Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Available July 27

Sigma APO Macro 180mm

Pricing and availability are now official for the new Sigma APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens.  It will be available on July 27 for $1699 for Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Sony and Pentax mounts.  It’s currently available for pre-order at B&H Photo.

More info on the new lens in the latest press release below. [Read more...]

Sony XQD ‘S Series’ Memory Cards Deliver 168MB/s Data Transfer

Sony XQD S Series

Sony has announced a new S Series XQD card that will give photographers read and write speeds of 168MB/s.  The existing H Series XQD card is rated at 125MB/s. Of course, the only camera to currently utilize the new XQD format is the Nikon D4.

With the new S Series cards, the Nikon D4 will be able to capture a burst of 108 RAW images at 10 fps.  As Sony notes, “this lets photographers document the men’s 100m sprint final from start to finish in a single, sustained burst of RAW images.”

The 64GB S Series XQD card will ship later this month.  And, a 32GB model will be available in the September/October time frame.

DSLR Average Online Purchase Price Increases By More Than $350 from 2011

Online buyers of DSLR cameras pay $1,291, on average, for their camera, up from $937 in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer ReportSM released last week.

I was a little surprised to read those numbers, considering the affordable DSLR options available now – with cameras like the Nikon D3200, Rebel T3 and Sony A37.  However, I’m also a little curious if the consumer move toward affordable mirrorless cameras like the Sony NEX-F3 and Olympus E-PM1 has impacted these figures (which may not be factored into “DSLR” sales evaluated by JD Power).

Additional notes from the report points to Pentax’s lead in buyer satisfaction and durability.  Finally, note that these scores are based on consumer surveys rather than objective test data.

More excerpts from the press release below. [Read more...]

Sony NEX-F3 In-Stock

Sony NEX-F3

The Sony NEX-F3 is in stock at B&H.  The NEX-F3 looks to be everything that the NEX-C3 is – and more.

As a result, I’m pegging the NEX-F3 as the g0-t0 consumer camera for those who want better quality than they get out of a point and shoot camera.  I own the NEX-C3 and it has been a fantastic camera – particularly when combined with the great little Sigma 30mm f/2.8 lens that stays on it.

The NEX-F3 is available in silver and black.

Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO Lens Announced

Sigma 18-250mm f:3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO Lens

The Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO lens was unveiled today as an all-purpose APS-C lens.  No pricing yet, but it should be available in July.

The new lens differs from the non-macro version in magnification ratio, but it also contains new material called Thermally Stable Composite (TSC). TSC is incorporated into the lens barrel and is often compared to polycarbonate. It has a high degree of elasticity and exhibits little variation in its structure in extreme temperature conditions. This means that internal barrel expansion and contraction due to extreme temperature variations is less prevalent.

TSC also contributes to the lens’ size reduction. The non-macro 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 without TSC weighs 22.2 ounces and is 3.1 by 4 inches in diameter, whereas the new macro lens is 16.6 ounces and 2.9 by 3.5 inches in diameter. As a result, this is a more compact, multi-purpose lens for APS-C sized sensor cameras.

More details in the press release below. [Read more...]