By Greg Scoblete – January 12, 2016 – PDNonline.com
No other camera category has seen as much innovation and novelty as the mirrorless market over the past several years, and the latest crop of models are a testament to that. They’re driving forward not only new features but more compact designs targeted at filmmakers just as much as photographers. Here are some of our recent favorites.
RICOH PENTAX QS-1
The QS-1 earns the distinction of being the least expensive mirrorless of the bunch. It sports a 12-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 3.2-inch LCD and 1080 HD video recording at 30 fps. The movie mode on the QS-1 has been upgraded from previous models with the addition of Continuous AF mode, which lets you track a moving subject during motion recording. This feature won’t work with every Q-series lens, however, such as the 06 Telephoto. For the fashion conscious, the camera is offered in 40 (count ‘em) color combinations for grip and body. The exterior has a synthetic leather front panel as well, a first for the Q series.
SONY A7R II
The big update to Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera starts with the sensor, which is now a 42.4-megapixel backside illuminated CMOS imager. According to Sony, it’s the world’s first full-frame sensor to offer backside illumination. As you’d expect, it’s capable of very high sensitivities, up to ISO 102,400 with a native range of 100-25,600. Sony also quickened the autofocus, improving the AF response by 40 percent over the original A7R by using 399 focal plane phase detection AF points and 25 contrast AF points. In tandem with new motion detection algorithms, the A7R II can reach 5 frames per second continuous shooting with AF tracking engaged. It uses the same five-axis image stabilization that was introduced in the A7 II with 4.5 stops of stabilization. On the video front, the A7R II can record 4K video (3840×2160) in Super 35mm format by using the full sensor readout. You also have the option to record 4K using the full width of the 35mm sensor. You’ll also enjoy clean HDMI out, time code and the ability to record in S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut for post-process color grading. The A7R II has Wi-Fi, NFC and a tilting 3.2-inch display, too. New firmware, released in mid-October, gives A7R II users the option of shooting an uncompressed, 14-bit RAW file.
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