May 23, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT5) Panasonic to launch a new ultrasmall GF3 camera! (but there will be one more GF this year?)

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A GF3 fac simile. Not the real camera!

In mid June Panasonic will announce the new GF3 which will be an ultra small camera that will replace the current Panasonic GF2. That’s a huge surprise if you do consider the GF2 is only eight months old! But it’s also not a surprise if you see the success of Sony’s NEX cameras which are as small as the current GF2 but do use a larger APS-C sensor. And the upcoming Sony NEX-C3 will be even smaller (Click here to see the NEX-C3 versus GF2 size comparison). So after the Megapixel and the High-ISO war Sony and Panasonic started a new kind of competition….the miniaturization battle!

To compete against the upcoming NEX-C3 the new Panasonic GF3 will be around 10-15% less high, less wide, less thick than the current GF2. I have been told it has about the same size of the current Panasonic TZ cameras (Click here to see them on eBay). De facto the mount ring is higher than the camera itself! And to make it that small Panasonic removed some of the GF2 buttons and also the hot shoe is no more present! Some of my sources told us that this is the first camera that easily fits in any pocket when the 14mm pancake is attached. It feels like a real compact camera! A new source told us the GF3 has the same G3 sensor and specs (and that’s good news!). That means it has the new 16 Megapixel sensor FullHD recording.

And here is what Steve Jobs would call the …one more thing surprise:

The fact that the GF is going to be smaller and smaller doesn’t mean that we don’t want to see a GF model with more advanced manual controls. Three sources confirmed that we should expect a second GF model to be announced within the second half of the year. It’s aimed for semi-pro photographers. That’s all I know for now, but it’s enough to make me dream the Micro Four Thirds L1 might be coming for real (Click here to see that amazing camera on eBay)!

I am constantly working to provide you with FT5 rumors about Olympus and Panasonic. Lots of stuff is coming! Stay tuned! Don’t miss any rumors: Join us on Facebook and Twitter! Subscribe our RSS feed!

Links to the cameras discussed in that article:
The current GF2 camera at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay. P.S.: You can get the Panasonic GF2 with 14-42mm lens for $499 only at Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
The current Sony NEX cameras at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
The Panasonic L1 Four Thirds camera at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
The Panasonic TZ compact cameras at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Will you buy an ultra compact GF3?

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Reminder -> Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

Thanks to all sources that sent me rumors about the GF3

May 23, 2011
Posted in deals

(UPDATE: also the Fuji X100 is in Stock) GH2 body only in Stock at Amazon US!

For all US readers. You have a unique chance to get the GH2 body only at Amazon US (Click here). Once you are on Amazon’s website click on “these sellers“. You will see that Samy’s camera has them in Stock for $899!

UPDATE: The Fuji X100 is in Stock at Bhphoto (Click here).

May 23, 2011
Posted in news

An analysis about the present and future of Panasonic and Olympus (by Thom Hogan)

I want to focus your attention on the latest article from Thom Hogan (Click here to visit the website). He starts with the following statement: “Welcome to the beginning of the end of the digital SLR era.” The “DSLR unit sales have been flat and appear about to fall. Revenue per unit has fallen. Household penetration for DSLRs peaked some time ago, and much of the market now is replacement, not new sales.

He described the situation of all non Nikon and non Canon camera companies. I am going to copy the Panasonic/Olympus part only. Please read his article to read the full text at bythom.com.

Olympus/Panasonic: made a big bet on m4/3 taking the DSLR initiative away at the low end. Both pretty much neglected or abandoned any traditional DSLR approach to do so, which on Olympus’ side has alienated customers. Both increased their overall interchangeable lens camera sales significantly with their strategy, but at a lower price point. Still, they haven’t really blunted the low-end Canon and Nikon DSLR sales, they augmented them. Status: tenuous foothold at the low end, very tenuous above that. Forecast: continued tough road ahead.

What do you think about his opinion? I added the latest sales analysis graph made by BCNranking about the Japanese system camera market shares. As you can see on the graph (see image on top of the post) 69% of all sold system cameras are DSLR’s and 31% are Mirrorless. Mirrorless market share reached the top in December 2011 with 36,7%. But my guess is that market share has fallen because there wasn’t any real new product (only the slightly upgraded E-PL2). And the lens repertory from all current mirrorless system is still “immature”. I predict a further advancement of the Mirrorless market after the June announcements (Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung will release new cameras and lenses).

P.S.: You can see on Amazon that most cameras in the TOP 20 are compacts and DSLR cameras. Mirrorless is still not so popular as in Japan:
Amazon US rankings (Click here)
Amazon DE rankings (Click here)
Amazon UK rankings (Click here)
Amazon FR rankings (Click here)
Amazon IT rankings (Click here)

May 22, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(Downgraded from FT3 to FT2) UPDATED: Olympus E-P3 and E-PL3 to be announced on June 3? And mini Olympus model.

UPDATE: The translation from google was not correct and the webmaster from Digicam info was so kind to contact me. He also said the info is from a new source (not a trusted known source!). That’s why I downgraded the rumor form FT3 to FT2 (see the rumor classification on the bottom of the post if you don’t know what this means).

The japanese blog Digicam Info (Click here) says the new Olympus E-P3 and E-PL3 will be announced in June the 3rd. And there will be a new Olympus mini too! All three cameras will feature the same 12 Megapixel sensor and will not have any built-in viewfinder. Digicam Info was the website that posted the (correct) rumor about the E-PL1s. Anyway I would be very careful with that information. Some of my new sources are giving me “different” rumors. I am  still waiting for my trusted sources to disclose the “real” details. That Olympus will replace the E-PL2 after only 6 months(!!!) sounds a bit nonsense. And why replace it with an E-PL3 having the same sensor? Hmmm…

Digicam info also says the new Olympus mini camera will be a a mini model ideal for women! Should we expect a sort of Minox camera? (Click here to see the Minox).

As I said take all with a grain of salt!

Reminder -> Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

Via Photorumors

May 21, 2011
Posted in deals

There is one single GH2 in Stock at Amazon for the normal price…but you have to find it :)

Samy’s is currently selling two GH2 cameras for $1699 at Amazon US (Click here). That’s $200 more than the usual price. But if you click on that “refurbished” button you will find one kit in Stock for $1499. And actually it’s not a refurbished camera. It’s an open box demo in like new conditions (and with full warranty).

There are couple of deals today:
The XZ-1 price felt down to $466 at Amazon US (Click here). And the very cool XZ-1 auto lens cap is in Stock at Amazon (Click here).
Panasonic G2 body only for $349.95 on BHphoto (Click here).
And Fuji X100 preorders are back -> Amazon US (Click here).

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