Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Can A Pro Go Mirrorless?
Like the transition from Speed Graphics to 35mm film and SLRs, today’s pros might consider making a full switch to a mirrorless system. Before you scoff at the notion, take a rational look at the advantages and disadvantages.
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
Fujifilm X-Pro1. The X-Pro1 added interchangeable-lens capability to the features of the popular X100 camera. The beautiful, rugged and functional design and unique hybrid viewfinder now can be used with focal lengths from 14mm through 200mm (equivalent to 21mm through 300mm on a 35mm camera).
The 16.3-megapixel APS-C Fujifilm X-Trans image sensor features a unique RGB filter array that differs from conventional Bayer arrays by using a more random arrangement that positions red, green and blue pixels in every horizontal and vertical row. This minimizes moiré and false colors, allowing Fujifilm to do away with the sharpness-robbing optical low-pass filter required by Bayer-array cameras.
The Hybrid Multi Viewfinder lets you easily switch the eye-level finder between optical and electronic, as desired. Optical mode minimizes shutter lag and provides brighter viewing, while electronic mode provides a live-view image. Both display lots of information, including a virtual horizon, distance data and a histogram. You can also use the crisp, 3.0-inch 1230K-dot external LCD monitor for composing images.
Aperture rings let you make settings in precise 1⁄3-step increments, while dials atop the camera provide direct setting of shutter speeds and exposure compensation, and resist inadvertent turning.
AF is contrast-based. There's no manual focus-peaking (the new X-M1 has it, but no eye-level viewfinder). Video capabilities include 1080 and 720 at 24p, with stereo sound. Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (body only).
Olympus OM-D E-M5
Building on the superquick FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) contrast-based AF system introduced in the PEN E-P3, the OM-D E-M5 doubles the speed (now 240 fps off the sensor), providing a shooting rate of 4.2 fps with 3D tracking AF that can follow a moving subject through X, Y and Z axes (and 9 fps with focus locked at the first frame). There's also five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization that works for still and video shooting with all lenses, and counters horizontal and vertical shift, plus roll, yaw and pitch motions.
A 1,440,000-dot electronic view-finder provides convenient eye-level operation, while a tilting 3.0-inch, 610,000-dot rear OLED monitor offers touch-screen AF and odd-angle shooting. A handy mode dial provides easy access to shooting modes, Art Filters, video and more.
The OM-D E-M5 can record 1920x1080 full HD and 1280x720 HD MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) video at 60i (59.94 fps), and 1280x720 HD and 640x480 SD AVI (Motion JPEG) video at 30 fps. You can shoot video in program, shutter-priority, aperture-priority or manual mode, and apply special effects. A built-in microphone provides stereo sound recording. Estimated Street Price: $999 (body only).
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