COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERAS
Panasonic GH- 3
Panasonic GH-series cameras are a favorite for both still and video and with the
new GH- 3, photographers will find several new features for this 16-megapixel
camera including built-in Wi-Fi and microphone jack. This splash- and dust-proof
camera sports a 3-inch, free-angle OLED monitor and can capture images at up to
6fps (20fps if you don’t mind 4-megapixel images). New accessories include a battery grip, external microphone and an external flash.
Price: Body Only, $1,299
What a difference a single letter of the alphabet can make. The 16-megapixel
NEX-5R, the successor to the Sony NEX-5N, may look like the older model and
is identical in many ways, but the 5R is part of a new wave of Wi-Fi enabled
cameras from Sony. While other cameras offer wireless transfers and sharing, Sony takes its Wi-Fi a step forward with apps to take full advantage of
the recently added technology. A handful of proprietary iOS and Android apps
including Picture Effects, Multi-Frame Noise Reduction, Remote Control and
a direct upload app to access hotspots, will be available to start, with others
being added down the road (some will be free; others you’ll have to pay for).
Other highlights of the 5R include a speedy hybrid AF system utilizing both
phase detection and contrast detection with the added benefit of up to 10fps
continuous shooting with AF and tracking. And if you like to take self-portraits
or pictures of you and your friends, the touchscreen LCD flips up 180 degrees
to face you. The 5R also gains a control dial and function button, to name just
a few changes.
Price: Body only, $650; with 18-55mm kit lens, $750
Sony NEX- 6
Perfectly positioned between the new NEX-5R and the NEX- 7, the latest compact system camera from Sony offers a heavy dose of features and functionality from both cameras, including the high resolution, 2.36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder of the
NEX- 7 and the Wi-Fi connectivity and apps-compatibility of the NEX-5R. Built around
a 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, the NEX- 6 is equipped with a hybrid AF system that
utilizes both phase and contrast detection for faster AF. The camera can capture up to
10fps—with AF tracking. A tiltable 3-inch LCD, a new mode dial, Function button and
an ISO standard hotshoe connection (opening up the camera to non-Sony external flash
units to supplement the camera’s built-in flash) are some of the more notable improvements. The body has been re-designed but remains compact and easy to handle.
Price: Body only, $850; kit with 16-50mm power zoom lens, $1,000