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Olympus E-PL1?
Old 02-02-2010   #1
FA Limited
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Olympus E-PL1?

http://43rumors.com/e-pl1-leaked/

what is olympus doing? they created a lot of hype for their m4/3 concept, but when it comes to execution, the products have all been lame copies of each other. the EP-2 seemed almost like an unecessary release, and this "cheaper" E-PL1 seems to have better features than the EP-1 and EP-2.

it seems like they are too scared to make a solid product that will compete with their 4/3 SLR line. what is left for olympus if their 4/3 line is not meeting expectations and panasonic is doing better things with their m4/3 cameras?
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Old 02-02-2010   #2
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It's just a cheaper version of the EP-1. Looks really plastic to me.
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What's Olympus doing???
Old 02-02-2010   #3
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What's Olympus doing???

Making fists full of money. That would certainly make me continue to do the same thing over and over.

The secret of franchising is to make a successful product and repeat. Over and over as long as it's profitable.

It's naive to think that any of the corporate moguls at any of these camera manufacturing companies care what consumers think as long as the "KaChing" thing keeps ringing the bell. It's all about the money, and Olympus has discovered a bell ringer.

OH yeah. Thirty years in Marketing. As the marketing manager told all the other department heads at a Board of Directors meeting. "You folks may all be fluffed up on self importance, but remember this.... nobody here makes a dime until somebody sells something."

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Old 02-02-2010   #4
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wow.. that's one of the ugliest cameras I've seen from olympus in a long time.

Edit: But really cheap - I'm sure heaps of people will like it.
Now olympus that you have that consumer crap out of the way, make some ****ing primes already.
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I think Olympus really has it together.
Old 02-02-2010   #5
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I think Olympus really has it together.

This camera looks like the true "stepping stone" for the amature photog wanting a higher quality point and shoot with interchangeable lenses. Sounds like it has less manual control and more automated functions at the surface. I think the real mistep was producing the e-p1 with no EVF option. So you either buy this camera or you buy an E-p2 in which you have to purchase the EVF. What's the word on RAW?
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Old 02-02-2010   #6
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Great price, ugly camera... glad I bought a used E-P1 instead. A step back for Olympus regarding style, but I step in the right direction for u4/3 i.e. cheap interchangable lens cameras with bigger sensors.

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Old 02-02-2010   #7
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At least it's cheaper?
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Old 02-02-2010   #8
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Maybe I'm not reading carefully enough, but I couldn't see a price? How much is this going to retail for?
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Old 02-02-2010   #9
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Well I'm thoroughly confused. I was an early adopter of the E-P1 (and love it) but cannot understand their strategy at this point. A few months later the E-P2 comes out which is essentially the same as the E-P1 + viewfinder, and now this thing, which seems to be a cheaply made E-P1 but with flash.

Could they have not released ONE camera with both the EVF add-on and built-in flash??? LOL!

I'll be waiting a while now to even think about another m4/3 camera... it's obvious olympus needs to work it's plan out.
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Old 02-02-2010   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apconan View Post
Maybe I'm not reading carefully enough, but I couldn't see a price? How much is this going to retail for?
Apparently $599 w/ 14-42 lens. If it has manual controls I'll really think about it. Right now I think the m4/3 cameras are overpriced.
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Old 02-02-2010   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRabbit View Post
...seems to be a cheaply made E-P1 but with flash.

Could they have not released ONE camera with both the EVF add-on and built-in flash??? ...
1: No, its a stripped down E-P2 not E-P1

2: They have released, or are in the process of releasing, a camera with both a built-in flash and accessory eyelevel EVF. Its called the E-PL1.

3: The quick replacement of the E-P1 with the E-P2 shouldn't surprise or confuse anyone who's paying any attention. It wasn't possible to build an EVF as good as the the EV-1 at the time the E-P1 was introduced.

The evidence points to a situation similar to Apple's when they introduced the original Macintosh. Apple's issue was that the expected availability of new larger memory chips didn't happen when scheduled. They had to release the Mac as a 128k machine. Shortly afterward, the Mac was rev'd into the computer that they intended to release originally, the 512k Mac aka "the Fat Mac". Its often better to release the product and update is later than wait for some additional new piece and delay entering the market.

In Olympus case, they needed to release the camera. Panasonic had two models and getting ready to release a 3rd but Olympus hadn't released their first. The new generation of eyelevel EVF displays weren't ready yet. Oly was in a squeeze position and released the camera without the accessory EVF to get it on the market. When the new EVF displays became available they rev'd the camera into the E-P2. The fact that the E-PL1 also supports the EVF and the audio accessories supports the conclusion that this interface is a core compenent in the E-Pen series. Also, timing the E-P1's release to an anniversary of the release of the original Pen had its value.
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Old 02-02-2010   #12
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I hope they're still planning on a "PRO" version of this Pen series or something similar. This one pretty much has everything the ep1 does with the exception of good looks and metal body (supports EVF, In-body IS etc...)... not to mention a pop out flash!
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Old 02-02-2010   #13
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How many EP models will Olympus create in a year? Seems like a new one every few months. Next thing you know, it'll be special editions!
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Old 02-02-2010   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
2: They have released, or are in the process of releasing, a camera with both a built-in flash and accessory eyelevel EVF. Its called the E-PL1.
But as you already stated, stripped down. And pretty cheaply made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
3: The quick replacement of the E-P1 with the E-P2 shouldn't surprise or confuse anyone who's paying any attention. It wasn't possible to build an EVF as good as the the EV-1 at the time the E-P1 was introduced.
I can accept that they weren't ready with the EVF. What I can't accept is that they couldn't have included THE PORT for the EVF in the E-P1. It's not exactly new technology. Release the E-P1 WITH Port in July then release the add-on EVF in October... not a whole new camera.

You have to admit, it's not difficult to see how it's pretty darn annoying to people who bought the E-P1 in July (when it first came out) to have two new cameras -- with the features MOST complained about it missing -- come out in 3 and then 7 months later.

Personally, they SHOULD have...
Release the E-P1 in July with the port for the EVF (optimally, with built-in flash).
Released the add-on EVF and add-on flash in October... and...
Released the E-PL1 in time for holidays.
Released the "pro" version ... the E-PP1?... now.

Three distinct cameras with three different audiences.

Ultimately though, whatever. I like the E-P1... I'm just disappointed in Olympus as a company. It all comes across as really bad planning.
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Old 02-02-2010   #15
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A pro version would cost a good deal more - but I'd hope it have a focus lock button and dedicated ISO button, as well.

The E-PL1 will either rob sales from the previous released Micro 4/3rd cameras - or - attract a few fence sitters. Maybe both.

By the way - the E-PL1 does look good in black - plastic or not.
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Old 02-02-2010   #16
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Quote:
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Ultimately though, whatever. I like the E-P1... I'm just disappointed in Olympus as a company. It all comes across as really bad planning.
Heck if we know how the EVF business with Epson went down. Things like the interface to the EVF (which you'd have to know to have added the port to the E-P1) probably get finalized right near the end of development. It can't just be a dumb port to the camera's main board - it has to handle video rates reliably and has to get the video feed of the main board with all the processing applied and the EVF has to be able to accept these as input and get power (and those requirements are tight on cameras this size) and keep in sync and be detected on insertion or removal with a graceful change to the LCD and.....

These are still cameras, not general purpose computers so changing the specification after the design is done isn't exactly simple. Engineers are magicians but they aren't wizards ;-)

PMA is around the corner and CES just happened - they've been putting out a slew of compacts (most of which no one here will care about) and not a whole lot of DSLRs. There might be one at PMA but if there isn't then they don't have anything cool and new to show. This thing helps that a little.

What they really need are lenses...

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Old 02-02-2010   #17
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this consumer grade body is good news. it means the pro grade must be next. doesn't it? DOESN'T IT?
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Old 02-02-2010   #18
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This camera isn't meant for ppl like the RFF crowd.

Compared to the EP-1, this one does NOT have dials to control aperture and shutter speed. There is about as much manual control and over-ride as on any compact digicam. (Nikon Coolpix, Canon SD___, Panasonic FX etc)

It's lighter and smaller and more plasticky than the EP-1.

It's really meant for point & shooters who just want a point & shoot w/ better sensor.
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Old 02-02-2010   #19
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So lets see, that is the EP1, EP2, EPL1, GF1, and G1 all using the same sensor now. Wow.......and we got for the most part three cameras that are exactly the same. Olympus must be following Sony's strategy of over saturation hoping something will stick.
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Old 02-02-2010   #20
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why do you think it looks ugly? i think the grip seems better than the one used on e-p1.

and remember this is a forum where people voluntarily add a grip like that to their rf camera all the time.
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Old 02-03-2010   #21
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Actual Olympus release:

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...p?product=1501
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Old 02-03-2010   #22
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Quote:
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why do you think it looks ugly? i think the grip seems better than the one used on e-p1.
The E-P1 is a very nice looking retro design based on 60-70's cameras. This disaster is seemingly based on a "retro" 2000's digital camera design i.e. ugly.
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Old 02-03-2010   #23
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I hope they're still planning on a "PRO" version of this Pen series or something similar. This one pretty much has everything the ep1 does with the exception of good looks and metal body (supports EVF, In-body IS etc...)... not to mention a pop out flash!
indeed! i have been watching what they do for a little while and truthfully hoping for a more robust version of the ep-1/ep-2.

i tried one of each out and the build is just not quite up to snuff (my opinion and usage kept in mind). i don't need it to change much. a great manual focus/scale focus interface, all metal/magnesium/titanium whatever and sealed up.

i wonder if Olympus knows how close they are to a brilliant, small documentary camera to work on? "close" being the key word.
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Old 02-03-2010   #24
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i wonder if Olympus knows how close they are to a brilliant, small documentary camera to work on? "close" being the key word.
I doubt it... they are probably more concerned with the consumer segment no?
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Old 02-03-2010   #25
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Looks like the Leica CL of the new m4/3 lot. Destined to be a classic.
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Old 02-03-2010   #26
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I doubt it... they are probably more concerned with the consumer segment no?
which would be sad (but more than likely true). if they could build the ep-2/1 in a sealed, all magnesium/metal/whatever body with a few mods they would have the corner on the market.
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Old 02-03-2010   #27
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Edit: But really cheap - I'm sure heaps of people will like it.
Now olympus that you have that consumer crap out of the way, make some ****ing primes already.
Hear, hear!

When I saw that announcement of two yet another zoom lenses, I really wanted to smack someone's head.

I mean, dear molly! how many kit zooms do you really need?
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NYT on PL1
Old 02-04-2010   #28
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NYT on PL1

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Old 02-04-2010   #29
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I think this might be a perfect for M lens use. We have a dedicated mag. button which means that you can get the focus (manually using your Leica/CV/... lens) mag off to check final composition and then take the picture (with IS, which not when you mag. unfortunately). Also, with the possibility of customisation, I guess this might be perfect. If one can hope for one without the kit lens it would be even better.

Any confirmation of the above view.
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Old 02-04-2010   #30
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Looks like a better deal than the EP-1/2 to me. Do you really need decorative metal cladding on the outside of your plastic camera? (See Thom Hogan's review.) I'd rather have the flash. And better AF performance. Which, hopefully, it will have.
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Old 02-04-2010   #31
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Looks like a better deal than the EP-1/2 to me. Do you really need decorative metal cladding on the outside of your plastic camera? (See Thom Hogan's review.) I'd rather have the flash. And better AF performance. Which, hopefully, it will have.
It looks like a better deal to me as well. It is not a "pro" camera but neither were the two previous models. This one seems more refined and at a better price. It is not as capable as the e-p2, differences in shutter speed, iso, control options, art filters and onboard stereo recording. But doesn't it seem so much closer to what it is supposed to be?

In spite of all the comments about plastic, all the olympus pen digital cameras have a plastic frame that is covered on the outside with a metal plate. In the case of the new e-pl1, that metal plate is aluminum.

I do hope they come out with a really nice "pro" body in the future. But at this price, with the option of the EVF, I believe I am sold. I will buy one, and get one of those quick little panasonic primes to go with the kit zoom. Maybe in the future get a "pro body" if it comes out as well as primes as they develop them. If they don't, I will at least have my first digital camera and a couple of nice lenses to take with it to parties, bars, and vacations.

If this camera sells really well perhaps we will see an Olympus E-pT1. (pen tough)
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Old 02-04-2010   #32
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The e-p1/2 has 2 control dials. This has no control dials.
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Old 02-04-2010   #33
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"This has no control dials."

When I use my Nokton 50/1.5 (or Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5) on it I'll get at least one real control dial. :>)
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Old 02-04-2010   #34
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The e-p1/2 has 2 control dials. This has no control dials.
True. If the buttons work in A or S mode...I'll deal with it. This isn't my fast action camera, my DSLR does that.

As a day to day, or hiking camera, I'm excited. I've got some old m42 lenses I'd love to put on this.

And I was just about to get a Canon G11. I'll save some money.
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Old 02-04-2010   #35
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I agree. This looks like an interesting choice. Sometimes the down market stuff is a better deal overall, esp. if it's released later. 1. More kinks are worked out. (For example, this camera may have faster autofocus... don't know, just giving an example.) 2. Newer technology included. Early adapters sometimes pay the price in more ways than one.
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A Lemon Entry My Dear Watson........
Old 02-04-2010   #36
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A Lemon Entry My Dear Watson........

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Hear, hear!

When I saw that announcement of two yet another zoom lenses, I really wanted to smack someone's head.

I mean, dear molly! how many kit zooms do you really need?
As Olympus and Panasonic have both concluded, We need enough Zooms to satisfy a large and hungry sector of the camera market, that will flock to this "near perfect" bridge camera.

People who are not capable of discerning between advantages of Prime vs. Zoom lenses far outnumber people who know the distinctions. Panny-Oly-Fuji (now) will cater first to people who want to capture the kids at their games, other events and during the Holidays without concerning themselves with how the camera works, so they can also enjoy the events at the same time. No distractions from manipulating the camera allowed.

In other words, the mass of consumers called "Not Photographers".

Oly, Panny and now Fuji are simply following the money. The money dictates Zooms.

I have taught enough digital photo classes at the Community Ed level and seen the droves of people buying both inexpensive and expensive DSLR's with little intent other than to use them on P, A or Scene Modes. In fact, many people have now put those camera's down. Note the increased used market in relatively new DSLR's. These people are waiting, unknowingly, for these Micro 4/3 cameras, along with many who have intuitively NOT made a DSLR purchase.

Oly, Pana, Fuji, Samsung, and even a couple of the big players see the potential. Serious photographers are going to be sidestepped in the process of the rush to the money.

The fact is that those who want primes are VASTLY outnumbered by consumers who want simple...... And those people hold the best hands... The money.

You're primes were made years ago, when serious photographers spent the necessary money to have them... Legacy lenses, but not, unfortunately, in short enough focal lengths.

Add to that the fact that the manufacturing and distribution process today has no room for small numbers. Only large quantities of goods count. I personally believe contemporary primes will not sell profitably in quantity.

We get what we get, and we have little say.

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Old 02-05-2010   #37
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The e-p1/2 has 2 control dials. This has no control dials.
Exactly...
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Old 02-05-2010   #38
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The e-p1/2 has 2 control dials. This has no control dials.
The E-PL1 also lacks dedicated AF-L, ISO and white balance buttons.
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Old 02-05-2010   #39
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Yeah... no external ISO button... screw that.

I don't really care, I love my e-p1
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Old 02-06-2010   #40
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I'm of two minds as far as the lens announcements go. On one hand, I disagree with shadowfox that these are kit zooms. These are supposedly better-quality zooms, and certainly the 9-18 fills a need that even many primes won't be filling. At the same time, I do hope we'll see more primes (and I'm excited about Panasonic primes coming this year). I think it is worth noting that while kuzano's breakdown of the potential market for this gear is accurate, the primes are being under-manufactured, as evidenced by the ravenous way they sell out whenever a retailer stocks them. And the GF1 kit with the 20mm lens is the worst of the bunch in that regard. The GF1 with zoom is easy to find; the 20mm kit has to be sought out, at least if you want to pay no more than full retail. There's a definite contingent of micro4/3 users that want primes, and want them badly, and all of them seem to be voting with their dollars.
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