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.
micro four thirds
As the entry level camera in the OMD lineup of the camera, the OMD EM10 is a camera that many looking to get into the mirrorless world will want to reach for. With some of the fastest focusing performance that we’ve seen from a mirrorless camera and a great JPEG engine output, what more could one ask for?
When Olympus created the EM10, they took a bit of their EM5, EM1, and the EP5 and put it in a budget conscious camera. Indeed, we think that most folks should skip what a sales person will tell you about buying a DSLR and just spring for this camera.
With that said though, it still isn’t the best at everything.
Editor’s Note: 4/8/2014 we’ve updated to include RAW file findings.
Finally, half a year after the development of this lens was first disclosed by Panasonic, the Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.7 ASPH. has now been officially announced. The lens is the first Micro Four Thirds lens to feature a physical aperture ring and looks almost like it belongs on a proper Leica rangefinder camera. Unlike a proper Leica rangefinder lens, though, the designation ‘Summilux’ is a bit misleading as its initial aperture is really only f1.7, and not f1.4.
The lens sports an internal focusing mechanism that promises super fast autofocus when combined with Panasonic’s latest Lumix G camera models that support 240fps sensor readout. It sports 9 lenses in 7 groups, three of which have aspherical surfaces. To further boost image quality, the 15mm f1.7 Summilux has been treated with Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating.
The lens will be available later in June in black and silver, and can now be pre-ordered from B&H Photo for US-$ 599. It will reportedly also be available in kit with the Lumix GM1, but the US retail price for that combo has yet to be announced. Full specs of the lens after the break.
Rumor had it that Samyang, also known as Rokinon in the US, would have something to announce today. Many speculated that the lens manufacturer would finally introduce autofocus lenses, but the truth couldn’t be further from that. Today’s main announcement is a new 12mm f2 ultra wide-angle lens for mirrorless cameras, plus some updates on older lenses. For details, head past the break.
If you’ve ever wanted a reason to point and laugh at someone chasing after that more expensive camera, then now is the time. The latest from DxOMark states that Nikon’s new 1 V3 camera is outdone by more affordable Micro Four Thirds cameras when it comes to sensor performance. In their results announced today, the 1 inch sensor at the heart of the ovr $1,000 V3 fails in comparison to the older sensors and cameras, but it comes close in terms of color depth. Granted, neither of the Micro Four Thirds models can fire at 60fps or shoot slow motion video. But still, it’s quite pricey. For what it’s worth, we’re also not sure that it should be such a high price. Instead, Nikon will need to lower it. But the company also did this for the D800 when that was released. The price eventually came down to where higher level mortals could afford it.
With the digital PEN and OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras, Olympus has successfully brought two of its classic camera series into the digital age. The original PEN cameras were a series of half-frame rangefinders and SLRs, some of them with fixed lenses and some (the F-series) with a mount for interchangeable lenses, that was made between the late fities and early eighties. The OM-range was the company’s hugely successful series of SLR cameras, which started with the OM-1 in 1972 and ended when production of the legendary OM-4Ti was ceased in 2002.
A lesser known series of Olympus cameras was the TRIP series, a range of small fixed-lens 35mm compacts that were intended as easy-to-use, high-quality travel cameras. The most legendary model, the TRIP 35, sported a 40mm f2.8 lens with zone focusing and used a solar-powered selenium cell for metering. It was built from 1967 through 1984, and it sold more then ten million copies. Now 43rumors is reporting that this successful series of cameras might see a relaunch as well, in form of the digital TRIP-D.
Little is known about this camera, except that it is said to come with a fast prime lens. Quite possibly, the TRIP-D will sport a Micro Four Thirds sensor, but will come without the lens mount and instead sport a fixed lens, possibly a variant of the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8. However, it will have to compete with the likes of the Fujifilm X100s, Ricoh GR, Nikon Coolpix A, Sony RX1 and others, which is not an easy task. In order to do so, Olympus will have to make sure that image quality is up there with the APS-C models, and that the camera is small, fast-focusing and easy to use.
On the other hand, it will also have to compete with cameras such as Olympus’s own PEN Mini and Panasonic’s GM and GF series, which are already incredibly small, can be equipped with fast prime lenses such as the Lumix G 20mm f1.7, and offer the benefit of interchangeable lenses. In that regard, it is not really clear where Olympus might be aiming this TRIP-D camera, should it be the real thing at all. Only time will tell, and for now all we can do is wait and see how this story unfolds.