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April 12, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus E-PL2 and full Micro Four Thirds linup reviews

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There are two new Olympus E-PL2 reviews.

The polish website Optyczne (Click here to read the english translation) tested the E-PL2. In their final score the E-PL2 earns 52 points which is much more than what the Samsung NX100 (45 points) and the Sony NEX-5 (45 points) earned.
Also Peterwestphoto (Click here) tested the E-PL2: “How good is the E-PL 2? For my wife, it’s a 10 out of 10. She puts the camera in AUTO with the standard 14-54mm lens and she’s a happy camper. For me, I start with the camera on AUTO (but I’m ready to go to APERTURE, SHUTTER PRIORITY or PROGRAM mode) with the 17mm pancake lens and the 9-18mm and 14-54mm plus the 40-150mm (80mm to 300mm 35mm equivalent) telephoto and maybe the 9-18mm and 150-300mm super zoom and I’m ready to travel.”
Click those diretc links to check the E-PL2 price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Neocamera (Click here) made a full Micro Four Thirds lens test: “In terms of performance all is not perfect though, nor did we expect it to be for such extreme compactness. What we see is that is most M.Zuiko lenses are really strong performers at the center of the frame, even at their maximum aperture. Corners softness is a notable problem which is consistently more pronounced near wide-angle, probably a side-effect de designing lenses with such narrow barrels. It is important to know that any form of softness is visible in proportion to display size. So, corner softness which can be seen at 24×18″ may not be visible at 12×9″.

Reminder: Those are the current Olympus m43 lenses:

Via Noisycamera

April 11, 2011
Posted in deals, reviews

A Fuji X100 review made by a GH2 owner (First X100 on Amazon for $4,000)

I just noticed two things on Amazon. First a third party reseller is trying to cheat you by selling the Fuji X100 for….$4,000!!! Click here to see that on Amazon. The second news is that a current Panasonic GH2 owners posted a Fuji X100 review made from a m43 user perspective (Click here to read the full review on Amazon). You might be interested to hear what he thinks!

The GH2 was my first exposure to an electronic viewfinder (EVF) and despite its real limitations when working in sub-optimally lighted conditions, I appreciated the ability of the EVF of the GH2 to display information that an OVF could not display. I decided to add a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and 14mm f/2.5 lens and was happy with the resulting setup which was even more compact and lighter than my Nikon D3100 and 35mm f/1.8G DX lens. While the image quality of the Nikon D3100 was still better than the GH2, the smaller lighter size of the GH2 and its excellent video capabilities made it my choice for many situations.

Then came the Fujifilm X100. Combining the small compact size of the GH2 and its compact prime lenses plus incorporating the advantages of both the optical viewfinder of the D3100 and the electronic viewfinder of the GH2, I became seriously interested in the X100. The fact that the lens was not interchangeable was not an issue for me as the X100 lens is a 23mm f/2.0 – the perfect focal length as far as I was concerned. The 35mm equivalent of 35mm would have been my favorite focal length with the D3100 and the GH2 but neither Nikon nor Panasonic makes a compact and light prime lens that has a 35mm equivalent focal length of a 35mm. That the X100 lens was also a fast f/2.0 lens was definitely an ace in favor of the X100. While cleaning the sensor of my D700 , I realized another reason why the non-interchangeable lens nature of the X100 was a non-issue. With a non-removable lens, the X100 will likely not need any sensor cleaning at all, I happily realized. Yes!

Viewed sideways, the X100 was considerably smaller and thinner than the D3100 with the 35mm f/1.8GDX lens and still substantially thinner than the GH2 with the 20mm f/1.7 lens. The X100 wins against the two others on this point.

The GH2 ranks lower than the X100 and D3100 in image quality and with the X100 being thinner and having both OVF and EVF and with my preferred focal length lens, the X100 is now my first choice for a small and light compact camera.

P.S.: The first non asian Fuji X100 is sold by the French dealer Selecttoy on eBay (Click here). Hope this is a good sign that the X100 will be soon in Stock in eruopean and american stores too.

April 9, 2011
Posted in reviews

Seb Farges GH2 videos taken with the Nikkor 10mm and Canon 13mm.

Seb Farges is a film director who uses the Panasonic GH2. And he particularly likes to use cheap third party lenses. The video on top has been made using the C-mount Canon 35mm 1.2 and Cine-NIKKOR 10mm 1.8 lenses. I like it a lot! One more new video made with the C-mount Canon and the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 can be seen here: http://www.vimeo.com/21228832

Look for C-mount Canon 35mm 1.2 lens auctions on eBay (Click here).
Look for Cine-NIKKOR 10mm 1.8 lens auctions on eBay (Click here).
The Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 is available at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

April 9, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus E-5, E-PL2 and triple XZ-1 reviews (+ very nice XZ-1 commercial !!!)


The video on top is one of the best digital camera commercials I have ever seen. Well done Oly!

Ferdzdecena (Click here) posted a short E-5 review: “For it’s price range, which is rather high since it’s on the pro/semi-pro line, there are a lot of competitive options out there so it’s hard to decide on jumping into this system. But for those who have already invested on a good amount of Zuiko lenses, which by themselves are exceptional, the Olympus E-5 can still squeeze out excellent images until it runs out of juice in the coming years.” (link found at noisycamera)
Check the E-5 price by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Neocamera (Click here) posted an E-PL2 express review: “The Olympus PEN E-PL2 proves to be an interesting camera with more capabilities and sophistication than expected from an entry-level model. The Micro Four-Thirds sensor used in the E-PL2 delivers excellent results with low image noise and good sharpness. Exposure and color are also quite good. AWB is not so reliable but custom white-balance renders whites impeccably and the one-touch white-balance function makes it a breeze to use. The true weakness of this digital camera is its autofocus system which is slow and not entirely accurate. It is serious enough to make it miss our highest digital camera rating.
Check the E-PL2 price by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Photographyhappenings (Click here) tested the XZ-1: “If you are comparing to the Panasonic LX-5 or Canon S95, the Olympus XZ-1 will be a good choice if lens specification is your key consideration. The Olympus delivers strong performance over the competitors in good light and moderate distance, but fails to shine in poorer light condition and closer to infinity. Both competitors offer credible lens performance and good max aperture as well as distinctive advantages, with the Canon S95 in a truly small chassis and the LX-5 delivering native 16:9 panoramic images. They are definitely no pushovers in this battle of digital compacts, and these three cameras cater to different crowds.
Also Digital Photography School (Click here) posted a XZ-1 review: “I find it hard to say that image quality is exceptionable. About average. Why you’d buy it: exciting range of accessories to expand your picture making opportunities; fast lens. Why you wouldn’t: you want Full HD video.
And the third website to test the XZ-1 is Pdnonline (Click here): “As an outdoor shooter in good light, the XZ-1 shined, producing high quality images on par with those you get from a DSLR. But I really expected the camera’s f/1.8 lens to do better in low light. The same goes for the XZ-1’s 10-megapixel, 1/1.63-inch CCD, which produced noisy images at high ISOs with aggressive smoothing that squished detail. I hope Olympus sticks with this category though; the XZ-1 a good start that just needs some further tweaking.”
Check the XZ-1 price by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

April 8, 2011
Posted in reviews

Small Cameras, Big Sensors (The New York Times talks about Micro Four Thirds)

 

David Pogue from the New York Times (Click here) wrote an article about the new Micro Four Thirds revolution: “for years, there were two kinds of cameras: pocket models, with tiny sensors that produce blurry or grainy photos in low light and S.L.R. cameras, those big-sensor, big-body, heavy black beasts used by professionals. In the last couple of years, though, things have changed. There’s a new class of camera whose size (both body and sensor) falls in between those two time-honored extremes. They represent a rethinking of every single design element, a jettisoning of every nonessential component, in pursuit of a tiny, big-sensor camera. Because that, after all, is what the world really wants.”

Inside the article he focuses on two m43 cameras  the Panasonic GF2 and the Olympus E-PL2: “In the end, you can’t really cheat physics. Getting cameras this small means sacrifices. For example, both of these cameras have a pop-up flash — and it pops way up high, a trick that minimizes red eye in your subjects — but it’s weak, with only about a six-foot range.” and “The bigger loss is the optical viewfinder. Both cameras have bright, beautiful three-inch screens that do O.K. in sunlight. But they’re nowhere near as good as the eyepiece of a regular S.L.R., especially in low light. The difference in clarity and feeling is especially evident when you compare one of these Micro Four-Thirds cameras with an S.L.R. side-by-side.

But despite the sacrifices you have to make:  “These miniature Micro Four-Thirds cameras cost as much as a real S.L.R., and they teem with compromises. Still, if the world craves a solution to the small camera/big sensor challenge, these models offer some novel solutions to the puzzle.

Like David I do believe the need for “mirrorless” (or I should say the need for compact cameras with image high quality) will increase and the competition will become bigger and bigger. Let’s see how Panasonic and Olympus will exploit the momentum to gain more market shares.

Check the current Panasonic GF2 price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Check the current Olympus E-PL2 price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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