I am not a reviewer. I don’t even play one on TV. There are already some in-depth reviews out on the new Canon EOS-M, and more coming daily. But I handle a lot of equipment and test a lot of equipment. When something new comes in I spend a day handling it and testing it. Hopefully this will give you a quick overview of the camera, and perhaps fill in some things that actual reviewers don’t get to tell you about. We recently got a bunch of EOS M cameras, a bunch of the 22mm lenses, a couple of 18-55 kit lenses, and a single EOS M EF adapter.
For those who don’t want to read this but do want to tell everyone what I said later, here’s the summary: it is the best of mirrorless, it is the worst of mirrorless, it is the camera of wise choices, it is the camera of foolishness, it is the epoch of accurate autofocus, and it is the epoch of slow autofocus. In other words, I’ve got mixed emotions.
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%.
Just as the rumors predicted, Nikon announced the new V2 mirrorless camera today. Succeeding the Nikon 1 V1, the V2 is a slightly-more-serious mirrorless camera than the recently-launched J2 (think V for “varsity” and J for “junior varsity”). Unlike the J2, the V2 offers more differences from its predecessor than a few minor tweaks.
There was once a time when you could more easily spot a professional photographer simply by glancing at the camera equipment in a person’s hands. Was it a beast of a camera with a gigantic lens attached to it? You’re looking at a serious shooter. Is it a dinky pea shooter that is used with arms outstretched? The person is a tourist, newbie, or both.
Nowadays, as serious hardware and specs are increasingly found in smaller cameras and new types of cameras, the distinction is rapidly blurring and fading away. Unfortunately, there are people who still haven’t caught on to this fact. That’s what Gordon Laing, the founder of Cameralabs, found out the hard way earlier this month.
Is there or isn’t there a new line of compact system cameras (CSC) up Leica’s sleeve? Well, it depends on who you ask.
A little over a year ago, Nikon launched its new 1 Series mirrorless system by unveiling the V1 and J1 cameras. This past August, the company launched the J2 as the successor of the J1, but it’s 2nd generation counterpart, the V2, was strangely absent. Luckily for the J2, it won’t be lonely for too much longer.
Nikon Rumors is reporting that the V2 is scheduled to be announced by the end of this year. It’s pretty clear that the road is already being paved for the new camera: at the beginning of this month, Nikon dropped the price of the V1 (with kit lens) down to $400 — a good deal lower than the $900 MSRP the kit was launched with. As with the J2, the V2 is expected to be a minor refresh of its predecessor.
Image credit: Camera mockup by Nikon Rumors
We had a chance to play around with the new Fujifilm X-E1 at Photokina 2012, at a meeting attended by people who were the brains and hands behind the camera. Announced back on September 6, the X-E1 is the more affordable counterpart to the well-regarded X-Pro1. It’s an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera with the same beastly APS-C sensor, shedding 30% in size, 21% in weight, the fancy hybrid viewfinder in favor of an all-electronic one, and 41% in price (from $1,700 to $1,000).
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]
Hasselblad mixed things up today by announcing a new “ultra luxury” APS-C mirroress camera. Sounds like Earth-shattering news, right? Take a little closer, and you’ll notice that it’s not as monumental as it sounds. Basically, the company has taken a page from Leica’s book by playing the rebranding game. Just as Leica -Lux compact cameras are essentially rebranded Panasonic Lumix bodies, the new Hasselblad Lunar is a dressed-up version of the Sony NEX-7.
Sony has announced the new NEX-6, a mirrorless camera that follows up — and one-ups — the NEX-5R that was announced a couple of weeks ago. In the NEX pecking order, the 6 falls somewhere in between the 5R and the 7 (announced back in December 2011). It differs from the NEX-7 in that it features a new secondary mode dial and has less resolution (16.1MP, down from 24.3MP), and differs from the NEX-5 in that it has a 2.36-million-dot electronic viewfinder.
Other specs include an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, ISO that goes up to 25600, a 3-inch tilting LCD screen, a built-in flash, a speedy hybrid AF system, 10fps continuous shooting, and 1080/60p video recording.