Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Digital Photography Review Newsletter: Wednesday, 19 February 2014

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Digital Photography Review Newsletter

Wednesday, 19 February 2014
The most popular weekly photography newsletter, with over 300,000 subscribers
 

Welcome to the 497th Digital Photography Review newsletter.

 

Sony Alpha α7R Review

We've already reviewed the less-expensive of the Sony's full-frame mirrorless cameras, so now it's the turn of the higher-resolution variant - the 36MP Sony α7R. While the two cameras are almost indistinguishable, physically but the small differences in specifications add up to give two cameras that are different in a number of key respects. How does that change what we thought about the camera? Read our review to find out.

Click here to read our Sony Alpha α7R Review

Sony 35mm F2.8 quick look

Alongside the α7 siblings, we've also published lab reports on the Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA and FE 35mm F2.8 ZA. They may not be the fastest primes in the world, but there's a bit more to them than that - click through to see what we mean...

Click here to read our Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA lab report (with DxO)

Reporting from CP+ 2014

Barney's been in Japan for the last week, racing around the show floor at the CP+ 2014 exhibition in Yokohama to grab photos of all the latest launches. Rather than stopping to catch his breath, he also spoke to a selection of industry figures, including executives from Nikon and Fujifilm, and Sigma's CEO Kazuto Yamaki.

Click here to read our CP+ 2014 coverage

Canon launches more compact PowerShot G1 X Mark II

One of the more striking launches of CP+ was Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II. It's much further removed from its predecessor than the 'Mark II' naming might suggest - it's essentially a whole new camera from the ground, up. So, while it retains a large 1.5"-type sensor, the whole camera is smaller (it looks more like an EOS-M with control points), and it gains a faster, wider and longer zoom lens. So, while it's still not easily pocketable, the G1 X II is able to offer a 24-120mm equivalent F2.0-3.9 lens with twin control dials. Have a read of our 'quick look' article and hands-on images to find out more...

Click here to read our quick look at the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

What's coming up?

We're all working away on reviews, aiming to catch up with the last of the pre-Christmas cameras before the latest models start to arrive. We've also got some interesting things lined-up, including a look at GoPro's latest action cam - the 4k-capable Hero 3+ Black Edition. Keep coming back - we've plenty more on its way.

Richard

GearShop update - a message from Laura

GearShop update - a message from Laura

This week's best deals: Get a free Sony HVL-F60M flash worth $549 when you purchase an RX1 or RX1R full frame compact camera. Save big on Panasonic Lumix compact cameras, from the waterproof and rugged TS5 to the Raw-shooting super zoom FZ200 and more. You can also save $100 on the silver and gold award winning Lumix GX7 or GH3 for a limited time.

Now Shipping: Looking for a versatile low light and portrait lens for your micro four thirds camera? The recently announced Olympus 25mm F1.8 lens is now available. We have black in stock now, and silver is on the way. Nikon's super zoom Coolpix P530 has just hit the shelves too. As always, enjoy free 2-day shipping or $9.99 1-day shipping on everything we sell.

Until next week - Laura and the GearShop Team

 
 
News updates

Sony pins $1500 price tag on E-mount FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:00:00 AM GMT

Buried at the end of its press release announcing the α6000, Sony has revealed pricing and availability for its previously announced FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS. Like the other FE lenses it's not especially cheap, though; the image-stabilised telezoom will be available in March for about $1500 (or £1240 in the UK). The lens will work on both full frame and APS-C sensor E-mount cameras, offering a 105-300mm equivalent range on the latter.

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Got zoom? Sony introduces DSC-H400 with enormous 63X zoom

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:00:00 AM GMT

While the megapixel race has shown signs of slowing down, the competition for zoom range is still going strong. Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-H400's 63X lens covers an enormous 24.5-1550mm equivalent range. If that's a bit too much for you, the DSC-H300 has a 35X (25-875mm equiv.) lens and shares the same 20.1MP CCD as the H400. Stepping up, there's the DSC-HX400V, which has a 20.4MP CMOS sensor, Bionz X processor, 50X (24-1200mm equiv.) zoom, tilting 3" LCD, Wi-Fi, GPS, and 1080/60p video recording. Prices range from $220 to $500.

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Canon unleashes PowerShot SX700 HS travel zoom

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:00:00 AM GMT

Canon has introduced its new PowerShot SX700 travel zoom, which features a 25-750mm equivalent F3.2-6.9 lens and the company's latest DIGIC 6 processor. While you're zoomed in tight, the camera's Zoom Framing Assist feature lets you quickly back out, recompose, and return to where you were. The SX700 also features manual exposure control, Wi-Fi with NFC, and 1080/60p video. The camera will be shipping next month in your choice of black or red for $349.99.

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Waterproof Canon PowerShot D30 dives deep

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:00:00 AM GMT

Canon has announced the PowerShot D30 rugged digital camera, boasting a new design and a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor. It's waterproof to an impressive 25m/82 ft, making it a class-leader. It's also temperature resistant from -10° C/14° F to 40° C/105° F and shockproof to 2m/6.5 ft. The D30 features built-in GPS and is capable of 1080p HD video recording. It's also equipped with a new Sunlight LCD mode, which boasts improved visibility in bright conditions. The PowerShot D30 is available in April for $330.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 puts latest tech into travel zoom body

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:00:00 AM GMT

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 features an 18.2 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and the company's latest Bionz X processor, and puts it into a slim body with a 20X, 25-500mm equivalent F3.5-6.5 lens. The WX350 also shoots up to ten shots at 10 fps, records 1080/60p video, and has a 'Motion Shot feature' for capturing things like golf swings. And, like most of Sony's midrange cameras, the WX350 also has Wi-Fi with NFC. The camera will ship in March for $320.

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 150 IS, 140 IS and 135 compacts introduced

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:00:00 AM GMT

Canon announces the PowerShot ELPH 150 IS, ELPH 140 IS and ELPH 135, replacing its A-series of budget-friendly compacts. Each model uses a CCD sensor, providing a top video resolution of 720p. The 20 megapixel PowerShot ELPH 150 IS offers a 10x optical zoom and Intelligent IS. The PowerShot ELPH 140 IS has a 16 megapixel sensor, Intelligent IS and an 8x zoom, and the ELPH 135 provides an 8x zoom and 16 megapixels without IS. All three cameras are offered with a sub-$200 MSRP - a significant step down in price for the ELPH series.

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Sony a6000 First Impressions Review posted

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:01:00 AM GMT

The a6000 sits in the middle of Sony's range of mirrorless cameras, just above the a5000 and aging NEX-7. The feature that makes it stand out from the crowd (and not just among Sony cameras) is its Hybrid AF system, which has phase detect points across 92% of the frame. To learn what that means to photographers, and learn more about the a6000 in general, then have a look at our a6000 First Impressions Review.

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Canon announces entry-level Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) and macro ring light

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:01:00 AM GMT

There's a new entry-level camera in Canon's DSLRs lineup, and it's the Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D). This model replaces the Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) and features the company's familiar 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 processor, and 9-point AF system. The T5 also has a 3" LCD, 3 fps continuous shooting, and 1080p video recording. Canon also announced the MR-14EX II Macro Ring Light, which offers 'independent flash head operation, increased responsiveness and enhanced custom functions'. Both the camera and ring light are priced at $549, with the former including an 18-55mm lens.

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Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II adds faster lens and AF to big-sensor body

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:02:00 AM GMT

Canon has announced the long-awaited follow-up to its PowerShot G1 X large-sensor compact: the G1 X Mark II. The G1 X II improves upon its predecessor in many ways. It's smaller, features a faster 24-120mm equivalent F2.0-3.9 lens (with closer focusing distances), a 31-point AF system, dual lens rings, a touchscreen LCD that can tilt upward by 180°, and Wi-Fi with NFC. One added trick is that the G1 X II can shoot at 3:2 or 4:3 with the same field-of-view. The catch? No more optical viewfinder (though a $299 EVF is optional). It will be available in April for $799.

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Sony a6000 promises world's fastest AF and 11 fps subject tracking

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:02:42 AM GMT

Sony has released its new a6000 mirrorless camera, which is the replacement to the NEX-6. This midrange mirrorless features a 24MP CMOS sensor, Sony's latest Bionz X processor, and a refined Hybrid AF system that covers 92% of the frame with phase-detect points. The new AF system allows for continuous shooting at 11 fps with subject tracking, and also promises the 'world's fastest autofocus', according to Sony. Video enthusiasts will be pleased to see that the a6000 offers a zebra pattern and clean HDMI output, though it lacks headphone or mic ports. Read more.

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A quick look at the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:35:00 AM GMT

One of the most exciting cameras released today is Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II, which retains the 1.5-inch-type sensor from its predecessor and adds a faster processor, longer and brighter lens, tilting LCD, dual control rings, and much more. We've put together a short article that covers the most interesting new features on the G1 X II. Have a look.

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Olympus developing 7-14mm F2.8 and 300mm F4 'Pro' lenses

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:54:00 AM GMT

When Olympus announced the high-end OM-D E-M1, it promised that it would be making a wideangle zoom and super-telephoto prime in its matching 'PRO' line of lenses. Now it's given a few more details for those products. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO shares many design features with the current 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO, while the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm 1:4 PRO offers a 600mm equivalent angle of view. Both lenses are dust- and splash-proof, and will be available next year. Click through for more details and pictures of the lenses

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Nikon D5300 review: Approachable, yet serious

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 7:06:00 PM GMT

The Nikon D5300 presents an entry-level photographer with some serious specifications, starting with a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor. It shapes up to be quite the formidable DX-format camera with 1080/60p HD video recording, built-in Wi-Fi/GPS, a 39-point AF system and a flip-out LCD. It's not short on features, but do its handling and image quality match the tall specs list? Read our full review

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Nokia Lumia Icon brings 20 megapixel PureView to Verizon

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:42:00 PM GMT

The Nokia Lumia Icon, introduced today, offers 20 megapixel PureView image technology to customers on the Verizon network for the first time. The Icon offers an F2.4 Zeiss lens, 1080p HD video recording and like its PureView peers runs Windows Phone 8. Read more on connect.dpreview.com

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CP+ 2014: Hands-on with Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 2:30:00 AM GMT

We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan where Canon is showing off its latest high-end compact camera, the PowerShot G1 X Mark II. The G1 X Mark II replaces the original G1 X, which was announced two years ago and offers several improvements over the older model including a faster 24-120mm equivalent F2.0-3.9 lens and a closer minimum focus distance. The G1 X Mark II is built around a 1.5 inch 12.8MP CMOS sensor and can be used with an (optional) electronic viewfinder. Click through for a hands-on look.

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CP+ 2014: Hands-on with Sigma DP2 Quattro

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 3:14:00 AM GMT

We've never accused Sigma of lacking innovation, and while the Japanese manufacturer is best known for making lenses, Sigma also markets a line of cameras. The latest - the DP2 Quattro - features an all-new ~19.6 million pixel APC-C Foveon sensor and a completely new body design. Is this (in Sigma's words) a 'reinvention of camera'? We won't know until we've tried one out, but in the meantime click through for an initial hands-on look. 

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CP+ 2014: Hands-on with Sony a6000

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 5:21:00 AM GMT

Sony is maintaining its near-hectic pace of new product releases into 2014, and the highlight product of the company's year so far is the a6000. Replacing the NEX-6 (and for now at least, the NEX-7 too) the a6000 is a 24MP APS-C interchangeable lens camera with a serious feature set including an impressive autofocus system. We've written a lot about the a6000 over the past couple of days but since we're at CP+ in Japan we wandered over to Sony's booth for a quick look. Click through for our hands-on impressions. 

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Cosina updates VoigtlÃĪnder Nokton 25mm F0.95 with clickless aperture

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 9:45:00 AM GMT

Cosina has announced a slightly revised version of its ultra-fast normal prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The Voigtländer Nokton 25mm F0.95 Type II gains an aperture ring mechanism that is switchable between clicked and clickless operation, a desirable feature for movie makers (and previously seen in its 17.5mm F0.95 and 42.5mm F0.95 stablemates). The optics are unchanged, but the updated lens is slightly heavier and larger in diameter. It will be available in March. 

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SLR Magic creates Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 lens adaptor for movie makers

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:20:00 AM GMT

SLR Magic has created the Anamorphot 1,33x – 50, an accessory lens for film makers that compresses the image horizontally by a factor of 1.33x. This allows footage to be shot for 2.35:1 widescreen projection using the standard 16:9 aspect ratio that most cameras record, without having to crop vertically and lose resolution. The lens will be available by March 2014 and cost $899.  

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LG launches LG G Pro 2 phablet with 4k video

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 2:57:47 PM GMT

LG has launched the LG G Pro 2 in Korea and the new device's global launch is expected at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. With its 5.9-inch 1080p IPS screen the new model falls firmly into the phablet category and follows last year's Optimus G Pro in the LG lineup. Click for more on connect.dpreview.com

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Shaking up the market? Sony a7R review posted

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2014 7:44:00 PM GMT

Two products that have been getting a lot of attention lately are the Sony a7 and a7R full-frame mirrorless cameras. Last month we took an in-depth look at the Alpha 7, and were mostly pleased with how it turned out. Now it's time to take a look at its big brother, the Alpha 7R, which offers a 36 megapixel sensor with no low-pass filter and a more conventional autofocus system. Is the a7R worth the price premium over the a7? Find out in our review

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CP+ 2014: Canon stand report

Published on Friday, February 14, 2014 1:31:00 AM GMT

Canon has a large stand at this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan, showcasing its current range of DSLRs, compact cameras and Cinema EOS video lineup. We're at the show, and stopped by earlier today for a look at what's on offer. Click through for our stand report, which we'll be updating over the next couple of days. 

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CP+ 2014: Fujifilm shows new 50mm teleconverter for X100S

Published on Friday, February 14, 2014 4:51:00 AM GMT

We're at the CP+ show in Japan, where Fujifilm is showing a new teleconverter for the X100S. Attached in the same way as the existing WCL-X100, the new TCL-X100 increases the X100S's effective focal length to 50mm, without effecting the minimum aperture. Details are scarce but unofficially we understand that the new converter will be available later in spring, for around $300. Click through for some hands-on impressions. 

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CP+ 2014: Nikon stand report

Published on Friday, February 14, 2014 7:34:00 AM GMT

We're at the (currently very snowy) CP+ show in Japan and we've been checking out the Nikon stand, getting a feel for the latest products and exploring the various demonstrations. Click through for a look at what we found. trust us - it's worth it just for the scale model of Yokohama...

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John Stanmeyer wins World Press Photo of the Year

Published on Friday, February 14, 2014 6:30:00 PM GMT

American photographer John Stanmeyer's image of migrants on the shore of Djibouti city raising their cell phones attempting to capture a signal from neighboring Somalia was named World Press Photo of the Year. The picture also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category. Stanmeyer of the VII Photo Agency was on assignment for National Geographic when he shot the photograph. Learn more

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CP+ 2014: Fujfilm interview - 'The only way is to keep innovating'

Published on Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:53:00 AM GMT

We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan where Japanese camera and lens manufacturers show off their latest products to a domestic and international audience. Today, Toshihisa Iida, senior sales and marketing manager at Fujifilm found time to sit down with editor Barnaby Britton to discuss a range of topics including the reception of the new X-T1, firmware updates to older and existing models and the possibility of larger-format X-Trans cameras in the future... click through to read the full interview.

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A look inside Sigma's lens factory

Published on Saturday, February 15, 2014 9:00:00 AM GMT

Sigma gives us another behind the scenes look at their Aizu, Japan lens factory in a video released during the CP+ trade show. It's an artsy factory tour highlighting the craftsmanship and the process of how their lenses are assembled. They released a similar video during Photokina 2012 and have since gained some popularity with their higher end 35mm F1.4 DG HSM and the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM lenses. See video

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CP+ 2014: Fujifilm stand report

Published on Sunday, February 16, 2014 1:51:00 AM GMT

We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan where Fujifilm is showing off its latest camera, the weathersealed X-T1. Yesterday the show was cancelled due to heavy snow and today the line of people waiting to get in is formidable. Editor Barnaby Britton finagled an exhibitor's pass to get in early and beat the crowds. Click through to read our report from the Fujifilm stand. 

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CP+ 2014: Things we found that had been cut in half

Published on Sunday, February 16, 2014 3:34:00 AM GMT

Building modern digital cameras and lenses is an exacting business. Each product is made up of sometimes hundreds of tiny components, assembled to meticulously narrow tolerances and if one piece is out of alignment, the whole is compromised. But you want to see what stuff looks like when it's been cut in half? Yes. You do, you know you do. It's OK, we won't tell anyone. Click through for a look at things that we found at CP+ that have been cut in half. 

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CP+ Sigma interview - 'We survived because we make unique products'

Published on Sunday, February 16, 2014 9:04:00 AM GMT

We're at the CP+ show in Japan this week and one of the busiest stands belongs to Sigma. Best known for manufacturing lenses, Sigma is showing off its latest camera, the dp2 Quattro. Editor Barnaby Britton sat down with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma, for a chat about the Quattro, as well as the challenges of the modern photography industry and what it's like being the head of a family business.

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CP+ 2014: Nikon Interview - 'our cameras need to evolve'

Published on Monday, February 17, 2014 12:34:00 PM GMT

The CP+ show in Yokohama Japan has just closed, but in between visits to the various booths we made time to sit down with four senior Nikon executives to get their thoughts on the state of the market, future opportunities and the inevitable coming together of stills and video. Click through to read the full interview. 

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CP+ 2014: Selected highlights of the show

Published on Monday, February 17, 2014 2:00:00 PM GMT

The CP+ show in Yokohama Japan has closed, but we've still got plenty of content in the pipeline including more interviews with senior executives from the major camera manufacturers which we'll be publishing over the coming few days. Until then, click through for a look at some of the highlights from this years' show including a miniature model of Yokohama, lots and lots of snow, and plenty of things that had been cut in half. Oh - and some cameras. 

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Kowa to make three manual focus lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Published on Monday, February 17, 2014 2:50:00 PM GMT

Japanese optical company Kowa - best known for its spotting scopes and binoculars - has revealed that it plans to make three lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The Kowa Prominar 8.5mm F2.8 MFT, 12mm F1.8 MFT and 25mm F1.8 MFT will all feature manual focus and aperture control, and use low-dispersion XD glass and aspheric elements to minimise distortion and aberrations. They're due to be released in summer 2014.

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Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lab test report

Published on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:00:00 AM GMT

The Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* is one of the first lenses for Sony's fledgling full frame mirrorless system, offering a classic moderate wideangle view. It's a small lens that nicely complements the Alpha 7 and 7R, but at around $800 / £680 it's distinctly pricey for a relatively slow prime. So is it worth the money See the lens test data and our analysis

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Your camera's best amigo: Miggo Strap and Grip review

Published on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:38:00 PM GMT

The Miggo straps and grips bring a lot of innovation to the way we tote and transport our beloved investments. Their versatile multi-use designs combine a high quality camera wrap, a method of securing the camera to your person and lens cap pocket all in one. Are the days of traditional camera toting coming to an end? Find out in our review

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