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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The New Wave Of Mirrorless


Today’s mirrorless cameras offer the nature photographer DSLR image quality in much smaller packages

Labels: CamerasGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom
Olympus features F.A.S.T. (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) contrast-based AF in its recent mirrorless cameras, with 35 different focus areas that you can activate just by touching the desired point on the LCD monitor. Focus time lag is a mere 0.044 seconds. Even better things are rumored with the soon-to-be-announced OM-D E-M1 flagship mirrorless model. The new PEN E-P5 offers focus peaking to assist manual focusing.

Panasonic's mirrorless models feature Light Speed AF, a contrast-based system in which the camera and lens exchange information at 240 fps for super-quick response. The new GX7 provides focus peaking to aid manual focusing.

Samsung's NX mirrorless cameras use advanced hybrid focus, with phase-detection AF determining the distance to the subject, then contrast AF fine-tuning for maximum accuracy.

Sony's Fast Hybrid AF uses 99 phase-detection sensors at the focal plane working with 25-area contrast AF to optimize AF performance in a wide variety of shooting situations. All of Sony's current mirrorless cameras provide manual focus peaking except the entry-level NEX-3N.

Wi-Fi. Many newer mirrorless cameras offer built-in Wi-Fi. This feature allows you to wirelessly transfer photos to your laptop or smartphone, providing backup and allowing you to upload photos to the Internet via the phone.

Lenses. DSLRs have been around longer than mirrorless cameras, and many use the same lenses as 35mm film SLRs, so they offer a wider range of lenses than mirrorless cameras. But lens lines for mirrorless are expanding rapidly, and you should be able to find the focal lengths you need in just about any manufacturer's lineup.

Video. The newest mirrorless cameras all can do 1080 full HD video at 24p, 30p and/or 60p (see the accompanying chart). This lets you capture the motion and sounds of nature—animals, waterfalls, storms and more.

The Latest And Greatest
>> Fujifilm X-M1. The newest member of Fujifilm's mirrorless X-camera family, the X-M1 is also the smallest and lowest-priced, yet features the same Fujifilm 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as the flagship X-Pro1. It's also the first of the X cameras to feature built-in Wi-Fi. The sensor uses a Fujifilm original color filter array with a randomized pattern that minimizes moiré, eliminating the need for an optical low-pass filter and providing added sharpness over conventional Bayer-array sensors. The EXR Processor II complements the sensor, enhancing image quality and providing quick startup. Normal ISO range is 200-6400, expandable to 100-25,600.

One reason why it's smaller than its older brothers is that the X-M1 doesn't have an eye-level viewfinder, but its big 3.0-inch, 920K-dot LCD screen tilts for easy composition, even at odd angles. And the X-M1 has room for the same lithium-ion battery as its larger siblings, good for around 350 shots per charge. If you want an eye-level finder, the X-Pro1 has a hybrid electronic/optical one, and the X-E1, an OLED EVF, along with the same sensor, at higher prices.

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