Camera Makers Roll Out Higher Resolution Sensors

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COLOGNE, GERMANY — Last month’s Photokina proved to be a launching pad for a range of cameras offering some of the most advanced image sensors yet introduced in their respective price classes.

Manufacturers trotted out new products armed mostly with CMOS sensors of 12 megapixels and larger, offering some of the sharpest resolution possible for entry to midrange DSLRs and new mirrorless compact system cameras (CSCs).

At the same time, a number of cameras also appeared with full-size (35mm) CMOS sensor, enabling better resolution and more sensitive light-gathering ability through larger pixel sizes.

The following were among the highlights shown by a number of camera makers with U.S. sales operations:

Canon revealed the EOS 6D midrange 35mm full-frame DSLR and a trio of PowerShot point-andshoot cameras.

The EOS 6D DSLR includes a newly designed 20.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ image processing, built-in wireless transmitter, GPS features, an 11-point AF array and 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor, and1080p FullHD video.

Expected to ship to retail in December, the EOS 6D will carry a $2,099 estimated retail for the body only, and will be $2,899 for the body with the EF 24- 105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens as a kit.

A built-in wireless transmitter allows the camera to share images and video with a range of devices from PowerShot cameras to smartphones and tablets, as well as Cloud-based servers such as socialnetworking sites.

The three new PowerShot digicams include the G15, PowerShot S110, and PowerShot SX50 HS — all providing advanced features, greater focusing speed and multiple-shot speed.

The G15, S110 and SX50 HS are expected to ship in October with estimated retails of $500, $450 and $480, respectively.

Each model brings such advanced features as an f/1.8-2.8 5x optical zoom lens on the PowerShot G15, Wi-Fi connectivity in the S110, and a 50x optical zoom lens on the SX50.

All three have improved AF technology for high-speed responsive AF systems with reduced lag time.

The S110 features a 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 image processor, and 24-120mm equivalent lens with an F2.0- 5.9 aperture range.

Both the PowerShot G15 and PowerShot S110 models include new 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensors with strong light-gathering capability.

The PowerShot G15 features a 28mm wide-angle f/1.8 – f/2.8 lens with 5x optical zoom, low-light capability, FullHD 1080p video and up to 10 fps high burst shooting.

Fujifilm unveiled the XF1 compact camera and X-E1, the company’s second mirrorless hybrid camera.

The XF1 digital camera, which ships in October at a $500 suggested retail, incorporates the same two-thirds-inch 12-megapixel CMOS sensor employed by the previous announced X-10.

It includes an ultra-compact body design, a retractable 25-100mm f/1.9-4.9 equivalent power-on zoom, optical image stabilization, an ISO range from 100 to 12,800, a 3-inch LCD, P/S/A/M manual control, built-in pop-up flash, Full- HD 1080/30p video capture, RAW still format capability, and 0.16-second AF speed with continuous shoot up to 10 fps.

Fujifilm’s X-E1 is equipped with the same 16.3-megapixel APS-C XTrans CMOS sensor and X-Mount lens system as the X-Pro1, but the camera body is 30 percent smaller than the earlier model.

The X-E1, which includes a 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder, will ship as a kit with the XF18mm-55mm (27-84mm) F2.8-4 lens starting in November at a $1,400 suggested retail.

Nikon made a significant expansion to its assortment of 35mm full-format sensor-based DSLRs with the introduction of the D600.

The FX-format DSLR offers a new 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, Expeed 3 image processing engine, wireless image sharing and capture using the optional WU-1b wireless adapter, a 39-point AF system, a 100 to 6,400 ISO range (expandable from 50 to 25,600), a Nikon Scene Recognition System, 2,016-pixel RGB sensor and a 5.5 fps high-speed shutter at full resolution.

The D600 is available now at a $2,100 suggested retail for the body only or $2,700 for the body and a AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR kit lens.

Olympus introduced the PEN Lite E-PL5 mirrorless DSC, the E-PM2 and the new flagship Stylus XZ-2.

The PEN Lite E-PL5 features a 16-megapixel sensor and TruePic VI image processor first seen in the OM-D E-M5. It is bundled with a 460,000 dot, touch-sensitive rear LCD, up to 8 fps burst shooting, a mode dial, flip-up LCD and E-P3-style screw-on front grip.

It will carry a $650 estimate street price for the body only, and $700 for the body with an MSC M.Zuiko Digital ED m14- 42mm II R f3.5/5.6 zoom lens. The camera will be available in a choice of silver, black and white.

The Pen E-PM2 features a 16 megapixel sensor and TruePic VI image processor first seen in the OM-D E-M5. It adds a 460,000-dot, touch-sensitive rear LCD, up to 8 fps burst shooting and will carry a $550 estimated street price for the body only and $600 for the body and MSC M.Zuiko Digital ED m14-42mm f3.5/5.6 prime zoom lens.

The Stylus XZ-2 (shipping in November at $600) is billed as a hybrid still/video camera that combines quality optics, manual control capability and a lightweight body design.

Features include a 4x optical/4x digital zoom (28- 112mm 35mm equivalent) iZuiko digital f1.8-2.5 lens, 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch backlit CMOS sensor, a touch-sensitive tilt screen, TruePic VI image processor, FullHD movie recording, and FlashAir compatibility to share images immediately on social networks.

Panasonic introduced the Lumix DMC-GH3 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless compact system camera, with more advanced pro-level capabilities.

It features a weather-sealed (dust/splash-proof) magnesium-alloy body, and has 6 fps shooting (or 4fps with live view) and five customizable function buttons. Included is broadcast-quality video shooting at up to 72Mbps bit rates and time-code support.

Panasonic said the camera improves on the high ISO shadow detail of previous models, as well as color reproduction and white balance. Other features include HDR, multiple exposure image modes and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The camera, which will ship prior to the holidays at a price to be announced, offers a 3-inch 614,000-dot OLED touchscreen display and a 1.7-megapixel OLED electronic viewfinder.


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