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Panasonic GH4R & The Final Word on UV Filters | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on August 29th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors and announcements.

Panasonic to Announce a GH4R

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According to the latest reports, Panasonic is gearing up to announce a new version of the GH4, the GH4R. So far, the only apparent indication of any differences between the GH4 and the GH4R is that the new ‘R’ version will come with Vlog. There may be other differences, but at this point it appears that the only difference may be the Vlog.

This could be a bad sign for owners of the current GH4, who were hoping to get vlog free via a firmware update. If Panasonic is going through the trouble of releasing an entirely ‘new’ camera body just to add the vlog to it, what is the likelihood of them just adding it to the current GH4 for free? It is possible, but it does not seem likely.

We have been expecting news of the GH4 Vlog update coming on September 1st, so we should know soon enough whatever Panasonic’s plans are.

What are your thoughts on this possibility? Is Panasonic missing the boat if they force a new camera purchase or paid firmware for the vlog update? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

An Interesting Use Case For The Olympus Air

The Olympus Air series of cameras, much like the similar Sony versions, are some of the oddest cameras to come out in years. The concept is simple, move the controls off to a phone and slim the camera unit down to the base sensor and lens mount. In practice, though, it’s just a weird proposition.

That said, you can put these sort of camera-lens units in places that many cameras could not go. One such usage scenario is this interesting case where the new Olympus Air was used for science and microbiology experiments. Probably not what Olympus had in mind when they designed it, but hey, sometimes the best uses for things don’t become fully realized until after launch.

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MicroCosm published an interesting article about Capturing Microbiology Images using the Olympus Air unit:

Cameras with macro lenses and microscopes with attached cameras have long been used by diagnostic microbiology labs to document images of microbes for training and educational purposes. However, the real-time transmission of these images has been impractical because the image has to be downloaded onto a computer and distributed by a file-sharing system or email.

The Olympus Air is a new concept of camera which provides a 16-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor which can be coupled wirelessly to your handphone. It, therefore, combines the power and flexibility of a proper camera with the connectivity and ease of use of a handphone.

The Final Word on UV Filters


To use a UV filter or not to use a UV filter? That is the question that is asked over and over and over again by new and even some experienced photographers. Generally, you fall into one of two camps, you think they are useless and never use them, or you think they afford you some added protection and always use them.

Steve Perry is back with a rather thorough video on UV filters. In this video, he really puts UV filters to the test, taking a look at the negatives said about them (loss of sharpness, colors, etc.), and looks into some of the positive things said about them (extra protection, etc). In the end, you are left to make your own conclusions, but Steve also shares his point of view.

It’s a pretty interesting video, and I recommend you check it out, no matter what UV filter camp you currently sit in. So, readers, where do you stand? UV or no UV?

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michael Old

    whenever people have made claims about filters protecting lenses, my response has been that to prove it they would have to recreate the situation with and without the filter – Looks like someone actually did just that.
    Well done, a very informative video

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  2. David Johnston

    I use UV filters as shields from dust, sand, water splashes, and fingerprints. For those purposes, they seem to do a good job. It certainly makes me less concerned when walking around with the lens cap removed for long periods of time. Given that there’s no noticeable loss of image quality from using a decent quality filter, I’m going to continue to put them on most of my lenses.

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  3. Ralph Hightower

    Why did Steve have to destroy a Canon FD lens?

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  4. Dustin Baugh

    I totally agree with his findings that UV filters offer no impact damage but they can prevent scratches and fingerprints when photographing in sand, dust, and salt water spray. Basically anytime you have to wipe the front element every few minutes.

    And god forbid you ever decide to photograph a Color Festival or Color Run. They’re great screwed against some plastic bags encasing your entire camera.

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  5. Hannes Nitzsche

    Well that really was quite an interesting video and I’d like to thank Steve for putting it together and Anthony for sharing it with the community here!

    I’d like to say that I agree that UV filters do a great deal of scratch protection and I much rather clean a filter than the front element. Especially after shooting on a beach where there is a potential for sand grains to get caught on the front of the lens or in a lens cloth. It only takes one grain of sand to permanently scratch your front element and even if it doesn’t affect image quality too much, it also lowers the resale value of the lens. Same goes for branches in a forest.
    So, the fewer chances I get of touching the front element, the better – at least in my opinion.

    According to lens manufacturers, most weather resistant lenses actually require a filter of some sort to “fully seal” the lens from dust and water. Not sure as to how true that is but I don’t want to be the one to find out :)
    I also like to add that, yes the lens hood does do a great job of protecting your front element, but not so much on UWA lenses as the lens hoods tend to be much shorter then those of tele zooms. Bot for longer zooms, they really work wonders in providing a big physical barrier between your lens and your environment.
    Thanks again for this helpful and insightful article/video!

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  6. Peter Nord

    I’m an old geezer who’s been shooting for over 60 years without a filter used just for protection. Yes I used one for color film, especially at high altitudes. The only lens I ever broke took a hit on the side. A modern plastic one that came apart, which Nikon easily fixed. That said I don’t live where there is blowing sand. salt water spray, spray from geysers or some strange industrial environment where one needs to wear protective gear. A filter and maybe some kind of outerwear for your camera would be a good idea under those conditions. I’m curious as to what problems folks who regularly shoot at the beach or at Yellowstone have with lenses and cameras.

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  7. Colin Woods

    Very interesting. I do tend to keep a uv filter on for dust and fingerprint and water drop protection, but I did think that they offered some protection from physical damage. I’ll still keep using them as I prefer to clean the filter than the element but, for protection from impact – as they say on a well known TV show, myth busted.

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