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Future Panasonic G camera’s 72Mbps movie-making prowess teased through speedy drama

September 19th, 2012

Future Panasonic G camera's 72Mbps movie-making prowess teased through speedy drama

If Panasonic didn’t have attention from movie producers before, it just might as of this week. Joining the quickly developing tradition of camera makers producing elaborate short movies as technology demos, the company has let cinematographer Philip Bloom wield (and tease) a “brand new G camera” to record Genesis, a fast-paced mini-drama showing a man’s race to meet his love before it’s too late. While Bloom can’t talk much about the hardware in question until the 17th, he’s allowed to confirm that the upcoming Micro Four Thirds body relies on a “superb” 72Mbps All-I codec for video — letting it capture a sprint through the streets without the compression artifacts of the AVCHD format used by most mirrorless cameras. Panasonic’s upcoming shooter also touts “much improved” results in the dark, Bloom says. It all sounds very tempting, especially if it turns out that Panasonic’s inadvertent leaks are for the same camera we see in action here. The full movie is available after the break, and Bloom has the behind-the-scenes details at the source link.

SOURCE via PhilipBloom

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Fujifilm’s XF1 digicam is a $500 point-and-shoot with manual controls and a faux leather exterior

September 19th, 2012

Fujifilm's XF1 digicam is a $500 point-and-shoot with manual controls and a faux leather exterior

Fujifilm has been making some really handsome, retro-styled shooters lately, and the latest is the XF1. It’s a compact camera that’s 4.2 inches wide, 2.4 inches across and a scant 1.2 inches deep, and comes covered in either black, red or tan faux leather. There’s a 2/3 inch 12-megapixel sensor inside with a retractable, manual zoom, 25-100mm f/1.8 – f/4.9 lens that’s optically stabilized. You turn the thing on by twisting and pulling out the lens (like its elder brother, the X10), and you can shoot 1080p 30fps video using the 3-inch 460,000 dot LCD on the back. The XF1′s ISO range is 100 – 12,800 and it’s got a pop-up flash for shooting in poorly lit locales. Additionally, the camera has a jog dial with a full manual setting, six buttons dedicated to primary functions and a separate, programmable key to tailor the UX to your liking. The XF1 goes on sale for $500 next month.

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Jonathan Ive tapped to design special edition Leica M for charity auction

September 19th, 2012

Jonathan Ive tapped to design special edition Leica M for charity auction

Apple design chief Sir Jonathan Ive is in discussions to produce a one-off special edition Leica M that will be auctioned for charity, according to Leica owner Dr. Andreas Kaufmann. PetaPixel reports that Ive was expected to be on hand at yesterday’s Leica press conference to make things official, but Kaufmann decided to make the news public despite a last-minute scheduling conflict. As for which charity the auction — guaranteed to pull in an obscene amount of money — will benefit, Pocket-lint says proceeds will go to Reporters Without Borders. The organization provides assistance to journalists in war-torn regions. U2 frontman Bono (who serves as the public face of Product RED) is said to be orchestrating Leica’s charity initiative.

These are rare circumstances to be sure; we’re hard pressed to think of another instance where Ive has taken his talents outside of Apple’s engineering labs. Considering his heralded work on consumer-targeted products, we’d expect his signature Leica M — which demands a $7,000 premium in its retail form — to be something special. The company says the Ive-designed prize will be auctioned off at some point next summer. We’ve reached out to Leica for more details.

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Leica launching new Leica M in early 2013, stripped-down M-E available this month

September 18th, 2012

Leica launching new Leica M in early 2013, stripped-down M-E available this month

Do you need a stylish, undoubtedly expensive German camera early in 2013? Perhaps right now? Leica’s got you covered on both fronts, announcing today that its Leica M line is finally getting an official followup to the venerable M9 rangefinder in “early 2013.” The new M is outfitted with the company’s first 24-megapixel (full-frame, naturally) Leica Max CMOS image sensor (à la the A99 and D600) — what Leica calls “a completely new development in sensor technology.” That sensor will snag you a sensitivity range of IS0 200 to 6,400 (expandable to 100). Even more exciting, this latest M can mount Leica’s legacy R glass with a new adapter (available separately) and it can also shoot video in 1080p HD with 24 / 25p frame rate. While it retains the classic M-series styling, rear now features a 3-inch 920k-dot display, protected behind a layer of Gorilla glass. Leica’s also making special note to highlight that the new M features live view functionality on the embedded screen and with an optional EVF.

The M-E model (which appears to be a refresh of sorts on the M9) comes paired with a slightly less-potent 18-megapixel full-frame CCD sensor. Beyond that, it doesn’t appear to pack any video functionality and features a much smaller 2.5-inch 230k-dot display. Neither model comes with any additional numbers in their titles title, however — that’s a conscious decision on Leica’s part to rework its naming policy. “In [the] future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the enduring and long-term significance of the respective systems,” the announcement says. We’re calling it “The iPad 3 approach.”

Leica launching new Leica M in early 2013, stripped-down M-E available this month

The cameras were revealed along with a slew of new products that Leica’s showing during Germany’s Photokina convention, including a range of new accessories (the Leica R-Adapter M, the Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder, the multifunctional handgrip-M with optional finger loops, and the Leica Microphone adapter set). Although there’s no word on pricing for the new M, we’d expect it to sell for somewhere between a cool 7 to 10K given the $5,450 price of the M-E and the approximately $7,000 sticker tag on the M9 — hey, at least both snag you the prestige of the red dot and a pro-bono copy of Adobe Lightroom. The M-E will be be available from Leica dealers before the month’s out, while the M will ship out early next year — both in your choice of black or black / silver. In the meantime, hit up the source link below for the full tech specs on both shooters.

SOURCE via Leica

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Leica unveils V-Lux 4 superzoom, D-Lux 6 compact to mirror their Panasonic counterparts

September 18th, 2012

Leica unveils V-Lux 4 superzoom, D-Lux 6 compact to mirror their Panasonic counterparts

Leica has its more unique creations, but some of its more affordable cameras are usually upscale parallels to Panasonic models — and that’s undoubtedly true for the newly official (and previously leaked) V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6, which respectively echo Panasonic’s FZ200 and LX7 shooters. We can’t object too much. That similarity gives the 12-megapixel V-Lux 4 superzoom (seen up top) a 25-600mm equivalent lens with a constant, wide f/2.8 aperture to snap bright images at long distances.

Leica unveils V-Lux 4 superzoom, D-Lux 6 compact to mirror their Panasonic counterparts

The D-Lux 6, meanwhile, combines its large 1.7-inch, also 12-megapixel sensor with a 24-90mm, f/1.4-2.3 lens and that distinctive aperture control ring. What you’re really getting over the Panasonic equivalents is a subtler, all-black Leica color scheme and a copy of Adobe Lightroom 4 to manage the imminent flood of photos. Photographers who don’t mind knowing their luxury cameras’ true roots can swing by Leica dealers in November to buy either design; we don’t yet know prices, but it’s safe to assume that the V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6 will carry premiums over their more pedestrian equivalents.
SOURCE via Leica

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Leica reveals S-System medium format digital photography lineup

September 18th, 2012

Leica reveals S-System medium format digital photography lineup

Leica wasn’t about to let everyone else hog the spotlight at Photokina this year. The company took the wraps off more products than you could possible cram into one post (or two, or three…). But among the more intriguing is certainly the new S-System — an update its pro-series medium format line. The sensor and accompanying board have all been refreshed, with the 30 x 44mm sensor cramming 37.5 megapixels into its expansive CCD surface. The 16-bit color depth is complimented by a wide ISO range of 100 to 1600, which should cover you for almost any imaginable application.

A dual shutter design gives photographers the choice between the camera’s built in shutter or the integrated one on the CS lens line, which allow for flash sync at shutter speeds as high as 1/1,000 of a second. Leica is touting the improved speed of its medium format internals, but with the ability to capture just 1.5 fps in continuous mode, it might not be the ideal action shooter. Still, the ability to capture 32 consecutive RAW images at full resolution, thanks to the 2GB of buffer memory, is quite impressive.

The digital viewfinder is a three-inch LCD, capable of displaying 16 million colors representing the full sRGB color space. Of course, the VGA resolution isn’t anything to write home about, but it should get the job done. The integrated two axis leveler, displayed on the viewfinder, should help avoid oddly angled portraits, while the integrated GPS receiver will let you keep track of every remote mountaintop you capture in full resolution majesty.

Of course, no new camera product line would be complete without some lenses as well. In total four are launching alongside the new body, including the first zoom (30-90 MM F/3.5-5.6) and tilt/shift (120 MM F/5.6) members of the family. Rounding out the lineup is a 24mm superwide angle lens and a close-up accessory that shortens the focal length of one of the existing mounts by about three and a half feet. For more info, check out the source link.

SOURCE via Leica

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Canon unveils EOS 6D DSLR: full frame sensor and WiFi for $2,099 in December

September 18th, 2012

Canon unveils EOS 6D DSLR: full frame sensor and WiFi for $2,099 in December

Used to be, to get a full-frame sensor in a Canon camera, you had to shell out big bucks for a pro rig like the 5D Mark III or 1D X. No longer. Canon’s just unveiled its EOS 6D, the smallest, lightest and cheapest full-frame DSLR it’s ever made. Weighing 690g, the 6D is 20 percent lighter than the 5D Mark III, and at $2,099, it’s a full $1,400 less than its heftier stablemate — which also puts it directly in line with Nikon’s recently released full-frame shooter, the D600. In addition to that mammoth sensor, the 6D’s the first EOS camera to have built-in WiFi. When paired with the company’s free iOS and Android apps, you can use your phone to change the 6D’s settings, take and geotag photos using the live remote function, and even transfer those shots to your handset wirelessly.

The 6D packs a 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ image processor that shoots stills at 4.5fps, does HDR (though it only saves the composite image, not the individual shots), and 1080p 30fps video in 29 minute 59 second clips. Its sensitivity runs from ISO 100 up to 102,400 (extended) and has an 11-point autofocus system with an EV -3 sensitivity rating for better low light performance. There’s a 3-inch, 1.04 million dot ClearView LCD on the back to supplement the optical viewfinder, plus it’s got a stereo mic jack to ensure the audio matches the quality of your HD videos. To store your imaging masterpieces, the 6D has a single SD card slot that’s SDHC and SDXC compatible. When it goes on sale this December, the 6D will be sold in two configurations: $2,099 for the body only, and a kit that throws in a 24-105mm f/4L USM zoom lens for $2,899.

SOURCE via CNET

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Sony reveals the Alpha A99, its first full-frame flagship since 2008′s A900

September 14th, 2012

Sony reveals the Alpha A99, its first full-frame flagship since 2008's A900

It’s not every day that a digital SLR manufacturer releases a new full-frame camera — in fact, it’s not even every year. Sony’s last top-end model, the A900, was first released four years ago, so you better believe its successor offers an overflowing boatload of enhancements. The Alpha A99 is a flagship if ever there was one, crushing every other Sony still camera in terms of capability, both when it comes to stills, and in the HD video realm as well. With this $2,800 behemoth, the company is targeting both professional photographers and leading filmmakers, with plenty of features that will appeal to both. The centerpiece is an all-new 24.3-megapixel Exmor sensor (nope, it’s not the rumored 36MP chip you might be expecting), which features an increased photodiode area for boosted low light quality (up to ISO 102,400). The camera also features what Sony’s calling the “world’s first dual-AF system,” which includes two different phase-detect AF systems, including the same 19-point system on the A77, plus an additional 102 points on the imager itself.

Sony reveals the Alpha A99, its first full-frame flagship since 2008's A900

Video shooters will find 1080/60p and 24p options with AVCHD 2.0, including uncompressed output through HDMI (with simultaneous output to a monitor) and phase-detect focus support in video mode. There’s also a 6 frames-per-second burst mode, 14-bit RAW output for stills, the same 921k-dot Xtra Fine twilt-and-swivel LCD included with the A77 with WhiteMagic and TruBlack, and the same OLED viewfinder found on the A77, NEX-6 and NEX-7, that offers slightly boosted functionality thanks to the full-frame sensor, letting photographers snag a realtime depth-of-field preview without dimming the finder. It also offers a 34-degree viewing angle and color tone adjustment control. Because the A99 offers a translucent mirror, Sony was able to eliminate the pentaprism to keep the size and weight at bay, making the DSLR lighter than the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III.

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Nikon announces D600 24MP enthusiast full-frame DSLR

September 13th, 2012

Nikon announces D600 24MP enthusiast full-frame DSLR

Nikon has announced the D600, the smallest, least expensive full frame DSLR on the market, aimed directly at enthusiast photographers. The D600 is built around a 24MP, 36x24mm, CMOS sensor and crams many of the features of the more expensive D800 into a distinctly D7000-esque body. It features a 100% coverage viewfinder and 39-point autofocus system, nine of which are cross-type points. It can capture 1080p HD video at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second and can stream uncompressed footage out over its HDMI port. There’s also an optional Wi-Fi unit allowing the camera to be controlled remotely from an Android or iOS device. The D600 will have a list price of $2,099 body only, or $2,699 with the 24-85mm F3.5-5.6 lens and will be available from September 18th.

Nikon announces D600 24MP enthusiast full-frame DSLR

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Sony VG900 leaks, packs full-frame sensor into a NEX camcorder

September 12th, 2012

Sony VG900 leaks, packs full-frame sensor into a NEX camcorder

Sony must have a fixation on stuffing full-frame sensors into small spaces this year. A fresh photo and details slipping out to Sony Alpha Rumors show what’s billed as the VG900, the first NEX-branded camcorder with a sensor larger than the APS-C spec — the first NEX camera of any kind, for that matter. While there’s only a light smattering of details, we’re told the device has a 24-megapixel sensor (likely the same as in the RX1 or A99), records video in AVCHD 2.0 and should ship with an A-mount adapter for Alpha lenses. Not much else is on display, although you may want to take a pass if you’re just looking to record a family wedding: at a rumored $3,300 price for the purportedly imminent launch, the VG900 isn’t an impulse purchase for anyone short of a pro videographer.

SOURCE via Sony Alpha Rumors

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