Fuji X-T30

Fujifilm just announced the Fujifilm X-T30, the less expensive version of the X-T3. A few notable differences are for example 4K video being limited to 30fps (60 on the X-T3), the rear screen that just tilt up and down. For USD 900, it looks like a very good alternative if you don’t have the budget for the X-T3.

They also announced the XF 16mm f/2.8 WR. At USD 400, it is a much more affordable and compact wide angle than the 16m f/1.4. Dpreview has a sample gallery. To be available in March 2019.

Canon EOS RP

Canon is doubling down on full-frame mirrorless and just announced the Canon EOS RP, a smaller and less expensive RF mount body to be available end of February. Probably the cheapest full frame mirrorless camera on the market. With the 6D MkII sensor it is a lower resolution as the EOS R. There is also an optional extension grip. In video, it still is a cropped 4K mode. In short it is really a less expensive version of the EOS R, a bit like when Canon released the first Digital Rebel (300D) as a cheaper version of the 10D. The price will be USD 1300.

But, and there is a but, it doesn’t come in a kit with a less expensive RF mount lens. The kit options are either the EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM with the EF adapter, or the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM. The premium for the kits are respectively USD 700 or USD 1100. Mindboggling.

DPReview experience is better than they were expecting.

Also¸ Canon announced 6 new RF lenses due later in 2019. No price yet.

  • RF 85mm F1.2 L USM
  • RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS
  • RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM
  • RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM

The 70-200 is supposed to be super compact (short). And there don’t seem to be less expensive lenses that would match the EOS RP, unlike 15 years ago when the 300D was released.

Panasonic S1

The now anticipated full frame mirrorless Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras, whose L-mount is shared with Leica, have been unveiled:

  • S1R: USD 3,699
  • S1: USD 2,499

Also some new lenses with the label “S Pro”:

  • 50mm f/1.4: USD 2,299
  • 70-200mm f/4 OIS: USD 1,699
  • 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS: USD 1,299

Panasonic says it’s planning to design and develop at least 10 S PRO lenses by 2020 to expand the S Series lens lineup.

CineStill powdered film developer

CineStill has announced a powdered version of their film developers, one for Black & White and one for colour C-41.

Beyond saving on shipping, the price of the kits themselves are more affordable. The Df96 monochrome development kit costs $16.99, while the Cs41 color development kit costs $24.99, $3 and $1 cheaper than the liquid versions, respectively.

The price difference is small, but Living in Canada I can’t easily order liquid film chemistry from US retailers. So should make it easier to ship.

Nikon Z lenses roadmap

Petapixel is reporting two Nikon Z related news.

Where mirrorless is headed in 2019

Thom from Sans Mirror speculate on the mirrorless market in 2019. He gives us a manufacturer by manufacturer play:

Clearly, all the camera makers—other than Pentax, who’s still wandering around in the woods somewhere seeing if trees make noises when they fall—are going to be executing significantly in the mirrorless realm in the future. We’re now clearly into the DSLR-to-mirrorless transition period. How long that transition will take depends upon how fast the camera makers move.

This is what I’m predicting too: DSLR is down, mirrorless is up. It is a technological move and while it will not fundamentally change the way we use cameras, it will definitely shape its evolution.

The DLSR will probably die

The Computational Photographer wrote The DSLR will probably die. Are mirrorless the future of large standalone cameras?.

Let’s see why I think the reflex design is doomed, even though it has dominated serious photography for decades.

[…]

The DSLR has to die because the mirror is too high a cost for its diminishing benefits. The mirror adds to the complexity of the camera and its manufacturing, it makes the camera bigger, and it introduces challenges for lens design. And its advantages don’t extend to video, which is an increasingly important usage case.

[…]

Furthermore, the mirror in DSLR severely constrains the design of lenses, by preventing lens elements to be placed near the sensor.

This goes in the same way as what I wrote in September in The future is mirrorless. The reflex design was addressing a constraint to be able provide a through-the-lens view which is now provided using the current sensor technology.

Zink archival quality

In today’s Instant photography there are two different technologies. The old instant film pioneered by Polaroid and now dominated by Fujifilm Instax, and the new digital printer, usually ink based, the later being pushed by the Polaroid brand (as opposed to Polaroid Originals), with Zink that uses thermal printing technology.

From All About Images, Zink Twice about Polaroid (their pun):

Polaroid and Zink have chosen not to provide any stability information on their products. One can only assume that the expected lifetime for this product must be poor, since if it were not, they would have every reason to publicize it.

Lifetime of prints is an important matter. I’m convinced that the majority of the digital photography archives will be lost to obsolete and failing technology, destructive services, etc. and that printing is one of the limited ways to preserve them. But prints have to be long lasting. Photographic paper like the Fujicolor Crystal Archive is rated for 70 years and this is way longer than Zink.