HOT!!! Schneider Kreuznach joins mft!!!!

What a surprise!!! Schneider Kreuznach officially announced that they joined the Micro Four Thirds group! They will soon announce their first lenses! That’s great news for us! I don’t know yet if SK will make complete new lenses or simply adapt some of their current C-mount lenses (Click here to see them on eBay). Like the Schneider 25mm f/0.95. I have to find new source within Schneider Kreuznach….somebody out there that knows what kind of lens is coming?

UPDATE1: A wonder what Samsung is thinking right now. Will Schneider also make lenses for the Samsung NX system or not?

UPDATE2: Our reader “Shutterwill” found that interesting statement made by Mr. Jos.Schneider from Schneider optic back in June. When asked about the future of their 28mm 135 PC lense, he replied: “We had lots of legendary lenses for 135 system cameras before, but to put a manual focus lenses on a digital body is not the way to exploit the full potential of a digital system camera. Moreover, the number of photographers willing to use a manual focus lens is few. Therefore we have no plan for more DSLR lenses at this moment.” Ergo: Does it mean the future m43 lenses will have autofocus?

UPDATE3: This is the official english press release (Source: Thanks Steve!).
SCHNEIDER KREUZNACH now a member of the Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group
BAD KREUZNACH, 4 February 2011. Schneider-Kreuznach has joined the “Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group” – a consortium of companies with the objective of improving the possibilities and quality of compact digital cameras. Developed by Olympus and Panasonic, “Micro Four Thirds” is a standard for lens mounts that is tailored to digital system cameras. “This standard has great potential. It simplifies and improves the options for compact digital cameras and offers an excellent opportunity for the industry as a whole, as well as for us as a lens manufacturer. We are working intensively on a corresponding series of lenses,” says Dr. Josef Staub, CEO of the Schneider Group.
The standard defines the sensor size, the lens mount together with the communication protocol, the aspect ratio and the flange back distance, as well as the optical requirements for production and construction. The industry standard has been developed deliberately without taking into account conventional lenses, cameras or sensor sizes. In this way, compatibility problems with older components are avoided as is the need to compromise when designing new components.
The forum standard policy means that any member company can make and distribute accessories for the system that meet the standard. It is therefore possible to combine components from different manufacturers.

Download the press release from Schneider (.pdf)

List of necessary GH2 firmware improvements.

Vitaly (the GH1/Gh2) hacker add a list of possible new Panasonic GH2 features that would be nice to be added with the future hack or by Panasonic via firmware upgrade (Source: GH1-hack):

3D

  • Complete syncronization after remote shutter press in both stills and video (this allows to build cheap 3D rig using two GH2 bodies).

AVCHD encoder

  • 23.8Mbps in all modes available
  • 720p encoder improved with B frames.
  • In camera 2.39 (1920×805) and 2.0 aspect ratio (1920×960)

AVCHD/sensor

  • 1080p60 (most probably it is impossible).
  • 1080p25, 1080p30.
  • v720p24, 720p25, 720p30
  • 1:1, 1.2:1, 4:3, 1.37:1, 1.59:1 and 21:9 aspect ratios.
  • More variable frame rate options.
  • Ability to use wheel with Fn key to adjust frame rate during recording.

MJPEG

  • Spanning of files (unlimited recording time)
  • 50(SH)/75Mbps(SSH) modes
  • 422 color mode
  • 1080p24 mode
  • 720p24, 720p50, 720p60
  • 4K 30-40fps mode (with higher compression at about 75Mbps).

General

  • PAL/NTSC switchable
  • Ability to select any language .
  • Shortcuts with modifier (Fn key + any other key allow to call any function).
  • Saving/Restoring of all user settings up to 10 slots on SD card.

HDMI

  • Proper 59,94 mode for HDMI output for 60i (or special 60i sensor mode if selectable in menu).
  • Proper 24p output.
  • Audio enabled (doubled in USB/av in analog form).
  • 720p and ETC enabled.

Menu

  • Ability to setup My menu to exact user needs.

Sensor related

  • Banding fix (if possible)

Stills

  • Unlimited bulb mode
  • Improved bracketing capabilities (whole pictures using one shutter press, more bracketing options, etc)

Video

  • AF-Tracking working in video mode
  • Predefined AF zones
  • Audio meter visible during playback
  • vShooting information visible during video playback (requires metadata to be added to video files).
  • Safe zones markings.
  • Video streaming over USB to PC (up to 120Mbps).
  • Tethering for stills via USB.
  • Zebras selectable level (60-70-75-80-85-90-95-100 IRE).
  • Focus assist in video mode (peaking or center zoom to 1:1 mode).
  • More contrast options (to preserve highilights or shadows).

Amazing if that would be possible!

Black and Silver Panasonic GH2 in Stock at Adorama (+ Panasonic bad financial results)

Five months (!) after the GH2 announcement Adorama is having the Black Panasonic GH2 in Stock (Click here). Also the Silver Panasonic GH2 (Click here) is in Stock. Also Amazon will soon have the Silver GH2 in Stock (Click here).

The five months delay may explains why Panasonics digital camera sales have fallen across all three fiscal quarters by 8.6% over the previous year (Source: Photoscala). We not only need good cameras, we also need to buy them within a reasonable time frame!

Next shipment of Voigtländer Nokton by end of February/March

The most requested lens of the moment is out of Stock …worldwide! I asked a few dealers when the Nokton will be available again. Most of them told me they expect to receive new lenses by late February early March.

Example:
Cameraquest will receive new lenses in February
Fotoversand Bayern is accepting orders but will ship them to you in 2-4 weeks
– There are only two overpriced lenses available at Amazon Germany.
Amazon France (Click here) says “Inscrivez-vous pour être prévenu lorsque cet article sera disponible.” which pretty much means that you have to wait a very long time before to get it :)

As you know I own the Nokton 25mm lens and I have to say that it is a spectacular lens! And thanks to the Nokton I convinced a Canon 5DmarkII owner to buy into the m43 system ;)

(Fixed) You can send me rumors again…(and write reviews)

43rumors is based on buddypress which is a not yet mature software. And sometimes weird things do happen. I just noticed that the CAPTCHA control of the contact form on the right sidebar didn’t work for weeks so you were not able to send me news and rumor without being a registered member. Sorry for that! I removed the captcha and if you want to send me a rumor you can use it right now without being a member and without sending me your name and email address. You should also know that I do not store hidden info like the IP-address. When you write me please use some kind of fake name so that I can recognize you in future :)
Don’t expect me to publish your rumor soon. I will try to check the rumor with other source before to post it here. So let us know what you know about the upcoming projects ;)

For our readers: Feel free to add your personal review for m43 products on the top of the website (inside the camera database). Scroll right to see all items. Lenses are ordered by focal length. You must be a registered member to be able to rate the product. You don’t have to write a long review. Also the rating alone with a few line of text will do it. This will help new readers to decide what camera/lens to buy! If you have problems with the registration feel free to contact me at 43rumors@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Download the E-PL2 manual

Click on image to enlarge the system chart

You can download the new Olympus E-PL2 manual (Source: Olympus America and ForumOlympusFrance).

Manuals For Download:
E-PL2 Instruction Manual (English) (4.42 MB)
E-PL2 System Chart (English, Español, Français) (400 KB)
E-PL2 Manual de Instrucciones (Español) (4.77 MB)
E-PL2 Manuel d’instructions (Français) (4.49 MB)

P.S.: Right now the Red (Click here)Silver (Click here) and the Black (Click here) E-PL2 are in Stock at Adorama. Black only E-PL2 is also in Stock at Amazon (Click here) and Bhphoto (Click here)