Sunday, February 28, 2010

Next Generation Olympus E-System DSLR – My “E-5” Wish list

There have been quite a few rumours of Oly releasing a new professional level DSLR for almost a year now, since it released the last semi-pro E-30 back in Mar-2009.

There have also been rumours about what Oly would call it. Some say its going to be E-5 or E-4 or E-40! Who knows!!?

I don't care what Oly calls it, as long as it meets my wish list.

So, here is the list of things I would Like to see in E-5 (lets call it that, since it sounds a logical nomenclature for E-System)

  1. EVF or OVF – If its EVF then I would like it to be integrated in the body and should be either of same or better quality than that of E-P2 EVF. If its OVF then its got to be as good as E-3 at least. 100% view OVF will only make sense when you are talking of a pro-DSLR
  2. High ISO noise – Although E-P2 is a definite improvement over E-30 in terms of noise management, its still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to ISO beyond 3200. I would like to see 2 things as far as high ISO is concerned;
    • I would like to have the ISO limit extended to 12800
    • I would like the IQ (image quality) to be same as current ISO 1600 in E-P2 up until at least ISO 6400. This will be totally phenomenal if E-5 can deliver this.
  3. Integrated Vertical Grip -  Although HLD-4 for E-3 and E-30 is great, I still feel an integrated vertical grip would make it better in terms of handling and looks. Though is a low priority, I really won’t be disappointed if its not provided.
  4. Dynamic Range – E-P2 senor + image processor provides a vast improvement on DR over E30. I feel E-30 is a great camera and has a good DR between ISO 200-400, but it decreases rapidly beyond that and also ISO 100 DR is not same a compared to E-P2. I found E-P2 has better DR even till ISO 1600. I would like to see an improved on this. It will be really cool to have a sensor and image processor with a DR better than E-P2
  5. Auto Focus – While E-30 and E-3 have one of the fastest AF in business, but its tied to Oly’s HG & SHG lenses. I would still like to see an improvement in following  areas;
    • Increase in number of AF points and more zones.
    • Faster AF performance with consumer grade lenses like 18-180 or 70-300.
    • Better lowlight AF performance across all lens grades. E-30 sometimes struggles in low light.
    • Better Continuous AF with tracking. Its a good idea introduced in E-P2, but C-AF + Track needs a lot of improvement if it has to be effective in real world, like race course for example.
  6. Live View – This is simple. The E-30 LV is hardly usable. While E-P2 is a major milestone. However, if I can go back a little in the past, I think E-330 LV was fantastic, sexy and revolutionary! I am not saying I want one like that in E-5, but I would definitely like to see improvements in LV and LV + AF. The LV+AF in E-P2 is not what you would expect from even mid-range camera. Low light LV performance should be better than E-P2.
  7. Image Stabilization (IS) – The IS in E-P2 and E-30 are fantastic. Not sure what more can be done to this. But miniaturization done for E-P2 would definitely help because IS in E-30 is a little noisy and the one in E-P2 is quiet as a feather. So E-5 should have the same (or better, if at all possible) IS performance as E-30 with reduced noise.
  8. The Body – The body should have the following quality
    • The body should have same or better ergonomic design as E-3 or E-30. Button placements should be logical as in E-30. Oly should change the button placements only if they can see at least 200% improvement over E-30 or E=3 otherwise they would be better off leaving it unchanged.
    • Body should be same size as E-3 or E-30. It SHOULD NOT be smaller. That would be a real shame.
    • Body should be weather sealed and dust proof. I should be able wash my E-5 after taking it to the beach!!:-)
    • Should have 3-inch or bigger swivel LCD. LCD should have a higher resolution. I know Oly guys must have gone deaf hearing this request, but yes, it needs to have higher resolution. A touch screen would be nice ;-) but I wont mind if its not! :-)
  9. HD Video – I am not a great fan of HD videos in DSLRs. However, since I have 6 year old, I find using E-P2 convenient because I can shoot photos and videos when needed with a twist of a wheel. I liked the idea of having a great quality still and video camera in the box. Also following the expectation from the users would be a good idea. So HD video with 1080p resolution. Also the AF in movie mode should be faster than E-P2.
  10. FPS – Frames Per Second – While 5FPS of E-3 and E-30 is ok for me. I sometimes do miss the 8 to 10 FPS when shooting birds. I would like to see at least 8FPS on E-5. If E-5 happens to be mirror less with electronic shutter, then recent technological advances predict that 20FPS is also possible. But I would be happy even with 8 or 10 FPS.
  11. RAW + TIFF – My E-330 has this option. Not sure why Oly removed this from there future E-bodies. This is great feature to have. I need this back.
  12. Better in Camera RAW edit – I would like to see better RAW edit in camera. Like ability to crop after changing aspect ratio, or ability to change the Exposure in RAW, ability to apply all art filters etc. But this is lowest on the list. Ability to change the exposure and making copy into RAW would be very helpful though.
  13. In Camera Time Lapse Photography – This would something I would love instead of having to shoot tethered. I know I can buy 3rd party remotes which do that. But I still would like this feature in camera, though low on list.
  14. Better Customization – I would like to see the customization;
    • Function button has improve drastically. It should be more intuitive and more customizable. I liked what old Canon EOS-30 had. I want to see something like that
    • I would also would like my commonly used settings to be storable and retrievable easily.

Ok Oly guys! Now get to work! :-)

V for Valentine...