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Olympus EP-1 - DSL-R Quality from a compact?

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Holgs
205 posts
63
Message posted at 06/15/2009, 17:19:41 PM by Holgs
I've been waiting for this announcement for quite a while - and it looks like its going to happen officially tomorrow. An interchangeable lens camera with a rangefinder style body and no mirror. Without Lenses the body is about the size of a compact - with the 17mm pancake its about the size of a G10... but it looks like it uses the same sensor as Olympus DSL-Rs...ie. about 6 times the size of a G10...



Who else wants one??



   Image not available or id is incorrect.   



Leaked anouncement
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Bradcalkins
2548 posts
84
Message posted at 06/15/2009, 18:02:04 PM by Bradcalkins
I'm in!
Olympus OM-D EM-1: 12-40mm f/2.8, 75mm f1.8, 25mm f1.4, 50-2...

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Neddog
306 posts
Message edited at 06/15/2009, 19:30:11 PM by Neddog
Ah yes, the Micro-4/3 from Olympus. :D I'm excited to see it... I do have some concerns though and probably won't buy it myself, but I think it's a marvelous step. Well, I shouldn't say I wouldn't buy one... I am in need of a small camera, and this does fit the bill much better than an E-620 + 25mm pancake. It should be spec'd with the same m4/3 standards that Panasonic uses in their newest cameras, which use the same 4/3 sensor as all the current Olympus cameras, but with no mirror they instead read off the sensor itself to feed information to an Electronic Viewfinder (like a mini "Live View" LCD). This allows a much brighter viewfinder than an optical one, and better autofocus using CDAF (contrast detect) instead of the old Phase Detect. However, it suffers a bit of lag over the optical SLR, as well as some slight inaccuracies.



I'm a little disappointed to see though, that this Olympus seems to have a parallax hotshoe viewfinder, instead of an EVF like the Panasonic. :( That was my biggest concern since the rumors of this camera started. Well, my real concern was when I heard it would have no viewfinder at all, but I guess I can live with the parallax...



The lack of a mirror box allows for extreme compact design, but it does pose a pretty major problem to the telecentricity of the system, which is what made 4/3 so brilliant. Because of the shortened distance from lens to sensor, we're back to high light angles again like a Full Frame SLR. Panasonic's m4/3 cameras, though great in overall performance, actually use an incredible amount of software correction to fix problems with vignetting, CA, and distortion. These were the things the 4/3 system was aimed at avoiding through a telecentric system, maximizing the performance of the optics through the smaller sensor.



Olympus has much, much more experience with glass than Panasonic though, so hopefully they've been able to engineer a better way to make this work. ;) Besides, at this extremely convenient size a few minor sacrifices shouldn't be a big deal. It'll be a hundred times better than any Point and Shoot! :D



One thing I absolutely love about this camera is the styling!! :D Going back to the old PEN era...
Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-PL2 PEN | Olympus E-PM1 PEN | Zuiko ...

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Holgs
205 posts
63
Message edited at 06/16/2009, 01:47:10 AM by Holgs
yeah I see your points Neddog - for me I don't see it as a replacement for my E30, but rather a replacement for my compact, and my E420 which is currently my backup camera. I'm hoping that using this with a prime lens will mean that the IQ is similar to an APS-C DSL-R with a prime lens - just smaller.



I've often thought about getting an advanced compact like the G10, but I just haven't been able to justify it because the drop in IQ is too steep. This camera with the 17mm will be about the same size as a G10...



If Olympus can produce enough of them before the competition comes along, I'm sure it will be a big seller.



Edit to add DPReview link...



Looks sweeeeet!
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Shootalot
659 posts
72
Message posted at 06/16/2009, 01:56:21 AM by Shootalot
Camera looks promising but there is no built in flash so you might need to spend an additional $200 making the entire outfit with kit zoom around $1000. Still you would have DSLR quality in a compact camera not much bigger than a Canon G10. This is the start of a promising trend.
Canon G10 camera. Konica Autoreflex TC 35MM camera and vari...

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Neddog
306 posts
Message posted at 06/16/2009, 02:33:39 AM by Neddog
Yeah, totally agree with you guys. :D I could never handle using a compact, not just because of the poor image quality, but also because I can't stand the frustration of trying to get it to do what I want. I feel worse when I come across the perfect shot with only a compact with me, than I do with nothing at all. I really feel like my opportunity is wasted.



This is a wonderful way to always have a good camera with you - one which will take pictures you're proud of, even if they're not as great as your main system.



As for the flash though, that's a moot point for me. :) I would never shoot with the pop-up anyways. I only use external flash, and if that can't be used then I use the available ambient light.



That does bring up a good question though... Will this camera be compatible with the FL-36 and FL-50 in the hotshoe (obviously it won't do wireless without a commander)?
Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-PL2 PEN | Olympus E-PM1 PEN | Zuiko ...

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Holgs
205 posts
63
Message posted at 06/16/2009, 06:44:41 AM by Holgs

Originally posted by Neddog:
Quoted Message: Yeah, totally agree with you guys. :D I could never handle using a compact, not just because of the poor image quality, but also because I can't stand the frustration of trying to get it to do what I want. I feel worse when I come across the perfect shot with only a compact with me, than I do with nothing at all. I really feel like my opportunity is wasted.



This is a wonderful way to always have a good camera with you - one which will take pictures you're proud of, even if they're not as great as your main system.



As for the flash though, that's a moot point for me. :) I would never shoot with the pop-up anyways. I only use external flash, and if that can't be used then I use the available ambient light.



That does bring up a good question though... Will this camera be compatible with the FL-36 and FL-50 in the hotshoe (obviously it won't do wireless without a commander)?




I know how you feel about compacts. The other problem for me is I never really know what to do with the files - they're so different quality wise. If I had a small camera with basically the same post processing workflow and IQ would be perfect... can't wait to try one!



According to the Specs its compatible with all the E-system flashes...



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Neddog
306 posts
Message edited at 06/17/2009, 07:25:51 AM by Neddog
That is definitely nice to hear, Holgs! :D



By the way, that dpreview link is awesome. I haven't read it all through yet, but I didn't expect we'd be able to read a hands-on pre-production review already, so I'm glad you linked us! :D



Oh, and you can already tell from this picture that Olympus really did it right as far as making this camera truly small and compact. No disrespect for Panasonic, but I don't think their cameras are really much more portable than the 4/3 cameras.



This new Oly, on the other hand looks truly compact-sized from the image posted on the bottom of the review you posted (http://www.dpreview.com/previews/olympusep1/)... that picture isn't even with a pancake lens, and is comparing with the E-450 which is currently the smallest in the Oly lineup!
Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-PL2 PEN | Olympus E-PM1 PEN | Zuiko ...

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Kenny123
200 posts
Message posted at 06/18/2009, 01:22:39 AM by Kenny123
I get dslr quality with my G3-all G series canons have "L" quality glass lenses. Ken
Nikon D50 18-55 zoom 70-300 zoom Canon Ixus/Elph 2 (APS) ...

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Neddog
306 posts
Message edited at 06/21/2009, 00:32:18 AM by Neddog
I'm sorry Kenny, but L quality glass isn't enough to get SLR quality out of a point-and-shoot. Zuiko lenses are all the highest quality glass, without needing a letter designation; yet I wouldn't consider an Olympus compact to be remotely akin to an Olympus SLR.

...and I'm usually the first person to say that the glass is the most important thing to the performance of your camera. :p



But anyways... You guys really need to check out the C|Net preview, HERE.



They made a direct size comparison between two compacts, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (left) and the Canon Powershot G9 (right):



 $100 Bill 



Of course you'll have to add the 17mm pancake lens to the bulk, but overall that's not far off point-and-shoot sizes. The body alone is samller than the G9, though larger than the Lumix. The performance though, we already know will blow them all out of the water!



P.S., I'm getting my PEN when they arrive at the stores here in a month. I want the kit with the 17mm pancake and the Viewfinder, probably in White body/Silver lens. The more I read about this camera, the more hooked I become. Seeing just how small it really is was the real clincher!! I still can't do anything with my E-510 and 25mm pancake lens without putting it into its own bag, and I still want something I can throw in with my laptop. ;) Thanks for bringing this up, Holgs... I'm totally in now!
Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-PL2 PEN | Olympus E-PM1 PEN | Zuiko ...

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Red
1743 posts
Message posted at 06/20/2009, 22:41:34 PM by Red
Imaging Resource Review


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Neddog
306 posts
Message edited at 06/21/2009, 00:42:54 AM by Neddog
I just read that review earlier today Red, and I must say that the noise comparisons blow me away! o_O They've really improved on this since the E-30/E-620!



I can't wait for them to introduce this new sensor and image processor combo (whatever it was that they tweaked right) to the 4/3 mount...



You can tell that the noise wasn't just processed out like some cameras do, as the detail and definition were all clear as day - in most cases better than all the competitors (Nikon did best on the mosaic but the Oly kept the cleanest/sharpest text edges at every ISO level).
Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-PL2 PEN | Olympus E-PM1 PEN | Zuiko ...

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Holgs
205 posts
63
Message posted at 06/21/2009, 14:49:41 PM by Holgs

Originally posted by Neddog:
Quoted Message: I just read that review earlier today Red, and I must say that the noise comparisons blow me away! o_O They've really improved on this since the E-30/E-620!



I can't wait for them to introduce this new sensor and image processor combo (whatever it was that they tweaked right) to the 4/3 mount...



You can tell that the noise wasn't just processed out like some cameras do, as the detail and definition were all clear as day - in most cases better than all the competitors (Nikon did best on the mosaic but the Oly kept the cleanest/sharpest text edges at every ISO level).




Wow those samples are impressive. They've apparently got a much lighter anti-alias filter and much better software to interpret it. I'm sure lots of people will be in line to get this camera - just hope they can actually manufacture enough.
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Shiyali
53 posts
Message posted at 06/21/2009, 18:58:26 PM by Shiyali
I might get in line myself. This could be the replacement for my aging Canon A640 that I have been waiting for. Too bad it does not have a swivel LCD, but the rest of the features looks excellent to me. The body is quite a bit smaller than the G1, which was also on my short list.
Olympus E-620

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Neddog
306 posts
Message edited at 06/22/2009, 16:29:19 PM by Neddog

Originally posted by Shiyali:
Quoted Message: I might get in line myself. This could be the replacement for my aging Canon A640 that I have been waiting for. Too bad it does not have a swivel LCD, but the rest of the features looks excellent to me. The body is quite a bit smaller than the G1, which was also on my short list.




Yeah, when the G1 came out I didn't see much point. The micro-4/3 idea was an interesting concept in reducing that depth and making a more portable camera, but I didn't see enough of a change from the 4/3 system in the Panasonic to make it worth changing (especially after learning about the optical challenges of the Panasonic m4/3 system). Olympus is doing micro-4/3 exactly the way I had hoped and envisioned it. Well... except for the missing EVF. ;)
Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-PL2 PEN | Olympus E-PM1 PEN | Zuiko ...

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Kenny123
200 posts
Message posted at 06/23/2009, 06:01:10 AM by Kenny123
[quote]I'm sorry Kenny, but L quality glass isn't enough to get SLR quality out of a point-and-shoot.



Yes it is-if you know what you're doing-Google Alex Majoli, Magnum photographer and look at his images from Afghanistan, and Iraq, made with Olympus 50-50 cameras 2004 press awards. Ken
Nikon D50 18-55 zoom 70-300 zoom Canon Ixus/Elph 2 (APS) ...

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Shiyali
53 posts
Message posted at 06/23/2009, 19:55:35 PM by Shiyali

Originally posted by Kenny123:
Quoted Message: [quote]I'm sorry Kenny, but L quality glass isn't enough to get SLR quality out of a point-and-shoot.



Yes it is-if you know what you're doing-Google Alex Majoli, Magnum photographer and look at his images from Afghanistan, and Iraq, made with Olympus 50-50 cameras 2004 press awards. Ken




Those are journalism images and cannot be compared to stock image requirements, where technical image quality is of great importance.
Olympus E-620

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Kenny123
200 posts
Message posted at 06/23/2009, 20:19:33 PM by Kenny123

Originally posted by Shiyali:
Quoted Message: [quote][quote]I'm sorry Kenny, but L quality glass isn't enough to get SLR quality out of a point-and-shoot.



Yes it is-if you know what you're doing-Google Alex Majoli, Magnum photographer and look at his images from Afghanistan, and Iraq, made with Olympus 50-50 cameras 2004 press awards. Ken




Those are journalism images and cannot be compared to stock image requirements, where technical image quality is of great importance. [/quote]



Look I can get better stock images from my Canon G3, than I can out of my Nikon D50, so I do know what I am talking about-I am a certified photographer of over 50 years standing. but the original quote was about getting SLR quality out of point and shoot cameras-and my reply still stands-You can, If you know what you are doing

Ken

Nikon D50 18-55 zoom 70-300 zoom Canon Ixus/Elph 2 (APS) ...

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Bradcalkins
2548 posts
84
Message edited at 06/27/2009, 08:43:45 AM by Bradcalkins
I think a lot has to do with the final print size - and condition of capture. As long as you are looking at reasonable sized print 'quality' has a much different meaning. Here is an interesting take on this type of argument (Canon G10 compared to medium format in this case):



G10 = Medium Format?



In the same way a camera phone can have great results for 'publishing' to the web. In the end, though, I still would prefer the SLR if it is available (and I have a G10).
Olympus OM-D EM-1: 12-40mm f/2.8, 75mm f1.8, 25mm f1.4, 50-2...

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Holgs
205 posts
63
Message posted at 07/13/2009, 16:17:46 PM by Holgs
Ok well... Olympus Australia is running a competition to test-drive this camera... seems that I've been selected for the next round - ie. using the camera for a month... just got the email... "Congratulations, you have been chosen to Test Drive the new Olympus PEN!" Unfortunately (for the purposes of the competition) I'm currently in Ecuador... I wonder if they'll be able to ship me one anyhow???



Still I'm happy that the images I submitted were deemed good enough for round 2...!!!
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