Archive | January, 2016

Pentax full-frame with AstroTracer built in

28 Jan

Ricoh just updated its full-frame camera information. Of particular interest is the phrase, “using the camera’s ASTROTRACER function” under one of the new images (from the D-FA 24-70mm lens). I understand this to mean that the camera itself will provide the AstroTracer, so that no O-GPS1 accessory is needed. Note, however, that one reviewer of the K-3 II has commented that the inbuilt AstroTracer function in that camera was not as reliable as using the O-GPS1 on the K-3. Hopefully, Ricoh will have made improvements in this area.

Hasselblad Masters to wait eight months for their prizes

16 Jan

Hasselblad has announced the winners of its Hasselblad Masters 2016 competition, but they’ll have to wait until photokina in September to receive their prizes – a new Hasselblad medium format camera each. Perhaps this means that Hasselblad will announce a new camera at the trade show, which might be worth the wait – after all, we were promised that the time of whimsical management decisions at Hasselblad (Lunar, Stellar, HV) were over.

Timelapse/hyperlapse craze reaches saturation

11 Jan

I just watched Exhale, which was billed as some kind of revelatory experience. Within seconds of the video starting, my mind had drifted off to doing other things without me consciously realising it. I then watched it a second time just to understand how I had become so disconnected. The answer I came to is that the novelty of timelapse footage has faded. Crazy moving clouds, dangling flowerheads, changes from day to night and back – we’ve all seen it before, and in a variety of different landscapes, too, set to the same formulaic music as last time. It’s become hard to keep up the excitement.

Hyperlapse, meanwhile, to me is the pinnacle of making things banal. An entire weeklong trip can now be videographically condensed into just a few short minutes, with zooming replacing the experience of actually travelling from one place to another.

I, for one, am glad to be putting this need to “be amazed” at every new timelapse video that comes out, behind me, and getting on with more important, real stuff.

Yours,

Codger

Nikon D500 finally announced

5 Jan

After hopes and rumours, Nikon finally lifted the covers on the D500, successor to the D300S. Resolution will be 20.9 megapixels, buffer depth 200 RAW images – that’s 20 seconds’ worth at the 10fps maximum burst rate. Ruggedness is said to be comparable to the D810.

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Presumed to be Nikon promotional image.

This may be the model that firmly establishes XQD memory cards as beyond niche, although an SD card slot is also provided. So rather than dual anything slots, the camera has one for XQD and one for SD, with no word yet on whether they can be jointly configured so that the SD card gets the JPEGs and the XQD the RAWs, say.

153 autofocus points and 4k video round off the primary feature list. In terms of operability, Nikon offers a tilting screen, built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and continuous Bluetooth tethering with a smart phone.

I would speculate that the sensor is an in-house development and manufactured by Renesas, as is the usual case when Nikon doesn’t want to walk the mainstream road of stock sensors from a third party like Sony or Toshiba. There is also discussion that the Bluetooth feature was pilfered from Samsung, whom we’re expecting, as per rumours, to shortly give a clearer idea of the business relationship they may have entered with Nikon.

With a price tag of US$2000 at launch, it might be a while before the Pentax K-3 stops being nicknamed the “Nikon D400”. Or before you’ll stop trawling eBay for a used D800 with its similar and competitive crop mode, or new D750 with ambitions to similarly be an action compatible camera (but needing bigger lenses).

As a personal comment, the large buffer really makes me feel that someone out there is listening, and fulfils my prediction from 16 months ago. Combined with the very fast write performance suggested by the inclusion of an XQD card slot, the buffer performance alone may justify the launch price, particularly for sports and wildlife shooters.