March 15, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT4) Panasonic G3 and new lens release in late April


According to last minute rumors we got from our trusted sources the new Panasonic G3 will be announced in late April. Earlier rumors “speculated” with a release in late March/early April. For some reasons (earthquake?) the announcement has been delayed for a few weeks. We have been told the G3 will be in Stock in May. Take that rumor with a grain of salt even if it is coming from our very good sources. The recent earthquake disaster could change everything again and of course this doesn’t matter right now. It’s by far more important that Panasonic and Olympus employees can have the time to overcome the shock. And It’s so good to know that no Panasonic/Olympus employee has been hurt!

P.S.: The 25mm f/1.4 should be announced along the G3 but unlike the Four Thirds version the lens will not be Leica branded and cost a little bit less ($700 instead of $850).

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

March 15, 2011
Posted in reviews

Olympus XZ-1 gets an “Editor’s choice” at Photoreview Australia.

It looks like the most popular Olympus camera is not a PEN and not a the E-5 but the Olympus XZ-1. As you know it features also a PEN-type accessory port that can use PEN system accessories, including the clip-on VF2 EVF or the FL-14 and FL-36R flash guns and the external stereo microphone adapter kit (SEMA-1): “Image files from the review camera were a cut above those from most other digicams we’ve reviewed, including those from Olympus. Files were clean and not over-processed and colour saturation was restrained for a small-sensor camera. Autofocusing was comparatively fast for a contrast-based TTL system and when face detection was engaged, the camera was able to pick up and track human faces almost instantaneously.”. The only real drawback is the video quality.
The camera gets an oveall score of 8.8/10 which is pretty high!

You can get the camera in Black or White at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay (Clcik on shop name to directly visit the XZ-1 product page).

March 14, 2011
Posted in news

A little good news. No injuries in Olympus facilities

On picture: Olympus facility in Japan

I just got good news from Japan. All Olympus employees are safe, nobody was injured and all facilities are secure. There will be of course some problems with the current activities and production but that’s just a temporary and not so important issue in those days.
Meanwhile Panasonic made a 300 million yen monetary contribution and in-kind donations of 10,000 units each of radios and flashlights and 500,000 dry batteries to aid victims and support the recovery of areas affected by the strong earthquake that struck Tohoku area on March 11.
P.S.: Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

March 14, 2011
Posted in Rumors

New SLRmagic lens to be annonced soon (testers required)

An image sample I have taken with the 26mm f/1.4 ToyLens.

Panasonic in April and Olympus in May/June should announce new Micro Four Thirds lenses. In the meanwhile we can have some fun with another cheap SLRmagic lens. On Twitter (Click here) they announced the testing of a new Toy lens: “Looking for 3 volunteers to test our new Fast Wide Angle Toy Lens. Pls send us a link to your wide angle work. Top three keeps the lens!” This is not the pre announced 12mm lens, it’s a new Toy lens. SLRmagic is currently offering one Toy lens only, the 26mm f/1.4. You can get it on eBay only (Click here). A few image samples can be seen here at 43rumors.

SLRmagic currently offers to manual, cheap not high quality lenses. They have the (only) advantage that you can sue them without the use of any adapter:
35mm f/1.7 (Click here to see that lens on eBay).
26mm f/1.4 (Click here to see that lens on eBay).

March 14, 2011
Posted in reviews

Does the GH2 Extended Tele Converter affect the video quality?

M43photo made a very interesting Tele Converter test on the GH2 and 14-42mm lens. The ETC mode gives a tele conversion of 2.6x when recording 1080 lines in and 3.9x in 720 lines (Video mode).

As you can see from the image samples on the website: “It appears that the video stream recorded using ETC has worse image quality than the normal stream, at all ISO values. There is some lack of sharpness and contrast, and more noise in the ETC video streams.

M43photo explains the (little) quality loss with the fact that ETC recording doesn’t have the option of scaling down from a larger number of pixels (in normal recording mode the whole sensor area is used and scaled down).

I suggest you to make your own tests. Let us know if you can confirm the conclusions from m43photo! Thanks!

P:S.: GH2 direct links to Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

UPDATE: A good friend of us (and very good tester) said:
The extender 2,6 function depends on the optic that is used. The Leica 45mm Macro[/shoplink] gives the same frame quality in extender mode as a HI Q optics. The same for 7- 14 mm. Both tested result! The 14- 42 is the weakest lenses in the Panasonic lens set. So the result can be right but the result is not easy to apply on other optics

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