September 30, 2011
Posted in news

First 30 unit of SLRmagic spotting lens discounted

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SLRmagic just sent us this: “There is a photo of the Spotting Scope mounted on the GH2 for digiscoping of wildlife videography. It is a prototype but it is close enough to what the final version will look like.
The effective focal length is 420-1260mm. In 35mm terms it is 840-2520mm. We recommend using this scope at lower magnification for best results. Due to long focal length a tripod should be used to reduce camera shake.
The SLR Magic 12-36×50 spotting scope has extra low dispersion optics for the best image quality. The micro four thirds version comes with an adapter that has to be bought at the time the spottting scope is purchased. The adapter is an objective that is compatible with the spotting scope and will mount directly in mFT mount. Traditional spotting scopes require a universal adapter wich require complicated horizontal and vertical alignment. Depending on the brand it is a trial and error process as universal adapters are actually not so universal since there is another trial and error process as to which lens and which eyepiece to match with the camera. Some adapters have a hole cut out for setting adjustment. We have decided to leave that out to prevent light leak for the best image quality as well as less controls so the bird photographer can just concentrate on shooting. Ours is an all in one solution aimed for ease of use and at an affordable price for leisure bird photographers.
The 50 size is good for portability. The scope looks big but it is actually quite compact as the built-in metal lens hood is fully extended in the photo. The lens is weather sealed and weather resistant but we will not advertise it that way as the camera mounted to it is not! Some readers suggest it is a rubber scope with duct tape. We usually prefer metal body but we made a rubberized outer design to protect the scope from accidental fall, light rain drizzle, and comfort when used in cold weather.
Please kindly tell your readers we are offering the first 30 units at a discount as we wish to have some sample photos from our customers. People interested may email us for details and price at support@slrmagic.com.

These are the links to the other current lenses:
SLR magic 11mm f/1.4 lens you can preorder on eBay (Click here)
Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4 lens on eBay (Click here)
SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 MC lens on eBay (Click here)
Noktor 50mm f/0.95 lens on eBay (Click here)

September 29, 2011
Posted in news

Lightroom v3.5 and Camera Raw v6.5 now with support for all new PEN cameras and GF3/G3.

Adobe announced a new update for Lightroom and Camera RAW. You can download it here: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/. Finally following m43 cameras are supported:

• Olympus E-P3; E-PL3; E-PM1
• Panasonic DMC-G3; DMC-GF3

September 29, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(FT5) Uematsu (Panasonic) says: There will be no GH3 this year (not a surprise).

Ok, that’s certainly not a surprise but at least it is official. Techaradar (Click here) talked with Mr. Uematsu from Panasonic and confirmed that “there will not be an upgrade to the GH2 by the end of the year“. And he also said that “Photokina 2012 would be very important for Panasonic“. All I know from my sources is that the GH3 will support AVCHD 2.0 with 1080/50p(60p) recording at 28mbit/s. EVF will be MUCH improved and the sensor will very likely have global shutter (like the Nikon J1 and V1 cameras).

The only camera we will see long before Photokina will be probably the GF PRO camera (named GF7, or GX1) which could be a sort of Panasonic L1 in Micro Four Thirds version(Click here to see that cam on eBay). The GF PRO will be announced in December/early January right before the CES event in Las Vegas.

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

September 28, 2011
Posted in reviews

Olympus 12mm review and 45mm first look.

The video on top is made by Steve Huff. This is really one of the must have lens (like the 20mm f/1.7 lens). It’s relatively cheap but with imrpessive performance. As Steve says: “I will have a review soon but I can already tell you that I love it and feel it is well worth the $399 investment.” You can check price and availability of the lens by clicking those links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

There is a new Olympus 12mm lens test at Photoreview (Click here): “Imatest testing showed the review lens to be a good, though not stellar, performer on the basis of JPEG files from the PEN E-PL3. Best performance was at f/2.5. There was a gradual decline in resolution from f/5.6 on as apertures were reduced“.
The lens is in Stock at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

For US readers: The Panasonic 20mm pancake got another $10 price drop It is in Stock for $339 at Amazon (Click here).

September 28, 2011
Posted in reviews

New reviews of all three new PEN cameras!

Cameralabs (Click here) posted the full Olympus E-P3 review: “The most flattering thing I can say about the Olympus Pen E-P3 is that I would definitely take it on holiday again. In terms of portability and general handling there’s very little to find fault with. As I was travelling, I decided against taking additional lenses and found the M Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R kit lens proved to be really versatile and produced excellent results.” With an overall score of 83% the camera gets Recommended!

ThePhoBlographer (Click here) posted a new Olympus E-PM1 review: “This is a camera that us camera geeks can probably give to the less tech savvy members in the family providing we don’t mind wanting to play the role of tech support specialist. For the younger user that actively makes a camera a part of their life, they’ll become smitten with this camera. For the older generations, I’m not too sure what to say. My mother did figure it out when I walked her through it, but ended the session with, “Next you need to show me how to upload the photo to the computer.”

DC.watch (Click here) tested the Olympus E-P3.

Photoreview (Click here) posted the E-PL3 review and earned a good rating of 8.5/10: “Low-light performance was generally good with long exposures using ISO settings up to 1600, where image noise started to become apparent. Resolution began to decline from ISO 1600 on and noise was apparent at ISO 3200, although shots remained printable up to A4 size. By ISO 6400, noise was quite obvious in long exposures and at ISO 12800, colour reproduction was affected and images were blotchy and unsharp.

Also Digitalcamerareview (Click here) tested the E-PL3: “If you want a compact camera with articulating LCD, a great selection of lenses and very good image quality, the E-PL3 is a smart choice. However, you have to put up with a camera that is downright “painful” to hold, displays a relatively tiny image on only part of the LCD, lacks a built-in flash, and doesn’t deliver noise-free high ISO.

Those are the search shop links to all three new PEN cameras. Click on it to check price and availability:
Olympus E-P3 Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Olympus E-PL3 Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Olympus E-PM1 Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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