Japanese optical manufacturer Kowa has released pricing for the three Micro Four Thirds lenses it first announced a year ago. The trio, Kowa Prominar MFT 12mm f/1.8, Prominar MFT 8.5mm f/2.8 and Prominar MFT 25mm f/1.8 are available now and will come in a choice of black, silver or green finishes. The lenses are all manual focus, and do not feature electrical contacts for communicating aperture or focus distance data to the camera. The company had them on show at the Broadcast Video Expo in London. Read more
Stories tagged with micro-four-thirds
We thought we'd try something a bit different for our video overview of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Given that two of the major changes are improvements in its video features and stabilization, we thought we'd use the camera to shoot its own video and see how it behaves handheld. And, since the camera is environmentally sealed, we thought we'd venture beyond the office for a bit. See video
Three companies joined the Micro Four Thirds system standard group this morning, including DJI, maker of both consumer and professional-level drones. JDC (GuangZhou) Optical Co., a small Chinese optics manufacturer, and Flovel Co., a Japanese optical company, both also announced support. Read more
Flash manufacturer Cactus has updated firmware for its V6 wireless flash transceiver to include profiles for top end guns from Olympus and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds systems. Firmware 1.1.004 makes the V6 transmitter/receiver units compatible specifically with Olympus FL-50R, FL-36R and Panasonic FL-500R and FL-360R. Read more
Olympus is using Photokina to show a prototype 'Open Platform' camera module. Developed with the MIT Media Lab, the module is a Micro Four Thirds compatible unit that can be controlled from a smart device. Like Sony's QX series, the Olympus has its own shutter button but it also offers a hotshoe an is built around a more open software platform to allow developers to create apps to control it.
Panasonic has announced it is developing a 30mm f/2.8 Macro lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. The lens will be compatible with the latest generation 240 frame-per-second autofocus and will include image stabilization. No further details of specification, price or time-scale have yet been provided.
Lens adapter manufacturer Metabones has launched a pair of long-awaited Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds lens adapters. The first adapter is the Smart Mount version which allows electronic control of the aperture in a Canon lens from a Micro Four Thirds camera, as well as correct recording of EXIF information and activation of Image Stabilization where present. Also debuting is an EF to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster. Read more
Kodak is arguably the most famous name of all in photography, but it ultimately failed to manage the transition from film to digital, and ended up exiting the consumer imaging business altogether in 2013. But now JK Imaging, which licenses the Kodak name, has created an interchangeable lens camera. The Pixpro S-1 is an entry-level model that's designed to attract budding photographers who are buying their first system camera. Click through to read our first impressions.
Update: Consumer electronics maker JVC Kenwood has joined the Micro Four Thirds standard and said it will develop products for the system. The company is showing two prototype 4K-capable cameras, including a compact, handheld model at NAB in Las Vegas. We stopped by the JVC Kenwood booth and got a first glimpse of the cameras on display. Interestingly, the company says both cameras will have Super 35 sensors (around 21 x 12mm), which is wider than the original Four Thirds sensor format which the standard was designed around. Learn more
Kodak famously failed to adapt to the transition from film to digital photography, and finally stopped making digital cameras in early 2012. Now the famous old brand has been resurrected by JK Imaging Ltd, which is producing cameras in partnership with Asia Optical. We got a quick look at some of the 2014 product portfolio earlier this year at CES but this week we had a more detailed briefing at a European press event. Click through to take a closer look.
Japanese optical company Kowa - best known for its spotting scopes and binoculars - has revealed that it plans to make three lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The Kowa Prominar 8.5mm F2.8 MFT, 12mm F1.8 MFT and 25mm F1.8 MFT will all feature manual focus and aperture control, and use low-dispersion XD glass and aspheric elements to minimise distortion and aberrations. They're due to be released in summer 2014.
Panasonic has announced its latest flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, the Lumix DMC-GH4. It's designed as a 'hybrid camera' that can shoot both stills and videos, and the emphasis of the improvements is clearly on the latter. Its revised 16MP Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine IX processor allow for 4K video, 12 fps continuous shooting and 1080p shooting at bitrates as high as 200Mbps. An optional 'interface unit' adds five SDI and two XLR terminals, and permits 10-bit 4:2:2 output with time code.
CES 2014: Panasonic has formally announced the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH OIS fast portrait prime for Micro Four Thirds. The lens, first revealed in prototype form back at the Photokina trade show in September 2012, offers an 85mm equivalent field of view, optical image stabilisation, and the brightest aperture of any autofocus lens on the system. It's The lens will be available during the first quarter of 2014 at suggested prices of $1,599/€1,499/£1,299.
Hong Kong-based lens maker SLR Magic has announced an addition to its family of video-oriented manual focus fast primes for Micro Four Thirds. The 17mm T1.6 offers an angle of view equivalent to 34mm on full frame, and has geared focus and aperture rings. It will be available at the end of December 2013.
Forget the Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4, Sony Alpha 7R and RX10, Nikon 58mm F1.4 or the tiny Panasonic GM1 - last week's real news was Lomography's introduction of an 'Experimental Lens Kit' for Micro Four Thirds. Comprising a 24mm F8 standard lens, a 12mm F8 wideangle and a 160° F8 fisheye, the kit costs £79 / €89. Each of the lenses even has a built-in shutter with speeds of 1/100sec and Bulb, allowing in-camera multiple exposures, plus a T mode to hold the shutter open for normal live view. In addition all three have a slot for colour gel filters. Click through for full details.
We've been shooting with the Olympus PEN E-P5 for some months now and have just completed our review. The arrival of the E-M1 may have grabbed the limelight in recent weeks but the latest PEN deserves its share of the attention. Although it continues the classic PEN look, it shares most of its specifications with the E-M5, which should make it pretty special - but what's it like to use? Read our review to find out.
We've had more time to shoot with the Olympus E-M1 and have extended our coverage of its AF performance. In addition to incorporating real-world Continuous Autofocus examples and commentary, we've also spent more time shooting with it alongside an E-5, to see exactly how the two compare, and amended our impressions accordingly.
The O-MD E-M1 has just been announced and takes its place as both Olympus' flagship Micro Four Thirds camera and the successor to the E-5 DSLR. We've been spending some time with a production unit, taking the new 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor for a spin in a variety of conditions. Follow the link to learn more about this high-end mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.
Olympus has announced the OM-D E-M1, now the flagship of its Micro Four Thirds lineup. Rather than calling it the follow-up to the E-M5, Olympus says that the E-M1 is actually the 'successor' to the E-5, the Four Thirds camera introduced back in 2010. The E-M1's standout feature is its new 16.3MP Live MOS sensor with on-chip phase-detection autofocus, designed to work with legacy Four Thirds lenses.
Olympus has unveiled a high-end standard zoom to match the E-M1: the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. It offers a 24-80mm equivalent range and is dust, splash and, freezeproof, and uses a manual focus clutch design similar to the 12mm F2 and 17mm F2.8 primes. Olympus has also announced the development of a matching 40-150mm F2.8 telezoom, which is scheduled for release next year. Click through for more details.
It's an open secret that many compact cameras are produced by OEMs - companies that produce large numbers of products that are then sold under other brand names. There are also consumer-grade zooms from big name manufacturers that look much alike (we know for a fact that third-party makers commonly create lenses for the bigger brands). But we were still surprised to read about Sigma's latest patent for a 75mm F1.8 prime lens...
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-GX7 - the follow-up to the DMC-GX1 - which is its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera to include in-body image stabilization. This 16MP, rangefinder-style camera also includes a high-resolution, widescreen EVF that can be tilted upwards 90 degrees. Panasonic claims that their newly designed Live MOS sensor improves both detail and color saturation by 10%. Other features of note include a tilting LCD, a 'silent shooting' mode, focus peaking, 1080/60p videos, and Wi-Fi with NFC capability.
Alongside the enthusiast-oriented DMC-GX7, Panasonic has announced the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 - the fastest autofocus lens ever created for the Micro Four Thirds system. If you're getting a sense of deja vu that's because Panasonic actually announced this lens already (sort of) at last year's Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany. But what was then a dummy lens behind glass now appears to be a real product, albeit one without any firm availability date or pricing information.
Just posted: Our review of the Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm F8. In essence this is a tiny three element optic hidden inside a body cap, and probably the cheapest lens of any description made by any camera manufacturer. But is it any good? In the latest of our lens reviews in collaboration with DxOMark, we take a look both at how well it performs in studio testing, and in real-world use. Does it have any place in the Micro Four Thirds user's camera bag? Click through to find out.
Metabones has introduced Nikon G-type versions of its Speed Booster lens adapter for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras, which include a control ring for aperture setting with lenses that don't have aperture rings of their own. The Speed Booster itself is a lens adapter that that reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.71x, and increases the maximum aperture by 1 stop, effectively allowing lenses to give very similar angle of view and depth of field control on APS-C mirrorless cameras as they do on full frame. The Nikon G-type adapters are available to buy now for $429 from Metabones' website.
Just Posted: Our detailed, hands-on Olympus PEN E-P5 preview. We've been using a pre-production E-P5 for the last few days and have had a dig beyond the specifications to discover how the latest range-topping PEN behaves. We investigate the camera's latest features, including its easy-connect Wi-Fi, its degree of customization and its '2x2' dial behavior. We also take a look at how it compares to the E-P3 and OM-D E-M5, and how the high resolution VF-4 handles on the E-P5 and existing models.
Olympus has announced the PEN E-P5, the fourth in its range of enthusiast-targeted, rangefinder-style Micro Four Thirds cameras. The E-P5 takes the 16MP sensor that has appeared in the company's other models and adds a five-axis image stabilization system and shutter capable of shooting at 1/8000th of a second amongst a host of tweaks and feature improvements. The camera will available from May at around $1,000/£900/€1000 body only. The company has also announced black versions of its 17mm, 45mm and 75mm F1.8 prime lenses, priced the same as their silver counterparts. There is also a 2.4M dot LCD electronic viewfinder, the VF-4.
Sigma USA has given the price and introduction date of the 60mm F2.8 DN Art lens for mirrorless systems, originally announced at CP+. The 60mm DN will be available in the US for both Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount from mid-May at a cost of around $239. It will offer a 90mm equivalent field-of-view when mounted on Sony NEX bodies or 120mm equivalent on Micro Four Thirds cameras. This third lens for mirrorless cameras from Sigma (joining the affordable 19mm F2.8 DN Art and 30mm F2.8 DN Art), will also be available in a choice of black or silver finishes.
We've just posted our Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 preview, covering Panasonic's newest Micro Four Thirds mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The G6 comes barely a year after the G5, and offers several updates, including a 1.44 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and the same sensor as the GH2. Its body has also been restyled and the touch-sensitive technology of its fully-articulated screen has been upgraded. Like its little brother the GF6, the G6 also includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with Near Field Communication (NFC). Click through for our hands-on preview.
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-G6 - the latest in its mass market series of DSLR-styled mirrorless cameras. The G6 gains considerably improved movie capabilities, including full exposure control, an external mic socket and the sensor from the GH2. It also adds the NFC-aided Wi-Fi for simple remote control and image download that we first saw in the GF6.
Panasonic has created the Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS, a second-generation 10x zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The lens offers a smaller, lighter, less-expensive alternative to the original G Vario HD 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 ASPH Mega OIS. The latest version features three aspheric and two ED elements and an internal focus design with linear stepper motors to make the most of the faster focus processing of the latest Micro Four Thirds bodies.
Just Posted: Our Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 review. The GH3 is the latest model in Panasonic's range-topping series of Micro Four Thirds cameras that aims to offer a tool as suited to keen film makers as enthusiast photographers. The GH3 has added a host of video industry-requested features as well as promising the best-yet stills image quality from a GH camera. However, the last year or so has seen other camera makers take an interest in movie shooting, so has Panasonic done enough to stay ahead? Read our review to find out.
Just Posted: Our hands-on Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 preview. The GF6 expands the capabilities of Panasonic's GF series away from the point-and-shoot focus that it had increasingly pursued. The latest model adds a more sophisticated touch-screen and additional control points that will benefit a range of users but it's the NFC-mediated Wi-Fi system that we found really interesting. Add this on top of the 16MP sensor from the GX1 and you have a compelling combination of features. Click through to find out more.
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-GF6 - a 16MP entry-level mirrorless camera with Wi-Fi. Like many of its competitors it has a capacitive touchscreen, that can tilt both downwards and upwards to face forwards for self-portraits. It gains a compact-camera style zoom lever around the shutter release that can alternatively be used to set exposure compensation, and an exposure mode dial on the top plate. It's also the first interchangeable lens camera with Near Field Communication (NFC) that allows setup of Wi-Fi connections with compatible smartphones and tablets, simply by tapping the devices together. Movie recording is available at 1080p30 in either MP4 or AVCHD format.
Blackmagic Design has announced a pocket-sized 1080p movie camera capable of 422 ProRes capture with promises of lossless CinemaDNG to be added via firmware. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses a Super 16 imaging area (around 12.5 x 7.4mm - slightly smaller than a 1" sensor), and an 'active' Micro Four Thirds lens mount, giving full aperture control of native lenses. The camera can capture footage in Apple's 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes format Blackmagic promising to add the open, lossless CinemaDNG Raw standard later. The company has said this will cost just $995 and be available from July.
SLR Magic has announced its Monster Lens II spotting scope for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The optic mounts directly on the camera body, allowing users to shoot distant images, commonly referred to as 'digiscoping'. The 12-36x50 ED lens gives an equivalent optical zoom range of 840-2,520mm and aims to keep image quality high with extra-low dispersion optics and multi-coated glass elements. It will be available from June 2013 at a suggested retail price of $799. Click through to to read more.
Sigma US has announced the price and availability for its three latest 'Art' series prime lenses - the 19mm f/2.8 DN and 30mm f/2.8 DN for mirrorless cameras, and the 30mm f/1.4 for APS-C DSLRs. The DN lenses will be available for street price of $199 and the redesigned 30mm f/1.4 will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts for $499. All three will start shipping from the end of this month. No details were given about the 60mm f/2.8 lens also announced during the CP+ tradeshow.
CP+ 2013: Panasonic has added a 42.5mm F1.2 portrait lens and 150mm F2.8 super-telephoto prime to its lens roadmap for Micro Four Thirds, for release in the near future. The lenses, shown in prototype form at Photokina 2012, last September, are shown as being ready for release just after the 14-42mm II ASPH. kit zoom launched this week.
CP+ 2013: Tamron is showing off its newly-announced 14-150mm F3.5-5.8 Di III VC stabilized superzoom lens for Micro Four Thirds, while Olympus has a revised version of its 75-300mm F4.8-6.7. Though Tamron hasn't yet announced the price or availability of the 14-150mm, the prototype it has on display is working and the company gave us a hint about how much it will charge.
Tamron has announced that it's developing an image stabilised superzoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC (Model C001) is poised to become the first third-party zoom for the system, and will offer a 28-300mm equivalent focal length range. It uses the company's Vibration Control (VC) system to counteract hand-shake, and a stepper motor for fast and silent autofocus. The lens will also feature a metal barrel and be available in a black or silver finish. Price and availibility are still to be confirmed.
CP+ 2013: Sigma has announced four additions to its 'Art' range of prime lenses, including a 60mm F2.8 DN lens for mirrorless cameras and an updated 30mm F1.4 DC for APS-C DSLRs. Alongside these are redesigned versions of its 30mm and 19mm F2.8 DN lenses for mirrorless in metal bodies. Like these lenses, the 60mm F2.8 DN features a metal casing and will be available for the Sony E and Micro Four Thirds mounts. It will offer a 90mm equivalent field of view on Sony NEX cameras or 120mm equivalent coverage of Micro Four Thirds bodies. The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC is a completely redesigned version of the popular normal lens for APS-C DSLRs - it will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. Price and availability details have not been given.
CP+ 2013: Panasonic has announced the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega O.I.S - its latest affordable kit lens for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. The 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II is the company's fourth variable aperture standard zoom (following the 14-45mm, original 14-42mm and 14-42mm power zoom), and gains two aspherical elements to help make the lens smaller than the existing version. The 14-42mm II will be available as a kit option with both the DMC-GF5 and DMC-G5 in most markets.
Olympus has issued a press release confirming JK Imaging and four other companies have formally signed-up to the Micro Four Thirds standard. JK Imaging announced last week that it would be offering MFT cameras under the Kodak brand. Australian company Blackmagic Design, which already offers a movie camera with a passive Micro Four Thirds mount and is rumored to be working on a fully compliant version, also joins. The other three signatories are less consumer-facing.
Just a week after announcing it was licensing the Kodak brand name, JK Imaging has been showing a Micro Four Thirds camera at a press conference in China. Details are vague but the camera, reported to be called the S1, does appear to be sporting the official Micro Four Thirds logo. The camera, which will offer Wi-Fi for communication with smartphones, is said to be based around a Sony CMOS sensor. (via PetaPixel)
Olympus USA has announced its M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 for Micro Four Thirds will be available in December for around $500. The lens features the same premium build quality and snap-focus manual focus mode as the company's 12mm f/2.0. The snap-focus mode is engaged by pulling the focus ring on the lens back, which reveals a distance scale and engages end-stops on the focus travel, applies firmer damping and switches the camera to manual focus mode. Olympus UK, meanwhile, has announced a price of £449.99.
Olympus has released a firmware update for its OM-D E-M5 high-end Micro Four Thirds camera. Firmware 1.5 allows the use of the camera's in-body stabilization during video recording when using non-native lenses on the camera once the focal length has been specified. The firmware also promises to reduce the humming noise generated by the camera's stabilization system when keeping the sensor in its neutral position. The update can be downloaded and installed via the Olympus Camera Updater software. The update also includes the changes promised for the suspended firmware v1.2.
Just Posted: our preview of the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS. The 35-100mm F2.8 is Panasonic's second constant aperture zoom for Micro Four Thirds and is designed to cover the classic 70-200mm equivalent range. It does so in a relatively compact lens that matches the company's existing 12-35mm F2.8 bright standard zoom. The lens we have isn't ready for the rigors of studio testing, so isn't part of the relaunch of lens reviews just yet, but is 'final' enough for us to be allowed to publish a full-resolution samples gallery.
Photokina 2012: Panasonic has unveiled the DMC-GH3, its most movie-orientated Micro Four Thirds camera yet. The GH3 is built around a new 16MP sensor, which the company promises will offer improved image quality. In addition the camera, which now features a larger and weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, is packed with videographer-friendly features. These include 3.5mm mic and headphone sockets, 60p/60i/30p/24p output, All-I or IPB compression options (at up to 80 or 50 Mbps respectively) and timecode support. There will also be the option of a battery grip to allow shooting for longer periods.