Generally, we try as much as possible not to re-publish stuff and provide our readers with original content. It does mean a lot of work needs to be done to write thorough articles and it takes equally as much time. But in the end, it proves to be more rewarding as well. However, every now and then we find something so spectacular, not sharing it with our readers would be a crime. The amazing century-old color photographs fell into that category. And so does Framed Network’s project.
Along with the two new lenses and a black version of the E 50mm f/1.8 OSS, Sony has also introduced two new mirrorless cameras. One of them might make it to our list of new old products, as the NEX-5T adds very little over its predecessor and is more of a mild refresh than a new model. At this point, I would be slightly annoyed at Sony for reasons already discussed, but the second camera might just attract enough attention for NEX-5T barely to be noticed at all. In a strange and bold move, Sony has introduced the A3000 – a mirrorless camera with Sony E mount that looks like a DSLR.
Sony has just announced two impressive new zoom lenses for its NEX cameras and a black version of its current Zeiss 50mm f/1.8 lens. The first of the two lenses is a Vario-Tessar T* 16-70mm f/4 OSS designed by Zeiss. The second zoom lens has an even more impressive focal length range of 18-105mm whilst also sticking to f/4 aperture throughout and being optically stabilized. Both new lenses instantly make Sony NEX compact system cameras that much more attractive to serious amateurs and enthusiasts.
1) Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 OSS Lens Overview
The new Zeiss lens is designed for APS-C sensor cameras and features a 24-105mm full-frame equivalent focal length. This is the first lens in this class for APS-C cameras that also has a constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range. And you know what? Finally. Much older APS-C DSLR systems lack important lenses with similar parameters, not to mention a number of primes. Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR DX instantly springs to mind – it is very capable, but the slow variable aperture leaves something to be desired. The addition of the Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 OSS lens makes the whole NEX system quite a bit more inviting to serious photographers unwilling to sacrifice versatility and quality over small size. If Sony keeps up with such serious lenses, it is well on its way to providing both.
As you would expect from Zeiss, 16-70mm f/4 OSS has lens coatings to minimize flare and aspherical and ED glass elements. Lens barrel is, traditionally, made of metal and should feel very solid.
In addition to the Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G DX ED VR lens, Nikon also announced a brand new speedlight – the Nikon SB-300. Before the SB-300, the lowest-end flash unit in Nikon’s line was the SB-400. Since the SB-400 is a straight flash with limited flexibility to tilt the head (only straight upwards, no side to side movement), I never recommended it to anyone, even beginner photographers with entry-level DSLRs. Unfortunately, the price gap between the SB-400 and higher end speedlights like SB-600/SB-700 was too big for many beginner photographers, so I would often recommend third party flash units. Does the SB-300 change the game?
Nikon has just announced a brand new lens, the Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR to expand its line of APS-C / DX lenses. This lens is meant to be an update to the existing Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G lens that was produced back in 2006 and discontinued in 2009. Interestingly, the Nikon 18-135mm was a kit lens for mid-range DSLRs like Nikon D80, which means that we should be seeing an announcement for at least one DX camera later this year (probably at the end of September). And since the Nikon DSLR entry and mid-range lines are fairly recent (D3200, D5200 and D7100), this lens might ship as a kit lens for the upcoming Nikon D400.
Today Adobe announced the availability of Lightroom 5.2 and Camera RAW 8.2 release candidates. A number of bugs that were present in Lightroom 5 were fixed, and new camera and lens profiles have been added. In addition, some new features features have been added to Lightroom, including a smoothness adjustment slider, refinements to the spot healing tool and local adjustment brush. Preliminary RAW support for the recently announced Canon EOS 70D and Sony RX100 II is also provided. The Adobe team skipped Lightroom 5.1 version and jumped directly to 5.2, to keep up with the Camera RAW naming convention.
Camera and Lens Support
Here is the list of newly supported camera models:
- Canon EOS 70D *
- Casio Exilim EX-ZR800
- Fujifilm FinePix HS22EXR
- Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR
- Fujifilm FinePix S205EXR
- Fujifilm FinePix F805EXR
- Fujifilm X-M1
- Phase One IQ260 *
- Sony DSC-RX1R
- Sony DSC-RX100 II*
Our readers have been asking us about reviewing Fuji cameras and lenses. Since Fuji has been on the roll lately, releasing the X-E1, X-M1, X100s and a bunch of new lenses, we decided that it would be a good idea to review all of Fuji gear that is out there. Although I reviewed the Fuji X-Pro1 a while ago, I decided to update my review, because the new firmware addressed a lot of the issues that I talked about in the review, including some of the autofocus issues. Here is everything I received yesterday:
If you own a Nikon DSLR, this is a good time to perform a firmware update, because Nikon has just released new firmware that contains distortion control data for most of its current and older generation DSLRs, including Nikon D4, D90, D600, D800, D800E, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D7100. The distortion control data is used to correct barrel and pincushion distortion exhibited by Nikkor lenses. Please keep in mind that this data is only useful for correcting JPEG images. Distortion control data is not applied to RAW images (only to JPEG previews stored in RAW images) and if you use external image editors such as Photoshop and Lightroom, they will completely disregard this data when the RAW file is imported.
Still, it is a good idea to run the latest and greatest firmware on your camera. Also, this distortion control firmware is not a full firmware update for most cameras – it adds lens profiles to the existing camera database (firmware “L”). Before you apply the above update, I highly recommend to update your camera firmware (firmware “A” and “B”) to the latest version first. I wrote a detailed article on how to update firmware on Nikon DSLRs a while ago.
A quick reminder to those of you who were planning on purchasing new photographic equipment from B&H. Instant rebates from Nikon, Fujifilm and Sony will end tomorrow (06/29/2013). A quick recap on the rebates programs. If you buy a Nikon DSLR body, you have the option of purchasing as many lenses or speedlight units (SB-700 and SB-910) with up to $300 off per each product. While this means that you have to purchase at least one camera to qualify for additional lens rebates, some lens rebates are significant and were not part of any rebates in the past (like the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR lens that I reviewed earlier this year). So this will be a great program for those that want to buy a new DSLR or want a backup camera.
Nikon has recently released a new firmware update for their current DX camera lineup flagship, the D7100. It’s a camera we really liked (read our review), but there were some concerning niggles, such as limited buffer and crippled video mode. With its latest C 1.01 firmware update, Nikon chose do add improvements to the latter.
One of the biggest concerns with video mode was that when shooting in 1080p24 in manual mode – something most aspiring videographers would tend to do – the camera’s live view failed to display changes in exposure when a different shutter was set. This problem has been addressed. Unfortunately, one other serious problem has not been fixed yet. You still can’t change the aperture on G type lenses when in video mode, and that is a serious setback. Videographers using the D7100 will just have to wait for the next firmware release. Read on for the list of all firmware version C 1.01 improvements and download link.