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lenses

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The Panasonic/Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.7 lens for Micro Four Thirds was only announced very recently, but DxOMark has apparently already gotten their hands on a copy of the lens. According to the tests that the company announced today, the sharpness of this lens beats the pants off of Olympus’s 17mm f1.8 and Sigma’s 19mm f2.8 Art lens. Additionally, it shows less chromatic aberration than the Sigma lens but not the Olympus lens. Overall though, the 17mm f1.8 is scoring slightly better than Panasonic’s option.

If you haven’t purchased either lens yet, know that both of them have retroness built into their designs. The Panasonic lens has a working aperture ring while the Olympus lens has a snap back manual focus with a working depth of field scale. Street photographers would value either one, but they’d probably lean more towards the Oly.

While these tests are interesting, we don’t think that they’ll mean that much of a difference in real life shooting situations given that modern software is just so good at fixing these problems. And even if you’re a JPEG shooter, the cameras have a way of correcting any issues. Additionally, when you post the images online we highly doubt that everyone you know will try to go in and pixel peep.

Still though, this is interesting to note about how the technology is advancing. We got to try out the 15mm f1.7 and we reviewed the 17mm f1.8 a while back as well as a comparison to the 20mm f1.7. Be sure to check out both of those reviews.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review images (1 of 13)ISO 4001-800 sec at f - 3.5

Though they’re two different focal lengths, this question was bound to be asked by someone. Sigma now has two excellent options for full frame users from their Art series of lenses: their 50mm f1.4 DG HSM and their 35mm f1.4 DG HSM. Both have been tried and true to be capable performers. But which one is best for you?

Be sure to also check out our guide to Sigma’s prime lenses.

Editor’s Note: Check out our first sample imagesfull review, and comparison posts against the 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 version 1.

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Nikon Coolpix S810c 2Move over Samsung–you’re not the only game in town trying to get further into the Android-powered camera world. Today Nikon introduced the Coolpix S810c, a 16MP point-and-shoot camera preloaded with the 4.2.2 version of Android Jelly Bean.

Nikon promises the camera will let users launch all their favorite Android camera apps without the compromises of a lackluster smartphone snapper. The Coolpix S810c is equipped with a 12x optical zoom Nikkor lens, albeit with an unimpressive f3.3-6.3 variable aperture. It might not produce very shallow depth of field but the Coolpix backside illuminated CMOS sensor should make up for the lack of light coming through that somewhat narrow aperture lens. Read on for more about Nikon’s new Android camera plus the new 18-300mm lens for its DX DSLRs.

More details are after the jump.

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m_8mm_Fisheye_3

Very recently, Rokinon announced a couple of updates to their lens lineup. Their very good 8mm f2.8 fisheye was updated to version two, and the company also introduced their new 10mm f2.8 for APS-C DSLRs and 12mm f2 for mirrorless cameras. As with all things Rokinon, the lenses are manual focusing and also have full manual apertures. Many of the company’s lenses do not have coupling, so there will be no communication between the camera and the lens (with the exception of their offerings for Nikon DSLRs.) This also means that you’ll need to turn your cameras off of the automatic modes.

We’ve used lots of Rokinon’s lenses and often find lots of them to be super sharp–though problems do occur with quality control specifically with the focusing scale. But to fair, that’s only happened to us once.

We’re going to be calling in review units soon, but in the meantime you can check out the tech specs after the jump.

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Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Products

Since the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix G1 as the first mirrorless interchangeable-lens digital camera that is not a rangefinder, most major manufacturers have hopped onto the bandwagon and created their own mirrorless systems. Even Canon and Nikon, who are still propagating the DSLR as the only viable tool for professionals, had to get their respective pieces of the cake. But in today’s jungle of mirrorless camera offerings, it’s easy to get lost. Here’s a guide to help you find the right mirrorless camera for you.

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Last year, we declared it to be the year of the third party lens manufacturer–and that strength seems to be going deep into this year. Today, DxOMark released the findings on the company’s 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC lens that was recently updated. Now, despite the fact that the Nikon and Canon versions are both older optics, the Sigma has outperformed both–leading both companies by quite a bit. Sigma’s option for a lens that has been typically not been looked at for its sharpness is outdoing both Nikon and Canon. But the reason for this may be deeper.

If you look at the T stop transmission data, you can see that Canon and Nikon both let in more light. But the fact that the Sigma is letting in less could mean that this factor is attributing to the extra sharpness and if it were instead putting out a less number, it could only be slightly better than the two.

We have the lens in for review right now, and so far we’re finding it to be very warm and quite contrasty. The latter is a trademark of Sigma’s optics and helps to add to perceived sharpness. We will have to wait until the full review is done though to give our final judgement.

With many camera companies struggling, it seems like they’re focusing more on cameras than lenses. And with that, these third party companies may come to even greater prominence. But sales and bundles are a totally different consideration than what tests and reviews say.