Mirrorless Camera News and Commentary

News and commentary about the mirrorless camera world (latest on top). Hover or tap on News/Views in the menu bar above to see the full list of recent articles as well as folders containing all older ones dating back to 2011.

New Fujifilm Lenses

Fujifilm had a lot to say about lenses yesterday, introducing the 8-16mm f/2.8 and 200mm f/2 lenses that had been on their roadmap. They updated the roadmap to include three new lenses, including a 35mm f/1 (but only coming in 2020). 

The more important aspect of what Fujifilm said, however, came in a press release from corporate: the current lineup is producing lens sales that are growing at 20% per annum, and Fujifilm is investing in new plant facilities at the Taiwa factory in Japan to increase production capacity of lenses by as much as 70% by 2020. 

I'm sure that some Web sites are going to pick up on that press release and make claims for Fujifilm's dominating mirrorless. Two caveats are right there in the press release, though: (1) the 70% increase only occurs if and when all the new facilities go operational; and (2) apparently Fujifilm is moving some of the video lenses there, as they specifically mention "other [than GF and XF] interchangeable lenses." 

Curiously, Fujifilm also mentioned another lens in the press release that isn't on their official roadmap, a 305mm f/2, though it isn't clear if this is destined for the XF series cameras or not.

The Nikon 1 Discontinuance Continues

PA LehighPkwy 5-2007 CP500 1229

Nikon's labyrinthian Web presence hasn't fully caught up with itself. On the nikon-image.com Web site, which is primarily the Japanese subsidiary's online presence to home country users, the Nikon 1 cameras, lenses, and accessories have now been removed from the current product list to the "old" (discontinued) list. 

On the imaging.nikon.com Web site (and most of the subsidiary sites) the Nikon 1 products still appear. On the NikonUSA Web site, the Nikon 1 products still appear but if you try to order them from Nikon's store, they all indicate they're out of inventory. 

Sadly, we're at the end of the Nikon 1 life cycle, which I predicted well over a year ago. Indeed, I got into arguments with loyal Nikon 1 users over my contention at that time. The facts, though, are inarguable. Nothing new has been announced in that lineup since April 2015, so we've had more than three years in this death cycle spin down. At the original pace of development, we should have seen a new camera in early 2017, or new lenses in 2016. Instead we saw a slow wind down where Nikon just went silent and kept selling the inventory they had.

The plant in China that makes Nikon 1 products began closing last year. I don't believe any new inventory was really produced in 2017. Nikon simply kept their prices stable and let the product eventually sell out throughout most of the world. Here in the US, I know of no one with any significant new Nikon 1 inventory, though you may be able to find a random dealer or two that still has something on the shelf.

As I've done with Samsung, I'll leave the Nikon 1 information in the data pages on this site for reference. When Nikon returns to mirrorless with a different system, I'll open up a new section for that. 

Fujifilm's Summer Sale

Fujifilm USA has just put quite a bit of their mirrorless product lineup on sale, and I thought you should know about it, as a few of those items are on my recommended lists and the savings aren't trivial.

  • Entry level: the X-A5 and X-T100 both get a US$200 discount if you buy with a 50-230mm lens. This puts both cameras with a 24-345mm equivalent lens set at well under the US$1000 mark (US$800 for the X-A5, US$900 for the X-T100). 
  • Upper level: The X-T2 body gets a US$500 discount and the X-H1 body gets a US$250 discount.
  • Top level: The medium format GFX50s body gets a US$650 discount and the lenses for it get discounts ranging from US$350 to US$550.

These are all good products for their category, and the discounts make it far easier to consider them. Curiously, I've come to like the X-A5 better than the EOS M6, but still prefer the EOS M5 over the X-T100 (review coming). Interesting how small differences in features/controls/performance can make big differences in how well you like something.

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Sony Can Do

Update: Oops. The 3.0 update has been pulled by Sony temporarily while they investigate some issues. 

At Sony Kando 2.0, Sony staff, including engineers from Japan, were listening to the Sony Ambassadors, the press, and the customers who had signed up. 

One thing some people didn't understand about the Winter Olympics was why so few A9's appeared to be in use. Well, one reason for that is that many of the big agencies use serial numbers to track who shot what, and the Sony cameras don't write the serial number into EXIF data! 

Guess what? Today Sony announced the 3.0 firmware update for the Sony A9 and it has a new menu option: Write Serial Number. Why we need a menu option for that, I don't know. I suppose some might say being able to leave it off is a privacy option, but I just hear no one asking for that. 

Other things that Sony added that were clearly suggested by the early A9 sports users include the ability to add the AF Track Sens options to a Custom Key. Indeed, a lot of the changes to the camera's firmware all center around autofocus and autofocus performance. 

Now we just need Sony to spend a little more time on the physical ergonomics of the camera, and they'll have a very competent competitor to the Canon/Nikon top DSLRs. Well, okay, one more thing: Sony's firmware installation procedure is still problematic, particularly on a recent macOS computer.

Meanwhile, Sony has officially launched the 400mm f/2.8 GM. The expected price was met at US$11,999, but the lens is significantly lighter than many expected, fast 102.2 ounces (2895g). 

Complete Site Update

Once a year I like to go through a complete page-by-page refresh of each site, checking for various issues, inconsistencies, needed corrections, and improvements that can be made. That takes a bit of time, as this site has grown to about 1500 pages.

Sansmirror.com has now gone through that annual physical. Here are the changes you might notice:

  • Cleaned up the style sheet and fixed page margin and other CSS issues. 
  • Moved menus to top of display, and simplified them; added home page to menus.
  • Fixed site search.
  • Updated the privacy policies.
  • Updated a few articles (e.g. the 3 travel camera kit article).
  • Cleaned up article formatting throughout. Reviews should be more stylistically the same, for example. Breadcrumb links (just under page title) should appear more consistently throughout.
  • Removed ratings from old camera reviews and added information about whether camera is current at end of review. Added year to any "recommended" comments.
  • Reorganized Articles section so it isn't a long scrolling list of articles.
  • Updated the Camera FAQ.
  • All camera data pages now have link to lens section for that camera.
  • Updated the Lens FAQ.
  • Updated and checked the Other Mirrorless Sites of Interest links.
  • Updated B&H and affiliate links; added links for products that have become available at B&H
  • Removed the "pre-order" language
  • Fixed Page Last Updated dates
  • Added missing Samyang, Sigma lenses to database
  • Fixed incorrect B&H ad links
  • All pages now have the correct date on the bottom for the last time they were modified.
  • Changed a lot of image sizing so as to produce fewer re-size artifacts when you change window size (or device).
  • The photo gallery is back (photos taken with mirrorless cameras)
  • Began using m1 for Mark I, m2 for Mark II, etc.
  • Transitioned to https. (Update your bookmarks to https:sansmirror.com)

Note: This site is designed to be compatible with the following browsers:

  • Desktop: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 9+
  • Mobile: iOS 6+, Android, Windows

You might notice that the Recommended dates for lenses sometimes end (e.g. Recommended (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)). The usual reason that happens is either than higher pixel count sensors started to reveal weaknesses more easily, or better lenses came along. Likewise, for camera bodies (typically because the sensor evolution). I'll try to make sure each year and go back and re-evaluate those dates. The first year in any recommendation will be the year I first used/reviewed the product.

2018 Mirrorless Camera News/Views

Mirrorless camera news and views for 2018. The stories in these folders were front page news on sansmirror during the time periods indicated:

2017 Mirrorless Camera News/Views

2016 Mirrorless Camera News/Views

2015 Mirrorless Camera News/Views

2014 Mirrorless Camera News/Views

text and images © 2018 Thom Hogan
portions Copyright 1999-2017 Thom Hogan-- All Rights Reserved
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