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CES 2019: The Latest Camera Launches from Nikon, Sony and Sharp

10 January 2019

The world’s biggest tech trade show is coming to a close in Las Vegas.  Alongside a host of weird and wonderful gadgets, from foldable phones to lovable robots, we saw a smattering of photographic releases at CES 2019.

Despite anticipation for some exciting new camera models, the photographic industry has kept a low profile again this year.  Of the major brands, Nikon made the biggest splash with an ultra-wide-angle 14-30mm lens for its new full-frame mirrorless Z system, and Canon announced three new models of 4K video camcorder. 

The most unexpected announcement of all came from Sharp, which introduced what could become the world’s most affordable 8K micro-four-thirds mirrorless camera.  But it’s still in prototype stage, Sharp is awaiting the NAB conference in April to release more details.

As reported by TechRadar, Panasonic teased out a few more details of its debut full-frame mirrorless cameras – the Lumix S1R and Lumix S1 – but chose not to release the actual cameras.

And Sony and Canon also disappointed. Rumours had been flying that Sony would release its highly anticipated A7000 mirrorless camera, and Canon would showcase its compact PowerShot G7X Mark III – but it was not to be.

We take a closer look at the developments from Nikon, Sharp and Canon below, and will be exploring what’s new in the world of instant cameras and drones in up-coming blog posts…

Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 Ultra-Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

Nikon launched an ultra-wide 14-30mm f/4 zoom lens for its new Z6 and Z7 full-frame mirrorless cameras.

The new lens is designed to offer performance and portability, and Nikon expects it to be popular with landscape, travel, event and architecture photographers.

It joins the 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1.8 S and 50mm f/1.8 S, which were announced last year alongside the Z6 and Z7.

The new ultra-wide-angle lens makes the most of the larger diameter Z mount to maximise the potential of high pixel count digital cameras such as the 45.7MP Nikon Z7.

Senior technical manager Steve Heiner tells us more about the Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera models, the Z6 and Z7, and the the advantages of the Z series lenses, including the brand new ultra-wide 14-30mm f/4 zoom, which was released at CES 2019.

Sporting a flat front lens element, it is the world’s first filter-attachable ultra-wide-angle zoom lens covering a focal length from 14mm.

And it is much more compact and lightweight than similar Nikkor lenses for its DSLR range.   The new lens is just 89mm lens (3.5-inches) when retracted, and weighs just 485g (1.07Ibs), making it roughly 28% lighter and 32% shorter than Nikon’s own AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR wide-angle zoom lens designed for its DSLRs.

In addition to the new lens, Nikon announced that it is working on some new features for the models – the most exciting of which is the addition of eye-tracking autofocus.  Eye AF is an autofocus that automatically locates and track the eyes of a person in the frame.  The feature will be added at a firmware update.

When they were released last August, the much-anticipated launch of Nikon’s Z6 and Z7 camera models challenged Sony’s dominant position in the full-frame mirrorless camera market.

Sharp 8K Prototype Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera

Coming as a bit of a surprise to CES 2019, Japanese electronics company Sharp – best known for its TVs and professional video cameras – teased what may become the world’s most affordable 8K micro four thirds mirrorless camera.

Expected to cost less than $5,000, the prototype does not yet have a name or a full set of specifications yet – more of which are expected to be released at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas this April.

The current prototype shoots 8K video at 30fps in H.265 codec, but Sharp is said to be working on upping the frame rate to 60fps when it finally launches. The camera also features in-body image stabilisation.

The camera has a large 5-inch swivelling touchscreen, and the side features a single SD card slot, an HDMI port, USB-C, a headphone jack, a mic input, and a mini XLR audio-in port.

A close contender on the market is the the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K shoots (as its name indicates) 4K with a Micro Four Thirds sensor and similar body size for $1,300.

Canon VIXIA Prosumer and Waterproof Camcorders

Rumours of Canon releasing a new PowerShot G7X Mark III compact camera were proved wrong.  But Canon did unveil three new 4K prosumer and waterproof camcorders at CES 2019.

The VIXIA HF G50 4K is the first of the VIXIA series of camcorders to feature 4K 30P recording and is aimed at advanced amateur filmmakers, wedding videographers and student reporters.  It features a wide-angle Canon 20x (29.3-601mm) optical zoom lens with intelligent optical image stabilisation.

 

Aimed at active families, Canon also introduced two new waterproof and shockproof camcorders.

Designed to withstand trips to the beach or up mountains, the VIXIA HF W10 and W11 are waterproof up to 5m and capable of functioning in temperatures as low as -10 degrees centigrade.

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