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.