Cameras To Watch Out For
Nikon unveiled its Df, a full frame DSLR that is compact and has a vintage look. Reminiscent of the film camera of the 1970s, it looks very similar to a Nikon F2. But don’t judge a book by its cover because it is as highly evolved as the Nikon D610 and the D4. It has a full frame CMOS sensor and a 39-point AF system. Weighing only 760g and measuring 144 x 110 x 67mm (W x H x D), it is the smallest and lightest full frame camera by Nikon.
The retro design is even more emphasized by the old-school controls. On the top deck for the ISO, there are separate thumbwheels as well as exposure mode (PASM), exposure compensation and shutter speed. The battery status as well as the pertinent shooting information is also displayed on the simple mono LCD on top of the camera.
But when you flip it back, there’s more evidence that it is indeed a digital camera. The LCD is 81mm (3.2in) and has 921,000-dots. The active AF front is navigated by the standard four-way keypad, which has a central ‘OK’ button. This also controls the menu options. On the upper par is the three-way switch where you have different metering mode options such as spot or centre-weighted matrix.
On the bottom right of the LCD, you can notice a live view button but it is not for recording videos. The camera is compatible with the WU-1a adaptor (optional) but no built-in Wi-Fi. Still, it would allow you to share images from the Nikon Df to any compatible tablet or smartphone.
The Nikon DF is compatible with all Nikon’s current F-mount lenses such as DX, AF, AF-D and AF-S. Surprisingly, it is also a fit for pre-Ai lenses that is no less than 50 years old!
Its body is made from magnesium alloy. Like the D800 and the D800E, it is weather sealed. You can choose between its two colours: plain black and two-tone silver.
You can now get it for $3199 (body only) or $3499 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Sony R100 II has just been released earlier this year but the company is not yet finished with its line-up of high-end RX series. Now, it boasts of a 20-megapixel camera in the form of its Cyber-shot RX10. It has a professional style 24-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens and like the RX100 II, has a 1-inch (13.2 x 8.8mm) CMOS sensor.
The RX10 has an Optical SteadyShot to minimize camera shake at longer focal lengths. You can enjoy its constant f/2.8 maximum aperture even at any zoom range. You can easily adjust the zoom and focus control because of the control ring around the lens.
A high resolution OLED electronic viewfinder at 1,440,000 dots is on the back of the camera. Its tilting 3-inch LCD also has 1,290,000 dots. On the top deck, you can find an additional LCD which displays other key settings including the display exposure.
The RX10 allows you to capture Full HD video at 60p and 24p frame rates. You also have full control over the PASM exposure modes. The audio level meter also has a headphone output, microphone jack and adjustable levels.
It comes with a built-in Wi-Fi like all new Sony cameras as well as NFC for wireless image sharing. There is a remote control that can be used for compatible tablets and smartphones.
It is now available with a retail price of $1499.
The smallest camera from Fujifilm’s X-series is now available. The XQ1 is a pocket-sized camera with a measurement of 100 x 58.5 x 33.3mm (w x h x d) only. Like the famous X20, it uses the same EXR Processor II and 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II.
Maximum aperture range is reasonably fast – around f1.8 to f4.9 – thanks to the built-in 25-100mm (equivalent) zoom lens. There are also three extra low dispersion and four aspherical lenses.
XQ1 has impressive specifications such as optional peaking focus display, 100 to 12800 ISO sensitivity range and a 12-megapixel resolution. It has the standard HD video and wireless image transfer. But it also has a built-in flash and Fujifilm’s Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) that can render you cutting-edge image sharpness.
For the retail price of $579, you can grab one in either black or silver.
When it comes to interchangeable-lens camera, Fujifilm won’t be left behind because of its newest addition to its X-series – the X-E2. It is equipped with a new 16.3-megapixel, APS-C sized, X-Trans CMOS II sensor. Camera aficionados would fondly call it a combination of X-E1 and the X100S. But its new feature is something that helps avoid any lens blur near the edges of the images, which is the Lens Modulation Optimiser (LMO)
The X-E2 achieves phase and contrast AF for an AF acquisition speed of just 0.08 seconds by using a hybrid autofocus system. It also boasts of 7.0 frames per second (for up to 28 frames) which is an impressive high speed continuous shooting capability.
On the top deck is a shutter dial along with a range of manual controls. Around the lens barrel, you’ll find the familiar aperture ring. The OLED electronic viewfinder on the back has a built-in 2.36 million-dot resolution as well as a 3.0in (76mm) LCD. The glass is reinforced and scratch-resistant with a 1.04 million-dot resolution and a wide viewing angle.
Its split-image system and focus peaking has made manual focus a cinch. It means you can now put emphasis on the outline in high contrast areas during focusing, which renders you highly sharp shots.
Other key features that X-E2 boasts are wireless image transfer, Full HD video (1920 x 1080) and in-camera Raw converter. Its 10-film simulation-modes include the Astia, Provia and Velvia.
Its retail price is $1,899 (with the XF18-55mm lens).
Sony A7 and A7R
The A7 and A7R are Sony’s new interchangeable-lens cameras that offer full-frame 36 x 24mm sensors. Sony described them as "the world’s smallest and lightest 35mm full-frame interchangeable lens cameras".
These compact mirror-less models have no striking differences in appearance. But if you take a closer look, you’ll find pertinent details that separate one from the other. The more affordable A7 brings a 24.3-megapixel sensor and faster all-round performance. On the other hand, the high-end A7R is equipped with a 36.4-megapixel sensor. It also ditched the anti-aliasing filter to give you complete sharpness and clarity.
Because of the all-new format, it became apparent to revamp the design and make way for a new compact full-frame lens mount. Even before, Sony and Carl Zeiss suggested that there would be five new full-frame FE-mount lenses that can be compatible with the cameras. Its new adaptor also means you can pair it up with any Sony A-mount lens.
The new lenses available now are: the Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (only available as a kit with the A7), and the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
On January 2014, two more lenses will come out: the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS (RRP $1499), and the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA (RRP $1299).
Sometime in 2014, still another lens would be unveiled, which is the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS.
NEX users would have no problem breaking in the Sony A7 and A7R since the layout has the same front and back dials. It also has an exposure compensation dial and a control wheel. You can also find a tilting 3in (76mm) LCD screen and a built-in high-resolution XGA OLED viewfinder.
Photo diode expansion and light concentration technologies are both available through the 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor of both A7 and A7R models. Nevertheless, only the A7R has a ‘gapless’ on-chip lens design that diminishes all gaps between adjacent pixels.
Both cameras can take Full HD video (50p/25p). Its HDMI output allows you to watch videos from an external monitor or record it on another device.
Though only the Sony A7 has phase detection autofocus, both cameras are equipped with Sony's Fast Intelligent AF. Wireless transferring is possible through its built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. Plus, the cameras can be remotely controlled with any smartphone and tablet with iOS and Android.
The external top cover of A7 is made of magnesium alloy so it only weighs 416g. The A7R is lighter at 407g, thanks to the magnesium allow body.
Retail prices are as follows: The A7 for $1999 (body only) or $2199 with the Sony 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens. The A7R will retail for $2499 (body only).