**** New Technology Report *** New Hasselblad camera with 100 megapixel sensor
New Hasselblad camera with 100
New Panasonic GX85 mirrorless camera,
10 things that make the new Pentax K1
unique among DSLR cameras:
Inside is a 100-megapixel CMOS sensor
If you’re one of those internet commenters who loves to complain about medium format digital cameras being overkill, then get your commenting fingers ready. The Hasselblad H6D-100c has a 100-megapixel CMOS sensor and now shoots 4K video as well.
This actually isn’t the first 100-megapixel medium format rig we’ve seen, with thePhase One XF having been around for a while now, but the two are noticeably different cameras.
The H6D-100c promises 15-stops of dynamic range (DSLRs tend to fall in the 13 stop range, with exceptions of course) and can capture up to 1.5 frames per second for a sustained amount of time. That might not seem fast when we’re so used to hearing about cameras like the Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 that are capable of 14+ fps, but you have to consider the actual amount of data that’s being thrown around with these 100-megapixel files.
That uptick in speediness is a result of a complete overhaul of the components inside the H6D-100c. It has a new processor and updated software to help it move things along. The sensor itself is actually physically bigger than the lower-resolution models, checking in at 53.4x40mm.
The back of the camera has a 3-inch touchscreen display with 920K dots of resolution, which is pretty standard stuff. It has a USB-C connection, which should move data extremely quickly. There are also two memory card slots now, one of which is a CFast slot for high-speed transfers. The other is a standard SD.
The H6D-100c also shoots regular HD and UHD 4K video footage in a proprietary raw format that has to be converted using Phocus 3.0. Regular footage can be capture in H.264, but you’ll presumably lose out on some of that fidelity by doing so.
To buy it will cost you about as much as a nice mid-sized sedan, but it sure does look sweet.
The latest mirrorless camera from Panasonic shoots 4K in a small body
The Panasonic GX8 is a pretty awesome little camera and now it has a sibling that comes with many advanced features, but a smaller price tag. The new Panasonic GX85 comes with a slightly odd name, as well as a 16-megapixel Live MOS, Micro Four-Thirds sensor. There’s no built-in AA filter, which Panasonic claims will maximize the resolution that comes through in each image.
The GX85 is also equipped with 4K video capture at up to 30 fps. It’s not a surprising move since Panasonic also sells 4K TVs, but it is nice to see UHD capture trickling more and more down the product lines.
The GX85 uses two types of image stabilization, including the 5-axis built-in stabilization in concert with the stabilization offered by OIS lenses. The resulting system provides up to 4.5-stops of stabilization when hand-holding.
The LVF Live View Finder has 2,764 dots of resolution and covers 100% of the camera’s field of view. The screen is a 3-inch LCD with 1,040K dots of resolution and the ability to rotate.
The GX85 has built-in wifi, a max ISO of 25,600, and a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter to make the make the whole thing more efficient.
It will be available in May for $799 with the 12-32mm kit lens.
At first glance, the Pentax K-1 catches the eye thanks to key features like its full-frame sensor, ISO 204800, pixel shift resolution, built-in 5-axis stabilization, backwards lens compatibility, and so on.
But what really makes the K-1 special? Let's take a look beyond the obvious to discover things that make the K-1 is a true photographer's camera.
Outdoor-Friendly Monitor Brightness Adjustment
When shooting in bright sunlight, a camera's LCD monitor can often be hard to see. Similarly, at night, the screen's backlight alone can be blinding or distracting.
In anticipation of these conditions, the "down" button on the K-1's four-way controller is now customizable. By default, it provides quick access to a new outdoor brightness setting that can dramatically dim or brighten the screen backlight. Even in the harshest light, the LCD is easily viewable when the +2 setting is enabled.
This setting can also be added to the control panel.
Outdoor View screen brightness changes
When it comes to outdoor viewing, with the K-1 you no longer have to adjust the intensity of the backlight through the setup menu, which was a slow, tedious, and less effective process on earlier bodies. Of course, the K-1 retains these additional screen settings should you wish to fine tune the default backlight intensity or color hue.
The Multi-Way Tiltable Monitor
The K-1's LCD screen is uniquely hinged to provide 90-degree tilting capabilities in addition to about 30 degrees of sideways deflection and a small amount of rotation. Four movable titanium rods let you pull the monitor away from the camera and angle it to your liking.
This design gives you more flexibility than the 645Z's tilting monitor, and is faster to work with than a traditional articulating screen such as the one found on the Pentax K-S2.
Pentax K-1 with LCD extended and tilted (Click to enlarge)
Of course, the monitor is still fully weather sealed, and the titanium rods can easily bear the weight of the camera plus a heavy lens (though it might perhaps not be the best idea to suspend something like a 600mm F4 lens using the screen).
The K-1 takes things to the next level when it comes to working in the dark. Pentax didn't go with this screen design just for the sake of tilting alone. Built-in LEDs behind the monitor can be activated at the push of a button to light up the back of the camera and make the controls easier to see. Since you can move the screen around, the lights can be pointed in a specific direction.
Four LEDs are mounted on the back side of the screen
When the screen is stowed in its default position, the light travels through the inside of the camera to light up the SD card slot and remote control port.
Lens mount illumination
Finally, a light just below the prism housing illuminates the lens mount to make swapping lenses easier, or to allow you to see the aperture ring on manual lenses.
All of the K-1's lighting features can be used even while the camera is off.
Improved Viewfinder and Electronic Level
Gone are the days of the electronic level taking the place of the EV scale in the viewfinder. In addition to having its own dedicated display for the horizontal level, the viewfinder now also shows the vertical tilt near the right edge of the frame.
Pentax K-1 Viewfinder Diagram
In addition, the viewfinder itself has been upgraded with a LCD overlay that's highly customizable. You can choose which of the many components (shown above) you want to enable.
Although this is the first time a viewfinder of this type has been fitted on a Pentax camera, owners of other high-end DSLR systems will find it to be similar to what they're already accustomed to.
The K-1's front and rear e-dials are supplemented by a third multi-function control wheel and settings dial. The third wheel can be configured to control the ISO, exposure compensation, burst speed, bracketing, HDR strength, stabilization, crop mode, and wi-fi.
This dial lets the photographer tailor the camera controls to his or her exact needs, depending on the current shooting conditions. In addition, it allows the user to bypass the rear LCD and adjust settings that were previously only available via the main menu.
Customizable Control Panel
The ever-increasing number of settings and features in modern DSLRs can eventually backfire and cause excessive menu clutter. To counter this, the K-1 allows the user to customize each of the 25 tiles in the Control Panel. This convenient improvement has the potential to greatly speed up everyday shooting.
K-1 control panel customization
A few handy new JPEG processing options have made their way into the Control Panel, too. Existing Pentax users will find that the K-1 has all the familiar Custom Image, white balance, and HDR settings found on other models. But the K-1 takes things to the next level by offering variable strength clarity enhancement, skin tone correction, and automatic correction of artifacts when in pixel shift mode.
Fewer Button Presses
Small tweaks have been made to the K-1's sub-menus to reduce the overall number of button pushes needed to accomplish everyday tasks. For example, bracketing is now much easier to adjust through the drive mode menu. Furthermore, in addition to all the new flexibility afforded by the third control wheel, the K-1's Fx1 (RAW) and Fx2 (down) buttons can control more functions.
Two Ways to Tether
The K-1 is the first Pentax to support tethered shooting using both a USB cord and Wi-Fi. Wired tethering with a PC is possible via Image Transmitter 2 (sold separately), while the free Image Sync app enables wireless control, live view, and playback on Android and iOS devices. Since the K-1 has built-in Wi-Fi, no additional accessories are needed.
Image Sync Logo
An Adobe Lightroom plugin is currently being developed and will offer functionality similar to what is currently supported by the Pentax 645Z. While the features of this plugin and tethering software are fairly basic in comparison to what Canon and Nikon support, they should be sufficient for everyday studio use.
While the K-1 is not marketed as a camera specifically designed for Astrophotography, it certainly deserves to be.
Thanks to its built-in GPS module and the Shake Reduction system, the K-1 can track the motion stars for up to 300 seconds (Astrotracer mode) without the need for external accessories. Apart from it and K-3 II, all other Pentax bodies require the O-GPS1 hotshoe unit, which is sold separately.
Freeze the movement of stars with the Astrotracer
In addition to standard intervalometer and composite shooting modes, the K-1 also introduces the Star Steam mode, which can progressively stack star trails on top of a well-exposed foreground image.
Star Stream mode
When used properly, this feature can completely eliminate the need for post-processing software to create good star trail timelapses.
Finally, the utility of the K-1's LED illumination cannot be overlooked while you're out shooting the stars in a remote area. Swapping lenses, changing settings, or inserting a new memory card should be a breeze.
Improved Flash Sync Speed
Through the K-1, Pentax engineers have increased the maximum flash sync speed for the first time in over a decade. The K-1 can sync at up to 1/200s, up from 1/180s on other models. Note that the K-1 has no on-board flash, but it does support the full lineup of Pentax P-TTL flashes and can be used with older manual units in manual mode.
While the K-1 is not industry-leading in terms of flash sync speed or third-party support, a step forward in this area is always welcome. If you're interested in high-speed strobes, check out the Priolite system.
The Pentax K-1 has seen practical improvements in just about every key area pertaining to still photography. With so many features that enhance usability in the field, the K-1 is not only the most versatile Pentax K-mount body to date, but also unique among full-frame DSLRs currently on the market. Who can say no to all these features in a 36-megapixel full-frame body priced below $1800?
That's it for this week in new products and information. The new Pentax K1 mentioned in the last article, has been shown before, but, the features of this particular camera have just come to light, so I thought I would post some of the incredible features of this camera.
* Hasselblad information: Courtesy of Popular Photography
* Panasonic GX85 information: Courtesy of Popular Photography