The Panasonic Lumix G80 was their second big announcement at Photokina 2016, after the Panasonic GH5 (read about it here). This little 4K champ packs a punch for users looking to step into video, including a better sensor, improved stabilisation and autofocus. This little Micro Four Thirds camera comes with a set of features that sensor is 16MP Live MOS, ISO up to 25600 with 4K 24/30p video recording at 100mbps. The addition of 4K video recording (and 4K burst still images), it records 1080p at 25/30p at 20mbps (which is less than the GH4) and 50/60p at 28mbps, in both AVCHD and MP4 formats. For the hybrid photo/video shooters, there are many burst modes which include the 4K photo burst at 30fps, and up to 40fps at 16MP when using the electronic shutter mode. Another of the camera’s main features is an improved Image Stabilisation system. New gyro-sensor technology allows the Body Image Stabiliser Optical Image to work in conjunction with the Optical Image Stabiliser, which can analyse shooting conditions such as the focal length of the lens for more accurate results. Panasonic claims that this system, which also includes an electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit and a solid magnesium front panel, provides around 90% better vibration reduction than the predecessor to the G80. The Focus department is another area that has seen improvements. Contrast AF is faster and more precise, and Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus technology makes focusing even faster. In addition, the Panasonic G80 allows users to fix out of focus images even after shooting, with it’s Post Focus function. Also, the camera’s focus stacking function allows you to combine multiple images with different focus points for further processing later. Finally, Low Light Autofocus allows more accurate performance in low-light situations of up to -4EV. The DSLR-type design of the Panasonic G80 features an improved ergonomic hand grip and form factor. Small mirrorless cameras have been a popular tool for both on the go photography and filming, with the size being a critical factor in choosing the camera for traveling. The dust and splash-proof body, in addition to the aforementioned magnesium front frame, will allow the camera to be used in more demanding conditions. Like it’s bigger brothers in the GH series, the Lumix G80 also has a swivel touchscreen. Other features include: Compatibility with the new DMW-BGG1 battery grip. HDMI output while simultaneously recording internally. 3.5mm microphone jack. Time Lapse and Stop Motion Animation modes. The Panasonic Lumix G80 will be available with 2 kit lens options: DMC-G80M (LUMIX G VARIO 12-6mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ POWER O.I.S. – also splash- and dustproof) DMC-G80H (LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ POWER O.I.S) All in all, it looks like the Panasonic G80 could be a great choice for those wanting to get into video, or as a B-camera for the GH4 and soon to come GH5. Price and availability to be announced, so stay tuned!Read more
JVC has announced that their interchangeable lens 4K camcorder – the GY-LS300 – will receive a firmware update that will open up 120fps slow motion recording in HD. With a release date of April 2016, this free update will add usability to an already capable and relatively affordable package. The JVC GY-LS300 was released in 2015 as an interchangeable lens alternative to the JVC GY-HM200 4K Camcorder. Replacing the fixed, variable aperture lens with a micro four-thirds lens mount, and the 1/2.33″ CMOS sensor with a super 35mm, the camera was evidently aimed for a more cinematic use. The combination of a M43 mount type without the limitations of the smaller M43 sensor also allows for greater flexibility in combination with various lens adapters. Beyond 4K and 4:2:2 HD recording, the GY-LS300 features internal ND filters, a J-LOG profile, dual SD card recording, HDMI and SDI outputs, XLR handle and IP-based remote control and monitoring with the addition of an inexpensive WiFi USB dongle. The camera can also perform variable scan mapping on the 4K sensor for lenses that project a smaller image circle. This also allows for digital zooming with minimal image quality loss, and works great to zoom in with prime lenses or extend the range of zoom lenses. These features may remind you of the Sony FS5, introduced late in 2015 as a big competitor in the market of the more affordable 4K cinema cameras. There are a few reasons, however, why the JVC hasn’t made a bigger splash with their LS300 to rival the FS5. Users have reported that while compact, the body feels rather cheap and plasticky, and doesn’t inspire you with confidence that it would sustain the strains of daily professional use. Also, the quality of both the EVF and the LCD screen have been heavily criticised. The recording codecs also are not as robust and, at least until April, the maximum frame rate available in HD is 60, way below what users have come to expect as standard. The new free firmware, while nowhere near the 240fps of the FS5, will at least offer an adequate amount of slow motion at 120fps. The most important point to remember, though, is that at $2,995 for the body only, the LS300 is almost half the price of the Sony alternative. It is up to users to determine whether the LS300’s shortcomings are really worth shelling out an extra $3,000 for the Sony FS5. The JVC GY-LS300: underwhelming or underhyped?Read more
The Leica Lumix 100-400mm f4-6.3 — Panasonic’s latest addition to their micro 4/3’s line of lenses — will be the first super telephoto zoom of its kind when it starts shipping in a couple of months. With release scheduled for March 2016, the Panasonic LUMIX G 100-400mm LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR will offer the longest focal length native to the MFT system. The 100-400mm translates to a full frame equivalent of a whopping 200-800mm! Coming in at just under a kilo, the lens is relatively small and compact, in line with the micro four-thirds philosophy. As a quick comparison: the Sigma 300-800mm is over 5kg, as well as over 4 times the price! The high-quality, Leica-designed optics include 20 elements in 13 groups including 1 aspherical, 1 UED, and 2 ED elements. Panasonic promises fast autofocus thanks to the 240 fps AF Drive housed within the metal body, which will feature a retractable lens hood, weather-sealing, and a rotary tripod mount with built-in lens switches. Thanks to this, no matter how you orient the tripod foot, the controls will remain in the same position relative to the camera. The switches include controls for auto/manual focus, as well as autofocus limiting to ensure even faster AF performance. The third switch activates Power Optical Image Stabilisation – quite necessary when shooting at these focal lengths. The IS works in tandem with Lumix bodies with in-body IS, such as the Panasonic GX8, resulting in Panasonic’s Dual Image Stabilization. The 9 blade diaphragm will be capable of a variable aperture of f4-6.4. As a result, those action-stopping wildlife and sports shots the Lumix Leica 100-400mm is clearly intended for better happen in bright daylight. Of course, a faster maximum aperture at the tele end would have been nicer, as the smaller sensor size of the MFT system needs all the light it can get. This shortcoming may be especially evident, considering you may be paying a premium for the Leica design. But we need to remember: building a zoom of these characteristics and features while keeping it light and portable is no small feat! Due to its relatively affordable price and features—and no longer needing to use a third-party lens plus adapter for these focal lengths—this first true super telephoto zoom native to the micro four-thirds system certainly looks like a serious contender in its field. Its practical features and dimensions make it an ideal choice for shooters heavily invested in the micro four-thirds system. The Leica Lumix 100-400mm is available for pre-order from B&H using the link below. Wildlife photographer Daniel J. Cox had a chance to use an early version of the Leica Lumix 100-400mm lens on a test shoot recently and shared his thoughts via this video and in an extensive blog post that you can read here.Read more
For anyone keeping up to date with MFT news will be aware of this little beauty – the Panasonic Lumix GX7, a compact mirrorless 16-megapixel micro 4/3s camera, with similar video functions to the flagship GH3. The GX7 is Panasonic’s latest release in their Lumix G line. The predecessor GX1 fell a little short in the video department, with capped bitrates for video, and no manual exposure control (out of the box). However the GX7 looks set to be a great contender for an ultra compact video camera, albeit one major sting in it’s tail (more on that later).Read more
It’s look as if Metabones will release a new adaptor in August that will allow your micro 4/3 cameras to adopt Canon EF via an electronic speedbooster. If you’re like myself who is a Canon shooter with a large EF lens collection, this is fantastic news. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Panasonic GH2, GH3 will now electronically except EF mount lenses, whilst increasing the sensor’s field of view, added sharpness and light sensitivity.Read more
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