New GF2, 14mm lens and XZ-1 reviews

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Our friends over at Quesabesde just published the full Panasonic GF2 review (Click here to read the google english translation). The review starts with an almost undeniable truth (attention google translated text!): “keep one thing very clear: the miniaturization has also affected the philosophy of the model, now more oriented to new users that experienced photographers.“..”A simpler and smaller camera is not what many expected, but we must recognize that their potentially commercially speaking, can be mostly targeted at all those users making the transition from a compact and want something of higher quality but much larger .“…”Moreover, during the time we spent with this camera has proved an excellent and inseparable companion for those days when simply too lazy to carry all the equipment.”
Quesabesde also tested the new Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lens: “Made the relevant warnings, the performance of this light fixed lens (the official price is around 400 euros) is correct, but not great or as good as expected from a fixed lens. Although we have no complaints in terms of contrast, resolution and control of aberrations, distortion and vignetting especially when we use the maximum aperture are somewhat excessive.”
Direct links to the Panasonic GF2: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Direct links to the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Geek.com (Click here) tested the Olympus XZ-1: “overall, the Olympus XZ-1 is a fantastic camera if you are looking for a serious compact. It’s fun to use and takes fantastic images. That noted, the video needs work and if you want something this size you should seriously be considering Micro Four Thirds. If you want to stick with a fixed lens I’d recommended the XZ-1 over the Canon G12 or the LX-5. The S95 has a size and price advantage so that will come down to user preference.
Click those direct links to check out the XZ-1 price and availability: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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NABshow images of the Panasonic booth (And Four Thirds website adds a new Cine System Page)

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Herman Wong sent us a bunch of very nice pictures of the Panasonic booth at the NABshow in Las Vegas. You can see them here: https://picasaweb.google.com/108753860378700835441/

And 43rumors reader Rob sent us the link to the new Cine section of the Four Thirds Group website: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/cine-sys.html. It adds very useful information’s to the Zeiss CP.2, Schneider Cine Xenar lenses and the HORSEMAN TS-pro (a tilt/shift lens control system that enables tilt shooting with an ordinary lens).

Shop Links:
The Zeiss CP.2 primes at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay).
Schneider Cine-Xenar primes at  Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay).

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DxOmark: Fuji X100 sensor outperforms the best m43 sensors

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How does the Fuji sensor perform against the best m43 sensors? According to DxOmark (Click here) the Fuji can deliver better results in all measured aspects (Color depth, Dynamic range and ISO performance).  A bit surprising to see that the older Panasonic GH1 is the best m43 camera here. Anyway, you have also to take into consideration other aspects of the camera. DxOmark measures the RAW performance of the sensor (not the .jpg results). And if you need decent video quality nothing beats the GH cameras. The main “advantage” of the X100 is the hybrid viewfinder and (if you like it too) the classic design and button layout. But it’s also an expensive fixed lens camera only. Price on eBay (Click here) is crazy high. Preorders with a bit more “affordable” prices are available at J&R (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here) and Digitalrev (Click here).

Let’s cross the finger that Fuji will join m43. We need other sensor makers to put some pressure on Panasonic!


P.S.: If you are located in US than you definitely should take a look on those GH1 deals:
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!

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a little bit of everything…with new m43 bag from Think Thank Photo

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Think Tank Photo just announced the upcoming release of our first camera bag specifically designed for Micro Four Thirds systems. It is called the Retrospective 5: http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/retrospective-5-pinestone.aspx

The first “german” Fuji X100 is for sale on eBay (Click here).
Panasonic Announces AVCCAM Importer Software Accelerating And Streamlining Import Of AVCHD Files Into Final Cut Pro (Imaging Resource).
The first Micro Four Thirds only shop in Spain: http://www.micro43.net/.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ18 Review (Photographyblog).
iSuppli on Japan Image Sensor Industry Hit by Disaster (Image Sensor World)
The 1-Minute Food Pic (TVsmith)

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Olympus XZ-1 firmware update coming soon?

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Steve Digicam’s reports that a new firmware update (version 1.2) has been published. He says following features will be added “picture orientation: Horizontal/Vertical, to the camera menu. The camera will record which way the image was oriented when captured, so in playback, the orientation of an image can be rotated by using the control ring. The desired orientation is then saved in the Exif portion of the image file. Photographers can choose to turn this function on or leave it off.

Olympus Japan doesn’t list the new firmware. Maybe Steve published the news to early 🙂

Check out the XZ-1 direct links at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

P.S.: There is a $7 price drop on the XZ-1 on Amazon (Click here).

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