I am finally back after an almost four months hiatus. I hope you all had a pleasant and photographically productive summer .There are two main reasons for my long “radio silence”. The main reason is that I relocated from two far away countries to a third one. I am now about to make a significant career change (more on that subject soon).
What I can already share is that I am now based in Andalousia in the South of Spain. After 18 years in the USA and 4 years in Belgium, I am now starting a new Spanish Chapter in my life as photographer.
That being said , there is also a more prosaic reason for not publishing articles for the last two months. The last few months have been extremely quiet on the camera front
Only last week , we start to get official announcements of cameras which had been rumored for some time now.
And let me say that this does not include any major new product as far as light travelers are concerned.
It is a well known fact that the camera market is experiencing a serious decline for years but this year has been quieter than most even for a non- Photokina year.
As a sidenote on Photokina , it is worth knowing that starting in 2018 the fair will from now on takes place every year instead of every OTHER year .
The German show will take place on 4 days (wednesday through saturday) versus 6 in its present form
Even if we see some new products this fall, my bet is that 2017 is going to be a blank year in terms of market – changing products
Moreover, the new products coming , while interesting, are not really bringing some major improvements in terms of image quality or new functions.
Let’ s look at what has just arrived or is about to arrive from the different manufacturers :
For sure the Nikon D850 is a significant new product as far as pro DSLRs are concerned.
On the mirrorless front this has not been a good year for Nikon afficionados. the 1 system is dead on arrival despite some weak denials from Nikon
executives and Nikon got a lot of bad PR when it decided to kill its new DL line. It is certain that Nikon is working on something else either for late this year or early next year.
Whether early buyers would get suspicious of a new system remains to be seen
There is now talk about a coming G1X mark III but I doubt that Canon is going to be smart enough to finally give up on the very obsolete back wheel which offers very poor manual controls
Canon has also a new lower end model of its Mirrorless M series with the M100 model. As I have said many times before , this is not a purchase I would recommend due to the very limited options in terms of Canon lenses for those M bodies. The only system which produced more bodies than lenses…
Nothing much new either on the m4/3rds front. Olympus just announced a modest upgrade of its Em10 Mark II model but nothing much to
excite here. Even the sensor is still the now “old” 16MP sensor
Two things from Sony. First a tiny Sony Rx Zero which is essentially a competitor to the Gopro system. Sony also just introduced its fourth version of its RX10, a mirrorless bridge camera. The RX10 IV is very similar to its predecessor with phase detection Autofocus. While it certainly makes some functions more versatile (especially video) I am not sure it would make an worthwhile upgrade to users of the mark III. In my opinion, Sony made the wrong turn with the third model. While having a 24-600 equivalent focal range looks good in paper, it is not rosy in the field . The Sony RX10 I & II were very well balanced and had a reasonable weight for carry all day travel camera. With the addition of the much longer zoom, the body became significantly front heavy and is not something you will comfortable around your neck for a long walk.
Sony pushed the zoom on the third model to compete with the Panasonic FZ1000 model but I think they would have had a wider clientele if they had kept it under 300mm at the long end .
FUJI, RICOH , PENTAX
Last but not least , I am sorry to report that despite several rumors , there is no sign of a new Ricoh GR.
The Ricoh GR and GRII are , by far, my favorite street cameras and my most used camera when traveling.
The closest camera to the GR series , at least in terms of specs, is the Fuji X70 which was discontinued a few months ago already
The Fuji x80 was rumored to come last May to replace, and hopefully improve, the discontinued X70 but is still nowhere in sight . Personally, I am not sure why anyone would buy the X70 over the GRII but if the Ricoh model does not get an update , it is highly possible it would benefit the new X80
There is also a new XE3 model announced but again this is a lower end model which should not bring anything new for X owners.
On the Pentax side , it is even quieter .. Just a limited silver edition of their K1 Dslr model…
of course one can hope we will get a few surprise announcements before 2017 is over but this has to be the least exciting year for new travel cameras for quite some time..
That being said , I am already working on publishing several travel-related articles in the next few days. Stay tuned.