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

Kenny Good and the Weapons Of Mass Production try to find out the best Dslr-for video, under $1.000: Canon T4i with 18-55mm kit lens VS. Sony NEX-6 with 16-50mm kit lens VS. Panasonic GH2 with 14-15mm kit lens, both stock and with Flowmotion v2.02 hack.

Yes, the the very same nuts from Crisis Labs reviews with the bats, and semi-nude models and all that. They take on a slightly more serious and hi-tech tone in this review, with RC Helicopters, IR suits, and... bats.

"The Sony actually did quite well, and if size (for travel) is a concern, I'd suggest this one.  It's just a hair behind I think in the image metrics, but not in a huge way.  The focus issue did drive me crazy.  Maybe there's a menu option I didn't see that prevents it from going to sleep.  I actually had to reshoot the sharpness (helicopter) comparison because it did that same focus thing to me.  That's why when it did it again for the dancing, I decided to leave it in the video that way.  It has focus peaking (that shows you a highlighted version of in-focus areas on the display) which really helps with video, and I doubt this issue would ever come up when shooting stills.  It's a solid camera, very similar to Canon in image quality, great if you're a space-conscious traveller. . . . read more

Sigma Super lens deal comes to Europe too: 2 Sigma primes at 99 Euros each, the 19mm f/2.8 EX DN and 30mm f/2.8 EX DN, available in both micro 4/3 and NEX mounts.

Sigma extends its 'prime lenses at half the price' deal to Europe, too, prices start at just 99 Euros per lens!
The lenses on offer are the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN and the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN, available in micro 4/3 and NEX mounts. Their reviews have generally been very positive ones, and sure as heck they're worth their price. Most of the European dealers have updated their prices, in case you cannot find one, check this link on Sigma's page for a dealer list.

Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH lens review by Kurt Munger: The Panasonic Leica DG Macro Elmarit 45mm F/2.8 ASPH turned in a nice performance; there really isn't much to complain about

The PanaLeica lens was tested on a Olympus E-M5 body. 

"The Panasonic Leica DG Macro Elmarit 45mm F/2.8 ASPH turned in a nice performance; there really isn't much to complain about.  Pluses include: low light fall off-even wide open: lens doesn't extend when focusing: lateral color fringing is well controlled: very sharp throughout most of the image area at F/4-5.6: a focus limiter switch; and image stabilization, although that's not very important if you have a newer Olympus camera with 5 axis stabilization control. . . . 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).

Panasonic Lumix G5 review by Ken McMahon at Camera Labs: The Panasonic Lumix G5 a great value mirrorless system camera which makes a number of improvements over its predecessor, the G3.

"Panasonic Lumix G5 final verdict: The Panasonic Lumix G5 is a solid upgrade to the earlier Lumix G3 and maintains its position as one of the best value Micro Four Thirds models in the Panasonic line up as well as more generally. The combination of a new 16 Megapixel sensor and updated Venus Engine processor improves on the low noise characteristics and excellent image quality established with the G3 and adds 1080p50/60 HD video and 6fps continuous shooting. And as my quality and noise results prove, the G5 can keep up with the larger APS-C sensors of rival models in most situations. . . . read more

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

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH lens video review by David Thorpe: Center sharpness is excellent across the frame, and if you stop down a bit-or two, it will be sharp across the 35-100mm range, corner to corner.

The lens was tested by David on a GH3 body:

I find distortion in unnoticeable right through the range, and Chromatic Aberration is minimal-its pretty much not there.
To Sum up, this is a valuable addition to the micro 4/3 photographer's armory, and for many of those, this lens paired to the 12-35mm will be all the glass that they would ever need. You'll have the equivalent of a 24mm wide angle to 200mm tele, all at a constant f/2.8 in just two small optics. Add a weather sealed body like the Olympus OM-D, or the Panasonic GH3, and the result is a very capable and versatile outfit using just 3 items of gear. In so far as it matters, its a really good looker. Focusing speed is lightning quick, especially with the firmware upgraded to the current 1.1 version. It has . . . read more

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

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

Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS vs FUJINON XF14mm f/2.8 R vs Panasonic G Vario 7-14mm f/4.0 ASPH vs Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 lens sharpness comparison at DSLR Check.

That's a whole train of wide angle mirrorless system lenses, and it seems the caboose* has derailed somehow, pretty soft and fringy compared to the other 3, BUT it was used with a GH3, not the best of combinations. Kudos to Sony to make such a sharp wideangle (used with a NEX-5R) zoom lens, they had a slow start but seem to have begun catching up by now. As for the Fujinon xf 14mm (mounted on the X-E1), it performs as expected, very sharp with no visible Chromatic Aberrations. The PanaLeica 7-14mm falls a bit behind, but it is the oldest lens of the bunch, by a wide (heh) margin. Click on the image for the full thing. For those daring enough to delve through the Google translated text, here's a snip: . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 camera review at PC Mag: It earns our Editors' Choice award for compact interchangeable lens cameras, even though it's not the least expensive of the bunch.

"The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 is an excellent camera. It is capable of capturing excellent photos, focuses fast—even in dim light—and can rattle off shots at an impressive 5.3 frames per second. Its video quality is also impressive, and while the lack of a microphone input may turn serious videographers away from it, it's probably an overkill for recording home movies to share on YouTube or watch on your HDTV. You'll get an excellent shooting experience whether you use the eye-level viewfinder or the rear LCD to frame shots, and there is a vast library of native Micro Four Thirds lenses available from Panasonic, Olympus, Sigma, and Voigtlander. And if you are not afraid of focusing manually, you can mount almost . . . read more

JK Imaging to market a Kodak branded Micro 4/3 camera lineup, first model will be named the Kodak S1 WiFi equipped camera with a Sony sensor, to be made available in Q3, 2013.

Story first uncovered by ePrice in Taiwan, and initially picked up by 43 Rumors and Mirrorless Rumors, but we'll change/add to their wording a bit. First, neither Kodak, NOR JK Imaging are capable of manufacturing anything, this will be a crappy (or semi-decent, depending on your Point of View) OEM story, similar to the 'Polaroid' interchangeable lens cameras.

Second, JK Imaging (boasting of maintaining sales offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, China, Dubai, and Jordan, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela) is a company that literally came out of nowhere, represented by a single guy, and probably being just a front for JAACX distributors, a retailer with a presence mainly in Latin America. . . . read more

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN lens review by Jordan Steel at Admiring Light: I should't like it, but I love it.

The lens was tested with an Olympus E-M5 camera, and Kudos to Jordan for not stripping the EXIF information from the images.

"The Sigma 19mm is a lens that frankly, I shouldn’t like. I’ve been using pretty much nothing but high end lenses for the past 6 years, and generally a budget lens like this wouldn’t even ping my radar. Then there’s that somewhat odd focal length, it’s relatively slow aperture and unremarkable size . But the fact of the matter is, I do like this lens. Sigma managed to make an affordable lens that is well built with a fast and silent autofocus motor. They then made it . . . read more

The Photography Blog's compact system camera of the year award goes to the Olympus OM-D E-M5

I Wonder if Olympus has a big enough trophy case for the awards collected by the E-M5 :)

"The OM-D E-M5 is the best Olympus compact system camera to date, and also a strong contender for best compact system camera full stop. It delivers a compelling mix of classic looks, excellent image quality, an extensive feature set and immediate responsiveness, with the camera so well designed that it rarely gets in the way of the creative process. The E-M5 may hark back to a bygone era, but it’s definitely bang-up-to-date in all the places that count.”

Micro Four Thirds users are lucky if they want to use a Metabones Speed Booster.

The Speed Booster allows only full frame lenses to be used on mirrorless cameras, with the exception of micro 4/3 cameras that will be able to utilize BOTH full-frame and DX (cropped lenses). From Metabones Speed Booster PDF:

Availability date for the micro 4/3 adapter has not been set yet, cost is however set at $599 . . . read more

Faster, Wider, Sharper! Metabones, announces the Speed Booster, the full frame lens adapter for a mirrorless camera that promises wonders, and it ain't 1st of April yet

Metabones and Caldwell Photographic introduce Speed Booster

Petersburg, VA, USA, January 14, 2013 - Metabones® and Caldwell Photographic jointly announce a revolutionary accessory called Speed Booster™, which mounts between a mirrorless camera and a SLR lens. It increases maximum aperture by 1 stop (hence its name), increases MTF and has a focal length multiplier of 0.71x. For example, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II lens becomes a 59mm f/0.9 lens on a Sony NEX camera, with increased sharpness. The faster F-stop allows for shallow depth-of-field and a lower ISO setting for decreased noise. . . . read more

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 lens review at Photo Review: Buy it if you require a fast wide-angle lens for general-purpose use and if you'd like a lens that requires no readjustment when you fit polarisers and graduated filters.

"We tested the review lens on two camera bodies, the PEN E-PM2 (which is reviewed separately) and the OM-D E-M5. It performed better on the latter camera so we've used those results as the basis for this review. Autofocusing was as fast as the camera supports and generally very quiet, making this lens ideal for use when shooting movie clips.

Subjective assessment of shots straight from the camera showed them to be a little soft. However, they became 'sharp as a tack' after very modest unsharp masking in Photoshop.

. . . read more

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

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

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

J Shin at Leica Rumors: Why I Am Leaving Leica for Micro Four Thirds.

"I will bluntly say, the lenses for the classic SLR and rangefinder cameras offered by Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Rollei, Pentax, Contax, and the like rarely came close to Leica M or R quality. There was a time when you could pick up a Yashica and a Leica, shoot a few rolls of film, and place them side-by-side, and the winner was readily apparent. Yes, readily.

No more. All the cameras and lenses now simply exceed the capacity of a semi-trained human eye to tell the . . . 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

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

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

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