The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas isn't normally the event that major products in photography are unveiled, especially since Photokina is coming up later this year. However, there were a few stand-out announcements that caught my attention. And, no, this is not helping my GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) one bit...
First up, one (sort of) expected camera, and one that people thought had been lost forever
to the realms of photography myth. The Nikon D5 and D500 are definitely sibling camera bodies. Both contain the same Expeed 5 sensor, the same 153 point AF system, and the same tilty touch screen (similar in design to the D750, although doesn't seem to be getting as much hate). What does make the D500 stand out, however, is the ability to record 4K video. Now, yes, the D5 does this too, but the D500 can record in full 4K at 30fps for 29 minutes. This does make the D5's 3 minutes look a little pathetic - I'm not sure of the reason for the limit on the D5 (overheating?), and surely it will not do it any favours when Canon's 1Dx follow-up appears (rumoured to come later this year).
Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Mmmm, giant lens...This was an expected announcement, as this lens has been rumoured, then rumoured to be delayed etc etc (it has also been on the Fuji product roadmap for a year or so). However, it still looks impressive, with an equivalent 35mm focal length of 152-609mm, weather sealing (with a fluorine (PTFE maybe?) coating on the front element to help repel moisture) and 5 stops of image stabilisation. I couldn't work out/figure out if the image stabilisation has two modes a la the Sigma super-teles and some of the Nikons, but this lens will definitely appeal to sports and wildlife photographers. Again, another lens that will continue to make this system an attractive alternative to DSLRs.
What's that I hear you say, a flashgun? Big deal, right? Well yes, because one of the things that
possibly holds people back from switching fully to the X system is the lack of kit, like decent hot shoe flashes. This flash unit has a high speed sync of 1/8000 sec (found on high end flashes like the Nikon SB-900) and it is weather resistant. Both of these features were clearly showing that this was developed with the Fuji X-Pro2 in mind.
Samsung 2TB T3 SSD drive
As the megapixel count on camera bodies stays consistently at 20MP or above, secure, reliable data storage is still a pressing need for many users. Solid state drives (SSD) have been coming down in price for some time, and now we are at the point where you can get a useable amount of storage without having to sell your
children house to afford it. The other thing that makes this so attractive is its size - smaller than an average business card...which is just ridiculous...Write speeds are quoted to be 450 MB/s via a USB 3.1 type C interface, which is the current standard.
There were lots of other announcements, such as a plethora of drones and action cameras (including the relatively novel Nikon KeyMission 360), but the ones I have discussed seemed to offer the most innovation (or failing that, a major addition to a line-up). We will have to wait and see what CP+ brings us in February...
If you spotted anything at CES that caught your eye, let me know in the comments below.