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Pre-Photokina Special: Olympus’s New Flagship, Pentax’s mid-range DSLR, Samsung’s lens-controlled MILC

Pre-Photokina Special: Olympus’s New Flagship, Pentax’s mid-range DSLR, Samsung’s lens-controlled MILC

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Photokina, the international fair of photography, is just days away, and the pre-show announcements are coming in hot and heavy.

September 14, 2010

Olympus has unveiled the E-5 Pro DSLR, Pentax announced the K-r, and Samsung is shooting for world domination of the MILC market with the unique NX100.

We’ve stopped the presses for these announcements, which have come in over the last few days. There will certainly be more—keep checking the News Desk for more Photokina news.


Olympus announces new flagship DSLR, the E-5

Olympus has a new pro-level DSLR, the E-5, featuring:

•    A high-speed 12.3MP Live MOS Four Thirds format sensor with a new TruePic V+ image processing engine;
•    100 percent digital-specific lenses;
•    Wireless flash control of Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R;
•    270-degree swivel 3-inch dual-axis LCD with 920,000 dot resolution;
•    First Olympus DSLR to offer HD Video (720p at 30 fps) and stereo microphone jack;
•    10 in-camera Art Filters, which can be used in all shooting modes (PSAM);
•    Full-Time Live View system, a first;
•    Dust reduction and Supersonic Wave Filter;
•    Multiple Exposure function;
•    Digital level sensor;
•    Splashproof, dustproof magnesium alloy body.

Olympus claims the fastest AF speed in the world when the camera is coupled with the Zuiko 12-60mm f2.8-4 Supersonic Wave Drive Lens. The camera offers a twin cross type (fully biaxial) 11-point AF sensor, and points can be selected individually or dynamically. Olympus also claims more image detail thanks to its revamped image processing engine. The Olympus E5 will be available in October, and will cost around $1,699




Pentax K-r DSLR boasts speed, image quality boosts

Pentax gave its K-line a boost with the new K-r, a lightweight, 12.4MP  DSLR that, feature-wise, falls between the entry-level K-x and the more advanced K-7. In other words, it borrows from both models and adds a few unique features of its own.


Its key features:

•    Faster high speed 6 FPS framerate that captures 25 images in a single sequence.
•    A maximum 1/6000 second shutter speed.
•    Viewfinder focus point indicator.
•    Large 3 inch LCD with 921,000 dots of resolution.
•    High sensitivity 100-25,600 ISO range.
•    Dual-power-source—use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA batteries
•    Widescreen 720p HD video at 25 FPS.
•    Shake Reduction
•    Dust Removal shakes dust off the CMOS image sensor.
•    11 point SAFOX IX autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp.
•    Wide range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters.

Pentax claims improved HDR image capture, including a Night Scene HDR mode, a first. The company also says the 12.4MP APS CMOS sensor has improved noise performance, something Pentax fans would welcome The camera does not have the weatherproofing ruggedness of the K-7, but does appear to have a more robust feature set than the K-x. The camera will be available in October for $799.95 body only, as well as with a variety of kit lens configurations ranging from $849.95 to $999.95.

Pentax also announced a 35mm f/2.4 AL standard lens, designed to be used with Pentax DSLRs. It will be available in October for $220. Read the Pentax press release for details.

In the fashion cam department, Pentax unveiled the RS1000 (right), a plain, boxy camera that can be dressed up with interchangeable skins over the removable faceplate, courtesy The skins can be custom designed (instructions guide you through the process or creating your own), or you can choose from 11 standard skins that come with the camera. The camera itself has a 14MP sensor, 3-inch LCD monitor, 4x optical zoom lens that starts at 27.5mm (35mm equivalent), and basic operation. The RS1000 will be available in October for $150.

Pentax also announced the Optio RZ10, sporting a 10x optical zoom, dual shake reduction, and auto picture mode, and will be available in October for $220. Pentax compact digital camera details in the press release.

Samsung NX100: World’s first interchangeable-lens camera to be controlled from lens

If you read Samsung’s press release about the just-announced NX100, you would be forgiven if you came to the conclusion that the company is gunning for world domination. The hyperbole isn’t necessary; this APS sensor-based MILC (mirrorless interchangeable lens compact) camera is the first interchangeable lens camera of any kind to offer control over the camera’s functions via the lens, a very clever innovation.

All-new NX-mount lenses designed for the NX100 will feature focus and control dials that will navigate the camera’s menu and control its functions via the i-Function feature. Ergonomically, this makes more sense than the more common back-of-camera thumbwheel or toggle controls: Hold the camera and operate the shutter release with the right hand, and adjust settings with the left hand, which is holding the lens anyway.

Key features include:
•    14.6 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
•    ISO range 100-3200, extendable to 6400
•    720p HD movie recording
•    Geotagging via optional GPS module
•    Smart Auto, Lens Priority, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, 14 Scene modes
•    Smart Filter offers special effects such as vignette, soft focus, fisheye, or miniature
•    3-inch VGA display
•    Optional EVF with 201k dots

Lenses? Samsung’s building a new lineup from scratch. At launch, a 20-50mm kit lens will be offered, and a 20mm pancake lens will be introduced soon. In the first half of next year, a 60mm macro and 18-200mm super tele zoom will be added. Later in the year a 16mm, 85mm, and 16-80mm zoom will be rolled out. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.


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