The Micro 4:3 market is maturing nicely: there are products available now to suit a wide range of needs. Up to now the upper end of this sector consisted entirely of fixed focal length lenses, but the Panasonic LUMIX G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 ASPH. Power O.I.S changes all that. This is the first ‘standard’ zoom lens that DxO Mark has tested that really competes with fixed lenses on this format.
The trend for minimalist slab-sided smart-phones continues with BlackBerry’s latest flagship model, the 4G LTE ready Z10. While outwardly slick, the new dual core 1.5Ghz Z10 actually features a fairly-standard 8-MPix camera with a BSI CMOS sensor, LED flash and HD (1080p) 30fps video clips. Has the Z10 raised the bar in IQ and prove popular with mobile photographers? Our Engineers have the answers. Click through to see how it stacks against the competition.
After years of unadventurous, unexciting “slow” speed zooms “fast”, high-quality primes are experiencing a comeback thanks to the popularity of full-frame DSLRs and the merging of video capture. The moderately wide 35mm focal length has seen numerous new versions from most lens makers over the last two years or so, including this ultra-high speed offering from Sigma. Read on to see how well this lens fares on the highest resolution DSLR currently available.
Announced at Photokina 2012 the new Leica M digital rangefinder camera is available for pre-order and expected to ship soon. Although the 4th rangefinder in the M range to feature a full frame sensor, Leica have changed from the previously used Truesense 18Mp CCD to a CMOSIS 24Mp CMOS model.With new features added too expectations are running high, so lets get under the hood and see what it has to offer.
In this second part of the Nikon D800 and lenses review, we’re looking at the standard focal lengths. Within this group, there is a very wide range available. When searching for a standard lens, you have the option of both prime and zoom, depending on what suits your needs best. To help make it easy to select the right lens, we’ll look at the 50mm primes, 85mm primes, macro lenses and finally the standard focal range zooms.
Announced in 2012, the Nikon D800 is the current undisputed king of DxOMark, with results that eclipse every other camera from all other manufacturers. However, with so much resolution on tap, the question is, which lenses should you use to make the best of what you’ve got? The DxOMark labs have tested 61 different lenses on the D800 to bring you an unparalleled resource of which lenses are best and which should be avoided. To make it easy to follow, we have broken the reviews down into sections so you can concentrate on the lenses that are important to you. This first section will give you an overview of the D800. We will follow this with a review of the standard focal length lenses, then the telephoto lenses and super-zooms and finally there will be a wide-angle review.
Whilst the camera phone megapixel race hots up with 13 and even 16.3-megapixel Smartphones previewed at Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC 2013) HTC have bucked the trend with their latest flagship offering. Featuring a 1/3” 4Mp sensor and 28mm f/2 lens HTC claim their new Smartphone captures 300% more light than traditional camera phone sensors. We preview the HTC One and round up the most exciting products unveiled for photographers at MWC 2013.
Launched in September 2012 the Fujifilm XF1 is a fixed lens compact aimed at advanced enthusiasts after a pocket-sized second camera for holidays and photo day trips. Featuring customizable function buttons, creative exposure modes and a manual barrel zoom lens with a 25-100mm equivalent focal length, there’s plenty of control for serious photographers to sink their teeth into. What’s more with a 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR-CMOS Sensor at its heart we’re optimistic the $499 Fujifilm XF1 will deliver on picture quality, too.
Leica enthusiasts are getting excited as the revered German manufacturer looks set to ship their new M Type 240 digital rangefinder very soon. Featuring a brand new 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, the latest model in the M Series departs from the CCD sensor technology Leica have previously used. So as we await the new, let’s look back at the Sensor Scores for the M9, M9-P and M-E Type 220 using that CCD Sensor, to get us in the mood.
Launched at the Focus on Imaging UK photographic show on 4th March 2013 the strap line “The palm sized maestro” introduces the new flagship Nikon compact - the Coolpix A. The first Coolpix camera to feature a large APS-C sensor the Coolpix A boasts a 16.2-megapixel resolution together with a fixed NIKKOR 18.5mm f/2.8 lens - equivalent to 28mm in 35mm terms. According to Nikon the Coolpix A has been developed in response to the demands of street photographers looking for a light, portable camera with great image quality. With a $1099.95 list price it could be quite a niche market however so let’s see what the Coolpix A promises.
For many people an introduction to photography is through a compact camera: usually, these days, one with a zoom lens covering medium-wide through to short telephoto. The next step is often an SLR and the “standard” zoom, covering the same range. The quality of this “standard” zoom can be the difference between great results and disappointment, so the choice is important. This Sigma 17-70 f2.8-70 f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C Canon is both good and versatile, no disappointment here.
Announced this January at CES 2013, the Pentax MX-1 is Pentax’s first foray into the relatively crowded field of high-end-compact cameras. With a 12-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch backlit CMOS sensor, the Pentax MX-1 competes directly with established high-end compacts like the Canon PowerShot S110, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Olympus XZ-2 iHS, and Nikon Coolpix P7700 among others, many of which have already been through multiple updates and iterations.
The Samsung NX20 is a good ‘Hybrid’ APS-C camera, it is a pretty good APS-C camera, and actually it’s not a bad camera by any standards! Unfortunately for the Samsung it is surrounded by other good cameras and needs something special to make it not just a good camera but a successful camera.
Launched in September 2011, the Samsung NX200 marks a significant point in the NX line because it features an all-new APS-C CMOS sensor with 20.3megapixels. Among the hybrid cameras, this is about as big as sensors currently get, so Samsung are aiming at the high ground, a fact confirmed by the premium feel all-metal body – a first in the NX-series.
“Superior Clarity and Nimble Precision: The DX-Format Nikon D7100 embraces the advanced enthusiast with intuitive engineering” - As titles for press releases go, this one from Nikon is quite a mouthful. Announced on 20th February 2013 and sitting in the mid-range of the Nikon camera line-up, the D7100 bares a strong resemblance to the very popular D7000. However, the similarities are only skin deep as the D7100 internals are heavily modified and Nikon are billing it as their “flagship DX-format” camera.
This is the first in a series of reviews rounding up the Lens Metrics Scores on 35mm primes for Canon, Nikon and Sony. We start by looking at options for Canon EF, and with several own brand and 3rd-party options on the market, there are plenty of choices available. Ranging in price from $320 to $1843, however, it’s tough to decide which one is best for you. So let’s take a closer look at image quality, features and value for money to help you decide.
The high-end Sony RX1 was one of the most eagerly awaited cameras in our labs and while we assessed the camera’s full-frame sensor early in January, we’ve decided to publish the results of the Zeiss-branded Sonnar 2/35 T* lens. Readers will already be aware that it’s fixed, and can’t be purchased separately, but we can test it just as we would any other, albeit on one camera body only. Is this “fast”, moderately wide-angle lens an outstanding performer worthy of the Carl Zeiss name? Read on to find out.
The zoom range 70-200, or thereabout, is one of the real classic lenses, an absolute “must” for sports and photojournalism. The faster the maximum aperture the better, but most important of all it must be a good performer. Tamron’s SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD has the right specifications and a price tag that is very attractive, especially when you see how good it is.
Launched in January 2013 the Nikon 1 S1 is a new product line in the Nikon 1 Hybrid Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens series. Targeted at advanced through to expert enthusiasts after a lightweight camera for photography daytrips and holidays the Nikon 1 S1 features a clean minimalistic design. Utilizing a smaller sensor and lower resolution than most of the Hybrid competition though how will it fare in the DxOMark Sensor Scores?
This year’s theme for high-end compacts is undoubtedly the switch over from CCD to BSI CMOS sensors, but maker’s are having to work hard to make the cameras attractive to those users who might also be tempted by interchangeable lens based mirror-less models. Olympus’ upgrade to the original XZ-1 sees plenty of promising features including the new 12-Mpix BSI CMOS chip, but how well does it fair in our exhaustive tests?