Photokina m4/3 Announcements

Both Olympus and Panasonic made announcements of new m4/3 products today.

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Olympus finally announced the long awaited 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens. Available in November, this US$1500 lens also has a 1.4x teleconverter option (US$350). Like Olympus other top-end gear, the 40-150mm is splash proof and sealed in construction. Two powerful focus motors keep focus performance high.

Meanwhile, Olympus“re-introduced” the E-M1 with a new silver model and 2.0 firmware. The new firmware adds tethered shooting (via the free Olympus Capture Studio Tethering Application). Also added are keystone compensation for perspective correction, and two new Art Filters (Vintage and Partial Color), improved EVF performance. The new software (and camera style) will be available September 24th.

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Panasonic announced the US$900 GM5(with kit lens),basically a cleaned up GM1 with some new buttons, but most importantly, an EVF. This camera, ironically, competes against their just-announced LX100, and frankly, I think it ultimately wins. Sure, you don’t get a small 24-75mm equivalent fast collapsing zoom, but you also get a real 16mp and interchangeable lens choices in a nice clean, small design that’s jacket pocketable. The GM5 answers my one main complaint about the GM1 (no EVF) and even seems to clean up some of the UI a bit. I’m not sure of the location of the FN buttons, though (should have been one on the front, one near the right thumb position). Plus the lack of a front grip seems to be a common flaw that all the companies keep repeating for no good reason.

As part of the“small” m4/3 that the GM series shoots for, Panasonic also introduced a new version of the 14mm f/2.5 lens and a 35-100mm f/4-5.6 Vario OIS zoom designed to compliment the GM5.

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