Sometimes new products announcements miss the mark :The Ricoh GRII was announced last week and to say that the changes with the previous model are minor is an understatement. The GR II is basically the GR with the addition of Wifi and NFC abilities. There are also some new filters effects added, the Auto white balance is supposed to have been improved and there is the possibility to trigger some remote flashes from Pentax but none of the improvements that were widely expected by most GR users (including yours truly), like the adoption of the Sony 24MP APS sensor, an EVF option, or a swivel screen, were added. Launching price in the US is identical to the GR when it was introduced in April 2013 : $799. (The GR model is still available new between $549 and $579). To be thorough, there is ONE improvement which is significant : the camera’s buffer size has been improved and with the new model, it is said that in continuous mode and RAW+JPEG , 10 pictures in a row can be taken before buffer needs to refresh versus 4 on the first GR. In street photography , this improvement will be most welcome and give you more chances to capture the “perfect moment” especially when image includes moving subjects.
Another brand which seems, in my opinion, to disappoint in its new products on the “compact cameras” field is Canon. The G3X is a new model featuring the Sony 20MP 1″ sensor already seen on several models . The big selling point of this product is a fixed zoom covering the field of view ( in 35mm equivalents) from 24mm wide angle to a mega 600mm tele lens. Of course, this entails a very limited max aperture at the longer focal lengths (f 5.6 to be exact) and one would have to wait for the tests how the Image quality changes over the focal range.the EVF is optional and probably a requisite if you plan to use the focal length over 400mm ( and a good tripod as well). The camera is designed to rival with the Sony Rx10II bridge and the Panasonic Fz1000 but in my opinion does not offer any significant advantage over these 2 models except a weather-sealed camera.
A few days before these two new models, the Leica Q was announced. Of course its prize ($4,250 !!) puts in a different category altogether. Despite what some early previews claim, it is not the perfect street camera, far from it in my opinion. I would have more to say about this later on. Stay tuned !