Some manufacturers seem to fail to understand what photographers of this day seek in a compact, digital package (I’m talking to you, Nikon), some choose a safe and dependable bet. Add a couple of manufacturers who don’t really know what they are doing, and you have a whole bunch of cameras which are often good, but a little… predictable? Yes, that seems to be the word. Happily, there are those who strike a certain balance between innovative technology and character to stand out from the crowd. On the expensive side, we have Leica. On the less expensive side, we have Fujifilm, which has been steeling thunder for the last whole year at the very least. Now, if there are two cameras in 2013 our team is most intrigued by, it’s the recently announced Fujifilm X100S and X20. So for those of you who feel one of these is the right tool for you, read on for the pre-order links.
As always, the links will lead you to B&H, our most trusted reseller we use more than any other to buy our own gear. We haven’t mentioned this very often, but once you buy from B&H using one of our affiliate links, we receive a small funding which we use solely to support and expand this website.
- Click here to pre-order Fujifilm X100S for $1299.95. This camera has a 35mm f/2 equivalent lens, 16 megapixel X-Trans APS-C CMOS sensor and Fujifilm’s innovative hybrid viewfinder. We are certain it will prove to be extremely popular.
- Click here to pre-order the black high-end compact Fujifilm X20 camera for $599.95, which replaces the popular X10 sporting a better viewfinder, a new 2/3″ X-Trans sensor, a fast 28-112mm f/2-2.8 equivalent lens with hybrid AF system and great build quality
- Click here to pre-order the silver-and-black version of X20 for the same $599.95 if you prefer handsome retro looks over black discretion
We may be a bit late to publish this particular announcement, but it did take some time to comprehend what Nikon has done, or, to be precise, hasn’t done. Along with the USA availability of their D5200 DSLR camera, they have also introduced two new Nikon 1 cameras and lenses. Firstly, there’s the J3, which is a successor to the J2, which was announced less than half a year ago (click here for our review). If, previously, the J-series were thought to be entry-level Nikon 1 offerings, such positioning has changed with the introduction of a lower-end S1 camera. The two lenses are 6.7-13mm F3.5-5.6 VR wide-angle zoom (18-35mm equivalent) and 10-100mm F4-5.6 VR super-zoom (27-270mm equivalent).
Key Specifications and Commentary
Lets start with the recent update to Nikon 1 J-series, the J3.
1) Nikon 1 J3
- 14.2 megapixel CX (1″ sized) CMOS sensor with 4608 x 3072 image size and 2.7x crop factor
- Tough metallic body construction, as with previous Nikon 1 cameras
- Well-received Hybrid AF with both contrast- and phase-detect systems for very fast and accurate focus acquisition and up to 135 focus points
- 3″ 921k dot LCD screen
- Shutter speed range of 30s-1/16000s
- 15 frames per second shooting speed
- 1080p/60 video support with max 1200 frames per second recording at 320×120 resolution for super-slow motion playback
In short, this is a Nikon V2 camera in a J2 body. If previously the J2 was only a minor update to the original J1, this time the newest camera in J-series gains 14.2 megapixel sensor from its bigger brother. As usual, it is very fast in both shooting speeds and autofocus, offering 15 frames per second with continuous AF. The high build quality is also a reassuring factor, no doubt. However, all is not so good when you take a closer look at what Nikon has done with the controls. I am about to rant now.
One topic that many of us Nikon shooters often discuss between each other in local groups, online forums and various photography clubs, is lenses that we wish Nikon had. Sometimes a desired lens comes from our experience from using a lens from another brand, sometimes it is something that does not exist, but we wish existed to make our photography easier, more fun, etc. While Nikon has been doing a great job filling in the holes during the last several years, with lenses like >Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR, 24-120mm f/4G VR, 28mm f/1.8G, 50mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.8G and 70-200mm f/4G VR, there are still plenty of lenses that Nikon should have in its arsenal. In this article, I will go over the most desired future Nikon lenses, the ones that have not been released yet, but I really wish to see come to life soon. I guess you can also call the below a “wishlist” of unannounced Nikon lenses.
1) DX LENSES
I will first start out with DX primes. While I believe the DX market will probably go away sometime in the future (as I pessimistically shared in my “why DX has no future article“), thanks to the fast growth of the mirrorless market and lack of attention to DX users from Nikon, there are still a lot more DX cameras out there today than FX. If Nikon wants to keep its DX line attractive for the next 5-6 years, it should not only develop great DX camera bodies, but also great DX lens options.
Looks like the holiday deals are not over. This time, it is the Nikon D7000 that goes on sale, with more goodies from B&H to sweeten the deal. While I do not consider this as good of a deal as the Nikon D600, it is still a pretty good sale for those that do not want to part with their DX lenses and stick with the APS-C sensor. This sale is a good indication that the D7000 will be replaced pretty soon, probably in Q1 of 2013. If you would like to check out my thoughts on the D7000, see my Nikon D7000 review that I published a while ago.
So here are the details for the Nikon D7000 discount:
- Nikon D7000 SLR Digital Camera $1,196.95
- Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens $846.95
- Nikon Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Lens $124.95
- Vello BG-N4 Battery Grip for Nikon D7000 $69.95
- Sandisk 16GB SDHC Extreme Class 10 $24.06
On top of that, B&H will overnight this camera to you, so that you get it before Christmas.
I know that many of our readers have been patiently waiting for me to publish my upcoming Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR Review (Update: the review has been posted right here). While the review is under way, I have a lot of gear in my hands that I need to test and hence, it is a little delayed. Thanks to my friend David Bassett, I had a chance to play with the 70-200mm f/4 for the last couple of days until I receive my copy from B&H (should be arriving later this week, along with the Sigma 70-200mm and Tamron 70-200mm). One of the first things I did after I got the lens, was mount the lens on my D800E and test it in a lab environment for its resolution capabilities. As you can see from the below comparisons with my beloved Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, the 70-200mm f/4G VR performed incredibly well. I am stunned and seriously in love – wife said that she doesn’t mind :) Once again, Nikon produced an absolute winner, a true gem that will quickly become a favorite lens by many. First, we had the 50mm f/1.8G, then the 85mm f/1.8G and now the 70-200mm f/4G. As I have said before, it is a good time to be a Nikonian! Superb camera bodies, excellent lenses – a great system overall.
So here is the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR @ 70mm:
I was first told that the D800/D800E/D600 instant rebates from last week would only last a couple of days. It turned out that the deals got pretty popular, because B&H ran out of the D600 stock pretty quickly. They were able to get a brand new shipment of the D800, D800E and D600 cameras quickly today, so I was told that the rebate program will continue, probably till the end of the year (December 29th, 2012 is the last date) or until the stock is completely depleted and Nikon cannot supply cameras fast enough.
Anyway, here are the Nikon deals once again:
- Nikon D800 – $200 off instantly (body only) – $2796.95 ($2,999 reg). Click on the “Savings Available” link and add Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G for another $200 off, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II for another $200 off, Nikon 70-300mm VR for yet another $200 off and Nikon 28-300mm VR for another $150 off – a total of $950 in instant savings! The Nikon D800 also comes with the following: Lowepro Rezo 170 AW Camera Shoulder Bag, Vello FreeWave Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Nikon w/10-Pin Connection, SanDisk 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card Extreme 400x UDMA and Pearstone EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V 1800mAh) ($214 value) – Up to $1,164 in total savings
- Nikon D800E – $200 off instantly (body only) – $3096.95 ($3,299 reg). Same deal with lenses – pick any of the above-mentioned lenses and you can shave up to $750 off in instant savings in lenses alone. Unfortunately, no other incentives except for the 2% cach back are included.
- Nikon D600 + Nikon 24-85mm VR – $700 off instantly – $1,996.95 ($2,699 reg). Same deal with lenses – pick any of the above-mentioned lenses and you can shave up to $750 off in instant savings in lenses alone. To sweeten up the deal, B&H is also adding the following: Lowepro Rezo 170 AW Camera Shoulder Bag, SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Card Extreme Class 10 UHS-I, Pearstone EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V 1800mAh) and Oben ACM-2400 4-Section Aluminum Monopod
($174 value) – Up to $1,625 in total savings
Please note that there are additional savings to the above – the Nikon D800/D800E qualify for 2% additional cash back, while the D600 has a 4% cash back program through B&H!
Nikon D800 vs D800E
I got a number of emails from our readers, asking if they should go with the D800 or the D800E for their photography. As I have pointed out a number of times in articles like Nikon D800 vs D800E before, the D800E is a specialized tool that should be used for landscape, nature and macro photography, where fine, repetitive patterns are rarely present. If you like doing portrait photography and occasionally shoot landscapes, then get the D800. The difference between the D800 and D800E is very minor that you normally won’t be able to see. So for 98% of photographers out there, the D800 is the camera to get. Plus, the deals above for the D800E do not include all the goodies from B&H – just the bare $200 off, plus lens rebates…
For dedicated landscape gurus, the D800E is going to give the best possible image quality from the 36 MP sensor.