Posts Tagged ‘News’

Olympus Announces New Micro Four Thirds Lens for PEN System Cameras




Olympus announced today the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ (35mm equivalent 24–100mm) lens, which, as a new addition to the PEN lineup, is the first “fully-compatible interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lens to incorporate an electronic motorized zoom.” The announcement comes at a time of great instability for the manufacturer in the wake of financial scandal. As longtime fans of the brand and its equipment, we’re glad to see the launch of an innovative piece of gear.

The new lens has three zoom speeds, achieved by turning the barrel slowly, quickly, or at an intermediate rate, with each speed producing a different effect. Additionally, you have the option to takeover full manual control. Focusing is possible between 8 and 20 inches for close-up shooting in macro mode (there is a macro button on the side of the lens). The lens also features a smooth and quiet motor, which is a bonus for shooting video, combating camera shake and unwanted zzzzzzzz noises in that background of your footage.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ will be available in mid-January for an estimated $499.99. More from Olympus below.

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Kodak is a “Shutter-Click” from Extinction

image via Flickr Creative Commons

According to the LA Times today, Kodak—once the kingpin of all things photography: Instamatic cameras! The first digital cameras! Film! Do you remember film?—is losing money at a rate of “more than $70 million a month” and that “Chapter 11 must lurk just around the corner.”

So how does a company that once dominated the field make such a plunging fall from grace? Well, it isn’t all that perplexing: they didn’t adapt in time or in the right ways to the onset of digital. As Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times points out, “Kodak…markets a process technology; and as the chemistry of film has yielded to digital electronics, consumer demand for Kodak’s traditional products has evaporated.”

That isn’t to say that we should completely write off any kind of future for Kodak, but that they confront a different type of obstacle than other declined companies with historical American and global significance. Unlike American car-maker GM, who despite its inefficiency “still manufactures a product with a huge market demand,” Kodak’s former market-dominating expertise has been deemed all but obsolete by digital processing, and yes of course, by the camera phone (which ironically now plagues the digital camera market ).

(via LA Times)


CEA Hosts Best Shots Photo Contest

(images via CEA)


The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which hosts the CES mega tech show every year, is also hosting a photo competition. The Best Shots Photo Contest invites shutterbugs to enter photos for the chance to win great prizes and have their images viewed by visitors of the CES show. The grand prize winner, to be announced January 13, 2012, at the 2012 International CES, will receive a Nikon D3100 DSLR camera and a 55-200mm zoom lens.

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The Future of Olympus “Extremely Dark” in Wake of Financial Scandal


Olympus—considered one of the top camera companies in the world—announced today that three of its top executives have been been hiding investment losses for the past two decades. Bloomberg reports that in the wake of the brewing scandal, which included an FBI investigation last month, “The Japanese camera maker’s shares slumped 29 percent yesterday after it reversed weeks of denials that there was any wrongdoing in past acquisitions. The company fired Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori over his role in covering up the losses with former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who resigned last week, and said auditor Hideo Yamada would step down.”

So what does this mean for the future of the 92-year-old brand? Reuters quotes ITC Investment Partners chief investment officer Ryosuke Okazaki as saying, “The future of the company is extremely dark,” and reports that Josh Shores—the biggest non-Japanese Olympus shareholder, who owns 5 percent of the company—is calling for a replacement of the entire board.

(via Bloomberg, Reuters)


Panasonic Announces Lumix GX1Micro Four Thirds Camera


Panasonic has announced a new micro four thirds system camera that they’re billing as an ideal daily use shooter due to its compact size and high quality image capture. The GX1 is being hinted at by Panasonic as basically being the “technology upgrade” successor to the popular Lumix GF1 (reviewed by DP here), even though the company has since released the GF2 and GF3. The GX1 features a 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor (as compared to the GF1′s 12MP) and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 12800 (the GF1 topped out at 3200) for low-light capture.

The Lumix GX1 will be available in mid-December in the following kit options, according to Panasonic: DMC-GX1-X with the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S (H-PS14042) lens will have a suggested retail price  of $949.99; the DMC-GX1-K with the 14-42 standard zoom for $799.99; and the DMC-GX1, body only for $699.99. More from Panasonic below.

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