Gear review: Panasonic Lumix G80

Lumix G80/G85 review the viewfinder

“..like you’re holding a GH4..”

For those who shoot video the Lumix GH4 must be a wellknown camera and now Panasonic has released a new camera, G80. Looking at the name it should sound like the successor of the G7, however I think it’s more like the GH4.

pansonic lumix G80 review banner

The first thing that crossed my mind when shooting with the G80 was the weight (quite light) combined with the great grip that comes with the battery grip. It’s such a nice camera to shoot with …both photos and videos. The flipscreen with touch function works really good, I almost shot everything using this screen instead of the viewfinder. Focus is easily to adjust and works fast.

PHOTOGRAPHY
The already known 4K Photo modus of Lumix is also available on this new camera, now even expanded with Focus Stacking and Post Focus. I really think Panasonic is quite innovitive …using their 4K video so smart for photography. Even though it only delivers 8 Megapixels photos, still the feature is unique and adds a bit of extra to photography nowadays. The lowpass filter has been removed so photos are razor sharp without to much moire effect.
One thing that really stand out for me is the AF-tracking combined with burst mode ….it got 95% in focus!

pansonic lumix G80 review 5

VIDEO
The video functionality on this G80 makes it feel like you’re holding a GH4, awesome 4K 100Mbs 30p and 4:2:2 8bit both external and internal! For those who aren’t familiar with these term, the video is really advanced compared to the competitors. Of course there’s an external mic input for those who like to use and external microphone for even beter sound quality.

TO IMPROVE
However, there are some things I’d like Panasonic to improve on it’s successor. For starters the buttons on the back can’t be recognize easily by touch only …I often found myself feeling/searching for the right button when using the viewfinder. Often I couldn’t find the right button. It all feels the same.
Another thing is the shutter button on the battery grip, it’s place quite clumsy …when shooting landscape I often pressed this button with the palm of my hand by accident. So when shooting landscape I decided to turn the battery grip off.
One last small thing is the peep sound. When using the viewfinder my ear is quite near the peep speaker on the back of the camera, so using peep when shooting with the viewfinder really is a no-go.

Down below is the video review I did for Kamera Express (Dutch only).

(Property of Kamera Express)

Gear review: Panasonic Lumix LX15

Lumix LX15 review the viewfinder

panasonic lumix lx15 review banner

“A camera that almost made me start vlogging!”

Vlogging really is a trend at the moment, shooting video in a selfy-mode with a compact camera and sharing it through YouTube. Now Panasonic has a new premium compact camera that’s perfectly suitable for vlogging, the Lumix LX15.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Of course the Lumix LX15 still is a camera for photography, with a 20 Megapixels 1″ sensor that delivers great quality photos. Also the dynamic range of this sensor is great and the noise performance is acceptable.To make it even better you get a Leica 24-72mm f1.4 lens with aperture ring on it! After shooting with this camera for a while I must say that the Auto Focus is quick with fast shutter response. More impressive is the AF-tracking during burst shooting (up to 50 fps!), hands down one of the best I’ve seen ….and now even on such a small yet great camera!
Furthermore, the camera has the Panasonic 4K-Photo feature ….a feature that uses stills from a 4K video. Really awesome. For instance with Post Focus you can now take a picture and afterwards select your focus.

panasonic lumix lx15 review 3

VIDEO
The video on this camera is so good. You can record 4K video 100mbs 30p internally and Full HD 120p for great slowmotion. Combining the 1″ sensor and f1.4 lens the video quality is sharp, nice depth of field with good dynamic range. Using this camera for a few days I have to admit that I almost came to the point to start vlogging, because it’s just so good. The awesome Auto Focus is noticeable during video, with face detection and tracking it’s now so easy to make a good quality vlog/ video.

FLIP SCREEN
The flip screen on the back works great, for both photography and video. Also the touch-function works perfect for selecting and moving your AF-point or just simply go through your photos or the menu.

WiFi
Of course this camera has WiFi connectivity, so you can share you pics and video on social media through your phone and even remotely control the camera.

Check the review I did for Kamera Express (Dutch only ..sorry):

(video is property of Kamera Express)

Gear review: Canon EOS 5D mark IV

canon eos 5d mark IV review banner

canon eos 5d mark IV review

Again I was invited by Canon NL for a visit to their headquarters for a hands-on review of their most popular DSLR’s successor, Canon EOS 5D mark IV.

The Canon 5D mark III already was a great allround camera for most professionals and now they upgraded it to a new level, by adding the Dual Pixel sensor (known from both the 80D and 1DX mark II), 30 Megapixels and 4K video. The camera performs faster, especially with Live View and has some body improvements. Now the mic and phones input can be found underneath the same flap and an extra button has been added to quickly select the focus selection area. Also is it possible to shoot with Dual Pixel RAW which ad some extra options when editing your photos on your pc.

Unfortunately this visit was a hands-on review only because this was still a secret review at that time. Canon only allowed us to shoot inside this room we were in.

In short, this upgrade is a nice one ….the camera is faster overall, has a fully functional touch display and the sensor is now more sensitive for light.

(sorry for the bad picture quality …had to use my phone for this quick snap)

Down below is a review video (Dutch only) from Kamera Express in which I present the 5D mark IV:

(video is property of Kamera Express)

Review: Pen F ….my choice of gear

pen f review THE-VIEWFINDER-3290010 copy

Totally a camera I would love to have in my bag! The Olympus Pen F…. Awesome retro styled camera with great performance.

Pen F - THE VIEWFINDER
Mounted with the awesome 75mm

DESIGN
Do I need to say more?  Its design is practical, good grip and retro back flipscreen. They kept all the small details of analog cameras in mind when designing this piece. For instance the on/off switch which is a copy of the wellknown film rewind switch on those analog cameras. The camera comes in this black and a silver finish.

pen f review THE VIEWFINDER-3290015
The retro on/off switch

This is a MFT-system camera so it’s nice compact with small yet great lenses. The nice thing is that it has a good electronic viewfinder that’s nicely integrated in this small body design.

pen f review THE VIEWFINDER-3290016
The back finish looks like an analog camera

SPECS
This is the second MFT-system camera that has a 20 megapixels sensor …so it seems like MFT is getting a new max standard, first the 16MP and now apparently the 20MP sensor. The specs of this camera aren’t that new or sexy …yes it has a nice focus system with 81 points and a sensor-shift 5-axis stabilization. Also shoot 10 frame per second and with a max shutter of 1/8000 (1/16000 electronic). To me the specs are okay, but the outer appearance with the retro dials, good grip and awesom finish will make people actually buy this one (I would definitely…). 

CUSTOM
A nice feature is the custom dial on the front of the body next to the lens mount. This lets you customize the color and levels before the shoot. So now you can shoot with customized brightness curves. Really nice to work with!

pen f review THE VIEWFINDER-3290014
Nicely styled filter dial on the front

Gear review: Small yet big …Fujifilm X70

fujifilm x70 | THE VIEWFINDER-1

..also a great piece of fashion accessory..”

A camera that needs to be highlighted …the Fujifilm X70. Retro stylisch with modern technology. Not only a good camera but also a great piece of fashion accessory for those fashionistas and fashionistos out there.

What makes this a good camera?
For starters this small camera has a large 16 megapixel sensor, APS-C, a new processor and a fast fixed 28mm lens of f2.8. It also has a touchscreen for both focus and trigger option ….which is quite convenient and honestly it works like a charm. This camera performs good in low light situations, that doesn’t comes as a surprise because of the large sensor combined with the fast lens.

Design
Fujifilm is well-known for its retro design so of course the X70 has this design too. It’s design a very close to it’s bigger brother the X100 series. I truly love the retro designs of Fujifilm …that’s why I have the X100 of course. Thanks to its design adjusting the settings is easy and quicker than on other cameras, in my opinion that is.

Lens
On thing you have to keep in mind is that this camera has a fixed 28mm lens, which is quite wide. So there’s no zoom option there, however this will garanty the best quality. As you can see down below the image quality is very nice. So cropping your image after taking it is possible and very usable.

Gear review: Fujifilm X-Pro2 …about time

It took Fujifilm about 4 years to come with the successor of the X-Pro1 …but is it what we expect it to be?

For work I got the change to review it. I only had the X-Pro2 for several hours (a beta version) because it wasn’t on sale yet. Over the years I have experienced the X100 series and also the X-Pro1 as a good camera so the way the X-Pro2 performed wasn’t really a surprise.

Xpro2 fujifilm THE VIEWFINDER review_2477

INTERNAL

The sensor is improved with a 24 MP high ISO sensitivity. A key improvement is the focus system which now has a large range of 273 point vs 49 points of the previous version. It also shoots a faster burst of 8fps with a max shutter of 1/8000. Also the video mode is more usable and has manual operation now. These are the internal key improvements.

Xpro2 fujifilm THE VIEWFINDER review_2478

EXTERNAL

When we look at the body there are only small changes …but good ones for sure. Good improvement is the added joystick, all buttons are moved to the right and the grip is larger. Also the iso dail which is now integrated into the shutterdail… nicely done. Now the camera has two SD-card slots, a mic input and wifi. An improvement I really like is the viewfinder. The OVF shows much more info and guidelines when zooming your lens. Like the X100T it has the electronic rangefinder option which is perfect for manual operation. The EVF is way better now, feels more like an OVF now. Almost no lack and so much detail and color.

MENU

It worthy to mentioned the improved menu structure. It was about time they changed this …the previous version is bad in my honest opinion. Now it’s devided into categories with tabs.

Xpro2 fujifilm THE VIEWFINDER review_2479

CONCLUSION

Yes they really made a good successor …however it isn’t groundbreaking. The focus is indeed snappy which makes it a more allround camera. Nowdays cameras perform quite good with the sophisticated  focus systems, sensors and processors so the new Fujifilm isn’t any different. The fact that it is sort of a rangefinder makes it more unique, but that’s all in my opinion.

For the Dutch people among us I added the review video below, which we did for work. Video is copyrighted and property of Kamera Express of course.

Visiting Canon HQ & 80D with EFS 18-135mm Nano USM

Canon HQ _ THE VIEWFINDER copy

Ohayo gozaimasu ..uh …Good morning”

I had the pleasure of visiting Canon HQ in The Netherlands for their newest DSLR camera, the EOS 80D with the new EFS 18-135mm Nano USM. This wasn’t announced yet so we had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Of course reviewing this new unannounced gear was great but also visiting Canon HQ …

The first thing that popped my mind when entering the building was the idea of seeing lots of Japanese people …well that wasn’t the case. It seemed like there were a lot of people from India and still a lot of Dutch people. So that Japanese language refreshing course (some books from my shelf) wasn’t needed …

EOS 80D & EFS 18-135mm Review

As I said earlier the camera was announced so we, my colleagues and I, secretly had to shoot the review video (down below) inside this meeting room with doors closed. If that wasn’t enough already we also had one of the Canon employees to accompany us the whole day, just to make sure we didn’t say anything strange for the review of leave this room.

I’m not about to go in-depth about the 80D and the new lens. What I can say is that it has an improved sensor technology which makes it faster and better with auto focus. What I honestly miss with this new camera is the lack of 4K video, I mean the 70D was the first DSLR that could do video with autofocus and great quality.

The new EFS 18-135mm Nano USM had a nice physical upgrade and the ability of mounting an autofocus adapter for an auto zoom functionality.

In short, my visit to Canon HQ was a nice experience, the people were friendly and quite cooperative.

 

Gear hands-on review: Canon 135mm f/2 L

canon 135mm lens review THE VIEWFINDER

A lens I’ve been willing to try out for a while …the legendary tack sharp lens. After testing it I have to admit that it’s quite the lens, indeed tack sharp and fast focus. The lens is well build, has a large focusring and such a beautiful front element.

Still, after using it I have my doubts of the usability of this lens. I mean, we’re talking about a 135mm lens which is perfect occasionally . Mostly it’ll be to narrow, so I me see myself changing lenses already.

Shooting wide open it shows a bit of vignetting but stopping it down to f5.6 it’s as good as gone.

I will try this lens some time on a shoot to really experience the usability of this lens. I’m honestly curious how it performs.

Have you shot with this lens? What do you think?