The Ultimate Point and Shoot Camera Guide for 2017

Point and shoots are the ultimate in simplicity.

More ultimate guides coming down the pipe! On the docket for today is our 2017 ultimate guide for point and shoot cameras, and while you may be thinking to yourself that point and shoots are pointless in this day and age, we beg to differ. Obviously on the lower end its pointless compared to something like a flagship smartphone, but even high end point and shoots offer quality and functionality phones still can’t touch.

So with that out of the way, let’s jump into it… Continue reading…

Sony RX2 Reported to Sport a Faster 35mm f1.8 Lens and a Curved Sensor

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony RX1R product photos first impressions (1 of 5)ISO 32001-40 sec at f - 3.5

When Sony first announced the RX1, it truly turned the photographic world around, as it was the first fixed-lens compact camera to sport a full-frame 35mm sensor and a fixed 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss lens. A little later, Sony updated the camera with the RX1R, which had basically the same specs as the RX1, but came without an anti-aliasing filter on top of the sensor for improved sharpness.

The internet has been busy speculating on the RX1(R)’s successor’s details for a while, but now Photo Rumors reports that the camera, which might be called the RX2, will come with a faster 35mm f1.8 lens and–more importantly–a new curved sensor. Sony’s curved sensor technology had been reported earlier, but now a patent has been discovered that shows a 35mm f1.8 lens designed specifically for a just such a sensor.

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The Sony RX100 Mk II Successor Could Sport an Even Brighter Lens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony RX100M2 product photos first impressions (7 of 8)ISO 32001-30 sec at f - 4.5

The Sony RX100 Mk II, just like the original RX100, sports a lens that has a bright initial aperture of f1.8 at its widest setting, but that gets rather slow towards its tele end where the maximum aperture is a mere f4.9. This is not untypical for compact cameras, as making the aperture much wider would also result in an overall larger lens. Still, newly unearthed patents show that the next iteration of the series could sport a lens with a brighter aperture at the tele end.

Published by Egami, the patent sketches five different zoom lens designs for compact cameras sporting a 1″ sensor, and all of them are very similar to the lens inside the currect RX100 (Mk II). One design in particular looks like a potential candidate for an RX200 camera, sporting the same focal length range of 28-100mm equivalent, but a brighter aperture that goes from f1.8 at the wide-angle end to f2.8 at the tele end.

Another design is for a lens with a longer zoom range of 28-150mm, and an aperture range of f1.8-3.6, which is also relatively bright considering the longer focal length at the tele end. Both lens designs sport 12 elements, arranged into 10 groups in the shorter lens and 9 groups in the longer lens. Also discussed in the patent is the addition of a macro mode, which would allow for very short close-focusing distances.

The way we see it, both of these lens designs would make sense for a successor to the RX1oo Mk II. A brighter aperture at the tele end is something that many RX100 (Mk II) users have been calling for, so the first option would satisfy that department. But a slightly longer lens that provides extra reach could also find a liking with many customers, especially if its aperture at the telephoto end is as bright as described in the patent.

Via Sony Alpha Rumors

Review: Leica X Vario (Typ 107)

Felix Esser The Phoblographer Leica X Vario Review Top Right Front View

Our first impressions of the Leica X Vario were somewhat a mixed bag. On the one hand, we found that the camera is very well built and feels extremely solid, just like you’d expect from a Leica. We also praised the user inteface which emphasizes quick access to shutter speed and aperture value, just like you get it on a big Leica M. On the other hand, we found that there were some aspects about the X Vario’s ergonomics where Leica was sloppy, focusing too little on the photographer and too much on doing things differently from everyone else. Now with the final review of the X Vario, do we still hold up that judgement? Head past the break to find out.

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First Impressions: Leica X Vario (Typ 107)

Felix Esser The Phoblographer Leica X Vario Review Top Right Front ViewWhen Leica announced the X Vario and boldly touted it as a “Mini M”, even the die-hard Leica fanboys weren’t amused. Voices ranged from, “Blasphemy!” over, “Where is that entry-level M-mount mirroless APS-C camera we’ve been asking for?” to a more reasonable, “What the heck? This is not an M!” And while it would have the notorious Leica-haters outraged over another ‘overpriced’ and ‘utterly useless’ fixed-lens APS-C compact that would ‘never be able to hold a candle to the [popular camera model X]’, it had even those that were generally Leica-friendly confused at least. Why did the company decide to put a slow zoom lens on their latest X-series camera? Read our first impressions with this controversial camera to find out.

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Review: Olympus Stylus XZ-2

Advanced compact cameras have really become one of the “key products” for camera manufactures over the past few years. With today’s tech, manufactures can cram quite a bit of functionality into a relatively compact package. Olympus had an instant hit when they released the XZ-1 as it was a small camera with lots of features and fast/bright zoom lens. The XZ-1 is the perfect travel companion for anyone that wanted to leave their interchangeable lens kit at home. Olympus recently released the successor to the XZ-1, the XZ-2 (I’m starting to see a pattern here) but the competition has grown since the release of the XZ-1. So, can the XZ-2 stave off the competition and remain a solid option for advanced compact users? Continue reading to find out.

 

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Another P&S With A Fast Lens From A Manufacturer From Whom We Would’ve Least Expected

Yes, that’s right. Almost as out-of-nowhere as the announcement of Samsung’s EX2F a few days ago, came the announcement of the BenQ G1, another contender in the category of the fast-lens-point-and-shoot. However, the BenQ announcement went by almost unnoticed, and we would probably have overlooked it ourselves if we hadn’t stumbled upon it by chance. Because, seriously, who in the world gets excited when BenQ announces a new camera? (Or should I rather ask: who even knows that BenQ actually makes cameras?) But this one is a little different and a little confusing.

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The New Samsung EX2F’s F1.4 Lens Might Not Outdo Sony’s 1 Inch Sensor

Oh my! Where did this come from? It looks like Samsung just announced a new compact camera out of nowhere! And what a compact it is! It’s called the EX2F and is the successor to the previous EX1 / TL500 model, wich was already an awesome little snapper in its own right. But the EX2F ups the ante quite a bit, and might just be setting a whole new standard for the “photographer’s compact” section.

First off, the EX2F has the brightest lens ever built into a digital compact. Starting at f/1.4 at its 24mm-equivalent setting, it only goes down to f/2.7 at its maximum focal length of 80mm-equivalent. f/1.4 — f/2.7! Even at its longest position, the lens is still brighter than where most compacts even start! The body is made from durable magnesium and features a pronounced grip as well as enough buttons and dials to satisfy even the most fastidious of photographers.

On the back, the main feature is the bright 3″ AMOLED tilt-and-swivel display. Being a WiFi-enabled “SMART CAMERA”, the EX2F supports features like using an Android device as a remote viewfinder and trigger, or uploading pictures directly to your PC or laptop. The 1/1.7″ back-illuminated CMOS sensor now sports 12.4 megapixels, and ISO sensitivity goes from 80 to 3200. Since this is an enthusiast’s camera, it also comes with the possibility to save RAW files. Videographers will be satisfied to hear that the EX2F supports Full-HD 1080/30p video recording.

Here at TPB headquarters, we’re all going nuts over this camera and can’t wait to get our hands on one for testing. With a feature set like this, the EX2F is probably the most advanced and most awesome enthusiast’s compact ever to hit the market. If you’re just as excited about this camera as we are, then you might want to know that it will be available for purchase in August for an MSRP of US-$ 549.

It will also be interesting to see how it performs against Sony’s RX100 with a larger sensor but an f1.8 lens. More specs after the jump.

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Review: Canon S100

Unless you are completely new to photography or you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years, it’s safe to say you’ve heard of Canon’s “S” line of cameras. The S90 proved that camera manufactures can make a truly pocketable camera with a large (for a compact) sensor and all of the manual controls that many photographers demand. When the S95 was released, it only brought minor updates to the S90. So, is the S100 another step in the evolution of Canon’s S line or is it more than that?

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Review: Spider Black Widow Holster

Today, photographers have a million different ways to carry their camera. There are traditional neck straps, slings, harnesses, crazy contraptions that strap to your chest, and the list goes on. Just like anything else, one option may work for you but that doesn’t mean it will work for the next person. But I think we can all agree that options are a good thing to have. One fairly new player to the game is Spider Pro Systems. Spider produces holster style carrying systems. Today, we’re going to take a look at the Spider Black Widow Holster.

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The Complete Leica X1 Review

My time with the Leica X1 has come to an end. After spending a week with this premium compact camera, I’m pretty torn as to how I feel about it. Like the Sony NEX, the X1 is an impressive piece of engineering and it is a truly beautiful camera, but the price and some other less than desirable characteristics make the Leica X1 a tough camera to love. So, is the X1 worth it’s premium price? Let’s find out.

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