Display duality: The Fujifilm X-Pro3 in California wine country

The Fujifilm X-Pro series has historically been marketed to a certain type of photographic purist and is part of a small group of cameras aiming to offer the most analog-like experience possible in an increasingly digital world.

The latest iteration brings a change that in many ways, doubles down on the traditional concept of the X-Pro-series. While it sees a host of expected under-the-hood improvements, like an updated sensor and electronic viewfinder, the most radical update to the X-Pro3 is the unique implementation of a hidden, touch-sensitive rear LCD.

I had the chance to shoot around with a pre-production X-Pro3, while on holiday in California. What follows are my initial impressions on the design of the camera.

All of the images in this article were shot using a pre-production sample of the X-Pro3. As such, image quality may not match the output of final shipping cameras, but is likely to be close.

Duality of the hidden display

The hidden display in some ways made me more appreciative of my surroundings and less concerned with snapping a million photos. The wine also helped. Out of camera JPEG, shot using the 'Velvia / Vivid' film simulation.
ISO 160 | 1/1000 sec | F5.6 | XF 50mm F2 R WR

The addition of touch-sensitivity to the rear LCD counts as pretty darn radical for the X-Pro-series, but the fact that it's hidden, with no default rear preview, is radical for digital cameras in general (we see you, Leica M-D). This was a design I grew to both appreciate and be frustrated with while cruising the back country roads of Northern California. On the one hand, it made me more decisive in choosing whether I wanted to frame with the EVF or LCD - I mostly committed to the former. And when I did use the LCD to compose, the small inconvenience of flipping out the screen caused me to slow down and be more deliberate.

This was likely Fujifilm's intention with the camera's concept: to make you think more about the image you're taking, rather than just shooting and 'chimping' the rear screen immediately after pressing the button. In other words, to get you closer to the experience of using a film camera.

The small inconvenience of flipping out the screen caused me to slow down and be more deliberate

On the other hand I missed a lot of shots because the moment had passed before I could fumble the LCD open or get the finder to my eye in time: these were mostly snapshots of funny moments with my partner. And sometimes it's these casual snaps that are the most special, interesting or telling. How foolish I felt for not better appreciating the near-instantaneous live view nature of other mirrorless cameras.

I also found it was an adjustment not being able to pick up the camera and jump right into menus to change a setting, without taking the time to uncover the LCD. Yes, you can access them with your eye to the finder, but it's hardly an ideal way to navigate settings. There's also a distinct pause before they appear.

Waist-level shooting at a touch

Flip-out touchscreens can be quite handy for landscapes.
Out of camera JPEG, shot using the "Velvia / Vivid" film simulation.
ISO 160 | 1/1100 sec | F5.6 | XF 23mm F2 R WR

Despite the LCD's fumbly nature, I did find the ability to frame from the waist level, while using the screen to focus or fire the shutter, to be invaluable for candid-style shooting as well as landscape photography (like the shot above). And while some street shooting purists may disagree with this approach, there's no questioning how simple and practical it is. That said, the screen's 180-degree articulation means it doesn't quite tilt far enough for high-level shots. Boo.

There were a lot of casual images I didn't take because they happened before I could fumble the LCD open

But let's take a step back: Both the X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 both had fixed screens with no touch-sensitivity, a fact that always seemed sensible to me. After all, why would cameras emulating a film rangefinder offer such modern conveniences as a touchscreen? But after handling the X-Pro3, I'm willing to part with my old way of thinking and embrace the new. Modern street/documentary/candid-centric cameras should have an articulating touchscreen! And I'm hoping the next generation X100-series camera (I'm a current X100F owner) also has one, just not one that can only be used at waist level.

Love for the sub-monitor

So with the LCD hidden away, what about the flip side? On the back of the camera, where a traditional LCD would normally be, you'll find a small 'sub monitor,' which displays basic camera info, much like a top plate display on an SLR. By default it features a snazzy graphic of the film simulation being used as well as ISO and white balance. It's truly the digital version of tearing off the film box top and sliding it in the back of your camera: a bit of a parlor trick, but a harmless one at that. I personally love it.

The sub monitor is truly the digital version of tearing off the film box top and sliding it in the back of your camera

But if it's not your cup of tea you can switch from the 'Classic' to the 'Standard' display which offers 8 customizable rows of camera info, sans cool film simulation graphic. The only downside to this 'sub monitor' is the fact that it's fairly dim and hard to see in bright light, unless held at a very specific viewing angle.

A worthy upgrade, but not for everyone

Out of camera JPEG, shot using the new "Classic Negative" film simulation.
ISO 2500 | 1/200 sec | F2 | XF 23mm F2 R WR

Ultimately, the X-Pro3 seems to be a solid update to a beloved series and I applaud Fujifilm for adding touch sensitivity and screen articulation to a line I never dreamed would have these features, as well as a better EVF and sensor. However, the decision to hide the screen is a bit perplexing: part of me wishes Fujifilm simply made the screen mechanism fully articulating. This would allow it to both be used flush against the camera, hidden away, or flipped out, and you could still have the rear 'sub monitor.' Why not give the people the choice?

Part of me wishes Fujifilm simply made the screen mechanism fully articulating

Still, I think this design adds something unique to a camera line perhaps struggling to differentiate itself from a lot of other high-end ILCs, including Fujifilm's own X-T3. It tosses the traditional Fujifilm rules of what a purists' digital camera should be out the window, while writing a new set.

And at the end of the day, limiting factors often lead to photographic growth: my guess is potential X-Pro3 customers already embrace limitation (after all, the optical viewfinder is best used with a limited range of 23-90mm prime lenses) and they'll learn to love the camera's hidden rear display, in time. For everyone else who loathes it at first sight, that's OK. The X-Pro3 isn't for you.


Fujifilm X-Pro3 pre-production samples

With the new X-Pro3, Fujifilm wants to change the way you take pictures

Fujifilm's X-Pro series has always been a bit different: it tries to combine the latest digital technology with an analog shooting experience. The new X-Pro3 has the guts of the excellent X-T3, but by essentially hiding the LCD, Fujifilm is trying to get photographers to spend more time with their eye to the viewfinder than holding the camera at arms length.

From a distance, the X-Pro3 doesn't look dramatically different than its predecessor. Once you get your hands on one, you'll see that the top and bottom plates are now titanium, rather than magnesium alloy. If you want a more durable, scratch-proof finish, Fujifilm offers two models with a 'Duratect' coating for $200 more.

The hybrid viewfinder now has a fixed magnification of 0.52x in its optical mode; its predecessor gave you the option of 0.36x and 0.60x magnifications, which made it easier to work with wide and telephoto focal lengths. The electronic mode has been updated with a nice, contrasty OLED panel with 3.69M dots.

What really separates the X-Pro3 from its predecessor is its touchscreen LCD, which is 'closed' by default and can only be tilted downward by 180 degrees. While that makes it ideal for waist-level shooting, if you're used to shooting with the camera straight out in front of you, that's now awkward. When the LCD is closed - which Fujifilm appears to be encouraging - you'll instead see a small display that (by default) shows the current Film Simulation mode, ISO and white balance.

On the techy side, the X-Pro3 has the same 26MP BSI X-Trans CMOS sensor and image processor as the X-T3, as well as its hybrid autofocus system. While the X-Pro3 doesn't jump out and say "I'm great for video!", it can shoot DCI and UHD 4K at up to 30p. The camera has dual SD card slots with UHS-II support and you can connect to external power sources over its USB 3.1 (Type C) connector. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The X-Pro3 will be available soon in a traditional black finish for $1799. If you want the Duratect finish, silver and black models will be priced at $1999.

Press Release

FUJIFILM INTRODUCES THE X-PRO3 – A RETURN TO THE CRAFT AND HEART OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Valhalla, New York, October 23, 2019 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the FUJIFILM X-Pro3, the latest rangefinder from the X Series range of mirrorless digital cameras, and perfect for photographers on the move who want top-level features, a low profile, and reliable durability.

Created with street photographers and photojournalists in mind, the features of the X- Pro3 are designed to keep the photographer focused on the subject. Its revolutionary hybrid OVF/EVF and hidden LCD touchscreen keeps the photographer in the moment, while its state-of-the-art imaging sensor and high-quality 4k video ensure spectacular results. X-Pro3 is a true photographer’s tool that combines all the feeling of film with all the ease and quality of digital.

The X-Pro3 is one of the most durable camera bodies in FUJIFILM camera history, thanks to the exterior use of titanium, known for its outstanding strength-to-weight ratio. Two color variations will be available with additional DuratectTM*1 (DR) surface- hardening technology for extra toughness and premium finish. The X-Pro3 uses the back illuminated 26.1MP X-TRANS CMOS 4 sensor and the X-Processor 4 image processing engine, first seen in the FUJIFILM X-T3 and then the FUJIFILM X-T30. Using this combination and new firmware, the phase-detection AF now works down to a luminance of -6EV; close to absolute darkness. Also new is CLASSIC Neg. Film Simulation mode, which is designed to simulate color negative film that was normally used for everyday snapshots.

More information about X-Pro3

New OVF/EVF Combination
Great photography is all about freezing natural moments in time and X-Pro3’s impressive hybrid viewfinder ensures you are always fully immersed in that moment, without influencing it. The optical viewfinder (OVF) uses a 0.5x magnification and parallax-correcting frame lines to provide an uninterrupted and true-to-life view of what’s in front of you. It also allows you to see outside the frame so that you are always ready to catch the approaching action. Additionally, the 3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) offers a fast and high-quality representation of exactly how your image will look, with a 1:5000 contrast ratio for excellent clarity. When combined, this industry-leading technology provides an outstanding picture, helping to capture the world exactly as it is being seen.

Hidden 180-Degree Tilt and Touchscreen
Every aspect of X-Pro3 has been designed for photographers who like to live in the moment, but none more so than its hidden 1.62M-dot, tilting LCD touchscreen. When the LCD is closed, all that can be viewed is a mini-display showing essential settings, removing the distraction of a full screen while shooting. With your mind and your eye always on the scene in front of you rather than the scene you’ve just shot, you can find a connection not just with your subject, but also with your art. If seeking the perfect moment is instinctive to you, then look no further than X-Pro3 as your tool.

Incredible Sensor, Processor, and AF Performance
Lying at the heart of X-Pro3 is its state-of-the-art X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 combination. This exceptional 26.1MP sensor uses a back-illuminated design to maximize quality and dynamic range, while its unique color filter array controls moiré and false color without the need for an optical, low-pass filter. Such outstanding imaging capability is complemented by the quad-core X-Processor 4. This powerful CPU not only ensures images are quickly and smoothly processed, but thanks to Fujifilm’s new algorithm, boosts AF performance with precision face and eye detection right down to -6EV.

Enhanced Body Design
X-Pro3’s timeless body design features a top and base plate constructed from titanium, which, despite being little more than half the density of stainless steel, is seven times more durable. In addition to classic black, the weather- sealed X-Pro3 is also available in DR Silver and DR Black, which utilize cold plasma technology for a scratch-resistant finish. This outstanding durability combines with a newly developed shutter release unit that ensures dependable precision and smoother, more responsive functionality to create a camera that can be relied upon to perform in nearly any situation.

Unparalleled Color Reproduction and Film Simulation Modes
Fujifilm’s legacy in color science has given it legendary status among image-makers across the world. During its 85 years in the industry, Fujifilm has been responsible for some of the most iconic photographic films in history. The exceptional knowledge gained has been poured into Fujifilm’s collection of 16 digital Film Simulation modes. This cutting-edge technology allows photographers to achieve stunning results straight out of camera and X-Pro3 introduces two exciting new additions to the Film Simulation mode collection: CLASSIC Neg. and MONOCHROMATIC Color.

The X Series’ first interchangeable lens camera, FUJIFILM X-Pro1, was released in February 2012, and its successor, FUJIFILM X-Pro2, debuted in March 2016 with vastly improved image quality and performance. The X-Pro Series has been embraced by many professional and enthusiast photographers who enjoy the classic rangefinder style, portability, and dials that enable intuitive operation. The X-Pro3 builds on the series’ legacy as the ultimate solution for photographers on the move who know the value of being in the moment.

The X-Pro3 camera will be offered with manufacturer’s suggested retail prices as follows:
$1,799.95 USD Black
$1,999.95 USD DR Black or DR Silver

$2,399.99 CAD Black
$2,699.99 CAD DR Black or DR Silver.

X-Pro3 is expected to go on sale in late Fall 2019. For more information, please visit https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/x-pro3

{/PressRelease}

Fujifilm X-Pro3 specifications

Price
MSRP$1799 (standard finish, body only), $1999 (DR finish, body only)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialTitanium
Sensor
Max resolution6240 x 4160
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels26 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorX-Processor 4
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayX-Trans
Image
ISOAuto, 160-12800 (expands to 80-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)80
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (Fujifilm RAF, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points425
Lens mountFujifilm X
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots1,620,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic and Optical (tunnel)
Viewfinder coverage95%
Viewfinder magnification0.78× (0.52× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution3,690,000
Photography features
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 30p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 25p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II support)
Connectivity
USB USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMINo
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (wired, cable release or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Weight (inc. batteries)497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
Dimensions141 x 83 x 46 mm (5.55 x 3.27 x 1.81)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Fujifilm X-Pro3 pre-production sample gallery

We spent a little time shooting around Northern California and the Pacific Northwest with a pre-production model of the new Fujifilm X-Pro3. Our sample gallery includes a variety of out-of-camera JPEGs including ones shot with the new 'Classic Neg.' film simulation. Have a look!

DPReview TV: Fujifilm X-Pro3 hands-on preview

Some might argue that Fujifilm's new X-Pro3 rangefinder-style camera takes a page from the Leica playbook, omitting a full-time rear screen in favor of a more 'pure' shooting experience. So, is the X-Pro3 a carbon-coated classic or a titanium trinket? Chris and Jordan aim to find out.

Also, subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

Our Fujifilm X-Pro3 initial review: What’s new, how it compares

Sample photoSample photoSample photoSample photoSample photo

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 is a 26 megapixel mirrorless interchangeable lens camera built around a clever optical / electronic viewfinder and designed to look like a classic rangefinder.

This, the third iteration of Fujifilm's first X-mount camera gains titanium top and base plates but the most noteworthy feature is an LCD panel that faces the back of the camera and needs to be flipped down to use it. The viewfinder and rear screen are the main distinctions between this and the similarly-specced X-T3.

A low-resolution status panel on the back of the camera speaks to the underlying ethos of the camera, which we'll look into in more detail on the next page.

Key Specifications

  • 26MP APS-C BSI CMOS sensor
  • Optical/Electronic hybrid viewfinder
  • Fold down rear LCD
  • Rear-facing Memory LCD status panel
  • Titanium top/bottom plates
  • 4K video at up to 30p, 200Mbps
  • 11 Film Simulation modes, now with 'Classic Neg'

The X-Pro3 will be available in a painted black version for $1799 or variants with a silver or black hardened, coated surface for $1999.


What's new and how it compares

The X-Pro3 looks a lot like its predecessors except for one major change.

Read more

Body and controls

A new titanium top plate, rear 'sub monitor' and hidden flip-out LCD round out the major body updates.

Read more

First impressions

Photo editor Dan Bracaglia took a pre-production X-Pro3 on holiday to Northern California. Here are his thoughts on the hidden rear screen.

Read more

Sample gallery

The X-Pro3 gains the 'Classic Negative' film stimulation. Check out examples of it and more in our hardy samples gallery.

See more

Tamron developing a compact 70-180mm F2.8 telephoto zoom for Sony E-mount

Tamron has announced the development of a compact tele-zoom for full-frame Sony E-mount bodies: the 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD. The lens will be just 149mm (5.9") long and will weigh in at 815g (1.8lbs), and it will use the same 67mm filters as the two other lenses in the series: the 17-28mm F2.8 and 28-75mm F2.8.

The 70-180 will offer 'several' specialized glass elements and will use the company's VXD linear focus motor. The minimum focus distance is a relatively short 0.85 meters (33.5 inches). The lens will be sealed against dust and moisture, and will have a fluorine coating to repel oil and water from the front element.

Tamron says that the 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD will be available in Spring of next year.

Press Release:

Tamron Announces the Development of Compact and Lightweight High-Speed Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony E-Mount Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

October 23, 2019, Commack, NY - Tamron announces the development of a new high-speed telephoto zoom lens for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras, the 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD (Model A056). Availability of this new zoom is planned for Spring 2020. The lens will be on display at the upcoming Photo Plus Expo in New York City this week and Salon de la Photo in Paris next month.

Developed under the concept of “making high-speed zoom lenses user-friendly,” Model A056 features a compact and lightweight design, an ideal match for full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The 67mm filter diameter is the same as all other Tamron lenses in this series. The optical design includes several specialized glass elements that contribute to the lens’s superb imaging performance and its very short 33.5 in MOD (Minimum Object Distance) expands overall versatility. The lens adopts Tamron’s newly developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme-torque Drive) linear motor focus mechanism that produces a quiet, quick autofocus drive.

Other features that support a great shooting experience include a Moisture-Resistant Construction helpful for outdoor shooting and Fluorine Coating for easy maintenance. In addition, Model A056 is fully compatible with various camera-specific features including Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF. This new model joins the 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A046) and the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) and brings Tamron’s total of F/2.8 zoom lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras to three.

Main features

  1. Comfortably compact (149mm / 5.9 in) and light weight (815g / 28.7 oz).
  2. 67mm filter diameter, same as all other Tamron lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras.
  3. Superb optical performance and MOD of 5 in. for a broader range of photographic versatility.
  4. Extremely quiet and fast newly developed VXD linear motor focus mechanism.
  5. Moisture-Resistant Construction and Fluorine Coating contribute to a comfortable, user friendly photographic experience.
  6. Compatible with various camera-specific features including Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF.

* Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.

Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length70–180 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony FE
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8
Aperture ringNo
Optics
Special elements / coatingsFluorine coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.85 m (33.46)
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualNo
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight815 g (1.80 lb)
Length149 mm (5.87)
SealingYes
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockYes
Filter thread67 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo

Tamron intros trio of compact macro lenses for Sony E-mount

Tamron has announced three compact F2.8 prime lenses for full-frame Sony mirrorless bodies. These 'Di III OSD M1:2' lenses come in three focal lengths: 20, 24 and 35mm.

The lenses are the same size and same weight (around 215g/7.6oz), and use the same 67mm filter thread. Minimum focus distances range from 11 to 15cm (4.3" to 5.9") and the maximum magnification of all three is 0.5x.

The three lenses use both aspherical and low-dispersion elements and feature 'BBAR' coatings to reduce flare and ghosting. The lenses use DC motors to drive their focus group, and Tamron says that they are fully compatible with Sony's latest AF systems. The lenses are also sealed against dust and moisture.

All three lenses are priced at $349. The 24mm and 35mm will arrive on November 20th, with the 20mm to follow in January.

Press Release

Tamron Announces Three Close-Focusing Prime Lenses For Sony E-Mount Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2(Model F050)
24mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2(Model F051)
35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2(Model F053)

October 22, 2019, Commack, NY – Tamron announces the launch of three prime lenses for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras: 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F050), 24mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051), and 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F053). The 24mm and 35mm lenses will be available on November 20th and the 20mm will be available in January 2020. All three lenses will be available in the USA for approximately $349.

Having already produced award-winning zoom lenses[1] in this mirrorless category, we turned our attention toward prime lenses. When using a prime lens, the photographer must decide the composition based on their distance from the subject. This puts the joy of capturing the image exactly as envisioned and the pure fun of shooting on a different level.

The three new models include a 20mm focal length (Model F050) to fully explore the world of ultra-wide-angles, a 24mm focal length (Model F051) as the perfect general-purpose wide-angle lens, and the versatile 35mm focal length (Model F053) that is ideal for everyday/every subject use. Developed under the concept of “letting as many as possible learn the joy of prime lenses in a more accessible way,” each lens strikes a balance between gorgeous image rendering and superior operation.

We matched the same filter size (φ67mm) for all three prime lenses as well as the two previously launched zooms and achieved our aim of compactness. Furthermore, the 20mm, 24mm and 35mm lenses are all capable of focusing very close, to an unprecedented in this category magnification ratio of 1:2. Other features include Moisture-Resistant Construction (for outdoor shooting) and a Fluorine Coating on the front element for easy maintenance and fingerprint removal.

They also support various camera features offered by certain Sony cameras, such as Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF, and offer a multitude of advanced functions to ensure a pleasant shooting experience and fantastic results.

This series of highly practical lenses lets photographers enjoy the photographic expression of wide-angle lenses, often regarded as the sweet spot for most photographic pursuits, plus unprecedented light weight and full-blown performance.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Enhanced close-focusing capability expands lens usefulness and versatility

These prime lenses focus very close. The MOD (Minimum Object Distance) for the 20mm, 24mm and 35mm is 4.3, 4.7 and 5.9 inches respectively. Plus, the maximum magnification ratio for all three is 1:2. This remarkable performance allows users to create compositions that emphasize perspective (closer subjects are larger and distant ones are smaller) and that are unique to wide-angle lenses.

Being able to get in close is one of the most desirable specifications for a wide-angle lens. With dramatic closeup shooting performance for full-frame lenses, the series unleashes an unprecedented level of shooting freedom. Plus, by moving close to the subject, strongly blurred backgrounds are easier to attain.

  1. A compact, lightweight 67mm filter diameter system offering excellent portability

Weighing in at 7.8 oz for the 20mm (Model F050), 7.6 oz for the 24mm (Model F051) and 7.4 oz for the 35mm (Model F053), the lenses are exceptionally light, allowing photographers to enjoy shooting comfortably without hesitating about whether to carry the lens. All three lenses combined weigh under 1.5 pounds! Meanwhile other lenses in Tamron’s lightweight full-frame mirrorless series such as the 28-75mm F/2.8 (Model A036) standard zoom or 17-28mm F/2.8 (Model A046) ultra-wide-angle zoom make the perfect companions to broaden the range of shooting possibilities.

As testament to their compactness, all three new models feature the same 67mm filter diameter as Tamron’s zoom lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras. This significantly reduces cost and packing space when working with PL, ND and other filters. Even the front lens caps are the same size, eliminating the hassle of sorting caps when switching lenses. These features combine to produce a highly convenient and mobile system that adds more fun to photography.

  1. Superb high-resolution performance that matches the latest high-resolution image sensors

The sophisticated optical formula created with the latest lens design technologies boasts exceptionally high rendering performance from edge to edge thanks to the optimal arrangement of LD (Low Dispersion) and GM (glass-molded aspherical) lens elements. Any remaining minor distortions sometimes common in wide-angle lenses are corrected using in-camera functions.

Additionally, Tamron’s legendary BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating effectively reduces ghosting and flare. With excellent resolving power achieved through uncompromising optical performance and camera-based distortion correction, these lenses can be used with complete confidence for a wide range of applications from casual family snaps to serious professional photography.

  1. Consistent 64mm (2.5 in) overall length facilitates ease-of-use

All three lenses are the same length: 2.5 in. Achieving excellent balance with Sony E-mount cameras, these compact lenses employ a front element extension system but are designed to maintain the same exterior length during focusing operations. Therefore, there is less chance of an extended front element accidentally coming into contact with a subject during closeup shooting. And optional manual focusing is easier because the focus ring is positioned toward the front of the lens within natural reach of the thumb and index finger.

  1. Silent autofocus driven by OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) DC motor

The AF drive system employs an OSD to ensure quiet operation. In comparison to conventional AF types with built-in DC motors, Tamron was able to greatly reduce the drive noise as well as vastly improve AF performance and speed. The lower ambient noise level is sure to be appreciated by video shooters.

Overall, this prime lens series provides superlative AF precision for exact focus even when shooting moving subjects, as well as outstanding accuracy and tracking capability. Additionally, this prime series supports various AF features offered by certain Sony cameras, including Fast Hybrid AF, Eye AF, and Direct Manual Focus (DMF) to ensure a pleasant shooting experience.

  1. Moisture-Resistant Construction and Fluorine Coating

Environmental seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops and afford Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature provides an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.

Also, the front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that has excellent water- and oil-repellant qualities. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, moisture or oily fingerprints, allowing for much easier maintenance. These protective features are keenly important for lenses that allow you to get in close to a subject.

  1. Compatible with main camera-specific features and functions[2]

All three of Tamron’s new prime lenses are compatible with many of the advanced features that are specific to certain mirrorless cameras. These include the following:

-Fast Hybrid AF
-Eye AF
-Direct Manual Focus (DMF)
-In-camera lens correction (shading, chromatic aberration, distortion)
-Camera-based lens unit firmware updates

[1] 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) standard zoom and 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A046).

[2] Features vary by camera. Please consult your camera’s instruction manual for details. As of September 2019

Tamron 20mm / 24mm / 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 specifications

 Tamron 20mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2Tamron 24mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length20 mm24 mm35 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony FE
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades7
Optics
Elements109
Groups98
Special elements / coatingsLow-dispersion and aspherical elements + BBAR and fluorine coatings
Focus
Minimum focus0.11 m (4.33)0.12 m (4.72)0.15 m (5.91)
Maximum magnification0.5×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeMicromotor
Full time manualNo
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight220 g (0.49 lb)215 g (0.47 lb)210 g (0.46 lb)
Diameter73 mm (2.87)
Length64 mm (2.52)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread67 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo

CalDigit launches new, rugged 512GB ‘Tuff nano’ USB-C SSDs with 1055MB/s read speeds

Computer accessory manufacturer CalDigit has released its ‘Tuff nano’ series, a lineup of compact external USB-C SSDs.

As the name alludes to, the ‘Tuff nano’ SSDs feature a protective rubber housing around a metal frame, akin to Lacie’s rugged external drives. This design offers a certified IP67 rating with the ability to be submerged under one meter of water for 30 minus, as well as dust and shock resistance.

Inside, the bus-powered SSDs is a Toshiba M.2 NVMe SSD capable of read and write speeds up to 1055MB/s and 900MB/s, respectively. Data is transferred via USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2) and although the drives come pre-formatted for macOS (HFS+), they will also work with ChromeOS, iPadOS, Linux and Windows devices.

The drives measure 7.59cm x 5.44cm x 1.45 cm (2.99in x 2.14in x 0.57in) and weigh just 74g (0.163lbs).

CalDigit’s ‘Tuff nano’ SSDs are currently available in 512GB capacity for $149.95 on CalDigit’s online store. Color options include ‘Charcoal Black,’ ‘Olive Green,’ ‘Royal Blue’ and ‘Tomato Red.’

Google appears to be working on account switcher and drawing features for its Photos app

Google Photos appears to be close to launching account switcher and drawing tools for its mobile app. App reverse engineer and Twitter user @wongmjane discovered the two new features in the app code and was able to turn then on manually.

There is no way of knowing when exactly they'll be rolled out to the general public but given they are in the code and apparently working, it's safe to assume this will happen in the nearer future.

Google has recently added the ability to easily switch accounts to some other of its Android apps, so it's not much of surprise to the same feature arrive at Google Photos. According to Jane Manchun Wong the function will support the same swipe gesture that we've already seen in the Gmail app, making switching between accounts extremely quick.

There'll also be a new drawing interface that will let you draw on images in seven different colors using a pen tool. You'll also be able to use a “highlighter” and insert text into your images. Overall this won't be a major update when it eventually arrives but both new features are certainly useful to have.

OmniVision has created the world’s smallest commercially-available image sensor

Sensor manufacturer OmniVision has created what has now been confirmed as the smallest commercially-available image sensor in the world by Guinness World Record.

The OmniVision OV6948 is an ultra-compact 1/36-inch backside-illuminated sensor that measures just 0.575mm x 0.575mm. The sensor, designed specifically for medical applications, features a resolution of 200 x 200 pixels, a 120-degree field of view, a 30 fps framerate and 1.75 µm pixels.

It works hand-in-hand with Omnivision’s OVM6948 CameraCubeChip, a ‘fully packaged, wafer-level camera module measuring [0.65mm x 0.65mm x 1.158mm],’ to open up a whole new realm of medical imaging capabilities thanks to its compact form factor and low-light capabilities thanks to Omnivision’s OmniBSI technology.

The OVM6948 CameraCubeChip next to a black peppercorn.

In a statement to Engadget, OmniVision Marketing Director Aaron Chiang says the camera module ‘offers a compact, high quality solution for disposable guidewires, catheters and endoscopes, which are experiencing growing demand because of their ability to reduce cross-contamination risks, downtime inefficiencies and costs associated with the repairs, preprocedural testing and sterilization of reusable endoscopes.’

This particular sensor might not have a practical purpose in the world of photography as we’re accustomed to here on DPReview, but it’s a glimpse into the reality of just how small camera sensors can get when technology is pushed to the limits.


Image credit: Photos provided by OmniVision

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