Photokina Edition: B&H Pulse Weekly News Roundup: September 21st, 2012


This week in the news: The Photokina Trade Show happened in Germany. It brought with it new announcements every day. Canon announced their 6D; Hasselblad showed us something from the space age; Zeiss showed us lots of new lenses, and more.

This was one of the busiest weeks in the photo industry. So sit back and relax while we catch you up with all the important news, including some that you might not have seen.

This is your B&H Photo Pulse News Roundup for September 21st, 2012. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest news as it breaks.

Canon's New 6D is Their Smallest Full Frame Yet

One of the biggest announcements of Photokina 2012 was that of the very-highly-anticipated Canon 6D. The new camera is the smallest digital full-frame body that the company has released.

It features a 20.3MP CMOS sensor, weather sealing, a 97% viewfinder, 11 AF points, built-in WiFi and GPS connectivity, recording to SD cards, an EF mount, ISO 100-25600, 1/4000 to 30 sec (X-sync at 1/180 sec.), and up to 4.5 fps (3 fps in silent continuous).

Want to know more? Head over to B&H InDepth. Also, PDN Online already had a hands-on experience. Plus, the Verge shared their impressions in the video below.

Canon Also Has New Powershots

Not to be outdone by their new DSLR, Canon also announced a refresh for their new high-end Powershot cameras (with the exception of the Canon G1X.)

To start off, the new Canon G15 received an f1.8-2.8 lens, a 12.1MP 1/1.7” CMOS sensor, a 3-inch LCD screen, 5x optical zoom, max ISO of 25,600, and 1/4000th-of-a-second shooting capabilities. There is a lot more though, which you can read about at B&H InDepth.

Canon decided to not stop there, though. They also announced their new S110 premium compact and SX50HS superzoom. You can check out more about the new Powershots over at B&H InDepth.

Panasonic's GH3 Makes a Big Splash

The Panasonic GH3 was also a very-highly-anticipated camera. Some extra hype went into the camera recently with Phillip Bloom's Genesis video that was released Pre-Photokina.

The new camera has some exciting new features, such as a 17.02 Live MOS Sensor, 1,744k dots Live View Finder (LVF), contrast AF, full HD 1920 × 1080, 24p video at 72 Mbps ALL-I Intra, or 1920 × 1080, 60p at 50 Mbps with IPB compression, and a PC flash Sync port. Plus, the body is made out of a magnesium alloy, and is splashproof and dustproof. You can read more about the new camera over at B&H InDepth.

Still love your GH2? Well, Panasonic also announced their 35-100mm f2.8 X to complement their 12-35mm f2.8 X series lens. Now Micro Four Thirds has the 24-70mm and 70-200mm f2.8 equivalents that every other camera system provides.

Phase One 645DF+ Has a Revamped Autofocus

Phase One announced a new camera in the medium format territory. The new Phase One 645DF+ camera was shown off with the new Schneider Kreuznach 28 LS f/4.5 Aspherical. Both the lens and camera (without the back) are priced at a little under $6,000 each.

The company put in a new focusing system which they say works better in low light, and there is a new battery that will ensure a longer lifespan.

The system still uses leaf shutter lenses, which allow for a faster flash sync; up to 1/1600th in this case. You can read more about the new camera over at CNet.

The Voigtlander 28mm f1.8 has 10 Aperture Blades

Own a Leica M mount camera? Voigtlander announced something just for you—a 28mm f1.8 focal length lens. The highly-popular focal length, combined with the fast aperture and affordable price, is bound to make lots of users happy.

The lens features a built-on lens hood, 13 elements in 11 groups with aspherical lens, full metal build, smooth manual focus, and 10 aperture blades.

You can read more about the lens over at Leica Rumors.

Schneider-Kreuznach Announced Three Micro Four Thirds Lenses

Besides the new Phase One Medium format lens being announced, Schneider also let us know the details of something else more consumer-oriented.

The company announced their new line of Micro Four Thirds lenses. We knew a while ago that they would be working on them, but we finally received the details.

The new lenses are the 14mm f2.0 Super-Angulon (which equates to 28mm), 30mm f1.4 Xenon (60mm), and the 50mm f2.4 Makro-Symmar (120mm). 

43Rumors has more info on the lenses.

Lexar Announces 256GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Cards

Ready for an extreme? Lexar announced a new 256GB SDXC card with 400x speed. This is the card that will be perfect for those who shoot video with the latest cameras (such as the upcoming Panasonic GH3). Plus, it will surely be able to hold lots of photos from a camera like the new Canon 6D.

Cameratown has the press release, as well as pricing on the new card..

Olympus's PENs and Point and Shoots

We didn't see very many mirrorless cameras announced at Photokina, with the exception of the Hasselblad Lunar and the Panasonic GH3, but Olympus went ahead and showed off two new PEN cameras.

The Olympus EPM5 and EPL5 are both new cameras from the company. The new outstanding features that both cameras share are their new sensors (the same as the Olympus OMD EM5) and the fact that they work seamlessly with Toshiba's Air card to wirelessly transfer photos to the web or mobile devices.

There is more: Their flagship point-and-shoot camera also received an update. The Olympus XZ-2 has a 12MP 1/1.7” back-side illuminated CMOS, an f1.8 – f2.5 lens, a 3-inch touch screen, and a 4x optical zoom lens.

You can read more about the new cameras over at B&H InDepth.

Looking for new lenses? ePhotoZine had a hands-on experience with the new 60mm f2.8 macro lens from Olympus.

Sigma's New Lenses Get Categorized Into Three Segments

Sigma announced three new lenses, as well as a new business structure plan for manufacturing. First off, they announced new quality-control measures to ensure that better products are delivered. Then, they announced that their lenses will now be broken down into three new categories: contemporary, art, and sports.

Lastly, all of the new lenses announced will feature a USB port attachment that will make updating of the firmware much easier.

The new lenses?

- First up is Sigma's long-awaited 35mm f1.4. The lens joins the 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4 to complete the trio of popular focal lengths at a fast f1.4 aperture. Now we just need a 24mm. The lens features 9 aperture blades and 13 elements in 11 groups.

- Then there is the 17-70mm f2.8-4 Macro lens. This is designed more for a hobbyist and consumer, and therefore fits into the contemporary segment. With this said, it's designed for APS-C camera bodies.

- Last is the company's latest update of the 120-300mm f2.8 OS HSM lens.

Pop Photo had hands-on time with the lenses, and they seem very impressed.

Leica's New Cameras are a Total Refresh to the Line

Leica announced quite a few new items at Photokina. In fact, it seems like almost their entire line of products received a refresh.

First, and perhaps most exciting, was the new Leica M. Leica decided not to call the camera the M10, and instead returned to an older name. The new camera features some major upgrades from the M9. It includes a 24MP CMOS sensor, video capabilities, a 920,000-dot LCD screen (which was one of the biggest complaints), a new special type of hot shoe to accept accessories like an electronic viewfinder, and it is built to be splashproof and dustproof.

Plus, there is a new Leica R-to-Leica M mount adapter, so you'll be able to use many more lenses. As it is, Leica R lenses are very popular for videographers.

Pop Photo got their hands on the new Leica M. And they were really pleased.

Also, here's a video showing off the new camera in action:

John Dooley demonstrates The Leica M from Leica Camera on Vimeo.

Engadget got their hands on the newest addition to the brand's medium format line of cameras. The Leica S features the same sensor as the previous camera body, the Leica S2, but it has a couple of other upgrades. For example, there is a significantly higher flash speed sync, and it also has GPS tagging built in. Plus, the LCD screen is now a 920,000-dot-resolution screen.

Again on the rangefinder front, Leica announced the Leica M-E, which seems to be a Leica M9 with a different coat of paint. It seems almost metallic blue/black.

On the more fashionable end, the Leica X2 also received a bit of a face lift in the form of the Paul Smith edition. Basically, it is the X2 with some new clothes. Pocket Lint got to try it out for a bit at Photokina.

Don't like those colors? The X2 can be customized however you want.

Leica also updated their top point-and-shoot cameras, which you can read more about over at B&H InDepth.

Hasselblad's New Lunar Wasn't the Camera that Went to the Moon

This is probably the story that you read about everywhere. Hasselblad released their new mirrorless digital camera. The specs are very reminiscent of a Sony NEX 7 with a 24.3 MP APS-C-sized sensor, lots of dials and knobs, a Sony hot shoe, built in EVF, and a touch screen.

The camera will also be made with leather, wood and gold.

As you might expect, it targets the very-high-end and premium group of users—especially with its hefty price tag.

The camera will also feature an NEX E mount, and can therefore also adapt Sony Alpha lenses and maintain autofocus. We highly encourage you to read PDN Online's hands-on review.

Zeiss's New Lenses Turn Heads

Zeiss made a lot of announcements this week. Besides showing off their new 135mm f2 lens at Photokina, they took their mirrorless camera announcements even further by disclosing details on their new lenses. The company has moved ahead and started working on lenses for the Sony NEX system and the Fujifilm X system. The lenses will be autofocus, and in the case of NEX, they feature an MF/AF switch on the lens, while the Fujifilm version will sport an aperture ring.

However, Zeiss does not want to make Micro Four Thirds lenses yet, because they need to take more time to think about how they'll actually approach the system. There are more details on 43Rumors.

But that's not all: Zeiss also announced specially-designed lenses for full-frame cameras with high-megapixel sensors. They didn't give away many details, but  F-Stoppers has the coverage on their announcement.

Fujifilm XF1 May Be Your New Pocket Camera

Looking for a stylish point-and-shoot with lots of power? Fujifilm's new XF1 point-and-shoot may be your answer.

Featuring a metallic look to the body, and a manual zoom ring, it also has a 12-megapixel 2/3” EXR CMOS sensor (the same as the X10). The lens opens up to f1.8 and stops down to f4.9 at the lens's most-telephoto focal length. The camera also comes in brown, red, and black. We've got more details over at B&H InDepth.

Fujifilm X Pro 1 2.0 Firmware Out for Download

Fujifilm announced their latest firmware update for the X Pro 1 in version 2.0. Photography Bay has the details, but if you're an X Pro 1 owner, you may want to check it out. You get faster autofocusing and better manual focus abilities. Remember that you'll need to update both the camera and the lens.

Think Tank Photo's New Airport Navigator and City Walker Camera Bags

Think released a brand new line of camera bags called the City Walker, designed for, well, city walkers. But they also announced their new Airport Navigator.

The Airport Navigator is a rolling camera bag with access to what's inside via the front and top of the bag. It can hold quite a bit of gear, and has a strap to latch onto another camera bag, if needed.

The City Walker camera bags come in a 10, 20, and 30 version, increasing in size accordingly. The company states that the bags are made out of a soft material, that they can hold a DLSR and lenses, and that they have enough room for a laptop too. Photography Bay has more on the new bags.

The Lensbaby Spark is One of the Most Affordable Optics

Engadget got to try out Lensbaby's new Spark lens. The unit is a 50mm fixed f5.6 unit that can tilt and shift to achieve the very popular effect that so many people love. The effect may be most apparent on full-frame bodies, as f5.6 is already quite slow. The Spark has the low price of around $80.

Fujifilm's New Instax Mini 8 Cameras are so Colorful

Lastly, Fujifilm announced their new Instax Mini 8 cameras. As an update to their popular mini 7s cameras, the 8 features a smaller form factor, a new shooting mode, and lots of awesome colors. The cameras still shoot the same business-card-sized film as previous models.

1001 Noisy Cameras has more on the fun new shooter.

And that's your news for September 21st, 2012. Be sure to follow all the consumer electronic news you care about, on B&H Pulse.