Update: It seems that this rumor was off base. The latest word is that there is indeed a 2/3 sensor coming, but it will appear in a new XS2 fixed lens camera. The upcoming entry-level X-Series camera will continue to feature a APS-C-sized sensor. That makes a lot more sense.
We’ve heard that Fujifilm is primed to make some camera announcements this summer, and according to Digicame-Info one of those announcements may be a new entry-level X-mount mirrorless camera. The camera is expected to be announced in the summer (possibly June, according to PhotoRumors) and made available in the fall for anywhere between $550 and $700.
But it’s not the price, release date, or even the existence of a potential entry-level mirrorless ILC from Fujifilm that has people talking. Instead, it’s the rumor that the camera will come to market sporting a tiny 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS sensor.
Samsung only has a couple of weeks before the rumored “sometime between January and April 2013″ timeframe for an NX2000 “smart” ILC release runs out, and just on schedule, a FCC filing with a top and front schematic of the camera has come to light. Read more…
Japanese electronic industry analysis company BCN has published a new report (in Japanese) on the current landscape of the mirrorless camera industry. Using data gleaned from retailers and manufacturers over in Japan, it reports that three companies — Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic — account for nearly 70% of mirrorless camera sales in Japan. Nikon and Canon, both relatively late to the mirrorless game, are fourth and fifth (respectively), with a combined share of 22%.
Are we past the age of entry-level DSLRs? Dan Nosowitz over at Popular Science has written a piece titled “Don’t Buy A DSLR”, in which he argues that DSLRs are no longer the best option for aspiring amateur photographers.
DSLRs are enormous, problematically-shaped gadgets. There’s no other portable gadget with such an unapologetically non-portable shape [...] Hell, even giant headphones fold up into themselves. But DSLRs are bulky, heavy, roundish and squareish at the same time [...] There’s a reason there’s a thriving economy of DSLR-specific bags.
[...] If you’re just getting into more serious photography, a DSLR’s button layout is a major obstacle to overcome, and, more importantly, an unnecessary one. It’s not that people can’t learn, or even that they shouldn’t–it’s just that for many users, there’s no need. To someone who’s only used a point-and-shoot, you know what a DSLR looks like? A f**king airplane cockpit.
[...] DSLRs should be, and will be very soon, for experts. For pros, or passionate amateurs. Sports photographers, bird-watchers, people who want to build a multi-thousand-dollar collection of lenses. But for those of us who just want to take better pictures, dammit, there are amazing options just for us.
I think the big question is “what does the aspiring photographer want out of their camera?” If it’s simply “better photos”, then a mirrorless should do just fine… but they’d be missing out on the joys of learning how to operate “a f**king airplane cockpit.”
Don’t Buy A DSLR [Popular Science]
Brazilian gadget site ZTOP recently attended a press event during which Fujifilm showed another roadmap for its X Series lineup. We’ve already reported that the company is planning to announce an interchangeable lens camera (hopefully with the X100′s retro style) in early 2012, but this new roadmap narrows down the launch date to February 2012. We’ll likely see the camera announced before then and showed off at CES 2012 in January.
(via ZTOP via Photo Rumors)
People seem to be having a hard time swallowing the idea that Nikon could do well if their upcoming mirrorless camera only packs a 2.7x crop sensor, but Thom Hogan argues that there’s a logical “hole” in the market that Nikon could be the first to fill:
So how much change does it take to make a real difference that gets noticed? The number 1.4 is meaningful in photography in so many ways. Turns out, that something around that number makes a lot of sense for capture size change, too. Each 1.4x change doubles the area of light captured. Hmm, that sounds an awful like a “stop.” [...] So if we were to make cameras about a stop apart, what would we get: a progression close to MF, FX, DX, m4/3, and whatever Nikon calls their 2.7x product.
[...] all this discussion that a 2.7x size choice is irrational is incorrect, IMHO. Having three very different choices with clearly different and increasing performance at each size is on its face a rational decision. If Nikon can deliver a stop+ better performance than the best compact camera but keep the overall size close, that represents a gain to photographers.
Though there does appear to be a “hole” in the sensor size progression of existing cameras in the market, whether anyone actually wants a 2.7x sensor remains to be seen — especially as MFT cameras get smaller and smaller.
Fans of the Fujifilm X100 who are hoping the company will release an interchangeable lens successor to the camera may soon get their wish. Camera division chief Takeshi Higuchi strongly hinted at their plans for an interchangeable lens camera in an interview with Reuters:
The launch of a mirrorless camera, which has an electronic viewfinder, making it lighter and more compact than a professional-style single-lens reflex camera, would be an extension of Fujifilm’s effort to move upmarket and would put it in direct competition with Sony.
The X100 uses an APS-C-sized sensor found in many DSLR cameras. The company is currently in fifth place in digital camera sales behind Canon, Sony, Nikon and Samsung, but Higuchi says the company plans on passing Samsung by next year and Nikon within three years. Given how in-demand the X100 has been, we’d say Fujifilm is off to a good start.
Fujifilm aims to be world No. 3 in cameras [Reuters]
Image credit: Racing demons by shaggy359
Pentax has just announced the Q, the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera (ILC). Unlike existing ILC cameras, which have large sensors despite their tiny bodies, the Q has a tiny 1/2.3-inch sensor that’s more comparable to the sensors in point-and-shoot cameras. Thus, the Pentax Q can be considered the world’s first interchangeable lens point-and-shoot camera, though it is packed with the features and manual controls found on ILCs and DSLRs.
The camera shoots 12.4MP JPEG or raw stills at up to 5fps, records 1080p video at 30fps, and offers the traditional shooting modes found on DSLRs (i.e. P, Av, Tv, M). ISO goes up to 6400, there’s a 3-inch LCD on the back, and a funky onboard flash pops up in a strange way to help illuminate your photos.