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Active M4/3 Cinema Camera Rumor, New SLR Magic T/0.95 Lens, GH3 Videos, GH3 App, and More

There’s a lot in the way of Micro 4/3 news that’s been coming down the pike, mainly due to the upcoming release of the Panasonic GH3 and the passive MFT version of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera coming at the end of the year. On the GH3 side of things, there’s a hands on video of the GH3 smartphone app, new test videos, an official release date, and the first rumblings from the hacker community. There’s also a test video of SLR Magic’s new 35mm T0.95 and T1.4 lenses, as well as rumors of an active Micro 4/3 mount Blackmagic Cinema Camera:

The GH3 Smartphone App


YouTube user ndeviltv posted this video showing an early version of the GH3 app at Photokina 2012. From what the video is showing there’s a lot to like about this app; live video monitoring and wireless control of power zoom lenses, exposure, and video recording/taking stills. However, I didn’t like the latency between the zoom control and the response of the lens, and while it’s great that you can review the stills you’ve taken, they need to include a similar function that let’s you play back video clips. I’d also like to see the addition of a remote follow focus function. Of course this app is still in development, so we might yet see improvements in the final version. But even if the app turns out to be more limited than we would like, we might not have to deal with it for too long because…

Vitaliy Kiselev is Fundraising for the GH3 Hack


Good ‘ol Vitaliy Kiselev -the person behind the first firmware hacks for the GH1 and GH2- has set up a fundraiser on his website Personal View for a couple of hacking projects, one of which will tackle the GH3. While Vitaliy will be most likely working on hacking the GH3′s firmware, it can’t hurt to write a request in the donation thread requesting him to help add functionality to the GH3 app as well. Currently he’s taking donations in the range of $10-$50. You can make a contribution here.

New GH3 Test Videos

C|Net UK’s Test Video

From C|Net’s GH3 review:

Colours are vivid, even under muted light, and detail is sharp. The soundtrack is accurate, although it was impossible to test whether or not the GH3 picked up zoom noise on this occasion, as I performed my tests with a manual lens set-up.

Photography Blog’s Test Video

Overall I liked the color rendition and detail in these clips, but the two things that immediately grabbed my attention were the clipped highlights and crushed blacks. However, these are quick tests done with prototype cameras, so there may yet be improvements in the GH3′s image quality. You can see the 6 other test videos -each with different recording settings- from the Photography Blog here. The differences between the videos might not be very apparent due to web compression, so you’ll probably want to download the orignal files on their Vimeo channel for a more accurate comparison. You can also read C|Net UK ‘s full GH3 review here.

First Look at the Prototype SLR Magic 35mm T0.95 and T1.4 Lenses

From EOS HD:

The 35mm T0.95 and T1.4 have a silent, stepless aperture ring, minimal breathing, metal construction and a way above average count of iris blades (in double figures) for smoother bokeh when stopped down.

They are not clinical and technically perfect. They have character. Some of what makes character are flaws.

For prototype lenses used on an unhacked GH2 these images look pretty amazing, and would probably match up rather well with the Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 and the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95. Be sure to check of EOS HD’s full review for more details on these lenses.

Rumored: Blackmagic Cinema Camera with Active m43 Mount


If you were disappointed by Blackmagic announcing a passive m43 version of their BMCC (as I was), there may yet be a glimmer of hope. According to EOS HD, there might be a BMCC coming in early 2013 with an active m43 mount (meaning it will support electronic control of zoom, aperture, and focus) and a few other new features as well:

  • Phantom XLR
  • Larger Capacity Battery
  • External Battery Mount
  • Improved RAW codec
  • Slightly different design

If the rumor is true, this might be the clincher that gets a lot of m43 users onto the BMCC bandwagon. If you haven’t yet seen what the BMCC is capable of, you really should check out Joe’s post comparing the BMCC to the 5D MkIII (the later of which shares similar issues of highlight clipping and crushed blacks as in the GH-series and the AF-100). The differences are staggering.

And last but not least, Panasonic has set the release date of the GH3 on their website to November 30th, but you’ll be able to purchase the new Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8lens on October 31st.

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COMMENT POLICY

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  • john jeffreys on 10.12.12 @ 1:57PM

    Remote follow focus in a smartphone app for a GH3? Ok, lol. It probably won’t be very accurate

  • Just curious about all these BMCC rumors. Why on earth would they release such info about a camera upgrade in early 2013 when they have not started shipping yet. Counter productive? Seems like wishful thinking by some troll to me but it would be nice for those 43 users. I guess we will wait to see what Black Magic has to say.

    • The smart money on the BMCC didn’t preorder and won’t order a half-baked 1st gen product either. And there is enough smart money in the field that BMCC found they had to make this announcement to avoid being forgotten. The excitement over the camera has died down considerably since NAB as people learn with BMD how much it takes to make a pro body in practice.

      By the time the fully functional camera (EF or Active MFT) is actually available in quantity and usable in practice, we will see what the competitive landscape looks like. Canon has the trump card of decrippling the C100 whenever they feel the need to, Sony can make a full frame E-mount followup to the FS700 if they want; Panasonic will follow up the AF100 with something better than the GH3, the adventurous can try Kineraw and the eccentric the Digital Bolex. BMD’s window is tightening and its Reality Distortion Field is flickering…

      • I agree. So far they are making me look like a genius for not ordering. It gets better with every passing day…..my rig does me fine now. I can wait til they build the version i can’t live without.

        • Full MFT support is a big project…the Panasonic/Olympus cams rely heavily on in-camera correction of distortion, vignetting, and chromatic aberration. I’m not sure if the MFT association makes this easy for signatory manufacturers or not, but if not, then the lens selection will be rather dismal in practice.

          Shooting RAW that correction would have to be made part of Davinci Resolve…quite a lot of database maintenance and firmware upgrading in BMD’s future going this route.

          Again I feel MFT was a poor choice for BMD, it only made sense due to the tiny size of their 1st gen sensor. Everyone is hoping they release an S35 version ASAP, at which point, do they do an even dirtier deed of abandoning MFT support for all their courageous early adopters? The S35 cam can leverage all their EF mount knowledge and add a PL version or E mount version with little controversy or overhead. I wouldn’t want guilt to hold back its development, but the MFT investors certainly will.

          Really the smart money is about investing in lens systems…bodies are disposable after 36 months or so while the lenses will continue to return dividends for over a decade. MFT lenses for cinema? I think it’s laughed off by 2020, by which time the hot thing may be medium format.

    • Daniel Mimura on 10.18.12 @ 9:08PM

      I thought the same thing when I read it… It would be counter productive to make a camera seem obsolete by a newer version when the current one isn’t even out yet, and that reason is why I don’t believe these rumors…

      …unless, because of the time it is taking to release the passive MFT version, they’re going to upgrade it to active. That would be cool, but otherwise, I have trouble believing it.

  • So early versions of the BMCC are obsolete before it’s even available? It’s a race to the landfill!

  • It is so so so frustrating that the people who get these pre-release GH3′s shoot such godawful, embarrassing footage. And CNET has the audacity to upload a 480p clip. WTF? Is Panasonic’s marketing team run by 70 year olds?

  • Justin, thanks for putting all this m4/3 info together into one place! I was a Canon loyalist until I picked up a cheap GH2 last year and hacked it. I fell in love with the super-sharp, virtually moire-free image, but wasn’t crazy about the color rendition or dynamic range. Now the GH3 seems to have the colors and range I want, but I can’t get over the fact that in almost every test video I can spot a little bit of nasty moire… I know it’s still early and maybe this will be fixed, but just curious what your take is on the moire issue right now?

  • Justin, thanks for putting all this m4/3 info into one place. Exciting times these are for what I think is the most under-rated format in the video industry right now! I swore I’d never buy into m4/3 until I picked up a cheap GH2 body and hacked it. I quickly fell in love with the super-sharp, virtually moire free image, but I’m not a fan of the GH2′s color rendition or lack of DR. Looks like the GH3 has much improved colors and range, but I can’t help but notice that little bit of moire/aliasing that pops up in just about every test we’ve seen so far. I thought we’d never have to worry about such artifacts on a GH camera! I’m holding out hope that when the major reviews on production models come in we’ll see moire is not nearly as bad as Sony or Nikon and the resolving power knocks the Canon 5D out of the ballpark. That would make it the the most well-rounded and affordable hybrid camera on the market right now.

    • Oh! Sorry guys, I got an error when I tried to post, and it didn’t appear to have published on my end, so I actually re-wrote it from scratch. Now both posts are here. :/

  • this maybe is a basic question, but I dont understand why people would prefer a passive mount for the BMCC over the canon mount.. couldn’t you just get an adaptor to mount those lenses on the canon mount. at least you have the option to use canon plus others.. instead of other but not canon (due to iris control). am i missing something???

    thanks

    • Lucas Adamson on 10.19.12 @ 7:10AM

      Canon EF mount has a deeper focal flange than micro 4/3 so it won’t accept as wide a variety of lenses. M43 will accept all manual focus lenses from 35mm stills era, including rangefinder lenses even. Canon EF won’t even accept older Canon lenses without complex adaptation.

  • Oh, please 4kp50 BM, or at least 2.6kp50.