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Thursday, 05 November 2009

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"an improved viewing screen and a new tiltable clip-on EVF for the hot show (not sure if this can also be used on the E-P1, but probably"

Hot show? Your life is more interesting than I thought. But the clip-on EVF won't work with the E-P1. The rear view of the E-P2 shows a port below the hot shoe. The E-P1 doesn't have this port.

And that Amazon $1099 is with a 17mm 2.8 and EVF and a new AF system.

The E-P1 has video, the EVF won't fit the E-P1.

Just a heads up, Gizmodo is reporting that the new viewfinder is not compatible with the ep1

The new E-P2 will include a 30 fps 720p HD video mode

So just like the E-P1 then! (I've shot some video on my E-P1, just for a test, and was pleasantly impressed).

Looks like the main difference is the new connection port below the hot-shoe into which the EVF or the external stereo mike plug (and as the EVF uses the new connection port, won't fit the E-P1), and some firmware tweaks - new art filters like cross-processing effect and a fake tilt/shift effect they call 'diorama', and a new colour boosting mode 'i-enhance' mode. Wonder if any of that will make it into a firmware update for the E-P1?

Admittedly, if you're going to have such a huge EVF, you might as well just have an SLR and have done with it!

The E-P1 will never accept an EVF. Note that Olympus uses the exact same EVF data connector (just below the hotshoe) that Panasonic used. A more interesting question is whether the Oly EVF will work on a GF1.

Gizmodo says the EVF will not work with the EP-1.

"What's new is an accessory that will come standard in every kit configuration—an articulating VF-2 electronic viewfinder that attaches to the hot shoe mount. It takes advantage of a new, still-unnamed accessory/data port, meaning it's incompatible with the E-P1."

http://gizmodo.com/5397323/olympus-e+p2-flashier-than-the-e+p1-but-still-no-flash

Mike,

I don't think the EVF for the E-P2 will work on the E-P1. On the rear of the E-P2, just below the hotshoe, I see a usb-like socket just like the one on the Panasonic GF1, which is used to transmit information from the camera to the EVF. The E-P1 lacks this socket.

Maybe the E-P2's EVF will be compatible with the Panasonic GF1?

"So just like the E-P1 then!"

Christ almighty--I didn't even know the E-P1 has video. Shows you where my priorities are.

This reviewing stuff is getting hard--hard to keep the egg off your face.

And speaking of egg, it's time for my breakfast.

Mike

The E-P1 already had 720p 30fps video with stereo sound. I don't think it had a separate mike input, but don't quote me. According to one of the dpreview guys who has tried the E-P2 and discussed it with Olympus reps, the AF is exactly the same speed as the E-P1.

With the blisteringly fast product cycle in digital, who will provide an after-market version of the in-camera image correction software that seems to be the norm in these small cameras? My question is based on (i)widespread reports of folks getting inferior or surprising lack of performance from their top-quality third-party glass (Nikon, Leica etc.) on these m-4/3 cameras when used with adapters and (ii) my assumption that in cameras from the LX-3's generation onwards, distortion, light fall-off in the corners and white balance issues are being dealt with "behind the scenes" even in RAW mode when the cameras are used with the OEM's own lenses. Obviously, the camera makers have little incentive to offer this out of the box, as consumers might often choose the lenses they already own rather than the mftc'ers' new offering. The moment that such software is available will be the breakout moment for this format though, and choosing a camera for its particular response to light may become like choosing a film was to the prior generation of photographers.

Bemusedly,

Ben Marks

p.s. my own technologically uninformed pie-in-the-sky wish was always for some cartridge that could be dropped into my already-excellent film cameras to cover the film gate and capture an image. Bzzzzt. "wrong answer" says the camera industry. Oh well.

BTW, Oly did not change a thing with respect to focusing hardware, as far as I can tell. That is mostly in the lenses anyway.

If the E-P2 has noticeably better AF it will mean that they arbitrarily chose to give the E-P2 a firmware upgrade and deny it to E-P1 owners. Needless to say that would slightly annoy enthusiastic early adopters like me.

"Christ almighty--I didn't even know the E-P1 has video."

You realize that this statement will be used all over the 'net to discredit anything you may have to say about the EP-1 (or any Olympus product for that matter) that is not a gushing praise?

The (sad) ways of internet discussion forums...

Mike,

the most important thing about this camera is the EVF. It is a kind of a revolution.

I am thinking on the Leica M cameras. Imagine a digital M camera with live view and an accessory electronic viewfinder. It would replace all the accessory viewfinders for M cameras. Even more, it would allow a comfortable use of tele lenses, macro lenses and Leica R lenses... This is the line for future development of the M cameras.

I am not talking on a replacement of the current viewfinder/rangefinder, but on an accessory viewfinder for particular uses...

Rubén Osuna

"You realize that this statement will be used all over the 'net to discredit anything you may have to say about the EP-1...?"

I don't really care. If people don't want to read what I have to say, they don't have to. It's no skin off my beak.

As for the substance, I don't shoot video. I don't *look at* video. I don't even like video. I've said all that many times. I don't want video in my still cameras and I'm not the guy to review video capabilities in a camera because I don't have any frame of reference. My reviews are never going to be a source of information about any camera's video capabilities.

Mike

Wait you haven't even finished your GF1/ EP1 comparison article! Hmmm maybe i'll hold out for the GF2 :) (insert swirling head sounds here) oh yeah and thanks for the breakfast reminder…

Imaging Resource has an interview with Sally Smith Clemens of Olympus regarding the E-P2. She shows a bit more of that electronic viewfinder.

This feature should quiet at least some of the whining over lack of a viewfinder on this camera. Personally, that's not what bugged me about the E-P1. I wanted a higher-res lcd and a re-think of how the camera facilitates manual focus. Neither is apparently offered in the E-P2.

Oh well.

This post has been morphing all morning, as more news comes along and more details get clarified....

Mike

The main question for me is: has the AF speed improved, especially in low light? If not, fuggetaboutit!

What I am disappointed at is with the new EVF I can not use my Elichrom skyportwith since it uses the hotshoe to trigger my flashes.
What´s missing is some fairly fast zooms 2,8-3.5 with microthirds mount instead of an adaptor wich ads bulk and cost to the system.

That clip on EVF looks like an over engineered after thought.

"This feature should quiet at least some of the whining over lack of a viewfinder on this camera."

Not really because...
"That clip on EVF looks like an over engineered after thought."

My thoughts exactly. This smacks of a begrudging "well here then" flung at users that wanted a VF and were looking at the GF1 instead. And kind of a punch in the face for people that bought the EP1 as well, since their cameras have effectively been rendered obsolete within months of release.

That they are calling it an accessory/data port is intriguing. Of course that's what it is, but it suggests that they may be considering other kinds of accessories--monitor adapters, wearable visors, slaved camera/flash triggers...who knows?

And I agree with other commenters that whether the Oly and Panny ports are compatible is a very interesting question.

And another Q: will Olympus/Panasonic release the specs for that data port?

I have just been contemplating the size of the sensor in the EP2. It strikes me that there is a lot of wasted silicon. If they dropped the pixel pitch to 1.9 microns (same as the Canon G9) then we should end up with a 28 mp pocket camera!!! MF resolution in your jeans!! This would be truly revolutionary. A few more years of advance and we will be right back where we started from!!

A couple of interesting things about the viewfinder.

One, it has the same effective resolution as the screen on G1, 1.44 MP. Which, on a smaller area, means it should be quite good.

Two, it has the magnification of 1.15x, which means it gives the same view as E-3. Very nice. Not as big magnification as the view on G1/GH1, but see One.

Three, you can tilt it 90 degrees and get a MF point of view. :)

AF system, AFAIK :), got only AF tracking. Nothing more.

I've got the E-P1. Hopefully, the E-P2 will have some firmware improvements, regarding AF and other issues, that will eventually become available for the E-P1 as well. Instead of a clip-on EVF, I'm thinking of getting me a used Panasonic G1 for those occations I need one.

"That clip on EVF looks like an over engineered after thought."

Ah, but perhaps it has its own sort of beauty: From the E-P2 plus VF-2 review at http://www.pekkapotka.com/

"I can´t help comparing it to a DDR-era Pentacon Six and it´s Soviet Kiev 6 or 60 descendants . . . ."

$1099 eh?

Moving on...

"I can´t help comparing it to a DDR-era Pentacon Six and it´s Soviet Kiev 6 or 60 descendants . . . ."

While it reminds me somehow of the character Dark Helmet from Spaceballs http://www.movievillains.com/archives/2004/04/dark_helmet.html

In fact, the combo does have some Star Wars retro-future appeal, if too plasticky for Blade Runner.

According to pekkapotka, the Olympus and Panny sockets are different. Too bad.

Patrik lestander: "What´s missing is some fairly fast zooms 2,8-3.5 with microthirds mount instead of an adaptor wich ads bulk and cost to the system."

What's actually missing is some fast primes, 1.4-2.0, in m4/3rds mount. But those lenses are unlikely to come from Olympus unless Panasonic produces them first. Based on the just released Olympus lens road map which simply replicates Panasonic's current and promised m4/3rds lenses, the Olympus lens design policy appears to be: "We'll match whatever Panasonic offers."

Woah...if I had bought an E-P1 I think I'd be pretty pissed right now. Luckily, I'm broke.

The ability to control aperture and shutter speed in the video mode seems to be a big deal. I don't think you can control that in the GF-1, which is a huge advantage for the GH-1.

If the AF is not improved over the E-P1 that would be disappointing.

Overall what's happening in the M4/3 space is pretty interesting. But I still want to see one of these in person, just to see if I can cotton to the the EVF.

Eww, or is it ick?

I always get confused with afterthoughts.

"my own technologically uninformed pie-in-the-sky wish was always for some cartridge that could be dropped into my already-excellent film cameras to cover the film gate and capture an image."

I'm sure I remember a product such as this which nearly made it to market a few years back for use with Canon SLR's and maybe others. I think there were a lot of technical issues which kept delaying the launch and then the D30 appeared which I guess killed it stone dead.

Cheers,

Colin

I just don't get the whole frenzy. For decades (centuries) we have lugged cameras around that were significantly heavier than say, my Canon 5D2 and thought nothing of it...now there is some sort of mania to cram more into a tiny package. Guess I'm having a curmudgeon morning, but I'm about to go on vacation and I'm taking my DSLR and happy to do so. Sometimes, more can be more...

This just makes me more convinced this is not a worthy successor to the Pen F.

Why not put that inside the body and reduce the LCD screen?

the Olympus lens design policy appears to be: "We'll match whatever Panasonic offers."

Jonathon, you don't need to look at Panasonic. You just have to lift your eyes one row up. It's almost lens-for-lens. Wanna bet that the supertele to be released next spring is something that ends at 300mm? :-)

Dear Benjamin and Colin,

Yes, there was a company developing this, last decade. Technologically, they were entirely capable of doing this in the 1990s (back then, possibly the only company in the world capable of this).

There were several sets of problems that arose. The first is the moving target one: development cycles are so short for computer-ish equipment that it's almost impossible to meet an acceptable price/performance point that holds for any length of time. Which really limits your market.

Second, unless you are looking at very old/primitive or completely manual 35mm cameras, most of them have internal constraints on form and functionality that mean you have to custom-design the housing for each model of camera. Further limits the market for each product you're trying to sell.

The physical constraints on the sensor/processor/power/packaging system are even tighter than for a digital camera. It is doable; it was doable a decade ago. But it drives up the cost. Which, combined with the aforementioned market limitations REALLY drives up the cost.

Finally, there are a whole slew of ancillary problems. Dust on the sensor, for one. Digital cameras are designed to minimize that. Film cameras never were.

I won't say that all these problems might not be solved at some point in the future, in a cost-effective way. I would be terribly surprised if solutions are imminent. My overall take on this, with a dozen years of acquired hindsight, it is "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time..."


~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
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How, again, is this preferable to a compact SLR? This viewfinder doesn't look as elegant or sturdy as a typical pentaprism hump. Yes, you do enjoy smaller, non-retrofocus lens options, but that's about the only advantage. This seems awkward and easily breakable and not very pocketable.

But never mind me, I'm not a fan of EVFs. I'm rarely inclined to take a photo of a TV screen, of any size. Looking through one of these gives me a subliminal sense that the subject has already been imaged, and no additional photography is needed. I want a good optical VF with a live, non-pixilated image, please. For me, that's part of the camera not getting in the way of the process.

That aside, I'd probably choose this over an EP-1. Critical viewing of a rear LCD is virtually impossible in the kind of brilliant Western sunlight I'm blessed (and cursed) with here in Colorado.

Actually, Olympus's lens lineup for m43 seems to be simply taking Panasonic's and going cheaper and smaller. Neither of the current Oly m43 lenses can match the build or optics of their Panny equivalents.

The E-P2 comes across primarily as the E-P1.1, it's an E-P1 with the missing EVF port added and continues to demonstrate that Oly is targeting JPEG shooters and leaving the more serious market to Panasonic.

I do hope the Oly EVF works with the GF1, it's nicer than the GF1's and the GF1 overall is a nicer shooting machine than the E-P1/2 aside from the sad lack of IB-IS.

Rubén's comment is spot on: everything about the Olympus viewfinder screams "visoflex". And I thought that the Panasonic EVF looked awkward...

Colin Work wrote: I'm sure I remember a product such as this which nearly made it to market a few years back for use with Canon SLR's and maybe others. I think there were a lot of technical issues which kept delaying the launch and then the D30 appeared which I guess killed it stone dead.

You remember correctly, it was a product called (e)Film developed by Silicon Film. You can read about its PMA 2001 showing here. I'm still hoping somebody picks up the idea and builds it with modern technology; I'd love to add a digital back to my Pentax LX :-)

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