Canon, Pentax energy brazen to captivate high-end camera buyers

February 9, 2015 - photo frame

Canon 5DS R camera
The Canon 5DS and 5DS R (pictured here) exaggerate a 50.6-megapixel CMOS sensor.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

Canon and Pentax usually put on a detonate of speed in a foe to attract well-funded camera buyers.

The smartphone camera has valid to be a churned blessing for a photography industry. With a smartphone, people always have a camera on palm and can share a shots immediately, and people are documenting their lives visually like never before. But it’s a lot harder to convince somebody to buy an typical point-and-shoot camera — even nonetheless it produces improved photos than a smartphone, it’s an additional responsibility and mostly something left during home.

For that reason, a camera attention has been pushing toward high-end compress cameras — those with picture quality, wizz ranges or ruggedness that smartphones usually can’t compare — or toward models with transmutable lenses for even some-more flexibility. The trend will be transparent this week during a CP+ camera trade show in Japan, with Canon and Ricoh auxiliary Pentax already laying out their reward strategies with new cameras. The new cameras underscore a change in strategy amid a timorous market, with a dual companies holding opposite approaches.

For Canon, a choice was to swell forward in a megapixel race, announcing a 50.6-megapixel EOS 5DS and 5DS R cameras set to arrive in June. These dual new SLRs have some-more than twice a pixels than Canon’s prior leader, a 22-megapixel 5D Mark II, and safe over Nikon’s 36-megapixel D810.

For Pentax, a warn was a news that it will recover after this year a initial “full-frame” digital SLR. That means a picture sensor is a distance of a full support of 35mm film, 36x24mm, for improved light-gathering abilities than is probable with a 23.5×15.6mm “crop-frame” sensors in Pentax’s progressing digital SLRs. The pierce signals new high-end ambitions for a company, following full-frame makers Canon, Nikon and Sony.

Camera shipments have been usually disappearing for years, yet a higher-end shred of models with transmutable lenses, shown here in orange, have fared improved than those with lenses built in.
Camera shipments have been usually disappearing for years, yet a higher-end shred of models with transmutable lenses, shown here in orange, have fared improved than those with lenses built in.
Data from CIPA; draft by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Also forward of a show, Olympus and Samsung announced higher-end models: a $1,100 Olympus EM-5 Mark II and $800 Samsung NX500. Nikon’s CP+ news hasn’t emerged yet, yet we can gamble it’ll also try to awaken well-funded photography business into a domain. That’s given increasingly, they’re a usually ones left.

Plunging shipments

Since 2010, a camera marketplace has been usually shrinking. Shipments plunged from 121 million that year to 43 million in 2014, according to a Camera and Imaging Products Association. But higher-end models whose lenses can be substituted have fared comparatively well, accounting for about one in 9 cameras shipped in 2010 to one in 3 shipped in 2014.

Samsung's NX500
Samsung’s NX500

Traditionally, those transmutable lenses have been SLRs, named after their single-lens automatic counterpart that bounces light from a lens into an visual viewfinder. The counterpart flips out of a approach when a shot is taken, vouchsafing a light strike a picture sensor. Canon and Nikon browbeat this market, nonetheless Sony has been creation a go of it and Pentax stays a player.

A newer transmutable lens camera form has arrived, though, called mirrorless given they miss a SLRs’ automatic mirror. Instead, a light shines directly on a picture sensor, that is because photographers harmonise shots possibly with a shade on a behind of a camera or a smaller electronic viewfinder screen.

Some of those interchangeable-lens cameras are “mirrorless” models that are some-more compress than normal SLR cameras. Mirrorless models, some-more compress and mostly doing video with aplomb, have encroached on SLRs, now accounting for 31 percent of interchangeable-lens camera shipments.

Interchangeable lenses are good for customers, yet they advantage camera makers too: once a patron has committed to a sole company, they’re some-more expected to hang with them given one company’s lenses don’t generally insert to another company’s camera bodies.

Canon’s megapixel madness?

The new $3,700 5DS and $3,900 5DS R, though, keep still photography as a tip priority. Their video facilities are a bit hobbled compared to a 5D Mark III, yet their still print abilities have a intensity to take Canon into a higher-end realm. Though many people don’t need dozens of megapixels, some markets have an omnivorous appetite. For example, blurb photographers fire intensely minute photos of subjects like jewelry, watches, conform models and cars for high-end printing. And landscape photographers make large, detail-rich posters. For these customers, a 5DS R offers a somewhat crook picture if a somewhat aloft cost tag.

Canon's Rebel T6s, sole in many tools of a universe as a 760D.
Canon’s Rebel T6s, sole in many tools of a universe as a 760D.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

Today, some of those photographers buy even some-more costly medium-format cameras, that fire images that are incomparable than 24 mm by 36 mm, yet smaller than 4 inches by 5 inches. High-end camera builder Phase One’s products, for example, strech adult to 80 megapixels with sensors measuring 53.7×40.4mm. Lower-end models from it and opposition Hasselblad offer 50-megapixel sensors.

Canon is a vital rival threat, generally given business can start with vastly cheaper cameras and lenses and gradually pierce adult a line.

Phase One, responding to a 50-megapixel rivals, argues that not all pixels are total equal: “A Toyota and a Ferrari are both good cars, and even if they both have 12 cylinders, a Ferrari satisfies a whole opposite set of needs for peculiarity and performance.”

More megapixels doesn’t automatically meant improved photos. One problem is that comparison lenses mostly aren’t pointy adequate to solve details. Another is vibrations caused by camera shake and inner camera workings are some-more expected to fuzz a shot. To repair a latter problem, Canon has beefed adult camera hardware and total a ability to check a print constraint for a user-definable postponement after a automatic counterpart flips up.

Canon’s categorical foe stays Nikon. There, Canon has responded with new mid-range models, too: a 24-megapixel $750 Rebel T6i and $850 T6s, that also paint a vast step adult in megapixel count from their 18-megapixel predecessor. The T6s offers some refinements like a top-mounted standing screen, HDR video mode and improved video autofocus.

Canon also announced a new mirrorless indication of a own, a 24-megapixel EOS M3, designed to residence shortcomings like delayed autofocus of progressing models. It’ll usually be on sale in Europe and Asia given North American business haven’t shown a same unrestrained for mirrorless models. Other Canon developments embody a ultrawidest of ultrawide wizz lenses, a $3,000 EF 11-24mm f4L USM, and skeleton to recover a aloft finish compress camera, a G3 X, with a comparatively vast sensor yet also a really prolonged 25x wizz range.

Pentax ambitions

Pentax prolonged has trailed a SLR kings, Nikon and Canon, yet it hasn’t given up. So far, though, it’s stranded with a smaller “crop-frame” sensors. At CP+, Pentax pronounced it’ll boat a full-frame SLR by a finish of a year.

Pentax announced a full-frame means 70-200mm lens.
Pentax announced a full-frame means 70-200mm lens.

In box anybody is doubtful Pentax will perform a promise, a Ricoh auxiliary also announced dual new lenses blending to full-frame shooting, a $2,300 HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW and $2,500 HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW, both slated to boat in March. Those prices illustrate because Pentax motionless to pull into a reward market.

Full-frame digital SLRs once were exotic, yet with a lower-end marketplace swarming with mirrorless contenders, full-frame cameras are now an appealing approach for camera makers to pursue a some-more essential reward segment. There’s a snarl for Pentax, though: it’s already got an even higher-end model, a medium-format 645Z, so it’ll take some refinement to surveillance one line though undermining a other.

One problem for business relocating from crop-frame cameras to full-frame cameras is that existent lenses designed usually for a tiny sensor simply aren’t means to irradiate a whole full-frame sensor. To take full advantage of a full-frame sensor, full-frame lenses are required. For business creation a full-frame transition, Pentax will let people use a comparison lenses on a new camera, yet usually in a mode in that a full-frame camera in outcome acts like a obtuse crop-frame model.

Other contenders

Samsung, one of a newer wiring companies that’s elbowed a approach into a comparison camera market, denounced a new flagship camera in September, a NX1, and many of that machine’s innards now are entrance to a some-more step-down NX500. This mirrorless indication comes with a smaller physique and shucks a NX1’s electronic viewfinder, yet keeps high-profile facilities like modernized autofocus and a ability to fire 4K video. The $800 cost includes a simple 16-50mm lens.

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II
The OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Lexy Savvides/CNET

Olympus, one of those comparison players from a film epoch that have struggled to find their approach in a digital era, has found a good recipe with a OM-D family of higher-end mirrorless cameras. The new E-M5 Mark II member of a family replaces a three-year aged namesake with modernized film mode, autofocus, picture stabilization, and Wi-Fi networking. For solid subjects, it can use a new High-Resolution Shot mode to take 40-megapixel photos composited constructed by somewhat changeable a picture sensor opposite several particular frames. These shots are afterwards total into a singular photo.

Nikon, Panasonic and Sony have been silent so distant for a CP+ trade show. Recently resurgent Fujifilm, with a rarely regarded mirrorless line, announced a surprising XM-FL high-end lens cap for about $100 that indeed functions as a lower-end, fun lens with a handful of filter effects. It’s not transparent where over Japan it’ll go on sale.

None of these CP+ products are adequate to settle dominance, yet they’re all required to keep camera makers from being swept aside by history. They’ve had a severe time chasing a timorous market, yet a flip side of that has been a fender stand of good products for consumers with a few hundred or thousand dollars to spare.

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