Mirrorless Camera Reviews

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Edited by George Schaub  |  Aug 10, 2012  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Like a standard compact camera, the Pentax Q system uses a very small sensor system, 1x2.33”. It offers an interchangeable lens system with the new Q mount. Pentax offers three lenses: a standard zoom (5-15mm f/2.8-4.5, equivalent to 27.5-83mm), a fisheye lens (3.2mm f/5.6, equivalent to 17.5mm), and a third, with which we did our tests, a fixed focal length of 8.5mm, equivalent to 47mm. Pentax brands this lens as the “Standard PRIME 8.5mm f/1.9 AL [IF].” Pentax also offers two additional “Toy” lenses with a fixed aperture size: the Toy Lens Wide 6.3mm f/7.1 and the Toy Lens Tele 18mm f/8.

Edited by George Schaub  |  Jul 09, 2012  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2012  |  0 comments

The Nikon V1 camera is designed and sized like a compact camera. It offers a new lens mount system for the new Nikon 1 lenses and offers two viewfinder systems—an EVF (electronic viewfinder) with very high resolution (1.44 million RGB dots), which delivers a very brilliant and crisp image. Alternatively, users can work via a large and bright LCD on the back, which also offers high resolution (921,000 RGB dots). The sensor will switch automatically between viewfinder systems when the photographer looks through the ocular. This differs from the camera’s sibling, the J1, which offers LCD viewing only.

Jason Schneider  |  Jul 02, 2012  |  First Published: May 01, 2012  |  0 comments

As advanced electronics continue to supplant more and more elements of camera function and design, often displacing optical and mechanical systems, the camera of the future is being redefined. To give you a clearer picture of the emerging technologies that are destined to change the shape of cameras to come, let’s take a closer look at the implications of some of the emerging new tech found in the latest models.

Edited by George Schaub  |  Jun 28, 2012  |  13 comments

The Panasonic GF5 is an extremely compact camera with interchangeable lenses and a large image sensor (Micro Four Thirds format). The sensor offers 12 MP resolution and is able to record Full HD videos. It also allows taking images with high ISO speed settings of 6400 (additional hi-mode up to ISO 12,800).

Edited by George Schaub  |  May 25, 2012  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2012  |  5 comments

The Sony NEX-7 is a compact camera with an E-mount system and an extremely high resolution (24MP). The metal body is very robust and sports a stylish retro design, which offers new features like two additional setup dials to change image parameters. These setup dials, located on the camera back and accessed using the right-hand thumb, are integrated seamlessly into the body and nearly invisible when looking at the camera from the top.

George Schaub  |  May 09, 2012  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2012  |  5 comments

The Samsung NX200 is a Compact System Camera (CSC) with an interchangeable lens system. It is based on an APS-C-sized sensor and Samsung’s NX-mount system, which currently comprises nine Samsung lenses. The range of lenses will be expanded this year, with the latest being the Samsung 85mm f/1.4 ED SSA, which is a fast portrait lens that supports Samsung’s i-Function technology. The lens ring—which is normally used for manual focusing—can be used for i-Function settings, a very handy feature that can be programmed by the photographer to change various settings right from the lens.

George Schaub  |  May 03, 2012  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2012  |  0 comments

The compact Olympus E-PL3 has a retro body design and is available in different colors. The camera has a large swivel LCD on the back which allows the user to flip the monitor up and down. This is handy but is not as flexible as a swivel monitor that allows side-to-side movement. The LCD screen is a standard TFT screen instead of the OLED system used by the Olympus E-P3.

George Schaub  |  Apr 09, 2012  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2012  |  0 comments

The diminutive Nikon 1 series of cameras, including the J1 reviewed here and the coming V1, introduces the new CX-format CMOS sensor to the interchangeable lens, mirrorless camera field, which we dub Compact System Cameras. The sensor is smaller than APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors, coming in at a 2.7x multiplication factor using standard 35mm focal length designations. The 10.1-megapixel sensor has a native speed of ISO 100, with speeds up to 3200, and 6400 with a 1 EV push.

Joe Farace  |  Feb 14, 2012  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2012  |  2 comments

The half-frame 35mm Olympus Pen F was introduced in 1963 and featured none other than the late W. Eugene Smith, cigarette dangling from his lips, in magazine ads of the time. Its latest digital incarnation, the E-P3, is built using the Micro Four Thirds system that unlike the Pen F is not half-frame and uses the same chip size (17.3x13mm) as the standard Four Thirds system. Like the original Pen F, it’s an extremely sophisticated camera wrapped in a compact, interchangeable lens body that delivers SLR performance and lots more. The E-P3 is the flagship of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system and part of a family of compact cameras that includes the E-PL3, E-PM1 a.k.a. Mini, new lenses, and a clever little wireless speedlight.

George Schaub  |  Oct 18, 2011  |  0 comments

The Olympus E-P3 is the follower of the E-P2 and E-P1, the first Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras that were offered as “retro style cameras”. The E-P3 offers the same image sensor as the E-P2, with a nominal resolution of 12MP, but the E-P3 uses a newly developed image processor unit called “TruePic VI” plus offers some enhancements in the AF-speed. The automatic focusing system is really fast and showed a very good performance during our tests. In addition it has some special modes like “AF tracking mode”, which will help both photographers and videographers.

George Schaub  |  Aug 15, 2011  |  0 comments

The Sony NEX-C3 is an ultra compact CSC (compact system cameras) system with an APS-C sized sensor. The camera offers a resolution of 16 MP (megapixels), which is similar to some Sony SLT cameras like the SLT-A35. The main difference in the concept of the NEX cameras is the very compact body and the fact that the camera doesn’t work with an optical or electronic viewfinder, but only with the LCD screen on the back as viewfinder and control monitor.

George Schaub  |  Aug 02, 2011  |  0 comments

The Panasonic GF3 is the successor of the GF2. The new camera is 17 percent smaller and 16 percent lighter than the GF2, making it an extremely compact camera. Due to the reduction of body dimensions there are some elements missing which were part of the GF2--no accessory shoe for external flash light systems and no interface for the optional ELV that could be mounted on the GF2.

George Schaub  |  Jul 26, 2011  |  1 comments

Is This the Best Leica Digital Yet?

 

Having owned a (used) Leica M3 since the late 1970’s I can attest to the charms of working with a Leica camera. There is a certain heft and solidity of construction that speaks to its obvious longevity, which is juxtaposed with a deftness of operation, characteristics on display in the M3 in the stroke of the film advance lever and the sound and feel of the shutter release. For those who have experienced a Leica, that “aha that’s why” moment is quite unmatched by other cameras and it spoils you, in a way. Yet, working with a Leica for me has always had a certain awkwardness—witness the film loading in the M3, at least when compared with a sleek Nikon or Canon of the day, and the rangefinder focusing system, almost arcane in the world of autofocusing speed and accuracy. Yet, that awkwardness is not a true impediment and almost becomes part of the charm.

George Schaub  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments

With the recent announcement of the third PEN in this series from Olympus, which is now in Shutterbug test, the not yet discontinued E-PL2 has dropped in price to $599 (from Olympus, with 14-42mm kit lens), about $200 less than when it was first introduced and to me a good deal for what you get while you can get it. The 12MP (effective pixels) Live CMOS sensor Olympus E-PL2 adds to the charms of the first in the “PEN” digital series, the P1. (See Joe Farace’s excellent review of that camera at http://www.shutterbug.com/content/olympus-e-p1in our Jan, 2010 issue) The PL2 adds a larger and higher resolution viewing screen, expanded accessories using the special plug-in adapter, an enhanced control setup and expanded Scene and Art filter modes.

 

George Schaub  |  Jul 06, 2011  |  0 comments

The Samsung NX11 is the follower of the NX10. Like the NX10 it is a compact system camera with an APS-C-sized sensor and a nominal resolution of 14.6 MP. The most important difference to the NX11 is the “i-Function” technology, which allows the user to set up image parameters very quickly and intuitively. The NX11 offers this technology right out of the box; the NX10 now offers “i-Function” via a firmware update.

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