Showing posts from October, 2012

Sony Alpha A99 shipping at WEX

One of the most eagerly anticipated cameras of the year (and there have been many) is started to ship in the UK. WEX (Warehouse Express) has the bodies in stock at £2299 (inc VAT). Please click here to buy.

Nikon announces lightweight 70-200mm f4 with 5-stop VR

Announced today at £1,172 (inc VAT at 20%) the new 850 g (30.0 oz) Nikon 70-200mm f/4 sounds attractive*. Not only is it light (relatively) the optical performance sounds equally promising; it has 20 elements in total three ED and one HRI (High Refractive Index) element to reduce field curvature and spherical aberration. Nikon also claim the new VR module is the equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed five stops faster. According to Nikon UK, the new lens will start shipping at the end of November.
* the current 70-200mm f/2.8 weighs 1,540 g (3.4 lb.), while the Canon 70-200f4L IS weighs 760g (26.8 oz)
Readers can pre-order from B&H Photo (click here) for $1,399. Please note, the image above shows the tripod ring, which is an $224 optional extra.

Press release:

Nikon announces Nikon 1 V2

After some speculation, and shunning the original body design (which I liked save for the controls) Nikon has announced the Nikon 1 V2. Notice the new layout and control dials on the top plate. While not pretty (there is little real Nikon DNA in this*), the new model features a 1-inch type 14.2 resolution sensor, ISO 160-6400, an EVF and 15fps bursts. It sounds promising but it remains to be seen if it can equal or outperform the superb 1-inch type sensor in the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 compact.

The Nikon 1 V2 10-30mm Kit will retail at £799.99 / Eur 999.00. Sales start 31st January 2013.

*Like the Coolpix cameras the Nikon V1 models are sub-contracted (even if the factory says 'Nikon' on the gate). Press release:

Reuters Picture Agency rolls out The Wider Image app for iPad

Reuters picture agency has introduced an intriguing new app for the iPad that not only is updated daily with new pictures and stories from around the world but it's the only one of its kind I know that can organized to display the images and stories by photographer. It includes a bio of each and you can follow them on their assignments as they file their photos throughout the week. The app is free to download (click here to download from the App Store).Fore more information please visit The Wider Imagesite.

Nikon D4 in stock at B&H Photo

The Nikon D4 has been back-ordered for ages but is now in stock at B&H Photo at $5,996.95, please click here to buy.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II in stock at Jessops

UK retailer Jessops has the new EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II in stock at £2,299 (inc VAT at 20-percent) (click here to buy). It's considerably more expensive than the previous version which although has its detractors, I personally think has an outstanding drawing style which I prefer to rival offerings. Canon says the new lens "vastly outperforms that of the previous model". It remains to be seen just how good a performer optically this new lens is, with real world use, but the MTF charts look encouraging at both ends of the range. There's no fluorite glass used unfortunately, although it has a new configuration using UD and super UD glass in its construction. Another significant reason for the hike in the price is due to the improved reliability and durability. According to Canon, it has been designed to handle tougher use and to maintain the image quality over a longer lifespan than the previous iteration. Digital photographers take many more images, and so a lens has t…

Canon announces EOS-1D X firmware update allowing AF at f8

After a number of internet rumblings and with Nikon already offering the capability with the Nikon D4, the AF capability of the EOS-1 D X has been expanded to include lens combinations with an effective maximum aperture of f/8. Previously, it was limited to f/5.6 presumably due to accuracy concerns. The new capability is especially good news for those using the 600mm f/4 with Canon 2x converters (such as the current Extender EF 2.0x III) , before the announcement of the new firmware (v1.1.1) the 600mm f/4 could only be used with the 1.4x converter. Now all that's needed is another update to alllow the use of the 800mm f/5.6 with the 2x converter (they have an effective maximum aperture of f/11). Press release:
Performance redefined - Canon enables auto focus at f/8 for the EOS-1D X with new Firmware 1.1.1
United Kingdom, Republic Of Ireland, 18th October 2012 - Canon today announces a new firmware update for its acclaimed EOS-1D X professional digital SLR is now available, offering …

Gitzo Ocean Systematic Tripods available

As an architecture and interior photographer (as well as a lens and camera reviewer) a tripod is an essential item and I'm always looking for the ideal model. I like Gitzo tripods but having just one isn't really an option; they're not versatile enough to cover the multitude of likely situations encountered. Like lenses you really need to have several (see here for an article about how to select the most appropriate Gitzo), so I was pleasantly surprised to See Gitzo introduce an Ocean version of the new Systematic models. These are a vast improvement on the originals and the Ocean version using steel instead of mag-alloy and improved leg joint seals promises to be their most rugged yet. I like the 4-series best, they have substantially larger leg tubes than the 3-series, while offering more load carrying capability without having the bulk and weight of the larger diameter tubing of the 5-series. I hope to have one of the new models soon for testing.

Nikon D600 in stock at Jessops

The D600 must be the quickest to market of any camera from Nikon that I can recall (and I can remember way back to when they launched the FM then FE back in the late 70's). I didn't get chance to see this at launch but it's significantly smaller than the D800 and packing the same resolution sensor as last years top-of-the-range D3X the D600 is the first full-frame model to resemble the film cameras in size. I think this will be the 'game changer' for the company rather than the D800 (as good as that camera is, the file size is really only going to appeal to enthusiasts and professionals).The body is available from Jessops at £1734.95 inc VAT (not as cheap as the US can buy them, but then we've always been at a disadvantage). The vertical grip (MB-D14) can be bought for £249 (please click here for the Jessops link).