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Exclusive Russian Zenit Leica M rangefinder clone

A Leica-built, Russian-designed Zenit M rangefinder clone with a 35mm f/1.0 lens

The Russian Zenit is making waves at Photokina this week. We’ve been to the Zenit booth to find out what all the fuss is about.

The Leica phenomenon

We’re in Cologne, Germany for Photokina 2018 and it’s a German company that keeps on making the headlines this week. That company is Leica. Next to the Leica booth is Huawei, whose premium smartphone models, like the innovative triple-camera P20 Pro, use Leica-branded optics.

Leica also revealed it has licensed the use of its mirrorless system L-mount to its long-time partner, Panasonic Lumix. Even Sigma’s CEO was a guest at Leica’s Photokina press conference. So who else might we find with Leica-related news?

Zenit? Who are they?

A Zenit E with Helios m42 screw thread standard lens from the late 60s, early 70s

Zenit of course. Zenit? Who are they? Some readers will be familiar with the name. Back in the 60s and 70s Zenit, a Russian manufacturer, produced primitive and cheap SLR cameras and lenses popular with beginners. But Leica represents the exact opposite end of the camera spectrum.

Limited edition Zenit M and Zenitar 35mm f/1.0

So how could Zenit somehow join forces with Leica? Well, it’s happened. Zenit is showing a digital full frame M rangefinder clone. It’s a limited edition camera bundled with a remarkable 35mm f/1.0 Zenitar branded lens.

Designed in Russia, made in Germany?

Etched on the back of the Zenit M body is the message ‘Designed in Russia’ though I understand the body is actually produced at Leica’s Wetzlar facility in Germany. It certainly contains Leica components, Andrey Verfolomeev, vice president of the Zenit company, confirmed to me.

Designed and made in Russia

The Zenitar lens, however, is entirely the work of Zenit, both designed and manufactured at the company’s Krasnogorsky base near Moscow. Verfolomeev points out that much of their work is for the Russian military, so the optics of the Zenitar 35mm f/1.0 can be expected to be top-class.

Just 500 Zenit M and Zenitar 35mm f/1.0 combos will be produced, according to Verfolomeev, 450 of the bodies will be light grey (it’s a matt grey, not the customary silver) and only 50 will be black.

The price is €5,500 and most are reserved for the Russian market, though around a hundred will be available to European buyers.

Original leather

If you’ve used the old cheap Zenit film cameras, you may recall the strong Russian leather odour that came as a no-cost extra. Apparently, the leather used on the Zenit M has been specially chosen to match the hide used back in the old days.

Verfolomeev says Leica and Zenit have been working on the Zenit M project for two years and it owes much to the enthusiasm of Dr.Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of the Leica Supervisory Board.

Fundamentally, the project is designed to remind everyone, in Verfolomeev’s words, “that we’re still here”. Zenit, which is owned by the Russian state holding company Shvabe, employs 3,500 people and apart from its military work, the facility is gearing up to produce more mainstream cameras and lenses.

A range of Zenit lenses compatible with a variety of camera mounts is already on the market and the 35mm f/1.0 design will eventually join the rest of the range.

While the Zenit M is a strictly limited-edition model, less expensive successor camera models are in the pipeline and these will sell at a lower price, if not at the bargain basement prices of notorious old Zenit Bs and Es. Watch this space!

 

Zeiss ZX1 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

Zeiss are developing their own full-frame compact system camera, the Zeiss ZX1.

Press release issued by Zeiss

ZEISS ZX1

The Camera Concept for the Creative Flow in Photography

First full-frame camera from ZEISS with first-class image quality and the familiar, intuitive image editing and connectivity of a smartphone.

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2018-09-27.

ZEISS ZX1 – That is the name of the newly developed mirrorless full-frame camera from ZEISS that was presented today in Cologne, Germany. Thanks to the ZEISS lens and a sensor developed in-house at ZEISS, the camera delivers first-class image quality combined with an operational concept and user experience that make the photographer’s jobs-to-be-done as intuitive as on a smartphone.

The ZEISS camera concept is just the first step to opening up a new world of possibilities for ambitious photographers – from taking the shot to editing the image and sharing it on the web.

SHOOT. EDIT. SHARE. – Harmonized hardware, software and optics for a seamless creative process

SHOOT: the ZEISS ZX1 features a newly designed, integrated ZEISS Distagon 35 mm f/2 T* lens with autofocus that has been perfectly matched to the 37.4 megapixel full-frame sensor developed in-house at ZEISS. The interplay between the lens and sensor ensures first-class picture quality with that typical ZEISS look.

EDIT: The ZEISS ZX1 enables photographers to professionally process RAW images directly on the camera thanks to fully integrated Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. Moreover, the ZEISS ZX1’s unique user interface supports the user’s particular workflow without any interruption – providing direct access to the most frequently used functions via a 4.3″ multi-touch display.

SHARE: when the networked full-frame camera is connected, the user can upload selected images directly to the internet – without the intermediate transfer to memory cards or other external devices.
512 GB of internal memory provide sufficient space for approximately 6,800 RAW files (DNG) or over 50,000 JPGs – more than enough to handle photos, even during a longer trip, and giving the photographer the chance to let their creativity flow. Versatile connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB-C ensure that various peripherals can be connected. Over-the-air software updates keep the camera up to date without requiring a computer connection.

Designed with a passion for detail and a focus on the essentialsThe design of the ZEISS ZX1 is characterized by its iconic shape with carefully crafted details. The overall form and reduction to just those elements that are absolutely necessary lay the foundation for an ergonomic camera and ensure easy handling. The symbiosis of hardware and software is exemplified by the newly defined user interface that utilizes the 4.3″ multi-touch display. The slightly bent screen separates the live view from the control elements, making camera operation comfortable and straightforward.

“We know that we exploring new ways and initially addressing a special target group with the ZEISS ZX1. With our concept we are focusing on ambitious, professional creatives who want to produce their photographic experiences quickly and efficiently, and inspire as many people on the Internet as possible. This requires a streamlined workflow in addition to high-end features. This is exactly what the concept of the ZEISS ZX1 offers,” explains Jörg Schmitz, Head of the Consumer Products business group at ZEISS.

ZEISS ZX1 available from early 2019

The ZEISS ZX1 will be available at selected dealers in early 2019. ZEISS will announce the recommended retail price at the start of the official market launch. Starting now, anyone interested in receiving information on exact availability can register at www.zeiss.com/zx1

Zeiss

Kodak Pixpro AZ1000 Astro Zoom

Press release issued by JK Imaging:

Kodak Pixpro launches flagship AZ1000 at Photokina 2018

Award-winning line up of Kodak Pixpro digital cameras and devices continues to provide smart and affordable choices for photographers and creatives of all levels

JK Imaging Ltd., the worldwide licensee for Kodak Pixpro digital cameras and devices, has announced the launch of its flagship AZ1000 Astro Zoom camera at Photokina 2018 in Cologne, Germany today.

The newest, flagship Astro Zoom camera is a bridge digital still camera and will be revealed on the Kodak Pixpro. A powerful 102X optical zoom model, with 20.68 megapixel image sensor and 3.5 mm focal length, the AZ1000 showcases the brand’s commitment to offer outstanding performance at a fraction of the price of traditional and more expensive DSLR bodies and lenses.

Other features offered by the AZ1000 include multi-language support, a 4 hour charging time, 90 minutes of video shooting or 400 shots, a 15MB internal memory, red-eye reduction, slow synchro, 6 seconds or less recycling time, photo touch-up, and smile and blink detection, plus 7fps full resolution burst mode and 1/200 shutter speed (30 seconds).

Kodak Pixpro will also be exhibiting a wide array of its award-winning cameras at the Photokina 2018 show, which runs from 26th – 29th September, ranging from compact, point-and-shoot, mega-zoom bridge cameras to Kodak Pixpro’s growing category of 360° immersive VR cameras.

The company’s commitment to the emerging 360° VR camera category has born three generations of 360° cameras thus far and has answered the needs of enthusiasts worldwide, by providing easy-to-use cameras that go beyond traditional video. This year’s exhibit will feature a sneak peek into the next generation 4K 360° VR camera for the consumer market. The current Kodak Pixpro 4KVR360 consumer model is shipping now throughout Europe and will be demonstrated in booth with unique, engaging and immersive content.

The popular and award-winning Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K prosumer cameras preferred by dedicated content creators and professionals will also be displayed and demonstrated in booth. JK Imaging takes a unique approach by bundling useful camera accessories and complimentary PIXPRO software for editing and stitching on Mac and PCs with all 360° VR cameras. All Kodak Pixpro 360° VR camera models are YouTubeTM compatible for 360° interactive videos and Facebook compatible for 360° photos and videos.

The newest 2018/19 Kodak Pixpro family of cameras will continue to offer consumers a variety of feature-rich, long-zoom options within the Astro Zoom line. Rounding out the Kodak Pixpro Astro Zoom camera line up, the company will show the entry level 25X zoom option with the AZ252, and a myriad of other models including the AZ401, AZ422, AZ527, AZ652 and AZ901, all available now and designed to give photographers of every age and skill level more choices at more value.

This year’s Kodak Pixpro camera line will continue to offer four ever popular and affordable compact point-and-shoot models with the entry level FZ43, FZ53, FZ101, FZ102, FZ152 and new FZ201 comprising the Friendly Zoom category. These models give consumers a variety of choice between AA and Li-ion batteries depending upon preference and start under £100 for the entry-level models.

To add yet another option for savvy consumers, the Kodak Pixpro Digital Devices stand will feature and demonstrate their commitment to giving consumers added benefits and more power in a Micro Four-Thirds model with the S-1, a mirror-less lens camera with an assortment of detachable lenses for those avid photographers looking for a compact solution without compromise.

For more information and for product availability, please visit: http://www.pixpro.world/

Fujifilm GFX 50R

Press release issued by Fujifilm

Introducing the rangefinder style model to the GFX medium format digital mirrorless system
FUJIFILM GFX 50R

A large 51.4MP image sensor in a compact and lightweight body is reminiscent of renowned medium format film cameras widely used in street and documentary photography

PHOTOKINA 2018, COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 25, 2018 -FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) will launch a medium format mirrorless digital camera FUJIFILM GFX 50R (GFX 50R), which features the FUJIFILM G Format (medium format, 43.8×32.9mm) image sensor, which is approx. 1.7 times the size of a full frame 35mm image sensor (*1).

The GFX 50R continues the compact, lightweight and superior image quality characteristics of Fujifilm’s GFX medium format mirrorless digital camera system, while weighing approx. 145g less and 25mm thinner than the FUJIFILM GFX 50S (GFX 50S). The GFX 50S has attracted high praise from professional photographers since its launch in January 2017. Yet, many field photographers who specialize in weddings, portraits and street photography have sought after an even more compact and lightweight camera, along the line of Fujifilm’s traditional medium format film cameras such as GA645 (*discontinued) and GF670 (*discontinued). With this in mind, FUJIFILM is adding the new “GFX 50R” to the lineup.

1. Compact and lightweight (approx. 775g *2) medium format mirrorless digital camera in the rangefinder style
・The GFX 50R is approx. 145g lighter than the GFX 50S (weighing 920g with EVF). The camera body is just 66.4mm thick, 25.0mm thinner than the GFX 50S.
・The rangefinder style design allows you to keep your eye on a subject while looking through the viewfinder with the other eye. This enables checking and feeling the atmosphere of the scene around your subject matter, shown in the EVF.
・The GFX 50R is equipped with the 0.77x 3.69M-dot organic EL electronic viewfinder (EVF). This allows accurate focusing despite the large size of the medium format sensor, which has a shallower depth of field than that of a 35mm full frame sensor when shooting at the same angle of view.

2. Equipped with 51.4MP medium format CMOS sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine
・The medium format (43.8mm x 32.9mm) “G Format” sensor has better per pixel light reception capability than that of a 35mm full frame sensor of the same resolution. Furthermore, the micro lenses have been designed to optimize the light gathering performance and image resolution as well as the handling of data from photodiodes are customized to achieve a superior level of image quality, surpassing that of existing cameras that use a sensor of the same size. As a result, the GFX 50R delivers images that precisely reproduce the subject’s texture, three-dimensional feel and even the atmosphere of each scene.
・The GFX 50R features the X-Processor Pro image processing engine. Supporting FUJIFILM’s renowned Film Simulation modes, the camera allows you to opt for the tonality of photographic films such as Velvia, PROVIA and ACROS, used for many years in medium format film cameras by professional and enthusiast photographers alike.

3. Intuitive handling and rugged camera body that caters for the needs of all photographers
・The GFX 50R is equipped with the Focus Lever to allow quick adjustment of the focus point. The elimination of the selector buttons provides extra space to hold the camera better. The top panel sports two dials, one for shutter speed and the other for exposure compensation. The milled aluminum dials give the camera a premium feel and satisfying clicking touch.
・The robust magnesium alloy body is weather-sealed in 64 places to provide dust and weather resistance and ability to operate at temperatures as low as -10℃. Its durability caters to the needs of all photographers.

4. Extensive lineup of the medium format mirrorless system, “GFX system”
・The medium format mirrorless system, GFX system, currently offers a lineup of seven FUJINON GF lenses, covering focal lengths from 23mm (equivalent to 18mm in the 35mm film format) to 250mm (equivalent to 198mm in the 35mm film format). All GF lenses are able to resolve up 100MP which means they are future proof. They are also dust and weather resistant and designed to operate at temperatures as low as -10℃ so that they withstand professional use in harsh conditions.
・Tethered shooting is essential part in a professional photographers workflow. The GFX system supports tethering software “HS-V5 for Windows” and “Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop®”, “Capture One Pro (FUJIFILM)” is also due to be released, giving extra options in studio sessions for commercial and fashion photography. This means that a professional photographer can incorporate the GFX system into their regular workflow.

5. GFX system’s first Bluetooth® compatibility for enhanced connectivity
・This is the first model in the GFX system to support the Bluetooth® low energy technology. Captured images can be transferred easily and quickly to smartphones and tablet devices paired with the camera via the FUJIFILM Camera Remote app.

*1 Image sensors measuring 36mm×24mm, used by many DSLRs
*2 Operating weight (including the weight of battery and recording media)

Fujifilm Develop 100-Megapixel Mirrorless Camera with On-Chip PDAF

Press release issued by Fuji

World’s first mirrorless camera with 100MP+ image sensor GFX 100 Megapixels Concept

In-body image stabilization system allows for handheld capture of 100MP images

New Development Release

PHOTOKINA 2018, COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 25th, 2018 -FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is developing a new flagship model equipped with 100MP+ image sensor to join the GFX system of mirrorless cameras. The new model will be the world’s first medium format mirrorless digital camera to feature an image sensor that has phase detection pixels across the entire sensor, outperforming contrast detection autofocus in tracking a moving subject and delivering greater accuracy in continuous autofocus. This model will also become the first medium format digital camera to feature in-body image stabilization mechanism, to significantly broaden the scope of achieving ultra-high resolution handheld images. The camera boasts substantially improved video recording capability compared to that of the GFX 50S and GFX 50R. It will be the first mirrorless digital camera equipped with an image sensor with the size of 43.8mmx32.9mm to support 4K video recording (4K/30P). This model will be Fujifilm’s highest performance camera that offers unrivaled innovation and versatility, as seen in the three “world’s first” features, satisfying all the needs of photographers at a higher level.

Main features

(1) FUJIFILM G Format image sensor with over 100MP resolution
The camera is equipped with a 102MP “FUJIFILM G Format (“G Format”) image sensor, specifically developed for this model. It delivers the highest image quality in the history of Fujifilm when combined with the fourth-generation “X-Processor 4” image processing engine that delivers superb color reproduction Fujifilm is famous for, and FUJINON GF lenses that offers ultra-high resolving power. Phase detection AF coverage on the entire sensor (approx. 100% coverage) enables fast and highly accurate autofocus regardless of your subject’s position within the frame, providing a level of performance that defies the current standards of medium format digital cameras.

(2) World’s first medium format digital camera to feature in-body image stabilization
In general, the higher the number of pixels that an image sensor has, the greater the likelihood of producing images out of focus from camera shakes. This is why Fujifilm has developed a new in-body image stabilization system for the G Format. This is also a world’s first for medium-format digital cameras. This has dramatically expanded the scope of achieving ultra-high resolution images (100MP+) hand-held, allowing users to explore new photographic opportunities.

(3) World’s first medium format mirrorless digital camera capable of recording 4K video
The combination of X-Processor 4’s advanced processing capability and the new image sensor with fast read speed has enabled 4K video recording (4K/30P, 10bit), the world’s first for a medium format mirrorless digital camera. The use of the larger image sensor facilitates a shallower depth of field, broader tone reproduction and advanced sensitivity characteristics. This, in turn, makes it possible to record a subject’s texture, three-dimensional feel and even the atmosphere of the scene with an unprecedented level of ease.

(4) Lightweight and robust magnesium alloy body with integrated vertical grip
The new camera has the size and weight equivalent to a high-end DSLR despite featuring an image sensor which is about 1.7 times the size of a 35mm sensor. This will be the first GFX camera to feature an integrated vertical grip, making it more robust and comfortable to hold, especially when large telephoto lenses are used.

Fujifilm

Panasonic S1 and S1R

Press release issued by Panasonic

First Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras powered by Panasonic

  • Panasonic launches two models of its first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor

  • The S1R and the S1 cameras are the world’s first*1 to support 4K 60p/50p video recording

  • Leica Camera’s L-Mount allows for the use of replacement lenses that meet the L-Mount specifications of the partners

Cologne (Germany), 25. September 2018 – Panasonic Corporation has developed two models of its first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor: the S1R and the S1. These models are equipped with the world’s first*1 4K 60p/50p video recording function and the Dual I.S. image stabilization system. As part of the LUMIX S series, Panasonic aims to release them on the global market next spring, as announced during Photokina 2018.

For 100 years, Panasonic has strived to help realize better lives for customers around the world by responding to their needs. Working on the concept of creating a new culture of photography for a digital age, in 2008 Panasonic released the G1, the world’s first*2 Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera. Over the last ten years, Panasonic has continued to lead the industry with product innovations. This has included the world’s first*3 camera supporting 4K video recording, and cameras equipped with the Dual I.S. image stabilization system; combining stabilization both inside the camera unit and the lens.

In more recent years, the sharing of video via social media has gained in popularity. More and more people are also enjoying a hybrid of photos and videos, expanding the range of expression in the production of content. A new type of camera has been needed for this new field that goes beyond the boundaries of photos and videos.

Against this backdrop, Panasonic adopted the concept of ‘Fuel the Photographers’ creative vision’ to develop a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera with a comprehensive focus on this need. These cameras will form the LUMIX S series with a powerful sense of striving to provide specialized value to customers desiring high expressiveness.

The cameras have the user-friendliness and robustness essential as tools for photography or videography by professionals. They incorporate an entire array of our technology refined over a century in the consumer electronics business and ten years developing Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras. Such innovations include digital technology like image or signal processing, plus optical and heat treatment technology and more. The combination of these will provide our customers with new value for photography and videography.

The key features of the newly developed S1R and S1 cameras are as follows.

  1. Creative capabilities: with high definition and high level of expression achieved with the newly-developed 35 mm full-frame image sensor and image processing engine. (Effective pixels: approximately 47M for the S1R and 24M for the S1)

  2. World’s first*1 support: for 4K 60p/50p video recording in a full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera.

  3. World’s first*1 full- frame camera equipped with Dual I.S. image stabilization: enabling handheld shots for dark or distant scenes that would previously have required a tripod or other equipment.

  4. A double slot for XQD memory cards and SD memory cards, a first for Panasonic

  5. A rugged triaxial tilt LCD: emphasizing ease of use and supporting professional photography and videography.

  6. An unlimited scope of applications: Leica Camera’s L-Mount, making it possible to use replacement lenses that meet the L-Mount specifications of the partners*4 Leica Camera and Sigma. Expressiveness is further enhanced by increasing options for replacement lenses.

Panasonic will also expand its line-up of LUMIX S series compatible lenses, developing more than ten by 2020, including a 50 mm/F1.4 fixed-focus lens, 24-105 mm standard zoom lens, and 70-200 mm telephoto zoom lens.

For the LUMIX G series of Micro Four Thirds Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras, Panasonic will begin developing a Leica DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25 mm F1.7 lens that will achieve the world’s first*5 zoom with a constant aperture value of F1.7. On top of this, the support services for professional photographers and videographers, which started in Japan in April last year, will be available in selected European markets and the United States this fiscal year.

The GH5, G9, and GH5S high-end Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras that Panasonic has steadily released since 2017 have already gained a solid reputation among professionals and high-level amateurs across the world for the quality of their pictures and ability to capture the vitality and beauty of life. This success is thanks to Panasonic’s world’s-first*6 support

for 4K 60p/50p video recording, and the world’s fastest autofocus*7 function using the company’s proprietary DFD technology. Panasonic will continue to provide new value to customers through the unique features of the compact yet high-definition LUMIX G series, while also reaching the professional market through the introduction of the full-frame LUMIX S series and the greater reach of our support system. Through these measures, Panasonic will continue to transform the culture of photography and videography.

The products in development in this release will be exhibited at Photokina 2018*8.

Notes:

*1. World’s first support for 4K 60p/50p recording in a full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera. Regarding the inclusion of the Dual I.S. image stabilization system, this is for a full-frame Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera: As of September 25, 2018 when announced at Photokina (Germany), according to Panasonic data.

*2. For a Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera: As of September 12, 2008, according to Panasonic data.

*3. The GH4 Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera capable of 4K video (as a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera, as of February 7, 2014), and the GX8 Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera with Dual I.S. onboard (as a Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera, as of July 16, 2015) according to Panasonic data.

*4. “The L-Mount Alliance: a strategic cooperation between Leica Camera, Panasonic and Sigma”(announced on September 25, 2018 in Germany.

*5. For an interchangeable lens for use with a Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera. As of September 25, 2018 when announced in Germany, according to Panasonic data.

*6. As a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera. As of January 4, 2017, according to Panasonic data.

*7. For a Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera. As of November 8, 2017, according to Panasonic data.

*8. Photokina is a leading exhibition for the photographic and imaging industries (held in 2018 from September 26 to September 29, at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany).

Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.

SUMMILUX and L-Mount are registered trademarks of Leica Camera AG.

Panasonic