photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Panasonic more marketable than Leica ?

in Olympus E-System , Thursday, October 26, 2006

I just received the latest Olympus E-Spam, er sorry, E-News, and apart from the fact that after over 2 years, they have finally relented and sent to me in English rather than German, it also contains a link to the 4/3rds consolidated lens catalogue. And the interesting thing there is that the lenses are branded as Olympus, Sigma, and ... Panasonic. The front of the glossy catalogue carries the brands Olympus, Sigma, and Panasonic. Not a Leica logo in sight (nor indeed Lumix). The 25mm f1.4 is described as the "Panasonic Leica D Summilux", and as "bearing the renowned Leica Summilux name". In other words, Panasonic have bought the rights to use the name. End of story. Strange marketing indeed.

For your browsing pleasure

in Recommended web sites , Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An area of this site which is perhaps even further off the beaten track than the rest is the photo links page. The main content is a list of photography web sites which I like and want to recommend. I try to avoid the obvious stuff, and also to keep it to a reasonable length. I've just added a new link, to photographer Nicholas Pye's site. Take a look - you might like it too.

Olympus E-400 and other things

in Olympus E-System , Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The last year has seen some considerable changes in the evolution of the 4/3rds world. We have a number of new cameras, nominally from 3 manufacturers, although 1.5 would be more truthful, and lenses from 3 companies as well. Up until now, I haven't found anything of much interest beyond the E-1 and the mid-range lenses. The E-300 didn't interest me, nor the E-500, and I have no use for the E-330. The Lumix/Leica L1, as far as I can see, is an expensive doorstop. I really fail to see why anybody interested in photography would buy one. The Leica (let's be generous with naming) 14-50mm lens seems expensive and clumsy, and whilst the image stabilisation is interesting, the optical performance seems at very best just below the Olympus 14-54 - and since the next generation Olympus cameras will probably have in-body stabilisation, one could wonder what the point of the 14-50 Leica actually is. However, the Leica 25mm f1.4 lens is definitely interesting. Some of the Sigma lenses could be interesting as well, in particular the 50-500mm, which is approachable in terms of cost. However, it is quite slow, and a slow 500mm coupled with the E-1's sensor and autofocus is not necessarily going to be a happy marriage. But what has got me excited is the Olympus E-400. A camera about the size of an OM-1, with an OM-style body design, and a weight to match, two matched lenses AND a 10Mpix sensor - this sounds like an ideal travel / trekking camera. Ok, so it isn't splashproof, but there have to be tradeoffs, especially at the price. It is telling that the forum world hasn't got excited about the E-400: this is a camera aimed at photographers, not geeks. A preview of a pre-production sample in Réponses Photo adds to the anticipation. They really like it (apart from the autofocus, but it seems that we're stuck with that 3 point system) and in particular they found that the viewfinder was surprisingly good, bright and not too small - better in fact that the Pentax K10D in the reviewer's opinion. I'm sorely tempted. The E-1 gets to be a heavy camera when you're climbing 2000 meters. Obviously I would miss the 100% viewfinder, and probably the E-400 is not as nice to handle as the E-1. But it is the first 4/3rds camera I've considered buying since the E-1.


in Photography , Monday, October 09, 2006

Over at DPReview, Bob Kaune attempted a joke.... The responses are pretty hilarious (unintentionally), especially the most earnest ones. Just goes to show how far removed from photography most contributors to these forums actually are. It also demonstrates that the ongoing difficulty people have with detecting irony on the internet hasn't improved. Then again maybe DPreview is populated in main by the bizarre geek programmer type who appear to think it is cool to be autistic.


in Olympus E-System , Thursday, October 05, 2006

I recently noticed that I get quite a lot of traffic to this site from a domain called - or "". Finally, I've investigated, and discovered this very nice site dedicated to the 4/3rds system, in Italian. They also have a very active forum, and they have a prominent link to my site... So the least I can do is to return the favour. Allora, grazie mille per il link - provero forse di participare al forum. Saluti del Ticino :-)
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