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Equipment

Canon introduces Compact-Servo 70-200mm T4.4 lens for aspiring filmmakers

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 9:00am
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Canon has announced the Compact-Servo 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S, a lens designed for small-scale filmmakers. Targeted at a similar 'emerging production' market to Fujifilm's recently announced MK-series cine lenses, it will offer a middle ground between the company's photographic lenses and its high-end CN-E cinema lenses.

Unlike traditional cinema lenses it offers autofocus, auto iris and image stabilization (when used with certain Cinema EOS models), but is designed to Canon's standards for 4K video capture. It comes with a servo unit for driving focus, iris and zoom.

The lens is scheduled for availability later in 2017; no price was given at the time of announcement.

Press Release

CANON ADDS VERSATILITY TO FAMILY OF HIGH-QUALITY, AFFORDABLE COMPACT-SERVO LENSES WITH NEW 70-200mm TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS

New Lens Features 4K Optical Performance, Servo Drive Unit, Image Stabilization, Autofocus and Auto Iris Functions*, Ideal for ENG, Documentary, and Budding Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 20, 2017 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce today the new COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens (model name CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S), a compact and lightweight 4K lens constructed for users that demand versatility and portability. A bridge between traditional Canon EF lenses and CN-E cinema lenses, the COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm can be ideal for filmmakers and documentary shooters who want the control and quality of cinema optics with the lightweight, compact design and features of Canon’s EF lenses.

The second in a new class of Canon lenses, the COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens is a cinema-style lens that includes a servo drive unit as a standard feature. Additionally, the lens incorporates Image Stabilization, Autofocus, and Auto Iris functionality*, three extremely useful features not commonly found in cinema lenses, but are popular in EF lenses. The lens also provides high image quality that supports 4K image productions and was designed to be utilized in a variety of shooting styles including, hand-held, shoulder mounted, and tripod mounted.

“Canon prides itself on turning the ideas and thoughts from filmmakers about equipment into reality,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We are very excited to expand our line of COMPACT-SERVO lenses, providing a variety of creators with an extremely versatile and affordable lens that features the outstanding build-quality and excellent optical performance that professionals have come to expect from Canon. We are excited to continue to build the COMPACT-SERVO line of lenses, and can’t wait to see what the imaging community creates.”

The new COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens is a 4K lens and features autofocus and optical image stabilization (with compatible camera models*), resulting in high-resolution imagery, with the ability to assist filmmakers in capturing the shot they envisioned. Compatible with EF-mount Super 35mm large-format cameras, the lens maintains brightness across the entire focal range at T4.4 (equal to f/4.0). The lens is also compatible with both the Canon EF 1.4x III (expanded focal range of 98-280mm) and EF 2x III (expanded focal range of 140mm-400mm) external extenders, expanding the focal range of the lens for additional versatility when the shooting situation calls for it.

For added convenience, cinematographers can control many of the features of the lens in a variety of ways through the EF-mount communication, including Dual Pixel CMOS AF, push auto iris, record start and stop and remote lens control via the camera with an optional remote control, compensation for chromatic aberration** and peripheral illumination, metadata acquisition, and selection of T-number display**.

The COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens features a nine-blade iris aperture diaphragm to help give footage a truly artistic and beautiful look and feel, providing the much desired “bokeh” effect in the out-of-focus areas.

The lens comes equipped with a Servo Drive Unit, which provides seamless switching between servo and manual modes, allowing videographers motorized control of focus, zoom, and iris settings. The Servo Drive Unit is compatible with broadcast style industry-standard lens controllers including Canon’s ZSD-300D zoom demand and FPD-400D focus demand. Like the Canon COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm Zoom Lens, the ZSG-C10 accessory grip will be compatible with the new COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom lens, further enhancing ease-of-use for ENG and “run-and-gun” style shooters. The grip connects to the lens through a 20-pin cable, allowing a variety of lens functions to be controlled from the grip, including zooming via a rocker switch, one-shot AF and the starting and stopping of a recording. When the lens and grip are being used with the EOS C100 Mark II, EOS C300 Mark II and EOS C700 Cinema Cameras, users will also have the ability to control the zoom and iris from the camera’s grip unit.

The Canon COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available later in 2017***. In addition, the ZSG-C10 accessory grip is currently available for an estimated retail price of $499. For more information please visit usa.canon.com/compactservo

* Image Stabilization, Autofocus, and Auto Iris functions are enabled with the following compatible camera models only: Canon’s Cinema EOS C100 Mark II, EOS C300 Mark II and EOS C700. To enable these features, these camera models will require a firmware update that is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2017.

** These features will not be available on the EOS C100 Mark II camera.

*** Availability, prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

Categories: Equipment

Throwback Thursday: The DSLR-A900, Sony's first full-frame camera

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 6:00am

Prior to September 2008, the only options for owners of Konica Minolta Alpha-mount lenses were APS-C DSLRs like Sony's DSLR-A700 (Sony acquired KM's camera business in 2006).

Then came the DSLR-A900, Sony's first full-frame DSLR, which had an expansive feature set for the relatively low price of $3000. The A900, whose large magnesium alloy body could practically drive nails, had a 24.6MP full-frame CMOS sensor paired with two Bionz processors. That combination gave users a fully expanded ISO range of 100-6400 and burst shooting that topped out at 5 fps.

The A900 with its optional battery grip. As you can see, even the grip is full of buttons.

The A900 was one of those cameras with buttons for everything. Heck, there was even a switch for turning its in-body image stabilization system on and off. It also had a joystick which you could use to set the focus point – something that's a big new feature on the a9. Back then the A900's 9-point AF system was pretty exciting, though it pales in comparison to what you'll find on a modern camera. Still, my colleague Rishi would be pleased that the A900 had AF micro-adjustment way back in 2008.

As you can see above, the A900 had a large pentaprism optical viewfinder, with 100% coverage and a magnification of 0.74x. The specs for its 3", 921k-dot fixed LCD are the same as you'd see today. For those wondering: no, the A900 did not have live view.

The A900 had CompactFlash and Memory Stick Duo (groan) card slots.

Being a Sony camera of that era, the A900 had a few quirks. It had two memory card slots (good), but one of them was for Memory Stick Duo cards. The A900 carried over Minolta's proprietary hot shoe, so if you wanted to use a flash with standard connectors, you'd need to use an adapter.

The A900 sits between its full-frame peers: the Canon EOS 5D and Nikon D700

As far as image quality goes, I think this quote from our review speaks for itself:

The Alpha 900 sets a new standard for resolution, edging past the EOS-1Ds Mark III by a whisker, and leaving its 12-ish megapixel competitors in a cloud of dust. Next to the Canon models the output looks soft, but in terms of sheer detail capture it's now the one to beat in the full-frame DSLR market.

The main downsides were that the camera applied noise reduction to its Raw images and that things got pretty noisy once you passed ISO 400.

Despite that, the Sony A900 was quite a camera for Sony's first attempt at a full-frame DSLR. It fell behind some of its competitors in some areas, such as autofocus speed, but that wasn't enough to keep it from earning a 'Highly Recommended' award.

Have any fond memories of the A900? Share them below in the comments. If you have any ideas for a future TBT, be sure to let us know!

Read our Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 review

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Categories: Equipment

Solarcan is a single-use pinhole camera made out of a soda can

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 4:00am

A new Kickstarter campaign is seeking funds for Solarcan, a single-use pinhole camera that's housed in a tall soda can. This long-exposure camera is intended to capture the sun's path over the course of several days onto a 5x7 piece of Ilford Pearl photographic paper. Users then remove the top of the can using a can opener and 'develop' the film using a smartphone app.

According to Solarcan's Kickstarter campaign, this would be the first ever mass-produced solargraphy camera, one that ships preassembled so that users merely mount it in a particular location and then reveal the photographic paper to sunlight by removing a small black tab from the can. After several days (or longer) have passed, the can is opened and the photo negative is removed.

Users then take a picture of the photo negative using the Solarcan smartphone app, which inverts the image, 'developing' it as a digital photo with proper colors. According to the Kickstarter page, a total of 1,000 units of Solarcan are in the pipeline for production; interested backers can pledge £12 (about $15) or more to reserve a unit. Shipping to backers is expected to start next month.

Categories: Equipment

Sony a9 first look videos

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 5:05pm

With an all-new and world's first stacked CMOS full frame sensor, the Sony a9 looks to be a force to be reckoned with. Check out our first look video to get yourself up to speed on Sony's latest sports shooter in our brief first look video.

We got some additional time with the camera, and captured some through-the-viewfinder video showing the new AF system in action. We start off showing Lock-On: Flexible Spot M in action, which does a seemingly improved job of sticking to our intended (initial) subject. Sony claims much improved subject tracking; our initial impressions confirm this, though Lock-on still experiences a delay in initially locking on to your subject. We then take a critical look at AF joystick usage: while responsive, it often misregisters a directional push for a downward one, which activates a completely different function (Center AF-S, by default). Lastly, we look at the newly added ability to tie a specific AF mode (with or without AF activation) to custom buttons, which is potentially game changing when it comes to quickly adapting to changing scenarios. Unfortunately, you can only ever switch to one other AF mode; but quickly switching back-and-forth between two AF area modes is still fantastic, and one of the things we truly enjoy and use when shooting high-end Canon/Nikon DSLRs.

If you don't see closed captioning, please enable it for the below video.

Categories: Equipment

Sony NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit provides power for E-mount users

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 2:58pm

Announced alongside the a9 is an accessory that should excite existing E-mount camera owners, particularly videographers: the NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit. It comes with two of the new NP-FZ100 batteries and has space for another two. The kit not only works as a charging station for up to four Z type batteries, but also has a dummy battery that allows it to be used as an external power pack.

The unit is compatible not only with the a9 but also with the a7, a7R, a7S, a7 II, a7R II, a7S II, a6000, a6300, a6500, a5000, a5100 and RX10 III, providing up to 8x their current battery capacity. It includes tripod-style mounting sockets for attachment to a video rig.

The dummy battery is the same shape as the a9's new 'Z type' battery but has an outer shell that can be removed, revealing a 'W type' adapter, which can slot into cameras that use the NP-FW50 battery.

Categories: Equipment

Hands-on with the Sony Alpha a9

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 2:02pm

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

We got a chance to get our hands on the Sony alpha 9 immediately after its announcement. Our first reaction? Continuous shooting with full time live view isn't a gimmick: you can follow the action without any interruption. 

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

It feels more substantially built than the existing a7 cameras, but without it becoming hefty. Sony says the a9 is 'well sealed - especially around most buttons and dials' for dust and moisture resistance. Whether it's up there with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II or Nikon D5 remains to be seen.

The camera's grip is a little deeper than the a7 cameras, which means it's more comfortable to hold with larger, heavier lenses such as the 24-70mm F2.8 GM.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

Despite the fairly radical specifications, the a9 retains the same fundamental form factor as the existing series II a7 cameras. However, as you'll be aware if you were following the camera's launch, just about everything inside the body shell has been revised to optimize speed.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

Here's just some of the cleverness that lives inside the camera: the processing board with twin SD card slots, a 3.7m dot OLED viewfinder and a beefed-up lens mount with more screws for greater strength and durability. But the big news is the 24MP stacked CMOS sensor, mounted on a 5-axis stabilized cradle.

The 24.2MP stacked CMOS design includes memory for buffering immediately behind each pixel. This and the (comparatively) modest pixel count are key to the camera's fast readout, which underpins the camera's two headline features: 20 frames per second shooting and an electronic shutter with minimal rolling shutter.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

Although it looks a lot like an second-generation a7 series camera, the a9 features a range of improvements, many of them things that photographers (including us) have been requesting for some time.

The most obvious of these is the AF point joystick on the camera's rear panel. This and the dedicated AF-On button will be immediately welcomed by anyone who's shot with an existing Sony camera.

There have been changes to the elements that have been carried over too. For example, the dial on the rear plate of the camera is larger and has more noticeable 'clicks' as you turn it, making it far easier to use with precision. The buttons also have a more direct feel, rather than the slightly spongy sensation of the ones on the existing models.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

Our first impressions of the camera are that everything is that bit faster. Startup time is reduced, as is the speed at which the viewfinder panel is activated when you pull the camera up to your eye.

We're also impressed with the new quad VGA viewfinder. Its offers a crisp, detailed view and fast enough refresh rate to follow action.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

Other changes include the addition of a physical control for switching between MF and the camera's different AF modes. This, along with the ability to assign AF area modes to the camera's custom buttons, should make the a9 as quick to operate as it is at shooting.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

The a9 uses a new battery. The 'Type Z' NP-FZ100 is about the same size as the existing batteries but offers 16.4Wh capacity, up from 7.7Wh in the older, 'W' type packs used in previous models. This allows the camera to achieve a rating of 650 shots per charge, based on CIPA standard tests.

As always, it's quite common to be able to get many more shots out of a battery than the rating suggests, but the higher rating should mean the a9 will regularly be able to shoot for twice as long as most of the a7 series before needing a battery swap.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

Announced alongside the a9 is an accessory that should excite existing E-mount camera owners, particularly videographers.

The NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit comes with two of the new NP-FZ100 batteries and has space for another two. It not only works as a charging station for up to four Z type batteries but also has a dummy battery that allows it to be used as an external power pack. The unit is compatible not only with the a9 but also with the a7, a7R, a7S, a7 II, a7R II, a7S II, a6000, a6300, a6500, a5000, a5100 and RX10 III, providing up to 8x their current battery capacity. It include tripod-style mounting sockets, for attachment to a video rig.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

The ports on the camera's left flank are all fairly familiar: headphone, mic, USB and HDMI. What's slightly unexpected is that, despite the camera's speed, the USB port is only version 2, rather than the much faster USB 3.

As you can see, the doors aren't especially substantial, which is presumably why Sony isn't making particularly strong claims about weatherproofing.

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

The a9 is the first Sony to feature an Ethernet port, making clear its pitch-side intentions.

We're surprised to see a traditional flash sync socket, for studio work. We'd expect that of Sony's current models, the higher-resolution a7R II (which, curiously, lacks a flash sync socket) would appeal more to studio photographers. A hint perhaps that there's a higher-resolution a9-series body on the way...

Hands on with the Sony a9 (ILCE-9)

An optional VG-C3EM battery grip doubles the camera's battery life. The grip itself holds two batteries but fills the battery compartment, meaning you end up with two batteries in total, rather than three. Still, a rating of around 1300 shots per charge with two batteries puts the a9 will into DSLR territory in terms of longevity.

 

What do you make of the Sony a9? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Manfrotto launches fluid head counterbalanced with a nitrogen piston

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 1:42pm

Tripod and accessories manufacturer Manfrotto has announced a new tripod head for stills and video users that it claims provides smooth motion and continuous counterbalance for loads of up to 8kg. The new Nitrotech N8 uses what the company describes as a ‘nitrogen piston mechanism’ to counteract movements of the head and the pull of gravity to produce fluid and controlled motion for video and still photographers. While the new technology has obvious applications in the video market, Manfrotto also suggests the head for still photographers working with long lenses.

Users can adjust the degree of resistance in the pan and tilt axes to suit the shoot, and a side locking mechanism secures a quick release plate that offers 1/4in and 3/8in screws. The head is made from aluminum, features Easy Link threads for attaching accessory arms and is powered by a lithium-ion battery.

The Nitrotech N8 head can be bought on its own for $449.95/£449.95, but Manfrotto has also created a number of kits using both carbon fiber and aluminum leg sets.

For more information see the Manfrotto website.

Press release

Manfrotto Introduces Nitrotech New Fluid Video Head 

  • Breakthrough Nitrogen piston technology for precise, continuous counterbalance
  • Variable pan & tilt fluidity for smooth and accurate shooting
  • Easy link connector with anti-rotation to support off-camera accessories
  • Side-lock sliding plate attachment
  • Secure, 8 kg load capacity
  • Flawlessly constructed professional video heads for superlative videography
  • High-impact, ground breaking design, superior quality materials

Manfrotto, world leader in the photography, imaging equipment and accessories industry, presents the new Nitrotech Video Head - a revolutionary head that combines the most successful features of Manfrotto’s Video Heads range with the ground-breaking, unique-to-the-market Nitrogen piston mechanism that guarantees continuous counterbalance.

The new Nitrotech N8 head securely supports a load up to 8 kg. The new head features a precise, continuous counterbalance system that effortlessly and safely holds and operates a wide array of video camera and camera models – in a variety of sizes. The variable fluidity function on both pan and tilt allows smooth, judder-free movement that is perfect for video work and photography work for example: wildlife, long lens, or sports photography. It allows precise control and balance over a heavy telephoto lens or video camera and features a 3/8” Easy Link equipped with an anti-rotation function that enables an external monitor or other accessories to be fitted.

This new head also features a side-lock sliding plate mechanism that allows safe, quick and easy camera attachment. The NITROTECH head has a flat base mount with a standard 3/8” thread that is highly versatile for different support combinations such as a tripod, slider or rig.

Manfrotto’s game-changing N8 Nitrotech Video Head makes a strong impression at first sight through its distinctive, impactful design, which emphasizes this core breakthrough technology. Ideal for both video and photography work, the Nitro head is a revolution in fluid video heads.

For more information, please visit www.manfrotto.co.uk

Prices start from £449.95.

Categories: Equipment

The PolarPro Katana Mavic Tray turns your DJI Mavic Pro into a handheld stabilizer

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 1:33pm

The DJI Mavic Pro camera drone has been designed with portability in mind. The PolarPro Katana Mavic Tray is a new accessory that increases the Mavic Pro's versatility even further by turning it into a stabilized handheld shooting platform while on the ground. 

This allows Mavic Pro users to use their drone for shooting smooth, cinematic video on the ground that complements the drone's aerial footage perfectly. The PolarPro Katana Mavic Tray is made from glass-filled nylon and features two grips on either side of the clamping mount that holds the Mavic Pro securely in position. An integrated smartphone mount at the top of the tray lets you use the drone’s companion app for framing and camera controls.

The PolarPro Katana Mavic Tray will be officially launched at the NAB trade show later this week and carry an anticipated MSRP of $49.99. More information is available on the PolarPro website.

Categories: Equipment

The Sony a9 is a 24MP sports-shooting powerhouse

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 11:31am
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Sony has announced the alpha 9 high-end full frame mirrorless camera at a live event in New York. The a9 has a 24MP, stacked CMOS sensor for super-fast readout, allowing a completely silent electronic shutter. It can shoot at 20 frames per second for more than 200 Raw frames.

The camera primarily uses an electronic shutter but also features a mechanical shutter mechanism, allowing a flash sync speed of up to 1/250th of a second.

Sony is also expanding its Pro support program, adding support for Canada and opening two walk-in centers in the USA (New York and Los Angeles).

This allows it to shoot at 20 frames per second with no blackout. It features 693 on-sensor phase detection points, covering 93% of the frame. It also has five-axis image stabilization that offers 5 stops of correction.

The camera has a 1280 x 960 (QuadVGA) resolution viewfinder that runs at 120 fps.

It has twin SD card slots (one of which supports UHS-II cards) and Sony says the battery has twice the capacity of previous models. A battery grip holding two batteries will also be available.

Features such as an AF joystick, AF mode dial and customizable 'My Menu' have been added.

The company says it's the most capable camera ever: mirrorless or DSLR.

The a9 will be available in May 2017 at a cost of around $4500/£4500.

We have a team in New York who are being given a chance to shoot with the a9, so we'll be expanding our coverage as soon as we can.

Press Release

Sony’s New α9 Camera Revolutionizes the Professional Imaging Market

Groundbreaking Full-frame Mirrorless Camera Delivers Unmatched Speed, Versatility and Usability

  • World’s First1 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP2 resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting3 at up to 20fps4 for up to 241 RAW5/ 362 JPEG6 images
  • Silent7, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec8
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step9 shutter speed advantage

NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new revolutionary digital camera, the α9 (model ILCE-9).

The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new α9 offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.

The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting3 at up to 20fps4, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second 10, a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second8 and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor – the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras11. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting7 is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fastest moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The new α9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter7 with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there is a wide variety of new settings, controls and customizability options that are essential for working pros.

“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the α9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”

A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy

Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new α9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MP2 Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.

The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fps4 with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG6 or 241 RAW5 images.

The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second10, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times 12. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes including high speed 20 fps4 continuous shooting.

With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.

Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body

Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.

The α9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony α camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the α7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps13 to best match the action.

The α9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 steps 9, ensuring the full resolving power of the new sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.

The α9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high-speed, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. There is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.

New Features for Fast Operation

Sony’s new α9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the α9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.

For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

Double Battery Life, Double Memory

The innovative α9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.

Also, based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.

High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range

The unique design of the α9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP 2 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 20480014, ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.

The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimize noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.

The new α9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.

4K Video Capture

The new α9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor15, 16. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.

Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking17.

New Accessories

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new α9 camera, including:

  • NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – high-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. It also supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
  • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as theα9 camera, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
  • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit – External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
  • GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same look, feel and design as α9 body. Enables more solid hold on camera.
  • FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup –eye piece cup with locking mechanism
  • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger –quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
  • PCKLG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet – hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α9 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship this May for about $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

Notes to Editors:

  1. As of April 19th, 2017
  2. Approx. effective
  3. Electronic shutter mode. At apertures smaller than F11 (F-numbers higher than F11), focus will not track the subject and focus points will be fixed on the first frame. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  4. “Hi” continuous shooting mode. The maximum frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.
  5. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  6. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  7. Silent shooting is possible when Shutter Type is set to “Electronic” and Audio signals is set to “Off.”
  8. 1/32000 shutter speed is available only in the S and M modes. The highest shutter speed in all other modes is 1/16000.
  9. CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw stabilization only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off.
  10. At shutter speeds higher than 1/125 sec, smooth and blackout-free live view images are shown in EVF.
  11. Compared to the front-illuminated CMOS image sensor in the α7 II.
  12. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  13. When the auto or electronic shutter mode is selected the viewfinder frame rate is fixed at 60 fps during continuous shooting.
  14. Still images, mechanical shutter: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 50 – 204800.
    Still images, electronic shutter: ISO 100 – 25600 expandable to ISO 50 – 25600.
    Movie recording: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 100 – 102400.
  15. In full-frame shooting, the angle of view will be narrower under the following conditions: When [File Format] is set to [XAVC S 4K] and [ Record Setting] is set to [30p]
  16. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS Speed Class U3 required for 100Mbps or higher recording.
  17. Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required.

Sony Alpha a9 specifications

Price
MSRP$4500/£4500
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors28 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorBIONZ X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, ISO 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Number of focus points693
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,440,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.78×
Viewfinder resolution3,686,400
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (H/M/L)
  • Self-timer
  • Bracketing (AE, WB, DRO)
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 secs + continuous)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (Wired or wireless)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FZ100
Battery Life (CIPA)650
Weight (inc. batteries)673 g (1.48 lb / 23.74 oz)
Dimensions127 x 96 x 63 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.48″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone
Categories: Equipment

Sony announces a9 24MP 20fps high-end full-frame sports camera

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 11:31am

Sony has announced the alpha 9 high-end full frame mirrorless camera at a live event in New York. The a9 has a 24MP, stacked CMOS sensor for super-fast readout, allowing a completely silent electronic shutter. It can shoot at 20 frames per second for more than 200 Raw frames.

Sony is also expanding its Pro support program.

This allows it to shoot at 20 frames per second with no blackout. It features 693 on-sensor phase detection points, covering over 90% of the frame. It also has five-axis image stabilization that offers 5 stops of correction.

The camera has a 1280 x 960 (QuadVGA) resolution viewfinder that runs at 120 fps.

It has twin SD card slots and Sony says the battery has twice the capacity of previous models. A battery grip holding two batteries will also be available.

The company says it's the most capable camera ever: mirrorless or DSLR.

The a9 will be available in May 2017 at a cost of around $4500/£4599.

We're reporting this story live, so hit reload to catch the latest updates.

Press Release

Sony’s New α9 Camera Revolutionizes the Professional Imaging Market

Groundbreaking Full-frame Mirrorless Camera Delivers Unmatched Speed, Versatility and Usability

  • World’s First1 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP2 resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting3 at up to 20fps4 for up to 241 RAW5/ 362 JPEG6 images
  • Silent7, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec8
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-Axis in-body image stabilization with a 5.0 step9 shutter speed advantage

NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new revolutionary digital camera, the α9 (model ILCE-9).

The most technologically advanced, innovative digital camera that Sony has ever created, the new α9 offers a level of imaging performance that is simply unmatched by any camera ever created – mirrorless, SLR or otherwise.

The new camera offers many impressive capabilities that are simply not possible with a modern digital SLR camera including high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting3 at up to 20fps4, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second 10, a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second8 and much more. These are made possible thanks to its 35mm full-frame stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor – the world’s first of its kind – which enables data speed processing at up to 20x faster than previous Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras11. This unique sensor is paired with a brand new, upgraded BIONZ X processing engine and front end LSI that maximizes overall performance.

This industry-leading speed and innovative silent shooting7 is combined with a focusing system that features an incredible 693 phase detection AF points. Covering approximately 93% of the frame, the focusing system ensures that even the fasting moving subjects are reliably captured and tracked across the frame.

The new α9 also features a vibration free, fully electronic, completely silent anti-distortion shutter7 with absolutely no mechanical mirror or shutter noise, making it an extremely powerful photographic tool for any shooting situation that demands quiet operation. To ensure maximum usability and reliability, the camera features a new Z battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of W batteries, as well as dual SD media card slots, including one that supports UHS-II cards. An Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal) is available as well, and there is a wide variety of new settings, controls and customizability options that are essential for working pros.

“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the α9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”

A New Standard of Speed and Focusing Accuracy

Critical to the record-breaking speed of the new α9 is the combination of the new stacked 24.2 MP2 Exmor RS image sensor, new BIONZ X processor and front end LSI.

The immense processing power from these new components allows for faster AF/AE calculation while also reducing EVF display latency. The processor and front end LSI are also responsible for the larger continuous shooting buffer, enabling photographers to shoot at a blazing 20 fps4 with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 362 JPEG6 or 241 RAW5 images.

The camera’s innovative AF system tracks complex, erratic motion with higher accuracy than ever before, with the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second10, regardless of shutter release and frame capture. Further, when the shutter is released while shooting stills, the electronic viewfinder functions with absolutely no blackout, giving the user a seamless live view of their subject at all times 12. This feature truly combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy and “in the moment” advantages that not even the finest optical viewfinders can match, and is available in all still image modes including high speed 20 fps4 continuous shooting.

With 693 focal plane phase detection AF points covering approximately 93% of the frame, the camera ensures improved precision and unfailing focus in scenes where focus might otherwise be difficult to achieve. The Fast Hybrid AF system – pairing the speed and excellent tracking performance of phase detection AF with the precision of contrast AF – achieves approximately 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II, ensuring all fast-moving subjects are captured.

Professional Capabilities in a Compact Body

Sony’s new full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of enhanced capabilities that give it a true professional operational style.

The α9 features an all-new, high-resolution, high-luminance Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 3,686k dots for extremely accurate, true-to-life detail reproduction. The new Tru-Finder, which is the highest resolution viewfinder ever for a Sony α camera, incorporates an optical design that includes a double-sided aspherical element, helping it to achieve 0.78x magnification and a level of corner to corner sharpness that is simply outstanding. The EVF also utilizes a ZEISS® T* Coating to greatly reduce reflections, and has a fluorine coating on the outer lens that repels dirt.

This all adds up to a luminance that is 2x higher than the XGA OLED Tru-Finder from the α7R II, creating a viewfinder image with a brightness level that is nearly identical to the actual scene being framed, ensuring the most natural shooting experience. The frame rate of the Tru-Finder is even customizable, with options to set it for 60 fps or 120 fps13 to best match the action.

The α9 is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that provides a shutter speed advantage of 5.0 steps 9, ensuring the full resolving power of the new sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.

The α9 also offers an Ethernet port (wired LAN terminal), allowing convenient transfer of still image files to a specified FTP server at high-speed, making it an ideal choice for studio photography, high-profile news and sporting events and more. There is a sync terminal as well, enabling external flash units and cables to be connected directly for convenient flash sync.

New Features for Fast Operation

Sony’s new α9 has several new and updated focus functions that support faster, easier focusing in a variety of situations. The camera features a multi-selector joystick on the back of the camera, allowing shooters to easily shift focus point within the frame by pressing the multi-selector in any direction up, down, left or right when shooting in Zone, Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot focus area modes. The new model also offers touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject.

New for Sony E-mount cameras, the α9 includes the addition of separate drive mode and focus mode dials, plus a new “AF ON” button that can be pressed to activate autofocus directly when shooting still images or movies.

Additional new capabilities include the “AF Area Registration”, which allows frequently used focus area to be memorized and recalled via custom button assignments. There is also the ability to assign specific settings (exposure, shutter speed, drive mode, etc) to a custom button to be instantly recalled when needed. The camera can memorize and automatically recall the last focus point used in a vertical or horizontal orientation as well, instantly switching back to it when that specific orientation is used again.

For enhanced customization, a “My Menu” feature is available, allowing up to 30 menu items to be registered in a custom menu for instant recall when needed.

Double Battery Life, Double Memory

The innovative α9 camera features an all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) with 2.2x the capacity of previous Sony full-frame models, allowing for much longer shooting performance.

Also, based on extensive customer feedback, the new camera offers two separate media card slots, including one for UHS-II media. The same data can simultaneously be recorded to both cards, or the user can choose to separate RAW / JPEG or still images / movies. Movies can also simultaneously be recorded to two cards for backup and more efficient data management.

High Sensitivity and Wide Dynamic Range

The unique design of the α9 image sensor represents the pinnacle of Sony device technology. The 24.2 MP 2 full-frame stacked CMOS sensor is back-illuminated, allowing to capture maximum light and produce outstanding, true-to-life image quality. The sensor also enables the diverse ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 20480014, ensuring optimum image quality with minimum noise at all settings.

The enhanced BIONZ X processor plays a large part in image quality as well, as it helps to minimize noise in the higher sensitivity range while also reducing the need to limit ISO sensitivity in situations where the highest quality image is required.

The new α9 also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW, ensuring users can get the most out of the wide dynamic range of the sensor.

4K Video Capture

The new α9 is very capable as a video camera as well, as it offers 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor 15, 16. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Recording is also available in the popular Super 35mm size.

Additionally, the camera can record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking 17.

New Accessories

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new α9 camera, including:

  • NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Battery – high-capacity battery with approximately 2.2x the capacity of the NP-FW50 W-series battery. It also supports InfoLITHIUM® technology, making it possible to view the remaining battery power as both a percentage display and five step icon on the camera’s LCD screen.
  • VG-C3EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as theα9 camera, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.
  • NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit – External multi-battery adaptor kit capable of functioning as an external power supply for four Z series batteries and as a quick charger. Kit comes with two packs of NP-FZ100 rechargeable batteries.
  • GP-X1EM Grip Extension – Grip extender with same look, feel and design as α9 body. Enables more solid hold on camera.
  • FDA-EP18 Eyepiece Cup –eye piece cup with locking mechanism
  • BC-QZ1 Battery Charger –quick-charging battery charger. Charges one new Z series battery in approximately 2.5 hours.
  • PCKLG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet – hard, shatterproof glass screen protector with anti-stain coating to prevent fingerprints. Compatible with touch operation and tilting LCD screen

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α9 Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship this May for about $4,500 US and $6,000 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new Α90 camera and other Sony α products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site built to educate and inspire all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

The new content will also be posted directly at the Sony Photo Gallery and the Sony Camera Channel on YouTube. Detailed information pages within Sony.com for the new products can be found at:

Please follow #SonyAlpha on twitter and visit @SonyAlpha on Instagram for all of the latest α camera news and content direct from Sony.

Notes to Editors:

  1. As of April 19th, 2017
  2. Approx. effective
  3. Electronic shutter mode. At apertures smaller than F11 (F-numbers higher than F11), focus will not track the subject and focus points will be fixed on the first frame. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  4. “Hi” continuous shooting mode. The maximum frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.
  5. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, compressed RAW, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  6. “Hi” continuous shooting mode, UHS-II memory card. Sony tests.
  7. Silent shooting is possible when Shutter Type is set to “Electronic” and Audio signals is set to “Off.”
  8. 1/32000 shutter speed is available only in the S and M modes. The highest shutter speed in all other modes is 1/16000.
  9. CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw stabilization only. Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA lens. Long exposure NR off.
  10. At shutter speeds higher than 1/125 sec, smooth and blackout-free live view images are shown in EVF.
  11. Compared to the front-illuminated CMOS image sensor in the α7 II.
  12. Display updating will be slower at slow shutter speeds.
  13. When the auto or electronic shutter mode is selected the viewfinder frame rate is fixed at 60 fps during continuous shooting.
  14. Still images, mechanical shutter: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 50 – 204800.

Still images, electronic shutter: ISO 100 – 25600 expandable to ISO 50 – 25600.

Movie recording: ISO 100 – 51200 expandable to ISO 100 – 102400.

  1. In full-frame shooting, the angle of view will be narrower under the following conditions:
  2. – When [File Format] is set to [XAVC S 4K] and [ Record Setting] is set to [30p]
  3. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS Speed Class U3 required for 100Mbps or higher recording.
  4. Sound not recorded. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required.
Categories: Equipment

Sony announces FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 11:29am

Along with the a9, Sony introduced a new G Master lens, the FE 100-400 F4.5-5.6 GM OSS. It features a double linear motor and Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor for precise and quiet operation for still and video shooting. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 98cm/3.2 feet and weighs in at a 'lightweight' 1.4kg/49 oz.

It will ship next month for $2500.

More to come...

Press Release

Sony Expands Flagship G Master™ Lens Series with New 100-400mm Super Telephoto E-Mount Zoom

New FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens Features Outstanding Sharpness, Fast AF, Compact Design and more

NEW YORK, Apr. 19, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their furthest reaching E-mount lens, the FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom (model SEL100400GM).

The new full-frame lens maintains the high standard of resolution that is shared among all of Sony’s flagship line of G Master™ series, while also offering incredibly fast, precise AF capabilities, a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional functions and customizability. It’s an exceptionally powerful photographic tool for a variety of enthusiast and professional shooters, in particular those that are commonly shooting sports or wildlife.

Uncompromised G Master Design and Performance

A super telephoto zoom that meets the intense build requirements of Sony’s acclaimed G Master series lens lineup, the new FE 100-400mm GM model produces outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness throughout the lens’ zoom and focus ranges and beautiful rendered ‘bokeh’ or background defocus, ensuring the finest details are brought out in every subject and scene.

The complex design features 22 lens elements configured in 16 different groups, including one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two ED glass elements, all of which are working together to minimize chromatic aberration and ensure the ultimate resolution is captured. The lens also has Sony’s original Nano AR coating, which is particularly useful for shooting sports scenes or wildlife, as it reduces unwanted reflections.

Precise, Quick AF Performance

In order to keep up with fast-moving action, the new FE 100-400mm GM super telephoto zoom lens features a combination of double linear motor and a Direct Drive SSM actuator, which also ensures precise, quiet operation.

The double motor system allows rapid focus lens drive acceleration to capture the sudden motion that is common with sports and wildlife photography, while high precision positioning control and a newly optimized AF algorithm ensure the subject is quickly found and focused on. This ensures that the maximum AF performance of a camera like the new α9 is realized.

Lightweight Design, Extensive Customizability

In order to satisfy the extensive demands of customers craving lighter, smaller and more portable super telephoto lenses, the new FE 100-400mm GM weighs in at a mere 49.3 ounces (1,395 grams), making it among the lightest in its class and an ideal fit for Sony’s wide range of compactly designed cameras.

Functionally, the lens has a zoom torque adjustment ring – a first for Sony α – allowing the user to adjust the level of torque in the ring to zoom faster or slower depending on their shooting style. There is also a focus hold button that can also be assigned to variety of functions including focus mode selection, AF area selection or the popular Eye AF lock feature.

The telephoto zoom lens is dust and moisture resistant as well1, and has fluorine coating on the front lens that makes it easier to remove dust or grease. There is also a removable tripod mount.

Professional Operation and Reliability

The new FE 100-400mm GM Super Telephoto Zoom lens features built-in optical image stabilization, ensuring that sharp images can be captured during handheld shooting. It also offers a minimum focusing range of just 3.22 feet (0.98 meters), which maximizes its versatility in the field, and a 9 bladed circular aperture design that produces soft, beautiful bokeh.

The FE 100-400mm GM is compatible with both the 1.4x (model SEL14TC) and 2.0x (model SEL20TC) teleconverters, allowing photographers and videographers to shoot at up to 800mm on full-frame cameras and approx.1200mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) on APS-C cameras.

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 100-400mm GM Super Telephoto Zoom Lens ship this July for about $2,500 US and $3,399 CA.

Categories: Equipment

SmugMug Films: The journey from food to photography

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 11:26am

SmugMug Films has just released its newest production, a documentary by filmmaker Anton Lorimer about acclaimed food photographer Eric Wolfinger

Eric Wolfinger: Beyond the Plate follows Wolfinger's passion for food and travel, and how it drove him, a bit indirectly, to become one of the world's best food photographers. It's quite a ride, and along the way we learn about surfing, travel to Tanzania, and go into the kitchen as Eric makes chocolate from raw ingredients.

Eric spent several years cooking and baking professionally before stepping behind the lens. Over a dozen books and a James Beard nomination later, he continues to find passion in his work. He was kind enough to spend a few minutes with DPReview to talk about his journey, how he approaches photography, and what it felt like to be in front of the camera instead of behind it.

If you'd like to hear more from Eric, you can watch his presentation from our re:FRAME series of talks. It's a great lesson in humility, passion, and the importance of following your dreams.

How did you become a food photographer?

I always say that I came to photography through the kitchen door. While I was a traveler at heart, my first professional pursuit was in the kitchen, because I love cooking and I wanted to be in that world in some capacity. 

About ten years ago I took a trip to South America and gave myself my dream job, which at that point in my life was to be a traveling food journalist. I took off for a year and wrote dispatches on a blog about interesting things I encountered, people I met, and experiences that were inevitably shaped by food.

I had a camera with me because I knew that to tell a good story, I had to accompany it with photos. I never thought anything would come from the photos because I really wanted to be a writer. I was hoping that Gourmet Magazine would pick me up as a staff journalist, but Gourmet never called.

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

When I returned from South America, Chad Robertson, my mentor at Tartine Bakery where I had apprenticed, invited me to come back to San Francisco to bake with him and help him create his book about bread. He had seen my work and realized that maybe his buddy, who knew bread at a granular level and could help him articulate his methods, would be a great collaborator.

As we were crafting the proposal, he had the idea that I should shoot the book as well. He felt that I could bring a visual perspective to the book that no other photographer could, because I knew bread better than any photographer. It was an opportunity I never asked for and never expected, but he saw something in my work that gave him confidence in me. The result was the book Tartine Bread.

We often think of food photography as being about the food, but your work frequently extends to tell the story behind the food. How do you uncover the human element when you shoot a project?

My interest in food goes beyond the recipe. It's rooted in my desire to travel and connect with the world as I encounter it. The best way I’ve always known to connect with people is through food, whether I’m cooking for them or sharing a meal at a table or a street stall. For me, food has always been the best way to start to get to know a person or place.

Of course, as a photographer I’m going to get into the nuances and every little aspect of what makes a dish special, but the food itself is only part of the story. There’s a person who made that food, a place where they come from, and there’s a story to all of that. My interest is in teasing out that story and connecting with it through photography.

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

When taking on a project, what type of preparation do you do?

I’m afraid to say that I don’t do a lot of preparation. Every time I arrive on a job or to a new place, I often have this moment where I’m like 'Uh oh, I should have prepared more.' But at the same time, I always want to have a healthy sense of improvisation going in to every new project. Once I’m thrown into the mix I’m very inquisitive and I’m comfortable thinking on my feet and figuring things out. I think that allows me to bring a real freshness to each project that I do.

People are different all over the world, but one thing we have in common is that we all have to eat. How does food help us find commonalities and bring people together?

I think food is the universal language that every human speaks. Even a smile can be misinterpreted, but the sharing of a meal and the enjoyment of that meal is universal. One of the things I love about food, and my chosen path, is that even though I don’t necessarily speak Vietnamese, or Thai, or Lao, or even French very well, I can still immerse myself in those places and connect with people through food. Sharing a meal with somebody is the first step you can take to build empathy with a person .

If I could communicate one message to people all over the world it might be ‘stay calm and have a meal with your neighbor.’ I know that sounds a little bit naive given all the craziness that’s going on in the world today. But what do two world leaders do the first time they meet? They often have a meal together. There’s this bond that we create when we share a meal, and that’s the first step towards friendship.

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

You’re used to being behind the camera. What was it like to turn the tables and be the subject of a film?

When SmugMug asked to do a film about me I was skeptical. As someone who’s dabbled in filmmaking, I know how hard it is to tell a really good story. But when I saw Anton’s [filmmaker Anton Lorimer] previous work I was blown away. The production quality was amazing. I thought he had an army of people working on these films, and I came to discover that it was an army of one. Literally, the credit sequence of this film will be one name: Anton Lorimer.

Getting to know Anton I immediately felt like I was in good hands. I can only liken it to what a doctor must feel like the first time they go into a hospital as a real patient, and they say to themselves 'Oh my gosh, I hope these people try as hard to do a good job on me as I do for others.' I had a sense very early in the production that I was in good hands.

It was a huge learning experience for me. I was in front of the camera, but I was watching the techniques Anton would use to draw the story out from me. It reinforced the importance of the connection you form with your subject. You have to reach a level of trust where you can share revealing or sensitive material and trust each other to use it right. The quality of the film is not only a testament to his skills as a filmmaker, but also to the trust I developed in him. Moving forward, that’s something I aspire to.

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

What are you working on now? Do you have any upcoming projects to share?

My collaboration with Anton really inspired me to go back to the basics and take my own filmmaking to a new place. I’ve done a lot of commercial work with large crews, but I never imagined I could get great production quality without a huge crew. Anton proved to me that not only can you do that with an army of one, but that you can tell a more honest story because your production is not intrusive. What he taught me was that I could actually make a film the way I like to take photos: one guy with a camera.

This experience making a film with SmugMug has really pushed me creatively to try new things, and I’ve recently started work on two documentary projects: Yo Soy Mezcal is a project I'm working on in Mexico, and I have another one in Japan called Dashi Journey

To see more of Eric's work, visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

Categories: Equipment

Fujifilm releases GF 23mm and 110mm lenses, updates roadmap

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 1:00am
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Fujifilm has released a pair of G-mount lenses for its GFX 50S medium format camera, an adapter for using legacy Fujifilm large format lenses and information about future GF lenses.

The GF 23mm F4 R LM WR, equivalent to 18mm when mounted on the GFX 50S, has a linear focus motor, a nine-blade circular aperture, ED, super ED and aspherical elements, and a Nano GI coating. It's also weather-resistant and functions down to -10°C/+14°F. It'll ship in late June for $2599.

Also coming in June is the GF 110mm F2 R LM WR, which also has a nine-blade aperture, weather-sealing, and a linear motor. It has three ED and one super ED elements and is equivalent to 87mm when mounted on the GFX 50S. It will be priced at $2799.

Fujifilm also released a roadmap for future medium format lenses. Coming later this year is a 45mm F2.8 R WR (equivalent to 36mm), followed by a telephoto prime and teleconverter.

Lastly, the company will soon be offering the 'View Camera Adapter G,' which allows you to use the GFX 50S with 4x5 format view cameras. The adapter allows the GFX 50S to be used on a standard Graflok-style mount camera, enabling the use of large format Fujinon lenses, such as the CM series.

Press Release

GFX MEDIUM FORMAT MIRRORLESS CAMERA SYSTEM ADDS TWO NEW GF LENSES FOR PORTRAITS TO PICTURESQUE SCENES

FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR and GF23mmF4 R LM WR Lenses expand the GFX user experience; updated GF lens roadmap announced and new GFX firmware coming soon

Valhalla, N.Y., April 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces two new GF lenses for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera system, the GF110mmF2 R LM WR (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format) and the GF23mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format). A new GF lens roadmap is released today, along with plans for a new FUJIFILM GFX 50S firmware update this spring.

FUJINON Lenses Guarantee Image Perfection

As part of the GFX system, Fujifilm is launching newly developed, ultra-high resolution FUJINON GF lenses. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has a short flange back distance of just 26.7mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting and achieves edge-to-edge sharpness. All FUJINON GF lenses have been designed to support sensors of over 100MP.

New Lenses Deliver Image Excellence

The FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR is a medium telephoto lens perfect for portraits. With a focal length equivalent to 87mm in the 35mm format, it achieves a brightness of F2.0 when used wide open to deliver stunning bokeh.

The FUJINON GF23mmF4 R LM WR has a focal length equivalent to 18mm in the 35mm format and is expertly suited for landscape and architectural photography. Despite the super-wide angle of view, distortion is kept to a minimum, and with the high-resolution performance extending all the way to the edges, sharp depiction as if looking at an actual landscape is achieved.

Both new lenses feature fast and quiet autofocus (AF) by using a linear motor, are dust and weather resistant, and are capable of operating in environments as cold as 14°F / -10°C. The lenses combine high performance and reliability for professionals looking for the ultimate in photography tools.

Current Lens Lineup

  1. GF63mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format)
  2. GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR (equivalent to 25-51mm in 35mm format)
  3. GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR (equivalent to 95mm in 35mm format)

Coming Later in 2017

  1. GF45mmF2.8 R WR (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)

FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR Key Features

  • FUJIFILM G Mount is compatible with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S
  • Weather-resistant design capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C
  • 14 elements in 9 groups, including 4 ED lens elements
  • Super ED lens and three ED lenses for suppressed chromatic aberration and high resolution performance all the way to the edges
  • 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh

FUJINON GF23mmF4 R LM WR Key Features

  • FUJIFILM G Mount is compatible with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S
  • Weather-resistant design capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C
  • 12 groups and 15 elements construction using two aspherical lenses, one super ED lens, and three ED lenses
  • 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh
  • Nano GI coating suppresses ghosting and flare

The GFX 50S and FUJINON GF lenses culminate to create a new camera system capable of creating the world's highest level of photographic expressions by combining the thorough incorporation of knowledge regarding camera operation, optical design, image capture, and image processing.

New FUJINON GF Lens Development Roadmap

Fujifilm has publicly announced six lenses for the G Mount lens lineup this year. After the release of the GFX 50S and three G Mount lenses, Fujifilm is now unveiling a new roadmap with the additions of a telephoto prime lens and tele converter, in order to expand products covering telephoto ranges, an area with many requests from users.

With the addition of the two new lenses, the G Mount system lineup has been expanded to a total of eight lenses, achieving a fulfilling lineup to correspond to a wide range of user needs.

Also coming in June 2017 is a new View Camera Adapter G that can be used when shooting with the GFX 50S when using previous FUJINON large format camera lenses, such as the CM FUJINON. The adapter is mounted in the film camera loading position of the view camera which adopts the film format of the 4x5 size.

New Firmware Update Planned

Fujifilm will release a free firmware update for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S later this spring, adding new functionality and improving operability. New functions include computer tethering via Wi-Fi and improved operability in exposure compensation and autofocus performance in difficult scenes.

Availability and Pricing

The GF110mmF2 R LM WR will be available in Late June, 2017 for USD $2,799.95 and CAD $3,599.99 and the GF23mmF4 R LM WR will be available in Late June, 2017 for USD $2,599.95 and CAD $3,399.99.

The FUJIFILM GFX 50S Medium Format Camera Body is available now in the U.S. and Canada for USD $6,499.95 and CAD $8,499.99.

Fujifilm GF 23mm F4 R LM WR / 110mm F2 R LM WR specifications

 Fujifilm GF 23mm F4 R LM WRFujifilm GF 110mm F2 R LM WR
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size645
Focal length23 mm110 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountFujifilm G
Aperture
Maximum apertureF4F2
Minimum apertureF32F22
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesRounded blades
Optics
Elements1514
Groups129
Special elements / coatings2 aspherical, 3 extra-low dispersion, 1 super ED4 extra-low dispersion elements
Focus
Minimum focus0.38 m (14.96″)0.90 m (35.43″)
Maximum magnification0.09×0.16×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight845 g (1.86 lb)1010 g (2.23 lb)
Diameter90 mm (3.54″)94 mm (3.7″)
Length103 mm (4.06″)126 mm (4.96″)
SealingYes
Filter thread82.0 mm77.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo
Categories: Equipment

Fujifilm's SQ10 Instax Square camera is an instant/digital hybrid

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 1:00am
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Fujifilm's first square format Instax camera is here, and it's a half-digital, half-analog beast with a $280 price tag.

The SQ10 uses a 1/4" CMOS sensor to capture 3.6MP color images, and offers a 3", 460k-dot LCD for composition and camera operation. It's a departure from the all-analog cameras in Fuji's current Instax lineup, but provides benefits of digital capture like adding filters in-camera and saving files to microSD. Auto exposure control, facial recognition and autofocus are also offered.

Images are printed in 1:1 format on 86 x 72mm film, which will sell for $17 for a pack of 10 sheets. The camera and its film go on sale in May.

Press Release

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES THE NEW INSTAX SQUARE SQ10, A HYBRID INSTANT FILM CAMERA

SQ10 gives users a simultaneous digital and traditional print photo experience that instantly changes how we take pictures today

Valhalla, N.Y., April 19, 2017 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the all-new INSTAX® SQUARE SQ10, a sophisticated square format hybrid instant film camera that combines digital imaging technology with square film prints. The SQ10 uses a new INSTAX SQUARE Film format that delivers exceptional image quality with numerous artistic expressions. This new system takes the image quality of INSTAX to the next level and allows everyone to add a creative, artistic edge to their photography with an intuitive interface designed especially for the SQ10.

Hybrid-powered Beautiful Image Quality
The SQ10 is the first camera in the INSTAX series to be equipped with the newly developed hybrid INSTAX system – a digital image sensor and image processing technology integrated with the existing INSTAX system. These technologies allow the SQ10 to take brighter photos in low-light conditions (indoor and night scenes) and close-up shots from a distance as close as 4 in \10 cm with new functions including automatic exposure control, facial recognition, and auto-focus.

Simply Stunning Design
The SQ10 has an iconic design and a thin, round, symmetrical shape for easy holding. It has a dual shutter system with two shutter buttons - one on the right and one on the left (buttons also work as function buttons to switch shooting modes). The lens ring is made with shaved metal, and specific areas add a sense of depth and texture throughout the solid black camera body.

The SQ10 is simply designed to let users take fun, easy and creative pictures anywhere. The SQ10 allows simple operation with a 3” TFT color LCD monitor (460K dots), operation dial and buttons on the back of the camera. Three buttons arranged at the top of the operation dial correspond to the main functions -- ten different filters, vignette control, and brightness adjustment. Users will see a live display of all operations throughout the composition during shooting, editing, processing and printing on the LCD monitor. This new interface enables photographers to edit and process photos with a simple and intuitive operation. Users may also choose to select and edit (e.g. zooming, cropping and filters) the image before printing. This is particularly useful when sharing multiple prints with a number of people.

After a picture is taken, users can print, or save the image to the SQ10’s internal memory, save to the micro SD \ microSDHC card, or transfer from the camera to a computer using a micro-USB for ultimate flexibility.

Stir Your Creativity with New Shooting Modes
The SQ10 lets users shoot in various modes with several filters for outputting creative and trendy square photos. Ten different color filters, saturation and dramatic vignetting effect can be adjusted for truly artistic pictures.

The vignette effect is especially suitable for portraits or still life images as it highlights the photographic subject at the center of the photo. The SQ10 features special shooting modes including, Double Exposure that can overlap two images onto one print by pushing the shutter twice, Bulb Exposure function for night scenes and creating pictures with dramatic light streaks, Division mode for putting up to nine images on one print, and Micro mode for photography as close as 4 in \10 cm.

New INSTAX SQUARE Film Format
The SQ10 uses a brand new INSTAX SQUARE Film format with a 1:1 aspect ratio that has been especially popular with photo enthusiasts and mobile app shooters. All INSTAX film features excellent color reproducibility, taking full advantage of Fujifilm's long-standing research on photographic film manufacturing and image design technology.

An INSTAX Generation
Since INSTAX cameras were originally launched in 1998, they have proven to be extremely popular with users all over the world, with cumulative shipment volumes reaching over 25 million units. This has made INSTAX the leader of the world’s instant photography market over the past several years.

Fujifilm is committed to offering new products and services that meet various consumer needs by leveraging innovative technological advancements. The company is also dedicated to enhancing the enjoyment of photography worldwide, and encouraging users to experience the value of shooting, preserving, displaying and gifting photo images that deliver the message of “enriching your life with photographs.”

INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 Key Features:

  • FUJIFILM INSTAX Square SQ10 with all-new hybrid INSTAX system
  • 3” TFT color LCD monitor with 460K dots resolution
  • ¼” CMOS image sensor with primary color filter
  • 1920x1920 recorded pixels
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery (NP-50) for up to 160 images per charge
  • Images taken and edited / processed can be saved in the internal memory (up to about 50 images) or on microSD \ microSDHC card slot (sold separately)
  • 28.5mm fixed focal length (in 35m format equivalent)
  • F2.4 aperture
  • Micro USB for internal battery recharging
  • JPEG image file format
  • Print from internal memory or micro SD \ microSDHC card
  • Tripod mount
  • New INSTAX SQUARE Film format (color) sold in 10 sheets per pack
    o Screen size - 62mm×62mm (L×W)
    o Film size - 86mm×72mm (L×W)

For a full list of specifications, visit INSTAX SQUARE SQ10.

Availability and Pricing
The INSTAX SQUARE SQ10 will be available in May 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $279.95 and CAD $369.99.

INSTAX SQUARE Film will also be available in May 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $16.99 and CAD $15.99.

Categories: Equipment

Upcoming Fujifilm GFX 50S firmware update promises to improve AF, exposure compensation

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 1:00am

In addition to announcing a handful of new medium format GF lenses, Fujifilm also unveiled plans for the first major firmware update for the GFX 50S medium format camera. According to the Fujifilm press release:

"Fujifilm will release a free firmware update for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S later this spring, adding new functionality and improving operability. New functions include computer tethering via Wi-Fi and improved operability in exposure compensation and autofocus performance in difficult scenes."

We recently reviewed the Fujifilm GFX 50S and while we gave the camera a gold award, it was noted that AF speed and reliability was one area ripe for improvement. We also were disappointed in the lack of a dedicated exposure compensation button, so perhaps this update will make accessing that functions less annoying. Furthermore, the addition of a Wi-Fi tethering feature should go a long way to making the GFX 50S appeal to studio shooters.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm F2.8-4 sample gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:00pm

While the name 'Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit F2.8-4' might be a mouthful, this compact ultra-wide zoom doesn't fill the hand to the same degree, even with its upscale materials and weatherproofing. See how the lens performs in the real world in our sample gallery.

See our Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm F2.8-4 Sample Gallery

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Categories: Equipment

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:00pm

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

Panasonic has announced the second member of its Leica DG Vario-Elmarit F2.8-4 series of lenses: an ultra-wide 8-18mm (16-36mm equivalent) that offers fields of view ranging from as wide as 107 degrees down to 62 degrees.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

The lens's metal construction feels sturdy, with a smooth zoom action. It is dust and splash-proof, and freeze-proof down to -10℃.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

The optical design comprises 15 elements in 10 groups. To combat chromatic aberration and spherical distortion the lens features an aspherical extra-low dispersion element, three aspherical elements, two extra-low dispersion elements and one ultra high refractive index element.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

When zooming, the front element moves back and forth, but the movement is inside the barrel. This keeps the overall length of the lens at a constant 88mm (~3.5 inches). The lens's construction ensures 'barycentric stability', which means that whatever is in the center of the image at one focal length remains exactly centered as the lens is zoomed in and out. This is especially important for video work.

The focus drive can use data read out from the sensor at 240 fps, assisting the contrast detect autofocus system in Panasonic cameras in taking measurements quickly.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

Here's the lens next to the first member of the F2.8-4 lineup, the 12-60mm. Both feature a micro-step drive system in the aperture control to allow the camera to smoothly open and close the aperture. The 8-18 lacks image stabilization, so it loses the switch to turn it on and off, but otherwise the two have a very similar external appearance.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

Compared to the older 7-14mm F4, the new lens is bigger, but doesn't gain a whole lot of extra heft. Even without a built-in hood it is longer and wider, but at 315 grams (0.7lb) it only weighs in at 15 grams more than the 7-14mm.

With the included lens hood installed its increase in size over the 7-14mm with its built-in hood is a bit more apparent, thanks to the 8-18 gaining an extra stop of light on the wide end, and a bit more zoom range on the long end.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

When mounted on a camera like the GH5, the lens feels as light and easy to use as the 7-14mm thanks to there being virtually no weight difference between the two. The black paintwork suits the GH5 nicely as well.

Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4

The 8-18mm will be released at the end of May with an asking price of $1099. Click here for detailed specifications and more information.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic GH5 gets 10-bit 4:2:2 1080 video in first of promised firmware updates

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:00pm

When Panasonic introduced the Lumix DC-GH5, it made the bold promise that it would release not one, but two firmware updates that would significantly increase the performance of the camera. The first was to arrive in April and the second a bit later in 'Summer 2017.'

True to its word, Panasonic has announced firmware v1.1 for the GH5, bringing 4:2:2 10-bit Full HD video capture and a series of enhanced capture options for anamorphic shooters.

The firmware brings 4:2:2 10-bit IPB capture at 100Mbps to 1080/59.97p resolution. Anamorphic shooters also get 10-bit 4:2:2 IPB capture but with the larger, 3328 x 2496 shooting region encoded at 150Mbps. The update also includes two minor bug-fixes.

Higher resolution anamorphic video capture, along with 400Mbps All-I capture for 4K and 200Mbps All-I capture for Full HD will follow in the summer release.

Press Release

DC-GH5 Firmware Update Service Ver.1.1 for Expansion of 4:2:2 10-bit Video Recording Mode

Panasonic is announcing the new firmware update program Ver.1.1 for DC-GH5 to further enhance its performance. The new firmware Ver.1.1 enables 4:2:2 10-bit video recording in either FHD [MP4(LPCM)] / [MOV] and Anamorphic (4:3) mode, in addition to the existing 4K video recording mode.

4:2:2 10-bit FHD [MP4(LPCM)] / [MOV]

Item

System frequency

Size

Frame rate

Bit rate

YUV/bit

Image compression

[FHD/10bit/100M/60p]

59.94Hz

(NTSC)

1920 x 1080

59.94p

100 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[FHD/10bit/100M/30p]

1920 x 1080

29.97p

100 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[FHD/10bit/100M/24p]

1920 x 1080

23.98p

100 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[FHD/10bit/100M/50p]

50.00Hz

(PAL)

1920 x 1080

50.00p

100 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[FHD/10bit/100M/25p]

1920 x 1080

25.00p

100 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[FHD/10bit/100M/24p]

24.00Hz

(CINEMA)

1920 x 1080

24.00p

100 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

・When [Miniature Effect] is selected for Creative Control Mode, you cannot select the items used for 4:2:2/10 bit motion pictures.

4:2:2 10-bit Anamorphic (4:3) mode

Item

System frequency

Size

Frame rate

Bit rate

YUV/bit

Image compression

[4K/A/150M/30p]

59.94Hz

(NTSC)

3328 x 2496

29.97p

150 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[4K/A/150M/24p]

3328 x 2496

23.98p

150 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[4K/A/150M/25p]

50.00Hz

(PAL)

3328 x 2496

25.00p

150 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

[4K/A/150M/24p]

24.00Hz

(CINEMA)

3328 x 2496

24.00p

150 Mbps

4:2:2/10 bit

Long GOP

・[Anamorphic(4:3)] is available only when the camera is set to Creative Video Mode.

The firmware version 1.1 also includes following firmware fixes that reflect customer feedback:

  • A problem in which the exposure adjustment did not operate properly during live view standby under specific conditions using [Variable Frame Rate].
  • A problem in which afterimages appeared when recording video under high ISO sensitivity settings in using [V-LogL]

The new DC-GH5 firmware Ver 1.1 is scheduled to be released on 24 April, 2017 at the following LUMIX Customer Support website: http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic introduces Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm F2.8-4 ASPH lens

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:00pm
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Panasonic has announced its new Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm F2.8-4 ASPH Micro Four Thirds lens. It's one of a series of F2.8-4 lenses that the company teased when it released the Leica 12-60mm during CES in January, with a 50-200mm being next in line.

The 8-18, equivalent to 16-36mm when mounted on Micro Four Thirds bodies, has 15 elements, which include ED and UHR glass and four aspherics (one of which is made from ED glass). The lens also has a Nano Surface coating to reduce flare and ghosting. It's also designed to work with high-speed contrast-detect autofocus systems like those found on modern Panasonic cameras, and its internal STM motor keeps focusing quiet and smooth. Panasonic claims that its optical design reduces 'image shift' and improves tracking performance while zooming.

The 8-18mm F2.8-4 is fully weather-sealed and freezeproof to -10C/+14F.

You'll be able to pick one up for yourself in late May for $1099.99.

Press Release

LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH.

Covering 16 mm Ultra-Wide Angle to 36 mm (35mm camera equivalent)

Newark, NJ (April 18, 2017) –Panasonic is proud to introduce a new wide zoom digital interchangeable lens, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. (35 mm camera equivalent: 16-36 mm) as the second lens to be introduced from its LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series. 

Covering a focusing distance from ultra-wide angle to super telephoto, this new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 series achieves exceptionally high descriptiveness for both photo and video recording and yet its size is compact. All lenses also take advantage of Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosting and flaring. The 8-18 boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof down to -10℃ to deliver professional use under harsh conditions. The high-quality video recording capability is also one of the advantages of this lens series.

The new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH offers a zoom range of ultra-wide16 mm to versatile 36 mm (35mm camera equivalent). It covers a variety of daily shooting situations, from dynamic landscapes to street photography. Taking advantage of the F2.8-4.0 high-speed performance, it is suitable for capturing starry sky or a night scenery. With a filter (67mm) such as ND or PL, this lens provides various expression in both photos and videos. 

Comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses effectively suppresses spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from center to corners. 

The sensor drive at max. 240 fps enables to take full advantage of cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF. It also helps to reduce wobbling. Notably, the new lens excels in video recording performance. In addition to the silent operation achieved by the inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly capture brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming. The AF tracking performance when zooming is also improved thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.

Offered in sharp, metallic black, it stylishly matches the LUMIX G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series lineup will expand with additional 50-200mm (100-400mm, 35mm camera equivalent) telephoto zoom lens.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm F2.8-4 ASPH specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format sizeFourThirds
Focal length8–18 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8–22
Minimum apertureF4–22
Number of diaphragm blades7
Aperture notesCircular blades
Optics
Elements15
Groups10
Special elements / coatingsAspherical ED, aspherical, ED, UHR elements + Nano Surface Coating.
Focus
Minimum focus0.23 m (9.06″)
Maximum magnification0.12×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeStepper motor
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight315 g (0.69 lb)
Diameter73 mm (2.87″)
Length88 mm (3.46″)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Power zoomNo
Filter thread67.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo
Categories: Equipment

Panasonic updates travel zoom lineup with Lumix DC-ZS70 / TZ90

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:00pm
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Panasonic has updated its travel zoom lineup with the introduction of the Lumix DC-ZS70 (TZ90 outside of North America). New features on the compact ZS70 include a 20.3MP MOS sensor, flip-up 3" touchscreen display and Panasonic's Depth-from-Defocus AF system.

It retains the same 30X, 24-720mm equivalent lens, so-so electronic viewfinder (it's small and some may be bothered by the field sequential tech it uses), 4K video capture and all of the photo-related features that taken advantage of it and the useful Post Focus and Focus Stacking tools.

The DC-ZS70 will be available at the end of May at a price of $449.99. You can choose from silver or black-colored bodies.

Press Release

New LUMIX DC-ZS70

24mm Ultra-Wide-Angle 30x Optical Zoom* in a Compact Body for 4K VIDEO/4K PHOTO

Newark, NJ (April 18, 2017) – Panasonic is proud to introduce a new LUMIX DC-ZS70 as a new model in the popular "Travel Zoom" ZS series. By upgrading the sensor to 20.3-megapixel resolution, the LUMIX ZS70 boasts a 30x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-720mm) packed in a pocket-sized body while enabling 4K VIDEO/4K PHOTO capture. The new tiltable rear monitor allows users enjoy a variety of selfie shots including 4K selfies and panoramic selfies.

The versatile ultra-wide-angle 24mm 30x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens is useful in virtually all situations. Having passed Leica's stringent standards, the LUMIX ZS70 boasts exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity and minimum distortion and flare. 

The new 20.3-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor allows users to capture high-quality images even for high-sensitivity recording in dimly lit environments. 

The LUMIX ZS70 is capable of recording smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K videos in 3840 x 2160 at 30p (60Hz) in MP4. *1*2 Taking advantage of 4K technology, users can capture fleeting photo opportunities at 30 fps in 8-megapixel equivalent resolution as a 4K PHOTO. Additional functionality based on 4K technology are also available. Post Focus enables users to easily select the in-focus area after shooting. The Focus Stacking function allows users to adjust the depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with the Post Focus function, all inside the camera. In addition, the LUMIX ZS70 incorporates a Light Composition function with which the camera synthesizes the images by choosing and saving brighter pixels. This makes it possible to produce more luxurious, dramatic images of situations such as fireworks or night scenes inside the camera with ease. 4K Live Cropping in video recording achieves stable panning or zooming with high-resolution 4K video footage. Users can make perfect Full-HD videos by adding impressive effects after recording the original footage in 4K. Thanks to camera’s digital operation, this can be done without physically moving the lens.

For even faster response and higher mobility, the LUMIX ZS70 integrates the DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology*3 to achieve ultra-high-speed AF of approx. 0.1 sec. It contributes to high-speed burst shooting at 10 (AFS)/5 (AFC) fps. The LUMIX ZS70 also features a variety of AF functions, such as Touch AF, 49-point AF, and Low-light AF that help users to get the best results in a wide range of shooting situations.

The 3.0-inch 1,040k-dot rear monitor with touch control tilts up by 180 degrees and the camera goes into Self Shot mode automatically once the monitor is flipped. In Self Shot mode, various functions for selfies are available on the LUMIX ZS70, including a newly added 4K Selfie mode. The beauty functions enable users to shoot portraits – especially of women - more attractively with Soft Skin, Defocusing and Slimming effects. After shooting, aesthetic/make-up retouching can even be applied inside the camera with the Beauty Retouch function. And users can choose to capture the background clearly or defocus it depending on the situation with Background Control mode. Panoramic pictures can also be shot in Self Shot mode. A 0.2-inch 1,166k-dot EVF (Electronic View Finder) with eye sensor is also equipped for easy shooting even in sunny outdoor conditions. The Control Ring on the lens barrel enables quick, intuitive operation. For more creative freedom, RAW image recording, Creative Control filter mode, and Creative Panorama mode are available.

With Wi-Fi® connectivity, users can also connect the camera to their smartphone or tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting, storing, and sharing images. 

Packing a powerful 30x optical zoom and 4K VIDEO/4K PHOTO shooting performance in an ultra-compact body, the new LUMIX ZS70 offers the enjoyment of a high-quality photo/video shooting and selfie experience in versatile ways any time and any place.

Other Features

5-axis HYBRID O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)+*4, Creative Control, Panorama Shot, AC/USB Charging

*1 Motion picture recording / 4K PHOTO recording

- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures.

- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3)" when recording motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K] or [4K PHOTO].

(SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.)

- Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 29 minutes and 59 seconds with [AVCHD] in [FHD/60p] [FHD/60i].

- Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 15 minutes with [MP4] in [4K].

- When using an SDHC memory card: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.

- When using an SDXC memory card: You can record a motion picture in a single file.

- Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 29 minutes and 59 seconds with [MP4] in [FHD/60p] and

High Speed motion pictures. You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.

- MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [FHD/30p] [HD]: You can continue recording without interruption, even if the file size exceeds 4 GB or 30 minutes in length, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.

*2 Max.15 min.
*3 Works for still image recording.
*4 5-axis compensation works for video recording except for 4K video recording. 

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 / TZ90 specifications

Price
MSRP$449
Body type
Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 80-3200 (expands to 6400)
Boosted ISO (maximum)6400
White balance presets4
Custom white balanceYes (2 slots)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • RAW (RW2)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–720 mm
Optical zoom30×
Maximum apertureF3.3–6.4
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2X-4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points49
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.46×
Viewfinder resolution1,166,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Clear Portrait
  • Silky Skin
  • Backlit Softness
  • Clear in Backlight
  • Relaxing Tone
  • Sweet Child's Face
  • Distinct Scenery
  • Bright Blue Sky
  • Romantic Sunset Glow
  • Vivid Sunset Glow
  • Glistening Water
  • Clear Nightscape
  • Cool Night Sky
  • Warm Glowing Nightscape
  • Artistic Nightscape
  • Glittering Illuminations
  • Handheld Night Shot
  • Clear Night Portrait
  • Soft Image of a Flower
  • Appetizing Food
  • Cute Dessert
  • Freeze Animal Motion
  • Clear Sports Shot
  • Monochrome
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.60 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, 3 shots / 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1280 x 720 @ 120p / Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (microHDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11 b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)380
Weight (inc. batteries)322 g (0.71 lb / 11.36 oz)
Dimensions112 x 67 x 41 mm (4.41 x 2.64 x 1.61″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone
Categories: Equipment

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