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Prices of the E1 and lenses



according to the first sources, the price of the new Olympus E-1 will be 2199 USD.

The prices for the lenses etc. will be:

14 - 54 mm F2.8 - F3.5 lens $599
50 - 200 mm F2.8 - 3.5 lens $1199
50 mm F2.0 1:2 Macro lens $599
300 mm F2.8 Super Telephoto $7999
TC14 1.4X Teleconverter $549
FL-50 Flash and Accessories $499
Power Battery Holder Set $549

There seems to come another lens additionally. A 11- 22mm f/2.8-3.5 (22-44mm equivalent) will probably be added over the time.
There are different opinions about these prices published on some US websites.

The question is whether these prices are too high when it will be available in September/October this year. It is still "only" a 5.5 MP camera. And Olympus has not yet that many partners out there for this open 4/3rd system.

So it would make sense to launch it with a lot more agressive price tag to lower the barrier for new costumers.

Since the Canon 10D with a well established system costs only 1600 USD in the US (in Europe they dream of a higher price around 2000 Euro), it must be IMHO lower then 1600 USD for the E-1 body only.

If you think about it, this is a very longterm strategic decision for a potential Olympus E-1 buyer. And there are only 3 possibilities to convince him/her. Either the superb image quality or the cheap price or both at the same time.

Everyone knows that Canon is ahead in the industry in digital equipment. So it is a strong push needed to make the E-1 an success asap against the competition.

One additional consideration, the one I am most conerned with in fact, is the long-term strategic value of the system. I have intentionally avoided the current DSLR lineup from Canon and Nikon and Fuji because I feel that using 35mm lenses on a digital SLR is a less than optimal comprimise. Since I have no current investment in Canon or Nikon lenses, I saw no reason to make one for their current digital cameras.

I really believe that the Olympus concept of a camera designed for digital and digital only is the wave of the future, and the only sensible system approach. I don't care if other makers produce bodies or lenses that are compatible - but I DO expect the image quality to meet my standards, I DO expect Olympus to maintain dedication to the system (like they did for the OM system for so many years, even lacking any significant market share) and above all I DO expect the cameras to work better than the Canon D-whatever with a Canon 'L' lens attached :)

If the price is a little higher, so what. I am willing to pay for equipement that does what I want it to. Especially wityh digital, the price is so capricious anyway. I think the big investment is in the optics, and the E-1 will get tossed in two years for an E-2 (OK, not tossed, just relegated to second-body).

As soon as I can put my hands on one, I will be able to make most of the judgements I need, and I am getting the feeling already that the other, Olympus' commitment, is pretty strong. I sure wish there were some images to see!!!

- marc
Dirk, you say that the E-1 "is still "only" a 5.5 MP camera", which is true. But, were they to install that new kind of digital sensor, the one that can record red, green and blue at every pixel position (sorry, I can't remember what it's called now), this would effectively triple the resolution compared with conventional sensors. So, even though it would still be 5.5 Mp, it should give the image quality of about 16.5 Mp, am I right? And this sensor would require that the lens projects the light as near to 90 degrees to the sensors surface as possible, hence justifying the new lens designs.

Marc, I agree with you that it's the lenses that are important, the cameras will be replaced and upgraded much more often than the lenses. I'm not ruling out getting into this system eventually, but right now it appears too expensive for me.

I guess we'll have to wait and see...

A little expensive... Yes, I've been thinking seriously about what gear I'd be selling to get an E1 and a couple of lenses - not much of the film-equipment has the value required anymore! I guess the Leica R8 kit will have to go...

- marc
olympus has apparently confirmed a lower street price for the e1 at 1799, and the smaller zoom lens down $100 to $499
just read it on one of my daily morning webcheck sites


I do not think that the E1 is using a Foveon Chip. So it would be 5 MP all included. But this does not mean that this is not enough MP to make great pictures. See the upcoming Nikon D2H, which has even less pixel and still many users want to buy it (and have to pay twice the price of an E-1)
No, the E-1 doesn't use the Foveon chip, but neither do any of the other leading pro DSLRs. The E-1 uses a Kodak chip, and it's five mgp are more than enough to produce stunning 13x19 quadtone b&ws.
I'm sure that the E-1 will give very good quality images, but will they be so good as to justify the high price asked? Don't get me wrong, I love my OM gear and believe most (if not all) of the Zuiko lenses are excellent enough to give any other lens maker a run for their money!! But shelling out large wads of cash for the E-1 + lenses when smaller wads of cash get me an EOS 10D onto which I can put my existing Zuiko OM lenses... This is just my viewpoint! And I think that if the E-1 was offered with the Foveon chip at the same (or similar) price, then this would appear to me to be worthy of consideration again - it would then have enough "bang for the buck" for me!!

Of course, if anyone wants to give me an E-1, I can supply you with a postal address to send it to...