The category of interchangeable-lens cameras subsumes a variety of capabilities and designs. You have the familiar dSLRs, large-bodied models that use a reflex mirror to enable the use of a through-the-lens optical viewfinder. Then there are Sony's SLT (Single-Lens Translucent) models, which incorporate the same phase-detection autofocus system as dSLRs, but with a fixed mirror that requires the use of an electronic viewfinder (EVF) rather than an optical one. And then there are the mirrorless models, which generally use contrast-detection autofocus and, if they have a viewfinder, it's an EVF. Though they're sometimes referred to as "compact system cameras," they're not all compact; in fact, only a handful could really be classified as such.… Read more
Season 4 was definitely the most fun we've had since Always On started one year ago. That being said, we're hitting the road in hopes of making next season give Season 4 a run for its money. In the meantime, here's our three favorite stories from the last couple months.
We couldn't help but notice Jeff's perma-smile and what seemed like an emotional journey back to his childhood when he visited NASA in Texas. Driving the SEV with an astronaut who's spent more than a month in space can have that effect on a … Read more
Most of you are probably just gearing up for your summer vacations, but we here at Always On have already had ours. It's all for you, dear viewers; it's all for you. On this week's episode, we visited Hawaii's Big Island to road-test gadgets meant for sun and water fun. And not to be all lowest-common-denominator, but that last sentence basically translates to an entire episode filmed in swimsuits. Just saying.
Like all its competitors, Olympus continues to bulk up on higher-end compacts, going after consumers who are willing to pay for better features to get better photos. Enter the Stylus XZ-10, a $400 point-and-shoot with a bright lens.
The XZ-10's lens will actually be better for some than the one on Olympus' $600 enthusiast compact, the XZ-2. It starts at a bright f1.8 26mm and zooms in to f2.7 130mm -- a 5x zoom that's tough to beat in this class of camera. By comparison, the XZ-2 has a 4x f1.8-2.5 28-112mm lens, so … Read more
While there are plenty of rugged digital cameras to go around these days, Pentax and Olympus have been making them the longest. The new WG-3 is Pentax's 15th-generation ruggedized camera and it's going directly after Olympus' top models, the Stylus Tough TG-1 iHS and TG-2 iHS.
The key features of the Olympus are its 4x f2.0-4.9 25-100mm lens and the option to attach a lens adapter for add-on conversion lenses. And that's exactly what you get with the WG-3; the exact same lens specs, and you can put on a lens adapter and wide-angle conversion … Read more
Olympus continues its trend of releasing fast, Micro Four Thirds-mount (MFT) prime lenses with the 17mm f1.8 (34mm equivalent). Incorporating the same design as the 12mm f2 -- metallic finish and a pull-down ring for distance-based focusing -- the lens sounds like a solid addition for street-shooting MFT photographers.
Mount Micro Four Thirds Focal range 17mm Aperture range f1.8 - f22 Aperture blades 7 Minimum focus distance 9.8 Angle of view 65 degrees Elements 9: 3 aspherical, 1 high-refractive index Filter diameter 46mm Minimum length 1.4 inches Maximum length 1.4 inches Weight 4.2 (est) … Read more
Intellectual Ventures, the giant patent-holding company that's become synonymous with the term "patent troll," says it has settled a contentious infringement suit with camera-maker Olympus.
The suit, filed in Sept. 2011 against Olympus and fellow camera-maker Canon, claimed the companies infringed on nine image sensor patents, the first of which was filed in 1995 and granted three years later. Intellectual Ventures, founded by ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, is still pursuing the case against Canon, as well as a similar suit, filed a month later, against Nikon.
Sony has decided to help out Olympus.
The Japan-based companies announced today that Sony will acquire over 34 million shares in Olympus through a third-party allotment to the tune of $645 million in cash. The deal, which both sides are calling a "capital alliance," is designed to help keep Olympus afloat following a scandal that has brought the company to its knees.
To consumers, Olympus is best known for its cameras. But the company also produces optical equipment for medical, scientific, and industrial uses.
Olympus' troubles started -- on paper, at least -- last year when its dismissed … Read more
Cameras are nice, but to me, lenses are where the rubber meets the road, and Olympus has been turning out some very nice Micro Four Thirds lenses these days. At Photokina, the company is showing off a new moderately priced 60mm f2.8 macro, odd 15mm f8 body-cap lens, a black limited edition version of its 12mm f2, and announced development of a new 17mm f1.8
It's a Prizefight throwdown showdown! We're throwing two of the best point-and-shoot cameras that were made to outlast the elements. It's the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 versus the Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS!
Panasonic's TS4 brings a sleeker design that's still rugged with better image quality results. Olympus' TG-1 is chunkier, but it brings a larger feature set and is even crushproof.
Both of these bad boys are waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof; which do you think deserves to be crowned the Prizefight King of the Ring?
Cast your vote!