Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Is that the E-P2 or your E-P1 is just happy to see me?..

I have expected the E-P2 to be a minor upgrade to the E-P1, but definitely did not expect it to be this minor.

Basically, what Olympus did was to include a port for an EVF, thus allowing an external EVF and microphone to be mounted on the E-P2. I suspect Olympus timed the E-P2 to be launched after Epson's 1.44mpx EVF goes into production not long ago.

Other improvements include
- TruePic V (is this just a renaming of the TruePic III+?)
- 2 new Art Filters (Cross Processing and Diorama),
- iEnhance
- AF Tracking.
- Full Manual Control of shutter/aperture in Movie Mode
- HDMI Control of camera's playback function using the TV Remote when connected to HDTV

I suspect these other enhancement could be added to the E-P1 via firmware upgrade.

What about the single most important improvement that we are all looking for? AF Speed. cnet-asia reported this about the AF speed.

"The unit we tried was a prototype, so we weren't not able to find out whether Olympus has fixed the slow focusing problem which plagued the E-P1. We'll know when a commercial unit arrives in our Labs."

In my opinion, there may not be a major jump in AF speed. I remember that dpreview tested the AF speed of E-P1 with multiple lenses, pitting E-P1 against the GH1. (link)

The conclusions are:
- AF speed is highly dependent on the lens used. The M.Zuiko 14-42mm produces the slowest AF speed amongst all the lens tested, namely the 17mm and the 14-140mm. The 14-140mm being the fastest.
- Even when using the same lens, the GH1 was 50% faster than the E-P1, except for the 17mm.

So, while there is hope that Oly may improve AF speed of the E-P2 with TruePic V, I am doubtful it will be drastic. Not if the same 14-42mm kit lens is used...

*sigh* so it is possible that Olympus packed in some new features that many do not care for into the E-P2 and left the single biggest issue with the camera, AF speed, unfixed.

Oh ya, the most improvement of the comes in BLACK!!!

At the same time, Olympus launched 2 new lenses for the m4/3 mount:

  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 super wide-angle zoom lens (first half of 2010)
  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 high-power telephoto zoom lens (first half of 2010)

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