New Gear Roundup: Fresh Cameras and Lenses for 2012

A top-level look at all the new camera stuff announced this week

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_This has been a big week for new camera gear announcements. We have seen new bodies, lenses, and a whole pile of compacts ranging from high-end to budget models.It's a lot to take in, even for the serious camera nerds like us. We've wrangled them all up here with links to the full announcements so you can choose your own camera adventure. _ Nikon D800 DSLR Rumors had been going around the web for months before Nikon's newest DSLR made its first official appearance, and it didn't disappoint. It has a new 36.3-megapixel sensor accompanied by revamped AF and metering systems. It's also crammed full of high-end video features, like uncompressed HDMI pass-through and a headphone jack, which have some indie movie makers excited. It's coming at the end of March for $2999. There's another version called the D800E, which is the same camera, but with the lowpass filter removed in order to squeeze every last bit of detail out of the sensor. It's coming a bit later for $3,299. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Interchangeable-Lens Compact It looks like one of their classic OM-series 35mm film DSLRs, but it's actually Olympus's non-PEN Micro Four Thirds camera. It's built around a 16.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor, but the real emphasis seems to be on speed. They claim it has the world's fastest autofocus and it's capable of nine frames-per-second in single-shot AF. It ships with a small flash that attaches to the camera's hot shoe because the area where you'd expect to find a pop-up flash is taken up with a super-snappy electronic viewfinder. The E-M5 will come in three different packages: $999 will get you the body only in black or silver. $1,099 will get you the body in black with the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 II R lens. $1,299 will earn the black or silver body with the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F/3.5-6.3 EZ lens. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Pentax K-01 Interchangeable-Lens Compact When the K-01 popped out from under Pentax's veil, it got a lot of attention for its, um, interesting aesthetic. Some people love it, some people seem to really hate it, but the fact is that there's a pretty interesting little camera under that skin. It has an 16.3-megapixel, APS-C CMOS sensor with built-in image stabilization. Plus, it works with all of the current K-mount lenses. Despite having a high-res, 3-inch LCD screen, it's taking some early criticism for its total lack of an eye-level finder. When the K-01 arrives in March, it'll command $749 for the body, or $899 when coupled with the new 40mm XS pancake lens. **READ THE FULL POST HERE **
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Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR For all intents and purposes, this is the same SD1 that has been available for quite some time now. But, Sigma has officially lowered the price to just $2,300. That's almost exactly 1/3 what was originally selling for. At that price, and with the extremely powerful Foveon X3 sensor inside, one has to look at it in an entirely different light. It gets the addition to its name from one of the co-creators of the Foveon sensor. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens Canon announced an update to one of their most popular zoom lenses, but it surprised a lot of folks when they didn't include IS, especially considering the steep $2,299 price tag. But, Canon promises more ruggedness out of a lens that was already built like a tank as well as some tangible optical performance upgrades to help justify the cost. We'll be very interested to see if it delivers once it hits our lab. SEE THE FULL POST
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Canon EF 24mm and 28mm F/2.8 IS USM To go along with their new standard zoom, Canon also announced two wide-angle primes with built-in IS. Both have rounded, 7-blade diaphragms and the Image Stabilization provides up to four stops of assistance when combatting camera shake. The 24mm F/2.8 IS USM will cost $849 and the 28mm F/2.8 IS USM will cost $50 less at $799 when they arrive in stores this June. Again, they seem a little pricey when you consider that they're not L-series glass and how cheap the non-IS versions are. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens Canon isn't the only company with a new 24-70mm F/2.8 zoom lens up its proverbial sleeve. Tamron's new lens has a whole variety of specialty elements inside, making 17 pieces of glass in total. Plus, they have included Vibration Compensation, except in the Sony version, in which it would be redundant. No official word on pricing or availability yet, but we expect to see it this year. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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New Gear: Sony 500mm F/4 G Lens We saw Sony's prototype of this 500mm monster back at Photokina 2010, but Sony is now making it official, at least in Europe and Japan. Details are still relatively sparse about it, but we know it'll act like a 750mm lens on their APS-C bodies and it will weigh about 7.5-pounds. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Lensbaby Macro Converters They're not full-on lenses, but these converters are geared toward folks who have already bought into the Lensbaby system. You can use them individually or stacked on a variety of their optics in order to get closer to your subjects. In fact, when attached to the fisheye, they bring the minimum focusing distance down to 0-inches. That's pretty close. Check the full post for compatibility and focus info. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Sigma DP1 and DP2 Merrill APS-C Compact Cameras While the SD1 simply got a new name and price, Sigma's DP-series advanced compacts got a significant upgrade in the form of their 46-megapixel (15.3 x 3) Foveon X3 sensor. They keep the same form factor, but now have more than three times the sensor power. Both have fixed lenses, with the DP1 carrying a 19mm F/2.8 lens (28mm equivalent) and the DP2 bringing a 30mm F/2.8l lens (45mm equivalent). Both have a manual focus ring, making them very interesting for anyone looking for a serious compact. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Pentax Optio WG-2 and WG-2 GPS Rugged Waterproof Compacts There were several new rugged, waterproof cameras released this week, each of them more interesting-looking than the next. Pentax has two versions of the WG-2 with the only difference coming in the form of built-in GPS. Both cameras are waterproof to a depth of up to 40-feet, crush proof under up to 220-pounds, shock-proof from 5-feet and cold-proof to the standard 14-degrees F. The WG-2 will come in black or red and cost $349, while the GPS version will cost $399 and offer orange or white. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Canon PowerShot D20 Rugged Waterproof Compact Camera Before the appearance of the D20, Canon's latest foray into the rugged camera territory was the interesting-if-ugly PowerShot D10. The D20 has a much more modern body as well as the 12.1-megapixel, high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and Digic 4 processor to give it more imaging firepower. Plus, it's a rugged camera so it's waterproof to 33-feet and shock-proof from a height of about 5.5-feet READ THE FULL POST HERE
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[Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS Rugged, Waterproof Compact](http://Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS Rugged, Waterproof Compact) At $299, Olympus's latest Tough cam is one of the most affordable in the new crop. They also claim to have improved performance and image quality by equipping it with a new 12-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. It's also one of the toughest in the new crop. It's waterproof down to 33-feet, crushproof under 220-pounds, freezeproof to 14-degrees F, and rustproof. It will be available in March. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Olympus SZ-31MR iHS Compact Superzoom 24x zoom isn't enough to rock the world of superzooms anymore, but when you stick it into a body as smal as the SZ-31MR, it seems like a pretty impressive feat. The full-frame-equivalent focal length range is a formidable 25-600mm. Not bad for a camera that actually fits in pockets. $399 also gets you a 16-megapixel sensor and built in IS, which you'll be grateful for if you ever plan on using it at 24x. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Nikon Coolpix 510 and 310 Compact Cameras Nikon must like being the king of the superzooms, because they gave the 510 42x optical zoom, which means it has a full-frame equivalent of 24-1000mm. That's enough to impress even Ashton. They also announced the Coolpix 310, which is a nice little compact in its own right, thanks in-part to the styling which closely resembles the classy V1. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Nikon Coolpix S30 It doesn't have the imaging power of most other compacts announced this week, but by taking a basic compact and making it semi-rugged, Nikon may have created one of the best kid cameras around. It has 3x optical zoom, can swim in water up to 9.8-feet deep and survive a fall from 2.6-feet. It even shoots 720p video, so for $129, it could be a great way to get somebody young into the realm of real cameras. READ THE FULL POST HERE
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Panasonic Lumix TS4 and TS20 Rugged, Waterproof Compacts OK, these are the last rugged cams in the gallery, we promise. The tougher half of Panasonic's new pair is the TS4, which is waterproof to a depth of 40-feet, shockproof from 6.6-feet, dustproof, and freezeproof to 14-degrees F. It also has full manual control, which is nice, even though it lacks RAW and 1080p video. $399. The slimmer TS20 is waterproof to 16-feet and shockproof from up to 5-feet, but costs just $179, so there won't be too many tears if it ends up in the belly of a croc. Unless of course your arm is in there, too. READ THE FULL POST