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Fujifilm updates one of our favorite kit zooms with 16-50mm F2.8-4.8

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Fujifilm updates one of our favorite kit zooms with 16-50mm F2.8-4.8


Image: Fujifilm

Fujifilm has released the XF16-50mm F2.8-4.8 R LM WR, a replacement for one of our favorite kit zoom options, the Fujinon 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS.

The new lens loses a little at the long end, and becomes approximately half a stop darker, but now expands out to 16mm, meaning it gives an appreciably wider 24mm equivalent wide angle-of-view, rather than 28mm equiv.

The lens is no longer image stabilized but Fujifilm says it’s improved in three specific ways: its autofocus is designed to be faster than the older lens, the move to an internal zoom design allows it to be classed as weather resistant and it’s sharper than the outgoing version, making it a better fit for the 40MP X-series cameras.

Image: Fujifilm

The new design is made up from eleven elements in nine groups, making it slightly simpler than the existing design but, while it still utilizes three aspherical elements it makes greater use of extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, with three elements, rather than one.

The close-focus distance is improved, dropping from 0.4m to 0.24m, with maximum reproduction ratio increasing from 0.15x to 0.3x.

The 16-50mm has a rubber focus ring, rather than the ridged metal ring used in the 18-55mm. The weight has dropped around 10%, to 240g (8.5oz).

The 16-50mm F2.8-4.8 will be available from June 2024 with a list price of $699. Alternatively it can be bought as part of a kit with the X-T50, X-T5 or X-S20, where it replaces the 18-55 kits. It adds $400 to the body-only prices of each camera.

Sample gallery

We’ve shot a sample gallery with the 16-50mm F2.8-4.8 to give an impression of how it performs in front of a 40MP sensor.

Press Release:

Calling All Creatives: Fujifilm Announces FUJIFILM X-T50 Mirrorless Digital Camera and FUJINON XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens

VALHALLA, N.Y., May 16, 2024 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging Division, today announces the launch of its FUJIFILM X-T50 mirrorless digital camera (X-T50), designed with the similar manual controls and classic camera styling of FUJIFILM X100VI and other X100 Series fixed-lens cameras, but with the flexibility of interchangeable lenses for those who seek added versatility in their everyday carry camera. Also introduced today is FUJINON XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens (XF16-50mm) featuring a versatile focal length range, making it suitable for a broad range of applications, from wide-angle landscape and architectural photography to portrait photography. With their lightweight designs and compact form factors, these new X Series innovations are designed for active image makers.

“Passionate creatives are ready to grab their gear and create content at any given moment,” said Victor Ha, vice president, Electronic Imaging Division and Optical Devices Division, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “X-T50 and XF16-50mm are made to be everyday-carry items; lightweight, comfortable tools that can be thrown in a bag for folks that are on the move. X-T50 is a great example of how we are keeping creativity top of mind for our users. From the dedicated Film Simulation dial to AI-based subject detection autofocus, X-T50 is more than ready the moment inspiration of any kind strikes.”

X-T50 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Dedicated Film Simulation Mode Dial

  • For the first time on any X Series camera, X-T50 features a dedicated Film Simulation dial for fast, easy access to a wide variety of Fujifilm Film Simulations. There are a total of 20 Film Simulation modes available for X-T50 including the recently introduced REALA ACE mode, which combines true-to-life color reproduction and crisp tonal gradations. The new Film Simulation dial is incorporated on the top plate, allowing users to intuitively switch between the included Film Simulation modes with ease.

40.2 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS 5 HR Sensor

  • X-T50’s compact and lightweight body weighs approximately 438 grams (15.45 ounces)1, and features the X Series’ popular back-illuminated 40.2 megapixel X-TransTM CMOS 5 HR sensor and the high-speed image processing engine X-Processor 5. The latest image processing algorithm in the fifth generation X Series cameras delivers high resolution while maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio. X-T50 is compatible with all X Series lenses, and the sensor’s high pixel count of approximately 40.2 megapixels is maximized by the digital teleconverter function2, allowing images to be magnified by either 1.4x or 2x. X-T50’s pixel structure allows light to be captured efficiently; with ISO 125, the electronic shutter can be set to a shutter speed of up to 1/180000 second, achieving highly precise control of exposure time.

In-body Image Stabilization (IBIS) and Auto mode

  • X-T50 is equipped with a 5-axis IBIS function with a maximum of 7.0 stops3. While maintaining the mobility that has been a key feature of previous X Series models, X-T50 enables comfortable, hand- held image making, even in low light. Equipped with an AI-based subject detection autofocus (AF) developed using deep learning technology, X-T50 can detect animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, trains, insects, and drones4. When in Auto mode, X-T50 detects the subject and tracks it while keeping it in focus, making it easy to create high-quality still images and movies.

6.2K/30P and 4K/60P video capabilities

  • For video creators, 6.2K/30P recording is available. Tracking AF functionality is also available for high-quality video recording.
  • X-T50’s extensive 13+ stop dynamic range on F-Log2 is perfect for color grading.

Sophisticated product design

  • X-T50 features a 1.84 million-dot, tiltable rear LCD monitor inside a new, rounded body and grip, designed to fit comfortably in the hand while maintaining a compact size.
  • A pop-up flash integrated into the viewfinder is mounted on the top plate, automatically controlling the amount of light needed for dark scenes and backlit portraits.

Native Frame.io Camera to Cloud Connectivity

X-T50 offers an accessory-free, native Camera to Cloud integration for Adobe’s Frame.io, which allows users to wirelessly connect any X-T50 to an active internet connection, authenticate it to Frame.io, and automatically upload photos and videos just moments after they are created. This can drastically reduce the amount of time needed to reach the end of any post-production workflow. X-T50 is the latest X Series camera to integrate Frame.io’s Camera to Cloud technology, joining FUJIFILM X-H2, FUJIFILM X-H2S, FUJIFILM X-T5, FUJIFILM X-S20, and FUJIFILM X100VI mirrorless digital cameras in offering the capability.

FUJINON XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens

XF16-50mm is a standard zoom lens that covers a focal length range from wide-angle 16mm (equivalent to 24mm in 35mm format) to medium telephoto 50mm (equivalent to 76mm in 35mm format). It offers high-speed and high precision autofocus, with magnification of 0.3x at the telephoto end (equivalent to magnification of 0.45x in 35mm format), allowing the user to get as close as approximately 4cm (1.4 inches) in minimum focusing distance throughout the zoom range and as close as 15cm (approximately 6 inches) from the front of the lens to the subject.

XF16-50mm features a weather resistant structure (weather sealing applied to 13 areas of the lens barrel) and is temperature resistant down to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), allowing for versatile use in a wide range of scenes.

Adopting a lens configuration of 9 groups and 11 elements, including 3 aspherical lenses and 3 extra- low dispersion (ED) lenses, XF16-50mm suppresses chromatic aberration and maintains high- resolution performance throughout the zoom range. In addition to its high-resolution performance, XF16-50mm also has a close-up capability equivalent to roughly half that of macrophotography in 35mm format, making it effective for photographing food, crafts, plants, and various everyday scenes.

Product Features

Lightweight Design

  • By optimizing the placement of the lens, XF16-50mm has a weight of approximately 240 grams (8.5 ounces), making it the lightest zoom lens in the XF lens lineup to date.
  • The constant-length design, in which the lens does not extend during zooming, provides a truly comfortable zoom operation for users.

Fast and accurate Autofocus

  • XF16-50mm uses the inner focus method, which drives a compact and lightweight group of focus lenses with a linear motor. In addition, the high-speed and high precision autofocus system, achieved through the miniaturization of the focus lens group, creates accurate AF within approximately 0.015 seconds5.

Pricing and Availability for FUJIFILM X-T50 and FUJINON XF16-50mm

FUJIFILM X-T50 digital camera will be available in Black, Charcoal Silver, and Silver with expected availability in June 2024 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $1,399.95 USD ($1889.99 CAD). Additionally, Fujifilm plans to introduce a kit featuring X-T50 and FUJINON XC15-45mmF3.5- 5.6 OIS PZ lens, at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $1,499.95 USD ($1,999.99 CAD).

FUJINON XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens is also expected to be available in June 2024, at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $699.95 USD ($949.99 CAD).

Alongside the release of the FUJINON XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens, Fujifilm plans to introduce kits featuring this lens with its FUJIFILM X-T50, FUJIFILM X-T5, and FUJIFILM X-S20 mirrorless digital cameras, each of which feature in-body image stabilization designed to maximize the lens’s performance. Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price of the X-T50 kit variations will be as follows:

  • FUJIFILM X-T50 with XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens Kit: MSRP $1,799.95 USD ($2,429.99 CAD)
  • FUJIFILM X-T5 with XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens Kit: MSRP $2,099.95 USD ($2,839.99 CAD)
  • FUJIFILM X-S20 with XF16-50mmF2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens Kit: MSRP $1,699.95 USD ($2,299.99 CAD)

For more information, please visit https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/products/cameras/x-t50 and https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/products/lenses/xf16-50mmf28-48-r-lm-wr/.

1 Including battery and memory card.
2 Depending on the shooting mode, the digital teleconverter may not be deactivated or selected.
3 Based upon CIPA standard in pitch / yaw directions, and when coupled with FUJINON XF35mmF1.4 R lens. 4 Set the subject detection setting to “Bird” to detect insects or “Aircraft” to detect drones.
5 Autofocus speed on the wide-angle end, using an internal measurement method compliant with the CIPA Guidelines, when mounted on the FUJIFILM X- T4 mirrorless digital camera and with Phase Detection AF and High Performance mode activated.

Fujifilm XF16-50mm F2.8-4.8 R LM WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size APS-C / DX
Focal length 16–50 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Fujifilm X
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2.8–4.8
Minimum aperture F22
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Rounded blades
Optics
Elements 11
Groups 9
Special elements / coatings 3 Aspherical, 3 ED
Focus
Minimum focus 0.24 m (9.45)
Maximum magnification 0.3×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Linear Motor
Full time manual No
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 240 g (0.53 lb)
Diameter 65 mm (2.56)
Length 71 mm (2.8)
Zoom method Rotary (internal)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock No
Filter thread 58 mm



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Halide announces Kino, a “Pro Video Camera” for iOS

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Halide announces Kino, a “Pro Video Camera” for iOS


Lux, the team behind the Apple Design Award-winning photography app Halide, has announced Kino, an app that it claims will bring pro-level video tools to iPhone users.

The developers state that Kino is intended to give users complete control in both automatic and manual shooting modes based on some clever built-in logic. The app includes a feature called AutoMotion, which automatically sets a 180º shutter angle in order to create cinematic motion blur. An ‘Auto’ label turns green when the settings are just right, letting you know you’re good to go. If the camera can’t achieve a 180º shutter, such as when shooting outdoors in bright light, you may need to add an ND filter to allow the shutter to lock onto the correct angle.

Another headline feature is Instant Grade, which takes advantage of Apple Log, available on the newest iPhone 15 Pro models. Apple’s camera app records Log footage in ProRes format, which creates large files and requires editing to finalize color; Instant Grade will allow users to apply color presets directly to Apple Log footage as it’s being captured and saves the recordings in the more efficient HEVC format, allowing for cinematic video straight out of camera. The app includes color presets from pro colorists, but users can import their own LUTs into the app as well.

Kino includes color presets created by professional colorists.

The app also includes advanced features, such as the ability to save files into either Apple’s Photos app or to a specific file location, composition guides, audio levels, USB-C storage compatibility, RGB waveform, manual focus with peaking, WB/AE lock, exposure compensation and a lockable user interface.

For beginners who may not be as familiar with a video-first workflow, the app will include free lessons on the basics of shooting video.

Kino is available beginning today at a promotional price of $9.99, though the company indicated that the price will increase to $19.99 “a few days after launch.”


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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C


Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

Photo: Richard Butler

“All camera and lens manufacturers have to be innovative,” says Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, but “technology competition among manufacturers may not always be beneficial to customers… Easier to use interfaces, compact and lightweight bodies for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview conducted at the CP+ show in Yokohama in late February, Yamaki talked about current state of the market, the need for innovation and the challenges of delivering that innovation.

State of the market

“Last year was not so bad,” he says, when asked about the state of the market: “It looks like the trend of the shrinking market has hit the bottom.” But he suggests this may not continue: “For the time being, many photographers are now switching from DSLR to mirrorless, which will sustain the market. However, after they switch to mirrorless cameras, I worry that the market could shrink in the coming years.”

“One reason for my concern is the increasing average price of cameras and lenses. I truly appreciate the passion of the customers who are still spending so much money on cameras and lenses. However, I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses, so we’re still trying hard to keep the retail price reasonable.”

“I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses”

“Especially these days, the younger generation takes huge amounts of photos with smartphones. While we can expect some of them to switch from a smartphone to a camera, many may find the price gap too wide, and challenging to make the switch.”

Yamaki also expresses concern about some of the tech trends he’s seeing: “Investing in the development of more advanced technology is crucial. However, it’s equally important to focus on our customers.”

“We’ve seen some cameras with very technically impressive specifications, but I worry that they’re not always capabilities that many photographers really need. Moving forward, I speculate that more user-friendly specifications might mean more to customers. Easier to use interfaces, a compact and lightweight body for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

The challenges of innovation

Sigma has launched some ambitious and unusual lenses in recent years, including the 14mm F1.4 DG DN. Yamaki describes astrophotography, for which it’s designed, as the most challenging subject.

Image: Sigma

He uses the recently announced 500mm F5.6 as an example of customer-focused innovation. “Canon and Nikon had similar lenses for DSLRs. They achieved it by using diffractive lens elements,” he explains: “Instead of using one powerful diffractive element, we used multiple special low-dispersion [SLD] glass. We used one SLD and three FLD elements. By using multiple special lenses, we could achieve a similar effect. That’s how we can make it so compact and lightweight.”

But this approach isn’t simple, he says: “It requires lots of very high manufacturing technology and skill, but because we have a very good factory and our optical designers trust the capability of our factory, we were able to go for this design.”

“In most cases, we are the first to use new types of glass, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it.”

“This trust is really, really important,” he explains: “Lens polishing is still a unique process that has a lower yield. Normally, in something like electronics, the yield ratio is something like 99.99996 percent, or something like that. But when it comes to lenses, for example, in our case, because our yield is so high, our yield ratio from the start of the process to the end is close to 90%. So if we plan to build 1,000 units of a specific lens, we have to start polishing 1,100 pieces, and during the process, about 10% of the lens elements will fail and have to be scrapped.”

A question of trust

“That’s the reason why other companies hesitate to use new glass elements. They are uncertain about the yield ratio. In most cases, we are the first to use a new type of element, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it. I’m very happy to play such a role. Sigma is kind of the guinea pig in the lens industry: they use Sigma as an experiment, and if we prove it, they use it.”

This commitment to pushing the use of new glass types reflects Yamaki’s wider vision of the company’s role. This can be seen in the ambitious lenses it’s recently introduced aimed at astrophotography, he says.

“First of all, I believe it’s one of Sigma’s missions to create niche products. If we only concentrate on standard products and release lower-priced versions, it’s not good: we would not be able to contribute to the development of the photography culture. As a lens manufacturer it’s our mission to develop such niche lenses that satisfy a specific target group.”

“Secondly, most lenses are so good, maybe much better than people’s expectations. But only astrophotographers are never satisfied: they’re so keen for quality! They’re looking at the shape of stars in the corners. Star images are the toughest, most challenging subject, or let’s say, the most nasty lens chart. You can see all kinds of aberrations in star images. That’s why we want to show what we can do with our capability. So lenses for astrophotography is my personal strong passion to show the capability of Sigma’s technology.”

The future of APS-C

Yamaki says the audience for its I-series of full-frame lenses, such as the 17mm F4 DG DN pictured, is similar to that for the DC DN range of APS-C primes. However, it doesn’t sound like there are plans for I-series-style versions of the DC lenses.

Image: Sigma

With all this talk of niches, we steered the conversation towards the DC DN primes. We wanted to know whether he sees the users of these lenses as distinct from those of the mid-priced i-Series full-frame primes, which feature metal bodies and aperture rings.

“I see they are very similar customers: those who value compactness and image quality. These customers often live in big cities and use public transportation a lot. So they cannot carry around big, heavy equipment in the car. They have to carry it around in their bags.”

Despite this, it doesn’t sound like there are any plans to refresh the DC DNs with more i-Series-like designs: “Those who want full-frame can use the I series lenses, while those who are happy with APS-C cameras can use the many lightweight DC DN lenses,” he says.

But, while we won’t expect APS-C primes with aperture rings for X-mount or the Nikon Z fc any time soon, Yamaki’s comments about his commitment to APS-C bode well, given the announcement that it’ll make lenses for both Nikon’s Z mount and Canon’s RF system:

“Our plan is to have a relatively complete range of lenses for APS-C sized sensors.”


This article was based on an interview conducted by Dale Baskin and Richard Butler at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.



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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C


Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

Photo: Richard Butler

“All camera and lens manufacturers have to be innovative,” says Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, but “technology competition among manufacturers may not always be beneficial to customers… Easier to use interfaces, compact and lightweight bodies for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview conducted at the CP+ show in Yokohama in late February, Yamaki talked about current state of the market, the need for innovation and the challenges of delivering that innovation.

State of the market

“Last year was not so bad,” he says, when asked about the state of the market: “It looks like the trend of the shrinking market has hit the bottom.” But he suggests this may not continue: “For the time being, many photographers are now switching from DSLR to mirrorless, which will sustain the market. However, after they switch to mirrorless cameras, I worry that the market could shrink in the coming years.”

“One reason for my concern is the increasing average price of cameras and lenses. I truly appreciate the passion of the customers who are still spending so much money on cameras and lenses. However, I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses, so we’re still trying hard to keep the retail price reasonable.”

“I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses”

“Especially these days, the younger generation takes huge amounts of photos with smartphones. While we can expect some of them to switch from a smartphone to a camera, many may find the price gap too wide, and challenging to make the switch.”

Yamaki also expresses concern about some of the tech trends he’s seeing: “Investing in the development of more advanced technology is crucial. However, it’s equally important to focus on our customers.”

“We’ve seen some cameras with very technically impressive specifications, but I worry that they’re not always capabilities that many photographers really need. Moving forward, I speculate that more user-friendly specifications might mean more to customers. Easier to use interfaces, a compact and lightweight body for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

The challenges of innovation

Sigma has launched some ambitious and unusual lenses in recent years, including the 14mm F1.4 DG DN. Yamaki describes astrophotography, for which it’s designed, as the most challenging subject.

Image: Sigma

He uses the recently announced 500mm F5.6 as an example of customer-focused innovation. “Canon and Nikon had similar lenses for DSLRs. They achieved it by using diffractive lens elements,” he explains: “Instead of using one powerful diffractive element, we used multiple special low-dispersion [SLD] glass. We used one SLD and three FLD elements. By using multiple special lenses, we could achieve a similar effect. That’s how we can make it so compact and lightweight.”

But this approach isn’t simple, he says: “It requires lots of very high manufacturing technology and skill, but because we have a very good factory and our optical designers trust the capability of our factory, we were able to go for this design.”

“In most cases, we are the first to use new types of glass, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it.”

“This trust is really, really important,” he explains: “Lens polishing is still a unique process that has a lower yield. Normally, in something like electronics, the yield ratio is something like 99.99996 percent, or something like that. But when it comes to lenses, for example, in our case, because our yield is so high, our yield ratio from the start of the process to the end is close to 90%. So if we plan to build 1,000 units of a specific lens, we have to start polishing 1,100 pieces, and during the process, about 10% of the lens elements will fail and have to be scrapped.”

A question of trust

“That’s the reason why other companies hesitate to use new glass elements. They are uncertain about the yield ratio. In most cases, we are the first to use a new type of element, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it. I’m very happy to play such a role. Sigma is kind of the guinea pig in the lens industry: they use Sigma as an experiment, and if we prove it, they use it.”

This commitment to pushing the use of new glass types reflects Yamaki’s wider vision of the company’s role. This can be seen in the ambitious lenses it’s recently introduced aimed at astrophotography, he says.

“First of all, I believe it’s one of Sigma’s missions to create niche products. If we only concentrate on standard products and release lower-priced versions, it’s not good: we would not be able to contribute to the development of the photography culture. As a lens manufacturer it’s our mission to develop such niche lenses that satisfy a specific target group.”

“Secondly, most lenses are so good, maybe much better than people’s expectations. But only astrophotographers are never satisfied: they’re so keen for quality! They’re looking at the shape of stars in the corners. Star images are the toughest, most challenging subject, or let’s say, the most nasty lens chart. You can see all kinds of aberrations in star images. That’s why we want to show what we can do with our capability. So lenses for astrophotography is my personal strong passion to show the capability of Sigma’s technology.”

The future of APS-C

Yamaki says the audience for its I-series of full-frame lenses, such as the 17mm F4 DG DN pictured, is similar to that for the DC DN range of APS-C primes. However, it doesn’t sound like there are plans for I-series-style versions of the DC lenses.

Image: Sigma

With all this talk of niches, we steered the conversation towards the DC DN primes. We wanted to know whether he sees the users of these lenses as distinct from those of the mid-priced i-Series full-frame primes, which feature metal bodies and aperture rings.

“I see they are very similar customers: those who value compactness and image quality. These customers often live in big cities and use public transportation a lot. So they cannot carry around big, heavy equipment in the car. They have to carry it around in their bags.”

Despite this, it doesn’t sound like there are any plans to refresh the DC DNs with more i-Series-like designs: “Those who want full-frame can use the I series lenses, while those who are happy with APS-C cameras can use the many lightweight DC DN lenses,” he says.

But, while we won’t expect APS-C primes with aperture rings for X-mount or the Nikon Z fc any time soon, Yamaki’s comments about his commitment to APS-C bode well, given the announcement that it’ll make lenses for both Nikon’s Z mount and Canon’s RF system:

“Our plan is to have a relatively complete range of lenses for APS-C sized sensors.”


This article was based on an interview conducted by Dale Baskin and Richard Butler at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.



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