Sunday, 31 May 2015

Product news

There has been some interesting camera news recently, and here is my take on the situation:

Panasonic


Panasonic have finally launched their update of the greatly under appreciated G6, the Lumix G7:


This camera is a good bargain. It has many of the features of the Lumix GH4 (my review), but at a much lower price, and in a compact body. Since the last iteration, it has gotten a retro friendly angled body, but thankfully retains the ergonomics.

With the G7, Panasonic is aiming at the entry level DSLR users, the crowd who usually goes out buying a camera/lens kit from Canon or Nikon. With this camera, the sales person can say that here you get the same features in a smaller package, and with 4K video, the latest television buzzword, on top! But probably still at a steeper price. And those who look at the specifications, may be worried that 16MP is really enough, now that the most basic Nikon DSLR has got a whopping 24MP.

Monday, 25 May 2015

3D stereo images with two cameras

As new camera models are being introduced, the old ones can be bought at discount prices. There is a rumour currently that Panasonic is soon going to release the Lumix GX8, and I was able to get a pair of Lumix GX7 at a reasonable price. But why would anyone want to get two of the same camera?

Mounting them to a Desmond Mini Dual Camera Bracket, it is easy to set them up for 3D stereo photography. The stereo distance becomes about 140mm here, which is a bit wide, but quite usable:


Note the lenses used: I used an old and new version of the Lumix G 20mm f/1.7. You would want to use the same lens on both cameras, to make sure the images come out comparable. However, even if these two lenses do not look alike, they are optically identical, just having a different body design. See my comparison of the old/new lens here.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lumix 14-140mm OIS jitter?

I really like the Lumix G 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 superzoom lens (click for my review). Compared with the older version of the lens, I find that it is better in every way: Smaller, lighter, cheaper, better image quality. So what is not to like?

There are some who say that the new version of the lens causes "micro jitters" when recording video handheld, which makes it impossible for use with video. As the lens is advertized for video use especially, this sounds like a very bad thing.

To test if there is merit to the claim, I have tried to put both lenses (the new and old version) on the same camera, Lumix GX7, and recorded video at 1080p, 50FPS. To avoid motion blur, which might hide the micro jitters, I set a fast shutter speed at 1/200s.


Both cameras were connected to a Desmond mini stereo bracket. The new version of the lens to the left.

Friday, 1 May 2015

OM-D E-M5 II video quality

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 II is the first Olympus M4/3 camera with a real promise to quality video output. It features 52Mbps output in the "SF" (Super Fine) mode, at 1080p, 60fps (or 50fps if you are in a PAL region country). So how does the video compare with the Lumix GH4, the reference in terms of M4/3 video?

First of all, let's note that there is disappointing news about the E-M5 Mark II video: The sensor is cropped slightly, making your lenses less wide than you expect. Here is an illustration of the sensor area used for video:


This corresponds to an additional crop factor of 1.16. Or in other words, the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 becomes 14-46mm when using the video mode. So the effect is not very dramatic.

This crop during video is not uncommon, by the way. The Nikon D7200 can only do 1080p video at 60fps with a 1.3x crop of the sensor. And that is Nikon's premier DX DSLR. While we wait for the D400.