Panasonic Pre-announces the Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Micro Four Thirds Lens

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Lens

Ugh. I don’t know about you, but I am starting to get really tired of these “pre-announcements.” I know generating hype is important, as is making buyers skip their purchases of competitors’ products, but this really does not tell us much. Sure, it is a 42.5mm f/1.2, but Panasonic have already shown the prototype, and without a shipping date and price, there’s just not much to talk about that has not been rehashed elsewhere. Anyway, new lens, unknown launch date. You portrait photographers might like it. Maybe it will ship in 2014?

PS. Yes, we know how “equivalence” works. No, please don’t start in the comments.

(Image credit: Panasonic press image)

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Panasonic Releases the Lumix DMC-GX7 16MP Micro Four Thirds Camera

Panasonic GX7
Panasonic GX7

After being rumoured for a while, Panasonic released the Lumix DMC-GX7 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Camera today. This is the replacement for the older GX1, with an upgraded sensor with a maximum ISO of 25,600. According to Panasonic, the new sensor achieves 10% higher sensitivity and 10% better resolution than the GX1.

Notable new features of the GX7 is a 2.76-million dot EVF which can be tilted up 90° for waist-level shooting and an in-body image stabilization system which Panasonic says is as effective as the MEGA O.I.S. found in Panasonic’s lenses. We are not sure if it’s a 5-axis one like the Olympus OM-D E-M5, though.

NFC seems to be a trend with the recent cameras released and is available on the GX7 as well along with the more traditional WiFi for wireless data transfers. Other features include a silent electronic shutter for taking those stealth shots, full HD 24p video recording with the AVCHD Progressive CODEC, creative filter effects, camera panorama, time lapse, stop motion and clear retouch.

The camera will be available this November at a price of US$999 for the body, or US$1,099 for a kit with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

YS: The real question is, what is the sensor that is being used? Is it a rehash of the GH2’s sensor which is also found in the G5 and G6, or is it going to be based on the GH3’s? The pixel count suggests something totally different though. The black version looks like it will be reserved for certain markets, along with the 20mm kit.

(Image credit: Panasonic press image)

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Olympus Releases PEN E-P5, PEN Lite E-PL6

Olympus E-P5 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens
Olympus E-P5 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens

After weeks of rumours, Olympus finally launches the much anticipated PEN E-P5. Continuing from their highly successful PEN series of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the E-P5 maintains the retro styling that has now become very popular with camera manufacturers.

The E-P5 is modelled after the 50-year old Olympus PEN F SLR, and the E-P5 is launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary ancestor. Like the OM-D E-M5 launched last year, the E-P5 has the same high-end technologies including the same 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, AF system, 5-axis image stabilisation and more. It also has a mechanical shutter capable of speeds up to 1/8000th of a second – the world’s first on a digital compact camera – according to Olympus. This allows photographers to achieve shallow depth of field in bright daylight conditions or when the situation calls for super high shutter speeds.

For photographers who would like to use manual lenses, the E-P5 features focus peaking, highlighting the in-focus areas in either white or black pixels. Like many recent cameras, the E-P5 now has WiFi connectivity built-in. Using the Olympus Image Share 2.0 app, you can use your smartphone as an external display, remote or GPS for the camera.

YS: Ugh, focus peaking! This brings to me one point:The E-P5 (and the G6) are both very nice cameras, and unfortunately, they both carry the problem of having features that the higher-end (and only slightly older – the GH3 is not evey half a year old) model should have but doesn’t. This is a real marketing problem when aiming at enthusiasts – no one likes having to decide between two cameras that are supposedly one bracket apart, but the higher-end model is lacking desirable features the lower-end one does. The consumers deciding on buying such a camera normally freeze up and don’t buy. I have seen this happen enough, so Olympus and Panasonic need to be careful of the message they send out to prospective buyers in this rather small market (DSLR shipments still dwarf that of mirrorless system cameras).

CK: In other news, Olympus also launched the PEN Lite E-PL6 in Japan. This is an update to the E-PL5, adding several features that are on the newly released E-P5 including a shorter shutter lag, intervalometer and time-lapse shooting. It’s also compatible with the VF-4 viewfinder and how feature a dual-axis electronic level.

Like the EP-5, the E-PL6 also has the same 16-megapixel CMOS sensor as the flagship OM-D E-M5, bringing the high quality imaging system to a more mass market level. It also features WiFi connectivity so that you can view or control the camera via the Olympus Image Share app on your smartphone.

Photographers (like YS) who like to complain about the relatively large AF area of the E-M5 will be happy to know that both cameras now have smaller AF areas via the Super Spot AF feature. This allows you to more accurately focus on even extremely small subjects.

YS: This better be present on the E-M6.

CK: The PEN E-P5 will be available in May 2013 for US$999.99 (body only) or US$1,499.99 (with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f/1.8 lens and VF-4 electronic viewfinder). The E-PL6 will be available from end of June 2013.

(Image Credit: Olympus Press Images)

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