Panasonic comes out with a fisheye lens for Micro Four-Thirds

Panasonic 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens - image property of
Panasonic 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lens - image property of

Panasonic just unveiled a new lens for Micro Four-Thirds, an 8mm f/3.5 fisheye offering a 180 degree field-of-view.  Frankly, I would have preferred to see more development by means of faster, more useful primes.  A fisheye is a “fun” lens on occasion, but I don’t own one for my Canon system.  Why would I get one for my Micro Four-Thirds body in favor of the system with the bigger sensor…especially since the announced price makes them comparably priced?  Yikes.

You can read the rest at  Also, you can view the currently-available Micro Four-Thirds lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic on the Four-Thirds Web site:

iView Media Pro turned Microsoft Expression Media now in the hands of Phase ONE

A few years back, iView Media Pro became Microsoft Expression Media.  And what happened?  Um, nothing.  It was re-branded and left to languish.  Feature development was basically non-existent, and I stopped using it.  Instead, I turned to Adobe Lightroom for my database needs, and began a  (somewhat painful) transition for my older work, archived in iView/Expression Media, to Lightroom.  For new photographs, Lightroom is a snap to use.  For older work, it can be a bit of a bear.

Well, there’s hope for those who still use Expression Media (including the Pictures of the Year International and College Photographer of the Year contests run out of the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, respectively): Phase ONE just bought it from Microsoft.

Anyone curious (or serious) about the absolute highest quality digital imaging knows about Phase ONE’s medium format backs and, more recently, Mamiya-based camera bodies.  Their Capture ONE software is also a very powerful RAW converter, easily the equal of Adobe Camera RAW (both of which leave the manufacturer’s supplied software from Nikon, Canon and Olympus in the dust).

For a limited time, owners of Expression Media 2 can have a free copy of Phase ONE’s Capture ONE software (which is great), and owners of Capture ONE can get a free copy of Expression Media 2 (OK, less great).  The details are on Phase ONE’s Web site:

News coming out of PMA

Official Panasonic image

So, it would seem that the Lumix G1 that I picked up after reading through Michael Reichmann’s glowing reviews, and which I have enjoyed immensely in this past two months, is officially obsolete. Panasonic has announced the “GH1,” which is the same camera but with the ability to record high-definition video.

After looking through Panasonic’s Web site for the new GH1, it would appear that the camera offers slightly more manual control than the Canon 5D Mark II’s video mode.  Specifically, the aperture can be controlled by the photographer, as opposed to the 5D, which requires some clever manipulation in order to specify the aperture.
(A Google search will come up with a wealth of resources, but the bottom line is that a manual-aperture lens mounted via an adapter is the easiest way to control the video on the new 5D.)

No word on Panasonic’s Web site, or from DPReview, whether the audio levels can be controlled manually.  Because any mention of such a feature is absent, I’m left to assume that Panasonic followed Canon and simply reverted to auto gain for audio.  Nothing is ever perfect!  More after the jump.
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