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At some point past 30X, the zoom race started looking pointless. There is little difference between a 720mm and 750mm photo while both require truly fast shutter-speed, so good light in order to avoid increasing the ISO which causes very poor image quality on tiny sensors of ultra-zooms.

Panasonic today is changing this by introducing the widest ultra-zoom of all: The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 which features a 60X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 20-1200mm. This puts at 2mm ahead of its closest competitors which gives it roughly 10% wider field-of-view. Each mm is much more significant at the wide-end than at the long end of the zoom. At 20mm, the FZ80 shows a 94° field-of-view which is extremely useful for architecture. At 1200mm, it shows about 2° which is good enough to tightly frame almost anything which can be seen with the naked eye.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The new Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is built around an 18 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor with 10 FPS full-resolution read-out and wide ISO 80-3200 sensitivity range. This is paired with an optically stabilized 20-1200mm F/2.8-5.9 lens. This camera can record 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS too.

This mid-level ultra-zoom offers a tiny 0.2″ EVF with 1.2 megapixels and 0.46X magnification. The rear of the camera has one control-dial to help set parameters but offers a limited number of controls. The FZ80 this way remains relatively light-weight at 616g, much lighter than even most ultra-wide or long lenses alone.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is schedule to ship the second half of March for a retail price of $399 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are both ready to take pre-orders.

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At CES 2017 today, everyone expected Panasonic to unveil the Lumix GH5 and announce a new Leica DC 12-60mm F/2.8-4 lens. They also updated 4 more lenses with a new weatherproof construction and improved stabilization.

The surprise this morning though is the introduction of a new and very tiny Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless, the Panasonic Lumix GX850. This consolidates the naming of most Panasonic mirrorless under the GX branding with, presumably, a 3-digit series starting at the GX850, sitting below the larger GX85 added last year.

Panasonic Lumix GX850

The new Panasonic Lumix GX850 is positively tiny, measuring only 34mm (1.3″) thick and being barely taller than the lens mount. It is reminiscent of the GM-series which impressed with its performance-to-size ratio, competing with premium compacts while providing the versatility of interchangeable lenses. The GX850 offers the same proposition, only with an upgraded imaging sensor and processor.

A 16 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor without anti-alias filter promises to deliver extremely detailed images from a mirrorless camera which is barely larger than an ultra-compact. A fast processor in the GX850 allows it to capture 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS and shoot continuously at 10 FPS when using an electronic shutter and 5.8 FPS with the mechanical one. Its shutter-speed range is an impressive 1/16000s-60s but there is no Bulb mode in this digital camera.

Ergonomics are at a premium in a form-factor this small, so the GX850 only has a single thin control-dial low on the back of the body, no grip and no viewfinder, nor any provision to add one.

The Panasonic Lumix GX850 is expected to be available within one month for a suggested retail price of $549 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

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Towards the end of 2016, Panasonic teased that their next flagship mirrorless camera would capture 4K at 60 FPS and shooting continuously at 6K or around 18 megapixels. This morning at CES 2017, they completed the launch of this new mirrorless which is to be available in late March this year.

The new Panasonic Lumix GH5 was unveiled as the ultimate Panasonic mirrorless. Boasting a new 20 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor without anti-alias filter and ultra-fast read-out, the GH5 can shoot continuously full-resolution images at 12 FPS with a mechanical shutter for up to 600 JPEG images or 60 RAW files! Dropping slightly down to 18 MP, the speed jumps up to 30 FPS using an electronic shutter. Going further down to 8 MP, which is 4K, the speed doubles to an impressive 60 FPS.

Panasonic Lumix GH5

Continuing their trend of adding image-stabilization to bodies, Panasonic has squeezed a 5-axis image-stabilization system into the GH5. This system works in cooperation with lens-based stabilization to deliver up to 5 stops of improvement over hand-holding. Unfortunately, they did not disclose how much of that stabilization comes from the body and how much comes from the lens.

The new Panasonic Lumix GH5 boasts an unprecedented amount of video features, taking everything the GH4 could do and doubling its speed, up to 4K at 60 FPS. Cinema 4K though, still maxes out at 30 FPS though. In-body stabilization is also available during video-recording. Speaking of which, the GH5 does not limit recording time before the memory card fills up. The GH5 is also the first Panasonic to feature dual UHS-II SDXC memory card slots.

The Contrast-Detect AF system in the GH5 offers 225 autofocus points. Thanks to the faster sensor read-out, the camera samples focus distance and measures defocusing at 480 Hz to deliver ultra-fast focus-acquisition times. Panasonic claims it can be 0.005s now while keeping its class-leading sensitivity of -4 EV.

Ergonomically, the GH5 looks very similar to its predecessor which is known to handle extremely well. All three control-dials, the classic mode-dial and drive mode-dial are all in the same place as before. Some buttons have moved a little but the layout remains essentially the same. A welcome improvement is the addition of a Focus-Point joystick. The most significant change is a new huge EVF with 0.76X magnification and a class-leading resolution of 3.6 megapixels! This is almost 50% more resolution than any of its peers.

Underneath its outer shell, the Panasonic GH5 boasts improved sealing which makes it weatherproof and freezeproof down to -10C, a Panasonic mirrorless first. Recall that earlier today Panasonic announced their first 3 freezeproof lenses but Olympus also makes some.

There is just not that many things the GH5 cannot do. This is a mirrorless with an extremely rich feature set which competes with top-of-the-line DSLRs. Even Bulb exposures are possible up to an hour. Panasonic knows this and has given this new mirrorless a price to match. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is expected to ship next month for a price of $2000 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium


Panasonic is always one of the biggest announcers at CES and this year is no exception. They of couse go seriously beyond digital photography with everything from microwaves to giant illuminations being announced. Their digital camera division just unveiled 5 new Micro Four-Thirds lenses. The two big changes across the board are improved image stabilization with the new Power OIS 2 system, now fully working in conjunction with in-camera stabilization which is why they call it Dual IS 2, and weatherproof construction on all lenses. Several are also freezeproof down to -10C.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F/2-4 ASPH Power OIS

The newest and most-improved lens is the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS. This one runs parallel to the older Lumix G Vario 12-60mm F/3.5-5.6 lens as a higher-end model given it is freezeproof and offers a brighter maximum aperture, from ½ on the wide end to 1 stop on the long end. Magnification has been improved slightly to 0.3X with a minimum focus-distance of 20cm at wide-angle and 24cm at the telephoto end. Panasonic also pre-announced future additions to the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit series: An 8-16mm and a 50-200mm lens.

Four second version of existing lenses were released this morning:

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 II ASPH Power OIS

The Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 II ASPH Power OIS is the new constant bright aperture standard zoom in the lineup. It is freezeproof down to -10C and offers better image stabilization than its predecessor, although Panasonic does not quote efficiency for lenses alone now, counting on them being used on a body with built-in image-stabilization.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F/2.8 II ASPH Power OIS

The Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F/2.8 II ASPH Power OIS is the new constant bright aperture telephoto zoom in the lineup. It is freezeproof down to -10C offers improved image-stabilization. Labelled Lumix G X, this completes the pair of large aperture zoom which are part of Panasonic high-end offerings.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F/4-5.6 II Power OIS

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F/4-5.6 II Power OIS is another refresh, this time of the basic Lumix G series. This is one is weatherproof but not freezeproof. It also offers Dual IS 2 stabilization and is compatible with new high-speed focusing at 480 Hz.

Panasonic Lumix G 100-300mm F/4-5.6 II Power OIS

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4-5.6 II Power OIS provides exactly the same improvements as the previous lens: a weatherproof body and improved image stabilization.

While a lot of these changes are repetitive, it is great than Panasonic is pushing weatherproofing in its historically excellent lenses. This makes  weatherproof bodies much more versatile, particularly with the Lumix G X and Leica DG series which are most likely to be needed by professional photographers.

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium


CES 2017 kicks of the start of the year tomorrow with press releases already trickling in. This year, we do not know much of what to expect. Camera makers have either been keeping things well under wraps or are not planning that many product launches. As with previous years, we do not expect that many new camera models.

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II

First off the door this morning was Canon with their announcement of the Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II, a revised and slightly faster version of their smallest G-series cameras. The processor has been changed, allowing up to 8.2 FPS continuous shooting for 38 JPEG images or 21 RAW files. Sensor, lens and body remain the same. The G9 X Mark II is expected to arrive next month for $529 USD.

Nikon Coolpix A300

Nikon is warming up their press-release muscles with the launch of 3 existing digital cameras, plus a new one! The ultra-compact point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix A300 makes its debut at CES 2017. This is a camera built around a 20 MP 1/2.3″ CCD and 8X wide-angle optical zoom lens with image stabilization.

The Nikon Coolpix A10 and waterproof Nikon Coolpix W100 were announced to the US market too. Also re-announced was the Nikon D5600 entry-level DSLR, replacing the excellent Nikon D5500 reviewed here with a nearly identical mode, adding Bluetooth, NFC and Time-Lapse Video.

Happy New Year Neocamera Readers!

Thank you for visiting! We will continue delivering all press releases and announcement to keep having the most complete database of digital cameras and internet on the mark. New camera and lens reviews will pause from Feb to June as we embark on a trip around the globe and push our current gear to their limits. Expect many new fine-art travel photography galleries to appear on Neoluminance!

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium



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