I’ve been waiting for this announcement for some time, although I wasn’t holding out much hope for anything overly exciting. It’s been only a few months since Olympus released it’s highly anticipated and hugely successful E-P1, which looks like an oversized point & shoot but acts like a DSLR. While the E-P1 has been a big hit for Olympus, the camera itself left much to be desired, in my opinion. Some of the drawbacks to Olympus’s first attempt include slow auto focusing, no built-in flash, no electronic view finder, and a low resolution 3″ LCD screen. As much as I like the idea of a high quality small camera, I think Olympus rushed this product to market to beat Panasonic to the gate. A couple of months later Panasonic launched its much anticipated Gf1, which improves on almost every aspect of the E-P1, with the exception – a MAJOR exception – of no in-camera image stabilization. Man, if that GF1 had in-camera IS, it would be a home run, in my view.
Anyway, when the rumour mill started up about the impending launch of the E-P2, many speculated that Olympus would correct/improve on almost every complaint lodged against the E-P1. Me, I just wasn’t buying it. It wouldn’t make sense to launch a new version only a few months later that was so overwhelmingly better than the original that no one would want the E-P1. It seems I was, sadly, right.
The new E-P2 does get a fabulous EVF that mounts to the hot shoe, but no built-in flash and no improved LCD screen (the Panasonic GF1 LCD display is 460k pixels, as opposed to the 230k on the E-P1 & E-P2; a Nikon D90 has a 3″, 920k LCD display). Oh, and the E-P2 comes in black, which is my colour of choice. There are, of course, improvements beyond that, and if you’re interested you can pop over to the British Journal of Photography site for some of the details. I’m sure tomorrow dpreview.com will also be making an announcement about the new E-P2, so be sure to check them out. The photo above shows the new E-P2 with it’s bulbous EVF mounted. The EVF is included.