New Sony stuff: Sony last night introduced a new camera, an updated camera, and two new lenses. The 20-MP Sony A3000 is the first NEX camera to have an SLR form factor (compare to the Panasonic GH3). Sony also introduced the new Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16–70mm ƒ/4 ZA and Sony E PZ 18–105 ƒ/4 G OSS lenses. Both lenses feature constant aperture and image stabilization, for video applications. The Sony NEX-5T is said to be even smaller than the NEX-5R, and features some advanced Wi-Fi NFC (near-field communication) capabilities—you can transfer pictures by simply tapping two NFC devices together.
Note the price of the A3000. I thought that was a typo. Maybe it is.
Price drop on Fuji X-E1: Well now, that didn't take long, did it? Seems like just yesterday you were pining for an X-E1 and thinking about that oh-so-distant day in the future when its price would start to come down. Wait no longer.
(That's a tempting little graphic they put up, isn't it? I like that. You click on a camera and then you click on a lens. It's like someone in a restaurant rolled the dessert cart up to you. "I'll have that one....")
Canonic Canon (with the Zeiss Ikon long gone, I can no longer write iconic Ikon): There were certain cameras in the film era that seemed to keep on truckin', and became, well, canonic icons, or whatever. You could get a Pentax 67 from forever, a Leica rangefinder, a Rollei TLR—there were a handful of famous nameplates that lived and prospered long. Dare I claim that the antediluvian Canon G series is one such in the digital era? I'd love to see Dpreview or Imaging-Resource do an article about the many generations of the G and all the defunct competition it has outlived, its ups and downs, hits and misses. (Friends Shawn and Luke, you listening?)
Anyway, there is a new one. This is no longer a modern concept. But the camera I once called "the Swiss Army Knife of digicams" marches vividly on, making yet more friends: The G16. (How fast they grow up. Sixteen already? Sigh.) Definitely recognizable as a continuation of the line, with its small CMOS sensor, nice fixed zoom, and peephole VF. I'd love to see Canon take a page from Leica's book and just call it the "Canon G" and distinguish the different models by model year or part number.
You can see all the newest Canon products on this page. Note also the sleek new S120, newest variant in the S90 line. That was the product o' the moment just a few moments ago, and they're still very nice pocket wonders (although we still recommend this one instead.)
Fun stuff. What do we care that the world is moving on to smartphones? We still dig cameras, dammit Gumby.
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Svein-Frode: "It's kind of sad to see Canon continue with outdated tiny sensors in their 'enthusiast' pocket cams. How the mighty have fallen. The Canon G16 and S120 are as exciting as a new Toyota Corolla...."
GKFroelich: "You originally wrote, 'We're not done with the new camera introductions for today. Come back tonight, when my lips will be unsealed.' I came back, again and again. Everything alright? No lip (or other) injuries, I hope!"
Mike replies: Sorry, I didn't know what the announcement was going to be when I wrote that. Turned out it was Pentax announcing a bunch of "new" lenses...which are the old lenses with a red band around them and a couple of other alleged refreshmentations. (Including supposedly "better" coatings, which I flat don't buy. There was nothing wrong with Pentax's lens coatings before...they were and are among the best.) Seemed like a manaufactured press event to me, so I passed on announcing it. Except in this reply, I guess.
Kevin Purcell (partial comment): "Wow, Sony have been more daring than I though they would. This is the VW Bug of APS-C cameras and they tick all of the 'spec boxes' (lots of megapixels, big sensor, high ISO, 'right SLR shape,' small size).
"They innovated on three points, I think:
- The $400 kit price. That's not body only price nor a typo. This is going to cause problems for other companies who have been relying on price points between 150% and 200% higher. It will make this camera much easier to sell.
- They've designed a low cost camera to keep the COG and manufacturing down. They've gone for inexpensive EVF and LCD (not state of the art). They must have got the yield of APS-C sensors to a very high level to push the costs down on the sensor. They've minimized the number of buttons and other controls to just the basics. I suspect the total part count of the camera is minimized too and mirrorless means fewer alignments too. The Sony sensor will be as good as we expect so the image quality will be good too. Even with the kit lens it should be good enough for photographing kids indoors.
- They know the general public associate the 'SLR shape' with 'good camera.' Even better, this 'SLR' is smaller than the other more expensive SLRs. It's the same size as the Panasonic G5/G6.
"From a strategic view point this will gain Sony market share (and chance at upsell too)." [See Kevin's complete comment in the Comments Section. —Ed.]