The unhackable Panasonic GH1 is now hackable! (And plenty of GH2 in Stock in US)

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As you know the [shoplink 14826]Panasonic GH1[/shoplink] with the newest firmware isn’t yet hackable. That could change very soon! Vitaly (the hacker) updated the Lenin project status: “We got GH1 v1.34 firmware dump. I’ll start to work on reversing tomorrow, must not take long.” Source: Personal-view.com. Vitaly told me that he will bring a new updated PTool version that will allow you to downgrade the GH1 firmware to version 1.32.

And not only Vitaly can make miracles in these days. Also Panasonic made one! They finally shipped plenty of GH2 stocks to US. The black body only is in Stock at Amazon US via Samy’s camera (Click here). And all kit options are almost in Stock at J&R (Click here). They will ship the cameras on 05/31/2011!

An analysis about the present and future of Panasonic and Olympus (by Thom Hogan)

I want to focus your attention on the latest article from Thom Hogan (Click here to visit the website). He starts with the following statement: “Welcome to the beginning of the end of the digital SLR era.” The “DSLR unit sales have been flat and appear about to fall. Revenue per unit has fallen. Household penetration for DSLRs peaked some time ago, and much of the market now is replacement, not new sales.

He described the situation of all non Nikon and non Canon camera companies. I am going to copy the Panasonic/Olympus part only. Please read his article to read the full text at bythom.com.

Olympus/Panasonic: made a big bet on m4/3 taking the DSLR initiative away at the low end. Both pretty much neglected or abandoned any traditional DSLR approach to do so, which on Olympus’ side has alienated customers. Both increased their overall interchangeable lens camera sales significantly with their strategy, but at a lower price point. Still, they haven’t really blunted the low-end Canon and Nikon DSLR sales, they augmented them. Status: tenuous foothold at the low end, very tenuous above that. Forecast: continued tough road ahead.

What do you think about his opinion? I added the latest sales analysis graph made by BCNranking about the Japanese system camera market shares. As you can see on the graph (see image on top of the post) 69% of all sold system cameras are DSLR’s and 31% are Mirrorless. Mirrorless market share reached the top in December 2011 with 36,7%. But my guess is that market share has fallen because there wasn’t any real new product (only the slightly upgraded [shoplink 18844]E-PL2)[/shoplink]. And the lens repertory from all current mirrorless system is still “immature”. I predict a further advancement of the Mirrorless market after the June announcements (Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung will release new cameras and lenses).

P.S.: You can see on Amazon that most cameras in the TOP 20 are compacts and DSLR cameras. Mirrorless is still not so popular as in Japan:
Amazon US rankings (Click here)
Amazon DE rankings (Click here)
Amazon UK rankings (Click here)
Amazon FR rankings (Click here)
Amazon IT rankings (Click here)

a little bit of everything…


Panasonic Lumix DMC G3 Which first look

Wanderlust pinwide tested at Dslrmagazine (Click here).

Street shooting with micro 4/3 – by Andre Delhaye (Click here).

Panasonic Lumix G3 Hands-On first look at Trustedreviews (Click here).
Panasonic first impression at Optyczne.pl (Click here).
G3: Gestion du bruit électronique (Focus Numerique).
Test Panasonic G3 : optique 14-42 mm et balance des blancs (Focus Numerique).

Panasonic 20mm review at popco (korean)

Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.7 (Apple.com). Brings support for the E-PL2 and XZ-1.

NAVTEQ Supplies Digital Map Data in Olympus Imaging’s First GPS Enabled Digital Camera (Imaging Resource).

SLRmagic will resume the Noktor lens production (and Nokton next production run in June)

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A small update about the Noktor resurrection. SLRmagic will resume the production of the lens. Apparently they will keep the same design. But I do hope they can lower the price! $799 is really to much for a cheap quality lens even if it has an f/0.95 aperture. P.S.: There is currently one Noktor lens for sale on [shoplink 22205 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].

Now let’s talk about one of the hotseller inside the Micro Four Thirds world the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95. Camerquest said that the next prodcution run will hit the north american market in June. Nice to see the lens is so highly requested. We want more from them Voigtländer! In Europe it’s much easier to find the lens in Stock: [shoplink 22125 ebay]Foto Mundus[/shoplink], [shoplink 22126 ebay]infoto2[/shoplink], [shoplink 22126 ebay]infoto2[/shoplink], [shoplink 22127 ebay]eu-shphoto[/shoplink], [shoplink 22128 ebay]deutscher-digitalhandel[/shoplink] (ships worldwide!).

Olympus terrible financial results. Time to change something! (POLL: your suggestions)

The revenue made by Olympus with the Imaging division. Graph made by Photoscala.de

One thing is sure. it’s time for Olympus to wake up and change their product and marketing strategy. The last “Consolidated Financial Results for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2011″ describes a terrible situation for the Olympus Imaging division. The company as a whole is not doing bad at all with the medical division still signing a big “+” in both sales and net profit. But the Imaging division revenue of the year 2010-2011 is halved compared to two years ago (See the graph on top. Thanks Photoscala!). Photoscala made a detailed analysis of the report. Olympus did lose “only” a 5% in the Japanese market but around 30% in US, Europeans and other Asian markets!

And the biggest failure for Olympus is that they are year for year selling less cameras while the digital camera market as a whole is growing! See the next graph made by Photoscala.de:

In short, Olympus is doing very bad outside Japan. And it continually loses market share and that’s a bit surprising if you do consider the recent Micro Four Thirds success. Probably Four Thirds is indeed almost a dead system (from a sales point of view) and maybe Olympus didn’t manage to be as good as Panasonic in selling Micro Four Thirds products. But that’s just my speculation. They need to rethink their product and marketing strategy. They have a history of innovation and certainly a group of top engineers. It’s the product and marketing strategy that fails. This is a huge wake up call for Olympus!

What should Olympus do?

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Read the full article from photoscala in german or via google english translation.

 

a little bit of everything…(Fuji X100 tested at DPreview!)

DPreview (Click here) posted the full Fuji X100 review. You can have a lot of fun by comparing the results with Micro Four Thirds cameras. Dpreview likes the camera but recognizes that :”Ultimately, perhaps the biggest problem for the X100 is that it’s competing in today’s marketplace with the new breed of compact Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras, and it’s not exactly cheap in comparison.
Look for X100 preorder options by clicking on the direct shop link at [shopcountry 19929].

Panasonic G3 first look at Amateur Photographer.
Panasonic G3 preview at Imaging Resource.
Look for preorders at [shopcountry 22077].

Panasonic GH2 and Lensababy test at Dailystaley.

SLR MAGIC Toy Lens 1.4/26mm test at Photoblossoms. You can buy the lens on [shoplink 18603]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].

The Tiny Mini Micro Four Thirds Camera. Exclusive Hands-on! (Micadget).

Gary Fong Micro Four Thirds Puffer Launched, Reviewed (Digitalcamerareview).

Daytone Bikeweek taken with the E-PL2 (Craig Litten).

Wanderlust Pinwide pinhole cap tests at Exposingpixels.

Panasonic Interview (Highlights)

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[/shoplink]Image on top: The current [shoplink 16340 ebay]Four Thirds Panasonic Leica branded 25mm f/1.4[/shoplink]

We had so many news yesterday! Today we have more time to take a closer look to the Panasonic interview and the future new Leica 25mm lens. Photographyblog (Click here) had a long talk with UK Product Manager for Lumix G John Mitchell (JM), plus Steve Lucas (SL), Product Specialist. Those are the most interesting news:

– Panasonic believes that mirrorless will cross the 50% share barrier in Japan within 2012.
– In UK people who bought Panasonic m43 cameras RE 50% novice AND 50% enthusiast or pro.
– Panasonic believes the G3 sensor closes the gaps witht the Sony NEX sensor (Really?).
– Between the G2 and G3 sensor at ISO3200 and ISO6400 and we have a 6 decibel and 9 decibel improvement
– The G2 production will continue throughout the coming year and we’ll just drop it down as our entry-level product
– Panasonic says the G3 uses an aluminium body (Didn’t know that!)
– The GF1 and GF2 are still being produced in Fukushima. But in fact production has now ceased on the GF1.
– And now the very interesting part: “Yes, here’s the first working sample of the 25mm f/1.4; really eagerly anticipated and not planned for launch until the second half of this year. It will be Leica approved and branded. For those looking for more affordable alternatives of course Sigma has recently announced that it’s going to start making Micro Four Thirds lenses. We’ve got a large following of consumers who are going to be looking for that affordability, and also the enthusiasts who want everything to be the highest quality. The factory is committed to three to four lenses every year so this won’t be the only product we’ll be showing you this year

As I already told you there will be one more Panasonic product announcement in June. I am not sure yet but I assume that we are going to see that lens very soon!

Links:
The current Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 Four Thirds lens on [shoplink 16340 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] Panasonic G3 at preorders at Amazon US (Click here) and Amazon UK (Click here).