Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tis the Season for New Photography Gear!

The late Summer/early Fall Photography 2010 announcement season is well under way.
So far we have seen the following:

Sony recently announced four new “Alpha” mount cameras which sport a host of innovations:

The first of the new Sony cameras, the SLT A55 and SLT A33, are the first cameras to incorporate the company's translucent mirror design. The Single Lens Translucent (SLT) technology offers live view with full-time fast phase-detection AF whether in stills or video mode. A fixed, semi-transparent mirror redirects a small amount of light onto the AF sensor while allowing the rest through onto the main imaging sensor which allows phase detection AF under all operating conditions. The A55 uses a 16.2MP sensor while the A33 has a 14.2MP sensor. Both cameras have a 3.0" articulated LCD, full HD video recording and ISO sensitivity up to 12,800. The A55 also features built-in GPS.

In terms of the more “conventional” HDSLR, Sony has announced the 16 mp A580 and the 14 mp A560 cameras (with 1.5 x crop factors). Both cameras can record 1080p full HD movies and deliver 7 fps in continuous shooting mode. They feature Sony's two-mode live view system, a 15-point phase-detection AF or a Manual Focus Check mode, a 3.0" fold-out LCDs, an enhanced Auto HDR mode, 3D Sweep Panorama mode, and sensitivity of up to ISO 25,600.

Along with the four cameras, Sony announced three Alpha-mount prime lenses: the Zeiss 24 mm F2 and the value-oriented 85 mm F2.8 lens for use on full frame and cropped sensor camera bodies , and the , 35 mm F1.8 for use on cropped sensor models. The 35 and 85 mm lenses are part of Sony’s Easy Choice range of lenses.

For more information on Sony Camera products click here.

Nikon has announced the D3100, an entry-level digital SLR. The D3100 is the first Nikon HDSLR capable of capturing video at 1080p and offering multiple frame rate options. This camera is the first from any DSLR maker to offer continuous autofocus operation during video recording. The camera is built around a 14.2MP (1.5 crop factor) CMOS sensor, has an 11-point AF system, offers a 3 fps burst rate, and ISO range of 100-3200 (expandable to 6400 and 12,800.)

In addition to the D3100, Nikon also introduced four new Nikkor lenses, three of which are geared for use on its FX Format cameras: The AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G; the AF-S 24-120 mm f/4G ED VR; the AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR; and the AF-S DX 55-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR for cropped sensor bodies.

For More information on the new Nikon products, visit Nikon USA.


Canon announced the EOS 60D. The successor to the EOS 50D fits in between the EOS T2i and EOS 7D in Canon's lineup and incorporates many of its still and video features found in other Canon models. It has an 18 million image pixel (1.6 crop factor) CMOS sensor, shoots stills at up to 5.3 fps, sports 63-zone metering first seen in the 7D, carries over the 50D’s 9-point AF systems, can control and trigger remote Speedlite flashes, and offer multiple video resolution and frame rate choices. It's also the first Canon HDSLR featuring a tilt-and-twist rear LCD.

Canon also introduced four new EF L-series lenses: The 8-15 mm f/4L Fisheye; the EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6L IS; the EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS II; and EF 400 mm f/2.8L IS II.

Canon has also introduced two new teleconverters; Extender EF 1.4x III and Extender EF 2x III.

Of the lenses, the Fisheye is most compelling as it marks the first time that Canon has released a zoom lens that is maximized for performance on all three sensor sized it offers in its HDSLRs/DSLRs.

For More information on the new Canon products, visit the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Micro Four-Thirds

The big new to date on the Micro 4/3s front is in lenses.


With the growing popularity of its Pen Line of cameras, Olympus has announced two new lenses for Micro 4/3s:

• The 75-300 F4.8-6.7 zoom lens (150-600 mm - 35 mm/full frame dslr equivalent)

• The 40-150 F4.0-5.6 zoom lens (80-300 mm - 35 mm/full frame dslr equivalent)

Both lenses offer fast silent autofocus for HD movie recording in a compact and lightweight package. For more information on Olympus cameras, visit Olympus USA.


Cosina Ltd has joined the Micro Four Thirds System standard. The Cosina entry in to Micro 4/3s means that the ultra-fast Nokton 25 mm F.095 lens (50 mm focal length - 35 mm/full frame dslr equivalent) will be available for use on Micro 4/3s cameras by Panasonic and Olympus. Yes that's F.095!

As we get closer to the start of Photokina, the biennial photography trade show held in Cologne, and that will open in mid-September, expect additional product announcements.  We'll keep you updated so tell your friends and check back!

Byron Atkinson