Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Olympus EP-1 -- Nice but No Thanks

The EP-1 is probably one of the most eagerly waited camera from Olympus, although specs and pictures of the camera leaked long before the actual announcement date. Being a Panasonic G1 user, I was naturally curious about the Olympus version of the micro 4/3, that was based on the Pen-F. After pouring through the officially announced specs, this is not the camera for me. why?

No View finder -- Absolutely the deal breaker for me since I use manual focus lenses about 99% of the time on a camera like this one. On the G1, I only use the rear LCD for checking focus and review pictures. It's much more accurate (and easier for me) to use the view finder for focusing, especially when in the magnify mode.

LCD Screen -- What was Olympus thinking? 230K resolution on a 3" screen? This is so yesterday. For a "premium" camera, this is just not acceptable. Even the lowly Canon T1i has a gorgeous VGA 3 inch screen. Another minus is the non-swivel screen. On occasions when you want to shoot low angle or over the head, an adjustable angle LCD screen is invaluable.

other than the points above, the EP-1 looks like a sweet little camera. Pocketable with the pancake 17mm lens. It's a dream travel and go anywhere camera that won't sacrifice image quality with small size. Not to mention that it shoots HD video, and interchangeable lenses. Best of all, built-in body image stabilization.

Way to go, Olympus! I am waiting coming models with built-in hi-res view finders.

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