B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of 21 May 2023

B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of 21 May 2023

Sony ZV-1 II, Canon R100, FUJIFILM X-S20, Leica Q3, Pentax 50mm

Week of May 21, 2023

We couldn't go into Memorial Day weekend without another round of product announcements and we sure had some this week. Sony is giving one of the most popular vlogging cameras around some well-earned upgrades with the release of the ZV-1 II. FUJIFILM and Canon are upgrading their entry-level mirrorless offerings with the X-S20 and R100, respectively. Leica is even following up the M11 Monochrom with another new camera: the Q3. There are even a few not quite so grand things worth mentioning. 

Sony updates its original vlogging camera, releasing the ZV-1 II

In the recent wave of vlogging-specific releases, Sony took an early position with the ZV-1 and has only expanded the ZV Series into a whole line of capable cameras. There's something for everyone here, with the ZV-1F, ZV-1, ZV-E10, and ZV-E1—although we think Sony should rethink the nomenclature to make it easier to keep track of the individual models. Today, the original release is getting a well-deserved upgrade: the ZV-1 II.

Much of the ZV-1 has remained the same, but the new model does offer a few key tweaks, the most important of which is the new 18-50mm equivalent f/1.8-4 lens. This slightly wider range should make it easier to squeeze more people in frame, or just get yourself nicely positioned in your environment. The 1" sensor itself has the same general specs: 20.1MP, with similar low-light performance although this is still a great sensor.

Sony ZV-1 II Digital Camera
Sony ZV-1 II Digital Camera

Video is also similar, with a top spec of 4K at 30p, so we want to consider the features that have improved. This camera offers the Cinematic Vlog setting from the ZV-E1, which adds black bars for the ultra-widescreen look. The bokeh mode is still there, as well as product showcase setting.

There's a lot going on with the little ZV-1 II, so be sure to check it out.

Canon reveals a true entry-level RF-mount camera: the EOS R100

The EOS R system has grown exponentially in the past couple of years, with many new models joining the line. What the brand has been missing is a true entry-level option for new photographers. It's not missing anymore. The EOS R100 is the smallest and lightest RF-mount camera yet, and that comes along with a very attractive price point for those looking to pick up their first mirrorless camera.

Here are the basics for the $479 camera:

  • 24.1MP APS-C Sensor

  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Eye Tracking

  • DIGIC 8 Processor

  • 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF

  • Cropped 4K Video Recording

A few features have been eliminated to get the size and weight down―namely an articulating display and in-body stabilization. But the camera is going to deliver better image quality than your smartphone.

Canon EOS R100 Mirrorless Camera
Canon EOS R100 Mirrorless Camera

Also announced today is a new RF 28mm f/2.8 STM Lens. It's an ultra-tiny pancake-style lens, which should fit well on these smaller mirrorless bodies. There isn't any surprise with this lens; it's simply a solid wide-angle lens that'll do well in everyday use, travel, and street photography.

FUJIFILM’s X-S20 is a brilliant step-up for aspiring content creators

Sitting in the middle of the pack, the X-S line has brought outstanding features from FUJIFILM's bigger cameras to more everyday shooters. The X-S20 continues that tradition with a frankly impressive feature set in a smaller, more affordable body.

It looks like a classic FUJIFILM camera, although it adds the X-Processor 5 and a 26MP APS-C X-Trans (a first for this series) sensor that is highly capable. It even has a new "Vlog Mode" that simplifies settings and controls so that anyone can get rolling in no time at all. It's a well-designed camera with in-body image stabilization, better AF, and more.

FUJIFILM X-S20 Mirrorless Camera
FUJIFILM X-S20 Mirrorless Camera

There was also a new lens to discuss: the XF 8mm f/3.5 R WR Lens. A 12mm equivalent, this ultra-wide adds a nice premium option to FUJIFILM's very robust lens lineup. Landscape and architectural photographers will be pleased with this lens.

Leica’s full-frame compact gets a serious overhaul with the Q3

While it looks very similar to its predecessors, the Leica Q3 is a huge upgrade. Nearly every piece of the camera has received an upgrade and it is now the best premium compact camera on the market, by far.

If you haven't seen it before, the Q3 is a full-frame point-and-shoot with a fixed 28mm f/1.7 lens. Those are true Leica optics and Leica designs. We are talking about a compact camera with few compromises to performance. One of the upgrades is the sensor—now a 60MP full-frame option with the same Triple Resolution Technology found in the M11.

The sensor also comes with a hybrid phase- and contrast-detect AF system that should improve speed and responsiveness. The body itself looks similar but the EVF has been given a bump in resolution, to 5.76MP, and the screen is now articulating.

Leica Q3 Digital Camera
Leica Q3 Digital Camera

Video is shockingly good. It'll do 8K video. There's L-Log and a micro-HDMI output―not that I would consider this a video camera, but it is nice to see that there are some seriously good specs if you want to use it for video.

Last for this quick update is the new connectivity. It'll charge over USB-C and has faster connectivity to smartphones.

There are numerous accessories for the new camera although the most interesting is the wireless charging handgrip. This will add some grip to the camera and allow you to charge via a Qi charging pad. Super cool.

In other news...

Enjoy the long weekend!