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!