6.16.2009

The Pen Is Mightier

ep1front.jpg

Gussy it up however you want, Trebek. What matters is: does it work?

Olympus has mastered the art of the increasingly popular slow leak with the announcement of the new Pen E-P1. Pentax tried to make the "leaked" photos of their new K-7 more illicit-looking, but the build-up and pay-off of the E-P1 announcement has been incredible. The long and frenzied threads over at RangeFinderForum and the Fred Miranda Forums are your evidence.

I've ordered a product like this before (Sigma DP2). Wasted a pretty penny I don't mind telling you and if the Pen's iS (image stabilization) really works, I'll order a dozen.

The M43 Playing Field (with some competition):

Now that we have official specs, we can proceed with the inevitable comparisons with Panasonic's G1 and GH1. I've thrown in the Canon T1i and Pentax K-7 as well, since they represent different levels of the compact DSLR. The DP2 is in there to feel some shame.

Olympus E-P1 Panasonic G1 Panasonic GH1 Sigma DP2 Canon T1i (500D) Pentax K-7
Price

$800 with 14-42/3.5-5.6 lens (28-84mm EFoV) $900 with 17/2.8 pancake lens (34mm EFoV)

$700 (black) or $640 (blue or red) with 14-45/3.5-5.6 OIS lens (28-90mm EFoV) $1,500 with 14-140/4.0-5.8 OIS HD lens (28-280mm EFoV) $650 with fixed 24/2.8 lens (41mm EFoV) $850 with 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS lens (29-88mm EFoV) $1400 (est.) with 18-55/3.5-3.6 WR lens (27-83mm EFV)
Size 121x70x36 mm + considerably thinner than and approx 2/3 the volume of G1/GH1 124x84x45 mm 124x90x45 mm 113x60x56 mm (inc. lens) 129x98x62 mm 131x97x73 mm
Weight 410g body inc. battery 360g body inc. battery 385g body only (?) 280g body inc. battery and lens 520g body inc. battery 754g body inc. battery
Sensor 12.3mp (13.1 actual) 4/3" w/ 2x crop factor 12.1mp (13.1 actual) 4/3" w/ 2x crop factor 12.1mp (14.1mp actual) 4/3" w/ 2x crop factor + true multi-aspect sensor APS-C w/ 1.7x crop factor 15.1mp (15.5mp actual) APS-C w/ 1.6x crop factor 14.6mp (15.1mp actual) APS-C w/ 1.5x crop factor
Video 720p @ 30fps MJPEG (weak compression) None

1080p and 720p @ 30fps AVCHD or MJPEG

320x240 only 1080p @ 20fps 720p @ 30fps 720p (or 1080i) MJPEG (weak compression)
Stabilization In-body - not active during filming + works with all lenses In-lens + active during filming - each lens needs OIS In-lens + active during filming - each lens needs OIS None In-lens + active during filming - each lens needs IS In-body - not active during filming + works with all lenses
LCD Screen 3 inch - non-articulating - 230,000 dots

3 inch + tilt and swivel + 460,000 dots

3 inch + tilt and swivel + 460,000 dots

2.6 inch - non articulating - 230,000 dots - terrible

3 inch - non-articulating + 920,000 dots 3 inch - non-articulating + 920,000 dots
Viewfinder None (optional hotshoe finder w/ 17mm lens) Excellent EVF 100% coverage Excellent EVF 100% coverage None (optional hotshoe finder) Optical TTL 95% coverage Optical TTL 100% coverage
Built-In Flash? No Yes Yes

Yes (but very slow and weak)

Yes Yes
AF Assist Only w/ add-on Olympus flash units Built-in dedicated lamp (not flash strobes like many DSLRS) Built-in dedicated lamp (not flash strobes like many DSLRS) None (!) Yes, but uses annoying flash strobes. Built-in dedicated lamp (not flash strobes like many DSLRS)

EFoV is short for "equivalent field-of-view". Simply saying 'equivalent' is a bit misleading.

1 comment:

linh said...

Did you stay up to read up? heh. I think I found my next camera... or do I wait and hope panasonic comes out with their version w/ the AF from the G1/GH1...

And time to stock up on old small OM lenses. Too bad their value probably just shot up