[Gear] The Most Exciting Gear Week in a While
Even more so than the week of the Nikon D4, this is the most exciting week for gear news in a long time. There is news that I don’t like, a bit that I don’t get, some that is just plain stupid, and then some that is unbelievable — I’ll believe it when I see it! The new stuff is short and sweet. I’m keeping the bulk of opinions in the comments section this time…meet me there at the end of this post!
We’ve covered this one here, but if you somehow missed it, yes, it came out! 36MP for less than $3000 — pretty darn amazing. It’s a game-changer for sure.
We’ve covered this, too, already. But Canon released a new 24-70mm 2.8 lens this week. It’s awesome in that it has the best coatings, is a little lighter in weight…and costs quite a bit more? Oh wait, no — that last one is why a lot of people are sticking with version 1. Still, the best of the best comes at a price, and this is it.
Say that one three times fast. Actually not as hard as I imagined… But yes, Olympus has a new mirrorless camera, the OM-D EM-5. This one is a little special, for some. I don’t know if I’d call it sexy (people like to use that word in relation to how beautiful a camera is these days, though I usually reserve the term in reference to women). But you can’t deny that the camera has it’s old-school charm. Styled after the much-appreciated OM-D film bodies, the “pro mirrorless” seems most suited as a contender to the Fuji X-Pro 1 in both price and features. Is Olympus crazy, or do we kind of like this…?
Tamron is a leading manufacturer of third-party lenses for our Nikon and Canon DSLRs. This week we have a new 24-70mm f2.8 lens with ‘Vibration Control’ (VC) — Hello, video!
For those who love the Pentax 645 system, you’ll enjoy this one for its 19mm wide-angle view. Pentax released a new lens — one that, as with many medium-format lenses, will cost you around $5000. I’m sure it’s ‘nice,’ though…
For all those new micro four-thirds cameras people are getting, there’s a new extremely fast and wide-angle 17.5mm f/0.95 lens. It’s pricey, but probably among the best wide-angles you can get for your new micro four-thirds.
Has anyone the tried the already-out 25mm f/0.95 version? I think we’d all be curious to see how these perform?
This one really deserves to be in a loony bin: Sigma’s 46-MEGAPIXEL…APS-C…POINT and SHOOT camera, the DP1 Merrill. But then there’s a second version, the DP2 Merrill, with a different fixed lens than that of the DP1. I’m sure you can all see why these two models might need to be kept on regular doses of antipsychotics.
Now, that’s not entirely fair. It’s really 15MP. Sigma bought Foveon a while back and is using the company’s technology to produce a chip that utilizes silicon’s unique property of absorbing different wavelengths of light at different depths. It’s really a fascinating technology, and you can read more about it in the press release or on DP Review. But it basically means that it captures three times the amount of information of a ‘normal’ digital sensor at each of the 15 million light-gathering pixel locations.
In all fairness, the new DP1 and DP2 Merrill cameras should be an interesting competition to the Fuji X-Pro 1, both of which have different technologies to rid images of moire. But still, why a point and shoot?
Sigma has already been using the Foveon technology in a professional DSLR, the SD1, that has an even crazier story. The news with the SD1 this week is that Sigma has cut the price to just $3300 (still twice as much at B&H for some reason, however). I say ‘just’ because it used to be $9700! That’s not a typo.
To sum it all up: So now Sigma realized it overpriced it’s APS-C DSLR (which in all fairness could be quite excellent), chose to cut it down by a factor of three, and then put the exact same sensor from that camera into a compact camera. That’s like taking a D3x sensor and putting it into a Nikon Coolpix P100, and then selling them both side by side. Boy must Sigma’s PR department have its hands full. What’s more: Sigma isn’t necessarily thought of as a high-end brand. Leica might be able to afford doing this, but right now, it’s like putting Rolex parts into a Casio-branded watch that looks like a Rolex knock-off…and then charging a Rolex price…only to cut it down to a Fossil price, subsequently introducing a new Casio-branded watch with the same Rolex parts for a Fossil look and price. Why pay $100 for something that says Casio? Enough analogies? Either way, Sigma has some serious re-branding to do if it wants to compete with the big boys.
A big, fat, white lens that’s built-to-order for a fairly successful camera line…I just don’t see many people putting in an order for the amount it must cost. Maybe I’m wrong…
The Not-So-Cool Kids on the Block…
Canon released quite a few new Powershots this week, including this outdoor, shock-proof, waterproof, 16MP Powershot D20.
It’s the adventurer’s camera, complete with carabiner and all!
Lensbaby will give birth to something big (hopefully not too big <-- click on that...it's interesting if you haven't heard, yet). They tell us to "dream big." And how sweet...it'll happen on V-day.
The Nikon D4 delay has been well publicized, even on our site. But it’s worth noting that, in case you haven’t heard, Amazon still thinks they’ll get the D4 into its customers’ hands by Friday. Adorama agrees with the delay, however. What’s really going on? No one knows. Stay tuned for updates on the issue.