The camera industry doesn't get many trade shows, so when it does, it makes the most of them. Photokina is the industry's biggest show and it's held once every two years in Cologne, Germany. Though a lot of camera makers prefer to hold their big consumer announcements for CES in a few months, there are always a handful of really interesting things announced at Photokina, and this year is no different.
Look around the Photokina show floor this week and you'll find a deluge of attractively designed and extremely compact cameras that nevertheless have the power to deliver great image quality. Bigger sensors are fitting into ever-smaller bodies and Canon's G7x is a great example of this trend. It's the storied Japanese company's first 1-inch sensor, fitting within the dimensions of a camera intentionally designed to be pocket-friendly.Read Article >
Going up against Sony's well-liked RX100 range is a tough task for anyone, but Canon has put together a good challenger in the G7x. I was immediately impressed by this camera's build quality upon picking it up. There's no sense of plasticky or flimsy components, the articulating LCD screen has a reassuringly firm hinge, and the manual adjustment ring around the lens is fast and a real pleasure to use. Canon also tucks in a pop-up flash that extends a reasonable distance above the camera body. Wi-Fi and NFC are included alongside a dedicated smartphone connection button to make wireless connectivity instant.
The X100T carries on a happy recent legacy for Fujifilm. Its predecessors have been some of the best performing and most attractive cameras in the retro compact range, so its public debut here at Photokina has been much anticipated. Beyond some glorious old-school looks and a high-quality APS-C sensor, one of the undeniable strengths of the X100T is its hybrid viewfinder system.Read Article >
Panasonic is desperate to know, and we are quite curious ourselves: how do you perceive the newly announced CM1 hybrid device? Is it, as Panasonic would prefer that you think of it, a capable and superbly compact camera with communication capabilities built in? Or is it a smartphone with extraordinarily souped-up imaging hardware? A lot will depend on the reaction consumers have to this exciting new device. When compared against compact cameras, the 900-euro CM1 looks like something of a bargain: it has a bigger battery and much more processing power than the typical premium compact, while its connectivity options and ability to slip into a pocket are unrivalled. On the other hand, the CM1's hardware specs can be found in Android devices costing half as much, making it a hard sell to budget-conscious smartphone buyers.Read Article >
Panasonic is launching the Lumix CM1 in France and Germany this November in a limited run intended to gauge exactly how the market reacts. Having already produced a string of smartphone-camera hybrids for the Japanese market, the company's keen to understand how much appeal they can have on the global stage and how people interpret them when they see them. To my mind, the smartphone is too personal and does too many things to ever be considered the secondary part of a device, but others may feel differently. Sound off in the comments after casting your vote below.
Leica's Photokina announcements don't stop with the unique, screenless digital M Edition 60 — the German camera maker has a series of more conventional digital models on the way. First up is the X (Type 113) and X-E (Type 102, above), premium compact cameras with 16-megapixel APS-C sensors that follow on from the X1 and X2. The X-E doesn't appear to be a huge advance on its predecessor, similarly featuring a 24mm f/2.8 lens, but the X has a 23mm f/1.7 lens, beating out Fujifilm's popular f/2 X100 series. The Leica cameras have no optical or electronic viewfinder built in, however, and only the X is capable of shooting video.Read Article >
Leica is also returning to its familiar tactic of rebranding popular Panasonic compact cameras. The new Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) appears to be the same as Panasonic's FZ1000 superzoom, and the D-Lux (Typ 109) is clearly based on the Japanese company's impressive new Lumix LX100. Pricing information is as yet unavailable, but if history is any guide you'll be paying extra for a sleeker design, a red-dot logo, and some bundled photography software.
2014 marks 60 years since the release of the Leica M3, a camera as legendary as any other in history — it kicked off the German manufacturer's seminal line of M-series rangefinders which continues to this day. And now Leica is celebrating in style with a new entry in the series: the Leica M Edition 60, a seriously unique digital camera.Read Article >
The M Edition 60 is a special version of the M-P Type 240 digital rangefinder, but there's a twist — the new model features no screen at all, forcing you to use it as if it were a film camera. "Working with the Leica M Edition 60 intentionally demands the same care and attention as working with an analogue model," says the company in a statement. "Only the sensor and the entire electronics reflect the state of the art of contemporary camera technology." The screen has been replaced with an ISO selector dial, which at least means you'll be able to alter the sensitivity of your photos more often than you could with a 36-shot roll of film.
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Panasonic already owns the Photokina 2014 spotlight with its CM1 camera phone announcement. Nothing else the Japanese manufacturer does at this week's photo show will come close to rivaling it for attention, though that doesn't mean the company isn't trying its best. Introduced alongside the CM1 is today's new LX100 camera, which takes the familiar Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensor that Panasonic and Olympus have been pushing for many years now and fits it into an even more compact body.
Sep 15, 2014
Today at the Photokina imaging show, Canon announced the latest addition to its line of DSLRs: the EOS 7D Mark II, which features several improvements over its predecessor. The camera includes a native ISO of 100 to 16,000 and a 150,000-pixel RGB and IR metering sensor, and shoots at up to 10 FPS. It also features 60p full-HD capture, a 20.2 APS-C CMOS megapixel sensor, and a 65-point autofocus system. That'll go on sale this November, starting at $1,799 without a lens.Read Article >
Canon also announced a few other new products, including the high-end point-and-shoot PowerShot G7 X, which features a 20.2-megapixel, one-inch sensor. It'll be going on sale in October for $700. Also part of the announcement: a lineup of new lenses. Canon announced a new $150 24mm EF-S pancake lens, the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM; a new $600 24-to-105mm zoom lens, the EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; and a new $6,899 super-telephoto lens, the EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM.
Sep 15, 2014
Camera manufacturers have been fitting bigger and bigger sensors into compact bodies, and today Panasonic is announcing a new compact that fits in one of the biggest sensors we've seen there yet: the Lumix LX100 uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is large enough to easily let its image quality rival or best some of the other top compact cameras out there. Beyond that, the LX100 is pretty capable too. It's able to capture video in 4K, it includes a built-in electronic viewfinder (with a 2.76 million-dot equivalent resolution), and has a fairly bright lens, with an aperture ranging from a maximum of F1.7 to F2.8 as it travels between its 24-75mm equivalent range. For photos, the LX100 can capture up to 12.8 megapixel images.Read Article >
The LX100 is not a tiny camera, as you might imagine. All around, it's about a half-inch larger in each dimension than Sony's much-loved RX100, a top competitor when it comes to high-quality compacts. The LX100 offers quite a bit of power for its larger size, though. That includes the camera providing a number of manual controls — an aperture ring, a shutter speed dial, and an exposure compensation dial. That all makes the LX100 more likely to be an alternate camera for the pros than your first compact, but that just goes to emphasize how capable this camera ought to be. According to DPReview, the LX100 will go on sale in November for $899, about $100 more than Sony's latest RX100.
Panasonic has made the biggest news of Photokina so far with the announcement of its new Lumix CM1 Android smartphone. The Japanese company quit making smartphones after the failure of its Eluga handsets two years ago, but now it's returning with an imaging-focused device that's as much camera as it is phone. The CM1 comes with a 1-inch sensor that dwarfs most imaging sensors in smartphones today and is on a par with what you'd find inside Sony's RX100 and Nikon's 1 Series of cameras. It has a 20-megapixel resolution and is paired with an f/2.8 Leica lens, a mechanical shutter, and a manual control ring. Interestingly, the lens extends out of the body, but is not a zoom lens, its adjustments are purely for focusing purposes.Read Article >
Two years ago, Samsung came to Photokina with just a couple of new lenses and little in the way of incentive for pro photographers to take its NX cameras seriously. The time since has been filled with consumer-centric selfie shooters and Android-powered cameras. Hoping to correct this history of neglect for the top tier of photography, Samsung today launches a new flagship NX1 Smart Camera — which does its best impersonation of a pro DSLR in a more compact size — alongside a high-end 50-150mm f/2.8 lens.Read Article >
Sep 12, 2014
What would happen if you pulled some of the best features from Nikon’s D810, and others from the company’s flagship D4S, and put them all inside a smaller, lighter body? You’d get the D750: a new, full-frame DSLR from Nikon that slots in between the D610 and D810. Replacing the finely aged D700, this new camera is actually the lightest among Nikon's traditional pro series. Weighing a very apt 750g, it's significantly lighter than both the D4S and D810, and even bests Nikon's D610 and Canon’s full-frame EOS 6D. That doesn't come at the cost of functionality, either, as the D750 includes a new 3.2-inch tilting LCD, built-in Wi-Fi, and space for two SD cards. Built with a monocoque construction featuring carbon fiber at the front and a magnesium alloy on the rear and top, this new camera is also weather-sealed and gasketed to keep moisture and dust out.Read Article >
Sep 12, 2014
Camera makers are really into pumping out "selfie" cameras these days. Put an okay sensor in a portable camera, toss in a tilting, touchscreen LCD, add a few Instagram-like photo filters, and you've pretty much arrived at the standard formula. Nikon is the latest company to claim it's mastered the selfie cam with its new Coolpix S6900. It features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor paired with a 12x optical zoom lens that'll fit all of your friends into group shots thanks to its wide-angle coverage (25-300mm).Read Article >