B&H Pulse News Roundup: October 18, 2013
This week in the news: Sony announced the world's first mirrorless full-frame cameras—the a7 and a7R; Nikon announced the world's first Nikon DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi—the new D5300; Panasonic released the Lumix GM1, the world's smallest Micro Four Thirds camera; and late on Thursday night, Fujifilm announced the X-E2 and XQ1 cameras which, at that time, were the newest cameras in the world.
New Sony a7, a7R and E-Mount Lenses
This week, Sony announced the new a7 and a7R, which are the lightest and most compact full-frame digital cameras ever produced. Physically, they look identical; however, on the inside, the a7 features an Exmor CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of 24.3MP, while the sensor inside the a7R clocks in at 36.4MP. Another factor that differentiates the two is that the a7R "removes" the optical low-pass filter, which clears the way for the higher-resolution imaging (at the cost of the potential for moiré). The other factor that separates these cameras is their auto-focusing system. The a7 features Sony's Fast Hybrid AF technology, which utilizes both phase and contrast detection, while the a7R just has contrast-detection auto focus.
Both cameras feature built-in Wi-Fi and NFC wireless capabilities, and Sony's E-mount, which is found on Sony's popular NEX series of cameras. It's important to note that existing NEX series lenses are designed for APS-C-sized sensors, and cannot take full advantage of the 35mm sensor on the new a7 cameras. Sony is releasing four new lenses to accompany the a7 and a7R: the Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA, Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA, Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, and the 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom, which is sold in a kit with the a7 body.
Learn more about the new Alpha a7 cameras and lenses in this B&H InDepth article.
The New Sony RX10
For a long time, everyone's favorite compact camera was the Sony RX100. Then the RX100 II came along, and that quickly became everyone's favorite compact. Now, in the great spirit of giving people what they want, Sony is debuting the new RX10, which borrows many of the qualities that people love about the RX100 models, and raises the bar by giving it a fixed 24-200mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss lens.
Inside the RX10, you'll find a 20.2MP 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor, and a BIONZ X image processor. You can frame shots with its high-resolution electronic viewfinder and its 3.0" 1228k-dot tilting LCD. The front and top of its exterior are made of magnesium alloy, giving the RX10 a very solid feel. Like the new a7 cameras, the new RX10 also features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.
Learn more about the new Sony RX10 in this B&H InDepth article.
The New Nikon D5300 DSLR with Built-in Wi-Fi, and the New 58mm f/1.4G Lens
There's more to the new Nikon D5300 than the fact that it's their first DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi. It's also their first entry-level DSLR that doesn't have an optical low-pass filter. Ever since the Nikon D800E was announced back in February of 2012, there's been a significant amount of interest in cameras that lack low-pass filters. It's pretty cool that Nikon has brought this feature to an inexpensive body.
Besides the lack of low-pass, the D5300 features a 24.2MP DX-format CMOS sensor, an EXPEED 4 image processor, and a 3.2" 1037k-dot articulating LCD monitor. As I stated earlier, Wi-Fi is built in, but so is GPS. The D5300 can shoot 1080p video at 60fps, and it has a 39-point autofocus sensor. And, just for fun, it's available in Black, Gray or Red. You can also get the Black version in a kit with a 18-140mm lens. For full information, check out this B&H InDepth article.
Nifty sixty, anyone? This week Nikon also announced a new, fast prime: the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G lens. It offers a 9-blade aperture, two aspherical elements to reduce aberrations, and Nano Crystal Coating as well as Super Integrated Coating. Its autofocus motors operate silently, which is necessary for shooting video with clean audio, and for shooting stealthy stills. It's designed for the Nikon's full-frame FX format, but, of course, it's compatible with Nikon's DX cameras as well.
More information and full specs on the D5300 and the NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G are available in this B&H InDepth article.
The New Lumix GM1
This week, Panasonic released the Lumix GM1—the smallest Micro Four Thirds camera in existance. The GM1 comes with a new 12-32mm (24-64 equiv) f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, which, in keeping with the smallness theme, collapses down to a smaller size when not in use. The guts of the GM1 are comprised of a 16MP Digital Live MOS sensor and a Venus Engine image processor.
Even though the body of the GM1 is ultra-compact, the designers and engineers still found the space required to include a mode dial, several control buttons and a 3.0" LCD. The ecosystem of native lenses available from Panasonic for the Micro Four Thirds mount is really strong, the compatible lens options from Olympus is another huge plus, and with readily-available mount adapters, nearly any lens you happen to score at flea markets and garage sales will work with this little camera.
The New Fujifilm X-E2 and XQ1
At 12:30 in the morning, in the wee hours of Thursday night, just as I was thinking this blog post was in the bag, Fujifilm announced two new X-series digital cameras: the new X-E2 and the XQ1 compact. The mirrorless X-E2 is an update to last year's popular X-E1. It has a new X-Trans II CMOS sensor, a larger 3.0" 1040k-dot LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi.
The new XQ1 features a 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor, an EXR Processor II, a fixed Fujinon 4x optical zoom, 25-100mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8-4.9 lens, and a 3.0" 920k-dot LCD monitor. Wi-Fi is built in, and it will be available in black or silver.
Find all the juicy details on the Fujifilm X-E2 and XQ1 in this B&H InDepth article
- Sony announced an updated 70-200mm f/2.8 A-mount lens this week. You can read all about it at B&H InDepth.
- Canon announced a new 5D Mark III kit, which includes a 24-70mm f/4 IS USM lens. Full details are available in this B&H InDepth article.
- Manfrotto announced a new line of weather-tough bags. Get the full details at B&H InDepth.
- Instagram, in a new update, quietly removed the option to disable auto video playback. Read up on it at PetaPixel.
- The Verge. redesigned individual picture pages by making photos 25 percent larger. Read more at
- c|net. announced the Play:1 wireless speaker, their most affordable wireless speaker yet. Check out this review article and video at
- Nikon updated their View NX 2.8.1 software, adding D610 and AW1 support. More information is available at Photography Bay.
And that's your news for October 18, 2013. Be sure to follow all the consumer electronic news on B&H Pulse.