What an excellent update. These are pretty much all the features that the Japan-only Stylus 1s offers. I am particularly pleased to see the small AF target and the replacement of zoom ratio display in the viewfinder with 35mm equivalent focal lengths, as on the m43 cameras. And focus peaking too. Well done, Olympus.
I have a Stylus 1 and it's a decent, pleasant little camera (it's a supplement to my m43 cameras). It's nice that it has the OM-D control interface (largely) and the same EVF. Perhaps the fact that the Stylus 1s won't be sold outside Japan might make it more likely for firmware upgrades to be provided for the Stylus 1 in countries where it will continue to be sold - I'd welcome the small AF spot setting most of all. It might increase the sales a bit amongst those aware of it. The 1s seems so similar that it ought to be quite easy for Olympus to provide a firmware update for the original model in non-Japanese territories, where doing this wouldn't cannibalise sales of the Stylus 1s.
Helen: "Sadly, Auto ISO is not available in Manual exposure mode"
Is that certain? It always has been available on previous models and it would be unusual for Olympus to delete a function, going by their previous track record. It isn't available out of the box, but has always been available after one visit into the appropriate page of the "gears" menus.
Richard - thanks for the update (and the smile!).
I'd still be surprised if Auto ISO in manual has gone away though, given that Olympuses have had it since the year dot. I find program shift useful too, but it does tend to unpredictable and require constant twiddling if one is after a particular aperture and shutter speed combination. Once the instructions are online all will be clarified, I hope. It would be a shame to see the feature go as other manufacturers finally bring it in (e.g. the FZ1000 and also Sony on the a6000).
It's one of those "contradiction in terms" features that sounds illogical until you have a use for it - then you realise how useful it actually can be, and miss it if it's not available. Weirdly, Panasonic stubbornly leaves it out of their m43 cameras, but has included it on the FZ1000, so maybe it will turn up soon in a firmware update if they've had a change of heart about it. Or not - who knows?!
Yes, kind of. It equates to Pentax's Sv mode, really. Comes in handy for certain types of shooting when you want to be sure that (for example) the aperture and shutter speed stay at certain values but the camera still keeps the exposure correct if the light changes. I find it useful for shots of small birds on a fairly nearby feeder, for example.
"Sadly, Auto ISO is not available in Manual exposure mode"
milek: The screen, the control dial and the IS are definite improvements over the previous generation. So good job on that (finally).
Why Olympus still stubbornly refuses to build the flash into the body of an entry-level model is beyond me though. Olympus, get it into your thick skulls: *nobody* wants to carry that pointless external toy flash with them -- I've literally never used it, not a single time, because I never have it with me. They finally fixed it in OM-D E-M10 and you would've thought that they would extend it to the rest of the range, but I guess that was too much to ask. Panasonic managed to squeeze one in the tiny GM1, damn it!
The decision not to bundle the camera with the pancake zoom seems similarly short-sighted. Or is that again going to be a US-only "feature", like with E-M10? If so, could the "genius" responsible for these decisions please finally be fired?!
I don't understand why they don't build a flash in either - there must be room in the body - I presume it's just for differentiation of the lines of Pens. The irony is that the E-PL1 was the first Pen model to HAVE a built-in flash (as did the E-PL1s, and the following E-PL2) - and including one surely makes more sense in the cheaper line which is going after buyers who will likely expect it to be there.
Impulses: Not a bad update, it's about damn time they moved on from those widescreen displays on the PENs... Seems silly but that was a major turn off for me.
If this had an EVF I'd probably consider upgrading from my lowly GF6 (for IBIS and the sensor), but then it'd probably cost more... I should probably just hold off until stuff like DFD or hybrid PDAF starts trickling down before upgrading anyway.
Price is a little high but that seems par for the course with MFT, introductory price never lasts long anyway. It really ought to come with the pancake zoom tho... Nonetheless, I'm glad Oly remains committed to this style of body, since Panasonic is ignoring the GF line for now.
Actually, they HAVE moved on from the widescreen display on this Pen - it has the same size and shape of screen as your current GF6.
Strangely, in the UK, the E-PL7 is priced LOWER than I expected - with the 14-42 IIR, as on the E-PL5, it appears it's going to be only £70 more at its recommended price (which will fall in due course, as they always do) as the current reduced selling-off price of the E-PL5. It also appears that we will be getting the choice of kits with the 14-42 EZ power zoom (though for £100 extra, which is the same differential as for the EZ over the IIR with the OM-D E-M10 over here).
It appears that maybe Olympus is being a bit more realistic/aggressive in its marketing for the UK at least, which is a nice change, though it's all relative of course as cameras are generally dearer over here than in the US, overall.
i don't know about the rest of europe.But it has been available in the netherlands for quiet some time
On the other hand, the E-PL6 has never been officially available in the UK, so this is one place it will be new(ish). Interesting that it will be coming with the 14-42 EZ zoom, hitherto only supplied with the E-M10 on these shores (or separately, for a rather high price).
Interesting hands-on report, nice camera. One observation, though: the customisable mode dial (applying MySets to it) isn't actually new for this model as stated in the article - this very useful feature is already available on the E-PL5 and has been since its launch - that model was the first (and hitherto only) Pen to offer it. Nice to see this feature spreading to new models though.
I agree with MarkInSF - was about to post the same point myself. The G3 definitely has an aluminium front panel, just like the G5 has - far colder than the plastic rear half and top trim. My G3 is early production - unless they altered the build in later ones (unlikely, but not impossible I suppose).
"Interesting" is a good choice of words for the design...