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June 8, 2012

New Camera News and New Kenko E-Mount Extension Tubes!!

Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera With Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens (Black)

We had some pretty big news yesterday from Canon and Leica as it pertains to cameras!! Canon announced their latest EOS Rebel series camera and it’s tagged with the T4i label. Canon stepped up to the plate with this model I must say as it sports some decent improvements over it’s predecessor. It also incorporates a ton of new “software” features similar to what Sony has been doing for years now. AutoHDR, Auto Noise Reduction, things like that. It’s a smart move on Canon’s part in my opinion as that is one of the reasons Sony’s are so appealing to people. Canon is also advertising that this camera has full time AF while recording video. This is true, but you have to use live mode and the AF performance is limited to the Live View AF system.¬† Not nearly the same as the Sony Translucent Mirror technology Full time Phase detection AF while recording video ūüėȬ† A nice effort from Canon though nonetheless. What stands out on this new T4i model to me mostly though is that all the AF sensors are the Cross Point style which usually only found on the higher end models. Usually Canon adds 1 cross-point in the center or something, but to include all 9 as X-point is a really nice feature and should boost a nice performance gain no doubt. It also has a swivel screen which is a nice touch!

Interestingly Canon priced the T4i at $850, and the Sony A57 just got discounted to $650!! So, for $200 dollars less, you get a better more powerful camera that can really take HD video and focus at the same time! The canon has a slightly higher res sensor at 18mp, but it’s the same as the previous model and not as good as the Sony Exmor sensor.

Check out My Hands on Review of the Sony A57 Here>>

Leica also announced a New more affordable non-interchangable lens Range Finder style camera called the Leica X2!!¬† Featuring a Huge APS-C sized sensor, just like the Sony Nex cameras, and a Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens. The Leica is going for ~$2000 and I must say that is a bargain price for that company!! Their M series cameras starts around $5000 or so if your wondering. The Leica X2 is a really high camera catered to the hard core street photographer and/or photojournalist looking for a very well built, high quality, yet small form factor camera with the best image quality possible.¬† It’s available in Silver and black, and interestingly uses the Adobe .DNG raw format for the raw files making importing to lightroom cake.


New Camera Details

Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Camera (Body Only)Product Highlights

  • STM Lens Support for Quiet AF in Movies
  • 18.0MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch Screen LCD
  • ISO 100-12800, Expandable to 25600
  • Full HD Movie Mode with Continuous AF
  • 5.0 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • 9-Point All Cross-Type AF System
  • Multi Shot Noise Reduction
  • Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S Lenses

Full Canon T4i Overview

The Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Camera (Body Only) is an ideal camera for any level photographer; combining both high quality imaging power and a wealth of functions that enable you to create beautiful imagery with ease. This 18.0 megapixel DSLR features an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor for fast operation and tremendous low light performance to an expanded ISO of 25600. A quickened 5.0fps continuous shooting ability and fast 9-point cross-type AF system are also supported by the performance of the DIGIC 5 processor. This combination of technologies also results in tremendous image quality with smooth color gradations and clarity for both images and videos.

Full HD 1080p video is supported and features a full-time Movie Servo AF system for continuous auto focusing while using live view to record movies. When using one of Canon’s STM lenses, ultra-quiet and smooth performance is possible for fluid HD movie making. Additionally full manual sound and exposure control is supported, giving you a wide range of controls for handling your videos. For monitoring of videos and still imaging, a 3.0″ Vari-angle touch screen LCD is incorporated and flips out and tilts for viewing from a wide variety of angles. The touch screen operation is highly intuitive and even allows you to control your focus points from the LCD.

The Scene Intelligent Auto Mode combines the essential auto modes with an intelligent EOS Scene Detection System to quickly and automatically determine the situation type you are working in and apply the necessary adjustments to render the scene correctly. Once the image has been captured, it will also apply enhancing techniques in order to improve skin tones and overall image coloration. Other creative modes include an HDR Backlight Control mode for improving the effective exposure value range of your image; a Handheld Night Scene mode which utilizes multi shot noise reduction techniques to give you improved low-light performance without the noise of high ISOs; and seven different creative filters to apply unique effects directly to your images in-camera.

The Rebel T4i is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards and Canon’s full line of EF and EF-S lenses.

STM Lens Support
When using one of Canon’s STM lenses, Movie Servo AF will take full advantage of the stepping motor technology for smooth, quiet continuous auto focusing. This benefit is especially noticeable when recording HD video and proves to create a more fluid movie-making experience.
18.0 Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
The 18.0MP APS-C sensor provides high image quality and rich files exhibiting smooth color gradations. The maximum resolution affords plenty of room to make well-sized enlargements or crop into your images to focus on the details. The APS-C size sensor creates an effective 1.6x field of view when compared to full-frame 35mm format.
DIGIC 5 Image Processor
The DIGIC 5 image processor also helps to provide excellent image quality and high speed across the entire camera. This expedited processing helps to increase low-light sensitivity from ISO 100 to 12800 (and to an expanded ISO of 25600) while effectively reducing noise levels. The processor also supports 14-bit A/D conversion for richer, more vivid imagery.
Enhanced EOS Full HD Movie Mode
The T4i features full HD movie recording capabilities in the 1080/30p, 24p, 25p; 720/60p, 50p; and 480/30p, 25p formats. The Movie Servo AF system provides continuous autofocus tracking of moving subjects during filming and when using live view. Manual exposure control and audio level adjustment are also supported. Video Snapshot is a unique mode that captures short video clips and automatically combines them into one file, giving you a highlights album that requires no post-production or further editing.
3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch Screen Clear View LCD Monitor II
This 3.0″ LCD monitor has a high resolution of 1,040,000-dots for high resolution monitoring and playback of your imagery. The Vari-angle capabilities allow this screen to flip out to the side then tilt up and down for use at a variety of angles, including front-facing for use with self-portraits. The touch screen functionality gives an intuitive experience when using this camera and even allows you to modify your focus positioning based on touch alone. The Clear View coating gives a great deal of clarity, even in bright sunlight, and is also smudge-resistant.
9-Point Cross-Type Autofocus System
The 9-point cross type autofocus system provides quick and accurate results amongst all shooting modes. A high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 center point gives the greatest accuracy and is utilized in spot metering as well as average metering modes. The Hybrid CMOS AF system allows for high speed focusing during shooting when using live view.
High Speed 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
The Rebel T4i is capable of capturing up to 5.0 full-resolution images per second when shooting in continuous modes. This speed ensures you won’t miss the shot when working in fast-paced environments such as sporting events.
Multi Shot Noise Reduction
Multi shot noise reduction improves low-light shooting by essentially overlaying multiple, separate exposures on top of one another to build the image density and preserve detail. This mode effectively simulates high ISO performance without the increase of noise that goes along with it.
Scene Intelligent Auto Mode
This intelligent mode combines numerous technologies (Picture Style Auto, Automatic Lighting Optimizer, Automatic White Balance, Autofocus, and Automatic Exposure) into one simple mode, allowing you to make optimal images with ease. The EOS Scene Detection system can automatically determine the shooting conditions you are in and apply these technologies to create the ideal exposure. The camera then further analyzes the resulting images and applies a series of enhancing features in order to better render colors and skin tones.
Advanced Imaging Features
Several image features allow you to manipulate the scenes in a variety of creative ways. Handheld Night Scene mode utilizes the multi shot noise reduction mode to allow you to shoot in low lighting without the necessity of a tripod. HDR Backlight Control mode emulates high dynamic range techniques and extends the visual parameters of the image to include more shadow and highlight details in the image. 7 different Creative Filters allow you to apply artistic effects directly to your images in-camera, including Art Bold Effect and Water Painting Effect.
Lens Aberration Correction
An automatic corrective system can be employed in order to help reduce the effects of different lens aberrations. If there is light falloff detected towards the edges of the frame, the camera will automatically correct for this by evening out the exposure. Additionally, a number of popular Canon lens’ data is pre-programmed into the camera so it can quickly and automatically register settings according to the lens you are using.
Feature Guide
A specific, helpful guide is integrated into the camera in order to help you learn about and determine which image settings to use and how they affect your imagery. This feature is enabled automatically, but can be disabled through the menu.
GPS Compatible
The Rebel T4i is compatible with the optional GP-E2 GPS receiver. When connected to the hot shoe or through the accessory terminal, the receiver is capable of recording locational data to the metadata of your files for plotting to maps and reviewing your journey at home.
JPEG Resizing
You can conveniently resize your JPEG images to smaller formats in-camera. Keeping with the same aspect ratio and without modifying the original image, a new, smaller image will be saved to your memory card for expedited online use.
Photobook Setup
You can intuitively sequence and specify your images in-camera for printing out into a photobook. Your editing will be copied to a separate folder, ready for printing once at a computer.
Image Rating
For more expedited navigation through your images, you can rate your images on a scale from 1 to 5. Once images have been rated and sorted, browsing is a much more fluent experience.
SD, SDHC, SDXC Memory Card Compatibility
The Rebel T4i is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards, including Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards.
Canon EF and EF-S Lens Compatibility
This camera is compatible with the full line of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses.

Full Canon T4i Specs

Camera Type Digital SLR with Interchangeable lenses
Lens Mount Canon EF
Camera Format Canon APS-C (1.6x Crop Factor)
Resolution Effective Pixels: 18.0 Megapixels
Max Resolution: 17.9 MP: 5184 x 3456
Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 22.3 x 14.9 mm
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MOV
Audio: Linear PCM
Bit Depth 14-bit
Noise Reduction Yes
Memory Card Type SD
AV Recording
Video Recording Yes, NTSC/PAL
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Video Clip Length Up to 8GB or 22 Min
Audio Recording With Video, Stereo
Focus Control
Focus Type Auto & Manual
Focus Mode Single-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M)
Autofocus Points 9 1
Viewfinder Type Pentamirror
Viewfinder Coverage 95%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.85x
Diopter Adjustment – 3.0 to +1.0 m
Display Screen 3″¬†Rear Touchscreen¬†¬†¬†LCD (1,040,000)
Screen Coverage 100%
Live View Yes
Exposure Control
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-12800 (High Sensitivity Mode: 100-25600)
Shutter Type: Electronic & Mechanical
Speed: 30 Р1/4000 sec 2
Remote Control RC-1, RC-5, or RC-6 (Optional)
Metering Method Spot metering, Center-weighted average metering, Average metering, Multi-zone metering
Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in .3 EV steps)
White Balance Modes Auto, Cloudy, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (White), Kelvin, Shade, Tungsten
Built-in Flash Yes: Auto, FE Lock, Off
Max Sync Speed 1 / 200 sec
Continuous Shooting Up to 5.0 fps
Dedicated Flash System eTTL
External Flash Connection Hot Shoe, PC Terminal
Shutter Lag 0.075 Seconds
Self Timer 10 sec, 2 sec
Connectivity AV Output, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0
Wi-Fi Capable (With Optional Transmitter) Yes
Battery 1x LP-E8  Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.2VDC, 1120mAh
AC Power Adapter ACK-E8 (Optional)
Operating/Storage Temperature Operating
32 to 104 ¬įF (0 to 40 ¬įC)
Humidity: 0 – 85%
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.3 x 3.9 x 3.1″¬†/¬†13.46 x 9.91 x 7.87 cm
Weight 18.30 oz / 519 g

Price: ~$849.00

Pre-Order Now!!  @ BHPhoto, Amazon, Adorama


Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera With Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens

Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera With Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens (Black)Product Highlights

  • APS-C Size (23.6 x 15.8mm) CMOS Sensor
  • 16.1 Megapixels
  • Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. Lens
  • Automatic and Manual Controls
  • Low Noise and High Dynamic Range
  • Low Light Photography – ISO Up To 12500
  • Live View With 2.7″ Display
  • Lightweight (11.2 oz)
  • Compact (2.7 x 4.9″)
  • Legendary Leica Precision Engineering

Leica X2 Full Overview

The Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera With Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens (Black) is light, compact Leica camera equipped with a 16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor in APS-C format–a format usually only found in much larger DSLR cameras.

The Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. non-interchangeable lens has 8 elements in 6 groups (1 aspheric lens) and enables manual focusing or precise autofocus with automatic exposure, ensuring photographers perfectly exposed, sharp images with a press of the shutter release. Its wide-angle creates sufficient distance when needed and also lets shooters to get in close to pick out the details in a scene.

Its improved CMOS sensor helps to yield low noise levels for effective low-light and indoor photography without a flash, high dynamic range and accurate color differentiation. Sensitivity goes as high as 12500 ISO. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35mm film format, which means the lens has an effective (35mm equivalent) focal length of approximately 35mm.

A 2.7″ LCD with 230,000 pixels and a 100% field of view, almost fills the entire back of the camera and enables the Live Mode and precision focusing. Users can also view and compose their images using either the optical or electronic Leica viewfinder (both optional) which fits into the accessory shoe on top of the camera body.

The camera records both JPEG and DNG file formats and registered owners can download a free copy of Adobe Lightroom to process the camera’s DNG raw files. With legendary Leica precision engineering, the X2 is compact (2.7 x 4.9″) and lightweight (only 11.2 oz), and features a design reminiscent of classic Leica M-series rangefinders.

Large CMOS Sensor
The CMOS image sensor of the Leica X2 in APS-C format is unusually large for such acompact camera. The result: extremely low image noise, high dynamic range, and accurate color differentiation. The combination of an exceedingly large sensor and high-performance lens sets new standards in image quality in the compact camera category.
The Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH.
The Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH is a true Leica non-interchangeable lens with superior optical performance. When seen in terms of 35-mm film format, it has a focal length of 35mm.
The design of the Leica X2 also expresses Leica’s commitment to the essentials, thanks to its compact size and classic finish. Reminiscent of the traditional Leica M-Design, the X2 becomes an instant love affair – not just down to its captivating looks, but also the wonderful feel in your hands. Once held, even for a moment, it becomes difficult to put down. The camera’s robustly engineered, full-metal chassis is reassuringly solid, while its leather trim is comfortable to the touch and provides a perfect grip.
Most Simple Control
For simple snapshots or painstakingly arranged compositions – the Leica X2 is the ideal camera for anyone with a passion for photography in its purest form. That’s because it enables split-second changes between automatic and manual control. The robust dials on the top plate allow easy setting of the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, adjusting white balance, and other imaging parameters, allows photographers to control the look or mood of their images. In live view mode, the generously-sized, high contrast 2.7″ LCD screen offers photographers constant control and a clear and detailed view, even in bright conditions.
2.7″ Display
The bright 2.7″ display of the X2 almost fills the entire back of the camera and reveals the finest details even in bright surroundings.
Live View
The live-view function replaces an optical viewfinder and shows an accurate preview with all essential image information. The Live Mode also makes the X2 particularly versatile for shots taken from unusual perspectives.
Precision Autofocus
The Leica X2’S fast, new autofocus feature enables extremely precise and virtually silent focusing. Perfect for situations where spontaneous reactions are essential to capture the right moment. It adapts flexibly to the situation in hand, for example, with a choice AF focusing segments or face recognition.
Universal Formats
The X2 transforms image data into JPEG files for immediate use or photographers can choose to save images in the Adobe Digital Negative (DNG), a format that allows image-relevant exploitation of all the benefits of the recorded sensor data.
Retractable Flash
The LEICA X2 features a retractable flash, which serves as a main flash but can also be used as a fill-in flash and can be synchronized to the second shutter curtain.
Workflow Solution
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a professional digital workflow solution, is available as an online download free of charge for all Leica X2 customers. It helps keep files organized and can process the X2 DNG raw files.

Leica X2 Full Specs

Resolution Effective: 16.1 Megapixel, Actual Pixels: 16.5 Megapixel
Sensor APS-C (23.6 x 15.8mm) CMOS
File Formats Still Images: DNG, JPEG
Max Resolution 16MP: 4928 x 3264 @ 3:2
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Stabilization None
Lens Leica Elmarit, 8 elements in 6 groups
1 Aspheric
EFL: 24 mm (35mm equivalent: 35 mm)
Aperture: f/2.8 to f/16
Zoom None
Focus Range Normal: 0.98′ (30 cm) – Infinity
Exposure Control
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-12500
Shutter 30 Р1/2000 seconds
Exposure Metering Center-weighted, Multi, Spot
Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in 0.33 EV steps)
White Balance Modes Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Halogen, Manual, Shade 1
Burst Rate Up to 5 fps
Up to 3 fps 2
Interval Recording No
Built-in Flash Yes: 1st Curtain Sync, Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Fill-in, Red-eye Reduction, Second-curtain Sync, Slow Sync
External Flash Connection Hot Shoe
Built-in Memory 110MB
Memory Card Type SD
Viewfinder Type None
Screen 2.7″ LCD¬†Rear Screen (230000 pixels)
Connectivity/System Requirements
Connectivity USB 2.0
HDMI A (Full Size)
Battery BP-DC8 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.88 x 2.72 x 2.03″¬†/¬†124 x 69 x 51.5 mm
Weight 11.15 oz / 316  g (Camera only)

Price: ~$1995.00

Pre-Order Now!!  @ BHPhoto, Amazon, Adorama


New Products

Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set DG for Sony E-mount Lenses – New Item

The Auto Extension Tube Set DG for Sony E-mount Lenses by Kenko is a set of two extension tubes for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. This set has tubes of 10 mm and 16mm. The tubes can be used individually or in combination to obtain the desired magnification.

A little bit pricey in my opinion at $179.00, but Kenko does make a decent product from my experience. I have a kenko set for my Canon gear, and I reviewed a set a while back also.

Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set DG for Sony E-mount Lenses


Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set Details

Extension tubes are hollow cylinders without optics designed to enable a camera’s lens to focus closer than its minimum focusing distance and therefore provide more magnification. They are placed between the lens and body and¬†are particularly useful in allowing lenses without macro capability to shoot macro, but in general,¬†they offer increased magnification for whatever need.

An extension tube increases lens magnification by an amount equal to the extension distance divided by the lens focal length. For example, adding a 25¬†mm extension tube to a 50¬†mm lens will give a magnification gain of 0.5X. Therefore, if the lens’s original magnification was 0.15X, then the new magnification will be 0.15X+0.5X=0.65X.

Kenko’s Auto Focus extension tubes are designed with all the circuitry and mechanical coupling to maintain auto focus and TTL auto exposure with Sony E-mount lenses.

Note! 1. When using extension tubes the lens will not focus to infinity. The focus range will be greatly limited to a very close focusing distance.2. There is light fall off when using any extension tube, sometimes the equivalent of 3 f-stops of light is lost when using multiple extension tubes together. This light lost can affect the camera’s ability to auto focus. Manual focusing is recommended should the lens begin to “hunt” (not lock onto the subject).

Coupling Perfect Diaphragm Coupling
TTL Dedication TTL.EE Metering: Perfect Coupling
Length Length of Tubes: 10 mm (0.4 inches) and 16 mm (0.63 inches)
Diameter Sony E-mount: 61.5 mm (2.42 inches)
Weight Sony E-mount: 10mm: 48 grams (1.69 ounces) 16mm: 75 grams (2.64 ounces)
Compatibility Sony E-mount

Price: ~$179 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)


Another Sandisk One Day Sale

SanDisk 16GB Pro memory card one day special!! (Click Here)

SanDisk 16GB Pro memory card one day special

SanDisk 16GB Pro memory card one day special


Closing Remarks

As it stands now, it appears the Canon Rebel series of cameras is trying to copy what Sony has been doing now for about 2-3 years. Isn’t it¬† interesting when the leaders of the pack are copying the underdog?? I think it’s great and tells me that Sony is right on point with it’s innovative technology and clearly the Big guys are paying attention. Nikon recently came out with a new camera with a very similar spec sheet as well. Full time video AF etc..¬† The Leica looks really nice, although still to expensive for a fixed lens in my opinion. But if your photography can work with that set-up I would certainly take a look, as it doesn’t get much better than Leica!!

That is all for now, but stay tuned for the products shots of all the new gear!!

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  1. I think the pricing will work against the T4i, seems like a good upgrade over the current 600/550d but still it looks very over priced! A57 wins heavily in terms of features & pricing too.

    • Jay


      Thanks for the comments and I totally agree! The price gap is huge and the features gap is pretty large as well. The name Canon will still sell it though for sure I bet ūüėČ It’s shame you can get a much better camera like the A57 for $200 less, but most people dismiss Sony, or don’t even consider Sony. One of the main reasons I started this site in the first place!! I also don’t hide the fact that I have Pro canon gear as well, so I now what the competition is capable of ext… Hopefully that will sway some folks to at least consider looking at the Sony Cameras.


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