Fujifilm X-E2 Announcement

Of all the announcements made recently by various manufacturers, including Sony’s groundbreaking step into full-frame mirrorless territory, we at Photography Life are most excited by Fujifilm’s news. Ever since the launch of X100, Fuji has been slowly winning over our hearts. Both with cameras themselves and the determination to improve their products and add features even after release impressed not only our team, but thousands of photographers worldwide. Don’t get me wrong, other manufacturers offer technologically brilliant alternatives and with the full-frame Sony A7 costing just $1700, the replacement for X-Pro1 will face tougher competition than before. Yet Fujifilm cameras, as we’ve written in our reviews, have something about them that makes you want to photograph all the time. The combination of drop-dead gorgeous looks, amazing prime lens selection, innovative hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, analogue controls and quirks has, no doubt, made the Fujifilm X-series camera system one of the most charismatic on the market today. Fujifilm is not about to sleep on its laurels and is quick on learning from old mistakes. The X100s that we reviewed recently is a clear proof, and the newly introduced, highly-anticipated X-E2 promises to be at least as tempting. Read on to find out what has been improved.

Fujifilm X-E2_Front black

1) Overview and Key Specifications

The new Fujifilm X-E2 is not all that different from its predecessor, but the changes that did take place promise to make it that much more desirable. To start with, it shares virtually the exact same body as the Fuji X-E1, made of high quality plastic and magnesium alloy covers. It is smaller and lighter than top-of-the-line Fuji X-Pro1, but even with Fuji’s smallest lens attached – the XF 27mm f/2.8 – it is not as compact as the X100S. Not far off, though, and certainly much more pocketable than a DSLR. A very welcome addition is the larger, sharper LCD screen on the back of the camera to complement that 2.36 million dot OLED EVF also used in the X-E1. Having a large and super-sharp LCD is not an essential feature – at least for us it did not make the X-E1 less attractive. After-all, it is hardly a good way to sort through images. But having such a screen isn’t going to make a camera worse either, so we are happy it is now up there with the best. Oh, and the OLED EVF has gotten faster! The refresh rate has been changed from 20 fps to 50+ fps in low light situations, making it even easier to photograph without motion blur.

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Fujifilm XQ1 Announcement

Along with the highly-anticipated Fujifilm X-E2 interchangeable lens camera, Fuji has also announced a successor to the stylish X-F1 compact point-and-shoot. The new XQ1 builds on the tested formula for a high-end compact camera – a large (in comparison to lower-end compact cameras) sensor, solid build quality, fast zoom lens and diminutive size. Do anything less and the crowded market will literally swamp such a camera with other offerings from all sides, smartphones among them. Thankfully, Fujifilm seems to have made all the right choices with the XQ1. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.

Fujifilm X-Q1_Lineup

1) Overview and Key Specifications

As the XF1 before it, the new XQ1 compact camera has a 2/3″ sized sensor with 12 megapixels. Unlike its predecessor, though, XQ1 sports an X-Trans II sensor with a different color filter array when compared to traditional Bayer sensors. What this means, at least in theory, is that XQ1 can do without AA filter and thus capture a little bit more detail. X-Trans sensors used in other Fujifilm cameras, namely the mirrorless system and X20/X100s compacts, also proved to be very capable in handling high ISO noise. Fujifilm XQ1 has ISO range of 100-12800, but don’t expect it to shine at highest sensitivities if you are used to APS-C or full-frame sensor level of performance. The new X-Trans sensor also supports phase-detect autofocus and the claimed AF speed is very fast – a mere 0.06s. I believe it is safe to assume XQ1 has the potential of delivering higher technical image quality over its predecessor, even if not by all that much.

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Sony A7 vs A7R

With Sony taking over the major headlines this week, a number of our readers have been asking about the differences between the Sony A7 and A7R – two new full-frame interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. As I have written in this article, Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras are shaking up the camera market and could potentially influence the future development and pricing of full-frame DSLRs in the future. Boasting impressive 24 and 36 megapixel sensors, the Sony A7 and A7R cameras are attracting a lot of potential buyers from different camps. But one question remains: what is the difference between the A7 and the A7R and which one should one pick? Although both cameras look very similar, there is a big difference in price: the A7 is priced at $1700, while the A7R is at $2300. In this article, I will go over the feature differences between the two cameras and provide personal recommendations on what lens(es) to choose. I believe the two cameras are targeted at completely different audiences. Please keep in mind that this Sony A7 vs A7R comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Sony A7 and Sony A7R reviews.

Sony A7 vs A7r

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Nikon D5300 vs D3200

In this article, I will show feature differences between the new Nikon D5300, which is considered to be an upper-entry level DSLR and the current entry-level D3200 (see our review). What does the higher-end D5300 bring to the table and what are the key differences between these models? Let’s take a closer look. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D5300 vs D3200 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon D5300 review.

Nikon D5300 vs D3200

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Canon 6D Discount Beats That of Nikon D600

Nikon is not the only one who knows how to attract customers with low prices. It seems Canon is not about to watch its main rival sell out all D600 stock without a fight. The difference is, Canon 6D never had any defects with its shutter mechanism or autofocus system. It is a fully functional camera that has had no recalls or widely-known issues, and was not recently replaced with a new, mildly improved (or, perhaps, fixed) model. And yet, for a limited time, you can get it for $1575 (price shown after Checkout).

Canon EOS 6D

But, as with the rest of current Canon discounts, B&H will throw in some stuff for free:

  • Discount: $325
  • Price with discount: $1575
  • Regular price: $1899
  • Includes: SanDisk 16GB SDHC Memory Card Ultra Class 10 UHS-1, Canon 200DG Deluxe Gadget Bag, Oben ACM-2400 4-Section Aluminum Monopod, Watson LP-E6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1750mAh) + 4% B&H rewards program
  • Accessory value: $145
  • Click here to order from B&H

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G High Resolution Image Samples

Now that the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G lens is out (check out our detailed preview), more and more information is showing up on this very interesting lens, including high resolution image samples. Unfortunately, Nikon did not provide any high-resolution images on its product page, so I thought it would be a good idea to post other images that I was able to find through Nikon Asia’s website. Although I thought that the sample images were not a very good representation of the lens performance (f/1.4 samples do not appear to be perfectly focused), the images definitely do have that 3D look to them. Bokeh looks exceptionally good, even stopped down to f/2! Check out the below high-resolution image samples:

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G Image Sample (1)
Link to download the image | Shutter Speed: 1/1000, Aperture: f/2, ISO: 100

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Nikon 58mm f/1.4G Announcement

The most exciting announcement of the week for me personally, is the new Nikon 58mm f/1.4G, a lens that I have been waiting for many years now. This is a specialized, one of a kind lens that is basically the modern version of the Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2, a legendary manual focus lens with extreme performance that still sells for over $3000 used today. Although Nikon currently offers two f/1.4 and f/1.8 modern 50mm primes with autofocus capability in its lens lineup, the 58mm f/1.4G is a lens at a whole different level that is specifically designed to yield maximum sharpness and microcontrast, along with beautiful bokeh at the maximum aperture of f/1.4.

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

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Nikon D5200 vs D5300

In this article, I will show feature differences between the new Nikon D5300 and the previous generation D5200. What does the updated D5300 bring to the table and what are the key differences? Let’s take a look! Please keep in mind that this Nikon D5200 vs D5300 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon D5300 review.

Nikon D5300 vs D5200

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Nikon D5300 Image Samples

With the release of the D5300, Nikon has also posted 5 sample images from the camera by Kwaku Alston. The below images are all copyright of Nikon and all EXIF data is retained in photographs. As before, the sensor performance of the D5300 looks pretty impressive.

Please keep in mind that the images are taken in RAW and simply converted to JPEG via Capture NX 2. No other editing has been done, including sharpening.

Nikon D5300 Image Sample #1
Link to download the image | Shutter Speed: 1/200, Aperture: f/11, ISO: 100

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Nikon D5300 Announcement

This week is quite busy, with so many great products being introduced by different brands including Sony, Sigma and Fuji (an announcement to be posted tomorrow). Nikon is also announcing a couple of products before the Photo Plus convention in New York (which I am planning to attend and fully cover). The first announcement is for the Nikon D5300, an upper entry-level DSLR aimed for beginners and amateurs. It has been only a year since Nikon refreshed the line with the D5200 and now the camera is updated again with some new interesting features and improvements to make the line more compelling compared to the competition.

Nikon D5300

The Nikon D5300 ships with exactly the same sensor as the one on the Nikon D7100 (see our review), without an anti-aliasing filter. With a number of the current Nikkor DX lenses struggling to resolve a lot of detail to fully take advantage of high resolution APS-C sensors, looks like Nikon’s strategy is not to include AA filters in all future models. While removing such a filter will certainly yield slightly sharper images, moire can potentially become an issue when photographing fine patterns, textures and fabric.

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