Interchangeable-Lens Cameras Vie For Spotlight

By Greg Tarr On Feb 28 2012 - 10:53pm

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN — Among the avalanche of new product announcements at CP+2012 here were a few gems fitting into the interchangeable-lens camera segment.

Among the highlights were the following:

Fujifilm officially announced pricing on its X-Pro1 mirrorless compact system camera introduced at International CES. The camera body ships in February at a $1,699 suggested retail. Lens prices are the following: XF 18mm (27mm equivalent) F2.0, $599; XF 35mm (53mm equivalent) F1.4, $599; and XF 60mm (90mm equivalent) F2.4, $649.

Nikon officially introduced the longawaited D800 professional/advanced amateur d-SLR with a 36.3-megapixel FX (full size) CMOS image sensor, Expeed 3 image processing, FullHD 1080p video recording, a 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering System III, 51-point AF system and Advanced Scene Recognition system.

Slated to ship in March at a $3,000 suggested retail, the D-800 will output uncompressed HDMI video, and features strong low-light performance for both stills and video. Nikon also introduced the D-800E ($3,300), which differs from the D-800 only by omitting the low pass filter to enhance sharpness. Software can adjust any resulting moiré effect.

The camera includes Nikon’s Expeed 3 image processing engine and includes a native ISO range of 100 to 6,400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2); an internal sensor design; an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF); and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal-tonoise ratio.

The camera adds a 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor, dual card slots for SD and CF cards, and can capture stills in up to 4 fps in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 battery pack.

Olympus unveiled the E-M5 mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (shipping in April at a $1,000 suggested retail for the body only), which was billed as the first in a new series of Olympus OM Digital (OM-D) Micro Four Thirds products. The camera targets advanced photographers, offering a built-in electronic viewfinder, strong image technology, fast creative control and a classic, rugged body design that is sand, sun, sleet and snow resistant.

It features a classic OM series camera body design; a 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, TruePic IV image-processing engine, five-axis image stabilization system, tilting 3-inch OLED display, 3D AF tracking, face and eye detection AF, 9 fps sequential burst shooting, 11 in-camera art filters, and 1080i HD video capture in MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264).

A choice of black or silver body colors will ship in April at a $1,000 suggested retail (body only); $1,300 (for black or silver body with black M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens); or $1,100 (black body with black M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f3.5- 5.6 II R lens).

Pentax’s new K-01 mirrorless interchangeable- lens camera uses Pentax’s traditional K-mount lens system, making it compatible with hundreds of Pentax SLR lenses. The Marc Newson-designed body will stand alongside the smaller Q compact system camera introduced last year.

Style was the driving factor in developing the K-01 (shipping in March at a $750 suggested retail, body only and $900 for the camera and lens kit). It features a boxier, thicker look than typical compacts, and makes bold color statements in white, black and yellow body colors.

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