ashokvashisht: Wildlife shooters would love to see such a fixed lens camera with 100-600 zoom with a fast lens ? Is there a market for such a product ?
I know a couple of people who've bought a Nikon 1 V3/J5 just to use the 70-300CX lens. The 70-300CX is roughly the equivalent of 200-800mm for field of view and is impressively sharp wide open.
They carry the 1" sensor Nikon as a compact super-telephoto companion to their DSLR (e.g a full frame body with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens), the 70-300CX staying permanently attached so that it's ready when they need the extra reach.
I'm doubtful that market is large enough to create demand for a dedicated fixed lens camera though.
princecody: Does this camera include touchscreen for that price?
It's about time Sony started adding touch screens to all it's RX and A7 series cameras. The mature touch screens on Micro Four Thirds cameras are very useful, especially for quickly setting the focus point.
Miike Dougherty: I purchased the 15 F4 directly out of China when it was introduced. First, it is not a general purpose ultra wide angle and should not be used for that purpose. It is a macro lens where you want a dominant foreground and a lot of out-of-focus back ground. It's fantastic for this purpose. I bought it in Sony mount to be used on my A77. Since I stop the lens down to F16, it would be too dark with an optical view finder but not with the A77's electronic viewfinder. The A77 also has "focus peaking" which really works quite well and not available on my Nikons.
In my opinion the lack of automatic aperture is the main issue with all these manual macro lenses.
Focusing wide open, then stopping down for the shot, is impractical when shooting handheld, or focusing on a moving subject. Just the time/action of moving the aperture ring can throw off focus when dealing with a depth of field measured in single figure millimetres.
An EVF is much better than an OVF when focusing stopped down, but it still has issues. If the light isn't bright -- for example using flash to shoot something shaded under foliage -- even my A77II's EVF can become grainy, making accurate focusing more difficult.
I also find it harder to precisely position the point of focus when stopped down. Too much of the subject can end up highlighted by focus peaking, e.g. focusing at f/2.8 only the subject's eye might be highlighted, while half the body would appear sharp at f/16. Enlarge the captured image and the shot focused wide open is more likely to have the focus spot on.
Dave Oddie: 60mm f.ov. equivalent on 4/3? Can't think of a more useless focal length.
It's not a standard lens giving a natural field of view and it's not short tele either.
On aps-c at 45mm equivalent it is almost the ideal standard lens focal length to give that natural viewpoint so makes much more sense.
Adding a 4/3 version seems like an afterthought. If I were a 4/3 user I'd get something like the Oly 45mm F1.8. The difference between 1.4 and 1.8 is minimal and not worth the compromise in my opinion.
I've walked around with a 60mm equivalent (the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 on MFT) and found it wide enough for the photography I wanted to do.
For example, it's wide enough to capture context and environment when shooting on a typical street, rather than just street portraits. I've gone out taking similar shots with the Panasonic 20mm and come back with similar pictures at the end of the day.
I find the idea that 50mm isn't wide enough for a walk around to be rather bizarre, especially if a slightly wider 45mm is "excellent". For a long time most cameras came with a 50mm/55mm/58mm standard prime. Wider lenses are the current fashion for street, but most of the older street photography I've seen was taken at around a 50mm focal length.
SteveY80: The lack of exposure compensation in Manual+Auto ISO is really frustrating. That's the mode where the dedicated EC dial would be most useful - in PAS modes the spare dial can be used to set compensation instead.
In a lot of lighting conditions EC is a necessity, e.g. shooting an air show with backlit planes you can end up with no shadow detail without +EC, while in other circumstances burned out highlights ruin the shot without -EC.
For me the complete lack of Auto-ISO in manual was the most crippling limitation of the GX7. It's the mode I use 75%+ of the time on my Sony, especially for wildlife, sport, and action photography. Having to manually control exposure can lead to missed shots in fast moving events with variable lighting. Panasonic lost a sale to me when they only half fixed it in the GX8.
They could sort this out with a simple firmware fix, but that would be unusual for Panasonic. Hopefully they'll finally have this working in a sensible way on the GX9.
Auto-ISO in manual combines control with the speed and convenience of automatic exposure - the best of both worlds in my opinion.
Obviously if manual with fixed ISO works for you that's fine, but for fast paced shooting, in changeable lighting conditions, I find that automatic exposure makes things a lot easier. Sometimes even the few seconds taken to push the ISO button and roll the dial to the correct value can mean a missed shot - to me it makes more sense for the camera to deal with that automatically.
The difference in field of view between a 60mm (equivalent) lens and (for example) the 55mm Sony/Zeiss 1.8 FE (on full frame) is pretty insignificant. Would you call that a lens with a useless focal length?
Recommending the 45mm 1.8 as an alternative to the 30mm just seems strange to me. Not because the Oly's a bad lens -- it's a really decent compact portrait prime for a good price -- but going from 60mm to 90mm makes a bigger difference than going from 45mm to 60mm.
60mm is still wide enough to make a versatile walk around lens (e.g. for street photography), but that isn't really true of a 90mm equivalent in my opinion.
norman shearer: Well done DPR for looking into the cost of using e-shutter. It's good to know you won't get a noise penalty or reduced dynamic range. Pity Panasonic have yet to implement a better AutoISO so that you can set a min shutter speed. If the camera had been a bit more ISO invariant then you could always stay in manual mode and not worry about being 4 or 5 stops underexposed. I can do this with my APS-C cameras but it's a tall order for an mft sensor.Biggest fail for me is Panasonic changing the screen to fully articulating. With its strong video capability I can understand their reasoning though. Only plus for me personally is being able to better protect the screen from damage. I don't mind the biggger body size - allows a better spread of controls and you have a better balance when using larger lenses. The new EVF sounds great and better IBIS is very welcome. A very tempting camera now that the price has dropped. Well done Panasonic.
AutoISO is definitely a weakness - no exposure compensation when using AutoISO in manual, as well as the lack of a minimum shutter speed option. My Panasonic is the one camera where I still find myself having to ride the ISO control, while other cameras would handle that for me. It's something Panasonic could easily fix in firmware.
I think we're in the minority, but I agree with you about the articulated screen. For me it's something that only gets used for high and low shots, making a tilting screen perfectly adequate and more convenient.
Ed Overstreet: The new Auto feature for the electronic shutter, added in the firmware update which gives the Post-Focus feature, is now also available in the G7 in a firmware update -- as well as Post-Focus for that camera. The G7 uses the same batteries as the GX8, so they compliment each other nicely.
The review completely misses the point (IMO) of Post-Focus. Post Focus really shines if you want to do focus stacking in a situation where the subject(s) in the frame aren't moving around. With Post Focus it is now possible to do hand-held capture for focus stacking quickly, silently and easily. In about two seconds of 4K MP4 burst you can record the scene at all focus points in the frame with an f:1.4 - f:2.8 lens in low light at much faster shutter speeds and/or much lower ISOs than you'd need at f:16 or f:22, and yet get the same effective depth of field in your focus stack and without the loss of sharpness from the diffraction you'll get at f:16 or f:22 on most MFT lenses.
Personally, I'd rather have Olympus focus bracketing for macro work, even if the lower FPS reduces the stacking success rate. There's a big difference between full resolution RAW files and 8MP JPEGs, especially as sharpness and detail is often so important for macro subjects.
The lack of exposure compensation in Manual+Auto ISO is really frustrating. That's the mode where the dedicated EC dial would be most useful - in PAS modes the spare dial can be used to set compensation instead.
The i40 works well, although not without some issues. One problem I've found is that the tilt/swivel gets quite loose and doesn't have any kind of lock.
Attach a large diffuser/reflector to mine and it'll flop out of position when moved. That's a problem when using it on camera for macro photography, trying to reflect and diffuse light down onto something in front of the lens. I ended up switching to a heavier Yongnuo flash that didn't have the same problem.
It looks like the i60A head uses the same rather flimsy mechanism, but hopefully it'll be a bit stiffer and hold in position better.
I picked up a cheap X-M1, mainly because I also got a good deal on an X-mount Samyang 8mm fisheye and the X-M1 was the cheapest way to use it.
The X-M/A1/2 are decent cameras - build quality isn't fantastic, but they're lightweight and won't fall to pieces. The arguments over X-trans vs. Bayer, megapixels, and ISO cheating, don't stop them producing good looking images.
To me the only real weakness of the X-M1 is the focus system. AF is sluggish and tracks poorly (even compared with other contemporary CDAF systems), and there's no touch screen for quick selection of focus points.
Manual focus aids are also quite disappointing. The white-highlight only focus peaking can be hard to see, and the magnified view is low quality. That's not an issue with something like the 8mm fisheye, but it can make it hard to accurately focus with long/fast adapted lenses.
I understand the X-A2's AF is improved, but focusing still seems a comparative weakness - one that's glossed over a bit here.
Sitting Duck Photos: For stills the 50mm field of view is usually a bore fest. But this lens is more for video shooters. Eventually, Panasonic will go all in on video and make stills only available from a 4k photo mode. Meh to 50mm.
I'd have thought that its lack of stabilisation would make it a less than perfect option for video shooters?
SteveY80: I'm surprised they haven't included stabilisation, like they did with the 42.5mm 1.7.
I'm not saying that OIS is essential on a fast standard prime, but it would have done more to set it apart from the 20mm 1.7 or Olympus 25mm. It might have made it a little bigger, but anyone who cares that much about a few extra mm/grams would probably go for the pancake lens option anyway.
Maybe they'll implement IBIS in their larger bodies, but I can't see Panasonic fitting it into the successors to the tiny GM1 and GM5.
I use a GM1 because I want something decent that'll fit in a jacket pocket. I wouldn't want to switch to something the size of a GX7, let alone a DSLR shaped model. I already have a larger (in sensor and body size) camera to use when bulk isn't an issue.
There's also the issue of video - correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood that only OIS worked when recording?
I'm surprised they haven't included stabilisation, like they did with the 42.5mm 1.7.
nathantw: I find it interesting that in the old days of film if we had a camera that had an infrared dot on the focus scale all we needed to do was buy a $15 (I'm exaggerating) roll of infrared film and a filter. Then there was Nikon's digital camera, the Coolpix 950 (I think), that did IR really well. Now you can get digital IR from Fuji for $1700. Man, inflation is a b*tch.
I converted my old Nikon myself. There are step-by-step guides online for converting some cameras.
It's a bit nerve wracking the first time you open up the camera, even with one that's 'expendable', but it really wasn't that hard.
I have the older version of the 30mm - the same optically, but with a rubber grip on the focus ring rather than smooth metal. It's a really good lens for street photography, where I'm generally using narrower apertures and zone focusing or AF.
I've always found its manual focus quite poor though: the focus ring (on two different lenses that I tried) is a bit stiff and sticky, especially when you first start turning it. It definitely makes fine adjustment to the focus tricky; I end up turning to too far, then having to turn it back to nail the focus point.
If they've made manual focus on the new one smoother then it may well be superior to the earlier version even with metal rather than a rubber grip.
vesa1tahti: The D7200 simply is brilliant compared to this Sony. Lower high ISO noise, better IQ all in all. We may wait a few years in order to see an other APS-C beating the Nikon.
I consider the EVF a big advantage for manual focus macro shooting - that's one of the main reasons why I bought a Sony rather than a Nikon. Obviously plenty of people take great macro shots with an OVF, but it really increases my number of keepers to have focus peaking and magnification in the viewfinder.
iAPX: Compared to the Nikon D610 & D750, that seems to share a similar sensor, the Sony STL-A77 II seems to be incredibly noisy, with at least 2EV difference when putting it on ISO 1600 and D610 or D750 at ISO 6400!
Those are cameras with full frame sensors, you'd expect at least a stop or so better noise performance from them, even without taking into account the SLT mirror.
Eurotrax: No Sirui ball heads!? Such great quality ball heads, they had the K-40X in the previous test.
That struck me too. Sirui make some excellent ball heads for a very reasonable price.
I'm a bit surprised that there's no EVF built in considering the price. Yes, I did notice the LCD screen attachment, but fitting/removing that bulky thing to switch between screen and viewfinder looks a lot less practical.