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Old Sep 14, 2006, 6:25 AM   #1
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Oly announced the E400 - it is really a small camera. Here's the press releases:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/ol...6_e400_pr.html

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0609/06...lympuse400.asp

First Impressions:

http://www.digit.no/wip4/detail.epl?id=98892

From digit now :

"From what I can see, they have done it in style. The sensor seems to be of high quality, delivering excellent detail definition, natural colours and little noise. "

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Old Sep 14, 2006, 2:17 PM   #2
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For good or bad, they don't seem to be intending to release it in North America.
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Old Sep 14, 2006, 2:48 PM   #3
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Hmmm, good design as always from Olympus DSLR. I like that it is smaller. The extra megapixels leave me cold, but I am sure that many will welcome them. New lighter kit lenses - wow!

But - you have to use the menu system far more! A camera must have a button for ISO, light metering, WB and selection of autofocus spots! The lack of the last button is reason enough for me not to buy the e-330 (well, yet!) despite its many advantages.

A shame as it otherwise would have been a nice, little extra camera for me.

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Old Sep 14, 2006, 3:17 PM   #4
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The lack of an announced release for North America doesn't bother me in the least. Actually one reason I stopped posting at dpreview was because everybody would wet their pants every time Olympus made an announcement...or didn't make an announcement. Less than a day after the E-400 was announced for Europe, some guy was posting that Olympus had raised the white flag and was giving up on North America.

Cameras have always been rebadged, redesignated and introduced at different times around the world. As a Canadian, I can tell you that much of the stuff I've bought over the last 35 years goes by different designations than equivalent American sold equipment.

Something of the E-400 will certainly make it to North America. It might be the whole camera. It might be the substructure and sensor in a revised body.

No matter what, we will benefit from this technology. We have seen it demonstrated that a 10MP 4/3 sensor is being manufactured (again, somebody at dpreview's Oly forum proudly posted, about a week ago, that Oly would never make a camera with more than an 8MP sensor...that prediction lasted a few days). Olympus seems to have also introduced a couple of new lenses.

The bottom line is that newe-sytem and 4/3 technology is being developed. It may not be everything that we all want right now. But, step-by-step things are improving and expanding.
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Old Sep 14, 2006, 3:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
As a Canadian, I can tell you that much of the stuff I've bought over the last 35 years goes by different designations than equivalent American sold equipment.
That's true, like Panasonic VCRs added a K to the end of the model number because they were made to Canada's more stringent electrical standards (CSA). Even some cars have different model names in the two countries.
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Old Sep 14, 2006, 5:27 PM   #6
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DPnow have a hands on preview of the E400. Lots of shots with various lenses, comparisons (size wise) with the OM, E330 and E500. It looks pretty tiny and I like that they've introduced two new lenses with it, although faster would have been nicer and that they would have started using Pana's Mega OIS with any new cam/lenses.

http://dpnow.com/3006.html

Here's the comparison with the E330 from dpnow.com:





I can also see a worldwide release of the E400 as it just doesn't make sense to keep it European only. On another note Oly seem to have dropped the 40-150 f3.5-5.6 from their lens range and it looks as if the new kit lens is its replacement and also on Steve's press release he lists the 14-35 f2 being released in 2007 :

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/products/telephoto.html

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Old Sep 14, 2006, 7:38 PM   #7
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This is a case where the technology is more important than the camera itself.

Truth of the matter is that MOST (not all) of us wouldn't run out and buy this camera immediately anyway. With the E-300, 330, and 500 being relatively recent, I dare say that most OLY DSLR users around here using cameras that are less than a year old. Add the recent E-1 price drop and there aren't a lot of old Oly DSLR's in need of quick replacement.

But the technology shows us that Olympus is still on the ball and they are doing things that we expect Olympus to do. It would have been easy to take existing technology and arrange it into ANOTHER 7-8MP camera, stick the old kit lens on it and announce a "new" product.

I wanted Olympus to show that they are working to see development of the 4/3 system. I'm very happy to see a 10MP sensor. It might leave Jorgen cold but it delights me. I've felt that 10MP was the new minimum to ante up for serious inclusion in the DSLR market. And this camera is small. That's what Olympus does...that's what they have always done: the best small SLRs. And that's a strength of 4/3. If Oly couldn't take the 4/3 system and make small DSLRs then nobody could make a small DSLR. We also see the encouraging development and introduction of new lenses.

I was at a car show this summer and a guy came up and asked about my E-500. He was looking for a DSLR and wanted to know why I chose Olympus. I told him, "Because Olympus is always thinking. They are willing to take chances and do things that the bigger companies won't". I think the E-400 shows them moving solidly in the right direction.

Now, if we can squeeze a pro camera out of them (12MP or so).
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 1:58 AM   #8
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"Truth of the matter is that MOST (not all) of us wouldn't run out and buy this camera immediately anyway."

I am nor sure. If it is close to the OM size, I think loads of us would - if it weren't for the lack of shortcut buttons as I described above. This camera is built by an engineer and not a photographer.

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Old Sep 17, 2006, 4:30 AM   #9
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I agree with Jorgen's last comment...if the E-400 had come out after the E-1 instead of E-300 I would have jumped on it; I thought the E-1 was too big and bulky.

Yes I have the HLD-3 for the E-300, but that's only so I can use the RM-CB1 cable (since the socket for the E-300 is on the grip, and I don't otherwise use the grip because it makes the E-300 too big and bulky).

Olympus should have devised the USB version of the cable, the RM-UC1, at the time the E-1 came out:
http://www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/198_RM-UC1.htm
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 12:54 PM   #10
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Mikefellh wrote:
Quote:
...if the E-400 had come out after the E-1 instead of E-300 I would have jumped on it; I thought the E-1 was too big and bulky.

Well, yeah...if the E-400 had come out after the E-1,I would have bought it too.

But I don't really think that has a real world impact on the situation because the E-400 didn't come out after the E-1. Heck, if the E-400 had come out 5 months ago, I would have bought it instead of the E-500.

I don't think it's fair to insert an imaginary timeline because you can do that for any product. If the Chevy Cobalt had come out six months earlier, I wouldn't have bought a Chevy Cavalier. Well, the Cobalt DIDN'T come out six months earlier, I DID buy a Cavalier and I'm not going to buy a new car now.

I'm sure we all would have bought an E-400 had it come out before the E-300 and E-500. Why wouldn't we? Olympus didn't have an entry level E-sytem camera then. Naturally we'd buy an inexpensive10MP camera.

It didn't come out after the E-1. It didn't come out before the 300 or 330 or 500. It still hasn't come out. And Olympus has introduced nice entry and mid-level DSLRs which most of has have purchased in the last year.

Ok. If it had come out before the E-300, I would have bought it...if that counts for anything.

And when Oly introduces a 12MP camera, I'm sure people will say, "If that had come out before the E-400, I would have jumped on it".
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