Olympus announcements -- pathetic and underwhelming

Started Oct 17, 2007 | Discussions thread
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toughluck
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Olympus announcements -- pathetic and underwhelming
Oct 17, 2007

Let's start with the camera, and I'll move on to lenses later.

E-3 -- ho-hum. Apart from the swivelling screen, there's nothing in this package that's better than what Canon, Nikon and Sony offer in this price range (and it's a wide one at that).
2.5" vs. 3" LCD -- beaten by everybody
230,000 vs. 920,000 pixels -- beaten by Nikon and Sony
5 vs. 6.5 or 7 fps -- beaten by Canon and Nikon
10 vs. 12 megapixels -- beaten by Nikon and Sony
twice the sensor size -- beaten by everybody
price -- higher than D300 -- what are they thinking?

Lenses:

12-60/2.8-4 -- "world's fastest AF" -- quite a bold claim for a company that doesn't supply a preview camera to a leading review site. What are they comparing it to? Camera/lens combos with a similar sensor size or smaller? I would like to see a comparison with a Nikon D3 or Canon EOS 1DIII. Don't mind the price -- they claim world's fastest AF, not "fastest AF in its class," or anything like that.

I'll skip the 50-200 and move on to 14-35/2. If it weren't for digital film, I'd call it the ultimate vapourware in photography world. It was announced two AND a half years ago!
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0502/05021712oly_3new43lenses.asp

There it is, in print -- back in February 2005, it was slated to be available in Autumn 2005 -- two years ago! Plus, its f/2 aperture is not all there is to it.
14-35/2 = 7 mm to 17.5 mm aperture diameter.
17-55/2.8 = 6.07 mm to 19.64 mm aperture diameter.
24-70/2.8 = 8.57 mm to 25 mm aperture diameter.
28-70/2.8 = 10 mm to 25 mm aperture diameter.
28-105/4 = 7 mm to 26.25 mm aperture diameter.
28-105/3.5-4.5 = 8 mm to 23.333 mm aperture diameter.

So its actual aperture is only a millimetre larger at the wide end than that of its nearest competitors (Canon and Nikon f/2.8 zooms, which go wider than Olympus), it's already smaller at the wide end than typical amateur zooms that start at 28/3.5, and it's a lot smaller than that of typical full frame standard fast zooms (which can go wider), while at tele, it's smaller than everything else, only slightly smaller than that of 55/2.8, but a lot smaller than all its competition.

As for the last important announcement, it looks like it's a rebadged Sigma. All those 70-300 lenses nowadays seem to trace back to the original Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD design. Assuming some things had to be done to the design to allow for enough sharpness to work on a smaller sensor even when wide open (diffraction kicks in faster for 4/3 system at equivalent sensor resolution), it's still an amateur class lens at heart and I doubt it will be much (if anything) better than Sigma 70-300, which has been available in 4/3 mount for over 2 years.

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