Call me biased (because I am), but I actually really enjoyed reading this interview with the people at Tamron who helped develop their new SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD lens, the first image-stabilized 24-70mm. Those of you who’ve only ever shot Nikon or Canon might not understand the appeal of such a thing, since their company line has always been that at shorter focal lengths and f2.8 stabilization isn’t need, but any of you who’ve had a system with in-body IS will likely know just how handy it is even on fast standards. But, making one work for full-frame was apparently an endeavor, and the developers talk about shrinking the VC unit and giving it more power, developing their own USM focus drive, figuring out an optical formula to keep the lens shorter, and more. It’s a good read, especially for what’s proving to be a gray and chilly Indiana Friday out here. Read it yourself via the source link.
I have just been informed this morning that Roberts will be carrying the new Sony Cybershot TX30. At least, I was told to make sure it went up for preorder, so, I assume we’re going to carry it and not just execute some poorly conceived post-April Fool’s April Foll’s Day joke (ha! Anyone can pull a prank on April 1st, but it takes skill to pull it off on April 3rd!). Anywho, once upon a time this type of camera was much more of a novelty (and pushed mostly by Olympus), but at this point it’s getting a bit more expected to say things like “it’s waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof for drops form 5 feet, and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.” Such a camera is no longer a novelty, it’s a demographic. But, in this case, it’s a demographic applied to Sony’s very solid T-series Cybershots. These cameras feature a “deck of cards” style with a slim body and a corner mounted lens that uses folded optics to keep the size down. There’s a sliding plate that serves both as a lens cover when closed and to turn the camera on and off. It’s a nice style for compacts, and I’ve been a fan of both Sony and Fuji’s cameras that use it for several years now. The TX30 has an 18 megapixel 1/2.3″ EXMOR-R (ie, backside-illuminated) sensor, a 5x optical zoom (though, no image stabilization. Not the real kind, anyway), and no buttons on the back. Instead of buttons you get a 3.3″ OLED touchscreen to work most of the camera’s menus, making it very much like a smartphone. If the image quality holds up to what other EXMOR-R units produce, this’ll be a solid camera, and one that can survive more than average circumstances of use. It’ll run $350ish, and come in your choice of pink, orange, blue, or black.
Get on the preorder list here: http://robertscamera.com/cybershot-dsc-tx30.html
DPReview is reporting that Nikon has posted updates for quite a few DSLRS (D3, D3s, D3x, D7000, D4, D600, D800, D3200). The updates all include support for the new 800mm VR, but many models show other improvements as well, including better white balance, 100% video frame size output under more conditions, improvements to continuous AF, and more. To read over all the updates and grab links to the updates, we’re going to send you over to DP themselves.
Getting power on the go can be a difficult task, but not one your average strobe-using pro can let slow them down. Sure, there are options like Elinchrom’s Quadras (which I love and use frequently), but sometimes you just need a bit more power than a DC pack can deliver. Enter power inverters. They use a large DC battery to power a 120v AC outlet, letting you use anything that can plug into a wall, including much higher output monoblocs. And that’s what Photogenic’s new Ion pack promises to accomplish. It’s got an 8.8aH lithium-ion battery that’s provide between 2000 and 300 flashes depending on how hungry your mono is (and would provide quite a few cellphone recharges in a pinch, too), LED charge indicators, weight of only 3.5 pounds and measuring out at 7.5 x 4.4 x 3.3″. The li-ion battery will charge to full capacity in a pretty short 3-4 hours, and with that 8,800mAh rating would go a long way to running the various other gizmos in your life if you found yourself in the middle of nowhere just as readily as it could your lighting gear. So, for those of you who do most of your work nowhere near a “studio,” it seems like a pretty useful bit of kit to bring along. And, at $400 for the inverter, plus available extra batteries and replaceable inverter, it’s not even much of an investment, compared to the price of most things in our world. More to come as we get some in stock.
You like zoom, right? Of course you do. Everyone likes zoom! It’s so… zoom-y. Zoom zoom zoom. Like the SX280 HS, it also likes zoom. As such, it’s brought 20x of it to the party, covering an equivalent focal range of 25mm-500mm f3.5-6.8. And, because getting the shakes out of a 500mm f6.8 is basically a superhuman task, the HS system wants us to know there’s some real IS happening in there to help out with things. It also wants us to know the conservative 12 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor is optimized for low-light performance so ISO can help us out, and will gladly extend all the way to 6400 for our convenience. Aaaand, otherwise, it’s a PowerShot HS, with all the usual niceness and auto-mode-favoring that goes with that. It’ll cost you $329.99 to own one next month, in black or red.
Another day, some more camera announcements. Today’s are in the forms of Canon’s new entry level series, the well-liked Rebel line. There are two models, a lower and higher one as you’d expect. The lower one is being dubbed the SL1, and makes the time-limited claim of being the world’s smallest DSLR. The other is the T5i, which presumably is an incremental update to the T4i’s guts. So, let’s see what we’ve got here then.
The big news on the Rebel SL1 is “small.” It’s been made tinier. It’s not big. Actually, there’s a diagram Canon made to show you how not big it is. It looks like this:
Now, that’s the sort of decrease in size that Myron Reducto would be all over.
So, yus, it’s tiny. 4.6″ (w) x 3.57″ (h) x 2.74″ (d), and 14.36 back-breaking ounces, per their press release, but what kinda credentials is this guy packing inside that diminutive frame? Well, a Rebel, it turns out. It’s got pretty much everything you’d typically expect from a Rebel. 18 megapixel sensor, DIGIC V processor, native ISO 100-12,800 (25,600 expanded), a 9-point hybrid CMOS AF system, 3″ touchscreen, live view, HD video, yadda yadda. A quick read through the long and boring specs table shows a few more of the compromises made to keep this small and cheap. The AF points only work down to about +0.5 EV, metering only goes down to 1 EV (although it’s 0 in live view, interesting enough), shutter speeds top out at 1/4000 second, and x-sync stops at 1/200 (which is actually better than the far more expensive EOS 6D, mind you). Not a bad set of compromises given the target market will be much more casual users than pros, but it’s worth noting performance will start to get shakier once the sun is down due to some of those. The body has the usual entry-level omissions, such as no PC port or secondary control wheel, but otherwise actually does a good job of keeping the usual Rebel controls around and just pushing them tighter together.
The fun-sized Rebel SL1 will run all of $649.99 for the body only, or $799 with a new 18-55mm STM (STM indicating it has a stepping motor built for smoother, quieter AF during video use). Availability is slated for “April.” Read more specs or preorder one here: http://robertscamera.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=eos+rebel+sl1
And then there’s the EOS Rebel T5i (continuing the warm and familiar branding nomenclature we all know and get confused by). The core specs should sound familiar: 18 megapixels, DIGIC V, ISO 100-12,800 (25,600), max shutter of 1/4000, x-sync at 1/200, same AF and metering functions, both have built-in mics and phono ports for external ones, and so on. The Rebel T5i differs in the LCD (which is flippy in addition being a 3″ touchscreen, you see), an extra frame-per-second in continuous drive mode (5 instead of 4), and support for an external battery grip (BG-E8). It might also have some different scene modes to offer, but on the hard facts those are most of what separate this guy from the little brother. Well, that, and the $100 higher price tag, with the T5i running $749.99 body only or $899.99 with the new 18-55 STM. Once again, availability is in April. Read more about it or preorder it on our site here: http://robertscamera.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=eos+rebel+t5i
We got a treat yesterday when Jeff Penn, our Nikon rep, brought in two new cameras that will soon be in stock at our stores.
The Nikon Coolpix A is a camera that many folks are salivating for. My first impressions of it were good, but I was hoping for a little faster auto focus. But first the good; The camera is very small and easy to handle. In terms of a smaller point and shoot with a true APS sensor, it has the competition beat as of today. The controls are easy to get to. Coming from the P series Coolpix cameras, the layout is very similar. The manual focus control is very easy to manipulate and offers you many levels of electronic zooming to allow for precise focus. The images are very sharp, color is spot on. It is supposed to have a sensor in it very similar to that of a Nikon D7000 SLR. I believe it. My only reservation is the speed of the auto focus. Not quite up to snuff. If SLR image quality in a point and shoot is what you are after, I would still seriously give this one a look. Pricing will be $1099.95
The Coolpix 330 was the real surprise for me. Way to go Nikon! This one you got exactly right. I was expecting to be wowed by the Coolpix A, but the 330 is the one I would love to have for myself.
First, the speed. Wow. This thing is very fast. As fast as many SLR’s out there. The screen resolution is very high. Colors pop off the screen. It’s not an APS sensor like the Coolpix A, but it does have a larger, 1/1.7 in. CMOS sensor that dwarfs it’s predecessor in the P310. They added RAW capture to this one. Finally. The close focus macro is the best that I have seen in a Nikon to date. GPS and 5x optical round it out. At $379.95 this will be a big contender. It will give those Canon S110′s a run. I can’t understate how impressed I am with this one!
We should start to see these beauties by the end of this month (March 2013). Can’t wait!
We are sad to say that this was the last round of submissions, as our Pacers Fan Photographer of the Game has officially come to a close. We saw such wonderful and exciting images throughout the entire duration of this contest and we were consistently blown away by the amount of talent in this town!
Frank McGrath, the official staff photographer of the Indiana Pacers sat down with us last week to take a look at the wide variety of photos that we received. This submission period was slightly different than the last because, while there were very good pictures submitted for this round; we could not stop thinking about a certain photo from our last submission period. So, without further ado…
We want to offer big congrats to Ted Remble of Carmel, IN along with TWO runner ups. This was again a very close contest. Franks comments are included below:
Winner: Wrapped in Defense
By Ted Remble
Comments from Frank: This picture won second place in the last contest, and when we came back to look at it again, it was still a picture that I kept going back to. There is something pure about this photo that makes me think this is exactly what this contest should be about. I especially loved what was conveyed in this picture related to the action of the game and specifically the action of this play. The body contact in this picture is great, because it shows the struggle of the play, and then also the outcome as you see the player in the white jersey just barely get her foot on the ball after what we can assume was a race for the ball. You also see all the girls in the background with their eyes trained on the ball waiting to see what will happen. Usually as photographers, we are capturing one moment of a play, and what is very difficult to do is capture the entire story of a sports encounter with just one shot. This photographer did that here, and it is very refreshing to see. Using outdoor light is always nice as it gives you great color – and this photographer used that to his advantage. The color and clarity is excellent and there is really nothing that you could improve upon with this picture. You could not be ignored this time Ted! Thank you for submitting a great shot and bearing with us through two rounds.
First Runner Up: Untitled
By Greg Hess
Comments from Frank: This shot was very close to being our winner! The ability to catch this kind of action and this kind of a moment in a game takes quite an eye and very good timing. While there are some technical improvements that I would make related to the quality of the image and the backlighting – I could not ignore what is going on with the players, and the action around the block of the ball. The action itself supersedes any technical improvements that you need to make here. If this picture had better editing, it would be in any of my front galleries. The photographer should be very proud of this image and has a lot of potential.
Second Runner Up: Untitled
By Dave Nelson
Another really excellent action shot that I stared at for a long time! This too could have easily been our winner. This photographer definitely knows what he is doing. The anticipation of this play is very, very good. Capturing the players in the air like that, and so clearly, is not an easy task. The height that the photographer is able to capture on the Orlando Magic player shows the pure athleticism of the game, which is sometimes hard to depict. It looks like this shot was taken from the second or third row of the stadium, so he had some good angles and good lighting to work with. There is not much room for improvement on this shot – I am very impressed with this photographer. Well done Dave!
Overall comments: This was a really fun contest to run. We want to thank the Pacers and especially Frank McGrath for giving his valuable time to judge this contest each month and for all of the time that he spent mentoring each Fan Photographer. His insight and comments have been very valuable. As always, we would like to extend a very heart-felt thanks to those of you that took the time to share your images with us. As we said before, everyone really rose to the occasion of this contest. We love looking at all of the entries and we appreciate you giving us the chance to evaluate them, because that is how we all become better photographers. Keep taking pictures and keep sharing them!
We just got a nice update from our Nikon rep regarding their ever-expanding and increasingly-complex wireless trigger system. In his words:
As you know, the Nikon remote control system is one of the more versatile systems on the market today. From the enthusiast level ML-L3 to the recently introduced pro level WR-1 – Nikon has got its DSLR, COOLPIX and Nikon 1 customers covered. This system is quite extensive and can sometimes be confusing – the questions usually start at: “what remote do I need for my camera?”
To answer this question and help you suggest to your customers the correct accessory, the web team along with technical managers have produced a Nikon Remote Control Compatibility chart that includes the newest released accessories; WR-1, WR-T10/WR-A-10 and WR–R10. It even includes the new COOLPIX cameras announced just last night.
It’s a pretty handy document, and, until the Nikon link goes live we’ve uploaded it to our own server so you can reference it if you need help puzzling it all out. Grab it at the link below.
This is good news indeed, folks. If you’re a Nikon shooter with a thirst for telephoto zoominess and you’ve been sitting around staring at a pile of dollars sufficient to buy Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II but just can’t bring yourself to buy it, keep waiting and adding to the pile because sometime in April we’re supposed to be getting another telephoto zoom from the Nikon, the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR.
Nikon indicates it’ll be retailing for $2699.95 – a bit higher than the sleepy, old AF VR 80-400 (currently on rebate for a lot less money). From the nomenclature we know that it’ll focus faster as it’s got Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor and it’ll focus on bodies without a screw drive and that it’s got the newer G aperture system, controlled entirely by the camera body. If we look to the specs table we see that they’ve added 3 elements and a lens group and the MTF chart indicates this is a sharper lens than the D model. Nikon’s also tightened up the minimum focusing distance from 7.5′ to 5.74′ – no small change. It’s also grown on us from 6.7″ to 8″ in length (wow!) and from 47 to 56 ounces.
Get on our pre-order list today!