February 5, 2011
Posted in news

a little bit of everything…

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Panasonic GH2 Indian Vacation

A little bit of Fuji X100 camera porn at DC.watch. And a first impression review at Photoradar. Reminder: Sign up at Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) or Amazon (Click here) to be notified when the camera will be in Stock.

Panasonic GH2 Baseball Auto Focus Test (Youtube)

Panasonic GF2 review at 01net.

GXR vs GF2 vs DP1x at DC.watch.

Olympus E-PL2 test at Ascii.jp and DC.watch.

Olympus XZ-1 review at DC.watch.

Which camera do you think looks the best? (E-PL1.net)

February 4, 2011
Posted in news

HOT!!! Schneider Kreuznach joins mft!!!!

What a surprise!!! Schneider Kreuznach officially announced that they joined the Micro Four Thirds group! They will soon announce their first lenses! That’s great news for us! I don’t know yet if SK will make complete new lenses or simply adapt some of their current C-mount lenses (Click here to see them on eBay). Like the Schneider 25mm f/0.95. I have to find new source within Schneider Kreuznach….somebody out there that knows what kind of lens is coming?

UPDATE1: A wonder what Samsung is thinking right now. Will Schneider also make lenses for the Samsung NX system or not?

UPDATE2: Our reader “Shutterwill” found that interesting statement made by Mr. Jos.Schneider from Schneider optic back in June. When asked about the future of their 28mm 135 PC lense, he replied: “We had lots of legendary lenses for 135 system cameras before, but to put a manual focus lenses on a digital body is not the way to exploit the full potential of a digital system camera. Moreover, the number of photographers willing to use a manual focus lens is few. Therefore we have no plan for more DSLR lenses at this moment.” Ergo: Does it mean the future m43 lenses will have autofocus?

UPDATE3: This is the official english press release (Source: Thanks Steve!).
SCHNEIDER KREUZNACH now a member of the Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group
BAD KREUZNACH, 4 February 2011. Schneider-Kreuznach has joined the “Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group” – a consortium of companies with the objective of improving the possibilities and quality of compact digital cameras. Developed by Olympus and Panasonic, “Micro Four Thirds” is a standard for lens mounts that is tailored to digital system cameras. “This standard has great potential. It simplifies and improves the options for compact digital cameras and offers an excellent opportunity for the industry as a whole, as well as for us as a lens manufacturer. We are working intensively on a corresponding series of lenses,” says Dr. Josef Staub, CEO of the Schneider Group.
The standard defines the sensor size, the lens mount together with the communication protocol, the aspect ratio and the flange back distance, as well as the optical requirements for production and construction. The industry standard has been developed deliberately without taking into account conventional lenses, cameras or sensor sizes. In this way, compatibility problems with older components are avoided as is the need to compromise when designing new components.
The forum standard policy means that any member company can make and distribute accessories for the system that meet the standard. It is therefore possible to combine components from different manufacturers.

Download the press release from Schneider (.pdf)

February 4, 2011
Posted in news

List of necessary GH2 firmware improvements.

Vitaly (the GH1/Gh2) hacker add a list of possible new Panasonic GH2 features that would be nice to be added with the future hack or by Panasonic via firmware upgrade (Source: GH1-hack):

3D

  • Complete syncronization after remote shutter press in both stills and video (this allows to build cheap 3D rig using two GH2 bodies).

AVCHD encoder

  • 23.8Mbps in all modes available
  • 720p encoder improved with B frames.
  • In camera 2.39 (1920×805) and 2.0 aspect ratio (1920×960)

AVCHD/sensor

  • 1080p60 (most probably it is impossible).
  • 1080p25, 1080p30.
  • v720p24, 720p25, 720p30
  • 1:1, 1.2:1, 4:3, 1.37:1, 1.59:1 and 21:9 aspect ratios.
  • More variable frame rate options.
  • Ability to use wheel with Fn key to adjust frame rate during recording.

MJPEG

  • Spanning of files (unlimited recording time)
  • 50(SH)/75Mbps(SSH) modes
  • 422 color mode
  • 1080p24 mode
  • 720p24, 720p50, 720p60
  • 4K 30-40fps mode (with higher compression at about 75Mbps).

General

  • PAL/NTSC switchable
  • Ability to select any language .
  • Shortcuts with modifier (Fn key + any other key allow to call any function).
  • Saving/Restoring of all user settings up to 10 slots on SD card.

HDMI

  • Proper 59,94 mode for HDMI output for 60i (or special 60i sensor mode if selectable in menu).
  • Proper 24p output.
  • Audio enabled (doubled in USB/av in analog form).
  • 720p and ETC enabled.

Menu

  • Ability to setup My menu to exact user needs.

Sensor related

  • Banding fix (if possible)

Stills

  • Unlimited bulb mode
  • Improved bracketing capabilities (whole pictures using one shutter press, more bracketing options, etc)

Video

  • AF-Tracking working in video mode
  • Predefined AF zones
  • Audio meter visible during playback
  • vShooting information visible during video playback (requires metadata to be added to video files).
  • Safe zones markings.
  • Video streaming over USB to PC (up to 120Mbps).
  • Tethering for stills via USB.
  • Zebras selectable level (60-70-75-80-85-90-95-100 IRE).
  • Focus assist in video mode (peaking or center zoom to 1:1 mode).
  • More contrast options (to preserve highilights or shadows).

Amazing if that would be possible!

February 4, 2011
Posted in reviews

Olympus E-5 tested at DPreview (new E-PL2 tests)

You can read the full Olympus E-5 review at DPreview (Click here): “The E-5 is a tough and capable camera that is fun to shoot with…but the E-5 isn’t the game-changer that we always hoped Olympus might come up with“.
Click on the store name to directly check price and availability of the E-5: Amazon US, BHphoto, Adorama, Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR.

Leonard Goh from CNET Asia tested the Olympus E-PL2: “Shutterbugs who are looking to buy a mirrorless ILC should really keep the E-PL2 in mind because it offers plenty of useful features in a compact body.”
Also Steve Huff tested the E-PL2: “The E-PL2 is basically a “Hot Rodded” E-PL1 and it really is a fantastic photographic tool.”
Click on the store name to directly check price and availability of the E-PL2: Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR

February 3, 2011
Posted in deals, news

Black and Silver Panasonic GH2 in Stock at Adorama (+ Panasonic bad financial results)

Five months (!) after the GH2 announcement Adorama is having the Black Panasonic GH2 in Stock (Click here). Also the Silver Panasonic GH2 (Click here) is in Stock. Also Amazon will soon have the Silver GH2 in Stock (Click here).

The five months delay may explains why Panasonics digital camera sales have fallen across all three fiscal quarters by 8.6% over the previous year (Source: Photoscala). We not only need good cameras, we also need to buy them within a reasonable time frame!

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