Panasonic G5 online review

Whatdigitalcamera.com has posted an online review of Panasonic’s latest entry – mid level DSLR rival the compact m4/3rd  Panasonic G5.

Here’s what they had to say:

Whatdigitalcamea.com

While it may have a bit of a fight on its hands to tempt people away from the safer option of a DSLR, the G5 has a lot to offer those willing to try something a little less traditional.
The build-quality is as good as its rivals, if not better in some areas. The interface and touch screen technology make the G5 easy and quick to use, though as we’ve mentioned, there is still room for improvement in this area. Images are also very good, and unless you shoot a lot of high ISO shots where DSLRs have the edge, you won’t be disappointed.
Factor in the fast AF (in single AF at least), flip-out screen, 6fps and the largest lens and accessory support for a Compact System Camera range, and the G5 has to be the most complete Lumix G-series camera we’ve seen, that mounts a serious challenge to established DSLRs
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My take.

I loved the Panasonic G3 when I tetsed it and thought it a breakthrough micro 4/3rd model that really demonstrated what a compact camera system can deliver. The new Pansonic G5 is a sensible and logical development and whilst it may not at first glance seem vastly different from the previous model, it is a slightly improved camera and this alone means it deserves serious consideration as an alternative to a DSLR.

Mark Baynham (August 2012)

Canon EOS 650D online review

Whatdigitalcamera.com have posted an online review of Canon’s latest EOS model the Canon EOS 650D. So just the integration of a touch screen, hybrid AF system and new DIGIC 5 processor provide a significant improvement on the successful EOS 600D?

Whatdigitalcamera’s verdict:

“Combining a touch screen into a DSLR would always be controversial, but DSLR LCDs have, for some time now, been much more than simply devices for viewing images post-capture – and this would always be the next logical move. Not only has Canon implemented the technology well, but it hasn’t sought to make it obligatory for general operation. It’s unlikely this will remain unique to the EOS 650D. Most of the other changes may not in themselves be significant, but collectively they make the EOS 650D a more enjoyable camera to use than the EOS 600D. With live view and video recording still not universally embraced, it’s perhaps the changes to the focusing system that have been the most important”.

My Take:

The Canon EOS 650D represents a potentially significant shift in DSLR development and whilst not revolutionary the integration of a touch screen points the way forward for future models not just from Canon but probably from all the major manufacturers. The touch screen combined with an enhanced AF perfomance, faster frame rate and use of a DIGIC5 processor all combine to make the EOS 650D a worthwhile upgrade if you’re a  EOS 1100D owner or indeed currently own an EOS 500, 550 or even a 600D.

Mark Baynham (August 2012)

Sony HX20V Travel Compact online review

A number of internet reviews have been posted for Son’y flagship compact travel zoom, the Sony HX20V. Recent HX series offerings have proved more than a match for the traditional class leader, the Panasonic TZ series. So does the HX20V have what it takes to beat the latest offerings from Panasonic, the TZ30 and TZ25?

Well here’s what “photographyblog” have to say after their review:

“The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX20V is a more capable and more refined version of our favourite travel-zoom camera from 2011, the HX9V, with a longer lens, higher resolution and extra features helping to maintain Sony’s lead over the competition in this ultra-competitive part of the camera market. The move to a headline-grabbing 18 megapixel sensor may elicit groans amongst more experienced photographers, but in reality Sony have been able to maintain the excellent image quality that the previous 16 megapixel HX9V offered. The 18 megapixel backlit sensor provides excellent results from ISO 100-800, with only the fater settings of 1600 and 3200 suffering from too much noise and smearing of fine detail. You should ignore 6400 and 12800 though unless there’s really no alternative. Chromatic aberrations are well controlled and colours accurate, and the 20x 25-500mm lens commendably doesn’t suffer from too much distortion at either end of the mammoth zoom range

Add in the 3D Sweep Panoramas and 3D Still Images, amazing 10fps burst shooting mode, 0.13 second auto-focusing, closer macro mode, extensive range of in-camera Picture effects and the high-resolution 921K dot LCD screen, and it’s still easy for us to recommend the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX20V above all of its travel-zoom rivals. Essential”

My Take.

Well this is not the first highly positive review of the Sony HX20V I have read the others and they also suggest its overall perfomance is ever so slightly superior to that of the Panasonic TZ30. Its impressive that the move to a highly populated 18mp sensor hasn’t ruined image quality and the HX20V is a great value feature packed travel compact that is well worth consideration if your in the market for a versatile travel compact.

Mark Baynham (August 2012)

Photokina’s coming up – rumours abound

With the Photokina show almost upon us the rumour mill have gone into over drive as to what new products are possibly on the horizon. Here’s a few rumours what some sources are saying we may see in the near future. To stress none are facts, some may see the light of day, others will probably not, nothing is a given.

Canon.
Rumours are hinting at some sort of entry level full frame DSLR to sit below the 5D3 but with a lot of 7D features, so a sort of “Super 7D”. A full frame sensor in a body similar to the 7D, with a built in flash and using the 7D metering and focus system is a very tempting proposition. I’d hope the rear screen is articulated with touch capacity.So will there be a 7D replacement? Probably I cannot see Canon being content to leave the 60D as its top APS-C DSLR but I wouldn’t be surprised if a revamped 60D replacement (70D?) actually replaces the 7D whilst the new cheaper full frame camera in effect becomes the 7D replacement?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Canon hint or hopefully announce a version of its new EOS “M” high end compact camera but with an EVF designed to take on the NEX7 and Fuji X Pro 1. Would this camera have a full frame sensor to make it really special, doubtful?

Panasonic.
The GH3 is very likley to see the light of day, Don’t expect anything too radical but the GH3 will have to build upon core GH2 features in order to compete with Olympus’s OMD EM5.

Nikon.
Rumours continue to suggest the D300S replacement is on its way, a blend of D7000 and new technology from the D800.

Sony.
A full frame DSLT the A99? has been rumoured for some time and something is sure to be announced. There have been hints that Sony will be the first to put a full frame sensor in a comapct camera body, a kind of beefed up NEX7, (NEX9/) if any company can do this it will be Sony.

Fuji.
Rumours are suggesting that 2 “X” cameras are on their way. The first may well be the X200, a replacement for the X100 whilst the other is meant to be a slightly stripped down and cheaper X Pro 1. My gut feeling is this may actually be one of the same camera, a more affordable lens interchangeable X100 replacement to sit below the X Pro 1?

Anway only a month or so before we find out for sure whats on its way in 2013.

Mark Baynham (July 2012)

Some new releases are on their way

Its been a busy few weeks recently with Panasonic announcing the Panasonic  G5 (G3 replacement), a LX5 replacement, the Panasonic LX7 and finally Canon joining the mirrorless market with the EOS M.

The Panasonic G5

The Panasonic G5  is a natural development of the hugely popular G3. Whilst no major surprises were announced the G5 builds on the core G3 qualities. Photography blog Uk have posted a  review and concludes that the G5 is “one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market” so that’s good news.

The Panasonic LX7

This update to the LX5 has caused a bit of a stir and being fair not all positive. Many had hoped this high end premium compact follow up to the LX5 would feature a 2/3″ CMOS sensor (like the Fuji X10) or even a 1″ sensor like the Sony Rx100. Rumours have been rift indicating this would be so and only added to the anticipation. Curiously this new Panasonic LX model actually has a slightly smaller sensor than its predecessor, a 1/1.7″ CMOS (same size as the one in the Canon G12 and Canon S100). Now whether this will be seen as backward moves waits to be seen because the Leica lens (24mm – 90mm equivilent) is VERY impressive being F1.4 wide and F2.3 telephoto. Additionally shooting speed is vastly improved thanks to the CMOS sensor and the rear screen see’s a welcomed boast in resolution. My gut feeling is this camera will continue to have a loyal LX following and for LX3 owners (like me) the LX7 will represent a significant upgrade but its certainly isn’t the Sony RX100 killer many had hoped for.

Canon EOS “M” 

It’s been a long time coming but Canon have finally entered the mirrorless market with the EOS M. Whilst many had hoped for a kind of Fuji X Pro 1 camera or even a Sony NEX7 equivilent, the EOS M appears to be  pitched to do battlel with the Sony NEX5 . The new 18mp CMOS sensor from the EOS 650D twinned with a Digic 5 processor should deliver the goods but I don’t see too many current Panasonic or Olympus  m4/3rd owners switching over brand.Will there be a higher end “M” model in the future?

My Take:

The Panasonic G5 is a sensible upgrade. The Panasonic LX7 is an intriguing camera that possibly risks allienating loyal LX owners and could push them into the arms of the Sony RX100. On the other hand it could just be the perfect high end compact camera? As for the Canon EOS M, well I’ll confess to being just a little disappointied (I am an EOS 7D owner after all, and loved my time testing the G1X), but the EOS M is sure to find an enthusiastic market. As ever time will tell and I am eager to try all of them out in the future.

Mark Baynham (July 2012)