Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week in review (August 30 to September 5 2009)

We usually promise that the weekly rewind will finish in 5 minutes or less, but it's hard to do that this week. There were so many influential camera announcements and leaks that made this feel like a Photokina week! Here are the biggest stories of the week...

Leica leaks M9 and X1
The biggest M-series question was whether Leica would have been able to deliver a 35mm-full-frame M-series camera, and the leaked-by-Leica answer is a resounding yes! The new M9 will have a 18mp 35mmFF CCD sensor and the usual Leica design principles. The next big question is price, and for that, you'd better start cashing out 401K plans, selling gold, and used cars!

What was rather unexpected was the X1, which will be a fixed-lens camera using an APS-C sensor. This is something fans of fixed-lens compacts had been clamoring about for years, and they are partially getting their wish. Partially because this has a fixed lens (eg Sigma DP2 and Ricoh GRD3) and it will have a "Leica-tax", a price-tag that will likely be 1.5X to 2X as much as if the camera was named anything-but-Leica. So we wait and see!

Panasonic GF1 and two M43 lenses are officially announced!
After rumors and leaks, the Panasonic GF1 has been officially announced at a starting price higher than many would have liked, and coming together with a promising 20mm f1.7 pancake, and the sometimes-Leica-branded 45mm f2.8 macro lens. Both being M43rds lenses, you have to do a 2X multiplication to get to the "35mm equivalent".

In addition to that, Panasonic revealed three new lenses for 2010, occupying their 2010 lens road-map.

Canon strikes with dual-core 7D and three lenses
As leaked and rumored for weeks and weeks, the Canon 7D officially came out, offering an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor (ouch?) with a dual-core DiGiC 4 engine, and new under-the-hood features aiming to please the serious sub-$2000 photographers. No full-frame DSLR, and that sure left a bitter test in some lens openings.

Along with it came the first lens using the new Canon Hybrid IS technology, this one specifically tailored to macro photography, so every macro photographer will be very curious about the new Canon EF 100mm f2.8L IS.

The other two lenses were practical EF-S configurations, an EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS aiming to be a take-everywhere glued-on lens, and the affordably versatile EF-S 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 IS.

Samsung NX-series coming by early 2010
Samsung showed their NX prototype and three lenses under glass at IFA 2009 in Berlin, but at the same time, they gave new estimates adjusting the availability to late 2009 or early 2010. The new NX-series will attempt to provide a M43rds-like user experience but with 1.5X (APS-C) sensors instead of the 2X sensors used by 43M43.

The Stanford Experiment - a Linux camera?
Stanford university researchers made an official announcement of their Frankencamera research aiming to give photographers and techies all around the world an open-source plug-and-p(l/r)ay framework to develop and expand their imaging systems as they see fit.

Needless to say this is a very promising project and something that may cause the "SLR Traditionalists and Restrictionists" a few sleepless nights.

One Year at TypePad
We celebrate one year at TypePad this week by rounding up other blogs that are also being hosted on the professional for-pay blogging service of TypePad!

For more, be sure to check the September archives along with the latest posts from all the noisy blogs.

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