Well, when I first saw the Olympus E-P1 I was hooked. The design, the idea of having 720p video with shallow DOF (depth-of-field) and beautiful bokeh in a compact camera with interchangeable lenses.
Being a Sigma shooter, a Foveonite if you will, I also got a lurking feeling of disbelief. This will be the end of Sigma’s camera journey, I thought to myself. The Sigma DP2 has no video, no sexy retro design, no Olympus marketing budget, so, Sigma’s dead. Camera-wise.
That was until I started looking at the Olympus E-P1 image samples posted on PhotographyBLOG. The images appear smudgy, over-filtered, less than optimally sharp, and even noisy in the shadows of ISO 200 images!
The Olympus E-P1 video samples suffer from the same problems, with the addition of artifacts from heavy compression. And while filming video you don’t have tracking autofocus, like on most camcorders, and the Panasonic GH1. And the lenses are not silent, so when focusing you can hear the motor on the video. So this is not a RED-killer.
Don’t get me wrong, I welcome this camera, especially the minimalist retro design, but the image and video quality is not exactly astounding, as some (especially Olympus) would have you believe. It is rumored that Panasonic will also announce a micro four thirds camera in July, so maybe they will come up with something better.