Just got back from the first day of the PMA show in Anaheim, and thought I'd share a few things that may or may not be new to most of you. Photos taken with my crappy iPhone camera (not sure why I left my GH1 in the car...).
- No new announcements at PMA this year, but they're looking to make a big announcement at Photokina. The Panasonic rep told me they're targeting Photokina specifically for the announcement because it's the home of DPReview, and Pana wants them on hand to look at the new product. They didn't confirm it'll be the G2/GH2, but they did tell me they strongly suggested their distributors to stop buying G1/GH1s from them. My guess Panasonic has a warehouse full of G2/GH2 cameras ready to be sent out very soon.
- While they couldn't confirm or deny the pending release of the G2, they said it's likely to at least incorporate 720p video capability to address one of the biggest criticisms the camera received when it was launched. No word on any other potential improvements.
- Saw the demo versions of the three new lenses: 100-300mm, 14mm pancake, and 8mm(?) fisheye. The 100-300 looked slightly larger than the 14-140, the 14 pancake looked nearly identical to the 20/1.7. Surprisingly, the fisheye seemed about the same size as the 7-14mm lens.
- In the info booklet for the show there was a big center insert with the m4/3 logo, and I got really excited when I saw Sigma's name mentioned at the bottom of it alongside Panasonic and Olypmus. I thought for sure they were planning on perhaps offering lenses for the format, but when I asked them what it all meant they said it was simply to say their 4/3 lenses are compatible with the m4/3 adapter. They said they had no plans to make lenses for the m4/3 format directly.
- This one was surprising. Walked by their booth just to see what they had, and one of their display cases had three camera prototypes without name. They called them simply compact cameras with interchangeable lenses. They had APS-C sized sensors, and came in three different colors. Very rough prototypes obviously (open sensor recess, big glass 'screen' on the back, not much else), and the reps confirmed they were simply concepts at this point. Interestingly, they had placed their lens release button on the right of the lens right so it's accessible with the 'trigger' finger, which makes changing lenses a lot more convenient IMO than the current implementation. Something to watch as competition for m4/3
- The Samsung booth wasn't getting a whole lot of visitors in spite of their NX series mirrorless cameras they released, so not sure how successful their decision not to join the m4/3 format will be.
- Kipon was there with a bunch of their adapters - all very nice (I have their C-mount one). The Contax G adapter seemed easy enough to operate, although I didn't mount it on my camera to try it there.