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 M.Zuiko 40-150mm R is not a high performance lens but it does a decent job.

"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 12mm f/2.0 review by Ming Thein: Those are my only two complaints: the inaccuracy of the pseudo-manual focus clutch, and the continued minor farce of the lens hood.

If you read this carefully, it means that I don’t have any major criticisms of t

"Although the lens in general well corrected, you do get the feeling that it’s on the extreme edges of what was possible with the design constraints put upon the optical designers: there’s visible CA against high contrast subjects, especially in the corners where you can get up to 2 pixels’ worth; there’s also very noticeable distortion. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple in nature – barrel with no sombrero/ moustache – and is easily correctable in ACR. Flare exists but the ZERO coating does a good job of keeping it to a minimum – even without the hood. . . . 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 does not ship with a lens hood.

"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.

Olympus E-M5, voted as serious camera of the year by Thom Hogan.

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

Resolution (And moire) comparison test between the Sony NEX-7, NEX-5R, Fuji X-E1, Panasonic G5 and Olympus E-M5 at Dslr-Check.

Test resolution Panasonic DMC-G5 versus OM-D NEX7 XE1 and NEX5R

Two things are amazing about this comparison: First, the amount of detail these small sensors can resolve nowadays. And second, how susceptible they have become to moire due to weak or absent antialiasing filter. There are full sized samples from each camera, a bit further down the page, one for a jpeg straight from the camera and another jpeg converted from Lightroom. Oh, there's another amazing thing, the amount of screw-ups Google translator can do on a simple page as this: . . . read more

Olympus M.zuiko 60mm Macro f/2.8 vs 75mm at Pattaya Days: If you are not interested in macro, and are prepared to pay 50% more, go for the 75mm.

"If you are not interested in macro, and are prepared to pay 50% more, go for the 75mm. The extra light gathering of F1.8 can be really useful, as well as offering creamier bokeh and a chance for thinner depth of field if such is you need. And the IQ is beyond reproach.

If you are after a macro, the 60mm will give you great macro shots, and also double as a general lens providing almost as much as the 75mm. And it’s lighter, cheaper, faster and more weather resistant. . . . read more

Panasonic GH3 review at Expert Reviews: Highly accomplished for photos and in a league of its own for video.

"We've been using the first-generation Panasonic GH1 for the last three years, hacked for high bit rates, and we've yet to see a camera that surpasses it for video quality – until now. The GH1 held its own for details and noise, matching the GH3's AVCHD mode but not quite keeping up with its QuickTime mode. However, the GH3 was in a different league in its ability to pick out subtle textures, particularly in darker areas of the frame. It also exhibited a more flattering colour palette, with stronger contrast without resulting in clipping and none of the banding that the GH1 and various other Lumix G cameras have exhibited in skin tones. . . . read more

Panasonic GF5 review by Thom Hogan at Sans Mirror: This is an average performing camera, so if you're frugal and find it at a below average price, you may have a winner.

The GF5 remains the smallest, most compact Panasonic interchangeable lens camera

"I liked the GF3, but I'm liking the GF5 more. Panasonic, to their credit, has fixed a lot of the small weaknesses in the update. It's not the fastest mirrorless camera in the world, it's not the best image quality camera in the mirrorless world, it doesn't have the most pixels of any mirrorless camera, but it takes excellent pictures on the fly and doesn't get in your way while doing so. It's a spouse-friendly camera (press the iA button before handing it to someone who isn't a photographer), it doesn't have controls that get changed when you handle it roughly (slipping mode dials, etc.). All in all, . . . read more

Olympus releases new firmware for the pen E-PL5 and E-PM2 cameras, adds just a tiny little fix.

Olympus meager firmware update makes Homer sad.

This is it: "Unstable exposure, while using lenses that cannot communicate with cameras (such as OM or body cap lenses), has been improved." Let's hope E-M5 owners eagerly awaiting the next 'stuffed with goodies' firmware update promised to be delivered soon, will get a bit more than this. . . . read more

Panasonic GH3 review and user experience multi-part review at Sound Image Plus: This thing is different, it is the future, it is a DSLM (and i love it). Also: Nikon D600 & D800 for sale.

"Next two days are supposed to have some sunshine so I'll hopefully get some more decent opportunities to run the outfit through its paces. However this camera already ticks more boxes for me than anything else I've ever bought, so I am expecting great things. Its pretty obvious that there has been some serious input into this by photographers, something that hasn't always been in evidence with some previous Panasonic m4/3 cameras. Those dark days of the

. . . read more

Nasim Mansurov at PhotographyLife: Battle of the mirrorless (part 1), the Nikon 1 J2, Canon EOS-M, Sony NEX-F3, Sony NEX-5R/NEX-6, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus OM-D EM-5 duke it out above iso 1600.

The Nikon J2 clearly looks the worst in the group

I really respect Mr. Mansurovs musings and reviews, but this 'battle' comes straight from the land of bloody obvious. There's a mini sensor (the Nikon 1 J2), a bit larger one (Olympus E-M5) and then a whole bunch of Aps-c sized ones. At least throw in a Fujifilm X-E1 in the mix for some real fun. I guess part 2 (Dynamic range) will be more interesting.

"As I have already mentioned before, I will be measuring dynamic range myself going forward without having to rely on other websites for the data. It will be interesting to see how my data compares to other sites like DxOMark. I am not . . . read more

Olympus E-PL5 review at Steves-Digicams: I bet its not written by Steve, and I bet the reviewer gets paid by the word (review conclusion word count: 1922 words), and why are there more ads on this site nowadays than AOL on steroids? (P.S they liked it)

E-PL5's advertised ISO 25600 is not usable in any capacity. No s*it Sherlock!

"Continuing the Olympus Digital PEN series, the E-PL5 is another great addition to this ever growing line of compact, interchangeable lens cameras. As a mid-range model, the E-PL5 packs in a 16-Megapixel Live MOS imaging sensor, TruePic VI processor, Sensor Shift image stabilization, incredibly fast AF system and a load of creative features and filters to keep this camera well rounded.

. . . read more

Pop Photo camera of the year: Canon 5D Mark III. Runner up(s): Nikon D800 and Sony SLT A-99. Honorably Mentions: Fujifilm X-pro1 and Olympus E-M5.

Since there's no entry in my lexicon for 'camera of the year methodology' will refrain from a rant flood, and pass you on to the article, as the Pop Photo editors explain the why and how of the whole thing:

"2012 proved a truly great year for cameras. In the wake of 2011’s devastating tsunami in Japan and flooding in Thailand, camera manufacturers released nearly two years’ worth of terrific models in 2012, all within a span of eight months.

But our Camera of the Year choice came down to just three real finalists—the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Nikon D800, . . . read more

Olympus OMD EM-5 vs Fujifilm X-E1 comparison review by Lindsay Dobson: You can't compare the incomparable, each camera is good on its own merit. Also: Many gorgeous images!

When speed is important, or RAW shooting, I grab my OMD.

"So how do I feel about my new cameras? Well I’m delighted with both of them, but for different reasons. I was more or less able to predict how the XE1 would perform based on my ownership and love for my existing X cameras and my familiarity with the brand. But the OMD was something of a revelation, I really didn’t expect a micro 4/3 camera to produce images which were often difficult to distinguish from those of the Fuji, even in low light.

There really is very little between them. Fuji grain is quite fine and the images are very smooth, but you really only . . . read more

The Gritty Monkey reviews the Fujifilm X-E1, pits it against the Sony NEX-7 and Olympus E-M5, ends up choosing the smelliest one.

"So why the Fuji X-E1 then?

- This might sound crazy to a lot of people, but one of the first reasons why I ended up choosing the X-E1 is because that camera just looks beautiful. It smells like photography, It’s like it’s calling you to take it with you and go shoot something! Whether ugly tools are as good as nice looking ones to craft beautiful art is a tough question, I’ll leave it up to you  All I know is that the form of this camera is almost inspiring.
- I love the dedicated dials to set the shutter speed and exposure compensation, and the aperture settings directly on
. . . read more

Panasonic Lumix GH3 review at Pocket (sized reviews) Lint: Still images are on par with the Olympus E-M5, but the video is in a class of it's own, and so is the hefty price it demands, this is the most expensive micro 4/3 camera to date.

"Feature-packed, the Panasonic Lumix GH3 is up there with the best Micro Four Thirds cameras, but it sure is a pricey purchase. It's even more cash than the Olympus OM-D, but in a more bloated and less "edgily" styled body.

Will it woo the crowds already attached to DSLR brands? It's not necessarily a hard sell on paper, as there are features by the bucketload. But with hardened fans of the best-known DSLR brands, the GH3 does feel a little adverse to what we . . . read more

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

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 Lumix G X Review at Sans Mirror: Despite not living up to the best 24-70mm f2/8 lenses out there, it is still a viable solution, especially since this is the only lens of this kind available for the micro 4/3 mount for now.

Panasonic Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm  F/2.8 ASPH O.I.S

"Panasonic didn't knock this one out of the park, as we'd all hoped they would. Most of us are still waiting for the fast zoom for m4/3 that really opens up the dark for us without compromise. The curtains didn't fully part with the appearance of the 12-35mm, but they've opened a fair amount. I'd be comfortable using this for photojournalistic type use, though I'd need to develop a workflow for raw files to fully extract what I want.

On the one hand, the lens is scaled nicely: it's small like m4/3 bodies are small. It also has a build quality that matches its price. But the 12-35mm is let down a bit by its performance in the corners and at extremes. . . . read more

Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap lens review by Thom Hogan: It is manual focus only and has less than stellar optical characteristics, but you should buy one.

Buy one. Simple as that. If you've got an m4/3 camera, buy one. Use it as your main body cap (though note that the BCL-15 should have its rear lens cap mounted when it's not on the camera, to protect the rear element).

Indeed, so many people have opted to buy this body cap lens that it's mostly sold out and some places that still have it are charging more than list price for it as I write this.

It's really a no-brainer purchase for those of you trying to go small and pocketable with your m4/3 system (e.g. GF5 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

Panasonic GH3 vs GH2 comparison and initial thoughts by Noam Kroll: Many big and small improvements, but the now much lower price of the GH2 makes it a still solid proposal for many shooters.

Panasonic GH3 black with articulated lcd screen

"You can now remotely control your camera from your tablet or smartphone. By downloading the Lumix Link app on your mobile device and transmitting a Wi-Fi signal from your GH3, you can instantly use your phone, tablet, etc. as a wireless monitor, hit the record button, change focus by tapping (on electronic lenses) and much more! I will personally be using this function soon for an underwater shoot, where I will operate the camera from above ground… That is if the app that is required starts to work properly. . . . read more

Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 ED M.Zuiko EZ Micro 4/3 Lens review by Thom Hogan: A bit better than your usual cheapo kit lens, especially for users that shoot video.

"I consider the 12-50mm a "kit lens for videographers." Most of the weaknesses of this lens hurt still users, but not video users, plus a video user likely feels more restrained by the kit lens than a still user. The 4x zoom range gives them more flexibility than the ~3x zoom range of the regular kit lens, the silent zoom/focus is necessary for close work, and even the quasi-macro range opens up abilities that a video user would seek.

While Olympus and others have suggested this lens with the E-M5 as the perfect kit lens combination, I have reservations . . . 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

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 lens test report at Camera Ergonomics: mounted on a matching body like the GH3, it is fully capable of taking on a professional photographic role.

"Since the advent of the Micro Four Thirds format in 2008, there has been some uncertainty,  dare I say confusion, about the place of M43 in the camera world.  Some thought  it would be a platform for compact camera upgraders, some saw it as a "gap filler" between compacts and DSLR's.  I have always seen it as the format best positioned to supplant the APS-C  DSLR  as the most popular interchangeable lens system. Until now this prospect has not been realised due to a lack of sufficiently convincing M43 products. That has started to change. The Panasonic 7-14mm f4 has always been a pro . . . 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.

Olympus E-PL5 front black with lens.

"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

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm F2.8 Review at Frugal Film Makers: Fast and sharp, coupled with the 12-35mm it is twice nirvana.

"I have to say it has been worth the wait.  This lens will get a lot of use by me.  Panasonic pulled out all the stops on this one as well.  Is as good as we thought it might be?  Yes!  What more could we ask for?  Some are saying the price is to high, but this is a “luxury” lens like the one from the other guys.  Their’s is much bigger, heavier and expensive.  What we get for this expense is a lens that bring MicroFourThirds into the big leagues with it professionalism with a fast tele zoom.

When Panasonic showed the prototype of this lens they also showed a 12-35mm F2.8. O.I.S.  This new wonder tele zoom . . . read more

Ongoing Panasonic GH3 review by Nick Driftwood at Vimeo, part II. (Updated, Part III, creative control modes, now online)

Panasonic DMC GH3 with portrait grip, rear side.

"A daytime run thru of the main picture scenes/(profiles), Scene Guides and Creative Control. Many of these effects are to be found on other Lumix cameras - the GH3 just happens to make them look so much better with the availability of high bitrates. Shot in the UK rain, handheld and cold, I think I'm excused for the rather hasty collection of wide 'fixed' shots but it gives you a rough idea of what 'style' you can expect of your pictures in-camera, without the grading. . . . 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.

Olympus E-PL5 front black with kit lens.

"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

The Phoblographer recommends Lenses for Micro Four Thirds, but don't read if you're a fan of m43 zoom lenses though, because they're deemed 'mediocre at best'.

M32 all manufacturers lenses lineup. Credit: Efixmedia.de

Also recommended is the Tokina reflex 300mm POS IQ challenged lens (due to mirror/reflex technology limitations), that the writer obviously thinks is better than the Panasonic 100-300mm? Yeah, right.

"For those of us who like to take pictures of small things with great magnification, or close-ups of stuff like flower blossoms, a macro lens is a must. Panasonic has the Leica-branded 45mm f2.8 to offer, while Olympus recently introduced the 60mm f2.8 (which is much smaller in reality than it seems). Both allow for 1:1 magnification, and both . . . read more

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