Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Sleeping Giant Stirs. Is this the Newest Micro Four-Thirds Camera?

February 19, 2014

The camera has a sensor that is slightly larger than micro four-thirds. The lens is 24-120 (equiv) f/2.0-3.9. The camera is mirrorless and compact. Is this the newest m43 camera?

While not technically a micro four-thirds camera, the new Canon G1 X Mark II is pretty darn close. The sensor size is almost identical (17.9×13.4 versus m43’s 17.3×13.0). The fixed lens looks promising with a 24-120 range and a relatively bright f/2.0-3.9 aperture range. The low 12-megapixel count makes me wonder if this the sensor is older technology compared to the more recent 16 megapixel m43 sensors. Canon claims the autofocus is improved over the previous version of the camera, but they make no mention of on-sensor PDAF.  There is a relatively expensive add-on EVF, but no built-in EVF.

Given the pre-release specifications, I’m guessing that the G1 X Mark II will come up slightly short of the newest m43 cameras. Nevertheless, the camera is an attractive package with a compact body and an alluring feature set.  It seems to have the Sony RX 100 Mark II clearly in its sites. The Panasonic GM 1 is more versatile with interchangeable lenses, but some have concluded that the small size of the GM 1 makes the handling fiddly. The price of the G1 X ($799) puts it in the middle of the pack on the market in terms of value.

Is this another half-hearted attempt by Canon to enter the smaller-sensor, mirrorless market (see EOS-M), or is it a sign of things to come? The G1 X will at least give Canon loyalists a reasonable choice when considering cameras in this class. Only time will tell if the company’s commitment to this class of camera will continue, but for the moment, they seem to have given consumers a viable choice if they are comfortable with the Canon brand. The camera should be available in the US in May.

Pre-order the camera at Amazon here.

What’s 4k Good For?

The official announcement of the Panasonic GH4 is finally here. The highlight feature of the camera is 4k video. Many traditional photographers are asking, what do I need 4k video for? I confess that for most people, including me, the answer is you probably don’t.  The added storage and processing overhead will require upgrades in more than just the camera for most people.

Nevertheless, I can think of at least one set of users that should be excited about this camera, wedding photographers. 4k video means great video quality, but it also means that you can pull 8-9 MP still frames from the video footage. A B-roll GH4  may capture a moment that you miss with your still shots. If so, you can pull an image frame from the video.

Beyond the obvious cinematography uses, can you think of other applications for 4k video? If so, please share them in the comments.

BTW, the Panasonic USA site has not updated for the new camera surprisingly. Here is the Amazon link which has all of the marketing data and specifications about the camera:

Amazon GH4 Page