Is the EP1 just clever marketing?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by patrick j dempsey, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. The more reviews I read and the more comments I see, the more I start to step back. Sure, if it was about $200 less I would be seriously considering buying the camera, but I think that's part of the marketing formula. The EP1 is designed to be coveted.
    The positive.... Style. Oh man, I have never seen a single digital camera as beautiful as this... and I'm not the only one... many people who are typically put off by the style of digital cameras is falling in love with this machine. Everyone from luddites to Leicaphiles (is there a difference?) is drooling over it. The promo shots with the german models in 60's fashions is on target. This is a camera for the fashion consicous, retro sensitive and otherwise techno-fearing. Everything about it screams that... the simplified controls, the words "since 1959" written on it as if it's your local hardware store... the availablility of an OM adapter right out of the bat... the leather case, the optional gothic F lenscaps (for Japan only I assume) the optical viewfinder... the stainless steel exterior... and even the promos all speak to this "hip" movement. And I for one am taken in by it. I cannot stop thinking about this camera.
    Except... wait. Many of the selling points of the camera are turning out to more and more be oddly juxtaposed against contradictions. The reported heavy girth of the camera and rugged stainless steel construction is apparently a facade covering a plastic body. I'm curious if there's lead blocks somewhere in there a'la the Time-Life camera. The assessories... boy there are some nice assessories huh? Except wait. The camera doesn't have an on-board flash like most users are accustomed to, so the optional flash is really a must-have for fill-flash users. The camera doesn't have an optical viewfinder, so the optional one is a boon for traditional camera users... except that it doesn't have any form of focus confirmation and the lens it's matched to doesn't have a focus scale... huh? Am I the only one thinking that the optical viewfinder was just thrown in at the last minute as an afterthought to make an extra $100 and add just a slice more "retro" flair? Surely if it had been considered from the beginning of the project someone would have spoken up and said "hey how will anyone know if the camera is in focus?" Even the Pen name is a misnomer... the original Pen cameras had two distinct features... half-frame 35mm... which is the same size as an APS-C sensor and a vertical format. Is it REALLY a Pen camera in landscape? Maybe that's just me being picky.
    Bottom line. The thing that really got me to thinking about how this camera could just be set upon us for the purpose of marketing is the price. The base camera costs more than the e620 which it apparently shares parts with... except that is is missing many of the mechanical parts and the extra stuff that goes into that. No mirror, no prism, no secondary sensor to run the LCD, no secondary metering system, no secondary focusing system, no flash, no eye-level viewfinder... hmmm. So not only do you get less for more, but by the time you "gear-up" the EP1 to match the e620, you end up at twice the price! Wasn't the lack of a mirror and a prism and all that complicated stuff supposed to make the camera cheaper to produce??? Not only that, but many of the assessories seem oddly highly priced. $200 for a 14GN flash really? $100 for an optical viewfinder that does LESS than the viewfinder found in many cameras priced below $100!? $160 for an OM adapter?... what is essentially a metal tube with an OM mount at one end and a M43 mount on the other... c'mon, that should be no more than $80!!! (Didn't Olympus give away 43-OM for FREE when the e-system first came out????) The $180 M43 to 43 adapter... does anyone else feel like Olympus is competing against THEMSELVES here? I mean really... if you buy a 43 adapter you are going to put Olympus 43 lenses onto it. I mean, if these were adapters to Leica or Contax I could understand the price... but jesus!
    Fetish. I think in the end what we are looking at is a made-to-order marketing fetish object. It's just cheap enough to be within the grasp of people with a healthy disposable income who don't care too much about the technical observations I made, but just expensive enough to keep out the rabble. It's the kind of thing that the guys who spend wayyy too much on entertainment systems will consider as a decoration for said entertainment system. And with the Leicaphiles drooling over what seems to be their only sensible answer to the digital Leica question, there will be lots of snobs talking this machine up... after all the "poor-man's Leica" is a conversational favorite. ($1000 poor-man's Leica, har har) We were told that the EP1 would bridge the PNS market with the DSLR market, but instead we end up with a camera that costs more than Olympus's most advanced SLR. Is that price point meant to convince more people to buy the e620? Regardless, when Olympus is ready to release a TRUE consumer-priced M43 camera, the EP1 will have provided so much positive attention for the company and the system that consumers should flock to it.
    Dammit. I still want one.
     
  2. Patrick, do yourself a favor. Don't confuse want and need.
    As for the economies of scale, it holds across the range of manufacturers. A Canon "entry level" T1i DSLR costs what a semi-pro body (namely the EOS 3) cost back in film-only days.
    The E-P1 is different in the same way that the Contax G-series was different from Contax Aria and Yashica film-based SLRs. In almost every way the G-series was more limited, but also (or, perhaps, alternatively) more specialized to a specific style of photgraphy. The whole niche market idea.
    Olympus has found a product to fill an as-til-now unsupported desire among digital photography consumers and prosumers. I hope their decision to market to what people want instead of to what the marketeers say people need is successful and rewarded beyond Olympus' most optimistic expectations.
    My E-P1 is already on order. Get yourself one, and enjoy the difference this seemingly fine product promises to deliver!
    Take care!
    Michael J Hoffman
     
  3. The E-P1 is different in the same way that the Contax G-series was different from Contax Aria and Yashica film-based SLRs.
    I think that's exactly right. The EP-1 isn't intended to replace or directly compete with DSLRs. It's not meant to be all things to all people.
    there will be lots of snobs talking this machine up... after all the "poor-man's Leica" is a conversational favorite.
    And there are already 'net experts, who've never laid a had on the camera, talking it down because it isn't exactly what they think it should be. What's more ridiculous: positive talk from people who think the camera will be useful for them, or negative talk from people who think Olympus has failed for not meeting their personal expectations?
     
  4. Wasn't the lack of a mirror and a prism and all that complicated stuff supposed to make the camera cheaper to produce??? Not only that, but many of the assessories seem oddly highly priced. $200 for a 14GN flash really? $100 for an optical viewfinder that does LESS than the viewfinder found in many cameras priced below $100!? $160 for an OM adapter?...
    Prices seem to aimed at rangefinder users who are sort of used to paying these types of prices for bodies, lenses, and accessories. People seem to think there will be updates to this camera down the road and make more sense price wise.
     
  5. 2 cents worth (from someone who have one in pre-order). If you start looking for all the features of a DSLR in the EP1, don't get one. The look will wear out on you and you will end up with something which offer less for more. You are better off getting a real DSLR like a Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony or the other Olympus. But if you are looking for something better then a digicam and you don't mind if it doesn't fit in your pocket, EP1 could be for you. If you want a digital sensor that can attach to most any lens, EP1 could be for you also. If your subject could be miles and not feet away from your car, EP1 may make more room for something more important like food and water or may be even more important, like the rest of the carry-on that your wife demand on you :)
     
  6. The E-P1 is different in the same way that the Contax G-series
    Thought the same thing when I first saw it. Depends on how far Olympus will carry micro 4/3; i.e. other "formats" of camera. The difference I think is the broad range of lenses that can be fitted to this camera, including film era ones. This is what has been missing in digital photography-the idiosyncrasy of lenses; the pictorical quality of lenses. So, I have hope for these new cameras from Olympus and Panasonic that will take many different eras and qualities of lenses on them. I still like prime lenses and I wish that this is where Olympus and Panasonic are travelling to-compact, large aperture, great quality primes. I remember when professional photographers said we don't need in-camera exposure metering, we don't need autofocus, we don't need zoom lenses. Yes, they did. If Hollywood types buying this camera brings the price down and keeps Olympus evolving the system, so much the better.
     
  7. Pat, I think you have successfully talked yourself out of buying one. Good argumentation.
    Nota bene: Hannah Thiem has tried it, and she is used to a 3000 dollar Nikon, yet has fallen some for this new mini sports model camera.
    If it feels seductive in hand to me I may indeed spring out the card, life being too short to waste. Being a lover of small solid goods that are tools too, form and function thought out carefully--- I can get infatuated, a sin of sorts. ( Will this one make the Industrial Arts Showcase for Design along with the Eames Chair, well, ya never know, huh? Or the Italian Dove task lamp? Beauty and functionality cost a few too many bucks for most of us stiffs. No Eames chair here but I got a Dove halogen lamp on sale...love it still)
    Now, to tell sea stories my first nice camera in mid '60s, the Kodak Instamatic 500 and this EP-1 recalls that in size and spirit. It too had a collapsible lens ....man I could sit there and expand and collapse it all day, open,collapse,open etc :). Sometimes I popped in a cassette roll and took pictures with it by george!. Damn thing got stolen in the baggage section at Clark Air Base. That was small and nice. But it did have a finder and a flash shoe. Very sleek, overbuilt. Stainless steel. Pretty. Good sharp lens. Manual focus. Selenium match needle meter. The stripped down EP-1 reminds me of that camera which came out around the same time as Pen FT. Of course I could not afford any Olympus on my shoe string budget so I bought the Instamatic for sixty bucks on sale at a drugstore, where the sales clerks did not recognize its virtues but I did... Be well. gs
     
  8. I expect that Olympus will come up with an EePee-1u very soon.
    The u is for useful.
    In the meantime, you can enjoy how they came up with the EePee-1:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FWv21EgRZU&NR=1
     
  9. I think it is a cool camera but woulld like a VF. The flash has an instant rebate of $100. Me? I will suffer with a G10 and wait and see what future offerings will be.
     
  10. My camera dealer called me yesterday to let me know that the oly rep would be in the store with the camera . They knew i was interested as i had called and asked about the camera.
    I have been looking at a g10 /lx3 to use as a walking around in the pocket camera, but just couldn't pull the plug and buy one. I discovered the talk about this camera someplace out in cyber space and began to do what research i could as i wanted a small camera that would deliver a better image that a coolpix, etc.
    After handling the camera in person i am now on the waiting list. It looks like a camera, feels like a camera and with the larger sensor than the digicam p&S i am sure i will be happier with the results.
    Yes, it is a bit bigger than a coolpix or a powershot but it will fit in a large pocket and am convinced will product a better quality image
    At this point i have no desire to load up on lenses for this camera, i have other cameras with a full line of lenses so that makes no sense. i never use flash, so that isn't an issue.
    Can hardly wait to take this out for a spin around the block.
     
  11. I just want a compact camera with a large sensor and a super zoom at a good price.
     
  12. There is no other camera like this on the market right now. They could raise the price another $300 and it will still sell out. Some people want a camera that fits in their pocket so that rules out all SLRs. Some people want onboard flash. I paid over $4000 for a D3 and it has no onboard flash. I haven't missed it one bit. Everyone's shooting styles and uses for a camera are different. No one camera will meet the needs of everyone in the world. Perhaps this is not the camera for you. There is nothing wrong with that, just don't buy it.
     
  13. Gerry, the price is what convinced me out of it... or perhaps I should say my wallet. ;) My point is that this camera reminds me of the New Beetle. When VW announced plans to revamp the Beetle everyone thought that what was coming would be the revamping of the Beetle concept... compact, efficient, affordable, dependable. What came instead was larger than expected, more feature laden than expected, much more expensive than expected, not as fuel efficient as expected, and hardly the "people-mover" of it's name-sake. A Jetta with retro-styled skin and a matching retro advertising campaign... a yuppie car instead of a hippie car. Yes the EP1 is hands down a beautiful and impressive camera... but I don't see how it's going to meet the supposed target market of PNS owners apprehensive to make the move to a DSLR. The price of the lens adapters alone makes this into a one-lens camera for anyone who has to stretch their budget to buy this... so why would anyone at the low end of the spectrum buy this camera when they can get a high end PNS with a single lens with a wider range than the kit for less... or something like the e-420 that is easily half the cost and use the money left over to get a few lenses? Let's hope Olympus puts out an "e-420 version" of this camera with the same step down in price and let's hope someone out there can mount M43 and OM lens mounts to an extension tube for less than $100. The original Pen camera broke Olympus into wider fame by being accessibly cheap (both to own and to operate), stunningly compact, sensibly laid-out, and yet still producing very high quality images. Interestingly enough, Olympus has already been making cameras that follow that philosophy for almost 20 years under the name "Stylus".
     
  14. Everyone from luddites to Leicaphiles (is there a difference?)​
    There's quite a difference. Luddites are opposed to technology. Leicaphiles are not opposed to technology, they simply operate under the delusion that Leica acutally has some.
     
  15. Olympus thinks we're still in the go-go, credit fueled boom times where people spent a lot of money on shiney baubles and had no concern for value.
     
  16. FWIW, and aside from those of us who want one of these as a high-level briefcase cam, Olympus bigwigs have been saying for some time that their own surveys indicate that lots of people would like an SLR-type camera were it not for the size-weight-bulk considerations. They're aiming at that youngish "would-be" market more than the "need a backup cam" pro class. I translated part of an Ogawa Haruo interview over on DPReview where he talks about the compromises involved, and he emphasized the elimination of the flash, for example, as a parodoxical aid to entry-level shooters who place excessive reliance on the built-in flash of digicams.
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=32181180
     
  17. I don't see how it's going to meet the supposed target market of PNS owners apprehensive to make the move to a DSLR.​
    I don't think that's who will buy this camera. There is a huge pent up demand by pros to have a high quality compact camera with a large sensor. Thom Hogan wrote this article over 2 years ago. Basically there is no good compact camera for the pro. Many pros like to always have a camera with them.
    http://www.bythom.com/compact.htm
    There are comments on dpreview that Olympus execs are shocked at the huge number of preorders for this camera. I don't think those are all P&S upgraders or die hard Olympus fans. They are pros or advanced amateurs who have been yelling about a large sensor compact for years and they finally see one that may work well.
     
  18. I'll certainly agree with you Patrick on at least the pricing structure of the add ons, the flash and adaptors all seem just a wee bit pricier then they probably could/should be (I'd be shocked if Olympus couldn't turn a profit if the flash was priced at say $120, the OM adaptor at say $40 and the 43 to M43 at say $75).
    I mentioned it in another thread, but I am waiting for the follow on E-P1. Give me a good EVF with manual focus confirmation (since M43 is never going to have a mirror sadly) with a somewhat similar pricing and you've sold me. A built in flash could be nice, but I don't have a built in flash on my OM-1, I am not going to miss it.
    Something I wonder about is why not a pellicle mirror? I could live with that. Or what about maybe an LCD pellicle type mirror. Not sure if that is feasible, but LCD reaction times are incredibly fast (a few ms). Run a current to mirror it and then drop the current to allow it to be transparent. With no moving mirror you'd deffinitely save room in the mirror box.
    Maybe my math is wrong, but with the verical on a 4/3rds sensor being 13mm that would mean with the mirror at a 45 degree angle you'd need 18.4mm of horizontal space to fit a full size pellicle mirror. Of course no lens could intrude behind the lens flange at all and that would only leave 1.6mm for shutter, AA filters, etc, etc. Probably not feasible, but there at least appears to be room.
    How awesome would that be to have basically an E-P1 with a Pellicle mirror/optical view finder, and a basic fresnel focusing screen.
     
  19. What a disappointment, at least for what I wanted, as I was holding off on getting a canon G10. Other than resolution, this thing won't even replace my G5. Flip out LCDs and viewfinders that track with zoom are important things I need, (the G10 also lacks the flip out LCD... where is market going on that?).
    I'm not knocking this camera, (my wife might get one for Christmas, it fits her shooting style). However, it would seem that there is a niche that has yet to be filled. Pehaps I should think about finding a deal for an old pen on ebay? Tempting.
     
  20. walt,
    for my two cents you have stated a value point for many, myself included.
    just as an fyi, the rep told me when amazon sent out a notice about this camera (which i happened to received) they were averaging 1 sale every 6 minutes, which is a shock for him as well as many others.
    there is never a perfect camera, we have different cameras to overcome different challenges. if this one doesn't fit a the need then it makes no sense to purchase.
     
  21. I'm one of those pros who needs a compact camera with a large sensor. This one is overpriced.
     
  22. jtk

    jtk

    Most DSLR amateurs seem to spend their time snapping kids, flowers, birds and sunsets. EP1 will be more than adequate, save for birds, but it may not be as appealing for that lot as it would be with more bells and whistles, a sunroof, a gps, flash, lousy Contax G-style or Canon G zooming viewfinder, cellphone, and keypad.
    The optical finder won't cause parallax problems if it's anywhere near as well designed as Voigtlander or Leica. One might not love it for macro work, but m4/3 isn't the best choice for that purpose anyway and there's always the screen at the back.
     
  23. jtk

    jtk

    "Other than resolution, this thing won't even replace my G5. "
    A RAW-shooter, this won't have nearly as much noise at any ISO as any digicam...and the lenses, especially the prime, will blow Canon's zoom away. That means it'll be far better for those photographers who care more about images than "features"
    IMO it's cheap. Compare the price to any modern rangefinder film camera.
    JPEG is nfg if we post process and print our own, therefore tiny sensors are usually inadequate, irrespective "resolution." RAW, Photoshop, and Lightroom are the game if IQ is the goal.
    Many photojournalists use Canon G for backup...it'd be smart for Canon o get on the m4/3 band wagon or, better, making an APS G ..it's be a huge seller even if it was twice the size.
     
  24. What I want: is an aperture ring with DOF scales, a real manual focus and autofocus (autofocus for those who donโ€™t want m.f ).
    A fine photographic instrument should be easy to operate, as fewer menus steps you do, the better the controls are.
    Nothing can replace an independent ring or dial for aperture or focus. I wonder how fast the shutter time lag is.
    What about a Pen adapter, there cover the diminutive sensor and are of curse smaller than oms.
     
  25. As far as the flash add on. And the optical finder add on I predict this. That within six months one or both will be thrown into the package as standard items. To be touted as "promotional" offers after the initial sales blitz, but given away. Recall the free OM adapter for 4/3. And the FL 20 that was coupled as a premium with the E-1 after a while. I look back and recall that the Konica Hexar ( a rangefinder type for film) was packaged with a small flash. If one needs flash, as I often do, the dinky one offered for this may not be my kind of flash. Depends on performance at 400-800 ISO. Olympus does ask a fair piece pf change for its accessories vis a vis other brands. A good optical finder-if it is really good- is not IMO overpriced at US $100.00. But that may be arguable. And will be naturally. For the budget minded, there are some decent alternatives. But right now, this EP-1 does seem in a separate class. So it appears, and thus the pre orders. Me, I wait a bit.
     
  26. Why do people think that the E-P1 is expensive? An E-P1 with lens ($799) costs less than a digital rebel with a kit lens ($849). The rebel technically has an optical viewfinder, but it is lousy.
    I am looking for a sub-$1K body that mounts Contax lenses, and the E-P1 is looking like the winner, especially for stop-down metering. In reality the choice comes down to the E-P1 and the Panasonic G1, which costs a little less.
    As for there being plastic in the E-P1, the rebel is all plastic. The E-P1 at least has the nice shell.
     
  27. Too much rumination, Patrick. I don't buy a camera because it's pretty.
    The EP-1 is precisely what it is, despite all the marketing hype on style, historical associations, and all the other nonsense. It's a very compact camera with a DSLR-sized sensor and interchangeable lenses. It has an LCD for viewing and focusing, and a nicely laid out set of controls. It's nicely sized and can be pocketable with the right lens options. I expect its imaging quality is as good as other cameras with a similar sized sensor and a good lens, aka the E-system DSLRs and the Panasonic micro-FourThirds offerings with the same lens mount.
    On that basis, its form-factor, format, performance and lens versatility give it a use niche which I find appealing for a certain class of my photography, and that's why I will likely purchase one. The fact that it is also a pretty thing is nice, but mostly irrelevant.
     
  28. vdp

    vdp

    This came out one day after I purchased the E620. In a way I'm glad it didn't come out before I made my buy since I would have been in a quandry. I do mainly street photography, so this E-P 1 has it's appeal for me. But I can wait. If it gets the rep as a great street shooter then I will really be tempted. But for now I think the E620 is very nice and fairly quick and unobtrusive for street. I also have my Hexar AF's to use.
     
  29. Peter, good luck with that Pen F. Last year Pen F bodies and lenses cost about the same as OM gear. Today after this announcement, prices are collector+ level. The Pen F system is alot of fun but it's mid 1960's technology... def not the mid 1970's technology that most people associate with the idea of a "classic SLR"... so if you do get one, don't expect the feature set you might find on an OM1 for instance.
     
  30. Matthew, your calculations are off a little.... if the sensor is 13mm tall then the mirror could be 13mm "thick"... however that doesn't account for light entering into from the edge of the lens.... so it would have to be taller to capture all of the light. I was actually thinking split prism... so it could be half of the total thickness, with part of the image going up and part going down. Of course this introduces lots of issues like multiple VF sensors etc.
     
  31. Gerry, the price is what convinced me out of it... or perhaps I should say my wallet. ;) My point is that this camera reminds me of the New Beetle. When VW announced plans to revamp the Beetle everyone thought that what was coming would be the revamping of the Beetle concept...​
    Pat, I toss this out only because I think we both look at design and weigh it against value and servicability for task. Let us use the original bug VW Beetle you picked. I owned one. It moved us. Not in style. I did not love it but it was cheap. and learned to dislike the thing. Cramped. Noisy flat four air cooled engine. So light and high it swayed on windy hillsides. I used to sail it in California canyons... Battery under the back seat and other quirks. My model ('61) did not even have a fuel guage. And a balky and not very smooth manual tranny. It was a cheap small car.
    More to the point perhaps. I also owned the Canonet GIII rangefinder model. Well priced for its purpose, no Leica, no Minolta or Miranda or Olympus Pen. Had an optical finder, Canon QL loading and distance based coupled flash for. Hard to see rangefinder overlay in any light. Nice lens of course, fast, good reliability due to simplicity but not for today standards by a long shot...Servicable enough for its time.( Recommended (Just) maybe ? )
    If I were to pick an all round handy dandy up to date 2009, small, grab and run serious camera....hmm, well it might indeed turn out to be that little EP-1 if the 17mm is up to snuff. Better be or them buggas gonna be sorry and not come to my birthday party no how...:-((.. ( for a lot of us we all already invested enough in models that are servicable and well set)
    It will maybe need to come down wee bit after the early odopter rush of course before I buy one I suppose.I can get by with what I have this Summer, learning to make- do late in life :). Disclosure:I don't do serious candid people shots ...Or jump out of the car to capture a sunset. I admire those who do and are fleet of snapping.. For city touring I can use anything with a lens and five or meg. I guess maybe you too. Keep a close watch on the CC balance. I AM from New England so there your are:) aloha,gerry
     
  32. @John Kelly, the G5 shoots raw, has a viewfinder that tracks with zoom and the LCD is flip out (ala waist level or over the fence finder), and fully manually controls. That camera is five years old (and obviously was ahead of it's time), as I would expect more for newer technology. I paid $850 for that new.
    @Patrick, I cruised ebay today, and finding Pen F's around $250 to $450 (with a few lenses). I shoot FD so I'm no stranger to old tech and manual controls. I just want a pint size option over my 40D, and the EP1 came up a little short. I'll stick with the G5 and see what canon or nikon does in response this. Who knows. Patience.
     
  33. Peter... ebay prices for the Pen F have always been mysteriously steeper than other online sources. A year ago KEH had dozens of bodies, dozens of lenses, adapters, the lot. I bought into a less-than-mint FT for cheap, got the 38mm f/1.8, the 50-90mm zoom, lens case, body case, OM adapter all for less than $300. Granted both of my lenses suffer from sticky apertures, but I simply opened them up and disconnected the spring... I shoot wide open 95% of the time anyway, so it's really not an issue for me. The lenses are Pen F lenses and don't have the special markings for the FT meter, so I have never even bothered with the meter. It's literally... THAT kind of camera... like my Minolta SR3 or my OM1 with the broken meter or any one of my folders. It's a classic and has to be respected for that... but then again, so are all my other machines. (I have a penchant or perhaps a curse for dying light meters that I have come to respect and expect in life).... maybe that's why I have a hard time imaging paying so much for a 100% electronic camera... me and electronics... we have our issues.
     
  34. Walt F. wrote: "Many pros like to always have a camera with them." So do many of the rest of us. The EP-1 is nice but I will suffer with my G-10 and wait and see what is offered down the road.
     
  35. Patrick, wouldn't it have to be wider/thicker since it is at an angle forming effectively a triangle?
    You know what I just thought about it and realized that your right, the mirror would only take up 13mm of 'mirror box' space when at a 45 degree angle, but it would have to be around 18.4mm long (which means when flipped up it would take up 18.4mm of the mirror box floor or ceiling).
    I still think it could be possible if they wanted to try to work it out.
    At any rate, Olympus probably won't do that. I'll be fine with simply a good EVF. It'll never be THE camera, but it certainly would be what I would be looking for. With a good EVF I'd say its probably likely it would even be the camera that causes me to go digital, at least part time. In the fullness of time I could see the E-P1 and a 2-3 pancakes/primes being the backup to something like say a Canon 5D.
    Till that happens I'll 'live' with my OM gear (or maybe I should say really enjoy). I have been getting more interested in getting a Pen F or FT with a 38/1.8 and an OM adaptor.
    Do you ever have problems with minilabs and the half frame development? I don't need prints, just development.
     
  36. jtk

    jtk

    Canon G series was great for what it was...but the miniscule P&S sensor made it unattractive for people into fine prints (ie prints they produce for themselves, rather than accepting "prosumer" standards). Canon's zooms have always been great, for zooms. I doubt the G series zoom rivals Oly's EP1 zoom, and it can't come close to the potential of the 17 prime in width, speed, or probably, detail resolution (after all, Canon L zooms don't come close to good primes by any of Canon's competitors).
     
  37. Yes, it is just clever marketing, but we'll embrace it! Despite the shortcomings, it is almost exactly what we have been moaning for for years... there will never be a perfect camera, but this one comes close.
    As far as price is concerned, it will more than likely be available from a multitude of online dealers for less than retail in a few months.
    And that Will it Blend video is hilarious!
     
  38. Matthew, processing/printing is a problem. Any lab can to the chemical processing part for a few bucks... that's actually a really good deal. The bad part is you really need to do all the scanning (72 exposures per roll!) yourself. Some labs will print you centered images (2 per print) but it takes longer than an hour and it's a good way to ruin your relationship with your lab. The thing about the "half-frame" format is that 2 half-frame exposures are wider than 1 full frame exposure... the gap between the frames adds a few millimeters. It doesn't take many exposures for that to put off the spacing completely, so the automated scanning gets all flustered and they have to sit there and manually center each and every frame, occasionally missing ones as they go. I sat and watched the girl at my lab do it once for 45 minutes. It was excruciating to watch. Because of that I scan my own. Unfortunately my scanner sucks donkey balls so I'm thinking about investing in a V500 just to be able to get in-focus scans! So consider a good scanner capable of getting detail out of a tiny negative as part of the investment into the system.
     
  39. jtk

    jtk

    fyi there's a person on 'bay who sells half-frame (and 16mm and APS) carriers for Nikon scanners. Nikon V, IV, and 5000 (but maybe not 4000) focus exceptionally precisely and they use those 'bay carriers.
     
  40. Patrick, I scan my 120's and larger on a flatbed. For 35mm and smaller, I fit those negs into the carriers that came with the scanner. Then using a 40D and super sharp 100mm macro mounted on a stand, shoot them against a light table. I then post process (reverse) the curves in PS in batch, or run a preset via tethered capture in Lightroom. It's much quicker and sharper than flatbed scanning.
     
  41. Just to let you "young fellows" know the appeal of certain vintage cameras that had style and good construction and serious optics, I found a photo on line of my swiped 1964 Kodak Instamatic 500. It is just a little smaller than the specs of the EP-1, and was a carry everywhere item had a collapsible lens and a bright optical finder. And a tiny bulb flash to match. Only imported from Stuttgart buy Big Yellow for two years and was intended just as a gift item, originaly, for big Kodak distributors. I think it was a snazzy camera in form and function. And its Instamatic film developed for me without problem in Nikor 35mm spools, wth a little curve. I was though and am a big fan of square format vs the 2:3. However, 4:3 will suffice since I can't see a digital Blad in my future.
     
  42. Will try that once more.
    00TiiV-146617584.jpg
     
  43. Gerry, that was certainly one of the prettiest "Kodak" cameras... I use the name Kodak loosely because I think it was a German re-design. The Pen viewfinder cameras are certainly handsome in their own right... and the original Pen had such a tiny lens it's hard to believe it wasn't fixed focus. I personally own a Pen EES2, Pen FT, 35RC and an XA. In terms of amazing compact cameras the 35RC and XA easily take the cake... being full 35mm cameras that are the same size and smaller than the Pen viewfinders. The Pen F may be small compared to a Nikon F, but it's really not that small a camera, all things considered. The EP1 doesn't seem to be a ground-up Micro Four Thirds camera... I really think it's just a 620 with the mirror and prism removed. The Olympus tradition of the Pen and OM cameras was never ever about taking existing machines to the chop-shop to make them smaller, but always about total redesigns. Anyway, some more classic camera porn from my collection:
    [​IMG]
     
  44. I really think it's just a 620 with the mirror and prism removed.​
    That's okay by me. The proof's in the pudding of course, but I suspect actual camera handling between these two to be quite different.
    Just from specs, there really isn't another camera in the EP-1 niche at the moment. The Panasonic offering (a camera that I am/had been considering quite seriously) doesn't count - it's a different aesthetic.
    I don't like buying at product introdution, so it'll probably be close to year end before I decide whether to buy into the EP-1. However, this camera appeals to me a lot because:
    1. Boy, it sure looks like Olympus hit a home run re-interpreting all that was attractive about old, high quality 135 format rangefinders.
    2. It's a an interchangeable lens, large sensor, non-SLR. I don't really care that much about probable noise improvements relative to say, a Canon G10. I am much more excited about the prospect of getting a modicum of control over DOF again (in a small form factor body.)
    3. It's got IS built into the body. Yea!
    4. It's got decent video capabilities - more than decent actually considering the EP-1 price point, DOF capability, and interchangeable lens.
    The 17mm lens / shoe mount OVF is a very attractive package. The only likely addition for me is probably a 50mm f1.4 prime for the occasional portrait. I've got a M42 Pentax SMC that would be perfect, jewel of a lens that.
     
  45. "Do you ever have problems with minilabs and the half frame development? I don't need prints, just development."
    I used to have trouble until I found Costco (in the U.S.). Just specify "half frame" in the special requests, or "135H." Prints, and CDs, come out perfect every time -- at $10 for 72 distinct photo prints and scans.
     
  46. I might consider the EP-1 if it came with a fast (aperture and autofocus) and compact 50-200mm telephoto. But at that price I would expect a full frame sensor.
     
  47. Thanks for the information Patrick. One of these days I think I will try investing in a Pen F (afterall, I lived with an OM-1 with a broken meter for 2 years when I learned photography). I'll just ask them to do processing only. I use an Epson 4490 for scanning right now. It'll certainly be a bit of a bear to scan 48 or 72 images from a roll, but at least each image will almost certainly take less scan time then the same number of 35mm would.
     
  48. Dana, I think that really depends on the lab. At my lab I had to explain to the young lady what she was looking at. I honestly don't think putting "135H" on the drop-off would have gotten me anywhere. Maybe where-ever Costco (in the North only?) sends their's out to understands the special instructions.
    Yes Matthew... if you have good exposures (not too many over or under exposed) then you can "bulk" scan them in one pass and crop them up afterwords which is much faster... 9 or 10 images per pass instead of 5 or 6. Oh yeah and if you get half-frame processed at a lab be sure to tell them "do NOT cut the negatives!" you might have to find whoever runs the machine and tell them in person. Most labs keep old 35mm containers on hand which they will politely roll your negs into. If they cut your negs you will almost certainly be guaranteed to get darker frames sliced right in two.
     
  49. "I do mainly street photography, so this E-P 1 has it's appeal for me'
    ==================================================
    I'm not sure if this camera belongs under a glass enclosure at a museum or on the streets.
     

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