Four Thirds Camera - Pentax Mirrorless?

FOUR THIRDS CAMERA

Panasonic DMC-L10 Leica D 14-150 f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar Zoom Lens


For the time being I've decided to keep the Panasonic L10 the Leica Vario-Elmar 14-150mm zoom and the Olympus 50mm f/2 macro. It certainly makes more financial sense than buying an Olympus E-5. I was shooting some conservatory pictures for stock / library use yesterday and thought I'd use the L10 + the 14-150mm zoom.


Panasonic L10 Leica D Vario Elmar 14-150mm zoom


The L10 is a strange camera. It was released in December 2007 with the Leica D 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 Vario-Elmar as the kit lens. This was the only option. At £800 or $1300 it was considered expensive. There's a Dpreview review from the time at:- http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcl10/
It has very poor high ISO performance, and its not very speedy, though with the right lens the AF is pretty quick. The viewfinder is terrible, like looking down a tunnel. It does however have good live view and an articulated screen like the later G series, which obviously follow its design parameters. Despite its shortcomings it does have some claim, under very specific circumstances, to be able to produce the best ever results from the 4/3 system. These being when its used with the right lens and no higher than ISO 100 selected.


Panasonic L10 Leica D Vario Elmar 14-150mm zoom


Panasonic L10 Leica D Vario Elmar 14-150mm zoom


My conservatory pictures, shot at ISO 100 on a tripod, using the 14-140mm vario-elmar zoom at apertures between f/10 and f/20 are incredibly good. In terms of sharpness and resolution they rival anything I've ever used. The files are perfectly capable of being blown up to double their size with very little loss of quality. They stand up extremely well to close inspection and would reproduce in an A3 double page spread with no problem at all. 


Another advantage is the weight. The outfit pictured at the top of the page, with zoom lens and 3rd. party battery grip is just 1kg. Just to put this into perspective a Nikon D700 with battery grip and equivalent lens (18-200mm) is double this. Like the Nikon the Leica lens has image stabilisation. The Travor battery grip is incredibly light and is also very long lasting.


There is of course no comparison between the Nikon and the Panasonic over virtually anything else. The Nikon wins hands down in terms of options and features. Plus the vast choices of the Nikon lens system.


The L10 is by no means a versatile all-rounder, but for me its a very useful camera. A light (ish) camera that allows me to use the 14-150mm zoom for hand-held landscape work at ISO 100 and get high quality results capable of A3 reproduction, which in real terms cost me less than £100 S/H is a great bargain buy. Its probably the best value piece of equipment I've ever bought. It also gives me something to hold when I yearn for that "big camera feel"!!!! Not for everyone, in fact probably not for very many photographers at all. It suits me and I plan to use it more. A few multi-image panoramas would be quite spectacular I think.


PENTAX MIRRORLESS?





Photo Rumors, K Rumors and 43rumors are all running with the story that Pentax are currently working on TWO mirrorless camera systems. One based on their 110 film camera, which had a size very close to m4/3 and another for an APS-C sensor. 

Whether this is an either / or situation or both will eventually appear is a matter of speculation. It does though lead to thoughts that Pentax may be working towards a system(s) that use either their existing lenses or lenses they already have designs for.  Personally my hope is for an APS-C system that allows the use of their limited series of prime and/or pancake lenses. Pentax are good at "small but perfectly formed" so this would an obvious market for them to target. They would then have the widest range of cameras of any of the major manufacturers. The only thing missing would be a rangefinder. Now there's an idea.

David