Tester13: “The GH2 is the best (disastrous) camera for video shooters!”

What does the famous GH1 hacker Vitaly Kiselev (alias “Tester13”) think about the new Panasonic GH2? I had the chance to talk with him. I kept the chat content untouched (without any language correction). The Interview is very long so please click the link below to read it!

Reminder: Tester13 (Vitaliy Kiselev) is the hacker that patched the GH1/GF1 camera software. He is active on DVXforum.com and Pentax-hack.info.

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Thom Hogan likes the new GH2, not so the new E-5.

Thom Hogan just shared his toughts about the new product announcements. I copied only a part of the text related to Olympus and Panasonic. I strongly recommend you to read the whole post!

Panasonic: the big news was the GH2, which looks like a winner (disclaimer: I’m shooting almost all my video these days on a hacked GH1). Coupled with new lenses, the LX-5, and a the other new Panasonic compacts, and taken together with the recent G2, Panasonic seems to be running engineering at full tilt. I’m curious, though. 18mp in a m4/3 body seems a bit ambitious. I’m hoping that Panasonic has made a noise breakthrough at the sensor level, not taken to more post processing noise reduction. I’ve always thought Panasonic’s engineers seem more like actual camera users than those at other companies, so I have high hopes for their new offerings. I just wish they’d quit crippling certain aspects in their designs (like video bandwidth).

Olympus: the E-5 seems like a warmed over E-3. The 4/3 pot was therefore stirred, but it didn’t produce a sauce any different than before. No new m4/3 bodies, though some lens action was visible. The big story was the prototype of YALSC (Yet Another Large Sensor Compact). Or is it a large sensor compact? Hard to say from what little info was revealed, but the use of the Zuiko name on the lens and the way it was discussed, the prototype is at least in the G12/P7000 category, perhaps better. Personally, I’d rather have seen Olympus concentrate on fixing the user interfaces on their m4/3 bodies (especially after another trip to Africa with them and constantly fighting the controls, which tend to set random things when you’re not looking). I suspect Olympus is in a lull between major offerings. They spent a lot of engineering energy on the E-P1, E-P2, E-PL1 set, and it’ll be a bit before the true second generation of m4/3 bodies appears. Shame, that. As Panasonic and Sony seem to be slowly getting more momentum in the arena that Olympus pioneered.

Preorder the GH2 and the lenses:
BLACK Panasonic GH2 with 14-42mm lens for $999 at Amazon (Click here)
BLACK Panasonic GH2 with 14-140mm lens for $1,499.95 at Amazon (Click here)
SILVER Panasonic GH2 with 14-42mm lens for $999 at Amazon (Click here)
Panasonic Lumix 12.5mm f/12 3D G Lens for $249.95 at Amazon (Click here)
Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 G Aspherical Lens for $399.95 at Amazon (Click here)
Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 G Vario Aspherical MEGA OIS Lens for $599.95 at Amazon (Click here).

New Lensbaby 40mm f/1.6 for MicroFourThirds

Image courtesy: Tyson Robichaud

Our friend Tyson Robichaud just announced the new Lensbaby 40mm f/1.6 for MicroFourThirds lens (Lensbabies for classic 4/3 mount are already available) T.R writes:”This Lensbaby offers not only a relatively affordable choice, but one that will double as an Nikon F Mount adapter. When the standard Lensbaby Composer element is removed, the Tilt Transformer acts as a lens conversion mount which will enable any compatible Nikon lens to function as a tilt lens would.  Think macro with a controlled slice of focus enabling you to shoot an entire bug in focus at f/2.8 or f/4!  Or, create the tilt miniature “effect” with a fisheye or a super telephoto lens!  If you prefer to avoid the tilting portion of the deal, center your lens and lock it down with the locking ring on the Tilt Transformer and viola!  You have yourself an F mount adapter, or a 40mm (80mm efov) f/1.6 portrait lens!”

Read more here: http://tysonrobichaudphotography.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/micro-43-lensbaby-tilt-transformer-is-here/

Click here if you want to see current Lensababy 4/3 mount auctions on eBay!

Photokina news (Sigma surprise, FinePix X100 for $1.000 only!)

Sigma is contending the throne for the most exciting new Photokina product announcements with the FinePix X100 and Panasonic GH2. The new Sigma SD1 has a 15.3MP X3 foveon sensor.
More about that camera on Engadget and Dpreview. There are two reasons why we should be interested in future Sigma developments.

1) It looks like Sigma is working together with Olympus. Nagy (one of our readers) had an intuition: “Look at the reflection of the matte screen in Sigma SD1! http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/news/img/SD1-front.jpg. The autofocus system features an 11 point twin cross sensor. The shifted twin cross type sensor improves AF accuracy. It is absolutely the same specifications as the Olympus E-3/E-5 AF modul. Did they buy an AF modul from Olympus?“. Or did both buy the AF technolgy from the same third-party manufactor?

2) According to two of our sources Olympus is testing foveon sensors on their PEN prototypes. And Sigma is part of the FourThirds “coalition”.

I will closely follow the Sigma SD1 reviews!

And now let’s talk about that awesome Fuji FinePix X100. We have good news. We all expected the X100 to cost around $1.500-$1.700 but according to Engadget the real price will be $1.000! The camera itself will be available in March 2011. Read the Engadget Hands-on (Click here) and on Photographyblog

Panasonic and Olympus new firmware updates!

Panasonic today announces the new firmware updates for the interchangeable lens Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. and the camera DMC-G2 of LUMIX G Micro System. The included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition is also going to be updated.
Firmware Ver.1.3 for LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.
  • Improved AF performance in speed is available
  • Reduced start-up time (lens)
Firmware Ver.1.1 for DMC-G2
  • Compatibility with the new interchangeable 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012)
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition (Ver.1.1)
  • Compatibility with the image shot with DMC-G2 and the new interchangeable 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012) for loading and sorting the 3D image or converting it to 2D image or writing it back to the SD Memory Card.
The Firmware Ver.1.3 for Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. will be released at the beginning of October, 2010 and the Firmware Ver.1.1 for DMC-G2 and PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition update program will be available in November 2010.

Our friends from ForumOlympusFrance found the Olympus has firmware update! The update on following lenses “Improves sequential shooting speed on E-5 cameras.

Olympus underlines their commitment to maintaining the Four Thirds System

Quesabesde just published following text:
After the traffic generated by the interview published yesterday by QUESABESDE.COM, we have been contacted by Olympus to clarify some ideas explained in the interview. The translation to different languages seems to have distorted the original meaning – according to the company.

This morning Miquel Angel Garcia stated during a conversation on the Olympus photokina booth: “Of course we will not stop the production of Four Thirds lenses of our current catalogue

The original statement included the words “right now” – and Olympus wants to emphasize this temporal term. In other words, although there are no Four Thirds lenses currently under development, it does not mean that there will be no future lenses based on this technology.

We are currently concentrating on developing Micro Four Thirds lenses, but the Four Thirds System Technology is alive and we will use it whenever necessary”, they insist.

In line with this, the company underlines its commitment to the E-System users. As an example, the spokesperson reminded us that even today Olympus just launched a firmware update for some of its professional lenses which promises a much better performance with E-5.

That’s good news!
43rumors thanks Olympus for the clarification.

Continually updated: Panasonic GH2 official!

Keep following us! We will update this post with all links to reviews, hands-on, images samples and more!
Feel free to send me links to interesting stuff. Thanks!

Amazon (Click here to preorder now!!!)

– Body only option is available!!! +option with 14-42mm or 14-140mm kit lens!
– The 1080i output is derived from 60p or 50p capture, rather than doubled-up from 24p or 25p on the GH1!
– 1080 60i with variable frame rate (80%,160%,200%,300%)!!!
– 24p native option available at 24 Mbps AVCHD
– 40fps mode using electronic shutter mode
– In Germany the price will be 900.- EUR for body-only. With the kit lens (14-42mm) will be about 1000.- EUR and twith the 14-140mm zoom lens about 1550.- EUR. According to Enagdget “The GH2 will ship in black and silver by “early December,” with a body-only model going for $899.95, a 14-42mm bundle going for $999.95 and a 14-140mm bundle for $1,499.95.
– 3CPU In order to achieve high quality processing. Compared to the conventional engine with 2CPU it boasts the power of approximately 1.8 times.
– LVF has 0.71× magnification (1.42 × 0.5)
– It can do 3D

– 3 new lenses: 14mm, 100-300mm and the 3D lens. The 14mm lens will be available late October. The other two by early November.

– First preview on DPreview
Akihabara has been the first to report the GH2 press release: “Announced to be sold in Japan later this october, the GH2 comes with a 16.05Mpix Live MOS Censor, direct support of 3D video! Full HD Video recording at 60fps (1080/60i), Video with AF (like on the GH1), SDXC Support, an ISO Speed from 160 to 12800, and an impressive ultra fast AF capable to give you the correct focus in just 0.1sec.“. It also has a 460,000 dot 3-inch wide-view touch panel and 1.5 M dot EVF. 5fps.
– First image samples on Panasonic website: click here and here!
– Special digital zoom in FHD – 2.6x and 3.9x in other modes. Shooting still during video (with evry small video freeze).
– Panasonic will produce 5,000 units per month. Is that enough? :)
– The official Panasonic GH2 page on Panasonic Japan websites

First preview on DPreview
Test on SystemKameraForum (you need a registration and test is in german!)

* New sensor with 18.3 million total pixels
* ISO range 160 – 12800 vs 100-6400 form the GH1
* Sensor outpus of 1080p at 60 or 50 fps (GH1 24 or 25 fps)
* Faster sensor read-out promises faster AF and smoother viewfinder image (less tearing)
* Larger EVF (852 x 600 rather than 800 x 600 pixels)
* Touch-sensitive LCD screen
* New, more modern looking menu screens
* G2-style combined AF mode/pattern control on top plate
* Direct movie shooting button moved to top plate from rear of camera
* Control dial moved from front of handgrip to rear of camera
* Dedicated metering and ‘film mode’ buttons replaced by highly customizable Fn buttons
* Q menu button moved from top plate to rear of camera
* New battery (DMW-BLC12E) with fractionally smaller capacity (1200mAh vs 1250mAh)
* Slightly heavier (394g compared to 385g body only)

GH2 official discussion thread at DVXuser-forum (With the GH1 hacker as moderator!)

More images samples on Panasonic.net
On Panasonic website: click here and here!

Presentation by Panasonic Germany on Youtube
First video samples on Panasonics Japan!
GH2 first look on youtube

Imaging Resource
Focus Numerique (french)
Quesabesde (spanish)
Photoscala.de (german)
The official Panasonic GH2 page on Panasonic Japan websites
Panasonic GH2 japanese press release
[Photokina 2010] Lumix GH2 officially Official! (Akihabara)

Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lens at DCwatch
Panasonic 12.5mm f/12 3D lens at DC.watch
Panasonic 100-300mm F4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S lens at DC.watch

There is also a zoom lever for the 14-140mm lens

Will you buy the new GH2?

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