Photokina Updates! LOTS of new cameras announced already!

Photokina Updates!

I am currently on “The Cruise” with some fellow readers with very limited internet access but I am doing my best to keep up with Photokina updates this week! While we have been enjoying the ship and each others company it has been rough being disconnected from the least for me! I will update when I can! Right now I am in a coffee shop in Halifax and using their slow wi-fi to make this post 🙂

I have been shooting with the Fuji X-Pro 1 and even with the last firmware update it has been doing much better than when I reviewed it originally. I am looking forward to version 2.0 because if it speeds up as much as they claim I just may be a fuji convert. The files are great and the camera works well with manual glass. There is no focus peaking but I have not needed it, even with the 60 1.2 Hexanon I am testing out! SO far so good.

There will be some updates to the site this week sometime with images from our stops which include Halifax, Boston, Newport and many more! Gonna be a fun week 🙂

The Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 35 1.4 – My fiancee Debby as we wait for our Taxi in Brooklyn, NY

Todd on the ship with his Leica M9 and 50 Lux

The 35 1.4 once again..the best X lens to far. 

The Fuji 35 1.4 renders quite nicely, even in low light. 

One with the Hexanon…


Canon 6D

So many new models have been announced already! The full frame enthusiast Canon 6D is coming as a direct response to the Nikon D600 and I suspect there will be joy among those who own Canon lenses! With the D600 and 6D it seems full frame is back in full force again and will be the rave of 2013. Full frame sensors are gorgeous and many of us either have not realized this due to cost or forgotten due to so many APS-C models out these days. WIth Sony, Canon, Nikon and Leica producing full frame models I think we will be seeing some beautiful results from many hobbyists and enthusiasts next year 🙂


Fuji XF1

Fuji has announced the XF1 which may just be the replacement to the X10. It is the Fuji compact model and it looks slick though I may prefer the design of the X10. Many will love this new model though as to some shooters the whole vintage vibe was getting old. What do you think? The XF1 still has a vintage feel but not so much as the X10 that came last year.

The XF1 uses the same sensor as the X10 did so we know it will be a capable little performer but it will not match the X-E1 or X-Pro 1 or X100. There is also no viewfinder at all. No optical or EVF. What I want to know is…where is the X200? Has Fuji abandoned it for the X-E1 to sell more lenses for their X mount? Maybe but we shall know this week! I will be reviewing this in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned….


Olympus E-PL5

Olympus is rocking the Photokina show with some new PEN action, including the new E-Pl5 which looks to be another great PEN camera addition. With the OM-D stealing all of the thunder from the E-P3 the E-Pl5 looks almost just like the E-P3 of old! Olympus states “Worlds fastest touch AF shutter” and I agree because the touch shutter on the E-P3 was blazing and now they made it faster. The E-Pl5 uses the superb E-M5 sensor so we know the IQ will be great. There is no EVF here but you can use the external EVF. Olympus also announced the 60 2.8 Micro 4/3 lens as well as promising a new 17mm f/1.8 which means a fast 35 is on the way for all Micro 4/3 users!

Here is the press info:

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 17, 2012 – Today, Olympus announces two new PEN compact system cameras, the latest in its award-winning line of Micro Four Thirds® products, designed to help both advanced and emerging photographers take their creative power to a whole new level. The Olympus PEN E-PL5 and PEN E-PM2 deliver amazing image quality by packing superior image technology, blazing fast processing speed and total creative control in classic bodies that combine the portability and ease of use of a point-and-shoot without the complexity of a DSLR.

In addition to advanced shared technologies outlined below, each new model offers unique features of its own:

  • Olympus PEN E-PL5: This powerful performer boasts significant improvements in functionality and ease of use. It features an all-metal body in silver, black or white and is portable enough to travel across the world without sacrificing DSLR image quality and the control that experienced photographers expect. Inherited from its predecessor, the E-PL5 has a swiveling monitor with a greatly expanded swivel range of approximately 170° up and about 65° down, making it easier to shoot pictures from low or high angles, and offers the ability to flip the monitor up for self-portrait shooting.
  • Olympus PEN E-PM2: The ultra-compact, simple and stylish, smallest and lightest Olympus PEN is designed for people who want to try an interchangeable lens camera for the first time. Available in silver, black, white and red, the E-PM2 offers an intuitive vertical touch navigation menu displayed by pressing the MENU button to provide a fast and easy way to switch modes with fewer steps.

Superior Image Quality and Low Light Performance
Both new Olympus PEN cameras share the same 16.1-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and new TruePic VI image processing engine as the award-winning, flagship Micro Four Thirds system camera, Olympus OM-D E-M5. Armed with this technology, the new PENs are outstanding low-light performers with a maximum ISO of 25,600 and a dynamic range that has also been increased, enabling finer expression of gradations between dark and bright areas with a wider range of intensity. An AF Illuminator and accessory FL-LM1 flash, included with both cameras, adds to their low-light performance. Photos and HD videos will be crisp and clear thanks to three modes of in-body image stabilization and the award-winning Olympus Dust Reduction System.

Blazing Speed
Tapping in on the chosen subject within the frame of the cameras’ LCD monitor instantly focuses the subject and automatically triggers the shutter for instantaneous in-focus image capture thanks to the Touch AF Shutter function. The combination of the speedy response of the touchscreen panel and the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, the same technology that made the Olympus OM-D the world’s fastest autofocusing camera, gives users the power to capture precisely the image they want at precisely the moment they want it. With instantaneous focusing, the camera won’t shake the moment the shutter is released, assuring maximum clarity and stability, even when shooting moving subjects. Maximum frame rates have also increased more than 2X with a maximum frame rate of 8 fps in Single AF mode.

Ease of Use
Both new models have a 3-inch, 460,000-dot high-definition LCD screen and an Anti-Finger Print coating to reduce smudges. The display offers a wide 176-degree angle of view and is bright enough to compose images even in harsh midday light. Capturing the shot you want is easy with the E-PL5 swivel LCD that rotates up 170 degrees for simple self-portrait shooting. The intuitive and practical touchscreen makes navigating the camera’s menus and graphical user interface effortless. Going through a day’s photos is as easy as scrolling through the images and enlarging photos with the tap of a finger. Change the feel of each camera to suit your preferences with a detachable grip included with the Olympus E-PL5, and the Olympus E-PM2 grip is built-in. A convenient button on top of the E-PM2 calls up the Live Guide function instantly from any shooting mode for intuitive assistance whenever needed. My Sets on the E-PL5 Mode Dial allow further customization to suit the user’s shooting preferences.

Creative Control
The Olympus E-PL5 and the Olympus E-PM2 bring a new level of freedom to the creative shooting experience. A new Water Color effect joins 11 available in-camera Art Filters (Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Key Line and Dramatic Tone) and adds to other brilliant, easy-to-use functions, including Variations and the new Monochrome effect. In-camera RAW data editing selects various settings for RAW data editing and previews the images before applying changes. The customizable Self Timer programs the shutter release to go off at select intervals to ensure the perfect shot. A small single AF target can be selected for pinpoint focusing beyond the existing 35-point area selection. Users can get creative while shooting in 1080i Full HD Movie with fade effect, so you can transition from art filter to art filter without stopping the movie. While shooting a movie, the Movie Teleconverter function magnifies up to 4x without image deterioration.

Sharing in a Flash
Using the OLYMPUS Image Share application, which is compatible with both iPhone® and Android® smartphones and the Toshiba FlashAir® SDHC memory card, it’s easier than ever to upload pictures to your favorite social network. Both PENs can set up the FlashAir using the built-in smartphone connection capability for an effortless Wi-Fi connection between PEN and your smartphone. The OLYMPUS Image Share application makes it easy to upload images to a smartphone by selecting them from thumbnails, apply Art Filters on the smartphone and share. Images can also be enjoyed by friends and family by issuing a one-time password to connect several smartphones simultaneously to the cameras.

Is It a Body Cap or a Lens? It’s Both.
Olympus also introduces an intriguing new lens for its Micro Four Thirds line. The BCL-15 f8.0 Body Cap Lens serves as a body cap when carrying the camera around without its interchangeable lens, and transforms to become a pan-focus snapshot lens to capture images. The lens is so thin – just 9mm thick – that it can easily be mistaken for a camera-mount body cap. With three glass lens elements in three groups, it can be used as a wide-angle lens equivalent with a single focal length of 30mm (35mm camera equivalent). In addition to daily use as a “pan-focus” lens featuring a wide angle, fixed f8 aperture and shallow depth of field, it is compatible with manual focusing using a lever and capable of close-up shooting as close as 30 cm. A lens-protection barrier is provided so the lens can be mounted permanently on the camera and even put in a pocket together with the camera.

Coordinated Accessories to Enhance and Protect Your Camera
New Olympus PEN accessories provide sturdy protection for users to enjoy convenience, comfort and style wherever they go. The CS-38B is a genuine leather body jacket designed exclusively for the PEN that protects the camera body without detracting from its design. The body jacket’s genuine leather and rugged construction combines casual with contemporary styling and is available in four colors.

The accessory MCG-3PR Camera Grip for the E-PL5 is available in three patterns – Dot, Hounds tooth Check, and Stripe – and makes it easy to accessorize with style. A matching LC-37PR Lens Cap, compatible with both new cameras, is available in the same three patterns and allows the E-PL5 user to have a color-coordinated combination.

The CBG-8 is a versatile camera bag that can be hung across the shoulder, carried by hand or used as a bag-in-bag. It has a detachable inner , which is partitioned to enable storage of other items in addition to the camera and lenses, such as a smartphone, while the outer pocket is large enough to accommodate a tablet PC or A4-size file folders.

U.S. Pricing, Availability and Product Configurations
The Olympus PEN E-PL5 and the Olympus PEN E-PM2 will be available in October and ship with the Body, Flash FL-LM1, Li-ion battery BLS-5, Li-ion battery charger BCS-5, USB cable, AV cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Viewer 2 (CD-ROM), Instruction manual and Warranty card. The PEN E-PL5 will also ship with the MCG-4(Changeable Grip).

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Body Only Estimated Street Price: $649.99

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Body with MSC M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL ED m14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price: $699.99

Panasonic GH3

Panasonic did it! The weather sealed and rugged movie making micro 4/3 masterpiece is here! Well, that is what many are saying anyway. It looks to be the best Panasonic to date for M 4/3 users and I think I will enjoy this one as i have been doing much more video work for other projects lately. I will be reviewing this one in detail so keep an eye out. Panasonic says they are using an all new 16MP sensor and 16MP seems to be the sweet spot so that is good. I am happy they did not overcrowd the sensor with 24MP or more.

I will have more commentary on the GH3 in coming days and weeks. As soon as I get back home with my fast wifi I will be writing much more on all of these cameras.



So far Leica has only leaked one camera..teh X2 HIgh Visibility edition..which is..umm…a bit odd and ugly IMO. I am sure it will sell as most Leica Special Editions do but will you buy one? Check it out if you have not yet seen it: 

I am waiting for the real Leica announcements 🙂

I only had 30 minutes here at the coffee shop so have to run but will update again soon. I also have a couple scheduled updates coming this week (guest articles and more) so check back for more!


  1. The vintage vibe of the Fuji cameras like the XF1 or X-E1? Gorgeous. I just bought an X-Pro1 and it’s a stunner producing great files. And I have to say, I’ll take the vintage vibe of the Fujis to the slightly generic look of the techno-cameras like the NEX and new Pen cameras any day. Good stuff, Mr. Huff.

  2. Paul Smith X2 is perhaps for an untapped market which Leica feels are perhaps scared by the Leeica name or feel isnt fun, colourful enough for them :
    Female celebreties, female professionals, female high flyers, sportswomen, socialites, fashionistas, wags (wives and girlfriends of sportsmen).

    Its a smart move. I hope Leica gain that which they hope to gain.

  3. The Paul Smith Leica X2 Special edition makes you wonder if anyone at Leica has a grip on whats good and bad taste. Paul Smith may be known fashion icon but I think he must of gone color blind.
    In my opinion the camera looks like an April Fools joke…… but we are only in September!

  4. Looking forward to your GH3 write up! It looks to be a killer camera for the $1300 price (body only). I’ve read a ton of great things on various sites so far, but I’d like to see you run it through the course. We know the video is fantastic but I’m more concerned with the still photography. Please let us know your impressions.

  5. The 2 new pens are probably the best looking out of all the pens but still no built in evf, still a big time fail. With more and more new cameras getting on the Full Frame train, the pens will sooner or later look like over priced PS cameras.As much as i like the Pens, Olympus has shot themselves in the foot once again. the om-d is no option for me as i’m sure with other fans of the pens line, we bought the pens because of its slight history with the old film pens. the dslr look is not for me, toherwise i woulda bought the Panno G series.

    About FF cameras, I had a feeling Nikon and Canon would pull them (d6,600d) out of their sleeves. You dont get to be that big of a company and not have a few game changers on your deck. Im sure they have the ability to make sub 1000 dollar dslrs too, and FF PS cameras too, but are waiting for the moment when the other companies make a small push and voila, look what we have! It’s no coincidence that the Ff cameras have 6 in their model names, Im sure Nikon and Canon work together to keep most of the pie for themselves.Which leaves me to Olympus and Panasonic. The m43 was not the right strategy from the start in terms of sensors and they will pay dearly for that as time goes by.It wont be long until most cameras have sensors bigger than m43, and at cheaper prices, it would spell the end for m43. So on one hand, I’m glad i didnt plunk down good money for my m43 camera and lens. Lots of hard thinking is needed for m43 fans, the future is no so rosey imo. A camera system is no good if it is gonna be DEAD.

    • I’m not buying another FF camera until it has an E-Mount ring at the front of it. I just hope Steve’s wrong that there is no such NEX camera coming…I’ll look pretty silly doing portraits with a VG900!

      In the meantime the GH3 perfectly fills the niche my business is currently in: doing event photography and videography, time lapse videos, and pole aerial/high angle work. I’ll finally be able to shoot outdoors rain or shine, stills or video, and will be able to pole live view and fire the camera from my iPod, iPad, or iPhone. My 7D is history despite the announcement that Magic Lantern is right around the corner.

      It might not be perfect but no camera is offering this combination of capability and features in a package which can still mount all of my favorite MF lenses…and that’s a huge deal to me. With the wifi control, I’m considering buying 2 and selling my XA-10 as well!

      • Here, here, the end of m43 is near. Someday you wont have a choice but a FF camera with an adapter in front of it. FF and apsc will make m43 the new PS sensors.The market is starting to saturate with more and more FF.

        • It seems to be the opposite: as sensor tech improves FF becomes more and more obsolete.

          Considering the low light performance & dynamic range of recent m43 and APS-C cameras… the only advantage of FF is 1 stop of DoF control.

          If the OM-D, NEX and Fuji X prove anything, it’s that APS-C and m43 are the future. Nikon and Canon are just having one last go with the D600 and 6D before they unleash the next round of APS-C cameras.

          • They’re just tools. As long as the tech keeps improving, smaller sensors will have their place right along side larger ones. Sensor size is just one factor of many and sensor performance is more important to me than size. I have no doubt that I will own and use m4/3, APS-C and full frame sensored cameras within 18 months of now.

            I’m buying a GH3 for many reasons besides the sensor (which I believe will be very good for what I require). There is no camera which can compare to the GH3 features wise in my view. Even the 5D MKIII is missing features I want (lots of them which is why I didn’t buy one) and the GH3 will have almost all of them.

            The icing on the cake is price. The quality to cost ratio is unbeatable right now. I expect to buy 2, with the weather sealed lenses, for not much more than a single 5D III with a kit lens. Availability is the only question mark. Hopfully Panasonic provides the goods in high enough quantities. When I’m ready to pull the trigger, I’m not going to want to wait.

  6. I was sure the high visibility edition was a joke, but apparently Leica really did announce just that! Come on Steve, be honest with us: Is that some grand joke you have come up with together with the Leica management?

  7. With the recent 7D firmware update being somewhat lacklustre and the uncertainty of a full frame NEX on the horizon, there may be a GH3 in my future.

    Audio control and focus peaking are going to be the make or break features for me on that front. At this price point, peaking should really be there. I’ve gotten so used to using manual focus lenses for stills and video, any camera which can adapt MF lenses HAS to have peaking and a good EVF…it’s a no brainer.

  8. You really should be at Photokina. Or at least the next one, anyways. Always interesting to read your blog, but today the news is happening elsewhere.

  9. Panasonic are bang on with the gh3 and what people wanted. Hopefully they can get the gx series back on track with the gx2 in November

  10. No XF1 for me without a viewfinder. I can shoot the X10’s (crappy) optical viewfinder in bright sunlight, accurately estimating the focus point, and get a beep to confirm focus lock. It has saved me many times.

  11. Is there nothing that can be done about the majority of non-professional, non-DSLR cameras not having viewfinders now? It’s so frustrating trying to take photos outdoors without being able to see anything onscreen because it’s washed out. All one can do is point it in the general direction of the subject and hope.

  12. Oh dear me… a high vis. Leica. HCB would have needed a lot of electricians tape to hide that sucker! Leica must have thought the popularity of the Digirev video with the “magenta” M9 was worth emulating!

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