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 Post subject: Olympus Pen Camera
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:03 am 
It looks interesting. I wonder if it will be another recent camera which has mediocre picture quality but lots of gimmicky features. Sometimes I think that aside from all Nikon DSLRs and high end Canons, most camera manufacturers deliberately make mediocre cameras so we will get restless and buy another.


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 Post subject: Re: Olympus Pen Camera
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:04 am 
Frank Stanton wrote:
It looks interesting. I wonder if it will be another recent camera which has mediocre picture quality but lots of gimmicky features. Sometimes I think that aside from all Nikon DSLRs and high end Canons, most camera manufacturers deliberately make mediocre cameras so we will get restless and buy another.



Mediocre? even entry level models today do more than cameras that cost 5 times as much did just a few years ago!


edit: actually those new Sony models seem to be watered down for some strange reason. But all the other new entry level cameras seem great; Nikon, Canon, Pentax... Not to mention the E-620.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:11 am 
Gordon Laing wrote:
I'm not going to comment on AF until I've tested a final production sample, but yes it would be disappointing if it doesn't at least approach the snappy AF performance of the G1 / GH1.

It's funny, the human condition is to always want more and complain about what's missing or could be done better - such as the relatively low res screen here, but it really does seem that with most new cameras, there's at least one major omission - and here it is the lack of a built-in flash. I know it would have been small, and I know it could have made the body a bit bigger, but I really think it could have done with it.

That said, it looks a lot more usable and flexible than the Sigma DP1 and that's its only real competition in this form factor.


Honestly? I'd much prefer a usable ISO6400 than a tiny built in flash that would more than likely just make the picture worse.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:15 am 
On some of the sites previewing this camera, there are advertising images featuring models dressed in early-1960s outfits posed with the camera. I like the intent.

In my opinion the styling of the camera itself does not quite live up to the "retro" image that the advertising department was prepared for -- though the white body with silver lens comes closest to being fashionable, and would be my personal choice if I had to choose. Some people are saying the white one is too feminine, but I think there's plenty of appeal for both genders.

I've also listened to the YouTube videos of the shutter sound from the E-P1 and frankly I love the sound of it.

The lack of a flash -- even just an emergency one (like a cell phone flash, as some earlier noted) -- will keep me away at least until we see what other micro-four-thirds may come in later this year and next.

Another factor that will, sadly, keep me away from this, is that the E-P1 is priced substantially higher than a nice entry level DSLR like a Canon Rebel XSi! I'd have been willing to pay this much for the E-P1 if the E-P1 had an OLED screen, but it does not.

In conclusion, I like the white one because it is the most retro, and I hope that Olympus sticks with the retro theme for the next couple years because I think it appeals to both men and women, and, lastly, they made a mistake releasing this before they'd managed to figure out how to get a small flash into it, and, they're pricing it a bit too high (an "early adopter penalty" I've heard it called).

But all in all, well done.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:07 am 
And one more bit: The add-on flash is absolutely bizarre in that it uses AAA batteries. Most everyone has a rechargeable AA battery device, since AAs are in everything (including tv remote controls).

But AAA is obscure! So, not only would one need to have the add-on flash, they'd also need to buy rechargable AAA batteries and an AAA-sized recharger unit. That's a lot of junk for a "compact" camera to demand.

I wish the flash was powered by the camera itself!

Or at least, the flash should use the exact same power cell as the camera so that you could buy 2 cells and be able to swap them between the camera or the flash as needed.

This flash situation is a bigger stumbling block than I originally thought.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:28 am 
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The 450D (XSi) is an old model towards its end of life so very much at the low end of the price spectrum. In terms of age, compare it with the current 500D.

Also, the price of any camera is always inflated at launch. Give it a month or two and it will drop, and continue to do so until it is replaced. I still think the price is very reasonable for the feature set in a very small size.

AAA batteries are common here. Nowhere near as common as AA, but be realistic, if you're spending this much on a camera, you can afford a set of AAA batteries and a charger for them. This size difference is significant enough. Why not the camera's internal battery? It will probably drain it too fast. Why not use the same type? Quite simply they're far more expensive than AAA are.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:16 am 
Atomic wrote:
Honestly? I'd much prefer a usable ISO6400 than a tiny built in flash that would more than likely just make the picture worse.


And how does a flash, either tiny or huge, affect IQ? It would depend on the proper use of it if you ask me, regardless of how good that camera performs at ISO6400 (ot any other sensitivity setting for that matter).

It's plain that those tiny built-in flashes of compact cameras have their limitations, but they certainly add flexibility and it's way better having them than not, I fail to see how that's different for this new Olympus when even on a super-high end model like the EOS 5DMkII, the lack of a built-in flash is considered a dissadvantage (albeit slight) against other models.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Location: UK
43rumours is saying that the number of pre-orders has far exceeded Olympus' expectations, so it is looking likely to be a general shortage and holding prices up for a while.

Looking forward, I think the question has to be what native lenses will be available?

The Olympus roadmap only puts a wide zoom and tele zoom for early next year, beyond that is down to customer requests apparently.

Looking to Panasonic as they're already in the space, there's an affordable medium tele, and somewhat less affordable superzoom of possible interest to me, but I don't know of their future intention.

Using the adapters is possible but less than idea.

I really hope they will churn out a load of pancake primes going ahead. They're the perfect companion to the form factor and the only 17mm is rather wide in itself.

Also I note there isn't a macro lens at all for the format yet, although I'd expect that to double as a general prime.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:53 pm 
Personally, I don't see the lack of flash as a disadvantage given that I rarely if ever use the flash. However, if Oly is trying to woo the P&S shooters, the ommission of the flash might be an issue for a lot of P&S buyers. But if the target segment are the SLR users who want to have a super-portable backup, then no flash isn't all that bad.

I think a good AF system combined with good usable ISO through at least 1600 would make me VERY VERY happy.

Oh, and I still think the camera sure looks really cool!! I got an email from Amazon today about pre-ordering. Tempted ... but I'll wait.

I also hope Oly does and hopefully will get out some micro 4/3 lenses at a quicker pace than Panny has.

I'm curious to see how the adapter will allow AF on ALL of the current 4/3 lenses. Which then makes me think, if Oly can do that for the micro 4/3 camera, why hasn't Oly worked something out so that Ex20, E450, and E30 owners can have contrast based AF on all 4/3 lenses?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:39 pm 
I hate using built in flash on cameras. It makes a very unnatural photo. A flash on a camera like this would be very small and probably obscured by most lenses. However a flash like that on the Pana/leica SLRs with the bounce mode would have been VERY cool.
An F2.8 lens and ISO6400 will cover you for even the darkest of situations.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:45 pm 
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The ISO6400 sample output so far doesn't exactly inspire me although it looks like their processing isn't bad at masking the worst of it as long as you can avoid too much shadow areas. The body IS will be helpful. I hope they can make small brighter primes than f/2.8. While f/1.4 might be getting rather big, f/2.0 shouldn't be too bad.

I read an Olympus interview somewhere, it sounds like they may be taking the Panasonic approach of not strongly correcting for lens distortion, and letting software processing do it later. This will potentially cost some detail but should allow lenses to be smaller. Tough tradeoffs.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:08 pm 
Cool Features & Good as backup Camera but shame without the built in Flash & its tripod socket are not in the Center part :( But its great to have it & vintage Leica look a like camera 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:50 pm 
Ok, lets account for various trade offs. Theres no flash, that sucks. But on the plus side, it has in body IS, lets say thats a reliable 3 stops compensation. Then it can do ISO6400, but lets say that 6400 is too noisy, and ISO3200 is the limit. Thats another stop above 1600.

That adds up to 4 stops above a similar camera that had a flash but no IS and 1600 ISO limit. In just shutter speed terms, thats a shutter speed 16 times slower. Olympus even claims the IS is good for 4 stops, and counting that with ISO6400, then we get equivalent of 64x shutter speed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:02 pm 
Atomic, that's too much math for me!!! :D

Just give me better AF performance combined with good noise handling at high ISO, and I'm happy!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:32 pm 
Armanius wrote:
Atomic, that's too much math for me!!! :D



Sorry! yea its a bit creative, but the logic is sound.

The way I think of it, an image you would have to have 1/5 of a second exposure for with ISO1600, would require only 1/20 of a second with ISO6400.


Now on the flip side, say its REALLY dark, and even with ISO6400, the image requires 1/5 of a second exposure. Lets say you can handhold 1/40 of a second with the 17mm lens. Well with 3 stops of IS compensation, 1/5 will be easily handheld. A scene like this with ISO1600 would require 1/1.25 seconds. With the help if IS and ISO6400, this scene that would be impossible to take on an E420 without flash is totally possible with the Ep-1.


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