I’ve noted before that my experience with Olympus interchangeable lens cameras goes back to 2006 when I purchased a two lens E-300 kit from NewEgg. I used the E-300 heavily until I purchased the E-3 in December 2008 (the E-3 was announced October 2007). I have thus worked with the FourThirds sensor in both Olympus ILC camera lines, FourThirds and µFourThirds.
I made a virtual trip over to DXOmark and lined up three of the representative cameras I’ve owned and used just to compare their stats, particularly their overall scores. As you can see above the sensor technology has advanced a bit between the E-3 and the Pen F. The only reason I didn’t start with the E-300 is because DXOmark only goes back to the E-3. But it’s still interesting.
First thing you notice is that the scores between the E-P2 and the E-3 are identical. That’s in spite of the fact that the sensor’s areal resolution has jumped 20% from 10MP to 12MP. Second, the overall score of the Pen F is nearly 20 points higher than the E-3, while the areal resolution has doubled from 10MP to 20MP. If I were going after raw performance I would have sprung for the E-M1.2, with its overall DXOmark score of 80. But then it would have cost more than twice as much to purchase the E-M1.2. Maybe later…
I’ve always looked askance at the DXOmark numbers, especially when comparing across camera brands. But within the brand, I feel it better represents increased capability and is a fairer comparison. I never complained once about the E-3. It was one sweet little machine, and I was deeply hurt when it was stolen. Even though I’m more than pleased with the Pen F, I miss the E-3 in little ways that no other Olympus camera can totally satisfy. But believe me, the Pen F comes mighty, mighty close. I’ve changed a lot, perhaps grown wiser in the ways of using the sensors, who knows. Perhaps if I got another copy of the E-3 to play now with I might not think as highly of it as I currently do.
Here and now it’s the Pen F. And it’s an interesting camera indeed.