Damn You Olympus

It wasn’t really news per say that Olympus was going to release a new camera this summer.  Not newsworthy at all.  In fact, I wouldn’t even be writing this paper if Olympus has released any other camera.  They could have released a 1080p camcorder for $400 and I wouldn’t have been excited.  They could have released a 16mp ultra compact and I’d say, bleh.  They even could have gone as far as to release a 28mp full frame DSLR for $1200 and I’d continue to proudly shoot with my Nikon D700.

So what did they do?

A little over a week and a half after I order my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, they have the gall to not only release a competing camera, but to do so in the nearly non-existent digital range finder form factor and with a motherfucking pancake lens.

(I have a bizarre love of pancake lenses…)

That is to say, it’s got a much larger sensor and it’s got interchangeable lenses.

Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

And to make things worse?  My favorite camera site asks the question

So is this the camera we’ve been waiting for? After years of hectoring all the manufacturers to give us what we had in the days of film (a small camera that takes pictures as well as an SLR) is the E-P1 a camera we’d actually reach into our own pockets for?

Followed by a picture of the Olympus next to the camera I just ordered!  Salt in the wound.

Olympus PEN E-P1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Olympus PEN E-P1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Finally, the last straw in this whole debacle?  Olympus and Panasonic are the two companies that (re)started this whole 4/3 camera style, the Olympus PEN E-P1 is a “micro” four-thirds camera.  Chances are, Panasonic is working, and possibly soon will release, it’s own micro four-thirds camera.

So what do I do?

  1. Cancel my order for the LX3 and wait for Panasonic to come out with competition for the Olympus
  2. Get the LX3 and be happy, I still have two Nikon DSLRs that would best either of these cameras
  3. Cancel my order for the LX3 and get the Olympus PEN E-P1

Honestly, I’m probably going to go with option number two.  Panasonic has said that they will not replace the LX3 until some time in 2010, probably around July.  So I could potentially have 13 months of e-joy (the period of time before what I buy has become obsolete).

Still… kinda mad about the whole deal haha.  And… really, it’s that damn pancake lens that got me started.  I have wanted a 35mm equivalent pancake lens for a long time now and here it is, not on a Nikon.

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3 thoughts on “Damn You Olympus

  1. After continuous disappointments in everything from VCRs to Phones, I will never, ever, EVER buy another Panasonic product again. My only option here would be #3.
    .-= Dave2´s last blog ..Nasty =-.

  2. I’m an LX3 owner, and like you Justin, was slightly vexed when I heard that Olympus were to release the EP1.

    I respectfully disagree with Dave2; I admit to not having experience with other Panasonic cameras, but the LX3 is a gem. Well built, quality lens and sensor, chic retro look, quick and easy to use features, and maximum adaptability. You only have to look at the reviews (generally all very positive) or the cult following it has generated online to confirm this.

    I’ve found one of its greatest strengths is its fast lens (f2.0) and image stabilisation. I’ve often been indoors and taken great naturally lit shots, whereas my SLR-toting travel buddy has given up and stared at me with envy.

    This is actually a constant theme; my SLR carrying friends grumbling as I pull off another shot their camera can’t cope with, or getting my camera into action quickly for a fleeting shot whilst they’re still mounting a lens. Ultimately, they envy the fact I can carry my LX3 round my neck all day and pretty much forget that it’s there, whilst they have to carry a camera bag and the inconvenience.

    Back to your dilemma; having pored over the EP1 details, I’m still happy with my LX3 for the time being. Firstly, it’s still smaller and lighter. It’s lens is still faster, and you have a small flash for indoors and fill-in if you need it (I think the lack of flash is a MAJOR omission on the EP1). Yes, the image quality (yet to be fully tested) of the EP1 will probably be superior, but I’m very happy with the LX3 result, and I’m sure the quality difference is a matter of degree.

    I probably will go to the EP1 eventually, and will use it for ‘serious’ use, whilst using my LX3 for informal occasions. But remember, Olympus have already said that there will be a camera ‘above and below’ the EP1 in it’s forthcoming range, so who knows what might be coming in the next 12 months? I might wait for the model ‘above’, which may have more features which distinguish it further from the LX3, making it a more reasoned choice.

    So I would choose option #2. Hope this helps.

  3. @Dave2

    We have a 42″ Panasonic plasma screen and I’ve got to agree and disagree with you. It did break shortly after getting it, but Panasonic had it replaced with a temp. HDTV within a day or two and it was repaired by the end of the next week, in our home. That was sweet. So yeah, it broke down but they did get it fixed right away. We’ve had no trouble with it since.

    As with any of these giant companies, quality differs from division to division. Hopefully the high end camera division will be reliable.

    @Simon, thanks for the comment reaffirming my purchase. Scott Bourne posted a similar post to his blog, http://photofocus.com/

    Sounds like the Olympus PEN E-P1 is quite the hyped up camera. There is also really no reason for me to invest in glass that isn’t Nikon at this point. So I’m going to stick with the LX3… if it ever makes it to me!

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