Nikon V1 and J1 make into the Amazon top 10 mirrorless ranking. And plenty of new reviews!

You can finally buy the Nikon 1 and it is already showing on the Amazon Rankings:
Amazon US mirrorless ranking (Click here): At the moment of writing I counted four different Nikon 1 kits into the top 20!
Amazon UK mirrorless ranking (Click here): here we have a completely different picture. Only Nikon V1 double kit made it into the top 20.
Amazon DE mirrorless ranking (Click here): Same situation as UK. Also here the V1 ouble kit is the only selling well.
Amazon FR mirrorless ranking (Click here): French people doesn’t like Nikon :)

Reviewers are quite busy testing and posting their Nikon 1 findings. You can read them on Hybridcams, Pocket-Lint, Photoxels, Techradar and Photoscala.

Fuji Brazil confirms that the X interchangeable camera will come in February 2012.

The brazilian website Ztop (Clcik here) posted a full Fuji X10 review. But it contains a small interesting info about the upcoming interchangeable X system. A Fuji powerpoint shows that the first X camera will be announced in February 2012.

Can’t wait to see that new system. Fuji promised that it would dliver a better image quality than any Fullframe system! My money is ready for you Fuji! :)

Leica says: “optical finders will get less and less important”

Mr. Stefan Daniel (Director Product Management at Leica Camera AG) had an interview with Leica Blog (Via Megapixel). And there are first small hints about the future Leica mirrorless system with electronic viewfinder:
1) “The experience with the very successful Leica X1 leads us to the opinion that a Leica with an interchangeable lens should have at least an APS-sized sensor.
2) “I think that the quality of the 1.4MP finders is already very good, and sometimes even more accurate than an optical finder, think of white balance or exposure. Over time, as technology is improving, optical finders will get less and less important. The X100 finder is a very nice concept and well executed.
3) “Offering additional functions such as video and live view would extend the usability of the M camera significantly. CMOS is a prerequisite for it, therefore it will be the technology of the future.

Now that sounds intriguing. Stefan praises the Fuji X100 finder concept. So will they try to use a hybrid viewfinder on their cameras? Would be amazing!

New firmware for Samsung, Olympus, Fuji and Ricoh!

There are a couple of new firmwares for your mirrorless  cameras:

1) Fuji X100Download here
The firmware update Ver.1.11 incorporates the following issues.
1.Performance of auto focus at near distance has been improved.
2.When “SHADW TONE” is set to “MEDIUM SOFT” or “SOFT”, live view in LCD may display with abnormal pattern (so-called “solarisation”) just after pressing the shutter halfway. This update improves the phenomena.
3.When self-timer mode is selected, focus and exposure (AE/AF) are set just after pressing the shutter button and these settings are remained for the final shutter releasing.

2) Ricoh GR Digital III firmware version 2.50 – Download here
1. The displayed text for aperture / shutter speed may be lacking when auto rotating. Modified the display correctly.
2. Improved focus accuracy when Spot AF is used under brightness environment.
3. Corrected the focus-bar display under the following conditions. Aperture Priority mode or Manual Exposure mode for mode dial; [Snap] for Focus; and [1.5 m] for Snap Focus Distance.
4. White Balance Compensation in the Playback mode is now available for JPEG files that are recorded with RAW images.

3) Samsung NX5, NX10, NX11 and NX100 (found via OpenPn)
– NX5 version 1.21  Download here.
– NX10 version 1.31 Download here.
– NX11 version 1.11 Download here.
– NX100 version 1.12 Download here.

4) Olympus E-P3 version 1.1 Download here
1. The issue of the buttons not working when the Monitor (Touch screen) is touched while using the Electronic viewfinder has been resolved.
2. The issue of the AF target not displaying while using the Eye-Fi card has been resolved.

Nikon mirrorless cameras im Stock and new reviews roundup!

Unlike many other manufacturers that would let you wait months before to get the new camera or lens (I am talking to you Panasonic) Nikon has the new cameras already in Stock!
The Nikon V1 can be ordered at .
The Nikon J1 can be ordered at .

I am already seeing many Nikon 1 commercials in European TV’s and newspaper. It’s all well coordinated and I am wondering if that massive commercial orchestra will bring some results. Meanwhile many websites are posting Nikon tests: Dpreview posted the V1 and J1 Hands-on Preview. Focus Numerique posted a Nikon 1 V1 test. And ePhotozine have been invited at a Nikon 1 Series China Factory Tour.

Nikon is pushing hard. Will they succeed with the new system?

Surprise!!! Blackstone Buys a 44% Share of Leica Camera!!!

Damn what a news! Read the press release we found at l-camera-forum.com:

Leica Camera gains strategic investor in Blackstone

ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH will remain the majority shareholder

London, Solms: The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) and ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH today announced they have agreed a strategic partnership whereby investment funds advised by Blackstone will acquire, indirectly through a holding company, a 44% minority stake in Leica Camera AG (“Leica”), to support Leica’s international growth plans. ACM and Blackstone have agreed that the value of the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q4/2011.

Headquartered in Solms, Germany, with 1,150 employees, Leica has a long tradition of manufacturing premium-segment cameras and sport optics products. Over the past sixty years, Leica has grown to become a leading German brand and is seen as the epitome of German engineering excellence and an ambassador of the “Made in Germany” quality seal. Leica has become synonymous with the best tools of the trade, blending hand-crafted quality with a dedication to precision mechanics and producing the best optics the industry has to offer.

Building from this highly successful market position, Leica now endeavours to expand the business into new markets. Blackstone is seen as the right partner to support Leica management to achieve these goals in light of its global footprint, in particular with significant operations in Asia, and its development capital and strategic expertise.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica commented on the transaction: “With Blackstone we have gained an experienced and internationally established strategic partner, which also understands and appreciates the established brand philosophy and business model of Leica. Following the successful turnaround of the business and record sales last year, we are now focused on the continued development of the brand, its products and our growth plans into new markets such as Asia, South America and the Middle East. ACM has no plans to sell more shares in Leica Camera AG. Our long term strategy is to accompany Leica Camera in its continued expansion worldwide.”

Axel Herberg, Blackstone Senior Managing Director, said: “Leica is deeply rooted in Germany’s history and we would like to help grow the business in a manner that is true to this heritage, ensuring that the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Leica unique is preserved. We are very excited about supporting Leica to secure long-term commercial relationships, specifically in emerging markets, and help strengthen the company’s operational and retailing capabilities globally.”

Leica Camera AG concluded the 2010/2011 financial year with record sales of € 248.8m. The Hessen-based traditional manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products increased turnover by 57.2 % compared to the previous year (€ 158.2 m). The operating result (EBIT) increased almost six fold: it rose from € 7.4 m in 2009/2010 to € 41.6m. The consolidated surplus also took a positive turn: at € 36.3 m it is more than eleven times the previous year’s figure (€ 3.2m). The sales increase is attributed above all to the strong demand for the two camera systems, Leica M and Leica S.

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What a news! Who are these guys? This is the Blackstone website: http://www.blackstone.com/cps/rde/xchg/bxcom/hs/Home.htm.