Our traffic spiked by just under 50% yesterday, which seems to indicate a very healthy interest in the new Olympus digital "Pen"—especially since TOP was far from the only place on the internet where people could go to find information about the new camera.
Personally I was very happy to see it...both the product itself and the interest it's generating. Not only because it's another vindication of the "DMD" article that I wrote so long ago at The Luminous-Landscape (DMD stood for "decisive moment digital" and the article was a call for a large-sensor compact for use as a complement to a DSLR), but because I feel starved for an injection of creativity into the current state of camera design. The current camera market is almost a mirror of the one that existed in 1993 except that digital capture has replaced film. Back then, most cameras were either black-blob Wunderplastik AF SLRs, or point-and-shoots. After the all-too-brief Renaissance of creativity in camera design that accompanied the incunabulist years of digital, I've been dismayed that camera design has largely settled back into that very same rut.
One thing that strikes me about Micro 4/3 and its close relatives is that it need not have an adverse effect on the SLR market. I should think that most photographers would use a Micro 4/3 camera like a sports car in the garage—not as their everyday driver, but as a second camera used to complement a DSLR. Its success need not come at the expense of the DSLR category.
I've spent a lot of time in the past 24 hours surfing the web to see peoples' reactions to the E-P1 announcement. Actually, I was halfway through writing a satirical "Guide to New Camera Announcements" before I broke it off, thinking that it might hit a bit too close to home for all of us! But I did come across some genuine howlers in my peregrinations, that's for sure. One fellow said, "You cannot truly create by holding a camera out in front of you." Really? He should spend a bit of time in a camera museum somewhere, and see some of the many hair-shirt Rube Goldberg devices with which the photographers of the past managed to be very creative indeed.
In any event, the next camera I'll be getting here is supposed to be the DP2, courtesy of a kind reader, but our preliminaries regarding the Olympus E-P1 are not yet done: one of our friends was able to spend an entire morning shooting with the new camera on the streets of Berlin yesterday, and he is writing up his impressions for us right now. I don't have an ETA for that, but it's something to look forward to if you're one of the many who are curious about the camera.