That Sony is willing to tackle the difficult economics of the full-frame SLR market with its new Alpha provides further evidence that Sony is serious with its SLR push.
“This year, Alpha will proceed to its main stage,” Katsumoto said. “We will address the whole spectrum of digital SLR segments this year ranging from entry-level to flagship.”
Full-frame cameras can offer greater sensitivity for a given megapixel count because individual pixels are larger and gather more light. Sony’s flagship Alpha, with 24.8 megapixels, puts pixel count in the driver’s seat. In contrast, Nikon’s 12-megapixel D3 emphasizes bigger pixels with good low-light performance.
Already a manufacturer of CMOS imaging sensors for professional digital SLRs, Sony announced this morning at PMA 2008 in Las Vegas that it too would introduce a pro digital SLR this year. The new digital SLR — which is simply being called “Flagship” at this point — will use a new 24.6-megapixel full-frame “Exmor” CMOS sensor and employ Sony’s in-camera Super SteadyShot image stabilizer, Sony said at a press conference at PMA.
Curiously, the resolution of the CMOS sensor in the new “Flagship” Sony camera is a notch lower than a new 24.8-megapixel full-frame sensor Sony announced it was developing yesterday. If it is released as planned, Sony’s new camera would have bragging rights for most megapixels in a current professional full-frame DSLR
Sigma has announced the imminent availability of the greatly anticipated DP1 digital camera. The DP1 has a sensor around the size of those found in most DLSRs – although it is greatly different in terms of design – and aims to offer equivalent image-quality and specification in a compact format. In common with Sigma’s DSLR offerings it utilizes Foveon’s direct-image-sensor technology which detects three colors at each of its 4.6 million pixels (collecting the same amount of color data as a conventional 14 megapixel sensor). Our contacts at Sigma say it will be available in “spring.”
Delkin has announced several new digital photography products, including a four-slot USB 2.0 card reader called ImageRouter, a Dual Universal Battery Charger capable of charging two digital camera batteries simultaneously, a line of ExpressCard SSDs in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities, a 16GB Class 6 SDHC card and more.
Of course trade sources have been saying that Nikon will have a 24MP camera this year to follow up on their recently released D3 camera. Since Sony is almost certainly their fabricator (if not co-designer) this is all starting to make perfect sense.
Nikon today has announced three new lenses: the PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED Tilt/Shift, AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED and AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. In addition, the company has said that two additional PC (perspective control) lenses are in the works: a PC-E Micro Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED and a PC-E Micro Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D ED.
The camera fiends at Vision Research have trotted out the Phantom V12, a crowd pleaser said to be capable of grabbing 1MM images per second (if you can live with 256×8 resolution; resolution goes up as frame rate goes down). Their gear is “targeted at industrial applications ranging from biometric research to automotive crash testing,” they say. “Essentially,” opines Engadget, “this little bundle of joy is meant to be strapped into daredevil-type situations in order to grab as many photos as possible within a split second.”
Canon USA this evening has announced that the EF 200mm f/2L IS USM is scheduled for release in April 2008 at an estimated street price of US$5999, while the EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM is slated for delivery in May 2008 at an estimated street price of US$11,999.
But seriously, who takes their M8 to Japan and ends up leaving it in the bag (or the hotel room) most of the time? The answer, it turns out, is me.
With only eleven days in which to savour a first-taste of Japan, I chose to travel as light as possible. In my old universe, this meant the Leica M8 with a 28/35/50 Tri-Elmar. At the last minute, Michael suggested that I also take the new Canon G9 and put it through its paces as a travel camera. No harm, I thought, as it’ll be nice to have a point-and-shoot for ‘happy snaps’ along the way.
As the story unfolded, however, this solid, dependable little blob of consumer electronics became my constant companion, and the Leica a lonely bag-warmer. This is the tale of how my paradigm on ‘serious’ travel cameras changed.
We warned you these Pre-PMA releases were going to be coming fast and furious — who releases ANYTHING at the actual show anymore — so here’s Canon’s latest entry-level digital SLR, the 12.2-megapixel EOS Rebel XSi.
Yes, we know this is an “amateur” DSLR but what’s unique about it is the number of pro-level features that are showing up in these entry-level models. Along with the 12.2MP CMOS sensor — the same resolution as the Nikon D3! — the Rebel XSi has 14-bit A/D conversion, an advanced Live View function, and Canon’s fast DIGIC III image processor.
State of the Art: Hands On: Zeiss ZF Macros for Nikon: “I’ve been shooting lately with two new Nikon F-mount Zeiss lenses, the ZF 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T* and the ZF 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*. (I love it when they spell macro that way.) As you’d expect from a Zeiss-made optic they are both simply razor sharp, and are also impressively heavy, in these days of featherweight zooms, due in part to their full-metal barrel. No, they don’t have autofocus–nor do any of the other ‘premium’ manual-focus lenses Zeiss is making for Nikon F, Pentax K, and M42 (threaded) mounts–but I haven’t really missed it.”
15.1 megapixels (full frame)
14 bit color
Digic III image processor
ISO 100 to 6400(up to 12800)
AF like 1Dmk III
3 fps [only?]
3 inch screen
A sort of smaller 1D body,with integrated grip but not rear lcd panel [not sure what this means]
1 flash card slot”
Drobo Creators Launch DroboShare: “With DroboShare, users can now access the information stored on the award-winning Drobo from any client on the network, including Windows, Apple or Linux computers, as well as other networked devices like Home Media Centers. And unlike other NAS desktop storage devices the Drobo and DroboShare solution embraces ease of use and flexibility by being the first NAS solution that supports all major file systems (NTFS, HFS+, EXT3, FAT32). Additionally, Drobo has the flexibility to be easily disconnected from DroboShare and then connected directly to a host computer as required.”