Panasonic 20mm disappears from USA stores because of supply issues (+US deals)


Panasonic USA distribution doesn’t have a good reputation. As you may have noticed neither Amazon (Click here) nor Adorama (Click here) nor Bhphoto (Click here) are currently having the popular 20mm lens in Stock. Some of our readers asked me if that might be a sign for a new replacement coming soon. The answer is simple…NO! It’s again a supply problems and as we already know from many examples in the past Panasonic is supplying the US stores as they were a minor shop in Mongolia :)  Personal note: I have been in Mongolia once and love the country!

USA deals:

HOT: If you buy a GX1 body at BHphoto (Click here) you can get $100 up o $200 on all Panasonic lenses!
And after the new hack release the GF2 is also partuclary tempting, for $375 with kit lens at Amazon (Click here).
Panasonic 45-175mm X lens get’s a $17 price drop at Amazon (Click here).


Olympus: PEN cameras can have built-in viewfinder, E-7 already planned.


The Russian website Onfoto (Click here) published a new interview with Toshiyuki Terada (Product Planning, Olympus Imaging Corporation, Japan). Some interesting bits:
1.) A built-in viewfinder is not exclusive for the OM-D line. Future PEN camera can have built-in viewfinder maintaining the current form factor. Personal note: I guess this means that PEN can have a sort of rangefinder styled viewfinder like the Sony NEX-7 or even better, like the Fuji X PRO 1.
2.) The E-M5 cannot be considered like a professional camera because “Reliability for E-5 is much higher than the OM-D.” and “I can not tell you how many shots will slide OM-D, whereas for the E-5, we guarantee that at least 150,000.
3.) When asked if the sensor is from Panasonic he answered: “We do not disclose any information about the sensor manufacturer. Maybe so, and otherwise. We do not say yes or no.
4.) The E-M5 LCD rotates in only one axis to keep a compact size.
5.) About the Four Thirds adapter: “this is one of the essential areas that we explore and study“.
6.) About future Four Thirds products: “We already have started studying a successor of  Olympus E-5.”
7.) Olympus sees no difference between using 12bit or 14bit RAW files.

Summary: PEN with built viewifnder is posisble, E-7 will arrive sooner or later, and a professioanl OM-D is also veyr likely to be developed. That’s a great plan or not? Question:

What camera would you want from Olympus?

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More E-M5 bits: Image samples at Lydogbilde (Click here). Olympus E-M5 preoders search(!) links at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Something else: Tsutomu Omori, managing director of Olympus India has been found death (suicide). My condolences to the family and to Olympus. More info at Indiatimes.



Reworked lenses by jieying (Canon 77mm f/1.0 with m43 mount)


There is a guy named “jieying” that reworks the mount of all kind of lenses so that they can fit on our m43 cameas without the need of any adapter. The advantage is that you don’t need to buy and carry adapters with you, the disadvantage is that you have to pay a bit more for the lens (of course). I was curious to see what he is currently “offering” and here is the list:
Canon 77mm f/1.0 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Canon 50mm f/0.95 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Kowa 55mm f/1.0 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Color-Lanthar 50mm f/2.8 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Rodenstock Heligon 50mm f/2.0 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Kodak Singet 35 Ektar 44mm f/3.5 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Rodenstock Heligon 50mm f/2.0 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Schneider Xenon 50mm f/2.0 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Kodak Ektar 50mm f/3.5 lens (Click here to see it on eBay) Schneider Xenon 50mm f/2.0 lens (Click here to see it on eBay)

These are all reworked lenses! Probably the Canon 77mm f/1.0 lens is most intriguing option (at least for me).


Olympus E-M5 news and tests roundup…(ships in US on April 10th, in Japan on March 30th)


For those of you that are waiting for the E-M5: BHphoto (Click here) says the E-M5 will be available on April 10th. And Amazon Japan (Click here) reports that the camera will ship on March 30th. Don’t know yet how many E-M5 cameras will be produced per month and how many preorders Olympus got. So you may will not get the camera on those days. At least on Amazon the E-M5 preorder hype looks like to be over and the E-PL1 is the king of the mirrorless ranking again :)  -> Click here to see the ranking. Also the Panasonic GF2 is selling well and probably super interesting after the recent hack release!

But there are (again) many new E-m5 news and previews today:
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Preview at Photographyblog (Click here). And image samples (again at Photographyblog) and at Tomshardware (italian). Extreme ART filter image sample on Flickr (Click here). The swedish magazine Fotosidan (Click here) posted a camera preview. A hands-on at AP (Click here), Techradar (Click here) and a spanish hands-on on youtube (Click here). Test shots and video-illustrations (stabilization, AF, live bulb) at Onfoto Russia (Click here and Click here). A video shot with the E-M5 on vimeo (Click here). The english E-M5 manual (Click here to download the pdf).

E-M5 preorder search (Click on names): Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.






The future of Four Thirds…


Some reader is complaining why I don’t post Four Thirds rumors. The truth is that in three years on 43rumors there was only one Four Thirds product announcement (the Olympus E-5). So there wasn’t really a lot to work on that front. Of course I talk with my sources about the future of Four Thirds and I want to give you my modest view on the future of the Four Thirds system. Like it or not, ALL sources I have are telling me the same things:

1) The future is Micro Four Thirds, not Four Thirds. Olympus itself is promoting their m43 system when getting in touch with big stores and retailers. There is almost no effort to promote and sell the Four Thirds stuff.

2) Olympus new Four Thirds lens release keeps getting postponed without to set a precise time table. An example is the long announced and never released 100mm Zuiko lens. P.S.: The last three years only Samyang (Click here) released some nice lenses for the Four Thirds system.

3) Olympus goal is to merge the Four Thirds system within the Micro Four Thirds system. That means Olympus is trying to bring full support of Four Thirds lenses on Micro Four Thirds cameras. In concrete they are working to have super fast AF when using 43 lenses on m43 cameras. A solution could come by the use of a special adapter with built-in mirror and prism system (with phase detection AF). P.S.: Something similar (with the translucent mirror) has been done by Sony with the LAEA2 adapter.

In Summary, you shouldn’t be worried for your Four Thirds lenses. I know from top sources Olympus is working on making them fully compatible with the m43 system. But the release of a new E-7 camera now depends from how fast Olympus engineers can realize a professional m43 camera. If all works fine, we can may expect a sort of E-M7 professional camera at Photokina. But that’s just a speculation for now…