Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Pre-PMA Announcement from Olympus

January 26th, 2006 at 11:44 pm

Another pre-PMA announcement came along today. In fact, this accouncement is quite revolutionary. Olympus is touting a new digital SLR camera, their E-330. The catch is, this camera has a feature never before found on SLR cameras: live LCD previewing to allow composition and focusing without using the optical viewfinder. Two things have prevented sensor makers from achieving this feat before, namely the mirror in an SLR that only flips up milliseconds before a shot is taken, and the difficult task of designing a sensor with the quality of an SLR, yet with the processing speed capable of moving that higher quality data off the sensor to the LCD.

I might be mistaken, but I believe Olympus is using Kodak sensors in this camera. Instead of a traditional one-sensor setup, Olympus designed this camera with a preview sensor and a higher quality focusing and capture sensor. Unfortunately, this necessitates four mirrors inside the camera body to bounce the image to each of the sensors and to the optical viewfinder. This leads to a darker and smaller image in the viewfinder when compared to similarly priced SLRs.

I am struggling to welcome this advancement because of my familiarity with traditional SLR design. This new technology does, however, offer some significant advantages for certain photographers (especially amateurs). Check out an extensive overview at Digital Photography Review. I can't wait until the next announcement!

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