New Olympus “Pro” Zoom coming?

New Olympus 12-100mm f4 “Pro” zoom coming? (Maybe)

A while back a few rumours circulated that Olympus were going to add another “Pro” zoom to their range of high end zooms (they currently have the 7-14mm f2.8 12-40mm f2.8 and 40-140mm f2.8 zooms in the range).

Well some more recent rumours suggest the zoom will turn out to be a 12 -100mm F4 zoom, in other words a high quality travel zoom covering the 35mm equivilent of 24-200mm, very handy indeed.

Fantasy?

Well I think not.

And why?

Because Panasonic patented a 12-100mm f4-5.6 travel zooom for the MFT (Micro Four Third) system a while back which seems to suggest that a 12-100mm zoom (of some description) has clearly something that has been considered in the past.

The MFT system does lack a truly high quality travel zoom so to my mind it makes absolute sense for Olympus to add to their Pro zoom range with a high end all in one travel zoom.

Equally it makes just as much sense to give this zoom a F4 constant aperture ( as opposed to f2.8) in order to keep the size and weight down, bearing in  mind Olympus does currently have one f4 lens in their “Pro” range, the unbelieveably good 300mm f4 telephoto prime.

F4 is still pretty quick and useful over such an extensive zoom range and as I discovered when I added the MC14 teleconverter to my 40-150mm f2.8 zoom ( the teleconverter turns the f2.8 constant aperture to f4) F4 still allows for blurred backgrounds in many cicrumstances.

Here’s two examples of the 40-150mm f2.8 with the teleconverter attached:

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No, I reckon this new “Pro” zoom is on the cards and it will be a very welcome addition to Olympus’s growing “Pro” range of lenses.

NB:

Also remember its no secret that Olympus are going to release some ultra fast-wide ie f1.2 “Pro” prime lenses as well

Mark Baynham ( July 2016)

Will we get a revised Panasonic LX100 this year?

A new Panasonic LX100 coming?

There have been hints and rumours that Panasonic will announce in the next month or so a revised / updated Panasonic LX100.

Now the LX100 is a cracking compact, I bought one after concluding it had the legs on the then Sony RX100 III, Canon G7X and Fuji X30 but two years is a long time in the modern digital photography world and the opposition has moved on.

The current Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 can still hold its own (especially when it comes to handling / ergonomic) but because it employes what is in effect Panasonic’s “old” 12mp four-third sensor from the GX7 it really could do with a tweak.

Other features of the current model are also looking dated, including a fixed non articulated non touch rear screen.

So if the LX100 II or LX200 (or whatever its called) what can we expect?

Well I’d love Panasonic to stick their new 20mp sensor ( as found in the GX8) into the new model but there are some strong hints that in fact it will use the tweaked 16mp as found in the recent GX80. Commercially this makes sense as it stops the revised LX100 model semi competing or offering an altetnative to  the GX8 but if true its an opportunity missed. Stick the 20mp sensor in a revised LX100 and Panasonic will have a market leader?

Touch facility is bound to be introduced to the rear screen and I’ll bet that screen will adopt some some degree of movement / articulation.

Anything else?

Well I doubt Panasonic will play with the current fixed 25-75mm f1.7-2.8 zoom although as ever a bit more reach would be a hit, how about a 25mm -100mm f2-2.8 zoom?

Built in flash? Yes please althought this would require a highly revised re-working of the body design so its highly unlikely.

Weather sealing? Mmmm, it makes sense but like the introduction of a flash this needs a completely new body design so I don’t anticipate the presence of weather sealing.

So to conclude the new LX100 is most likely to be tweaked, moderate evolution of the current model with changes majoring on the sensor and rear screen.

Expect some news / announcement in September.

Here’s some images taken with the current Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Alykes Beach - Zante (Cross Process Effect) (Panasonic DMC- LX100)

Relaxing On the table (Tilly the 3-legged cat (Panasonic LX100 Compact)

Pouring (Panasonic LX100)

Mark Baynham ( July 2016)

What specs likely for the new Olympus OM-D EM1 II

Its not a secret that in the next few weeks that the Olympus OM-D EM1 replacement will break cover.

Its no secret because it has to.  Whilst the EM1 is still a good camera is in truthbegining to look a tad bit out gunned in some aspects by the likes of the Olympus Pen-F and the Panasonic GX8 in a particular. In fact in some ways the supposed mid-range OM-D model, the EM5II is a in reality a better camera than the current EM1.

But what specs / features will the new OM-D EM1 II sport?

Well common sense suggest that we should expect a version of the Sony manufactured 20mp 4/3rd CMOS sensor. I say version because I’d be amazed if the new sensor doesn’t have on sensor phase-detection – PDAF ( as on the current EM1). The 20mp will bring a very, very slight resolution improvement but more significantly a slightly improved high ISO performance over the current 16mp sensor in the EM1. I would be very surprise if a new TruePic processing engine is not introduced, TruePic VIII?

The new camera will have an improved AF performance and it will have the AF targetting pad feature as found in the EM10 II annd Pen-F.

I’ll have a pint the new camera will be capable of 12fps shooting with fixed AF and maybe as high as 7fps with auto-focus?

The presence of a higher resolution EVF has been rumoured for a while now, expect something in the 3M dot region maybe even a Leica matching 4M dot?

There have been really strong hints that Olympus has managed to hone and refined the high-res mode ( as found in the EM5II) to finally allow the mode to be used handheld.  If this capacity really does materialise  it will really open up the possibilities of the EM1 II and allow the m43 system to truly compete (for resolution) with their bigger sensor brethren.

Its also rumoured that dual SD slots will make their debut.

I don’t expect many changes when it comes to the rear screen but I’d like to see the touch capacity expanded and improved. Ideally I’d love a more resolute rear screen ( 2M dot?) but I am not confident that my wishes will be fulfilled.

Built in flash? Other than the OM-D EM10 II Olympus has shown a reluctance to include built in flashes on its OMD models , a logic which doesn’t register with me. I’d love the EM1 II to have a built in flash but if history is anything to go back its looking doubtful.

4K video? Although Olympus has shown a reluctance to introduce 4K video to its cameras (partly due to copy right issues) I do expect  a light version of 4K video to debut in the EM1 II. I Don’t expect anything like the extensive 4K modes as found in some Sony and Panasonic models, no I’d anticipate an implementation more akin to that in the Fuji X-T2?

And that’s about it? I don’t personally expect anything too radical to come with the EM1 II , its much more likely to represent a pragmatic evolution and blending of the EM5II / Pen-F features.

I have no doubt the EM1 II will focus on handling, robustness (it will be weather sealed) and snappy AF performance. The improved sensor and EVF performance will simply make the user experience more rewarding.

I’d want Olympus to keep the same battery design ( to allow backward compatability) but would appreciate better battery life.

Lenses? Eell expect Olympus to announce possibly two (2) f1.2 Pro primes and a new pro zoom to accompany the EM1 II?

So all in all the the EM1 II could or should (fingers crossed) represent the very best in current digital technology and in the process end up being the best micro four thirds camera yet?

I am really looking forward to the EM1 II, as a Micro Four Thirds user / owner I have placed a lot of faith ( and expense) with Olympus and I hope they don’t disappoint.

Mark Baynham ( July 2016)

G1X II replacement on its way?

A Canon patent for a 15-75mm f2-5.6 lens designed to be married to an APC-C equipped camera has recently been published.

A number of rumours hint / suggest this could end up being the fixed lens used in an APS-C compact in other words a replacement of the current Canon PowerShot G1X II?

However Its also possible that such a lens could be intended to replace the current 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 zoom which isn’t a great lens truth be told ( I had one kitted with the 7D when that camera first came out).

Personally I’d love such a lens to appear on an EVF equipped 20mp APS-C Canon compact, in other words a replacement for the rather unloved G1X II?

Time will tell, maybe a September announcement?

Mark Baynham ( July 2016)

Are some new Pro Zooms Coming at some time?

43rd Rumours has published details of two new recently published Olympus patents including two very intersting super telephoto-zooms.

Now just because a patent exists doesn’t mean the lens will actually see the light of day but there will be a market ( all be it small) for such lenses especially amongst wildlife and sports shooters.

The patents are for:

300-500mm  f2.8-4 MFT zoom ( 35mm equivilent of 600 -1000mm)

And

200 -300mm f2.8-4 MFT zoom (35mm equivilent 400 – 600mm)

Olympus already produce the stunning 300mm f4 Pro prime, a superb ( and expensive) 600mm equivilent optic which has been really well recieved and the 40-150mm f2.8 zoom, an equally high performing optic which I own, love and proved my most used lens during a recent holiday to Greece.

A lens that bridges the gap between these the two Pro lenses mentioned above (ie the patented 200-300) and then extends on the current 300mm prime ( ie the patented 300-500mm) actually makes perfect sense.

Personally I’d be really tempted by the 200-300mm lens as in real world “general”  photography 600mm equivilent is as much reach as most people realistically need, whilst the monster 300-500mm lens would find a market but that market would be realtively small.

On Flickr the current 40-150mm f2.8 Pro Zoom lens is the subject of several interest groups with a large member participation its apparant that high quality telephoto, super-telephoto usage is alive and kicking so fingers crossed that these patented lenses do actually make it to production.

Here’s some 40-150mm f2.8 Pro images:

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Mark Baynham ( July 2016)