sony-a6500-front-right

Mirrorless cameras are coming through thick and fast as manufacturers try to gain market share from the waning DSLR sales. Sony is relentless at chasing top spot and have made what must be one of the quickest upgrades of them all. The Sony a6300 was released on 3rd Feb 2016 and yet here we have the new Sony a6500 released just 8 months later. Why?

It's likely that sales of the a6300 have been less than spectacular and pressure is mounting from new releases such as the FujiFilm XT-2 and Canon M5. Although they would not know the details of the competition when they decided to develop the new model they could guess the pressure would be on. So sitting on any new technology just to avoid upsetting those who have just bought is no longer an option.

So what new technology has been added to the a6500 to justify an early launch?

olympus pen e-pl8 tricolor

Olympus have targeted the style conscious photographers with many of their recent models and the new PEN E-PL8 continues that theme. Not only is the camera itself a desirable fashion statement but it is put at the center of a range of matching fashion accessories. The new camera comes in one of 3 leather effect colors, brown, black or white.

The build quality in metal is right up there with the standards we have come to expect from Olympus. Inside there is the well respected 16M pixel Micro Four Thirds sensor but images can be manipulated with the extended RAW processing and Art Filters.

fujifilm gfx front 63mm

Fujifilm announces that their much-rumored return to Medium Format with the new Fujifilm GFX 50S camera and 6 new 'G mount' lenses. In the 80's and 90's Fuji produced the GX 680 6x8cm Medium Format film cameras. The new camera will have a G Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor with 51.4M pixels resolution.

The sensor is likely similar to the one seen in the Pentax and Hasselblad but in any case, it will be paired with the high-performance 'X-Processor Pro' imaging processor that will give the camera its own unique characteristics.

canon eos m5 front left

Canon have announced the new EOS M5 Mirrorless system camera as expected today. There have been a lot of speculation as to what this would bring and I think there are few surprises here. So what are the main additions and omissions with the new EOS M5?

The format as a mini-DSLR style has been introduced along the lines of the Powershot G5x with the same high-quality 2.36M dot Electronic Viewfinder. The screen, however, is not the same but tilts vertically up 85° or down 180° and is a 1.6M dot high-resolution capacitive touchscreen. One interesting use of the touchscreen is to select focus area whilst using the EVF by moving your right thumb over the screen area.

iphone 7 plus camera

The iPhone 7 has been announced to the usual mix of comments, some hot some cold. To the traditional camera industry, this will be looked at very closely. The iPhone is as Apple state, 'the most popular camera in the world', already. The new iPhone 7 is about to take smartphone photography to a new level that will inevitably put further strain on the traditional Japanese Camera Industry, not only the low-cost cameras but also sales of the more advanced enthusiast's cameras.

Why does the new iPhone matter? We have already seen the decimation of the low-cost camera market, mainly due to shrinkage as people use smart devices but also production issues caused by the recent Japanese Earthquake. Year-on-year the production of fixed lens compact cameras is down by -46.1% to July 2016. Further uptake of smartphone photography instead of dedicated camera use will see this category of camera almost extinct in a few years time. Only the older generations of non-smartphone users are keeping this alive.