Panasonic Lumix GH5S, Unstabilized Genius of Low Light Cinematic Video – Giant List of Links and Videos

Panasonic drew back the curtains today at CES 2018 in Las Vegas on one of the most controversial cameras of the last twelve months, one the existence of which has been hotly debated and even more hotly denied by potential buyers right up to the moment Panasonic’s curtain-puller really started itching to pull the strings to revealed the company’s available darkness cinematic video-shooting genius, the Lumix DC-GH5S, to all the world. 

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S camera with DMW-BGG5 battery grip and Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric zoom lens.

As we have been preoccupied with serious health matters here at ‘Untitled’, we will be doing some catching up with our research into and coverage of the Panasonic Lumix GH5S over the next several days, but for now here are some lists of links to articles, press releases and videos about the camera and its pros and cons.

We will be adding further material as it appears and will add our own commentary as appropriate.

FYI, “unstable” refers to the GH5S’ controversial lack of in-body image stabilization aka IBIS and “genius” relates to the GH5S’ apparent low-light video capabilities.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S

Apologies to my many female readers for the very real impression given by the links below that new product releases and trade shows like CES are “boys’ clubs” aka “sausage fests” aka “sausage parties” just like the movie and television industries themselves.

That is the reality of media production in all its forms worldwide as well as the usual situation for female brand ambassadors, moviemakers, product reviewers and members of the press both traditional and digital.

I have heard that there are signs things are changing but those days cannot come fast enough.

As Geena Davis of the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media states, “if she can see it, she can be it” and female visibility makes a huge difference to female participation.

Meanwhile many thanks to Panasonic Australia and its press relations consultants and staff members for all their kind assistance with assets for use in these articles.

Articles

Press Releases

Product Pages

Videos

Help support ‘Untitled’

Austrian manufacturer Angelbird makes more affordable V90 SDXC cards than Panasonic’s own alternative and they are reportedly just as reliable.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 256GB Match Pack for the Panasonic EVA1B&H – special promotional packaging of two Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II SDXC memory cards that are just as usable in other cameras than the AU-EVA1 that also have UHS-II SD card slots.
  • Angelbird Atomos Master Caddy 4K RAW (500GB)B&H
  • Angelbird Atomos Master Caddy 4K RAW (1TB)B&H
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Atomos Shogun Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI/Quad 3G-SDI/12G-SDI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Atomos SUMO19M 19″ HDR/High-Brightness MonitorB&H
  • Atomos Sumo 19″ HDR/High Brightness Monitor RecorderB&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions: Panasonic GH5 and the Atomos Ninja Inferno: Going Deep

“We brought the Atomos Ninja Inferno with us on our road trip to New Hampshire, Maine and Eastern Long Island. Magnificent assists and screen, but interesting questions about where we are with HDR, HLG — and weight. …”

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  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Nick Driftwood: Panasonic Lumix GH5 Hybrid Log Gamma – Video and HLG HDR Workflow Notes

“New HDR Functionality recording with HLG. See the HDR video on Panasonic site at: https://youtu.be/ju35M4gnDBE

… HLG has similar gamma characteristics to SDR in dark range (processing in blacks similar to BT.709 below 100 nits), then changes to a log gamma above ~14 nits. Extends log processing of displays high brightness peaks up to 2.5 to 3 stops to mitigate blown-out or clipped whites. Can be displayed unprocessed on an SDR screen as EOTF adjusts system gamma to correct for viewing environment (10 to 500 nits) Does not require scene mastered metadata unlike PQ (HDR10) or Dolby Vision. Is best for Live production and fast turnaround HDR as you don’t need to grade too much if you’ve exposed to use the extra display stops correctly….

WORKFLOW: I output on a Mac to Pro Rez 422 10-bit (you can use any 10-bit or lossless package on your computer)Iand then recoded to bring the size down and add flags using HEVC. I used FFMPEG which is freely available to Windows, Mac and Linux users to code my HEVC files and to add the necessary HLG and Rec2020 flags which will trigger HDR TVs to play automatically the content in HLG. Here’s an example command line (make sure you download the 10-bit version of x265lib. Mac users should download Homebrew to install a compile.;-

ffmpeg -y -i /Volume/Drive/Inputfilenamel.mov -c:v libx265 -x265-params level=5.1:vbv-bufsize=60000:vbv-maxrate=60000:crf=20 -pix_fmt yuv420p10le -preset fast -color_primaries bt2020 -colorspace bt2020_ncl -color_trc arib-std-b67 -c:a aac -b:a 128k /Volume/Drive/Export_filename.mp4…”

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H
  • LG UHD Smart OLED HLG HDR HDR10 Dolby Vision TVsB&H – B&H Photo Video does not currently stock Panasonic televisions but right now I am deciding whether to invest in one of these LGs or a similarly-specced Panasonic.

RYMovieMachine: Shooting with the Panasonic GH5

“On location in Perth, Australia testing out the Panasonic GH5. This entire report was filmed using 2 GH5 cameras. The Panasonic GH5 has earned a reputation of being a serious filming tool for those who need to be portable without compromise on quality….”

Lenses for GH5 recommended by Rick Young

Links

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Camera, Kits, Battery Grip and V-Log L

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H

SDXC V90 cards

  • Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H

L-Plates

  • Really Right Stuff L-Plate Set for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera Body  – B&H

Camera Cages

  • Movcam Cage for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H

FujiRumors: Major Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kaizen Firmware Update Will Add 4K Video and More – with COMMENTARY

http://www.fujirumors.com/major-fujifilm-x-pro2-kaizen-firmware-update-will-add-4k-video/

“… I hear from trusted sources, that Fujifilm is working on a major firmware update for the Fujifilm X-Pro2, which will, among the others, give X-Pro2 owners 4K video and more.

Here on FujiRumors, the community asked for 4K on X-Pro2 multiple times, in dedicated articles and comments, and finally also Fuji Guy Billy joined Fujirumors critics on February 2017, when he said here he is also “fighting with Japan” to implement 4K on X-Pro2.

Well… it seemed all this pressure helped ;)…”

Commentary:

News of a really big kaizen update coming for the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is welcome indeed and may turn around my current thoughts about purchasing a second X-Pro2 as a back-up for my current lone X-Pro2 for documentary photography and video projects.

I grew up on rangefinder analog cameras in all film formats and the unique rangefinder aka OVF (optical viewfinder) vision for stills photography. I used and still own analog OVF movie cameras and they also helped shape my cinematography. Applying a similar vision to still images and moving images was uniquely liberating.

The appearance of the groundbreaking Fujifilm Finepix X100 rangefinder camera liberated me in my use of digital photography after finding the DSLRS of the day stultifying by comparison, despite Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II being such a liberation when it came to HD video.

My X-Pro2 is my only rangefinder camera at the moment though I also use and love EVF cameras constructed in rangefinder-style and DSLR-style configurations. I may well add a Fujifilm X100F rangefinder camera with the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion and TCL-X100 II Teleconversion lenses should the need for a small, fast and discrete documentary stills camera arise.

I am holding out hopes that the 4K video functionality that some Fujifilm staff members were convinced would appear on the X-Pro2 after the arrival of the 4K-capable X-T2 will finally make its appearance even if it must be implemented via a similar line-skipping technology to the one found in Fujifilm’s X-T20.

There are distinct advantages to shooting and editing in 4K UHD and 4K DCI compared to the 1080p HD and 720p HD currently available on the X-Pro2, not least being better quality from downsizing to smaller release formats and the ability to apply software-based stabilization via firmware or NLE plug-ins like CoreMelt’s Lock & Load without losing too much of the frame.

There is more to useful video capability than 4K though, and Fujifilm needs to add other video-centric features to its X-Pro2 and X-T2. I might add that I am not the only video and stills shooter saying this.

Here is my current full-length X-Pro2 firmware wishlist, not in order of importance:

  • 4K video – even if it must be implemented via line-skipping as in the X-T20. Every camera I own must be capable of acceptable, professional-quality stills and video. You never know when a situation demands one or the other or both and I cannot always carry a stills kit and a video kit.
  • Highlight tone, shadow tone, color and noise reduction adjustments – all absolutely necessary for serious, professional video.
  • Ability to easily choose, set and lock 1/48th or 1/50th of a second for video.
  • Improved autofocus in low light aka available darkness – I bought the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 R lenses after seeing how documentary event photographer Kevin Mullins uses them so effectively in his work. The latter lens is much slower to manually focus than the former, and faster autofocus on both would help compensate for their optical configurations and slow focussing motors.
  • Changeable focus point for video – same as when shooting stills.
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) – has a distinct colour cast that changing the settings does not affect well enough. I understand that a great deal of the X-Pro2’s hardware development effort went into the Hybrid Multi-Viewfinder, an advanced OVF, but not all lenses work best in OVF mode. I wish to see the EVF improved as much as firmware permits.
  • Live exposure zebras – are crucial to obtaining and maintaining optimal exposure when shooting video and stills, especially when using ETTR – exposing to the right.
  • Tethering – I bought the X-Pro2 primarily as a handheld documentary stills and video camera, but I also use it for studio and on-location portraiture and increasingly still-life photography due to the X-Trans sensor’s remarkable colour rendition. Tethering would be an asset especially given the X-Pro2 lacks a fully-articulated or even partly-articulated LCD monitor.
  • Full range of ISO adjustments with a Command Dial – I often use the X-Pro2 in fast-moving documentary situations where fiddling about with its combined ISO/shutter speed dial is out of the question. Although I often rely on the camera’s AutoISO function in those situations, there are many others where quickly setting ISO manually is optimal.
  • Color Chrome – having briefly tried out the Fujifilm GFX 50S and later studying the results other photographers have obtained from that camera’s JPEGs with the Color Chrome setting, I would love to have it on the X-Pro2 and other Fujifilm cameras. I have been using custom JPEG settings more lately after some photographers published their own but there is something still lacking especially in the Velvia (Vivid) analog film simulation of one of my favourite films of all time.
  • HDMI port live view – crucial when using external monitors and recorders.
  • Focus points for portrait and landscape mode – just like the X-T2, especially invaluable when shooting portraits.
  • Panorama mode – brilliant when regular photographs will not do the job.
  • Improved face detection – especially when the subject is anything but full face frontal to the camera.
  • 4:3 aspect ratio – Fujifilm cameras currently offer three aspect ratio choices – 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1. Panasonic adds 4:3 on its Lumix cameras which  have micro four thirds sensors and I use that aspect ratio a great deal, whether vertically as 3:4 or horizontally as 4:3. Either way, the 4:3 aspect ratio is excellent for portraiture of all types and is close to the 5:4 aspect ratio of the 4″x5″ sheet film, 6cm x 4.5cm and 6cm x 7cm 120 roll film analog cameras. I find 2:3 too narrow for vertical portraits. Granted, one can crop in post-processing but years of experience show it is better to design the image perfectly in-camera without leaning on later cropping for tightly-designed images. Also, magazine page aspect ratios are closer to 3:4 than 2:3.
  • 1:1 pixel-level image review – critical applications such as portraiture and product photography demand accurate viewing of shots in-camera at the pixel level, at a 1:1 magnification. I can check if eye highlights are razor sharp on my Panasonic Lumix cameras so why can I not do this on my Fujifilm cameras? This feature is even more crucial given the lack of tethering on the X-Pro2. We need all our mirrorless cameras to have a full set of professional features.

Links:

Creative Planet Network: A Cinematic Solution at a Sensible Price: How JVC’s GY-LS300 Expands Production Capabilities

http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/news/shoot/cinematic-solution-sensible-price-how-jvc-s-gy-ls300-expands-production-capabilities/611665

The GY-LS300 comes with a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) universal lens mount, and adapters are available for PL, EF, Nikon, C and other lenses….

Besides resolution, one figure that stands out about the GY-LS300 is its suggested price of $4,395—and the street price, which is about $1,000 less.

JVC GY-LS300 4K camcorder with Veydra Mini Prime Micro Four Thirds geared cinema lenses

I really appreciate the flexibility the GY-LS300 gives you to adopt any kind of lens,” he says. “I like both Canon and [Duclos] Veydra lenses, and the JVC mounting system handled them very well.” … Sanjeev Chatterjee

Can he recommend any improvements? “Sure. The camera would benefit from an additional threaded tie-down,” Herrlin says. “Also, it comes with a small viewfinder, probably to save cost. I’d like a higher resolution one, and a viewscreen that can stand up to bright outdoor sun.” … Steve Herrlin

 

Panasonic: 5.7K Super 35 Handheld Cinema Camera | AU-EVA1

http://business.panasonic.com/AU-EVA1.html#sc_sp=business-category_featuresAd_products-professionalvideo-cinemacameras_AU-EVA1&start=1&cgid=products-professionalvideo-cinemacameras-aueva1

JVCKENWOOD Updates the Incredible JVC GY-LS300 4K Camcorder Firmware to Version 4.0, Adds 4K 4:2:2 Recording and 4K60p Output

One of the most underestimated, sadly rarely heard of, Super 35 4K camcorders out there is the JVC GY-LS300 by JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation’s JVC Professional Video division. I have never had the pleasure of trying out the GY-LS300 or even seeing one from a distance, so must rely on the professional insights of documentary cinematographer Rick Young who has expressed nothing but praise for the camera. 

The JVC GY-LS300 has intrigued me from the moment I first read about it, at a time when I was wondering whether I should stick with hybrid stills/video cameras or look into the emerging world of 4K camcorders.

With an independent self-funded photographer and moviemaker budget, and the need to adequately cater for both creative fields, I opted for hybrid cameras but sometimes wonder if I have made the right decision on the video side of things.

Should I have bitten the bullet on the JVC GY-LS300 4K camcorder and made do with a smaller selection of cameras and lenses for stills photography? Given the ongoing problems we have in this country with our lousy online upload speeds, some of the worst in the world, I made the best choice available at the time and opted to start off Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success by focussing more on documentary photography than short documentary movies.

If things had been different for Australian Internet access I would gladly have chosen to focus more on video than stills and I most likely would have selected the JVC GY-LS300 as my prime video camera with M43 hybrids as my B and C cameras. If full-length documentary features enter the picture sometime soon, then I may well do exactly that.

Before JVC announced its version 4.0 firmware update, the JVC GY-LS300 possessed a specifications list to impress:

  • 4K Ultra High Definition video.
  • Super 35 4K CMOS sensor.
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount.
  • Variable Scan Mapping for native angle of view with a wide range of lenses including M43, Super 16 and Super 35.
  • Lens mount adapters for EF and PL lenses.
  • Built-in 3-position ND filters – 1/4, 1/16 and 1/64.
  • HD-SDI (3G) and HDMI outputs with 4K only via HDMI, feeding and triggering external recorders.
  • DCI Cinema 4K 24p and DCI Cinema 2K 24p recording.
  • Full HD 4:2:2 recording at 50Mbps.
  • JVC-Log aka J-Log for 800% dynamic range.
  • 120fps HD slow motion recording.
  • 2-channel XLR phantom-powered audio inputs and included shotgun microphone.
  • Hot-swappable dual SDVH/SDXC card slots for dual, backup or continuous recording.
  • Handle unit for XLR input and microphone.
  • And more.

The one widely-reported downside to the JVC GY-LS300? Its viewfinder. Given current electronic viewfinder technology, JVC could easily add a far better EVF to the JVC GY-LS300 and really knock one out of the park.

Meanwhile Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One and Visceral Psyche Films says this about footage from the JVC GY-LS300:

I was impressed with the footage I was given when I built my LUT for it. J-Log is log done right, because it uses the full 8-bit space to assign values, meaning very little banding compared to truncated log profiles such as 8-bit V-Log for Panasonic and S-Log3 on the Sony cameras in particular.

Links:

Image Credits:

Quick and dirty image graphic concept by Carmel D. Morris.

Is the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Poised to Make Waves in the 4K Video World?

Olympus Australia and digiDIRECT held a launch event in Sydney for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Micro Four Thirds/Super 16 hybrid digital camera recently. I am often asked when I am going to try out and write about various cameras, lenses and accessories of interest to independent digital filmmakers and stills photographers, so the launch was a rare chance to see the OM-D E-M1 Mark II in the flesh, as it were, along with some of Olympus’ reputedly excellent M.Zuiko Pro professional lenses

ID: 24471

I am also often asked for the best advice I can give stills photographers and moviemakers just starting out as well as long-established professionals in both fields. Opportunities to see and try production hardware are few and far between here so my ability to provide that advice is limited by that, but one colleague in particular wanted to know my opinion of the Olympus OM-D cameras and Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional lens series.

He is considering revamping his production kit now that small camera 4K movie production has become an affordable reality and wanted to know which lenses he should buy and what camera system in particular. He prefers primes over zooms but is happy to use zooms when he needs to.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Micro Four Thirds/Super 16 Hybrid Camera

I did not have an opportunity to try out the OM-D E-M1 Mark II at the event so the best advice I can give is to check out the plethora of product reviews and information available online.

If a review loaner is available sometime soon I will be very keen to put the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s 4K video and other capabilities to the test.

One thing I was told about the OM-D E-M1 Mark II was a standout – it is equipped with a button on the front of the camera that is allocated to custom white balance, crucial when shooting video and yet one that makers of other video-capable hybrid cameras often seem to forget.

The Olympus Micro Four Thirds M.Zuiko Pro Lens Lineup

Left to right, the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional lens lineup as of January 2017, including the 7-14mm f/2.8 wide-angle zoom, 8mm f/1.8 full-frame fisheye, 12-40mm f/2.8 standard zoom, 12-100mm f/4.0 travel zoom, 25mm f/1.2 prime, 40-150mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom and 300mm f/4.0 prime telephoto lens.

For the work my colleague does, a fast 25mm prime lens – equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format – is a mainstay so he wanted to know what I thought of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro especially in combination with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II for shooing video.

My moviemaking colleague has other cameras to which M43 lenses can be attached without adapters, including those made by Blackmagic Design or via adapters such as Digital Bolex‘s D16 CCD sensor global shutter Super 16 cameras. So any new lens purchases need to work with a range of cameras, current and future, mostly in manual mode but with autofocus when advantageous.

He is a documentary cinematographer so matched manual cinema lens sets such as as those made by Veydra are not in consideration, though they certainly would be were he a feature filmmaker or specialized in the sort of pre-planned, focus-pulling style of cinematography that Veydra primes suit perfectly.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro

One of the two most recent M.Zuiko Pro lenses to appear, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro is the second prime lens to join the Olympus professional lens collection.

m25mmf12_stand_mf_rotated_1920px

Although the 25mm focal length, equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format, is not one of my favourite local lengths of all time, 25mm most certainly has its uses when shooting stills and video. It is useful for full-length and half-length portrait photography, covering events conducted in available darkness as this product launch was, and is a much-used focal length in documentary and feature filmmaking.

I like 25mm lenses for face-to-camera interviews, interviewer-and-interviewee two-shots and product shots when I don’t need the immersive deep space feel better suited to extreme wide-angle lenses.

Although slower 25mm lenses have their place especially when breaking into video and stills photography, fast 25mm primes are invaluable when faced with a range of lighting conditions such as the one under which I shot the photograph below.

With aperture set at f/1.2 and my Panasonic Lumix GX8 at A for aperture priority and auto ISO, I manually focussed the lens on the eyes of the Olympus Australia staffer in the centre, allowing everything else in the image to fall into defocus aka bokeh.

One of the unknown pleasures of the GX8 is its clean HDMI-out 4:2:0 8-bit 4K video, non-DCI for sure but great for documentary moviemaking as a lightweight but powerful rangefinder-style camera, a well-kept secret that only filmmakers like Rick Young of Movie Machine seem to appreciate.

Invest in the coming Leeming LUT One for the GX8, set your camera up as recommended, shoot ETTR (expose to the right), apply the LUT in your NLE, rinse and repeat. Do the same for your other cameras. Doubtless a Leeming LUT One for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II will appear soon enough.

One of the several joys of Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro professional lens collection is their clutch manual focus. Draw the focus encoder ring back towards the camera, spin it left and right, watch critical detail snap into focus with focus magnification or focus peaking, then shoot.

Under this focussing system the encoder ring goes from close to infinity in a quarter turn, perfect when focus-pulling or needing to snap from one focussing distance to another and back. Count me as a major fan of this form of manual focussing in contrast to manually focussing via encoder rings that spin and spin and spin.

My colleague tells me he is in the market for a fast wide-angle prime lens in the region of 12mm, and is considering the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Aspheric lens as he is very happy with his Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Aspheric Power OIS lens. I wonder if Olympus is planning on expanding the prime lenses in its M.Zuiko Pro collection soon?

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 Pro

Although I had all bar one M.Zuiko Pro lens on my mental list to try out at the event, that exception being the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro that I have had for a while now, the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.o Pro travel zoom was second on my list.

olympus_m-zuiko_12-100mm_f4-0_pro_lens_1920px

My interest in the travel zoom lens category had been piqued when trying out Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR zoom lens last year. Given the long focal length range travel zooms encompass, there will be compromises in optical correction and the same applies to the lenses’ maximum apertures.

I managed to snap off a couple of frames before the lens was needed the other side of the room, but in the image below one can see a slight amount of optical distortion in the white columns and ceiling.

This barrel distortion can be corrected automatically with in-camera JPEGs – I rarely shoot them as I much prefer shooting raw files only – and in correction-savvy raw processors and image editors.

Optical distortion when shooting video is another matter again though. Optical correction in non-linear editors (NLEs) would be far too processor-intensive and so one must grit one’s teeth and bear it. Hence the curved parallel horizontals and vertical one often sees in television shows.

This lens is in interesting proposition, with its long focal length range, slower maximum aperture than the M.Zuiko Pro collection’s other zoom lenses, relatively small size and low weight for its reach, and Olympus’ very first attempt at in-lens optical image stabilization (OIS).

The OIS in this lens reportedly works in conjunction with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s 5-axis IBIS (in-body image stabilization) though I would prefer to test that out in practice. The big question for Panasonic users is, will this lens’ OIS also work in conjunction with the IBIS in the GH5?

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Pro

Older than the other two lenses I tried out, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Pro was also on my wishlist of lens tryouts. Fisheye lenses are a low priority – I have resisted the temptations of the GoPro camera range – but this lens has potential for special situations like time-lapse stills and video in tight, poorly-lit spaces, or extreme close-ups.

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The outstanding feature of this lens is a much higher maximum aperture than other full-frame fisheye lenses of which I am aware, and its good light distribution with lack of noticeable fall-off though I was using it in poor lighting.

olymous_8mm_f1-8_1050240_1920px

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Pro is definitely one to try again in future.

Snapshots from the Event

Conclusions

I managed to achieve two out of three goals that night, briefly trying out the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro prime lens and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 Pro zoom lens. My short play with the  Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Pro was an unplanned bonus.

Other than the  Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro which I already own, I want to give the 7-14mm f/2.8 wide-angle, the 40-150mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom and perhaps the 300mm f/4.0 prime telephoto lenses a go.

The same applies to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the ostensible star attraction at the event but one which I did not manage to spend enough time with. From its specifications list, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II looks like it is a Super 16 hybrid video camera to be taken very seriously indeed, especially given Olympus has got it right with the small but essential things like custom white balance.

I look forward to learning more about the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s video production features soon. This year is already a very interesting one for 4K video and the question now is which new camera and which range of lenses to consider investing in.

Image Credits

Header image by Carmel D. Morris.

Tech Notes

Colour photographs made with Panasonic Lumix GX8 camera using three Olympus lenses, the M.Zuiko ED 8mm f1/8, 25mm f/1.2 and 12-100mm then processed with ON1 Photo Raw 2017.

Monochrome event photographs made with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens, then processed with ON1 Photo Raw 2017 using the Bogart Cool preset.

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  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO Lens – B&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital MC-14 1.4x TeleconverterB&H