Panasonic-Leica DG 8-18mm f2.8-4 Wide Zoom

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The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH is a new high-end ultra-wide angle zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system (M43) of interchangeable lens cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. Offering a useful and versatile effective focal range of 16-36mm in 35mm terms, the new Panasonic 8-18mm lens also boasts fast and silent auto-focusing and weather sealing.

So how does the new lens perform?

Well Online review site Photography Blog UK conducted a full review and concluded:

“The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-16mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a classic focal range of 16-36mm in a small and lightweight package, backed-up by outstanding image quality throughout the focal range and impressively fast and silent autofocusing. It’s just a little soft wide-open at 18mm, where it’s best used stopped down for the best results, there’s some predictable barrel distortion at 8mm, and it is susceptible to flare when shooting directly into the sun, but otherwise it delivers fantastic sharpness at all focal lengths, even at the edges of the frame.

This lens is small and lightweight considering the zoom range on offer. It’s also very fast to focus and silent too, making it well-suited to candid stills and particularly video work, making it a perfect partner for the G80 camera that we tested it with. Build quality is very good, perhaps to be expected given the premium price-tag, and the fact that this lens is weatherproof is the icing on an already rich cake”.

May 2017

Panasonic-Leica 8-18mm f2.8-4

Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. is a new wide zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Equivalent to a 16-36mm lens in a 35mm system, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. covers a variety of photographic genres and shooting situations, from interiors and landscapes to environmental portraiture and street photography. The non-rotating 67mm filter thread allows users to mount a variety of creative filters such as polarisers and ND grads. Comprising 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses effectively suppress spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from centre to corners. The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH.

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From Ephotozine : Verdict

“The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph. is a pleasure to use, but the greatest pleasure is arguably in the outstanding sharpness, giving a real punch to images. The pleasure extends to enjoying fine engineering as well, because there is the high quality of the construction and finish to enjoy for its own sake.

In summary, a lens that lives up to its Leica tag and should serve very well for many years of use”!

Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph Pros

  • Outstanding sharpness
  • Low distortion
  • Low CA
  • Fast and silent AF
  • High contrast for punchy results
  • Dust and splash proof

Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph Cons

  • Can be susceptible to flare
  • Fairly expensive

April 2015

Definitive Panasonic GH5 Review

Panasonic Lumix GH5:

As good a combined video / still camera you can find

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Dpreview has published its full, highly detailed Panasonic Lumix GH5 review and here’s their conclusion:

From Dpreview

“Panasonic’s GH cameras have consistently been at the vanguard of convergence between the still and video worlds, and the GH5 arguably represents the biggest single leap in the history of the series. It adds features typically associated with more expensive, pro video equipment, though Panasonic is quick to remind you that it’s a still camera too.

The importance of internal 4:2:2 color and 10-bit video cannot be overstated, and has an impact on what you can do with footage in post processing. The addition of 4K/60p video also makes it possible to insert slow motion 4K into a project without sacrificing resolution.

Panasonic has also provided the tools needed to leverage the camera’s advanced features, including waveform, vectorscope, Log gamma, and built-in LUT display. Log gamma is becoming more common on cameras, but less so the ability to apply a LUT in-camera. Uploading custom LUTs is unique to the GH5 in this class.

If you’re primarily a stills shooter, the GH5 would make a fine choice if you’re looking at the Four Thirds ecosystem, but there are arguably better options out there for the money. That said, the tweaks to the JPEG engine and the 9fps burst shooting with reliable autofocus make the GH5 an excellent all-around proposition for hybrid video and stills photographers.

If you’re serious about video, it’s hard to go wrong. This camera can probably deliver the goods unless you have very specialized needs, and if you’re just learning, it’s a camera you can grow with. But what if you’re already a GH4 user? Think of it like this: the GH5 isn’t just a camera that does everything your current camera can do, plus a bunch of other things. This is a camera that does everything your current camera can do, but better (often by a wide margin)… plus a bunch of other things. So yes, it’s probably worth it”.

Pros  Cons
  • New 20MP sensor gives increase in resolution without increase in noise
  • Highly impressive video specifications (4:2:2 10-bit color, 4K/60p)
  • Full sensor 4K capture with oversampling gives great detail
  • Big, high resolution viewfinder
  • Waveform and vectorscope displays
  • Optional Log gamma profile for video
  • Built-in LUT display when shooting Log
  • Auto ISO added for manual movie shooting
  • Improved AF performance and customizability
  • Improved temporal noise in video
  • JPEG color improved
  • Dual UHS-II card slots, support for faster V60 cards in the future
  • Solid, weather-sealed build
  • AF joystick
  • Improved menus
  • New 6K Photo mode, alongside existing 4K Photo and Post Focus modes
  • Wi-Fi with Bluetooth LE
  • Settings can be saved to card
  • Same battery as GH4
  • On the larger end of the Micro Four Thirds spectrum
  • JPEG sharpening improved over GH4, but still has room for improvement
  • Viewfinder resolution drops noticeably during high speed bursts
  • Necessity for AF tracking to be ‘cancelled’ gets in the way of shooting
  • Autofocus in video can exhibit focus hunting
  • Slight decrease in video quality when shooting high frame rates (180fps)
  • Battery life decrease

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Pro Travel Zoom

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Zoom: The perfect travel zoom

Online test – review site, Image resouring has tested the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f4 Pro zoom a micro four third lens that offers the equivilent 35mm focal range of 12-200mm , so potentially very useful.

image of Olympus 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro M.Zuiko Digital ED

Here’s their conclusion:

“Olympus continues to crank out stunning lenses. The 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is yet another remarkable lens for their professional line of lenses. The Olympus Zuiko Pro family now has a smattering of primes as well as a trio of f/2.8 zooms, but now the 12-100mm squeezes into the lineup, aiming at those MFT photographers wanting “Pro” image quality, build quality and performance, but in an all-in-one package.

Optically, the 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is excellent, with tack-sharp images across its entire zoom range, even wide-open — that’s a really tough feat, and often a point of compromise for other long-zoom interchangeable lenses of the “travel zoom” category. Other optical qualities are also top-notch, and the rugged build quality is classic “Zuiko Pro.” At around $1,300, however, the 12-100mm f/4 is a bit on the pricey side.

If you’re shooting with the Micro Four Thirds system and want a top-notch single lens setup, perhaps for traveling, hiking, or just keeping your camera bag’s weight at a minimum, the 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is that lens. Its versatility and quality make it a winner for pretty much whatever you want to throw at it”.

Mt Take:

Well I have a 12-100mm f4 and I can tell you its a seriously good lens that offers the perfect focal range for a general purpose all-in-one travel zoom and here’s some images to prove it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mark Baynham ( April 2017)

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5 (Video Giant)

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Online review site Photography Blog UK has reviewed Panasonic’s flagship Micro Four Third camera, the Panasonic GH5 and no surprises, they loved it,rated it very highly giving it a 5-star thumbs up.

From Photography Blog UK:

“The Panasonic Lumix GH4 proved to be a runaway success when it was released back in 2014, so Panasonic certainly had a tough act to follow with the new GH5. They’ve evidently spent the three intervening years hard at work, as the GH5 represents a big step forward for both photographers and videographers. Our only caveat is that its extensive video capabilities are certainly overkill if you only dabble with movie recording. Otherwise, there are currently no other hybrid video/still cameras on the market that deliver as many features and as much quality at the same price-point as the new Panasonic GH5.

The GH5 can be used for everything from handheld-shooting to a full broadcast environment, with an even wider range of options than it’s already well-appointed predecessor, and even more major improvements via firmware upgrades scheduled for later this year. Panasonic have also paid attention to the stills side of things too, with the new 20 megapixel sensor and Venus engine producing the best image quality of any Lumix camera to date. Together with the numerous improvements to the camera body, operation, speed and the user interface, all of this adds up to make the GH5 an instantly familiar yet so much more capable camera than the GH4.

The sheer number of options available on the GH5 is undoubtedly initially confusing, but that’s merely an observation rather than a criticism. If you typically shoot both stills and video, there’s simply nothing to challenge the Panasonic GH5 at this price-point and in such a portable format, making it a worthy winner of our highest accolade – Essential”

April 2017