Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Sony Cameras Announced, plus a couple of other cameras!

Just before Photokina, the world's largest photographic trade-show, opens, Sony has announced several new cameras. The most interesting of the bunch is the RX-1, a full-frame (35mm sensor) compact camera with a fixed 35mm f/2 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T lens. It views through the LCD screen on the back, but there will be optional optical finders and clip-on LCD monitors that you'll be able to attach to it. It has a 24 MP sensor and the ISO can be set anywhere from 50 to 102,400 and will be able to shoot at 5 frames per second. Like the Fuji X-100, this camera is aimed at the Henri Cartier-Bresson crowd or at least those photographers who tend toward street shooting and spontaneous snapshooting. And I don't mean to denigrate that term. I imagine RX-1 will be small, discrete, and produce very fine images, though the asking price around $2800 will put this camera out of the reach of a lot of photographers. Seems kind of high for basically a point-and-shoot pocket digicam, but I'm looking forward to checking it out. It is beautiful.

The next camera from Sony shares the same 24 MP full-frame sensor and that is the SLT-A99. Like the recent SLR offerings from Sony, this will not have an optical viewfinder, but will use an internal, electronic, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 100% coverage. Most folks are highly satisfied with the new Sony viewing systems. It will also use the Translucent Mirror System, where the mirror stays locked in the down position and you shoot through the semi-transparent mirror when photographing. The SLT-A99 will sell around $2700 for the body by itself.

Up next is the NEX-6, which is placed in the NEX line of cameras between the top of the line NEX-7 and the amateur-oriented NEX-5R. So it has an built-in EVF viewfinder in addition to the rear-screen LCD and uses a 16 MP sensor, and it will be priced somewhere between the two cameras, as well. It should sell for less than a $1000 for the body and the basic 16-50mm zoom lens.

And last, but not least, is the NEX-VG900 interchangeable lens video camera with a 24 MP full-frame 35mm CMOS APS-C sensor. It will use the standard Sony A-mount lenses from its SLR line and the body will sell for around $3,300. I think this is the first dedicated video camera with this large a sensor, though I could be wrong about that. This should be of interest to filmmakers. They are also announcing another video camera, the NEX-VG30, which uses the smaller APS-C 16 MP sensor and their E-mount lenses. The VG30 body will sell for about $1800.

And wrapping up the good news today, Hasselblad has a new camera to announce, the H5D. You'll be able to get it in 40, 50, and 60 MP single-shot versions, or even up to a 200 MP multi-shot version. And the price will be too high. Also Fuji is announcing the X-E1, another interchangeable lens camera which uses the same lenses as the X-Pro1, but only has the internal electronic viewfinder and not the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder of the X-Pro1. But the X-E1 is sleek and beautiful and should be a picture-taking machine for around $1000 for the body and $1400 with the new 18-55mm f/2.8 lens. Fuji is definitely on a roll these days.