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Nikon Makes Big Announcements and Sony Considers A Design Change For A7S II | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on August 4th 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.

Nikon Unveils 24-70mm F/2.8 with VR

Until now, if you wanted to shoot with your beloved 24-70mm lens AND have image stabilization, you had one option: the Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8.  That changed today as Nikon made a slew of announcements, including a bomb in the form of a new 24-70mm F/2.8 VR.

Nikon-24-70mm-VR

This is a huge announcement for a couple of reasons. First, no one saw this coming. The rumors were pretty mum on a new 24-70mm from Nikon right up until a day or two ago, and I think that is probably the first time I was surprised to see an announcement from Nikon. Secondly, this means that Nikon shooters now have two image stabilized 24-70mm lenses to choose from.

It will be interesting to see how this new Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 VR stacks up compared to the Tamron variant, which has great image quality, and really only falls short in the build quality category.

Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 VR Specs

  • F Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • ASP/ED, AS, ED, and HRI Elements
  • Nano Crystal & Super Integrated Coating
  • Fluorine Coated Front and Rear Elements
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
  • Internal Focus, Manual Focus Override
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

According to the press release, this new 24-70mm F/2.8 VR will be available later this month and will retail for about $2400. Those of you interested can get your pre-orders in now over on B&H here.

Nikon Also Announces New 24mm F/1.8 & 200-500mm

The big announcement from Nikon was the 24-70mm VR, but that is not all that Team Yellow brought to the table today. In the prime lens department, Nikon announced a new 24mm F/1.8 lens, which will be sure to make the low budget landscape and astrophotography crowd super excited.

nikon-24mm-g

While not exactly a ‘cheap prime’, the 24mm F/1.8G features Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating and ED elements, so you are getting a quality F/1.8 prime lens. Though at $750, there are other, cheaper, options, if you don’t mind manually focusing. If you are interested, you can pre-order this bad boy over on B&H here.

The other announcement from today’s Nikon docket was a lens I have mentioned before, the Nikon 200-500mm VR. This lens is obviously meant to go up against the Canon 100-400mm, Tamron 150-600, and Sigma 150-600mm C.

nikon-200-500-vr

It will be a hard sell against the Tamron and Sigma offerings, both of which come in around the $1000 mark, while this new Nikon 200-500mm is going to be coming in at about the $1400 mark. But if the quality is better, Nikon will still win over some shooters – but the Tamron/Sigma offerings will continue to be an issue due to being cheaper and offering more range.

If you are interested, you can learn more about the 200-500mm and place your pre-order over on B&H here.

Sony A7S II To Lose Its SLR Form Factor?

Here is an interesting rumor out of Sony Land. According to the latest report, the assumed to be coming Sony A7S II will go through a radical design change, dropping the SLR/Still Camera form factor in favor of a more video optimized one – similar to the Canon XC-10.

canon-xc10-side

This makes a lot of sense, since the A7S is mostly used by filmmakers. But it will be an interesting change; I can’t think of another time that a camera’s design will have changed so drastically. This is also sure to irritate any still photographers who do use the A7S for photography, and also for hybrid shooters who shot both stills and video.

It is just a rumor, but it seems plausible, and as I said above, it makes sense. There are already so many A7 cameras, or I would suggest splitting the A7S into two cameras; one keeping its still camera form factor and the other taking on this video optimized one.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you welcome a more video specific design for the A7S II, or should Sony stick with the current A7 styling (maybe updating it to match the A7 II design)?

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II To Include Electronic Shutter

We are hearing more about the upcoming Olympus OM-D E-M10 II. As mentioned a little while back, the rumors still say not to expect anything earth-shattering from this new update.

Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-retro-style-camera

That said, current OM-D E-M10 owners will be happy to see that according to the rumors, the E-M10 II will be including an electronic shutter – something missing from the current E-M10. It will not sound like much to people who shoot on other mirrorless systems where the ES has become expected, but for those missing it on their current E-M10 bodies, this will be a breath of fresh air.

I would like to see Olympus get a little more bold with their E-M10 II. I know the flagship upgrade is coming later this year, or next year, but you have got to keep people’s attention, even with these mid-to-low end camera announcements. Frankly, I don’t think an electronic shutter is going to win anyone over who is considering Olympus over other brands.

What do you think? What other features would you like to see added to the OM-D E-M10 II?

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. Rafael Steffen

    I would love to try one before buying. I use this lens all the time for many different type of gigs, but I need more gigs to afford a new lens.

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  2. Mark Romine

    Absolutely love the Nikon f1.8 lens line! They are fast at focusing and acquiring focus lock and light weight to boot. Nicely priced. An event photographers dream. Now if they would just refresh the 105 and 135mm lenses and make f1.8 versions of them.

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  3. David Hall

    hmmm… should I upgrade my 24-70 f/2.8 for this new version with VR? Just not sure it’s worth it.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I din´t know the previous lens did not have VR. I get pretty sharp images with the VR.

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      David,

      With the images I get out of my 24-70, selling for around $900 (My guess of market value after the new one is out) and shilling out $1500 for VR and possible minute image quality gains, makes me confident that it’s not worth it for me. My opinion.

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    • David Hall

      Thanks Rafael. Yes, I agree with you Kyle.

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    • adam sanford

      *Rent* and see. I sold my old Canon 24-70 f/2.8L (first version) and got the 24-70 f/4L IS based on the strength of a rental. I slapped both lenses on the same body on a tripod under controlled conditions and saw what a large sharpness improvement I got. It was an easy decision.

      That was just to test the optics, which you should try with all lenses before buying. But with a VR lens — presuming the optics, AF, etc. work as well or better than your current lens — look at your shot history. What percentage of your shots are north of ISO 1600? 3200? 6400? Provided you aren’t shooting action / movement / events, VR is a chance for you to walk that ISO back down to earth.

      If you live in a studio / landscape / tripod world, the VR is probably worth a lot less to you than it is for others. I’d pass in that case.

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  4. John Cavan

    I’m looking forward to some reviews that compare the 200-500mm with the Sigma/Tamron options. The price range is basically in the same ballpark for all three, so image quality and AF/stabilization performance will become a factor.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I am sure Nikon is going to provide a super AF for this lens to beat the competition and justify the higher price.

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  5. Jason Markos

    Being the cheapskate I am, this announcement hopefully means a price drop in the existing and excellent 24-70 ;)

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I would save some money and get the new one if I was you since there will be really interesting new features.

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  6. Brandon Dewey

    YES!!! I’ve been waiting for a 24-70mm upgrade and I’m very excited that they added VR to it.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      It is going to be interesting to see how it improved over the new one since there is quite a bit of a price difference, but since they added new components, the image quality must have improved a great bit.

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I’ll buy the new version if there’s any actual IQ upgrade. I’ve never used the 24-70 and thought damn, I wish I had VR…. apparently that’s just me though lol

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  7. Austin Swenson

    Something I find weird/interesting is that Sony continues to put out all kinds of A7 line named camera bodies, when really they just need to differentiate between the new models by calling them A6, A8, etc. or something that would tell you what type of body you have instead of adding letters to A7 and then model numbers.

    I mean let’s think about this a second: when other manufacturers make a mark ii version or whatever, they will keep the body the same shape and just add features inside the body. Sony doesn’t do that with the A7 line, they have reshaped the A7ii to a different size and it weighs more, has different looking dials, etc. Just call it an A8 or A9 or whatever. This is getting confusing.

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    • Alexander Europa

      You’re right, and this could be “corporate Sony” (which, on the whole, is failing) injecting itself into the only truly profitable part of the company. Anyone who has ever bought an upgraded version of a camera knows that the overall form factor and UI should remain consistent from model to model. But my guess is the corporate Sony is trying to ride the money wave that has been the A7 line…they just don’t realize that they’ll be shooting themselves in the foot if consumers start to get too confused about various versions of the same model camera.

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    • Derek Wong

      I agree that Sony should differentiate it’s product naming scheme but let’s have some faith in people willing to spend 1k – 2.5k on a single piece of equipment. If one does their research properly then it should be fine.

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    • Stan Rogers

      The naming/numbering convention goes back to Minolta and pre-AF film days. They’ll change it just about the same time that Canon changes their system.

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  8. adam sanford

    The Nikon 24-70 VR is listed as weathersealed in the announcement, but the 200-500 is *not*.

    That might just be an omission on their part, but Nikon’s usually up front about that. Leaving out weathersealing may have been a necessary casualty to keep the cost down.

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  9. adam sanford

    But let’s not dismiss a **massive** value proposition from Nikon with the 200-500 f/5.6 VR. Zoom functionality + 500m longest + a respectable f/5.6 (for 500mm) + VR + 1st party AF routines (no Tamron/Sigma surprises, as infrequent as they may be) is a compelling offering.

    And selling it for $1,400 outright nuts. I thought it was a misprint when I first saw this. This lens will sell very, very well.

    One correction: this lens is aimed at Tamron and Sigma and NOT at the Canon 100-400L II. That Canon lens sits in a considerably higher price point alongside the Nikon 80-400. This 200-500 is an entry level FF super zoom that Canon doesn’t not currently sell.

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  10. adam sanford

    Two *whopper* lens announcements from Nikon.

    That 24-70 f/2.8 IS (or VR) is sure to finally get Canon to offer one — it always seemed like neither wanted to cave and offer one. I imagine the proliferation of IS/VR on seemingly all zooms these days plus the rising ride of videographers made it inevitability that this staple pro lens would finally get it.

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