Thursday, 28 April 2016

News and Rumour Thursday: Leica, Micro43s, Nikon, Sony and ON1

In this week's summary:

  • Leica: Leaked images of the Leica M-D Typ 262
  • Micro43s: Rumours about the new Olympus EM-1 and the Panasonic Leica 12mm lens.
  • Nikon: Autofocus auto-tune on D500 and D5, delays in DL, and yet another shutter issue with the D750
  • Sony: New firmware, hacked firmware, and a potential AF bug
  • ON1: Have announced a new RAW converter they claim will offer unrivalled performance


Images of the new Leica M-D Typ 262 have been leaked on Leica Rumors. This will be the first production digital Leica without an LCD (The M Edition 60 was a special edition with only 600 bodies released).

If I were a Leica user, I'd still be annoyed I can't just buy a camera with a screen (which I could leave off) and an ISO dial. With Nikon DSLRs (and I assume Canon, Pentax, etc), you can set the aperture, shutter speed and ISO without ever having the screen turn on. It would seem something Leica should offer with all their M models.


43Rumors is reporting some second-hand information on the Olympus E-M1 Mark II. Although just second-hand information, they say it matches info provided from other sources.

The key points are:
  • to be launched at Photokina and on sale in October 2016
  • improved performance for sports photography
  • improved video (possibly 4k)
You can can read the rest at 43Rumors.

In addition, 43Rumors are reporting the Panasonic-Leica 12mm prime lens will ship in the second half of the year. No word yet on when it will be announced.


There's a mixture of good and bad news for Nikon. On the good front, DPReview are impressed with both the D500's sensor performance and it's ability to automatically fine-tune auto-focus (an ability shared with the D5).

On the bad front, it appears the earthquakes in Japan that have shut down Sony sensor factories, have also impacted on the release of the Nikon DL line of cameras. Originally scheduled for a June release, they have yet to disclose the expected shipping date.

Perhaps even worse, is yet more reports of shutter issues with the Nikon D750.


Sony Firmware Hack

The big news about Sony this week is that a user named ma1co has managed to hack the firmware settings via the Sony application interface. So far, the application will remove the 30 minute recording limit and unlock the language menu. You can read about different cameras supporting this hack here.

Given my own analysis of what Sony could do to improve the A7RII through firmware, this could be a very exciting time. My personal hope is the next thing he unlocks is all the different frame rates for video so you no longer have to get those annoying NTSC pop-ups.

You can learn more about the hack and download it here. Thanks ma1co!

In other Sony firmware news, Sony have released a new firmware for A7RII and A7SII that enables XAVC S recording to SDHC cards. Let's hope they don't also release an updated firmware that disables ma1co's work.

Sony Focusing Bug

Digilloyd reports a major focusing bug with the new Sony GM 85mm and GM24-70 f/2.8 lenses: that they do not open up the lens diaphragm while focusing.

However, over in the comments at SonyAlphaRumors, users pointed out this is likely by design. In Kasson's blog, he pointed out that focus shift when closing down aperture might be a lot more than people expect. Talking about the 85mm Batis:
"The total focus shift from f/1.8 to f/8 is about 110 mm, or a bit over four inches in 10 feet. Focusing wide open is definitely not the plan here."
Which is interesting, as digilloyd was pointing out the Batis as a lens that does focus properly (by fully opening aperture while focusing).

Another commentator, David Kilpatrick, believes that the focusing closed down might be to reduce shutter lag.

Sony Alpha Series

The final rumour about Sony is that the A99 will be discontinued later this year. What replaces it, if anything, will show how committed Sony is to their A-mount users.


ON1 have announced a new raw processor, with lots of their usual hyperbole.

Be interesting to see if they can back-up their claims:
“It will open 50-megapixel images in a fraction of a second on a standard PC or Mac,” they claim, “and perform edits in real-time, without slider lag or frustrating waits for redraw.

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