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Olympus planning flagship E-M camera for 2019

2 Oct

Several sources, including some from Photokina, are reporting that Olympus is planning to release a flagship camera possibly in early 2019. They will also be celebrating their 100th anniversary later in the year with something special.

A different rumour suggests that Olympus were invited to join the L mount alliance, but declined. Figures quoted in this context point out that Olympus, Panasonic, Ricoh and Fujifilm summed together have about 15% market share, which could lead one to wonder whether Ricoh or Fujifilm might have been approached.

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Should you wait for the Panasonic full frame? (UPDATED!)

14 Sep

This is a comparison of the recent Nikon and Canon mirrorless full frame releases to the rumoured Panasonic full frame specs. If anyone’s feeling the cash a little loose in their pocket but mindful of missing out on a potentially superior camera being released in the near future, I hope this can help you some. In the cheat-sheet below, I’ve dubbed the Panasonic full frame camera the Panasonic FF – this will likely not be its actual name. Information comes from several sources, including 43rumors.com, thenewcamera.com and Cameraegg.

Updated graphic (resolution is now given as “more than 42 megapixels” by sources and lens as L-mount, which allows available lenses to be calculated (has been added); Sony cameras have been added for additional comparison):

ff_mirrorless_compared004

Old version:

ff_mirrorless_compared002

Long-awaited Pentax lens a Tokina clone?

28 Feb

There is currently an ongoing discussion among Pentaxians as to whether these upcoming 50mm f/1.4 prime lenses are really one and the same on the inside – the Tokina:

tokina_opera_50_mm_f1_4_ff

And the Pentax:

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.53.31

The Tokina will ship in summer 2018, while the Pentax, originally announced for September 2017, was pushed back to September 2018, so their release dates will also be close.

For context and comparison, here are the recent Sigma and Zeiss lenses with the same specs:

sigma_311101_50mm_f_1_4_dg_hsm_1045458

image2-rectangle_900_x

What do you think? Let the rest of us know in the comments!

Nikon is launching a full frame mirrorless

14 Jul

Nikon confirmed they are working on a mirrorless camera. While sometimes news have been blown out of proportion in the photo industry in the past, it seems likely in this case that they really mean they’re working on a new camera system. Nikon is not a company to throw up clickbait.

So how do I know the camera they’re working on is full frame? They said the camera would be Nikon-rashii, or Nikonish. Nikon has never made a medium format camera, so we can safely exclude that. Nikon is now best remembered for the F series, which dominated journalism for a decade or two.

But this is not about reliving the past. This is about competing in the current market. How many mirrorless systems are competing for the APS-C space? Mainly three – Fujifilm, Sony, and old rival Canon. How many are competing for full frame? Really only one – Sony. Nikon knows that there are things it can do better than Sony, ways to compete with Sony. When push comes to shove, maybe Sony won’t give them the sensors they want – maybe they’ll have to turn to Toshiba or Renesas. But for a company with Nikon’s heritage and customer relations, it would be way better to start in the full frame category and gain a following among professional photographers before Sony can fully convince them, than to try to mud-sling it out with Canon in the well-scoured APS-C swamp.

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.

Rumour: Pentax to level with Olympus on super-resolution

8 Feb

A rumour was published on digicame saying that Ricoh/Pentax would shortly announce that all cameras coming out later in 2015 and beyond will have a sensor-stabilisation based super-resolution mode. This led others to repeat the previously rumoured 144MP figure that could theoretically be obtained from a 36MP Bayer sensor (as may be used in an upcoming Pentax full frame camera) using such technology. The rumour also states that Pentax/Ricoh’s approach is different from Olympus’.

It currently seems the main drawback of Olympus’ technology is that the required series of images takes considerable time to be recorded.

Pentax announces full frame – get all the details

4 Feb

It’s here!

pentax_ff_prototype

Product prototype. Final product design will differ.

Prototype will be shown at CP+ in a few days’ time.

Official release to the buying public will be late 2015 (“autumn” even, according to one source). Scroll down for an update.

The unnamed camera is rumoured to have in-body image stabilisation (IBIS/sensor stabilisation) as the two telezoom lenses announced with it do not come with their own image stabilisation. It’s also almost guaranteed to be weather-sealed.

The camera will also have a crop mode and accommodate DA lenses – it’s still a K-mount camera, after all!

The rendering/photo sent out with the press release suggests a compact body with about the same dimensions as a Pentax K-3, but 20-25% taller, with a large optical viewfinder, larger than competing cameras, so likely a 100% coverage pentaprism with high magnification. The goal may have been to compete with high magnification electronic viewfinders as seen in the Fujfilm X-T1 and Olympus OM-D E-M1.

Size comparison with a Pentax K-5 II

Size comparison with a Pentax K-5 II

One pundit is still hoping that it will have a mirror with adjustable translucency and an EVF/OVF switch as this has been in two recent Ricoh patents. The latter would explain the large prism housing, but it’s equally likely that it’s just a large optical viewfinder.

Rumours say the new Pentax camera will NOT have a Sony 24MP sensor (so probably higher resolution), and it will be “very good in price”.

It’s rumoured that three to four lenses for full frame will be released in 2015 (so perhaps one or two other than the aforementioned), then another “six or eight” in 2016. At least one of them in 2015 should be the kit lens, presumably a 24-70mm zoom or thereabouts.

Update 2015-Feb-06: Launch price is rumoured to be €2000. According to the same source, further details of specs will not arrive until April/May, and general availability is planned for October.

Update 2015-Feb-10: Using components of known size for comparison, I calculated that the size of the new camera would be 131mm x 112mm, which is exactly the width of the K-3. I believe Ricoh set it as a challenge for engineering that the new camera should be the same width as the K-3. Given the price point and crop mode, Ricoh is clearly laying a temptation for customers to pick the FF model regardless of what lenses they own at the time or intend to purchase in the foreseeable future. Ricoh may have just turned the upgrade path on its head.