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 GH3: A Stills Review

Panasonic GH3 with 12-35mm f/2.8 lens

Introduction

The Panasonic GH3 was introduced in October 2012 with some fanfare, as the replacement to the highly regarded GH2. Now, I say “some”, and that is because the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which had been on sale some six months earlier, was already in the minds of many a photographer, the premier Micro Four Thirds camera. The GH3 with its slightly higher price and much larger size made some wonder why not get a proper DSLR then?

Because dammit, have you seen the sizes of the Micro Four Thirds lenses? Camera size is less of a concern for those of us looking at a full system, since the lenses always take up the bulk of the weight. Plus, Panasonic did market it as a professional camera capable of doing both stills and video, but everyone seems to be dismissing it as a video-only camera, forgetting (or not even noticing) that traditionally Panasonic always reserves the best sensor package for the GH series. If you don’t believe me on that, go and compare the contemporary comparisons of the G1 and the GH1.

So we stills photographers gave it a go, and what conclusion did we come to? Read on and find out! Continue reading Panasonic GH3: A Stills Review

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Something is Coming – We Want Your Input!

Panasonic GH3 with Vario G X 12-35mm f/2.8 lens

Oh yes. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 with that very nice and cute 12-35mm f/2.8 lens is going to be with us for a short stay. If there is anything you want to find out about the GH3 while we still have it, give a shout out in the comments or post on our Facebook Page! Otherwise, keep an eye on this space while we get working on the review!

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Tamron Joins Micro Four Thirds With New 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC Lens

Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC (Model C001)

Oh hey, look. Tamron, king of the superzoom lenses, finally crashes the Micro Four Thirds party with a… superzoom lens. The new 14-150 f/3.5-5.8 Di III VC (so, Di IV should cover Nikon CX?) looks set to be a nice superzoom, with a quiet stepping motor, Vibration Compensation that will be a bonus for Panasonic users, and a metal lens barrel exterior. I hope it does not mean the internal is made out of cheap plastic though.

More fun anecdotes: I remember using the Panasonic 14-140mm f/4-5.8 back with the GH1 back then, thanks to Panasonic selling the camera with that lens. It was not very small, fairly heavy, and it just was not something that endeared to me. I sold it within a month. I still do have a decent photo taken with it somewhere in the bowels of my hard drive though.

As always, a lens like this lives and dies by its price, and unfortunately, Tamron has no ship date or pricing information at press time. We will have to wait to see before we can determine if it is good value for casual shooters.

(Image credit: Tamron press image)

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Panasonic Announces Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II

So, as part of the CP+ show this coming week, Panasonic has announced a new kit lens, the Vario G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II. It features a few new upgrades, like a return to the metal mount (unless that is silver coloured plastic peeking out at the back there), a much smaller size compared to the previous two versions of the kit lens. Oh, and don’t forget the two aspherical elements in there. Panasonic wants you to know that.

Fun anecdote: I remember holding the first 14-45 lens just a few years ago when the Panasonic G1 first came out. I found it irresistibly cute back then. Funny how it seems so big now.

(Image credit: Panasonic press image)

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The Panasonic GH3 Compared in Size

Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Cameras: GH3, GH2, G5, G3, GX1, GF5
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Cameras: GH3, GH2, G5, G3, GX1, GF5

As some of you might know, I’m rather looking forward to the Panasonic GH3, and am buzzed that there’s a Micro Four Thirds camera that attempts to approach a pro-level DSLR in operation and handling.

Of course, this has a downside. Part of that means the camera is going to be bigger. Some say it’s too big; approaching that of a mid-level DSLR. To better illustrate the increase in size, here is an image with the various recent Micro Four Thirds cameras by Panasonic set to scale. Personally, I think the size is still fine when taken as a system camera, as the main weight in a system has always come from the lenses.

(Image Credit: Panasonic Press Images)

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All the new things!

Here’s a quick update of what else arrived in Singapore in the last week. Firstly the Nikon 1 V2 is now available, and the basic kit price is at over S$1,000. I have yet to try the camera personally, unlike CK who managed to spend some quality time with it in Japan, but I don’t think that whatever the improvements are, it is going to be worth that kind of price premium. A camera like the D3200 is almost 20% cheaper, despite costing more to produce. Nikon really needs to re-evaluate their pricing on the 1 line if they are going to be competitive with the other mirrorless system cameras. Along with the V2 also comes the Nikon 1 18.5mm f/1.8 lens. So if you want a fast prime for your 1 system, this is a good start (and currently the only start, if you ask me).

Continue reading All the new things!

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PANASONIC! WHY MUST YOU BE SO AWESOME (or GH3 and 35-100mm f/2.8)

Panasonic GH3 with Vario G X 12-35mm f/2.8 lens
Panasonic GH3 with Vario G X 12-35mm f/2.8 lens

When the GH3 was delayed, I was wondering if Panasonic was going to work on something that would be higher specified than the GH2. Well, it looks like they did, and the new camera? It’s something I would want. Everything about it, from the new weather-resistant magnesium alloy body, to the layout of dials and buttons, the implications of the user interface (FIVE custom function buttons, three dials) and all the little pro features are making it look really good on paper. Oh, and for video people? 1080p at 60 FPS with up to 72 Mbps bitrate. That is just amazing. The GH1 had a so-so LCD but decent EVF, and this time, the new OLED screen and new OLED EVF look set to be winners. If the 16 megapixel sensor and AF speeds live up to their respective claims, well, this is going to be one hell of a camera. Even with the US pre-order price of US$1300. Even at S$1650, it’s still cheaper than the top end APS-C DSLRs. Then there’s that new lens…

Continue reading PANASONIC! WHY MUST YOU BE SO AWESOME (or GH3 and 35-100mm f/2.8)

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Olympus Release New Lenses and Announces 17mm f/1.8 for Micro Four Thirds

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro

Along with the new PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2, Olympus has also launched three new lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system. There’s a M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 macro, a limited edition 12mm f/2.0 in black and a rather interesting lens designed to be a body cap as well. The 60mm lens brings the quality of Olympus’s 50mm f/2.0 macro to a more affordable level, albeit at the loss of 1 stop.

Continue reading Olympus Release New Lenses and Announces 17mm f/1.8 for Micro Four Thirds

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Olympus Launches PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2

Olympus PEN E-PL5

Olympus just refreshed the popular PEN series of Micro Four Thirds cameras with 2 new models – the E-PL5 and E-PM2. Both cameras uses the same sensor as the highly-acclaimed OM-D E-M5, bringing that level of quality to more people. As with most modern consumer cameras now, they also feature touch screens which lets you focus and shoot by your touch.

It’s good to see that camera makers are trickling down the features of their higher-end cameras into the more consumer-oriented models. This makes these features and higher image quality accessible to a larger user base and also caters well to the needs of users who may not need all the bells and whistles of the higher end model.

It’s a little disappointing however, that Olympus opted to retain the 460,000-dot LCD screen of the previous models instead of upgrading to at least a 921,600-dot LCDs increasingly found on newer cameras.

Continue reading Olympus Launches PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2

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