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Saturday, 06 June 2009

Comments

Well, certainly not that much unhappiness. The official launch is a bit more than a week away. :-)

This kinda reminds me of the PDF leaked prior to E-3 launch.

This looks extremely promising. I especially like how they reincarnated the classic Pen thumbwheel as a mode selector.

Mike
I cannot live without an OPTICAL VIEWFINDER. Am I alone? Am I wrong? Is there any mobilization to save the OV in the web? This new Olympus seems to be a nice camera, but where is the OV? Let's make a movement to preserve and enhance the Optical Viewfinder in the new digital cameras.

I've been assuming from the start that this particular camera would have live view only. Was that not understood? I thought that was already known.

Mike

Once you adjust how you work, I find live view to be perfectly usable and in many ways better than most crappy optical viewfinders. If you can pay for something as good as what was in the Konica Hexar or a Leica, then that's better. But every other optical finder I've used is crap compared to live view.

I have no problem with an electronic viewfinder, but it looks like this only has the monitor?

I'm happy that the LX3 has been out of stock or in-stock but overpriced the past few months as I would probably have one by now. I had an Oly Pen F about 40 years ago and thought it a terrific little camera. I'm looking forward to the early reviews and, BTW, it looks like a C/V OVF will mount very nicely and be centered directly over the lens.

Well, it certainly has the look of a DMD. Now let's see if it has the goods. I am optimistic.

Patrick

WOOOW. A body like that would be SO awesome for my Pentax limited pancakes :)

That's a nice, compact 35mm f/2.8 equivalent, but I'd love to see faster lenses, even at the expense of compactness...

Also, a 35mm efl f/2.8 pancake lens? Delicious!

Claudio, the whole point of Micro 4/3 is that there is no mirror, and thus no optical viewfinder.

Indeed, no optical viewfinder is a part of the M4/3 paradigm.

But if you really want one I suppose there would be nothing stoping you from using an extra external viewfinder.

Since it has primes offered, and a central "flash" shoe (which is rumored to support an EVF as well" the optical viewfinder is a simple matter of selecting from Camaraquest's extensive stock.

I can't imagine Olympus is terribly concerned about one week of viral marketing preceding their June 16 announcement.

scott

Hooooray. Now THIS looks interesting.

If the camera is a success, I suspect there will be a hot-shoe-mounted optical viewfinder made available by somebody -- there are already quite a few of them floating around that could probably be adapted to this camera. Also, there are persistent rumors that there will be another body available toward the end of the year, that may have an electronic viewfinder similar to the Panasonic G1.

I have a point and shoot without a real viewfinder (only the back LCD) and it's not as instinctive as an eye-mounted viewfinder. With an eye-mounted finder, the camera points where you look. With the LCD, that's not true -- you have to teach yourself to point the camera where you're looking, and it's not as quick.

This looks like a terrific system, though -- more or less the size of a Canon G10 with true publication-quality images. I hope there are a series of good, small primes; that would really be the icing on the cake.

JC

Regarding optical viewfinder...perhaps an Olympus or third-party optical finder will find its way onto the hot shoe?

Larger question: is this camera more an exercise in retro, or will it offer significant advantage over its large-sensor rival, the DP2? The [presumed] interchangeable lenses suggest the latter.

Will image quality help to justify a price perhaps double that of the current top digicams, which include the Canon G10 and Panasonic LX3?

One thing for sure, Olympus seems poised to offer a bit of whimsy to the market, not just specs. That's refreshing!

Hmm, you made a Canon guy go ooo!

Where's that gorgeous strip of tan leather that they teased us with on the concept model?

So far I'm impressed with the form factor and concept, but underwhelmed by the lens selection - at least initially.

IMHO the "revolution" Olympus is predicting this camera will start won't happen until they can make fast primes that rival what's available for DSLRs.

I for one won't buy one until they have a 25/1.4 and 45-50/1.8. If I have to make significant sacrifices in terms of IQ, low light and DOF capability, and focal length selection in order to own one of these M4/3 cameras, I won't buy one.

Hopefully in a couple of years the 2nd or 3rd generation M4/3 models will be out along with some fast primes. Then they will be truly revolutionary.

There isn't any scale on that picture, although the lens looks nicely unobtrusive. I'm not sure I can live without an optical viewfinder, though.

If they start with the 17mm/2.8 prime as shown in the leaked image I am already very happy. A second 40mm to 45mm flat prime would then cover all my everyday/travel camera needs.

My current everyday / travel camera of choice is an old Minox 35. Decent fast lens, extremely small (as small as a 35mm camera can get) and light. (the bokeh could be a lot better and zone-focussing isn't everything, but you get used to it).

I could carry an extra prima instead of a few rolls of film with this.

'course for serious projects where I know ahead of time what I will need I will bring the D700 or the medium-format film camera :)

...it sure is pretty.

RE: psu. The P&S manufacturers cranked out a boatload of cheap cameras with horrid little viewfinders, so no one used them. When the manufacturers realized that no one used their awful viewfinders they started making cameras without them. So a few of us asked why we couldn't get a camera with a viewfinder anymore, and they said no one was using them anyway. It's a vicious circle that started with bad hardware. I still firmly believe that a lot of people with P&S cameras would be using optical viewfinders if they could get a camera with a one that wasn't useless.

I am *sure* camera manufacturers are planning these "leaks" on purpose. Getting people even more excited AND still retaining mystery. e.g. why don't they show the back? If this is truly a leak done by a random Bo Wong in Hong Kong, they would have shot it from all angles.

So I bet this is a planned leak. Now people can continue to discuss and debate the merits of LV and the probable missing OVF. However, since the back is not shown, there will be much speculation and argument, thus ensuing the camera will be on everyone's mind when they unveil it at last.

What they should do, if they were to make a killer move, is to make it available immediately. The sales will be phenomenal if they can manage that.

the voigtlander accessory viewfinder has 2:3 framelines, but the sensor is 4:3. olympus will probably make one themselves.

it's like we're back in the screwmount leica days. you had to use accessory viewfinders if you wanted something better than the squinty one built into the camera. there were also those big turreted finders that could conveniently switch between different angles of view so you wouldn't have to carry around a bunch of individual finders.

when the m series came out, people gripped about the larger size, but the new viewfinder with multiple framelines was more convenient. most importantly, you could focus in the same window.

ideally, i'd want the more advanced camera coming out later this year to have a built in optical viewfinder the size of the premium p&s cameras of yesteryear (hexar af, contax t3, ricoh gr1, minolta tc-1). fixed magnification, illuminated framelines, parallax- and field-size correction, all that good stuff, and just for the 17/2.5 pancake. zoom lens users would get an accessory evf (or detachable focusing hood, a la rolleiflex) for using in sunlight, and live view for less glarey conditions.

yeah, that would be cool.

I love the fact that there's a film plane indicator on the thing.

Too little, too light.

:)

That 17mm is looking good, and a good 17 prime would be something I'd want for 4/3, too. I'll probably pass on micro-4/3 until the price is down a little, but the body looks interesting, too.

Switters, a 25/1.4 for micro-4/3 is unlikely. Olympus already makes a 25 pancake for 4/3, but it's 2.8. If anything, I'd expect a micro-version of that, or you can just use an adapter. Panasonic does make a 25/1.4 for 4/3, which I have; it's excellent, but bulky and expensive. You could use it with an adapter, but that would negate the whole point of micro-4/3. For the record, I agree with you that no "revolution" is forthcoming. Remember that this is simply the first iteration, though. 1st gen. stuff almost always has issues that are corrected in subsequent iterations. There's just no substitute for having thousands of actual photographers, amateur or otherwise, using your camera, so we shouldn't expect perfection. Which I'm sure you're not expecting, either.

Looks great, but I was hoping for an EVF (like the the Panny G1) or an articulating LCD. Without either, I probably will wait or look elsewhere. I am not comfortable holding a camera at arms length, tilting my head way back so I can see the image on non-articulating screen through my bifocals.

I'm disappointed that they didn't keep the retro styling of the prototype.

With a 17/2.8, why not just a crappy little glass window and a DOF preset? Lord knows, it won't be too tough to get things in focus.

i expect that the image quality and the lenses shouldn't hold any big surprises and initial M42 mount adapters will likely appear in a few weeks. so it'll be its handling and responsiveness, which will make or break this cute little camera.

here is to hoping that it could fill in the role of poor-man's 21st century digital leica.

please?

People like me who need spectacles for reading (there are an awful lot of us!)simply cannot cope with a rear screen only camera - the evf of the Panasonic G1 is perfect for us - with diopter control. Also holding a camera at arms length to take photographs is a rubbish way to control shake and for viewing angle. I am very disappointed this camera has no viewfinder.

"I am *sure* camera manufacturers are planning these "leaks" on purpose."

Nope. They would like nothing better than to keep the wraps on until the official embargo date, and they go to great lengths to try to make it happen. The problem is that they need to get feedback from focus groups and working photographers in advance of the launch, and they need to bring journalists up to speed about the product so they (the journalists) will be prepared to give the product coverage when it's launched. Those two goals are in conflict, of course.

The leaks are possibly inevitable, but they're not planned and not desired.

Mike

For those bemoaning the lack of a fast prime, don't forget the 20 1.7 Panasonic is going to have out later this year. While a part of me will always mourn the lack of a digital Contax G-series, the the new Pen looks to fill the role of perfect travel camera - small, light, great optics, but can be treated as both a serious camera or point and shoot.

Unfortunately I see no command dail for choosing aperture and/or shutterspeed. My experience is that a one (or still better two) command dail(s) is the best choice for fast operating.

So far, from what I see, I'll keep my Pen S 3.5 unless Olympus also brings out a EVF model.

So, let´s sum up.

We have a camera that, to be honest, looks like a Los Angeles old moviestar after quite some aesthetic surgery and too much artificial tanning; with lenses that will, most probably, require the selling of internal organs for "investigation purposes" or similar stuff; with a holding position that will make it be less steady than a viewfinder camera [whatever the nature the viewfinder camera has].

God, it looks awfully cheap and fugly.

Sorry, I´ll pass this time [again].

I've already got the Panasonic G1; I *now* want that lens!!

If it has the size of say a Canon G9 and the image quality of a good DSLR (not than one is expecting D700 quality, of course) it will be a winner in my book..

Just one thing, it would be so nice if a camera like this had some of that good old leatherette around it, just like older cameras. It's not that I'm overly nostalgic but I love the tactile and grippy feel of leatherette. So much nicer than rubber and even nicer than shiny silver. If we are going to talk retro, lets go really retro.

Well, it's the closest thing to a digital replacement for my Contax G1, which for me, is the perfect camera. The thing I dislike the most about having no optical view finder is the whole outstretched arm thing. NO-ONE can hold a camera steady in that position. Still, well done to Olympus for moving in this direction.

This leak/announcement made my day. Time to sell some Canon stuff to add a new system. The large sensor and lack of optical viewfinder make this a true bridge between PS and DSLR. It could be a game changer for both ends of the photography market. At least that's what I'm hoping.

I love my Ricoh GRD II. I bought the external viewfinder, thinking I would use it most of the time. Instead, I find I only use it when the light is too bright for me to see the image on the screen. I often hold the camera at chest level, and find I can train myself to compose looking down at that angle (but I would have liked to see Oly have gone with a swivel screen -- maybe the next model?) My other main camera these days is the R-D1. I find my compositions are more interesting (take more chances) when I compose on the screen. I also like the complete silence the Ricoh offers in shooting. I guess that's not coming with the Oly.

I am likely to get a micro 4/3 at some point, since it offers a back-up or alternative option for using my RF (and old OM) lenses.

Mike,

After looking at some of the comments on this page, it is obvious that your 'On Simplicity' essay a week or so ago was spot on!!

"the voigtlander accessory viewfinder has 2:3 framelines, but the sensor is 4:3."

Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.

Mike

"I also like the complete silence the Ricoh offers in shooting. I guess that's not coming with the Oly."

Why do you say that? I don't know of any particular complaints about the noisiness of the G1, but it might be that I'm just not up to speed on it's foibles.

We won't know everything about the E-P1 until three or four months after it ships. So don't jump the gun on conclusions.

Mike

This camera has nothing for me. No ovf, no sale AFAIC.

Jumpin jesus on a pogo stick! $170 for a clip on viewfinder?!?!?

I want that lens, tho. My G1 needs more glass.

This would be one heck of a street shooters camera. I am cautiously optimistic.

As it so happens, I just handed off my Hexar AF to a relative, a Motorola engineer, to replace the achilles heel of a shutter button. Once repaired, I was debating if it's time to retire it for something digital. This new Pen looks cool, and of course shoots 12MP RAW. But I wonder if I'll be able to frame and expose in the blink on an eye? With a precision that I've never experienced with other systems. And will I occasionally be astonished by the quality of the optics? And do I want to come to terms with one more proprietary RAW processor?

I'm not sure if this is the future I can get behind.


Over 50 comments so far ... and the camera doesn't even exist yet. The expectations and criticisms are already piled high.

Pace yourselves, guys. Pace yourselves.

Simen: A revolution is coming.

Live-view is quite nice if you have a bright screen with some sort of glare-coated covering. It becomes a problem for manual focus though if the resolution isn't high enough or if "live" means "...(with latency)".

Honestly a prism optical viewfinder in four-thirds is to me one of the biggest drawbacks. If I'm going to use a viewfinder it needs to be as big and bright as possible, and the crop factor on the regular four-thirds system is a deal-breaker for me for that reason alone.

This Pen however (and Micro 4/3 in general) is a great step forward. Imagine using the same Zukiko lenses on a wide variety of bodies with different sizes and performance specs. Want to go compact today? Want to take the full-powered DSLR? Sure, go ahead, use the same lenses. It sounds like a great photographers' setup, enough to make the G10 and Sigma DP2 irrelevant to me.

Engin,

No need to wait for M42 adapters or any others. The adapters for the Panasonic G1 will work on the Oly. That is unless there is a serious deviation from the u4/3 spec. I can't imagine that being the case. Which means there are already adapters for M42, Leica (thread and bayonet mount), Nikon, Canon FD, etc.

The E-P1 tells me I may have a high-quality replacement for my pocket digicam in my future. Very cool.

I'm with Mr. Lynem: an optical viewfinder should provide some significant benefit and for me, the usual 4/3 viewfinders aren't worth mourning if lost. I looked through an E-420 today and if the live view of the E-P1 is at least comparable to consumer-grade point 'n shoots, I can live with it easily.

The other thing I take away from this: Pentax has one less excuse for coming out with a compact, relatively fast 17/18mm pancake of their own.

Just wait for the canon G11...I hope it upgrades its sensor for better results at higher ISO...Or is Nikon hiding something? they are way behind in their small stuff....and to have such a wonders D700/D3 sensors.....go to waste in only the high dollar big guns..This is a nice try..... but $900??? with no OV.

To get an idea of where Olympus is going with the marketing for this thing, check out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zcdoa0XCFo

As for OVF vs. EVF vs. NoVF, I suspect that most people are simply stating their prejudices, with no intent of allowing themselves to be persuaded one way or the other, so it really isn't worth discussing at all.

One more thing: a Pen-m43's adapter showed up, too.

Is there some significance in the fact that Olympus' carefully calibrated Pen-m4/3 tease and hype campaign seems to be pitched almost exclusively at the Japanese market?

Live-view is quite nice if you have a bright screen with some sort of glare-coated covering. It becomes a problem for manual focus though if the resolution isn't high enough or if "live" means "...(with latency)".

Screen and Live View on E-410 was bad. Useless in anything brighter than, for instance, tree shade. But on E-3 to E-620, it's quite nice. They improved the visibility in bright conditions. (You have to turn off the adaptive LCD lighting.) I don't expect this one to be bad, either. And no, latency hasn't been a problem.

Besides, when you focus with Contrast AF on E-620, it's also reasonably fast. But I don't expect E-P1 to be a sport camera, either.

Honestly a prism optical viewfinder in four-thirds is to me one of the biggest drawbacks. If I'm going to use a viewfinder it needs to be as big and bright as possible

Then E-3 would be the 4/3 camera for you. :-) While it doesn't have as big a viewfinder as 35mm cameras, it's as close in apparent size to Nikon D300 as doesn't matter. Somewhat bigger than Canon 40/50D. OTOH, that's why it has the big lump of a prism, instead of a smaller penta-mirror.

I would have loved an E-4xx or even E-620 with a similar prism, but it's obviously not to be.

We'll see what E-P1 offers.

"Is there some significance in the fact that Olympus' carefully calibrated Pen-m4/3 tease and hype campaign?"

Why do you say that? If you are referring to the linked page, it is entirely in Chinese. No Japanese at all.

Honestly, I don't understand all of the complaints about the lack of an optical viewfinder. This is an interchangable lens camera with no rangefinder and no mirror. What did people expect? As for those that prefer an EVF to an LCD, the G1 and GH1 seem like fine options.

As for the assertions that a 3:2 accessory finder won't work because the camera's sensor is 4:3, we don't know that at all. The m43 standard very clearly specifies only the image circle(enough to cover the 4/3 sensors of the legacy format). In some documents and specifically in interviews, executives from both Olympus and Panasonic have stated that cameras could have 4:3, 3:2, or 16:9 sensors. In fact, the GH1 has all three at once, in a manner of speaking, and it wouldn't surprise me to find that the E-P1 has the same multi-aspect sensor.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me if it were a standard 4:3 sensor, Pen heritage and whatnot. The point is that it's truly something we have no knowledge of at the moment.

This could all be speculation and someone getting busy with photoshop. But if it does look like this then I'm waving bye-bye to my Sigma DP1 and getting one of these.
I just hope they'll also do one in black!

Very nice.

Lots of complaints so far, but it really depends how you look at it.

If you look at it from the point of view of a G10/LX3, this is a real winner. No contest.

If you compare it to a small DSLR, it doesn't look so good. The IQ from a 4/3rds sensor is not quite as good as what you get out of APS and at $900 it's far from cheap.

The DP2 may offer better IQ, due to it's larger sensor, but it's a quirky camera. The Olympus may turn out to simply be the better shooter.

I think the biggest problem for this camera is pricing. Apparently it will be about $900 with a lens. That's a lot of money for what is essentially a compact, regardless of the lens mount and bigger sensor. Add to that an external viewfinder and you're probably talking about $1050. That's a LOT of money and suddenly the DP2 looks like a bargain; warts and all.

Olympus would be much better off pricing the body and kit lens around $650.


It would certainly be nice if Canon decides to enter this segment of digital camera market. But to tell you the truth I'd rather have the Canon G10 than this Olympus entry.

Seemingly yet another camera we don't need, and one that leaves photographers wanting. How can a camera claim to be "retro" without a viewfinder of some sort? If the manufacturers just followed Mike's recommendations we'd all be happy instead of frustrated.

One huge advantage to the E-P1 over the DP1,2 and Ricoh GR-D and LX3 is NO easy to damage telescoping lens!!
* Olympus 17mm prime is half the length of the DP1,2 lenses when extended!
*No slow start up, shutdown while lens extends/retracts
*No noisy extension motor
*No risk of Dust intrusion around lens
*Donot have to use an adapter tube to fit filters or hoods - which nullifies the advantage of a extending lens in the first place.
*AND you can change the lens!
* You can easily bet the EP1 autofocus will leave the DP in dust..

Com'on MIke, ditch the DP and get an EP!

WeeDram, care to spill the details? I wouldn't mind a revolution myself, but at the moment I don't see exactly what it's about.

Finally, an 'Oly worthy of Laurels'.
mlmd

It will complement my kit very nicely.
As soon as Lightroom support its RAW files ... :-)

I'll replace my M8 with a small format camera once speed and IQ is at prosumer DSLR levels. A shoe mounted optical finder together with live view works fine for a tiny reportage camera with a wide-normal prime. We are getting closer and micro 4/3rds looks like a good platform for this type of camera.

A pocketable digicam with a 35-50 equivalent lens and a DSLR for long and macro work and I'm all set.

about bloody time we saw some sort of picture of the camera. I am so interested in this camera that I started saving for it when they showed that wooden mock up. Gimme gimme gimme.

DOA. No flash is nice but no nice evf tucked in to the side (no hump) just killed it for me.

As I use the E-3 as my main camera, I can say I'm pleased that it appears the EP1 looks like its not a plasticam. So far so good.

When I first heard of micro 4/3, I thought along the line of rangefinder & primes, but feared slow zooms. Its nice to see a prime on the front of the leaked photo.

An 8mm prime, the 17mm shown, a 25-30 f1.4, and (I know I'm wishful here) a 43mm f1.2 for a portrait lens that 4/3 has always fallen short of, and it would be an attractive package. Make the display tilt so it can be used at the waist and I'm ready to make the E-3 a tele-only camera.

I'll try out this logic: What I really need a good viewfinder for is to achieve precise focus, especially selective focus. That is I overide the AF with some manual tweaking and DOF preview. Since this is only possible with an SLR, then whatever system these m4/3 cameras use is going to be deficient in that regard. OVFs have a long way to go before they can truly offer quick precision focus, so it's no better than a glass window; that is, it's a framing device. And if you're only using your VF for framing, then the LCD will do fine for that, so why bother with a glass window at all?

In conclusion, for me, this Olympus (which has an attractive no-nonsense stylishness judging by the photos) is the most sensible approach to the finder issue. I travelled around SE Asia with a C5050z using only the LCD. For semi-surreptitious street photos, it can be better to have the camera away from one's face.

An accessory shoe-mount VF would take care of situations when you're worried about camera shake.

David, You're right, and there seems to be at least some activity in Europe as well. So let me recast my question as: Should I be concerned that Olympus' m4/3 tease and hype campaign seems unconcerned with the US market?

No EVF?
sigh...
Oh well.
My little Nikon D60 with the 35mm f/2 AF D will have to fill the gap for me for awhile longer i guess.

A guy on Digital Photography Review has put up a size comparison of the Oly and the Panasonic G1 (based on the width of the hot shoe) and while there are some differences, they are not huge -- the main thing is the twistable screen and the viewfinder box make the G1 thicker and probably a bit taller. To me, this means that the Oly may be marginally "pocketable," but then, maybe not quite. I would not call the G1 "pocketable." The Oly is definitely larger than the Canon G10, which people are comparing it to.

So then I measured the G1 (with a tape measure, because the announced specs are incorrect), and compared them to the announced specs of the new Pentax. The Pentax is larger...but not that much. The Pentax is 5.1x3.8x2.9 inches (long-high-thick) while the G1 is about 4.9x3.3x2.5 inches. In other words, the Pentax is more-or-less a quarter inch longer, about a half-inch higher, and less than half an inch thicker. The thickness would actually come out in the Pentax's favor if you use the excellent pancake lenses.

I'm looking for a travel outfit, and was very interested in the Oly, as I mentioned in another post. This comparison, however, has me thinking about Pentax again, given the already-existing line of lenses, including primes, the weather proofing, the supposedly excellent viewfinder, the larger sensor, etc. In other words, size no longer seems so much of a factor to me, because they are really quite close. I will also be watching Oly's lens prices - if they follow past practice, they might be quite expensive.

Reading through the comments, I'm reminded of Mike's post from the other day about why there will probably never be a simple DSLR.

Know what I'll do since there's no optical finder? Learn to compose using the LCD. Or I can stick a CV finder on top and learn to shoot with inaccurate frame lines. Or I'll just learn to shoot without a finder.

I'm not concerned about the lack of fast glass, because fast glass will probably be the same size or larger than the camera itself, and that would be missing the point.

The thing that would ruin the camera for me is a shoddy UI. The shape is right (colour not so much, but I have a Sharpie and some black hockey tape if it doesn't), but hopefully it operates with the urgency and response of a Nikon and not my M8.

The very fact that the top view of this camera puts me in mind of the old Olympus Trip, the first camera I ever owned, ensures that it bypasses all my critical faculties and triggers the "must buy one now" reflex directly. (I suspect the price tag will intervene somewhere in the higher cortex however.)

Needs a 20mm or 25mm pancake, but at this point I really ain't fussed about the lack of VF (or EVF).

"With the LCD, that's not true -- you have to teach yourself to point the camera where you're looking, and it's not as quick."

No, you have it all wrong! With a LCD , just like with the old waist level finders on Hasselblads and Rollies etc. , you don't have to point the camera where you are looking, or move yourself to look where the camera is pointing. It's MUCH faster that way , not to mention more conductive to getting the composition you want.

Sticking the LCD on the back with no adjustment sucks big time though. The GH1 without the eye level viewfinder and the stupid hard to hold grip, or the Oly with a flipout would be about right for me. Neither are close enough to get my money as is.

Neither here nor there! The P&S crowd doesn't need/want to change lenses. More sophisticated users want a good eye-level viewfinder (preferably EVF) and an articulating LCD for tripod use. I'll pass on this camera, but I hope that Olympus can manage to produce a few decent m4/3 primes that I can use on my G1.

If you compare it to a small DSLR, it doesn't look so good. The IQ from a 4/3rds sensor is not quite as good as what you get out of APS and at $900 it's far from cheap.

Sensor size myth.

The DP2 may offer better IQ, due to it's larger sensor, but it's a quirky camera. The Olympus may turn out to simply be the better shooter.

Sensor size myth.

A friend and me were curious recently and made the same pic at a dark pub (real life low ISO conditions) with Oly E-1 at ISO 1600, E-3 and Pentax K20D at ISO 3200 and printed them 8x10 inches. E-1 looked best (albei 1 stop less but how many years old?), E-3 had banding and Pentax magenta bleeding in the corners. In terms of noise there is barely a difference. The E-1 has the the most leeway in the shadows, whereas the higher pixel cameras had crushed shadows.

So go and try yourself before implying that the size difference between 4/3 and the 1.7 crop from Sigma makes a visible IQ difference.

Note for the geeks: all raw and developed in LR to get visibly similar results. That means E-1 had +1 exposure because the highest sensor ISO is 800.

To the poster who likes leatherette, the right side of the camera (grip side) looks pretty pebble-grained to me! I can't wait to see the rest of her!

D.,

If you follow the posted link to the page on Xitek.com, there's no leatherette showing anywhere on the body.

Andreas: but try the same with a Canon 50D or a Nikon D300?

Funny how the 'leaker' didn't photograph the back side... ;)

What's with the hardline OVF zealots?

I wonder what wide angle options are on the scene for m4:3.
A 12mm f/4 or similar would be great.

I really hope Olympus will celebrate the Pen-birthday with a Pen F -> MFT adapter. Those lenses are made for this format...

Wide-angle options for m43 are the Panasonic 7-14 f4 (which is tiny, about the size of your typical 18-55 kit zoom, but NOT cheap), or any of the 4 ultra-wide zooms in 4/3rds with the MA1 adapter. The Oly 9-18 f4-5.6 AF's, the 11-22 f2.8-3.5, 7-14 f4 and Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 do not AF on m43, all other coupling is preserved.

What's with the hardline OVF zealots?

light. either too much or too little.

"Unfortunately I see no command dail for choosing aperture and/or shutterspeed"

I'm nervous about that too, I hope one is hidden underneath the hump below the EP-1 logo. Surely Olympus knows better than to create a $1000+ compact without an easy means to control it manually. Perhaps it has a touch screen? If so they could use something similar to the iPhone's "Slide to Unlock" control. A vertical touch track on the right side of the LCD for my thumb to simply slide up and down would be fairly easy to use.

"Funny how the leaker didn't photograph the back side.."

Probably could not. Looks like a shot taken of a camera in a glass case. Perhaps when none were watching.

Chris: "Unfortunately I see no command dail for choosing aperture and/or shutterspeed"

Eric: "I'm nervous about that too, I hope one is hidden underneath the hump below the EP-1 logo. Surely Olympus knows better than to create a $1000+ compact without an easy means to control it manually."

@ Eric, Maybe your are right and the command dail is hidden underneath the hump.

For me is an optical viewfinder not per se necessary, but a Vari-angle lcd screen would be very fine as compensation and let my shoot from the waist. Much better than taking pictures with wobbly stretched arms.

"More sophisticated users want a good eye-level viewfinder (preferably EVF) and an articulating LCD for tripod use."

This explains why all medium and large format cameras are equipped with eye-level finders.

Looks like a neat camera... and what Sigma should have done with the DP2 (came up with a M4/3 lens mount version of the DP1... no reason why M4/3 lenses won't work with the Foveon's 1.7x 3:2 sensor that's just a tad larger than the Oly 4/3 sensor). Now THAT would be a cool camera.

I have trouble believing this - Olympus comes out with what is a fairly revolutionary camera to a design specification that says 'no ovf' and we get people slapping themselves and saying if I can't get an ovf then I am not buying one.
Fair enough - don't buy one. Fact is if your throw away the flapping mirror the only way to get a true framing representation is the lcd or an evf - if you have a fixed ovf then you need a different one for every lens you fit - is this intuitive? Oh - possibly you can have different etched framing lines covering a number of focal lengths (approximately of course)

So what do we call this smallish, mirrorless, non-EVF, non-rangefinder, (relatively)large-sensor, interchangeable lens type of camera? Or, even if we include the G1 with an EVF in the type, what do we call it?

The term SLR was just an offshoot from TLR, and not even a good descriptor for that type. We need something new.

Mike? You're good with names. Bokeh caught on! We need a whole new word or catchy acronym. Anybody?

"The term SLR was just an offshoot from TLR, and not even a good descriptor for that type. We need something new."

Nonsense, SLRs were introduced in the 1850s and were selling well in the 1880s. Although the TLR was invented in the 1880s I don't know of any TLRs that sold in any numbers prior to the late 1920s, probably since a TLR doesn't make a lot of sense unless you can use smallish film.

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