Sunday, October 14, 2007

VIDI: Panacea DSLR just got a bit closer

Welcome to another edition of VIDI, our Sunday faux-editiorial. Today's topic blends the Nikon D3 effect and the anticipation of the Olympus E3. But let's start from the beginning.

Once upon a time a multi-thousand dollar 1-megapixel camera was considered a wonder of technology. Nowadays a sub-thousand 10-megapixel camera is taken for granted. Technology moves forward but our expectations are not bound by the laws of physics or by logistics or profits and losses. So we are usually ahead of the technology companies. Our dream DSLRs, the ones that will come in and solve all our real and perceived technical issues will never arrive because we want so much.

But this idea got shaken up a bit when the Nikon D3 was announced and more specifically when dozens of high ISO sample images from the D3 were published. While not solving every single problem, it was clear that this camera would be a game-changer in the area of high ISO. And since noise is such a big issue among some digital photographers, it gave the D3 an even bigger boost.

So how does that relate to the Olympus E3? Before the Nikon D3, when I read the leaked PDF file from an Olympus Europe presentation promising 5-stop advantage this and that, I was quite skeptical. After all, Olympus had already made some bold statements when they launched 4/3rds, which turned out to be a combination of wishful thinking, dreams, exaggerations and typical marketing speak. But after the Nikon D3 "noise", I am not as skeptical. If Nikon can do it, others can do it too. After all, Olympus has been sleeping working on the E3 for more than four years now, so perhaps they are coming up with something special indeed. We are only a couple of days away from finding out!

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