Fujfilm X-Pro3

Without much surprise, Fujifilm announced the X-Pro3 in late October.
It is an evolution of the X-Pro2. The main distinguishable feature is the LCD screen: by default it is hidden, with a smaller visible screen limited to show settings, and a picture of the currently used film emulation. The screen then flip out to be viewed and make the viewfinder harder to use. It is a bit like the Leica M-D: taking a photography approach where one doesn’t chimp on the screen after taking the picture.

I haven’t had my hands on it, so I can’t really tell whether I’d like it or not.

The end of Polaroid Spectra film

This is not the first time Polaroid Spectra film becomes discontinued. The first time was when Polaroid went under and the remaining stock depleted. DPReview now reports that Polaroid Originals is stopping the production of Spectra film because the remaining cameras are now aging, unrepairable, and there is nothing they can do about it.

This is a bigger problem with film photography in general that I wrote about previously: the whole production supply chain, from cameras to film processors and scanners is in danger. Nobody develops new hardware, because it requires a lot of R&D and the old one is becoming harder and harder to repair, non withstanding for processors and scanner where the software is antique and only runs on obsolete systems.

Instagram selfies are destructive

The Huffington Post Canada has an article about Self(ie) destruction. They put it bluntly:

Destruction has become its own genre of self-portraiture. We break things, harass lounging and peaceful animals, and ruin the fun for everyone. Our faces, apparently, are that important.

When you think you are more important than the environment surrounding you… There are ways to take selfies responsibly, but destruction is not one of them.

There are other example of people falling to their death for the sake of a selfie.

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.