Full Olympus 75mm f/1.8 review at ePhotozine.

On left the Olympus lens, on right the Zeiss Biotar 75mm f/1.5.

ePhotozine posted the full Olympus 75mm f/1.8 review. And it’s not a surprise that this lens gets another big appraisal: “It’s amongst the sharpest lenses currently available for any camera system, it’s well built and a pleasure to use. The price is actually quite good value when such high optical performance is delivered. It can certainly give the Zeiss’ and Leica’s a run for their money.

The only real downside for them is that it is not weather sealed and that you have to pay extra for the original hood. At least some third party hoods are already made on sold in US ($7 on amazon), US ($32 better quality), Germany (ebay) and Hong Kong (ebay).

The lens itself can be found at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

Olympus Lens alternatives (if you don’t care about the missing autofocus and electronic contacts):
1) Dallmeyer 75mm f/1.9 (Here on eBay). This is an extremely expensive lens and I don’t know why it is so. Only crazy guys would buy that :)
2) Leica Summilux 75mm f/1.4 (Here on eBay). Extraordinary high quality lens for an extraordinary price (although it’s still less expensive than the mysterious Dallmeyer). It’s the fastest of all 75mm lenses
3) Zeiss Biotar 75mm f/1.5 (Here on eBay). Fast and also a bit exotic lens made for the Exacta series.
4) Leica Summarit 75mm f/2.5 (Here on eBay). High quality and relatively compact lens. A bit slow compared to the Olympus (f/2.5).
5) Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 (Here on eBay). Probably the best alternative of the new Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens. Same aperture, superb high quality and cheaper.
6) Fujinon 75mm f/1.8 (Here on eBay). This is a very cheap TV lens and I don’t expect the quality to be very good. I wouldn’t buy that unlike your really need that focal length and you have a very low budget.

Panasonic 35-100mm X lens review at Lensrentals….

The Panasonic average resolution diagram posted by Lensrentals (please visit the website to see full test)

Roger Cicala from Lensrentals tested the Panasonic 35-100mm X lens: “At 35mm the lens is awesomely sharp; every bit as good as the 12-35 f/2.8 OIS is at 35mm. There was a slightly different story at 100mm, though, where resolution dropped significantly (100mm mtf50 is 86% of what it is at 35mm, hence the article title). This is still good, but it’s not what I was hoping for.

Sgoldswoblog also posted some new 35-100mm X lens image samples: “On the basis of today’s experience I’m willing to assert both that the 35-100 is sharp but also that it provides shooting opportunities that wouldn’t arise with primes. Clearly the price for that is a limited low light performance and (subjectively) inferior bokeh.

The Panasonic X lens is certainly a good quality lens but from these early tests it still doens’t 100% match the exceptional Oly FT zooms. In case you don’t care about the big size than you may be interested in getting a refurbished (but faster and super high quality) Olympus 35-100mm f/2.0 lens at Adorama (Click here) or here at Olymarket Europe (Click here). A full list of acutions are availebl on Slidoo eBay.

The Panasonic 35-100mm X lens is in Stock at Technikdirekt Germany, Wex UK and preorders are available at Amazon (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), Panasonic US and eBay (here on Slidoo).


Next E-M5 versus GH3 image quality comparison via ePhotozine (and GF5 superdeal)

Short deal info: Newegg (Click here) has a limited offer where you can save $70 on the GF5 with 14-42mm kit (normal price at Amazon is $519)


It is the day of the comparisons and here is the next one. ePhotozine (Click here) posted the nest E-M5 versus GH3 image comparison. And for them it looks like the E-M5 has the edge when it comes to analyze the JPG (not RAW!) images: “Outdoors in the “Wide” shot, the Olympus shows warmer images, with the GH3 image looking cooler in comparison. In the “Street” image there is stronger colour saturation and contrast in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 image. In the final image of the kiwi fruit, the Olympus provides a sharper final image.

As you know Olympus always had the edge over Panasonic when it comes to JPG quality. But it will be interesting to see a real RAW comparison. I suppose both cameras are suing the same (Sony) sensor and quality will be almost identical. The real difference between the two cameras are the features, not the image quality.

GH3 preorders at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here)Panasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt. Shipments starts in mid December!

Pekka Potka says there is no real IQ difference between E-PL5 and E-M5.

The E-PL5 vs E-M5 comparison by DSLRcheck (translation here).

As Heisenberg proved in the world of physics every testing results depends from the tester. So we now have two new tests trying to find out if there is an IQ difference between the E-PL5 and E-M5:

1) First test: Pekka Potka debunked the myth of the E-PL5 being better then the E-M5. He compared the two cameras and states that “the only thing we can see in these two images is that there really is no difference at all. Yes, there are very, very slight differences but they can come from so many little deviations.“.

2) Second test: DSLRcheck posted another E-PL5 versus E-M5 comparison. The test shows how the E-PL5 has a bit more moire but at the same time also a tiny bit more sharpness. This test indeed suggests that there may be a difference between the two cameras and this may be caused by the lack of AA filter (as written by Olympus France in a message to Lepidi).

I repeat it once again, I link to reviews written by others and I am sure they all have the best intentions. But as stated by Pekka there are so many variables influencing test results. And even Olympus France could have done an (unintentional) wrong statement. At that point I want to remind you that this are just pixel peeping talks. You will never notice a real difference between a printed E-PL5 or E-M5 image. It’s great that Olympus used the best m43 sensor to date for both smalle new PEN cameras :)

New PEN preorders:
E-PL5 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,

The E-PM2 is in Stock at Cametaacutions (Here on slidoo ebay), whiel the E-PL5 is in Stock in Asia (here on slidoo ebay).




New XZ-2 reviews and an Olympus APP report (on the E-M5)

The great XZ-2 and the even cheaper XZ-1:
Our friend Robin Wong posted part two and part three of the XZ-2 review. It’s a really nice camera and Robin talents really shows how to get the most out of it. But as I told you before…that $199 you pay for the XZ-1 now (Click here) really kills the XZ-2 sales!

The new Olympus phone APP:
The Olympus Image share Application is now available on iTunes and Android store. And our reader Matt Johnston tested the APP on the E-M5:
I just wanted to send a quick update/review of the new Oly app and a Flash Air SD. I live in the US, but bought a Flash Air card a few months ago from Japan just to play around with to see how it compared to my Eye-Fi card.  To make a long story short, I could see the potential, but was turned off by the very rudimentary web interface you had to use for everything (browsing thumbnails, viewing full sized individual pictures, and saving images to your phone/device).  Anyway, after reading your post yesterday I downloaded the app and tried to connect to the card with both my E-P2 and my E-M5… both worked great!  I don’t have any other cameras to test with, but I’m curious if this might work with other brand cameras as well? It’s quite simple and only takes a few seconds to setup.  You first have to connect to the WIFI network that the card generates.  Then just open the Oly app and it shows you thumbnails of all the pictures on the camera. From there you can either view large versions of individual photos by clicking on them, or you can select multiple photos and have your phone save them to the camera roll.  To apply art filters, you have to use a photo already saved to your phone.  The good news is that you can apply Oly art filters to any photo on your phone… including pics taken with the iPhone camera or uploaded from other cameras!
I did have two recommended improvements if you can forward them on to Oly.  First, it takes a long time to load individual, full resolution photos… I shoot RAW + full size JPEGs.  RAWs don’t show up in the app (which is good IMO), but the full resolution JPGs take 10 seconds or longer to view. That delay is also present when using the very basic web interface from the Flash Air card so I’m sure it isn’t Oly’s fault.  It also goes much, much quicker if you set your camera to generate smaller JPGs.  The problem is when you scroll to the next photo (and wait 10+ more seconds) and then scroll back… it doesn’t cache the photos you’ve already viewed.  You have to reload the photos (10+ secs each), every single time you view them!  Maybe Oly could create a cache that resets after the app is closed.  That way for each viewing session you browse quicker.  The other improvement I would love to see is to add an auto-refresh option.  If you were on a paid shoot and your client was watching the progress on an iPad, they would have to refresh the thumbnails between every shot.  Not a deal breaker, but it seems like it could easily be added.
Now to be fair, everything you can do with the Oly app is possible to do with the card by itself — namely, connecting to your smart phone/tablet, viewing thumbnails, seeing full size images, and downloading them to your device.  What the Oly app adds, is a nice interface to everything.  I almost gave up on my Flash Air card as it was so cumbersome to use via their painfully basic web interface.  Before this app came along my Flash Air was sitting unused in favor of my Eye-Fi card.  Now I can see myself using it much more often… way to go Oly!

Thanks Matt for your report!!!

P.S.: A long list of E-PM2 cameras is sold by Cameta on Amazon (Click here) and on eBay (here on slidoo).

Panasonic and Olympus Preorder Links with specs and price:
Special GH3 page at Amazon (Click here) and a full Olympus presentation page at Amazon (Click here).
GH3 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here)Panasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt.
35-100mm X lens at Amazon (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), Panasonic US.
E-PL5 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
XZ-2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
60mm macro at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
12mm Black prime lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
15mm cap-lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).