Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens or mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera

Sony claims their new 5-axis uses earthquake tech, takes a jab at Olympus and its 'inferior' stabilization system.

Sony claims their stabilization technology is superior to Olympus' one.

From Sony Alpha Rumors/Lensnumerique:

"Sony also explained to Lesnumerique that the Olympus E-m1 5 axis system is not powerful and precise enough for a 4 times larger sensor. The Olympus . . . read more

Kai Wong (Digital Rev) checks out the 'toy' category of micro 4/3 lenses: Lots of fun with minimum moolah.

Quite an interesting bunch here: 

- Lomography Experimental Lens Kit for Micro Four Thirds 
- SLR Magic 50mm f/0.95 
- Holga lens  . . . read more

New firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 (Ver. 2.05) and X-E1 (Ver. 1.06)

Fujifilm Press Release

FUJIFILM announces X-Pro1 and X-E1 firmware updates to offer faster AF and the addition of a “Focus Peak Highlight” function

The upgrades will provide improved AF performance for all FUJINON XF lenses and, amongst other benefits, will add a ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ function for manual focusing.

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) today announces the release of two new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras, one on 25th June and a further one on 23rd July. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix Vario PZ 14-42/3.5-5.6 X G lens review by Ming Thein.

So, what happens when you put the 'X' on a consumer grade kit lens?

"Optically, the 14-42X is a bit of a surprise: it’s excellent, even used at maximum aperture. You don’t lose any sharpness close up, either. This is important seeing as anything much beyond f8 is severely diffraction limited on M4/3 cameras anyway due to the very small pixel pitch. Use this one wide open without issue, though stop down one stop to 5.6-8 to gain a very small improvement in the corners. There were two aspects of performance I found especially

. . . read more

Fujifilm releases new firmware update for the X-Pro1 and X-E1, promises improved AF performance?

With the annoucement of the new XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS telephoto zoom lens, Fuji film releases the new firmware in order to improve AF speed when used with XF 55-200mm.

Versions 2.04 for the X-Pro1 and  1.05 for the X-E1 can be downloaded from . . . read more

Olympus PEN E-PM2 review @ DPreview "... it's a slimmed-down OM-D"

"Despite its small size, the E-PM2 has plenty to offer. At the top of the list is very good JPEG image quality, and though it's unlikely to be a key feature for the camera's target audience, RAW shooting is available. The now-standard (and lest we forget - Olympus-originated) Art Filters are on hand too, and they're a lot of fun to play with. For those just learning to use an advanced camera and eager to tweak settings, Olympus' Live Guide mode is available at the press of a button. And of course, advanced photographers can find manual exposure modes in the camera menu.

If you're interested in the E-PM2, for an extra $100 (~£100, going by street price in the UK), you could spring for the tilting LCD, external mode dial and removable front grip of the E-PL5. Photographers with larger hands may also find the ergonomics of the E-PL5 a better fit than the decidedly 'Mini' E-PM2, but there's not much in it."

Nikon releases the fastest lens for it's mirrorless system, the Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2

The lens was known for some time now, it was first announced back in October 2012, but from June it will be available for sale at $899.95 making it the most expensive lens for the 1 system.

press release:

1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 – the fast and portable portrait lens

London, UK, 14 May 2013 Nikon today launches the ultra-fast 1 NIKKOR 32mm f/1.2 lens and brings large-aperture portrait photography to the Nikon 1 system.

With a focal length that’s ideal for portraiture and a compact design, this impressive CX-format lens combines superior image quality with convenience. And, as the first 1 NIKKOR flagship lens to be announced this new lens marks an expanding line-up. . . . read more

Olympus PEN E-P5, a 16megapixels Wi-Fi enabled PEN flagship

The new Olympus PEN E-P5 is almost similar to the OM-D / E-M5 minus the EVF but with higher shutter speed (1/8000s) and built in WiFi. At the core of the camera are the same technologies found in the E-M5: the same 16-megapixel CMOS sensor (ISO range is 100-25600), 5-axis image stabilization system. E-P5 features a tiltable 1.04-million-dot touchscreen, fast contrast detect auto focus with Touch AF functionality and a new Super Spot AF feature, a Focus Peaking option for manual focusing enthusiasts, a 9fps continuous shooting mode and  2x2 Dial Control system encased in an all-metal body reminiscent of the 50-year-old PEN F half-frame film camera. 

Olympus Press Release:

London, 10 May 10 2013 – If you asked an optical engineer, a design expert and a professional photographer to imagine their ideal take anywhere system camera, they would describe a device like the new Olympus PEN E-P5.

With its all-metal casing and all but invisible screws, the new PEN flagship is beautifully crafted. The retro design alone singles it out as a future classic but the technology inside is setting new standards too.

The 1/8000th second shutter speed is a world first for the compact system camera class and a 16-Megapixel Live MOS sensor emulates Olympus’ award-winning OM-D camera. This ensures the image quality of the new camera does justice to PEN’s proud heritage. Olympus also prides itself on PEN portability and usability. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G6 Review at Photographyblog "It may not offer too many genuine surprises, but the new Panasonic Lumix G6 is a compelling, very well-balanced compact system camera"

"Falling into the mini-DSLR category of mirrorless models, the Panasonic G6 in many ways matches and even betters similarly priced DSLRs. Indeed we can't think of any DSLR or CSC model that offers all of the G6's features, which happily are matched by great performance, proven handling and seemingly endless customisablity.

Image quality is really the only obvious achilles heel of the G6 when comparing it . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6, a 16MP mid-level mirrorless camera with Full HD video capabilities and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology

press release:

April 24, 2013: Panasonic is proud to announce a new addition of Digital Single Lens Mirrorless DMC-G6 that realizes real-to-life photo and video recording even in higher quality. The Digital Live MOS Sensor achieves high-resolution, high sensitivity image recording. The new Venus Engine is attains high-performance signal processing with the advanced noise reduction system. Combined with the high sensor performance, DMC-G6 minimizes noise and even achieves shooting at max. ISO 25600(Extended) high sensitivity image recording.

The DMC-G6 boasts quick response featuring high speed burst shooting at 7 fps in full resolution. Getting ready to shoot in only 0.5 sec*1 after start-up, the DMC-G6 never misses fleeting shooting opportunities together with its high speed, high precision Light Speed AF. Newly integrated Low Light AF enables accurate focusing on the target subject even in low-lit situations. . . . read more

First Look of the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS at Fujirumors by Rico Pfirstinger

Please note that Rico Pfirstinger test a pre-production model of the newly announced telephoto zoom lens.

"If you already know Fuji’s 18-55mm kit zoom lens, the new telephoto zoom will immediately feel familiar. It’s obvious that Fujifilm wants you to buy this zoom as an extension to your already existing standard zoom. Both lenses offer the same key features: a manual focus ring, an aperture ring without engravings, a zoom ring, an optical image stabilizer (OIS) and fast/silent linear autofocus motors. Everything is located in the same place: There’s one switch to turn the OIS on and off, and there’s another one to toggle the lens between automatic and manual aperture settings. Design, build quality and used materials appear to be quite similar, as well."

Nikon 1 S1 review @ trustedreviews "Reliable image quality and lightning quick auto-focus but noisy photos at higher ISOs"

"There's an awful lot to like about the Nikon 1 S1's photos, too, though it’s not without its faults.
The Auto White Balance system consistently renders colours correctly with a noticeable absence of any particular colour cast. If anything, colours are a tad subdued – if you have the skill it’s worth boosting them when editing afterwards. The S1's exposure system is also generally reliable, with metering only exhibiting the slight tendency to underexpose.
One area where the Nikon 1 S1, somewhat predictably, suffers, is noise control at high ISO settings. Owing to the smaller sensor employed in the S1 in comparison to other similar CSCs, noise is problematic even at lower ISO settings. Although the camera managed to maintain a certain amount of detail at these higher settings, the necessary noise reduction results in some detail lost and sharpness loss."

FUJIFILM X-Mount Lens Roadmap latest updates , and it includes a couple of Carl Zeiss lenses

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is issuing an updated version of the roadmap for FUJIFILM X-mount lenses for its FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and FUJIFILM X-E1 compact system cameras. This is further to the last XF lens roadmap issued in June 2012.

In response to the large amount of feedback and many requests from users regarding its interchangeable lenses, Fujifilm aims to further improve the quality and has carried out a review of the lens design and has added new technology.

When you combine the below 10 XF Lenses with the three X-Mount Lenses that Carl Zeiss announced in September 2012*, there will soon be 13 high-performance lenses available for the X-Mount system which should meet the needs of every photographer and will support a wider range of photography from ultra-wide-angle at 15mm** to super-telephoto at 305mm**. . . . read more

Fujifilm announces the second zoom lens for the X-Mount the XF 55-200mm telephoto lens

The new telephoto zoom lens will feature a linear motor for high-speed AF performance and up to 4.5 stops image stabilization.

Fujifilm Press Release:

Launch of the first telephoto zoom for the XF Lens series: FUJINON XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Fast aperture of F3.5-4.8 across the entire zoom range and outstanding image stabilisation

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is proud to announce the launch of the new “FUJINON XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS” lens for the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras.

FUJINON XF lenses feature advanced lens engineering, capable of drawing the maximum performance out of the highly-descriptive “X-Trans CMOS Sensor” in the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras.  The new FUJINON XF55-200mm lens produces sharp images across its entire zoom range, well resolved corner-to-corner.  The fast F3.5-4.8 lens facilitates image capture in scenes requiring a fast shutter speed.  Its image stabilisation function enables the use of shutter speeds 4.5 stops slower, preventing camera shake even when shooting hand-held in low-light, or at a stopped down aperture.  Furthermore, it is built to include two linear motors for high-speed AF of 0.28 seconds*1, instantaneously focusing on your subject. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Review @ Dpreview "The Panasonic GH3 is the new standard bearer for video on a consumer stills camera."

"Though I had expected a larger leap in image quality over the GH2, the GH3 is by far the better all-round camera. The image is much cleaner when shooting high contrast scenes with a lot of shade and it's better in low light. While it no longer offers the slightly wider 1.86x crop sensor of the GH2 or such bullet-proof performance in terms of moiré & aliasing, it extends the already attractive feature set to new levels. 1080/60p gives you the creative freedom of smooth slow-motion at the highest resolution. 72Mbit ALL-I and 1080/60p in the same camera are missing from the $15,000 Canon EOS C300, let alone the GH3's full-frame DSLR rivals.

. . . read more

Panasonic GF6 previews round-up: A camera that recognizes meals is shurely a good thing.

So, how was Panasonic's latest micro 4/3 camera entry received by the media? Pretty positively actually. We've selected some quotes:

Shawn Low from Cnet.Asia writes: "Although the GF6 is thicker and has a boxier build, we found the camera's front grip and substantial thumbrest provides a more secure grip and better ergonomics than its predecessor."

Richard Butler at DPReview: "But, while it gains features that will appeal both to the point-and-shoot and the take-control crowd, the GF6's trump card is Wi-Fi. Or, more specifically, the best implementation of Wi-Fi to hit the market so far." . . . read more

Panasonic announced the Lumix DMC-GF6 a 16MP entry-level mirrorless camera with Wi-Fi and NFC

The Panasonic GF6 is a new 16-megapixelcompact system camera with a 180° tilting touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) that allows setup of Wi-Fi connections with compatible smartphones and tablets, simply by tapping the devices together. The included WiFi  app can also remotely control the camera and the updated 1040k-dot rear screen that can tilt and flip 180 degrees for self-portraits. Other highlights include the new mode dial from it's GF5, movie recording at 1080p30 in either MP4 or AVCHD format, ISO sensitivity up to 25600 and built in flash.

press release:

New Sleek, Stylish Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with Wi-Fi® / NFC LUMIX GF6

Featuring Superb Picture Quality and High Speed Response

April 9, 2013: Panasonic is proud to introduce a new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera DMC-GF6 from the stylish, most compact GF series of LUMIX G. The new 16.00–megapixel Live MOS Sensor achieves high-resolution, high sensitivity image recording. The Venus Engine is also newly developed for DMC-GF6 to attain high-performance signal processing and the advanced noise reduction system minimizes noise and even achieves shooting at max. ISO25600 (Extended) high sensitivity taking best advantage of the new sensor. . . . read more

Adapting (and focusing, and exposing, and troubleshooting) 3rd party lenses to the Fujifilm X-mount cameras, by Rico Pfirstinger at Fuji Rumors.

Rico's article also includes the handling of the Metabones Speed Booster adapter on a Fujifilm camera:

"The X-Pro1 is not a rangefinder camera. It’s a pure-bred autofocus camera and as such—despite its hybrid viewfinder—it is only marginally equipped to work in combination with manual focus lenses. Currently, the only tool that the X-Pro1 and X-E1 feature to assist with manual focusing is a magnified digital viewfinder. The camera also offers some kind of focus peaking when you magnify the viewfinder image: It will enhance contrasty edges, indicating that they are in-focus.

Unfortunately, there are a few further aspects that render the X-Pro1 and X-E1 not yet perfectly equipped for working with third-party lenses: When a lens is attached to the X-Pro1 via an adapter, Auto-ISO operates with a minimum shutter speed of 1/30 second—independently of the actual focal length that was set in the adapter menu. 1/30s may be too fast for many wide-angle lenses and too slow for most standard and telephoto lenses. The cameras also set the . . . read more

Panasonic GF6 hands-on review by Amy Davies at the Tech Radar: Shhht, its a secret! (Until April the 9th)

This preview was not supposed to go official yet, but some admin at the Tech Radar was apparently too trigger happy. The pages have now been withdrawn, but not before they ended up in the Google cache.

The New and Exciting:

  • NFC chip, it allows cameras to exchange images and videos by touching each other (sounds kinky, huh?)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Manual Video controls
  • 180° flipping rear touch LCD monitor. It is also a bit more responsive than its predecessors.
  • An extra dial makes the camera easier to handle compared to its predecessors. No more constantly diving into the menus.
  • New Venus engine will (supposedly) make for faster and better performance, in both video and still image capturing.
  • More digital effect filters, brings the total count to 19. Anyone up for some 'Bleach Bypass"?

The Bad:

  • No hotshoe for external flashes
  • Same "old" 16mp sensor as the one used in the GX1. 
  • The GF6 is a bit chunkier than the GF5, although this can be a plus for some users.

Here's the early conclusion from the Tech Radar review: . . . read more

Panasonic releases a new firmware Update for the Lumix DMC-GH3

A new firmware update for the Panasonic GH3 is now available for download from the Panasonic.jp. The new firmware (Ver.1.1) enhances the camera performance in the following areas:

  • Connecting to PC via Wi-Fi by inputting the computer name (the NetBIOS name for Apple Mac computers) is enabled.
  • 1920 x 1080, 60p[NTSC]/50p[PAL], 28Mbps mode is added in the video recording option of [MP4].
  • Speed of AF, consecutive shooting performance of AFC is enhanced in use with H-PS14042 and H-PS45175.
  • *Please update the firmware of the lens to its latest version.
  • The monitor continues to display images during HDMI output even while [Auto LVF/Monitor OFF] is set.
  • Instability of shutter interval during interval shooting is improved.
  • When [Shutter AF] is OFF, operation is changed not to enlarge the image while using [Pinpoint AF] when even if shutter button is half-pressed.
  • Performance of image signal processing is enhanced during video file playback.

Fujifilm X-E1 review @ imaging-resource, "The X-E1 produces superior image quality that's better than many DSLRs"

Fujifilm X-E1

"The Fuji X-E1 may be the baby brother to Fuji's flagship X-Pro1, but in many ways is its equal. Most importantly, the two cameras share the same impressive 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, which produces image quality superior to most APS-C-sensor-based digital SLRs, but in arguably more attractive camera body designs. The X-E1 is also significantly less expensive than its older sibling, while boasting many of the same features. We loved the X-E1's look, which marries the design of a classic rangefinder camera with a smart and sophisticated CSC. We wished the camera grip was larger and more comfortable; it's not a great camera to handhold over long periods of time, but if you're just going out for a day of street shooting, it should be fine. The Fuji X-E1's polycarbonate-and-magnesium build make it quite light and highly portable, especially when compared to the X-Pro1. The X-E1's shutter button, which has a nice old-school look to it (minus the film winder), unfortunately is mushy to press and doesn't feel very responsive.

. . . read more

Fujifilm Finepix X-E1 with the Fujinon XF 18-55 mm 1:2.8-4 OIS lens reviewed at Cameralabs, the X-E1 shares the X-Pro1's excellent image quality and low noise performance

Fujifilm Finepix X-E1

"The Fujifilm X-E1 is the second of the company's mirrorless compact system cameras to use the X-mount and the 16 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor debuted in the groundbreaking X-Pro 1. It's smaller and less expensive than the X-Pro 1 but lacks one of its key selling points - the hybid optical / electronic viewfinder. But in most other respects the X-E1 offers the same, and in some cases a better level of features and functions as the flagship model, making it a great buy for anyone who loved the X-Pro 1, but couldn't afford it.

. . . read more

Sony NEX-6 Review @ Dpreview "It performs as well or better than other mirrorless cameras on the market, and offers some unique features that are genuinely useful"

"While it doesn't break a lot of new ground, the Sony Alpha NEX-6 provides two features that E-mount enthusiasts have been asking for: a physical mode dial, and an ISO standard hot shoe. Add the beautiful OLED electronic viewfinder from the NEX-7 and new Hybrid AF and Wi-Fi features from the NEX-5R to Sony's already impressive offerings, and you've got a pretty compelling product.

Like the other NEX models that share versions of its 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor, the NEX-6 produces very good quality images. Exposure is accurate, with the D-Range Optimizer providing just the right amount of contrast. Colors are vibrant and will be pleasing to the NEX-6's target audience. Photos don't display a lot of 'grainy' luminance noise, though that's at the expense of fine detail, such as hair or grass (even at low ISOs). For best results, you'll want to shoot RAW, which not only brings back some of that detail, but it also gives you access to shadows and highlights that were otherwise lost. The NEX-6 automatically reduces various lens issues, such as chromatic aberrations, distortion, and vignetting."

The Panasonic LUMIX G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 zoom lens gets DXo Marked: Not exceptional, nor bad, and very expensive for what it does.

The DXO reviewers are not going easy on Panasonic's 12-35mm f2.8 zoomer. The lens seems quite good compared to the (very few) other high-end m4/3 zoom lenses, but Panasonic is riding high on its f2.8 zoom monopoly when it comes to the price:

"Micro 4:3 is a popular format, there is a wide range of cameras and lenses on the market, letting you choose the most appropriate equipment for the type of photography that you want to do. There are definitely combinations that will compete well with APS-C. However, in these examples there does seem to be a strong emphasis on the quality being weighted towards the wider apertures which may not always be what you want. The Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 ASPH Power O.I.S is the best lens of it’s type by quite a long way, but at a price that would buy better . . . read more

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 14mm review by Klaus Schroiff at Photozone

The XF 14mm is the most expensive fujinon lens, and fortunately, it shows:

"The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R is a highly attractive ultra-wide lens with few shortcomings. The most important factor for an ultra-wide lens is certainly image sharpness and the Fujinon delivers here. It is bitingly sharp in the image center and good to very good in the outer image region. The very low CAs contribute to the high quality perception. Distortions are basically absent - even in RAW data - which is surprising for such a wide lens and even more so for a mirrorless one. . . . read more

Kai W. tries to find the worst lens in the world, is it the Olympus 15mm Body Cap lens?

Digital Rev TV takes a step back from reviewing expensive lenses and now jump on a camera body cap, with a hole in it: 'It makes you smile, part laughing, part amazement, but the best feeling is that it works'

Fujifilm X-E1 in-depth review by Shawn Barnett and Andy Westlake at DPreview: "Good for any application requiring critical image quality, the X-E1 turns out excellent pictures, but movie mode and fast action shooting are subpar"

Just after Adobe enhances its support for the Fujifilm X-Trans sensor based cameras with the updated Lightroom and ACR versions, comes DPreview's verdict on the X-E1. A very interesting read, even though parts of it comes from the previously published X-Pro1 review:

"Overall, we really enjoyed shooting with the Fujifilm X-E1, and I'm very pleased with the images I got out of it. The camera crashed on occasion (it wouldn't be a new X-series camera if it didn't have some bugs...), leaving buttons unresponsive, and focus and exposure sometimes delivered odd results, but powering off usually cleared the error. . . . read more

Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R Lens Review by Mark Goldstein at Photography Blog

"The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R's auto-focus system is its minor weak-point, with a slight delay before locking focus and a rather loud mechanism. On the plus side it offers a generously wide focusing ring, a very welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure, and an innovative focus collar for quickly switching between auto an manual focus, the latter coming complete with a focusing distance scale with depth-of-field markings that makes it easier to zone-focus. The lens mount is made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread do not rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis. . . . read more

Adobe posts Lightroom 4.4 and ACR 7.4 release candidades, promises proper Fujifilm X-Trans sensor support at last. Also, bug fixes and some new cameras and lenses supported.

It is not every day Adobe goes back and changes the de-mosaicing algorithms for previously supported cameras, but this time they've done it, and the first preliminary reports are in. DPreview's Amadou Diallo runs some tests with a couple of X-Pro1 raw files: 

"Capture One Pro 7 produces more crisp results than ACR with contrast and saturation defaults that more closely mimic the in-camera JPEG. Having said that, however, ACR 7.4 RC avoids the edge halos and even more obvious aliasing patterns that exist in the Capture One Pro 7 renderings of our real world and studio test scene. Overall, the ACR 7.4 RC files deliver more realistic, natural results in areas of organic low-contrast detail like the foliage in the street scene above and the fuzzy balls in the studio scene below." . . . read more

Pentax K-01 goes out of production, is the company withdrawing from the Aps-c mirrorless segment altogether?

Seems a sensible question to ask if you put together 2+2. On one hand no followup model has been announced, and on the other hand Pentax executives have time and again stated that the K-01 sold very poorly. That leaves the Q10 toy camera as the only mirrorless option offered by Pentax, hardly a presence worthy of its historic brand name. In any case, R.I.P Pentax K-01, we'll hardly miss you.

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