Thursday, 28 July 2016

News & Rumours: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Samyang, Venus Optics, Adobe & Huawei

In this week's summary:
  • The Canon 1DX Mk II gets reviewed by DPReview;
  • Nikon announces a new, fast, prime;
  • Olympus some leaked specs for the E-M1 MkII and a new PRO lens;
  • Samyang re-announces an already announced lens;
  • Venus Optics launch a Kickstarter for their latest, ultrawide prime;
  • Adobe releases Lightroom for Apple TV; and
  • The Huawei P9 gets reviewed by DPReview.
The new portrait king?


DPReview have awarded the Canon 1DX Mk II with their Gold Award and a score of 89% - a direct match with the Nikon D5 (thought their scores differed in different categories).
The EOS 1D X Mark II is a worthy successor to Canon's 1D series of professional cameras. It gains an improved AF system with greater coverage, significantly improved dynamic range, and a virtually limitless Raw buffer when shooting with CFast cards. Additionally, the camera now includes top notch 4K video with beautiful color straight out of the camera. When combined with Canon's class leading dual-pixel AF system for video, it's easy to get great video without being an expert. This is a camera that sports, action, and event photographers will love.
Compared to the D5, they felt the AF wasn't as advanced, and it didn't fare as well in high-ISO environment. However, the sensor offers more dynamic range, and the video offering is much more rounded than the D5.


Nikon surprised many with their announcement of a 105mm f1.4 lens. The MTF charts and specs look very promising, and their sample gallery is, unsurprisingly, full of portraits.

It's a big and expensive lens, weighing in at nearly 1kg (985g) and costing $2,200USD. A little surprising is that the lens offers no VR, whereas their existing 105mm f2.8 Macro does.

Also rumoured to be coming from Nikon soon are a 70-300mm f4.5-6.3 zoom which, taking a page from Canon's playbook, will be offered with and without VR. In addition, architectural photographers might be excited by the rumoured 19mm tilt-shift lens.


43 Rumors has revealed the following features of the new Olympus E-M1 MkII from trusted sources:
  • 20MP sensor (made by Sony)
  • 4K video (first Olympus camera with 4K)
  • Dual SD card slot
  • Handheld High Resolution mode
  • Much improved autofocus performance
  • new high-resolution EVF
  • Announcement at Photokina in September
  • It has no global shutter. But Olympus worked hard to reduce rolling shutter to a negligible level
I think the interesting bits here are the 4K video (but it remains to be seen if the codec and available colour gamuts are up to scratch) and the dual SD card slots. I think it's great news that all the major mirrorless manufacturers are starting to offer their flagship cameras with dual-SD card slots. It's an obvious way for a working professional to mitigate risks of losing images.

The notes also include a new high-resolution EVF, but doesn't say if higher resolution than Mk I. This would be interesting if higher resolution, as so far, only Leica is offering higher than the standard 2.4mp EVFs used by Sony, Fuji and Olympus.

Also reported to be coming soon from Olympus is a 12-100mm f/4 PRO lens. If the lens performs well wide-open, and isn't too large, it could be an ideal 'do everything' lens for the m43 format.


Samyang have entered the second week of their 5 week block buster by re-announcing their Sony FE Mount 50mm f1.4 lens.

What a rip.

Venus Optics

Venus Optics continue to announce and release intriguing and peculiar lenses. Their latest is a 12mm rectilinear lens with a claim of close to zero distortion. Fittingly called the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D, it will be released on Kickstarter in Canon, Nikon, Sony (A + FE) and Pentax mounts. The full retail price is expected to retail for 950USD, but those supporting it via the Kickstarter will be able to pick it up for ~$650.

Available only for Sony FE users is the Magic Shift adapter for $300USD, that 'allows +/-10mm of shift while converting the lens to a 17mm focal length.'

Image samples from the lens are available on Nicky Bay's blog. The Kickstarter campaign will launch on July 30 19:00 EST (US).


Adobe have announced Lightroom for Apple TV, but before you get too excited, not only does it require a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription to use, it is for viewing images only - no editing. You think they could at least add the ability to rate/do selects as an obvious feature.

Huawei P9

DPreview have finished their full review of the Huawei P9 dual-camera mobile. As they alluded to before:
Don't expect Leica M-like image quality from the P9's dual-camera module but as far as smartphone cameras go, the Huawei's performance is close to the best in class... The Huawei P9's Leica-badged dual-camera is not a quantum leap for smartphone imaging but produces decent image quality across the ISO range that can be improved further in Raw processing.

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