What Olympus and Panasonic could learn from old cameras: Contax G2

Something I really do not like that much is how often Panasonic and Olympus keep reiterating the same camera design. I guess they need some suggestions from us what you think? :)
Of course mirrorless is a new world and you don’t have to copy the past to develop the new cameras. But there are a couple of interesting technologies that could still be intriguing in modern cameras. One of them is the Contax G2 (Click here to see that camera on eBay). I already mentioned the camera here and there in these last three years. But today I will give you a greater idea of the camera.  The camera was really advanced at the time. It had autofocus(!) which is really something you didn’t see in rangefinder cameras before.  Top silent shutter, few and very useful buttons and superb lenses.

But there is one single feature that Olympus and Panasonic can learn from. The optical viewfinder changes magnification depending on what lens you use!  Ken Rockwell made that table:


Electronic viewfinders are the future but you still can find extremely appealing solution if you want a camera with optical viewfinders. Now dream with me. Imagine a pro Olympus m43 camera with optical hybrid viewfinder a là Fuji X100 but that can change the magnification depending on the prime lens you use. The question to you know is:

How much would you like an Olympus/Panasonic camera with a hybrid viewfinder and switchable magnification for prime lenses?

View Results

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One more nice thing about the G camera are these top quality and nice lenses (there is even a zoom!):
Contax G 18mm lens (Click here to see it on eBay).
Contax G 21mm lens (Click here to see it on eBay).
Contax G 28mm lens (Click here to see it on eBay).
Contax G 35mm lens (Click here to see it on eBay).
Contax G 35-70mm zoom lens (Click here to see it on eBay).
Contax G 45mm lens (Click here to see it on eBay).
Contax G 90mm lens (Click here to see it on eBay).

And of course her eis the link to the Contax G2 (eBay). P.S.: The Contax brand is dead. Hey Zeiss, why not bring it back to live?

Contax G2 Reviews: Ken Rockwell, ePhotozine, Steve Huff and Photo.net.

New hacked GH2 Driftwood’s 176mb GOP1 video roundup!

Intergalactic Planetary from inhousegoods on Vimeo.

There are plenty of videos you can find on Vimeo (Click here to see the latest Driftwood GH2 video list). All GH2 owners can hack the camera by using these instructions: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/332/ptool-3.60d-topic. And to see a list of all patches (including the driftwood) go here: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/953/gh2-patch-vault-most-popular-patches-in-one-place

P.S.: GH2 price check at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay (Click on shop name to visit the GH2 search page).

New SLRmagic Hyperprime 12mm f/1.6 video samples and reviews.

New Test footage Noktor Hyperprime 12 mm from Hugo Goudswaard on Vimeo.

Don Ravine (Click here) posted a full ( four pages long) SLRmagic Hyperprime 12mm f/1.6 lens review: “Perhaps the single strongest feature of this lens is it’s potential as a very special video lens. I don’t mean point and shoot home movies (many of which are excellent, of course). I mean serious, professional or semi-professional video, planned shots with careful control of all the elements“.

Also Hugo Goudswaard (Click here) posted a first impression: “My first impressions of the lens are great. It feels robust and solid. Focus and aperture ring move as smooth as butter. 12mm looks like a nice wide angle view (like 24mm on 5D Mark II) and you can get nice shallow depth of field. I bett that this will be an awesome lens, especially outside, when stopped down with ND. Lens has 12 aperture blades so nice round bokeh“.

The SLRmagic Hyperprime 12mm lens is yet not available for preorder (but it will be soon).

Other SLRmagic lenses for Micro Four Thirds:
SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Straight Spotting Scope lens (w/ hand grip) is now available on eBay (Click here).
SLR magic 11mm f/1.4 lens you can preorder on eBay (Click here).
Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4 lens on eBay (Click here).
SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 MC lens on eBay (Click here).

DxOmark results of the E-PM1 and E-PL3

DxOmark (Click here) posted the E-Pl3 and E-PM1 sensors test results. As usual keep in mind that these tests do not take into consoderation the resolution of the sensor. DxO says: “Even if these 2 new models in the PEN series don’t provide any improvement in image quality, they do offer new choices in terms of size and controls. Depending on the level of control you want, these 2 cameras could be very nice point-and-shoot cameras — portable, but with interchangeable lenses“.

As you know all three latest PEN models do use the same 12 megapixel sensor. It’s up to you whihc one fits better for you!

Links to the three new PEN cameras:
Olympus E-P3 Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay Olympus E-PL3 Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay Olympus E-PM1 Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay

New Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and Olympus E-PM1 reviews.

QE Park from Michael Mills on Vimeo. Taken with hacked GH2 and Olympus 12mm f/2.0 and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lenses

M43blogspot (Click here) compared the new Olympus 45mm lens with the Panasonic-Leica 45mm macro lens: “So, which lens is best in terms of sharpness? I think that the Panasonic lens generally does better. The Panasonic lens appears to render a bit better at f/2.8, in my opinion. At larger apertures, there is no comparison, of course, since the Panasonic lens cannot be opened further.

Olympus 45mm first impression by snowhenge (Click here): “This is a fun lens to use, much more so in my opinion that the highly-rated Lumix 20mm. It is light, but well built, with a large, well damped focus ring. It looks gorgeous. And the results are pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. This is a must-have lens for and Micro Four Thirds camera owner. And an absolute bargain“.

Techradar (Click here) posted a full Olympus E-PM1 review: “The excellent build quality, fast autofocus, compact size and relatively low price all add up to a very attractive package. Beginners will love the simple control layout and image quality from the Four Thirds Format Live MOS sensor.

Also DC.watch (Click here to read the google translation) posted an E-PM1 review. But the google translation tool makes such a bad job that I will refuse to post the conclusion.

Click on the shop names to check the price and availability:
Links to the Olympus E-PM1 at [shoplcountry 23565] Links to the Olympus 45mm lens at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Links to the Panasonic 45mm lens at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Links to the Olympus 12mm lens at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.