Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens or mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera

Olympus Pen E-PM2 review at Photo Revue: The E-PM2 is a nice little camera for snapshooters making their first foray into interchangeable-lens photography.

"The E-PM2 is a nice little camera for snapshooters making their first foray into interchangeable-lens photography. However, it won't encourage them to develop their photographic skills and understanding because it is simply too difficult to access and adjust most of the key camera settings (particularly lens aperture and shutter speed settings). For this reason, it's also ill-suited to photo enthusiasts.

User interface design has long been an issue with Olympus cameras that really needs to be addressed - and we aren't the . . . read more

Best of Show: Top 5 Digital Cameras from CES 2013 by Laura Hicks at Digital Camera Review

"#1 Fuji X100S One word - Luxury. This camera is a beautiful. With a retro camera body that looks almost identical to the X100, the X100S is the epitome of a luxury camera. An advanced 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor and improved EXR Processor II make this camera the fastest autofocus in its class. The X100S has a fixed 23mm f2 lens. But this beauty comes at a price. The camera is expected to be released in the spring of 2013 and available for around $1300. I bet your first reaction was, "Wow, that's a lot of money for a fixed lens compact camera." And I will admit . . . read more

Sony NEX-6 review by Ken McMahon & Gordon Laing at Camera Labs: The Sony NEX-6 is a pretty remarkable camera. Though it isn't the flagship NEX model, I can quickly see it overtaking the NEX-7 in popularity at the top end of the NEX range.

"The Sony NEX-6 is a pretty remarkable camera. Though it isn't the flagship NEX model, I can quickly see it overtaking the NEX-7 in popularity at the top end of the NEX range. There are those for whom anything less than 24 Megapixels just won't do and who love the control that three-dial operation provides, but, beyond a tougher body, mic input and a few other refinements there's little else to justify the higher cost of the NEX-7. Give up those headline features and, for less money, you not only get the benefit of improvements including hybrid AF, a standard hotshoe that also accepts Sony . . . read more

Rob Knight sees red, converts his old Olympus E-P3 to shoot infrared.

"I sent the camera off to Life Pixel to do the conversion. Basically they remove the filter inside the camera that blocks infrared light and replace it with an IR filter. After the conversion the camera only sees infrared light, and you can capture IR images without filters in front of the lens. The camera’s meter works as usual and you don’t need the long exposures required for traditional IR filters.

I had them install the “Enhanced Color” IR filter. The enhanced color filter accentuates the difference between colors in . . . read more

The Lens of the year 2012 award by Photography Blog goes to the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH micro four thirds lens.

"Our fourth award is for Lens of the Year 2012, which goes to the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH.

“The LUMIX G VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH standard zoom offers a versatile focal range and a fast maximum aperture in a relatively small package, backed-up by excellent image quality throughout the focal range, the best build quality of any Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lens yet released, a tactile manual focusing system and impressively fast and quiet autofocusing.”" . . . read more

Olympus PEN E-PL5 review by Phil Hall at What Digital Camera: Impressive results from the Micro 4/3 sensor, fast single AF acquisition, decent metal finish, but continuous AF and AF Tracking still needs improving, also, the grip feels too plasticky.

"At first glance, the E-PL5 seems nothing more than a tweak to the E-PL3, but while it may look similar, the E-PL5 feels like a completely different camera underneath. This is in no small part due to the rather impressive 16.1MP sensor borrowed from the OM-D. While it probably doesn't beat APS-C rivals, it's much closer, making the difference negligible and less of a deal-breaker. Add to that a host of subtle improvements over the E-PL3 and the E-PL5 is now one of the most competent CSCs at this price-point. There's still room for improvement however - the grip needs to be refined, while the . . . read more

Samsung NX300 preview at Digital Camera Info: Samsung's NX line had 2 weak points, the company seems to have mended the problem with the release of the NX300.

"Despite a rocky start, Samsung’s NX line has settled into a comfortable pattern. Both the NX300’s hardware design and software interface make it easy to just pick up the camera and start shooting, and the metal top plate is a nice premium touch. Otherwise, the shape and feel don’t depart from what we saw in the last NX generation.

The NX300 is the midrange model for Samsung’s line, replacing 2012’s NX210. As such, it lacks some extra . . . read more

Shooting Angels with the Panasonic GH3 in Mexico, by Joey Daoud.

"A little more than a year ago I bought the GH2. For the longest time I refused to get on the DSLR bandwagon. I was quite satisfied with my Sony EX1 and its XLR inputs and ability to shoot hours on end. However, even a minimal kit was bulky.

I wanted something small if I had to travel light or needed a second camera. The GH2 caught my attention and didn’t have a lot of the restrictions of other DSLRs. Some control over audio levels, no recording limits, no reports of overheating. Easily hackable to get great quality. Plus it was under $1,000. A great deal when you’re just looking for a second camera. . . . read more

Nikon expands its mirrorless system with the addition of two new CX Format cameras, the Nikon 1 J3 built for speed and the Nikon 1 S1 built for simplicity

"London, UK,  8 January 2013 Nikon welcomes two new members to the Nikon 1 family: the Nikon 1 J3 with the world’s smallest body,¹ and the simply stylish Nikon 1 S1—the first model in the new S-series. Both cameras boast the world’s shortest release time lag,² and the world’s fastest continuous shooting.³

The Nikon 1 J3 builds on the astonishing speed and ultra-portable design that helped the Nikon 1 J1 become the best-selling compact camera system across Europe.⁴ Achieving the world’s smallest body,¹ the J3‘s finely crafted aluminium exterior feels even better than it looks. With the world’s shortest release time lag,² and the world’s fastest continuous shooting³, it’s always ready to capture decisive moments of active lifestyles with high-resolution images and Full HD movies. . . . read more

Panasonic GH2 vs GH3 rolling shutter evaluation by Fredrik Gløckner at micro 4/3s Photography: The footage coming from the GH3 shows somewhat more similarity between the stationary footage, and the panning footage.

"The Panasonic GH1 and GH2 had pretty much the same rolling shutter properties. I have previously examined the rolling shutter artefacts of the GH3, compared with the GH2, and found that the GH3 has somewhat less artefacts. But my test was based on a rotating propeller setup, which is not so realistic. Rolling shutter artefacts are typically identified when panning quickly during video recording. This can lead to "wobbly" effects, square objects can be seen to lean towards one side. . . . read more

Ming Thein mutilates a Sony NEX-5, creates a multispectral camera, revealed to be the secret behind his latest gorgeous black and white photos.

Note: Ming Thein will give the camera away to one of his readers, as he explains: "Note: We’re still giving this camera away. Tomorrow, I’m going to explain how – there will of course be a photographic competition involved!"

"So how would I describe the tonal characteristics of this camera? In a nutshell, it produces B&Ws that are warm and rounded, if there’s such a thing. The sharpness is there but it’s not biting; the tones are rich and deep. If used with better glass, I think it would really sing – especially for portraiture. Skin looks baby-soft. Don’t use it in colour, it looks horrible due to pollution of the blue and red channels by UV and IR respectively. However, note that with a visible blocking filter over the lens, you could shoot either IR or UV without issue. The camera also gains some sensitivity – about 1-1.5 . . . read more

Canon EOS M review by Richard Sibley at Amateur Photographer: Canon really needs to improve the AF via a firmware update, if possible, as this takes the shine off of what is otherwise a very good camera.

Canon EOS M. The camera everybody loves until they check out the AF speed:

"As its first compact system camera, Canon has done a reasonable job with the EOS M. It is a good size for those who are looking for a pocketable DSLR alternative. Similarly, the initial lenses are quite small given the APS-C-sized sensor, and they are of a good quality. More importantly, the image quality of the EOS M matches that of Canon's EOS DSLR cameras. Those who are wary of touchscreens shouldn't worry too much about the unit fitted to the EOS M. It works well and the only time it is regularly needed is for changing the AF point, and then it is quick and easy to use. . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 review by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review: If you are looking for a high brightness and a nice creamy background, a choice for the optically superior Olympus 45 mm or 75 mm lenses is more obvious than for the 17mm lens.

"The Olympus 17 mm 1.8 is a nicely built lens with which you can focus quickly and accurately, automatically or manually. On this Olympus 17 mm 1.8 lens is a ring, which acts as an AF / MF switch. The focus ring stops at 25 cm or infinity and the focus ring has a pleasant resistance when focusing. This takes away the concerns that some photographers have against the electronic focus-by-wire system. The AF is also completely silent, which makes this lens very suitable for video. At full aperture, this lens already draws quite sharp in the center. From aperture 1.8, the center resolution . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 review at Camera Hoarders: Sharpness is excellent. At F/2 the lens shows slightly softer results both centre and corner, but nothing that prevented me from using it regularly wide open.

"Olympus 12 F/2 ED lens is quite a good performer. At $700 – $800 it is not cheap, but then you get what you pay for. F/2 wideangles this small are not something that grows on trees. It’s sharp across the frame at F/2 and gets really sharp from F/2.8 to F/8. There is visible vignette at F/2 but disappears already at F/2.8 so there’s really hardly anything to complain from optical performance standpoint. Unique manual focus implementation makes this lens really desirable for . . . read more

Canon EOS M extensive review and iso comparison to Olympus E-M5, Sony NEX-5R/NEX-6/NEX-7 and Nikon 1 J1/J2/V1 by Nasim Mansurov at Photography Life: Not very impressed, better wait and see Canon's next move.

"With the fancy “hybrid autofocus” name, I expected the Canon EOS M to focus very quickly before I received the camera. I thought it would be as fast as the Nikon 1 system, which is still among the fastest in terms of autofocus, especially continuous AF. Unfortunately, the EOS M is a huge disappointment in terms of AF speed, so the fancy name is just a marketing gimmick. It certainly did not live up to my expectations and this was the deal breaker for me. Autofocus speed was poor in both daylight and low light conditions, especially with the 22mm pancake lens. The camera often makes the lens . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS lens review by Fredrik Gløckner at m43photo: This is a very good performing lens, with few flaws. It is probably the best lens I have ever used. However, it comes at a rather steep price.

"Finally, in 2012, we got the two f/2.8 zoom lenses, with the premium metal finish. The lens barrel is made of anodized metal with a purple-ish colour. This leaves me a bit unhappy. The lens barrel has two functions, in my opinion: To be solid, and to provide a good grip. With the latter in mind, why make it out of glossy metal? Other manufacturers go for a matte crinkle finish, which I think is better.

While the two kit zoom lenses above look similar, they are in fact very different. The Lumix G 14-42mm basic kit lens has a . . . read more

Panasonic G X Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 ASPH O.I.S lens (mounted on a Olympus E-M5) review by Kurt Munger: This lens is extremely impressive wide, and very good as you zoom out, with the sides being the only issue keeping the lens from being a dream come true.

Dat Purple! This is the real dark side to the alleged micro 4/3 interoperability between lenses and cameras: Nasties such as color fringing and distortion produced by Panasonic lenses are all but eliminated when used with a Panasonic camera. Not so much when it comes to Olympus cameras, and this fact can transform an otherwise excellent lens like this one, to a mediocre one. The problem is, Olympus camera users have nowhere else to turn to, Oly has focused on prime lenses, and their only  high-end zoom ones are the old Zuiko behemoths, that don't work very well-or at all, with micro 4/3 bodies. Kurt Munger however does not appear to be excessively bothered by the less than optimal results the Vario 12- . . . read more

Olympus OM-D E-M5 long term review by Scott Bourne at Photo Focus: The Olympus is not a perfect camera. Shock. Of course there is no such thing. But for me, (not necessarily you) it is as close as I’ll come right now.

"When it comes to the intangibles like general camera support, accessories, education, repair, spare parts, the Olympus/Panasonic MFT cameras come up short. But not by much. Pros cannot count on anything like CPS or NPS from Panasonic or Olympus. That means repair times might run into weeks or even months. There aren’t as many classes, third-party books, etc. for MFT shooters. Accessories for the MFT cameras aren’t quite as abundant as they are for DSLRs but this is getting to be a horserace. There are more and more MFT accessories becoming available and I am quite happy with the . . . read more

Canon EOS M walks the DXO Mark path, fails to impress the French: It doesn't match the best sensors used by the Sony NEX hybrids by quite a margin but it outperforms the much smaller (by surface area) 1-inch type used in the Nikon 1 series.

Not only that, the EOS M barely matches much smaller older micro 4/3 sensors and gets beaten by the latest crop, like the Olympus E-M5 (65 points vs 71).

"Canon was late to introduce a hybrid or mirrorless camera, but it was probably inevitable the firm would chose to revamp its three-year old APS-C sensor design to keep the body size to reasonably compact dimensions while at the same time offering good image quality. It doesn’t match the best sensors used by the Sony NEX hybrids by quite a margin in some . . . read more

Samsung NX300 previews, hands-on, and usefull coverage roundup, early edition: So far everybody is impressed by the cam's specs and looks, and some are dumbfounded by Samsung's apparent faith in 3D imaging technology.

Dan Havlik at Imaging Resource has written a good piece on the NX300, notices among other things the welcome increase in response time over previous NX cameras, seems like Samsung has finally mended it's Achilles heel: "in terms of operational speed, the pre-production Samsung NX300 seemed fast and responsive. We've had issues with overall sluggishness in Samsung's previous NX-series CSCs, and while it's too early to tell whether it's improved, we're optimistic based on our hands-on time with it." . . . read more

Samsung tries to keep the 3D dream alive, releases the NX300 (that will come bundled with Adobe's Lightroom) and a 2D/3D hybrid 45mm f/1.8 lens.

Well, maybe 3D photography is still a hot topic in Korea. headline features of the NX300 include new 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, and a hybrid (contrast and phase-detection) autofocus system, bringing it up to speed with the likes of Sony, Canon and Nikon. Otherwise the camera ups almost every feature of the NX200 a notch. NX300 MSRP: $749.99.  45mm lens: $499 for the 3D version, and $399 for the 2D. Availability: March 2013 . . . read more

Sony NEX-5R review by Nasim Mansurov at Photography Life: Between the NEX-5R, NEX-6 and NEX-7, which camera would I recommend? The NEX-5R is a great value and the NEX-7 has a lot of advanced functionality, but my heart is with the NEX-6.

Nasim's review include some nice noise comparisons to the Olympus E-M5, Nikon 1, Sony NEX-7 and Canon EOS M:

"Overall, I am very impressed by the Sony NEX-5R, just like I was impressed with the NEX-5N. It is a high-quality camera with excellent image quality characteristics and much improved autofocus performance. As you can see from the previous page of this review, the Sony NEX-5R easily beats the Nikon 1 system and does extremely well when compared to other cameras from Olympus, Canon and Sony. . . . read more

Sony NEX6 Review by Peter Walkowiak at the Phoblographer: In the end if I wanted a small camera, which has an EVF, quick AF, affordable lenses and a generous amount of pixels this is the best camera for your money.

"What a time we live in, I have all of the features I could have ever dreamed of but I’m still bitching because it’s not good enough. When it comes to being a camera it is amazing, I loved my time with the NEX-6. When this camera came out and I saw the spec list I thought this is it, this is the camera I have been waiting for. I have never wanted the NEX-7 because I am a lowlight shooter and in my opinion that sensor was never any good passed ISO 1600. . . . read more

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 ED R MSC review by Sebastian Milczanowski at Photozone: From a price/performance perspective, the Olympus is a viable choice but it stays short of the higher expectations from more ambitious users.

"The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R is a quite good entry-level telephoto zoom lens. It may not be a cracker in terms of delivered resolution but it is no show-stopper either. The image quality is quite impressive in the low to mid portion of the zoom range. At 150mm it is somewhat weaker but not terribly so. Image distortions are usually cared about by the camera's auto-correction mechanism but technically they are only very obvious at 40mm anyway (in RAW data only). Vignetting is usually nothing to worry about either. Lateral CAs can get obvious at 40mm but they're not . . . read more

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro review at SLR Gear: This lens offers a very light and portable macro solution, with excellent results for sharpness, and resistance to chromatic aberration, corner shading and distortion.

"The Olympus 60mm ƒ/2.8 Macro is a solid little lens which does not add much weight to the camera. The lens has 13 elements in 10 groups: of these, one is an ED lens, two are HR lenses and one is an E-HR lens element. The lens features a seven-bladed circular aperture which stops down to ƒ/22, and as previously mentioned, takes 46mm filters. The lens is marked as splashproof, providing some level of weather resistance. . . . read more

Thom Hogan's Serious camera of the year award goes to the Olympus E-M5, Thom explains why it was hard to choose between the OM-D and the Fuji X-E1.

This is a Sans Mirror award, so, fans of mirrors and smoke please look elsewhere. Thom's nominees include the Sony NEX-6, the Panasonic GH3, and the Fujifilm X-E1:

"The E-M5's image quality is good enough that it basically replaced my Nikon D7000 (DX DSLR) as my hike-deep-into-the-backcountry camera. Why? Because I gave up nothing terribly significant in the sensor, but lost weight and size while gaining some exceptional small lenses (Note to Nikon: please get off your butt and make some more, and better, DX . . . read more

Iso noise comparison between the Panasonic GH3 and the Canon 5D Mark 2 by Marlene Hielemaat Discover Mirrorless.

"A lot of people think the smaller sensor cameras like the GH3 can’t hold up to the full frame sensor cameras. I’m going to do a live test with no practicing or cheating to see if that’s true. So I’m going to shoot the pictures at the same ISO and exposure settings and then compare on the computer. I shot raw files in this test because I’m a raw shooter. With raw files you can do quick and easy noise reduction using LR, Photoshop or Elements Adobe camera raw controls, but sometimes I don’t like the look that produces. I do a quick demo in the video too." . . . read more

Canon EOS M review by Bryan Carnathan at The-Digital-Picture: The Canon EOS M delivers arguably the best image quality per cubic inch (mm) - or per ounce (gram) of any Canon digital camera produced as of review time.

Interesting quality to weight/volume ratio reference. This excellent review offers a lot in the way of EOS M vs all Canon cameras size and bulk comparisions, pictured with, or without lenses. Also, Bryan seems to have a soft spot for Lowe Pro, since he managed to squeeze 11 links to various L-P cases and bags within the review. But the most important question is if he liked the EOS M, and hes he did, very much so, maybe because its no bigger that a pocket Jeebers book:

"The on-sensor phase-detection AF quickly brings the subject into near-accurate focus and contrast detection more slowly . . . read more

Latest Capture one beta vs Lightroom on Fuji X-Trans raw conversion: Two steps forward and one step back.

A user at the Serious Compacts forum has posted raw conversion samples from the latest Capture one beta that is supposed to relieve Fujifilm owners of X-Trans cameras from SilkyPix hell. The results are encouraging, but not in all cases:

"This evening I installed Phase One Capture One 7.0.2 beta and ran some test with Fuji X-Trans RAW files in comparison with Adobe's Lightroom 4.2. The test was simple, I grabbed an existing RAF file, imported and exported it in LR4.2 and . . . read more

Nikon 1 J2 review by Nasim Mansurov at P.Life: The Nikon 1 J2 is still overpriced. At $550 for a single lens kit, it just makes no sense to buy it. Not when the V1 kit is $299 and not when excellent Micro 4/3 and Sony cameras are priced $500 and less.

For those interested, this review contains sections with comparisons to the Olympus EM-5, the Sony NEX-5R, and the Canon EOS M. Of course, being equipped with a much smaller sensor, the Nikon 1 J2 is no match for these cvameras when it comes to high iso performance, but the little guy does have a couple of aces under its sleeves:

"The Nikon 1 system has an interesting story to tell. When Nikon initially launched its first mirrorless system, it positioned two cameras for different segments – the Nikon 1 J1 for beginners and those who wanted to move up from a point and . . . read more

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