Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens or mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera

Nikon 1 S1 review by Joshua Waller at EPZ: "The Nikon 1 S1 has a number of impressive high speed feature built into a very compact and stylish body."

"The Nikon 1 S1 is a capable camera, producing pleasing images with lots of detail despite only having a 10 megapixel sensor, and it shoots at 60fps with a number of potentially useful high speed shooting modes, including the ability to save the best 5 shots taken in Smart Photo Selector mode, or see the scene in slow motion and pick a photo from it. Full HD video with stereo sound is included, as well as high speed video recording, although the lack of image stabilisation could be an issue for some. For someone looking for a fast, compact, and good looking compact camera, the Nikon 1 S1 could make a good choice, particularly if you'd be interested in changing lenses at a later date." . . . read more

Nikon 1 S1 review at DxO Mark "The S1’s image quality isn’t better than their 14Mp J3 or V2 offerings"

"The Nikon 1 S1 features the same 10.1-megapixel resolution found on most Nikon Hybrids with the exception of the 14.2-megapixel V2 and J3. There’s also an increased 100 – 6400 ISO sensitivity range, 15 fps continuous shooting with autofocus and an Advanced Hybrid Autofocus system, but no hotshot or EVF.

The Nikon 1 S1 does have a few things going for it most notably the rapid 15fps burst shooting, advanced hybrid autofocus system and, for Nikkor glass owners, compatibility with F mount lenses. The 1-inch CX sensor also means the native 1 Nikkor lenses should be more compact than many Hybrid systems which is great if you want to travel light.   

In the DxOMark Scores however the Nikon 1 Series does not hit the usual heights for Nikon cameras and the S1’s Image Quality is disappointing. With no Image Quality improvement over existing 10-megapixel Nikon 1 Series Hybrids the extra $100 the S1 costs is only buying extra features."

Samsung NX300 hands-on review by Richard Sibley at Amateur Photographer: "Looks like a step in the right direction"

"Although at first glance there is very little to distinguish the NX300 from other cameras in the NX range, it does promise to address some of the problems that enthusiast photographers have raised with the performance of the cameras. The AF speed and operation seem faster, which is a big advantage, and I hope the improved image quality and faster Wi-Fi connectivity are as good as Samsung has stated. . . . read more

Sony NEX-3N versus NEX-3F side by side features and size comparison by Joshua Waller at EPZ

Gosh, look at how tiny the NEX-3N newcomer is! Unfortunately it gets smaller on some features too: Lower LCD resolution, far lower FPS speed,  and lower max Iso sensitivity, although the latter is probably a good thing, Iso 16000 should be more than enough for every high-Iso watercolor artifacts fan.

"The new Sony NEX-3N is this year's update to the Sony NEX-F3, and features a whole new body, as well as improvements to image quality thanks to a new BOINZ image processing engine. The new body is much more compact than other Sony NEX-3 series cameras, and is designed to look less "plasticy" than . . . read more

Sony Announces the NEX-3N, hitherto the smallest and lightest Aps-c sized mirrorless camera, clocking in at an astonishing 210 grams.

Yes, this thing weights as much as a McDonalds quarter pounder-without the cheese. Sony has even managed to squeeze a pop-up flash and a 180° tiltable 3-inch LCD screen in there, but that's pretty much the end of the fanciness list, after all this is the entry level model of the NEX range. Sony Press Release:

Easy to handle, easy to use - the new Sony NEX-3N puts pro-quality images in everyone’s reach

The world’s smallest, lightest interchangeable lens camera*, weighing just 210g . . . read more

A simple way to improve your OM-D's FL-LM2 or FL-LM1 mini flash, by Henavs at the Club Snap forum.

Ok, photographers of all levels have been doing variations of this theme for as long as I can remember, so this is just a reminder for anyone less antique than me. Club Snap furum user Henavs has made this nice little tutorial, complete with a with/without bounce card shot:

"The more reflective the surface, the less loss of light. I use glossy photo paper on this, it can be improved with mirror (as dereth mentioned below) or gold/silver reflector. You can make the bounce card any size you want & keep the card in your pocket or bag. For me, I just keep it small & stick it on top of the flash when not in use, easier to store."

Olympus E-PL5 short review at Camera Hoarders

"Everything I wrote on E-PM2 can be said for E-PL5 again. Sensor and image quality are superb, a real step forward from old Olympus 12MP sensor used in preceding models. Auto focus is amongst the fastest in mirrorless world and can compete with any similarly priced DSLR. The two main differences which might make E-PL5 more interesting than cheaper E-PM2 are the external mode dial and tilt-LCD. It is way easier composing shots and shooting video with tilt-screen and this might be the sole reason to spend extra $ 100 for E-PL5 compared to E-PM2."

. . . read more

Steve Huff reviews the Nikon V2: "The more things change..the more they stay the same"

"If you are interested in the Nikon V1 system TODAY, even with killer competitors out there then I highly recommend going with a V1 deal while they last. They may be and probably will all be gone within a week or two of this review posting but at $399 for a V1 and two lens kit, that is steal compared to the same V2 kit at under $1000. IQ is pretty identical between the V1 and V2 and most shots you will not even notice any difference in real world shooting. I was enthusiastic about the V1 because at the time there was nothing out there with the size, build, speed, metering and AF capabilities to match it and even with the small sensor, results were great. Today it is a different story (OM-D) and Nikon just has not done enough with the V2 to up the ante or make . . . read more

Olympus releases OM-D/EM-5 firmware version 1.6, doesn't fix much, and adds nothing new.

To be fair, most of the shortcomings of the E-M5 cannot be fixed with a firmware upgrade, except maybe for the custom user settings implementation.  Firmware version 1.6 only addresses these issues:

1.The highlight and shadow control function was modified so the exposure settings are applied correctly at ISO 2000 or higher.
2.The issue that occasionally prevented operations during long exposures was resolved.

You need the Olympus Camera Updater in order to upgrade your firmware to version 1.6

FUJINON XF14mm f/2.8 R opinions, hand-on, user reviews, and 'oohs and aahs' roundup.

FUJINON XF14mm f/2.8 R lens review

The X-Transians have gotten their first wide angle prime, and the reports keep pouring in. Here are 6 of the most memorable-almost religious experiences, to be found around the Interwebs: 

First, we've got Ray from FujiXspot, who takes the 14mm Fujinon for a full workout on the streets of Philadelphia, and ends up with some decision dilemmas:
"So, there's no doubt in my mind that the 14mm is an excellent lens in any respect that matters. My only hesitance is still based on a combination of price and wondering if I'll use it enough to justify it. The other lenses I have similar costs into are the Olympus 12 and 75. The 12 is probably my most-used lens, so no question there." . . . read more

Sony: 3 new lenses, 1 Dslt camera, and one NEX camera pics leaked ahead of official launch.

Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6G SSM II lens white for alpha mount

Source is as usual our favorite suspect,the Japanese Digicame.info site. List of goodies: The NEX-3n, entry level NEX camera, the A58 aps-c sized 20 Megapixel Dslt camera, and 3 new lenses: Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM II, 70-400mm f/4-5.6G SSM II and the Sony Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZA SSM. Compared to the prototypes displayed at CP+ the final versions of the lenses appear to have at least some cosmetic differences, such as in color, and name plate position. . . . read more

Nikon 1 J3 does not impress the DXO Markers: More 'Boo' than 'Woo' again for Nikon's 1 series.

"Although the new Nikon 1 J3 has been updated over its predecessor with the higher-resolution sensor found in Nikon’s top-of-the-line interchangeable lens model, its overall performance scores haven’t improved over the J2. The camera seems to be hampered by the reduction in overall sensitivity range and most notably scored 2/3 stop lower than the J2 for color depth. Given that cameras such as the Olympus PEN E-PL5 and Pentax K 01 perform significantly better than the J3 despite being priced equivalently or less, the J3 doesn’t seem to provide a good value per dollar for those seeking the best image quality from an interchangeable lens camera. . . . read more

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review by Laura Hicks at Digital Camera Review: Love at First Click

Laura's camera of choice for this lens review was the Olympus E-M5:

"This one is a keeper. I am a big fan of this lens -- mainly due to my love of all things macro. The autofocus was generally fast, the color quality was very good and the images were pretty sharp. I found the image quality to be excellent for this price range. As a portrait photographer I could easily utilize this lens in traditional shooting mode. As a macro fanatic, the macro setting of this lens was extremely fun to play with. My only real concern with the 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is the double edge effect I noticed especially at wide open apertures. At times I did not notice it much, but sometimes it was far too obvious and quite distracting. That being said, I still recommend this lens. For me, it's simple. This lens makes me want to use it. For those who are not used to macro

. . . read more

The Panasonic GH3 Gets DXO MARK'ed, comes out as very similar to the Olympus E-M5, do they use the same sensor?

"The Panasonic Lumix DMC GH3 is a very good camera, among the best tested by DxO Mark in this format. It is small and light and will make an excellent camera to travel with and fulfils all of the requirements that a serious enthusiast is likely to have. However, it is pricey for a hybrid and it has competition from several directions. The Olympus is even smaller and lighter and scores slightly higher but it does lack a viewfinder. For a similar price you could be buying either the Pentax K 01 or the K-5 IIs, both of which have scores consistently higher than the Lumix but obviously with the overhead of a bulkier and heavier piece of . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm f4 ultra wide-angle zoom lens review at Camera Labs

Gordon Laing tests this camera with a Panasonic GX1 camera:

"The Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm f4 may be one of the earliest native lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, but remains one of the most compelling, delivering superb quality across its focal range from standard wide to extreme wide angle.

With coverage that's equivalent to 14-28mm in the full-frame format, the Lumix 7-14mm is ideal for capturing expansive landscape views and enormous buildings inside and out. It conveniently starts where most general purpose lenses stop, providing the photographer with wider and wider coverage until . . . read more

The Nikon FT1 Adapter: how to use Nkkor F-mount lenses on a Nikon 1 compact system camera, by J.Meyer at NPhoto.

This guide will be useful until Nikon unveils its APS-C (or larger!) mirrorless system sometime in the near future, and most serious Nikon shooters will forget that the 1 series has ever existed :)

"Nikon 1 cameras use a different lens mount – and different lenses – to the Nikon D-SLR range, but the FT1 adapter, which sells for around £200, provides the missing link. With this gadget, you can connect any of your Nikon SLR lenses to a Nikon 1 compact system camera. There are technical differences between these two types of camera. The Nikon 1 uses a much smaller, ‘CX’ format sensor, measuring just 13.2×8.8mm. This gives the Nikon 1 cameras a crop factor of 2.7x, which means that you must multiply the focal length of any lens by 2.7 to arrive at its ‘effective’ focal length. . . . read more

Roshan Vyas: Ditching a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera for a Fuji X-E1 and Leica Summicron-M 50mm lens

This whole, 'moving from Dslr to the greener pastures of Compact System Cameras' issue has picked up a lot of steam lately, and as someone that sits firmly in between the two, I think its now worthy of its own Estiasis 'Moving from DSLT to CSC' tag. Roshan Vyas is one of the switches, and so far, seems happy with the choice:

"I mentioned earlier that I sold off my Nikon D7000 and three lenses last month. The main reason was size: Having traveled around Europe with the whole kit for a month, I didn't see myself carrying all of that weight on a trip again. And around San Francisco, I prefer my Fuji X100 for street photography. Even more, I didn't find myself being as deliberate with my photos with a DSLR compared to the more manual and sometimes slower X100. I just enjoyed the Fuji photos more, and it was nice to not end up editing hundreds of quickly shot burst photos. I also figured that if I ever actually wanted to use a DSLR for a . . . read more

Does size matter? The Pentax Q10 droppes into Hotel DXO Mark, leaves a "cute, but tiny" impression.

"The Pentax Q10 puts in a reasonable performance, but there has not been significant enough improvement in image quality since the Pentax Q to make it a worthwhile upgrade. If you’re looking for a first camera within this segment, and are not drawn to having the very smallest hybrid camera, then there are better performing cameras available at a similar price point. Finally, if you’re undecided between the best high-end compact cameras or a hybrid camera, then in our comparison here, your choice will be whether you want fractionally higher image quality, the compact models, or the benefits that come with interchangeable lenses – the Pentax Q10. The other benefit of the Q10 is the recently added K-mount adaptor that allows older Pentax lenses to be used . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 lens review by Spike Tennyson at M43 Info: "It’s spectacular. Sharpness, colour, contrast; the look of the files this beast produces are just wonderful."

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8

Spike uses a Panasonic GX1 body with the lens on this review, and it sure helps him explore the dark underworld of the Pattaya naughty industry scene:

"The lens is sharp at F1.8 and sharpens up more as you stop down. Personally, I like to shoot wide open whenever possible, to encourage bokehliciousness (maybe not a word). So what are the negatives? Cost is an obvious one, but having used the lens I think it is a bargain. I have paid more than twice the price for Canon L lenses which can’t match the 75mm for IQ (or convenience, or light gathering). The only thing I would say is that the focus speed on this lens can be lacking occasionally. Take a series of photos at a similar distance from the subject and the 75mm is as fast as anything else out there; but . . . read more

Happy 1st Birthday Anniversary, Olympus OM-D/E-M5!

Oh how time flies. A full year-and a day, has passed since the official revelation of the E-M5, a camera that came at a very crucial moment in Olympus history, the company still shaking by the aftermath of the financial misbehaving of its board. This little cam took the limelight away from all that, and has carried it far and away: The E-M5 must be the most awarded and decorated digital camera so far, having received a 'camera of the year' award by most major photography sites worth their affiliate links, and of course, by me.

Here is my 'best camera' definition: It is the one you can carry with you to as many places as possible, under as many environmental conditions as possible, and can deliver reliable output, day or night. And by that definition the Olympus E-M5 is the best camera that I've ever had, and I've been using digital cameras since 2001. I've been through almost all of Canon's EOS range, up to and including the 7D and the 5D Mark III, an untold number of prosumer cameras, both pocket sized and superzooms, and a couple of earlier micro 4/3 models from Olympus and Panasonic, even some NExes. . . . read more

Olympus E-M5 review by Spike Tennyson at M43 Info

A bit late? No, Spike posts his review on the exact day the OM-D was announced a year ago, so let's call it a birthday review. Spike previous camera is a Panasonic GX1, and he compares these two a lot:

"Those of us who have been shooting with M43 cameras for a while have always known how good they are, and we know how little you lose and how much you gain when you give up your DSLR for something smaller. But it has taken the E-M5 for the rest of the world to finally take notice and recognise the worth of these mirrorless cameras. Now I have an E-M5 in my hands, I understand why. . . . read more

Diglloyd remains starkly negative of Fujifilm's X-pro1 and X-E1 camera sensors, despite the improvements Capture 1 Pro brought in the raw processing front: "Like curing a patient of hemorrhoids by giving him Chrone’s disease."

Wow, his must be the most serious case of X-Trans sensorophobia on the whole wide Interwebs. I still have a lot of respect for much of what he otherwise does, but when it comes to the X-Trans artifacting issue he clearly fails to see the sum of the image (heh): As a total, Fuji's sensor produces some gorgeous images, a fact that is stated in confessions and declarations by numerous pro, avid and generally accomplished photographers. I can point you to a zillion galleries and essays, but I choose just one for now and rest my case: Check out Dave Piper's gallery of images he got with the X-Pro1. 

"Why bother with a problematic sensor? Or a company that can’t get its act together and just pay Adobe $250K a year or whatever to deliver exceptional results from ACR (if this is even possible, which I begin to doubt). This dog doesn’t hunt. Get a Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill and enjoy real resolution with zero artifacts, totally clean, not even Bayer sensor demosaicing yuck. Or get a D600 or D800E system which isn’t that hugely different in size, but has a full frame sensor. I see no point in investing in a 2nd-tier system with a sensor that forces photographers to jump through hoops." . . . read more

Fujifil X-E1 review at Pop Photo: "If pricing has made you hesitant to enter Fujifilm’s X-Series, the X-E1 might be just the thing to draw you in."

Philip Ryan tests the camera together with the XF 18-55mm kit lens:

"The Fujifilm X-E1 is a great addition to the company’s line of premium ILCs. Rangefinder diehards might miss the optical finder provided in the X-Pro1, but given that this isn’t a true rangefinder, we were perfectly okay with the X-E1’s EVF. It’s wonderfully crisp, bright, and gives you a good preview of the effects of setting changes. Its refresh rate could be quicker—you’ll notice a bit of stuttering on fast pans—and we wish it didn’t black out during bursts, but it’s among the best electronic finders out there. We’d say Sony’s OLED finders are the only ones that are appreciably better. . . . read more

Sigma 30mm EX DN lens for Sony NEX mount review at Photozone: Excellent performer, we know it, because we sell them....downunder!

I learned something today: Photozone.de now sells lenses...in Australia? Anyway, the Sigma lens seems to be an excellent performer, to the point of outresolving the NEX-7. I wonder how much better the new 'Art" series 30mm DN lens will be:

"The Sigma AF 30mm f/2.8 EX DN is capable of delivering an outstanding center performance straight from f/2.8 - it even broke the existing record for the Sony NEX 7 as of the time of this review. The lens is basically "diffraction-limited" in the image center so stopping down has no effect on the center performance anymore. The outer image regions reach a good level at f/2.8 and improve to very good (just) figures at f/4 to f/8. The overall performance diminishes from f/11 onward - this is a typical diffraction effect and no problem of the lens. . . . read more

Olympus 15mm f/8 body cap lens review at Camera Hoarders: "If you have an Instagram account, listen only to bands that sold 15 records or less and ride a fixie, the 15mm lenscap is the thing to have"

Ivan doesn't think very highly of the 15mm body cap lens:

Compared even to “low-end” Olympus 14-42 F/3.5-5.6 kit lens, the 15mm is nowhere near sharp. In all samples below, 14-42 used at the F/8 aperture gives clearly sharper images in center. Corners are even worse, where 15mm sometimes looks bad even when viewed scaled to my monitor’s size (24″). But keep in mind at all times, Olympus 15mm costs $ 40 and is smaller than smallest available lens for micro 4/3 system. There had to be a trade-off somewhere. There’s another issue though… when set to infinity, the lens has sharp corners, but somewhat blurred center; set at hyperfocal center . . . read more

Canon EOS M review by Joshua Waller at EPZ: "The Canon EOS M is capable of taking pleasing photos with an extremely compact body, although there are some issues worth noting."

Joshua takes kind of a pity of the EOS M, a camera that-in my personal opinion, can take excellent images (of not too fast moving, but preferably totally inanimate objects) but sucks at pretty much everything else. But no need to worry my dear Canonistas, before this year ends we'll be blessed with at least a new, more capable mirrorless body + a couple of matching from Canon. Plenty of high-res jpegs and raw files accompany this review:

"There are cheaper competitors available than the Canon EOS M, with quicker focus, a larger choice of lenses, as well as features including Wi-Fi. In addition, the other systems available either feature a built in pop-up flash or smaller external flashes.

The Canon EOS M has a small well designed body with an easy to use 3 inch touch screen, however the limited number of lenses, as well as the extremely slow focus and short battery life are rather frustrating limitations holding the camera system back. It would be nice to see some of these issues resolved . . . read more

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens review at Photozone: You can't go wrong with the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, if you can get a good sample. "

'A good sample'? I think this is the second review of this lens that mentions it..what's up with the QC Fuji? The anonymous reviewer from Photozone shares some more insight into this issue:

"The Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS may be the hottest reason to enter the Fuji system. It is amazingly sharp throughout the zoom and relevant aperture range. The amount of lateral CAs is generally quite low with the exception of 55mm @ f/4. The Fujinon is not without flaws, of course. Technically it suffers from a high barrel distortion at 18mm and the vignetting is a bit too high at max. aperture. However, these aspects are taken care of either by the camera itself or external RAW converters so you don't need to worry from a user perspective. The quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus) blur is pretty good for a standard zoom lens but it cannot rival the best prime lenses, of course. . . . read more

Exploring time-lapse films with the Fujifilm X-E1, by David Cleland at FlixelPix.com

time-lapse videos with the fujifilm x-e1 tutorial

David grabs a no-name intervalometer and wanders into the night:

"In conclusion I am at the bottom of a steep learning curve but I was impressed at the performance of the X-E1 and want to explore the technique further. I realise I have to be aware of battery live so kept a battery on charge for quick change over. Initially I thought changing the battery would ruin the lapse as the camera would change position but I have decided that the camera sitting in a single stationary position isn’t interesting.

I think I have the post production side of things covered so the next step is to master the capture process and then it is time to find some interesting locations to do a proper testing. If you have explored this technique and have any tips please post away in the comments, all advice would be greatly . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS lens review by Lindsay Dobson

Cheap kit lenses need some review lovin' too, and Lindsay provides plenty of that. The pan(a)cake with the double vision was tested with a Olympus E-M5 camera:

"So why do I need another “kit lens” when I already have one? Good question. And the answer is convenience. Whilst the 12-50 can make a genuine addition to my casual (non-professional) kitbag thanks to its high degree of weather sealing and it’s genuinely useful macro capability, it is nevertheless a few inches long and when connected to a camera it isn’t pocketable. If I have the Panasonic Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens on my OMD instead, I immediately have what could reasonably be classified as a compact system, which will fit in a large coat pocket or in a make-up bag which can be placed inside my handbag. And this is the key thing about the 14-42 pancake zoom. I don’t know if it’s optically any better than any other variable aperture kit zoom (I . . . read more

Fujifilm X-E1 Versus X100 comparison at TR, and the winner is...the Olympus E-M5?

Well, that was distracting, but the darn OM-D keeps turning up in places it shouldn't. This time its in Tech Radar's Fujifilm 2 flagship cameras comparison, and their place among the top competitors, the NEX7, the GH3, and the E-M5. Things look pretty normal until the Raw performance comparison charts. Also noteworthy, the rather unimpressive results given by the GH3:                                                                  

"The signal to noise ratios of the TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Fuji X-E1 don't compare quite as well for signal to noise ratio as the JPEGs did, coming behind the Olympus OM-D at all sensitivities and below the Panasonic GH3 at ISO 200 and 400. The Fuji X-E1 beats the Panasonic at higher sensitivities though, and beats the Sony NEX-7 andFuji X-Pro1." . . . read more

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