I posted a while back about the then yet-to-be-released Olympus E-P1. Since then it’s been reviewed by practically every major site, and generally the reviews have been very favourable. But it takes good pictures and has no competition, so of course they would be. This is a new class of camera which clearly takes much better pictures than a point ‘n shoot but lags way behind DSLRs in many respects, particularly in speed and focusing (and to a much lesser degree image quality). Maybe my expectations were a bit high, but I did expect startup times, focusing speed and general performance to be better than bargain basement plastic fantastic cameras.
I think this class of camera will improve a lot once competition starts, and I’m particularly interested to see what Panasonic, who also make micro four thirds cameras, will release. It would also be good to see Canon and Nikon come up with similar compact non-SLR large-sensor camera systems. So for now I’ll stick with my trusty 40D.
Canon also recently refreshed their compact lineup, and two of the new models are of particular interest.
The S90 looks like a decent competitor to the LX3, as it also has an f/2.0 lens and a similar pixel density but a larger zoom – a more conventional 28-105mm as opposed to the LX3’s 24-60mm. The reviews will be very interesting once the embargo on this one is lifted.
The G11 also looks like a big step forward. This one actually has a third less megapixels than the model it replaces, the G10. It seems marketing has finally listened to engineering, and they’ve decided to reduce the resolution in order to provide better light sensitivity instead of cramming in more noisy pixels than we need. Bravo!
So after drooling after the LX3 and then the E-P1, I now don’t have a clue what my next camera will be. But I like where things are heading.