What A Time To Be A Camera Nerd
Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic – It’s New Camera Season, Baby
Welcome to the best time of year. Leaves are very much still on trees, all of New York smells of trash, and the rebellious everywhere can now wear white.
Also, we’re in the midst of the most interesting wave of camera announcements in a long, long time. All the big guys are involved:
The big news of the day is Canon’s newly announced EOS R ($2,299). At first glance, you could be looking at a DSLR, but Canon’s biggest announcement since the 5D Mark II is all new and all business (and to my eye, way prettier than the Nikon). Canon opted to not introduce the tippy top of the line flagship just yet and instead start with a camera that’s closer in line with the Nikon Z6 and Sony A7III. It’s got a 30.3-megapixel sensor and uses an all new lens mount called the RF-Mount (with adapters for EF and EF-S lenses). As with Nikon, it’s wider, shallower and allows Canon to do what Canon does best — make bonkers lenses. The lenses that were introduced with the EOS R may have taken the shine away from the body itself and definitely hint at bigger things to come: A 28-70 f/2 that weighs nearly twice as much as the EF 24-70 f/2.8 II but should offer insane optical performance, the kit lens is a 24-105 f/4 IS, a flagship fast 50mm f/1.2 and a 35 f/1.8 that offers macro capabilities.
Standout Features on The EOS R: Canon’s dual-pixel AF should shine with 100% horizontal and 88% vertical coverage and… 5,655 (!) selectable AF points. The body is slightly burlier (and much prettier) than the Nikon Zs. And those lenses!
Bummers: No in-body stabilization, video seems to be an afterthought, still one goddamn card slot (this time SD), more expensive than Nikon’s Z6 with potentially less performance, autofocus claims are lofty — we’ll need to see some real-life tests.
They already announced their new line of mirrorless full frame cameras – the Z6 ($2000) and flagship Z7 ($3,400). They’re both pretty impressive offerings with the Z7 lining up closely stats-wise with the Sony A7RIII and the Z6 falling in lockstep with the standard A7III. The new Z mount is par for the mirrorless course: really wide and really shallow which means both the ability to build wider max apertures (see: the announced Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/.95) and increased sharpness since the lens is closer to the sensor (something that can’t be done when you have a DSLR’s mirror in the way).
Standout Features On The Z7: 45.7 Megapixel Sensor, In-body 5-axis stabilization, 4K/30 recording using the full sensor, crazy good 493 point AF that covers 90% of the image area.
Bummers: Single XQD card slot — throw away all your expensive SDs, the Z-Mount lens lineup isn’t as compelling as other full frame mirrorless options right now so you’ll need the Z to F-Mount adapter (that’ll change in the next couple years though).
Welcome to rumor territory, friends. First up is Fuji’s replacement for its aging XT-2, and it’ll be called the… XT-3 and it should be announced tomorrow, September 6th. The specs look pretty awesome though: a brand new 26 megapixel APS-C X-Trans sensor that’s now back-side-illuminated (better high-ISO performance), 100% AF coverage, blackout-free shooting at 30 fps, improved battery life, and 4K@60p 4:2:2 10 bit external (that’s a ton of numbers but the translation is that video will be a big thing on this one).
Oh, and one more thing, later in the month (around September 23rd), rumors are bouncing around that Fuji will release a more affordable version of their GFX medium format camera. Expect somewhere between $3900 and $4300 and it to be called the GFX 50R. No more info than that right now, but I’m pretty stoked on that one.
The big one we’ve all been waiting for from the company that basically invented the full-frame mirrorless camera is the A7SIII. Rumors are bouncing around but there’s potential it’ll be announced on September 14th. The information is super spotty and apparently Sony has tried their best to stop leaks with this one but the only thing everyone agrees on is that this camera is going to be seriously impressive. Most are saying 4K HDR@60p, some are saying a stacked CMOS sensor that outperforms the A9. Expect autofocus to be seriously improved and expect video specs to be very, very impressive.
Panasonic — makers of the beloved GH5 micro four thirds camera — are rumored to announce a full frame camera on September 25th. The key with Panasonic is video, expect this thing to be an absolute monster in that category — it may become a go-to cheapish entry into digital cinematography. Info is sparse on this one but 43 Rumors is reporting that those who have seen the camera have been pretty stunned. We’ll wait and see.