We all fall off the tech wheel every now and then. And lately, it's been anything but easy to keep up with all that's been happening. Well, worry not. We have an update for you on everything that's happened and everything that should happen soon. Read on for info on Canon, Nikon, Leica, and Zeiss...
What's Here Now:
Of course, the big item of the month is the Canon 5D Mk III (pre-order information is on our previous post). Where Canon has used its 'Mark' designations to introduce almost entirely new cameras in the past, this update seems more like a refining of the Mk II than an entirely new camera. Resolution is almost identical, but better suited for video; improved autofocus built from the system in the 1D X; and improved ISO sensitivity -- all in an almost identical physical design. For those who want something a little more...say, like a 6D, they'll have to wait a bit longer. But the Mk III is a fine update to an already extremely popular camera. On that note, the flagship 1D X has also been available for pre-order for a few days now.
Sony released a new SLR just recently. At $700, this may be the best deal yet. Features include 16MP at 10fps, translucent mirror technology (which lets light hit the AF sensor and image sensor at the same time, allowing for truly continuous AF operation), full 1080p video recording at 60 frames per second, and in-body image stabilization In the past, Nikon shooters have looked to Sony for cues on what's to come, seeing the sensors they used would often end up in Nikon's semi-pro bodies. I was waiting for a hint for a future D800 sensor that didn't show before the D800 was actually announced. The A57 is in an entirely different class, however, so this likely marks a transition in that strategy. Sony seems to be holding its own, still, offering a powerful body at a relatively low price. They haven't had it easy, as the so-called Alpha system is the 'new kid on the block,' but I wouldn't be surprised if some look past experience and instead opt to save money while not giving up great features. Pre-orders are available now at B&H. Read on below, however, for some more information on Sony that might concern you if you're looking to invest in the Alpha system...
Pentax released a 1500-run of the limited edition K-5. Bundled with an extremely compact 40mm f2.8 lens for $1599, the kit costs $100 less than the two items bought separately in a matching silver finish. Availability is expected March 28th, but the set can be pre-ordered now at B&H.
Coming Soon to a Vendor Near You!:
Zeiss announced a 15mm f2.8 lens for Nikon and Canon lens mounts today! If you don't know Zeiss, they're essentially the purists of glass: all of their lenses are of metal construction. They're manual focus and as sharp as they are expensive. There's already a ZM version for Leica and Zeiss Ikon mounts for $4600. Yes, my jaw dropped, too. But then I picked it back up and raised an eyebrow when I saw it backordered on B&H. Stick around for pre-order information as it trickles down. Availability is May 2012, and the lens comes with a $2450 price tag. Find more info here.
The word on the street is Leica is teasing about a completely monochromatic digital M9/M10. It's unclear whether this will be a full replacement, limited edition, or production sister to the replacement for the M9, but I doubt Leica would completely give up on color. If this is true, Leica is really going back to the basics. Just as I thought true photography was leaving us, Zeiss and Leica come to the rescue. But will it matter if it's too expensive to get into anyone's hands? Let's hope some people can afford it. I certainly can't.
With the introduction of the quite reasonable A57, you might be curious to know that come April 1st, Sony will increase the price of its lenses. If you're going to invest soon...well...do it already, or you'll be paying more than you might have needed to. This link has a great chart on what's to increase and what will stay where it is.
We don't know much about this one yet, but yes, Canon has long been rumored to release a video-strong DSLR. As a company that's been on the forefront of the video DSLR evolution, everyone's excited to see what's left up their sleeves.
If I ever had a dream lens, this would be it. Leave it to Canon to produce an extremely fast f/4 200-400mm super-zoom with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter! That makes this a 200-400mm OR 280-560mm lens. If that isn't a photographer's not-so-dry dream, I don't know what is. We mentioned this lens previously when it was seen in the wild with the first 5D MK III sightings. And it was originally slated to see daylight a few months ago. But we're hearing more about it recently... Expected to be $12,000 or so, we just have to wait a few more months to be bummed we can't afford it. If you can afford one, though, we'll still be covering its inevitable and welcomed release when it hits.
It's out there, we know that. When it'll come is uncertain, but Canon's working on this replacement for its current 35mm 1.4L.
A different caliber than the super-zooms like the 200-400mm 1.4TC we're all waiting for, the 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS is an excellent sports lens for the people without jobs that hand out $6000+ lenses. Its update is coming in the next few months, too, hopefully adding even better IS.
There's no one quite like Apple when it comes to keeping new product releases hush-hush. But if I had to pick one in the photo world, it wouldn't be Canon. Last on the list is an update to the T3i. A budget camera, the compact DSLR line doesn't include durability that lets you drag it through the mud. I think of this line as the 'under-the-hood' line. If you don't care what's on the outside, these cameras are great for the DSLR beginner or advancing amateur, offering a high-resolution still and video solution. The T3i was a big update to its predecessor, so what Canon has in store for us with the T4i will be interesting to see. If you look around, you can start picking up the T3i for quite a bit less than you could a couple months back. An update is looming.