Having a hard time choosing between the OLYMPUS E-PL5 and the SONY NEX-6? Just read what David Taylor Hughes has to say, he owns both of them:

"Though I love the look of the E-PL5 and it does take better looking pictures for my purposes, I have to say that in terms of use when I'm out shooting, I do prefer the NEX-6. It just works better for me. Recently there have been several days of bright sunshine, but very cold temperatures and the NEX-6 has proved much more comfortable to use. The Pen range as a whole is a stylish retro recreation that looks good and takes great pictures, with a superb lens range to go with it.

But the NEX-6 seems to me to be much more about what photographers find useful and comfortable (Well this . . . read more

DSLR-Check (Japan) runs the Nikon D800E, Fuji X-E1, Nikon D3200, Sony NEX-6, and Olympus E-M5 through ISO noise tests with interesting results.

Clearly the D800E outresolves all others, at any iso sattings, even base iso. However, the interesting thing is how close all the other entries are to each other. This test appear to be in no way scientific, so take it with a grain of noise salt. Click on the chart to see it in full resolution. Here's what Google pransklate has to say:

"The fact that even with only (it almost single-focus) lens angle of view of the standard, personally, but there can be no choice as X mount status quo, because the problem is almost the only lens lineup this happens, fast I just want you to . . . read more

Gizmodo chooses the 10 most important cameras of the year, proves that apparently they slept through a great part of it.

Yes, we know. Choosing the top 10 in a hallmark year like the 2012 was, is not an easy task. But for heaven's sake, when some of the cameras (like the Sony RX1 and RX100) have been hailed by most reviewers and people in the know as truly outstanding, you ought to include at least one of them. And speaking of Sony, what's the deal with preferring the NEX-5R over the NEX-6? And why, oh why include a half-baked experiment like the Lytro light field crapmera?

It is a known fact that Gizmodo was hit with an outage lasting some 7-8 days following hurricane Sandy, but no cameras were released during those days. And Sandy can't explain why they chose to include digicams like the Canon S110, a minor update to previous year's not-so-hot S100. Other notable omissions: The Fujifilm E-X1 (and affordable and modern AF version of the X-Pro1), and Panasonic GH3. Anyway, criticism is easy, so let's keep it at that, and . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 macro lens review at TheDigitalStory: Quiet, precise and sharp, very good value.

"I rarely shot with this lens at the "default" 0.19m - Infinity setting that is highlighted in silver on the side of the barrel. I was either working close at 0.19m - 0.4m, or shooting portraits and sports at the 0.4m - Infinity setting. By working this way, I enjoyed fast autofocusing throughout the shoot. If you want to focus manually, the wide, well-dampened focusing ring is a joy to operate. In fact, it works so well in combination with the electronic viewfinder on the OM-D, that it's actually pleasurable to turn off the autofocus and work manually. I love lenses that give me this option. . . . read more

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review at DigitalCameraReview: Versatile for both amateur and seasoned photographers.

"The Olympus E-PL5 has a lot going for it: great image quality, quick controls, a lightweight body, a large screen, fast focusing, and does it all at a pretty great price tag. The camera will be one that both beginners and enthusiasts will be able to pick up and shoot with little issues from the very start. Olympus has made the ergonomics extremely versatile by making it a point-and-shoot camera style body with a large LCD screen that mimics the feel of a TLR experience. This screen will also be of great use to people shooting video. The overall compact package makes it a great choice for vacations or an every day camera. . . . read more

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review at Ephotozine: It inherits most of the good stuff found in the E-M5 and comes at a much lower price.

"The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 features an updated tilting 3inch touch screen, with better handling than the previous Lite E-PL3. The camera doesn't feature a panoramic mode, but does include a built in HDR bracketing mode, although unfortunately this doesn't auto-stitch the photos. The Live Time feature inherited from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is an excellent feature.

The camera's image quality is vastly improved over the previous PEN cameras, inheriting the 16 megapixel sensor from the . . . read more

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review at the Phoblographer: It is not perfect when it comes to body details and menus, but the image quality is near the top of the class.

"The Olympus EPL5 is a really excellent camera and the company got a lot right in its creation. The excellent image quality combined with its awesome autofocusing abilities and the beautiful LCD screen make this a real winner in my book. However, the menus are still a bit too thick for my liking, as is the camera. The EPL5 is significantly thicker than previous pen cameras, and doesn’t even fit in my premium pen case. Also, I really wish that the LCD screen were a higher resolution.

Many people will like this though: the camera has excellent battery life. With that said, it also has a brand new battery: in fact, it is larger than the OMD EM5′s. And that is very weird." . . . read more

AF speed duel at m43.eu: Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs Canon EOS M, ok, this is not funny any longer.

"At the beginning of the planning that somehow I will discuss this movie, but after some thought, I leave it - mercifully - no comment . Just one note: it was a battle of the Olympus E-M5, but just as quickly set the focus two new PEN E-PL5 s and E-PM2. Also, a comparison with Panasonikiem G5, or GH3 would GF5 very similar result.

Well, the first Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras also were not as fast as the latest models. What remains is to wish Canon to the rapid development of the system." . . . read more

Ephotozine names Olympus Live-time mode as best new technology of 2012, we'd add Oly's 5-axis IBIS to that.

"It's a feature for long exposures caused by low light or when you're using a dark ND filter such as the Lee Filters Big Stopper. The camera starts recording and gives a screen preview at intervals as the exposure builds. You can adjust the time between previews through the camera's menu. So, for example, when shooting at ISO200 you can view 24 steps with intervals of between 0.5 sec and 60 seconds. As the ISO increases the number of steps you can view decreases. You set an interval rate that will show gradual build up of exposure so you can stop when the correct exposure is reached." . . . read more

Former Olympus CEO: Nothing has changed at Japan Inc. since the scandal was exposed, at times i was fearing for my life.

How severe is it for our favourite Japanese brands? Well, these two last paragraphs of his Cnn interview illustrates the situation in really bleak colours: 

"Woodford compared the success of South Korean electronics giant Samsung to that of ailing Japanese rivals such as Sharp, Sony and Panasonic -- all have their debts set at junk status.

"Japan is losing it," said Woodford. "The companies and country can't change. They just can't change themselves. It's desperately sad." . . . read more

Olympus XZ-2 review at DigitalVersus: However good it is, it has the misfortune of competing in the same class as the Sony RX100.

"The XZ-2 is a success for Olympus. The controls and general handling are particularly nice in this camera, plus image quality is good and there are plenty of advanced functions. However, the Sony RX100 is still one giant leap ahead of all expert compacts with small-format sensors. To compete, the Olympus XZ-2 can flaunt its lower price and its tilt screen, but will that be enough?"

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review at CameraLabs: In an all too crowded top segment, this camera is equipped to stay at the top.

"The mirrorless compact system camera market now offers more choice than ever before and, with the addition of Canon's EOS M it promises to become even more crowded. By giving the E-PL5, and presumably any upcoming PEN models, the same sensor as the Flagship OM-D E-M5, adding features that improve usability, like the touch screen, and expanding the choice of lenses and accessories Olympus is doing exactly what it needs to, to maintain its position as a leader in the CSC . . . read more

Olympus crazy patent: A 4/3 to micro 4/3 adapter with built in autofocus module and stabilizer, spotted at Egami blog.

Maybe this is the last chapter in Olympus saga of trying to make 4/3 lenses work properly 100% in micro 4/3 bodies, such as the E-M5 and the E-PL5. While the autofocus module is expected, the enclosed stabilizer is pretty baffling, but after trying to decipher the Google translated text we understand it has something to do with the built-in stabilizer unit of m4/3 bodies not being able to cope well with 4/3 lenses.

This in itself raises more questions, since it is well known that many 3rd party lenses, even really old ones, work quite well as stabilized in Olympus m4/3 cameras. In any case, Olympus spokespeople have time and again repeated the company's commitment to solve the 4/3-m4/3 lens compatibility issue, and this patent seems like a step in that direction. Perhaps it is time to snag up some excellent 4/3 glass, while it still can be found at bargain prices :) . . . read more

Dpreview chooses and picks the top 5 compact cameras of 2012: The usual suspects and absentees (we're looking at YOU, Nikon)

"In this short article, we've selected five of what we think are the best zoom compacts on the market right now, spanning the market from point-and-shoots to Raw-capturing high-end cameras. By 'zoom compact camera', we mean cameras with non-interchangeable zoom lenses, regardless of size. Of our top 5 selection we've summarized their major strengths, with links to previously-published content, including samples galleries. Here are the cameras we've selected (in alphabetical order). You can click to go directly to the camera you want to read about or just start at the top:" . . . read more

Olympus E-PM2 review at PhotographyBlog: The best image quality Olympus has to offer, at the smallest size, for the smallest price.

"Image quality is where Micro Four Thirds cameras have traditionally lagged behind their APS-C sensor rivals, but the E-PM2 carries on where the OM-D E-M5 left off by equalling the results from other leading cameras. Noise doesn't rear its ugly head until ISO 3200 for JPEGs and even the faster settings prove eminently usable, although the E-PM2 does apply some pretty aggressive noise reduction to keep the files clean as shown by the noisier raw images. We never longed for a . . . read more

The Online Photographer: Impressions of the Olympus OM-D, Part II, by Ctein.

"The technical noise measurements do not hint at how much better the OM-D is. As I explained in the aforementioned column, it's not just about the quantity but quality of noise. The OM-D noise is extremely uniform and fine-grained. Up to ISO 800, it's essentially ignorable. When it becomes bothersome, the faintest whiff of noise reduction will take care of it."

Olympus Pen E-PM2 review at NeoCamera: Entry level price with high-end photographic qualities, but lackluster video.

"The Olympus PEN E-PM2 shows very good image quality with clean results up to ISO 800. Noise becomes barely noticeable at ISO 1600 with little adverse effect. ISO 3200 makes noise clearly visible but details remain quite sharp and moderately large prints are completely usable. Only by ISO 6400 that we start seeing softness and fine details be eaten away. At this point it would be best to limit to medium-sized prints. ISO 12800 is more restrictive but remains usable for . . . read more

The Olympus E-PM2 goes to the DXO Mark Store: This mini's sensor is just as good as the one in the OM-D/E-PL5, goes straight to the top of the m43 category.

"It comes as no surprise that the Olympus PEN E-PM2 scores virtually identically to Olympus’ top-of-the-line OM-D E-M5 since they share the same sensor (as does the midrange Olympus PEN E-PL5). The E-PM2 actually comes in at one point higher than the E-M5 on the Overall Score, though that difference is negligible. The two cameras essentially have the same performance in color depth and dynamic range, and the E-PM2 scores less than 1/4 stop better in low-light ISO. . . . read more

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review at Pocket-Lint: Despite the size, this camera is a real heavyweight when it comes to features and image quality.

"Image quality is a leap forward for Micro Four Thirds at this price point, which is a huge selling point. Add a decent build, fast autofocus system and, of course, wide selection of Micro Four Thirds lenses and there's not much to dislike.

Our limited moans are that the plastic front grip looks cheap, there's no built-in flash and that continuous autofocus still . . . read more

Olympus E-PL5 review at gizmodo: Beautiful inside, disastrous on the outside.

"The optional 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens hinders the PL5's usability. The lens barrel must be manually unlocked from its closed position, severely slowing down the shooting experience. Then, it remains extended at every focal length. It's unsightly, and it's hard to intuitively know if your lens is zoomed in or out."

Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH lens review by Jordan Steele at Admiring Light: This lens finally brings a top tier telephoto zoom to the Micro 4/3 system, and I can definitely recommend this lens for the serious Micro 4/3 shooter. A great lens.

The Lens was tested with Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-M5 bodies.

"The cons list above may seem a bit nitpicky to some. Especially the last point, so let me explain. The image quality of this lens is outstanding, and the lens is a worthy addition to the Micro 4/3 lineup. However, compared with the newest 70-200mm lenses from Canon and Nikon, it’s not quite going to match those stellar optics. Instead, I’d say it’s on the level of something like the original Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. So, very, very good, but not flawless. Considering it’s $1,000 less than those new Canon and Nikon lenses, though, I can forgive this. Still, it’s a pricey lens at $1,499, and will really only cater to those who know they need an f/2.8 telephoto zoom in this range. . . . read more

Olympus Pen mini E-PM2 Review at Ephotozine: 5-Star quality with very good value for money.

"The camera's image quality is vastly improved over the previous PEN cameras, inheriting the 16 megapixel sensor from the Olympus OM-D E-M5, image quality is excellent with the 14-42mm MK II lens delivering sharp photos and excellent Olympus colour. Noise performance is the best it's ever been from a Micro Four Thirds camera, with usable ISO up to and including ISO6400." . . . read more

Olympus E-PL5 gets the DXO Mark Treatment: Yes, it is a E-M5 at heart, minus some fluff, but with iso 100 added.

"With the Pen E-PL5, Olympus updates its range of micro 4:3 compact hybrids with redesigned ergonomics, upgraded electronics, and especially with the integration of the same 16Mpix LiveMos sensor found in the OM-D E-M5. Will it show the same advances in image quality as the flagship camera of its line? Our tests provide the answer." . . . read more

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review at PCmac.com

"The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 isn't the best Micro Four Thirds camera you can buy—that's the weather-sealed Olympus OM-D E-M5—but it's the best one you'll get for under $1,000. It's fast to focus and rattles off shots at an impressive speed, it's kit lens is quite sharp, and it has a tilting rear display with touch input support. It doesn't have a whiz-bang feature like the Wi-Fi connectivity that is built into the Samsung NX1000. Even though the E-PL5 outshines other cameras with the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, it doesn't quite equal our current Editors' Choice in the more broad entry-level . . . read more

BBC News: Olympus back in profit as it recovers from scandals, but camera business is still making losses.

"In November last year, Olympus admitted to hiding billions of yen of losses over 20 years in one of Japan's biggest corporate scandals. The company and three of its former executives were charged by prosecutors in March in connection with the scandal. Olympus is engaged in a five-year restructuring plan, which will involve reducing its global workforce by 7% by 2014 and cutting the number of its factories around the world from 30 to 18 by 2015." . . . read more

Impressions of the Olympus OM-D, Part I, at The Online Photographer: No buyer's remorse here.

"The OM-D has five customizable buttons, even more with some lenses and the auxiliary battery pack. I can do a lot with five buttons. See Custom Menu B/Button Function. The fn2 button, right next to the shutter release, became a manual/autofocus toggle. The record button, right behind it, now zooms the viewfinder for more accurate focusing."

. . . read more

Olympus XZ-2 review at Tech Radar: Superfast lens, complicated menu, costs as much as a Dslr.

"Although handling the device isn't as straightforward as Canon's Powershots or as intuitive as Nikon's Coolpix range, it does offer a plethora of shooting choice to cater for all levels of shooter; with manual and semi-manual controls for advanced enthusiasts, a dedicated auto mode (iAuto) and scene selector for novices, plus an art palette for keen creatives. . . . read more

How to tweak your Olympus E-M5 to shoot sports by Jim Huffman at SteveHuffphoto.com

Well, turning off the rear LCD takes you a long way, but there's more that that:

"go into custom buttons – and assign magnify to any function button (or the record button). now, to enter magnify, hit the control button twice. magnify stays on until you half press the shutter release! and, you will note that the magnify is . . . read more

Olympus EM-5 Review at NeoCamera: Top-notch image quality with some interface quirks

"The OM-D E-M5 struggles with color accuracy. There are lots of Picture Modes but none produce realistic colors across the spectrum. The best image colors are obtained in Natural style with Saturation dials down to -1. The red channel remains too high regardless of settings. This is obviously avoidable for those who shoot RAW. . . . read more

A trip to Italy with the Fujifilm X-Pro 1, from a Olympus E-M5 shooters point of view: Oly good but Fuji best, but not always, especially if image quality is not your sole consideration.

"Overall I was not impressed using the X-Pro 1 with firmware 1. In fact if I purchased the system I would return it right away and buy a beer to cry into. The photo quality is great, the color is good but the areas that the Fuji fails in…well it really fails.

Am I happy with the results of the X-Pro 1? Kinda..

The poor operating performance of firmware version 1 really soured my enjoyment of this camera. I did have the opportunity to upgrade the camera and lenses to firmware version 2 which to the credit of Fuji is much faster then . . . read more

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