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2017.01.04

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 Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.01.04

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 Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2017.01.04

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 Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2016.12.11

This week DxO Mark released their scores for both the Sony A6500 and the Panasonic G85, both the latest mirrorless cameras of their respective manufacturers. Since DxO Mark is located in Europe, the G85 is called G80 there but that is exactly the same camera except for its labelling.

DxOMark Sony A6500 vs G80

First up, the unexpected news. Panasonic took a fall with the G80. It scores a mere 71 which puts at at the level of cameras featuring 1″ sensors with 2.7X crop, rather than the 2X one for Four-Thirds sensors. This makes the excellent Panasonic GX8 reviewed here still the best performing Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless to date with a score of 75. The more recent Olympus PEN F scores similarly a 74 which slightly less dynamic-range yet notably better low-light performance. Given such a dull performance, it’s no surprise that the Sony A6500 scores considerably better.

DxOMark Sony A6500 vs Olympus PEN-F

What is becoming increasly clear is that sensor is performance. Even the best scoring Four-Thirds Sensor for low-light performance in substantially behind most APS-C sensor cameras such as the class-leading Sony A6500 which scores an 85. It is ahead in terms of dynamic-range by over one stop with 13.7 EV vs 12.4, while it wipes the floor with the PEN-F when it comes to low-light, scoring 1405 vs 895 which is over 50% better.

The bottom line is that as improvements happen, all sensor sizes get better which will always leave an advantage to larger sensors. Those who mostly shoot from a tripod can use low ISO sensitivities but now that the A6500 has 5-axis image-stabilization, the advantage of Olympus mirrorless cameras has been greatly diminished. When it comes to high ISO, APS-C mirrorless are miles ahead while still provided an impressive saving in size when compared with full-frame digital cameras.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2016.12.01

Sony Alpha A99 II

Today, DxOMark released their scoring of the Sony Alpha A99 II, the latest Sony SLT Full-Frame camera featuring the same 42 MP CMOS sensor as the highly-acclaimed Sony Alpha A7R II which is a traditional mirrorless camera.

DxOMark scores the Sony Alpha A99 II at 92, an excellent score by all means. Breaking it down into its three component scores, the A99 II manages 13.4 EV of Dynamic-Range, 2317 High-ISO points and 25.4 bits of color-depth. The unusually low score of 2317 for ISO on a full-frame is quite telling of the compromise brought by SLT technology.

The Sony Alpha A7R II by contrast scores 98 on the DxOMark scale. This is made of 13.9 EV of Dynamic-Range, 3434 High-ISO points and 26 bits of color-depth, meaning that the A7R II beats the A99 II on all counts. Its high-ISO score in particular is 50% higher, leaving the SLT camera in serious doubts when it comes to low-light performance.

Recall that the A99 II uses a translucent mirror to send part of the light to a dedicated AF sensor and the rest to the imaging sensor. By all acounts, it blocks 1/3 of light from reaching the sensor. This forces Sony to raise the gain on the read-out to maintain the same ISO as the A7R II. This really makes the cost of SLT technology unnaceptable. In truth, SLT lost most of its advantages with the integration of on-sensor Phase-Detect AF which the A99 II also features.

While this could spell the end for Sony SLT digital cameras, it does not necesarily imply the same for the A-mount. They could simply remove the SLT mechanism and create a series of A-mount mirrorless. Unfortuntaly there would be very little advantage to this over an E-mount mirrorless which can still fully use A-mount lenses via one of Sony’s excellent adapters.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

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