So far..three new goodies announced for Photokina that look promising.

I have been watching evey few hours to see what is being announced PRE Photokina and most if it gives me a bIg fat yawn. Here is a page listing what I have seen SO FAR that I like. Leica has yet to “officially” announce so that will come in a later post. I did not put the cool Fuji X100 here as it has its own dedicated post HERE.

What I know so far: I have heard from a very reliable source that there will be NO Nikon D700X or D700s released right now. From what I understand, the D700 will remain in the lineup so for those waiting for the D700 replacement, it may be a while. I could be wrong of course, but my source is usually spot on. Never been wrong. The big thing for Leica will be the Titanium M9 and the D-Lux 5. Of course the Fuji I already spoke of yesterday (which is on my MUST try list) is the #1 hot item for me so far.

But so far, here is a listing of what is coming soon to the camera world that looks interesting, and most of it I will review as soon as I can get my hands on it all…more to come in the following days…

The Pentax K5


Yep, Pentax is replacing the K7 with the K5 which promises lower noice and a better sensor. I loved t he K7 so if this is better than it will be a fantastic camera. I was hoping for full frame though. Here is the press release

September 21, 2010: PENTAX Imaging Systems is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-5 interchangeable lens digital SLR camera.

Encased in a compact but solid, functional body, this new model comes equipped with a host of advanced photographic tools for the easy creation of great pictures, while delivering high standards of image quality, data processing speed and operability.

Developed using the highly acclaimed PENTAX K-7 (introduced to the market in June 2009) as its base, the K-5 inherits the exceptional reliability, user-friendly operation, array of advanced features and compact, lightweight body of its predecessor.

However, it is more resourceful and flexible in photographic expression. Combining a new high-speed, low-noise CMOS image sensor with the high-performance PRIME II imaging engine, it produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels, even when shooting in the continuous shooting mode at a maximum speed of approximately seven images per second.

It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range between ISO 80 and ISO 51200 (when expanded via a custom function) and full HD-proportion movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels to expand the boundaries of high-quality visual presentation.

Adding other improvements and refinements — such as a faster autofocusing speed, an upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function now usable in handheld shooting, and better operability through an overall review of the design and shape of all components — the K-5 is designed to be more functional and manoeuverable in every detail, and in its response to the demands of the photographer.

What are its key features?

High-resolution, low-noise, true-to-life image reproduction

The K-5 incorporates a newly designed CMOS image sensor with a wide image-sensitive area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high-speed image data readout much faster than that of previous sensors. By coupling this image sensor — equivalent in performance and data processing speed to the image sensor incorporated in the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital camera — with the reliable PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II imaging engine, the K-5 produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with 16.28 effective megapixels, while suppressing annoying digital noise to a minimum.

High-speed continuous shooting at approximately seven images per second

The K-5’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 22 images in a single sequence at a maximum speed of seven images per second.

Responsive, high-precision AF system

The K-5 features a new-generation, wide-frame SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). This sophisticated AF system has completely redesigned optics, and factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations to improve the accuracy of autofocus operation. It also offers a choice of shutter-release options — between focus priority and release priority in the AF.S (single) advance mode, or between focus priority and speed priority in the AF.C (continuous) advance mode. The K-5 is also equipped with a spotbeam projector to assist the AF system in poorly lit locations.

Compact, solid, functional camera body

Despite its compact dimensions, the K-5 is built to be exceptionally solid and durable, with a body of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy, and a chassis of high-rigid stainless steel. Thanks to the inclusion of 77 special seals in the body, it also boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring reliable operation even under harsh environment and at temperatures as low as -10°C. It also features a reliable shutter unit that provides a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and tested to 100,000 shutter releases.

Bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view

The K-5 features a pentaprism finder with a nearly 100% field of view and at 0.92-times magnification (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity) to provide a better view of the image field and improve the accuracy and speed of focusing and image composition. It also comes with the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen to assist the photographer with manual-focus operation.

Effortless Live View shooting

Thanks to a new image sensor and a more sophisticated algorithm, the K-5’s Contrast AF mode assures better performance and greater focusing speed than before during Live View shooting. With the addition of a Golden Section display, the K-5 offers a choice of three different grid patterns to facilitate image composition.

PENTAX-original SR mechanism with user-assisting options

The K-5 features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates the adverse effect of camera shake by 2.5 to 4 shutter steps, to produce sharp, blur-free images.

Recording of Full HD-proportion movies (1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 frames per second)

The K-5 captures beautiful, true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 full HD proportions (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second. The K-5 also provides greater possibilities in visual presentation in movies, especially through the application of custom images and digital filters.

Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions

Custom image function for distinctive finishing touches: letting users easily select the desired finishing touch for a particular image.

Versatile digital filter function: The K-5’s digital filter function allows the user to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways and produce highly individualized visual expressions without requiring a computer.

Cross process mode with three options: The K-5 features the unique cross process mode, in which the camera automatically shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with unique, dramatic colours.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) function: The K-5 features the HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures, without requiring a computer.

In addition it has…

Electronic level function, with a newly added tilt confirmation tool

Extended-exposure NR (Noise Reduction) function, with a choice of Auto, On and Off modes

High-sensitivity NR (Noise Reduction) function, with a camera-dependent Auto mode and a user-adjustable reduction level control for different sensitivity settings

RAW/Fx button, for single-action switching of image file format

Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch wide-view colour LCD monitor with 921,000 dots

77-segment multi-pattern metering system for extra-accurate light measurement

DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism

Long battery life, for recording of 1,100 images with full recharge

User-friendly Hyper control system, to flexibly and accurately respond to the photographer’s creative intentions

Dynamic-range expansion function, to compensate for both whitewashed (overexposed) and black-out (underexposed) areas

Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA-,DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses)

CTE mode, to automatically adjust the white-balance level to emphasize primary colours of sunset scenes

Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images

D-BG4 Battery Grip (optional) for extra power supply with an exclusive rechargeable lithium-ion battery or six AA-size batteries

Colour-specific control buttons/dials for easy recognition and quick access, based on the universal colour design

PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package

The K-5 will be available from mid-late October 2010.


The Nikon D7000

The replacement to the Nikon D90 is here and looks good, I must say! This will be a popular camera just as the D90 was though I still feel there is a shift going on here where the smaller cameras with larger sensors may start to become more popular for everyday non pros. You can already PRE-ORDER this camera at B&H Photo. Here is the press release on the Nikon D7000:

Nikon launches the D7000, a D-SLR that offers exceptional image quality, reliability and performance packed into a durable and portable body.

Exceptional image quality

The D7000 includes a range of new features to ensure superior image quality including 16.2 effective megapixels with the newly developed Nikon DX format CMOS image sensor. The camera boasts a new image-processing engine, EXPEED 2, which delivers higher image quality, higher speed processing and multiple functions with more power. And the D7000’s increased ISO sensitivity (100-6400, extendable up to 25600) ensures exceptional detail with minimal noise when capturing fast moving subjects or in poor light situations, even without the flash.

Outstanding reliability

The D7000’s bright Glass Pentaprism Viewfinder with approximate 100% frame coverage and 0.94x magnification gives you the most precise view and focus of any scene, and it is always ready when you are with a shutter speed of 1/8000s, tested to 150,000 cycles. What is more, the camera is protected by magnesium alloy top and rear covers and has durable sealing against dust and moisture so it is prepared for even the most testing of situations.

When it comes to storage, the D7000 again provides you with maximum reliability. The twin SD memory card slots allow for added storage capacity and give you the freedom to manage your images and video in the way you want to either by saving more of them, keeping different formats separate or always having backup space when you need it.

Enhanced performance

The D7000’s newly developed AF system featuring 39 focus points, including 9 cross-type sensors in the centre, gives you the sharpest focus, no matter where your subject is in the frame. And with Nikon’s new 2,016 pixel RGB metering sensor to enhance the effectiveness of the Scene Recognition System, plus High Speed Continuous shooting capability at 6FPS, you can be sure to capture incredibly accurate, high-quality images every time.

Full-HD D-Movie with AF-F mode

The D7000 has direct access to a movie record button so you can capture footage in full HD (1080p) with greater ease. The AF-F gives continuous focus during movie recording, which is captured using MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression, and has a stereo microphone jack for quality sound recording. This means superior image quality and operability when using the D-Movie function.

The D7000s built-in movie editing functions also give you the freedom to chose the start and end points of your footage and switch to selected frames for capturing still images without relying on a computer – letting you edit and share your films quickly and easily.

Optional accessories

Nikon is also launching the new Speedlight SB-700, a feature-packed yet easy-to-use flash unit. The SB-700 offers lighting benefits that greatly surpass the camera onboard flash, allowing total control over scene or subject lighting to create beautiful, professional looking results.

To guarantee great performance for longer, the D7000 also has a dedicated Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D11 (optional) that enables seamless switching of power supply with the in-camera battery, vertical shooting and further stabilizes the body when using a long telephoto lens.

The D7000 is compatible with the GP-1 GPS (Global Positioning System) unit which records location information in the image file and of course, the camera supports a wide variety of NIKKOR lenses.


The Sony NEX 10 Video Camera – IN STOCK AT B&H PHOTO NOW!

FINALLY! A camcorder made with a larger sensor APS sensor! Sony has taken their NEX series to the next level in the form of a video camera which can take all of the NEX lenses. Specs look sweet and a buddy of mine has one already so cant wait to get his feedback. I would love to review this as well so maybe soon. Only concern is the price on this one. $1999 seems a little steep but we will have to wait and see how it does in the real world compared to say, a NEX 5.  There is one review already over at Luminous Landscape.

From Sonys Site:

Presenting a creative breakthrough: the first Handycam® camcorder to accept interchangeable lenses. The ergonomically designed NEX-VG10 camcorder has a large Sony Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor that boasts 19.5 times the surface area of conventional8 camcorders resulting in gorgeous, cinematic, depth of field. Shoot AVCHD™ video at up to 24Mbps at full 1920×1080/60i HD resolution and still photography up to 14 megapixels. Pursue your creative vision with the supplied 11x zoom 18-200mm Optical SteadyShot™ image-stabilized lens. You can also add your favorite A-mount lenses5 including award-winning G lens and Carl Zeiss® lenses, via an adaptor (sold separately). A Quad Capsule Spatial Array stereo microphone records spectacular audio to complete your creative vision.

24 Comments

  1. Hi Steve –

    I’m a Pentax K7 user, mostly because I want a DSLR with a small form factor, and I’ll probably buy the K5. I enjoyed your review of the K7 (which I support in all conclusions except the one on HDR) and would like to read your review on the K5. Wonderful blog you’re writing, and your pictures are often stunning.

    Since you mentioned on the K5 “I was hoping for full frame”, I would like to comment on the, in my opinion, misguided hype about full format sensors. So I take the opportunity to write this here:

    The digital camera history IMO follows the film camera history – people who prefer large format look down on the smaller formats. But in the long run, what made cameras popular? Right, it was small and light equipment that you could carry around without hurting your back. With the exception of the Leica M9, all full format cameras are HUGE, simply because the mirror swipe needed is related to the sensor size.

    Now, what can FF do what APS-C cannot? The difference is there, of course, but by far not as important as many claim:
    – The price to be paid for “Full format” or “Medium format” is: much bigger and heavier equipment (e.g., Nikon D700, Pentax 645D) or lack of features (e.g., Leica M9 with rangefinder in place of autofocus).
    – The picture quality that ANY DSLR camera >1000 USD will give you is FAR better than what we were used from film cameras 10 years ago.
    – FF only gives you less noise if the pixel size is bigger, i.e. with a similar resolution as APS-C. So if Leica does its M9 with only 18 MP on a FF sensor and limits it to 3200 ISO – that is certainly good for image quality compared to the average APS-C camera. The advantages are gone when using 24MP and ISO 6400, and the extremely high resolutions are needed only when printing big formats.
    – Lenses like the Pentax Limiteds give you beautiful bokeh in APS-C. For my taste, beautiful enough. BTW, Leica proves that FF is also possible with small lenses – and in fact some of the DA Limiteds work just fine on full format. Nikon and Canon just turn me off for the sheer bulkiness of everything they make in the DSLR department.
    – With the new K5 sensor, ISO 3200 is very good, 12800 is acceptable (maybe with post processing) and 51200 available (and for small print formats, using noise reduction post processing, ok-ish). You can always restrict sensitivity for better IQ, and that is actually what Leica does (a wise move, avoiding ugly sample pictures in the web, but restricting their users’ options)?

    Well, now everybody will be jumping at me since I compare a $7000 camera with a $1500. But to those who raise that point, keep in mind that both Leica and Pentax were pioneers, have a long tradition, are much smaller than Canon/Nikon/Sony, and are listening to their customers.

    Best, C

  2. This is great information, information highly appreciated. I had no idea Pentax was going to replace the K7 anytime soon. I was about to buy one. Now I will wait for the new and improved model. I wonder if we’ll see the K7 prices reduced anytime soon? – – mad dog

  3. I agree with three goodies, so far, but my list is the Pentax K5, Fujifilm 100, and the highlight, the 45mp foveon sensor. The latter two are the real surprises but the foveon sensor the highlight. A Sigma DP 3 with the new 45MP ( I know, I know it is not a real 45mp) foveon sensor will be a game changer. Think MF performance in a pocket size camera.

  4. I like the look of the M9 Titanium. And I think it is a good thing that Leica’s design for the M might evolve. Evolution rather than revolution. It’s a first step. Maybe all the nay-sayers need to warm up a bit I wonder!?

  5. Ahhh …the M9 Titanium – styled in association with VW apparently. Obvious really – aero-smooth (read: featureless) shape, rubber floor mat body covering and ‘pop-riveted’ leather door handle …. Altogether now children, who can spell ugly …. U-G-L-Y!

    P.S. Love the Fuji X100 – it’s what Leica should be doing – not more high priced limited editions for style-queens.

  6. I like the X100. I think it could be an really good work horse of a camera incorporating what we all love about rangefinders. The price will hopefully be sweet too. Actually, against EUR22,000, anything is going to look sweet! The X100 could just be the answer for people who want a nice one camera solution and want the left eye open/beyond the frame lines viewfinder experience.

    Personally though, My LX3 and M7 combo are unmoved by what I have seen for my type of photography. I am still looking for a new clean fast film, Kodak Ektar in 1600, super clean?? Now that would be nice 🙂 Nice to see the new toys though and it makes for a good fun Monday evening in with the computer ;)!

    And, just to keep things calm. A bit of M7, summilux 50mm with tri-x shot at f/1.4. Okay, I was in the front row at the fashion show and those girls were close! How sharp will the X100 be wide open? 😉

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37556068@N06/5005344277/sizes/l/

  7. Just read on another blog that the M9T is around 22000 Euros. Not sure if that is true but wouldn’t surprise me. I like the technical look of it but not he grip on the side. That looks cheap and not well integrated. Anyhow, don’t have that money and even if I would have the money I am probably not on Leica’s top 500 list. Steve should get one for free for all the great Leica coverage.
    Overall I like that Leica is trying to test changes to the exterior and to the technology. We had long discussions in one of Steve’s older blogs about changing the M look.

  8. Had a short moment the idea leica used the same technique as the new X100, Hybrid viewfinder.
    But LED lines are also nice.
    Looks stunning btw. I would like a handstrap like this for my m8.

  9. I wonder how much of the positive reaction to the M9 Ti is dutiful worship from the faithful and how much is genuine. I can’t dig it, though, I think it’s hideous. But that’s just one man’s opinion.

    Not sure why you would think that the LED illuminated framelines wouldn’t be as accurate, though. I havm’t seen the mechanism, obviously, but I would guess that where the normal brightline window would be is just replaced with a bank of LEDs and some sort of diffusing glass/plastic in front like on a lightbox. I could be wrong, but that seems the simplest solution (with perhaps an ambient light sensor to regulate the brightness so you aren’t blinded at night)

  10. You got that right, very high-tech look.

    [img]http://web4.twitpic.com/img/165264629-36fac324321d085439636f9044326ff3.4c97bd40-scaled.jpg[/img]

    I shudder to even guess the price though! LOL

  11. The M9 Ti is STUNNING! Seen it in the latest LFI today – absolutely breathtaking styling! I’m curious to see what people are going to say to the hybrid viewfinder with the projected framelines – I doubt they can be anywhere as accurate as optical framelines. But it’s an interesting idea. With the M9 Ti, the M system finally seems to have arrived in the 21st century!

  12. Well, you missed the Olympus E5, soon to be announced GH2 and the updated Preview of the Professional Panasonic AG-AF101 m4/3 Videocam!

    B

  13. Hmm… IQ-wise, I don’t think the X100 can come close to the X1. Its MTF curve doesn’t look that promising IMO. However, nice design esp EVF/OVF and the aperture control on the lens. Perhaps can be a feature in X2… Still love the X1… Hope to get it back again someday into my hands

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