If you thought that February was going to be a dull month as far as mirrorless announcements are concerned, we’ve got some happy albeit potentially wallet-breaking news. Over the past couple of days, three different manufacturers have announced new mirrorless cameras and lenses. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer!
M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II and Air A01
You probably already know by now that Olympus has announced the successor to the 3-year-old OM-D E-M5. If you are interested in reading everything there is to know about the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II, including in-depth information about its new High Res Shot mode and video capabilities, head on over to the first chapter of our full review.
Olympus did not limit itself to announcing just a new camera however. We also have two new lenses to look forward to, as well as a curious Sony QX-inspired lens camera.
The first new lens to be announced was the M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO, set to be released in the summer of 2015. It will be the world’s first dust-proof and splash-proof fisheye lens with such a bright aperture, and has received the PRO title due to its high optical performance.
On the entry-level side, we have the M.Zuiko 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II. It improves upon the previous version by adding splash and dust-proof housing and ZERO lens coating but continues to provide a wide focal range (28-300mm equivalent). It comes with a LH-61 lens hood which will reduce lens flare and provide added protection. The lens will be made available with the new E-M5 Mark II.
Finally, the Sony QX lens camera has found its competitor in the new Olympus Air A01. It has the same 16MP Four Thirds sensor as the E-M5 Mark II and MFT lens mount, and clips onto your smartphone just like the QX. On the lens, you’ll find a shutter release button and tripod mount, and it also makes room for a microSD slot and lithium-ion battery. Autofocus performance doesn’t disappoint either–it will apparently have 81 AF points and 10fps–and being completed controlled via WiFi, you have access to all the standard Olympus features such as art filters. It is still unknown just how much the lens camera will cost and whether it will be made available outside of Japan, but more information should come to light at CP+ later this month.
Samsung NX500 – The NX1 “Mini Me”
This was admittedly an announcement we hadn’t been expecting. The Samsung NX500 is essentially a “mini-me” version of the incredibly powerful NX1. It has incorporated almost everything good about Samsung’s flagship camera–a 28MP APS-C sensor, the same DRIMe V processor, the same AF system, and amazingly even 4K recording. The few concessions include the lack of a weather-sealed body, a burst mode of 9fps instead of 15fps, and no 120fps Full HD video. That aside, this is definitely a camera that deserves some serious testing out in the field.
The camera will ship in mid-March for $800 with the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens included, a very reasonable price considering the many advanced features of this camera.
Canon EOS-M3 – Back on the bandwagon (or not?)
Canon has just announced the EOS-M3 camera, the third model in its line of mirrorless cameras. Unlike its predecessors, which had few physical controls and dials and relied heavily on the touchscreen, the new EOS-M3 adds both a PSAM and exposure compensation dial to the body. It is also physically different to the M and M2, with its protruding contoured grip and a touchscreen display that flips up by 180 degrees and down by 75. Sadly there is still no electronic viewfinder.
As for the internal specs, we have the same 24MP sensor found in the EOS 750D and 760D, the latest 49-point Hybrid CMOS AF III autofocus system, and a more powerful DIGIC 6 processor. It also has WiFi and NFC capabilities.
It is due to go on sale in April 2015. At the moment, there are no plans to bring the camera in North America.
Which of these new announcements interests you the most?