Photography manufacturers kept a fairly low profile at the CES 2018 tech show in Las Vegas, saving their big releases for later in the year at the Photokina trade fair. However, there were a few noteworthy announcements from Panasonic, DJI, Sony and SanDisk.
Panasonic is vying for the attention of video professionals with its announcement of the Lumix DC-GH5S, a mirrorless camera with better low-light performance than the original GH5.
While Panasonic is pushing the boundaries of the digital camera, SanDisk is also making strides with its popular and very robust Extreme series of solid-state drives. Plus DJI announced two new handheld stabilisers: the Osmo Mobile 2 for smartphones and the Ronin-S for DSLR cameras.
We’ll be testing and reviewing the Panasonic GH5S soon but, in the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the camera gear seen at CES 2018.
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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S
Trying to create the perfect video camera, Panasonic released the Lumix DC-GH5S. It’s an update to the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and includes a lower-resolution 10.2Mp Micro Four Thirds-sized sensor.
While people who are less camera savvy may think this is a bad thing, it’s not. By dropping to a lower-resolution sensor, each pixel on the chip is larger, which significantly increases its low-light sensitivity.
For example, the Lumix GH5S has a native ISO range of 160 – 51,200, while the Lumix GH5 only went up to ISO 25,600. That means you can take better pictures when there’s not as much light to illuminate a shot, such as in evening twilight.
What’s more, the GH5S can shoot cinematic 4K video (4,096 x 2,160 resolution) at 30 and 60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p (Full HD) up to 240fps.
The Lumix GH5 is still available to buy body-only (£1,599) or as part of a bundle deal with a lens, but the Lumix GH5S is just available body-only (£2,199).
New Panasonic camcorders
Panasonic also announced two new 4K camcorders (Panasonic HC-VX1/HC-VXF1) and a Full HD camcorder (Panasonic HC-V800) for 2018. Pitched as a diverse range of camcorders to suit everyday users, each camcorder has an improved sensor and lens to drastically improve image quality.
Each of the new models offers better low-light performance than its predecessors, up to 24x optical zoom and a sharp f/1.8 aperture. Apart from the HC-V800 model, the remaining camcorders support video recording in 4K up to 30fps.
Additionally, all three camcorders include a newly designed optical-image-stabilisation system to avoid handshake blur altogether, so it will reduce the blur caused by natural handshake, even at high zoom ranges.
All three models will be available from March 2018 at the following prices: HC-VXF1 £849, HC-VX1 £699 and HC-V800 £559.
Chinese drone manufacturer DJI released two new handheld stabilisers: the Osmo Mobile 2 for smartphones and the Ronin-S for small DSLRs and mirrorless cameras
A smaller, one-handed design of the larger Ronin stabilisers, the Ronin-S is designed around three axes of stabilisation, meaning you should never have to suffer from a shaky shot ever again.
It includes two frame sizes to accommodate different-sized cameras, dedicated control buttons for the camera and stabiliser, plus a Sport mode (for fast-moving subjects), and a Panorama and Hyperlapse mode.
With no pricing announced yet, the Ronin-S will be available in mid-2018.
Sony CCB-WD1 camera control box
Paring up with the recently released Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0, Sony announced the wired control accessory for the RX0 – the Sony CCB-WD1 camera control box.
The box allows you to control connected cameras via a web browser, synchronise multiple cameras to monitor a live feed and adjust settings quickly. This can be useful for shooting a high-profile event from multiple angles or creating virtual-reality shots.
Along with the new control box, Sony has also updated its PlayMemories Mobile app (v6.2) to simplify the user interface. You can now control up to 50 cameras wirelessly via a router, simultaneously turn all cameras on or off via Bluetooth and control the cameras as a group.
Priced at around £650, the Sony CCB-WD1 camera control box will be available to buy in February 2018.
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
The SanDisk Extreme Portable USB 3.1 SSD resists water, dust, shock and extreme temperatures for storing your shots on the go, all while providing high-speed storage for high-resolution photos and videos.
Built with capacities of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, the hard drive is about the size of a smartphone, and is plug-and-play with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Also, if you’re concerned about security, the SanDisk’s SecureAccess allows private files to be password protected with 128-bit encryption.
Available now, pricing starts at £117 for the 250GB version.