Panasonic S9 hands-on: A powerful creator camera with a patented LUT simulation button

Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras have always been popular with pro video shooters, but to date the company hasn’t directly tackled a key segment: influencers. Today, it’s finally jumping in with the S9, a small and stylish full-frame camera with similar capabilities to Sony’s ZV-E1. The S9’s key feature is a dedicated LUT button and app that let you quickly select custom and preset video looks, much like you can with Fujifilm’s simulations.

With the same 24-megapixel sensor as Panasonic’s S5 II, the S9 supports up to 6.2K 30p video and comes with Panasonic’s latest phase-detect and AI-tracking autofocus. It also has advanced in-body stabilization that promises gimbal-like smoothness.

There are a few things missing, though, like a viewfinder and mechanical shutter. Finally, there’s the $1,500 price, which isn’t much less than the more-capable S5 II. So does Panasonic’s first camera for influencers deliver? I tested a pre-production version of the S9 in Japan to find out.

At 486 grams (17.1 ounces), the S9 is light for a full-frame camera and just three grams heavier than the ZV-E1. I’ll discuss Panasonic’s new 26mm f/8 lens soon, but with that, the whole system is small enough to slip into a bag and is actually a bit lighter than Fujifilm’s X100 VI.

The S9’s design is cute, but the polycarbonate body doesn’t feel nearly as premium as, say, Fuji’s X100 VI. It comes in a choice of red, blue, green and black in a faux leather covering. It’s not as pretty as Fujifilm’s offerings, but is more stylish than most Lumix cameras.

With that smooth design and no handle, though, it’s a bit hard to grip. This isn’t a problem when using lightweight lenses, but with larger ones like the Lumix 24-70mm f/2.8, the S9 could slip right out of your hand. Panasonic did give us a dedicated SmallRig grip that helps a lot, but that’s not included in the price.

The S9 has stripped-down controls compared to most Panasonic cameras. With no top rear dial or joystick, it's trickier to change settings than on larger models like the S5 II.

What it does have that we’ve never seen is a LUT button that Panasonic actually patented. Those letters stand for look-up table, and pressing the button brings up a choice of built-in or custom simulations.

Panasonic S9 mirrorless camera hands-on
Steve Dent for Engadget

The flip-around screen is great for vlogging, but the S9 lacks an electronic viewfinder, much like Sony’s ZV-E1. It has just a cold shoe on top, so it can't power flashes, microphones, a viewfinder or other accessories.

It’s also missing a headphone port, which is unfortunate for a camera dedicated to video. And while the Fujifilm X-T30 supports a headphone via the USB-C port, the S9 doesn’t have that option, nor does it support wireless sound. As for storage, the single SD card slot enables UHS-II speeds, but is located inconveniently next to the battery compartment

For a hybrid camera aimed at videographers, the S9 isn’t bad for stills. You can shoot at 9 RAW frames per second, and the buffer will hold up to 55 shots. The S9 doesn’t have a mechanical shutter, though, and distortion can be problematic with fast-moving subjects.

Continuous autofocus for photos works well, though it’s still behind Canon and Sony. The AI is good at locking onto human faces, bodies and eyes, and also works with animals, cars and motorcycles. It’s not a sports or wildlife camera by any means, but the majority of my photos were in focus.

Like the S5 II, the S9 shoots 14-bit RAW images in single-shot mode but drops to 12-bit RAW for burst shooting. As this was a pre-production camera without the final firmware, I was unable to test RAW quality, but I’d expect it to be in line with the Panasonic S5 II.

Photo quality otherwise is good from what I've seen so far, with realistic colors and skin tones. In low light, I wouldn’t go past about ISO 6400 as noise can get bad compared to cameras with similar sensors, like Nikon’s Z6 II.

Panasonic S9 mirrorless camera sample images
Steve Dent for Engadget

I liked the S9 as a street photography camera, as it’s discreet, silent and lightweight. However, the new $200 pancake lens that helps make it so light is manual focus only and has just one f/8 aperture setting which may turn off buyers. On top of that, with no electronics in the lens, the zoom window doesn’t pop up to aid focus. As such, you need to rely on the focus peaking assist.

As a video camera, the S9 is generally excellent, but has some pluses and minuses compared to the ZV-E1. On the positive side, the higher-resolution sensor allows for up to 6.2K 30p or supersampled 4K 30p video using the entire sensor width. It also supports full readout 3:2 capture that makes vertical video easier to shoot.

4K 60p requires an APS-C crop, and to get 120 fps video you need to drop down to 1080p. Like the S5 II, it supports a number of anamorphic formats with supported lenses.

Panasonic S9 mirrorless camera hands-on
Steve Dent for Engadget

The ZV-E1 has half the resolution, so video isn’t quite as sharp, but Sony’s camera can shoot 4K at up to 120 fps and rolling shutter isn’t nearly as bad.

One potential issue with this camera for creators is the limited continuous recording time, which is capped at just 10 minutes at 6.2K and 15 minutes at 4K. That’s due to the small size and lack of a fan, but you can start recording again immediately after it stops — so this would mainly affect event shooters needing to do long takes. We'll see if these recording times remain in the final firmware.

The S9 has excellent in-body stabilization, with up to 6.5 stops using supported lenses. Like the S5 II, it offers a boost mode that’s best for handheld shooting with limited movement, and an electronic mode with a 1.4x crop in the “high” setting.

Panasonic S9 hands-on: A powerful creator camera with a patented LUT simulation button
Steve Dent for Engadget

The latter can smooth out footsteps and other jolts well enough to replace a gimbal in a pinch. It does a better job than the ZV-E1 with abrupt movements, but the latter crops in slightly less at 1.3x.

Autofocus mostly keeps subjects sharp, but it can occasionally lag. The AI-powered face-tracking stays locked on a subject’s eyes and face, though sometimes the autofocus itself doesn’t keep up. However, these could be pre-production issues. 

With the same sensor as the S5 II, quality is very similar. Video is sharp and colors are realistic, with pleasing skin tones. It’s not quite as good in low light as other 24MP cameras like the Canon R6 II, with noise starting to become noticeable at ISO 6400. The ZV-E1, in comparison, can shoot clean video at ISO 12800 and even beyond.

Panasonic S9 mirrorless camera hands-on
Steve Dent for Engadget

I enjoy shooting Panasonic V-log video as it’s easy to adjust in post and offers excellent dynamic range. It’s one big reason Panasonic cameras are so popular with professional videographers, so it’s nice to see this on a less expensive model.

So what about the new LUT feature? To get the most out of it, you have to go into the new Lumix Lab app. Panasonic has a handful of presets to get you started, or you can load custom LUTs from a variety of creators. You can also make your own in an editing program like DaVinci Resolve.

Panasonic S9 mirrorless camera hands-on
Steve Dent for Engadget

Applying the LUT bakes the look into the video, which makes it hard to adjust it later on. However, you can shoot standard or V-Log footage and use the LUT as a preview, then apply that same look in post without being locked in.

The LUT button is a clever idea, as it allows creators to create cool shots without the need to futz around in post. However, many may not even be familiar with the term “LUT,” so Panasonic has an uphill battle selling the benefits. By comparison, many influencers understand the advantages of Fujifilm’s simulations.

Panasonic S9 mirrorless camera hands-on
Steve Dent for Engadget

With the S9, Panasonic is trying to attract influencers with a small, stylish camera that makes it easy to create interesting video looks quickly. At the same time, it has nearly all the capabilities of higher-end models like the S5 II.

It does have some flaws that make it a hard sell for photographers. And I’m concerned about the $1,500 price tag, as that’s just a bit less than the S5 II, which has an EVF, mechanical shutter, extra card slot, better ergonomics and more.

So far, it comes out well against the ZV-E1, though. I like the extra resolution and sharpness, and it has superior stabilization. It’s also cheaper, but only by about $300 at the moment. It looks like a good first try and I have a few quibbles, but I’ll know more once I’m able to test the production version.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/panasonic-s9-hands-on-a-powerful-creator-camera-with-a-patented-lut-simulation-button-140046910.html?src=rss

Sony’s new smartphone could entice shutterbugs away from Apple and Google

Sony used to be a fairly major player in the smartphone space, but its offerings never quite made a splash in the US. Despite that, the company has been pumping out yearly refreshes of its Xperia line of smartphones and the just-announced Xperia 1 VI looks like the perfect device for both amateur and professional photographers. Sony, after all, is no slouch when it comes to cameras.

The sixth-generation of the company’s flagship smartphone is filled with so many camera-centric features that it could actually lure people away from rival iPhone and Pixel devices. There’s a true optical zoom, AI-assisted autofocus and a telephoto camera for snapping macro shots.

This breaks down to three cameras on the back, in the form of a 24mm main camera with a 48-megapixel Sony Exmor T sensor, a 16mm ultrawide and the aforementioned 85-170mm variable zoom telephoto camera. That last one provides 3.5x to 7.1x magnification when compared to the main camera. The ladybug in your yard is begging for its closeup.

As for that AI-assisted autofocus, Sony touts a technology called “human pose estimation” that can recognize a person’s body and head position to provide the perfect focus. The camera system also supports filming video in 4K HDR at 120fps. All of these features work together within Sony’s new unified camera app, so people don’t have to constantly jump between different software to get the job done.

Of course, this is a smartphone and not just a bunch of cameras attached to a rectangle. The Xperia 1 VI boasts the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, 12GB of RAM and a choice between 256GB and 512GB of storage. Sony says the integrated 5,000mAh battery should allow for up to two days of use before requiring a charge. To that end, the device supports both 15W wireless charging and wireless battery sharing to other devices.

There is an OLED display which is nice, but it’s 2220 x 1080 and the Xperia V shipped with a 4K screen. The aspect ratio gets a hit here too, downsizing from 21:9 to 19.5:9. This display does now offer a variable refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz, however, and it can achieve a 50 percent higher peak brightness when compared to last year’s model. Also, 4K resolution on a phone screen is kind of unnecessary and this thing can shoot in 4K, which is what really matters.

The Sony Xperia 1 VI is available for preorders now in the UK, starting at the jaw-dropping asking price of $1,640 in US dollars. There’s some more bad news for US consumers. Unlike previous versions, the company has no current plans to bring this phone stateside.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonys-new-smartphone-could-entice-shutterbugs-away-from-apple-and-google-180755649.html?src=rss

Sony’s new smartphone could entice shutterbugs away from Apple and Google

Sony used to be a fairly major player in the smartphone space, but its offerings never quite made a splash in the US. Despite that, the company has been pumping out yearly refreshes of its Xperia line of smartphones and the just-announced Xperia 1 VI looks like the perfect device for both amateur and professional photographers. Sony, after all, is no slouch when it comes to cameras.

The sixth-generation of the company’s flagship smartphone is filled with so many camera-centric features that it could actually lure people away from rival iPhone and Pixel devices. There’s a true optical zoom, AI-assisted autofocus and a telephoto camera for snapping macro shots.

This breaks down to three cameras on the back, in the form of a 24mm main camera with a 48-megapixel Sony Exmor T sensor, a 16mm ultrawide and the aforementioned 85-170mm variable zoom telephoto camera. That last one provides 3.5x to 7.1x magnification when compared to the main camera. The ladybug in your yard is begging for its closeup.

As for that AI-assisted autofocus, Sony touts a technology called “human pose estimation” that can recognize a person’s body and head position to provide the perfect focus. The camera system also supports filming video in 4K HDR at 120fps. All of these features work together within Sony’s new unified camera app, so people don’t have to constantly jump between different software to get the job done.

Of course, this is a smartphone and not just a bunch of cameras attached to a rectangle. The Xperia 1 VI boasts the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, 12GB of RAM and a choice between 256GB and 512GB of storage. Sony says the integrated 5,000mAh battery should allow for up to two days of use before requiring a charge. To that end, the device supports both 15W wireless charging and wireless battery sharing to other devices.

There is an OLED display which is nice, but it’s 2220 x 1080 and the Xperia V shipped with a 4K screen. The aspect ratio gets a hit here too, downsizing from 21:9 to 19.5:9. This display does now offer a variable refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz, however, and it can achieve a 50 percent higher peak brightness when compared to last year’s model. Also, 4K resolution on a phone screen is kind of unnecessary and this thing can shoot in 4K, which is what really matters.

The Sony Xperia 1 VI is available for preorders now in the UK, starting at the jaw-dropping asking price of $1,640 in US dollars. There’s some more bad news for US consumers. Unlike previous versions, the company has no current plans to bring this phone stateside.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonys-new-smartphone-could-entice-shutterbugs-away-from-apple-and-google-180755649.html?src=rss

Fujifilm’s X-T50 has a special dial for film simulations

Fujifilm has unveiled the X-T50 APS-C mirrorless camera, a long-awaited follow-up to the consumer-friendly X-T30 and X-T30 II. The new model retains key features from the past model, including the light weight and generous manual controls. At the same time, it adds a higher-resolution 40.2-megapixel sensor, 6.2K 30p video and other features from the X-T5 and other recent models. However, it also has a much higher price than the X-T30 and unusual new dial that may prove controversial. 

The X-T50 looks similar to the X-T30 II, with a relatively slim and light 438 gram (15.45 ounce) body, just a bit heavier than before. However, in place of the shooting mode dial on the previous model, Fujifilm introduced a dedicated film simulation dial with eight preset modes (Acros, Nostalgic Negative, Classic Neg and others), three custom slots for other built-in simulations and a custom slot for user-designed simulations.

The company likely believes that sales of the X100 V and VI took off due to the popularity of film simulations with the TikTok and influencer set. However, users may find that it's more of a hassle to change shooting modes (burst, single-shot etc.) than before.

Fujifilm's X-T50 has a special dial for film simulations
Fujifilm

One key feature missing from the X-T30 was in-body stabilization, but with the X-T50, Fujifilm has introduced a five-axis system with seven stops of shake reduction that hardly adds any weight. That will make it a much better tourism and street photography camera, as handheld shooting is possible at shutter speeds down to 1/4th of a second or so. It will also make the X-T50 far more useful for video. 

Unfortunately, the rear 1.8-million-dot display still only flips up/down and not out, so it's not going to be great for vlogging. Another feature carried over is the NP-W126S battery (about half the power of the battery in the X-T5), which is pretty small considering the higher-resolution sensor and upgraded video capabilities. 

With the same sensor as the X-T5, X-H2 and X100 VI, you can expect similar image quality and speeds, up to 13 fps bursts with the electronic shutter. Autofocus performance is likely to be in line with the X100 VI, which is to say, pretty good but not great. The main attraction, Fujifilm hopes, will be the film simulations that let creators take Instagram-ready shots straight out of the camera.

Fujifilm's X-T50 has a special dial for film simulations
Fujifilm

Like the X-100 VI, the X-T50 is surprisingly competent at video as well, with 6.2K at up to 30p and 10-bit F-Log2 on tap. That's why, again, it's a shame that it doesn't have a flip-out screen as vloggers and content creators may prefer the form factor and interchangeable lenses over the X100 VI. 

Fujifilm also introduced the Fujinon XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR (24-75 or so in full-frame terms). It's a compact, lightweight and decently fast kit zoom that should be ideal for the X-T50. Though it costs $700 by itself, it's a much better deal if purchased in a kit.

The X-T50 is now on pre-order for $1,400 (body only), or $1,800 with the XF16-50mm. That's a hefty $500 more than the X-T30 II cost at launch, and just a few hundred dollars less than the X-T5. I'm not sure that the extra features justify such a large jump, but Fujifilm must be confident that people will pay it, given the runaway success of the X100 series. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/fujifilms-x-t50-has-a-special-dial-for-film-simulations-060043643.html?src=rss

Fujifilm’s X-T50 has a special dial for film simulations

Fujifilm has unveiled the X-T50 APS-C mirrorless camera, a long-awaited follow-up to the consumer-friendly X-T30 and X-T30 II. The new model retains key features from the past model, including the light weight and generous manual controls. At the same time, it adds a higher-resolution 40.2-megapixel sensor, 6.2K 30p video and other features from the X-T5 and other recent models. However, it also has a much higher price than the X-T30 and unusual new dial that may prove controversial. 

The X-T50 looks similar to the X-T30 II, with a relatively slim and light 438 gram (15.45 ounce) body, just a bit heavier than before. However, in place of the shooting mode dial on the previous model, Fujifilm introduced a dedicated film simulation dial with eight preset modes (Acros, Nostalgic Negative, Classic Neg and others), three custom slots for other built-in simulations and a custom slot for user-designed simulations.

The company likely believes that sales of the X100 V and VI took off due to the popularity of film simulations with the TikTok and influencer set. However, users may find that it's more of a hassle to change shooting modes (burst, single-shot etc.) than before.

Fujifilm's X-T50 has a special dial for film simulations
Fujifilm

One key feature missing from the X-T30 was in-body stabilization, but with the X-T50, Fujifilm has introduced a five-axis system with seven stops of shake reduction that hardly adds any weight. That will make it a much better tourism and street photography camera, as handheld shooting is possible at shutter speeds down to 1/4th of a second or so. It will also make the X-T50 far more useful for video. 

Unfortunately, the rear 1.8-million-dot display still only flips up/down and not out, so it's not going to be great for vlogging. Another feature carried over is the NP-W126S battery (about half the power of the battery in the X-T5), which is pretty small considering the higher-resolution sensor and upgraded video capabilities. 

With the same sensor as the X-T5, X-H2 and X100 VI, you can expect similar image quality and speeds, up to 13 fps bursts with the electronic shutter. Autofocus performance is likely to be in line with the X100 VI, which is to say, pretty good but not great. The main attraction, Fujifilm hopes, will be the film simulations that let creators take Instagram-ready shots straight out of the camera.

Fujifilm's X-T50 has a special dial for film simulations
Fujifilm

Like the X-100 VI, the X-T50 is surprisingly competent at video as well, with 6.2K at up to 30p and 10-bit F-Log2 on tap. That's why, again, it's a shame that it doesn't have a flip-out screen as vloggers and content creators may prefer the form factor and interchangeable lenses over the X100 VI. 

Fujifilm also introduced the Fujinon XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR (24-75 or so in full-frame terms). It's a compact, lightweight and decently fast kit zoom that should be ideal for the X-T50. Though it costs $700 by itself, it's a much better deal if purchased in a kit.

The X-T50 is now on pre-order for $1,400 (body only), or $1,800 with the XF16-50mm. That's a hefty $500 more than the X-T30 II cost at launch, and just a few hundred dollars less than the X-T5. I'm not sure that the extra features justify such a large jump, but Fujifilm must be confident that people will pay it, given the runaway success of the X100 series. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/fujifilms-x-t50-has-a-special-dial-for-film-simulations-060043643.html?src=rss

Fujifilm’s medium-frame GFX 100S II is lighter, cheaper and AI-enhanced

Fujifilm’s successor to the GFX 100S, its 2021 medium format camera with terrific performance but slow speeds, is the aptly named GFX 100S II. The new model is $1,000 cheaper, smaller, lighter and has (shocker) AI features to improve its autofocus, one of our gripes with its predecessor.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S II uses a 102MP high-speed sensor and the X-Processor 5 processing engine. The company says its medium format sensor is about 1.7 times larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor. Its body weighs around 883g (including the battery and memory card), making it the lightest in the lineup.

The camera has “enhanced” in-body image stabilization, allowing for a maximum of eight-stop, five-axis performance. This could boost its image quality when using longer exposure times. 

Fujifilm says it improved the sensor’s pixel layout design, enabling a standard sensitivity of ISO80. “When the sensor sensitivity is set at ISO80, the camera can capture images at greater dynamic range and lower noise than with the previous model” when shooting in 16-bit RAW mode, the company wrote in a press release. This should lead to better low-light performance, autofocus accuracy and overall image quality.

The camera’s sensor has an improved micro-lens design, increasing light use efficiency at its edges. Fujifilm says this gives it better image quality and autofocus accuracy around the edges than its predecessor.

A person holding and looking down at the Fujifilm GFX 100S II in an indoor setting with blurred background. View from the person’s left side.
Fujifilm

Like nearly every other bit of recent tech gear, Fujifilm is using AI in its products — in this case, AI-based subject detection. Fujifilm says it can automatically recognize animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, trains, insects, and drones and focus accordingly. The company claims its improved autofocus predictive algorithm and a continuous shooting speed of up to seven FPS make it better at tracking high-speed subjects. Autofocus was one of our nitpicks in Engadget’s review of the GFX 100S, so we’ll be curious to see if those claims hold up in practice.

On the video front, the new camera supports 4K / 30P 4:2:2 10bit videos (for more precise color reproduction) when using its internal SD card. It’s equipped with the F-Log 2 profile for improved dynamic range. Its compatibility is boosted by supporting Apple ProRes, but only when using an external solid-state drive connected via USB-C.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S II costs $4,999, or €5,499 in Europe. That’s cheaper than the $7,500 GFX 100 II, trading some extra video perks for less of a hit on the wallet. You can order it on Friday from Fujifilm’s website.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/fujifilms-medium-frame-gfx-100s-ii-is-lighter-cheaper-and-ai-enhanced-060037826.html?src=rss

Fujifilm’s medium-frame GFX 100S II is lighter, cheaper and AI-enhanced

Fujifilm’s successor to the GFX 100S, its 2021 medium format camera with terrific performance but slow speeds, is the aptly named GFX 100S II. The new model is $1,000 cheaper, smaller, lighter and has (shocker) AI features to improve its autofocus, one of our gripes with its predecessor.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S II uses a 102MP high-speed sensor and the X-Processor 5 processing engine. The company says its medium format sensor is about 1.7 times larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor. Its body weighs around 883g (including the battery and memory card), making it the lightest in the lineup.

The camera has “enhanced” in-body image stabilization, allowing for a maximum of eight-stop, five-axis performance. This could boost its image quality when using longer exposure times. 

Fujifilm says it improved the sensor’s pixel layout design, enabling a standard sensitivity of ISO80. “When the sensor sensitivity is set at ISO80, the camera can capture images at greater dynamic range and lower noise than with the previous model” when shooting in 16-bit RAW mode, the company wrote in a press release. This should lead to better low-light performance, autofocus accuracy and overall image quality.

The camera’s sensor has an improved micro-lens design, increasing light use efficiency at its edges. Fujifilm says this gives it better image quality and autofocus accuracy around the edges than its predecessor.

A person holding and looking down at the Fujifilm GFX 100S II in an indoor setting with blurred background. View from the person’s left side.
Fujifilm

Like nearly every other bit of recent tech gear, Fujifilm is using AI in its products — in this case, AI-based subject detection. Fujifilm says it can automatically recognize animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, trains, insects, and drones and focus accordingly. The company claims its improved autofocus predictive algorithm and a continuous shooting speed of up to seven FPS make it better at tracking high-speed subjects. Autofocus was one of our nitpicks in Engadget’s review of the GFX 100S, so we’ll be curious to see if those claims hold up in practice.

On the video front, the new camera supports 4K / 30P 4:2:2 10bit videos (for more precise color reproduction) when using its internal SD card. It’s equipped with the F-Log 2 profile for improved dynamic range. Its compatibility is boosted by supporting Apple ProRes, but only when using an external solid-state drive connected via USB-C.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S II costs $4,999, or €5,499 in Europe. That’s cheaper than the $7,500 GFX 100 II, trading some extra video perks for less of a hit on the wallet. You can order it on Friday from Fujifilm’s website.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/fujifilms-medium-frame-gfx-100s-ii-is-lighter-cheaper-and-ai-enhanced-060037826.html?src=rss

Canon confirms its long-rumored flagship EOS R1 is coming later this year

After years of rumors, Canon has confirmed that a flagship EOS R1 camera is in the works for its EOS line. The full-frame mirrorless camera is slated to arrive later this year and, while Canon hasn't revealed all the details just yet, it teased just enough to whet your appetite. There's no indication as to how much the EOS R1 will cost just yet either, but you may need to dig deep into your wallet this one.

The company says that the professional-grade camera will have an RF mount and offer improved video and still performance compared with the EOS R3. It will boast an upgraded image processing system that combines a fresh CMOS sensor, a new image processor called Digic Accelerator and the existing Digic X processor.

Canon says the system will be able to process a large volume of data at high speed and deliver advancements in auto focus and other areas. The company claims it's been able to combine the capabilities of the image processing system with its deep-learning tech to achieve "high-speed and high-accuracy subject recognition."

This powers a feature called Action Priority, which can, for instance, detect a player carrying a certain action in a sports game (like shooting a ball) and identify them as the main subject for a shot. The system would be able to instantly shift the auto focus frame in that person's direction to help make sure the photographer doesn't miss out on capturing key moments from a game.

Canon claims the EOS R1 can track athletes during sporting events even if they're momentarily out of line of sight. The focus on sports in the initial announcement suggests that the camera could be put to the test at this summer's Olympic Games in Paris.

In addition, Canon says it's bringing the image noise reduction feature that was initially built for PC software directly into the camera. It suggests this further improves image quality and can help users fulfill their creative goals.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/canon-confirms-its-long-rumored-flagship-eos-r1-is-coming-later-this-year-142838188.html?src=rss

Canon confirms its long-rumored flagship EOS R1 is coming later this year

After years of rumors, Canon has confirmed that a flagship EOS R1 camera is in the works for its EOS line. The full-frame mirrorless camera is slated to arrive later this year and, while Canon hasn't revealed all the details just yet, it teased just enough to whet your appetite. There's no indication as to how much the EOS R1 will cost just yet either, but you may need to dig deep into your wallet this one.

The company says that the professional-grade camera will have an RF mount and offer improved video and still performance compared with the EOS R3. It will boast an upgraded image processing system that combines a fresh CMOS sensor, a new image processor called Digic Accelerator and the existing Digic X processor.

Canon says the system will be able to process a large volume of data at high speed and deliver advancements in auto focus and other areas. The company claims it's been able to combine the capabilities of the image processing system with its deep-learning tech to achieve "high-speed and high-accuracy subject recognition."

This powers a feature called Action Priority, which can, for instance, detect a player carrying a certain action in a sports game (like shooting a ball) and identify them as the main subject for a shot. The system would be able to instantly shift the auto focus frame in that person's direction to help make sure the photographer doesn't miss out on capturing key moments from a game.

Canon claims the EOS R1 can track athletes during sporting events even if they're momentarily out of line of sight. The focus on sports in the initial announcement suggests that the camera could be put to the test at this summer's Olympic Games in Paris.

In addition, Canon says it's bringing the image noise reduction feature that was initially built for PC software directly into the camera. It suggests this further improves image quality and can help users fulfill their creative goals.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/canon-confirms-its-long-rumored-flagship-eos-r1-is-coming-later-this-year-142838188.html?src=rss

Fujifilm X100 VI review: A one-of-a-kind camera for street photography and travel

Fujifilm’s X100 V became a surprising viral hit thanks to influencers who loved not only its performance but also its retro-chic cool factor. Now, the company has launched its successor, the similar-looking but more-capable X100 VI. It’s only been on sale a short time, but retailers are already reporting months-long waiting lists.

It features some key improvements over the previous model, including a much higher-resolution 40-megapixel sensor, in-body stabilization and better video. At the same time, it retains the looks and compact size people loved about the X100 V.

I couldn’t wait to get a hold of one to check out the performance for myself and see if it’s worth a purchase or upgrade. To test, I hopped on the Eurostar over to London with my French photographer friends to see if it’s worth the high price and considerable wait.

The X100 series is beloved in large part because of the vintage rangefinder camera styling, and Fujifilm didn’t mess with that. In addition to the near-identical looks, the X100 VI’s button and dial layout is unchanged. Fujifilm also kept the previous model’s 23mm f/2 lens.

To accommodate the in-body stabilization, the X100 VI is slightly chunkier and weighs 18.4 ounces, about 1.4 ounces more than before. That’s not much, but every bit counts for a camera designed to be carried around all day.

The control design with dedicated dials for ISO, shutter, aperture and exposure compensation is a bit old-fashioned compared to modern cameras. But it does serve a purpose, showing settings at a glance. That’s a must for shooting on the fly.

The X100 VI isn’t just cosplaying as a rangefinder, either. On top of the 3.69-million dot electronic viewfinder (same as the last model), it offers a rangefinder-style optical finder and a hybrid of the two with a picture-in-picture EVF. The last setting is for people who still want a digital security blanket, and it works very well.

Also unchanged is the rear display, allowing basic up and down tilting for high or low angle shooting. That’s not great for selfies or vlogging, but perfect for shooting from the hip.

The menu system is mostly the same, which is a good thing as it’s relatively easy to find key settings. To avoid diving in, though, you can use the quick menu and numerous buttons and dials for easier adjustments. It’s also customizable and I’d advise buyers to set it up to their preferences to avoid any shooting errors.

The X100 VI has a single slot that only supports slower UHS-I cards, unfortunately, along with a USB-C port for charging and data. The MicroHDMI port also lets you use external recorders, though the tiny camera looks awkward with one attached. Finally, the battery is the same smallish one as before, unfortunately — more on that in a bit.

Fujifilm X100 VI sample image gallery
Samuel Dejours for Engadget

Despite the higher resolution, the X100 VI still shoots at a decent 11 fps, with buffer space for about 17 uncompressed RAW frames. JPEG bursts are a bit faster at 13 fps in electronic shutter mode and the buffer size jumps to 37 frames in that case.

Unless you really need total silence, the mechanical shutter is your best bet. It’s very quiet, and you’ll see considerable rolling shutter in electronic mode.

Autofocus is much-improved compared to the V. It’s more reliable for subject tracking and adds new autofocus modes for animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, airplanes and trains. Fuji’s eye- and subject-detection are in separate modes though, forcing you to change settings.

Fujifilm’s AF system was already middling, lagging behind Sony and Canon. The X100 VI is even less effective than Fujifilm’s larger X-H2 and X-T5, due to the slowish motors on the fixed lens. That means focusing on moving subjects is a bit hit or miss. That said, burst shooting is not what this camera is for and the fact that it’s decent at all is a bonus.

Fujifilm X100 VI mirrorless camera review
Steve Dent for Engadget

In-body stabilization might be the biggest improvement to come to the X100 lineup. With six stops of shake reduction, you can get sharp photos down to about a quarter second. That lets you blur motion to make interesting, creative shots.

The optical finder takes some getting used to, as it’s not a direct view through the lens like with DSLRs. It’s off to the side of the lens, so this parallax means subjects that are close to the camera may not be framed the way you expect. That’s why the EVF insert mode is so handy as it supplies a second true view of the scene.

One issue is battery life, with only 450 shots on a charge or 310 if you use the EVF. I found that one battery wasn’t enough for a full day’s shooting, so factor extra ones into your buying decision. You may also want an external charger, as Fujifilm doesn’t supply one in the box.

The 40MP sensor obviously delivers a big boost in resolution over the X100 V’s 26MP. The extra pixels are also handy if you need to crop in, which is a common requirement with a fixed wide-angle lens camera. And while the lens is the same as before, it’s sharp enough to resolve the extra detail.

If this sensor seems familiar, that’s because it’s the same as the one on the X-T5 and X-H2, so the image quality here is similar to those. In-camera treatment of JPEG and 10-bit HEIF files is handled well, with pleasant, accurate colors and a nice balance of noise reduction and detail. You can often share photos straight out of the camera, too, something that’s important to street photographers who do little to no post-processing.

The 14-bit RAW photos offer plenty of room for fine-tuning, even in bright or dark areas. However, if you underexpose shots and try to boost levels, noise can get out of hand compared to a full-frame camera.

Fujifilm X100 VI sample image gallery

The higher resolution doesn’t hurt image quality much at higher ISOs. Noise is well controlled up to ISO 6400, and you can go up to 12800 if exposure is set correctly. I was impressed with the quality when shooting in bars and other dark environments.

And of course, the X100 VI offers Fujifilm’s full array of film simulation modes. You can experiment with popular looks like Velvia, Eterna or Acros black and white, and still have a full-color RAW backup. As the only major camera company also selling 35mm film, Fuji’s simulations are the most pleasing and realistic.

The X100 VI’s excellent video specs are another bonus. It has nearly the same feature set as the X-T5, so you can shoot 6.2K at 30 fps with a 1.23x crop, or 4K at up to 60 fps with line-skipping and a 1.14x crop. The camera also offers sub-sampled 4K at up to 30p using the full sensor width, or high-quality 4K 30p with a 1.23x crop. Fujifilm also introduced 10-bit and F-Log2.

Fujifilm X100 VI review
Samuel Dejours for Engadget

It took me a while to get used to the different modes and cropping levels. At 6.2K and 4K HQ, rolling shutter is pronounced so you’ll need to be aware of that. At the same time, full-sensor sub-sampled 4K is noticeably more low-res than the HQ mode.

Video autofocus matches what I saw with photos, meaning it was decent but not super reliable for moving subjects. The AI-powered AF did lock onto subjects, but again, couldn’t always keep up to flying birds, animals or vehicles.

Handheld video is now a realistic option with in-body stabilization. It worked well as long as I didn’t move around much, and offers a “boost” mode that smooths out jiggles further. Digital stabilization is also an option, but isn’t supported with the 6K or HQ modes, and doesn’t really reduce jolts for walking or fast movements.

Video quality is solid for a small compact camera, offering the same accurate colors you see in JPEG photo modes. Shooting in 10-bit F-Log makes it possible to adjust footage considerably in post or get creative. You can also shoot video using the film simulation modes if you want a specific look straight out of the camera.

Fujifilm X100 VI sample image gallery
Samuel Dejours for Engadget

Fujifilm has made all the right moves to keep the X100 VI’s popularity high by tucking a very competent street and travel camera into a beautiful retro-cute body. The extra resolution, in-body stabilization and new video features should be more than enough to tempt owners to upgrade.

At $1,600, the X100 VI doesn’t have a lot of competition — which is odd, given its success. Leica springs to mind with the Q3, though that costs a whopping $6,000. Another option is the $1,000 Ricoh GR IIIx, which also offers in-body stabilization and an ND filter. However, resolution is lower at 24MP and it lacks the X100 VI’s high-end video features.

Sony’s ZV-1 II is also in this compact category, but it’s mostly designed for video. Keep an eye on Panasonic, as it may release a new compact camera, according to recent rumors. In any case, if you’re in the market for a high-end compact and can afford the X100 VI, I wouldn’t hesitate — there’s a lot of camera inside that beautiful body.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/fujifilm-x100-vi-review-a-one-of-a-kind-camera-for-street-photography-and-travel-133004951.html?src=rss