Thursday, 21 April 2016

News and Rumour Thursday: Fuji, Leica, Sony, Zeiss, Blackmagic, Lexar, Pelican and Phottix

In this week's summary:
  • Fuji: Images of the X-T2 leaked
  • Leica: New major firmware update to the SL
  • Sony: Earthquakes affect sensor production, and possible issues with the Sony 85mm G-Master
  • Blackmagic Design: Blackmagic have announced a new public beta of DaVinci Resolve 12.5
  • Lexar: Easy way to access MicroSD cards on your iPhone
  • Pelican: A new, lighter, range of cases
  • Phottix: A new mount for using Elinchrom and Bowen's light shaping tools with speedlights

The TIPA Awards: Everyone wins a prize
I recall correctly, last year many photography sites were making fun of the TIPA awards - by having each of an Entry Level, Advanced, Expert and Professional award for various cameras, they may as well start giving out awards for participation. Was there a mirrorless camera released last year that didn't get an award? If you're thinking the Leica SL, don't worry, they snuck that in as the Best Premium Camera.

For some reason though, most brand focused sites are instead reporting just on what their preferred brand won.


Images of the Fuji X-T2 have been leaked - showing a new articulating screen, a focus setting joystick, and possibly dual SD cards. If I were a Fuji user, the joystick and dual SD cards would have me excited.

FujiRumors: Fujifilm X-T2 Real Life Images Leaked ! – Joystick + New Articulating Screen + more!


Lecia have announced a major new firmware for the SL. As well as improving its auto-focus, it also brings the top shutter up to an impressive 1/16,000s. It's great to see a company improve their already released cameras via firmware, and more manufacturers should follow suit. Now Leica just need to do something about their appalling after sales service.


Some of the Sony sensor factories in Japan have been hit by earthquakes, and at least one is still nonoperational. This could also potentially impact on other consumers of Sony sensors including Nikon, Fuji and Pentax.

In other news, there is a report about auto-focus issues with the new 85mm G-Master lens. Hopefully, if the issue is real, it is something Sony can address through firmware.


As expected, shortly after last week's summary, Zeiss have announced the 18mm f/2.8 Batis. Early reports are very positive, but come from Zeiss ambassadors so make of it what you will.

There's also a rather nice Zeiss FE lens field of view comparison from Christian Dandyk, showing both differences in field of view and lens sizes.

SonyAlphaRumors: The great Batis and Loxia field of view comparison from Christian Dandyk

And for all the videographers out there that can't afford Zeiss cine lenses, you can at least now use their still image lenses with focus gears.

SonyAlphaRumors: Zeiss announces Lens Gear Rings to turn camera lenses into movie lenses in a flash!

Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design have announced a new public beta of DaVinci Resolve 12.5. One of the premier colour grading video software applications out there, it's great that users of Sony s-log and Panasonic v-log video cameras can get the full potential out of their video files using free software.

If anyone out there is shooting video with their Sony s-log capable cameras, I'd highly recommend checking out DaVinci Resolve instead of using some limited control LUTs.

Blackmagic Design Releases Public Beta for DaVinci Resolve 12.5


Lexar are now offering a MicroSD reader with an Apple Lighting connector. Could be useful for getting images onto an Apple device, but not sure why they didn't also offer in SD card, and maybe even Compact Flash, variants.

DPReview: Lexar offers microSD dongle with an Apple Lightning connector


Pelican have released 6 new cases in their new Air series, designed to have same durability as their existing range but up to 40% lighter. I'm going to focus on just one though, the 1535 Air Case. It seems designed for international carry-on luggage, with its dimensions coming in just under the standard maximum sizes allowed by most airlines. (Cathay Pacific allows for 56 x 36 x 23 cm - the 1535 dimensions are 55.8 x 35.5 x 22.8 cm).

However, with the foam insets, it also weighs 4.5kg. To get the Pelican durability, that weight is no surprise, but means if your airline allows a maximum of 7kg (the standard) for your carry on luggage, you're only allowed to add in 2.5kg of gear before you're at risk of having to check in your luggage.

In fairness to Pelican though, bags from Think Tank, Lowepro etc tend to weight in at similar levels. Speaking for only myself, there is room in the market for someone to make a carry-on camera bag that substitutes some protection for weight.

DPReview: Pelican lightens up with Air cases


It's unclear if this has anything to do with their collaboration with Elinchrom, but Phottix have announced a new flash mount for using hotshoe flashes with Elinchrom and Bowens mount light shaping tools. (The below video is probably better without sound.)

Coming in at $92.50 USD, it isn't exactly cheap - but that includes both the Elinchrom and Bowen mounts.

This also isn't a new device in the market - with cheap Chinese versions available for some time - and Phottix themselves offering Bowens mount adapters. However, when I tried to buy a similar device for Elinchrom from ebay some years ago, it was not only plastic fantastic, but must have been made with such low tolerances I couldn't fit any of my official Elinchrom soft-boxes to it.

So, this could be a more reliable and higher quality solution to those who want the ability to use their existing Elinchrom light shaping tools with a hotshoe flash. I must confess, this has piqued my interest.

DPReview:Phottix launches Cerberus adapter for using hotshoe flashes in Bowens and Elinchrom studio head modifiers

That's all for this week, but in the meantime...

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