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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 Olympus OMD EM10 product photos (7 of 7)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

Head on over to our review of the Olympus OMD EM10 and take a look at just how amazing these RAW files hold up. Anyone who bashes Micro Four Thirds for the image quality should really consider giving it another look and also consider how much overall RAW versatility they really need. The colors are spectacular, and the RAW files can do amazing things and also nerf noise very well in post-production.

Take a look at our results in the full review.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DxOMark have just finished testing the Panasonic GH4 (or rather, its sensor,) and their results are hardly surprising. As it turns out, the GH4 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera currently available when it comes to pure sensor performance. With a total score of 74, it is three points ahead of its predecessor, the GH3, and even outperforms the acclaimed Olympus OM-D E-M1 by one point.

Further analysis is after the jump.

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Olympus XZ-2

Olympus XZ-2

In the world of enthusiast’s compacts, lenses with fast initial apertures have become somewhat a standard. The Panasonic LX-series first featured an f2.0 lens in the LX3, then came the f1.8 lenses in various models, and for a while now we’ve had f1.4 lenses in the Lumix LX7 and the Samsung EX2F. But in the next Olympus model, we might just see an über-fast 50mm-equivalent f1.0 lens.

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Chris-Gampat-The-Phoblographer-Olympus-OMD-cameras-1-of-1ISO

Not long ago, we reported that mirrorless cameras were losing ground to DSLRs again, with sales figures decreasing for the first time in 2013. Earlier this year, however, Fujifilm reported that sales had increased again, thanks in part to the success of the X-T1 camera, and also Olympus was doing great with the E-M1 despite analysts predicting the company’s demise. Now the Amateur Photographer reports that finally, mirrorless camera sales were rising again in the first quarter of 2014.

And the good news here is that even in the western world, where mirrorless cameras traditionally have a hard time competing with DSLRs, their sales figures have improved in January and Februar 2014, as compared to the same time span a year ago. According to figures published by CIPA, global shipents of mirrorless cameras rose 24.4%, with a 26% rise in Europe. Unfortunately, sales continued to decline in the Americas, at a rate of 34.2%.

At the same time, global SLR shipments reportedly dropped by 15.7%. The general trend is still negative, though, despite the increase in mirrorless camera sales: on a global scale, overall digital camera sales dropped by 34.5%. It will be interesting to see how these figures develop in the coming months; we’ll let you know when CIPA releases new data.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 15mm f1.7 first impressions product images (4 of 4)ISO 16001-125 sec at f - 1.8

When the whole mirrorless camera movement was started, the more experienced lot of consumers asked for small and quality prime lens offerings. And with Panasonic’s announcement of their 15mm f1.7, this need was surely fulfilled. It’s small, has a retro appeal, and offers an attractive focal length with Leica branded quality. During a photowalk over the weekend, we got the chance to play with the new Panasonic 15mm f1.7.

And despite the fact that we spent under 10 minutes with the lens, we are quite impressed.

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