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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:

Before to vote take some time to think! :)

Do you like the new Olympus 12-50mm wather sealed kit lens?

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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

December 11, 2011
Posted in news

readers work roundup…(+ contest at E-P1.net)

Musgo Trailer from vesubio on Vimeo.

Dario: “A short movie made just with Olympus epl 3 even the audio comes from the camera http://vimeo.com/33106387

Jim: “Just thought readers might like to see a trailer for a documentary i shot entirely on the GF1. It’s been shown on a cinema screen as part of the St Kilda Film Fest 2011 (here in Melbourne, Australia), and it looked great, especially considering it’s only 720p. Just shows what you can still achieve with non-professional gear…If anyone is interested in watching the film in full they can email me directly (music rights issues!). It can be found at http://vimeo.com/21754496

Paulos: “Here’s another video that you might want to post that I found. It’s a trailer for a feature film shot with a hacked GH2.
http://vimeo.com/33025136
It’s not mine.

No name: Just for the heck of it, here’s a music video that I produced for a couple of child musicians.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR_ZbTIHiVk
I used the GH2 and 20mm lens.”

Seb Farges: Dailies on vimeo.

John:Here’s a short I did for my business filmed entirely with the SLR Magic 12mm 1.6.  Andrew at SLRmagic was nice enough to get me one early, and I wanted to publish some footage for those interested. I am not a professional videographer, and shoot video primarily for my own business. Shot on an unhacked GH2. http://vimeo.com/33438698

And there is a photocontest at E-P1.net. You can win $100.

December 7, 2011
Posted in news

Olympus majority shares now hold by non-japanese! Now becoming a “western company”?

Today another Olympus board member quit. It’s Makoto Nakatsuka that was named one of the key players of the accounting cover-up. And Amateur Photographer reports that it will take at least two months to organize an extraordinary shareholder meeting. This means the current board will be operational at least until February-March.

But let’s take a look at some other news. Who is playing a big role behind the Olympus fee scandal? Reuters reports: Goldmann Sachs bought a near 7% Olympus stake in November. Woodford said that he spoke with whom bought the stock for Goldman and he doesn’t believe they were trying to turn a quick profit on the company’s misfortunes: “I don’t forsee Olympus being sold or anything like that happening. Those interested in taking a stake see a company that will have a renaissance — and support a new strong management with me and others.

But the real big news is coming via Market experts: They say that more than 50 percent of Olympus’s stock is now likely to be held outside Japan!!! And Mr. Woodford said: “I think overwhelmingly those outside Japan support me.”

So while the japanese board is getting decimated western investors are playing more and more a big role behind the scene. The Olympus crisis could end with a reinstatement of MR.Woodfrod as CEO and with the majority of shareholders being western banks and investment fonds.

December 7, 2011
Posted in news

New Panasonic GH2 firmware is out! Download it now!

The new Panasonic GH2 firmware 1.1 has been released. You can download it here: http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/dl/gh2.html. (The Installation How-to is available here: http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/index.html). The real HIghlight is the new 1080p25 24Mbp recording feature.

These are alle the new features and improvements:

  1. Added a video mode [HIGH BIT RATE] which is suitable for editing video recorded at high bit rate(24Mbps).
  2. Added a function [POWER ZOOM LENS] when using power zoom lens.
    ([DISP FOCAL LENGTH], [STEP ZOOM], [ZOOM RESUME], [ZOOM SPEED], [ZOOM RING]*)
  3. Full area enlargement of AF area setting.
  4. Improved in the speed of consecutive shooting when shot with auto bracket.
  5. Increased number of recordable images in consecutive shooting.
  6. [EX.TELE CONV. (Extra Tele Conversion)] can be set ON/OFF separately in photo or video recording.
  7. More accurate light adjustment of built-in flash.
  8. Improved in the AF performance in video recording.
  9. Synchronization of alarm volume for low battery with [BEEP VOLUME].
  10. Added a function [HALF PRESS RELEASE].
  11. Improved NR (Noise Reduction) in high sensitivity shooting.
  12. Added a function [TOUCH SCREEN] which is ON/OFF control of touch-screen.

 

The Panasonic GH2 got some discounts in USA and Europe. So if you don’t want to wait for the GH3 here are the direct search links to check the current price and deals: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

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