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It's taken Olympus so long to release their first micro four-thirds format digital camera that some observers have questioned the company's commitment. Fellow micro four-thirds manufacturer, Panasonic, has already introduced a major update to last year's G-1.
Aparently, though, the wait has been worth it. A day ahead of the "official" announcement, theWeb is abuzz with information (though incomplete) and even pictures of the new EP-1. And it's a gorgeous camera.
Several camera and gadget websites are reporting that the EP-1 will sport a 13 MP "four-thirds" sensor - the same size found in many digital SLRs. But the EP-1 looks more like a classic rangefinder from the heyday of 35mm film. Except it has an LCD screen instead of a viewfinder.
The top of the EP-1 sports a mode dial to the left of the hot shoe and buttons for on-off, shutter operation and exposure compensation the the right. The front sports only a release button for the interchangable lenses (the pictures show a 17mm f/2.8 "normal" lens and a 14 - 42mm 3x zoom). Interestingly, Olympus already lists adaptors on their site to couple OM lenses and four-thirds lenses to micro four-thirds cameras. So it appears EP-1 users will have an array of Olympus optics to choose from.
Other accessories include a compact shoe-mounted flash and a "sport finder" that also fits the hot shoe. At least one Website is reporting the EP-1 will offer HD video.
Olympus has a reputation for fine niche cameras, and it appears the EP-1 won't disappoint. If you like the look and feel of a retro rangefinder, this new Olympus digital camera looks to be right up your alley.