Friday 18 October 2019

Canon unveils two new Powershot cameras and a high-end travel lens for its full frame mirrorless system

Canon Powershot G5X Mark ii
Canon Powershot G5X Mark ii
Canon Rf 24-240mm travel lens
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Canon has unveiled two new Powershot cameras and a high-end travel lens for its new full frame mirrorless system.

The company has unveiled the G7X Mark iii (€849) and the G5X Mark ii (€999), both pocket-sized devices with high quality 1-inch (20 megapixel) sensors and zoom lenses.

The main difference between the two is that the more expensive GX5 Mark ii has a pop-up electronic viewfinder and a slightly longer (5x) optical zoom. Meanwhile, the G7X Mark iii can live stream to YouTube.

Both cameras have a flip-up screen and fast f1.8-2.8 lenses. Both can shoot crop-free 4K video and up to 30 frames per second.

It’s a significant redesign for the G5X Mark ii, with the pop-up electronic viewfinder added to allow the camera to become more pocketable, Canon says.

The cameras are due to hit Irish shops in August.

Canon is emphasising the G7X iii as a tool for video bloggers, with the addition of a microphone port for added audio quality to recordings. (There is no headphone port, like its M50 camera, because of a lack of space on the small body, the company says.)

Canon Powershot G7X Mark iii

The option of a flat colour profile will also appeal to those who may want to use the portable cameras as additional (or ‘B roll’) cameras on video shoots.

And the G7X Mark iii can also no film in portrait mode, similar to smartphones.

Battery life on the devices is expected to be moderate because of the slim size of the devices. Up to 320 shots per charge is what Canon is guiding.

In a first for Canon, older versions of the cameras will remain on sale. This is a tactic that has been used successfully for several years by Sony with many of its mirrorless and digital cameras, particularly its RX and A7 lines.

Meanwhile, Canon has also given more detail about what it believes will become a do-it-all travel lens for its full frame mirrorless ‘RF’ camera system. The 24-240mm f4-f6.3 (€1,059) combines a much larger range than most other available lenses without being much heavier (750g) or bulkier that Canon’s current RF 24-105mm f4 model.

Canon Rf 24-240mm travel lens

The lens is expected to appeal to travel photographers trying to keep their kit light.

It has a five-stop instant stabilisation range, allowing for better photography in low light.

It also has new ‘nano USM’ technology, which allows for smoother transitions in autofocusing.

Canon is expected to offer the lens at a slight discount if purchased with the recently-launched Eos RP full frame mirrorless camera.

As for other anticipated Canon camera models, a spokesman for the company declined to say when it would launch a professional full frame mirrorless model, but told that the company “has been around a long time and is not going to stop delivering what its customers want at this point”.

Canon is said to preparing an announcement around a full professional mirrorless version of its 1DX line. The announcement is expected later this year or in early 2020. Professional Canon photographers have not yet moved to the company’s mirrorless full frame ‘R’ and ‘RP’ models, as these cameras do not yet have the full line-up of lenses used by professional photographers, such as ultra-wides and telephoto zooms, even though they can use existing EF lenses with an adaptor. However, Canon has promised a number of new lenses for its new mirrorless ‘RF’ mount.

Canon’s current mirrorless options are also missing professional features such as dual card slots.

Canon’s market share increased last year to over 40pc, with Nikon slipping to below 20pc. Sony is third on 18pc with Fujifilm (5pc) and Olympus (3pc) making up the remainder of the top 5.

However, the camera market as a whole fell 22pc last year with a further fall expected in 2019 as smartphone cameras continue to dramatically improve.

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