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.
The Samsung NX series features a large, APS-C-format sensor and eight lenses, ranging from 27mm on the wide end to 305mm on the telephoto end (35mm equivalent). Samsung also offers an adapter to allow use of Pentax K-mount lenses.

Samsung. Samsung has produced a number of NX-series mirrorless models, three of which are available in the U.S. The original NX10 features a "mini-DSLR" form factor, with a built-in eye-level electronic viewfinder, 14.6-megapixel sensor and 3.0-inch, 614K-dot AMOLED monitor, and can record 1280x720 HD video at 30p with mono sound. The NX100 provides similar features in a more compact "flat" form factor. The new NX200 features a 20.3-megapixel sensor, 1920x1080 full HD video with stereo sound and full-res still-image shooting at 7 fps.

Currently, Samsung offers three lenses for the NX cameras: the 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 portrait lens, ultracompact 20-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 zoom and 30mm ƒ/2 pancake lens. More lenses are in the works, and adapters allow use of a wide variety of third-party lenses. Samsung offers an adapter that permits use of Pentax K-mount lenses.

Samsung accessories include a GPS unit and two flash units.

Sony's NEX camera system includes nine dedicated E-mount lenses, plus adapters that allow use of Sony's A-mount lenses, like the LA-EA2 adapter, which adds Phase Detection AF capabilities. There are also a variety of accessories available, including a stereo microphone and a portable five-inch monitor—ideal for video—that incorporates a headphone jack for audio monitoring.

Sony. Sony's two original NEX models, the NEX-3 and NEX-5, have been replaced by three: the NEX-C3, NEX-5N and NEX-7. The flagship NEX-7 features the same 24.3-megapixel, APS-C sensor as Sony's SLT-A77 DSLR and a built-in eye-level OLED Tru-Finder to complement the tilting 3.0-inch, 921K-dot LCD monitor. Video function incorporates the new AVCHD Progressive 2.0 format, delivering 1920x1080 full HD video at 60p, as well as 60i, plus 1080/24p video and MP4 video when smaller files are desired, all with stereo sound via a built-in microphone. The camera can shoot full-res images at 10 fps with focus locked (2.5 fps with autofocusing).

The NEX-5N is even tinier than the original NEX-5 and improves on it with a 16.1-megapixel Sony sensor, quicker operation and a tilting 3.0-inch, touch-screen LCD. There's no built-in eye-level electronic viewfinder, but one with the same OLED technology as the NEX-7's is available as an accessory. Video capabilities are similar to the NEX-7's.

The NEX-C3 is the smallest and simplest-to-use NEX, with a new 16.2-megapixel Sony sensor and 1280x720 at 30p video in MP4 format.

Sony's current E-mount lens lineup for the NEX cameras includes nine lenses. Sony also offers two adapters that permit use of Sony A-mount DSLR lenses (and legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses), and the aforementioned LA-EA2 adapter with its own translucent-mirror phase-detection AF system built-in.

Sony accessories include a compact stereo microphone, optical and OLED eye-level viewfinders, remote controls and flash.

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