This is all the shiny new camera gear announced at this year’s WPPI

Mar 2, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This is all the shiny new camera gear announced at this year’s WPPI

Mar 2, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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WPPI has been a good one this year for gear announcements. We’ve got the very impressive looking new Sony A7III camera and a whole slew of new E-Mount Art series lenses from Sigma. A couple of new entry level bodies from Canon as well as the new EOS M50 mirrorless. We’ve also seen a new AD200 competitor appear from Cactus who say it’s only just the beginning. Oh yeah, and then there’s that funny robotic speedlight from Canon.

There were a few items we didn’t cover, though. So, let’s have a look at everything that was announced. All the stuff we told you about and all the stuff we didn’t in one place.

Cameras

There hasn’t been a ton of new camera announcements coming from WPPI, but there have been a few. One is particularly significant. One could’ve been but wasn’t. The other two, not so much.

Sony A7III

Unquestionably, the headline act is the Sony A7III. It’s a camera that people have been waiting a long time for. And it seems to be a worthy successor to the popular A7II. With the ISO performance, 5-axis IBIS, 4K video and dual SD card slots of its A9 big brother, the A7III is all set to become a big hit. It’s available to pre-order now for $1,998 and ships in April.

Canon Rebel T7 (EOS 2000D) and EOS 4000D

These two were something of a surprise, and seem to have caused quite a bit of confusion.These seem to both be replacements for the T6/EOS 1300D, but they both go in different directions. The T7/EOS 2000D carries on the name, but sees very little by way of an upgrade. It’s sure seen more of an upgrade than the 1300D did over the 1200D, though. What’s strange about this announcement, though, is the new EOS 4000D. The T6/1300D was already the lowest level body in Canon’s lineup, which surely makes the T7/2000D the new loest body, right? Nope, not at all. That spot is now taken up by the somewhat mediocre 4000D. Interestingly, though, the new lowest end 4000D is actually more expensive than the 1300D was at launch.

Canon Europe is currently taking pre-orders for the 2000D. It should become available in the USA as the Rebel T7 in April for around $550. The EOS 4000D does not currently seem to be available to pre-order at all but will appear in Europe first for €380 (~$460). It’s expected in the USA soon, too.

Canon EOS M50 mirrorless

This was an exciting disappointment from Canon. We’ve been waiting with bated breath to find out what was happening with this camera since word of that secret meeting. Then it was announced and it all looked and sounded wonderful. Until you realise there’s a 2.5x crop when you’re shooting 4K video. So much for wide angle lenses. Looks pretty good for stills, though.

The Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera is available to pre-order now for $779 body-only, or $899 with the 15-45mm kit lens.

Lenses

The lens announcements from WPPI are also pretty exciting for Sony shooters, too. Sigma’s nine new E-Mount Art series lenses is a big deal. It means Sony shooters no longer need to deal with crippled functionality by using lens adapters. But that’s not the only lens announcement coming from WPPI!

Nine new Sigma E mount lenses

Let’s get this one out of the way first. Technically, 7 of these lenses aren’t exactly new. They’re existing Art series lenses that have been available for Nikon and Canon, but they’re just now available in E-Mount flavour. The other two lenses are mentioned a little further down in this list.

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art

Finally, non-Nikon shooters have a 105mm f/1.4 option. Coming in Nikon, Canon, Sony and Sigma mount options, this thing is an absolute monster. It’s 66% heavier than the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E, but being an Art series lens, you know this is probably going to be good. And, yes, this is one of the lenses in the new Sony E-Mount flavour.

No word on price or availability yet, but there’s a sample being demoed at CP+ 2018, so it probably won’t be long.

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro Art

A first for Sigma, a macro lens in the Art series lineup. It’s a little short for my own tastes, but this will be a welcome addition for many macro photographers looking to expand their kit. Like the 105mm f/1.4, the 70mm f/2.8 Macro is also coming in the new Sony E-Mount version. Also available in Nikon, Canon & Sigma mounts.

Again, no word on price or availability.

Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD

Yet more love for Sony. Available only in E-Mount, it’s unclear exactly when the new Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD will be released. A price has also not yet been announced, but you can sign up on the B&H website to be notified when pre-orders become available.

Tamron 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD

Unlike the Tamron lens mentioned above, this one’s not for Sony. This is for Nikon and Canon DSLRs. Coming in get under a kilogram, this is a lightweight and slightly slower alternative to the various 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lenses available from various manufacturers. The Tamron 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD is available to pre-order now for $799, although no word on when it may ship yet.

Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro & Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D

This pair of lenses from Laowa look quite interesting. They’re for two different formats. The first is the full frame Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro for Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sony. The other is the APS-C Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D for Fujijfilm X, Canon EF-M, And Sony E mounts.

If I thought the Sigma 70mm macro was a little short for my needs, then this one definitely is. I actually own an old Sigma 24mm f/2.8 manual focus macro, though, and it’s actually not bad as a wide lens for establishing shots. The 9mm though is particularly interesting. Paired with Canon’s new EOS M50 mentioned above, it might let it become a decent vlogging camera after all.

Both lenses are expected to become available in April.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS

You know that pretty much anything with Leica written on it is probably going to be pretty good. This is probably why Panasonic work with them for their Micro Four Thirds lenses. The new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS has a 2x crop, offering the same field of view as a 100-400mm lens on a full frame sensor. Ideal for that Panasonic or Olympus shooting wildlife photographer in your life.

It’s available to pre-order now for $1,697.99 and ships in May.

Flashes

Ok, a couple of unexpected announcements here. One being pretty cool and very interesting. The other being a bit of a “wtf moment”.

Cactus RQ250 wireless bare bulb strobe

So, for the record, this is the cool and interesting one. Finally somebody is stepping up to take on the dominance of the Godox AD200. And I’m not kidding when I say dominance. Since the recent announcement of the AD600 Pro (review coming soon!), many have been wondering if there’s going to be an update to the AD200 any time soon. A number have retailers have told me they can’t keep them in stock, they’re flying off the shelves as soon as their orders come in, so an AD200 replacement isn’t looking likely in the near future.

What is coming soon, though, is the Cactus RQ250. It’s a 250Ws portable strobe that seems quite similar in capability to the AD200, except for the whole Fresnel head thing that nobody uses anyway. What it does offer, though, is a little more power, possibly faster recycle times, and TTL & HSS compatibility for all the same platforms as Godox, but also Sigma and Pentax cameras. If you want to see how the two stack up against each other on-paper, have a look here.

It’ll fit nicely into existing Cactus speedlight systems. Cactus says that this is only the beginning and that more powerful systems are on the way in the future. There’s no word on price or availability yet. But, like the Sigma 105mm f/1.4, a Cactus RQ250 prototype is currently on show at CP+ 2018.

Canon 470EX-AI Speedlight

Yeah, this is the weird one. I just don’t understand it at all. You can see my original announcement post to find out why. It’s met something of a mixed response. Some, like myself, just really don’t get the point. It’s a solution looking for a problem. Others, though, think it will offer some kind of advantage, although nobody is able to provide me with a convincing explanation as to what exactly that might be.

But, if you want one, they’re available to pre-order now for $399 and will ship in April.

Other Stuff

Ok, so that’s everything we’ve previously announced, but here are a few more honourable mentions that were also released during WPPI 2018.

Ikan PIVOT 3-Axis handheld gimbal

3-Axis handheld gimbals are all the rage at the moment. Especially ones that can hold a decent weight. The Crane 2, for example, has a 7lb (3.2kg) load limit, and it’s been working wonderfully for me (review coming soon!). The Ikan PIVOT, though, takes that up a notch, with an 8lb (3.6kg) load capacity.

It’s built with a lightweight carbon fibre handle, and has a tilted rear arm that doesn’t interfere with the operator’s view of the LCD. iOS and Android apps will come along with the gimbal to allow for wireless remote control and calibration. It will be interesting to see the reviews for this one when it’s released.

The Ikan PIVOT 3-Axis handheld gimbal is available to pre-order now for $699 and is expected to ship in March.

Interfit Studio Essentials

The Studio Essentials series is a new line of products from Interfit aimed at the budget shooter. So far the lineup includes a 200Ws strobe, 100W LED monolight, bi-colour LED panel and various other studio items. But they say the lineup will features at least 100 different products.

Check out the current range of Interfit Studio Essentials gear.

Spider Holster SpiderPro V2

The Spider Holster system has become extremely popular. Especially so amongst wedding, event and sports photographers who may need to carry multiple cameras around simultaneously. The new SpiderPro V2 has been updated with a stainless steel anti-twist pin and anti-slip rubber grips. It features two universal connectors suitable for just about any tripod plate.

The SpiderPro V2 is available to pre-order now for $265 and ships sometime this month.

The End

So, that’s it. That’s the round-up of interesting things we’ve seem come out of this year’s WPPI in Las Vegas. Do any pique your interest? Have you already pre-ordered any? Did you see something cool that we missed? Let us know.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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