Olympus showed its “tweener” mid-level dSLR at Photokina last month which will be available early 2009 and priced between the E520 and the E3 which will have it competing more directly with the Canon 40D and 50D, and Nikon D90.
Details are still sketchy but what seems to be in the specs include:
- 11 point full twin cross sensor AF as with E3
- built-in image stabilisation up to 5 stops correction
- new weather-proofing system
Interviews with Olympus suggest it probably will not have a movie mode as this will be more the focus of the Micro Four Thirds system.
Now, what am I hoping for?
- a sensor with more dynamic range, less noise at high ISO without sacrificing image detail – I don’t really need more megapixels thanks – I can print to 20″ x 30″ already so 10-12mp is quite sufficient
- please don’t go down the megapixel race path any further – see my post on Canon’s effort here
- if they want more megapixels, perhaps make a square sensor to save us rotating the camera into portrait mode – of course we will all be cropping more – maybe an in-camera cropping facility? – maybe this is not possible due to the rectangular rear baffle on 4/3 lenses
- perhaps they will use a Kodak TrueSense sensor with its new color filter pattern – see here and here, or more likely,
- the new 12mp Panasonic sensor which has better high ISO performance than current Four Thirds sensors
- an LCD screen with 920,000 dots as per the new Nikon & Canon models, and please use a full resolution jpeg to zoom in on and not a small resolution one as we currently have which prevents us seeing more detail in the image when zooming in past 5-7x or so
- 5fps burst rate for the action shots
- start adding the extra pins in the lens mount as with Micro Four Thirds so new Four Thirds lenses will have the extra pins to allow fast contrast detect AF and compatibility with Micro Four Thirds, whilst still being backwardly compatible on older Four thirds bodies.
- a silent mode – please can the mirror STAY UP in live preview mode if manual focus, preset WB and manual exposure is selected – there does not appear to be any technical reason why this can’t be done
- 1/250th sec flash sync to allow more versatility with outdoor fill-in flash
- an auto-ISO mode that you can program the settings for and works
- ideally, you would like to be able to set a shutter speed range and an ISO range you would like to work within, you set an aperture, and then as light conditions change the camera chooses the fastest shutter speed and lowest ISO that light conditions allow
- maybe an automatic HDR mode – takes 2-3 bracketed exposures sequentially then auto-merges them
- and wouldn’t the ability to tilt the sensor be handy for changing plane of focus!
- and of course the existing minimum functionality of the E520
Keep an eye out here at 4-3system.com for their latest news on Four Thirds.