Why Panasonic forces me to shoot my next documentary with a Canon instead of using the GH2.

For a long time we had to struggle to find the GH2 in Stock in US and Europe. But in these days I am experiencing another frustrating story with Panasonic. I have to shoot a new short documentary between March 3th and March 5th. That’s why I ordered some new GH2 batteries at a well known German online shop on January 20th (yes January!). It wasn’t in Stock at that time but the cruel news is that they still don’t have it in Stock after 6 weeks of waiting! And you know what? Not a single german online store do have it in Stock right now (Source: idealo). I searched on eBay and found one eBay shop accepting preorders for five of them (Bayern Fotoversand). Sadly they said that they don’t have them in Stock right now  and they have no idea when they will be in Stock again!!!

What’s next?
As I am shooting on the border between Italy and Austria I contacted both Panasonic Italy and Panasonic Germany:
Panasonic Italy said that “we didn’t notice that there is a supply problem” and “our PC systems says that delivery time is unknown“.
Panasonic Germany gave us a phone number to an external distributor. We called the distributor that also wasn’t really sure about when it would be available (They said maybe 1-2 weeks).

What am I going to do?
Friends from the company helios.bz will give me the Canon 5DII with a huge pack of batteries.

I don’t post this story to blame Panasonic, I posted it because I want them to acknowledge that they have some serious problems at the dsitribution level. The Panasonic GH2 has a much better video quality than the Canon 5DII but you really have to:
a) Increase the production of the GH2 cameras and related accessories.
b) If that is not possible at least inform us (and also inform Panasonic employers and online retailers) when those will be in Stock again. It’s pity I can’t use make a profesisonal use of the  Panasonic GH2 because of that.

P.S: GH2 battery links to Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay (in Stock only in some US stores and not in european stores).

Olympus announces three new compact cameras with FullHD, Multiframe movie, Dual Engine TruePic III+ and Backlight-CMOS-Sensor

Olympus announced three new compact cameras:
SZ-30 24x optical (25-600mm), 1080p movie, Can capture full res photos & video at the same time, Can shoot two videos at the same time
SZ-20 12.5x optical, 1080p Movie, 460k screen, 9FPS Continual shooting
TG-810 Crushproof, Waterproof, Shockproof, GPS & Electronic Compass, 920k dot screen

Although those are not m43 camera it’s always interesting to see what kind of new features Olympus did or didn’t implement. The most interesting feature is the “Multiframe movie” which simultaneous captures 1080p HD videos and full resolution stills. The necessary power for that is given by the new “Dual TruePic III+ Engine“. It’s also a surprise to see that Olympus is using a new 16 Megapixel “Backlight-CMOS-Sensor“. Is it from Panasonic or Sony?

UPDATE: If that 16Megapixel sensor is really from Sony than this could mean that Olympus is no more bound (by 2 or 4 years contracts) to Panasonic sensors. Could this have some influence on the next PEN cameras?

Press release


New Fuji X100 image samples (+ serious discussion about the future of Fuji)

Quesabesde posted a new Fuji X100 field review (Click here to read the google english translation). They posted new image samples you can download and they also noticed quite a few issues during the X100 field test like:
– The X100 does not offer an automatic extension on the screen when operating the focus ring in manual mode.
– Shutter speed is limited to values between 1 / 30 and 1 / 1000 second in Aperture Priority modes
– very slow buffer

Fuji’s future

As you know Fuji is part of the Four Thirds group but has not decided to realize a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera. Instead they did develop the fixed lens X100. The real question now is if that camera will really help Fuji financial situation. Many experts out there do believe the camera will be a failure and Fuji should have gone with m43. What do you think? What should Fuji do?

You can preorder the Fuji X100 at Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto. I didn’t find any European online shop accepting preorders.

Hitler is mad at Panasonic for GH2 camera availability issues (GF2, XZ-1 in Stock)

UPDATE: Some people didn’t like (or didn’t understand) the video about Hitler making fun of the GH2 availability. I really didn’t imagine someone could get hurt by such a video. As a sign of respect for them I removed it. For those that didn’t see the video and do have no problem at all with the black humor behind that you can find the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhDoZbWOPQc&feature=player_embedded

A few personal serious thought about the “Hitler video”:
First: That video is very famous in Internet and millions of people saw different version of it. It’s a viral video that is going around since years! That’s why I didn’t have any problem at all to post it because I thought that being used to, people would understand it correctly.
Second: As I understand German I can assure you there is no racist speech, no talk about the horrific things he made inside that clip. It only shows the complete craziness of the person.
We could talk for hours about the question if it is correct to make Black humor using “Hitler” as main figure or not. But as this is not the place for it I will stop here and send my excuses for the few people that didn’t like that post.

P.S.: This brings me to the idea to watch “The Great Dictator” once again. Wonderful movie!

a little bit of everything…

Fuji X100 Hands-on (Preorders at: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay)

10 Reasons Leica Will Release an M43rds Camera (pitofknowledge).
Olympus XZ-1 Test Images at Imaging Resource.
Panasonic 100-300mm f/4-5.6 tested at Outback Photo.
Why I’m Big on Small – Part 1 of 3 (2guysphoto).
Impressions on the M.Zuiko 40-150 (and against the 45-200) at E-P1.net forum.
Field Review: Olympus EPL-2 (Day 2) at ThePhoBlographer.

Message from a 43rumors reader:
I wanted to let you know about something that you and possibly some m 4/3 readers might like to know about. I have a good friend, Sonya Louise Barham, who is embarking on a grand adventure. She has sold all of her belongings and is soon leaving on at least a 2 year trip around the world (with her trusty Olympus E-P1) and only the vaguest of itineraries. She has a blog where we can all follow along vicariously with her travels and also a kickstarter page where many people have helped to support the project. Two weekends from now I am having an event at my gallery here in Los Angeles where some of her prints will be on display and the proceeds from which will go to her kickstarter. We can all follow along at http://sonyalouise.tumblr.com/ and maybe some of the m 4/3 readers can make friends with her and possibly meet up with her along her travels! I’ve always admired her eye for photography and she has a wonderful writing style which are all evident on her blog. She’s been recently focused on gathering donations for the project as she is coming to the end of her kickstarter goal but If you read back her usual writings are of much more entertaining. She has entitled the endeavor, “A Search for Heartbreaking Beauty” and I have no doubt she will find it and share it with us all. Anyhow, maybe you can pass this along!

New Panasonic AG-AF100 firmware version 1.15

Panasonic announced a new firmware upgrade for the AG-AF100. Those are the improvements:
1: The color of the picture in the LCD display has been improved.
2: During VFR recording, an icon which tells “No audio is recorded” has been added in View finder and LCD display. There is no change for the functionality of the camera.
3: Capability for handling the invisible file made by Mac has been added. The firmware update for the items below has been made possible by using Mac.

Click here to download the firmware at Panasonics website.
You can order the Micro Four Thirds camcorder at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

There is also a new AF100 and Voigtländer 25mm F0.95 hands on at EosHD. There are plenty of Voigtländer auctions on eBay (Click here). But good luck in finding one for a decent price!

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 for Four Thirds to hit the market in March

Samyang dropped a message on the facebook fan page to announce that the new 35mm f/1.4 manual Four Thirds lens will start shipping next month.
You can find all current Samyang lenses on eBay (Click here).

Reminder: If you donpt find the Samyang lenses at your preferred store please keep in mind that they are also sold with different brand names like “Falcon” and “Vivitar”. Check it out:
Falcon (Vivitar) 85mm f/1.4Samyang 85mm f/1.4 IF MCOpteka 8mm f/3.5
Falcon 8mm f/3.5
Rokinon 8mm f/3.5
Bower 8mm f/3.5