November 9, 2010
Posted in Rumors

(FT3) Olympus to use a 16 Megapixel Kodak sensor with electronic shutter?

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For some months we received info about a possible future Olympus and Kodak partnership. Now we received small details about a Kodak sensor which could be used inside the next Micro Four Thirds cameras. We learned from one of our trusted sources that the Olympus-Panasonic sensor agreement will expire by early 2011. That agreement didn’t allow Olympus to use other non-Panasonic sensors. Once the agreement ends Olympus has the choice to renegotiate the agreement or to sign a new partnership with Kodak. That could be one of the reasons why Olympus didn’t release any new PEN (or the rumored modular cameras) at Photokina.

According to the info we received the Four Thirds sensor has 16 Megapixel and true electronic shutter. Two of our sources claim to know that there are already working prototypes!

We have to warn you that we are talking about prototypes that might will never be produced for the mass market. I am not sure yet if Olympus will give up Panasonic in favour of Kodak. But I trust my sources when they say that Olympus is currently re-thinking the future sensor partnership.

Kodak recently announced the 29Megapixel W-RGB Interline Transfer CCD which is supposed to be used with the next Leica M9 successor. Although this is not the “Kodak-Olympus sensor” we are talking about, it might be of interest to see some of the features (via ImageSensorWorld):
– The TRUESENSE technology is claimed to provide a 2x to 4x increase in light sensitivity compared to a standard Bayer color sensor by adding panchromatic pixels to the standard RGB elements that form the image sensor array
– The new sensor is also available in a regular Bayer and monochrome versions (Cool!)
– electronic shutter

For all Olympus readers. We are currently collecting info about the following three main rumors:
1) Modular camera
2) Olympus-Kodak partnership
3) New Super43 camera system

If you have some info you can share please contact me at 43rumors@gmail.com or use the contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks!

November 9, 2010
Posted in deals

Get the “japanese” Panasonic GH2 on eBay (shipping worlwide)

The first two Panasonic GH2 cameras are for sale on eBay! They are located in Japan so you have to deal with the japanese menu :( The good news is that we have two different GH2 cameras:
Click here to see the current Panasonic GH2 (Body Only!) auction
Click here to see the current Panasonic GH2+14-140mm lens auction

Time left for the auction: 5 days!

Finally also Amazon Germany has the GH2 (Gewöhnlich versandfertig in 1 bis 3 Wochen.)
Panasonic GH2 ohne OBjektiv
Panasonic GH2+ 14-140mm Ojektiv
Panasonic GH2 + 14-42mm Objektiv

Other preorder links (Cameras will be in Stock between 22 November and end of December):
Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Japan.

Let me know if you find the GH2 somewhere in Stock! Thanks!!!

November 8, 2010
Posted in reviews

Voigtländer 25mm f/0.95 lens preview by Mike Kobal

Mike Kobal made that very nice video with the GH1 and the Nokton 25mm (Source: mikekobal.com): “The aperture was set to 1.4 for all clips, ISO to 100. I like the results, the Nokton lives up to the hype, it is very sharp at 1.4 (except for the extreme corners).” He also posted one more “night” video taken with aperture set at f/0.95(Click here).

He also posted a nice set of images on flickr:

My impression of this lens so far:
@0.95 slightly soft in the center and in the corners, but sharpens up nicely in ps, extreme corners are very soft, very usable overall.
@1.4 very sharp in the center and in the corners, extreme corners are still soft.
@2.0 extremely sharp in the center and in the corners, extreme corners are still soft.

The built quality is excellent, the focusing ring is fantastic, very well dampened and it is very easy to pull focus during video takes.

Thanks Mike for your nice work!!!

If you have some luck you can find the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 on eBay (Click here to see current auctions).

November 8, 2010
Posted in reviews

Panasonic GH2/GF2 news and previews…

The video on top shows the first Panasonic GH2 vs Panasonic GH1 (and vs Panasonic TM750) comparison. Skip the first two minutes of the video to see the comparison only. It’s very difficoult to judge the images on youtube and without knowing the image processing work they have done.
Still no news about the GH2 availability. Adorama is accepting preorders, BHphoto says the GH2 will be in Stock in December and Amazon removed the preorder option.

Engadget posted a Panasonic Lumix GF2 preview: “Panasonic has ticked the major boxes of reducing bulk and including HD video (at 60fps, no less) while seemingly sacrificing little of what made the GF1 such a richly appealing camera in the first place. Our biggest complaint, therefore, has to do with the GF2’s January release date — it’s too far away, dammit!” They also made a GF2-GF1 size comparison.

The GF2 is listed on Amazon but without any price indication.

November 8, 2010
Posted in Rumors

Olympus to make camera-phones? Lumixphone coming in February.

If mirrorless is eroding the DSLR market share, camera-phones are eroding the compact camera market. So it comes with no surprise that Olympus will buy the ITX phone corporation:

TOKYO (Nikkei)–Olympus Corp. (7733) said Friday that it will launch a tender offer for ITX Corp. (2725) to turn the cellular phone sales unit into a wholly owned subsidiary. Olympus currently holds an 82.07% stake in ITX. The cost of acquiring the ITX shares that it does not own will likely come to about 7 billion yen. The tender offer will begin Thursday and end Dec. 27. The offering price is set at 60,500 yen a share, which translates to a roughly 34% premium over ITX stock’s closing price on Friday.”

Just a speculation: Would you like if future PEN cameras would be able to connect (via mobile Internet) to your social network to instantly share pictures? I know Sony and Samsung are working on that and thisould be another reason why Olympus is acquiring the ITX shares.

P.S.: The Panasonic LUMIX Phone will be available next February in Japan (Akihabaranews)

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