Fujifilm X-E3

Fujifilm X-E3

Fujifilm has announced the latest version of its X-E rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. It follows on from the X-E2 and uses a rectangular design similar to classic ‘rangefinder’ style film cameras. These cameras have a built-in electronic viewfinder with an eyepiece in the top corner on the back. Like other X-series cameras from Fujifilm, the X-E3 takes X-mount interchangeable lenses.

The key features of the new camera are a 24-megapixel APS-C format X-Trans sensor, which gives an increase of 8MP over the 16 million pixels of the X-E2, and Fujifilm’s X-Processor Pro high-speed image processing engine. Round the back is a 3-inch fixed LCD display – it does not have the tilting action of some other Fujifilm models – which is touch-sensitive, so you can set the focus point with your fingertip or even fire the shutter. The X-E3 also comes with 4K video and can shoot continuously at 5 frames per second.

Externally, it features a traditional shutter speed dial on the top plate which, and if you’re using a Fujifilm X-mount lens with a manual aperture ring, this gives the operation and feel of a traditional film camera. The rectangular body is slim, because the mirrorless design means there’s no need for a mirror box, as found in a DSLR, and there’s no ‘pentaprism’ housing on the top plate because the viewfinder is entirely internal.

The X-E3 fits into the Fujifilm range just above the X-T20. It’s the latest model to get Fujifilm’s new 24-megapixel X-Trans sensor.

 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

This is the third version of Olympus’s entry-level OM-D E-M10. It’s a mirrorless camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor and a very compact DSLR-style design with a ‘pentaprism’ on the top plate that actually houses an electronic viewfinder.

Although the E-M10 III is the cheapest camera in Olympus’s OM-D line, it’s much more sophisticated than the average beginner’s camera, with a range of auto, semi-auto and manual exposure modes, a fast and quite sophisticated autofocus system, twin control dials (most cameras at this level have just one) and the ability to shoot 4K video.

The Micro Four Thirds sensor is around half the size of the APS-C sensors in rival mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, and Olympus has stuck with an older 16-megapixel sensor rather than the new 20-megapixel sensor found in its latest high-end models. This sensor still gives very good results, though, despite its size, and delivers especially good dynamic range. One of the key benefits of the smaller sensor is that both the camera bodies and their lenses are substantially smaller and lighter than rival cameras, and if its fitted with Olympus’s EZ 14-42mm ‘pancake‘ zoom the OM-D E-M10 III makes an extremely good travel camera that would fit easily in a shoulder bag or perhaps a jacket pocket.

Olympus cameras have a range of unique shooting modes and Art Filters for photographic experimentation, plus a class-leading 5-axis in-body stabilisation system that works with any Olympus lens. It also has a tilting touch-screen display and an impressive maximum continuous shooting speed of 8.6fps.

Perhaps a little daunting to outright beginners, the OM-D E-M10 III is probably best treated as a very compact enthusiasts camera that’s well suited to any kind of photography but especially street and travel photography.

Pentax K-1 Silver edition announced

Pentax K-1 Silver edition

Pentax K-1 Silver edition

Pentax has announced a limited run of Silver edition K-1 DSLRs.The new camera also includes the latest Pentax K-1 firmware, version 1.4.1. Apart from that, the new model is technically identical to the regular Pentax K-1, the company’s full-frame DSLR.

Highlights include a 36.4-megapixel sensor, an unusual scissor-action tilting rear screen and an in-body anti-shake system that works with any lens. The sensor shift mechanism is used to provide other innovative features, including an anti-aliasing simulation mode to avoid moiré with subjects containing fine patterns, and a Pixel Shift Resolution mode for increased colour resolution with tripod-mounted shots of static subjects. The mechanism also allows an automatic levelling mode and an AstroTracer mode which can keep star fields stationary in the sky during long exposures. The K-1 also has GPS built in, and is compatible with APS-C format Pentax K-mount lenses in ‘crop’ mode.

The K-1 sells for slightly less than the popular Nikon D810 and has more features, but the Nikon’s system support and lens line-up is more extensive and the D810 has a better autofocus system. The K-1’s resolution is now slightly upstaged, too, by the Canon EOS 5DS, Sony A7R II, Sony A99 II and the brand new Nikon D850.

The Silver edition’s finish perfectly matches Pentax’s silver FA Limited Lens Series and you also get a limited edition metal hotshoe cover with logo. There’s a matching silver finish battery grip with two batteries,too, so the slightly higher price of £2,149.99 (UK) compared to the standard model makes it look good value.

Pentax K-1 Digital Full Frame SLR Camera Body – Black

Nikon D850 announced

Nikon D850

Nikon has announced its keenly-anticipated D850 DSLR. Unlike most high-end DSLRs, which offer a stark choice between high-speed continuous shooting or high resolution, the D850 offers both. It’s designed to appeal to professional wedding, landscape, nature and fashion photographers but its abilities are so broad it could be used for practically any kind of photography.

The D850’s key specs are a 45.4-megapixel full-frame sensor and 7fps continuous shooting, which rises to 9 frames per second with the optional MB-D18 battery grip. This also offers a duplicate set of controls for vertical shooting. The only other camera to offer this combination of speed and resolution right now is the Sony A99 II. The continuous shooting speed would be of little value without a big buffer capacity, but the D850 can capture 51 RAW files in a burst, which is extremely impressive.

Other specs include an ISO range of 64-25,600, expandable to ISO 32-102400, and a 2350K-dot 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen which also offers touch-focus and touch-shutter control. This works in conjunction with the new camera’s silent shutter mode, where it uses an electronic shutter and makes no sound at all, even when shooting continuously at speeds of up to 6 frames per second. This could make the D850 perfect for wedding and social photographers, sports photographers and even wildlife photographers. There’s also a 5-megapixel mode that shoots at 30fps.

The D850 has an in-built focus stacking mode which can be programmed with the number of shots required and the focus interval between each, together with an in-camera 4K timelapse movie mode and an 8K timelapse mode for use with external software for super-high-quality timelapse movies.

The video capabilities should attract film makers too. The D850 shoots 4K video using the full sensor area, so there’s no crop factor to take into account and movie makers will get full benefit from their wideangle lenses. This is in contrast to the Canon EOS 4D Mark IV, one of the D850’s chief rivals, which shoots 4K video with a large crop factor.

The control layout mirrors that of its predecessor, the D810, and Nikon’s other professional DSLRs. The D850 is weatherproof and has a shutter life rated at 200,000 actuations. The EN-EL15a battery is good for over 1800 shots on a single charge, giving the Nikon a big operational advantage over rival mirrorless cameras. It has two card slots, one for the new, fast XQD format and another for SD/SDHC/SDXC, which is UHS-II compatible.

The D850 goes on sale on September 7th 2017 and will cost £3,499/€3,899.00/$3300.

Zebra pattern

A visual warning that image highlights are being overexposed and used especially during video recording. The overbright areas are marked by moving diagonal stripes (hence zebra) leaving you to decide whether to reduce the exposure or to leave it if the highlight areas are unimportant.

White balance

An adjustment made by the camera to neutralise colour shifts in the lighting. Digital cameras offer an auto white balance option where they choose the correction, or you can select manual white balance ‘presets’ when you want to control the camera’s colour rendition yourself. White balance adjustments are made using ‘colour temperature‘ and ‘tint‘.

Warmth

A non-technical way of describing the colour temperature of the light in a scene. Pictures taken with a low sun have ‘warmth’ because the light takes on a golden colour. Many photographs – landscapes, for example – can be enhanced with a little additional ‘warmth’.

Bayer sensor

Most camera sensors use a single layer of photosites (pixels). These are only sensitive to light, not colour, so a mosaic of red, green and blue filters (the ‘bayer pattern’) is placed on top of the sensor’s photosites so that individually they capture red, green or blue light. When the camera processes the sensor data to produce an image, it ‘demosaics’ the red, green and blue data, using colour information from surrounding photosites to ‘interpolate’ full colour data for each pixel.

Active D-Lighting (Nikon)

An exposure mode on some Nikon digital cameras which balances up the exposure in high-contrast scenes. The camera reduces the exposure to make sure it captures bright highlight detail and then processes the image to brighten up dark shadows. It can be applied in different strength settings.

Action cam

A small, simple and largely automated video camera (you can also shoot stills) designed to attach to a helmet, handlebars, surfboard or any other kind of object and provide dramatic first-person video of adventure sports and other activities. Almost all use fixed focal length super-wideangle lenses and shoot full HD video – some can shoot 4K.