropped" two new products for us to talk about: the Coolpix S810c, which is a Coolpix, and the AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR, which is different than this lens.

The cooler of the two is the S810c, which updates this model here which was Nikon's effort to combat smartphones by building a mobile OS right into a camera. Well, it'll come as no surprise that the S810c is that same idea, so, what you're peepin' at is a 16mp BSI-sensor strapped to a 12x optical VR zoom strapped to a full-fledged Wi-Fi enabled Android platform. This time around the Android is much, much better, being Jellybean and not the notably dated Gingerbread build the last one ran (though, I still wouldn't get your hopes up you'll ever see Kit Kat. You'll have your Jellybean and you'll like it, OK?). But still, Jellybean is no slouch, and they've implemented it so the Google Play Store is there from the get go, so yes, pretty much any image sharing, editing, or social app you can think of on your Droid is going to be available to you on this camera too. A hi-rez 3.7" touchscreen makes using them possible, and you'll find three dedicated buttons for making working Android a little easier. If you don't have Wi-fi around but do have a phone Nikon has graced with its "Connect to S810c" app (that'd be iOS or Android, like everything else) you can share them from your camera to your phone and then use your cellular data to thinger them. It'll come in white or black for $349.95 next month.

Preorder one here

AFS_DX_18_300_3.5_6.3G.low

There's a little less to say about today's other announcement. It's an 18-300mm, it's for DX crop bodies only, and it doesn't seem to replace that other 18-300mm Nikon already has. Rather, this is just a slightly slower (f6.3 vs f5.6), shorter, and notably lighter (280g lighter, or 33% lighter than that other 18-300) option. Oh, and it's cheaper, too. I guess that's a thing, right? So, if you can live with a third of a stop slower, you can get a smaller, lighter lens for $100 less. Sounds good to me. It'll also "drop" in May, and run you $899.95.

Preorder one here



Derek

Olympus Announces TG-3, New SH-1 Compacts


Olympus has announced a couple new cameras today for their line-up. The first is the Tough TG-3, and update to last year's extremely well-received TG-2. The other is a new camera, the SH-1, which is point more at the so-called "enthusiast" end of the market.

TG3 Red Left Front

That one is the TG-3. In case the "Tough" on the side didn't give it away. Also, those of you who've been doing this for a while probably know what's what with the Tough line, but if you're new to photo you should know Olympus' Tough line is pretty much the original waterproof, freezeproof, and crushproof camera line. It more or less invented the entire category, and has quite a long pedigree behind it. Why, way back in 2008 Nick and I did a couple videos showing off the then-new 1050SW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmxwAvJFuFY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myQczisLblY As you can imagine, things have actually only gotten better in the past 5 years and change. Nick and I stopped making videos for one (zing!), but also image quality has gotten a lot better in compacts, and the tough side of the Toughs hasn't slouched either. The TG-3 is the flagship of the line, featuring a larger than normal 1/2.3" sensor with backside illumination, which gives it an edge over normal point-and-shoots when it comes to low-light situations. Also helping there is the super-fast f2-4.9 4x lens. The tough specs hold solid at 50ft waterproof, 220 pounds crushproof, and the seriously-when-is-someone-going-to-beat-this-spec 14 degrees F freezeproof. Like its predecessor, it has built-in wifi, GPS, and electronic compass, and has a super-macro mode which, if it lives up to what we've seen before, will continue to blow you out of the water: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Te2ob7164 (thanks Marc!) I don't have pricing in front of me for the TG-3, but it'll begin shipping in mid-May.

SH1 Silver Left Front

The other announcement is the SH-1, which is new. Hence the 1. It also borrows its looks from Olympus' popular OM-D mirrorless line, with the retro-tastic silver and black. In the last couple years I've had to call so many cameras "retro" that I'm calling this one the last one. It's not retro anymore, it's just the new modern again. Design and fashion trends are like that. So, let's just say that the SH-1 keeps itself in line with the design language being used by other premium compact lines, including Fuji's, and move on with life. It has a 24x (25-600mm equiv) optical zoom, though the f3-8.7 aperture range is more disappointing. Olympus does at least try to smooth that over by making the SH-1 their first compact to include their OM-D line's impressive 5-axis stabilization system that counters not just X and Y shift, but pitch, yaw, and roll movements too. So, slower lens, but better IS. Certainly logic we've heard many times before from manufacturers. There's a 16 megapixel 1/2.3" BSI sensor in this camera too, and with the same TruePic VII processor as the TG-3 above means it's probably the same sensor all around. Native ISO tops out at 6400, which is fine on a compact since most of you will probably stop after 1600 anyway given how everyone talks on forums. There's a mode dial for PASM, but no RAW sadly. Looks like if you need looks like this with RAW you're still better nabbing an OM-D E-M10. The SH-1 will be available in April, but like the TG-3 I don't have a price yet. When we do, it'll be updated on our page for it here:



Derek

Canon Announces New Waterproof D30, 3 New ELPHs, New SX700


Rounding out today's Canon's announcements are 5 additional PowerShots across their water-proof D line, the deck-of-cards ELPH line, and the compact-body long-zoom SX travel zoom line. The water-proof D30 is the most exciting largely by merit of it looking like a real camera:

20140211_thumbL_d30_3q

 

What? You don't remember the D10, winner of the Roberts Web Department most-mocked camera design award? (Yeah, it took great pictures, actually, but seriously, it fell a bit short in the industrial design department)

Canon powerShot D10

 

 

See? isn't the D30 so much easier on the eyes? or at least less likely to be confused with that Fisher-Price cam you bought your toddlers?

Ah-Yup

Anyways, getting serious again, the PowerShot D30 is water-proof to a "record-breaking" 82-feet, which is admittedly just a teensy amount more than the 33 feet the D20 could eke out. Rounding out its toughness is an operational temperature range of 14-104 degrees in the "Fahrenheit" scale, and shockproof from 6.5 of those "imperial feet" we Americans also like. It has built-in GPS, and the inclusion of Canon's HS system suggests an image-stabilized lens and a backlit 12 megapixel sensor. The older DIGIC IV processor is a bit of a drag, but whatcha gonna do? A 28-140mm equiv f3.9-4.8 lens rounds out the package, and it'll set you back $330 next month in blue only.

http://robertscamera.com/powershot-d30.html

20140211_thumbL_sx700hs_3qblack

In the travel-zoom arena we have the SX700 HS, with the callout feature being a 30x 25-750mm f3.2-6.3 zoom strapped to a 16 megapixel standard-sized BSI CMOS sensor. It's got NFC and WiFi, but only 720 HD video and will run you $350 next month in black or red.

Closing us out are the three ELPH models: the 150 IS, 140 IS, and 135 (no IS for it, buyer-beware). The 150 IS is 20 megapxiels with a 10x zoom (and IS), the 140 drops to 16 megapixels and 8x zoom (and IS), and 135 is basically the 140 (without IS, that is). Prices come in at $150, $130, and $120 respectively. There will be colors, and you can get them next month, in case you hadn't guessed.



Derek

Canon's New PowerShot G1 X Mk II Breaks With Tradition


First off, let me introduce you to the new PowerShot G1 X mark II with its 12.8 megapixel 1.5" CMOS sensor and fast 24-120 f2-3.9 lens.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

 

Now, allow me to break your collective hearts by pointing out it's the first G-series compact to not have an integral viewfinder. Let us have a moment of silence and a gallery of retrospection for the long-lauded integral G-series viewfinder, ladies and gentlemen.

The G-Series viewfinder: 2000-2014

It will be missed. If you can live without it, however, the PowerShot G1 X mark II remains one of the larger-sensor models you can get in the pro-end of compacts, and the largest you can get without breaking out the small loans for an APS-C or Full-frame model. The large sensor, DIGIC 6 processor and Canon's higher-end "HS" system work together to offer image stabilization and ISO from 100-26,800, and some sort of magic voodoo saying you can switch between 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios without losing field of view. Seriously like whoa, or something.

The lens is also much faster, as noted, and is now surrounded by not one but two control rings for ease of use. The original G1 X had 9 AF points, but this model bumps that to 31.

The G1 X mark II also seeks to salve some wounds with built-in wi-fi and NFC, and it keeps the tilting LCD, and as near as I can tell hasn't ommitted raw file support like the G7 curiously did once-upon-a-time. It'll be available in April for a spot under $800, and of course we'll send those of you curious about more to our site via link below, or you can peruse the press release after the jump.

http://robertscamera.com/powershot-g1-x-mark-ii.html

read more



Derek

Nikon Announces New Enthusiast and Waterproof Coolpix Models


Well, because there's no rest for the wicked (that'd be me), Nikon has also hopped on the new camera bandwagon today with a slew of routine Coolpix refreshes. That's not to say there aren't highlights in there, though, and it's my solemn job to point them out to you. So, of the six models, let's talk about these four:

Nikon's New Coolpix AW120 Is Waterproof and in camo

It's Not Invisible, It's Just Camouflaged

First up is a refresh to the flagship waterproof line, in the form of the AW120. Like previous entries, you can have orange, blue, black, or "where did it go?" camo. It's waterproof to a depth of 59 feet, shockproof from 6.5 feet, and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (which wouldn't quite cut it in this particular Midwestern winter, but is still the best spec you'll find in a camera). It's got built-in GPS and WiFi, an OLED display, 16megapixel 1/2.3" sensor, and a 24-120mm equiv 5x zoom with an aperture range of f2.8-4.9. It'll carry a price point of $349.95 or so and be available next month.

Nikon Coolpix S32 Waterproof Affordable Coolpix

Be Thankful We Didn't Show You The Yellow One. No. Really.

 

And there's also an S32, which updates the entry-level budget waterproof line. The S32 is waterproof to 33 feet and shockproof from 5, but otherwise isn't as ruggedly built as it's big bro so you can get it for the much cheaper price of $129.95. It comes in white, blue, pink, and a terribly ill-conceived yellow. Though the US website only says white and blue, so, er, we'll see what's up with that. A 13 megapixel sensor and a less notable 3x zoom round out the core specs here.

Coolpix P600 from Nikon has a massive zoom

"My zoom is bigger than yours"

Up next is the P600, which trounces the recently announced Olympus in sheer length with a 24-1440mm zoom, but falls a bit shy in the lens speed (f3.3-6.6 instead of f2.9-6.5.) Still, pretty durn close, and no arguing with that focal range. There's no eagle-eye here, but you do still get built-in wifi and a 16 megapixel BSI sensor. As you can see on the dial, you get PASM modes too, but no raw. The retail will come in at $499.95

P340_BK_front34l_lo.low

 

If it's raw you're after, the model du jour (that's French for "what I'm going to talk about now") is the Coolpix P340, which is aimed much more at the sort of people who want raw from a compact. It's got a 24-120mm equiv f1.8-5.6 lens with VR mounted to a 12 megapixel 1/1.7" BSI sensor. Built-in wifi continues to be a theme, and you get the other expected manual control modes from a camera of this caliber. Price? A not-unreasonable $379.95.

I'll add some more pictures after the jump, because I know you still want to see the S32 in yellow. I CAN'T BE ALONE IN THAT MISERY. Or, preorder the AW120 or P340 from the links below:

Coolpix AW120

Coolpix P340

read more



Derek

Olympus SP-100 Has Gun Sight, Won't Hit America Until April


This was actually announced earlier this week but we were clearing up some details with our rep, so, we were holding off on the blog. But, Olympus has announced the new SP-100, which might be one of the bossest ultra-zoom bridge compacts ever made. No, really, here, look at this:

sp100ee_Front_wide

 

Oh, wait, sorry. That's it in its resting state, presumably to lull you into a fall sense of boredom. Hang on.

sp100ee_Rightside_tele_flash_open

 

Well, now that's cooler, right? If you're unsure it is, let me direct your attention to that stuff happening under the popup flash. That's a gun-style reticle that Olympus is calling "eagle-eye." See, their thought is one big problem with superzooms with ranges like a 24-1200mm equivalent f2.9-6.3 (seriously, a 1200mm f6.3? Baller.) is actually tracking a subject as tiny and far away as your subject clearly is. So, they built in a laser-dot site you can use to track it, and then switch to the EVF once you're on target. Pretty spiffy idea.

By the way, 24-1200mm zoom?! I'm going to assume you want to see that beast, and it's my pleasure to serve.

sp100ee_Top_tele

 

sp100ee_side_flash_open

 

 

Yeah. See what I meant about this thing being hot? I might need a moment here. While I take that, here's a better shot of the eagle-eye for you to ogle.

sp100ee_back_flash_open

 

So much gear porn. Let's throw out a few more specs and then I'll leave you with a preorder link so you can get in line before this starts shipping the week of April 20th, yeah?

In addition to the 1200mm f6.5 lens you'll find a 16mp BSI 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, native ISO from 100-6400, shutter speeds from 1/4-1/1250 native, and a 7fps continuous shooting rate for, oh, $399.99. Ah yup.

ah-yup

 

So, here's that link. Have fun, kids.

http://robertscamera.com/stylus-sp-100.html



Derek

Olympus TG-850 Is First Tough Camera with Tilting LCD


TG-850_BLK_ADD2

 

So, kicking off a slew of Olympus announcements this morning is a new tough model, the TG-850, is the first wateproof tough camera to have a tilting LCD. Ooh, aah. It's also got a 5x 21-105mm zoom Oly is claiming is the widest of its type on there. Getting past those headline specs, it's sporting a 16 megapixel 1.2/.3" backlit CMOS sensor with a TruePic VII processor. It's waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 7 feet, and crushproof for 220 pounds. If those numbers sound sorta middle of the road to you, they are and as such you can probably guess this is a mid-level tough camera and carries a price tag to reflect that. The TG-850 will be pretty affordable for anyone needing a good tough camera with a street price of $249.99 when it comes out in March. You'll also have a choice of black, silver, or white. I'll put the press release and some more images after the jump, and leave you here with a preorder link and Oly's first commercial spot for their new tough guy.

Check it out here: http://robertscamera.com/catalog/product/view/id/34327/s/tg-850/

read more



Derek

Moar CES Nikon Stuff: Full-Frame 35mm Lens, D3300


So, Nikon had some actual announcements at CES too, namely a new D3300 and a 35mm f1.8G for full-frame FX bodies this time, but there's also a new Coolpix L830 (and S6800, S5300, S3600, and L30, but, yawn) in there too.

So, here's the D3300:

D3300_BK_18_55_VR2_front.low

 

Except it comes in two other colors:

D3300_GR_18_55_VR2_front.low D3300_RD_18_55_VR2_front.low

 

Specs-wise, you're looking at a 24 megapixel sensor with an EXPEED 4 processor, no low-pass filter, and a redesigned 18-55mm with a retracting lens barrel a la mirrorless lenses. Bits of it are made with carbon fiber, so, you can pretend it's even more high-tech.

AFS_DX_18_55_VR2.low

 

With the new 18-55mm mounted the D3300 is about 30% smaller overall than the D3200 with an 18-55mm was. Woo.

Preorder your smaller D3300 here.

Also, look, here's a 35mm f1.8G:

AFS_35_1.8G.low

 

Some of you may be asking, but, wait, don't Nikon already make a 35mm f1.8? Well, yes, but that one is a DX model, meant for crop bodies. This one is full-frame ready, yanno. This is a different 35mm, the optical formula is all different and stuff, so, if you've been wanting a better 35mm prime for your FX body start saving your nickels and dimes, because this one can be yours next month for a cool $599.95.

Preorder an FX 35mm f1.8G

And lastly, look, a Coolpix L830:

L830_BK_front34r_on_t.low

 

(Hint: it's a 16 megapixel BSI camera with a 36x zoom that'll cost you $299.95 next month. You're welcome.)