Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Vanguard today announced the launch of its new Abeo Plus tripod and Quovio series photo-video bags at the Photokina 2012 Imaging Fair in Cologne, Germany. The latest in Vanguard’s Abeo family of tripods for photo, video and nature observation, the new Abeo Plus tripod is available in diamond-woven carbon fibre or heavy-gauge aluminium versions. The tripod comes in three sizes at street prices of $219.99 - $479.99, and is also available as a kit with BBH-200 professional ball head. Kit prices range from $369.99 - $699.99. The Quovio photo-video bag series comprises the Quovio 26 and Quovio 41 shoulder bags, the Quovio 44 photo backpack and the Quovio 49T trolley bag. Quovio series bags are available at street prices of $119.99 - $279.99.
PNY Technologies today unveiled its new CompactFlash Pro-Elite Plus line-up. The UDMA 7 compliant CompactFlash Pro-Elite Plus cards feature write speeds of 90MB/s and read speeds of 120 MB/s. Designed especially for semi-professional and professionnal photographers, the cards are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, ideal for high resolution shooting and HD video content recording. The PNY Pro-Elite Plus is available from PNY’s network of distributors, with all photographers that buy one receiving a free water- and shock resistant Flash card case. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.
PNY Technologies have just launched the latest generation of its high speed imaging solutions at photokina 2012, including the PNY Pro-Elite Plus CompactFlash and PNY SSD Prevail Series. Thee PNY Pro-Elite Plus CompactFlash memory card allows read speeds of 120 MB/s and write speeds of 90 MB/s. The speed of the PNY product family is also displayed at Hall 5.1 Stand D21 through an Formula One car simulator, powered by PNY graphics solutions. Every day, the visitor who records the best lap on the virtual track will win either a 32GB CompactFlash Pro-Elite Plus, or a 32GB High Speed SDXC Flash Memory Card.
We spent last week in Iceland shooting with the exciting new Sony A99 full-frame SLT camera. Here are 50 full-size sample JPEG photos taken with the new Sony A99 DSLR camera., including the full ISO range.
Please note that the SLT-A99 that we used was a late pre-production model, so the image quality may not be indicative of the final shipping version, due out in November.
We spent last week in Iceland shooting with the exciting new Sony NEX-6 compact system camera. Here are 40 full-size sample JPEG photos taken with the new Sony NEX-6, including the full ISO range.
Please note that the NEX-6 that we used was a late pre-production model, so the image quality may not be indicative of the final shipping version, due out in November.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Over the past 15 hours or so we have posted literally dozens of Photokina-related articles - mainly product announcements, hands-on photo galleries and sample images - that quickly filled up our first (and second) pages. So don’t blame yourself if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, wondering if you’ve read everything that may be of interest to you. In order to help you make sense of all the madness we have collected all the relevant info on one page, with links to the detailed articles.
Sigma has announced three new lenses - the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM, 35mm F1.4 DG HSM and 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM. Sigma has also organized all of its lenses into one of three product categories: Contemporary, Art and Sports. New Sigma Optimization Pro software and USB Dock are designed exclusively for the new lenses within the new product lines. The price and availability of the Sigma 17-70mm, 35mm, 120-300mm has yet to be announced.
Want to see exactly what the new Leica M, S, M-E and X2 Paul Smith cameras look like in the flesh?
Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the M, S, M-E and X2 Paul Smith edition cameras.
The new Leica M is a 24-megapixel full-frame digital rangefinder camera with Live View and Full HD video recording capabilities. This means - among other things - that Leica M users will, for the first time ever, be able to see exactly what their M lens sees prior to taking a photograph (if they so wish, that is). In Live View mode the Leica M offers a choice of two focusing aids, focus peaking and up to 10x magnified view. In addition to these the traditional rangefinder focusing method is, of course, fully retained. The brand new “Leica Max” CMOS sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS specifically for this camera and its use with Leica M- and R-Lenses. According to Leica, “[t]his new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant colour rendition and impressive reproduction of detail, to a CMOS sensor.” The Leica M in black paint or silver chrome finish is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £5,100 including VAT from early 2013.
The Leica M-E is an “affordable” (ahem) version of the Leica M9 full-frame digital rangefinder camera. Featuring a classic “Leica format,” i.e. 35mm full-frame, sensor with 18 million pixels, the Leica M-E is claimed to represent “the essence of rangefinder photography.” Described as the “ideal entry-level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-photography in its purest form,” the Leica M-E retains most of the core functionality of the M9 while setting you back “only” £3,900 including VAT (for reference, the M9 retails for £4,950).
Leica has announced a range of accessories for the Leica M digital rangefinder camera, including an adapter for Leica R-mount lenses, an electronic viewfinder and a multifunctional handgrip that doubles as a GPS unit. The Leica R-Adapter M (£215) allows users to mount almost all Leica R-Lenses ever built on the new Leica M, while the live view enabled camera enables accurate framing and focusing without a need for a bulky Visoflex unit. This opens up new potential for Leica M photographers, including, for example, video recording with Leica R zoom lenses. The new Leica M also features an accessory port, which in turn enables users to attach an external electronic viewfinder - the Leica EVF2 (£360). Boasting a resolution of 1.4 megapixels and offering 90° rotation for capturing images from unusual angles, this EVF is also called, aptly but at the same time somewhat confusingly, an “Electronic Visoflex Viewfinder.” Ensuring high quality sound with the 1080p Full HD video capability of the Leica M, a Leica Microphone Adapter Set (£150), consisting of an adapter and stereo microphone, is also available. Finally, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M (£630) is a valuable aid to safe and steady handling of the camera, particularly when shooting with heavier R-lenses, and conceals an integrated GPS module that can be used to automatically geotag your photographs.
Successor to the Leica S2, the new Leica S features the same 37.5-megapixel resolution but comes with a new image and sensor board that promises improved noise characteristics and an extended sensitivity range. In addition, the Leica S offers a range of new features - some of them unique -, predictive autofocus, integrated GPS, higher speed and enhanced handling. The Leica S is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £16,000 including VAT from December 2012.
The Leica TS-APO-ELMAR-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. is a telephoto lens for the Leica S system, featuring tilt-shift capabilities. Designed for still-life and product photography, the Leica TS-APO-ELMAR-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. is an apochromatically corrected lens offering parallel shifts (shift, rise and fall) of up to 12 mm in all directions and tilting of the plane of focus (tilt and swing) by up to 8°. The Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £4,920 including VAT from January 2013.
The Leica ELPRO-S 180 is a new close-up conversion lens for the Leica APO-Elmar-S 180 mm f/3.5. Reducing the close focusing distance to 1.1 metres, this accessory lens achieves a significant increase – around 30 percent – in the reproduction ratio to 1:4.5. In contrast to the majority of apochromatic accessory lenses, the Leica Elpro-S 180 is dedicated to one particular lens, thus avoiding lateral chromatic aberrations and ensuring that there are no detrimental effects on the imaging qualities of the lens. Autofocus, exposure metering and all other camera and lens handling functions are maintained when using the add-on lens. The Leica Elpro-S 180 will be available at selected Leica dealers from October 2012.
The Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. is the first zoom lens for the Leica S system. The range of focal lengths covered by the lens is equivalent to that of a 24-72mm zoom on a 35mm camera. The lens construction is based on 14 elements assembled in 4 groups. For a zoom construction, the lens achieves extraordinarily high contrast rendition and maximum resolution wide open the company claims. The Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £7,380 including VAT from November 2012.
The Leica Super-Elmar-S 24mm f/3.5 ASPH. is a new superwide (19mm equivalent) lens for the Leica S system. With an optical formula comprising 12 elements in 10 groups, the Leica Super-Elmar-S 24mm f/3.5 ASPH. exhibits an extraordinarily high degree of freedom from distortion for such a wide-angle lens. Five of the lens elements are manufactured from glass with anomalous partial dispersion to prevent negative effects such as chromatic aberration. Two aspherical elements located behind the iris and the aspherical surface of the front lens minimise monochromatic aberrations. Thanks to the unusual construction of its focusing system, the Leica Super-Elmar-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH. offers extremely high image performance from the point of closest focus to infinity, the company says. The Leica Super-Elmar-S 24mm f/3.5 ASPH. is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £5,330 including VAT from November 2012.
The Leica V-Lux 4 is a digital superzoom camera with a 25-600mm (eq.) f/2.8 lens. Featuring the same headline specifications as the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 and available from November, the Leica V-Lux 4 comes with a licence for the professional still picture and video processing software, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, plus a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover) for £690 including VAT.
The Leica D-Lux 6 is a premium compact camera with a 10-megapixel sensor and a 24-90mm (eq.) f/1.4-2.3 Leica DC Vario-Summilux lens. Featuring the same headline specifications as the Panasonic Lumix LX7 and available from November, the Leica D-Lux 6 comes bundled with a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover) for £600 including VAT.
Leica has expanded the ‘Leica à la carte‘ programme – the special concept for personalising your Leica camera – and will be offering a selection of styling options for the Leica X2 from the end of October 2012. In addition to the two standard models (black and silver) the X2 is now also available in an exclusive, titanium-coloured, anodised finish. The colour and textures step of the camera’s leather trim can be chosen in a further step of the personalisation process. The range includes a collection of ten different leather trim options. The choice of colours ranges from a discreet black saddle-leather to full-grain cowhide in eye-catching colours like green (pictured), blue or aztec. The portfolio also includes extravagant variations embossed with lizard and ostrich leather patterns.
The technical specifications of the Leica X2 à la carte are identical to those of the standard camera model.
The Leica X2 Edition Paul Smith is a special-edition Leica X2, limited to 1500 units worldwide. “What the red dot is to Leica, above all bright stripes are to Paul Smith designs and the most wonderful proof that they can live in perfect harmony is embodied in every single one of the 1,500 cameras of the strictly limited Leica X2 Edition Paul Smith,” the company says. “And it is these immensely popular stripes that are now recreated in the design of this special edition of the Leica X2: in the bright orange on the top plate, the legendary British racing green of the leather trim and the fluorescent yellow of its base.” The Leica X2 Edition Paul Smith is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £2,000 including VAT in October 2012.