Monday, September 29, 2008
New-For-Fall D-SLRs Reimagined
In the lead-up to the huge Photokina 2008 trade show, there were a number of big new camera announcements—more megapixels and better image quality, and in the spirit of convergence, HD video makes the leap to still cameras!
Mamiya ZDb Digital Back
Mamiya’s new ZDb Digital Back can be used with Mamiya 645AFDII, 645AFDIII, RZ67Pro-IID and RB67Pro-SD cameras, turning out 21.3-megapixel RAW or JPEG images at 1.2 fps (for up to 22 shots). The very low-cost (for a medium-format digital back) unit features a 1.8-inch LCD monitor, straightforward controls and compatibility with CompactFlash and SD/SDHC memory cards. JPEG images can be shot at three resolutions (5328x4000 pixels, 4096x3072 pixels and 3008x2256 pixels) at three compression levels; RAW images (which can be shot simultaneously with JPEGs) are 5328x4000 pixels.
Image Sensor: 21.3-megapixel CCD
Resolution: 5328x4000 pixels
Sensor Size: 48x36mm
ISO Settings: 50-400
Continuous Firing Mode: 1.2 fps
Recording Format: RAW, JPEG
Storage Media: CompactFlash and SD/SDHC
Dimensions: 4.2x3.5x2.4 inches (back only)
Weight: 16.6 ounces (back only)
Power Source: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: TBA
Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com
Phase One P 65+
Featuring 60.5 megapixels on a 53.9x40.4mm sensor—both tops for a D-SLR—the full-frame medium-format Phase One P 65+ back (also available as a package with camera body) provides a dynamic range of 12.5 stops and can shoot its 180 MB images at 1 per second. Phase One’s new Sensor+ technology provides scalable pixel and file size and ISOs from 50 to 800. Codeveloped with DALSA Semiconductor, the big CCD sensor turns out 180 MB, 8-bit RGB files measuring 8984x6732 pixels. The sensor measures about the same as a 645-format film frame and thus provides about the same angle of view as a 645 film camera with any given lens. Other features of the P 65+ include a 2.2-inch LCD monitor and ISOs from 50 to 800. Estimated Street Price: $45,995.
Contact: Phase One, (631) 547-8900, www.phaseone.com.
Leaf AFi-II 10
Leaf introduced three new digital camera systems and three corresponding digital backs at Photokina, the top models being the 56-megapixel AFi-II 10 medium-format digital camera and corresponding Aptus-II 10 digital camera back. Also introduced were the AFi-II 7 and Aptus-II 7 (33 megapixels) and AFi-II 6 and Aptus-II 6 (28 megapixels). The backs are compatible with more than 80 large- and medium-format cameras.
Measuring 36x56mm, the 56-megapixel True Wide Frame sensor in the AFi-II 10/Aptus-II 10 has the same long dimension as a 645 film frame, but a slightly wider 1.55:1 aspect ratio (vs. 1.35:1). Developed in cooperation with DALSA, the sensor produces 16-bit color images measuring 9288x6000 pixels, with up to a 12-stop dynamic range, at ISOs from 50 to 800. When shooting speed is more important than 56-megapixel resolution, you can choose among several predefined formats that use only part of the sensor while maintaining full image quality. Note that SensorFlex is available on the AFi-II 10 and Aptus-II 10 models only.
Leaf Verto is a feature that allows you to rotate (via a dial) the sensor internally between vertical and horizontal formats without having to remove the back or rotate the tripod head. Verto isn’t available in the AFi-II 6 and Aptus-II 6 models.
Another nice feature is the very bright and easy-to-use 6x7cm (3.5-inch diagonal) touchscreen LCD monitor. Rather than scrolling through menus with buttons or dials, just touch what you want to select. The LCD also tilts 90 degrees for easy viewing with any of the camera’s three interchangeable viewfinders (45-degree, 90-degree or waist-level). The AFi-II/Aptus-II 6 models don’t have this feature. Estimated Street Price: TBD.
Contact: Leaf, (914) 347-3300, www.leafamerica.com.
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