The Olympus Air A01 Makes Your Phone Suck Less as a Camera

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Though Olympus Air has already been announced in Japan, the little camera that might is finally coming to the US. Very similar to Sony’s QX series of cameras, the Olympus Air product line is an open source camera that takes Micro Four Thirds lenses and is essentially just the sensor, lens mount, WiFi electronics, and a button crammed into ergonomics that will remind you of a can of Burt’s Bees skin moisturizer. The open source designation means that app developers can actually develop apps for the system to make it better.

The Olympus Air A01 is the company’s first offering and has the same 16MP four thirds sensor that many of the company’s other cameras have. However, it doesn’t have Image stabilization in order to keep the unit small. If you mount Panasonic’s lenses that have IS built in though, you’ll get the image stabilization that your shaky hands crave so badly. When it links up with your phone, tablet or phablet you’ll be able to see what the camera sees on a giant screen.

The camera also has focus peaking, which means that all your manual glass will work fine. Additionally, with the electronic shutter the camera can shoot at 1/16,000 of a second and therefore give the user almost no trouble shooting with a lens wide open in sunlight at a lower ISO setting. The Air A01 can shoot 10 fps, has RAW capture, and uses a Micro SD card.

Pretty much everything that you’d expect with an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera is transferred to the phone when they let their powers combine.

The Olympus Air A01 will be available in the United States in July 2015 in Black or White for $299.99 (body only) or $499.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens, and in Canada in August 2015 in Black or White for $399.99 (body only) or $599.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens. More photos are after the jump.

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The 5 Best Cheap Lenses for Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II product images first impressions (4 of 5)ISO 4001-500 sec at f - 3.5

Of any mirrorless camera system, the Micro Four Thirds coalition has the most lenses available. Between both Panasonic and Olympus, the system has lots of lenses–but when you consider how open they are to working with third parties then you’ve got even more lenses that are supported. Indeed, new lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras seem to come out almost every month.

In our years of reviewing lenses, we’ve tested and played with lots of different optics at all different prices. We’ve rounded up our top choices for the best and cheapest lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system. So if you’re looking for the best cheap lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras, then look no further than right after the jump.

Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this article, we mistook one lens for another. We apologize for our humanity.

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Five Prime Lenses for the Discerning Concert Photographer

Lake Street Dive.

Lake Street Dive by Julius Motal.

Many concert photographers will tell you to use primes if you can. The concept just makes so much sense–they have a fast aperture that will help you out in very low lit situations, they take up less room in a crowded music pit, and you can eventually learn to think and see the world in that single focal length. To that end, it makes the picture taking process much more instinctual.

We’ve tested lots of lenses over time, and have found a handful from pretty much every camera system that work out solidly. But we’d be fools to say that it’s all about the gear here. In the end, it’s your ability to get the shot and predict movement that will award you better photos.

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New Patent Illustrates Olympus OMD EM5 MK II Sensor Shift Technology

Figosa-camera-strap-on-OMD-595x595

The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II might not feature a new sensor according to previous reports, but hopefully we can look forward to a new piece of sensor shift tech to take 40MP composite images. Asta Muse recently spotted a new patent illustrating that the technology could produce these high-definition images with only a half pixel shift and just four frames.

A few weeks ago another report surfaced suggesting that the Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II would need to take eight shots. Halving the number of required frames to just four will make it much easier to take these high-resolution shots on the fly. Especially when shooting everyday photography where most subjects won’t patiently stand still waiting for users to fire off eight exposures.

43 Rumors also reports the Olympus OMD EM5 successor will be capable of shooting up to 8 fps. Although the camera will purportedly be sporting the same 16.1MP Sony sensor from February 2012, the underlying image processor will supposedly be new. We also expect the camera will be improved in other ways perhaps with a revamped EVF, better weather sealing, and faster autofocus

With CES coming very soon at the beginning of January, we expect Olympus will make a new announcement any day now. Be sure to stay tuned to The Phoblographer, as we’ll be posting all the news from the annual tech convention.

Via 43 Rumors

Contradicting Report States Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II Will Have Original EM5 Sensor

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus 25mm f1.8 review product images (3 of 6)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.2

Just days after reporting that the Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II would feature a new phase detect AF sensor, 43 rumors has corrected itself stating the rumored camera will stick with the same 16MP Sony sensor as its predecessor. Bummer.

That all said, the OMD EM5’s 16MP sensor still performs admirably–we use it often. Even though the technology is three-years-old, it still out paces  even some full frame sensors. Olympus will also likely improve the image quality and we’re personally hoping for some bumped up low-light performance. Hopefully the revisited sensor will also get focus peaking since Olympus has refused to ship the feature in a software update for the original OMD EM5.

While the OMD EM5 Mk II purportedly won’t feature a new sensor, Mirrorless Rumors is sure the camera will include the new “sensor shift” technology, which allows the camera to capture a 40 megapixel photograph by stitching together eight separate shots. The question is whether that’s enough to get OMD EM5 owners to cash in for an upgrade? Leave a comment below after the break.

The camera is also bound to have an improved EVF, weather sealing, revamped autofocus and even more artistic filters. We also hope that the camera has full timelapse capabilities and not limited like the EM10.

 

Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II Reported to Take Out of this World 40MP Images

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM1 in silver (17 of 17)

After a steady stream of relatively similar Micro Four Thirds cameras, early reports suggest that Olympus is pulling out all the stops for the OMD EM5 successor. Sources that claim to be in the know of Olympus’ plans told 43 Rumors that the OMD EM5 Mk II will be announced during the first week of February.

Supposedly the headlining feature of the new camera will be a “sensor-shift” shooting mode, which will purportedly allow the Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II’s rumored 16MP sensor to stitch together eight frames into a single high-resolution 40MP image. From the sounds of it the technology seems to be very similar to that of the Hasselblad H5D-200c MC, which can take six 50MP frames and combined them into one glorious humongous 200MP image.

Early reports suggest that the sensor will also be equipped with phase detection auto focus and will be Olympus’ first serious camera capable of 4K video recording. The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II has also been said to feature a slightly redesigned body compared to the current model.

The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II sounds like the hottest camera in ages outside of the Sony A7 Mk II if rumors are to be believed. Meanwhile, even fast primes lenses seem like a very likely future for the MFT system. Recently Olympus has patented 12mm f1.0 and 14mm f1.0 lenses, while Panasonic also filed a design for a 12mm f1.2 lens, both of which would effectively replace the existing Olympus 12mm f2 lens.

When we talked to Olympus Product Manager Richard Pelkowski earlier this year, he spoke to us about why lots of changes came to their lens lineup. But he assured us that their lenses are designed to perform exceptionally with future sensors.

Via 43 Rumors

Review: Panasonic LX100

 

julius motal the phoblographer panasonic lx100 product image-1

So it was on a cold November day that Editor-in-Chief Chris Gampat would hand me the Panasonic LX100. It had been a while since I reviewed a camera, having been back in New York City for about two months from Istanbul. The LX100 piqued my interest with its design as a premium compact with manual controls. In a past life, I had written micro four-thirds largely because I found the cameras to be too small for my large hands. While the LX100 proved to be impressive in image quality and aesthetic, its diminutive size was a sticking point for me.

The camera is Panasonic’s stab at Fujifilm’s X100 series–and so sports retro handling and looks done in collaboration with Leica. The LX100 has the same sensor as the GX7, and in some ways even has the same styling. But this camera is much different in that at the heart is a Four Thirds sensor and in front of it is a fixed zoom lens with an f1.7 maximum aperture.

And in many ways, it could be a perfect camera for the photojournalist.


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