Tag Archives: e-p1

E-P1, and new Canons with less pixels!

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.

Review links:

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.

Olympus E-P1, my next camera?

DPReview have a preview up of the soon-to-be released Olympus E-P1. I was thinking seriously thinking about getting a Panasonic LX3, but this looks like the perfect travel companion:

E-P1 side by side with the LX3

E-P1 side by side with the LX3 (source: dpreview.com)

Perhaps the only barrier could be the price – I’d expect it to be somewhere around the level of current prosumer DSLRs (50D, D90) which is a bit of a step up from the LX3 (close to double, probably more once you add lenses). But image-wise this is more DSLR than compact, whereas the LX3 is much more of a compact. In a portable camera I wouldn’t miss the viewfinder so much, but the poor contrast-detect autofocus would be its major downside compared to the 40D, and the Panasonic G1 which is based on the same system has much better autofocus.

And even with the 17mm “pancake” prime lens it’s still bulkier than the LX3, so there’s definitely room for both models. But with the E-P1 the micro four thirds system just got a whole lot more interesting, and this is tempting as a “do-it-all” camera to replace both my point ‘n shoot and DSLR.

Either way, I can definitely see myself owning a micro 4/3rds camera at some point in the future, but it might be worth waiting for the E-P2, which will hopefully refine the concept (and include Panasonic’s autofocus system).

Update 22-6-09:

It’s available on pre-order in the states at $799 US. Using the Canon 50D as a price index, the cost here at retail for the 14-42mm kit should be about $1450-1500 NZD. Which is about what I paid for my 40D body, so not too bad, in fact slightly cheaper than I was expecting. It’s quite a lot to spend on a downgrade, but for traveling it might just be worth it.