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Leica X Vario

Leica currently produce a number of high end Digital RangeFinders, as well as one or two compact cameras that are all Leica. Such as the Leica X Vario, Leica X2 (and previously the Leica X1), but below these premium models, they are currently partnered with Panasonic, producing similar models with Leica design touches… In the past they have worked with other companies including Fujifilm, and produced a variety of cameras, including a Four-Thirds Digital SLR. Lets have a look back at the various models in the Leica Digital Camera range, starting with the current models:

2013
Leica C Compact – (Typ 112) 12 megapixel, 7.1x optical zoom, EVF, Compact camera based on the Panasonic Lumix LF1. Details, Sample Photos.
Leica X Vario – 16 megapixel compact camera with APS-C CMOS sensor, and 2.5x optical zoom lens, 28-70mm equivalent, f/3.5-6.4 aperture.
– Reviews: ePHOTOzine, Specifications.
Leica M (Type 240) – Top of the range 24 megapixel full frame digital rangefinder with CMOS sensor, video recording(!), and live view(!), roughly £6k body only.
– Reviews: Wedding Photographer, Specifications, Sample Photos: ePHOTOzine, SteveHuffPhoto.

2012
Leica S
– 37.5 megapixel Medium format Digital SLR.
Leica M-E – A “budget” or “entry level” £4000 18 megapixel full frame CCD sensor digital rangefinder (no video, no live view).
– Reviews: AP, 50lux, RedDotForum Comparison.
Leica M MonochromBlack and white full frame 18 megapixel CCD sensor digital rangefinder (no video, no live view), £6200.
– Reviews: AP, Jonathan Slack, Phoblographer, RedDotForum, MingThein, Sample Photos PopPhoto, ePHOTOzine.
Leica X2 – Compact by Leica with 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.
– Reviews: ePHOTOzinePhotographyBLOG, Specifications, Sample Photos, SteveHuffPhotos.
Leica D-Lux 6 – based on the Panasonic Lumix LX7, 10.1 megapixel, f/1.4 3.8x optical zoom lens.
– Reviews: ePHOTOzine, MingThein, RedDotForum.
Leica V-Lux 4 – ultra-zoom based on the Panasonic Lumix FZ200, f/2.8 24x optical zoom lens.
– Reviews / Sample photos: RedDotForum.
Leica V-Lux 40 – pocket / travel zoom based on the Panasonic Lumix TZ30
– Reviews / Sample photos: PhotographyBLOG.

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Ultra Zoom / Bridge:
Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 Review – 50x optical zoom lens

Compacts:
Nikon Coolpix S2700 Review – budget, 6x optical
Nikon Coolpix S6500 Review – 12x optical zoom, Wi-Fi
Sigma DP3 Merrill Sample Photos – 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens (75mm equivalent), Foveon sensor
Pentax MX-1 Review – Serious compact with manual controls

Waterproof:
Panasonic Lumix FT5 Review – Tough compact

Mobile Phone:
Sony Xperia Z Preview – 13 megapixel waterproof smartphone.

Mirrorless:
Nikon 1 S1 Review – Compact mirrorless, with high speed shooting.

DSLR:
Nikon D7100 Sample Photos – 24 megapixel APS-C sensor camera
Nikon D600 vs Canon EOS 6D Comparison Review – Full frame Digital SLR cameras compared
Canon 5D, Mark 2, Mark 3 DSLR Comparison Review – full-frame cameras compared
Hasselblad H5D-50 Medium Format Digital SLR  Preview – 50 megapixel DSLR

Today is the last day of Focus On Imaging 2013 – so if you’re keen to get a last minute bargain and can make it there – then there are a number of offers available from retailers with Focus On Imaging show prices! Including the Nikon D600 for £1099 refurbished body only, a number of Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses for great prices, and offers on memory cards and more…

There were some of the big camera companies, including Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm, with few other camera companies including Sigma and Minox, although you could see a number of lenses from the likes of Tokina, Carl Zeiss, Tamron, Sigma, Samyang, and bags and tripods from Manfrotto, Giottos, Gitzo, 3 Legged Thing, and others (Cullmann, Triopos, Benro etc). More tripods than you can shake a stick at?

Here’s a roundup of coverage of the show from around the web:
Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II Launched – flatbad scanners are still around.
Three new digital backs from Phase One, ePHOTOzine has the details.
BlackMagicDesign Cinema Camera EF Hands-On – 2.5k Video camera.

Lenses:
Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Hands-On – Mirrorless lens.
New 80-400mm Telephoto Zoom Lens From Nikon Announced – updates the classic lens, preview here.
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Hands-On – with built in teleconverter.
Fujifilm X Lens Roadmap Shown – along with specifications for the 55-200mm lens.
Carl Zeiss 135mm f/2 Lens Hands-On – new telephoto prime from Carl Zeiss.

Cameras:
Hasselblad H5D-50 Hands-On Preview
Canon Powershot N Hands-On Preview
Nikon Coolpix L320 Launched – entry level 26x optical zoom ultra zoom camera.
Nikon Coolpix A Announced with 16mp APS-C sensor in a compact, preview here.
Nikon Coolpix P330 Announced – Hands-On Preview – a compact with RAW, and 5x optical zoom.
Nikon Coolpix AW110 Hands-On Preview – 18m waterproof compact!
Fujifilm X100s Wide Angle Converter Preview – advanced compact with APS-C sensor.
Fujifilm X20 Hands-On Photos – serious compact with 4x optical zoom.
Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR pictures and hands-on – at Pocket-Lint.
Nikon Coolpix P520 pictures and hands-on – at Pocket-Lint.
Nikon Coolpix S9500 pictures and hands-on – at Pocket-Lint.

Sample Photos:
Sigma DP3 Merrill Hands-On Sample Photos – the new Foveon sensor camera with 50mm Macro lens.
Leica M Typ 240 Hands-On Sample Photos – Not at the show, but some of the first sample photos.

Video:
A number of videos from Focus On Imaging are on CameraDiner.
Focus On Imaging Video Roundup at DPNow – with captions.
There’s also a podcast at TheActivePhotographer.

If we’ve missed any additional kit coverage, please let us know!

Pentax K-5 II Black FrontPentax has just announced a range of new products, including two Digital SLRs, one mirrorless camera, several lenses as well as a new adapter, here are the details:

Pentax K5 II – improved AF update to the 16.2mp K-5
Pentax K5 IIs – same as above, but without the anti-aliasing filter for higher image quality
Pentax 18-270mm Zoom Lens – K Mount (for above)
Pentax 560mm Super Telephoto lens – K Mount (for above)
Pentax Q10 – small 12.4mp mirrorless camera with tiny sensor (compact camera sensor)
Pentax Q06 – 15-45mm / 83-249mm equivalent lens for above
Pentax Adapter Q for K – Mount K-Mount lenses on the Pentax Q
Pentax 90mm Portrait Lens – for Pentax 645D

Mamiya ZDLuminous Landscape have published a review of the 22 megapixel Mamiya ZD, a medium format, large sensor, digital camera:

“The way the ZD is designed could lead to a false assumption – that it is a camera that can be used handheld like a 35 mm DSLR. But with 22 million pixels and the resulting high image quality even the smallest errors will be seen in the resulting image. And though I have had reasonable to perfect results with the use of a Hasselblad H1D in the same fashion, I was not content with the handheld shots made with the ZD. Using a 200 mm lens and a shutter-speed of 1/320 sec I did not expect to have problems, but unfortunately, this was not the case.”

Hasselblad 503CWDHasselblad have announced the new limited edition medium format digital camera, the 503CWD features a 16 megapixel sensor, 16 bit colour, ISO settings of 50, 100, 200 and 400. They will only be making 500 of them. (via engadget.com)

“Hasselblad Celebrates Centenary of Founder’s Birth with Launch of Limited Edition Hasselblad 503CWD Digital Camera – In recognition of the centenary of Victor Hasselblad’s birth on 8th March 2006, Hasselblad today unveiled the Hasselblad 503CWD Anniversary Kit, a prestige high-end photographic system that offers state-of-the-art digital capture technology elegantly integrated with a classically designed Hasselblad 503CW body.”

Click here to view the full press release.

Combining the rugged reliability of the black and chrome V System body, with its range of high performance, central shutter-based lenses, and Hasselblad’s latest digital technology, the exclusive Hasselblad 503CWD perfectly melds the heritage of the old Hasselblad with the focus of the new Hasselblad on digital high-end photography to create a new digital workhorse. Of undoubted appeal to the Hasselblad connoisseur, the camera delivers the perfect blend of versatility and simplicity in a compact, professional tool that gives the user complete control over digital image capture and is a pleasure to operate.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad, comments: “Hasselblad’s reputation for excellence and outstanding quality was built on the V System. Therefore the Hasselblad 503CWD – a truly professional tool that is fully compatible with the Hasselblad V system, offers great value for money, and is built to the same exacting standards that have become the signature of the Hasselblad company – is a fitting tribute to the design process that Victor Hasselblad started himself in the 1940s. Having been passionate about photography, Victor would also have loved the concept of digital photography, and in the 503CWD kit, with its stylish retro body and advanced digital capture technology offering the ideal balance of old and new Hasselblad, he would recognize the culmination of his own work.”

The 503CWD Anniversary kit will be supplied as a limited edition of 500 cameras, each one numbered and engraved with Victor Hasselblad’s signature. Reassuringly solid, the kit comprises the 503CWD integrated digital camera with waist-level viewfinder, specially marked focusing screen and chrome winding lever, a Zeiss Planar CFE 2.8/80mm lens, and a beautifully produced book marking Victor’s anniversary.

Not only does the Hasselblad 503CWD satisfy the aesthetic needs of V System fans, but it also boasts very advanced and, in some aspects, unique digital technology, such as Hasselblad Natural Color Solution, Instant Approval Architecture, and versatile storage and workflow, alongside files captured on a CCD 50% larger than a full frame 35mm DSLR.

Hasselblad Natural Color Solution – Color management solutions have in the past imposed limitations on professional digital photographers, because of the forced choice of a specific color profile to suit the job: for example, capturing various skin tones, metals, fabrics or flowers. To combat this, Hasselblad has developed the Hasselblad Natural Color Solution to be used with its FlexColor imaging software. Working with the powerful, new Hasselblad Natural Color Solution enables professional photographers to produce outstanding, reliable out-of-the-box colors, with skin tones, special product gradations, and other difficult colors accurately reproduced.

Instant Approval Architecture – Some of the potential benefits of capturing large numbers of images can be lost if the photographer cannot quickly review and select the best images to present to the client. Hasselblad’s Instant Approval Architecture (IAA) assists by labelling images according to technical parameters and allowing the photographer to downgrade visually poor images, having previewed them on the clear, bright OLED viewing screen. Sorting the red, amber or green flagged images is then very quick. Audible and visible signals facilitate the selection process by giving instant feedback during a shoot.

Three modes of operation and storage – Optimum portability and image storage are critical for the professional photographer. Hasselblad 503CWD offers a choice of the portable CF card storage, the flexible Imagebank, or the tethered operation with extended, special capture controls. With these three operating and storage options, the photographer is able to select a mode to suit the nature of the work at hand, whether in the studio or on location.

For the studio photographer, the most accurate colours and highest degree of control can be achieved by using 3F RAW (3FR), Hasselblad’s raw file format, in Hasselblad’s workflow software, FlexColor. The file format also includes lossless image compression, saving 33% of storage space. In tethered operation tools such as live video and overlay masking bring increased productivity to advanced set composition. The newest FlexColor version allows the photographer to manipulate color temperature and compare image details across multiple images for precise image selection. Alternatively the 3FR files can be converted directly into Adobe’s raw image format DNG (Digital NeGative), which can be opened directly in Adobe PhotoShop CS2.

New digital back, the CFV, also available
Hasselblad is also launching the CFV, a new digital back and the successor of the V96C back, for existing Hasselblad V System users. Built to match the design and functionality of the Hasselblad V System cameras, it can be easily and elegantly integrated into an existing Hasselblad system, enabling the photographer to work in exactly the same manner and with their preferred equipment, but with the productivity benefits of digital photography over film.

The Hasselblad 503CWD will be available from Hasselblad’s Digital Partners in March at a list price of 11,900 Euros, excluding VAT and the Hasselblad CFV will similarly be available at a list price of 8,990 Euros, excluding VAT.