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Weekly Wash: the 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (01 June)

Weekly Wash: the 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (01 June)

It's been a big week for new products and new technology, with a whole host of announcements, hands-ons and cool patents swimming to the surface of the past seven days. 

Whether you're a traditional camera user or you're interested in what camera phones have to offer, there has been plenty to soak in over the course of the past week…

1) Panasonic Lumix S1H 6K cine camera announced

Not content with its S1 siblings, the Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R, Panasonic has unveiled the third child in its full-frame mirrorless camera family: the Panasonic Lumix S1H.

This new camera uses the same L mount as the existing cameras, but boasts a brand new sensor that's designed for videography. The S1H is a formidable cine camera that delivers 6K / 24fps or 4K / 60fps capability with built-in log profiles.

At a reasonable $4,000 price tag, on paper the S1H is head and shoulders above all the other full-frame mirrorless cinema cameras. The question is, will it be more successful than the S1 and S1R at gaining traction in an already crowded marketplace? 

Read more: Panasonic officially reveals its 6K Lumix S1H cine camera at Cine Gear Expo 2019

2) Sony Xperia 1 revealed, reviewed

While it's one of the top dogs in the traditional camera market, Sony hasn't seen the same success with its camera phones – partly because its Alpha division has historically withheld tech from the mobile arm. 

Things have changed with the Sony Xperia 1, a flagship handset with a 12MP triple-camera array and enviable 4K video recording – and tried and tested technology, such as eye tracking, inherited from the Alpha cameras.

The question is, is it enough to help Sony compete with the Googles and Samsungs of the camera phone world?

Read more: Sony Xperia 1 review

3) Canon patents a trio of RF super telephoto lenses

The lens lineup for the Canon EOS R and Canon EOS RP is filling out nicely, with six more lenses scheduled on the Canon RF lens roadmap for the rest of 2019. 

Canon is always beavering away on new optics, though, and this week we caught wind of a trifecta of RF-mount super telephoto lenses that have been patented for the company's full-frame mirrorless system. 

If the Canon RF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM, Canon RF 500mm f/4L IS USM and Canon RF 600mm f/4L IS USM do make it to market, EOS R shooters will be spoilt for choice when it comes to long-range lenses!

Read more: Canon RF 500mm f/4L IS leads trio of super telephoto lenses for Canon EOS R

4) Smartphones slump – can cameras regain ground?

It's long been the story that camera sales are sinking like the Titanic because of the giant iceberg representing the rise of camera phones. The head of Canon even predicted that phones could erode 50% of the camera market in two years.

So it's a major development that sales of smartphones have not only screeched to a halt, but have hit an iceberg of their own: in Q1 2019, the phone industry slumped 6.6% to the tune of 22 million fewer units. 

Does this present a golden opportunity for the traditional camera industry to regain lost ground?

Read more: Smartphone sales slump 22 million – a golden chance for the camera market?

5) Canon patents "Moon Shooting Mode"

While Canon's Dual Pixel AF is regarded as the undisputed champion of autofocus technology, it's not very well suited for astrophotography.

So Canon has taken steps to make life easier for photographers looking to shoot celestial bodies such as the moon and stars, developing a Moon Shooting Mode for which it has filed a new patent in the United States. 

Using a hybrid of phase difference and contrast detect autofocus tech, this new mode should be music to the ears of astrophotographers.

Read more: Canon patents "Moon Shooting Mode" for astrophotography

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.