The Olympus E-P1 Is Here

That was quick - like two days. Anyway the UPS man showed up and here it is. I tore it out of the box slammed the battery in and guess what? No SD cards - yes I know you have to buy them, I ordered a couple of 8GB cards the same day, maybe they'll be here later. I did scrounge up an ancient 256MB SD card at the bottom of a drawer and shot of couple of grab shots to make sure it worked. So here is my first couple impressions - way more later.

  1. It's not going back - I love this little camera.
  2. The AF is not anything like a crappy point and shoot. If you can't nail a shot with this in normal light you suck. Have none of the mamby-pamby's ever shot MF before - WTF.
  3. Shutter lag or lack there of is great. Really it's great, I have no issue with this thing taking the picture when I tell it to.
  4. Stupid ass mode makes most of the buttons not work as if you are going to hurt yourself if the freaking AE lock worked so it's less useful than it could be. I guess I will reserve that for when I am drunk.
  5. In non-drunk mode like A or P or even M it is great. I haven't even had 10 minutes to figure out all the custom ways you can set it up. More later, I am sure I will have some recommendations. The only think I set up is single + manual focus mode which is great and made the AE lock button sticky, I wish it wouldn't clear after the shot but hey.
  6. The out of camera JPEG is some of the best I have ever seen - Olympus has a flair for their JPEG engines and this is their best yet. Really. Of course I will probably shoot RAW+JPEG but I love the JPEGs and will probably use them as is. You can fine tune the crap out of them in camera with settings as well as use Oly's pre baked. They are good.
  7. Auto WB is great - also fine tune-able as is exposure in every mode.
  8. The kit lens seems useful. I can't wait to try some other ones.The people that complain about this lens which is pretty much free (body only costs only a fraction less - I won't even bother trying to piece it out if I end up getting an E-P2. Heck even at 300 bucks stand-alone it's pretty cool. The idiots that complain that it collapses and it takes to long to manually collapse and open it are idiots. You don't have to wait for some wimpy motor to wind it in and out. I like how compact it folds up.
  9. DOF wide open can still give you some good effects - I was worried about this on a M43 sensor.
  10. This is a great looking camera that looks and feels like a million bucks for 300 and some change.
  11. Buttons are a little small for my stupid-big hands but workable.
  12. Video looks fantastic at first glance. To be honest i ignored all the AF complaints about the video because they were all related to continuous focus tracking. Are you kidding me? Get real do you think real videos are made with AF and continuous tracking? Use your iPhone for gods sake it's fine if you want a crappy looking handheld AF video. Real video is MF and the focus isn't changing all over the place quickly. More on this later. I do know a thing or three about motion media from a previous life.

Too bad it's mid-day noon crappy hazy hot sun. I'll have to charge the battery and go shooting later for a better report on performance. In any mode but drunk-mode this thing handles a lot like a DSLR shift it around with the dials. There are plenty of dedicated buttons to shift around common things. Live mode adjustments are quick and easy and have nothing to do with the buttons - it is very workable compared to most point and shoots.

I can't wait to figure out how to customized some of the memories with my preferred settings. Thank god that is pretty much the only reason to ever go into the menus - the instruction manual is worthless. You know how when you read to yourself you hear your voice, or maybe someone else's like the imagined character. When you read this manual you will hear the South Park chinese guy, at least I do. There are a couple of custom memories you can setup, you can fine tune all of the picture "look" presets, you can have your own picture look custom preset, heck you can even have color filters and tints to the OOC black and white JPG's.

Very cool - I do want a viewfinder but I am going to struggle along with just the live view screen for at least a couple months to get used to it. I told you I have never owned a point and shoot. I want to get rid of my bias so I can really be objective about viewfinder vs screen. If I had a viewfinder right now I would never use the screen.

Okay - the image at the top is a 100% view of the very very very first image ever shot on this camera. Auto WB, natural color mode, ISO 200, AE lock, AF, all the way wide, P mode w/ program shift to max Aperture jammed into a flower pot with the sky in the background. Yea I can use this thing.

More later - I have to play.


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