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March 8, 2012
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New Micro Four Thirds lens roundup (12-50mm tested by DxO).

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It’s time for a new Micro Four Thirds lens review roundup. As you can see from the screenshot on top DxOmark (Click here) tested the new Olympus 12-50mm weather sealed zoom. I have to say that I expected a better result form a lens that is 10 times longer than one of my favorite lenses, the Panasonic 14-42mm X lens (which costs less too!). Of course if you need a weather sealed lens an a superior economy and control than the Olympus lens is the better choice.

And here are five more m43 lens tests or image samples:
Panasonic 7-14mm Review (ePhotozine). Price check at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Olympus 12-50mm Photos (Photographyblog). Price check at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 Review (ePhotozine). Price check at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Sigma 30mm image samples at ePhotozine.
SLR Magic 26mm Toy Lens Review at Talkingtree (Click here). The lens is available on eBay (Click here).

March 8, 2012
Posted in reviews

An E-M5 and X PRO 1 hands-on comparison (and E-M5 portrait-nude photography)

A size comparison

We already had many hot new camera announcements this year. Not only the Olympus E-M5 but also the Nikon D800, Canon 5DmarkIII and the Fuji X PRO 1 and the new iPad (joke!). This isn’t bad for a year were most of us expect the hottest machines to be announced in September at the Photokina event. But the two cameras we care of are the E-M5 and the X PRO 1 because the Fuji is very likely the mirrorless camera wiht the highest image quality. Three people visted the Focus on Imaging show in Birmingham and reported this about the two cameras:

1) Adam:I have had a play with an Oly E-M5 at focus on imaging in the UK. My feelings, as well as a number of the punters there were that the camera is tiny, I would go as far as much too small and that the EVF suffers from much too much blackout. OLY had a catwalk stand and after taking several shots of the models that were playing with ballons, (I know), it was almost impossible to get that decisive moment. Overall nice camera but a flawed execution, pity. The X-Pro 1 feels quite cheap in the hand and has the same awful focusing issues as the X100.

2) David from Soundimagesplus:like the feel of a camera with a grip, and feel the handling is often much improved. The advantage with the OM-D is that its still pretty light with it attached. The two grip sections are actually quite small and adds little weight. There is some extra weight obviously from the battery. The whole thing in the hand is not unlike cameras like the Nikon FM2 (here on eBay) and Pentax MZ-5 (here on eBay), which is no higher complement in my book.” About the X PRO 1 he writes: “Like the X100, I’m disappointed with the finish. This is a £1400 body only camera after all. I have to say it, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of reaction to this, but I thought it looked and felt cheap. Somewhat like a compact camera on steroids. The one I was given to try looked like some of the finish on the top plate was peeling off.

3) Rob (Click here to read his full comment): Firstly the thumb grip is nice, but I felt it was awkward to reach the shutter button, because the neck strap holder poked out exactly in line with where your finger needs to go over to reach it. I don’t know if this is a design flaw, my finger being flawed or Olympus owners holding their cameras different to how I naturally do it. I did try it with the battery grip and that problem doesn’t count there though. Although I would have preferred a higher quality finish on the battery grip, especially as its a £230ish accessory. It just felt a bit plastic fantastic. That said the ergonomics of it with the portrait grip in place was much better than I was expecting. The Fuji I didn’t like at all. It certainly felt quality, but the focusing really is unimpressive (slower than the NEX, especially now that’s had a firmware tweek). But I felt it was pushing the retro thing too far, there was no need for it to be designed the way i was. EVF was not impressive, don’t think I would use it much with optical available on it. I also felt it was heavier than it needed to be /should have been.

Summary: I am surprised to hear that apparently the feeling on the X PRO 1 is “cheap”. I really have to test this for myself as I really expected the Fuji to be of high quality! Thanks to both Adam and David!

An E-M5 news: Damian McGillicuddy (Click here) is testing the E-M5 and shooting some interesting studio portraits: “It does amaze me what the diminutive sensor is capable of but even more so the blinkered bigotry of some larger size sensor owners!  These are tools to do a job and surely as long as its capable of what its asked to do, which it is, then that’s all that matters…

More X PRO 1 news: Check out my latest news roundup on MirrorlessRumors (Click here).

Both camera price, specs and preorder check:
E-M5 at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Redcoon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.
Fuji X PRO 1 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto, Epxansys US, Expansys Canada, Jessops UK, eBay Italy, Expansys UK, Amazon Japan and eBay Japan.

March 7, 2012
Posted in reviews

Professional E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X ISO comparison!

Finally we can see a professional and more detailed ISO test comparison between the Olympus E-M5 and other cameras: All JPEG and RAW ISO samples can be seen and downloaded by Focus Numerique (Merci!!!).

Or click on the camera names below to open the full size images from Focus Numerique:
ISO 200: E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X
ISO 400: E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X
ISO 800: E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X
ISO 1600: E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X
ISO 3200: E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X
ISO 6400: E-M5 vs G3 vs NEX-7 vs V1 vs G1X
ISO 12800: E-M5 vs NEX-7 vs G1X
ISO 25600: E-M5

P:S.: Full name and specs of the other cameras: Panasonic G3, Sony NEX-7, Nikon V1, Canon G1X.

And here are the conclusions from Focus Numerique:
– There is a significant gain compared to models equipped with a Pen 12MP sensor.
– On pictures taken at 200, 400 and 800 ISO, noise is almost imperceptible, even on flat colors and dense areas. Overall, the images are well detailed with good accent and dynamics is a good level.
– At 1600 ISO, you’ll notice the first details are starting to fade, but this is minimal and at 20×30 print, these small damages will be virtually invisible.
– At 3200 ISO, the images retain a good performance and the images are quite similar to those made in 1600. Dynamics is still good, fairly flat areas clean as the densest areas.
– AT ISO 6400 the details are blurred and the dynamics goes down. The grain remains quite acceptable
– The two higher values ​​(12800 and ISO 25600) are more problematic. The grain becomes coarser and dynamics down another notch.

Your thoughts: Now share your point of view and analysis! What did you learn from those images?

Note: Also Focus Numerique believes the E-M5 uses the same Panasonic G3/GX1 sensor.

E-M5 preorders (Click on the names of the stores to see the product page):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Redcoon Germany and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Redcoon Germany, and Amazon Japan.
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto and J&R.
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Redcoon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.

March 7, 2012
Posted in reviews

(UPDATED with Robin Wong review) New Olympus E-M5 and 12-50mm reviews

UPDATED: Robin Wong posted his first part of the E-M5 review (Click here). He tested the dynamic range, resolution and sharpness of the images and that is what he writes: “I cannot believe what I have just said there !! Olympus camera, ISO6400, with no traces of chroma noise, with non-ugly luminance fine grains only. The first time I saw the images, my eyes almost popped out of the sockets too, I know.” Read his review to check out if that is really true! :)

E-M5
The polish website M43 (Click here) tested how effective the new image stabilization works. Up to four stops the image stabilization is very effective. Only from the fifth images really can get blurry.
Full size JPEG and RAW image samples can be seen and downloaded at Photographyblog (Click here). Some more images at Yugatech (Click here). And E-M5 image samples of the Auto Geneva show have been posted by Sulanto (Click here).

Lenses
Also the 12-50mm kit lens has been reviewed at ePhotozine (Click here): “The compact size and excellent splash-proof build are both excellent features of this lens, but I can’t help but feel a slightly larger lens with a maximum aperture of at least f/5.6 at the telephoto setting would be more appealing.
Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Photos at Photographyblog (Click here).

E-M5 preorders (Click on the names of the stores to see the product page):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Redcoon Germany and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Redcoon Germany, and Amazon Japan.
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto and J&R.
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Redcoon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.

March 5, 2012
Posted in reviews

The E-M5 jpeg quality is better than the GX1 and as good ad the NEX-5n!

The ISO comparison from Quesabesde (Click on it to enlarge)

Our Spanish friends from Quesabese (Click here) tested the E-M5 image quality and wanted to know if the “mysterious” E-M5 sensor performs as good or better than the Panasonic GX1. Their test shows that the E-M5 not only beats the GX1 but also is damn close to the NEX-5n (Sony’s bestseller cam)! I really don’t know who made that E-M5 sensor but one thing is sure, the E-M5 really catched up with the best APSC sensor. And I am really happy for Olympus! But I think the GX1 image quality in RAW will almost catch up with the E-M5. Panasonic always had been a little behind Olympus in terms of Jpeg rendering.

Two more E-M5 news: Full size JPEG samples to download at FourThirdsUser (Click here). New image samples by Gabrielle Motola (Click here). The Silver E-m5 is the most preordered at Amazon (Click here to see the ranking).

E-M5 preorders (Click on the names of the stores to see the product page):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Redcoon Germany and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Redcoon Germany, and Amazon Japan.
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto and J&R.
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Redcoon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.

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