Quarter one of 2020 has been busy in the camera industry as there have been several new releases to get excited about!
(click here for my thoughts on the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III).
It has certainly been a busy time for Backcountry Journeys, as well, as we have released a number of exciting new photo tours (see Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda and Kauai: The Garden Isle) in addition to our brand new Lightroom and Photoshop classroom workshops.
Time is moving fast, yet the news doesn’t stop for us, and as such, I wanted to do a quick roundup of some of the more interesting recent releases. Canon has made a splash with the recent unveiling of a new mirrorless model and RF mount. Certainly good news for them following relatively industry-wide disappointment with their first mirrorless offering. Nikon has expanded its lens offerings by two for its Z-mount (mirrorless). Nikon has also revamped its flagship sports/wildlife camera with the announced release of the Nikon D6. Did I mention a new D7xx camera is coming too in the D780?
So yeah, it’s been a busy month already.
In my opinion, Canon came up short with the EOS R. Although both Nikon and Canon failed to outdo Sony with their first iteration mirrorless models, I felt Canon really let down its market base. Weaker dynamic range, noise handling, and lack of IBIS all being factors.
But now, Canon just announced its new mirrorless in the works, the EOS R5. And honestly, it looks to be a powerhouse of a camera and more of what we originally expected from Canon. There is a lot we don’t know yet about this camera, but Canon has definitely leaked some info in an official announcement that took place earlier this week.
- New CMOS sensor (possibly 45.0 MP, no one knows yet)
- High-speed continuous shooting – 20 fps via electronic shutter, 12 fps via mechanical shutter
- 8K video capability and higher quality 4K video
- In-body stabilization that works in conjunction with lens stabilization
- Dual media card slots
- Support for Canon’s new cloud platform
Canon obviously leaked specs for the most impressive features of this camera – high-speed continuous shooting ability, IBIS, and 8K video capability are all extremely impressive. Let the wait begin for the rest of the specs to be released, but this looks like a real winner. The camera is rumored to be released in July 2020, but that’s speculation. We will keep you up to date with this one, but it looks exciting!
New RF Lenses
Canon also announced new RF lenses and some teleconverters. One is a new kit lens and the other is an impressive 100-500mm lens for wildlife/sports. Many have been waiting for some RF glass with a reach and the wait should be over with this new 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1. Of course, more super telephotos will be released, but I really like the range here. I’m interested to see the size and dimensions of the lens, but I even like 100-500mm for landscape photos as well.
I mentioned it in a previous article, but even though Canon fell short with their first mirrorless bodies, their innovation in lens design is something to watch. Canon also announced an RF 1.4x and 2x extender…so definitely looking to open up the longer ranges for their mirrorless line, probably to get wildlife and sports shooters to adopt the new system.
Those waiting for super-telephoto glass for the EOS R system have finally had their patience rewarded. Sure to please sports and wildlife shooters, the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM, Extender RF 1.4x and Extender RF 2x have just been announced.
Many RF lenses are extremely expensive and that has been a criticism of the new line. Canon combated that by releasing the new RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM. Although fairly slow, highlights are its price at $300 and its lightweight at 13.9oz. Some quality has definitely been sacrificed, but the lens is essentially a “kit” lens and allows users to use the new mirrorless line, while not having to spend $2,000 on an RF lens to start shooting.
In addition to the two lenses, Canon confirmed that five additional RF lenses will be released this year. So buckle up Canon users, there’s going to be a lot in store for 2020.
Nikon D6 – $6,496.95 Preorder
Nikon’s flagship D5 has been updated and the D6 I scheduled to be released. Preorders are available now. Canon targeted speed with the EOS-1D X, but it looks like Nikon focused on the best possible autofocus system and smooth workflow options. Let’s look at the big updates.
- The most powerful AF system in Nikon history with 105 densely packed cross-type focus points
The AF system in the D6 is new. It features a 105-point AF system, with all points utilizing cross-type sensors, which means all can be selected. The new focus point layout and the use of a triple-sensor arrangement for each focus point allow for AF coverage that is about 1.6x denser than that of the D5. The D6 also enables pinpoint focusing on the intended section of a subject with roughly 3x the number of selectable cross-type focus points as the D5. In addition, the popular group-area AF option from the D5 has been improved with support for 17 custom arrangements.
The D6 also will have excellent low-light AF performance. The center focus point works down to -4.5 EV and the others to -4 EV. In addition, the new AF engine in the D6 makes it feasible for all focus points to work to keep focus, even with high-speed continuous shooting at 14 fps. Tracking has also been improved over the D5.
- New functions for a more efficient post-shooting workflow
Per Nikon, the D6 supports the same 1000BASE-T Ethernet standard as the D5, with an approximate 15% increase in transmission speed. The camera also supports a number of options for wireless networking. In addition to conventional wireless networking using the WT-6/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (sold separately), the D6 also offers built-in 2.4- and 5-GHz Wi-Fi. Support for GPS satellites, GLONASS satellites, and Quasi-Zenith satellites enables accurate date, time, and location information acquisition with shooting.
- Superior image quality and reliability that allows users to concentrate on shooting
The D6 is 20.8 megapixels and features Nikon’s EXPEED 6 image-processing engine. ISO is expandable from 100 to 102400. Noise handling and image quality are improved per Nikon, who stated that white balance will be improved as well as sharpness and clarity. The D6 also supports the recording of 4K UHD video.
- Excellent build quality
The D6 is constructed of the same magnesium alloy as the D5, guaranteeing a strong and durable, dust- and water-resistant body. The D6 is prepared and ready for difficult shooting conditions. The button layout has been refined too for efficient use.
Nikon D780 – $2,296.95 In-stock
- 24.5 Megapixels
- 7 FPS Continuous Shooting
- 12 FPS Continuous Shooting (Electronic shutter)
- 100-51,200 ISO Expandable to 204,800
- 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 at 30/25/24p
- Wi-Fi Built-In
The Nikon D750 was a wildly popular camera and the update is finally here in the new D780. Subtle improvements have been made and the D780 should continue to be one of the popular cameras in Nikon’s DSLR line. There’s also a trade-up promotion going on with Nikon right now, which is something to look into if you are interested in the new camera.
Nikon’s new D780 features a 24.5 MP full-frame CMOS sensor that delivers a broad ISO range of 100-51200. It can record Ultra HD 4K video at up to 30 fps in full-frame as well. Autofocus is greatly improved, the new system has 51-point phase-detection AF with 15 cross-type points.
Users also have access to a 273-point Hybrid AF system in live view and video modes as well. A 3.2”, 2.36m-dot tilting touchscreen LCD allows for easy use and a beautiful display of live view as well as.
Two New Z-Lenses
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR – $896.95
The NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR is all about versatility. Nikon is just starting to release some lenses for the Z system that actually have some reach. This is one and the 70-200 f/2.8 is on its way. This lens is obviously much slower but offers a wider range with 24-200mm. The variable aperture also allowed Nikon to put that huge range of focal lengths into a very small package. Like all of the new Z series lenses, this one is lightweight for what you get.
I personally have been very impressed with the Nikon mirrorless lenses and this should be a great travel lens.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S – $1,046.95
20mm is a very popular prime length among all users. It offers a nice focal length for many different genres and it looks like this will be a great lens for the Z system. Combining the unique, ultra-wide perspective of a 20mm prime with the speed an f/1.8 maximum aperture, the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S looks promising.
Nikon has designed the lens with video in mind too as it has video enhancements that ensure silent autofocusing without breathing, and smooth aperture and ISO control.
Matt Meisenheimer is a photographer based in Wisconsin. His artistry revolves around finding unique compositions and exploring locations that few have seen. He strives to capture those brief moments of dramatic light and weather, which make our grand landscapes so special. Matt loves the process of photography – from planning trips and scouting locations, taking the shot in-field, to post-processing the final image. Matt is an active adventurer and wildlife enthusiast as well. He graduated with a degree in wildlife ecology and worked in Denali National Park and Mount Rainier National Park as a biologist. He also spent 6 months working in the deserts of Namibia before finding his path in photography. Matt’s passion for the wilderness has taken him to many beautiful places around the world. As a former university teaching assistant, Matt is passionate about instruction. It is his goal to give his students the technical and creative knowledge they need to achieve their own photographic vision. He truly enjoys working with photographers on a personal level and helping them reach their goals. You can see Matt’s work and portfolio on his webpage at www.meisphotography.com
Don’t Miss the Next Session of BCJ “Live”
Image Review: Landscape Edition
with Matt Meisenheimer & Kenton Krueger
Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2021 at 11 am (Mountain)