Sunday, October 21, 2007

Olympus E3: The Testable Claims

While I don't have the resources to test the claims made in the Olympus E3 press release, I can certainly point them out! So in this exercise we will be identifying all the claims made in the E3 press release and seeing how testable they are. Hopefully the people who are planning to review the E3 can take a look :)

We start with the E3 press release as posted at dpreview and list the Testable Claims:
1) world’s fastest auto-focusing speeds. This has an asterisk which says: "In combination with the new Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm".
2) powerful built-in image stabilisation system which is capable of compensating against the effects of camera shake to the equivalent of up to 5 EV steps
3) E-3 boasts flawless automatic white balance
4) 5 fps sequential shooting with 19 image RAW buffer
5) camera’s large viewfinder which provides 100% coverage
6) a shutter life of 150,000 operations
7) Olympus E-3 will be available from the end of November 2007
8) The critically acclaimed Supersonic Wave Filter ingeniously protects the High Speed Live MOS sensor from dust and other foreign particles

Of the list above, there are two that stand-out in my mind, and you can guess which ones I have in mind, #1 and #2. #1 sounds more plausible since it is with a specific lens, the lovely Olympus 12-60mm. So that sounds like something that could test out, perhaps not under all conditions, but under some conditions it's likely that they will have the "fastest AF speed".

#2 however is where things are a bit muddy. Why? Because it has the magic words: up to 5. What exactly is the range and under what circumstances can you get 5? I'm sure their lawyers wouldn't let them say "up to 5" unless there was at least one circumstance where you got a five stop difference. The big question is what circumstance is that? Is it when a right-handed hobbit holds the camera in his left hand while jumping up and down on his right leg, and using the 12-60 lens, at a specific focal length, shutter speed, aperture and under specific lighting conditions?

We've seen claims before of three stops and we got closer to two, so with claims of five we could hope for four :)

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