April 9, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Olympus E-5, E-PL2 and triple XZ-1 reviews (+ very nice XZ-1 commercial !!!)

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The video on top is one of the best digital camera commercials I have ever seen. Well done Oly!

Ferdzdecena (Click here) posted a short E-5 review: “For it’s price range, which is rather high since it’s on the pro/semi-pro line, there are a lot of competitive options out there so it’s hard to decide on jumping into this system. But for those who have already invested on a good amount of Zuiko lenses, which by themselves are exceptional, the Olympus E-5 can still squeeze out excellent images until it runs out of juice in the coming years.” (link found at noisycamera)
Check the E-5 price by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Neocamera (Click here) posted an E-PL2 express review: “The Olympus PEN E-PL2 proves to be an interesting camera with more capabilities and sophistication than expected from an entry-level model. The Micro Four-Thirds sensor used in the E-PL2 delivers excellent results with low image noise and good sharpness. Exposure and color are also quite good. AWB is not so reliable but custom white-balance renders whites impeccably and the one-touch white-balance function makes it a breeze to use. The true weakness of this digital camera is its autofocus system which is slow and not entirely accurate. It is serious enough to make it miss our highest digital camera rating.
Check the E-PL2 price by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Photographyhappenings (Click here) tested the XZ-1: “If you are comparing to the Panasonic LX-5 or Canon S95, the Olympus XZ-1 will be a good choice if lens specification is your key consideration. The Olympus delivers strong performance over the competitors in good light and moderate distance, but fails to shine in poorer light condition and closer to infinity. Both competitors offer credible lens performance and good max aperture as well as distinctive advantages, with the Canon S95 in a truly small chassis and the LX-5 delivering native 16:9 panoramic images. They are definitely no pushovers in this battle of digital compacts, and these three cameras cater to different crowds.
Also Digital Photography School (Click here) posted a XZ-1 review: “I find it hard to say that image quality is exceptionable. About average. Why you’d buy it: exciting range of accessories to expand your picture making opportunities; fast lens. Why you wouldn’t: you want Full HD video.
And the third website to test the XZ-1 is Pdnonline (Click here): “As an outdoor shooter in good light, the XZ-1 shined, producing high quality images on par with those you get from a DSLR. But I really expected the camera’s f/1.8 lens to do better in low light. The same goes for the XZ-1’s 10-megapixel, 1/1.63-inch CCD, which produced noisy images at high ISOs with aggressive smoothing that squished detail. I hope Olympus sticks with this category though; the XZ-1 a good start that just needs some further tweaking.”
Check the XZ-1 price by clicking those direct links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

April 8, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT3) Fuji talks with m43 group. But what’s the result?

Yesterday we reported the rumor about Fuji making an interchangeable lens version of the X100. A few hours after I received a message from one of my best sources. He told me a short and interesting story. He said Fuji met some of the m43 group members back in October-November 2010. Fuji was evaluating the advantage and disadvantages of joining m43. The company that is working very hard to find new members is Olympus. He also said that unlike Panasonic, Olympus is pushing a lot to find new m43 members. So what about Fuji? He doesn’t know if Fuji will join m43 but he believes the chances are low :(  Hope he is wrong!

P.S.: Image has been taken at http://www.four-thirds.org/en/index.html

P.P.S.: J&R is accepting Fuji X100 preorders -> “will be coming soon” (Click here to preorder on J&R). And Digitalrev says “Usually ships in 1-2 weeks” (Click here to order on Digitalrev). There are a few X100 on auction on eBay (Click here).

April 8, 2011
Posted in reviews

Small Cameras, Big Sensors (The New York Times talks about Micro Four Thirds)

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David Pogue from the New York Times (Click here) wrote an article about the new Micro Four Thirds revolution: “for years, there were two kinds of cameras: pocket models, with tiny sensors that produce blurry or grainy photos in low light and S.L.R. cameras, those big-sensor, big-body, heavy black beasts used by professionals. In the last couple of years, though, things have changed. There’s a new class of camera whose size (both body and sensor) falls in between those two time-honored extremes. They represent a rethinking of every single design element, a jettisoning of every nonessential component, in pursuit of a tiny, big-sensor camera. Because that, after all, is what the world really wants.”

Inside the article he focuses on two m43 cameras  the Panasonic GF2 and the Olympus E-PL2: “In the end, you can’t really cheat physics. Getting cameras this small means sacrifices. For example, both of these cameras have a pop-up flash — and it pops way up high, a trick that minimizes red eye in your subjects — but it’s weak, with only about a six-foot range.” and “The bigger loss is the optical viewfinder. Both cameras have bright, beautiful three-inch screens that do O.K. in sunlight. But they’re nowhere near as good as the eyepiece of a regular S.L.R., especially in low light. The difference in clarity and feeling is especially evident when you compare one of these Micro Four-Thirds cameras with an S.L.R. side-by-side.

But despite the sacrifices you have to make:  “These miniature Micro Four-Thirds cameras cost as much as a real S.L.R., and they teem with compromises. Still, if the world craves a solution to the small camera/big sensor challenge, these models offer some novel solutions to the puzzle.

Like David I do believe the need for “mirrorless” (or I should say the need for compact cameras with image high quality) will increase and the competition will become bigger and bigger. Let’s see how Panasonic and Olympus will exploit the momentum to gain more market shares.

Check the current Panasonic GF2 price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.
Check the current Olympus E-PL2 price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

April 7, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Panasonic GH2 and Olympus XZ-1 reviews

Steve Digicam’s (Click here) posted a new Panasonic GH2 review: “Panasonic’s Lumix GH2 is a compact and powerful alternative to an entry-level or even some lower end mid-range dSLR cameras. Its outstanding image quality, powerful image processor, wonderfully easy automatic shooting modes and some of the best HD video recording on a digicam make this a powerful and versatile tool.
Check GH2 price and availability at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

The Olympus XZ-1 has been reviewed by Buy-N-Shoot (Click here): “What Olympus has produced with the XZ-1 is a camera worth very strong consideration. Not just to be weighed up against its direct competitors (S95, G12, LX5, EX-1, P7000) but as an alternative to its own mirror-less PEN range.
Also our friends of Quesabesde (Click here) tested the XZ-1:””Despite these minor faults the XZ-1 one of the most desirable compact the moment, totally recommended for those advanced photographers who are looking for a pocket model with manual controls, RAW format and outstanding optics.
Check X-Z1 price and availability at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

One more thing for german Fuji X100 lovers. Heise.de tested the camera!

April 7, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT2) Fuji will make a mirrorless X300 (if true it doesn’t sound like they will join m43)

Bob Todrick, a pro photographer from Edmonton, Alberta wrote (Source: Dpreview Forum): “Have had my X100 for a week now … puts any of the 4/3 compacts out their to shame. Pretty sure they have a winner here…and Fuji has confirmed an X300 next year that will have interchangeable lenses.

Bob also said that “I’m in the pro photo supply biz…this is from Fuji. They have decided to pursue what they call the serious prosumer market. The plans are that in the fall they will release an X200…a simplified ‘p&s’ version of the x100. If these cameras do well they plan on the interchangeable lens version sometime next year.

If Bob is telling the truth here than it doesn’t sound like Fuji will join the m43 system. I guess they will stick with their APS-C sensors :(

P.S.: J&R is accepting Fuji X100 preorders -> “will be coming soon” (Click here to preorder on J&R). And Digitalrev says “Usually ships in 1-2 weeks” (Click here to order on Digitalrev). There are a few X100 on auction on eBay (Click here).

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

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