A test movie show at the Warsaw Railway Museum with the new Fuji X-Pro 1 mirrorless camera has been published on YouTube.
I wouldn't use this camera as a main video rig, but this can give you some ideas of how suitable it would be for spot video situations where you don't have another camera available. For ordering information, click on one of the camera retailers at right (B&H, Adorama or Amazon).
Nikon Rumors has published images from Taiwain which purport to show that the Nikon D800 has better high ISO performance than the D700. While that is conceivable (the sensor is four years newer), I'm going to wait until more systematic and detailed tests come out comparing the new 36-megapixel camera to its 12-megapixel predecessor. The pictures from the Taiwanese websie are blurry (on the D700 side) and have been posted and then removed. So take from them what you will. Focus issues aside, the D800 pictures do look substantially cleaner, albeit muddied at ultra-high ISO (those ISOs with numbers so high you probably won't need them).
Below you will find pre-order information for the Nikon D800 and D800E:
Earlier this week, I published a summary of information and videos about the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 micro four thirds mirrorless camera. Courtesy of Digital Photography Review, you can also now read some hands-on impressions. Notably, DP Review writes, "The camera is notably well-set up for eye-level shooting, indeed its ergonomics are comparable to high-end DSLRs such as the Pentax K-5. The two overlapping top-plate dials offer quick access to the main exposure controls - shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation - and can be customized to work exactly as you'd like. The four-way buttons on the rear are used directly to move the AF point around the frame - a notably quicker solution than on other mirrorless cameras with EVFs such as the Sony NEX-7 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 (at least in its default setup)."
The36-megapixel full-frame Nikon D800 has been announced, sending relief to Nikon users envious of the Canon 5D Mark II and consternation to photographers wishing for a natural successor to the D700- basically, a D4 Lite.
Reviews on this camera have not been conducted yet, but this post will include specifications, a summary of analysis from around the web, pre-order information for anyone set to buy the camera, sample videos, and a brief summary of my own thoughts, with the caveat that I and many people writing about this camera haven't used it yet, so throw in ample grains of salt.
The Nikon D800 was hotly anticipated for a long time but its announcement was delayed until this month due to the Japanese earthquake and flooding in Thailand last year. It is hear now and for the time being holds the only bracket between the $1,200 D7000 and the $6,000 D4 in the Nikon lineup. The new FX camera is also being released in a D800E edition for $300 more, intended to mitigate the effects of anti-aliasing filters. This alternate edition may have better sharpness in some situations, but at the expense of possible moiré. More on that later.
Picnik has announced that it will be closing and advised all members to file their photos elsewhere; it's components will reportedly be moving on into the Google+ labyrinth. Picnik was a number of Google-related closures this month. More details.
Steve Huff is pushing new iPhone photo application, Tadaa!
Thom Hogan reviews the Olympus 12mm f/2: he finds it optically sound, with good distortion results but noticeable aberration; mostly, though, he whines about having to pay for a separate lens hood. Sorry Thom.
Kodak goes under. Or rather, files for bankruptcy. Lots has been in the news about this. I admire the Japanese innovation in the camera industry, but wish that just a little bit more of that innovation were taking place Stateside. The fact is, Kodak dug its own grave. The Economist has a piece on how Fujifilm survived.
With dawn, Thom Hogan, one of the most acute observers of camera industry practices in general and Nikon in particular, has chipped in with his thoughts on the new Nikon mirrorless system (now available for pre-order).
Here are some of this thoughts:
"Dealers aren't enamored by the Nikon 1 (see next story). Not because of the camera itself, but because it represents a stocking nightmare. We've got two cameras in as many as six colors, lenses in two colors, accessories in multiple colors, the list goes on and on. Maybe a big dealer can stock everything, but even Best Buy is going to have a hard time keeping the full mix of this stuff in stock. You could end up with a red camera with a black case with a white lens."
Hogan goes on to spend the remainder of his article begging patience of Nikon users awaiting the overdue D300s/D700/D3s replacements and unhappy with the new mirrorless camera system.
Myself, I am fine with the new mirrorless cameras (though they could use a few dials?) but would have preferred if they were offered with better lenses and kits. With the lenses and kits available, there is little to distinguish Nikon from Sony/Samsung/Panasonic/Olympus/Ricoh. Three of the four lenses available start at 27mm equivalent on their range (10mm on Nikon 1, or close to 17mm on APS-C cameras like the D3100/D5100/D7000/D300s), making them basically duplicative of each other (albeit at slightly different wide-angle apertures, none faster than f/2.8).
On the plus side, as Hogan notes in an earlier post, "phase detection sensors are built into the imaging sensor: this is the first mirrorless camera with a 135-point direct phase detect system for fast initial focus (Sony's NEX achieves this via the Alpha lens adapter)."
I've been on extended hiatus the last couple months doing that activity almost as much fun as talking about cameras and photos... actually taking photos. Sorry to neglect this channel, but I plan to resume active blogging in mid-September. Who knows, may find time for a post or two before then. Btw, I'm lusting after the new Samsung. That's right, Samsung... the only camera company so far that seems to really get the all-around package when it comes to mirrorless, though Panasonic and Olympus both have individual features that are great. By all-around package, I mean easy, light ergonomics; small, fast pancake lenses; solid construction; and preferably, a built-in electronic viewfinder (though I realize the upcoming NX200 will not have one, falling as it is in the compete-against-Nex/GF/EP realm). The item holding back every company except for Sony has been lousy sensors; Samsung's antique version is especially egregious... but I have a feeling were about to see a strong update rolled out in the next 24 hours. Sony's Nex rollout has been the camera equivalent of releasing a car with no wheels: there are only a few (three?) lenses out at this point and none of them are any good. Being able to use a coat pocket size camera with fast 16mm, 20mm, 30mm, 60mm and 85mm primes- now that's an idea I can get behind. Anxious to see what Samsung has to offer. Especially if its competitively priced- Samsung's earlier releases indicate that the Korean company is no Fuji-discount-Leica-brand when it comes to pricing. I want one.
Update: The Samsung NX200 has clocked in at $899... a bit pricey for my tastes, particularly considering that the only kits offered are two with similar variable aperture consumer lenses. Surprised that Samsung has pushed through such a sharp price spike- the NX100, only about a year old, is on discount racks at $399. Samsung's justification presumably is their new 20 megapixel sensor. News flash for the company: That's what other companies do, update their sensors once in awhile. Just because Samsung has updated a grossly antique 2007 sensor doesn't mean that their value has suddenly risen $200-$300 above equivalent products from their Olympus/Sony/Panasonic competitors. Samsung has the best lens lineup of any of the mirrorless companies (for my needs); and in the near-impossible-to-find NX10, the best form factor; but I really don't get their business model. First, they let their sensor lag so far behind that their being whipped in image comparison tests by much smaller 4/3" sensors. Then, they release an ambitious lens lineup but make finding the cameras like some sort of Indiana Jones project- it's been ages since the NX10 has been listed on mainstream sites like B&H and Adorama and I'm not sure the NX11 finally arrived. Then they release the NX200, which looks to have a solid sensor given its 20 megapixel largesse, but price the camera- which lacks some of the snazzier features like in-camera stabilization or an electronic viewfinder- at $899 with a choice of crap lenses. Huh? I know Samsung has a lot of money to throw away, but given the amount of thought they've put into developing this product line you would have thought they would give more thought into the sales and marketing model.
Here are my simple desires for a mirrorless camera, which for me will be a backup, not a primary: 1) High quality, wide aperture pancake lens (Sony is now out of the running), 2) Reasonable 3200 ISO- no need for 6400 or 12800, good old 3200 is fine (every brand other than the Fuji X100- and potentially, the new Samsung, is out of the running), 3) Kit available in a reasonable $600-$750 range, comparable to what a similarly capable consumer SLR and a prime lens would cost (Fuji X100 and Samsung NX200 are both out of the running, as is the Ricoh GXR). 4) Manual focus capability (cross out the Fuji X10, despite their retro design I see nothing in the new Fujis that indicates good manual focusing prospects). Which leaves me eyeing whatever Pentax and Nikon have to offer this fall or a compromise product (Panasonic G2? GF3?) off the discount rack. Am I too picky because I have no desire to pay a $300-$400 premium simply for the privilege of a camera company removing the mirror assembly and leaving everything else intact? I don't think so.