Is it just me, or has the approach of autumn sent our favourite mirrorless camera brands into an announcement frenzy?
According to Mirrorless Rumors and its fellow rumor sites, we can expect announcements and releases from the four mirrorless giants – Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm – throughout the month of October. Even Nikon and Canon, despite their brief hiatus from the mirrorless world, are armed and ready with their own announcements for the fall. And I’m sure that for most of us, these announcements will make the passing of summer just a teensy bit easier to bear!
On that note, let’s have a look at what these six camera companies have in store for us.
Today, Nikon announced the world’s very first “rugged” mirrorless interchangeable lens camera dubbed the Nikon 1 AW1. It is freezeproof down to -10oC, shockproof for drops of up to 2 meters, waterproof up to 15 meters, and even has its own built-in GPS system. It is already a well-known fact that the Nikon 1 system is speedy, but the AW1 takes this definition to a new level with its Advanced Hybrid Autofocus System and high speed AF CMOS sensor. Not only, but the Expeed 3A image processing-engine will allow for superior image quality and faster processing.
Along with the AW1, Nikon will also release the very first waterproof lenses for interchangeable systems. The Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 is a wide-angle prime while the second, the Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6, is a zoom. Both are shockproof up to two meters. The 10mm f/2.8 can be immersed as far as 20 meters underwater whereas the zoom is good for 15 meters. Nikon has even invented a dedicated filter (Nikon filter AW 40.5 NC) designed to cover the two lenses and prevent them from fogging up underwater.
The shipping date is listed as October 10th 2013 on Amazon.
Panasonic has also surprised us with the announcement of yet another entry-level Micro Four Thirds camera. All we know so far is that it will be one of the smallest, most compact G models to date. It has been rumoured that the 43.5mm f/1.2 lens will start shipping in December as well.
Fujifilm has been very busy as of late. On September 17th, the entry-level Fuji X-A1 was officially announced. It is exactly the same as the X-M1 in terms of design, build, buttons, controls, processor, menus and MP count. The difference lies in the fact that the X-A1 is available in a multitude of colours, can only be bought from online vendors or large outlets, and most importantly, doesn’t have an X-Trans sensor. Using a normal Bayer CFA sensor with an AA filter has allowed Fujifilm to keep the price of the X-A1 affordable, and I doubt entry-level users will be too bothered by the lack of X-Trans technology anyway.
We can also expect a further announcement on October 20th. Rumours suggest that it will be the new X-E1, to be named either the X-E2 or X-E1S. However, once again, nothing has been confirmed by official sources.
Canon has long been promising a second EOS M mirrorless camera and additional lenses but only now can we say with 90% certainty that the official announcement is coming this week. Rumours point to two new models, one high-end and one entry-level, as well as a possible telezoom lens.
After a very long and rumour-ridden wait, it looks as if the first Sony Full Frame NEX will finally be announced at the end of October near the dates of the PDN show in New York. In fact, rumours suggest that a total of three Full Frame E-Mount cameras are on their way, and will probably be accompanied by two primes and two zooms. Two of the cameras are based on the Sony NEX 7 design but are about 20% bigger in size.
Finally, Olympus is ready to announce its own high-end compact camera. Since the sales of fixed-lens high-end compacts are improving, it only makes sense that Olympus should have a slice of the high-end compact cake as well. The question is whether or not Olympus will be able to bring something truly new and innovative to the table. With cameras like the Fuji X100s and Ricoh GR already present on the market, there is no doubt that it will be a tough fight.
What do you think of all these new announcements? Which one interests you the most?