Photokina Odds and Ends

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This is where you'll find commentary about things other than the usual cameras and lenses I cover that were introduced at Photokina 2018. Latest addition on top.

  • Zeiss ZX1 — Zeiss has entered the camera market with a 37.4mp full frame integrated camera (built-in 35mm f/2 lens). There are two big deals here. First, Zeiss is claiming the sensor and lens were designed together in order to fully optimize image quality. The second is something that will spin some heads in Japan: Adobe Lightroom CC capability is built into the camera. That's not Classic CC, that's the web-oriented version, but still. The camera has 512GB of built-in storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB-C 3.1 connectivity. In other words, shoot, store in the camera, connect to the net and edit and post from the camera. And yes, it's another development announcement, with the actual product and final details to be available in "early 2019." 
  • ProGrade microSD and Readers — ProGrade has expanded their line to microSD cards (200MBs V60 UHS-II) in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities. They've also added a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1.2GBs) CompactFlash/SD reader and dual slot microSD reader to their lineup. I've been testing their CFast2/SD reader and it's really good with SD cards (still need some CFast experience with it to finish my review).
  • The Russian Leica Apparently all those rumors of Zenit making a Leica-style rangefinder were true. The actual details of who did what are a little vague, but the overall story seems to be that the camera was designed by Zenit and will be manufactured by Leica in Germany. It looks like a slightly reworked 24mp Type 240 to me. Another "early 2019" camera, it will come with a Zenitar 35mm f/1 lens and sell for under 5000 Euro. Zenit Web page.
  • Novoflex Lens Adapters — Novoflex has introduced lens adapters for existing DSLR and other lenses to the new Canon RF and Nikon Z lens mounts. In particular, that now means you can adapt Canon FD, Contax/Yashica, Leica M, Leica R, Minolta MD/MC, Minolta Alpha, M42, Novoflex A-mount, Olympus OM, Pentax K, T2, and 39mm screw mount lenses to the RF or Z mount. While the tool is in German, it should be easy enough to understand and use their Adapter Finder widget. Most of the 24 new adapters should be available in November.
  • Tether Tools goes D-Tap — Tether Tools has taken up the D-Tap battery charge (pardon the pun) with a new ONsite power system. This includes a 150Wh D-Tap battery (US$180) that's TSA travel friendly coupled with an Inverter that provides both AC and USB charging (US$90). There's also an option to power the inverter via a car's 12-volt connection and a bracket to mount the system to Tether Tool's table system. First units should ship in November. 
  • Leica S3 Medium Format — This is an update to ten-year-old Leica S2, the 37.5mp small medium format (30x45mm) sensored DSLR Leica introduced back in 2008. Back then it was CCD-based. This time we get a 64mp CMOS sensor (ISO100 to 50000), plus the ubiquitous 4K video (at 24 fps). Dual slot (CompactFlash and SD). Weighs in at 44.5 ounces (1260g) without the battery. Unfortunately, this is another development announcement, which seems to be the theme of much of this year's Photokina press conferences. Leica says the camera will be available in Spring 2019. 
  • Ricoh GRIII — In another story of an egg not yet hatched, Ricoh announced development of the GRIII. The big news here, if it can be said to be big news, is that Ricoh is using a new 24mp sensor with phase detect autofocus that is mounted on an IS stabilizer, plus we get a touchscreen interface. 1080P/60 is the max video setting. The 18.3mm f/2.8 lens has been tweaked for improved image quality and it can focus closer. Plus we now have USB 3.1 Gen 1 for connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi. The published specs seem to indicate the new version will be somewhat smaller, but the only photos available so far show it to be recognizably the same basic GR design. No price or availability (other than "early 2019"). 
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