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Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (1 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

It seems like Micro Four Thirds cameras are never really big secrets; at least that’s what Four Thirds rumors seemed to have right on point with the Panasonic G7. This is the company’s latest camera in their G series and is targeted at enthusiasts by combining the best of come of their other cameras and putting it all into this one. The G7 has the sensor of the GF7 and the processor of the GH4, shoots 4K video, and has improved autofocus performance that Panasonic claims works down to -4 EV.

We put a big emphasis on the word claims there; especially since we spent less than five minutes with the prototype that we handled at the company’s headquarters. The big feature that Panasonic seems to be pushing is the new 4K Photo mode that essentially just snaps full 4K video sized photos.

Providing this camera really can perform like this, it’s bound to win awards and drop jaws–but this camera still has some weird ergonomics.

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A while back, Olympus took a bunch of journalists on a trip to Whistler, CA and allowed them to play with two new lenses: the 7-14mm f2.8 PRO and 8mm f1.8 fisheye for its Micro Four Thirds system. Both of these options are on the wider end of the spectrum and when you consider the 2x crop factor then you get 14-28mm and 16mm accordingly. We don’t exactly consider 16mm to be a fisheye these days, but in the right situations it surely did perform like a fisheye lens.

Please note that these images were taken with prototype lenses, and that they weren’t the final production, though they were darn close.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Velvet 55mm f1.6 product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-140 sec at f - 2.0

Lensbaby’s Velvet 56mm f1.6 is a pretty new lens, and one that many of us didn’t necessarily expect. In the past couple of years, the company has been working on alternative lenses for various systems, and the first sample images look really cool in a lo-fi type of way. Indeed, Lensbaby has always been about seeing the world in a new way, and their newest lenses seem to make you do that, just in a more vintage style.

That’s not to say that these lenses have plastic optics at all, but if you’re a film lover then the Lensbaby Velvet 56mm f1.6 lens will give you quite a treat.

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Sony 35mm f1.4 photos

Sony has been working on responding to the criticism that they don’t have enough lenses for their full frame E mount system in a similar way that Fujifilm did when coming out later on the scene: by cranking them out. But the Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 doesn’t feel rushed at all. In fact, it feels very timeless and beautiful. This lens has a very unique design with its aperture ring–it’s the first Sony lens to have one and is designed for videographers who want easier control over their lenses. Rather than fully building a cinema lens, Sony solved the problem by giving it autofocus abilities that also work well for still shooting.

With a metal exterior, weather resistance, and solid focusing abilities for its size and weight, there is very little for us to not like about this lens.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D5500 product review lead image (1 of 1)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.0

When Nikon talked to us about the D5500, we generally thought it was a step in the right direction. After spending a while with it, we tend to agree with that opinion. As far as business sense goes, the Nikon D5500 is a safe bet and doesn’t rock the boat too much. Instead, it gives incremental upgrades that folks will love like 5fps shooting, a deeper grip, Wifi connectivity, very fast focusing abilities, and most importantly the ability to use lots of Nikon’s lenses.

To be honest, the Nikon D5500 is a great camera. We mean that from the bottom of our heart–but at the same time we think that it’s time for Nikon to try to push things a bit further.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX500 First impressions product photos (3 of 12)ISO 2001-1250 sec at f - 2.8

Over the weekend, we spent some quality time (and way too much time on airplanes) in Hawaii with Samsung testing the first Nx500 cameras. Their Nx300 was an excellent camera in many ways and the Nx500 improves on it in many ways. to begin with, the camera is basically the very lite version of the company’s flagship NX1. With a 28MP APS-C sensor, it can resolve lots of detail.

The camera also shoots 4K video at a 1.7x crop factor where the NX1 takes the full scene and scales it down instead; to each their own though.

The Nx500 very much feels like its older counterpart but in ways also feels classier. You’ll be tempted to use the selfie screen feature more than once, and when paired with a small prime lens it’s bound to make for a great street photography camera. Additionally, it sports two exposure dials for easier and quicker exposure controls in manual mode rather than needing to use the iFunction button on the lenses, and it comes in white, brown or black.

After two days with the camera, it’s very apparent that it is in no way the Editor’s Choice award winning NX1. But it’s still quite the enjoyable little snapper.

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