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Sony announces SLT-A57 and HVL-LE1 LED panel for movie lighting

April 18th, 2012 No comments

Sony has announced the SLT-A57, a replacement for the original A55 fixed-mirror, electronic viewfinder DSLR. The A57 still features a 16MP sensor and LCD viewfinder but incorporates them into essentially the same body as the more expensive A65. Use of the latest Bionz processor means the A57 offers a wider-than-ever selection of photographic features and image processing modes. There’s also an optional HVL-LE1 video-lighting LED panel.

The A57 will have an MSRP of $799/€849, bundled with an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens.

The HVL-LE1 has an output of 1800lux/0.5m with a color temperture of 5500K. It can be adjusted down to 10% of this output if needed. It comes supplied with both a Sony Alpha and ISO standard flash shoe connector, allowing its use with non-Sony cameras. Its MSRP will be $249. The LE1 comes with a warming filter (taking the output to around 3200K, and is compatible with AA batteries or Sony M or V series rechargeable battery packs.

Click here to read our hands-on Sony SLT-A57 preview

Sony Brings Pro-level Performance to Mainstream SLR Users with New High-Speed α57 Camera Featuring Translucent Mirror Technology

A wider palette of creative options is now accessible to more shooters with the α57 camera, the newest addition to Sony’s popular line of A-mount cameras employing Translucent Mirror Technology.

The innovative Translucent Mirror design directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting.  Users can also frame, focus and preview shots in real-time on the high-resolution Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder, which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view. This allows photographers to capture exactly what they see on the screen.

A natural successor to Sony’s acclaimed α55 camera, the α57 is positioned for a wide audience of DSLR users. It can shoot still images at up to 12 frames per second, capture full HD video at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates and has a variety of creative modes including Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology

“Today’s DSLR consumer is looking for a higher level of control and flexibility in their camera,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha camera business group for Sony Electronics. “With the introduction of the new α57, we’re bringing blazing fast response rates, enhanced artistic capabilities and other advanced features to the mainstream DSLR marketplace, offering professional-grade performance at affordable prices.”

With the α57 camera, shooting speeds of up to 12 frames per second are achieved in new Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure with fixed aperture. Magnifying the central portion of the sensor’s image by 1.4x, it’s perfect for capturing split-second action close-ups with a burst of sharply focused images, even when the subject is moving. In this shooting mode, aperture is fixed at either f/3.5 or the maximum aperture of lens in use (whichever is smaller) and image size of photos is about 8.4 megapixels.

Additionally, the α57 camera lets people create powerfully expressive Full HD movies. Responsive full-time continuous phase detection AF ensures that moving subjects stay sharply focused, just like with still shooting. Support for the AVCHD™ Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) format means that Full HD resolution movies can be captured with 60p frame rate: ideal for capturing smooth, blur-free action. Shooting in 24p is also available to give footage a rich, cinematic look. Movie-making options are enhanced further with full control over P/A/S/M shooting modes for virtually limitless creative expression.

The α57 model shares the α65’s 15-point AF system with three cross sensors delivering fast, accurate TTL phase detection autofocus. Newly enhanced Object Tracking AF keeps faces or other selected objects in sharp focus – even if a target is obscured momentarily by another passing object.

Even the novice photographers can now easily create pro-style portraits with the α57 thanks to new Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology. Using face detection and the compositional ‘rule of thirds,’ the camera identifies a subject’s position, trimming the scene to create tightly framed, professional-looking pictures in portrait or landscape orientation while maintaining a copy of the original image. Saving both the original photo plus the adjusted version allows for easy comparison between the two images, offering photographers inspiration to refine their portrait skills.

To get closer to the subject, 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology doubles the effective magnification of your lens and is a highly practical alternative to travelling with a bigger, bulkier telephoto lens. The camera uses Sony’s “By Pixel Super Resolution Technology” to ensure that cropped and zoomed images retain full pixel resolution.

Additionally, the model’s range of popular in-camera Picture Effect modes includes 11 different effects and 15 total variations – offering a generous palette of ‘PC-free’ artistic treatments, including Pop Color, HDR Painting, Miniature Mode and much more. Results can be previewed directly in live view mode on the LCD screen or in the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder while shooting either Full HD video or stills.

Still and video shooting, framing, focusing and real-time preview of exposure adjustments are a pleasure with the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder. With ultra-detailed 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view, it rivals quality optical viewfinders. There’s a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle to help consumers shoot with confidence, including a digital level gauge and framing grid. Information can be displayed either directly in the viewfinder or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD™ display.

Ensuring detail-packed images, the 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor is teamed with a latest-generation BIONZ® engine. Refined by Sony during the development of its flagship α77 and high-end α65 cameras, this powerful processor effortlessly handles large amounts of image data for flawless, low-noise images and Full HD video.

Thanks to the BIONZ processor, creative shooting opportunities are boosted by an outstanding sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000. Users will experience consistently natural, low-noise images – whether shooting at fast shutter speeds to freeze dynamic action or handheld without flash in low light.

Pricing and Availability

The new α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available this April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800 (model SLT-A57K).  It will also be offered as body-only for about $700 (model SLT-A57). 

Sony will also be introducing a new battery-powered LED video light, model HVL-LE1, which broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. This new accessory will be available this month for about $250.

The camera, camera kit and a wide variety of Alpha accessories are sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Sony SLT A57 specifications

Price
MSRP Body only: US $700, with 18-55mm lens: US $800
Body type
Body type Compact SLR
Sensor
Max resolution 4912 x 3264
Other resolutions 4912 x 2760, 3568 x 2368, 3568 x 2000, 2448 x 1624, 2448 x 1376
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16.1 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 16.7 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filters
Image
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000 (25600 with boost)
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes SteadyShot Inside
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal
File format
  • RAW
  • RAW + JPEG
  • JPEG Fine
  • JPEG Standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Built-in Flash type
Digital zoom Yes (2x Clear Image Zoom)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 15
Lens mount Sony/Minolta Alpha mount
Focal length multiplier 1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type Xtra Fine TFT drive with TruBlack technology
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100 %
Viewfinder magnification 1.04×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAUTO
  • Flash Off
  • Superior Auto
  • Scene Selection
  • Sweep Panorama
  • 3D Sweep Panorama
  • Continuous Advance Priority AE
  • Movie, Programmed AE (P)
  • Aperture priority (A)
  • Shutter-speed priority (S)
  • Manual (M)
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Sports Action
  • Sunset
  • Night Portrait
  • Night View
  • Hand-held Twilight
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up)
Flash range 10 m (@ ISO 100)
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
Flash X sync speed 1/160 sec
Drive modes
  • Single Shot
  • Continuous (Hi/Lo)
  • Self-timer (10/2 sec. delay)
  • Bracketing (Cont., Single, White Balance), Remote Control (with optional RM-DSLR1)
Continuous drive Yes (12 fps)
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
Format
  • MPEG-4
  • AVCHD
  • H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Videography notes 1080p60 or 24 on NTSC models, 50p or 25p in PAL countries
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini Type C)
Wireless EyeFi
Remote control Yes (Optional)
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Rechargeable NP-FM500H battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 550
Weight (inc. batteries) 618 g (1.36 lb / 21.80 oz)
Dimensions 132 x 98 x 81 mm (5.2 x 3.86 x 3.19″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS None

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Toshiba announces Exceria range of fast SDHC cards

April 18th, 2012 No comments

Toshiba has announced the Exceria range of UHS-I compliant high-speed SDHC and SDXC cards, available in a range of speeds and sizes. The fastest, Type 1, cards will equal the fastest cards currently available – offering 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds – and will be offered in capacities up to 32Gb. There will also be 95/60MB/s and 90/30MB/s versions. All the cards will exceed SD Class 10 performance and UHS-I Class 1 performance in the latest, UHS-I compatible cameras. No details are yet available for prices or availability outside Japan.

TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that it will launch a new line of high performance SDXC and SDHC memory cards under a new brand name, EXCERIA™[1], that will bring to market SD memory cards offering the highest performance levels available.

EXCERIA, a combination of “excellent” and “experience” offers cards compliant with the SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.0 UHS-I[2], and includes versions offering the world-fastest class[3] data transfer speed[4]. The new products will be launched from April in Japan, with distinctive labeling.

The SD memory card has emerged as the data storage card of choice in all kinds of personal digital equipment. As the performance of digital equipment has advanced, SD memory cards offering faster data transfer speeds are necessary to support such functions as recording HD movies, continuous image shooting with digital camera and short transfer times when copying data to other devices.

Toshiba’s EXCERIA SDXC and SDHC memory cards will offer fast data read and write speeds and full compliance with the SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.0 UHS-I. The minimum recording speed is compliant with UHS speed class 1[5] and SD speed class 10[6]. Products will be launched in three series, EXCERIA Type 1, Type 2 and Type HD, each offering three versions with different capacities.

The Type 1 series products integrate new controllers that realize the world-fastest class of data transfers, with a maximum read speed of 95MB per sec and a write speed of 90MB per sec. Type 2 series products offer a maximum read speed of 95MB per sec and a write speed of 60MB per sec, while Type HD products have a maximum read speed of 90 MB per sec and a write speed of 30 MB per sec.

Toshiba, a world leader in the NAND flash memory business, will continue to meet market demands by enhancing its line-up of high performance SD memory cards.

Notes:

[1] EXCERIA is a trademark of Toshiba Corporation.
[2] UHS-I is the ultra high speed interface in SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.0 that delivers data at a rate from 25 to 104MB per sec,
[3] As of March 2012
[4] Maximum data transfer speed may vary depending on the host device and file size.
[5] When it is used in UHS interface compliant device, the minimum read and write speed is 10 MB per sec.
[6] The minimum read and write speed is 10 MB per sec.

Outline of New SD Memory Cards

1. EXCERIA Type 1

Product Name Capacity Maximum Transfer
Speed
Price Start of Sales
(Plan)
Read Write
SD-GU032G1 32GB 95MB/s 90MB/s Open July, 2012
SD-GU016G1 16GB 95MB/s 90MB/s Open July, 2012
SD-GU008G1 8GB 95MB/s 90MB/s Open July, 2012

2. EXCERIA Type 2

Product Name Capacity Maximum Transfer
Speed
Price Start of Sales
(Plan)
Read Write
SD-GU064G2 64GB 95MB/s 60MB/s Open August, 2012
SD-GU032G2 32GB 95MB/s 60MB/s Open August, 2012
SD-GU016G2 16GB 95MB/s 60MB/s Open August, 2012

3. EXCERIA Type HD

Product Name Capacity Maximum Transfer
Speed
Price Start of Sales
(Plan)
Read Write
SD-GU032GH 32GB 90MB/s 30MB/s Open May, 2012
SD-GU016GH 16GB 90MB/s 30MB/s Open April, 2012
SD-GU008GH 8GB 90MB/s 30MB/s Open April, 2012
Note:
Product names above are for the Japanese market.

Key Features (All EXCERIA series)

  1. Compliant with the SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.0 UHS-104, which defines 104MB per sec as the fastest data transfer speed under the SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.0 UHS-I.
  2. SDHC memory cards (32GB, 16GB, 8GB) are interoperable with SDHC host devices compliant with SD Memory Card Standard Ver.2.0.
  3. Integrates highly secure CPRM copy protection technology.
  4. The minimum recording speed is UHS speed class1 and SD speed class 10.

Specifications

1.  EXCERIA Type 1

Product Name SD-GU032G1 SD-GU016G1 SD-GU008G1
Capacity 32GB 16GB 8GB
Speed
Class
UHS-I
Mode
UHS Speed Class 1
SD Mode Speed Class 10
Maximum Read Speed 95MB/s
Maximum Write Speed 90MB/s
Interface SDR104/SDR50/DDR50/HS/DS bus mode, SDCLOCK≤208MHz
Signal Voltage UHS-I Mode1.8V, HS/DS Mode 3.3V
Power Supply Voltage 2.7-3.6V
Compliant Standard SD Memory Standard Ver.3.01
File Format FAT32
External Dimensions 32.0mm(L)×24.0mm(W)×2.1mm(T)
Weight Approx. Approx. 2g

2. EXCERIA Type 2

Product Name SD-GU064G2 SD-GU032G2 SD-GU016G2
Capacity 64GB 32GB 16GB
Speed
Class
UHS-I
Mode
UHS Speed Class 1
SD Mode Speed Class 10
Maximum Read Speed 95MB/s
Maximum Write Speed 60MB/s
Interface SDR104/SDR50/DDR50/HS/DS bus mode, SDCLOCK≤208MHz
Signal Voltage UHS-I Mode1.8V, HS/DS Mode 3.3V
Power Supply Voltage 2.7-3.6V
Compliant Standard SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.01
File Format exFAT FAT32
External Dimensions 32.0mm(L)×24.0mm(W)×2.1mm(T)
Weight Approx. Approx. 2g

3. EXCERIA Type HD

Product Name SD-GU032GH SD-GU016GH SD-GU008GH
Capacity 32GB 16GB 8GB
Speed
Class
UHS-I
Mode
UHS Speed Class 1
SD Mode Speed Class 10
Maximum Read Speed 90MB/s
Maximum Write Speed 30MB/s
Interface SDR104/SDR50/DDR50/HS/DS bus mode, SDCLOCK≤208MHz
Signal Voltage UHS-I Mode1.8V, HS/DS Mode 3.3V
Power Supply Voltage 2.7-3.6V
Compliant Standard SD Memory Card Standard Ver.3.01
File Format FAT32
External Dimensions 32.0mm(L)×24.0mm(W)×2.1mm(T)
Weight Approx. Approx. 2g

Note:

  • Product names above are for the Japanese market.
  • SDHC memory cards (32GB, 16GB, 8GB) can be used only in SDXC or SDHC compliant devices integrating FAT32 file format.
  • SDXC memory cards (64GB) can be used only in SDXC compliant devices integrating exFAT file format.

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Carl Zeiss creates Distagon T* 15mm F2.8 super wide angle lens

April 8th, 2012 No comments

Carl Zeiss has announced the Distagon T* 2,8/15, a super-wide-angle lens for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. The lens can focus from just 25cm (10″) and offers a 110 deg; field of view when mounted on a full-frame camera. It uses aspherical elements and abnormal partial dispersion glass in order to control distortion and chromatic aberration. It features an integrated lens hood and accepts 95mm threaded filters. It will be available from May for an MSRP of: €2,148 or US$2,948.

OBERKOCHEN, 16.03.2012.
Carl Zeiss brings out a new super wide angle lens in May 2012. The super wide angle Distagon T* 2,8/15 will be available with an EF (ZE) or F bayonet (ZF.2). With an extra-large angle of view of 110 degrees in combination with a fast f/2.8 aperture, the lens enables the features for dramatic perspectives and performance demanded by the most ambitious landscape and architectural photographers. With a unique ability to capture events in a natural and extraordinary manner, it is also an ideal companion for advertising, journalism and commercial photography.

Thanks to the extreme angle of view of the lens, the fore- and background can be creatively emphasized in landscape and architecture photography. These applications will also benefit from the large depth-of-field, which provides a wide range of image sharpness from close-up up to infinity. With a close focus of 0.25m (10”) – combined with a wide angle view – photographers can work in tight spaces, while also allowing focus on close-up details. Distortion is extremely well controlled, producing naturally proportioned photographs which are not typical of many other super wide angle lenses. “With the Distagon T* 2,8/15, Carl Zeiss sets the standard in super wide angle photography,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Consumer Lenses Program Manager in the Camera Lens Division of Carl Zeiss AG. “Even at full aperture it achieves outstanding detail rendition and opens up room for extremely imaginative design.”

The Distagon T* 2,8/15 incorporates two aspheric lenses and special types of glass material with abnormal partial dispersion to provide an extraordinary correction of chromatic aberration. A floating elements design guarantees high image quality from close-focus through infinity. Like the other SLR lenses in the ZE and ZF.2 series, stray light and reflections are well controlled by the Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating and the sophisticated treatment of the lens element edges with special light absorbing paint.

The robust all-metal barrel of the Distagon T* 2,8/15 is designed for decades of reliable service. A long focus rotation and buttery-smooth action is perfect for photographers who want to take control of their picture making, as well as for filmmakers looking for superior focus control. A nine blade aperture provides a nearly circular opening, producing natural looking out of focus details.

The lens shade is integrated into the design and helps to protect the lens surface from unintentional damage. The 95mm filter thread accepts all standard filters, including the recently released Carl Zeiss T* UV and POL filters.

The lens will begin shipping in May 2012 at a recommended retail price of €2,148 or US$2,948 (excluding VAT)*.

Specifications:

Focal length 15 mm
Aperture range f/2.8 – 22
Number of lens elements/groups 15/12
Focusing range 0.25m – infinity
Angular field** (diag./horiz./vert.) 110°/ 100°/ 76°
Coverage at close range** 340 x 221 mm (close-up)
Image ratio at close range 1:9 (close-up)
Filter thread M95 x 1.0
Length with caps 132 mm (ZF.2)
135 mm (ZE)
Diameter 103 mm (ZF.2)
103 mm (ZE)
Weight 730 g (ZF.2)
820 g (ZE)
Mounts ZF.2 (F bayonet)
ZE (EF bayonet)

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Kenko-Tokina exhibits mockup of image-stabilised 70-200mm F4 at CP+

April 8th, 2012 No comments

Kenko-Tokina will exhibit a mockup of a 70-200mm F4 telephoto zoom that features both a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor and optical image stabilization at the CP+ trade show in Japan. The AT-X Pro SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX will be the company’s first stabilized lens, and will likely be especially interesting to Nikon SLR users who currently have no option that’s directly comparable to Canon’s popular and highly-regarded 70-200mm F4 designs. Further details are limited, but the lens appears to feature both internal zoom and focus mechanisms, and has a usefully-close minimum focus distance of 1m. (via Megapixel.il)

 

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Tamron releases image-stabilized 24-70mm F2.8 zoom

April 8th, 2012 No comments

Tamron has announced a 24-70mm F2.8 zoom for full frame cameras that features inbuilt optical stabilisation – a first in this class of lens. The SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, to give it its full name, also incorporates an Ultrasonic Silent Drive motor for autofocus, which allows full-time manual focus. The lens is moisture-resistant, and features a circular aperture diaphragm for the attractive rendition of background blur. It will be produced in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts, with price and availability to be confirmed at a later date.

Press release:

Tamron develops full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in image stabilization – SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)

February 6th, 2012, Saitama, Japan - Tamron Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of optical equipment, announced the development of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007), a full-size high-speed standard zoom lens equipped with VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), with resolution at the top of its class.

The price and availability of the SP 24-70mm will be announced at a later date.

Product Features

  1. A full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in VC ( Vibration Compensation). Even when shooting in low-light conditions with a slow shutter speed to render sharpness, Tamron’s acclaimed VC allows for stable handheld camera work, to more fully enjoy the benefits of this high-speed zoom lens.
  2. Uses special high-grade glass in the three LD elements, three glass molded aspherical lenses, one hybrid aspherical lens and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses, delivering top-of-the-class quality images suited to this high-grade lens. Using a rounded diaphragm, the lens achieves gorgeous blur effects. This rounded diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even when taken two stops down from its fully open state.
  3. Features Tamron proprietary USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive) to power a speedy AF drive together with a continuous manual mechanism.
  4. This high-speed standard zoom lens has a wide-end focal length of 24mm that expands the photographic area.
  5. The lens adopts the new technology including the latest optical design, VC ( Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive), all in a lighter and more compact package.
  6. Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens.

 

Specifications:

Model A007
Focal length 24-70mm
Maximum aperture F/2.8
Angle of view (diagonal) 84°04’ -34°21’ (for full frame 35mm format cameras)
60°20’ -22°33’ (for APS-C format cameras)
Lens construction 17 elements in 12 groups
Minimum focus distance 0.38m (15.0 in)
Maximum magnification ratio 0.20x
Filter size 82mm
Length 108.5mm*
Diameter 88.2mm
Weight 825g*
No. of diaphragm blades 9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture F/22
Standard accessories Flower-shaped lens hood
Compatible mounts Canon, Nikon, Sony**

* Length and weight values given are for the Nikon mount
** The Sony mount does not include VC, because the body of Sony digital SLR cameras includes image stabilization functionality. The product name for Sony cameras is “SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD” without the VC designation

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Canon renews full-frame lenses with 24-70mm F2.8 II and stabilized wide-angle primes

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

Canon has released three EF lenses, including an updated 24-70mm F2.8 II USM. The latest version features what is promised to be a more durable body, despite being a little smaller. In addition to this high-end full-frame standard zoom, there are completely redesigned semi-fast 24mm  and 28mm F2.8 primes, both of which feature USM focus motors and image stabilization.

Ultimately, the most interesting thing about these launches is the fact that Canon feels the need to update various full-frame lenses, almost as if something likely to test the quality of its existing versions was in the offing.

The wide-angle lenses update two of Canon’s oldest primes: both the EF 28mm F2.8 and 24mm F2.8 date back to the late 1980s. The new variants add Canon’s latest 4-stop IS and ring-type USM (complete with full-time manual focus), and look like they should be perfectly nice lenses. We’re just not entirely sure who they’re for; APS-C users have the 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM, and full frame users are more likely to be using the company’s L series optics. It’s also a little unusual to see stabilization added to lenses this wide but that’s the decision Canon has made.

Press Release:

Class-leading performance, unrivalled flexibility – Canon launches three new lenses

London, UK, 7th February 2012 – Canon today adds to its world-famous EF lens series with the launch of three new lenses for photography professionals and enthusiasts. The new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM professional zoom lens is an update to the popular EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, while the new EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM are the world’s first1 wide-angle prime lenses to feature optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology. All three provide the highest levels of performance for modern digital photographers, combining premium image quality with durable, userfriendly designs.

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: the ultra-high performance standard zoom

The new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM features completely redesigned optics to provide outstanding clarity, image quality and durability. A compact design makes it ideal for carrying on every shoot, and a range of optical enhancements provide improved performance – capturing greater detail across the frame while reducing distortion throughout the entire zoom range, particularly at the maximum 70mm focal length.

With a redesigned optical system that includes two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and one Super UD aspheric elements to minimise chromatic aberration and colour blurring, the lens delivers consistently sharp, high-contrast images. Each lens element also features Canon’s optimised Super Spectra coatings to reduce ghosting and flare and ensure excellent colour balance. Additionally, a fluorine coating minimises the amount of dust, dirt and fingerprints that adhere to the front and rear of the lens, helping to maintain superior image quality.

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM also enables photographers to capture their subjects up close, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.38m at all focal lengths throughout the zoom range. A ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) works in combination with a highperformance CPU and advanced AF algorithms to ensure accurate, silent and ultraresponsive autofocus. For those who prefer to maintain full control in every shot, fulltime manual focusing allows photographers to precisely tweak or alter the focus of their shot at any time, even when AF is engaged.

Distinguished L-series design

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the latest lens from the elite L-series to offer Canon’s high-grade and user-focused design enhancements. The mechanical structure of the lens has been improved to offer enhanced zoom durability and greater shake and shock resistance within the lens barrel. The size of the lens has also been reduced by 10mm compared to the previous model, providing enhanced portability and greater convenience in everyday use. A new Zoom Lock lever also enables photographers to lock the zoom position at the extreme wide end to prevent damage to the lens in transit, while a water and dustproof construction2 enables users to continue shooting in harsh conditions.

Introducing the world’s first wide-angle primes with IS

Canon today also launches the new EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM – the world’s first 24mm and 28mm fixed wide-angle lenses to feature optical IS technology. Ideal for landscape and reportage, both lenses offer outstanding flexibility allowing photographers to shoot an even broader range of scenes and subjects – combining fast apertures with IS to enable sharp results when shooting handheld, even in low light conditions.

Offering an advantage of up to 4-stops over lenses without IS, both lenses are ideal for capturing more of the scene thanks to their wider focal lengths. Both feature a wide f/2.8 aperture, allowing photographers to explore shallow depth of field, or to shoot in lower-light conditions. Wide apertures and IS technology also make each lens ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects, while Canon’s advanced IS technology is able to detect intentional panning movement and automatically switch from Normal IS mode to Panning IS mode – helping users to capture movement with greater accuracy.

Silent, high-speed AF performance is provided by the inclusion of a ring-type USM and additional features including optimized AF control. Full-time manual focusing also ensures adjustments can be made even when AF is engaged, while a minimum focusing distance of 0.20m (EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM) and 0.23m (EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM) allows photographers to get even closer to smaller or more detailed subjects.

Designed to perform

Both the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM feature redesigned optics to improve image quality and reduce the need for post-production. An aspherical glass moulded (GMo) lens element is incorporated to correct aberration throughout the optical system, while Canon’s optimised Super Spectra Coatings reduce ghosting and flare for stand-out image quality. Externally, both models also boast a number of design similarities with Canon’s professional L-series lenses, with a similar coating on the barrel and a similar design on the focus ring. A distance scale is also included to assist with landscape photography, while the compact design makes these lenses an unobtrusive addition to any kit bag.

1 According to Canon research as of February 2012
2 Waterproof construction around the lens mount, switch panel, zoom ring, focusing ring and zoom lock.
Weatherproof when used with weatherproof EOS bodies.

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Nikon D800 preview updated with side-by-side comparisons

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

We’ve managed to get a bit more information about the Nikon D800E and have had a little longer to prepare our side-by-side comparison images, so have updated our preview. Nikon has given us more detail about how the D800E cancels-out the effect of its optical low-pass filter and we’re now able to show how the D800 compares to the D700 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Click here to read our updated preview

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Nikon D800 and D800E 36MP full-frame DSLRs announced

March 17th, 2012 No comments

Nikon has announced the D800 and D800E 36MP full-frame DSLRs. The pixel count of the long-awaited replacement for the D700 means it also trumps the D3X as the highest-resolution camera in Nikon’s lineup. As well as the ‘stock’ D800, Nikon has also revealed a more expensive model, the D800E that will be free from the effects of an anti-aliasing filter. Aimed at studio and landscape professionals the D800E should theoretically begin to rival medium format digital equipment in terms of resolution.

Press Release:

EXPECTATIONS SURPASSED: THE 36.3-MEGAPIXEL NIKON D800 IS THE MULTIMEDIA HD-SLR THAT SHATTERS CONVENTIONAL RESOLUTION BARRIERS FOR MAXIMUM FIDELITY

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) –  Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers.  A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for today’s creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality

The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions.  Internal sensor design, an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute to a sensor capable of excellent low light ability despite the extreme resolution.  Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create astounding tonal gradation and true colors, whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are also able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as 5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2X crop for a slight telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for more lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4-megapixel (4800×3200) resolution.

Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps professionals create images and HD video with amazing resolution, color and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color, rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency, affording the ability to shoot longer.

The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor now has the ability to detect human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed scene analysis for more accurate autofocus (AF), Auto exposure (AE), i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Color Matrix Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system that more accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture, and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s Active D-lighting for balanced exposure. Another new feature is direct access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters on the fly, such as sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience

The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more efficient workflow. The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video capability with minimal noise, letting filmmakers capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Users are also able to have full manual control of exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in live view for an accurate representation of the depth of field in a scene.  Whether shooting for depth of field in FX-format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain full 1080p HD resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene. Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle.

For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. This image can also be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality, such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30 steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to be activated through the shutter button, opening a world of remote applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy

Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced 51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and algorithms to significantly improve low light acquisition, for precise focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also places an emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes nine cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths (single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits or static subjects, users are also able to select multiple AF modes, including normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking to best suit the scene.

The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.12 seconds, and is ready to capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (fps) in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery. Further enhancing the speed of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.0 standard for ultra fast transfer speeds.

Construction and Operability

The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage.  For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and video to the other. For high speed recording and transfer, data can be recorded to recent UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also employs sensor cleaning. The D800 also features a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.

D800E – Maximum Resolution Unleashed

In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95.1 The D800E version will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95. For more information about these models, NIKKOR lenses and other D-SLR cameras please visit www.nikonusa.com.

Nikon D800 specifications

Price
MSRP US: $2999.95 UK: £2399.99 EU: €2829
Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 7360 x 4912
Other resolutions 6144 x 4912, 6144 x 4080, 5520 x 3680, 4800 x 3200, 4608 x 3680, 4608 x 3056, 3680 x 2456, 3600 x 2400, 3072 x 2456, 3072 x 2040, 2400 x 1600
Image ratio w:h 5:4, 3:2
Effective pixels 36.3 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 36.8 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Expeed 3
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary Color Filter
Image
ISO 100 – 6400 in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (50 – 25600 with boost)
White balance presets 12
Custom white balance Yes (5)
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Normal, Basic
File format
  • NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed
  • TIFF (RGB)
  • JPEG
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 51
Lens mount Nikon F mount
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3.2″
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT Color LCD with 170 degrees wide-viewing angle
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100 %
Viewfinder magnification 0.7×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Programmed auto with flexible program (P)
  • Shutter-priority (S)
  • Aperture priority (A)
  • Manual (M)
Built-in flash Yes (pop-up)
Flash range 12 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus sync connector)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain, High-speed sync
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • S (single frame)
  • CL (continuous low speed)
  • CH (continuous high speed)
  • Q (quiet shutter-release)
  • MUP (mirror up)
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive Yes (4,6 fps)
Self-timer Yes (2 to 20 sec, 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3)
Videography features
Format
  • MPEG-4
  • H.264
Microphone Mono
Speaker Mono
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)
Storage
Storage types Compact Flash (Type I), SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini Type C)
Wireless None
Remote control Yes (Optional, wired or wireless )
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (Water and dust resistant)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion EN-EL15 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 900 g (1.98 lb / 31.75 oz)
Dimensions 146 x 123 x 82 mm (5.75 x 4.84 x 3.23″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes GP-1

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Sony full-frame camera coming, 500mm F4 lens finally announced

March 17th, 2012 No comments

Sony has confirmed it will be making a full-frame replacement for its flagship A900 DSLR. No further details were given during a round-table discussion at the CP+ show in Japan, but we find it hard to believe the result will step away from the SLT technology the company has invested so heavily in. The company has also finally announced the A-mount 500mm F4 lens that it has been showing in various states of preparedness since PMA 2007 will be available from late March.

No details of price are given but the premium ‘G’ branding and the fact it’s a 500mm F4 are likely to make as substantial a dent in your wallet as the lens would make if you dropped it onto a particularly malleable surface.

Closer encounters with new 500mm super-telephoto:


Rugged, pro-focused SAL500F40G lens from Sony for A-mount SLT and DSLR cameras

  • Longest-ever focal length G Lens from Sony
  • Bright F4.0 aperture for superior light gathering
  • Nano AR Coating on optical surfaces for flawless still images and HD video
  • Compatible with SteadyShot INSIDE featured in all α cameras
  • New SSM drive circuit for quick, accurate autofocus
  • Rugged dust- and moisture-resistant design: ideal partner for SLT-A77
  • Enhanced handling and operability

Serious photographers can pull distant subjects closer with a powerful new 500mm (equivalent to 750mm with APS-C camera) super-telephoto lens from Sony.

The SAL500F40G is ideal for sports, wildlife and demanding imaging applications that require extreme magnification with uncompromised optical performance.

The SAL500F40G is the longest fixed focal length G Lens from Sony to date. Whether you’re shooting detail-packed stills or Full HD video, you’ll enjoy frame-filling close-ups with flawless resolution. With a bright F4.0 maximum aperture, its excellent light gathering power allows the use of faster shutter speeds to broaden shooting opportunities.

The ruggedly-engineered SAL500F40G copes effortlessly with tough photo assignments. Focusing ring and front/rear joints are protected by interlocking seals that shrug off dust and moisture, even when you’re shooting outdoors in driving rain or arid desert conditions. This weather-resistant design makes the SAL500F40G a perfect partner for the SLT-A77 (α77) Translucent Mirror camera that offers serious photographers similarly ruggedized performance.

Like all other A-mount lenses, the SAL500F40G is compatible with the SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilisation system that’s featured in every α Translucent Mirror and DSLR camera from Sony. Depending on shooting conditions, camera model and settings, you’ll enjoy camera-shake blur compensation that’s equivalent to approximately 4.5 stops (max.) in shutter speed.

Inside, the advanced optical design of the SAL500F40G includes 11 elements in 10 groups, including three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements. It’s also the first G Lens from Sony to feature advanced new coating process that ensures crisper, clearer images. Exclusive to Sony, the ground-breaking Nano AR Coating process cuts internal reflections drastically. Resulting images are brilliantly crisp and clear, with dramatically reduced lens flare and ghosting. Flare is reduced still further by the carbon fibre lens hood that’s lined with black velvet fibres to absorb incident light.

Razor-sharp autofocus performance makes the SAL500F40G ideal for capturing an athlete’s explosive movements or the unpredictable flutter of wild birds. The high-torque SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) features a new drive circuit, ensures rapid, responsive AF with significantly faster object tracking than conventional Sony lenses.

Serious enthusiasts will also welcome a strong emphasis on enhanced handling and ergonomics. Four focus hold buttons are spaced around the lens barrel for easy operation in any position. They’re complemented by a two-way DMF (Direct Manual Focus) mode button and focus range switch for positive, fumble-free operation when you’re shooting under pressure.

Built to order, the SAL500F40G super-telephoto lens from Sony is available from late March 2012.

Technical specifications

500mm F4 G SSM
Min. aperture F32
No. of aperture blades 9 (Circular aperture)
Max. magnification ratio 0.135
Min. focus 4.0 m
Filter diameter 42 mm (Exclusive)
Dimensions
(Diam. X L)
140 x 367.5 mm
Weight (approx.) 3460 g
Teleconverter compatibility Yes (1.4x: AF and MF Mode, 2x: MF mode)
Dust and moisture resistance Yes

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Cosina announces Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 lens for Micro Four Thirds

March 8th, 2012 No comments

Cosina has announced the Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 manual focus prime lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. The lens gives a 35mm equivalent field-of-view on the system and has been designed with silent, stepless aperture control for videography. The lens offers a wider-angle alternative to the company’s Nokton 25mm F0.95. The Japanese price translates as around $1500. (via DCWatch)

Specifications:

Model Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm F0.95
Focal length 17.5mm
Maximum aperture F/0.95
Angle of view (diagonal) 64.6°
Lens construction 13 elements in 9 groups
Minimum focus distance 0.15m
Maximum magnification ratio 1:4
Filter size 58mm
Length 80.0mm
Diameter 63.4mm
Weight 540g
No. of diaphragm blades 10
Minimum aperture F/16
Standard accessories Lens hood
Compatible mounts Micro Four Thirds

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