Nimish SawantFeb 15, 2014 15:03:00 IST
Japan's renowned camera tradeshow CP+ will officially end tomorrow, but most of the camera announcements have already been done with. Owing to heavy snowfall and bad weather, CP+ will stay shut for today and will resume tomorrow. But it being the last day tomorrow, it is safe to assume that we will not be seeing any major product announcements. So let us quickly see what's already caused waves at the show.
Sony released the A6000, its 24.3MP APS-C CMOS-sensor sporting mirrorless camera which it claims has the 'world's fastest AF'. Well, that shall be confirmed only after we test it, but it does have some interesting features. For starters, it has a 179 phase-detect and 25 contrast-detect AF points which helps it in acquiring a speedy focus. You can shoot up to 11 fps in the burst mode and it comes with an OLED viewfinder and a tilting 3-inch 921k-dot LCD screen. It also comes with Wi-Fi and NFC and you get some apps on the camera itself such as Direct Upload and Photo Retouch. It is expected to start selling from April and will be priced at $800 or approx Rs 50,000 along with a 16-50mm power-zoom kit lens.
Apart from the A6000, Sony also announced a range of Cyber-shot cameras. High optical zoom range was a constant here. The most impressive of the lot was the travel zoom compact H400 which will sport a 63x optical zoom lens, followed by the HX400V which will have 50x optical zoom and H300 which will come with 35x optical zoom. Sony also introduced an ultra-compact travel zoom - the WX350 which will have 20x optical zoom.
“High zoom continues to be one of the key priorities for our Cyber-shot camera line, in both the compact segment as well the larger, more traditional ‘bridge’ models,” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot camera business. “With far-reaching zooms, extremely portable bodies and a series of competitive price points, this new crop of cameras offers advanced imaging performance to travel enthusiasts, weekend shooters, family photographers and more.”
The Cyber-shot H300 will be available the earliest starting this month and is priced at $220 (approx Rs 13700). The other cameras will be available next month onwards. The HX400V is priced at $500 (approx Rs 31000), while the Cyber-shot H400 and WX350 will run you up $320 (about Rs 20000). The W800 is the cheapest of the lost, and is priced at $80 (around Rs 5,000).
Panasonic made a big splash at this year's CP+ with the Lumix GH4 which is the first mirrorless camera to support 4K video shooting mode. It comes with a 16MP Live MOS sensor with a quad core Venus Engine IX processor allowing 4K video shooting, 12 fps burst mode and full HD shooting at incredibly high bit rates (200 Mbps). The GH4 is a successor to the video-centric GH3, which is expected to stay on on shelves. It can shoot at a resolution of 3840×2160 ‘Quad HD’ and 4060×2160 ‘Cinema 4K’ at 24 fps with a 100 Mbps bit-rate. Panasonic has also introduced a companion professional audio-video interface along with the GH4. Pricing and availability details are not out yet, but there are strong indications that price will be under $2,000 (approx Rs 1,25,000).
Canon announced a flagship advanced point and shoot, the Powershot G1 X Mark II - which looks like Canon's answer to the Sony RX 100 II. It features a 12.8MP 1.5-inch high-sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with a DIGIC 6 image processor. It boasts an ISO range from 100 to 12800. There are 31 AF points on the G1 X Mark II as opposed to the nine points seen on the G1 X. The Mark II is expected to go on sale from April at a retail price of $799 or approx Rs 50,000.
For the entry level users, Canon announced its EOS 1200D, which will replace the last generation EOS 1100D. Instead of the 12.2MP sensor that was seen on the 1100D, the 1200D will feature an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 4 processor. Other things such as full HD video shooting mode and creative filters have not changed. It is slated to hit stores this March for $549 or approx Rs 34,000.
Coming to the compact camera segment, Canon announced a bunch of cameras such as the Powershot SX700 HS which features a 30x optical zoom, Powershot D30 which is its rugged, waterproof camera and three entry level ELPH cameras - ELPH 150 IS, ELPH 140 IS and ELPH 135. The SX700HS will feature Wi-Fi connectivity and it sports a dedicated Mobile Device Connect button which helps connect the camera over Wi-Fi. These are priced between $119 and $349 and will be launched in stages over the next three months.
Specific pricing and availability is as follows:
Canon Powershot SX700HS: Price - $349 or approx Rs 22,000; Availability: March onwards
Canon Powershot D30: Price - $329 or approx Rs 20,500; Availability: April onwards
Canon Powershot ELPH 150 IS: Price - $149 or approx Rs 9,300; Availability: February onwards
Canon Powershot ELPH 140 IS: Price - $129 or approx Rs 8,000; Availability: February onwards
Canon Powershot ELPH 135: Price - $119 or approx Rs 7,400 ; Availability: February onwards
Olympus had announced the OM-D E-M10 towards the end of January, so naturally it was on display at the CP+. Featuring a 16MP LiveMOS sensor and TruPix VII image processor, the E-M10 will act as a nice side-kick to the flagship E-M1. The E-M10 comes with 81 AF points and has a burst speed of 8 FPS. Unlike its predecessor, the E-M5 which had 5-axis image stabilisation, the E-M10 comes with only a 3-axis image stabilisation. It comes with a body only price of $799 or approx Rs 50,000.
Other announcements included the Olympus Stylus TG-50 tough compact digital camera which boasts of waterproof capability down to 10m, shockproof to 2.1m, freezeproof upto -10 degrees C and crushproof upto 100kgf. It comes with a 5x optical zoom and a tilting LCD for easy viewing. It also includes Art Filters such as Pop Art, Grainy Film and so on. Priced at around $249 or approx Rs 15,500.
The other big announcement was the Stylus SP-100 EE (eagle eye) which is the world's first digital camera to sport a dot-sight feature for capturing sharp telephoto subjects in the 50x optical zoom lens sporting camera. Dot sight is an optical aiming device which is generally seen atop assault rifles. In the case of SP 100 EE, you need to mount it below the pop-up flash. This camera will set you back by $399 or approx Rs 25,000.
Nikon displayed the eagerly-awaited full frame flagship, the Nikon D4s. It was within a glass housing and not many details were revealed. No new cameras were announced at CP+ as such, but Nikon had already announced a range of cameras, a week prior to CP+. So most of the announced cameras were on display.
The waterproof and shockproof Coolpix S32 is waterproof upto 10m under water and includes a 2.7-inch LCD display. It comes with a 13.2MP CMOS sensor and 3x optical zoom. Coolpix AW120 was another rugged camera that was announced sporting a 16MP CMOS sensor and waterproof upto 18m under water, shockproof upto 2m and freezeproof down to -10 degrees C. Besides these, there were the Coolpix travel zoom compacts and ultrazooms on display as well, such as the Coolpix P600 with a 60x optical zoom, Coolpix P530 with a 42x optical zoom and Coolpix S9700 with a 30x optical zoom.
Specific pricing and availability is as follows:
Nikon Coolpix S32: Price - $129 or approx Rs 8,000; Availability - March onwards.
Nikon Coolpix AW120: Price - $349 or approx Rs 22,000; Availability - March onwards
Nikon Coolpix P600: Price - $499 or approx Rs 31,000; Availability - February onwards
Nikon Coolpix P530: Price - $449 or approx Rs 28,000; availability - February onwards
Nikon Coolpix S9700: Price - $349 or approx Rs 22,000; Availability - February onwards
Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm XT-1 on January 28th and this camera was its showstopper. Sporting a 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor with an EXR Processor II, the Fujifilm X-T1 looks quite a beautifully designed mirrorless camera. This is another camera boasting the world's fastest AF and it also has a real time viewfinder with a lag-time of 0.005 secs. The Fujifilm X-T1 has a weather resistant body. It also comes at a hefty price tag of $1,300 or approx Rs 80,500 for body only and $1,700 or approx Rs 1,05,500 with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens.
So those were the new cameras from the major manufacturers. But Sigma had a uniquely designed camera as well, called the dp2 Quattro. As seen in the image above, the grip is quite unconventional. It uses Sigma's Foveon X3 direct image sensor which uses vertical colour separation technology. It is a redesigned version of Sigma's APS-C sensor and gives an effective resolution of 29MP. Vertical separation of colour helps the sensor record hue, value and chroma for each pixel which bypasses the need for a low pass filter. Sigma didn't announce the pricing and availability of this one.
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