Olympus cleans up at Camera Grand Prix 2017

The Japanese Camera Journal Press Club has awarded Olympus three out of its four annual prizes after voting by photographic magazine editors and readers. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 ll came away with both the Camera of the Year award and the Readers award, while the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO won Lens of the Year.

The club, which was established in 1963, has ten member magazines and websites that each test and review camera equipment. The members come together with affiliated magazines to determine the best products released during the period between April and March each year. This year the OM-D E-M 1 ll attracted attention for its high speed AF system and frame rates that exceed those achievable by even top-end DSLR cameras.

Olympus didn’t wipe the board entirely though, as the Editor’s Award went to the Nikon D500 for its professional AF system and modest price, and the Fujifilm GFX 50S for its resolution and handling as well as for popularizing medium-format again.

For more information and to read why each of the products was awarded see the Camera Journal Press Club of Japan website.

Camera GP Japan information

Camera Grand Prix 2017 / CJPC

Camera Grand Prix is held by Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC, Japan), a group of representatives from magazines or websites specializing in photos and cameras. CJPC, established in September 1963, has 10 members from the media as of April 2017. The selection committee, organized under the auspices of CJPC’s Camera Grand Prix Executive Committee, deliberates and selects the best products to give the four awards from among those introduced into the market during the previous fiscal year (from April 1 to March 31).

Camera Grand Prix “Camera of the Year” is granted to a still camera recognized as the best of → continue…

From:: DPreview

Throwback Thursday: Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom

Sample photo

Announced in 2004, the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom wasn’t the first camera with a focal range starting at 28mm, nor was it the highest resolution camera at the time with its 8 megapixel CCD. What made the C-8080 interesting was the amount of work that Olympus put into the lens, claiming that it was designed to be on par with the Zuiko Digital lenses found on its DSLRs.

The lens had an equivalent focal length of 28-140mm and an impressive maximum aperture range of F2.4-3.5. It used three ED glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration, something not normally found on a compact camera. In DPReview’s testing, seeing CA in the real world was a rarity. The lens was threaded and supported both telephoto and wide conversion lenses. One bummer about the lens was that the zoom was electronically controlled, rather than mechanically, a feature found on the Minolta DiMAGE A2 and Sony DSC-F828 at the time.

Those are who are familiar with the Olympus E-10 will definitely notice some similarities with the control layout and LCD/viewfinder placement.

The C-8080WZ wasn’t the smallest camera out there, but there’s a lot of glass plus an EVF and tilting LCD that you’ll see in a moment. It was made of magnesium alloy that Phil Askey said was ‘heavier grade than we’re used to seeing.’ Phil also complimented the well-designed front and rear grips.

Something worth pointing out is that the camera had an external phase detection sensor (to the left of the Olympus logo). Phil’s review praised the fast AF speeds of the camera, though he was less keen about how quickly the lens zoomed and that there were only five ‘stops’ → continue…

From:: DPreview

Sigma Updates Firmware on One Art Lens and 3 Contemporary Zoom Lenses

By Canon Rumors From Sigma: Thank you for purchasing and using our products. We would like to announce the availability of a new firmware update for the following Canon mount lenses. The lens firmware updates improve the AF accuracy when it is mounted on the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E, and offers the improved usability for video shooting.For … → continue…

From:: Canon Rumors

Alpa Silex unit offers electronic control of Canon and Nikon lenses on digital medium-format backs

Swiss camera and adapter manufacturer Alpa has introduced a new device that allows Nikon and Canon users to mount some of their lenses on digital medium format backs and have access to aperture controls. The Alpa Silex control unit works with the company’s 12 series bodies and brings aperture control to electronically operated lenses from Canon and Nikon, as well as Contax, Hasselblad and Rollei. All Canon EF lenses can be controlled but only Nikon E lenses, with electromagnetic diaphragm mechanisms, will work.

With a Silex in place compatible lenses can be used to record images on a wide range of digital medium format backs. The A12 cameras accept digital backs of a variety of ages, so users don’t necessarily need the latest, and the image area will depend on the size of the sensor used and the covering circle of the lens.

The Silex not only allows aperture adjustments but also AF control in most Hasselblad H, Canon EF and Nikon E lenses, and web access means the device can be handled remotely over a server.

Initially presented at Photokina 2016 the Alpa Silex is available now for $3600/CHF3355. For more information see the Alpa website.

Press release

The control unit ALPA Silex is a brand new, central element of ALPA’s extended modular photographic system. Photographers and soon even videographers will be able to combine ALPA cameras with digital backs of various manufacturers and lenses from Canon, Contax, Hasselblad, Nikon or Rollei. A variety of functions and operating modes are available to the user.

Handy and flexible – Silex is the Swiss pocket knife of the control units. Under this claim, ALPA presented the product at the Photokina 2016. The name Silex itself, however, goes much further back: it reminds us of the material for the → continue…

From:: DPreview

Huawei Mate 9 quick review

The Huawei Mate 9 comes with specifications that are in many ways very similar to the slightly newer P10 model. However, as the Chinese manufacturer’s current flagship phablet, the Mate 9 offers a Full-HD display that is, at 5.9″, quite a lot larger than the P10’s 5.1″ equivalent and is overall a chunkier and heavier device.

Like on all recent Huawei high-end models, the Mate 9’s dual-camera was co-developed with German camera manufacturer Leica. It comes with a 20MP monochrome sensor that is combined with a 12MP RGB chip to achieve better image results than conventional cameras. Both lenses feature an F2.2 aperture, complemented by a 6-axis optical image stabilization system and a 4-in-1 hybrid AF that combines contrast detection, phase detection, laser time-of-flight measurements and depth information. The Mate 9 can also record 4K video and has a front camera features an 8MP sensor and F1.9 aperture.

In terms of imaging features, the Mate 9 offers everything you would expect from a true high-end smartphone. The camera app’s Pro mode gives you manual controls and DNG Raw capture. There are panorama and HDR modes and some dual-cam based features, such as a portrait mode with a simulated shallow depth-of-field effect.

The Mate 9 camera app allows you to adjust all essential shooting parameters using virtual sliders.

The rest of the specification is all worthy of a flagship model as well. Android 7.0 and Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 launcher are powered by the in-house Kirin 960 chipset and the large 4000mAh battery comes with Huawei’s own quick-charging system.

Key specifications:

  • Dual-cam with 12MP RGB sensor and 20MP monochrome sensor
  • F2.2 apertures on both lenses
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Hybrid AF with contrast detection, phase detection and laser measurement
  • 4K video
  • Manual control over shutter speed
  • DNG Raw capture
  • 8MP → continue…

    From:: DPreview

Lean selfie machine: Panasonic GX850 review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 (known as the GX800 and GF9 in some regions) is the brand’s most compact interchangeable lens camera (as of Spring 2017) and uses the same 16MP Four Thirds sensor as several of its siblings. Sold kitted with a 12-32mm collapsible zoom, stand-out features include a 180-degree flip-up touch LCD, Panasonic’s excellent Depth-from-Defocus AF and 4K video capture.

At its core the GX850 represents a combining of Panasonic’s style-oriented GF-line with the ultra-compact-oriented GM-line and replaces both the GM5 and GF8. However, its most similar sibling currently on the market is the larger, EVF-sporting GX85.

Key features:

  • 16MP Four Thirds MOS sensor
  • 4K/30/24p video capture
  • 4K Photo mode for 8MP stills at 30 fps
  • 5 fps bursts with continuous AF
  • 3″ 1.04M-dot touch LCD flips ups 180 degrees
  • Wi-Fi

Panasonic’s core customer for this camera is the casual user seeking a carry-everywhere-cam for documenting friends or family. This user is someone who prefers a selfie-screen to an EVF and favors ease-of-use and compactness. Since this ‘lifestyle’ camera buyer is likely to use the camera for a range of different types of photography, we’re going to see how it performs in a range of situations.

The rivals

Though the GX850 is Panasonic’s most entry-level camera, this segment of the mirrorless market has a lot of strong contenders to choose from. We’ve compared it to several of its most direct competitors below:

<td → continue…

From:: DPreview

Panasonic GX850 Panasonic GX85 Fujifilm X-A3 Fujifilm X-A10 Olympus E-PL8 Canon M10
MSRP w/ kit lens $550 $800 $600 $500 $650 $600
Sensor 16MP Four Thirds 16MP Four Thirds 24.2MP APS-C 16MP APS-C 16MP Four Thirds 18MP APS-C
Image stabilization Lens-only 5-axis in-body + lens Lens-only Lens-only 3-axis in-body + lens Lens-only
AF system Contrast-detect Contrast-detect Contrast-detect Contrast-detect Contrast-detect Hybrid AF
Viewfinder n/a 2.76M-Dot 0.7x n/a

Sigma has released an updated firmware version for its 30mm f/1.4 APS-C lens for the Sony E-mount. Firmware version 0.2 brings the following improvements:

  • Improved peripheral brightness correction when an aperture value of F1.7 is selected on the Sony a6300 camera.
  • Fixed the AF operation when using focus points in peripheral areas of the frame with the Sony a6300 camera
  • Fixed freezing and not properly operating touch focus feature on the Sony a5100 camera

Firmware Version 0.2 for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 APS-C lens for Sony E-Mount can now be downloaded from the Sigma support website.

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

Looking back: Canon’s eye-controlled focus

The Canon EOS 5 (known as the EOS A2/A2E in the Americas) was the world’s first SLR camera with eye-controlled focus.

Over the past few years, we’ve become spoiled by a lot of great autofocus technologies like face detection, tap-to-focus, and subject tracking. But before we had those things, we had Canon’s eye-controlled focus, a technology that made its appearance in film SLRs, but which never quite made the jump to digital cameras.

For those unfamiliar with eye-controlled focus, let me provide a quick primer. The system made its debut way back in 1992 on the EOS A2E, and remained part of the Canon system until the EOS Elan 7NE in 2004. It promised ‘focus where you look’ functionality, meaning you could activate your AF point of choice just by looking at it.

As I recall, there were generally two sets of users when it came to this technology: those for whom it worked, and those for whom it absolutely didn’t. There weren’t many in between.

Even today, whenever we review a Canon camera, someone will post a comment expressing a desire for Canon to bring back eye-controlled focus. And I have to admit, I’m right there with them. I have great memories of it.

The Canon EOS Elan IIE, introduced in 1995, had a 3-point autofocus system with eye-controlled focus.

I got my first taste of eye-controlled focus on the EOS Elan II E, and instantly fell in love with it. In fact, I liked using it so much that I switched from a Nikon to a Canon system. The ability to focus by eye was just too much to resist.

I later upgraded to the EOS 3 – still one of my favorite → continue…

From:: DPreview

New firmware update for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 E-mount lens

By SonyAlpha Admin

Sigma issued a new firmware update for their 30mm f/1.4 APS-C E-mount lens. It bringa following improvements: ● It has improved the peripheral brightness correction, when aperture value F1.7 is selected in the Sony a6300 camera. ● It has corrected the phenomenon that the AF operation of focus points in peripheral areas stops very occasionally […]

The post New firmware update for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 E-mount lens appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

Sony Tidbits…

By SonyAlpha Admin

5 Reasons to Get A Grip: The Breakdown with Miguel Quiles Full list of todays Gold Box deals at Amazon, BHphoto, eBay,,,,, Human Color Vision Enhanced to 4 Colors (Image Sensor World). How to Lock🔒 Your Sony a6500 Exposure Settings (That1CameraGuy). 35mm f/2 AF compact lens- when if ever? (SonyAlphaForum). […]

The post Sony Tidbits… appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

Olympus firmware update brings support for Profoto remote and more to E-M1 II, EM-5 II and PEN-F

Olympus has announced major firmware updates for its E-M1 Mark II, E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F, as well as a pair of lenses. The camera updates add support for Profoto’s TTL flash system and provide plenty of new features, detailed below.

The first new feature is support for the Air Remote TTL-O (‘O’ for Olympus) radio trigger from Profoto. Pop it on the hot shoe and you can use a simple interface to control off-camera Profoto Air TTL flashes in both TTL and HSS modes.

Other major features include AF Target Spot Metering (E-M1 II only), the ability to set a minimum shutter speed in Auto ISO (PEN-F only), improvements to the AF touchpad function on the PEN-F for left-eye shooters, the ability to use High Res Shot and Focus Stacking modes when shooting with non-Olympus flashes, improved color reproduction on the E-M1 II’s EVF, and more.

Two lenses also receive updates: the 12-100mm F4 IS Pro and 300mm F4 IS Pro. The updates boosts sequential shooting performance when IS is turned on when using the E-M1 II and also improve 5-axis Sync IS with the E-M5 II and the original E-M1.

The updates are available immediately from the Olympus support website in your region. See the press release below for all of the changes in these updates:

Press Release:


Expansive New Performance Updates for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, OM-D E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F Include TTL and HSS Compatibility with Profoto AirTTL Flashes

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 8, 2017 — Today, Olympus announces a series of powerful new firmware updates that enhance the performance of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus PEN-F and select M.ZUIKO® → continue…

From:: DPreview

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D review

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D is the latest incarnation of Canon’s hugely popular mass-market range of DSLRs. This latest model is built around a 24MP sensor that uses Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system to offer improved autofocus in live view and video (more on that later).

At its core, it shares a lot with the more expensive EOS 77D but the differences become apparent when you first turn them on: both models feature a simplified ‘skin’ over the user interface, but only the T7i has these guiding functions switched on by default.

Key Features

  • 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel design
  • 45 AF points, all of which are horizontally and vertically sensitive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Bluetooth and NFC
  • 1080p video at up to 60 fps with electronic IS
  • Fully articulated 1.04M-dot rear LCD

Click here to see the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D’s full specifications

This should make immediately apparent who Canon is targeting with this camera: casual and family photographers buying their first DSLR and people who want to learn a little more about photography. It’s these two audiences we’ll focus on in this review.

The rivals

The Canon Rebel series (as it’s known in North America) is the best-selling series of DSLRs in the World, but it’s not without its rivals. A couple of these stand out, to us. Nikon’s D5600 is another 24MP camera that aims to offer a lot of capability in a relatively straightforward way.

Sony, meanwhile, offers two mirrorless cameras to target these users: the a5100 is a simpler, more point-and-shoot orientated camera while the a6000 has a little more of its raw power on display, for those who have the time to learn how to use it. Fujifilm again focuses on the photographer looking for a camera to grow into with its X-T20. Similarly, the → continue…

From:: DPreview