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

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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).

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