Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lens Roundup Results
The M.Zuiko lineup is presently the most compact set of interchangeable lens. It only takes 3 lenses to cover the 9 to 300mm range: the M.Zuiko 9-18mm F/4-5.6, 14-150mm F/4-5.6 and 75-300mm F/4.8-6.7. These 3 lenses weigh 865g together with a combined volume of 841ml, an incredible feat for lenses covering the equivalent of 18-600mm in 35mm-terms!
When weight is a primary concern, this triplet delivers a set suitable for photographic subjects from landscape and architecture to wildlife and birding. Even a relatively small top-loading back can keep the entire set close at hand while on the field.
In terms of performance all is not perfect though, nor did we expect it to be for such extreme compactness. What we see is that is most M.Zuiko lenses are really strong performers at the center of the frame, even at their maximum aperture. Corners softness is a notable problem which is consistently more pronounced near wide-angle, probably a side-effect de designing lenses with such narrow barrels. It is important to know that any form of softness is visible in proportion to display size. So, corner softness which can be seen at 24x18" may not be visible at 12x9".
For improved optical performance, one may take on a bit of weight by replacing the 14-150mm ultra-zoom with the 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm F/4-5.6. This gives a good jump in optical performance while covering the same range and even delivering an increased aperture range at some focal-lengths. The cost in terms of weight: 60g.
In some way, the M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8 is the flagship lens of the Digital PEN series since it is both the smallest lens and one of the first two Micro Four-Thirds lenses available. Olympus even made a dedicated optical tunnel viewfinder for this lens. This is also the brightest lens in the lineup. At F/2.8 corners are soft again but stopping down a little produces acceptably sharp results for most uses.
The ultra-wide 9-18mm F/4-5.6 is particularly compelling. On any system, such ultra-wide zoom is difficult to design but Olympus managed to create a good performer which becomes reasonably sharp by closing down one stop.
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
Best Digital Cameras of 2017
The Best Cameras of 2017 awarded by Neocamera: Best Travel-Zoom, Best Premium Compact, Best Ultra-Zoom, Best Mirrorless (Beginner, Advanced and Professional) and Best DSLR (Entry, Enthusiast and Professional), now including budget choices.
MindShift Photocross 13 Review
Review of the Mindshift Photocross 13 Sling Bag.
Fujifilm X-E3 Review
Unique Fujifilm rangefinder-styled mirrorless. 24 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor with built-in 325-Point Hybrid AF system and X-Processor Pro. 14 FPS Drive with Electronic-Shutter or 8 FPS with Mechanical Shutter. 4K Ultra-HD Video at 30 FPS. Highly compact body with a builtin 2.4 MP 0.39" LCD with Eye-Start Sensor, 0.62X magnification and 100% coverage and 3" Touchscreen 1 MP LCD plus dual control-dials.
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Review
Highly compact mirrorless with 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor capable of 4K Ultra-HD video. Fast 10 FPS drive and 1/16000s-60s hybrid shutter. 4K Output for 30 FPS bursts, Post Focus and built-in Focus Stacking.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review
Olympus professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless with 20 MP sensor, built-in 5-axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect and Contrast Detect AF, 60 FPS Drive, 18 FPS with Continuous AF, Ultra-HD and Cinema 4K Video. Large built-in 2.4 MP 0.45" EVF with 100% Coverage, 0.74X magnification and Eye-Start Sensor in a freezeproof and weatherproof body with dual control-dials.
Fujifilm GFX-50S In-Depth Review
In-depth review of the Fujifilm GFX-50S Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera, a groundbreaking 50 megapixels camera with large 44x33mm sensor and unique modular EVF system. ISO 50-102400 range, 3 FPS drive and 1080p video.
Fujinon GFX Lens Roundup
Roundup of reviews for GFX Medium Format Mirrorless lenses: Fujinon GF 23mm F/4R LM WR, GF 32-64mm F/4R LM WR and GF 110mm F/2R LM WR.
Nikon D500 Review
Full-review of the ultimate Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR. The Nikon D500 offers a new 20 MP CMOS sensor with incredible ISO 50-1638400, 10 FPS, 4K Ultra-HD and a 153-Point Phase-Detect AF system sensitive to -4 EV. Built for professionals into a weatherproof body with dual control-dials and large 100% coverage viewfinder with built-in shutter.
DxO ViewPoint 3 Review
Review of DxO ViewPoint 3. Perspective, distortion and horizon correction software.
Nikon D5 XQD Review
Nikon flagship professional DSLR with 20 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor. All-new 153-point Phase-Detect AF sensitive to -4 EV. ISO 50 to unprecedented 3,276,800! 12 FPS Drive for 200 JPEGs or 180 RAW. First Nikon DSLR with 4K Ultra HD video.