NEW PRODUCTS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS THAT ARE MIND BOGGLING !!

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We live in an amazing world of technology. And the photo industry is no exception to the rule. With the big brands going head to head in creating the ultimate camera, the lens manufactures are doing the same.

Today’s blog is going to focus on several new products just recently introduced that, I think, are stunning achievements.

Here we go:

Olympus launches $7,500 super telephoto 300-1000mm zoom!

At the time that Olympus told the world they were calling it quits, a big company from Japan said, “NO WAY” ! Olympus is too big of name to call it quits. And JIP (Japan Industrial Partners) steps in and buys the company. And JIP creates a new company called “The New Imaging Company” to handle and take care of the products, such as Olympus. 95% of the Olympus company was sold to JIP, and JIP is usually not a company that likes defeat. They saw a potential with Olympus and we may see some incredible products, now coming with the Olympus name on it.

Just announced: The Zuiko 150-400 has been introduced with the ability to pair it with their new 1.5X teleconverter. This will take the 150-400 mm lens up to an amazing 300-1000mm lens system.

The M.Zuiko 150-400mm may be the most expensive Micro Four Thirds lens ever made, but it’s also the most unique. There is simply no equivalent lens on any other system, and certainly none that offers this kind of awesome range in such a compact, hand-holdable frame. Combine this with the Olympus TC-20 2x Teleconverter and it delivers a staggering 750-2000mm range! And of course the price will be for the serious photographer as well. This comes with a remarkable $7,499.95 / $6,499 price tag.

At an astonishing 115.8 × 314.3mm and 1,875g (yes, those figures are correct!) this is an unprecedented proposition for sports and wildlife photographers, offering a lens that can be carried, handheld and used in the field in ways never before possible.

While shooting at up to 1,000mm lends itself best to tripod work, the 150-400mm is perfectly usable handheld, with 4.5 stops of native stabilization that combines for 6 stops when used at 500mm (1000mm equivalent) and 8 stops at 150mm (300mm) on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X.

I just want to say that Olympus has created a lens that is making sports photographers and wildlife photographers think about the current camera they own and step to an Olympus Camera. And I, being one that has owned an Olympus before, NO ONE WILL FEEL BAD FOR CHANGING TO THIS BRAND. It is a solid camera, well built, all the gadgets you could want in a small digital camera.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro is available for pre-order now, and will start shipping in late January 2021.

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World’s fastest production lens! Voigtländer 29mm f/0.8 coming December

Let me explain why this is such a remarkable lens. If you follow the “F-STOP” numbers, this is how it goes:

If you have a small zoom lens that came with your camera, you will notice on the lens the numbers: 3.5-22 aperture capable (of course it doesn’t say aperture capable). This means that the aperture on your lens will go from an F3.5 to an F22. F3.5 in reality is all the light this lens will let in. If you want a lens that goes to the next number down (which means it will let in double the light) you would go to an F2.8. Then to double the amount of light again, you would go to a lens with an F2.0. Now some lenses have been closer to 1.8 to make it easier for production. So, to double the amount of light that can get through a lens, you would go to F1.4 (this is turning into a massive piece of glass already, and, yes, you will pay a lot more for this much glass). To double the amount of light from that 1.4 you would go to an F1.2 !! That is one fat lens with all that glass, but, you would be able to shoot in extreme lower light that ever before. Now, if you could make a lens, which I think someone does, you would go to an F1.0 lens. All the light that is available gets through this lens. It is the ultimate.

No, but wait, the headline above says that Voigtlander has just created a 0.8 lens !!!!

What???? That means this lens actually is capable of bringing in or producing more light than what is available. It is gathering more light. Really !! Here is what they are saying about this:

Voigtlander

UPDATE 17/11: The Voigtlander Super Nokton 29mm f/0.8 Aspherical lens for Micro Four Thirds has been announced, officially making it the world’s fastest photographic lens. While photographers will enjoy the beautiful depth of field that this lens will create (equivalent of f/1.6 on a full frame lens), the Voigtlander 29mm f/0.8 also features a stepless aperture ring that’s perfect for videography. 

This lens has a minimum shooting distance of 0.37m and a focal length of 29mm, which is equivalent to 58mm in full frame terms. It weighs 703g and has a filter size of 62mm. Preorders for the Voigtlander Super Nokton 29mm f/0.8 Aspherical lens will open in December, with this super fast lens retailing for around $2,000. 

Buckle up your safety belt and hope that the airbags deploy – an f/0.8 lens is on the way from Voigtländer, and it will be the world’s fastest lens currently in production.

There are plenty of lighting-fast lenses on the market, such as the Fujinon XF 50mm f/1.0 WR, Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95, and of course Voigtländer’s own existing range of f/0.95 lenses. However, the upcoming Voigtländer Super Nokton 29mm f/0.8 Aspherical will leave them all eating its dust. 

Yes there have been faster lenses in the past, like the Carl Zeiss Super-Q-Gigantar 40mm f/0.33 publicity stunt. However, the fastest lens you can actually buy today is the Kipon Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 Mark II – though it’s hardly renowned for its quality.

The Voigtländer Super Nokton 29mm f/0.8 Aspherical, then, will be a hair faster than the Ibelux – and being that it’s a Voigtländer optic, it’s sure to possess better image quality as well.

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Ever wondered what the difference is between a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera and the new “Mirrorless” cameras? Here is the explanation, so you can decide what your next purchase should be:

Size – Mirrorless vs DSLR image 9058

A mirrorless camera doesn’t have the weight of a DSLR in most cases. However, the weight depends on your lens. Full-frame 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses will be will be equal in size, so weight savings is marginal.

And while mirrorless cameras are smaller, the larger grips on DSLRs are more ergonomic and preferred by most photographers. They find when you put a large lens on a smaller, mirrorless camera, the balance is odd.

Sensor and image quality

The first mirrorless cameras didn’t have equally large sensors found in most DSLRs. Because the most common predictor of image quality is the sensor, mirrorless cameras now offer multiple sensors, including full-frame and medium format. Both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have full frame and crop sensors. But do your research as not every brand offers every format.

Shooting Speed

Without a mirror to move, mirrorless cameras offer faster shooting speeds when compared to traditional SLRs. But, don’t assume the mirrorless camera you’re looking at is faster than a DSLR, as many mirrorless cameras share a similar framerate with DSLRs.

Autofocus

As mirrorless technology has advanced, autofocus has improved. Some manufacturers offer on-chip phase detection, so mirrorless cameras perform the same type of autofocus as DSLRs. For the most part, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras both have excellent autofocus systems.

Viewfinders

With no mirror to bounce light from the lens up to your eye, mirrorless cameras aren’t equipped with optical viewfinders. They can, however, use an electronic viewfinder (EVF). EVFs are like LCD screens at the rear of the camera, but they’re smaller and optimized for using right up to your eye.

There are pros and cons to both types: Optical viewfinders can’t drain a camera battery, and you can always get a reliable composition. EVFs aren’t always-on with most models — some cameras require clicking a button to go between the LCD screen and the viewfinder.

Battery Life

Mirrorless cameras tend to have shorter battery lives than DSLRs. Technology will improve this in time, but many DSLRs still have twice the battery life of a mirrorless camera.

But, the average mirrorless camera user should have no problem getting a full day out of the battery. You’d have to shoot more than 300 photos in a day to wear out the battery.

Lens Selection

DSLRs have been around longer, which means manufacturers have been making their lenses for quite a while. Generally, DSLRs have more lens selection than mirrorless cameras. Do your research before purchasing mirrorless – make sure your model has access to all the necessary lenses for your needs.

Price

All cameras, both DSLR and mirrorless, range in price from $500 to $5000. Obviously, the more expensive packages will contain more lenses and other features than a basic package.

When determining which is better for your needs, you need to examine the body styles, shutter speeds, battery life, grips, and lenses. While serious photographers tend toward DSLRs, amateurs may lean toward the newer, mirrorless cameras.

Conclusion

As photography tech grows more advanced, manufacturers and professional photographers will continue to improve what we see in pictures. Deciding to go mirrorless is an option for certain types of photography, just as sticking with DSLR is the best option for other types of photography.

Before you buy, make sure you know what you want for the long term. What we want in the moment will change with the passage of time.

Pentax is staying out of the mirrorless camera business. Is that good or bad?

Pentax recently announced the K-3 Mark III, the third iteration of their flagship APS-C camera, which reinforces their stance that their future (and as they argue, the future of photography) is in DSLRs, not mirrorless cameras. With an industry increasingly focused on mirrorless cameras, why is Pentax going against the grain?

Back in 2016, long before mirrorless cameras had really taken hold in the industry, I reviewed the Pentax K-1 DSLR. You can read that review here, but long story short: I loved it. It is a fantastically unique camera, full of truly interesting features that enable new creative possibilities (instead of existing merely as marketing fluff) and backed up by a very capable and resolution-rich sensor. My only real qualm with the camera was its middling autofocus, but boy, the future looked bright for the company. I don’t mean that in the sense that I thought they would overtake Canon or Nikon, but it sure seemed like they would continue in their niche as a more esoteric company with a smaller but fiercely loyal following. Honestly, the only reason I did not switch to a Pentax system at that point was because I like niche lenses, and their lens library is a bit limited in that sense. 

In the four years since I reviewed the K-1, the company’s progress has been painfully slow, marked by bodies with very few changes and just a lens or two, at least up until the recently announced K-3 Mark III. In some sense, that is not surprising. Pentax has a much smaller market share, and we should not expect them to be throwing wads of cash at research and development and pushing out boundary-stretching gear at a breakneck pace like companies such as Sony or Canon. What did make me raise my eyebrow, however, was when a Ricoh executive claimed that he thought mirrorless was essentially a fad and expected the majority of users to return to DSLRs in “2-3 years.” 

This is a seriously cool camera.

I find it really hard to believe that will be the case, and I get the sense that other companies do not believe it either. After all, look at Canon, for example, which has stopped development of new EF lenses and is winding down their major DSLR lines while aggressively developing and releasing professional mirrorless bodies and lenses. Every other manufacturer — Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic — are all either totally mirrorless or moving toward it at a brisk clip. 

So, does Pentax really believe there is going to be a massive return to DSLRs in a few years, leaving them as the sole manufacturer with up-to-date DSLRs, waiting to soak up profits from a throng of customers looking for cameras with mirror boxes? I highly doubt it. Such comments can be explained in a few different ways. Perhaps the company is aware of the size of their market share and the capital it would take to establish a new mirrorless line in the space, and it simply might not be viable, thus the desire to instill a sense of confidence in sticking to DSLRs. Shareholders and such. Perhaps it is a roundabout way of saying there will always (or at least, for the foreseeable future) be those who prefer DSLRs to mirrorless bodies, and as other major manufacturers shutter their DSLR lines, Pentax will be waiting with open arms and up-to-date DSLR tech to welcome those mirror box refugees. That certainly seems a more reasonable and plausible philosophy than the whole mirrorless exodus thing. 

Could Pentax hold out long enough for those DSLR users? After all, DSLR equipment isn’t going to suddenly stop working the day its manufacturer decides to focus exclusively on mirrorless. I’m sure the company can make it that long, though. After all, they already have the aforementioned small but fiercely loyal following, and their conservative approach to research and development could be a strategy to tide them over until they reach the point when they are the sole provider to a market that still has a proportion of photographers looking for DSLR equipment. Even if it isn’t reasonable to expect them to hold out that long, what else could they do given their position? It is a gamble, however, if this is their strategy.

There is one way Pentax could join the mirrorless market without having to pay the admission fee of developing an entirely new line of bodies and lenses: join the L mount alliance. At least at a surface level, it would be a fantastic fit. The alliance currently features Panasonic, Sigma, and Leica. Panasonic’s cameras focus primarily on and are marketed toward video work, traditionally the weak point of Pentax’s bodies, which generally include it as an afterthought. Sigma, of course, is primarily focused on lenses. And Leica’s only full frame L Mount camera is $6,000. It seems like there’s a stills photography-shaped hole in the L Mount Alliance that could be nicely filled by Pentax. Just imagine a camera with the build and video qualities of the Panasonic S1 and the geeky photography features of the Pentax K-1, all with access to Sigma’s deep library of capable but affordable lenses. That would be a tough camera to beat. 

I’ll confess I don’t know the business particulars of the alliance, and perhaps it is not viable for Pentax to join it, or maybe they simply aren’t wanted in it. But I do know that Pentax produces unique equipment that invigorates my creativity, and I would be sad to see such a storied and unique brand go away. Who knows, maybe in five years, when DSLRs are truly put out to pasture by all the other manufacturers, Pentax will be there and will thrive when photographers who just can’t stand an electronic viewfinder have nowhere else to turn. I don’t think there will be that many photographers who haven’t at least started a transition toward mirrorless by then. That does not mean there won’t be some, though, and I think there will always be at least a small market for DSLRs (at least for the foreseeable feature). Part of the question is if Pentax can capture those users instead of them simply moving to a mirrorless option from the brand they are already using. I certainly hope that the company sticks around, in whatever form that may be. 

Here’s what Pentax is saying about their camera vs. mirrorless cameras:

Pentaprism optical viewfinder
with high visibility

Using an optical viewfinder is the best part of shooting on an SLR camera. Designed for enjoyable shooting, PENTAX DSLR cameras feature an optical viewfinder with a glass pentaprism. This system offers a wide field of view, making it easier to check focus peaks and bokeh.
The optical viewfinder has no time lag which occurs with the electronic viewfinder on a mirrorless SLR camera, and it is easier to see how the subject is lighted, as well as offering an accurate view of colors and shadows. It is also possible to check the subject in the viewfinder even when the power is off, helping reduce battery consumption.

Well-thought-out operations

PENTAX DSLR camera operability is designed with the photographer fully in mind. The grip is designed to fit the hand perfectly, while buttons are placed for easy access when looking through the viewfinder. These are all available on a functionally shaped body.
Furthermore, functions can be assigned to the Fx buttons for instant activation and the Hyper Operation system (Hyper Program and Hyper Manual) delivers simple, quick, flexible operation over exposure settings via efficient use of the front and rear e-dials, making PENTAX camera controls so good you’ll never want to let go of it.

So much to learn…. hope you enjoyed this blog today.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
person on rocky cliff in autumn sunlight
Photo by James Smith on Pexels.com
lightning strikes
Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Published by 123photogo

I have been a photographer for many years. Worked in retail selling cameras and accessories for over 20 years. Taught many photo classes, and have even been a judge in several county fairs. Now, I want to share photo instructions and entertainment with all other photographers around the world.

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