The annual PhotoPlus Expo in New York City is upon us once again and gear manufacturers have come from all over to show off their new stuff. We’re getting our first looks at a few new products like the Nikon 58mm F/1.4 lens and the impressive new Sony full-frame cameras, the A7 and the A7r.
We’ll be reporting live throughout the show, so stay tuned to this gallery as we include more products. You can also be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for live coverage.
CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH THE GALLERY
Sony A7 and A7r
They were announced a few days ago, but this is the first time many people are getting the chance to put their hands on Sony’s new full-frame interchangeable-lens compacts. You can get the full details from our release post and expect some pretty extensive coverage of the new cameras in the coming days. Initial impressions are extremely positive, though. The camera is an excellent size, comfortable to hold and still decidedly smaller than even compact full-frame DSLRs. It’s the biggest story on the floor for sure.
Fujifilm XQ1 Compact Camera
There aren’t many compacts here on the show floor this year, but the market isn’t dead yet. Fujifilm’s new XQ1 has a 2/3-inch X-Trans sensor that they say will ultimately perform about on-par with the 1-inch sensor cameras like Sony’s X100. The XQ1 is actually very similar to the Canon S-series compacts, which we actually liked quite a bit. The body is small, the lens is quiet, and it offers some of the desirable Fujifilm features like the film-simulation filters.
Gossen Sixtomat F2 Light Meter
Light meters may not be required equipment for many shooters at this point, but they’re still a great learning tool and a really useful utility for photographers who spend a lot of time in the studio. The Gossen Sixtomat will cost roughly $250 when it hits the market in the next couple months and has quite a few features despite its rather simple interface. It can measure both incident and reflected light and can handle flash exposure, even if you’re using a multi-flash setup. It’s also powered by a simple AA battery, which is handy if you’re taking it out in the field.
MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Panorama Camera Bag
This camera bag is actually made up of two independent compartments. The bottom section sits on a waist belt and can be rotated around to the front of your body for easy access to equipment while the top section stays in place. Here’s a quick video demo of the bag in action which shows it much better than we’re able to describe it. This is actually the second iteration of the bag and it’s smaller than the original. It also comes in a blue color way that we think looks pretty excellent.
Nikon 58mm F/1.4G Standard Prime Lens
The Nikon 58mm F/1.2 lens was a true classic in its day and now Nikon is bringing it back (in spirit) with their new 58mm F/1.4G. It doesn’t go to F/1.2 anymore, but the new version does have AF, something its predecessor was lacking. The $1,699 price tag has taken a bit of flack since the announcement, but the lens certainly has the feel of a high-end prime. We”re looking forward to getting it into our test lab and seeing if it lives up to its legacy, and it’s cost.
Novaflex Triopod Modular Tripod
The legs on this tripod screw out of their mounts so they can be freely interchanged depending on your shooting preference. One leg can act as a removable monopod while another can be a dedicated walking stick. You can also swap legs to include more or fewer sections and switch between aluminum and carbon. You have to buy the sections individually once you made the initial purchase, but if a tripod is an essential piece of your kit, the versatility might come in very handy. There’s even a walking stick grip you can screw onto each leg in case you’re doing some hardcore trekking.
Zeiss 55mm F/1.4 Otus
We’ve been hearing about Zeiss’s new mega-lens for some time now, but this was the first time many have gotten a chance to actually see and touch it. The lens itself looks a lot like the Ziess Touit lenses, which are designed for interchangeable-lens compact cameras. According to Zeiss reps, there are only a few of these lenses in the country at the moment, but first impressions suggest it will be very impressive. For a 55mm lens, it’s rather heavy, but that’s because Zeiss claims that there’s double the amount of glass inside as you’d expect to find in a standard prime like this one. The focusing is incredibly smooth and it feels like it could withstand a gunshot in terms of toughness. Look for more coverage on this lens as the show goes on.
Panasonic Lumix GM1 Interchangeable-Lens Compact Camera
While there aren’t many true compact cameras here at the show this year, there are some small cameras. Panasonic’s GM1 is a full-on Micro Four Thirds system camera, but it’s very close in size to a compact pocket camera. It’s so small, in fact, that several standard Micro Four Thirds lenses actually stick out on the bottom of the camera body. It’s very clear that smaller cameras are going to be a focus for almost every brand going forward, and with the GM1, Panasonic is seemingly leading on that front.
Tenba Messenger DNA Messenger Bag
We’re actually testing this bag here on the floor of Photoplus. Tenba’s latest messenger bag is arguably their most stylish and has, so far, proven to be pretty great. Look for a full review in the coming week.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Camera
There isn’t a whole lot to talk about on the analog front here at Photoplus, but Fujifilm is throwing a ton of support behind their new instant party camera. The camera is slated to launch here in the States in early 2014, at which point the film will cost about $1 per shot. Each photo is about the size of a business card. Sure, it’s a little expensive, and the print quality is about what you’d expect, but the Mini 90 does offer more controls than you might expect. It has several shooting modes, including bulb mode, as well as some rudimentary flash control. The camera itself will launch for $199 and is making its way into Urban Outfitters stores. Is it practical? No, but was it cool to have someone hand me a tiny print of the picture they just took? Definitely. The novelty is still very much alive.
Phottix Mitros+ Transceiver Flash
The new speedlites from Phottix have their Odin radio triggering system build right into the units. That means you can use one as a master and fire several other flashes, controlling each right from the camera-mounted flash. You can group the flashes and adjust their power and even zoom the flash heads from afar. It’s compatible with their stand-alone flash triggering system, so it will work with third-party lighting solutions, something Canon’s 600 EX radio-enabled flashes can’t do. They’re also a lot cheaper than the $600 Canon versions, checking in at $399. The Nikon version will be available in a few months, but limited quantities of the Canon version are coming to market right now.
Manfrotto Spectra LED Lights
Shoe-mounted LED lights are nothing new, but Manfrotto has refreshed their line with a few new models. The Specra LB90 (pictures) actually has two knobs, one of which controls power output, while the other can transition the color temperature from 3200 K up to 5600 K. It will operate for up to 90 minutes on a pair of AA batteries. The Spectra L 25 is the cheapest light in the series and puts out 560lx of light at 1 meter, but will last for up to 8 hours on the same pair of AA batteries.
Giottos Silk Road YTS Tripods
The Y-shaped center column on this compact tripod lets it fold up a claimed 20-percent smaller than a typical round center column would allow. Because of the shape, the center column is also more secure and won’t rotate in place. There are 12 different models to choose from. We actually first saw these back at CES, but now they’re officially shipping to the public.