Fuji X-T2: The best mirrorless camera yet?

AP Magazine reviews the Fuji X-T2

This weeks Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine contained a full and deatiled review of Fuji’s APS-C Trans X mirrorless camera the X-T2 and boy were they impressed.

I’ve read the article several times and the impression your left with is that the X-T2 really can take the fight to APS-C DSLR’s and beat them on several levels.

For instances phrases like  “dream camera” and “best all-round substitute for a more cumbersome DSLR” jumped out at me.

The Fuji X-T2 won an AP “Gold Award” and that says it all.

September 2016

 

Olympus OM-D EM1 II – A quick assessment

Why the EM1II will be worth every penny

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Although us Micro Four Third isers we will have to wait a few months before we get our hands on the just announced Olympus OM-D EM1II a quick look at Olympus’s press release reveals what a power house the new camera promises to be.

I’ve shown the main differences / improvements over the EM1 and the EM5Ii as well for that matter and they are significant.

Sensor.

Olympus has increased resolution over the EM1 / EM5 by introducing a 20mp sensor.

Sensor Performance.

Here’s where it get intresting. Olympus has stated that the new sensor when combined by the new TruePic VIII processor will produce “dramtically improved image quality at high ISO” as well as an improved dynamic range performance, this with increased resolution promises much.

The new sensor will boast 121 cross-type AF points an increase of the 81 found on the EM1 and a significant upgrade.

The new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor will provide a read speed three times faster than that of the EM1, that’s impressive.

AF Performance.

The new sensor and processor means frame rate leaps from 10fps to 15fps

The new EM1II will also allow users to adopt the “AF target pad” feature whereby you can use you finger to select the AF point on the rear screen whilst looking through the viewfinder.

The new EM1II will shoot at6 18fps in RAW in autofocus or 60fps (yes 60) at Full RAW if autofocus is not used, this is a sports and wildlife shooters delight

The AF performance is aided by a quad core processors which is dedicated specifically to autofocus.

EVF.

Unlike many rumours the EVF has remained the same ie a 2.36k resolution and 1.48 magnification BUT runs at 120fps with a reaction to of 6millisec’s so it will offer a crisper more natural view.

Shutter Life.

The shutter mechanism will be rated to 200,000 shots which is “pro” standard.

Improved 5-Axis Image Stabilisation

The new EM1II promises up to 6.5 (yes 6.5) stops of stabilisation when certain “Pro” lenses (which have image stablisation) are used on the lens, so lenses like the 300mm F4 Pro and the new 12-100mm F4 Pro will work a dream on the EM1II.

Improved High Res Function

The new TruePic VIII Image Processor will effectively suppress blur due to subject movement, making it possible to utilize High Res Shot Mode in a wide variety of shooting conditions, such as gently-blowing grass, tree leaves, or ocean waves.

NB: I suspect true hand-held high res shooting will become available via a firmware update in the future.

Improved Battery life

The new 1720mAh battery promises 37% improved battery life.

Dual SD Slots

The new EM1II will boast 2 SD slots a useful update,

New “low” ISO 64 setting.

The new EM1II will allow of a new ISO64 setting something which can in some circumstance be very useful

4K Video

The EM1II gains 4K video a first for an Olympus OM-D model. The 4K  can be shot in the wider aspect ratio ‘DCI’ Cinema 4K at up to 236mbps.

Improved Grip

The EM1II will have a re-shaped grip that will improve handling when paired with the larger Pro telephoto lenses

Even more rugged

The new EM1II will be even more rugged and robust than the EM1the new camera  will dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (down to 14°F / -10°C)

Summary / First Impression.

One word, impressive

And there you have it. You throw all the above together and you are left with what appears to be a truly “Pro” focussed camera, one more than able to hold its own against its bigger APS-C equipped rivals.

If the EM1II delivers on the promised improved image quality the previous superiority of APS-C DSLR’s vanishes.

Pair the new EM1II with the growing “Pro” lenses or some of the high quality Leica micro four third primes or gems like the Zuiko 17mm f1.8 or 75mm f1.8 and you’ll have a sublime package.

The forth coming EM1II looks like it will take the micro four third system to a whole new level and I for one will be the first to stick an order in, I am that convinced it will be a winner.

Mark Baynham (September 2016)

 

 

New high end flash from Olympus

Top end Olympus Flash Announced : FL-900R

Olympus has announced their new external flash unit, the FL-900R. It features a guide number of 58m, a firing angle of 24-200mm, and a splash and dustproof body. Recycle time at full power has been reduced to approximately 2.5 seconds, and also features a built in LED light for video shooting. The user interface has also received a facelift and is much more intuitive than on previous models.

 

September 2016

New Sigma “Art” lenses announced

New Sigma “Art” lenses announced

Sigma has announced some new lenses in its “Art” range especially designed for full frame DSLR.

Sigma’s “Art” range have developed quite a following of late offering exceptional optical performance at a relatively affordable price.

The new lenses are:

85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

 

 

12-24mm F4 Art

 

500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sport.

September 2016

Best Olympus M43 : OM-D EM1 II announced

Olympus OM-D EM1 II

Well we knew it was coming but finally Olympus has announced its flagship OM-D model the OMD EM1 II.

Available in early 2017 the new EM1 II certainly moves the game on for OM-D users and it promises significant  AF, High ISO, Dynamic Range & Video performance improvements over both the EM1 and the EM5II.

In particular if the camera does deliver improved resolution together with a one-stop high ISO performance ( as stated by Olympus) the camera is sure to be a winner, I mean 18fps with continous AF is hugely impressive.

Overall the new EM1 II appears to be as  close to a “Pro” camera for micro four thirds users as its possible to produce.

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Olympus OM-D EM1 Core Specs

New 20MP sensor /  New low ISO 64 setting

25% higher resolution than the EM1

New TruePic VIII Image Processor which is 3.5 times faster than previous TruePic processors

Will have 121 cross-type AF on-sensor phase detection points covering a wider sensor area

Has 4K recording at 24fps up to 237 Mbps

1.48x (35mm equivalent) high-magnification EVF

60 frames per second in AF and AE lock

Up to 18 frames per second with continuous AF and AE tracking.

50 Megapixel High Res Shot Mode

Dual SD memory card slots

Improved battery capacity of 37 percent from its predecessor model.

Weathersealed to be dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (down to 14°F / -10°C)

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September 2016