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December 18, 2011
Posted in news

NEW: SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope for mFT

SLRmagic announced the release of the new Spotting Scope for Micro Four Thirds. Their plan was to release them earlier but the product was delayed because customers asked them to add a tripod collar before we release the lens. You can see some image samples and buy the lens on their eBay page (Click here).

PRESS RELEASE

SLR Magic introduces a 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope and expands its micro four thirds lineup with SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope lens for Digiscoping.

Hong Kong, China (Dec 16, 2011) – SLR Magic introduces a 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope and expands its micro four thirds lineup with SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope lens for Digiscoping. With this latest addition, the portfolio of lenses for the micro four thirds system is now comprised of six focal lengths.

The SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope gives you the highest resolution and brightest view possible by three key elements. It features an over sized eye relief, utilized Extra-low Dispersion optics, as well as fully Multi coated glass to help you with spotting the rare bird species. The SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope also offers stacked, dual-focus controls, so you can make both rapid and fine-tuning adjustments. The scope comes with a soft carrying case and handle. The micro four thirds version comes with the mFT adapter objective.

The field of view of this spotting scope on the micro four thirds camera corresponds to a a 840-2520mm lens in 35mm format. The user friendly design allows you to attach your camera by mounting it like any other camera lens. Everything you need comes with the package and there is no need to have a compatible lens to use it. This is the perfect solution for amateur digiscopers who want to take photos or video of wildlife.

The 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope will be available from authorized SLR Magic dealers end December 2011.

Technical Data
SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED (Premium Extra-low Dispersion glass) for mFT
Lens Type: Spotting Scope
Compatible Cameras: All micro four thirds mount cameras
Magnification: 12-36x
35mm equivalent focal length: 840-2520mm
Objective: Φ50
Lens Coating: Multi Coated
Close Focus: 15 ft.
Weight (oz./g): 28.2/800, 49.4/1400 (with mFT adapter objective)
Water Resistant/Fog proof: Yes
Eyepiece: Straight Zoom
Eye relief: 23mm
Accessories: mFT adapter objective with tripod collar
MSRP: $549

Andrew Chan
Product Manager

December 15, 2011
Posted in news

Sky news cameraman uses the AG-AF101 and GH2 for work (+ownuser GH2 battery grip)

EXTRACT Sky News Chinese Hackers and Baby Buying stories from Andy Portch on Vimeo.

DSLRnewsshooter (Click here) posted an interesting article about using the AG-AF101 and GH2 for reportage work. Definitely worth to read it!

Something else. There are also some unboxing pictures of the Ownuser battery grip for the GH2 at Mobile01 (Click here and then on the green links inside the first post). You can usually find this grips on eBay (Click here to search).

Two more 43rumors readers work with the GH2:
Brian:I wanted to share a promotional video that I shot on a Panasonic GH2 for Anime World Chicago. No hacks or expensive toys. Just my camera, the 20mm pancake lens, and a tripod.  http://vimeo.com/29159618
Seb Farges: “This is the end of the friday morning, here it’s the holidays in France. My daughter is playing and reconstructing her own home. http://vimeo.com/33444906
Objectivo Sevilla: “What a typical Sevillian this Monica! Despite the difficulties of life, if you don’t stop her to do what she wants, this genuine Andalusian never abandons her smile and her good humor. http://vimeo.com/33502906
Travis: “I shot a bunch of video and stills at the regional bouldering competition my son competed at this weekend. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02r6ArAnvHY

December 15, 2011
Posted in news

Olympus president Takayama mulls merger option. Camera sales +15%!

Amateur Photographer reports that “Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Takayama told reporters that a merger was one of the options on the table after Olympus was forced to reveal the true state of its business in the wake of a £1.1 billion accounting scandal dating back to the 1990s.

Bloomberg reports a Takayama statement: “We’ll review our management structure, corporate governance and our business plans as we prepare for the shareholder meeting (March-April). We’ll be reborn as new Olympus so that we can provide value to all our stakeholders including shareholders, customers, banks and our employees.

The last weeks we heard about Samsung, Fuji and Hoya being interested in a possible Olympus acquisition. Of course these are all rumors only. As I told you yesterday I would prefer if Olympus would remain an independent company. But I really don’t know what kind of “obscure” powers are now deciding the destiny of Olympus. I can only cross my fingers for Oly!

UPDATE: The good news is that betwenn April-September 2011camera sales rised by 15% from the same period the year before (4.2 million units manufactured).

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P.S.: Today Olympus shares went down 20% (Source: Bloomberg)

December 14, 2011
Posted in news

Olympus Meets Deadline to Avoid Delisting. Rumors: Fuji to buy Olympus???

Olympus managed to present their revised financial results tot he Tokyo Exchange. This will avoid the delisting of the company from the stock exchange. Reuters reports: “The most recent restatement, for end-March 2011, showed a 51 billion yen ($655 million) reduction in Olympus’ net assets, and Olympus added that at of end-September, net assets stood at just 46 billion yen, down from a restated 225 billion in March 2007. It also revealed a net loss of 32.33 billion yen for the six months ended September 30, further fuelling talk that the once-venerable firm would need to take quick steps to shore up its balance sheet or risk becoming prey to a takeover.

Also Bloomberg (Click here) reports that: “Fujifilm, which makes equipment for medical scans, has been reported as a possible bidder for Japanese camera maker Olympus Corp. Yamamoto, who also is a board member at Fujifilm, declined to comment on a possible buyout of Olympus today. Fujifilm Chief Executive Officer Shigetaka Komori said last month it was too early to discuss Olympus issues while the third-party panel was still probing the fraud at the camera maker.

So Samsung, Hoya and now even Fuji could buy Olympus. Damn, this is going to be a tuff time for Olympus! I hope they will stay alive with their own force! I would prefer a Fuji-Olympus partnership over a Fuji Olympus takeover. Imagine a m43 camera with organic sensor :) Yeah just dreaming I know :)

December 14, 2011
Posted in news

Announced! New Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ power zoom.

As usual I am continually updating this post!

My first impression:

Olympus announced a new kit lens with slow aperture and not so low price ($499). But the real strengths of the lens are the new powerzoom feature, macro focusing and the weather sealed body. It also should have a high optical quality. I think the lens would have made a lot of sense if launched along a new weather sealed PEN camera. But I guess that camera is coming soon anyway…

Press release links:

Pictures of the silver version and lens with hood at Fotopolis. Picture of lens with hood at TV.smith.
Olympus Asia
German press release at Photoscala.
Quesabesde (spanish).
Focus Numerique (french).
Dpreview

Lens resolution chart:

Poll:

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Full press release:

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., December 14, 2011 – Olympus adds to its powerfully simple and growing PEN family with the first fully-compatible interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lens to incorporate an electronic motorized zoom. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ (35mm equivalent 24–100mm) delivers smooth, quiet zooming that gives you versatility, portability and maximizes the performance of the Olympus PEN® compact system cameras.
The sophisticated new lens has a zoom ratio of approximately 4.2x, allowing photographers to capture anything from detailed, wide-angle group shots to medium telephoto-range images so you can get up close and personal for intimate portraits of children and pets – even indoors. The photographer can control the zooming speed by turning the barrel – slowly for drama, quickly for performance, or at an intermediate rate. Manual zooming is also available for those looking to take full control.
In macro mode, which can be set by pushing the zoom ring forward while depressing the macro button on the side of the lens, focusing is possible between 8 and 20 inches for close-up shooting with a maximum image magnification of 0.72X (35mm camera equivalent). The L-Fn (Lens Function) button suspends the autofocusing operation temporarily to avoid unintended focusing on obstacles that appear suddenly between the camera and the subject.
Perfect for brilliant still images and high-definition (HD) video capture, the Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ has also been enhanced with a linear motor that drives smooth and quiet autofocusing for stress-free shooting.
New lens elements and glass materials ensure the clearest possible imaging performance, and the proven dust and splashproof mechanism originally featured in the Four Thirds SHG (Super High Grade) series lenses is now incorporated for the first time in a Micro Four Thirds System lens. Multiple sealing rings, fitted throughout the lens body, prevent water splashes and dust from penetrating, making the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ a versatile zoom lens for the toughest conditions.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ: Available Mid-January 2012
Estimated Street Price: $499.99

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