**** 2007 NEWS ****
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E-3 REVIEW COMING SOON:
I am currently constructing a review of my own E-3 and am awaiting a SWD12-60mm lens from Olympus UK for test. The lens was supposed to be with me early December but as of 29th December has not arrived.
I have revised the date by which my review will be complete to mid January 2008 - Sorry for the delay.
Taster to date - I have some ergonomic issues with the body; otherwise the E-3 and its performance is very, very good indeed.
OLYMPUS PHOTOGRAPHERS MEET IN YORK, UK:
Another successful day was held in York, UK organised by Brian Mosley who is promoting his "PhotoSafari" concept. It looks as though the weather was 'challenging' - not unusual for December in the UK - but the attendees enjoyed the occasion. Read what they say about the day as well as looking at all their photographs via a new SlideShow here.
E-3 USER MANUAL ON THIS SITE:
For anyone doing the best possible research on the E-3 its user manual is invaluable. It's an Adobe PDF; 17MB and around 160 pages, so you'll need broadband. You can download it from here.
OLYMPUS PHOTOGRAPHERS MEET IN YORK, UK:
Following the success of the UK's first PhotoSafari organised by Brian Mosley that produced the Internet storming "Many Hands on the E-3" field report, a further get together is currently being arranged for December. Here is Brian's invitation to you:-
If you are in the UK, or could get here for the weekend of 8th/9th of December, we are planning a Christmas event in York, and I'm just beginning to research the location in order to organise a fantastic photographic event - around plenty of socialising, and a fine meal at the end of the day!
If you would like to be added to my contact list, to be kept informed of this and future events, then please e-mail me direct: here.
Please support Brian if you possibly can.
UK OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF E-3:
Olympus UK organized three launch events of the E-3, two at The Worx and one at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. All the originators of the 'Many Hands on the E-3' report were invited and those who were able to attend have contributed to a further article about the events here.
MANY HANDS ON THE E-3:
This is a unique article. In association with Olympus fan Brian Mosley (from UK) we are pleased to present the findings from a dozen users on a weekend field trial of an E-3 on loan from OLYMPUS UK. Read sound, reliable and honest opinion on how the camera performed in all types of typical UK weather here.
ZD40-150mm OLD & NEW VERSIONS COMPARED. EC14 WITH THESE LENSES?
After many requests I've done a comparison of the older version versus the newer compact version of this popular lens. I also examine if it is possible to use them with the EC14 converter. Read my findings here.
HANDS ON THE E-3
We are very fortunate that Skip Williams has agreed to give us his views on the E-3 when he attended the release day held by PhotoPlus last Saturday in New York City. Read his comments here.
E-3 COMMERCIAL BROCHURE:
Read Olympus' first commercial E-3 Brochure here.
The specifications are now confirmed. I'll keep this under review but read the latest here.
RAW THUMBNAIL VIEWERS:
It's annoying when Windows Explorer doesn't display all your thumbnails when browsing your folders full of images, particularly your ORF's. Here are two small programmes that allow just that and work directly within the OS, both Vista and XP.
The a codec available to enable thumbnails of RAW images using Microsoft VISTA system is available at the Olympus, Japan website. Thanks to Bill Bartlett.
The small programme that enables the same RAW file thumbnail viewing using Windows XP is free from ArcSoft and is available at the ArcSoft site.
ZD18-180mm ULTRA ZOOM TESTED:
I've had this lens for about six weeks and the review I've written was one of the most difficult so far. How does this super zoom perform? Are the rumours of softness true? Do I recommend this lens?
Read my findings here.
NEW OLYMPUS E-3 ON SHOW IN KOREA
After much specualtion the now 'officially' named E-3 takes another step closer to reality. Late in August 2007 a series of images of the new camera were posted on the Internet from a camera exhibition and promotion in Korea at which Olympus, Japan introduced some new compact digital cameras. The company took this opportunity to show the world the new E-3 body in its (presumed) final guise before mass production. Fitted is a demonstration version of the ZD12-60mm f=2.8~4.0 zoom with clear sections to show the new SWD high speed focus innards. No specifications have been made available, but the 'leaked' PDF (see bullets below) sets out the salient specs.
More images of the E-3 are available here if you wish to study them; please note this is a large file capable of enlargement via your mouse. There is also a general discussion about the new camera put together several weeks ago based on known information at the time here.
I'm working on a new article which brings together all that's known about the new E-3 to date. I hope to post this soon. Please keep looking.
NEW PANASONIC LUMIX L10; RE-SKINNED E-3?
Take a look at the test model above and see how close it is to the new E-3 pictured immediately below and further down the page. There are many similarities and to me this body is that of the yet to be announced Olympus E-3 with a modified skin and button/dial arrangement. The L10 DSLR similarly boasts a 9 or 11 point AF system and an enlarged viewfinder - similar to the (new) E-3. Its size equates almost to the Olympus E-1 (and therefore the E-3) rather than the newer E-510. However, there will be differences (and there needs to be), as the E-3 and L10 machines will go head to head in the marketplace but aimed at different groups. Panasonic have promised a pro-level DSLR camera for some time though whether this is it reamins to be seen; but the new L10 explains why the L1 is currently being cleared out at knock down prices (including the Leica 14-50mm IS zoom lens.)
There's no information on release dates, but I cannot see the L10 being announced before the E-3's debut of mid-October 2007 and I'm presuming it will be unveiled later in the year or early 2008. The lens on the above L10 seems to be a new version of the Leica 14-50mm without (either) the aperture ring or the MF ring but sporting the Mega IS feature indicating no 'in-body' Image Stabilisation in the L10! [The new lens turns out to be a less well specified, read slower, version of the 14-50 without the aperture ring]. If the previous price differentail between the E-330 and the Panasonic L1 is to be repeated the L10 may be more expensive than the upcoming E-3. It's all getting very interesting.
NOTE 30/08/07: The L10 has just been pre-viewed at DPReview.com and will be announced at Photokina in Germany. (According to Marco Frissen there is not going to be a Photokina in 2007 - thanks. DPReview's note about sending the L10 off to Germany led me to think of Photokina - wrongly. BTW Marco, my contact details are available via the SITE TOOLS link.) Specification wise it seems to rest between the Olympus E-510 and the new E-3. Panasonic are obviously concerned about price as the machine is destined to sell with the new 14-50 kit lens for $1300. Quite how, or if, this will affect the pricing of the E-3 remains to be seen.
NEW E-3 COMPARED TO E-1
Olympus Japan have recently published a sales orientated feature on their corporate website about the design teams passion for the original E-1 and of its upcoming replacement that is well worth a read here. The article explores the strategy which brought about the E-1 and the way the course is set for its eventual replacement, the EP-1 (proto-type name). Also published are comparative images of the E-1 and the new E-3. Using these images I have grafted the new style power grip to the older E-1 to show how similar the old and new models are in terms of size (above). Have a look and judge for yourself. To my eyes the new camera looks to be almost identical in size and probably uses the same basic chassis. Salient features: 10MP LMOS sensor, Live View, In-Body Image Stabilisation, 5FPS burst rate, 11 AF points, new image processing engine, enhanced V/F magnification and 100% coverage, weather sealed. For more see EP-1/E-3 bullets below.
ZD 35mm MACRO LENS TESTED:
After owning this lens for a few months I've eventually got round to writing it up. This is my standard lens test applied to the budget macro offering from Olympus. Is it budget output too? Do you get what you pay for? Is this a real bargain? Read my review here.
IMAGES OF EP-1/E-3:
LEAKED NEWS ON E-3?
There has been a recent leak from Olympus about the new pro-grade DSLR to replace the E-1. It happened on 28th June, in the form of an internal sales seminar document that was certainly never destined for public consumption. If true it shows Olympus have been listening by improving all areas of speed in the new camera and represents more or less what everyone wanted or expected. If not........oh well! Olympus has asked the sites on which this was released to pull the PDF which rather suggests it is authentic. Accidental or planned, true or an elaborate hoax? Make up your own mind. Download the PDF file (14MB) here.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE NEW MODEL
Having followed the general debate and shared in the frustration of delay after delay of the E-1 replacement I've put together my own thoughts about the new camera. Of course no-one knows the precise details yet, but the clues have always been out there for those who care to look and take a pragmatic view. If you've a spare five minutes then share my thoughts here.
NEW LENS ROAD MAP:
OK, it may not be new to some of you as this was posted on the Olympus Europe site late March 2007, but I've just spotted it. I see the fabled ZD14-35 is postponed again to 2008! Some interesting glass on its way. See the new chart here.
OM ZUIKO'S on an E-330:
I gave in to temptation and bought an E-330 at an amazing price here in UK. I'm very glad I did; this is a very nice machine. I was never previously convinced by the sales hype surrounding Live View, but now I've experienced it I can see how right Olympus were to resolve the Live View issue and no doubt the other makers will follow. With the great Live View Mode B giving direct 10x magnification TTL this is a wonderful tool on which to re-try my collection of OM Zuiko manual lenses. See how I got on here.
E-400 UPDATED REVIEW: