April 16, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus E-PL2 and Four Thirds lens reviews

ePhotozine (Click here) is one the very few website still reviewing Four Thirds lenses. Tehy just posted their Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens test: “Very few lenses give as solid a performance in all areas as this lens. As it is sharp from wide open, it allows the relatively bright maximum aperture to be used to great advantage. Although the price may be higher than other alternatives, this is a premium lens that provides premium performance and if quality matters, it may well be worth the extra money.
Check out the 50-200mm lens price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Techradar (Click here) tested the Olympus E-PL2: “The E-PL2′s Live Guide also doesn’t explain how the camera settings are changed, it merely indicates their impact. This means that novices photographers aren’t encouraged to progress on to more advanced shooting mode such as aperture or shutter priority and to explore more of the control available to them. This is a shame as the E-PL2 provides plenty of control and opportunity for customisation. While it cannot quite match the image quality from an APS-C format DSLR all round, the E-PL2 produces high quality images. The level of detail present in low sensitivity images is high and noise control at the higher settings is impressive.

Also Photoreview Australia (Click here) posted an E-PL2 review: “Overall performance for the review camera was similar to the E-PL1 we reviewed just over a year ago. The review camera’s metering was still biased to favour shadows over highlights. Highlight clipping wasn’t as bad as we found with the E-PL1, although it was quite important to meter on a mid-tone area in subjects to avoid over- or under-exposure. Autofocusing was noticeably faster than we found with the E-PL1 and accurate in most conditions, although it slowed markedly in very low light levels.
Check out the E-PL1 price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

April 16, 2011
Posted in news

New underwater housing for the Panasonic LX5

If you own the Panasonic LX5 you might be interested to take a look at the new Nauticam underwater housing. It has a depth rating of 75 meters and will sell for $950. You can read the full specs here: http://nauticamusa.com/. It’s a lot more expensive than the Ikelite housing (Click here ot see that item on eBay) which costs $545 only. I am not an expert and I don’t know if the price difference is justified because of better specs.

Olympus XZ-1 user do have an even cheaper alternative: The Olympus PT-050 which is available for around $300 (300 Euro) at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Olympus E-PL1 user can get the Olympus PT-EP01 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
and the E-PL2 user can get the Olympus PT-EP03 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

April 15, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT5) Small pieces of G3 rumors…(and I am travelling to Antwerp)

A fake and completely unrealistic G3 rendering (but I liked it) Source: Iffo.nl

I am on the road to Antwerp (Belgium) and it will take a few hours (exactly 11 hours drive) until I will be there. I hope I will not find any big traffic jam like the historic Florence jam in December (9 hours stuck in the snow) and the jam in Aachen in late December (4 hours…again snow.). It shouldn’t snow in Belgium at that time :) so I am quite confident I will be at my home in a reasonable time. I am writing this because I will have no Internet connection and comments that do need moderation will have to wait for my arrival.

And here is the news:
I asked my sources if they can give me some more details about the G3. I didn’t get a lot of info. First, the announcement will be made on May 11th (London time) and not on May 12th. Second, I got confirmation that the new 16 Megapixel sensor is NOT a multi aspect sensor. It’s a completely new sensor, but I don’t know yet if Panasonic managed it to improve the noise performance and dynamic range. Third, the design. Confess, you got a heart-attack when you first saw the image on top or not? Like you I am also hoping that Panasonic will sooner or later make a Micro Four Thirds version of the L1/LC1 camera (Click here to see them on eBay). That would kick in the xxx of the Fuji X100 ;). Kill your dreams and let’s go back to the cruel real world. The G3 is not the L1/LC1 copy. Compared to the Panasonic G2 the G3 is…more compact. It’s a bit like the difference between the GF1 and the newer smaller GF2. Panasonic reduced the size, added more touchscreen options and removed some physical controls. Don’t know if you will like that change!
I didn’t hear anything yet about possible new “revolutionary” features and honestly I don’t think there will be spectacular surprises. The real new thing here is the 16 Megapixel sensor and the new design.

For the rest I am still trying to get some info about the next Olympus PEN. Sounds like it’s not in the near future (next 2-3 months). Don’t know yet if there was a delay or whatever. The good news is that I started to receive some info about the lenses. I am double-triple checking the specs with other sources. As usual if you can help me with rumors contact me at 43rumors@gmail.com or use the contact form on the right sidebar. You can avoid to send me your name and contact address and no IP-address gets stored. Thanks!

Links to the cameras discussed in that post:
UPDATE -> Link fixed: The dreamers camera, the LC1 search results at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay (don’t know if you can find it in Stock)
The older but very popular Panasonic GF1 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
The newer more compact and touchscreen Panasonic GF2 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
The Panasonic G2 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

P.S.: Message for Panasonic: take a look at the crazy expensive Fuji X100 auctions on eBay (Click here). You might get an idea why we want the LC1 back :)

P.P.S.: First 43rumors mini-meeting in Antwerpen (Belgium) on Saturday 23 April at 15.00. Location: Bar 2 (Vrijdagmarkt). For those of you that want to participate please drop me an email at 43rumors@gmail.com.

April 15, 2011
Posted in reviews

New GF2, 14mm lens and XZ-1 reviews

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, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Direct links to the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, 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, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

April 14, 2011
Posted in news

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

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, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay).
Schneider Cine-Xenar primes at  Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay).

Thanks Herman, Rob

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