Olympus Micro-4/3 "Digital Pen": swing and a miss

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by richard_oleson, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. I just got a look at the new Olympus Micro-4/3 camera, which they're "unofficially" referring to as the 'digital Pen" (a reference to the landmark 1963 Pen F, the compact half-frame SLR). It certainly looks the part, and I was really excited at the thought of a 12MP digital successor to this inspired and timeless design. And then I saw the camera from the back.

    It has no viewfinder! NO viewfinder! After coming this close to a digital equivalent to the pocketable SLR, Olympus instead created an interchangeable-lens Sony Mavica, a wave-it-around-at-arms-length $800 point-and-shoot! After 45 years, the guardians of Maitani's legacy took the opportunity of a generation and chucked it in the wastebin to save the cost of a decent electronic viewfinder. It's enough to bring one to tears.
    :\=
     
  2. The Olympus guy responsible for this new PEN line said in an interview that there are more bodies to come, and some with a viewfinder of some kind. EVF? I am certainly interested in the system but this first body isn't enough to make me buy one. I also wonder what the cost of the follow-on bodies will be, with this first offering already at $800. Any higher is a deal killer for me. The system is desirable, For someone just starting out on the DSLR road and wanting to keep it small, this is a big deal, but not enough at those prices for me to replace my E-420 which serves my needs well.
     
  3. Eh, considering it's awfully close to the hypothetical digicam I've had in mind for a few years, I'm not complaining. The addition of an accessory viewfinder seems like an acceptable option for now.
    I don't want an EVF either. My main use for this type of camera will be stuff like photographing live performances locally (theater, opera, etc.). I don't want anything that glows or spoils my dark-adapted eyes. So for me a virtually silent, non-glowing, tiny camera is just about perfect.
    But this seems very much like a first generation effort, something for the bleeding edge folks to toy with. I'm betting Olympus will follow through with something closer to what fans of miniature format, handheld photography are really hoping for.
    Consider the first generation Voigtlander Bessa L from Cosina, very cheaply built on the same basic chassis as the pseudo-brand name entry level 35mm SLRs sold by Nikon (FM-10), Canon (T60, I think), Olympus and others, including Vivitar. Basically, Cosina whacked off the prism and mirror, gave it a Leica threaded mount and offered accessory viewfinders for zone focusing with wides and ultra-wides. And look how Cosina took off from that start.
    Sure, it'd be nice if Olympus had priced the new "Pen" cheaper, but they didn't have the advantage of building on an existing model. Besides, until fairly recently Olympus has rarely been known for being particularly competitive in terms of price. Even when the last of the OM-4 and OM-3 series had been discontinued and no more manual focus Zuikos were being made they still weren't bargains. That's one reason I switched to Nikon 35mm SLRs in 2002 - better values in bodies and, especially, lenses. Heck, I waited for Olympus to discount their first generation film scanner after it had been discontinued - no dice. Even the local electronics discounters were selling open box scanners at full price, while apologizing that their contract with Olympus prohibited unauthorized discounts. I finally gave up and bought a first generation Minolta Dimage Scan Dual for less than $100.
    If Olympus is smart they'll drop the price on the E-P1 quickly and seed the rumor mill with "oops" leaks of a follow-up model that addresses the most pressing concerns.
     
  4. Keep in mind that the micro four-thirds system has been strongly pointed at the "tweeners" since the begining. People that want to move up from a p&s to a better camera. But who find DSLR's "scary". This has been mentioned over and over by various people from the m4/3 companies. So the lack of a viewfinder isn't exactly surprising.
    Still, I'm with Lex. The viewfinder issue isn't a dealbreaker. I can slap a Voigtlander VF on there if I'm really interested in not using the LCD. That having been said, I've done some great work with just the LCD on cameras like the Panasonic LX3. I think it's just a change that many people are going to have to get used to or work around. sort of like the switch from ground glass to a reflex finder 50-70 years ago.
     
  5. I can see your point on using an EVF in the dark, but I could see one with a manual or automatic brightness control, something like the car instruments that get dimmer at night. EVF image quality would be a concern, I assume that will continue to improve over time... but you certainly can't go waving that 3 inch LCD around in a darkened theatre, and I don't like having to pop accessory viewfinders onto my screwmount Leicas and I'm not likely to enjoy it much more on a new digital.... especially when the whole raison d'etre of the entire system is compactness.
     
  6. I hear you Richard... I'm actually really suprised with the extra time Olympus has had since the G1 release to look at people's comments that they didn't seriously consider a removable EVF, or an optical viewfinder with some kind of feedback, at the minimum focus confirmation, at the most, an optical version of the main display with zooming elements and lights for all the most common settings/warnings etc. The fact that sub-cigarette-pack sized cameras can have viewfinders like that with autozoom and all kinds of lights at a low price really makes the doubt any kind of real technical difficulty here.
     
  7. The fact that sub-cigarette-pack sized cameras can have viewfinders like that with autozoom and all kinds of lights at a low price really makes the doubt any kind of real technical difficulty here.​
    Patrick - do you know of any that can swap out lenses?
    Richard - true, I was also a bit disappointed when I read that the new Pen didn't have a viewfinder. I was also upset back in the 1990s when contax released their G1. How on earth did they release a system with no focus control built into the viewfinder! I vowed not to get one then, and in early 2000 picked one up and haven't regretted it since. I'm willing to give Oly a chance on this, and if it doesn't work out I'm sure my system will sell well used. And I really think I'll need more than a few minutes testing a demo at a store or reading about it from online reviews.
     
  8. Rick,

    The 17mm f2.8 pancake can be purchased with a finder (for range focusing only). But, that's sort of reminiscent of old Leicas, no?
    I agree with you - a finder is a necessity. I've been playing with the Lumix G1, and like it quite a bit. I may have to pick up the new Oly pancake for it, though.

    Reed
     
  9. the concept is important and as others have said, future bodies would take into account a lot of the suggestions. in the meanwhile, if you can afford it do buy a body. olympus needs to survive this economic downturn and what better way to say thank you to this wonderfully innovative company than buy their products.
     
  10. Sorry, I don't spend money (especially $800-plus) to say "thank you" or to keep alive a company in hopes that it eventually will put out something I want. On the other hand, I'm not pronouncing the whole idea of a digital Pen dead, based on this first camera body; after all, in retrospect, I likely wouldn't have bought any of the first few Pen 35mm film cameras. Nonetheless, I own, and still use, Pen Fs and FTs, because, by and large, they work terrifically.
     
  11. Me neither, I've waited this long, I'll wait for them to get it right.
     
  12. Viewfinder is very difficult to do for an interchangeable lens camera. Of course they could build one inside the body, either a small nearly useless one like most digicams that still have one, or a good one like Leica M8, making the body quite a lot bigger. But what finder would it be? A fixed 35mm equivalent for the new 17mm lens? Or a zooming one for the 14-42? What about other lenses? I want a separate optical finder, yes. But I would not want to buy a camera that has a finder that is either uselessly small, inaccurate or dim, or covers focal lengths I do not use, but not some that I do use. I think Olympus is exactly right in their decision to offer separate finder that attaches to the hot shoe. I have been using finders like that for years with my M6, GRD and DP-1.
     
  13. Me neither, I've waited this long, I'll wait for them to get it right.​
    :)
    Yeah, "some things are worth waiting for." :)
    The onus is on Olympus to make proper products to survive and excel.
    Rick, Have you tried the G1/G1H?
     
  14. No, I haven't tried the G1 but that's more like what I was expecting in the Olympus - a G1 in a neater package. If that's not on its way, then the G1 is worth a serious look.
     
  15. I've never owned an SLR and never wanted one for more than 5 ninutes or so but the Pen D was one of my alltime favorites. So the pancake lens (welded in place) and the optical viewfinder would look good to me,
     
  16. My main use for this type of camera will be stuff like photographing live performances locally (theater, opera, etc.). I don't want anything that glows or spoils my dark-adapted eyes. So for me a virtually silent, non-glowing, tiny camera is just about perfect.
    Lex, I agree. But $800 for a camera with an LCD that may be useless in bright sun is a deal breaker for me. However, I do like the EP-1 concept.
     
  17. Richard, I suspect that an EVF will just not fit in the body and still retain it's slim form factor. I have a suspicion that the GH-1 is shaped like it is because Panasonic could not fit their EVF in a smaller space, at least not with current technology, and still be as good as users say it is. I've engaged in many "...why don't they just build (fill in the blank)" musings myself but sometimes wonder if we are expecting too much from the design/engineering departments of these camera makers.
     
  18. I have a suspicion that the GH-1 is shaped like it is because Panasonic could not fit their EVF in a smaller space, at least not with current technology, and still be as good as users say it is.​
    That is incorrect. It is the pop-up (front) and the swivel TFT screen (rear) that add the bulk. Without the pop-up, the thickness (while disregarding the not very useful "grip") it is 36mm. Close to the Olympus pen F.
    Also, let us not forget that Panasonic have the sophisticated EVF technology (from video) and Olympus and other camera companies (barring, perhaps, Sony and Canon) might not.
     
  19. Vivek, although I've read about the Panasonic EFV I'm not sure I'm understanding it's operation correctly. Is it like a little rear projection system? I thought it must take some space to implement. About an articulated LCD I think your right. If Oly had added this to the E-P1 it would have been 7~10mm thicker and I think they were going for the thinest body they could for this first offering.
    I'm a Pen fan from way back, both the non-EE full manual control VF Pens and the reflex Pen F series. I've waited to see the Olympus micro 4:3 offering but at this time think I would still pefer the GH-1. The problem right now is that where I live I'd have to travel many miles to even hold and look through one. Bummer!
     
  20. The EVF is almost exactly like an optical view finder on an SLR, except instead of an image produced by light reflecting off a mirror in the lens's beam path there is an image formed by and LCD screen in the view finder. My wife's old Sony digicam has an EVF. Not especially great, but then again it is also about 4-5 years old. It lags a fair bit (maybe 1/8s, noticable) and if light levels drop at all (well, okay, lets say medium interiot illumination) the EVF noise (just like the back screen) is really, really bad. That is probably more a function of the tiny sensor then anything though.
     
  21. jtk

    jtk

    The Pen "half frame" died because it was dramatically inferior to ff 35mm...a few buyers suffered for a while with Pen F despite the terrible viewfinder and some suffered longer because they weren't especially concerned about image quality. A brighter (therefore bigger) prism wouldn't have saved it (as E3 may-not save 4/3).
    Photographers wanting small devices dumped Pen for far-better-performing full frame (such as OM1 and Pentax, or they moved up to Leica M).
    Articulated viewfinders are marketed to people who think in DSLR terms...many Oly-$-budgeted photographers don't bother with them (using Pentax and Leica, for example...)
    ....there's twice the interest on P.N's Pentax Forum that there is on Oly-4/3 (and twice Sony) despite all the exciting news about TWO best-selling m4/3. People on Leica and Pentax Forums are talking about m4/3, not complaining about lack of articulated TV on their cameras because, presumably, they're photographers more than consumers.
     
  22. John, The EVF is a tiny TV with real time images (the same thing shows on the TFT screen). You can magnify a portion of the image to 7X or 10X for accurate focusing (if you use manual focus)
    This sort of images can even be projected on one of your glasses (blackhawk helicopter pilots have such a thing to get info on one eye from a command center while using the other eye to look at their environment).
    With the articulated TFT screen, the G1 is like a versatile TLR. Waist level shooting, ground level shooting and over the head level shooting, all are possible.
    Yes, I still have an F and an FT and a whole host of lenses.
    The pen F 42/1.2 is one of my favorites on the G1 because accurate focusing can be achieved as well as better metering compared to the film pen Fs. The results are simply stunning.
     
  23. You can order an optional view finder with this camera, it slips right in where the optional flash-gun is supposed to go.
     
  24. "The Pen "half frame" died because it was dramatically inferior to ff 35mm"
    No. It died because film processing got cheaper. The entire appeal to half-frame was getting more pics in the frame. In 1965 when the Pen F was introduced, half-frame was already loosing popularity due to changing prices. Leica was developing a half-frame SLR prototype at the same time and abandoned it due to the shrinking market and the cost of bringing something that complex into production, the only reason Olympus pursued it was because they wanted an SLR and they were the number one half-frame camera maker. In 1965 people knew Olympus pretty much exclusively for half-frame cameras, so it made sense. When the first Pen viewfinder cameras were introduced in 1959, the 35mm market was still growing and the SLR market for professional use was still in it's infancy. The Pen FT has a dim viewfinder but the original Pen F viewfinder is just as bright as the ones seen on Canon and Nikon SLR's of that era... they were ALL dim. The only thing that made half-frame dramatically inferior to 35mm is that 1960's era film emulsions pretty much sucked. Today shooting half frame is not a big deal at all. The result basically looks like a 1-2 stops faster film. When I shoot 125 speed FP4+ it looks about as grainy as 400 speed TRI-X. Portra 160 looks like Porta 400... not a big deal at all. It is far less than the quality difference of going from 6x6 or 6x9 to 35mm... even 645 to 35mm is a bigger leap in quality. It really wasn't until after the Pen line died that 35mm became more of a mainstream professional medium in the 1970s and 1980s... which was largely due to better and better film emulsions as well as the investments that companies like Minolta, Canon and Nikon put into sophisticated metering technologies that made 35mm better and faster than medium format + hand-held meter for sporting events etc. In fact, many professionals never shot 35mm because of being "dramatically inferior" to medium format and are now moving directly from medium format to large sensor digital.
     
  25. swing and a miss LOL..
    I mean for a personal use camera, it's awesome, get a 1.4 lens off ebay, find an adapter, set the ISO to 800-6400 (or so the Pen claims to be able to do somehow) and what palmcorder does that with interchangeable lenses and photos.
    Not meant for pro use of course but considering how cheap and small it is, I like the prospects. It's already 1-200 cheaper than the HV20-30 series and you don't have to worry about tapes, lack of aperture control, low light etc...
    Now I'm new to this, but exactly what mount does it use? Sounds like it has it's own unique mount, or is it the same as the film Pens? I'm assuming adapters would be hard to find, but if there's a healthy supply of adapters, I may bite. I'd love to have something so versatile and small that would fit in a lunch bag.
    Video I've seen is not overly impressive, then again, it's consumer's using it for the time being.
    Olympus is nuts if it doesn't release it's own high end hybrid, the fact that their line as built in IS is a potential goldmine for this new hybrid craze, videographers would eat up a 1080p hybrid that has IS enabling them to use telephoto primes and zooms without the exhorbant prices of the IS/VR lenses.
     
  26. jtk

    jtk

    Vivek, I understand the usefulness of articulated mini-TV to a segment of photographers. They will always be a market because people will always photograph flowers and bugs and a few shoot over crowds (like Rolleiflex). A significant, hard-nosed minority (Pentax & Leica people) don't like TV sets on cameras.
    When TVs on cameras rival the new Oly's optical viewfinder, Pentax and Leica will install them. "Full" 4/3 will be long dead..
    Hits counts on P.N suggest that over half of the $1000 DSLR shooters have decided to leave their TV at home.
    Patrick thanks for your dissertation on half frame.. Bottom line : half of 35 was half as good as 35 in every respect but cheapness. It was good enough to sell a few cameras to a few hobbiests until they realized they wanted something better.. Decades later the short-lived APS film cameras made better prints than half frame, but weren't as good as ff..
    The world was full of Pentax, Nikon, Canon, and Leica shooters in the 1960s. Pen underperformed ff by 100%. Cheapness wasn't as important as image quality quality.
    Granted, 72 frames is cheaper than 36 frames.
     
  27. John Kelly: My earlier post was in response to John Robison's post.
    You, sir, do not interest me.
     
  28. I don't understand why Olympus didn't made a removable EVF like Ricoh had done for the GX-100 (and now GX-200).
    Whit such accessory the E-P1 should be a really great camera!
     
  29. like the design ethic of this camera a lot.
    Agreeing that a EVF would promote this from a nice camera to a great camera. Maybe that upgrade will be called a digital OM? ....wishes.....(and add the brilliant; easy to use, multi-spot metering of the OM4....)
    Yes, I would buy that in a heartbeat....this camera: I think the lack of a viewfinder is a dealbreaker. I've just got used to the camera being at my face......Maybe I need to change.
     
  30. Gary, the mount itself is apparently the same as the original Pen cameras, except the registration distance is shorter. Vivek has some wonderful posts back with the introduction of the G1 showing his discovery of that. One of my beefs with this new format is the expense of the adapters. The OM adapter is $165 for a tube of metal with a lens mount on each end... no electronics, no linkages. That seems incredibly pricey for something any decent machinist could put together in a day... and is more expensive than the VINTAGE 1960's Pen F to OM adapter in original box that I recently purchased.
     
  31. jtk

    jtk

    Oly probably noticed the relative success of Ricoh (nobody buys 'em) with its expensive TV set (evf), compared to decades of real cameras with accessory optical finders (eg Leica, Mamiya 7, Linhof, and recently Voigtlander... none of which bother with complex meter toys, incidentally).
     
  32. The lens mount is the Olympus/Panasonic 4/3 mount but with shorter register. There are lots of inexpensive adapters available for the 4/3 mount (not with the Olympus name engraved on them of course), and I'm sure they will be available in the u4/3 in due course. Someone will probably also come out with a cheap short extension tube to permit existing adapters and 4/3 lenses to be used on the u4/3 bodies. I expect we'll be seeing more from this system.
    Actually, all of the Leicas that I've had came equipped with viewfinders built right in. Handy device. They did make some without finders, requiring an accessory in the shoe (the Ic, If, Ig), but I don't think they were a huge hit commercially, maybe 30,000 produced over 10 years.
     
  33. Maybe this is more your liking Richard.... it DOES have a viewfinder... and even a fake bright-lines patch and wonderful like-a-Leica styling and Barbie-esque silvery plastic detailing that I don't think I can resist. I think Vivitar has just reinvented the meaning of "kitsch":
    http://vivitar.com/products/16/VC8027%20Spec%20Sheet.jpeg
     
  34. I'd be happy with a fast-handling digital the size of an OM-1. With a big OM viewfinder, of course.
     
  35. I must disagree with your lament, Rich. Perfect? no. Compromises? Of course.. This year long wait from Olympus to introduce its first micro model, I am betting will show that they are hitting one out of the ball park . It is not old wine in a new bottle. I got news for those debunkers who have dismissed the company product in recent years- they get good reviews and good sales. Noone mentions their wonderful lenses which are really great designs. No clinkers in there. I am personally excited to actually see and hold one of these EP babies. If they don't sell the demo model before I get chance. it is ok to disagree of course, we are all friends in this community:)
     
  36. The history of the pen and half frame is interesting to say the least. The best thing going for 35mm was it became a standard. A standard in film is an inherently good thing when one looks at the eclectic history of fim sizes and formats galore. Consider this Robot fellow for insrance. The Robot Star of the fifties. 24by 24mm or five ( I am reckoning) sprocket width. Sprockets are unnecessary for consumer cameras now of course, but for history, they were useful in film advance and with motor advance and gave Kodak a standard for processing film.
    Half frame could have been called 4 perforation or 4p vs 8 p ( the standard for a long time now) and got better public relations, because it was good for use with Kodachrome and a lot of monochrome too. Remember the annoyance of reload after 36 or 37 shots? "Half frame" term sounds to me like going in to Subway's sandwich p lace and ofdering a half loaf vs the six inch which I usually I buy.
    I don't think of my 6" well stuffed and mayo'd sandwich as a half loaf sandwich. Does anybody?.
    00TkbB-147835584.jpg
     
  37. Noone mentions their wonderful lenses which are really great designs. No clinkers in there.​
    Though I have pre-ordered the 17/2.8 and am keenly waiting for it to use it on my G1,
    check the Olympus supplied samples, in particular, #2. There is lateral chromatic aberration plainly visible.
    http://asia.olympus-imaging.com/products/dslr/mlenses/17_28/
    I suspect they spend more on advertisement than on R&D.
     
  38. Final thought re half frame which gets a lot reference vis a vis EP-1 size..The Robot Star. which later moved to the 8 perf eventually, shares a lot of tech with movie cameras of old. Guillotine shutter, Wind up motor. No batteries. Wickedly nice interchangeable lens I can look at and say nice glass from Schneider. I bet the optical finder was only fair in size and brightness. Anyone know, who has owned one-?
     
  39. I suspect they spend more on advertisement than on R&D.​
    Vivek, hmm, I kind of doubt that. Company advertises little here. I think maybe Eu is their bigger market. I am assuming Olympus could have achieved better specs for significantly more retail price. I appraised the two sample files in the 17 mm link. I can see some CA at the periphery.Other distortions look to be corrected. Seems contrasty,sharp. I bet WA is a design challenge in any format.
     
  40. Gerry, If a 65 deg angle of coverage wide angle is a design challenge for anyone (in any format), in this day and age, they do not put enough cash for their R&D.
    Ricoh GR-D I/II has even a wider coverage for a smaller format. Sigma DP-1/2, ditto.
    These companies apparently are not resting on their laurels as some appear to be doing.
     
  41. Sigma DP-2 is a 40mm equivalent lens. Surely less wide than the 34mm Eq new Olympus. GRs and DP-1 are all 28 equivalent. The Sigma DP-1 lens is actually 16mm so about the same as the Olympus, but the sensor is a bit bigger, making the combination a bit wider.
     
  42. You could be right in that last comment, Vivek. I lean to moderate telephotos myself. The 85- 100 mm is my niche. But for this carry around baby, it seems like a good choice. So many here and there are anticipatong the camera as a mate to the pancake 17mm. I will keep my fingers crossed.
    Olympus said they were surprised at the sales of the 25mm which was a surprise entry not on the map I remember... I hope they learned some about the market for primes in this quote wide normal,unquote range. They had better come through after so long. So I hope. Otherwise, Panasonic may see my micro cash first. gs
     
  43. That focal length was chosen I'm sure for historical as well as technical reasons. That range lens is about the widest you can go and still make a phenomonally compact and (fairly) fast lens. Just look at how many small 35mm cameras came with 35mm lenses mounted to them. Leica and OM users have both called their respective 35mm lenses the best walking around lenses for street photography. This lens is most certainly aimed towards that crowd and young people will be attracted to the ability to shoot crowds of friends outdoors and at parties without stepping back 1000 feet. For many people at this point in the game, their ONLY experience with a fixed focal length lens will have been disposable cameras and cell-phone cameras, which hang out at the wide end... typically 28mm equivalency. To make a 28mm lens this size would have pushed the aperture down to the murky levels of the typical fixed-lens cameras.... while one of the attractions of interchangeable lens cameras for many people is faster lenses.
     
  44. Vivek - I wait with interest your review of the 17 F2.8 on the G1. I like you must have the EVF as I use Canon FD lenses on my G1. I am not impressed with the Panasonic 14-45mm zoom and have over 25 FD lenses. A good quality pancake lens would be a real asset for the G1. The few reviews on the oly 17 F2.8 have not been that good. many of the people who criticize the EVF have probably not used it - I had my doubts but to be honest it is much better than the Contax G2 viewfinder which is the only other way to deal with zoom lenses without a mirror. While I understand the appeal of Leica and Voigtlander I suggest that it is commercial suicide to launch a mass market camera that does not work with zooms. Leica can get away with it as they sell premium products to a specialized niche market. Their sucess in digital (the M8) has been limited as the economics of the consumer electronics industry is all about production volumes and scale economies. Cameras without a zoom capability do not sell well today - most "photographers" I know do not even own a prime lens - look at the gallery section of Amateur photographer and notice how many shots in this publication are taken with a zoom (the contests are different as primes show what they can do). I think this means that for most purposes we are likely to be limited to rear LCDs, EVFs or SLRs on most digital cameras.
     
  45. People always complain about something. This is the first, affordable, small, camera with a decent sized sensor that seems capable of producing good results. I'll be keeping an eye on it to see what the actual price is. I don't mind looking at the little TV screen. I suppose the people who do never chimp on their DSLRS
     
  46. Related question: I have no objection to reinforced plastic for lens bodies, and trust their dimensional stability. Q: Do we know for sure if the micro E lens bayonet mounts are finished metal? Assumed that, since the E lenses I bought have metal bayonet rear end..even my moderate priced 70-300mm, the last. It would be reassuring if so. Anybody?
     
  47. This sort of images can even be projected on one of your glasses (blackhawk helicopter pilots have such a thing to get info on one eye from a command center while using the other eye to look at their environment).
    Yes, this is what I would like to see. Optical viewfinders with overhead (heads-up) display. Sometimes, I think no one is really tried. The modern digital camera has and will continue to become the extension of video camera and television set/computer screen imaging. Somehow, it lacks dimension for me. Could the lens as we know it be made obsolete also?
     
  48. Where did Grisha's review go?​
    It wasn't a "review." It wasn't even a "preview", since it was just a bunch of opinions based on specs and whatever else has already been published. It was little more than blog-spamming several photo.net forums to drum up hits.
    The best hands-on review I've seen so far, which includes hi-rez sample photos, was provided by Gerry in another thread: http://www.biofos.com/mft/ep-1_pre.html
     
  49. Now that I have handled one, I appreciate Rick's title for the thread.
    So cute! So useless. :(
     
  50. Vivek:
    Can you provide any more details?
    Eric
     
  51. Eric: No viewfinder and no swivel LCD. Case closed for me. :(
    Imagine how you would have to use the EP-1 to take this shot.
    [​IMG]
    "This T-Shirt Will Survive Anything" Taken with a G1 and Computar-TV 25/1.3 lens
    (the articulating LCD was used for framing/focus. Camera was at waist level)
     
  52. Vivek:
    Ahh. Guess I don't understand knocking it for something it obviously doesn't include. In that case, most DSLRs would get bad ratings, too, since you'd have to bend over to look through the viewfinder. Or shoot "blind" by holding it down low and not looking through the viewfinder.
    Eric
     
  53. Eric: The bottomline is money. The G1 kit currently is at 464 Euros with all the trimmings. The EP-1 kit (stick your arm out to make a snap) is 799 Euros.
    I choose utility over style.
     
  54. "Imagine how you would have to use the EP-1 to take this shot."
    You have to be kidding me.
    I would focus at 8 feet at f/8-f/11 and take it from waist or chest level without even looking at the camera or slowing down. Same as I shoot with 40 year old cameras. After the first 100 rolls of film you get better at it.
    I have an EP-1 and it works fine for this type of photography (at least it did Saturday when that's exactly what I was shooting with it). I bought it more as a electronic platform for my Pen F lenses but in its own right it takes very good photos.
     
  55. Joseph, if you were in,say, a coffee shop, and shooting incognito, 'is the shutter sound fairly moderate, in your opinion? Maybe one could cook up a little angle mirror gizmo behind the LCD or even a way to look down into the LCD---James Bond wise. I now have the right angle finder for my E-1 and it has possibilities.
    But of course, you are right about waist level shooting once one gets the hang of it.
     
  56. I would focus at 8 feet at f/8-f/11 and take it from waist or chest level without even looking at the camera or slowing down. Same as I shoot with 40 year old cameras. After the first 100 rolls of film you get better at it.​
    Been there, done that and don't wanna do it anymore. That shot was taken at f/2, btw.
    I have even older cameras and they do allow me to compose and focus at waist level. They are called TLRs.
     

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