Marc Hauser is one of the world’s most renowned portrait photographers, and he has a history of being on top of, if not leading, trends in the industry. Prime example… Marc was one of the first photographers to move away from film and embrace digital imaging, but he is also not one to sacrifice quality for the sake of being trendy. He just recognizes when better technology emerges that allows him to more efficiently product the breathtaking images for which he’s famous.
In the video above, MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer “Coach” Will Crockett (HybridPhoto.pro) takes us on a tour of Marc’s studio and discusses the equipment and techniques that Marc is adopting, and you guessed it, Marc’s going mirrorless.
As one of the Hybrid Heroes on HybridPhoto.pro, I’ve been blessed to work alongside some of the industry’s best, many of whom are now shooting with mirrorless camera systems. So, I’m not surprised to see a guy like Marc Hauser get on the Hybrid bandwagon. But I also know that Marc is a results oriented guy who doesn’t change for the sake of change. He’s enjoyed a long and highly successful career and the main reason is simple… his images are simply the best.
3 or 4 years ago, Marc wouldn’t have been able to make the switch he’s making today, but the imaging technology that’s built into today’s mirrorless cameras has allowed him to not only adopt a new format without sacrificing quality, it also allows him to streamline his workflow and save time on his shoots.
Marc’s camera of choice is now the Panasonic Lumix GH3, and we can’t wait to see the delicious images he’ll produce with his new system.
By the way… if you’d like to check out Marc’s work, both past and present, be sure to check out Marc’s Facebook page, HauserTown.
Master Portrait Photographer Marc Hauser has been a professional portrait photographer for more than 34 years and is a legend in the world of photography Marc is renowned the world over for his work, which has literally stopped traffic – His portrait of Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman, used for a Bigsby & Kruthers ad on a building overlooking Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway, caused traffic jams as drivers slowed to gawk at the larger-than-life Rodman.
At age 14 he was an apprentice to renowned fashion photographer Stan Malinowski. As a teenager, Hauser produced hundreds of album covers in collaboration with Album Graphics for artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Jim Morrison, Joe Cocker and Jerry Lee Lewis. It was on album cover shoots that Hauser developed what he considers his strongest asset—his ability to employ whatever is available for lighting, location and props.
Other celebrities that Marc has photographed include Michael Jordan, Woody Allen, Aaron Copland, Sophia Loren, Jim Belushi, John Cougar Mellencamp and Mariel Hemingway, just to name a few. Hauser has received more than 100 awards for his work, including Omni Awards, Awards of Excellence from Communication Arts Magazine, and Clio Awards. Hauser’s “Perception and Reality” campaign for Rolling Stone earned him more than 50 awards. He received a Platinum Record for a John Cougar Mellencamp album cover. More recent credits include national ad campaigns for Jockey, NEC Computers, Levi Strauss & Co., Sears, Blockbuster Video, and Nordic Trac.
“It’s essential that the images are seen just as I intend them,” says Hauser.
As one of the industry’s leading exponents of digital imaging, Marc continues to explore the boundaries of photography. In fact, he has recently converted his studio entirely to mirrorless cameras, leaving his large, bulky DSLR collection behind. Marc’s new camera of choice is the Panasonic Lumix GH3, and he enjoys it’s ease of use and the ability to “Pre-process” images. That someone of Marc Hauser’s status would adopt mirrorless cameras as his primary shooting tool speaks volumes of just how far mirrorless camera systems have come.
Hauser is also a master at lighting, and it’s his prowess in this area that really separates his work from that of other photographers. In the video above, Marc discusses his techniques for creating unique lighting environments that serve to enhance his subjects. Although Marc uses film cameras in the shoot, the lighting techniques he uses can be easily applied to digital cameras as well. As an added treat, we get to look on as Marc goes through an actual photo shoot – Enjoy!
At age 14 he was an apprentice to renowned fashion photographer Stan Malinowski. As a teenager, Hauser produced hundreds of album covers in collaboration with Album Graphics for artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Jim Morrison, Joe Cocker and Jerry Lee Lewis. It was on album cover shoots that Hauser developed what he considers his strongest asset—his ability to employ whatever is available for lighting, location and props.
OK… Let me say this right out of the gate. The Sony A7 and Sony A7R are FANTASTIC Cameras! If you’re a pro or advanced enthusiast photographer who demands the very best in image quality, and you have advanced photography/videography skills, then these full frame darlings may be just what you’re looking for. They offer great value for the money and match up very well when compared to their DSLR counterparts (and we’re talking the very top end DSLRs), and if you pick one up, I’m very confident that you’re going to love it (if you want to know more about the differences between the two models, see our earlier article here and watch the video above). But will the majority of shooters (including pros and advanced enthusiasts) ever really need a full frame sensor? Is a “full frame” sensor really necessary at all?
In the video above (courtesy of This Week in Photography), Head TWiP Frederick Van Johnson sits down with Gordon Laing of CameraLabs.com to share their first impressions of the new Sony full frame cameras, and discuss how they stack up against the competition – both the full frame DSLR variety and today’s top mirrorless systems.
Like I said at the top, the Sony A7 and Sony A7R are FANTASTIC Cameras, BUT… [controversial statement number 1] – In my opinion, the ultimate output of your camera’s sensor has as much to do with the processing engine as it does with the overall size of the sensor. Say it with me kids… the ultimate output of your camera’s sensor has as much to do with the processing engine as it does with the overall size of the sensor. [Forum Troll outrage commences in 3... 2... 1...]
I’m not going to get into a lengthy explanation of the above statement as I’ve already written an article on the subject that you can view here. What I will say is that mirrorless camera technology has advanced much faster and much farther over the last several years vs DSLRs, which have comparatively stood still, and this is a big reason why [controversial statement number 2] mirrorless systems are quickly making DSLRs, even full frame DSLRs, obsolete. They’re on the way out, folks… no kidding. [Smoke pours from Pixel Peeper's ears]
In my opinion, the “full frame” sensors in these Sony cameras (although marvelous) are merely the latest marketing talking point, much like the number of megapixels was just a few years ago (and anyone who still thinks that you need more megapixels for better performance need only look at what you’ll get from the 16mp Sony NEX 6 vs the 24mp Sony NEX-7).
Once again, the Sony A7 and Sony A7R are FANTASTIC Cameras, BUT… So are the Pansonic Lumix GH3, the Panasonic Lumix GX7, The Olympus OM-D E-M1, the Fuji X-E2 , the Sony NEX 6, and even the Pansonic Lumix G6, which is ostensibly a mid-range camera (and a steal at it’s current price of only $498 USD!). Although each is equipped with sensors that are much smaller than the 35mm sensor in the Sony A7 and Sony A7R, great things come in these smaller packages. They feature advanced autofocus systems and deliver spectacular image quality that will rival most any camera on the market – and they’ll be more than enough for 99% of the photo and video pros in the world, much less enthusiasts. Heck, there have been big screen quality movies shot in the last couple years using nothing but a Panasonic Lumix GH2, and that’s a 3 year old camera.
It’s leaps and bounds like this, plus the fact that mirrorless systems are smaller, lighter and less expensive with no compromise on quality, that have pro photographers moving into mirrorless. Combine that with the abundance of high quality lenses that are also smaller. lighter and less expensive (especially in the case of micro 4/3 cameras), and you have a powerful combination that’s hard to overlook. That’s why highly renowned photographers like Frederick and Gordon above, and others like Zack Arias, Trey Ratcliff, David Hobby and Hybrid Heroes like Suzette Allen, Giulio Sciorio, Marc Hauser, Will Crockett, and even yours truly, have all gotten into mirrorless. About the only area where a DSLR might still be preferable to a mirrorless system today is in fast action sports, but we’re just a software update and a lens or two away from that gap being erased.
Well, of course there are. At least, today. Sensor developers are constantly learning to do more with less real estate. Like I said, those processing engines are just getting better and better, and unless you’re planning on blowing up your image to fit on your garage door, you’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference between full frame and smaller sensors. [Pixel Peeper stomps foot in disagreement]
Don’t take my word for it. Grab a couple of these cameras and test them out for yourself.
Like Frederick and Gordon, I too am a micro 4/3 user and was drawn to that system for many of the same reasons that Gordon mentions in the video – great image quality, abundance of high quality lenses, smaller, lighter, less expensive (you might notice a recurring theme, here). What really got me into M43 though, was the ease of shooting high quality HD video. The Fuji cameras don’t have as many lenses from which to choose, but the ones they do have are absolutely first rate, and the image quality from the X-Trans sensors is in a league all it’s own. As for Sony, well… their sensors are top notch, no matter what the size.
If you’re a pro or enthusiast photographer who’s moving into mirrorless from a full frame DSLR and you have a large supply of legacy lenses, then the Sony A7 or Sony A7R may be just what you’re looking for as you lenses can be easily adapted by using a Metabones Speedbooster, or other adapter. Of course, they make Metabones Speedbooster and other adapters for micro 4/3 and Fuji cameras as well. In the end, the A7 and A7R are great picks for a serious photographer who demands the absolute best in quality, but the same can be said for the other cameras I’ve listed as well. I would highly recommend picking up any one of these, especially before getting a DSLR. They’re all great Hybrid cameras that will do you proud in both photo and video. As for how much resolution you truly need, that decision is up to you.
When Sony released the RX1 Fixed Lens Full Frame System a year ago, we wondered out loud how long it would be before there was an interchangeable lens mirrorless system to go along with it. Our query has now been answered, as Sony have now released their all new interchangeable lens system cameras, the Sony A7 and Sony A7R.
But just what is the difference between these two cameras, and do they live up to the standards that most people associate with the term “Full Frame?”
Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake from The Camera Store got their hands on both models and took them out for a little Autumn shooting to test out both the still photo and video capabilities of Sony’s new Full Frame Systems.
“We’ve been hoping for someone besides Leica to make a full frame, interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, and Sony has finally produced the cameras we’ve been waiting for! In this episode The Camera Store TV’s Chris Niccolls checks out the new Sony A7 and A7R, full frame mirrorless cameras with killer specs for the price. See if they live up to the huge promise they offer. Also, Jordan Drake takes a look at the video functionality.”
There’s no doubt that the Sony A7 and A7R are hitting the market with a lot of promise. One of the biggest arguments levied against mirrorless systems by the pixel peepers and forum trolls is that the smaller sensors in most mirrorless systems can’t compete with those in their huge, full frame sensored DSLR-a-sauruses (more on that in our follow up article). Enter the A7 and A7R, which have a spec pedigree to match any of the big boys and juicy 24mp and 36mp Sony Full Frame Sensors respectively to boot, all packed in the smaller and lighter body of a mirrorless system. Let me reemphasize that these are Sony sensors, because let’s face it, Sony make some of the best sensors in the game, which is why they’re used in so many cameras that do not carry the Sony moniker. So right out of the gate, you get that Sony power while enjoying one of the chief advantages of going mirrorless – smaller size and lower weight. But does this translate into greatness for the new Sony Systems?
The Good - The A7 and A7R do indeed, deliver in the area of image quality (no surprise here). You’ll get crisp and clean images, even at higher ISO, and each camera is tricked out for video as well, complete with mic input and headphone jacks. They’re both ruggedly built and ergonomically friendly with smartly laid out controls. They have cool, retro styling (much like the Olympus OM-D), and wi-fi is an added bonus (and is becoming a necessity in this day and age). Price wise, they represent a huge value for the investment, especially when compare to top of the line, full frame DSLR systems, and by using an adapter, such as the Metabones Speedbooster, you can use all of your legacy lenses.
The Bad – Unfortunately, there just isn’t much native glass for these systems as of yet. There are a few tasty Zeiss lenses you can get and Sony promise more in the future, but for now, you’ll have to rely on native zooms and legacy lenses with adpaters that will negate some of the size advantage you’ll have with an A7 system. Sony have made strides in the area of autofocus tracking, especially on the A7 – which has phase detection pixels at the center of it’s sensor (the A7R relies entirely on contrast detection), but neither of these is ideal for fast action sports. You’ll also have to rely on Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), as there’s none built into either body, so if your lens is not so equipped, make sure you’re using a tripod. Also, the batteries are a bit on the smaller side, so make sure to order extras.
The Ugly - Nothing to call ugly here… unless you don’t like the color black, because that’s the only way they come.
The Sony A7 and A7R hold their own very well against top tier DSLRs in most respects, and should have great appeal for the Pro Photographer and ardent enthusiast to whom a Full Frame Sensor will matter the most. The A7R, with it’s weather sealed, magnesium alloy body and 36mp of full frame power will no doubt entice it’s share of portrait and landscape photographers, but this one’s best left on the tripod. The 24mp sensor on the A7 is no slouch in the performance department, and this camera is actually much better suited for street photography and video (in our opinion) than the more expensive A7R. It doesn’t have it’s more expensive siblings magnesium alloy boy, but it’s still weather sealed and solidly built. Both of these are tremendous cameras that should have a broad appeal to high end photographers looking to move over to mirrorless, and we’re giving them Editor’s Choice Status.
‘Tis the season folks. We’re barely into our Thanksgiving leftovers and Christmas is looming large. The shopping season is in full swing, and as luck would have it, there are some PHENOMENAL DEALS to be had on some equally phenomenal cameras – even some of the newest releases. Some of the things that factored into our picks were Image Quality, Video Quality, Build Quality, Handling, Ease of Use and whether or not the camera is equipped with Wi-Fi, which we believe is becoming a “must have” feature on the Hybrid Camera of today. With that in mind…
(In varying price ranges)
Although it was released about a year ago, the Lumix GH3 is our pick for best micro 4/3 camera, as no other camera can match it in both still photo and video quality. It has all the Pro level features that anyone would want, and when you couple it with one of the Panasonic Lumic Pro Zoom Lenses (12-35mm 2.8 and 35-100 2.8), you get one of the most powerful combinations around today. For less than $900 bucks, this is a STEAL!
Panasonic’s newest offering has not failed to impress in any of our key categories. It’s a solid, well laid out and easy to use camera that has been blowing us away with the quality of the images it produces (both stills and video), and it’s low light capability is impressive, to say the least. The GX7 stacks up very nicely when compared to Olympus’ new OM-D E-M1, but it comes in at almost $600 USD less. It doesn’t have the all out video capabilities that the GH3 has, and we would’ve liked to have seen a mic input jack, but the GX7 remains a serious Hybrid Camera, and another steal at $828!
Our pick for the Best of the NEX Cameras, the NEX 6 delivers in both still photos and video, thanks to those powerful Sony APS-C sensors. The NEX 6 features a 16 MP APS-C sensor with up to 10 fps shooting and Full HD video. It’s Fast Hybrid AF includes phase-detection for lightning quick autofocus. The NEX 6 also has a bright XGA OLED viewfinder for 100% coverage and is loaded up with Wi-Fi® sharing and downloadable camera apps. This is a top level camera at a mid level price, with or without the lens.
Olympus’ popular and highly acclaimed former flagship camera is still one of the best cameras on the market. It doesn’t have the wi-fi capabilities and some of the other goodies found on it’s successor, the OM-D E-M1, but this camera is a still shooter’s dream that still delivers some of the best Image Quality around, and it’s 5 Point In Body Image Stabilization is unmatched. At roughly half the price of the E-M1, it’s another steal!
Another great deal on last year’s model. It wasn’t too long ago that this little beauty would’ve set you back $1.200 USD or so, but the release of it’s successor has allowed for a significant price reduction of this first generation X-Series camera. Image Quality is where your Fuji cameras will shine – the files produced by the cameras just have that little something extra – but the 1st generation X-Series cameras have no wi-fi and do lag a bit behind the competition and 2nd generation cameras, like the Fuji X-E2 (which comes in at $999 USD), where autofocus speed is concerned. At this point, there aren’t a lot of Fuji lenses, but the ones they have are stellar. This one’s geared straight toward pro shooters who demand the best in IQ and aren’t afraid of manual control.
This camera is loaded up with a 16mp X-Trans Sensor and EXR II Processing Technology to give you top tier IQ at a mid level price. It also features a tiltable touch screen, wi-fi and full 1080p video.
Like it’s G-Series predecessor, the Lumix G6 has flown mostly under the radar, primarily due to subsequent marquis camera releases from Panasonic (in this case, the GX7). But make no mistake about it, the Lumix G6 is not to be overlooked (and at $534, it’s one of the best deals available today). This baby is loaded up with a 16MP Digital Live MOS Sensor and all new Venus Processing Engine, 3-Inch fully articulating Touch LCD, One Touch Picture Sharing, Wi-Fi, NFC Near Field Communication, Full 1080p HD Video at up to 60fps – including Full Auto or Manual Video Controls and Mic Jack, Focus Peaking and comes with the 14-42mm II Lens (which is a major improvement over it’s predecessor and a darn fine lens). The G6 will deliver in both still and video, so if you can’t afford a GH3, steal this one for $534.
This is the NEX 6′s little brother, and while it may lack some of the top tier camera’s bells and whistles, as well as an EVF, the NEX 5R is packed with performance and power. It’s loaded up with the same 16 MP APS-C sensor as the NEX 6, and can capture up to 10 fps in burst mode. It also shares the NEX 6′s lightning quick Hybrid AF (includes phase-detection). The NEX 5R also includes full HD movie shooting at 60p/24p with full exposure control, as well as Wi-Fi® sharing and downloadable camera apps. A great option for those who have their heart set on a Sony, but can’t quite afford the top tier cameras.
When this camera came out a year ago, many were calling it the “OM-D Lite” as it is loaded up with the same sensor and image processor as Olympus’ former flagship camera, the OM-D E-M5. There’s now EVF or wi-fi on this camera, but it does have the OM-D’s aforementioned 16 megapixel Live MOS Image sensor and TruePic VI Image Processor that deliver fast AF with Touch screen shooting. Most importantly, you’ll get delicious image quality and it’s compatible with the arsenal of tremendous micro 4/3 lenses.
Selected by Time magazine as one of the “best Inventions of 2012″ – this fixed lens camera is known for it’s small size, but big power in both photo and video. The Sony RX100 is loaded up with a 20.2 MP Sony Exmor CMOS Sensor which produces top quality images, and the gift set includes a Sony 32GB Class 10 Memory Card, a Sony Soft Carry Case, Lens Pen Cleaning Tool, Extra Wasabi Power Battery and External Charger, 25 Free Prints, Deluxe Screen Protector, a Professional Wrist Grip Strap for Digital and Film, Focus Card reader, Focus mini Tripod and MORE. Total savings of over $125!
The little brother to Fuji’s vaunted X100s, which became the darling of the Pro-Tog circuit after it was launched earlier in the year. The X20 has a few less megapixels than it’s bigger brother, but it comes loaded with a 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II image sensor (with primary color filter), a Fujinon f/2.0-2.8 4x optical zoom lens, 2.8-inch advanced optical viewfinder, Intelligent hybrid AF – TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF, and 1920 x 1080 movie recording capabilities. Great Fuji image quality at a great price!
Don’t get caught up in the battle of megapixels (which is basically just marketing hype), because this baby has it where it counts (and I should know… I own one and LOVE it!). The Lumix LX7 is one of the best bargains you’ll get in a fixed lens compact camera. It has a gorgeous F1.4-2.3 Leica DC vario SUMMILUX 24mm Wide Angle Lens with 7.5x Intelligent zoom, there’s less ghosting because of the Nano Surface Coating on the lens, a new 10MPhigh sensitivity MOS sensor, 60p Full HD Video Recording with Stereo Microphone in AVCHD Progressive /MP4, 9fps High Speed Continuous Shooting. This little baby is feature rich and easy to use, and you’ll be amazed by the quality of the images it produces. BTW – It has an INCREDIBLE Macro Mode and can easily take the place of a very expensive macro lens.
The MX-1 pretty much became a sleeper camera after it was released during the trade shows in early 2013, but it has proven to be a capable little performer, especially in THIS price range (it cost nearly twice as much only a few months ago). It has a 1/1.7-Inch 12 mega pixel back -illuminated CMOS sensor for exceptional performance, a 4X optical zoom (28-112mm in 35mm format) at f1.8-2.5 lens for outstanding depth of field control and beautiful bokeh, a large – hi resolution 3 inch 920k pixel LCD screen can be tilted up or down for easy viewing and shooting from difficult angles, a Dual PENTAX body based sensor shift & pixel track shake reduction stabilization system to ensure sharp, blur free images and video, even in dim lighting, and full 1920 x 1080 HD video with h.264 compression, complete with an HDMI out port. For this price, you can’t go wrong!
These are just some of our picks for the kick off of the Holiday Shopping Season. As always, there will be plenty of steals and deals as the season progresses, so be sure to check back often for the latest updates!
Happy Holidays! ヅ
(video comparison of the Panasonic Lumix GH3 and Lumix GX7 above courtesy of Blunty)
Over the last several months (which of course, have been leading up to the Holiday Buying Season), we have seen the release of several remarkable cameras from all the big mirrorless camera companies, including Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic – the latter two, being the developers of micro 4/3 cameras and technology. The M43 top dogs have not disappointed, as their latest releases represent long awaited upgrades of some of their most popular cameras.
In the case of Olympus, the new OM-D E-M1 chimes in as the successor to the highly popular, and highly acclaimed Olympus OM-D E-M5 – which has long held a rightful position as one of the darlings of the mirrorless realm. For Panasonic, their all new Lumix GX7, which is the replacement for the long in the tooth Lumix GX1. Where Olympus have inexplicably gone backward in model numbers fro E-M5 to E-M1, Panasonic have decided to vault forward, skipping several different model numbers to go from GX1 to GX7. Both of the new cameras have enjoyed favorable reviews, but how will these two top tier micro 4/3 cameras fare in a head to head match up?
Kai Wong and Lok C from DigitalRevTV are happy to oblige, as they take to the streets to put these cameras through their rigors in an M43 shootout…
“The new Olympus E-M1 is arguably not the best-looking camera Olympus has released in recent years, but it’s all about the performance. After all, this is the top end Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus, but just how does it compare to Panasonic’s top dog: the GX7? Watch this head-to-head comparison review (video above) to find out.”
Granted, Kai W is not the biggest fan of micro 4/3 cameras (he doesn’t like many of the other top cameras out there either – He is a critic, after all ), but there’s no denying the quality of these two cameras. Make no mistake, these are both quality built image making machines that deliver where it counts with top caliber image quality, performance and ease of use. Their solid, comfortable in the hand and have intelligently laid out displays and controls, as well as tiltable LED screens. Of course, which one looks better is a matter of personal preference.
Image Quality – The removal of the AA filter on the OM-D would theoretically give it an edge in still photo image quality, but the GX7 really does put out some gorgeous images, itself. In my opinion, this is a push. I would recommend that you make your own judgements where IQ is concerned, but either way, you will not be disappointed. Both of these cameras produce delicious files!
Stabilization – The OM-D E-M5′s 5 Point In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) is rock solid, and that technology has now been built in to the E-M1. Panasonic have countered by adding IBIS in the GX7 (until now, Panasonic have used only Optical Image Stabilization, or OIS. In other words, it’s built into the lenses). Speaking strictly of IBIS, Olympus have the edge. But most of the high end Lumix Lenses are equipped with OIS that will function at about the same level as Olympus’ IBIS, and most of the time, that’s what you’ll be using when shooting with the GX7. While you will appreciate the GX7′s IBIS capabilities when using Olympus lenses or Lumix lenses that don’t have OIS, I’ll give a slight advantage to Olympus.
Video – This is where Panasonic cameras shine, and the GX7 has it all over the E-M1 in most respects here, although like Kai, I would have liked to see a mic input jack on the GX7.
Build Quality and Ergonomics – Push
Touch Screens and EVFs – Both have bright, high resolution tiltable touch screens and EVFs. Panasonic’s EVF also swivels upward. Push
These are two great cameras that are tailor made for the Pro or Enthusiast Photographer, although at this point, I would have to say that the Panasonic Lumix GH3 remains the king of the micro 4/3 hill, with it’s top caliber capabilities in both still photos and video. Still, these two do represent a step forward in sensor and processing technology, especially for those who prefer the smaller and lighter body styles of these cameras. It’s also good to see Panasonic finally including In Body Image Stabilization on one of their cameras – a trend I hope to see more of in the future. Both the E-M1 and GX7 produce gorgeous files and are also loaded up with wi-fi technology, which is a must have in this day and age, but by coming in at $500 lower than the E-M1 while running neck and neck in performance, I would have to say that the GX7 represents a much better value. If you have your heart set on Olympus, you might also want to consider the E-M1′s predecessor, the OM-D E-M5 – which is still one of the best cameras around today.
When Olympus released the OM-D E-M5 Micro 4/3 camera, it quickly became one of the most popular image making machines on the market, and is arguably the first camera that made pro photographers begin to consider moving away from their bulky DSLR gear in favor of the smaller and lighter M43 setup. Who could blame them, as the OM-D E-M5 had so much going for it. It was small and light, but still had a rugged, professional grade, weather sealed build quality; and the images produced by the camera are nothing short of breathtaking.
Now, Olympus have launched the follow up to this highly popular camera – the all new Olympus OM-D E-M1. Yes, they’ve stepped backwards in model number, but does the OM-D E-M1 represent a leap forward in performance?
The Camera Store‘s Chris Niccolls got his hands on the E-M1 and took it our for a hands on field test (video above) to see just how the new camera stacks up to it’s predecessor. In this test, the TCS crew “heads out to the famous Okotoks Big Rock to check out the handling, features and image quality of one of this year’s coolest mirrorless cameras.”
While the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is justifiably popular, the new OM-D E-M1 does , indeed, represent a step forward from the previous model. It packs everything you loved about the E-M5 into a body that’s about the same size and maintains the E-M5′s cool retro styling, but with a much more substantial grip (i.e. – no need to purchase an extra battery grip) and intuitively laid out on body controls, as well as a high resolution EVF and tiltable touch screen. The top notch image quality and rock solid in body image stabilization are still there too, with some new auto tracking features added in for good measure.
The OM-D E-M1 has decent video capabilities and can be used as a Hybrid Camera as well, but it’s not on the same level of Panasonic’s Lumix GH3 in that regard (the GH3 is still the best Hybrid Camera available today) and is better suited for still photo first shooters, who will get some amazing images from this camera.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a fantastic camera that rightfully takes it’s place as Olympus’ new flagship camera. At $1,399.00 USD, it’s priced at the high end in this category, and pro and enthusiast photographers may also want to consider less expensive alternatives such as the aforementioned Panasonic Lumix GH3, the Panasonic Lumix GX7 or even the E-M1′s predecessor, the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which is still one of the finest camera’s on the market today. Another camera in the E-M1′s price range that’s worthy of consideration is the new Fujifilm X-E2. All comparisons aside, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a tremendous camera that produces outstanding images, and we’re awarding it with our Editor’s Choice Status.
One of the most frequently asked questions from our MC readers over the last year has been about the successor to Panasonic’s popular, albeit underrated compact Micro 4/3 camera, the Lumix GX1. The GX1 is a dynamite little camera, performance wise, and it’s small size, pocketability (especially with a lens such a Panasonic’s stellar 20mm 1.7 pancake) and high quality images made it a favorite for M43 shooters. But the GX1 came out years ago and let’s face it… it was getting long in the tooth. It also seems that there have been rumors about it’s successor, which everyone assumed would be called the GX2, for almost as long as the camera has been in existence – not surprising as it seems that the lifespan of most camera models these days is about a year (if that).
Finally, the wait is over… and Panasonic have thrown us a bit of a curve ball by skipping over 6 model numbers to go straight from the Lumix GX1 all the way to the new Lumix GX7. But will the new camera perform well enough to warrant such a large leap in model numbers?
While I have to agree with Chris that the Lumix GX7 is a little less than inspiring in the looks department, I’ll have to quote Han Solo in describing the Millenium Falcon… “She may not look like much, kid, but she’s got it where it counts.”
Indeed, there’s a lot to love about the GX7. The camera handles well, the menus are intuitive, it’s feature rich, it has a high resolution, tiltable touch screen and Electronic Viewfinder (which, whether you’re going to flip it up or not, you have to admit it’s pretty cool). But what really stands out for me is the quality of both the still photos and videos produced by the GX7 (both color and black and white – see the B&W still photo and the color video below, shot by my good friend, Mark Toal in very low light conditions – You can also check these and more images out on a blog post written by Mark as he was evaluating the new camera).
Lumix GX7 Video
Lumix GX7 Still Photo
While I agree with Chris that I would’ve loved to have seen a mic input jack and headphone jack on the GX7, I have to say that what this camera delivers in terms of image quality (this camera easily hangs with the best of the best), ease of use, wi-fi and affordable pricing (at the time of this posting, you can get the Panasonic Lumix GX7 for only $898 USD) make the Lumix GX7 a winner, and we’re awarding it with our Editor’s Choice Status.
When Fujifilm released the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 in 2012, the photography world stood up and took notice. The first generation Fuji X-Trans sensors and processing technology were really something special, and though the sensors aren’t “full frame”, they produce some of the tastiest files you’ll ever get from any camera, and the image quality is nothing short of spectacular. But what these cameras brought in IQ, they also lacked in Autofocus speed.
MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer Will Crockett is no stranger to the Fuji Cams – and the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 were two of his favorite cameras of the last year. As luck would have it, Will is also one of the first guys to get his hands on the new Fujifilm X-E2 and put a prototype of the new camera through it’s paces. Does the second generation X-Trans Sensor and processing technology bring the autofocus up to snuff? Does the Fujifilm X-E2 represent a step up from the previous model? Check out Will’s Real Life Review above…
Nobody lays out the good, the bad and the ugly of a camera better than Will Crockett, and he never holds back any punches. After all, it was Will who first brought the autofocus difficulties of the 1st generation X-Series cameras to my attention. So, have Fuji upped their game with the next generation? In a word… yes!
With the first generation X-Trans sensors, Fuji proved to be the kings of Image Quality. In fact, in private conversations with Will, when comparing the Fuji cameras’ image quality to competitors, he has said that “It’s the difference between superb and spectacular.” With the X-E2, Fuji have been able to maintain the deliciousness of their files while stepping up performance in other critical areas. When Fujifilm unveiled their premium fixed lens compact, the X-100s earlier this year, it came tricked out with a new X-Trans II sensor and 2nd generation processing tech to boot. Fuji have added some phase detection pixels to the center of the new sensors, and the X-100s suddenly had the blazing fast autofocus capabilities that photographers crave, hence it became the darling of pro photogs such as Zack Arias. That technology is now loaded into the new Fujifilm X-E2, bringing Fuji’s new AF lightning to an interchangeable lens model. As Crockett indicates in the video above, it’s not perfect as he alludes to some difficulties the X-E2 had in face detection mode when the subject was wearing glasses. Will was not too concerned by this and neither am I… This is just a software upgrade away from being fixed – and bear in mind that the camera that Will was testing was a prototype, so this issue might not exist at all in the final production model.
Note to Fujiflm: I’m also with Will on the issue of proprietary connectors. Please… spare us! I didn’t like the 2.5mm audio port on my Lumix GH2 either, but Panasonic corrected this by including a standard 3.5mm Jack on the Lumix GH3. You would be wise to follow their example.
Small beefs aside, the Fujifilm X-E2 is one formidable camera, and it’s aimed right at Pros and Serious Enthusiasts who demand the absolute best where image quality is concerned. You’ll definitely get that beautiful IQ with the X-E2, whether your shooting stills or video. Yes, this camera is a great choice for Hybrid Photographers… although it may not be as easy to use for video as a Lumix GH3, you can achieve those spectacular results. Fuji’s lens selection is limited at this point when compared to say, micro 4/3 cameras, but the lenses they do have are absolutely first rate. Add in the X-E2′s Wi-fi capabilities, which, although they’re pretty basic at the time of this posting, we recognize that wi-fi is the wave of the future (and it’s something you’ll definitely want on your next camera) and it’s not hard to see that the X-E2 is a winner! We highly recommend the Fujifilm X-E2 and are giving it Editor’s Choice Status. (See review on HybridPhoto.pro)
Nate “Blunty” Burr pits the brand new Olympus flagship camera, the PEN E-P5 in a shot for shot, clip for clip, side by side shoot-out comparison to find out how far ahead the new EP5 has strode past the camera it replaces, the PEN EP-3.
The new PEN E-P5 is loaded up with the same sensor and image processor as Olympus’ former flagship, the OM-D E-M5 – a 16mp chip vs the 12mp chip found in the E-P3, and Blunty’s comparison is a testament to just how far mirrorless technology has progressed in the last couple of years. Not only does the E-P5 provide better image quality and higher dynamic range, it also boasts Olympus’ breakthrough 5 axis in body image stabilization and a host of other upgrades over it’s predecessor.
The Olympus PEN E-P5 is an impressive camera to say the least, and is a worthy successor to the OM-D E-M5 as Olympus’ flagship camera – although it’s reign might be short lived as a successor to the OM-D is expected later this year. When compared to it’s predecessor, the PEN E-P3, the E-P5 wins hands down. The E-P3 was a great camera when it came out. Heck, it still is a great little camera and at $369 USD, it may be a good fit for someone who’s just getting into interchangeable lens systems and is on a budget (Personally though, if I were looking for a great entry level mirrorless system at a bargain price, I would opt for a Panasonic Lumix GX1 vs an E-P3. Otherwise, I would go for a PEN Lite E-PL5). Those looking to pull the trigger for a top tier camera will find a better comparison between the PEN E-P5 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5, Fuji X-E1 (which is only $799 Body Only at the time of this posting) or Panasonic Lumix GH3.
You can now get your hands on 2 of the best cameras of the last year at a significant discount. Fujifilm have slashed the prices of their X-Series cameras by $200, so you can now get the Fuji X-Pro 1 Body for only $1,199 USD, and the Fuji X-E1 Body is now selling for only $799 USD on Amazon. These cameras are a still shooters dream and Fuji’s X-Trans Sensors produce some of the best image quality in the business.
A while back, sigma announced that they were revamping their lens lineup for micro 4/3 and Sony NEX cameras. At the time, they offered 2 of the best budget lenses for either of these mirrorless systems – namely, their 19mm 2.8 and 30mm 2.8 lenses. Now, the reboot is complete and the new versions of these lenses are hitting the market as part of Sigma’s new “Art” lens collection, and they’ll be joined by a 60mm 2.8 lens as well. Will these new lenses be a worthy addition to your lens collections and do they warrant an upgrade over the previous versions?
In an episode of DigiDirectTV (above), Blunty displays quite a bit of enthusiasm for the new 30mm 2.8 lens, and in my opinion, rightfully so. After all, I was quite impressed with the previous version, especially for the price.
First up, the new versions have a better build quality. Sigma have done away with the plastic casings of old and replaced them with a shiny metal body (you can get them in either black or silver) that feels much more solid in the hand. They also appear to have addressed the rattling issue with the previous version (the inner mechanisms of the lenses would rattle inside the body whenever the lens was not attached to the camera body and engaged). Manual focus rings are buttery smooth and responsive. Each lens also comes with a lens hood and a padded case to keep it secure when it’s not attached to your camera.
One of the biggest reasons why these Sigma lenses are among the best budget lenses that you can get (for either micro 4/3 or Sony NEX) is that they are good lenses, period. Autofocus is quick and accurate (but in my experience, it works a bit better on Panasonic cameras like a Lumix G5, although I have not tried them on a newer Olympus camera, such as a PEN Mini E-PM2, PEN Lite E-PL5 or the new Olympus flagship camera, the PEN E-P5). The images produces are sharp and color reproduction is accurate. Then again, the same was true of the older versions of these lenses, so this is no surprise.
Speaking strictly for micro 4/3, it all depends… If you’re just moving into micro 4/3, you need some good primes and you’re on a budget, then these Sigma lenses are great options, but if you have the budget for, or already have, some of the go-to M43 lenses like the Panasonic 20mm 1.7, Olympus 45mm 1.8 or Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm 1.4, then you can probably skip these. Likewise, if you already own the previous versions of these, you probably don’t need to upgrade unless you really like the shiny new casings.
I would personally categorize the Sigma 19mm 2.8 and 30mm 2.8 lenses as “very good”… even “very very good.” While they’re not quite on par with the top tier M43 lenses like those mentioned above, or pro zooms like the Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens, they’re not too far off either, and you might be surprised at just how good these lenses actually are – especially considering the price ($199 USD each). I personally own the older versions of each (I got a killer deal on them late last year) and I’ve been extremely pleased with the results they provide, but other than build quality I don’t really see a need to upgrade and won’t be doing so.
Still, these are some of the best budget lenses for any camera system and I highly recommend them if you’re starting your collection of M43 glass – especially on a budget.
In the video above, Protog David Hobby takes us on an in depth feature by feature walkthrough of the Fuji X100s premium fixed lens compact camera. The X100s features a second generation X-Trans II Sensor and EXRII Processing Technology that take the already excellent performance of Fuji’s X-Series cameras to new heights. Indeed, the X100s is turning a lot of heads and is finding it’s way into the camera bags of many highly renowned photo pros.
Fuji has released a new firmware update for the Fujifilm X100S fixed lens compact camera. Firmware update v 1.03 knocks out a bug that can sometimes cause, as Fuji puts it, “a grainy image like TV fuzz” to appear on the rear screen while in live view mode. You can download the firmware update below.
Images of Kodak’s soon to be released micro 4/3 camera – the Kodak S1 – have hit the web on DCFever (Google Translated Version Here).
The Kodak S1 is slated to be released later this year and the camera is equipped with a tilt LCD screen, hot shoe adapter, a dedicated video recording button, customizable function buttons, and a built-in WiFi and APP system that will allow control of your camera via your mobile devices.
The Kodak S1 is the first camera in a cooperative venture between Kodak and JK Imaging. Because the S1 is a micro 4/3 camera, users will have an arsenal of lenses from which to choose, but the article also notes that Kodak and JK Imaging are planning on releasing their own lenses as well – starting with 2 micro 4/3 zoom lenses.
3rd party lens manufacturer Samyang/Rokinon are releasing a new 300mm f/6.3 lens for Sony NEX, Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3, and Samsung NX mirrorless camera systems. The new lens will come in black or silver and retail for $299 USD. Look for the lens to be launched in July of this year (2013). Check out more on their Facebook Page.
Chris Niccolls and Chris Tait of theCameraStore pit the Ricoh GR against the Nikon Coolpix A – mono a mono – to see which is the better performer. Will the GR take the crown or will the Coolpix A emerge victorious?
Within a month of each other, both Nikon and Ricoh launched compact cameras with large sensors and 28mm equivalent lenses. Which is a better buy, The Ricoh GR or the Nikon Coolpix A? Chris Niccolls from The Camera Store TV met up with street photographer Chris Tait to find out which camera you should check out.
This is a head to head comparison of 2 very good cameras that offer excellent quality in still photos mode and good quality in video (although I wouldn’t choose either if I was looking for a video or hybrid camera). The Coolpix A is the pricier of the 2 and each have their challenges, especially in low light. Chris and Chris eventually pick the Ricoh GR over the Nikon Coolpix A, based mostly on the fact that the GR costs several hundred dollars less, and in this case I would be inclined to agree with them. The Coolpix A will appeal to Nikon users, but if you’re looking for an excellent compact in that price range, I would recommend going with a Fuji X-100s, which in my mind is the best compact camera available today. Likewise, the GR is a tempting option for those looking to save a few hundred dollars, but in that mid range price range, I would recommend going with a Sony RX-100, which offers outstanding video performance to go with the still photos capabilities.
Fujifilm has issued a firmware update for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 (Version 2.04) and Fujifilm X-E1 (Version 1.05) compact system cameras. The upgrade improves auto focus speed with the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.
You can download the firmware upgrades from the links below.
There’s no question that Olympus have been one if the true leaders when it comes to innovation in digital cameras over the last few years. The celebrated Olympus OM-D E-M5, with it’s revolutionary 5 point in body image stabilization, is hands down one of the best cameras of the last year, and it got many a photog to ditch their DSLRs and move over to mirrorless. Now Olympus have launched the new PEN E-P5, which supplants the OM-D as their flagship camera and surpasses it in many aspects (see Matt Granger’s overview above), and their M.Zuiko lenses are among the finest available for any type of camera. But despite Olympus’ prominence in the digital camera world, there sre some who are speculating that the brand will not survive for much longer.
In a Yahoo Finance article entitled “Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2014,” there’s a list of – you guessed it – 10 familiar brand names that aren’t long for the marketplace. Chief among these are highly recognizable names like J.C. Penney, Nook, Martha Stewart Living, the WNBA and Volvo.
That’s right… Olympus occupies the number 6 spot on the list. Yahoo Finance points to a dwindling market, thanks in large part to the advent of the smartphone “which now offer lenses and chips that capture high-quality images — as an alternative to digital cameras.”
Of Olympus, Yahoo reports that “for the next fiscal year, the outlook is grim. Olympus expects compact camera unit sales to fall from 5.1 million to 2.7 million units worldwide. But these declines are hardly a new trend.” (Read full article on Yahoo Finance)
Of the companies that I list as the top four players in mirrorless cameras, Olympus have the least when it comes to operating capital, but I wouldn’t write them off just yet. While it’s true that the market for point and shoot compact cameras is dwindling, it’s also true that there is a high demand for quality cameras like the OM-D E-M5 and the new PEN E-P5, as well as their award winning mid range offerings like the PEN Lite E-PL5 and PEN Mini E-PM2. Look for Olympus to put more focus [no pun intended ~_^] on camera systems like these. Also bear in mind that Sony and Olympus have recently entered into a “partnership” (and Sony have deep pockets), so even if the name does eventually disappear, look for the technology to live on under the Sony moniker.
Youtube User DIGIFOTO Pro posted the video quality comparison above between the Panasonic Lumix G6 and Panasonic’s former flagship, the Lumix GH2 (you can see Part I of our video quality comparison here).
Just to recap, the Lumix G6 and GH2 share the same sensor. But the G6′s processing engine is now several generations beyond that of the GH2 and allows the G6 to tap into much more of the sensor’s brilliant image capturing capacity in still photos mode. But does the Lumix G6 match up well with the legendary GH2 in video mode?
Watch the video above, which shows both graded and ungraded footage from the Lumix G6 and a hacked GH2.
Personally, the G6 video footage looks brighter and punchier to me, with better high ISO performance and dynamic range (Youtube compression notwithstanding). It outclasses it predecessor, the Lumix G5, in the video department as well, and even slightly bests it in still photos, where the G5 shines. At a price of $749 USD, The Panasonic Lumix G6 is poised to become one of the most popular Hybrid Cameras of the year. Put me down for one.
What do YOU think? Leave a comment below…
Flickr has unveiled a “Spectaculr” new redesign, now offering it’s free users a “Biggr” place to put their files while sharing them “Wherevr” they would like – or as Flickr puts it “upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend, and any follower.”
Before the redesign, free accounts were capped at 2 videos and 300MBs worth of photos per month. But now you can upload photos and videos to your heart’s content as each free user is now allotted 1TB (that’s a full terabyte) of storage, including photos of up to 200MB and videos of up to 1GB (and 3 minutes in length)!
The “Spectaculr” part is that you can now “share in full resolution,” as all of your photos will be “beautifully displayed in their original quality.”
If you don’t already have a free Flickr account, you can sign up for one >>HERE<<
(video above courtesy of CNETTV)
Legendary lens maker Carl Zeiss are jumping into the mirrorless market with their new line of Touit Lenses for Fuji X-Mount and Sony NEX camera systems. The Touit lens lineup is aimed at the high end user, and at a price of about $1,250 USD (for the 12mm 2.8 X-Mount lens), that’s the target market that they’ll be hitting. But will the new Touit lenses be worth the price?
The Phoblographer got their hands on the new 12mm 2.8 Touit lens for fuji X-Mount cameras and put it through it’s paces. The following are excerpts from their first impressions…
|Focal Length||12 mm
Comparable 35mm Focal Length: 18 mm
|Camera Mount Type||Fujifilm X mount|
|Angle of View||99°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||7.09″ (18 cm)|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||1:9|
|Filter Thread||Front: 67 mm|
|Dimensions (DxL)||Approx. 2.56 x 3.39″ (65 x 86 mm)|
|Weight||9.52 oz (270 g)|
This lens is made from metal and glass. However, this doesn’t feel like any metal that we’ve felt before.
Ease of Use
This lens is much easier to use in autofocus mode than in manual mode.
Autofocusing with the 12mm f2.8 is snappy and perhaps even faster than with Fujifilm’s 14mm f2.8. However, it is faster on Sony’s camera”s than Fujifilm’s–but this has to do with the focusing algorithms instead.
So far, we really can’t say much terrible about the Zeiss 12mm f2.8. It has excellent color rendition on the X Pro 1, is sharp, focuses silently and snappily, and is really small for what it is. (Read full article on thePhoblographer)
The image quality of thePhoblographer’s test shots looks great, but what else would you expect from Zeiss? The addition of these lenses is good news for Fuhi X-Mount users and great news for Sony NEX users. I’m looking forward to seeing more on these lenses in the near future. Stay Tuned…
The Metabones Speedbooster Adapter has been all the buzz for the last several months, and that’s no surprise considering the lofty promises of this particular piece of equipment.
Unlike a standard lens adapter, which would allow you to mount say, your canon EF lenses on a Sony NEX or Micro 4/3 camera, the Metabones Speedbooster also includes a built in focal reductor – a peice of glass that takes the incoming light from the full frame lens and re-focuses it to fit onto the sensor of the host camera. This is purported to have the effect of making the lens wider and faster, increasing your maximum aperture by a full stop.
The Metabones adapter for Sony NEX camera has been available for a while now, and PetaPixel is reporting that the new micro 4/3 version is beginning to make appearances. Although it’s public launch has been pushed back to later in the year, some renowned M43 users have gotten early releases for testing, including filmmaker Philip Bloom and EOSHD’s Andrew Reid, who states that “Micro Four Thirds needs the Speed Booster more than any other camera.”
The video above from AFMarcotec gives a good overview of just what the Metbones Speedbooster can do, but despite the adapter’s capabilities and the early assessments of testers, one must beg the question…
In my opinion, there’s no clear cut answer to this question as there are numerous factors that one must consider.
First and foremost, lets take a look at what the Metabones can do. There’s no denying that there are some delicious, high quality lenses out there from Canon, Nikon, Leica, etc. – and the prospect of using these lenses on your mirrorless system while gaining an extra stop is greatly appealing indeed. But will these lenses be any better than the native glass that you can get for your mirrorless system that is made specifically for your camera? Since there are several types of shooters out there, lets break this down a little further.
If you’re a beginner or hobbyist who’s just moving into interchangeable lens systems, the I would recommend that you just stick with your camera’s native lenses for the time being – especially micro 4/3 users, who have the largest array of high quality lenses to choose from among any mirrorless camera system.
If you’re an enthusiast who likes to regularly get out and shoot photos and videos, but you don’t already have a collection of lenses, I would still recommend sticking with your camera’s native lineup. Again – in my opinion – it’s better to invest your money in lenses that are made specifically for your camera system. Even if you have an NEX system (and there’s not a ton of great lenses for those as of yet), I would be inclined to spend my hard earned cashola on a new Zeiss Touit lens or two before investing in a Metabones and a piece of expensive legacy glass. Besides, in my mind, slapping an adapter and a huge bazooka-like lens onto the front of a small mirrorless body defeats the purpose.
No matter what camera body you’re using, you main goal should always be to collect as many high quality lenses as possible. So if your plan is to pick up a Metabones Speedbooster so that you can use some el cheapo legacy lenses, then your money will be better spent elsewhere.
While the Speedbooster may not be for everyone, there are definitely some people out there who should give it a serious look…
In my mind, the most valid of the above are the first two. But even if (in the case of number 1) you have a large collection of legacy lenses, you might want to consider selling them off while they still have great value and look at their mirrorless alternatives that are built to fit your system. Whenever you use an adapter, you should be aware that you will open the door to potential issues. I’m not saying that you’ll have any, but the door will be open.
What do YOU think? Are you planning on picking up a Metabones Speedbooster? Leave a note in the comments below…
Legendary lens maker Carl Zeiss is now hopping on board the Mirrorless Express with the introduction of their new “Touit” lenses for Sony NEX and Fuji X-Series camera systems. This is especially good news for Sony NEX users, who until now have been hampered with a very limited supply of high quality native lenses, or with the prospect of using adapters to mount their large legacy lenses onto tiny NEX camera bodies (can you say awkward?).
Zeiss are launching the line with two lenses, a 12mm f/2.8 and a 32mm f/1.8, and the folks at CameraLabs got their hands on both to take them out for a spin. Will these new lenses live up to the Zeiss name?
Overall both lenses were extremely satisfying to use. They looked serious and felt great – indeed I could rarely put them down for long without wanting to try them again. The 12mm f2.8 in particular is an exciting proposition as the widest prime available for Sony E or Fuji X mounts. The 32mm f1.8 has a tougher job on its hands though, especially for the Fuji X system which already has a highly regarded 35mm f1.4. Zeiss wouldn’t be drawn on quality comparisons, but it’s something I’ll happily do when I have both lenses at the same time.
They’re also priced competitively for high-end lenses: around $1250 USD or 900 GBP for the 12mm f2.8 and around $900 USD or 700 GBP for the 32mm f1.8, and rather than tease us, I’m pleased to announce Zeiss should be selling them in a matter of weeks or even days. (Read full article on CameraLabs)
The addition of Zeiss lenses to Sony’s NEX and Fuji’s X-Series camera lineups will no doubt fuel the fire of competition between these systems and the micro 4/3 offerings from Panasonic and Olympus, who have until now enjoyed a substantial advantage in the sheer number of high quality native lenses that are available for the line. As far as I’m concerned, competition is always a good thing and I fully expect to see even more innovation, image quality and revolutionary systems to emerge from the mirrorless realm. Stay tuned!