Olympus XZ-2 review by Robin Wong (XZ-1 still rules the ranking)

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Our friend and superb photographer Robin Wong (Click here) reviewed the new Olympus XZ-2 camera. The main question is, is it good enough for street photography?: “I’d say a definite yes. It is small enough to be discreet, light and easy to be carried with you everywhere…Most importantly, the XZ-2 delivers amazing image quality for a compact camera“.

I have no doubts about the quality of the XZ-2 but I think it’s too pricey. Will you spend $599 for the new XZ-2 (Click here) when you can buy the older generation XZ-1 for $199 at Amazon (Click here)? That’s a huge difference in price that may not be justified by the new XZ-2 features and improvements. And the Sony RX100 with much bigger sensor is only $50 more expensive. For now the XZ-1 is beating both, the XZ-2 and RX100 sales at Amazon (here is the ranking).

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Surprise: The Olympus E-PL5 has no Low-Pass Filter (no AA filter).

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Recent E-M5 and E-PL5 comparisons showed how the image quality is quite different despite the fact that both uses the same Sony 16MPX sensor. Our friend Pierre Paul Lepidi (translation here) may found one of the possible causes that may explain the increased E-PL5 image quality. He contacted Olympus France and got the confirmation that the E-PL5 uses no Low-Pass Filter at all!

The exact info from Olympus France was: “As agreed during our recent telephone conversation, we confirm that the unit E-PL5 lacks the LPF, low-pass, unlike the M5-E device.

This new PEN cameras didn’t excite us a lot when announced back in September and they never managed to jump into the best mirrorless camera rankings. But they are grabbing more and more attention now!

New PEN preorders:
E-PL5 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,

More info about Low-Pass (or so called Anti Aliasing) Filters on Wikipedia. E-M5 vs E-Pl5 tests at M43.eu (Translation here) and Techradar.

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Amazon Gold Box deal on the GF3 X lens kit!

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There is now an ongoing Gold Box deal on the Brown GF3 with 14-42mm X(!) pancake lens at Amazon (-$120 price drop). And check out all Gold Box deals from Amazon (Click here).

By the way, many Panasonic cameras like the G3, GF3, GX1 are heavily discounted and you can see them all on top of the Amazon ranking (Click here).

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GH3 field report by Luminous Landscape.

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GH3 shots – no post adjustments, selected for banding and moire check from John @ Workstation • Amsterdam on Vimeo.

Luminous Landscape (Click here) posted their first GH3 field report. It contains many interesting info and I am highlighting only two of the many positive statements:

– The fact that the GH3, like the GH2 before it is designed with many features for the videographer, does not in any way reduce or restrict the camera’s stills capabilities. If anything they enhance them, because the powerful processors required for high bandwidth video only make the stills recording ability that much faster and robust.

– Speaking of the sensor, there is lots of speculation that this is essentially the same sensor that’s in the new Olympus OM-D EM-5. It may well be, but no one in-the-know is saying. This would be no-bad-thing because that sensor is excellent. Indeed I did some side-by-side shooting with the two cameras, and while there is a slightly different look to the files, it’s de-minimis. I wouldn’t chose one over the other for its stills quality. (Though the GH3’s video quality is far superior to that of the Olumpus).

All the testing has been done with firmware version 0.5 and that’s why you don’t see a full review yet. But I am sure the GH3 will score impressive results when final reviews will be out. Panasonic did almost everything right on this camera. And what it’s missed now may will be added later by our beloved hackers :)

Special GH3 page at Amazon (Click here) and a full Olympus presentation page at Amazon (Click here).
GH3 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here)Panasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt.

 

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