Finally Olympus cleans up their camera line-up. Its understandable that they would axe the 400/500 series in favor of this, I was surprised they hadn't already.
They still need a camera between the 620 and the 30
I don't see the need for an infill model. The feature set of the E620 matches well to the D5000 and T1i and the E-30 fills a similar niche to the D90 and 50D. All that's lacking in both cases is video, which to me is a frill if weakly executed (i.e., Canikons).
What I don't get is taking the trouble to strip off a few likely inexpensive features just to artificially create a new "entry model". I have to wonder if it didn't cost Oly more to set up a seperate production line than to just drop the E620 price and trounce the T1i and D5000.
Seems a misguided appropriation of resources. Much prefer they had instead upgraded the E-30 with weather sealing, higher res LCD, TruePicV processor and backlit buttons (nice idea for low-light).
Then there's the E-3 which seems all but forgotten. Has Oly simply abandoned the challenge of a competitive enthusiast/pro model altogether? My guess they're instead working overtime filling the E-Px line out.
Since the E-P1 sans viewfinder, flash, auto assist light, etc. simply has to be cheaper to manufacture (at least once R&D costs are paid off) than 4/3's which have these features while selling for less (E-6xx), new E-Px model prices should only get more competitive.
And given they'll now be selling lenses for both 4/3 and M4/3, which is where much of the money is, I can't argue with this part of their marketing strategy.
Should be an interesting 6-12 months.