Launching with a prime! Kudos Olympus!
First off, I have to say that I haven’t seen one in person yet. These are just my thoughts based on having read a lot of comments from people who have seen one. You should also know that I’m not looking for the same things in my cameras as most people do.
Definitely A Milestone
Yep, it makes history. The E-P1 is a milestone camera in a similar way as the D1, 300D, 5D and D3 were (*). I classify the E-P1 as the first Digital P&S camera with interchangeable lenses, possibly the first P&S ever with interchangeable lenses (including film here) but I might be wrong.
This is really what makes the E-P1 special.
It’s also a “meta-milestone” by being the least expensive milestones we’ve ever seen in digital photography, with inflation adjustments probably the least expensive ever. That potentially means that a lot of people will get one. If that happens then it has a shot at being yet another kind of milestone, the one where Olympus recovers to their former glory (but I won’t hold my breath).
(*) For those keeping tracking that’s: first ground-up DSLR, first affordable DSLR, first affordable FF DSLR, first Nikon FF DSLR.
But Is It Any Good?
Oh yes. The pictures look great. I think it’ll please everyone who’s attracted to it.
I don’t think I have anything more to add. I have no doubt as to the quality of the camera itself, and the pictures it outputs.
Am I Attracted To It?
No. The glowing LCD isn’t discreet enough for my taste, and it won’t make a good platform for operating manual-focus lenses hand-held. I don’t see myself shooting at arms’ length, ever.
I have these scenarios in my head that my next camera needs to handle. The camera needs to basically reflect and emit no light itself, make essentially no sound, and have very-small manual moderately-fast wide-angle lenses of ridiculous quality. The E-P1 fails too many of these criteria.
I don’t hold that against the E-P1, I’m also willing to pay 5x more than an E-P1 kit costs for my kit. So the E-P1 is simply a fantastic camera that I do not desire.