Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All About Mirrorless

By Mike Stensvold Published in Mirrorless
Nikon is the latest camera maker to introduce a mirrorless system. The Nikon 1 series launched in 2011 with two models, the J1 and V1, built around a new CX-format sensor. Four lenses designed for the system accompany these new models, along with accessories like the Nikon 1 SB-N5 Speedlight.
Nikon is the latest camera maker to introduce a mirrorless system. The Nikon 1 series launched in 2011 with two models, the J1 and V1, built around a new CX-format sensor. Four lenses designed for the system accompany these new models, along with accessories like the Nikon 1 SB-N5 Speedlight.
Panasonic's Lumix G mirrorless system boasts the largest selection of lenses developed specifically for the Micro Four Thirds format, with 14 lenses covering focal lengths from a very wide 14mm to a 600mm supertele (35mm equivalent).

Panasonic.Panasonic has delivered 10 mirrorless models, beginning with the Lumix DMC-G1 in 2008. Panasonic has four mirrorless lines: G, GF, GH and GX. The most recent models are the G3, GF3, GH2 and GX1.

The new Lumix DMC-GX1 is the top "flat" model from Panasonic, featuring a very compact body, touch-screen operation and a 16-megapixel sensor with new noise-reduction technology.

The 12.3-megapixel GF3 is the smallest member of Panasonic's G family, with a "flat" design, and actually will fit into a pocket with one of the smaller lenses attached. It offers fast performance and simple operation, including touch-screen AF for still and video shooting.

Panasonic currently offers 14 lenses for its mirrorless cameras, including several with power zooming and near-silent motors designed for video use (but also great for stills). More than half of the lenses have built-in optical stabilizers. The 8mm ƒ/3.5 full-frame fisheye is unique among mirrorless systems.

Accessories include three flash units, a remote shutter, an AC adapter, filters, cases, bags, straps and SD cards. Video accessories include the DMW-MS1 Stereo Microphone and DMW-ZL1 Zoom Lever.

Introduced in 2011, the Pentax Q is the smallest of the mirrorless models available today, made possible by a very small sensor. There are also five new lenses for the Pentax Q, designed to capitalize on the camera's diminutive form, as well as an optional optical viewfinder.

Pentax. Pentax's first (and thus far only) mirrorless model is the tiny Q, by far the smallest mirrorless camera, thanks in large part to its 6.2x4.6mm, 12.4-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor. Nonetheless, it manages to fit in a big 3.0-inch, 460K-dot LCD monitor on the back, a pop-up flash and lots of features.

The body features durable, scratch-resistant magnesium-alloy covers. The camera can shoot 12-bit DNG RAW, as well as JPEG still images and 1920x1080 HD video at 30p. Sensor-shift shake reduction provides stabilization with all lenses.

Pentax offers five lenses for the Q. Each lens contains a shutter, with speeds from 30 to 1?2000 sec., and flash sync at all speeds; there's also an electronic shutter that goes to 1?8000 sec. There are currently no lens adapters for the Q.

The optional accessory Viewfinder O-VF1 provides eye-level viewing (it's a glass optical device, not electronic).
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