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Gear Rumors

Zeiss Batis & Olympus PEN Rumors, Fuji X-T2 Update, & D5 Memory Slot Swaps {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on January 11th 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.

Next Zeiss Batis Announcement Expected To be 18mm


I still have not been able to get my hands on the first two Zeiss Batis lenses, so I am not too concerned with what they announce next. But for those of you who are, we have some new reports this morning indicating what we expect to be the next Zeiss Batis lens to be announced.

According to the report from Sony Alpha Rumors, the next Zeiss Batis lens should be expected sometime around April of this year, with a focal length of 18mm and a likely max aperture of F/2.8.

I think that I would not be the only one to wonder about the choice of 18mm; its not a super popular focal length for general photography. That said, Zeiss has the inside scoop with Sony, so they likely know what Sony has coming down the pipe as far as lens announcements, and have planned this to not interfere with the Sony launches.

Which reminds me…still waiting on several lens announcements from Sony. Let’s hope they are announced at CP+.

Olympus PEN-F Rumor Update


We have been hearing about an update to the OIympus PEN line for some time now, and today we received another update. According to the report over on 4/3 Rumors, the upcoming PEN-F will feature a 20MP sensor and should be announced January 27th.

The report goes on to say that the PEN-F will introduce a ‘new’ EVF, but doesn’t specify if it is some kind of new EVF technology or just an updated panel. My guess would be just an updated panel, but who knows. Interested parties will also, according to the rumor, have the choice between buying the PEN-F in a kit with a 14-42mm lens or an 17mm F/1.8 lens.

Finally, the report closes with some possible pricing, pegging the two kits mentioned above for somewhere between €1499 and €1799. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out, and if this new and revamped PEN line can make any waves.

Fuji X-T1 Replacement Slated For June Announcement?


According to all of the latest rumor chatter, Fuji is going to announce their latest generation of cameras and sensors this week, starting with the X-Pro2, X-E2S, and X70. But the camera that I, and many of you, are really interested in is the expected X-T1 update featuring this new sensor technology.

Well, according to the latest reports, fresh this morning from Fuji Rumors, the X-T2 has been slated for a June 2016 announcement. This would likely mean pre-orders would start getting shipped toward the end of June or beginning of July if typical Fuji release timelines are accurate here.

The big question now for Fuji fans is this, do you stick with your current X-T1 until June, or do you upgrade to one of the newer generation sensors via an X-Pro2 or XE-2s as soon as they are available?

Nikon D5 Memory Slot Modules ‘Swappable’


This will be good news for anyone looking to lighten their wallet a bit on Nikon’s new flagship D5 camera. It was a bit of a surprise when announced that the camera would come with the photographer’s choice of dual XQD or dual CF card memory slots. But what if you change your mind after your purchase and want to use the other memory card format?

Nikon has you covered (for a price, of course). If you buy either version of the D5 and decide later that you would prefer to use the other type of memory card, you can send in your D5 and have the memory card module switched out for the other format.

I see this as a great idea from Nikon, for those who are heavily invested in CF right now it would make sense to buy the CF version. But CF is getting old, so if any other manufacturers start to adopt XQD it could signal the end of CF. Luckily, those who purchased the CF D5 could have it upgraded to the XQD version and not have to replace the entire camera.

Conversely, let’s say that XQD continues to be a primarily Nikon card type going forward, or that it dies off for some reason (lack of adoption, et.c).  A user who bought the XQD version could swap the memory module out for the CF slots and still be good to go.

Personally, I think it would make sense for camera makers to make this possible for all of their cameras. Dual slots of differing types is annoying, and being stuck with CF, SD, or whatever when you are invested more in a different memory type is bad for the wallet. Having the option to buy the camera you want, with the memory card slot of your choice would be amazing.

A glimpse into the future of modular cameras, maybe?

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!

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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

    Far as the Pen F goes, it’s been kind of annoying in the Micro Four-thirds small body market. Panasonic makes some nice compact models with built-in viewfinders but no IBIS — Olympus makes some nice compact models with IBIS but no built-in viewfinder. This one might just do both.

    And yeah, it’ll probably have the IMX269 sensor, the same one used in the Panasonic GX8, which gets you 20Mpixels. Unfortunately, like apparently every other large format sensor Sony sells to outside companies, this is based on their 2-generation-old Exmor technology. Not Exmor R (backside illuminated) or Exmor RS (backside/stacked). Micro Four-thirds cameras could sure use a BSI sensor… I promise, Sony, it’s no threat to your A7r!

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  2. Dave Haynie

    The memory card module swap makes perfect sense.. I kind of wondered how they would manage production on that, even given the relatively small numbers for a camera like that. I’ll have to admit it — that big shot of the D5 on the “cover” of this article frightened me a bit. It’s kind of mean and evil looking, but in the best possible ways. I think the D5 eats mirrorless cameras for breakfast, and never gets full…

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  3. Paul Nguyen

    CF cards need to die soon. They notoriously have those pins which tend to break and they’re just too big for the modern era.

    Once upon a time, speed and capacity was a reason to go with CF cards, but today, you have 280MB/s SD cards that are faster than any modern camera can write to. SD cards are smaller, easier to pack, physically tougher and most importantly, they’re much, much cheaper because everyone uses them.

    Another option would be to standardize something like the mSATA or M.2 format for external use. mSATA SSDs are fast and M.2 PCIe based SSDs are blazing fast. I don’t see a place for XQD, to be honest, I personally will always prefer SD cards.

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    • Dave Haynie

      The CF folks tried with CFast, which isn’t anything more than SATA in a CF form factor… this was announced in 2008. I’m not sure exactly what the point was. A CFast card is the same size as a CF card, but the electrical interface/connector is completely different, it’s basically a tiny SATA data + power interface. The current CFast 2.0 specification is based on generation 3 SATA, so it can run at up to a theoretical 600MB/s (6GT/s link speed).

      XQD was announced in 2011. It’s based on a single PCI Express lane, along with USB, pretty much what you get in a Compact PCIe Slot. The initial version supports data transfers up to 250MB/s (2.5GT/s link speed). However, they can move to PCIe 2.0 or PCIe 3.0 any time they like. XQD looks physically more like a large SD card, but it was created by Sony, Nikon, and Sandisk, then handed over the Compact Flash Association. Same folks managing CFast. There’s an XQD 2.0 in progress, which moves to a dual-lane PCIe 2.0 interface, so 1GB/s or speeds. And it’s also got a pair of USB 3.0 links.. not sure what they do with that, unless it’s just to enable cheaper QXD cards.

      All my stuff is SD anyway, so it’s not really much of an issue. SD UHS-I delivered pretty good performance. UHS-I cards support a link speed of 50MB/s or 104MB/s, depending on mode. UHS-II cards support 156MB/s and 312MB/s media rates (same clock speeds, but a second row of signal and signalling voltage dropped from 1.8V to 0.4V). So SD’s blown past CF, if not up to the rates of the new hotness. No faster version discussed publicly yet. It might be rather hard without entirely scrapping the SD 4/8-pin interface for something more modern like SATA or PCIe type low-voltage serial differential links. That could be done without rendering the card backward-incompatible… similar to the way USB 3.1 Type-C can morph into DisplayPort or Thunderbolt if the system designers want to support that.

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  4. Paddy McDougall

    Interesting but rather damning review of the D5’s video capabilities for anyone interested

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  5. adam sanford

    Regarding a possible 18mm f/2.8 Batis lens coming, cue every astro shooter shaking their fist at the sky, saying “f/2.8?! Nooooooooo!”

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Yep, my thoughts exactly

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    • Matthew Saville

      Wider than 20mm, there really aren’t many options faster than f/2.8 to begin with. In fact the only one that comes to mind is the Rokinon 12mm f/2, a mirrorless 1.5x crop lens, that I’d probably shoot at f/2.8 most of the time anyways to keep the corners sharp and less vignetted.

      True, as a general nightscape photographer I can already get a lens like the Nikon 14-24 or Tamron 15-30, both of which are incredibly (flawlessly) sharp at 18mm and f/2.8. However as a backpacker, I’d rather have an ~18mm prime anyways, even if it is f/2.8.

      Then again, if they’re not going to break the f/2.8 barrier, I do kinda wish it were a 16mm or 17mm prime; 18mm is so 1994.

      Then again, going that wide might require 82mm filter threads, or even a fixed hood.

      Then again, if it is in keeping with the current Batis Lineup, this 18mm may indeed be f/1.8 or f/2. And not too heavy, either, considering how decently sharp yet lightweight the 25mm f/2 Batis is.

      Either way, I do wait eagerly, since currently there is simply nothing available for FE natively that interests me, other than “kludged” Rokinon DSLR optical formulas…

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for sharing this great news on the D5. CF cards are easier to find everywhere in the world.

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