Thursday, 3 March 2016

News and Rumour Thursday: Micro43s, MagMod, Nissin, Phottix and Tamrac

In this weeks summary (it's a quiet week):
  • Micro 43s: Panasonic GH5 rumours.
  • MagMod: A new kickstarter campaign for a Fresnel lens flash extender.
  • Nissin: More on the i60 flash.
  • Phottix: Teasing the Sony Odin II.
  • Tamrac: Suddenly have their existing Goblin lens pouches out in the news.

Micro 43s

Rumor has it that the GH4 successor will offer 6K video. Personally, I would rather see them stick with 4K and develop a 12mp sensor with more dynamic range and better high-ISO sensitivity. Imagine a sensor with the DR and ISO capabilities of the Sony A7R2 with the perfect resolution for video. Oh, and on sensor PDAF and IBIS please.


MagMod have released a new kick-starter campaign for a new Fresnel lens based flash extender, called the MagBeam.

I've never been convinced by MagMod. I love the idea of them, and took part in their original kick-starter campaign. However, in use, they put a huge silicon head round the flash head which means they no longer fit into their existing bags and aren't as portable. In practice, I've found I'm much more likely to use the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid, as it can easily be thrown into a bag's side pocket, and reasonably quickly set up if required.

However, I do like the way the team at MadMod thinks. There is no doubt this new flash extender will be of interest to people shooting wildlife with flashes. The main thing that interests me in their new campaign are the MagMasks, but the results on their website just don't seem compelling.

The one I would most be after would just be the vertical stripes, but the results looks a little muddy with light spill, not the crisp shadows I'd want. The results from the rest (not pictured here) just look a bit gimmicky to be honest.


DP Review spent some more time looking at the new i60 flash from Nissin. One of the more interesting thing about it is that it is smaller and lighter than their Di700A, yet offers a higher guide number. It is also considerably larger than the i40 though.

DP Review also talked to Nissin about the fact Sony mirrorless cameras don't send a signal to activate the auto-focus assist lamps on their flashes. I assume this is because most flashes use an AF assist beam designed for PDAF sensors on DSLRs only. The question I have is why the A7R2 (and A6300 etc) can't make use of this? Can't on sensor PDAF make use of the AF assist beams designed for DSLR PDAF?


Phottix released a teaser. gee, I wonder what it could be. The clue might be in the image title, Odin-II-for-Sony. Hardly a teaser since they already announced this exact thing is coming.

I was really hoping that the Odin II might have one advantage over the Nissin Air 1 - that it wouldn't block the pop-up viewfinder of the Sony RX1R II. However, it looks likely this won't be the case. In fact, the Odin I has an advantage here as it needs the Sony MIS to Minolta adapter which puts it above the viewfinder.

Really wish I can find a good trigger system which sits nicely on the RX1R II, allows flash to sync at 1/2000 second (leaf shutter) and doesn't block the pop-up viewfinder. So far, Elinchrom Skyports in speed mode seem to offer best solution, except their standalone receivers are way overpriced (but built into Quadras, BRXis etc).


A while ago I noticed some Tamrac lens pouches on B&H Video that seemed suitable size and style for some of my mirrorless lenses. Having been using some of my Panasonic pouches (that came with the lenses) with my Sony lenses, these had instant appeal and I ordered some (and are happy with them).

What is interesting is now they seem to be mentioned in a few places. FStoppers suddenly reviewed them, which is almost not worth mentioning since they seem to review a new bag every other day.

What is a little more interesting is that DP Review picked it up, with seemingly a product shot supplied by Tamrac. So, if you have anew, or slightly new, bag product, send a free sample to FStoppers to review and a press release to DP Review and you should get some instant exposure.

As for my thoughts on the Goblin pouches: they're nice, but expensive for what they are, pouches.

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