Olympus XZ-2 review by Robin Wong (XZ-1 still rules the ranking)

Our friend and superb photographer Robin Wong (Click here) reviewed the new Olympus XZ-2 camera. The main question is, is it good enough for street photography?: “I’d say a definite yes. It is small enough to be discreet, light and easy to be carried with you everywhere…Most importantly, the XZ-2 delivers amazing image quality for a compact camera“.

I have no doubts about the quality of the XZ-2 but I think it’s too pricey. Will you spend $599 for the new XZ-2 (Click here) when you can buy the older generation XZ-1 for $199 at Amazon (Click here)? That’s a huge difference in price that may not be justified by the new XZ-2 features and improvements. And the Sony RX100 with much bigger sensor is only $50 more expensive. For now the XZ-1 is beating both, the XZ-2 and RX100 sales at Amazon (here is the ranking).

Surprise: The Olympus E-PL5 has no Low-Pass Filter (no AA filter).

Recent E-M5 and E-PL5 comparisons showed how the image quality is quite different despite the fact that both uses the same Sony 16MPX sensor. Our friend Pierre Paul Lepidi (translation here) may found one of the possible causes that may explain the increased E-PL5 image quality. He contacted Olympus France and got the confirmation that the E-PL5 uses no Low-Pass Filter at all!

The exact info from Olympus France was: “As agreed during our recent telephone conversation, we confirm that the unit E-PL5 lacks the LPF, low-pass, unlike the M5-E device.

This new PEN cameras didn’t excite us a lot when announced back in September and they never managed to jump into the best mirrorless camera rankings. But they are grabbing more and more attention now!

New PEN preorders:
E-PL5 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto. In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,

More info about Low-Pass (or so called Anti Aliasing) Filters on Wikipedia. E-M5 vs E-Pl5 tests at M43.eu (Translation here) and Techradar.

GH3 field report by Luminous Landscape.

GH3 shots – no post adjustments, selected for banding and moire check from John @ Workstation • Amsterdam on Vimeo.

Luminous Landscape (Click here) posted their first GH3 field report. It contains many interesting info and I am highlighting only two of the many positive statements:

– The fact that the GH3, like the GH2 before it is designed with many features for the videographer, does not in any way reduce or restrict the camera’s stills capabilities. If anything they enhance them, because the powerful processors required for high bandwidth video only make the stills recording ability that much faster and robust.

– Speaking of the sensor, there is lots of speculation that this is essentially the same sensor that’s in the new Olympus OM-D EM-5. It may well be, but no one in-the-know is saying. This would be no-bad-thing because that sensor is excellent. Indeed I did some side-by-side shooting with the two cameras, and while there is a slightly different look to the files, it’s de-minimis. I wouldn’t chose one over the other for its stills quality. (Though the GH3’s video quality is far superior to that of the Olumpus).

All the testing has been done with firmware version 0.5 and that’s why you don’t see a full review yet. But I am sure the GH3 will score impressive results when final reviews will be out. Panasonic did almost everything right on this camera. And what it’s missed now may will be added later by our beloved hackers :)

Special GH3 page at Amazon (Click here) and a full Olympus presentation page at Amazon (Click here).
GH3 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here)Panasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt.


New “Asian” Olympus E-PL5/E-PM2 reviews (and new Leather jacket)

Image courtesy: DC.watch

The Olympus E-PL5 is now shipping in Asia (see Amazon JP, Digitalrev and eBay). And that’s why we have the first two “Asian” E-PL5 reviews:
1) DC.watch (translation here). They posted some image samples taken with the kit lens, the body cap lens and a C-mount lens. For the reviewer the images are “top-class quality
2) Itmedia (translation here). They are impressed by the OM-D image quality and touch panel operations.
3) Itmedia (tranlsation here) also tested the E-PM2.

And in Japan you can also buy the first E-PL5 and EPM2 Leather jacket (here on eBay). So how about availability of the new PEN cameras in EU and US? BHphoto says they will ship it from tomorrow but as we learned from the past this is just an indicative date and may change soon. Should ship in early November in Europe.

New PEN preorders:
E-PL5 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,

Panasonic GH3 review at PB. 35-100mm X lens shipping in Europe.

First Impressions of the Panasonic GH3 (test footage with firmware 0.5) from John @ Workstation • Amsterdam on Vimeo.

Photographyblog posted the full GH3 review: “Overall the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a fantastic camera in its own right, transcending the boundaries of mirrorless, DSLR, Micro Four Thirds, stills and video. The compelling mix of outstanding image quality, ease-of-use, intuitive design and a rich feature-set makes it very easy for us to highly recommend the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 – only that eye-watering price prevents us from awarding it our highest Essential rating…” GH3 at Amazon, Adorama, BhphotoPanasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt.

There is also a good news regarding the new 35-100mm X zoom lens. It is in Stock in Germany at Technikdirekt (Click here). In US the lens will be in Stock next week via Panacam at Amazon (Click here) and November 15th at BHphoto (Click here).

Superdeal and hotseller reminder: The Black Olympus XZ-1 still sells for $199 only at Amazon (Click here). And it is on top of the rankings for full two days now (Click here to see the list).