News! 46MP Megapixel Canon 1DsX DSLR About to be Announced!!! Or the Anatomy of a Rumor

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On September 17, when a forum member calling himself Psychic1 wrote his post on the FredMiranda.com Canon forum, he had no idea how wide the information he was sharing would spread. Speaking in hindsight during a call with Photographic Wanderings yesterday, Psychic1 said he thinks ‘it’s pretty funny.’

This is what Psychic1 posted on FM.com, under the heading ‘OMG – 1DsX in NYC…‘: ‘…Canon will release a 46MP pro body at the Javits Center in October.’

What happened next tells a couple of tales: photographic gearheads falling over one another to endlessly discuss the ins and outs of non-existent equipment on the one hand and, on the other, a community clamoring for clicks no matter how iffy the basis for its reporting.

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Nikon D750 vs Canon 5D Mark III: Part 1

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The new Nikon D750 wasn’t the camera many Nikon fans had hoped for, a true successor to the vaunted Nikon D700. Whereas the D700 was basically a pro camera in a prosumer body, the D750 is a prosumer camera, period. As such, Nikon still hasn’t launched a camera that can follow in the path of the D700. For Nikon fans, the D750 wasn’t really needed.

But for Canon fans jealous of the dynamic range that Sony’s sensors deliver in the Nikon (and Sony A7 series) cameras, the D750 might well be the answer to their dreams. Because if the D750 is close to any other camera in specs, it’s to Canon’s 5D Mark III. The only major difference seems to be the price, with the Canon being about $1,000 more expensive than the Nikon.

That’s why I wrote when the D750 was launched that it wasn’t aimed at Nikon consumers, but at Canon buyers.

Let’s back up a bit.

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Nikon Aiming at Canon’s 5D Mark III with New D750?

Nikon today joined the party of pre-Photokina 2014 product announcements by announcing the long-rumored D750 DSLR, a 20mm f/1.8 lens and a new small flash.

D750

Nikon D750

The D750 will offer:

  • 24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • the same EXPEED 4 image processor as in the company’s D810 and D4S
  • Wi-Fi
  • a tilting high-resolution LCD
  • 51-point autofocus
  • 6.5 frames per second
  • advanced video comparable to D810
  • ISO range of 100-12,800 (with expansion up to 51,200)
  • a flash sync speed of 1/200.

It’ll cost S2,300. As such, it sits above the D610 with faster operation and a more solid body and below the D810 with 24 megapixels instead of 36mp. It’s a bit faster than the D810, though.

At the same time, it’s lacking some of the features that would have made it the successor to the vaunted D700 DSLR that many had hoped for.

It almost makes you wonder why Nikon bothered to roll out this camera, considering it’s not the action-oriented camera many wanted and just sits a notch above the D610.

Aimed at 5D Mark III?

Looking at the specifications, it looks as if it’s aimed squarely at the Canon 5D Mark III, which almost has similar specs, but is about $1,000 more expensive.

Nikon already lured quite a few Canon users to its D800 series with its high megapixel count and wide dynamic range.

The D610 was not up to par with the 5D Mark III in terms of overall operation, but the D750 appears to be and seems to offer similar functionality, build and sensor size as the Canon, but with the dynamic range Nikon has become known for.

And so Nikon has lowered the price of switching by roughly a $1,000. Of course, we don’t know yet what Canon will announce in the coming days, but the forums are abuzz with a Canon 7D replacement.

That’s all nice and well, but the 7D line is APS-C format and no matter how much Canon improves the dynamic range on the 7D successor, if at all, it will not be the new full-frame camera many Canon users are hoping for, which is in essence a 5D with more dynamic range and more megapixels to compete with the Nikon D810 at the same price point.

Ironically, that 7D might be the action camera that Nikon users were hoping for.

The D750 will be available late this month. Nikon also offers a new battery pack/grip for the D750 with a steep retail price of $400. Unlike in some previous generation Nikon DSLRs, the D750’s frames per second doesn’t seem to increase when the optional battery pack/grip is attached.

AF-S Nikkor 20mm f1/8G ED Lens

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The company also announced a new wide-angle lens. It’s meant for full frame and is Nikon’s first ultra wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture. The lens will be available later this month for $800.

SB-500 Speedlight

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Finally, Nikon is bringing the SB-500 speedlight to market, which is actually a combination of an on-camera strobe and a LED video light.

The complete specifications and pre-order information can be found at B&H (affiliate links):

Blog Note: Travel Coming Up

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Been busy prepping for a trip across the Pacific, into the Japanese rainy season. I’ll be a few days in Tokyo, about a week in Kyoto and then a week on the Big Island of Hawaii.

After much hemming and hawing, I now have my carry-on filled with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO. This is my main shooting setup for Tokyo and Kyoto, since it has good weather resistance. Alternate lenses for the Olympus are the 12mm f/2.0, the 25mm f/1.8, the 45mm f/1.8 and the 75mm f/1.8. The latter two because they’re so good. The first two because I might need that bit of extra aperture at dusk. Plus, except for the 75mm, they’re so light that it hardly makes a difference in weight to throw them in.

For Hawaii, the main setup will be the Sony A7r with the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE, an old Olympus 24mm f/2.8 and a Contax 90mm f/2.8.

I’m also throwing in the Pentax WG-III waterproof point-and-shoot for fun shots at the beach and while snorkeling.

Finally, I will take the Fuji X100s. I think. It’s in the bag, because it’s made for city shooting like I’m planning to do. But it doesn’t offer the weather-resistance of the Olympus and only offers 35mm. I regard it as my go-to camera, but in reality it often stays home or doesn’t get chosen when I go out for serious shooting. I like using it, but if I find that even during this trip I don’t reach for it much, I fear it will have to go.

So, my first real post last year was about shooting in Paris with three cameras and this year it will be about shooting in Japan and Hawaii with three cameras.

Depending on time and internet connections, I will report back once in a while during the trip and share my experiences with the camera and about shooting in these places.

Hands On with the Pentax 645Z Medium Format DSLR – Updated

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Update: I’ve added four test shots in original size to my Flickr page. Please note that these files are basically straight out of the camera and the model images lack the normal cleaning up I would do in Photoshop. Also, resolution is set at screen size, not print size.

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The announcement of the Pentax 645Z was akin to Nikon’s rolling out of its D800(e) and Sony’s introduction of the A7(r). All three showed guts, marked a major step forward in technology and jolted their market segment.

The Nikon was the first prosumer-oriented DSLR to pack a whopping 36 megapixels and amazing dynamic range, a feat still not matched by any other APS-C or full-frame DSLR. The Sony upped the ante by featuring that same sensor in a much smaller mirrorless body at a lower price point. Again, no other manufacturer has followed suit yet.

Ricoh Pentax then produced its own little earthquake by announcing the 645Z, a medium format DSLR boasting 51.4 megapixels on a 43.8 x 32.8mm Sony CMOS sensor that’s also the key component of Hasselblad’s H5D-50c and Phase One’s IQ250. Nothing new there, except that the Pentax costs a mere $8,500 compared to $27,500 for the Hasselblad camera and back and $35,000 for the Phase One (back only). And it adds HD video, fast autofocusing, high ISO capability and a shooting speed of 3 frames per second.

Ever since, the question has become how much longer Hasselblad and Phase One will be able to keep on charging the enormous premiums they did. But that’s for MBAs.

For us photographers, digital medium format suddenly doesn’t require a second mortage anymore. Your pockets must still be pretty deep, but if you’re invested in good Canon or Nikon gear, chances are you have as much sunken cost in that system as you would put in a Pentax medium-format kit.

The question of course remains how well the Pentax will do its job. Judging by the brief hands-on session that Ricoh Pentax organized for the media and selected photographers earlier today, it seems that the 645Z will do just fine.

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