By Wares February 25, 2016 Digital imaging

A round-up of some of the latest local and international digital imaging category news

Top quality add-on lenses bring smartphones even closer to compact cameras?

Many say that compact cameras have already lost out to smartphones, even with the latter’s less than optimal (albeit improving) optical performance.

Now however there is reason to suggest the smartphone’s optical capabilities may not be limited for much longer.

One of the photography highlights of CES this year was the combination of mobile photography accessory player Fellowes Brands and optics icon ZEISS, with three new high-performance accessory lenses for mobile phones.

The lenses will carry Fellowes’ ExoLens brand, which already offers premium clip-on and protective case-based lens systems for the iPhone 6 family and Samsung S6/S6 Edge.

The first three lenses – wide-angle, telephoto and macro (with zoom, said to be unique for accessory lenses of this type) – are designed to be used on the Apple iPhone with customized mounting brackets (see photo) and are due out in late Q2 2016.


Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR

Canon’s new EOS-1D X Mark II flagship DSLR will be available from April 2016 through selected professional Canon Authorised dealers. EOS-1D X Mark II establishes a new benchmark for speed at 14 fps with full AF/AE tracking and 16 fps in Live View mode. It also features a new 20.2 MP full frame CMOS sensor and new Al Servo AF III+. In terms of video, it handles 4K video capture up to 60p and Full HD (1920x1080p) movie shooting at 120fps, ideal for slow motion scenes. It also boasts a very wide ISO range, from 100 to 51200, expandable from 50 up to 409600.


Panasonic camcorder range

Panasonic has an expanded range of consumer camcorders with a new line-up of 4K Ultra-High Definition (UHD) and Full-HD Camcorder models.

The 4K models, HC-WXF990M (pictured) and HC-VX980M, include LEICA DICOMAR Lens, BSI Sensor and Crystal Engine 4K, to produce 4K images with four times the resolution of Full-HD. Users can also save video as an 8 MP still image with 4K Photo Mode. Both also have a new 4K cropping function so users can cut out Full-HD images from 4K footage and add effects, such as zooming, panning, tracking and stabilising, and Panasonic’s new Wireless Multi Camera function, which enables picture-in-picture recording using a Wi-Fi connected smartphone as a sub-camera.

All the new camcorders are available from Harvey Norman and specialist camera retailers from March 2016.


Panasonic TZ compact cameras

Announced in January, the new LUMIX TZ110 (pictured) and TZ80 cameras are the latest additions to the TZ “Travel Zoom” series. The premium 20.1 MP LUMIX TZ110 has a larger than normal 1” MOS Sensor while the TZ80 has an 18.1 MP high sensitivity half-inch MOS Sensor for low-noise images. Both models are equipped with LEICA ultra-wide angle lenses, the TZ110 with a 25mm, 10x optical zoom lens and the TZ80 with a 24mm, 30x optical zoom lens. Both models can also record photos and videos in 4K UHD as well as offering 4K Photo Mode for quickfire occasions which records 8MP video at 30 fps and allows the selection of key moments afterwards. Users also have a Post Focus function which allows a choice of focal point after shooting. Both have a Live View Finder and 3” 1,040K-dot rear monitor and a new touch control system as well as physical controls. Both are also Wi-Fi enabled.

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