November 2015

Canon Ultra-High-Sensitivity Camera

The impressive new ME20F-SH multipurpose video camera from Canon features a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor and can do color Full HD video in light levels dimmer than 0.0005 lux at a maximum 75 dB gain setting—that’s an ISO equivalent of over 4 million! That ultra-high sensitivity will prove useful in cinematic and nature/wildlife work, and many other applications. The sensor features 2.26-million, 19-micron pixels, much larger than those of, say, Canon’s EOS-1D X (6.94 microns). The camera can shoot 1080p, 1080i and 720p at 60/50/30/24, and uses Canon’s EF lens mount (Cinema Lock type). There are HDMI and 3G/HD-SDI video output terminals, plus remote and stereo mic jacks. The body measures 4.0×4.5×4.4 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $30,000. Contact: Canon, usa.canon.com.


Phase One Industrial Aerial Cameras

Medium-format digital heavyweight Phase One’s Industrial division has introduced the iXU-R series of small high-resolution aerial cameras suitable for UAV (“drone”) integration. Available in 80 MP, 60 MP and 160 and Achromatic versions with interchangeable 40mm, 50mm and 70mm Phase One Rodenstock leaf-shutter lenses (top shutter speed of 1/1600), the units measure just 5.1×4.5×5.4 inches (length is 7.5 to 7.8 inches with lens) and weigh 3.2 to 3.7 pounds, depending on lens. Each unit features full-sized, medium-format CCD sensors (approximately 53.7×40.4mm), USB 3.0 connectivity, direct communication with GPS/IMU systems, and Forward Motion Compensation. Images are stored on CF or SSD media. Estimated Street Price: See dealer. Contact: Phase One Industrial, industrial.phaseone.com.


Tamron 35mm And 45mm Di VC USD Lenses

Tamron has made another serious step into the high-end professional landscape and portrait market with the introduction of the SP 35mm ƒ/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 45mm ƒ/1.8 Di VC USD lenses. The company combined enhanced optical image quality and built-in image stabilization in this brace of lenses. Both the 35mm and 45mm lenses have incredibly close-focusing ability, making them great all-around lenses for photographers looking to go from landscapes and portraits one moment to macros or close-up detail work the next. Image stabilization isn’t common in prime lenses, giving the new Tamron lenses added versatility over other primes on the market. The optical design promises less vignetting at the edges, greater sharpness and improved image quality over other Tamron lenses thanks to the use of molded glass aspherical elements, Low Dispersion (LD) elements and Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) elements, and a front element coating that sheds water and avoids fingerprint smudges. The comfortable exterior includes moisture seals, making the lenses dust- and water-resistant. Both lenses carry a $600 street price. Contact: Tamron, tamron-usa.com.


Olympus AIR A01

The AIR A01 from Olympus is an open-platform Micro Four Thirds camera you attach to your smartphone, combining the benefits of the 16.05-megapixel MFT Live MOS sensor and interchangeable MFT lenses with the intelligence of the smartphone. The AIR A01 is operated by using the smartphone screen (including touch AF, plus a mode dial function for experienced photographers), with electronic shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/16,000, 10 fps shooting at full resolution (with focus locked at the first frame), 1080 and 720 video at 30p, ISO settings from 200-12800 with +/-5 EV of exposure comp, storage on microSD media so you don’t fill your smartphone’s memory and more. Dimensions are 2.2×2.2×1.7 inches; weight is 5.1 ounces (not including the smartphone). Estimated Street Price: $299.99. Contact: Olympus, getolympus.com.


XEEN By Rokinon Cine Lenses

Rokinon has introduced three new XEEN manual-focus cine lenses, matched in size, maximum aperture and features for ease of switching from one to another on the set. The 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5 and 85mm T1.5 all can cover a full-frame (35mm) format, and feature internal focusing (the front element doesn’t rotate and the lens doesn’t extend during focusing) and 11-blade apertures for best bokeh. A 200° throw on the cinema-geared focusing ring makes for smooth and precise setting, and the cinema-geared aperture ring is stepless. Focusing and aperture scales are marked on both sides. Each lens is multicoated and color-matched to a factory standard. The lenses are available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E and PL mounts. Estimated Street Price: $2,495 (each). Contact: XEEN, xeenusa.com.


Sony RX10 II

Building on the popular RX10, the RX10 II features Sony’s new stacked 20.2-megapixel, 1-inch Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor with 5X faster readout, thanks, in large part, to the on-sensor DRAM chip. The new sensor also makes possible 14 fps shooting at full resolution (with focus locked at the first frame) and internal 4K/30p video with full pixel readout, no binning or line-skipping. The built-in Carl Zeiss 24-200mm (35mm-camera equivalent) ƒ/2.8 lens covers a wide range of popular focal lengths, with focusing down to 1.2/9.8 inches (Wide/Tele), while optical SteadyShot image stabilization helps maximize handheld sharpness. A tilting, 3.0-inch, 1228K-dot LCD monitor complements the XGA OLED eye-level electronic viewfinder. The RX10 II measures 5.1×3.5×4.0 inches and weighs 27.2 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $1,299. Contact: Sony, store.sony.com.


Fujifilm X-T1 IR

Fujifilm’s flagship mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera is now available in a special IR (infrared) edition. Advanced IR technology allows the X-T1 IR to “see” radiation from 380nm-1000nm and, thus, record data important to technical, law enforcement, medical and scientific professionals. Otherwise, the new camera is the same as the X-T1, with Fujifilm’s 16.3-megapixel, APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor (with unique RGB filter array that minimizes moiré, eliminating the need for a blurring OLPF filter), dust- and weather-sealed body, high-res OLED Real Time Viewfinder with Digital Split Image and focus peaking to aid manual focusing, quick hybrid AF, electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32,000, 1080/60p video, an intervalometer for time-lapse shooting and more. Dimensions are 5.0×3.5×1.8 inches, and weight is 13.7 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $1,699. Contact: Fujifilm, fujifilmusa.com.


Graava Action Cam

Action cams can be mounted anywhere and record action wherever you go, and the Graava camera throws in a new twist: It can automatically edit three hours down to the “best” five minutes. It incorporates five sensors—camera, GPS, accelerometer, microphone and (optional) heart rate—and uses data from these to determine what’s most interesting. Use the app on your smartphone to tell Graava what you want (say, condense three hours into a few minutes), drop the camera in its charger and let it do its thing. It will detect that it has power, activate WiFi, and automatically sync and edit the video, even notify you when the clip is ready for you to share. (You also can edit your videos manually, using the app.) The camera can produce 1080/30p and 720/60p video and 8-megapixel still images. Focus is fixed. The 1.7×2.6×0.8-inch, 2.1-ounce device is water-resistant, and has a 130° angle of view. Estimated Street Price: $399. Contact: Graava, getgraava.com.


Gitzo Traveler Tripods

The new Traveler tripods from Gitzo feature Carbon eXact tubes that are significantly stiffer than the previous-generation Carbon X, thanks to High Modulus (HM) carbon fiber with larger tube diameters for improved performance without sacrificing weight. New Traveler G-lock technology makes possible taller tripods with compact folded lengths. The tripods now include a short column for quicker switching to ground-level shooting and handy carrying straps. Four tripods are available, plus a Traveler Monopod. All can be purchased legs-only, or as kits with Gitzo’s new Center Ball Heads, which feature extremely good balance and tungsten disulfide coating for smooth operation and strong locking. An independent pan lock makes it easy to make panoramic photos. The GH1382TQD and GH1382QD heads are designed to fit seamlessly between the legs of the Traveler tripods. Estimated street prices range from $289.99 for the Monopod with no head to $1,099.95 for the Series 2 GT2545T tripod with GH1382QD Center Ball Head (this tripod extends to 60.8 inches, weighs 2.9 pounds and can support 26 pounds). Contact: Gitzo, gitzo.us.


HOYA HD3 Pro Photo Filters

HOYA’s HD2 pro filter line features strength and performance, and the new HD3 filters improve on that—and by a lot. The new HD3 UV filter features chemically enhanced HOYA optical glass 4X stronger than standard optical glass and 32-layer multi-coatings that are 800% harder than those of the HD2 UV filter, thanks to a new ultrasharp nanocoating and process of applying layers to HD3 glass. A lightweight, one-piece aluminum frame minimizes vignetting with wide-angle lenses, yet retains front threads for a lens cap. The HD3 circular polarizer, of course, requires two pieces for rotation, but it’s also stronger, with coatings 200% harder than those on the HD2 CIR-PL. Both filters feature excellent optical characteristics and performance, and both are available in sizes from 37mm to 82mm. Estimated Street Price: Varies with size—$98 (HD3 UV 67mm); $160 (HD3 CIR-PL 67mm). Contact: HOYA (Kenko Tokina USA), kenkotokinausa.com.


Ricoh THETA S

Pros are always looking for new ways to image the world around them. Ricoh’s new THETA S is the latest version of the company’s 360° camera that captures 360° spherical stills and videos of the scenes surrounding the user. Featuring a new, larger sensor and faster ƒ/2.0 lenses, the THETA S can deliver nearly 14-megapixel still images and 1080/30p video (as well as live streaming), along with those faster lenses (there’s a lens on each side of the camera, each taking in a 180° angle of view). The tiny device (1.7×5.1×0.9 inches, 4.4 ounces) can be handheld or mounted on a tripod, and can focus down to within four inches of the front of the lens. The images and videos can be uploaded to theta360.com, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and posted to Google Maps, Google and YouTube 360° Channel. The new Ricoh THETA S app for smartphones and tablets can be used to make camera settings and view the spherical photos and video wirelessly via improved built-in WiFi that transfers data 4X faster than the current THETA model. The battery is good for about 260 shots per charge, and files are stored on 8 GB of internal memory. Estimated Street Price: $349. Contact: Ricoh, theta360.com.


Leica S (Typ 007)

Leica’s sleek S (Typ 007) is the first of the medium-format S models to use a CMOS sensor. Resolution is still 37.5 megapixels, but the 45x30mm CMOS sensor (with no OLPF) allows it to deliver video (4K/24p in Super 35 format, plus 1080 FHD at 30p/25p/24p), 3.5 fps still shooting at full resolution (the big 2 GB buffer helps here, too) and a normal ISO range of 200-6400 (pullable down to 100). There’s predictive AF for action, as well as manual focusing via the big pentaprism optical finder, or precision focusing in live view with focus peaking on the 3.0-inch, 921K-dot LCD monitor. Rare in medium format, both WiFi and GPS are built in so you can operate the camera remotely and wirelessly from your iPhone, operate it tethered via very quick USB 3.0 using Leica’s Image Shuttle 3.0 software, and geotag your images as you shoot. Images can be stored on CompactFlash or SD/SDHC/SDXC media as 16-bit DNG and/or JPEG files. The sturdy magnesium body measures 6.3×3.1×4.7 inches, weighs 2.8 pounds, and is weather-sealed; the shutter is tested to 150,000 cycles. Like its S-series siblings, the S (Typ 007) can use all Leica S-mount lenses, which currently number 10 (six of which contain central leaf shutters that allow for flash sync up to 1/1000 seconds) and include a first-rate tilt/shift lens. Adapters allow mounting of Hasselblad and Contax lenses, while retaining AF and automatic aperture control. Estimated Street Price: $16,900. Contact: Leica, leica-camera.com.


Sony a7S II

Low-light and video specialists will be very interested in Sony’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera. The new a7S II features a normal ISO range of 100-102,400, expandable to 50-409,600, and can do 4K (3840×2160) video directly to memory card (no external recorder needed), at 100 Mbps via XAVC S with full pixel readout (no binning). S-Log3 provides better tonal reproduction from shadows through midtones than the a7S’s S-Log2 video. The new camera can also do Full HD at up to 120 fps, plus 4x/5x slow-motion. The new five-axis optical image-stabilization system can be used for still or video. Dynamic range is said to be “extra-wide.” Besides its full-frame, 12.2-megapixel Sony Exmor CMOS sensor, the a7S II offers a shutter tested to 500,000 cycles (with speeds from 30 seconds to 1/8000, and electronic first curtain), a 0.5-inch, 2359K-dot OLED eye-level Tru-Finder, a
tilting 3.0-inch, 1229K-dot external monitor, shooting at 5 fps in Speed Priority Continuous Mode, 169-point Fast Intelligent on-sensor CDAF and built-in WiFi with NFC. Like all a7 models, the a7S II can use Sony E-mount lenses, Sony A-mount DSLR lenses (with a Sony adapter) and a wide range of third-party lenses via third-party adapters. The rugged magnesium-alloy body measures 5.0×3.8×2.4 inches and weighs 20.6 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $2,499.99. Contact: Sony, store.sony.com.

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