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Microsoft’s Surface Pro4, HP’s Spectre X2 & Canon EOS-1D X II Rumors {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on October 7th 2015

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.

New Convertible Tablet/Laptops From Microsoft


While this is not the most photo related news I have ever shared, I feel it is relevant given the amount of photographers who need highly mobile, yet powerful devices for editing and working on the go. If you are one of those photographers, then it’s time to start saving because the next couple of months could get really expensive for you.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced their latest Surface Pro 4 tablets, offering Intel’s latest 6th generation processors. The new ‘tablet that can replace your latptop’ is 30% faster than the Surface Pro 3, and features a larger 12.3 screen while keeping the same overall size for accessory compatibility (thanks to a smaller screen bezel). The Surface pen also received a huge upgrade, helping it last an entire year on one battery and making it much more sensitive – and thus much better for things like digital drawing and photo editing.

The Surface keyboard also got an upgrade, improving the keys to a level similar to that of the newest Macbook in terms of how it feels to type on, and also had an fingerprint reader added to increase compatibility with Windows Hello. Starting at $899 for the base model, I would probably hold off and get the $1000 Core I5/8GB RAM model if you planned on using this for photo editing regularly (though the base model would probably do fine for editing on occasion).


Microsoft also announced the new Surface Book, essentially a Microsoft MacbookPro, but with a screen that detaches into a Surface Pro-Like tablet. Microsoft claims the device will be x2 faster than the current generation of MacBook Pro devices, and while we are not sure at this point how accurate that claim is, the device looks really impressive in its own right. The Surface Book could easily be your mobile processing hub in its laptop mode, and then be even more portable for when you wanted to take advantage of its tablet ability.

Starting at $1499 though, it does come at a premium compared to the Surface Pro 4, and the model I would probably want for post-processing looks like it could come in around $1899. It will be interesting to see how this product ends up performing and if third-party reviewers can confirm the device’s touted performance.

Both the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are available for pre-order starting today, and should be shipping by the end of this month. If you are interested, you can learn more from Microsoft here.

… HP Too, Seriously.

Image Courtesy of EnGadget (Read Their Coverage here,

Image Courtesy of EnGadget (Read their coverage here)

HP has also announced a Tablet/Laptop convertible aimed at people looking for that Surface Pro 4 feature set, but at a slightly lower price. The new Spectre X2 is HP’s take on the concept, and they decided to take a very different design approach from the Microsoft offering.

The base model, while $99 cheaper than the Surface Pro 4’s base model, is also not spec’d quite so nicely. But its higher end options could offer a nicer cost savings over the higher-end Surface Pro 4 units, for more similar specs. The other nice advantage for the Spectre X2, is built-in Verizon Wireless radios on all units, meaning you can have this added to your Verizon account and be connected to the web almost anywhere. (The Spectre also comes WITH the keyboard attachment, which Microsoft sells as an $130 accessory)

As someone with an LTE connected iPad, I can’t say enough how awesome it is to have this feature and it’s something that I really wish was available on the Surface Pro 4 units (there are some Surface LTE units, but not widely or easily available at this point).

But, if you are looking for that Surface Pro 4 feature set for less cost, and you like the HP design language more, then this is another great option for photographers on the go. You can get more details and pre-order information from HP here.

Canon 1D X II Will Have 4K, Rumors Say


According to the latest rumors, the Canon EOS-1D X II will feature 4K video recording, and it will be the ONLY next generation DSLR to do so at launch. This will be disheartening to anyone hoping to see the 5D series get 4K recording, and anyone looking to see Canon recapture some of that magic in the DSLR video realm.

The rumor says that the 1D X II will remain a strongly still image focus camera, and while it will be able to shoot 4K video, not to expect a lot of video specific functions or features. This makes sense to me, and I think most of you agree the 1D series has and always should be a primarily stills-focused camera (but I wonder how much limiting its video abilities could hurt Canon with all of the other options out there that are both killer still and video cameras).

It will be an interesting year for Canon, both from the perspective of seeing what they come out with and then going forward seeing how those products are received in this rapidly changing marketplace.

Big Nikon Price Drops Over at B&H & Amazon


A few days ago I shared a rather nice D750 deal from Amazon, but now there are some even better ones available for both the D810 and D750 – some of the best ever for Nikon DSLRs here in the US.

Nikon D810 and D750 Deals

Personally, if I were in the market for a DSLR right now, the D750 would be my choice. It is that awesome combination of small size and big performance. It’s like getting the size of a mirrorless (almost) and the performance of a DSLR AF system. It’s really the best of both worlds right now, in my opinion.

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 Lyons

    remember the good ole days when a camera was used to take a picture and a VIDEO camera was used to make videos… I’d rather have them take the video crap out and use the extra space and money to make the camera better, things like vast voice activated memory banks, bigger, faster processors, big internal flash storage to make bigger buffers, bigger displays, etc…

    Yes video can be convenient in a camera and we all have our uses for things but I certainly don’t miss it in my D700 and my iPhone takes better video anyway, when I need video I rarely grab my dslr that has it,,, just my opinion.

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  2. robert garfinkle

    Revised: Surface Pro 4 comment…

    while I stated above that an amazing feature was the 3:2 screen, and it is quite the most desirable feature of any tablet on the market, a couple things.

    the price point of their fully featured unit is insane @ $2700.00 U.S. as there is not the internal hardware in it to justify it’s cost. just not.

    it would be like Nikon selling the N1 v3 for the same price as the D3x.

    I own a Dell xps 18, same footprint of physical features except memory, but 18.5 inch diagonal screen, for $1100.00 on sale. plus, I can unscrew the back of the xps 18 and expand the hard disk array ( yes, there are two slots ) to whatever I would like.

    Now, having said that, I will never buy a Dell again, as that xps 18 fell apart after 11 months, and only portablized it about 4 times, other than that it sat on it’s stand. That did not bother me as much as Dell handling the service end of it, experiencing the most rediculously painful set of service calls to have them honor their end of the deal.

    and I am not of the belief that Microsoft would be ANY better service-wise.

    However, there are virtues of Microsoft products ( operating system wise ) that Apple and Android don’t afford us the consumers.

    I could opt to completely replace the operating system or even promote the devices to multiboot devices.

    for $2700.00, though not portable, I could land anyone a PC with a full-on quad core, top end nVidia dedicated video section with 3 to 4 GB of dedicated ram, 32GB of memory, 2TB raided using SSD’s ( not practical though ), 7.1 audio, and a large enough screen ( a multimedia workhorse ) and say to you in the end here is your change…

    they are treating this tablet like it’s a phone ( price pointed that way… ) and we are ultimately stupid consumers.

    so, there are plus and minus in my rant.

    while I think the 3:2 screen is cool, the rest of the unit is nothing short of cheap.

    out of breath.

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  3. robert garfinkle

    the deals are also available at nikon.

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  4. robert garfinkle

    heck, if I could swing it, i’d grab a backup D810…

    or do I dig for another lens for that price…

    but, why the dump? are we gearing up for new models this xmas???

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  5. Mike Frederick

    I was a Mac user through and through, but the fact that the iPad couldn’t run Adobe CC got to be a pain. I bought a Surface 3 Pro and love it. I wish the Microsoft “Pen” was a little more functional, but I’ve added the new Wacom Intuos Photo and this is a great on the go editing machine. I look forward to the bigger screen of the surface 4.

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  6. robert garfinkle

    Here is what I like about the surface pro, and think you like it for the same reason.

    It has a 3:2 screen, perfect for displaying images with no cropping (at least for Nikon), perfect – photographer drool

    And, looking into the specs, though very pricey, looks to be beefy enough with 1TB SSD, i7 6th Gen Intel Core, and 16 GB ram. I am not really in favor of the small screen but I can plug it in to a 2nd monitor and actually use it for home computing, a workstation. then take it on the go.

    not bad

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  7. John Cavan

    I’m a Mac user for day to day, though I have pretty much everything in my home, but I have to say that the Surface Book is a nicely done piece of kit.

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    • Stan Rogers

      ‘Tis tasty, yes. Well, except that the dock connection is kinda… you know. “Inelegant” is the polite word, I suppose. (But then I remember my old Toshiba 286 orange plasma screen luggable and I feel better about it.) I’d want to actually see the screen (calibrated, of course) before doing anything rash, but I think I could learn to live with it. (I might wait for the CDN to creep up a bit before thinking about it any harder, though. That’s a lot of double-doubles.)

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  8. Rafael Steffen

    I guess Nikon and Canon are going towards the same diretction.

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  9. Michael Leslie

    Perhaps Magic Lantern will coax 4k out of the 5D4 if it doesn’t have it from launch.

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  10. adam sanford

    Yep. About half of the people in the 5D4-will-save-the-day camp are *freaking out* about 4K not being offered. We shouldn’t be surprised. Canon wants to protect higher-end video gear sales or get enthusiasts to pony up to the 1D line for 4K.

    I think the 5D4 will actually support 4K natively, but Canon won’t tell us at first. They’ll try to launch without it 4K (to protect higher end sales), but if 5D4 sales tank for not having it, whammo — a firmware rev will drop which unlocks it.

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    • Dave Haynie

      With the latest rumor that there would be a 5DC introduced alongside the 5D4, suggesting that Canon would go the “full Sony” and include 4K at least on that model, this is a disappointment. Canon is, of course, worried about protecting their higher end video market, but as usual, they seem more concerned about not competing with themselves than they are competing with the other guys.

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