B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of April 14, 2024

B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of April 14, 2024

NAB has wrapped and it was a big year with dozens of exciting news products to talk about. Tons of lenses, a few new cameras, too many lights to count, some audio gear, and tons of accessories to make filmmaking easier. Besides that, we had Sony and Insta360 with mid-week releases that deserve their own call outs. Sony is already expanding their compact f/2.8 G zoom series with the FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens while Insta360 is going 8K with their next-gen X4 360 Camera.

Before we get into the NAB highlights we are going to look at the other new products that dropped this week.

Sony quickly expands compact G zoom series with 16-25mm f/2.8 lens

Even though Sony only just announced the 24-50mm f/2.8 G—a compact, fast zoom—they are already giving it a partner with the release of the similarly sized and spec’d FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens.

This series is shaping up to be a useful option for many photographers who for other reasons may not be able to work with the alternative G Master or slower f/4 zoom lenses. Compared to the GM lenses, these f/2.8 G zooms give up some zoom range but are much more affordable and much smaller. Compared to the f/4 lenses, the new zooms are a stop faster which will be of greater importance than longer zoom ranges.

Sony has packed in all their current lens tech, including fast AF, a focus hold button, aperture ring with de-click switch, and a dust- and moisture-resistant construction. The optics themselves are also of high quality with excellent sharpness throughout the zoom range. A conservative zoom range does make it easier to keep the lens sharp, small, and relatively affordable.

For videographers, the FE 16-25mm has a very small extension when zoomed, which should minimize the amount the center of gravity of your rig shifts.

This is a nice addition to an already comprehensive set of lenses. Maybe next time we will see the telephoto version to complete this new compact f/2.8 trio?

Insta360 X4 adds 8K, AI, and gesture control to the 360 camera

While 8K might not be necessary for most video recording applications, in the 360 world that extra resolution can make a huge difference. That is why it is exciting to see this upgrade on the Insta360 X4. It also brings a brand-new AI chip to the series, faster frame rates for practically every resolution and a more premium build.

Compared to the X3, the X4 goes up from 5.7K to a full 8K at 30 fps. The 5.7K is still very valuable as it can now hit 60 fps. Slow motion is now a much more capable option with the X4 with 4K up to 120 fps along with a 5K Bullet Time feature that will reach an impressive 120 fps.

That AI chip is interesting and among the main ways that Insta360 was able to provide performance boosts across the board. The 140% increase in power enabled 8K encoding and it creates this high-quality image by sampling from an 11K image. You can use the full 11K in the upgraded time-lapse mode and bitrates of up to 200 Mb/s ensure you are able to see all this detail in your final video.

As for design, the compact camera is durable with waterproofing to 33’ and a rugged construction. It also benefits from a larger 2.5” touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass and a larger battery pack. The lens guards are now removable as well with a Premium glass option available as an accessory.

Beyond all these core upgrades, the X4 brings new gesture control options, a cancel recording shortcut to delete any accidental captures, and a timed capture setting to schedule your shots. Motorcyclists even get some of their own new functions with native support for cyclist’s Bluetooth headsets and an Auto Dash Mode.

It’s a fun update for a very fun camera series.

NAB, NAB, and more NAB

B&H has their own in-person NAB experience at our massive booth. It is loaded up with tons of products—new and old—so that anyone can come and go hands-on with fun and exciting gear. Even if you couldn’t make it, we put together a nice little video showcasing everything we had to show off.

If you want the full picture of the show you need to stop by our NAB Show Page where everything is hosted. You’ll even be able to check out some of the best specials and promotions we are running during the show—this is your last chance to get many of these deals.

To give a taste of what is available on the page, here are some of our personal favorite bits of news:

  • Transform the best screen you already have—the one on your iPhone 15 Pro—into a fully-featured on-camera monitor with the Atomos Ninja Phone.

  • Did you know FREEFLY makes cameras? Well the actually have a new one called the Ember S2.5K which can record ultra-slow-motion video at 2.5K up to 2277 fps and even faster at lower resolutions.

  • Create a gigantic lighting system with Aputure INIFINIMAT LED Lights which offer configurations up to 20 x 20’.

  • And for the audio front we have the brilliant-looking Sennheiser MKH 8030 Figure-8 Condenser Microphone.

Deserving of their own little callout is Blackmagic Design. In a stream the Friday before the show began they announced dozens of new products, including three new cinema cameras. We had to have our entire team stop by the booth at NAB to get a close-up look at all these exciting releases.

In other news…

Even though video and film news dominates the week thanks to NAB there was one more launch:

Don’t forget that B&H is closed for Passover from Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 30, 2024—that means this coming Sunday is the last chance you’ll have to shop at the B&H SuperStore. We will be back on May 1!