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Gear Rumors

Samsung’s Doom All But Confirmed, New Rhinocam, & Olympus F/1.2 Lens Rumors {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on January 9th 2016

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Samsung Cameras Non-Existant At CEs 2016; Hoax Confirmed

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One of the biggest things to take away from CES 2016 was that Samsung appears to be all but officially out of the camera business. The electronics giant has not officially announced shuttering its camera business, yet not a single camera was even on display throughout their entire CES space (which was massive).

This all but confirms the talk recently that indicated that the company had decided to shutter its declining camera business after failing to really ever catch on in the market with semi-professionals or professional photographers.

The other Samsung related news was the confirmation from Nikon that all that talk last month about some sort of buyout or partnership of Samsung camera technology was a complete hoax. This coming directly from Nikon’s Product Manager for Professional Products and Product Planning in Europe, who went even further as to say there were never even any discussions between the two companies about it.

All things aside, it looks to me like Samsung management went ‘all-in’ with their NX1 concept and when even a camera as impressive as that was on the spec sheet failed to get any real traction, they took that as a sign to bow out of this race. It’s a shame really, given the promise and potential the NX1 has and what further iterations of it could be, with the right lens ecosystem.

Now the question becomes, will Samsung officially announce their departure from the camera market, or will they just let it sort of fade into nothingness for long enough that we all forget they ever made cameras.

Vizelex Updates Their RhinoCam For A7/R/S II Cameras

The Rhinocam has always been a great way for photographers to get perfect panorama and Brenizer-like stitched images using old medium format film lenses. Unfortunately for owners of Sony’s newer Mk II A7 series camera bodies, the new grip got in the way of the old design and made it almost impossible to get the cameras mounted easily.

Well, as you can see in the review above, Vizelex has updated their design now to accommodate the newer Sony body and now owners of the A7II, A7S II, and a7R II can take advantage of the easy-mode panos that the Rhinocam allows for.

Olympus Developed Both F/1 and F/1.2 Lens Series, Nixed F/1

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We have reported previously on the rumors that Olympus will be announcing a new F/1.2 fast prime lens series in the Spring. We have now received word about the interesting development process for this series, which was apparently co-developed with an F/1 series.

Apparently, though, Olympus decided against going into production on the F/1 series and decided to only move forward with the process on the F/1.2 series lenses.

Honestly, this makes a lot of sense to me. F/1 lenses are hard to produce with any sort of optical excellence, and given that these lenses would be meant for the micro four thirds system, the lenses would probably be comically large on the available camera bodies.

That, mixed with the probable cost of such a series of lenses, and it was enough for Olympus to go with a more common (though really not all that much more common) F/1.2 series of lenses.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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. Dave Haynie

    I’m not really sure who Samsung was going for, with the NX1. I guess Paul’s got a valid point about DPR junkies and nerds or gearheads. Everyone knows it’s a very competitive market out there, and you have to offer something that distinguishes your cameras… not even the same thing for every model, necessarily.

    From the look of it, the NX is trying to drink Panasonic’s milkshake — it does 4K video on a sensor larger than the GH4’s, and like the GH4, it’s a mirrorless camera that really tried to be as gigantic as a DSLR. It’s priced to match the GH4, it’s got 4K, etc. But dig a little deeper, and the GH4 is really well suited to pro video, both due to the add ons like the YAGH box, and the dozens of cinema lenses out now for Micro four-thirds. The NX looks like it’s made for fan-boys… nice specs, new tech like HVEC video encoding, etc. But who on this planet can use that in a professional workflow?

    They didn’t sell it as a still photographer’s camera. So those folks go straight to Fujifilm or Olympus. And if you’re not sold on their being enough glass to suit you for Fujifilm, Olympus, or probably even Sony, you’re not going to trust Samsung.

    And up against Sony, the NX is actually larger and heavier than Sony’s A7 series. Not everyone going to mirrorless is buying based on size, but many are. If you’re not drawn to all the buzz about the A7 series, you’re drawn away from the NX to the A6000 or A5000, which look like you’d expect mirrorless cameras to look.

    Some reviewers suggest it’s up against something like the Canon 7D mk II for sports/wildlife shooting. Certainly on paper, it has the best APS sensor in any camera — the first large BSI sensor anywhere. It can shoot at 14.5fps, which is way up in Canon 1D/Nikon D4/D5 territory. But only for 21 frames in raw, vs 31 on the 7DII at 10fps. There’s also no tracking AF in the viewfinder, and they didn’t even include a battery charger — you’re supposed to slow-charge from USB. Not really thinking it all through for even a prosumer’s answer to a Canon 7DII. Plus, where are you going to get that 600mm lens for the thing? And even for fanboys, other than the lack of 4K, the 7D mark II is actually a better still-for-video camera than the NX1.

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  2. Paul Nguyen

    The Samsung NX1 failed because it was an APS-C camera, plain and simple. They are competing for the same market as Sony – i.e. DPR junkies, gearheads and those who care about spec sheets and sensors. They were never going to have much of an appeal against Sony’s full frame A7 lineup.

    Ultimately, it’s about carving out a niche and hammering that niche. Sony did it well with the gear junkies, Fuji did it well with their retro cameras that looked great and appealed to the style-conscious photographer after a unique camera.

    Samsung just came out with the wrong product at the wrong time in the wrong market.

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