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April 29, 2011
Posted in reviews

Panasonic 14mm review at Photozone.

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Image courtesy: Photozone

How good is that tiny Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens? Combined witht the Panasonic GF2 it makes the smallest digital mirrorless package of the world (The NEX camera itself is smaller but the 24mm Sony lens is huge compared to the Panasonic lens).

Photozone tested the Panasonic pancake and the conclusion is: “Such tiny and light-weight pancake lenses like the Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH turn micro-four-thirds cameras into almost pocketable combo. This is surely the primary appeal of the lens because performance-wise it does not stand out. The resolution capabilities are only decent but not stellar for a fixed focal wide angle lens. The center quality is very fine whereas the border and extreme corners are generally on a good level except at f/2.5 where the corners are somewhat soft. The amount of vignetting is a bit on the high side at f/2.5 and you need to stop down a few stops to resolve the issue. Distortions and Lateral CAs are very well controlled and not relevant in the field – that’s at least true for the auto-corrected image files. The build quality of the lens is excellent despite the low weight of merely 55g. The focus-by-wire approach (manual focusing) may be odd at first but you should be able to used to it in no time. The AF performance is very good and AF accuracy is nothing to worry about either.
Read the full review at Photozone (Click here)

Click on those links to see the lens at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Thanks Joachim

April 28, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Panasonic GH2 firmware for hackers? (+ new review)


“Someone” just sent me a link to what appears to be a new Panasonic GH2 firmware. I didn’t try it on my camera because I don’t want to break it.
UPDATE: An anonymous soruce sent me a Panasonic GH2 firmware with the following text: “It is original Panasonic firmware for hackers. Without it you cannot modify anything in GH2 cameras. It’s latest 1.0D version.
Sounds like we have the firmware that italy the hacker was looking for! You can download the firmware at:  http://depositfiles.com/files/dbrd1rb3d. I repeat DO NOT INSTALL the firmware unlike you are a hacker!

Meanwhile ePhotozine (Click here) posted a new Panasonic GH2 review: “Someone looking for a more compact Digital SLR should look very seriously at the Panasonic Lumix GH2, as the size is great. The camera makes photography a lot of fun, and the system is arguably one of the best mirrorless cameras available with excellent usability. On top of this, image quality is very good, and the camera has the best HD video quality of any current camera. What more could you want? Highly Recommended!

Sadly the Panasonic GH2 is again out of Stock in US stores: Amazon, Adorama, B&H and J&R.

Maybe should took a look on the GH1 deals instead:
1) Panasonic GH1 with 14mm lens for $699 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $364. and if you would buy it separately with the GH1 it would cost you a total of $764. With that deal you save $64!
2) Panasonic GH1 with 20mm lens for $699 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $399. You save $99!
3) Panasonic GH1 with 45-200mm lens for $649 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $349. You save $100!
4) Panasonic GH1 with 14-45mm lens for $649 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $359. You save $90!
5) Panasonic GH1 with 14-42mm lens for $499 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $199. You save $100!
6) Panasonic GH1 body only costs $399 at Amazon (Click here).

April 28, 2011
Posted in reviews

New C-mount wide angle test by Seb Farges

It’s always interesting to see how C-mount lenses do work on the Panasonic GH2 with 1:1 crop mode. Seb Farges tested three lenses:
This is a movie shot with three lenses, from 6mm to 3.5mm, which is 15mm to 9mm for micro 4/3 sensor (24X36 : 31mm to 18mm). 1st part with the 6mm (more info: vimeo.com/​20766631), some shot with polaroid variable ND filter. Second part, same lens but with a Pixco 0.45X lens converter, found for 16€ on ebay, it’s 40.5mm screw mount filter size lens is perfect for the Pentax. The third part is shot with a new lens I’ve found on Ebay for 46€, a C-mount Rainbow 3.5mm 1.6, perfect for the crop function ! It’s very wide, little fish eye effect, but I have a little focus problem with my copy, so I have to closed the aperture, but not too much because it seems I have problem of intern dirts, that can be viewed in more closed apertures.
I like this 3.5mm Rainbow C-mount lens, it’s fun and very wide. I hope you’ll enjoy the shots.

Links
C-mount Pentax 6mm 1.2 on eBay (Click here).
C-mount Rainbow 3.5mm 1.6 on eBay (Click here).
Pixco wide angle lens converter 0.45X on eBay (Click here).

Thanks Seb Farges!

April 26, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus E-5 review at Biofos (including speculation about the 43 and m43 Apocalypse!)

A few days ago ex Olympus chief Mr. Watanabe reassured that there will be new Four Thirds products coming soon. Today Biofos (Click here) posted a very detailed Olympus E-5 review you might want to read. And he starts with the following (to much pessimistic?) statement “Here we really see history repeating itself. Pen F (half-frame SLR) was launched in February 1963 and ceased in April 1971, a period of 8 years. Pen F was judged to be a commercial failure due to lack of acceptance by film processing manufacturers. FourThirds (quarter-frame DSLR) was released in October 2003 with the E-1 and remains in production with the E-5 today but I suspect the last batch of E-5’s will be made sometime in 2011 – another period of eight years! FourThirds has also been a commercial failure due, basically, to a lack of acceptance by the DSLR buying masses. Whereas Pen F was a derivative of the popular viewfinder Pen series, MicroFourThirds is a derivative of 4/3rds. The original viewfinder Pen cameras remained in production until the mid 80’s with an overall production life of 25 years; let’s hope the m4/3rds machines achieve half of that!

and after the long E-5 testing he writes: “Am I disappointed with the E-5 – in short no but there are things that Olympus could have done better – but we must remember this is the 4/3rds swan song so it is not brimming with technology or a great deal of thought either. I just get the feeling that the Olympus did not want to make the E-5, they did so purely as a sop to E-System users on the cessation of the rest of the system. It follows that not a great deal of enterprise or original thought has been levered into the camera and I suspect most of the technology comes from m4/3rds offerings anyway.

and he doesn’t stop here: “Personally, I think Olympus have lost their way. How can micro-fourthirds be their future when it too is dependent on a non-standard sensor size which still has innate problems with noise and DR. This is the same set of problems that beset 4/3rds. Perhaps Olympus think that m4/3rds users will not be as critical or demanding. Maybe they are right, I hope so. But as all the other manufacturers introduce their own mirrorless versions Olympus and Panasonic will be back to square one. Either that or mirrorless cameras will prove to be a short lived fad and simply disappear. I genuinely fear for the camera divisions future. And that’s a great pity as in 2019 the company celebrates its centenary.

Read the full article at Biofos (Click here) and feel free to discuss his very (provocative?) statements on 43rumors with reasonable and respectful argumentations ok?

Check out the E-5 price, availability and specs at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay (Click on shop names to visit the E-5 product page).
For your curiosity: Link to the Pen F on eBay (Click here).

April 25, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus 40-150mm review and E-PL2 and GF2 shootout

Photographyblog (Click here) tested the cheapest of all Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6: “The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 is a tiny, lightweight and attractively priced telezoom lens that delivers a much better optical performance than its all-plastic exterior and wallet-friendly price tag would suggest.
To see the price of the lens click those links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Pixiq (Click here) made an Olympus E-PL2 vs. Lumix DMC-GF2 Shootout: “There’s no obvious “winner” in this shootout since both cameras have their own pros and cons. The one that’s likely to be right for you depends on your experience level and the types of subjects you often shoot. I preferred the Olympus camera’s controls/operation and its high ISO quality but found that the Lumix contender was faster and provided more pleasing JPEGs without overrides.”
The 43rumors readers already expressed their vote on which of the two cameras is better. The E-PL2 won!
Check the E-PL2 price: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Check the GF2 price: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

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