Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of)
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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/15/2009 10:20:12 MDT Print View

http://blog.livedoor.jp/e_p1/

(Some translation req.)

Even more than the Panny G series, this will become a game changer. That it's a lovely thing to look at doesn't hurt either. I'm hoping Oly will unveil a lens roadmap as part of the official rollout so we can see what's in store in the mid-term. Note also the two lens adapters, which are for 4/3 system lenses (certainly) and m-mount lenses (probably), which should thrill those who can't quite cough up $7k for an M8.2 but have some lenses.

Cheers,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 06/15/2009 10:20:51 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/15/2009 10:27:52 MDT Print View

As a followup, the other adapter may be an OM mount adapter, which makes sense in an Oly product. FWIW there are already 3rd party µ4/3 M-mount adapters, so Oly may not see the need to have their own.

More pics, along with some specs.

http://dcdv.zol.com.cn/137/1373538.html

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 06/15/2009 12:42:12 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/15/2009 23:34:10 MDT Print View

Officially announced now. Preview available at dpreview. This is going to be hugely popular amongst backpacking photographers. $750 body only, $800 with kit zoom, or $900 with 17mm f2.8 pancake plus optical finder. Weight is 335g.

I'm definitely getting one... it should have awesome video quality, although limited to 5 minute clips. If the autofocus during shooting works well this is going to be a killer.

Good on ya Oly!

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
PC Magazine review of the new Olympus camera on 06/16/2009 00:19:36 MDT Print View

PC Magazine brief story "Olympus Launches Micro Four Thirds Camera"

Edited by blean on 06/16/2009 00:26:13 MDT.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Olympus Digital Pen digital SLR on 06/16/2009 10:46:11 MDT Print View

The camera body is 335 grams = 11.8 oz.
120.6 mm (W) x 69.9mm (H) x 36.4 mm (D)
17mm f2.8 lens weighs 2.6 oz.
Also 14mm-42mm f3.5-f5.6, weight=???
There's adapters for OM and 4/3 lenses.
I'm sorry I can't afford it.
(Maybe I should sell some of my other photographic gear.)

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Re: Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/16/2009 12:17:20 MDT Print View

..

Edited by huzefa on 06/16/2009 12:39:16 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/16/2009 12:48:16 MDT Print View

I lifted this from DP Review:

"The E-P1's movie mode works in a similar way to most compacts (press the shutter to start and end clips) and there are various options on offer before you shoot. Focus is normally fixed whilst filming but this can be over-ridden by pressing the AFL/AEL button or by activating continuous AF in the menu."

So it would seem that CAF is available, a notable shortcoming with dslr-hosted video. I also understand that EP1 image stabilization works with video, which will be brilliant if it's the case.

Evidently a whole lot of extra work must go into still lenses to make them fully video compatible. Panasonic is leading the way with their newest G-series lens, the 14-140. Presumably the Oly µ4/3 lenses will follow their lead. (I'm suitably amazed at the 71-gram weight for the 17mm.)

Cheers,

Rick

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/16/2009 13:05:10 MDT Print View

I found the Canon S2IS to be good in movie mode. You can zoom, it refocuses, and you can take stills while filming too.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled on 06/16/2009 19:37:37 MDT Print View

The much larger sensor (compared to all compacts apart from the Sigma DP1/2) results in a much shallower deph of field for stills and movie clips alike. Much nicer in fact than what you get from a standard consumer camcorder.
Have a look for example at the "daisy" clip at DPReview.

Note that it uses SD HD cards, signaling an even more imminent end for XD.
Note also that the movie clips are M-JPEG , a much less compressed file than MPEG4/AVCHD but much easier to edit.
Having just read the other thread about "the ideal backpacking camera" the size of the new "ultracompact" (compared with the other similar zooms) 14-42mm shows what can be done , if a smaller design would have been possible with the existing technology, Olympus would have implemented that.
Liquid lenses, multiple pinholes and the like are not suitable for this kind of camera.
Also, a lot of image processing is done on board and is unique to each manufacturer and continuously upgraded (firmware) . So it isn't as simple as plugging in a lens with a sensor into a separate storage device.
BTW, to further illustrate where we are at with miniaturisation, note that there there is no built in flash.
It could be that it was done to keep that classic retro styling, but I suspect that they run out of room inside the body.
The usual way these cameras are designed is to start with a preconceived body size, in this case the Pen F and then start procuring/designing all the necessary bits to fit inside that . This is the major reason for the great variety of battery sizes, pretty much the last "compromise" available to the engineers.

This is a cross cut view of the EP1...
EP1 cross cut

Franco

Edited by Franco on 06/20/2009 18:54:39 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled on 06/20/2009 20:03:02 MDT Print View

>Also, a lot of image processing is done on board and is unique to each manufacturer and continuously upgraded (firmware) . So it isn't as simple as plugging in a lens with a sensor into a separate storage device.

Just think for a moment how a webcam works. It is basically lens, sensor and USB interface. Digital stream from ADC is sent to the computer via USB. All the image processing /storage is done on the computer.


Why would it be difficult to make something similar with foveon sensor, liquid lens, and USB interface connecting to iphone? Only way to know for sure is to contact Holochip. I havent heard back from them. Can someone give them a call?

Obviously it had be a very niche product that would work only with new iPhone 3GS. But to me iphone 3GS, zoom lens camera, flashlight, and built-in weather sensor under 10 oz would be ideal.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/21/2009 17:53:16 MDT Print View

Huzefa
You have answered your own questions...
"Just think for a moment how a webcam works."
I thought about that for about two moments, what comes to mind is the quality you get from a web cam.
Without many lens elements set in a few groups (see above cross cut) it isn't possible to get an image that is acceptable by today's standards. And keep in mind that there is a lot of image manipulation going on in firmware in the EP1, to correct the limitations of such a small lens design.
Have a look at thees articles to give you an idea of the complexity of lens design both optically as well as mechanically.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_(optics)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_lens_design
http://www.adaptall-2.com/articles/InsideZoomLens/InsideZoomLens.html
BTW, you also need a focal plane shutter in there...
If you are not after photographic quality comparable to a good compact, then we already have phones with a built in camera.
"Obviously it had be a very niche product that would work only with new iPhone 3GS
Short of making it as an attention grabbing (loss making) product as a flag waving exercise (like some of those weird "concept cars") I don't think that any sane manufacturer would sink a few million dollars developing a "very niche product".
Franco

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Oly µ4/3 EP1 Unveiled (sort of) on 06/21/2009 23:34:52 MDT Print View

>Without many lens elements set in a few groups (see above cross cut) it isn't possible to get an image that is acceptable by today's standards.

Are you confusing webcam lens with a liquid lens?

There are many type of liquid lens designs but this one is probably most suitable:


I believe that you need multiple lens element in order to focus or zoom. Fixed focus lens [webcam/some mobile cameras] obviously cannot compare with the the quality of autofocus/optical zoom lenses.

Liquid zoom lens is designed to change its convexity and/or concavity in order to focus and zoom.

>And keep in mind that there is a lot of image manipulation going on in firmware in the EP1, to correct the limitations of such a small lens design.
>BTW, you also need a focal plane shutter in there...

these feature can be implemented in a liquid lens camera also.

>If you are not after photographic quality comparable to a good compact,
I am obviously after serious photographic quality, but something in SUL realm.

I could be wrong but I am not convinced that making a prototype will cost "a few million dollars". May be a few of thousand dollars max, if I can write application software myself.

Liquid lens fabrication process seems very simple compared to conventional lens.

I am not aware of what liquid is used by lens manufacturers but according to a bit of research I did 66.7% glycerol - water solution is colourless, has freezing temp of -50F, better refractive index then water and very good surface tension comparable to water.

What I have in mind is SUL integrated system for under one pound consisting of

>iphone 3GS
>zoom lens camera with amazing photo quality, flashlight, weather tracker
>Iridium satellite transceiver/antenna module for 2way communication and real time GPS tracking

After more thinking it seems like very big niche - outdoor photography, journalists, researchers working in remote places, sea travelers by ship, and military form a huge market.

Edited by huzefa on 06/21/2009 23:47:04 MDT.