Olympus Ruins YS with Development Announcement of M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO and 300mm f/4 PRO Lenses

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Olympus has announced that they have the 7-14mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4 PRO lenses for the Micro Four Thirds mount. Try not to get too excited though; this is only a development announcement, and we will only see them in 2015. Still, an ultrawide that is an f/2.8 zoom, and a 300mm f/4? Sign me up. Slightly sad that Panasonic is not doing the 300mm though, since I would like to have seen Power OIS in the lens. Still, I have lived without IS in my lenses before, so it is now down to price for me.

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CK: So now Olympus has an answer to Panasonic’s LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm f/4 ASPH, but like the recently released M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 ED PRO, it zooms the “wrong” way (relative to Nikon) for me. I lost count of how many times the wrong direction has tripped me up while testing it out. This lens focus/zoom/aperture ring direction should be standardised!

But for those who doesn’t mind, or who feels that this is the correct zoom direction for them, the 7-14mm is a good alternative to the Panasonic. And the 300mm is there if you need a 600mm equivalent for your Micro Four Thirds system.

 

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Panasonic Announces GH4 and DMW-YAGH Module

Panasonic GH4 with X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8

Panasonic has announced the GH4, which is sort of the GH3’s successor (though the GH3 will still be available, at a lower price). The headline feature of the GH4 is, of course, the ability to shoot video at 4K resolution, and in a high bit rate of 100Mbps as well. There are a number of permutations available, including 1080p at 200Mbps, and the ability to set PAL and NTSC frame rates finally, and the usual 24 FPS cinema-style frame rate. Continue reading Panasonic Announces GH4 and DMW-YAGH Module

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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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Samyang Announces 10mm f/2.8 APS-C Ultrawide Prime Lens

Samyang 10mm f/2.8

Well, it took SOMEONE long enough. Even though it lacks autofocus and is much larger and heavier than the Nikon 20mm f/2.8 I used back in the film days, at least there is an option for those on APS-C cameras to use. Since this is a lens designed first for SLRs, it will not quite have the compact size needed for mirrorless cameras however, as the very short focal length compared to a typical SLR’s flange distance means more extensive retrofocus design is required. If it lives up to the usual Samyang reputation, expect a good lens at a decent price – the current press release is from the UK, so it carries the higher-than-average price of £470 for the Nikon version, and £430 for the other mounts, including less popular mounts like the Canon EF-M and Samsung NX.

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Panasonic Releases the Small and Cute Lumix DMC-GM1 Micro Four Thirds Camera and 12-32mm Lens

Panasonic DMC-GM1 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
Panasonic DMC-GM1 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

More camera announcements! Panasonic has released what’s possibly the smallest Micro Four Thirds cameras ever – the Lumix DMC-GM1. The tiny camera which can literally fit into the palm of your hand, packs the same 16 megapixel sensor used on the GX7, shutter speeds as high as 1/16,000s (yes, that’s one sixteen-thousandth of a second), WiFi and 1080/60i video. It ships with an equally small and compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens giving an 35mm equivalent of a 24-64mm lens. The lens can be collapsed down to the size of a pancake lens when it’s not in use.

The camera will go for US$749.99 with the 12-32mm lens, and if you think it’s too small for you, Panasonic will also sell you a metal grip for US$99. The cute little lens is also available separately for US$349.99.

Wow, at the size of 99 x 55 x 30mm (3.88 x 2.16 x 1.20″), it’s just a hair larger than the RX100 II, which measures 102 x 58 x 38mm (4.00 x 2.29 x 1.51″)! It’s really amazing that Panasonic managed to make a interchangeable lens camera this small. Of course, the lens also adds to the thickness but it’s still amazing how Panasonic managed to pull this off. Looks like the mirrorless camera market is getting exciting.

YS: I really like this, despite the lack of a viewfinder or articulating screen. Maybe because I do want something that is really compact without sacrificing image quality. A little disappointing that there is no kit option with a pancake lens, or Panasonic redoing the 14/2.5 like they did with the 20/1.7.

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Olympus Announces OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm f/28 Pro lens.

After all the leaks (including a gaffe by Engadget), the Olympus OM-D E-M1 has finally been announced. The 16 megapixel sensor now has phase detect pixels on it, allowing for 37 AF points. Sadly, PDAF is not available in movie mode, as well as single shot AF with Micro Four Thirds lenses. The big upside however, is that all those Four Thirds lens owners finally get a contemporary camera to use some of that fantastic glass on.

Continue reading Olympus Announces OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

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The Switch

Nikon D300 and New CameraPhotography, as I have always said, is an endeavour that blends the technical with the artistic. There are very few other arts that have as much science in it as the art. Not surprisingly, it is one that attracts a wide range of people, from those who spend more time gazing on MTF charts and shooting brick walls than actually doing photography, to those who pursue the next big thing, even if it is nothing more than the Emperor’s New Clothes. Cold clinical rationalism to pretentious subjective irrationality. Photography has it all. Continue reading The Switch

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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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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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