**** NEWS 2011 & 2010 ****
NEWS 2008 NEWS 2007 NEWS 2006
Olympus has sent me a sample of the new Pen E-PL3 to review. I've had it for 4 weeks now and have enjoyed my time with this capable little camera. Wonderfully fast in all repects and a joy to use. Read my review here.
Olympus very kindly sent me a pre-production Pen E-P3 to review for the website. I've had it for 2 weeks now and am very impressed but have a couple of reservations. See my findings here.
The June 30th announcement brought three new micro foutthirds camera and two new prime lenses. That the E-P2 was to be replaced was anticipated by many, but the new E-PL3 coming so soon after the E-PL2 in January was a surprise indeed. And to top it off the mini-Pen E-PM1 comes as Olympus' answer to the GF-3 from Panasonic. As if this was not enough great news, Olympus also unveil a 12mm x f=2.0 wide-angle lens with an integrated DofF scale and a 45mm x f=1.8 Portrait lens to boot. Read the announcement and my opinion on the new releases here.
After months of waiting Olympus finally sent me an E-5 for review. This coincided with me being rather ill so the review was delayed again for which I apologise. Read my detailed review here.
I've added the E-5 as well as all the current Pen cameras and the new XZ-1 to my article explaining how to interrogate the secret codes in your Olympus cameras. Read about it here.
Second of the entry level Pen mirror-less SLR cameras is released. Read about it here.
To underline the fact that 4/3rds is not quite dead Olympus Asia released wise words to the 4/3rds faithful here.
KEEPING YOUR CAMERA GEAR SAFE AND DRY IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
One of my Olympus-centric Internet friends, Joop Nijenhuis, from Holland, spends a lot of his leisure time canoeing and camping as well as using his E-System for photography. This is a high-risk enterprise with the continual risk of losing cameras/lenses overboard or them getting wet rolling around in the bottom of a canoe. So Joop put on his thinking cap and came up with a novel idea to protect his gear whilst enjoying his hobbies. Like all good ideas it is simple, practical and easy to manufacture and anyone with basic DIY skills can re-produce Joop's inspired barrels.
The article is in two parts:
Part one discusses the problems involved and how gear might be protected and is here.
Part two shows you in great detail how to make the barrel(s) and is here.
Joop's articles are also printer friendly so you can print them off to keep as your personal guides.
I was given the opportunity of posing many questions to the head of DSLR development, Toshi Terada, following the plethara of conflicting statements coming from Olympus about the future of the E-System and four-thirds. Read this fascinating Q&A session and Terada-Sans responses here.
September 14th 2010: Olympus announces their next Pro-level camera, the E-5. They also appear to break the hearts of 4/3rds users everywhere by telling us this will be the last 4/3rds body! Read the announcement and my take on the all the hoopla here.
In the dying days of August I managed to put together my review of the MZD 9-18mm zoom lens Olympus announced earlier in the year. This little lens seriously impressed me. Read my review and download the sample images here.
31st August 2010; Olympus announce two brand new MFT lenses, the MZD 40-150mm medium telephoto and the MZD 75-300 Super Telephoto to their Micro FourThirds System. In addition several E-P2 kits are unveiled as well as a black finished FL14 flash. Note too the inclusion of a special Pen (Gothic) F Logo Lens cap!! Read more here.
It's taken me some time to get hold of the new Olympus E-PL1 m4/3rds camera, but it was worth the wait. I've spent about three weeks reviewing this little camera and you can read my findings here.
Olympus has announced the release of new firmware for their Pen range of m4/3rds cameras improving, amongst other things the cameras Auto Focus speeds. Read the announcement here.
The E-P2 has taken its time reaching the UK. I've had one for about a month now and present my initial findings to you. The review is not quite finished as there are a few areas of the cameras' capabilities I want to study further. I'll be adding to the review over the next few weeks so keep popping back. Read my review here.
Being a fan of the diminutive E-620 I decided to try a battery grip. Personally I think it's a very worthwhile accessory but much depends on the type of lenses you regularly use. See my findings here.
Selected items from the Olympus E-System DSLR range are now available for hire at competitive rates via the Olympus UK E-System User Group (www.e-group.uk.net), an online community and resource supported by Olympus UK. The service has been put together in response to feedback from E-System photographers who regularly visit the e-group website. Read the full announcement here.
For more detailed information on the e-group equipment hire service click here.
Press Release: Dec 10th 2009
Free flash worth £160 when you buy an Olympus E-P1 this Christmas
Lighten up your winter with E-P1. Promotion starts Saturday 12th December
For a limited time only, purchase the E-P1, European Camera of the Year and receive an FL-14 flash for free. The stylish metal flash suits the camera's retro look and will let you expand your creative options no matter what the light conditions.
All you need to do to qualify for this promotion is buy an E-P1 (body only or any kit), before the end of January 2010, register on-line and send in your receipt and barcode until 28 February 2010. The flash will be sent out direct to your home address. For the registration page, please click here.
Olympus have published their MicroFourThirds lens roadmap. I'm interested in seeing the quality (and price) of the MZ14-150mm. Will the company simply duplicate the popular 4/3rds lenses for MFT?
Olympus have recently updated their Four-Thirds lens roadmap. It's a bit disappointing with only the 100mm Macro Lens shown to be delivered after 2009. They must be concentrating on MicroFourThirds!
The 5th of November brings fireworks to the UK. Olympus also sent up a brilliant rocket in the shape of the new PEN MicroFourThirds camera. The second iteration of the PEN line has a twist - a plug-in Electronic Viewfinder.
Take a look at the new camera here .
My apologies to Chris for not getting his latest gallery poster earlier. Chris sent me the images many months ago but I have been unable to process them until now. All these images are from the ZD11-22mm lens with the E-420 and underwater housing.
Take a look at this stunning gallery for yourself here .
In a surprise and very subdued statement, Olympus announce a slightly downgraded version of the popular E-620, the new E-600 which will be available only through certain retailers such as Currys and PC World in UK. I was in my local PC World very recently and saw the new camera in the flesh.
Take a look at the new camera announcement here .
As there are appearing many reviews of the new E-P1 Digital PEN all over the Internet, I decided to first of all try my stable of OM Zuiko lenses on the new camera to take advantage of its innate abilty to better exploit them. Does it work? See for yourself here . I am taking my time to review the PEN.
Following the launch of the new Olympus E-P1 camera the company has just announced their recent upgrades to image developing software, Master and Studio.
New improvements provided by the latest software updates include:
* The ability to develop RAW images shot with the E-P1.
* Enhanced art filter options with the possibility of testing the filters at home rather than when shooting.
* Improved use of e-Portrait and Beauty Fix through possible function and level selection later on a computer.
* A novel Video Editor allowing for movie creation, including HD videos created with the E-P1.
You can obtain the software here.
If you are already using OLYMPUS Master 2 or a registered version of Studio 2, you can simply use the built-in “Update Software” function to benefit from the improvements.
As Micro FourThirds is going to be run in parallel with normal 4/3rds I've created a section of the site specifically for MFT. All MFT articles will be moved to the new section; I'll put a navigation link to MFT on the bottom of each page soon.
I've now put together a report about the new digital Pen. This is NOT a review, but a report of my findings after 5 hours of using the new camera at the press release in Berlin.
I can now reveal I was invited to Berlin for the spectacular launch of the new digital Pen. While I put together a web report with some images taken using the new camera, please download these product PDF's to browse.
MICRO FOURTHIRDS - BE AMONG FIRST TO DISCOVER THE SECRETS: LINK DEAD - DO NOT USE!
Have you been waiting for the announcement or holding back to see what Micro Fourthirds has to offer?
Well, here's a great opportunity to win an invitation to a very special VIP product preview of Olympus' version of Micro FourThirds to be held in the UK very soon. All you have to do is sign up to a Micro Fourthirds information service in the days leading up to the big European launch in Berlin, early next week.
If you register and are based in the UK, you could be one of a select few members of the public invited to the special VIP product preview event soon after the actual European launch.
Registration is easy: Simply visit the special Olympus page and follow the instructions here .
You've got to be in it to win it! Good Luck.
Martin from Adelaide, Australia designed this useful test chart/target for any visitor to BIOFOS to download and use. Very handy - just print out at actual A4 size. Zip file (650KB) for safe downloading.
Following my test of the new E-620 in March I had several requests to produce a customization/set-up article for the new camera. Well, although it's taken a lot longer than anticipated it's now ready for your perusal here .
As part of my desire to update the very popular but rather long in the tooth 'OM Zuiko lenses on an E-1' article, I decided to purchase a DANDELION AF confirm adapter to try with my OMZ lenses on the newer bodies. Wow! Was I impressed! Read my findings here.
There's no doubting Olympus' committment to the Four-Thirds system. This is the 3rd new DSRL in 5 months; E-30, E-620 and now the E-450. Plus the fact there are suspected to be two new micro-four-thirds machines later in the year. What does Olympus know about the world recession that we don't? Read the announcement here.
In mid March I received from Olympus UK one of the few E-620's in the country. Due to other commitments finding time to review the camera has been extremely difficult. The review is 99% complete but there are a couple of topics yet to cover. I thought it important to post my impressions as there is a huge amount of interest in the camera. This interest is totally justified as the E-620 release is a defining moment for 4/3rds development. Read why here.
24th February 2009: Olympus announces an entirely new line of DSLR camera - the E-600 series - with the E-620 as the first in a long line. The new camera is slightly larger than the E-420 (Olympus' best selling camera) and smaller than the E-520. Is this camera set to replace one or both of its production siblings? I'm trying to work this out myself! Read the official announcement here .
26th January 2009: I recently purchased an E-420 and Pancake Kit. I was looking for a pocketable digi-cam with good quality output but after a couple of false starts with Panasonic and Canon compacts decided on the tiny Olympus DSLR instead. I documented the set-up process for the benefit of any readers with an E-420. Read about it here .
MYOLYMPUS.ORG MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN
My old friend Alfred Molon who has run the MyOlympus Group(s) since 2002 is currently running a membership campaign for his famous and independent Olympus user groups. Alfred's groups are two fold; there's MyOlympus - The Photographic Community for Users of Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E30, E300, E330, E400, E410, E420, E500, E510, E520, E1 and E3 Digital Cameras, and a supporting forum, the Yahoo (MyOlympus) Group which is very friendly and informative. You can join either or both and will be very welcome.
For more details and/or to sign up for the MyOlympus Photographic Community please go to the website here .
To register on the Yahoo (MyOlympus) Group Forum sign up here .
If you use any advanced Olympus compact or DSLR the website offers space to show off your work and the forum is available to answer any technical or photographic technique questions you may have. Both are highly recommended.
CHANGE OF HOSTING FOR BIOFOS.COM
Following the unexpected cessation of my UK hosting package contract referred to below, I have moved the site to US servers via www.powweb.com. I had signed up for a VPS in UK but could not complete this because of withdrawal of all email facilities. I had no choice but to go with www.powweb.com a company highly recommended by Andrzej Wrotniak.
LOSS of SERVICE 21st JANUARY 2009
My host, itstudiohosting.co.uk switched off this website without warning and in contravention of an agreement between myself and the owner not to disconnect until I found another host. My so called 'unlimited' webspace and bandwidth package proved to be completely misleading despite claims to the contrary. My modest 8-10GB/day proved too much for their servers (or accountants) and on the 21st January (two months before end of contract) they pulled the plug! More annoying was they left me with no email service making the task of organising an alternative host more difficult still.
So much for itstudiohosting.co.uk; do not be fooled by their advertisements or what the owner may tell you. In the light of my experience I simply cannot recommend this company.
My thanks to Andrzej Wrotniak for posting my predicament on his website and for publishing the temporary url.