Canon announces EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera

Canon has announced its first full-frame mirrorless camera and lens system, both called EOS R. Coming shortly after rival Nikon announced its own full-frame mirrorless cameras, the announcement of the EOS R means both Japanese camera giants are now taking high-end mirrorless seriously after years of putting out half-hearted responses to the likes of Sony and Fujifilm.

As previously leaked, the EOS R camera is built around a 30.3-megapixel full-frame sensor with an ISO range of 100-40,000. The sensor uses dual-pixel autofocus and is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 8 image processor. There’s a fully articulated touchscreen as well as an OLED electronic viewfinder and an information panel on the top of the camera.

Image: Canon

While the camera basically looks like a slimmed-down DSLR, the EOS R system breaks away from Canon’s traditional control scheme in a few ways. Most notably, all the lenses have a dedicated control ring as well as the dials for zooming and manual focus; this lets you adjust settings like aperture from the lens itself. There’s also a sliding left-right control bar on the back of the camera that can be used for various other features.

The first EOS R lenses are a 24-105mm f/4 L, a 50mm f/1.2mm L, a 28-70mm f/2 L, and a 35mm f/1.8 macro. Canon is also releasing three lens mount adapters for EOS SLR lenses, including one with the EOS R control ring and another that can be used with drop-in filters. The camera will be available for $2,299 body-only or $3,399 with the 24-105mm lens in late October, with preorders starting September 12th.

We’re at Canon’s EOS R event in Tokyo and will bring you more news and impressions soon.

Canon’s full-frame mirrorless camera leaks and could be coming this week

You wait for years for a full-frame mirrorless camera to show up from the most dominant brands in photography, and then two show up at once. Right after Nikon announced its first serious step into high-end mirrorless with the Z7 and Z6, it looks like Canon’s own effort is imminent. Leaks from Japanese website Nokishita have revealed images of the camera, its spec sheet, and details on the initial lens lineup.

The camera is apparently called the EOS R, and looks a lot like a slimmed-down full-frame DSLR. The controls appear to be tweaked somewhat, with unmarked dials (not PASM) and a curious left-right switch on the back. The screen is fully articulated, and there’s a secondary information display on the top. The full-frame sensor is reportedly 30.3 megapixels, which would put it between the Nikon Z7 and Z6.

The first four lenses are a 35mm f/1.8, a 50mm f/1.2, a 28-70mm f/2, and a 24-105mm f/4 kit lens, with the latter three bearing the red ring of Canon’s high-end L series. That’d put Canon ahead of Nikon if all four are available at launch; Nikon initially only has a 35mm f/1.8, a 50mm f/1.8, and a 24-70mm f/4. Canon is also launching three EOS lens adapters, including an option with a control ring and another with a drop-in filter mount.

According to Canon Rumors, all of this will be announced this Wednesday, September 5th, so we shouldn’t have long to go to find out the full details. One thing’s for sure: the entire camera industry is now serious about mirrorless.

Polaroid is now a brand of sadness

Three years ago, almost to the day, I was anguished to find Kodak, the once-great photography brand, slapped atop some random selfie sticks. Now, walking through the same IFA halls in Berlin, I find Polaroid’s name emblazoned on some dreadful laptops. These two companies — or, rather, whatever vulture capitalists have taken ownership of their names after their businesses went bust — are engaged in a miserable race to see who can put their name to the worst possible product.

Today’s example from Polaroid is truly an eye-searing disaster. Just one of a group of plasticky, creaky, and underpowered “Polaroid” laptops with washed-out screens, this particular specimen ships with Windows 10 (the good), but only 2GB of RAM / 32GB of storage (the bad), and an ancient Intel Atom processor (the ugly). Whatever brand goodwill Polaroid used to enjoy back in its heyday, this batch of laptops should finally erase it.

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Polaroid and Kodak used to be great photography brands. Both made globally recognized products and changed the way we use technology. But today they’re mere bywords for cynical commercialism and deliberate consumer misdirection.

Panasonic updates LX100 advanced compact camera with touchscreen and new sensor

Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 is a unique compact camera that’s earned a cult following for its comparatively large Micro Four Thirds sensor and fast, versatile lens. It hasn’t been updated since it came out in 2014, but the wait ends today with the announcement of its successor.

The LX100 II has the same 24-75mm-equivalent f/1.7-2.8 lens with nine-blade aperture, and the Micro Four Thirds sensor has been updated to 21.77 total megapixels; that equates to 17-megapixel images when shot in the default 4:3 aspect ratio, which is up from 13 megapixels in the original LX100.

The biggest additions to the external hardware are a slightly redesigned grip and a 3-inch touchscreen, though the camera’s focus on extensive physical controls remains the same. It also now has Bluetooth connectivity for continuous low-power image transfer to smartphones.

The LX100 II isn’t a huge update considering how long it’s taken to appear, but the camera was pretty great in the first place, so it’s good to see the line continue. Its closest competitor is Sony’s excellent RX100 line, which is a little more pocketable but has a smaller sensor and fewer physical controls.

Panasonic is pricing the LX100 II somewhat highly at $999.99 — that’s $100 more than its predecessor launched at, and $400 more than you can find it for today. It’ll be available in October.

Nikon reportedly announcing two full-frame mirrorless cameras next week

We know Nikon is about to re-enter the mirrorless camera market in a serious way, and we might have some of the details. Nikon Rumors reports that Nikon plans to introduce two full-frame mirrorless cameras next Thursday, August 23rd. The cameras are called the Z6 and Z7, according to the rumor, and they would be introduced alongside three lenses designed for the new system.

The Z6 and Z7 will reportedly be differentiated in the same way Sony differentiates its A7 and A7R models: the Z6 will have a 24-megapixel sensor and be designed to handle faster, lower-light shooting, while the Z7 will have a 45-megapixel sensor for capturing far higher-resolution images.

That’s all as far as camera specs right now, but Nikon Rumors also has details on what might be the first three lenses that are expected to be introduced next Thursday as well. They include a 50mm f/1.8, a 24-70mm f/4, and some kind of wider prime at f/1.8.

While we don’t know much, the megapixel details suggest that Nikon will try to position its cameras head-to-head with Sony’s. (Even the names are kind of similar.) While that was mostly unavoidable — Sony has become huge in the mirrorless world, and it essentially forced Nikon to make these cameras by stealing pros away from traditional DSLRs — the company could have tried to differentiate its offerings by targeting different segments of consumers or pros.

From the sound of it, Nikon is going to kick things off by going straight after Sony’s most important mirrorless line. That will be a tough task, but it’ll at least make things interesting after years of dull DSLRs from Nikon.

Nikon’s teasing its full-frame mirrorless camera with a series of cool videos

The most exciting announcements in the photography world over the past few years have featured one of two things: mirrorless designs that makes the camera smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be, or a full-frame sensor to produce the best possible images. And the most fun cameras have been, of course, the ones that combine the two, like Hasselblad’s X1D or Sony’s A7 III. Nikon has been awake to this trend, which has prompted the venerable Japanese company to jump in the fray with its own full-frame mirrorless camera set to be announced on August 23rd.

The teaser website for this upcoming launch is being steadily populated with a set of well-produced teaser videos. So far, we have the one above, which channels a bit of Interstellar in its soundtrack and grandiosity, and the one below, which promises that Nikon’s new lens mount is a “response to the challenges of the future.” Obviously, with a new mount and new system, Nikon is also promising new Nikkor lenses designed specifically for this full-frame mirrorless camera, however details about those have yet to be revealed.

Stay tuned to Nikon’s website for another four video teasers coming over the next 18 days. Though, if you want to get an idea of the size and shape of the new camera — which are shown in outline in the first video — there are already people out there who’ve put together physical mockups to help you understand, as spotted by Nikon Rumors:

Best Buy wants to teach you how to take good photos

In addition to being a place to buy discounted laptops and find DVDs of obscure anime you didn’t know people still watched, Best Buy will now be a place for budding photographers to take lessons, as spotted by PetaPixel. Best Buy will be offering lessons in its new Camera Experience Shop, which is sponsored by camera brands Canon, Nikon, Sony, and GoPro.

Small camera experience shops have opened inside over 80 Best Buy stores across the US so far. Customers can either browse cameras in the store or take lessons from professional photographers. They can learn techniques like shooting in low light, taking close-ups, and working in portrait mode. The beginner classes listed near the New York area include Halloween photography, back-to-school photography, and tips for taking holiday card photos.

While beginner workshops like those are free, intermediate workshops cost $50. The fee covers the bus you’ll take from the Best Buy to a nearby area set up specifically for taking photos, a lunch, and a snack. Intermediate classes are currently only offered in Atlanta, Houston, New York, San Diego, Tampa, Seattle, and Minneapolis.

For Best Buy, something as simple as photography lessons are an easy way to get more consumers to come into its physical stores. As more electronics purchases move online — where Best Buy has to compete with Amazon and other third-party sellers — Best Buy is trying to add more value to its brick-and-mortar locations by offering education around tech purchases. Teaching classes and offering free training on practical skills is an idea that Apple already employs in its retail stores, and it seems like Best Buy is taking a page out of the tech giant’s book here.

This foot-long camera lens will give you a bug’s-eye view of the world

The camera lens manufacturers at Venus Optics have just launched their latest creation: a foot-long, skinny camera lens that’s meant to give you a macro view of the tiniest parts of the world.

The Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe was developed to give photographers and videographers a “new perspective” and remove traditional barriers that come with using macro lenses. Traditional macro lenses aren’t a foot long, meaning that photographers need to get super close to their subject. This design allows photographers to get those clear, crisp, and close-up shots from a distance and fit their lens in tinier spaces. This is great for shooting wildlife, like tiny bugs or quick-moving animals that might be scared off if a bigger, bulkier camera gets too close.

The lens’s 24mm focal length is also meant to give a wide “bug’s-eye view” that provides more background detail. This combination of features, according to Venus Optics, offers a point of view that no other lens on the market can provide. The company also says the lens’s skinny size means it blocks out less incoming light than a traditional barrel lens would. And for extra brightness, there’s a USB-powered ring-style LED light on its tip.

The lens is being offered with adapters for Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony FE mounts, as well as Arri PL.

Image: Macro Room

Right now, the lens is being supported through a Kickstarter campaign, similar to the successful campaign that the camera lens manufacturer ran back in 2016. Though this bug’s-eye lens isn’t available for wide release (yet), some of the lucky backers are supposed to start getting their Laowa lenses by October 2018. When it’s on shelves, it’ll retail for about $1,500 USD, according to the site, but advanced backers can get it for just under $1,300 USD.