April 19, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT4) Olympus announcement late June? (two lenses for certain!)

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By the end of 2010 our sources reassured me that Olympus will introduce quite a lot of interesting new m43 stuff. The good news is that the same sources are still convinced that Olympus will surprise us with some new cool stuff. The bad news is that it might take a bit longer than we have expected. As you can imagine it’s quite difficult yet to talk about product roadmaps. I heard from Sony deleting the new NEX stuff, Panasonic lenses coming in late summer only, and that because of power supply problems in many Japanese plants. According to our sources Olympus will release two of the three planned lenses in late June. They were originally planned to be released in Spring (see the official Olympus lens roadmap on top). Good for us that the lens that will not be announced is the 8mm fisheye! If that rumor turns out to be true than this was definitely a wise decision. We already have the expensive Panasonic 8mm fisheye and now even Samyang is making a cheaper manual 8mm fisheye lens too! To have a third 8mm fisheye really would not make a lot of sense! The other two lenses are high quality primes. One should have a 12mm focal length and the other one around 50mm. We received a few details about those lenses from new sources and I am still trying to get some feedback from trusted sources. If you know something more about those lenses drop me a line at 43rumors@gmail.com or use the contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks!

I am also trying to get more info about the next PEN cameras. There should be two new cameras announced within 2011. Let’s cross the finger!

P.S.: Samyang announced a few months ago that the 35mm f/1.4 Four Thirds mount would hit the market in March. Did you find the lens somewhere beeing in Stock??? All Samyang lenses for Olympus can be found on eBay only and under seven different brand names (Click on it to see all Four Thirds lenses from the specific brand!):
Samyang
Walimex
Rokinon
Opteka
Falcon
Vivitar
Bower

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

April 19, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus E-PL2, XZ-1 and Panasonic GF2 reviews

Imaging Resource (Click here) tested the Olympus XZ-1: “Olympus has entered the flagship digicam fight with a winner. It’s learned from its competitors, avoiding the brick in favor of an almost too svelte box, adding a manual control with the lens ring, including a pop-up flash and a hot shoe, avoiding the noise of a 14-megapixel sensor for the sanity of a 10-megapixel sensor, delivering a versatile zoom range that starts wide enough, and concentrating on optical performance.
Also the polish website Optyczne (Click here to read the google english translation) posted an XZ-1 review
ThePhoBlographer (Click here) is continuing the Olympus XZ-1 field review: “The camera’s focus never failed at all, which leads me to conclude that even in the normal focusing mode, it will be able to capture most things that users will want to take photos of.
Check price and availability of the XZ-1 by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Photoreview Australia (Click here) tested the Olympus E-PL2: “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.”
Check price and availability of the E-PL2 by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Blog.Paran (Click here) compared the Panasonic GF2 and Samsung NX100 image quality.
Check price and availability of the GF2 by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

April 19, 2011
Posted in news

New Panasonic GH2 training video from Noah Kadner

For all our GH2 current and future owners. Noah Kadner just sent me the press release text of his latest training video:

Call Box, a provider of interactive training for digital media professionals, has released their latest training course worldwide, “Panasonic GH2 Guidebook.”
About the Panasonic GH2 Guidebook
Created by Apple Certified Pro instructor Noah Kadner, this course takes users through the usage of the GH2 camera in production and post-production. “Panasonic GH2 Guidebook” features original content broken down into learning modules with interactive demonstrations and easy to understand, real-world examples. The course focuses on the use of the DSLR camera as a filmmaking tool.
“The Panasonic GH2 is an exciting milestone in the evolution of affordable, high-quality cameras.” says Kadner. “With the right settings and accessories you can easily create video content that looks like a Hollywood movie. This course gets you up to speed with tips and tricks only hinted at in the manual and is aimed at the starting to intermediate user.”
In addition to camera settings and lens recommendations, the Panasonic GH2 Guidebook also gives tips for working with footage in post-production. “We go step-by-step through copying and archiving operations off the SDHC media cards,” says Kadner. “Then we look at ingesting, editing and outputting finished projects with a focus on Apple’s Final Cut Pro. As far as we know, this is the first training course of its kind for the GH2– the camera is that new.”
Topics include Interchangeable Lens Choices, Working with Lens Mount Adapters,
Controlling Exposure with ND Filters, Audio, AVCHD Format Choices, Extra Tele-Convergence, Final Cut Pro Workflow, SDHC Card Management, HDMI Output, Focus Control and more.

Pricing and Availability
“Panasonic GH2 Guidebook,” is available on as a digital download and is priced at $34.99 (US). It can be purchased directly from the company at http://www.callboxlive.com/products/panasonic-gh2-guidebook.

April 18, 2011
Posted in news

Worldwide camera market share in 2010. Panasonic and Olympus holding their ground.

I guess you are curious to see who won and who lost market share during 2010. Bloomberg posted the market share of all units sold in 2010 (compact cameras and system cameras). It’s not a surprise to see that Canon is leading the group. But Sony is just a small step behind and Samsung is very close to Nikon. I would have almost bet a bunch of dollars on a small Panasonic and Olympus market share growth but de facto they didn’t grow at all. Panasonic and Olympus do have almost exactly the same share as 2009. It’s a bit difficult to analyze the results. Most of the sold cameras are compact cameras so m43 sales do have only a small influence on the whole data. Generally spoken worldwide camera sales jumped 10 percent to 141 million units last year.

If you need more detailed data take a look at BCNranking (Click here) which displays the weekly cameras sales in Japan. And you can check the Amazon Bestseller rankings to see what’s selling best on Amazon. As you can see compact cameras are always on top:

Amazon US (Click here): The LX5 is selling well
Amazon DE (Click here): The Panasonic TZ10 is on top
Amazon UK (Click here): Again the TZ10 on top.
Amazon FR (Click here): and for the third time the TZ10 on top!
Amazon IT (Click here): No Olympus or Panasonic cameras on top.

April 18, 2011
Posted in deals

How to get refurbished Olympus stuff in Europe (I bought my white E-P1 with lens for 201 Euro)

Better late than never! Finally I found a place where we Europeans can get tons of refurbished Olympus stuff. I just bought my second white Olympus E-P1 with lens for 201 Euro only (Click here to see that item). That’s less than half the price of a high end compact camera with small sensor like the Panasonic LX5). The silver E-P1 with lens sells for 30 Euro less (Click here)! I highly recommend the E-P1. It has a high quality body (it feels solid) and takes amazing JPG pictures. Yes, there are other cameras with faster AF, that do have built-in flash and  better High-ISO performance. But for 170-200 Euro you can’t buy anything better than this!

What does it mean “refurbished”? “Refurbished products cannot be sold as new products, which is why they are relabeled as refurbished or refreshed units even if they are good-as-new (if, for example, the unit was returned for some reason unrelated to the product itself, such as the customer changing their mind about the color). Refurbished items may have scratches, dents or other forms of cosmetic damage which do not affect the performance of the unit.” (Source: Wikipedia).

I also looked for Panasonic refurbished items and didn’t find everything. Do you know where I can get them? P.S.: And where can we find US and asian stores with refurbished items?

A few items you can buy right now:
– The Olympus E-PL1 double kit (Click here).
– The Olympus E-5 camera (Click here).
– The Olympus 9-18mm lens (Click here).
To see al current auctions just click on one of the links above and than on the resellers name “Olympusmarket”.

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