Tuesday, February 23, 2016

News: Nikon Announces New "Digital Lens" Camera Series - DL18-50, DL24-85 & DL24-500


Nikon just announced a new camera series called DL or Digital Lens. This series will have three cameras (DL18-50, DL24-85 and DL24-500), each will include a 1" sensor (presumably a Sony 1" sensor, likely the same sensor found in the Sony RX100 II and Sony RX100 III). The cameras are all fixed-lens compacts, although only two appear to be a pocketable size.

The DL cameras get their name from the equivalent focal length of their fixed lens. The DL18-50 has an (equivalent) 18mm-50mm f/1.8-2.8 lens attached. The DL24-85 has an (equivalent) 24mm-85mm f/1.8-2.8 lens attached. And the DL24-500 has an (equivalent) 24mm-500mm f/2.8-5.6 lens attached. The names make sense, but they're not particularly creative or exciting.

The DL18-50 and the DL24-85 both look a lot like the Sony RX100 II, and it's pretty obvious that these two cameras will directly compete with the RX100 line. The DL24-500 is bigger and will compete in the "superzoom" category, and it's also the only one of the three with a built-in electronic viewfinder.

All three cameras are quick (up to 60 frames per second!), and autofocus is supposed to be robust and fast. All have 4K video capabilities.

I'm a big fan of anything that's smaller and lighter. Sony was able to squeeze some exceptional image quality out of the tiny 1" sensor. It will be interesting to see what kind of image quality Nikon will get out of it. Obviously high-ISO is the weak point, with ISO 1600 the practical limit.

The DL series will be released this coming summer. The DL18-50 will be $850, the DL24-85 will be $650 and the DL24-500 will be $1,000.

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