Thursday, 22 September 2016

N&R: Photokina with new cameras and lenses from Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, Sony, Tokina and Voigtlander.

This week is all about Photokina, so lets look at a recap of all the new cameras and lenses announced in the last few days;my word there's a lot of them.

Fuji enters the mirrorless medium format arena.


As already rumoured, Fuji are entering the medium format world with their GFX 50s medium format mirrorless camera. DPReview have released a short summary of the new camera, as well as their own hands on experience.

Fuji are claiming the sensor is a brand new one designed by Fujifilm. This raises some eyebrows, as it seems to have the same specs as the Sony produced sensor found in the Pentax 645Z and the main rival to the Fuji, the Hasselblad X1D. The sensor uses a bayer pattern, and not X-Trans. My guess is that Fuji have simply tweaked the Sony sensor and claimed it as their own.

Compared to the X1D, the camera has a more DSLR like appearance, especially when the optional EVF is attached (which is included with the camera at no cost). It will be released with 3 lenses, a 63mm f2.8 (equiv. 50mm f2.2), 120mm f4 macro (equiv. 95mm f3.2) and a wide angle 32-64mm f4 zoom (equiv. 25-50mm f3.2), with three more lenses to follow.

To me, this makes much more sense than the Hasselblad initial offering, with Fuji offering choices from 25mm to 95mm equivalent, but Hasselblad only offering 35mm and 70mm equivalent. Unfortunately, the Fuji lenses do not appear to have leaf shutters, so I'm unsure what the sync speed will be.

On the plus side, the kit (which includes the 63mm f2.8) is expected to sell for well under $10,000 USD which is more competitive than Hasselblad.


As with Fuji, everything from Olympus was already leaked well in advance.
The top and front look exactly the same as the E-M1  Mark I.
As expected, they pre-announced the E-M1 Mark II, and DPReview got some hands-on time with it.
New in the E-M1 II is a fully articulating rear LCD screen (the E-M1's screen was a simpler tilting design). Olympus tells us that this kind of articulation is more popular with videographers, which makes sense. 
The E-M1 II offers a very impressive 4K video specification, boasting up to 236mbps data throughput. From our brief use, the revamped image stabilization system provides uncannily stable video footage, too. 
Twin SD card slots allow for multiple configurations, including overflow (where one card simply acts as a spare) backup, and mixed-media recording. On shoots which involve both video and stills capture we suspect that a lot of photographers will record video to one card and stills to the other. The E-M1 II supports the latest UHS-II SD format. 
 If there is one word that sums up the E-M1 II it's 'speed'. The autofocus system has been completely redesigned, with 121 cross-type AF on-sensor phase detection points. One of the camera's two quad-core processors is dedicated to AF, which enables the E-M1 to shoot at up to 18fps at full-resolution, with continuous autofocus.
It sounds like a very impressive iteration on the original E-M1, but weighing in at 574g, it is approaching full frame Sonys in weight.

The E-PL8 was also announced, but seems really, and totally, boring.

Of more interest to most will be the new lenses, where DPReview provided galleries for the 25mm f1.2 and the 30mm f3.5 macro, and got hands on with the 12-100 f4 pro. All three are pretty interesting lenses in their own right (the macro offers 1.25 magnification), but the prospective prices of the pro lenses (1,200USD for the 25mm, and 1,300USD for the 12-100 f4) may put them out of reach of many.

Also announced was the FL-900R flash, which is interesting mostly because it is is weather sealed.

I can't wait to try this monstrosity on a Panasonic GM5.
Elinchrom have also announced they will release a Skyport Plus HS for Olympus, which I would expect to work with Panasonic and Leica bodies as well. But please confirm that before you buy!


Just as Olympus pre-announced the E-M1 Mark II, Panasonic have pre-announced the GH5. There's not much announced that wasn't already leaked, but they did have one on display.

Also announced was the Panasonic G80/G85, which appears to be the successor to the G7. DPReview got their hands on one, and released a first impressions review.

The rear screen is the same 1040k-dot unit touch LCD that is used in the G7, and it features the same vari-angle hinge too. The viewfinder is also the same 2360k OLED but Panasonic has increased the magnification from 0.7x to 0.74x to make the view feel a bit bigger – which it does. 
The Lumix DMC-G85 uses a 16MP Live MOS sensor that operates without a low-pass filter in the same way that the GX85 does. Panasonic has included the new Dual IS 2 5-axis in-body image stabilization system in this camera and claims it compensates for 5-stops. The system in the GX85 only claims 4-stops.

Although I personally prefer the range finder styling of the GX80, the G80 offers a much better viewfinder and weather sealing. Although disappointing to see no headphone jack and no V-Log, it is a very compelling hybrid camera.

Also announced was the LX10 compact camera, but it seems to be a bit underwhelming.

PocketWizard is also introducing a Flex TT5 for Panasonic, but be aware it will only work with the GH4 and two specific flash units at launch. No word if it will ever work with Olympus bodies.


The lens many have waited for, the Sigma 85mm f1.4 ART, is finally here. Along for the ride is a 12-24mm f4 ART and a 500mm f4 monster sports lens. DPReview got their hands on them, but don't have much to report on yet.

The 85mm is a very substantial lens, featuring 14 elements in 12 groups. No word has been given on weight, yet, but at 126mm long and with a diameter of 95mm, it makes quite an impression. The lens will initially be available for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, with the Nikon version including electronic aperture control.
Those hoping for a cheaper alternative to the Nikon f1.4 might be in for a shock.


I wrote before about the difference of opinion between Sony Alpha Rumors and Photo Rumors, and Sony Alpha Rumors has been proven right; the Sony A99 Mark II has been announced!

It has obviously acquired a lot of tech from the Sony A7RII, including the 42mp sensor and 5-axis IBIS. Interestingly, it still has the mirror and dedicated PDAF sensor with 79 AF points (15 cross type), but also makes use of the 399 on-sensor PDAF points.

Where the a99II differs to the a7RII is the ability to shoot up to 12fps, with a buffer able to hold 54 raws! Also mentioned is the ability to shoot 4k video with no pixel binning, but I am unclear is this is available in FF mode or only Super35 mode as per A7RII.

As for the whole sordid Photo Rumors vs Sony Alpha Rumors affair, I think that may warrant its own blog post. But, in the meantime, Sony alpha mount users rejoice!

And, to match news from Panasonic and Olympus about new flash triggers, Profoto and Sony have announced a collaboration to produce Sony compatible Air remote. Profoto, please get Sony to send the AF signal to the flash when using PDAF with their PDAF mirrorless cameras!


In more good news for Sony users, Tokina have released a teaser for 3 new autofocus Sony FE lenses.

  • Super Wide FE autofocus lens (release 2017)
  • Fast wide FE autofocus lens (release 2017)
  • Zoom FE autofocus lens (release 2018)


The Sony lenses keep coming, with Voigtlander announcing a new 65mm f2 macro lens for FE mount.


Metz have unveiled their previously teased flash, but I fail to see what this offers over the widely available Nissin i40.


On the far end of the spectrum, Profoto have released a new monolight which has an incredibly short output duration.
The Profoto D2 studio flash heads have a shortest output duration of 1/63,000sec, can run at a rate of 20 bursts per second and can sync with camera shutter speeds as short as 1/8000sec.

No comments:

Post a Comment