Sony Middle East and Africa announced the 67th lens in its mirrorless E-mount lineup – the highly-anticipated, FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II (model SEL2470GM2). Sony developed the world’s lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens1 using its leading lens technology to deliver stunning resolution and beautiful bokeh known to Sony’s “G Master” series. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is one of the most versatile lenses in the line-up and was created for photographers, videographers, and hybrid content creators.
“Six years have passed since Sony released the first 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master and in that time, our customers’ needs have changed,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa. “We are always listening to our community and have designed the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II around feedback from creators in the region. Knowing the 24-70 mm focal length is extremely popular, it was imperative that we continue improving to bring our most advanced technology to such a critical lens in our customers’ kit. Today, we are thrilled to introduce the world’s smallest and lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens to the Middle East & Africa region.”
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is great for a compact yet versatile setup and allows users to capture extremely sharp, detailed imagery for both stills and video. The new lens features high resolution across the frame—even with the aperture wide open. A completely redesigned optical path features five aspherical elements, including two high-precision XA (extreme aspherical) elements. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II also includes two ED (extra-low dispersion) plus two Super ED glass elements. Combined with a new floating focus mechanism, the lens effectively controls chromatic aberration, astigmatism, distortion, and coma so that outstanding resolution is achieved throughout the image area at all zoom and aperture settings.
Even when shooting in challenging lighting conditions, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves excellent clarity by effectively subduing flare and ghosting. This is thanks to Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II which produces a uniform anti-reflecting coating on the lens surface. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II produces stunning bokeh throughout the zoom range with beautiful and almost perfectly circular bokeh with its advanced optical design and a newly developed 11-blade aperture unit.
In this new 24-70 mm design, this lens delivers outstanding close-up performance with a minimum focusing distance of 8.25 inches (0.21 meters) at 24 mm and 12 inches (0.30 meters) at 70 mm, and with a maximum magnification of 0.32x. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves reliable focus by using four of Sony’s original XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, a floating focus mechanism, and advanced lens control – even when shooting a fast-moving subject. In addition, the lens supports up to 30 fps continuous shooting for stills and 4K 120p video recording with autofocus.
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II enables full AF tracking performance even when shooting stills with the aperture stopped down, making it possible to use deeper depth of field to ensure that moving subjects remain in sharp focus when shooting continuously. The lens’ AF tracking performance while zooming is approximately two times better than the previous model.
With its constant F2.8 maximum aperture, astounding AF performance, versatile control, and solid reliability, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is designed for all types of video applications. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II offers extremely quiet AF operation, thanks to the XD Linear Motors and a newly developed aperture unit. Using the latest lens technology, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II reduces focus breathing, focus shift, and axial shift when zooming for smooth video footage. This lens also supports the breathing compensation function provided in compatible Alpha series cameras.
As an added benefit for advanced video creation, the newest lens includes Linear Response MF (manual focus) that ensures high repeatability when focusing manually as the focus ring responds directly and repeatedly to subtle control. It also includes an aperture ring making manual aperture/iris control fast, direct, and easy. The dedicated iris ring enables click-less control to achieve the smooth depth of field transitions.
Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s compact Alpha system E-mount cameras, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is the world’s smallest and lightest1 24-70 mm F2.8 zoom in its class and offers unprecedented shooting flexibility and freedom in a wide range of situations. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II weighs just 24.6 ounces (695 grams), approximately 20% less (7 ounces) than the original 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master. The lens’ length has been reduced by 16 mm, and overall volume has been reduced by approximately 18%.
The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II was developed based on feedback from professionals to offer even better control and usability than preceding models. This model includes:
- Zoom smoothness switch to adjust zoom ring torque to either Tight or Smooth
- A newly added aperture ring with click ON/OFF switch and iris lock switch
- Two customizable focus hold buttons
- The focus ring responds directly and linearly to subtle control when focusing manually
- New lens hood design with an opening to control circular polarizing filters (dia. 82mm)
- The center of gravity back toward the mount for improved handling and operation
An updated dust and moisture resistant design provides extra reliability for outdoor use in challenging conditions. The buttons and switches are fitted with rubber gaskets, and a rubber ring seals the lens mount. The front lens element also features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that become attached to the lens surface.
The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II will be available in the Middle East & Africa region from the end May 2022.
Fujifilm Launches Instax Mini Evo Camera
Fujifilm has unveiled the Instax Mini Evo, its new flagship instant film camera with a premium build, higher resolution than previous models and improved smartphone integration. As with other Instax cameras, you can take photos and instantly develop them to Fujifilm’s credit card-sized Instax Mini film, but it offers a number of features not available on previous models.
As a hybrid camera, you can review photos on the LCD monitor and choose the ones you want to print. However, the new model is the first Instax camera with a print lever and lens/film filter dials. That lets you take a picture then choose among 100 combinations of effects (including “Soft Focus,” “Light Leak,” “Monochrome” and “Retro”) and print the image afterward by pulling the print lever. Fujifilm said the camera also delivers better quality prints as it has twice the exposure resolution of previous models.
The Instax Mini Evo is also effectively a mini-printer for your smartphone. You can transfer images from your phone to the Evo Mini wirelessly, then print them using the “Direct Print” button. And for the first time, you can transfer snaps you take with the Mini Evo back over to your smartphone, complete with the film border. Finally, you can use your smartphone to take pictures remotely with a camera.
Fujifilm also unveiled a new Instax Mini film format called “Stone Grey” with a gray background. The new camera is priced at $200.
Canon Launches a Very Unusually Shaped PowerShot PX Camera
Canon has launched the PowerShot PX, a small, smart and friendly camera, which automatically captures high-quality 11.7MP images and 60p Full HD video. The PowerShot PX’s smart features such as automatic capture of still imagery and video are set to reimagine how families capture memories. With this clever camera, families can enjoy the moment and still capture it, without having to stay behind the lens.
From family photographers to gadget-lovers, this new intuitive camera incorporates smart functionality to document social events and everyday memories. With automatic capture and priority shooting, the PowerShot PX is an innovative addition to the home that complements photographers’ existing cameras, and a shining example of Canon’s technology algorithm and the forward-thinking features constantly being added to its product line-up.
When you want to capture life’s precious moments and be in the shot, the PowerShot PX is ideal – following the action and framing subjects intelligently to capture natural expressions and reactions. Once switched on, the portable PowerShot PX can be placed anywhere around the home to take candid shots of everyday moments, while voice command capabilities allow complete hands-free control to capture still images or dynamic videos.
Thanks to the simple yet portable design, USB-C charging, and built-in Wi-Fi – which links to smart devices – the compact PowerShot PX can go anywhere. With intelligent facial recognition features, PowerShot PX uses auto-subject searching to keep loved ones in the frame and capture photos that otherwise might have been missed. Its 19-57mm focal length range and flexible pan-and-tilt zoom lens offer a broad field of view of 340˚ horizontally and 110˚ vertically to follow the action.
Look back on a digital scrapbook of candid moments with PowerShot PX’s iOS and Android app and get recommendations from this clever camera on the strongest shots to keep. These cherished photos and videos are then stored on a memory card for easy upload to a computer. Manually control the camera with the app to compose the perfect shot and capture images from a distance, all without the need to run back and forth to check the device. Families can even customise automatic shooting settings, angle the lens to snap pictures in their own style and select familiar faces within the app to increase priority when shooting. The PowerShot PX can also double as a webcam with the use of the PC webcam utility app.
Nikon Launches the new Z9
Nikon Middle East FZE unveils the Z 9, the revolutionary full-frame (Nikon FX-format) Z series mirrorless camera designed to surpass expectations with its unrivalled performance and breakthrough features that are firsts for both in the mirrorless category and in Nikon. Enhancing user capability, the introduction of the Z 9 allows professionals to capture stills and videos with ease. Nikon’s first 4-axis vertical and horizontal tilting monitor and integrated vertical grip will have users capturing the best moments in comfort, even under the harshest conditions.
The Z 9 also features the world’s largest variety of simultaneous subject detection amongst mirrorless cameras, with its tenacious autofocus (AF) offering, and the Real-Live Viewfinder without blackout period. Users will be among the first to enjoy shooting with stunning 8K in-camera recording for up to 125 minutes for making it the most practical camera for location shoots.
A camera is an extension of a photographer, supporting them to express their visions and narratives through images and videos. The flagship Z series mirrorless camera was developed with this in mind, to empower users with ground-breaking capabilities, while ensuring smooth operations with state-of-the-art ergonomics, to deliver utmost efficiency and reliability. There’s nothing quite like the Z 9. Whether it is immortalising high-speed races, fleeting wildlife moments, or avant-garde fashion shows, both professionals and experienced hobbyists alike are unstoppable in their pursuit of capturing every best moment.” said Narendra Menon, Managing Director of Nikon Middle East FZE.
With an advanced algorithm that utilises the newly developed deep learning technology, transcend expectations with the powerful performance of the Z 9 that delivers the world’s largest variety of simultaneous subject detection of people, animals, and vehicles; tracking a total of nine subjects simultaneously in both stills and videos, without the need to toggle back and forth to switch settings. When the Auto mode is selected, the algorithm automatically selects main subjects with comprehensive consideration of information such as subject size, position, defocus, and more.
In addition, the improved detection performance and an increased 405-point auto-area AF have enhanced the AF acquisition and tracking of even smaller subjects and their movements. The subject detection works for wide-area AF (S) and (L), auto-area AF, 3D-tracking, even during video recording. Introducing 3D-tracking for still image shooting, this first-time feature in Nikon mirrorless cameras allows users to seamlessly capture the spilt-second moments, from the fastest sprinters to race cars, and effectively keep tracking them.
Additionally, with the high-speed processing from the new EXPEED 7, which also enhances subject detection performance, even documenting fleeting audience expressions can now be a breeze. With the world’s fastest 120 fps continuous shooting (High-Speed Frame Capture+, make an impact in capturing the detail and precision of what only the Z 9 can see – fleeting micro-moments that are invisible to the naked eye.
Continuous shooting of up to 120 fps is supported with NIKKOR Z lenses and 94 kinds of NIKKOR F lenses with AF. The Z 9 can also continuously shoot at 20fps to capture over 1,000 frames in JPEG or RAW formats, even when flicker reduction is turned on. This is a first for Nikon that is made possible with the high processing capability and large buffer of EXPEED 7 and the fast write speed of a CFexpress Type B card.
Surpassing conventional optical viewfinder (OVF) and electronic viewfinder (EVF) to reveal every single moment, the all-new Real-Life Viewfinder is backed by a new technology. Unlike conventional blackout-free shooting that displays the same frame to prevent interruption of the finder image, this viewfinder continues to display the actual movement of the subject within the scene, so that every single moment can be smoothly and continuously confirmed with no skipped frames or loss of view.
The Dual-Stream technology with 45.7 effective megapixels stacked CMOS sensor achieves 12 times faster still image reading, while also processing separately of the display images for EVF/monitor and still image data for recording. Meanwhile, the newly evolved high-speed, high-performance image-processing engine EXPEED 7 delivers a 10 times faster processing speed thus allowing the live view data to EVF/monitor and recorded still image data to be separately yet simultaneously processed. The EXPEED 7 is also the key enabler to the camera’s deep learning technology for subject detection algorithm and in-camera 8K video recording.
The Z 9 features the world’s brightest viewfinder, a newly equipped Quad-VGA panel that is compatible to adjust the viewfinder brightness up to 3000cd/m2 in response to various lighting conditions. The high brightness panel allows for easy capturing of subjects in bright scenarios, even under the blazing hot sun, and viewing where the displayed photo or video content appears brighter and sharper.
Nikon’s first four-axis vertical and horizontal tilting image monitor provides outstanding flexibility especially when shooting from high or low angles. When shooting in vertical orientation that is made easy with the vertical grip, the interface on-screen is automatically displayed to follow the same for easy confirmation and change of settings. The 8cm touch screen monitor and EVF also make it simpler and quicker for smooth image review and selection, with further help from the customisable monitor display information that lets users choose their preferred display depending on the shooting scene.
Another Nikon-first is the i-TTL balanced fill-flash, where face information is applied for flash control. This technology takes the human subject’s face into consideration and controls the volume of light to be fired appropriately when flash is used to avoid overexposure in your shots. Bringing a solution with higher resolution, the Z 9 offers in-camera video recording in high-quality 8K30p and 4K/30p/60p/120p – a few of the very firsts for Nikon and the highest video performance in Nikon history.
Designed to efficiently dissipate heat, users can record in 8K30p for up to approximately 125 minutes, making it the world’s longest 8K30p recording. Record time-lapse movies in 8K while still being able to obtain still images simultaneously with the adoption of interval-timer shooting (in YUV processed video only). The ability to extract high-resolution stills from 8K videos as well as the decisive moments in 120p after video shooting for enhanced shooting efficiency put forward cutting-edge quality in photos and videos.
Users can also choose to record in 4K with a wide range of frame size/frame rate from 24p to 120p available in multiple formats, even when recording in slow motion. Highlighting the attention to important details that could go unnoticed in the heat of the action, such as track competition finishes or high-speed races, the Z 9 is designed for a myriad of needs and can deliver files expeditiously as it also supports and allows for the selection of diverse codecs including H.265 (HEVC) and Apple ProRes 422 HQ.
Enhancements such as the CFexpress Type B-compatibility in both its slots, for faster write speed when it comes to 8K video recording and continuous shooting of large amounts of frames even with JPEG and RAW files, make all the difference in speeding up the workflow. To meet evolving video creation requirements, the adoption of functions such as in-camera recording of 12-bit RAW video including over 8K60p and further improved operability are planned in a future firmware update. A variety of Nikon and third-party accessories will also be made compatible with the Z 9 for the continuous extension of creative expression and operability in both still image and video shooting.
Enhancing the video recording experience on the Z 9, users can maintain focus with an expanded video AF speed range and a new AF setting. When the subject is not detected when AF is turned off, focus on the foreground and background blur is maintained even after the subject moves out of the frame. Furthermore, with the Z 9’s advanced Picture Control for video, users can fully utilise the camera’s auto capability when shooting to achieve their desired output of balance of contrast and colours for videos – perfect for those who need to immediately disseminate footage with minimal edits. Users can also expect an improvement in sound quality with in linear PCM recording from 16-bit to 24-bit, ability to turn off the plug-in power to microphone connector, and enhanced compatibility with professional high-quality microphones.
Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera that is built without a mechanical shutter, this deliberate omission of a mechanic shutter in the Z 9 allows users to shoot with the world’s most minimal rolling shutter distortion and fastest scan rate. In addition, the in-camera VR adopts a safety lock to prevent risk of damage to the image sensor. Accompanied with the addition of a dual coating to strengthen dust prevention with image sensor cleaning – a first for digital cameras – and a brand-new sensor shield, the Z 9 is formidable when it comes to protecting its image sensor from dust particles.
Great external durability and reliability is also ensured as the main body components are effectively sealed through the system, from the joints of each exterior cover to the tilting structure, to provide high dust- and drip- resistance equivalent to the robust D6. Built with resistance to cold, the Z 9 continues to operate in temperatures down to -10C°, enabling it to withstand the harsh shooting conditions and environments for professional use.
For quick operation, buttons are placed in ideal positions for intuitive use in both vertical and horizontal operations, where favoured settings such as AF area mode, send, and rating can be assigned and switched according to individual needs. A newly-added independent AF mode button allows users to switch Focus and AF area modes while looking at subjects through the viewfinder. Users can shoot confidently and comfortably, regardless of weather, terrain, and lighting conditions with enhanced visibility from the backlight illumination on the buttons to facilitate locating of functions in dark environments.
The Z 9 also supports High-Efficiency RAW, which realises image quality equivalent to the conventional uncompressed RAW but with a file size smaller than approximately 1/3 of the file size.
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