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Friday, 19 June 2009

Comments

Vlatko,
Can you use zone focus with the 17mm lens? Somebody said it does not have a focus scale, and uses focus-by-wire.

(BTW, it seems to me that the headline makes the article sounds more negative that it actually is.)

What "exactly" is missing from the EP-1 (re: the title of this post)?

Me too, I think that the headline is misleading and doesn't sum up the content of the article.

EP-1 looks promising.

No, it's not exactly what I want (what is?) but fully compatible 12- and 42-mm primes would get it a lot closer to what I want.

The lens is so tiny it doesn't have anything on it. No zone focusing.

As to the title, just see the previous paragraph. :-) Actually, it's a reference to various wishes and demands made here and elsewhere.

Now I wish I really ended with the quote from the Stones instead of paraphrasing it: You can't always get what you want. :-)))

Thanks for the article. It has me thinking again -- I've been round and round like a weathervane on this camera. Now I'm thinking, if you're *really* not looking for the best of all worlds, then it ain't bad. If you're using it purely to document, or for convenience in travel, if you really aren't expecting to produce Fine Art, but still want excellent quality, and if you can really use that LCD in bright sunshine...then maybe this is what you want.

A comparison of the Oly lenses and the Panasonics would be interesting. If the Panasonics are just as good, then I personally would probably wait for the expected E-P1-like Panasonic, since I already have a G1.

I agree with Eolake about the headline. Its implications seem too negative for what Vlatko actually concluded.

I grabbed an ISO 6400 shot off the web. Lots of chroma noise, but it cleaned up a bit with Noise Ninja. It was similar to my E-300 at 1600, which makes it "desperate measures." I'm guessing that 3200 will be close to useable.

Perhaps a better title for the article, btw, might be "If you try sometime..."

"fully compatible 12- and 42-mm primes would get it a lot closer to what I want."

Jon,
Amen, and I agree with your choices exactly, but I'm pretty happy just there's a 17mm. First things first, and all that.

Mike

Thanks Vlatko, nice first impressions... and this paragraph gives us very important info :

The focus on the camera otherwise behaved really well and although it was slower than my E-3, it's not a terrible difference. Perfectly usable for normal situations, particularly because it's combined with a shutter lag on DSLR levels. By the way, what I really, really like about E-P1 is the quiet snick of the shutter. No DSLR-like clatter here. I'm not familiar with film Leicas, but I'd say that E-P1 is easily quieter than E-1 which is very quiet for a DSLR.

Have you used a Panasonic G1? how would you say the focusing speed compares?

Kind Regards

Brian

I have no idea if this camera would meet my needs. The reviews, including this one, are all over the place. Fast autofocus...no, slow autofocus...great LCD display...no, poor lcd display...easy to manual focus with third party manual focus lenses...no, fuzzy and too much trouble to focus with manual focus lenses.

Just going to wait a few months and see how folks actually get along with this thing.

Sounds like Vlakto is a useful height for sending to a 'scrum' event like this...

Thank you very much for sharing your early impressions with us, Vlatko. It's a very good first-hand account to add to Eammon's. The sample snaps are encouraging. (Models...yikes.) I'm eager to see this little fellow for myself next month.

One thing I do not like G1 is the JPEG quality is not that good and you seems have to deal with raw every time. Also, the click sound is odd (silence compared with many but I expect no sound at all).

The quality here seems better but it is hard to judge portrait quality as the model make-up is very strong. If it targets tourist, well, is that normal ... make up yes but that strong; is it common for German ladies?

The click sound seems is there and hence no electronic shutter. Not good but may be that is needed for SLR like shutter response.

One of the main reason to buy in this type of camera is for using other kind of lens (sorry oly but that is why I got my G1). Hope there is some review there but based on what is being said, not as good in operation as G1. But hope that it is better image quality as said, Leica or even Cosina lens does not excel in G1.

*sigh*

You only make me wish for July to be here already :)

Thanks for a very interesting and detailed first account!

With the 17/2.8 there is no need nor reason to use scale focus. With legacy lenses, set the distance on the lens (the all have distance markings) and use hyperfocal distance. With this method, there is no need to focus via the LCD. Only with an EVF or optical finder could one efficiently use manual focus on a Live View only camera.

"Ed. Note: The towering guy at the back in this photo is Vlatko, a.k.a. Erlik. (He's 6'8".) —Mike"

Is this picture taken with E-P1. Seems quite ok for the people shoot which I am looking to. The model is .... But the overall shoot is like street photography (may be a bit closer but that seems to the distance normally associated with it). It seems quite good.

I especially like the guy who use the external view finder. It is not 1:1 then. The other eye is in big stress.

Any hi resolution pic of this or similar; I like this casual one much much more.

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need"

-- The Rolling Stones

"is that normal ... make up yes but that strong; is it common for German ladies?"

Dennis,
I believe the "theme" for the models was the 1950s and '60s...is that right Vlatko? So the makeup (especially eyelashes) was probably an attempt to mimic the makeup popular at that time....

Mike

"if you really aren't expecting to produce Fine Art"

The making of fine art will not be limited by your camera, only your mind.

What "exactly" is missing from the EP-1 (re: the title of this post)?

The electronic viewfinder people were expecting?

Have you used a Panasonic G1?

No, Brian. I've been trying to arrange it with Panasonic Croatia, but haven't had much luck.

The reviews, including this one, are all over the place.

I've just read one, over at fourthirds user, and Ian Burley seems to agree with me on almost all points.

The quality here seems better but it is hard to judge portrait quality as the model make-up is very strong.

Umm, don't see what you mean here. I've got very sharp portraits both with the 14-42 and the 17. Maybe too sharp for portraits, as you can easily see the pores and imperfections on their skin. And the harsh sunlight didn't really help in lots of cases.

The click sound seems is there and hence no electronic shutter. Not good but may be that is needed for SLR like shutter response.

There was an explanation of why a mechanical shutter by Panasonic when G1 came out. I think that Olympus followed the same reasoning.

Is this picture taken with E-P1.

Yes. I appear to have a photo taken at about the same time from my side and the guy opposite me has an E-P1 in his hands.

Besides, you have a high resolution shot at the same place, just below on the page. It seems to be soft, though. And he seems to be complaining about softness of the lens. My shots with 17/2.8 are not that soft, except for camera shake.

I believe the "theme" for the models was the 1950s and '60s...is that right Vlatko?

Yes. That's why the Fiat Cinquecento, that's why the clothes, that's why the makeup. And that's why the little retro half-case, too. :-)

The Rolling Stones

Exactly. :-)

The Group with Vlatko shows the camera in a real life situation. I have to say the camera doesn't " look " that small. Not as tiny as some point and shoots. Certainly not anonymous

I have to say the camera doesn't " look " that small. Not as tiny as some point and shoots.

Definitely not. Just prior to Berlin I was checking some compact Olympuses and Canons--E-P1 is bigger.

OTOH, somebody made a good point elsewhere: the camera looks like a compact, so it's less likely to attract unwanted attention from people on power trips or for people in the street to give it much attention. I would want it to have a black strip all around, just like the old SLRs, rangefinders and, ultimately, the original PEN.

Vlatko, I would've loved to see you posing next to Fiat Cinquecento - with Eeep-1 in you hands, of course. It would have been even better if they allowed you to be *in* the Fiat, and taking pictures of journalists outside of it...but I guess then it would be a commercial event for fiat and not so much for Olympus...;)

Congrats Mike,
You have pulled off quite a coup in a busy webland -TOP is the place to be seen right now for many - I am here every day,either way, the power of one is good.
Ed.

I like the picture showing the photographers and the model. The man looking away at the lake, the strange platform (heliport?) above the building in the distance, and the expressions on the faces!

This picture also reminds me why I prefer viewfinders than LCD screens for my photography. Looking at an LCD at arms length feels awkward, slow, distant. Composing through a viewfinder, preferably an optical one, is a more agile way (for me) to work, and I feel more connected with the subjects I'm photographing—usually moving ones.

Also the photographer in the picture using the camera with the optical viewfinder against his face looks much cooler! :-)

Is there some sort of focus confirmation light on the body? Something similar to DP2 - useful with OVF?

Thanks!


"The making of fine art will not be limited by your camera, only your mind."

I've looked through the specs of the E-P1, and there's clearly no FIne Art Filter. That's a deal-breaker for me.

Looking more closely at the 17/2.8, it appears there is room to produce a faster (e.g, ~1.7) lens using the same barrel/mechanics, or at least not much larger. Perhaps there's hope for those pining for a stable of fast primes, aka the rabid RFF crowd. ;)

As for the size of the body, I personally am not interested in something much smaller. Of course, I haven't seen one in my hands yet.

Regarding zone focusing for street/grab shots...

With a x2 crop factor, hyperfocal distances using the 17mm lens are as follows:

17mm @ f/2.8 = 6.91 meters (22.7 feet); sharp focus is 11.4' to infinity.
17mm @ f/5.6 = 3.47 meters (11.4 feet); sharp focus is 5.7' to infinity.
17mm @ f/8 = 2.44 meters (8.0 feet); sharp focus is 4.0' to infinity.

If diffraction does not degrade image quality too much at f/8--and it might--this manual-focus setting (8 feet) could allow very quick camera operation, especially as shutter lag has been described as very short.

(You math wizards may want to confirm my numbers, but I should be in the ballpark. And the usual caveat applies: by sharp focus, I mean acceptable sharpness.)

Is there some sort of focus confirmation light on the body? Something similar to DP2 - useful with OVF?

A beep. Which I turned off. Don't want to beep.

As long as camera makers keep trying to create cameras that sell the most copies instead of just creating good or great cameras then ambivalence and dissatisfaction will remain a constant. The average consumer just doesn't care about the finer points of a camera's design like viewing systems and prime lenses, so I fear that we will continue to see more and more cameras with idiotic arms extended composing and focusing systems, and barely useful crude and unnecessary amateur video capability. Oh, yes, and the non-negotiable zoom lenses.

Thank you for this information!
More and more this camera looks like it will fill my needs; compact, quiet, and versatile.
Currently, for people/street type work I use my e410 with the 25mm pancake. The fact that the EP-1 is quieter is a Godsend!
Using the LCD actually makes one *less* noticeable IMHO, most assume you to be using a cameraphone or simple P&S, not something threatening like a huge DSLR with a Huge Zoom and Petal Lens hood. The cute/retro factor should play well here too ;)

"Oh, yes, and the non-negotiable zoom lenses." Player

You can buy it body only, or with the 17mm prime. I'm not sure what your definition of negotiable is, but it sounds fine to me.

If what you mean is that manufacturers should stop wasting any resources on zoom lenses and devote themselves to reinventing the prime, then I'm afraid you're right. No matter what you do, other people around you will be buying, researching and using zooms.

Not me though. 35mm, 50mm and 85mm are all the focal lengths I need. And with IS I'm prepared to compromise on the speed.

One thing I wish this had is a swivel type back lcd such as the Panasonic G1 has. I doubt I would have gotten the pictures of Tony bennett at JazzFest this year (from way out in the crowd and behind very tall people) without being about to swivel the lcd so with the camera extended over my head I could actually tell I was shooting the stage. Here is a link to the image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/novaron/3536753233/in/set-72157618190027917/

Composing is only "arms-extended" if you are far-sighted. Don't complain about the equipment while the problem is your eyesight.
With arms bent and the camera at 20cm distance, an LCD is very nice to use.

Too bad it's only 320x240 in this case.

Given how great it was to shoot with the perfectly-silent R1, I'd love to know why Panasonic (and Oly) aren't silent as well. And I wonder why everyone does away with distance markings on lenses today, because that was so useful. (It is due to those ever-rotating focus rings? But then, again, the R1 displayed the focusing distance in the VF/LCD - that should be something everyone should copy :))

Ah... I'm going to a field somewhere tomorrow to find a daisy. "I buy it, I buy not, I buy it..."

(I'm secretly hoping the field will be odd-numbered-petals daisies only, of course :))

"Composing is only "arms-extended" if you are far-sighted."

I'm far-sighted. I got these newfangled things called "glasses." They're fantastic. They stick to my face and let me see things that are nearby. Now even I don't even have to compose at arm's length with my G9.

More seriously, I have learned something in moving from Nikons and a Leica M to the G9: I enjoy composing on a screen less but -- and I confess that this bugs me, and more than a little -- the compositions that I obtain are not worse than with my SLRs and rangefinder. As I say, this bugs me. Part of why I photograph is to enjoy the taking of pictures. But I can't really say that the results are worse.

Ahh, German women. I have a Lou Reed relationship with German women. Those eyes! Stunning!

Oh, and cool camera.

I got tendinitis using the heavy E-3 (not as heavy as full-frames!) so I switched to the Panasonic G1, bought the Voigtlander M-mount adapter for Leica bayonet lenses, and the 4/3 to Micro 4/3 so I could the Olympus ZD lenses and a Zeiss 1.7/50mm.

What a pleasure to use a lighter camera that gives BRILLIANT images with the Leica and Zeiss lenses (slower process than with kit lenses, but results are spectacular)...

However, without the EVF, it would be impossible in bright sunlight to do the manual focus needed with all but the rare contrast-detection AF lenses)....so I think the Olympus EP-1 is going to suffer in comparison to the G1 without EVF (and the built-in flash is very useful)...

Magnified camera shake with MF is a problem - best solution is to stabilize it digitally - why not? it's all processed anyway...

ELADA

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