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Gear Announcements

6 Photokina Announcements Action/Wildlife Photographers Should Note

By Anthony Thurston on September 17th 2014

If you are an action/sports/wildlife photographer, then this has been the Photokina of your dreams. Seriously, almost every company has announced something aimed at the specific needs of the action/sports/wildlife photographers out there.

Today, I wanted to highlight 6 of the announcements that caught my attention the most from the perspective of a sports/wildlife shooter.

1. Canon’s 7D Mark II

7d-mark-II

Complain all you want about the 7D Mark II‘s video capabilities or sensor, but from an action/sports/wildlife perspective, this is an absolutely killer announcement from Canon. 10 FPS, 65 cross-type AF points, and the rugged pro build makes this probably the top APS-C in my mind for a sports/action/wildlife photographer. If you are into this kind of shooting, the 7D Mark II absolutely has to be considered if you are looking to upgrade your body anytime soon and are not looking at a flagship full frame body like a D4s or 1D X.

You can pre-order the 7D Mark II from B&H now for $1799.

2. Sigma’s Dual 150-600mm F/5.-6.3 Lenses

sigma-compare

Probably the next biggest announcement came from Sigma in the form of their two 150-600mm lenses. I was taken back at first with two releases of the same focal length and aperture, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. Rather than making one lens that tries to make everyone happy (budget aware amateurs vs seasoned professionals), and skimps on features to do so, Sigma made two lenses, to meet the needs of both their target markets. The Sports version is clearly meant for pros that need the extra weather sealing and optical quality and can afford to pay for it, while the contemporary version cuts out the frills and provides amateurs and hobbyists with a great performing lens and a great $$ to performance ratio.

No word yet on the contemporary version, but the Sports version of this lens is now available for pre-order from B&H for $1,999.

3. Samsung’s NX1 & 50-150mm F/2.8

samsung-nx1-front

The jury is still out on whether or not the NX1 will be able to live up to the expectations placed on it thanks to some very impressive specs, but from what we know now, the NX1 looks to be a top option for mirrorless sports/action/wildlife shooters. Combine that with the announcement of their 50-150mm F/2.8 (a roughly 70-200mm 35mm equivalent lens) and the pair looks to create a nice combination for a sports/action/wildlife shooter.

If you are interested in taking a chance on this NX1, you can pre-order the body for $1499. If you already have another Samsung body, you can pre-order the new 50-150mm for $1599.

4. Fuji‘s New 50-140mm F/2.8

fuji-xf-50-140mm

If you are a Fuji shooter, or have been waiting for them to get a quality pro level telephoto zoom for your action/sports/wildlife photography, then wait no more. This new 50-140mm F/2.8 from Fuji appears to be the perfect combination with something like their X-T1 for a sports/action/wildlife shooter. They still have some catching up to do with their lens selection, but this is a great start.

You can pre-order this new 50-140mm lens from Fuji now for $1599.

5. Canon’s New 400mm F/4

canon-400mm-f4

It won’t grab a lot of headlines due to its hefty price tag, but the new Canon 400mm F/4 should be something to consider for sports/action/wildlife shooters out there with the budget for something that expensive (though honestly, it’s hard to say go with a 400mm prime with the Sigma 120-300mm F/2.8 coming in at almost half the price). If you are set on needing a 400mm prime and can’t splurge 11K+ on the 400mm F/2.8, this will be a great option.

Those interested can find the 400mm F/4 DO available for pre-order now from B&H for $6,899.

6. Olympus’s New 40-150mm F/2.8

olympus40-150mm

Finally, for you MFT shooters out there, or those of you maybe looking to get some better action shots out of your MFT rig. Olympus announced a new 40-150mm F/2.8, which looks to be really impressive. If you have a new GH4, or an Olympus E-M1, this will make a great partner for those bodies in a sports/action/wildlife photography situation.

Those interested in this impressive new MFT lens can pre-order now from B&H for $1499.

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What do you think has been the most significant announcement from Photokina so far from a sports/action/wildlife photography perspective? Leave a comment below!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Matthew Saville

    So, I guess Olympus has given up on the f/2 zooms then? I guess they realized they were just as big and heavy as the full-frame 2.8 versions, thus voiding the whole reason people are into the 2x crop system in the first place…

    =Matt=

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  2. Jeff Morrison

    I’m into sports/action/wildlife photography and these announcements are killing my wallet.

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  3. Daniel Jester

    I’m not a sports or wildlife photographer, but I am very excited about the new Fuji lens.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Aye, wedding and portrait photographers have a lot to be excited about with that lens as well.

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  4. Phil Bautista

    Sports/wildlife photographers are gonna have to work harder so they can afford them new toys.

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  5. Chuck Eggen

    “contemporary version cuts out the frills” What frills are they cutting out?

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Well, there is one less FLD element in the contemporary version, so optical quality between the two lenses should be different… who knows how much though. In addition to that the sports version features a more robust build, using higher end “professional” materials. Also, the smaller focus ring.

      Maybe frills was not the best choice of word, but the point is, the Sports version is clearly the more premium version of the lens, while the contemporary while still being a solid and good lens, just isn’t up to the same level. If it was, why release two lenses.

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    • William Emmett

      I haven’t seen any prices on these Sigma lenses yet, nor sample images. So, for me the best lens is the Tamron to date. I’ve seen rumors of Sigmas lens costing $2000.00, but which version? As far as I’m concerned Sigma is just to late to the table. I’ve already jumped on the Tamron months ago.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      William, the Sports (more expensive version) is $1999, that is confirmed and you can pre-order it at that price. The cheaper contemporary version (meant to compete with the Tamron) has not had it’s price announced yet.

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  6. Asim Khan

    I First heard about 7D MK ll, after using a 7D, I was like “WOW” 7D MK ll, then some said its just a rumour, but I was hopeful, had some savings, and now its time to buy the beast !!

    Thank You Canon

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  7. Gene Gregory

    it’s a good year for people who is into sports/wildlife photography!

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  8. Ryan Orcullo

    Oh the green ring. Why not red? hehe :D

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    • Dre Rolle

      Red mean you have to sell a limb while green means you have to sell a organ it :)

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  9. William Emmett

    I’m looking very hard at the new Canon EOS 7D II. There are plenty of new tools for wildlife, and sports shooters. The new focus system should catch many eyes. So far I’m overwhelmed with all the new bell and whistles. Can’t wait to get one in my hands.

    WE

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  10. Kevin Cucci

    I think i want to get into sports/action/wildlife photography haha

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