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June 15, 2009

The Olympus E-P1 is officially announced (the wait is over!)

To make it easier to follow the latest updates, we have restructured this post. A new segment has been added to the top of the page, and the morning edition follows that.


For the latest E-P1 news [New!]
For the latest E-P1 news, be sure to check the E-P1 mini-blog. It contains the summaries of all our latest posts on the camera, with the latest updates shown first.


After the announcement party (Tuesday)
We have just created a new Amazon Pre-Order store that has all the E-P1 related items. You can also access it directly.

Reporting after the NYC event today, Hannah Thiem posts her hands-on impressions at Photo.net.

It will be released in Japan on July 3rd points out Foto Actualidad.

If you think the E-P1 is not for you (eg you prefer OVF and on-board flash), then (what a coincidence) Amazon has a great deal for the Panasonic G1 2-lens kit for $716. This is for the blue and red colors, not the black G1 color. This is an intermediate-level deal, so be sure to check the details in this G1 deal alert step-by-step post.

Live from the NYC, PDN Pulse has posted a (web-size) sample picture taken during the Olympus press event there.

Full-size (but very rushed) sample pictures with alleged production firmware at Photography Blog.

Our favorite unboxing cerenomy comes from Photography Review, Dharma-Initiative style. Look for the YouTube video towards the middle of the page!

Serious Compacts discusses the distortion-correction feature mentioned in W's interview with dpreview in Berlin.

dpreview is celebrating with a series of sample videos, most of them using the video-friendly Panasonic 14-140mm lens.

A Q&A with readers on the camera by Ian B. at Four Thirds User.

A preview which includes a 4-minute video preview of the camera (not the video mode) is posted at Digital Camera Review.

A new preview of the camera by Leonard Goh at CNet Asia

Press photographers swarm an E-P1 display, see the picture at the bottom of this AP-UK post. And a four-minute video showing photographers swarming the E-P1 display at 4/3rds User.

Text-based preview by Eamon Hickey at TOP.

Practice your french with this preview at Focus Numerique. Tres jolie?

"Analects" of the Japanese presentation by computer-translated DC Watch.

The blender CEO mixes in all sorts of things and comes up with... an E-P1! See the silly video at the ALC E-P1 post.

Press release, diagrams, accessories and more at the Imaging Insider.


The official E-P1 announcements and previews

+ You can now PRE-ORDER various configurations of the E-P1 at Amazon for $700, $800 and $900!

+ 13-page preview at dpreview with Simon Joinson - includes 48 (!) sample pictures!

+ Press release at dpreview

+ 11-page Four Thirds Photo preview

+ 24-minute podcast on the E-P1 (downloadable as mp3) from Derrick Story

+ Imaging Resource preview

+ Apply for a free one-week trial of the Digital Pen! From Olympus itself.

+ Olympus America product page

+ Olympus Europe - the Digital Pen Site

+ Let's Go Digital - with a million product pictures

+ Four Thirds User

+ TOP summary

+ Steve's Digicams

+ Ten of the first 100 people who respond to the just-emailed newsletter from Olympus Europa will receive a free trip to Hamburg to test-drive the camera!

+ First formal PREVIEW of the E-P1 at DC Resource has gone live! However the preview mentions that the previewed camera is NOT final. It reveals the US prices - $800 for 14-42mm kit. This is a three-page preview, so be sure to check the other two pages! Page #2 features among others side-by-side pictures with the Panasonic G1 body - it makes the G1 look big! And the G1 is a relatively small camera. Some points on early performance (ouch?) and lots of menu screenshots on page #3.


Countdown to the official E-P1 announcement
One thing to note, if there was excitement among Leicaphiles putting their lenses on the G1, imagine how happy they will be to put them on this compact camera!

While there is some stillness in the E-P1 air, we have something else of Micro Four Thirds interest to keep you busy. Japanese website DC Watch has posted a Panasonic G1 vs GH1 ISO comparison. The pictures in the test are available to download as full-size JPEGs, so you can check them at full-size or put them through your workflow.

If you can't load the pictures from the previously mentioned websites due to heavy traffic, they are also posted at the livedoor blog (Japanese) - via Twitter.

A pre-emptive strike in the Oly forums at dpreview. Fans of the E-P1 have created a troll-bait post. And a real troll-post.

French website NumeriMatch (see posts below) is currently hammered with traffic and very slow to load.

Some new pictures at OM user via Twitter user Michael Yung.

The European prices according to a french website are discussed in this dpreview thread.

The Olympus Twitter is excited - posting presumably from a Blackberry: "The countdown is on! Something big is going to happen. I can feel it! Are you excited?" You can also follow this blog's complimentary Twitter updates.

A new wave of camera-body pictures have surfaced, discussed at GetDPI (towards the bottom of the page, past the HelloKitty parody), and found on the french website NumeriMatch. Click on each picture to see a larger version. They have close-ups of the mount, and they open some of the compartments! They also have pictures of the "Art Filters" menu. They also reveal a 25cm (focusing distance) on the 14-42mm lens.

This dpreview thread has a chinese press release linked and discussed, which includes the basic specs such as:

+ 12-megapixels (4032 by 3024)
+ TruePIC III+
+ 3-inch LCD display (230k)
+ ISO 100-6400 (the extreme two in manual ISO)
+ three types of image stabilization
+ 720p and VGA video (7 and 14 minutes per clip)
+ SD/SDHC card [thank you Olympus for seeing the byte-light!]
+ uses existing BLS-1 battery
+ 3fps (14 RAW)
+ Live View
+ human-translated full specs

We have the first sample pictures taken with the E-P1 at zol.com.cn. They are a continuation of the 18-picture gallery mentioned below.

More of the Chinese pictures via Twitter user miemo - a total of 18 pictures at zol.com.cn, including a new leather "case".

Hot new pictures from China (zol.com.cn) have surfaced at the Steve's Digicams forums with clear views of the back of the camera with all the buttons clearly identifiable. It looks like an adorably edible camera :)

The official Olympus twitter user is excited after his pastrami sandwich. He even has a teaser (?) of stacked batteries.

A couple of threads in the dpreview forums have gone up asking who's getting it?

In the meantime, here is a visual size estimation based on the previously leaked pictures.

And some discussion at the Rangefinder forum.

More discussion this time at Photo.net (HTML error corrected)

We have yelled at Olympus for xD for years, so after the announcement excitement quiets down in the next few days, we will have a proper "pros to Olympus" for going with SD/SDHC :)

The name is going to generate some google collisions as "EP1" is also the name for "Episode #1" for TV shows.


Olympus E-P1 and lens leaks
Thanks to everyone for sending in tips about this! The Olympus dpreview forums are on-fire with new pictures coming from the Chinese-speaking Xitek website. Engadget has organized the leaked pictures in an easy to browse gallery.

The leaked lenses are the:
+ Olympus 17mm f2.8 (37mm filter)
+ Olympus 14-42mm f3.5-5.6

The name "M.Zuiko" very likely indicates MicroFourThirds.Zuiko. It would be xD-suicide if they introduced a 2009 camera going after the mass-market with manual focus only :)

A different dpreview forum thread points to a collage picture of accessories, including a StarTrek-TOS-looking optional hot-shoe-mounted phaser-flash. Other accessories include:
+ an external OVF
+ Four Thirds lens adapter
+ OM lens adapter (let all OM fans say Om,Om,Om,Om)
+ a couple of small things.

One of the discussions in the Get DPI forums notes that one of the gadget-blogs mentions "3CCD", which seems rather unlikely for the E-P1. Perhaps they blended that with the Trine R&D Talk?

Where in the world are the filter threads on them lenses ask the RFF photogs.

And some speculation in the dprevi forums on what the actual specs might be.

You can sort out the timezone differences with the world-clock at timeanddate.com.

One of the readers at 4-3system.com points out that some of the accessories can already be found at some Oly websites. (we haven't checked).


Panasonic Micro Four Thirds update on 20mm f1.7 M43 lens
Thanks to one of our readers for sending this in: A member of Panasonic Support at the UK "Lumix Lifestyle" forum responded to a question and said about the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 M43 lens "Panasonic plans to launch he product this autumn". So now we know the lens is boy ;-)


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