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

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."

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

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'

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

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

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

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

Roger Cicala checks out the cost of a whole system-mirrorless, (Olympus) vs the Dslr establishment of Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony.

 All I can say is 'ouch'. And it was a double ouch for Roger, since after going through all the trouble assembling a kick-ass micro 4/3 system he found out it wasn't that portable any longer, so in the end he chose something even smaller. No, not the Pentax Q:

"In my last post I made a preliminary list of systems I was going to consider. Some people are a little surprised I’m considering crop sensor cameras. I’m surprised that they’re surprised. I’ve shot with a micro 4/3 system for months and it certainly met 80% of my needs, so an APS-C based camera may be just fine. Or I may decide that I need to have a full-frame camera. I’ve generally shot full frame for the last several years. . . . 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

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

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

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 prime lens review at Camera Labs: This is superb performance made all the more remarkable by the tiny dimensions and relatively affordable price tag.

Gordon Laing is the reviewer, and he took the unusual step to use the Panasonic GX1 as the test camera: 

"The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is arguably one of the best lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, whether you're using an Olympus or Panasonic body. This lens is so small and light you'll hardly know you're carrying it around, yet is capable of delivering industry-leading performance with pin-sharp details across the entire frame right into the extreme corners. With an effective focal length of 90mm and a maximum aperture of f1.8, the lens is ideal for portrait work and can deliver sharp detail on the subject with a satisfyingly blurred background behind it. Likewise for closer subjects down to the nearest focusing . . . read more

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro scores at DXO Mark: For super-sharp outdoor close-ups and video.

The Olympus M.zuiko 60mm macro scored a slight bit better than the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS lens, while costing less money and offering weather sealing on top of that.

"With strong performance across most of the DxOMark tests and a video-friendly MSC AF motor as well as a weather-resistant design, the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro is a good choice for outdoor macro shooting, such as nature portraits or close-up videos.  Compared to its main (and more expensive) competitor, the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS, it offers better quality for the money, delivering category-leading vignetting performance among Micro Four Thirds prime lenses as well as excellent sharpness. . . . read more

Olympus releases Redesigned Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II Superzoom tele lens

I guess this is what Olympus users wanted, a new, dark n'plastic 75-300mm lens. At least it looks like a proper lens now, and the addition of ZERO coating won't hurt either. Reading the press release issued by Olympus, i wonder what they mean by saying that the lens is redesigned to match the E-M5 and the Pen series cameras. So, what did the previous lens match, the drapes?

Olympus Press Release

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 29, 2013 – Olympus makes high-performance super-telephoto shooting more accessible than ever before by introducing the affordable M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II lens (35mm equivalent 150-600mm). Olympus has redesigned the lens to match the distinctive OM-D E-M5®   and PEN®Micro Four Thirds® series cameras and added a new advanced ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to keep scratches off, and . . . read more

Olympus OM-D EM-5 epic review by Nasim Mansurov: Without a doubt, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best mirrorless camera on the market today. I just wish I checked it out earlier.

And I wish i had discovered this post by Nasim earlier. As far as reviews of the EM-5 go, this is one of the top 3 there is, the other two being Thom Hogan's recent essay and of course Richard Butler's technical at DPReview. Nasims reviews strike the perfect balance between lyrical and tehnical, and just for this, we forgive him for making fool predictions :)

"Until I came across the Olympus OM-D E-M5. From the day I started using the OM-D E-M5, I just fell in love with it. Everything just felt right about it – excellent image quality, incredibly fast autofocus, wide lens selection, superior ergonomics with a boatload of customization options. Suddenly, it just felt like the camera I had been wanting to own and use all these years. My only doubt was the smaller sensor size – for a while I thought that I would go with a

. . . read more

Little Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm f/8.0 go to the DXO Mark playground, gets called 'cute' by the grownups.

Why read a review of the body cap lens? It costs less that some of Oly's lens hoods, is comes at around the same size as a regular body cap, but is a lens. Excellent for photography training too, as every prime lens it makes you use your feet instead of a zoom range.  I gave it as a Christmas gift to a fat relative of mine, and now he's looking healthier than ever!

"No photographer buying a $49, 9mm long body cap lens is expecting optical perfection. Instead this lens is a bit of fun, a curiosity, a point and shoot option that’s a bit quirky and doesn’t cost much money.  The limited focusing, fixed 15mm focal . . . read more

More specs revealed about the Olympus XZ-10 camera and M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 Mk. II Lens.

Lens first: Everything appears unchanged, except for the new ZERO coating (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating), same as the one that adorns many of Olympus Prime Lenses. Availability set to March 2013. The lens is also slightly redesigned, it looks a bit less like a designer flower-vase now and more like a proper lens. 

As for the XZ-10, it is a smaller, lighter and cheaper successor to the similarly looking XZ-2, with little else in common. The lens is now a 5x optical zoom of 26-130mm F1.8-2.7, and the sensor is very sadly a smaller 1/2.3" 12 Megapixel story, that kinda puts this cam out of the 'prosumer' range we're covering at Estiasis. If this digicam is still of any interest to you, grab your Google transgorbler and head over to Digicame.info for the rest of the spec list. . . . read more

Thom Hogan finally finishes his Olympus E-M5 review: I trust it for the type of shooting i normally do.

I can really see why it took him so long. There are no charts here, no Iso trains, no technical sections, heck not even images (except for one), but in this review they are not needed. It is evident that Thom has poured a lot of labour into this, and reading it will give a better picture of what the Olympus E-M5 really is, better than any review out there.

"This was a tough review to write. Indeed, it's taken me longer than it should have because there have been a series of small things that I wanted to be sure of before committing to them on the site. On the one hand, it was clear to me that I had started carrying the E-M5 instead of a DX DSLR when I needed to go light and small. On the other hand, those menus and options can be frustratingly dense and confusing. Was I perhaps just favoring the light and small and putting up with the complexity? It really takes time to answer that question, and thus the long germination of this review. . . . read more

Lindsay Dobson writes about her impressions of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ lens, and impressed she is.

This kit lens may come out mauled by most the reviewers, but a minority like Lindsay-and others, see it otherwise. It may not be the optically best mirrorless kit lens there is (that distinction should probably go to the Fujinon XF 18-55mm), nor the cheapest, BUT, it is sharp enough, has a good zoom range, and is unbeatable when it comes to features., the 'Jack of all trades-master of none' equivalent of lenses.

And for those buying the E-M5 and get rid of this kit lens within 5 minutes because they read a bad review of it, just try it first, will ya? You get Weather sealing, 24-100mm range, power zoom and macro mode, all in one convenient package. Too dark for you? Just bump up the Iso and you're set. Don't believe me? Check out Lindsay's pics, many of these are shot at Iso 1250-1600:

"But the question got me thinking, and I asked myself if there might be situations where the Olympus M Zuiko ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ would prove useful to me. And actually, the answer is yes. . . . read more

Steve Huff reviews the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 Pancake lens and finds beauty where others find mediocrity.

"This one is easy. This lens has the build, the speed, the feel, the looks, the design and the performance in IQ that makes it a no brainer for your Olympus Micro 4/3 camera (especially the E-M5). If you shoot a Panasonic camera I can not say how the lens does as I did not test it on a Panasonic body but on the E-M5 it rocks just as much as their other premium lenses. . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 review and DXO Mark score: This is best lens DxOMark have tested for the Micro Four Thirds hybrid camera system.

"The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 is best lens DxOMark have tested for the Micro Four Thirds hybrid camera system. Available for both Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras it’s an excellent choice for portraits, sports or low-light photography but costing $899, or $975 including the lens hood, it’s not cheap. Money aside however this lens delivers good results for a Micro Four Thirds lens in all DxOMark Lens Metric Scores and with a Sharpness Score of 11P-Mpix it’s the sharpest lens available for this system. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH POWER O.I.S Lens review by Ivo Freriks at Camera Stuff Review: Given the optical performances and the high quality of construction, this lens is certainly not expensive.

The Lens was tested with  Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic GH3 body. 

"The Panasonic 35-100 mm delivers sharp images across all focal lengths from full aperture to aperture 8. Above that, the resolution decreases as a result of diffraction. This is the best micro-43 zoom lens we have reviewed to date, with the Panasonic 12-35 mm yielding more or less equivalent results (but at a different focal length range). In the graph with Imatest values at the right below, you can see how beautifully high and constant the resolution is. The images are measurably sharper in the center, with the maximum being located at aperture 4 to 5.6. Nevertheless, with the naked eye, the difference in resolution between the corners and the center is not visible." . . . read more

Olympus to release a new 75-300mm zoom lens and a successor to the XZ-2 soon.

Too bad it will be a dark f/4.8-6.7 lens again. Something must be done to get the message to Olympus, its users screaming about the need of fast zooms. 43rumors has the story:

I finally got some bits about the next Olympus announcement that will be made right before the CP+ show start in Yokohama (January 31th). The discontinued Olympus 75-300mm MFT lens will be replaced by the new 75-300mm II F4.8-6.7 ED lens. And there will be a a new Olympus XZ-10 that is smaller and lighter than the current XZ-2. It has a f/1,8-2,7 lens and will be cheaper than the current XZ-2 model (here on eBay).

Using Adapted Lenses On Your Mirrorless Cameras, by Chris Gampat at Digital Camera Stuff.

"Mirrorless Cameras are not only capable of shooting really amazing images, but they have the ability to do so with nearly any lens. Sure, many systems have their own lens lineups with autofocus and other bells and whistles, but maybe you've got a collection of lenses already. Even if you don't, browse around Flickr and you'll see that people hunt after lenses in order to adapt them to their cameras. If you see yourself becoming one of those lens collectors, then you'll want to keep in mind a couple of pointers before and when you put that lens onto your camera. . . . read more

5 new companies enter the Micro Four Thirds Group, we're checking them out.

5 new companies to join micro 4/3 group, yey!

A weird bunch this is: We've got the Australian maker of a manual Video Camera with severe supply issues, a joker, a German who makes machine vision systems, a Japanese company that specializes in (very, VERY) high speed professional video cameras, and someone-also from Japan-who markets Fleas, Grasshoppers, Fireflies and Ladybugs.  . . . read more

5 New companies to join the micro 4/3 System Standards Group: Black Magic Design, JK Imaging, Photron Limited, SVS-Vistek, and ViewPlus.

Whoever knows all of the above 5 companies, wins a cupcake, in the meantime we'll prepare a presentation about the newcomers. It's good to see BackMagic becoming an official member of the m4/3 group, finally! It is also weird to see makers of non-consumer optical stuff entering the guild. 

Olympus Press Release:

Olympus Imaging Corp. and Panasonic Corporation jointly announced the Micro Four Thirds System standard in 2008 and have since been working together to promote the standard. Now we are pleased to announce that five more companies have recently declared their support for the standard and will be introducing products compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard. . . . read more

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