The week has been really hectic with several announcements of cameras that would be of interest for photographers who want to travel light and travelers who take their photos seriously
First, on monday , the Leica Q was announced. If one accepts the term of “expert compact camera as a camera with a fixed lens, a large sensor and a sophisticated lens with bright max aperture, the Leica would easily gets the crown of the king of expert compact camera, at least in terms of its pricing : $4,250.
the closest competitor in terms of features and philosophy would be the Sony RX1 and RX1R which was introduced two years ago. The RX1R is now available for $2,798. Both share a 24MP 35mm sensor with an ambitious lens . The Sony has a Zeiss labeled 2/35mm while the Leica features a very bright Leica 1.7/28mm summilux.
The Leica also has the advantage of having a high-res built-in EVF while the Sony EVF is optional and not that exciting. In terms of silhouette the Leica Q bears some resemblance to the M series but of course it does not have a built-in rangefinder. Instead we got a built-in EVF. Strangely enough, the Q continues of having the 3:2 ratio as the sole option which is strange considering that with no rangefinder or optical finder , it is easy and customary to offer other popular ratios like 4:3 and 1:1.
Obviously this new Leica Q is going to interest only a limited clientele if only by the price point.
Today Sony brings no less than THREE new cameras all of them updates to their arguably three most successful models :
1/First on the carry-everywhere compact camera with a fixed zoom we have the Sony RX100 IV which as the name indicates is the fourth iteration of this design. In addition to some significant improvements for video (4K among other things) the camera offers new features like faster AF.
the sensor count is still at 20MP but it is a new generation of sensor that Sony calls stack sensor versus the BSI sensor of the current model. It will be interesting to see the first tests to discover if image quality gains will be mostly visible at the highest ISO or if they would also be obvious at normal iso range. The camera should hit the shelves sometime in July at $950.
2/ On the “bridge cameras” front we now have the Sony RX 10 II. Compared to its 2013 predecessor the camera features the same new sensor mentioned in the above paragraph and similar improvements for video. For still photographers a worthy improvement is going to be the higher res electronic viewfinder with 2.35 MP resolution. The RX10 II will be available starting in July at the price of $1,299.
3/ Third on the mirrorless side, Sony also brings us the Sony A7RII which features a 42MP sensor. The sensor technology is BSI which is a first on a 35mm sensor. The new model features several improvements for video and faster autofocus. The new camera is also said to reduce the problem of shutter shake.
the A7R II will be available in August at a price around $3,200.
And we are not done yet. Over the last few days, we also have seen the first leaked specs and a front pic of the successor to the Ricoh GR. The Ricoh GR is my carry-everywhere camera and my favorite camera for travel as tested here and here .
The GR is going to be similar in look and size to the current model and is rumored to have a swivel LCD, wifi and NFC connection ( WIFI seems to be a must on all recent cameras)
The new camera will be called simply the GR ii which should not be confused with the GRD 2 which was introduced in 2007 and had the much smaller (1/1.7” sensor) of the GRD line ( versus GR line). The camera has not been formally announced yet but in typical Ricoh fashion , camera is usually available in stores a few weeks after announcement. I will publish links, and test , this camera as soon as I can get my hands on one . Pricing for the GrII is still unknown at this time.
I will add pre-order links and additional information shortly. Stay tuned.