Olympus Adds the Affordable E-M10 to their OM-D lineup

Olympus OM-D E-M10 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6
Olympus OM-D E-M10 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6

 

Hot on Fujifilm’s heels, Olympus has announced the equally rumoured E-M10 to their OM-D lineup of Micro Four Third cameras. Touted as the “OM-D for all”, the E-M10 packs the features of the popular E-M5 and the recently released E-M1 into a more affordable package.

The E-M10 has a stylish and compact metal body featuring a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor, TruePic VII image processor, 3-axis image stabilisation based on the 5-axis ones on the E-M5 and E-M1, 81-point “FAST AF” system, up to 8fps continuous shooting, ISO up to 25,600 and finally, a pop-up flash.

The EVF has a resolution of 1.44 million dots with a 120fps refresh rate and a 100% field of view, and the 3″ tilting LCD features a 1.037 million dot touch-screen LCD. Like most other modern cameras, the E-M10 has built-in WiFi for image transfer. What’s absent from the E-M10 is the lack of weather sealing, something which will not bother most users.

Along with the new camera, Olympus has also released two new MFT lenses – The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom, and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f/1.8 portrait lens. The former measures just 0.9 inches thick and is currently the world’s slimmest standard zoom lens.

Olympus 14-42
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm
f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom

Oylmpus 25mm f/18 portrait lens
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f/1.8 portrait lens

Also announced is a 18mm f/8 fisheye bodycap lens, a quick-release grip, a macro convertor and an auto-opening lens cap.

ddd
18mm f/8 fisheye body cap lens

The E-M10 bodies will be available from March for US$700 for the body alone, or US$800 with the M.ZUIKO 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens. No release dates were given for the lenses and accessories, but the new 14-42mm pancake will cost US$350, the 25mm portrait US$400, macro convertor US$70, quick release grip US$60 and the fisheye bodycap US$100.

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Most Leaked Fujifilm X Camera Announced – the X-T1

Fujifilm X-T1 is finally announced today on the 28th January 2014
Fujifilm X-T1 is finally announced today on the 28th January 2014

Finally, it’s official announced – to not much surprise though, since the new Fujifilm X-T1 camera is one of the most leaked cameras, with photos and specs well available to the general public over the past few weeks.

It’s significant that a Fujifilm X camera is touting operational speed among its many attributes, as most of the X cameras so far aren’t speed demons. The X-T1 has also gained the SLR-esque hump that seems to be all the rage now, heralded in first by the 2012 OMD-EM5 and followed on by the OMD-EM1 and the Sony A7 and A7R. Continue reading Most Leaked Fujifilm X Camera Announced – the X-T1

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Three Guys’ Picks and Pans of 2013

Introduction

Well, 2013 was a quiet year, mainly with the two giants not releasing much, and everyone struggling to stay relevant in times of weak sales brought about by competent cameras that reduce the need to upgrade and convenient cameras in the form of smartphone cameras that make it easy to share photographs. Still, it was not all bad, and we have a list of last year’s most notable products. Read on and find out what they were! Continue reading Three Guys’ Picks and Pans of 2013

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PMA@CES 2014: Panasonic Releases the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH

01_LEICA Lens_slant

Leica aficionados using Micro Four Thirds cameras rejoice! Panasonic has released the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH. The lens gives a 85mm f/1.2 equivalent on Micro Four Third systems, making it suitable for portraiture. The lens has Panasonic’s Power O.I.S. stabilisation built-in and is touted as the brightest aperture of any AF lens on Micro Four Thirds systems.

As with anything Leica-branded, this will not come cheap. It’ll be available in the first quarter of 2014 at US$1,599. Maybe David can get one for his Olympus OM-D E-M5.

YS: Geez, finally, after all that teasing, though I am certainly not interested at that price. And didn’t David sell his E-M5?

David: I still have it – haven’t put it up for sale. On the topic of this lens, I’ll say this is a pretty welcome development. Looking forward to see how this lens will improve further on the already very good Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens!

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PMA@CES 2014: Sigma Announces the All-new 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ‘Art’ Lens

A | Art Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM
A | Art Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM

A couple of years back, Sigma released the Art-series 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM to critical acclaim. This year at PMA@CES 2014, Sigma announced a new addition to the Art series in the form of a 50mm f/1.4 DG. Like the 35mm f/1.4DG HSM, the new lens also sports the premium-looking design – a welcome change from Sigma’s crinkled finish on their older lenses.

Like a lot of Sigma lenses, the 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM is rather big, with a 77mm filter size. This is apparently due to Sigma choosing to use a retro-focal design more commonly found on wide angle primes. The HSM moniker indicates that the lens employs an ultrasonic focussing motor for quick and improved focussing.

The lens will be available in Nikon, Canon, Sony and of course, Sigma mounts. Unfortunately, the price and availability is unknown at this point of time.

YS: Ye gods. 77mm for a 50mm f/1.4? Big, and rather unwieldy. The price for a retrofocus design to overcome soft corners on a DSLR.

David: It’s quite interesting that in the face of increasing smaller cameras and the mirror less trends, DSLR lens makers are actually making BIGGER and BIGGER lenses in an effort to up the optical quality game. Witness the humongous Zeiss full frame A mount primes, and also the new Otus…..

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PMA 2014: Canon Releases the PowerShot N100 “Story Camera”

Canon PowerShot N700
Canon PowerShot N100

Canon just announced the all-new PowerShot N100 which they brand as a “Story Camera“. The unique feature of this camera is the rear-facing 25mm equivalent camera which is able to take a still or video shot of the photographer at the moment the shutter is pressed. This shot is then placed at a corner of the shot that was taken, and using the “Story Highlights” feature of the camera, a montage of the moments can be created and shared.

The camera is an upgrade of the PowerShot N released last year, featuring a 12.1 megapixel, 1/1.7″ sensor similar to that found on the popular PowerShot S120. The lens offers a 5x optical zoom with a equivalent focal length of 24-120mm at f/1.8-5.7. Like its predecessor, the PowerShot N100 features a tilting LCD with capacitive touch, but is now 3″ instead of 2.8″. Like many other cameras, it also does video recording up to 1080/60p, and has WiFi and NFC.

The camera will be available from mid-May 2014 at US$349.99 and is available in both white and black.

David: I would like to think a “story camera” will be the biggest idea of 2014 and go on to spawn a trend of uhmmm…… story telling cameras, but I thought story telling was what all cameras do visually, and franky speaking, just buy an iPhone and use Instagram movie mode!!!

 

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PMA@CES 2014: Nikon Announces D3300, 18-55mm VR II, 35mm f/1.8 FX, and D4S Development

D3300_BK_18_55_VR2_frt34l

 

Nikon have unveiled their PMA@CES lineup, and it is not the most exciting one. The first is the Nikon D3300, which replaces the D3300 by removing the AA filter from the 24 megapixel sensor, increasing the frame rate to 5 FPS from 4 (which is pretty amazing considering my F100 from over a decade back did just that). The fixed LCD remains a 3″ VGA affair, and the autofocus module is still the same 11 point system from the D3200. Oh, and there is that new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II lens that can collapse into a smaller form factor, which hopefully can properly bring out the better side on that 24 megapixel sensor. I wonder if this is Nikon’s strategy of dealing with APS-sized sensor mirrorless cameras. The entire combination is not terribly big, is on par in weight with many mirrorless kits, features the snappy autofocus that DSLRs have, and in markets like the USA have the Nikon brand name to carry them over. Camera with lens kit and lens itself will be available in February for US$650 and US$250 respectively.

Next up is the FX AF-S 35mm f/1.8G. Continue reading PMA@CES 2014: Nikon Announces D3300, 18-55mm VR II, 35mm f/1.8 FX, and D4S Development

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PMA@CES 2014: Fujifilm Releases the Black X100s and 56mm f/1.2R X Lens

Fujifilm X100S in Black
Fujifilm X100S in Black

For those who are clamouring (or used to clamour) for the black version of the highly-popular X100s, Fujifilm has released the black X100s at the yearly Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 at Las Vegas. Everything remains the same as the chrome X100s, just the colour.

Continue reading PMA@CES 2014: Fujifilm Releases the Black X100s and 56mm f/1.2R X Lens

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Samsung Announces NX30 and Two Interesting 16-50mm Lenses

Samsung NX30 with NX 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 Lens

 

Here is the first announcement of 2014! Samsung’s been one of the earliest players in the mirrorless segment, after the Micro Four Thirds crowd, but they have never caught on, despite the impressive hardware. The NX30 is an example: Take the NX300’s 20 megapixel sensor with phase detect autofocus capability, put it in a bigger body with more controls, a fully articulated three inch 720×480 OLED screen, a large XGA EVF that can be pulled back and tilted upwards, 9 FPS frame rate, full HD video at 60 FPS, and improved WiFi and NFC connectivity. Samsung mentions that the NX30 will have the capability to directly upload to Dropbox and Flickr in some regions. Direct Dropbox upload is a really neat idea, as I have used Dropbox as either an intermediate or final step for client deliverables before, and I can see how it would benefit a photographer working on a tight deadline. I also really enjoyed the automatic uploads over WiFi from my smartphone, and if Samsung are smart, they will include a deal that bundles increased Dropbox storage, just like they do with their high end Galaxy phones. Finding a free WiFi hotspot or a data plan that can deal with the uploads will be left as an exercise for the photographer.

Then there are the lenses. It is not widely known, but Samsung actually make some great lenses for the NX line. Continue reading Samsung Announces NX30 and Two Interesting 16-50mm Lenses

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