[OM] The Olympus E20

Subject: [OM] The Olympus E20
From: mcd3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 23:05:29 -0500
Hi All

Well, I took a closer look at the E20. It is quite an innovative product, and I 
would love to find one on my porch one morning, but there are a number of 
things that prevent it from being a solution for me.

First, the ISO speeds are not fast enough. I am regularly using FujiPress 800 
and Ilford Delta 3200 (at 1000 EI) in my OM4(ti). I don't thnk that ISO 320 
would cut it for me, even though the old pros that shot Tri-X usually rated it 
somewhere between 200 - 320.

Second, the zoom lens just isn't enough. I have been giving the 21mm f3.5 Zuiko 
quite a workout lately. The attachable (yuk) wide converter isn't wide enough 
at 28mm.

It's top shutter is 1/640 sec, something which would cause a 35mm film camera 
to be treated like a toy. Clearly, this is not a medium format contender, so 
that shutter limit is a problem.

Don't get me wrong. I think that this looks like a great camera, it just isn't 
quite enough. It probably would work for a lot of image making, but it would 
fail at some. Failure is not an issue with the OM system.

Check out www.dpreview.com. They write the following...

"Take for instance one of the most frustrating issues when using the E-20; 
storage write times. The E-20's write speeds (SmartMedia or Compact Flash) are 
no better (and in some cases worse than) the Nikon Coolpix 995. The difference? 
The Coolpix 995 is a sub-$900 prosumer camera which only needs to write 1 MB or 
sub-1 MB images, the E-20 is aimed at professionals with JPEG images (SHQ) 
which range between 3.5 and 2.5 MB. 

Waiting 9, 11 or 15 seconds for these five megapixel images to be written to 
the storage card is no joke. Especially when you consider that the E-20 only 
has a 4 image buffer; that it does not allow you to change certain settings, 
enter the menu system, display an image or return the LCD to live view mode 
until it has finished writing the buffer contents. It's not clear if this 
problem is down to the speed of the E-20's "dual format" storage interface or 
the speed at which it's generating the final image as it's written out.

Obviously if you shoot with the viewfinder you'll only face the 4 image limit 
combined with write speed, if you were to shoot four SHQ 1/4 images in the 
space of 12 seconds you'll be waiting at least 40 seconds (after the last shot) 
before you can shoot another batch of four. Olympus really needed to give the 
E-20 a larger buffer and higher performance storage interface"


Its not really a professional tool. But I do think that Olympus is getting very 
close! Perhaps the next camera that they produce will be closer than I think, 
and I cannot wait to see it.

PMA anyone?


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