The Low-Pass Filter

What it does, and why ditching it can be a good thing

The optical low-pass filter (OLPF), also known as an anti-aliasing or blur filter, has been in the photo news a lot lately, mainly because several manufacturers have eliminated it from some of their DSLRs and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. What’s the deal? The low-pass filter’s purpose is to do away with the moiré and aliasing... Read more

Fujifilm X-A1

Fujifilm’s new X-A1 is the entry-level model in the X-series mirrorless camera lineup.

Estimated Street Price: $599 (with XC16-50mm OIS zoom) INTRODUCED 9/2013 Fujifilm’s new X-A1 is the entry-level model in the X-series mirrorless camera lineup, sharing the compact dimensions of the recent X-M1, but with a 16.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that uses a conventional Bayer RGB filter rather than the unique Fujifilm X-Trans... Read more

Fujifilm X-E2

The X-E2 features Fujifilm’s 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor.

Estimated Street Price: $999 (body only). INTRODUCED 10/2013 Fujifilm’s mirrorless X-series lineup began with the flagship X-Pro1, followed by the lower-priced X-E1, the compact X-M1 and the entry-level X-A1. Now we have the first second-generation X-camera, the X-E2, which improves on its fine predecessor in a number of ways. The... Read more

Nikon D5300

The D5300 is even more compact than its predecessor, measuring 4.9×3.9×3.0 inches and weighing 16.9 ounces.

Estimated Street Price: $2,999 (with 50mm Special Edition kit lens). INTRODUCED 11/2013 The Nikon D5300 offers a number of improvements over its excellent D5200 predecessor, while retaining the features that made the D5200 so popular. The pixel count remains the same, but the 24.2-megapixel DX (APS-C) CMOS sensor in the new camera was designed without... Read more

Nikon Df

The Df can use all current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D Nikkor lenses, but it’s also compatible with classic Ai and non-Ai Nikkor lenses with full-aperture metering.

Estimated Street Price: $2,999 (with 50mm Special Edition kit lens). INTRODUCED 11/2013 Nikon went back to its roots to create a full-frame DSLR for the old-school photographer who likes to control everything without messing with multiple menus. The new Df ("Digital Fusion") features a design reminiscent of Nikon’s classic 35mm film... Read more

Nikon D610

The D610 shares the ruggedness and dust- and moisture- resistance of the D600 (and D800), and its shutter is tested to 150,000 cycles.

Estimated Street Price: $1,999 (body only). INTRODUCED 10/2013 A little more than a year after Nikon introduced its most affordable full-frame DSLR—the well-featured D600—we have its successor in the D610. The new camera retains its predecessor’s assets, adding a new shutter mechanism that ups maximum frame rate to 6 fps (from 5.5) and offering... Read more

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GM1 is, as of this writing, the new claimant to smallest interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera.

Estimated Street Price: $749 (with 12-32mm compact zoom) INTRODUCED 10/2013 Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GM1 is, as of this writing, the new claimant to smallest interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera, edging out the Pentax Q7 and Q10 by about a tenth of an inch in all three dimensions. Yet the GM1 contains a much larger Micro Four Thirds... Read more

Sony Alpha a7 & a7R

Sony’s new Alpha a7 and a7R mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras are tiny.

Estimated Street Price: $1,699 (a7); $2,299 (a7R) INTRODUCED 10/2013 Sony’s new Alpha a7 and a7R mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras are tiny, yet house full-frame Sony Exmor CMOS image sensors: a 24.3-megapixel one in the a7 and a 36.4-megapixel unit (with no low-pass filter) in the a7R. Besides the diminutive size, there’s... Read more

Pentax K-3

Like the K-5 models, the K-3 features a rugged magnesium-alloy body housing a metal chassis, and is fully weather-sealed and cold- and dust-resistant.

Estimated Street Price: $1,299 (body only) INTRODUCED 10/2013 Pentax has a new flagship DSLR, with lots of improvements over the very good K-5II for not much more cost. The K-3 features a new PRIME III imaging engine and APS-C 24.35-megapixel CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter for optimal sharpness. But for those rare occasions where moiré... Read more

Advanced AF

DSLRs use quick phase-detection auto-focusing for viewfinder (non-live view) shooting.

DSLRs use quick phase-detection auto-focusing for viewfinder (non-live view) shooting. Phase-detection AF can determine from a single reading whether the subject is in focus, and if not, in which direction and by how much. This makes it great for fast-moving subjects—it’s quick and can do predictive AF. The SLR mirror has to be in the viewing... Read more

Canon EOS 70D

The camera can use all EF and EF-S lenses; the new Dual Pixel AF system is, at the time of this writing, compatible with 103 of them.

Estimated Street Price: $1,199 (K-5 II/body only) INTRODUCED 2/2010 Since the first DSLRs that could do video, a big problem has been poor video AF performance. The video-capable DSLRs’ quick phase-detection AF systems were rendered inoperative in Live View (and, thus, Movie) mode, so contrast-based AF off the image sensor had to be used. And... Read more

Sigma SD15

The straightforward design and operation will appeal to purist photographers who aren’t into bells and whistles, but the unique Foveon image sensor is the camera’s key feature.

ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $989 INTRODUCED 2/2010 Though Sigma hasn’t introduced a new model in a few years, the SD15 remains available, and at a lower price. It features the unique Foveon X3 image sensor, and is able to shoot up to 21 RAW image bursts at 3 fps. It also boasts 77-segment metering and a rugged body built for rigorous pro use. ... Read more
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