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Olympus E-P1 Micro Four Thirds Rumour

This looks awesome - an old school style rangefinder camera with a 17mm f/2.8 fixed lens from Olympus. It also features their micro four thirds sensor format. Can't wait to see the full details.

[Image: olympus-e-p1-leak.jpg]

I love the look of this. It does remind me of my old Yashica rangefinder, but the ergonomics look a lot better than the skinny brick design that old film cameras have. I'm not sure that this is the camera for me, but I do hope this one comes true. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

I like the covered mode dial--reminds me of the film advance on my first Kodak, just on the 'wrong' side.
Should keep the dial from changing settings in your pocket.

Slight thumb and finger grip swelling looks more comfortable than a brick cam.

Agreed - hope it becomes a reality...

@Keith they should make he back pop open so you can put your battery in where the film canister should be.. Big Grin

I have a very, very good feeling about this. I imagine that it will solve my biggest problem with the Panasonic Micro 4/3 cameras - no in-body image stabilization - and expect that it will finally force Olympus to move away from xD cards and embrace the SD cards that the rest of the world is using. (The other Oly SLRs, even the tiny-ish E-4x0 series, have slots for both Compact Flash and xD. If they keep CF I'd be ecstatic, because I have so many of them, but I just can't see it happening.) I also imagine that it will have really good controls, perhaps borrowing a bit from canon, and perhaps innovating a bit with something new. I can also picture Olympus bringing in a compact kit lens, probably a 14-42 to match the range of their current introductory lens, but with a much smaller size; I also think that the 17mm f/2.8 lens is for real.

While I'd like a camera that's both silent and has an electronic viewfinder, Panasonic's G1/GH1 both have mechanical shutters and still make some noise when they shoot. (Although they are much quieter than even a 4/3 SLR.) The form factor for this Olympus camera means it doesn't look like it will have an EVF, but I can still imagine buying one if the price isn't too high.

But maybe I just have a really good imagination. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

The more time I have to think about this camera, the more I hope it comes true. Today I was carrying my D700, 85/2.8 pc-e lens, and heavy tripod, but still missed a couple of shots. It simply wasn't worth pulling out the big camera for a whimsical shot on the crowded downtown sidewalk. A body that's a bit smaller than the G10, with sensor performance to match the GH1, would be awesome. I've been tempted to get a decent P&S for this role, but a small body with an interchangeable lens could also be a backup for both my Nikon and Olympus kits, since there are adapters for both.

My wish list includes a metal body, and given the way the 'leaked' camera resembles the Pen series that Olympus is very proud of, I could see it being something premium like stainless steel. Given the rangfinder design, perhaps there'll even be an accessory viewfinder - maybe matching the 17mm pancake lens - that lets the camera shoot with the LCD turned off. The LX3 can do this, and Olympus and Panasonic are pretty good friends. Give it a price under $900US, and I think it could be a real winner.

But like I said before, maybe I just have a really good imagination. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Updated: I found the source of the image that was linked to in the other message forum that I visit. Check out this page: • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Wow! That pic has certainly got me drooling...

Interchangeable lenses in a format other than the traditional SLR (or $$$ Leicas) would be awesome.

oh.... my.........!!!!!!!

Interchangeable lenses, accepts just about any mount with the right adapter. sells direct adapters for Canon FD and Leica M; by combining a M4/3 adapter with a standard 4/3 adapter you'll gain access to Nikon F, Minolta MD, Olympus OM, Pentax, Contax, Exakta, Topcon, Rollei 35mm, Leica R; there are cheap existing Leica Screwmount to Leica M adapters as well.

And I'm really, really hoping that they're all going to benefit from image stabilization.

Given what we already know about the Panasonic GH1 - it's a shipping camera, after all - and Olympus's history making audio recorders, I suspect that there's a decent microphone in my future as well. Someone suggested a Rode VideoMic for the GH1, so until I can see some new information about the E-P1, I'll be spending my time researching audio options. ( • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

It's official!

Key points:
- sensor stabilised!
- ISO 100 - 6400
- 12 mp using micro four thirds sensor
- 3 inch LCD
- interchangable lenses as mentioned previously

An interesting comment - "The 14-42 lens kit retracts into the barrel when not in use" - wonder what that means?

Detailed preview at dpreview:

The collapsing kit lens allows you to retract the lens and lock it away when you're not using it, reducing the length of the lens to 1/2 its size so it's more pocketable.

Those that are used to SLRs - what do you think of not having an optical viewfinder? Do you think you would be able to get used to compact digicam style shooting?

I feel that the little fuji f420 (3Mp) took photos of much better resolution then the panasonic (9Mp)
It also had a eye viewfinder and although not 100% accurate, (not TTL) was far better than squinting into a sunlit lcd screen.
I wish it was working now. Sad

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.

my my....

There's also a preview of it on 4/,
A video preview of it is here:

I've been seeing photos of this camera for a little while now, but when the guy in the video turned the steel-and-black camera over and held it forward, I caught my breath. This might be the prettiest camera I've seen. I went from thinking that I'd be buying it with the steel body and 17/2.8 lens to wondering if Penny would like the white one with the 14-42 lens as well.

Sure, there's the 'wait for the reviews' option, but I know that its sensor is 18 months more advanced than my E-3, which tops out at an amplified iso3200. So I have no reason to expect its images to be anything but excellent for normal use. After all, if I wanted a camera with the performance, but also the size and weight of a D700, I'd buy one of those. (um...)

Time to start stockpiling my pocket change... • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

DP Review said:
"the optional viewfinder attachment won't help anyone using the zoom lens, and the lack of anything to peer through, especially on bright days when the LCD gets washed out by the sun, will undoubtedly put some potential purchasers off"

I have never seen a digicam with an LCD display that is useful as a viewfinder outdoors. (OK, I've not tested every camera)
Besides, I just hate holding a camera at arms length to compose the image. The viewfinder, after all, is the vital link between our eye and the image that we compose. After using SLRs and other cameras with optical viewfinders for almost 50 years, I would really have to be convinced that the lack of an optical viewfinder is worthwhile.

Just my 2 cents.


I have read a lot of comments (from within and outside of the 4/3 forums) from people who wish that it had an electronic viewfinder. There's already rumours of the next olympus camera having one. I don't know if it's wishful thinking, or if there's actually been a statement by the company, but it's clearly something that a lot of people want.

Even my D700's LCD isn't great in the sun, and I doubt that there's been any breakthroughs since then.

But I've been surprised by the number of people who expect to use Live View all the time on an SLR. Sony's the farthest ahead on this trend with their A3X0 series, which also has a dim and small viewfinder. Honestly, it's not much better than a high-end compact like the G10 or P6000. For the smaller P&S cameras, very few even have viewfinders any more, and some people are actually surprised to learn that the camera that they've had for years has one.

So Olympus seems to be aiming at two different markets with this one: the people who are looking for a first SLR, want the same features that their P&S had (movies, frame with the LCD), and will stick with their kit zoom for years. With the exception of lens selection, the E-P1 compares very well with the D5000 and T1i, but with the added benefit that it's smaller and looks less like A Big Camera. At the same time, it's appealing to people who already have a 'serious' camera, like and E-3 or D700, who just want something small that's better than the standard P&S. The DP1 & 2, Ricoh GR series, and LX3 have all tried to tap into this market from the small-sensor angle, and of the group the LX3 has been a very solid seller.

I wonder which lens kit will sell better, the standard zoom or the classic prime... • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

When I first saw the pictures of this camera today, I let out an involuntary "Ooooohhhh!!!".

It's very sexy.

Love the youtube video review, matthew, thanks for sharing. Big Grin

@Keith - very sexy indeed! Big Grin

oh dear....

adam Wrote:oh dear....
Gonna be needing more gaffer tape adam? Big Grin

...and perhaps a towel? Big Grin • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Now that I've had a chance to read (and re-read) the information about the E-P1, about the only thing that disappoints me is the lack of a microphone input.

I've resolved that I won't walk into a camera store that has these in stock until I can afford one or unless I've left my wallet at home. I'm now actively hoping that the camera store where I work part time won't sell them. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

So have they started selling it at your work, Matthew? Big Grin

Another review and hands on photos...

matthew Wrote:Now that I've had a chance to read (and re-read) the information about the E-P1, about the only thing that disappoints me is the lack of a microphone input.
In the link above, there's a sample video - the annoying click of the continuous focus is a bit of a letdown and as you say, there's no alternative to use an external microphone. Shame... I suppose video is a secondary feature but shame...

Quote:When it came to video, we were frankly blown away. The 720p output is nothing short of breathtaking, and we're looking forward to shooting some serious cop dramas with this thing. Unfortunately, we do have a bone to pick with Olympus on the audio -- the stereo sound is excellent, but while using continuous focus (a nice touch, and it looks great), the sound of the lens makes the experience somewhat less heartening. It's not unusable, but to have your gorgeous video marred by the shhhk / click of the lens is a bit annoying. That whole issue could easily be circumvented with an external audio input... but Olympus doesn't provide one here, meaning you're stuck with what's onboard.

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