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July 4, 2011
Posted in news

Thom Hogan thoughts about the new Olympus products (some Marketing mistakes?)

I have been told that Olympus did show mockups of E-PM1 and E-PL3 cameras at the various Olympus events that toke place in different parts of the world. And those cameras will be available in autumn only. To me it looks like Olympus were in hurry to show their GF3 and NEX-C3 competitor (the E-PM1)! And price of the cameras is also unknown. What do you think about the Olympus strategy to announce products without to mention the price and with an availability that si still far away? Something could be wrong or not? An example: who will buy the E-PL2 (still available everywhere at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay) knowing that “sooner or later” and with an “unknown” price the E-PL3 will be on market?

Thom Hogan describes exactly what I am thinking about the recent Olympus product/marketing strategy:

1) “There’s surprisingly little differentiation in key features of the three cameras.” And sometimes the differences are quite confusing (See the lower 3fps frame rate for the E-P3 when the lower end models can do 5.5fps).

2)Olympus’ press releases and Web sites aren’t much help in differentiating the models, and I found a couple of mistakes on them, as well. Worse still, OlympusUSA is now in the confusing position of marketing six different Pen models (three incoming, three outgoing), and the best different at or they really provide on their site is simply price. Of course, none of the three new models are available yet and apparently won’t be for a couple of months, further confusing customers. Olympus, like most of the camera companies, seems to be of the “keep the customer confused” mentality in terms of marketing (yes, there’s really a type of marketing that utilizes customer confusion). Either that, or they’re just confused themselves.

But the Olympus products are definitely better than the Olympus marketing:

3)Overall I judge this to be a nice set of products from Olympus. Focus is improved, lots of small things have been addressed, fixed, or improved, the two new lenses fill in some gaps for enthusiasts, and I’m excited to try them out. As many of you know, I’ve been using a Pen for some of my work since my Africa trip in 2009. I’m sure that will continue, given the new models’ features.”

Overall I do think Olympus made some very welcome improvements (AF, own “tweaked” sensor, interchangeable grip, the new lenses are awesome!), but they still need to get rid of some “confusion” inside their product and marketing strategy.

Hot preorders: Olympus E-P3 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto and Amazon UK. Worldwide shipment start soon (?).
Olympus 12mm f/2.0 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, B&H and eBay. Worldwide shipment start on July 22.
Olympus 45mm f/1.8 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, B&H. Worldwide shipment start in october

And GF3 preorders at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

July 2, 2011
Posted in news, Rumors

Thanks for your help! And next amazing rumor period coming (Fuji m43, Panasonic GF and GH3, Pen Pro, Sigma and so on)


A fake Pen PRO with built-in viewfinder made by our reader BEN (UPDATE: Feel free to send me your photo-shopped ideas of a PRO model)

I want to write a post to thank all of you that helped with sending me rumors, news and links to reviews. Without your help I couldn’t have done what I did! For me the last couple of weeks have been very exciting but also very stressful. I took as much free time as I could from my real job to follow the time before the Olympus and Panasonic announcements. And I am quite tired now. But I can finally recover as I have some vacation and I am ready to make some nice trips on my mountains! And there is no Internet there…yeah! :)

But you hard core rumor readers will be amazed to know that soon a new rumor period will start! Panasonic and Olympus announced plenty of new low- and mid-level cameras. So it’s easy to speculate what’s coming next ;)

Here is the list I a working o:
1) Fuji joining Micro Four Thirds? There will be an amazing announcement in September but I don’t want to wait that long to know what it is..and you? :) P.S.: Do not expect the new interchangeable camera to have the same hybrid viewfinder of the Fuji X100.
2) Sigma and Samyang lenses. There could be new lenses in September from Sigma and Samyang.
3) Panasonic GF PRO. That is confirmed…it’s coming! Sorry if I say that again but I really do hope to see a m43 version of the Panasonic L1 (like that design)! And I also got some news about the GH3 (need some time to doublecheck that!).
4) Two new Panasonic lenses + new reworked lenses. Also confirmed!
5) Olympus advanced Pen. I don’t know yet if it will be announced within 2011 but I know that is the camera coming as next! And with built-in viewfinder a là Olympus SP..what else should we expect?
6) New Olympus lenses. There will be some, one should be the 50mm macro!

So be sure to check back on 43rumors from time to time. And don’t forget that Samsung will soon annoucne the new NX20 and NX200 that’s why you should also take a look at MirrolessRumors.com.

Thanks again! Ale, 43rumors

P.S.: I also want to say sorry if I didn’t answer all your emails. I really had zero time in those last weeks. And again sorry for my English, when I am stressed and in hurry it’s even worse than you are used to read (P.S.: I am a native german and italian speaker. Plus even my spanish and dutch is much better than english).


Hot preorders: Olympus E-P3 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto and Amazon UK
Olympus 12mm f/2.0 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, B&H and eBay
Olympus 45mm f/1.8 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, B&H.

July 1, 2011
Posted in news

Surprise! Ricoh buys Pentax!!!

This is not a Micro Four Thirds related news but damn…that’s a huge news we absolutely have to talk about! Ricoh just announced the acquisition of Pentax for $124.2 million! I really didn’t expect a relative “small” company like Ricoh to buy Pentax. There were rumors about Samsung or even Canon interested in buying Pentax. It will be also interesting to see how Ricoh-Pentax will now evolve their mirrorless system. And now we can be sure that Pentax will not join the Micro Four Thirds system!

P.S.: I am wondering if Ricoh will soon get rid of that über-expensive “Pentax Q” system (See that ugly camera at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay).

You can read the full press release at MirrorlessRumors.com (Click here).

 

July 1, 2011
Posted in deals, news, reviews

Panasonic G3/GF3/XZ-1 news, reviews and in Stock status!


I have to catch up with some news I didn’t post because of the recent Olympus rumor and news mill! Here is the news list:

1) Lori Grunin from Cnet US (Click here) tested the G3: “If you’re looking for a camera that’s not quite as big as a dSLR but doesn’t skimp on hardware controls or features like an articulated LCD, EVF and stereo full HD video, the G3 is one of my top options. But performance is hit-and-miss for shooting action, so you may end up having to go with something just a bit bigger, anyway.

2) Hardwarezone (Click here) tested the G3 and GF3: “In the two days of manhandling the G3 and GF3 in Chiang Mai, both cameras performed up to speed with our expectations and were outstanding in their respective specialization…Of course, we have also littered our hands-on observations with little quirks that we didn’t quite like – say, G3′s rather disappointing battery life and the positioning of GF3′s video button, but these are naturally little quirks in an otherwise pleasant shooting experience with both Lumix G cameras.

3) Engadget (Click here) posted a GF3 hands-on: “Shooting 1080i video is as simple as hitting record, just to the right of the shutter button. Remembering not to accidentally cover the microphone, however, was more of a challenge. Internal mechanical noises dominated the first few minutes of our first video — our subject picked up volume significantly after we adjusted our grip, creating a free path to the mic.

4) There is a new Olympus XZ-1 firmware you can download at Olympus (Click here). It has an improved algorithm for ESP spot metering. Get the camera at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

And finally some in Stock status info about the very nice G3!
In Europe you can find it right now at Amazon.de (the brown model), Amazon.uk (they have all kits in Stock!) and eBay.
In US at Amazon, B&H, and eBay.

June 30, 2011
Posted in news

Continually updated: Olympus new PEN and lenses announced!


This post gets continually updated. Latest addition are on top of each categories. You can reload this page from time to time to see the updates. Thanks!
In Summary, Olympus announced three cameras (E-P3, E-PL3, E-PM1) two new lenses (12mm f/2.0 and 45mm f/1.8) and a new external flash. We are still missing the external viewfinder announcement.

Links to preorders

Olympus E-P3 preorders at Adorama (Click here). Price $899 with kit lens!
E-P3 presentation page on Amazon (Click here). No preorders yet.
Olympus 12mm f/2.0 lens preorder at Adorama (Click here). Price $799.
Olympus 45mm f/1.8 preorder at Adorama (Click here). Price $399.

Reviews, Previews and Hands-on

Doug Brown’s Luminous Landscape preview
E-P3 review by Robin Wong.
Hands.on at TvSmith
Sexy camera pictures and image samples at Clubsnap
Size comparison at ePhotozine.
E-PM1 hands-on at FourThirdsUser.
E-PL3 hands-on at FourThirdsUser.
E-P3 review at DCresource.
Short E-P3 review at PDN.
Full E-P3 review at Digitalcamerareview.
HOT! E-P3 versus G3 at Dpreview (Jpeg Studio comparison)
HOT! Full E-P3 review at ThePhoBlographer.
Olympus E-P3 field report at OutbackPhoto.
Olympus E-P3 preview at Dpreview.
Olympus E-PL3 and E-PM1 preview at Dpreview.
HOT! First complete E-P3 review at Digitalcamerainfo!
E-P3 hands-on at Quesbesde.

Image and video samples (+ video reviews)

12mm hands-on on youtube.
An image of a personalized E-P3 grip at HastaLosMegapixeles.
E-P3 spanish presentation at Quesabesde.
E-P3 video hands-on on youtube (Photographyreview).
First video quality test at youtube (ThePhoBlographer).
12mm image samples on Quesabesde.
First hands-on video on youtube (ThePhoBlographer).
HOT! First RAW pictures at Quesabesde (once clicked scroll down to download them).
12mm image sample gallery at Dpreview.
E-P3 image samples at Dpreview.
E-P3 field test gallery by OutbackPhoto.
Image samples at ThePhoBlographer.
HOT! Autofocus speed test on youtube (ThePhoBlographer)

Official press release

Grip option list at Olympus Japan.
Openpn (french)
Engadget
The new reworked kit lenses at DC.watch.
Focus Numerique (french).
Photoradar.
Amateur Photographer PEN presentation on youtube.
SystemKameraForum (german)
Cnet US
Photoscala.de (german)
E-P3 at Olympus official website.
Photographyblog
Imaging Resource
Launch event pictures in Malaysia (Twitter)

Hot news

Olympus E-P3 price: $899 in US and 849 Euro in Europe (with kit lens).
Olympus doesn’t explain what’s new with the new sensor. After first tests we can see the new PEN cameras do have an excellent color accuracy and superb AF speed.
M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0 lens: Available Now Estimated Street Price: $799.99
MCG-2 Exchangeable Camera Grip: Available Now Estimated Street Price: $19.99
FL-300R Compact Flash: Available Now Estimated Street Price: $169.99
M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8 lens: Available in September 2011 Estimated Street Price: $399.99

User reactions

Olympus E-P3 tweets.
Olympus E-PM1 tweets.
Olympus E-PL3 tweets.

Poll

Now that you have seen all new product images and specs. What will you REALLY buy? (You can choose multiple products!)

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