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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.



Well-Known Member
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


Active Member
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...



Well-Known Member
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)


Well-Known Member
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.


Active Member
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...


Well-Known Member
I really don't understand how on the one hand you can want what you consider the "hot" chip - which the major manufacturers don't seem to need or want, btw - and on the other hand you want to use your 40-year-old design lenses in stopped down mode on a digital autofocus camera. As to the E-1 and it's lenses...It's lenses are, in most cases, less expensive, not more expensive, than comparable Canon and Nikon lenses. Yes, the E-1 body is more expensive than the digital Rebel - but the digital rebel body is a piece of junk, and while the 10D chip is in the Rebel, it has been "dumbed down" to remove many of the features offered by the E-1.

The reality here is that you get what you pay for - if you want a really solid, pro body with terrific weather and dust resistant sealing throughout; a body that will take reasonably hard knocks and keep on functioning; a very ergonomic body with terrifically well thought out menus and controls, then you pay for it - and buy and E-1. If you want a digital version of the one really junky body in Canon's SLR line, then you don't pay much for it.

B. D.


New Member
Very well-put, B.D.! It's comments like yours that make me lean towards upgrading my E-20N to the E-1 and the superb line of Zuiko Digital lenses!



I think the way the photo-industry works has not changed over the last 20 years. There are different camera models and brands and there are different needs of the users.

Like 20 years ago, you have a broad range of different manufacturers and each manufacturer has different models. The one that might please you the most might be wrong for others. This is why different producers exists at all.

IMHO the question is not whether the E-1 has enough pixel or is "cheap enough" to buy it vs. a Canon 300D or Canon 10d... you name it....

The question is more what do you want to use it for. If you know that exactly, the decision for a specific model becomes a lot easier and you will not regret the purchase.

Like within the last 20 years, you always had to decide into which system you are buying, because the lenses are not compatible. Lets forget for a moment the non-ideal solutions with adapters.

But I strongly advice not to judge any camera only by its price or pixelnumbers or construction details. For some people even a plastic bomber might be the right choice. But others might think differently. It is your money, so you should go for the system, which suits you the most, not what others tell you what they would buy in your case (most of these advisors own Canon and Nikon lenses and they are therefore not very objective, since the hurdle for them is a lot higher than for others).

Having said that you can see this very easy with the new Nikon D2H, If you would go only by numbers, nobody would buy this camera. It is outragious expensive (twice the price of an E-1), it has a pixelnumber of a digital P&S and it still is using the Nikon-mount with a multilpier effect, and lenses which were never intended to be made for digital use.

So looking at these facts, nobody should buy a Nikon D2H. But what I have read by now is that the order books are full already. So there might be people who are not only judging by numbers. They look what they need. And in my opinion this is the only reason to buy this "inferior" Nikon model: the speed of shooting range (fps), which is important for the press. And the press does not need high pixelnumbers, since the media the photos are printed on are worse than 4MP.

The same counts for the E-1. There is not ONE professional market. There are thousends of prfessionals, who are earning their living with different jobs than press photographers or landscape shooters. And for some or many of them the E-1 might be the right instrument for their needs. And for others, who do ot like yet the E-1, an upcoming E-2 will be the perfect choice - or a xyz-model of another manufacturer in 6 months.

There are so many photographers out there, who have not yet Nikon or Canon lenses. And all of them will go for digital cameras over the next 5 years. A huge market for every non-Canon and non-Nikon producer with different offerings.

The most appealing argument for me for the E-1 is the digital purpose from the very first moment on. Olympus has prooved to be able to manufacture great lenses in the past for the OM System and also for the digital P&S. So this system is beside the Contax N-System the only one on the market, which was made specifically for the digital photography. I am sure we will see the benefits soon.