Panasonic just announced the new pocket ultra-zoom: the Lumix DMC-TZ100. I had the chance to try the pre-production model and it looks quite promising. Main selling point of this camera will be large 1″ type sensor combined with the 10x optical zoom. Sensors of this size are found in Sony RX100, RX10, Canon G7X and Panasonic TZ1000 cameras. It has 20 megapixels and because of its size will offer superior low light performance compared to compact cameras with smaller sensors. Until now all compact cameras with a sensor as big as this one had limited zoom range – 3 or 4 times. Panasonic TZ100 has 10x optical zoom – 25-250mm in 35 mm terms and this might just be the reason to buy it for many photographers. This is more versatile zoom range than the one found on Sony RX100 and the camera is still small enough to fit in a pocket.
Sony is on rampage. Right next to A7 and A7R, the company released another beautiful and capable digital camera – the DSC-RX10. It’s a camera that really has no direct competitor. With the big 8x zoom lens it could hardly be called as ultra zoom, but it looks like one. The main feature that sets it apart from other ultra-zooms is the sensor. It is the same unit used in RX100 II camera; smaller than APS-C sensors in mirrorless cameras, but still significantly bigger from those found in other ultra-zooms. The result is exceptional image quality. Besides that, RX10 can record in RAW format, has a high level of customization and it could actually be the only camera an advanced amateur could need. No fuss with exchanging lenses and all of the manual controls at the fingertips.
Canon has announced plenty of new gear most of which is actually old gear. Confused? Don’t be, it quite normal these days for any consumer electronics company to release new product that is essentially the same as old one with just some minor upgrades. Canon PowerShot G16 and S120 are Canon’s latest premium compact cameras, with G16 having now WiFi connection and S120 got slightly faster lens.
Popular PowerShot SX500 got a better sensor and is now called SX510 HS and SX160 IS got a Li-Ion battery and is now called SX170 IS. There is also a new lens – Canon EF-S 55-250 F/4-5.6 IS STM which is essentially the same as the old 55-250 but now has a silent step motor auto focus (STM).
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We live in interesting times from as far as the gear is concerned. Compact camera market is being squeezed between smartphones and mirrorless models, so all the major companies are trying to develop high IQ models. Therefore, large-sensor compacts are popping out like mushrooms after the rain and I like it that way. Today, Nikon has announced the new Coolpix A – compact camera the size of Sony DSC-RX100 but with APS-C sensor and a fixed 18.5mm lens (28mm equivalent).
Sony prepared a big surprise for us this morning. A camera we’ve been dreaming for years finally is here; compact with 36 x 34 mm (full frame) sensor. For a long time all those who absolutely wanted or needed full frame had to use goliaths like A900 or Nikon and Canon equivalents. Leica has a full frame rangefinder, but at a price point mortals cannot afford. DSC-RX1 at around $ 2800 is not cheap, but at least it is small; at 113 x 65 x 69 mm this is a true compact camera.
Photokina is the world’s biggest and most anticipated imaging fair that takes place every two years in a German town of Cologne (Köln). Industry leaders, traders, professionals and amateur photographers will all gather at September 18 to view and try the latest photographic equipment on the market. I have prepared a short list of expected announcements and rumors. Some cameras or lenses might be announced before the show, but the public will be able to see them for the first time at the fair.