We're working on the approach we take to cameras. Since we just got the Olympus E-P1 in this week, I thought we'd try something new with it. In this Test Log thread, I'll post observations as they come up, so this will be a running review of sorts. Feel free to comment on this approach. You can ask questions, too.
Things I Like About the E-P1
1. A key item in control design for me is direct access to key settings (ISO, Exposure Compensation, White Balance, histogram, drive settings). The E-P1 has a button to access each of these without going into a general menu. Very good.
2. The mode dial is embedded in the top deck and then has just the back of the wheel stick out. this makes it hard to bump onto an unintended setting, but obviates the need for a lock button. Slick.
3. If you are comparing this to a point and shoot, I like the fact that this has a mechanical zoom ring. Much easier to operate precisely than a switch/motor zoom.
4. The body seems quite solid.
5. Large rear screen is nice.
Things I Don't Like About the E-P1
1. It isn't black or available in black. Nor does it have the cool finish of the original Pen.
2. The grip is okay, but it looks tacked on. I think the shape could be slightly better.
3. It doesn't have a built-in flash. Most people prefer available light photos, but having a small flash as a fill light is nice. Not a big deal, though.
Things I'd Change on the E-P1
1. I'd like to see an optional optical viewfinder with zoom settings for 28/35/50mm focal lengths. These settings are on the kit zoom (it would nice if they were detented while we're dreaming). I put a Leica zoom finder on and the proportions are okay in my book:
The Leica finder, BTW, has settings for 21mm, 24mm and 28mm so it doesn't work except at the wide end of the range of the Olympus zoom.
2. I'd like a zoom that is wider angle at the wide end (24mm, not 28mm).
3. The AC adapter should have the AC plug built-in and foldable, rather than having a detachable cord (makes the whole thing too big).
4. Screen could have higher resolution (it is 230k dots). I think the screen could also tilt. That might make the camera thicker, which would seem to defeat the purpose, but I'm not sure the size must hew to some exact target.