Updated: The latest camera rumors for 2016

Updated: The latest camera rumors for 2016

Big camera news in 2016

For our major end-of-year update we’re presenting an all-new camera rumors article, combining the latest industry gossip, emerging trends in the digital photography market and our own tech insights into what each of the major camera makers can do – and what they might do next.

Canon rumors: Will there be a new top-end EOS-1D X II? A new EOS 5D Mark IV is surely due, not to mention the EOS 80D, EOS 1300D and EOS 6D Mark II. Will this be the year Canon finally commits to mirrorless camera with the EOS M4?

Nikon rumors: A new Nikon D5 seems a dead cert for 2016, but we think Nikon may try to capture some high ground in the full frame DSLR market with the D820 and revive a classic DX-format pro model with the D400. And what about the Nikon mirrorless range? The Nikon 1 V4 seems a pretty safe bet, but if the stories are true we could also see larger format Nikon 2 and Nikon 3 ranges too.

Sony rumors: Sony’s DSLR-style SLT cameras are still going, but for how much longer? 2016 could see the last updates to its A99, A77 and A58 models. But the future for Sony mirrorless cameras looks rosier – we could see new A6100, A7000 and A5200 models in 2016.

Fuji rumors: We expect Fuji to announce a new sensor in 2016 and for this to ripple through its X-mount range, starting with a new X-Pro 2 and continuing into the X-T2 and X-E3. Fuji’s classic X100 compact is surely due for an upgrade too, perhaps re-emerging as a brand new X200.

Panasonic rumors: A new Panasonic GH5 is our top tip for 2015 – Panasonic has enjoyed a lot of success in professional circles with the GH4 and its 4K video capabilities, but Sony in particular is catching up, so Panasonic will surely react.

Olympus rumors: The OM-D E-M1 is the oldest camera in Olympus’s line-up of OM-D cameras, and good though it still is, the others have closed the gap – the E-M5 Mark II in particular. Olympus will want to put this right with the OM-D E-M1 II.

GoPro rumors: The GoPro Hero4 Black is a hard act to follow, but growing competition from rival action cam makers will surely spur GoPro into launching the Hero5 – and we should expect another leap forward in video processing power.

There are a couple of major battles going on in the photography market at the moment – and it means that this is an exciting time for anyone interested in cameras.

Firstly, mobile phones have pretty much decimated the entry-level compact camera market, and this is forcing manufacturers to shoehorn-in more and more features to make dedicated cameras more appealing.

This move towards more sophisticated compact cameras has an impact upon the interchangeable lens camera market, which is already the scene of a battle between compact system or mirrorless system cameras and SLRs – the new technology versus the old.

This highly competitive marketplace means there’s increasing speculation about what camera manufacturers will be launching over the coming months, and while we can’t say exactly what’s on the way, we have a few ideas.

We’ve taken a look at all the main rumours and thought through some pretty sizeable clues to give you our best guess.

In some cases the updates are fairly predictable upgrades to current cameras, and many are on a fairly regular cycle of replacement, so we can estimate the timeframe.

In other cases it’s a little more tricky, and we have to try to sift the genuine leaks from the wild speculation. There are also technological advances and direction changes that can throw in a curve ball.

So let’s take a look at what we think we might see from the major manufacturers in the not-too-distant future…

Canon rumors 2016

Canon EOS-1D X Mk II

Canon EOS-1D X Mk II

Canon’s next top-liner is set to be faster, and better in the dark, than the original 1D X

Predicted specs: Full-frame 24Mp sensor | 15fps continuous shooting | Max ISO 409,600

As 2016 is an Olympic year it’s a safe bet that Canon will introduce a new camera for professional sports photographers and photojournalists. And it’s no good introducing such a significant camera the week before the games take place – people need time to buy it, and to get used to its handling and performance, so we reckon we’ll hear about it at CES in Las Vegas or CP+ in Japan early in 2016.

The original EOS-1D X has full-frame sensor with 18 million pixels, which may seem quite low, but it’s designed to be fast and good in low light. It’s likely that Canon will push the resolution up a bit, but we don’t think they will go that high; 24 million pixels is probably the maximum we’ll see.

This new sensor is likely to be combined with a new processing engine or engines. The 1D X has dual Digic 5+ processors, so we think the Mk II will have two Digic 7 or Digic 7+ units to enable the shooting rate to be upped to 15 frames per second – although that’s a tall order with a mechanical shutter. Naturally, that maximum speed needs to be combined with continuous autofocusing.

It will be interesting to see what memory cards Canon opts for – dual CFast ports won’t be out of the question, as speedy buffer clearance will be paramount.

Nikon and Sony have cameras with top sensitivity settings of ISO 409,600, and Canon will want to match that figure. Currently, using ISO 409,600 in light low enough to demand such a high setting results in very soft, mushy images, and there doesn’t seem much point in going beyond this value until the results are significantly better.

Although Canon also has the EOS-1D C, which is intended for 4K video shooting, we reckon the new 1D X Mk II will be capable of shooting 4K footage as well.

Canon EOS 5D Mk IV

Canon EOS 5D Mk IV

Canon’s capable all-rounder looks set to get 4K video recording and be more sport-friendly

Predicted specs: Full-frame 24-36Mp sensor | 4K video capability | 8fps continuous shooting

Following the arrival of the 50Mp Canon 5DS and 5DS R, the pressure is somewhat off the 5D Mk IV in the pixel count stakes. However, we expect to see a slight jump for the next model, with a 24Mp full-frame sensor seeming probable, although Canon may decide to take things a little higher.

We expect this camera to continue to be Canon’s most video-centric full-frame stills camera, and 4K capability is a logical addition to the feature set, along with greater control over contrast in the guise of a dynamic range-expanding C-Log gamma option. The ability to shoot full HD at 120fps would also be popular with slow-mo lovers. These features will require a fast processor, so again a new Digic 7 unit is probable.

While the 5DS and 5DS R have very capable autofocusing systems, the lower resolution of the 5D Mk IV makes it a more sensible choice for shooting sport. We expect an improved AF system, with more than the current 61 points, along with a maximum continuous shooting rate of at least 8fps.

We’re 99% certain that the 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with 252 zones and Intelligent Scene Analysis, and the Intelligent Viewfinder II, both of which are found in the 5DS/R, will also be in the new camera.

Canon EOS 6D Mk II

Canon EOS 6D Mk II

Canon needs to up its game to maintain the interest of enthusiast photographers

Predicted specs: At least 24Mp full-frame sensor | 6fps continuous shooting | Vari-angle touchscreen

We loved the 6D when it first came out, but it’s looking quite tired now and its specs don’t compare that well with the Nikon D750’s. As Canon’s ‘entry-level’ full-frame camera it occupies an important position in the EOS lineup, making it ripe for a refresh.

Until the 5DS and 5DS R came along Canon was quite conservative about pixel count. Jumping from 20 to 24Mp would be enough for many photographers, but some may expect closer to 36 million. A relatively high pixel count would make the 6D Mk II much more attractive to existing Mk I owners.

With just 11 points, the 6D’s AF system is rather lacklustre, and we think the new model will see a big jump in this area, perhaps up to 61 to match the 5D Mk III. Low light and continuous shooting performance also needs to improve, and a maximum sensitivity of ISO 204,800 seems likely along with 6fps shooting. Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS technology also seem likely, and we’re hoping there will be a vari-angle touchscreen, as on the APS-C format 760D, to make the camera more user-friendly.

The original 6D was launched at Photokina 2012, the biennial photographic trade show in Cologne, Germany – so maybe we’ll see the Mk II unveiled at Photokina 2016 next September.

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 80D

If it’s to draw the enthusiast crowd the 80D will need a better AF system, faster shooting and a few more pixels

Predicted specs: 24Mp APS-C sensor | 8fps continuous shooting | 65-point AF system

The Canon 70D seems to have been around for ages, and, although it’s still very good, the newer 760D, which sits below it in the Canon DSLR lineup, offers a tempting alternative.

Canon has started putting 24Mp sensors in its APS-C format SLRs, and this seem the logical choice for the 80D, but Canonwatch claims it will have a 28Mp chip, along with ‘a more advanced autofocus system’. It’s unlikely that this will give it the same complexity as the 7D Mk II’s AF system, but perhaps it will get the same number of points (65).

A new processor is a certainty, probably a Digic 7 unit.

Canon EOS 1300D

Canon EOS 1300D (Rebel T7)

Canon’s entry-level DSLR needs to shine if it’s to pull people away from compact system cameras

Predicted specs: 24Mp sensor | Digic 6 processing engine | Wi-Fi and NFC

The entry-level market is incredibly competitive, and Canon needs to raise its game in this area if it’s to tempt new photographers to its system. The 1200D fails to impress next to the Nikon D3300, and there are lots of smaller, more enticing compact system cameras around.

Small is definitely beautiful these days, so we think the replacement for the 1200D will be smaller – perhaps even smaller than the 100D. There will also be an increase in pixel count, and a 24Mp chip seems the most sensible option, along with a Digic 6 processing engine.

Wi-Fi and NFC technology plus touchscreen control would also seem like no-brainers, unless Canon really wants to keep the price low. We expect to see the 1300D arrive by summer 2016.

Canon EOS M4

Canon EOS M4

Could 2016 be the year that Canon shows it’s serious about the mirrorless market?

Predicted specs: Built-in viewfinder | Improved AF system | Extended lens range

While Canon’s CSC range, dubbed EOS M, has proved capable of producing high-quality images, the cameras have been let down by under-performing autofocus systems and a lack of commitment from the manufacturer – there’s still a very limited lens lineup.

Canon makes some fantastic SLRs, but many users prefer the more modern design of a mirrorless camera and the advantages of a full-time live view. Other companies, like Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony have managed to produce fast and accurate AF systems for their CSCs, so it surely can’t be beyond Canon if it puts some effort into it. Add a few more lenses and a built-in viewfinder and the M4 could be a big success.

Nikon rumors 2016

Nikon D5

Nikon D5

Nikon’s workhorse will be faster and more versatile than ever before

Predicted specs: 20Mp full-frame sensor | Native sensitivity range of ISO 100-102,400 | 15fps continuous shooting

Like Canon, Nikon is usually spurred into action in the professional-level market by the Olympic Games, so it wasn’t really a surprise when the company announced that the D5 is under development. As with the Canon 1-DX Mk II, we expect this new model to arrive before the summer games to give professionals time to familiarise themselves with it.

We also expect it to embody the pinnacle of Nikon’s light-gathering capability, with a super-sensitive autofocus system and improved noise control. The D4’s native sensitivity range is ISO 100-25,600, with expansion settings taking it to ISO 50-409,600, and apart from racking up headlines there doesn’t seem much point in pushing the upper value higher unless noise is considerably better controlled. However, the native range is likely to be raised, and could perhaps reach ISO 102,400 to match the Sony A7S II.

Naturally this will require larger photosites, so we anticipate the pixel count being kept to a modest 20 or 24Mp, and a backside-illuminated (BSI) device would seem a sensible move to allow more room for the light-sensitive part of the chip. As with the Canon 1D X Mk II we’re predicting a maximum continuous shooting rate of at least 15fps, along with the facility to record 4K video, all powered by an Expeed 5 processing engine.

Nikonrumors is forecasting a 153-point AF system – we hope some of those points reach the edges of the frame rather than them all being clustered in the middle.

Nikon D820

Nikon D820

Will Nikon strike back in the pixel count battle?

Predicted specs: Full-frame 42Mp sensor | 4K video recording | 15fps continuous shooting

For a while the Nikon D800 (or D800E), and then the D810, was the small-format camera to buy for detail resolution. That honour has now been passed on – but while the Canon 5DS and 5DS R may seem the most logical contenders for this title, a significant number of photographers have turned towards Sony and its 42Mp Alpha 7R II.

As Nikon uses Sony sensors in its cameras it seems likely that the D820 will have a 42Mp sensor, although perhaps there will be a new, higher-resolution chip – Samsung is claimed to have developed a full-frame sensor, and if the rumors are true that Nikon has bought Samsung’s camera technology, we could be in for a surprise.

We expect to see 4K video recording capability in the D820 (it’s pretty much taken as read that this will be a feature of all new cameras), and an improved AF system, possibly the same one as in the D5 – meaning a step up to 173 points.

The D810’s noise control is pretty good for a 36Mp camera and we expect the D820 to at least match if not better it despite its increase in pixel count. It’s worth mentioning at this point that Nikonrumors believes we’ll see the D810S before the D820 comes along. The D810S is thought to be very similar to the D810, using the same sensor but having better noise control.

Nikon Df II

Nikon Df II

Perhaps Nikon will turn its retro-styled FX SLR into a retro-styled FX CSC?

Predicted specs: Mirrorless design | Class-leading electronic viewfinder | Nikon F-mount

Everyone got very excited about the Df when it was announced, but its high price and relatively low pixel count in comparison with the D810 made it something of a luxury purchase. The traditional-style controls also aren’t as well implemented as on Fuji’s X-T1, which was launched around the same time.

It’s possible that the Df II will ‘just’ correct the handling issues of the Df and have a higher resolution sensor. However, it’s no secret that Nikon has lost market share to Sony and its Alpha 7-series of full-frame retro-styled compact system cameras, and the company needs to stage a comeback.

Rumors have been circulating for a while that Nikon has a full-frame mirrorless model on the way, and the Df design could provide an ideal starting point – albeit with a few significant modifications, like the removal of the mirror and the introduction of an electronic viewfinder.

Nikon brought out quite a few F-mount lenses during 2015, and we think it will use the same mount for its high-end compact system camera.

Nikon 2 and Nikon 3

Nikon 2 and Nikon 3

Nikon’s second and third line of mirrorless system cameras will feature a much larger sensor than the Nikon 1’s

Predicted specs: 24Mp DX (APS-C) and 42Mp FX (full-frame) | Nikon F-mount | Hybrid AF system

Even if Nikon does take design cues from the Df for its high-end compact system camera it will probably use a new name for the line, and Nikon 2 seems logical. But perhaps there will be two new CSC lines – APS-C and full-frame format – making the names Nikon 2 and Nikon 3 possible.

Our money is on a 24Mp APS-C format model and a 42Mp full-framer. We also think both will be compatible with the Nikon F-mount. This will mean the cameras won’t be as small as some mirrorless bodies, but that may not be an issue for legions of Nikon lens owners.

Our money is also on the cameras having electronic viewfinders built in, and snappy hybrid autofocusing systems utilising the experience that Nikon has gained from the Nikon 1 series.

One question is whether Nikon will continue to use Sony sensors, or will swap to Samsung following the rumor that it has bought the Korean company’s camera technology. Speaking to Amateur Photographer, Samsung denied the rumor, but we’ll have to see how it pans out.

Mirrorlessrumors states that its ‘very top Samsung sources’ have confirmed the company has developed a full-frame mirrorless camera. This would mean Nikon could have an alternative source for a full-frame sensor if it has become uncomfortable working with Sony, a company that is eating away at its market share.

Nikon D400

Nikon D400

There’s still an appetite for a high-end APS-C format DSLR from Nikon

Predicted specs: 24Mp | 10fps continuous shooting; | A DX version of the D5’s AF module

There have been rumors about a replacement for the D300S, believed to be called the D400, for so long that the hypothetical camera has achieved almost mythical status.

The D300S was Nikon’s last professional-level or serious enthusiast-level APS-C format DSLR, and it was especially popular with sports and wildlife photographers, who appreciated its 1.5x focal length magnification and superb autofocus system. Canon has had good success with its 7D Mk II, proving there is still interest in such a beast, but Nikon currently has nothing to match it.

There have been lots of supposed leaks and speculation about the specification of the D400; some of them date from so long ago that they’ve been left behind by technological developments. Our best guess is that the camera will have a 24Mp sensor, with the pixel count kept modest to improve noise control; the same Expeed 5 processing engine as the D5; and a DX version of the AF module that has around 100 AF points. In a smaller body it’s all about speed, while keeping noise within acceptable limits.

Nikon 1 V4

Nikon 1 V4

A viewfinder is the logical upgrade that the V4 could include over the V3

Predicted specs: 20.8Mp sensor | Built-in electronic viewfinder | Vari-angle screen

The V-series is the most enthusiast-centric of Nikon’s two compact system camera lines, with the J-series being more consumer-oriented. That said, the most recent Nikon 1 camera, the 20.8Mp J5, is quite a bit more serious than past J-series models, and is closer to the V-series in enthusiast appeal.

However, the J5 doesn’t have a viewfinder. This makes the most obvious upgrades to the V3 a jump from 18.4 million effective pixels to 20.8 million to match the J5, and the addition of an electronic viewfinder. Perhaps Nikon will also feel tempted to upgrade the tilting screen to a vari-angle device for easier composition when shooting upright images from low and high angles.

Sony rumors 2016

Sony Alpha 99 II, Alpha 77 III and Alpha 58 II

Sony Alpha 99 II, 77 III and 58 II

Sony’s Alpha 68 could be the last SLT camera that comes to market

Sony maintains that it’s committed to the A-mount DSLT range, and it even brought out the Alpha 68 and a couple of high-end Alpha-mount lenses during 2015. But it’s the E-mount range of compact system cameras that’s drawing photographers’ attention, especially the full-frame A7-series. The whispers are that Sony will only produce E-mount cameras and lenses in 2016, and rumors of a replacement for the full-frame Alpha 99 have dried up.

Sony now has the third-largest share of the global interchangeable lens camera market, with Nikon second and Canon in first place. According to Nikkei Asian Review this success can be attributed to the development of Sony’s Alpha 7-series of full-frame cameras kickstarting the consumer mirrorless camera market in Germany and the US, where sales have previously been sluggish to say the least.

It seems unlikely that the company will spend too much time working on its less-successful SLT range when it’s gaining ground on Nikon and Canon with its CSCs.

Sony Alpha 6100 and Alpha 7000

Sony Alpha 6100/7000

Sony’s A6000 has proved popular, but a 32Mp sensor and body redesign for its successor could see sales soar

Predicted specs: 32Mp BSI sensor | 5-axis stabilisation | New electronic viewfinder

Sony’s flagship APS-C format compact system camera, the Alpha 6000, has been hugely successful thanks to its high-quality 24Mp sensor and snappy autofocusing. However, it’s been around since February 2012, which is a long time for a consumer-level camera, and it’s ripe for replacement, with the CES trade show in January 2016 and CP+ in February perhaps offering the ideal venue for an announcement.

A jump in pixel count seems likely, with rumours suggesting 28 or 32 million. And while Sony was very proud of the A6000’s 4D autofocus system when it was first unveiled, the competition has got tougher, and we’re forecasting a significant improvement. According to dailycameranews.com we can expect a 285-point phase detection system in place of the hybrid system (Sonyalpharumors has plumped for 399 points, but not committed to a system type).

A new electronic viewfinder is also expected, along with the ability to shoot at 14fps. We’d also like Sony to give the A6100/A7000 a touchscreen to speed up making some menu selections and settings adjustments.

We’re betting that Sony makes the A6100 look more like the A7-series, scrapping the rectangular rangefinder style and opting for a mini-SLR look, with a viewfinder in the centre of the top plate. It wouldn’t hurt the new model to ride along on the coattails of its highly successful full-frame siblings.

Sony Alpha A5200

Sony Alpha A5200

The addition of a viewfinder and improved touch-control would be welcome for the A5100 update

Predicted specs: 32Mp BSI sensors | Electronic viewfinder from the A6000 | Touch-control menu

A price drop is often a sign that a camera is about to be replaced, and the Sony A5100 was going for some bargain prices around Black Friday 2015. This end of the market is also very competitive, so Sony will be keen to offer something new and fresh.

The A5100 doesn’t have a viewfinder, but that’s something that users increasingly expect from a camera – it helps to give it an edge over a phone. If Sony gives the A5200 a viewfinder, and uses the same sensor and processing engine as it does in the A6100/A7000 (the A5100 and A6000 are the same in this respect), the main distinction between the two lines will be the control arrangement and handling.

One thing we’re pretty sure about is that Sony will iron out the wrinkles in the touchscreen control – it’s a bit limited on the A5100, and it would be nice to be able to use the screen to navigate the menu.

Fuji rumors 2016

Fuji X-Pro 2

Fuji X-Pro 2

Fuji’s flagship will have to impress if it’s to outshine the popular X-T1 and X-T10

Predicted specs: 24Mp APS-C format sensor | Weather-sealed body | Tilting screen

While some saw the X-T1 as the replacement for the X-Pro 1, that was never Fuji’s intention, and the anticipated X-Pro 2 will be the company’s flagship model. The X-Pro 1 was unveiled in January 2012, so the pressure is on Fuji as photographers will expect the X-Pro 2 to be worth the wait. We’re expecting a significant hike in pixel count, with 24 million seeming the most probable choice for the latest X-Trans chip. There will also be a new image processor, and we’re expecting this to enable 4K video recording, more responsive autofocusing and faster continuous shooting.

One thing we don’t anticipate, however, is a fundamental change in the design; Fuji will stick with the rectangular rangefinder style with an (improved) hybrid viewfinder. There may be a few tweaks though – Fujirumors believes there will be a mini-joystick control for shifting the AF point, and a ‘C’ setting on the exposure compensation dial for greater than +/-5EV adjustment.

Now that the company has a few weather-sealed lenses to compliment the X-T1’s build, it would seem logical for the X-Pro 2 to get weather-proofing too. Disappointingly, however, Fujirumors says it has it on good authority that there won’t be a tilting screen.

Fuji X-T2 and X-E3

Fuji X-T2 and X-E3

Fuji will share the X-Pro 2’s sensor around its other APS-C format X-series cameras

Predicted specs: 24Mp | Improved autofocusing | 4K recording

Once Fuji has rolled out the X-Pro 2 you can bet your bottom dollar that the X-T2 won’t be too far behind. The future of the X-E3 is less clear, but we think a mini X-Pro 2 wouldn’t go amiss in the same way that the X-T10 has found favour as a smaller, more affordable alternative to the X-T1. Fuji is bound to want to have something to show off at Photokina in September 2016, and it would make a good venue for the X-E3 launch.

Our money is on the new cameras having the same sensor as the X-Pro 2. Video capability is becoming increasingly important in the camera market, so we’re betting the X-T2 is 4K-enabled. Fuji likes to get value out of its bodyshell designs, and we think the X-T2 will have the same shape and control layout as the X-T1.

Fuji X200

Fuji X200

A new sensor and processing engine, plus an improved AF system look on the cards for Fuji’s flagship compact camera

Predicted specs: 24Mp APS-C format sensor | 23mm lens | Improved AF system

Details are pretty thin on the ground about the specification of Fuji’s potential replacement for the X100T, but we think it will increase the pixel count from 16 million to 24 million in the X200. It’s a popular pixel count for APS-C format cameras, and it’s likely to be the same sensor that the company will use for the X-Pro 2 when it comes along.

Some rumor sites are suggesting Fuji will also change the lens for the X200, but we think the company will continue with a focal length of 23mm, giving an equivalent focal length of 35mm – it’s a popular option for street and documentary photography, and lends itself to wideangle and telephoto adaptors.

It’s possible that Fuji will up the ante a little by increasing the maximum aperture from f/2 for even better low light performance and depth of field control, but it may ‘just’ use a new optical design or coatings to boost performance. Fuji has been working hard on improving the autofocus systems in its cameras, and this seems likely to continue, so we can expect the X200 to focus more quickly than the X100T, with better low-light responses.

Panasonic rumors 2016

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic’s video-centric camera needs to fend off some stiff competition from Sony

Panasonic originally intended the GH-series cameras to be combined stills and video models, but recent incarnations have proved especially popular with videographers. Initially, serious video shooters hacked the cameras to get the best from them, but Panasonic has worked with these users to make the GH4 better straight from the box.

The GH4 is 4K-enabled, and while Panasonic is keen to talk about the progress being made towards making 8K recording commonplace, it seems unlikely that the manufacturer will be able to achieve that with the GH5. In fact, even 6K recording seems unlikely and unnecessary, given that we’re all still shuffling towards 4K television ownership.

Perhaps the company will expand the range of recording options, maybe with 4K at 60fps, or even 120fps for high-quality slow-motion playback. The ability to magnify images while recording to check focus would also be welcome.

Panasonic introduced V-Log as a paid-for download for the GH4, and made it available to anyone wanting to record flat-looking footage that’s better for post-capture grading. Naturally we expect this to be built into the GH5; it should also be possible to use V-Log but see a natural-contrast image in the viewfinder or on the main screen.

Olympus rumors 2016

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II

We’re hoping Olympus’s High Res Shot mode will become a hand-held option for its next top-flight CSC

Predicted specs: 20Mp sensor from Sony | High Res Shot Mode | Improved viewfinder and AF system

Now that Olympus has brought out the OM-D E-M10 II and E-M5 II, it can’t be long before it updates its flagship model, the OM-D E-M1. It’s possible that Olympus will use a higher-resolution sensor for the E-M1 II, perhaps the 20Mp Four Thirds device from Sony that is believed to be in the Panasonic GX8.

One feature we’re certain the E-M1 II will include the High Res Shot technology debuted in the E-M5 Mk II. This uses the camera’s stabilisation system to move the sensor by a tiny amount between shots as it takes a sequence of eight images. These shots are then composited in-camera into one 40 million pixel JPEG or 64Mp raw file.

It works very well, but it’s only suitable for use with stationary subjects when the camera is absolutely still, ruling out hand-held shooting and landscapes with moving water or foliage. Hopefully Olympus will have managed to speed the process up, making hand-held shooting possible and allowing for a little movement in the scene, by the time the E-M1 Mk II comes along.

Olympus is aware of the need to improve AF performance in compact system cameras, and we expect it to continue the progress it made with the E-M1 to give better low-light response. An improved electronic viewfinder also seems likely – could Olympus stretch to a 4.4 million-dot device?

Olympus Pen E-P7

Olympus Pen E-P7

The line between the Olympus OM-D and Pen series looks set to become increasingly blurred

Predicted specs: Built-in electronic viewfinder | Continued rectangular design | 20Mp sensor

Judging by the rumors currently circulating, one of the two main features that distinguishes the Olympus Pen from the company’s OM-D cameras is about to be taken out of the equation. To date the Pen cameras have not had a viewfinder built in, while the OM-D models have. This seems set to change, with the yet-to-be-announced top-end Pen rumored to feature an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Interestingly, there’s an image circulating of what is reported to be the E-P7, which shows the new camera having a similar tilting EVF design to the Panasonic GX7 and GX8. This is useful when you’re composing images from a low angle because the viewfinder can be flipped upwards to give a better view.

Other possible specification highlights include a 20MP Four Thirds sensor, as in the E-M1 II, weather-sealing and the ability to shoot 4K movies. The latter should be especially useful for the blogger market that Olympus is keen to attract to its Pen series.

Knowing Olympus, there could be a surprise or two in store with the E-P7 and E-M1 Mk II – perhaps a novel Art Filter, the ability to add Instagram tags in-camera or another clever incarnation of the Live Time mode.

We believe Olympus will continue with the Pen’s rectangular shape, leaving the retro SLR styling to the OM-D series. We also suspect that the High Res Shot mode will only make an appearance in the Pen E-P7 if it can be used when the camera is hand-held.

Pentax rumors 2016

Pentax full frame DSLR

Pentax full-frame DSLR

Apart from the fact it has a full-frame sensor, Pentax has revealed very little about its most widely anticipated camera

Predicted specs: 36Mp and no AA filter | Super Resolution mode | 5-axis stabilisation

Although Pentax has confirmed it’s producing a full-frame SLR – and we’ve even seen a mockup of one in a glass case on the Pentax stand at The Photography Show – there are very few details available about it, not even a name. Speaking at the show, a Pentax rep said the company hoped the new camera would be launched towards the end of 2015, but that’s shifted to early 2016, with Pentax confirming a spring launch on its dedicated website.

A slide published on Photorumors is claimed to show the proposed specification, which includes a 36Mp sensor without an anti-aliasing filter, 5-axis stabilisation, a PRIME IV 14-bit processing engine, diffraction correction and an SR (Super-Resolution) mode – the latter presumably being similar to the Pixel Shift system of the Pentax K-3 II, which doesn’t increase image size, but enhances resolution and colour.

As Pentax has used Sony sensors in its more recent SLRs, it’s assumed that the full-frame camera’s sensor will also come from Sony – although there is a slim chance that the full-frame sensor Samsung claims to have produced was designed for Pentax, and the two companies have revived their collaboration. Or maybe not.

GoPro rumors 2016

GoPro Hero 5

GoPro Hero 5

Rumors of 8K recording capability seem far fetched, but we think the next GoPro will make editing easier

Predicted specs: 12Mp sensor | 60fps in 4K mode | GPS technology built-in

Some people seem convinced that the camera that replaces the GoPro Hero4 Black will be able to record 8K movies. We think this is very unlikely, not least because it would require the camera’s pixel count to be increased from 12 million to around 33 million, which would have a detrimental impact on noise control and low light performance. In addition, the processing power would have to almost triple.

What seems more likely is that there will be a boost to the maximum frame rates available, perhaps 240fps in Full HD mode and 60fps in 4K mode for more slow-motion options.

Some rumor sites are also suggesting the next top-end camera will be smaller and ruggedised, like the GoPro Hero4 Session, so that a waterproof housing isn’t required. While some shrinkage isn’t out the question, we think shedding the housing is unlikely because it would have serious implications for the accessory connections which are significant to GoPro’s business.

We think there’s more chance that GoPro will give the Hero5 GPS technology to enable it to geotag footage automatically. We’d also like this to work with an in-built accelerometer, which detects changes in speed and direction to automatically tag footage, to make finding the most exciting sections easy.

It would also be good if GoPro could take this a step further and introduce automatic editing along similar lines to the TomTom Bandit, or as is made possible by the Trace Action Sports Tracker. Making footage easier to edit would result in more satisfied customers, with more dynamic movies that would help to sell the camera.

TechRadar: Photography & video capture news

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