Olympus loses market share in Japan (BCNranking data).

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The market share leaders within the mirrorless system camera category

In Japan for DSLR and Mirrorless system cameras are equally strong. But that said Olympus just lost the leadership in favour of Sony which now holds 34.3% of the market share. Olympus had a 6% drop while Panasonic had a 2% drop. Of course this was a bit inevitable seeing that more and more players are competing within the market. Still, the Sony A7 series seems to be very successful there and it raises the always returning question if Olympus and Panasonic should also offer a second and new mirrorless system with larger sensor…

Michael Guthmann: We cannot add the High Res 40MP feature via firmware upgrade.

The Russian site Kroupski (google translation here) interviewed Mr. Michael Guthmann from Olympus. And these are some of the key info:

1) It’s not possible to add the 40MP High resolution feature on current cameras via simple firmware upgrade. It”s not just algorithms that is needed. ON the E-M5II Olympus improved the positioning accuracy of the stabilization system. Mechanical components were changed and optimized.

2) Olympus is not sure if they will add the 40MP feature on future low-end cameras too.

3) Olympus recognizes there is a request for 4K on Olympus cameras. But they cannot guarantee the E-M1 successor will have 4K. Olympus does not see great potential for 4K at the moment. Once the market is ready for it, they will make 4K. Panasonic, Sony, Samsung  are “forced” to add 4K on cameras to create content for their 4K TV’s.

4) Olympus is not worried about the fact that Full Frame cameras are becoming cheaper. Because they think what matters is the camera+lens performance and size.

Panasonic developed the industry’s largest 1 glass-molded aspheric lens (measuring 75mm in diameter).

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Panasonic once again proves it is leading company within the optical industry. And I hope we wills ee that kind of lens on a real MFT lens soon :)

Here is the full press text to learn why that’s a special lens:

Panasonic Corporation today announced that it has developed the industry’s largest*1 glass-molded aspheric lens measuring 75 mm in diameter that can be used for interchangeable lenses for cameras and projectors whose size and resolution have been increasingly reduced and enhanced, respectively. The shipping of samples of this large-diameter aspheric lens will start from February 13, 2015. We will also commence with external sales of these lenses.

*1: In the category of glass-molded aspheric lenses. As of February 13, 2015, according Panasonic’s data

Interchangeable lenses for cameras and projectors are required to be small with a high resolution, in addition to conforming to the trend of having a large diameter and wide angle. There have been growing needs for large-diameter aspheric lenses that help reduce the number of parts involved.
We have developed the industry’s largest*1 glass-molded aspheric lens/mirror with a diameter of 75 mm by taking full advantage of our engineering capabilities and production expertise that have been refined through development and production of LUMIX digital cameras and other products. We have also established mass production technology for preventing cloudiness and cracks and for maintaining shape precision in the process of molding large-diameter lenses. This lens enables a reduction in the number of parts by about 25% compared with comparable conventional products.

These lenses have the following features.

  1. Developing the industry’s largest*1 glass-molded aspheric lens/mirror measuring 75 mm in diameter
    Capable of reducing the total length by 30% compared with interchangeable spherical lenses of the same performance
  2. Ensuring thermal resistance and minimizing thermal expansion through the use of glass materials
    Achieving thermal resistance (250°C or higher) and low thermal expansion (about 1/10 that of plastics) that cannot be attained using plastic materials
  3. Achieving high reliability and high refractive index of varying degrees by using our proprietary mass production technologies and production expertise
    Achieving high processing precision and high refractive index of varying degrees by using in-house developed molds and molding/measurement equipment as well as proprietary expertise

The lens has been used in ET-D75LE90, an optional lens commercialized in November 2014 for our ultra-high-brightness projectors, to achieve short-throw wide-angle projection. We will start shipping samples of this large-diameter aspheric lens as a key device that meets the needs of our corporate customers.

The latest product enhances our lineup of aspheric lenses ranging from 1 mm (for endoscopes) to 75 mm in diameter. We will expand our business-use lens operations to various industries based on the latest large-diameter glass-molded aspheric lens in order to increase sales.

via Dicahub and via Optics.

(UPDATED) Olympus patent discloses fast f/1.8 zoom for smaller than MFT sensors.

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The Olympus zoom table (Patent US8928993)

UPDATED: The United States Patent US8928993 discloses a new zoom with f/1.8 aperture at the wide end and f/2.8 at the tele end. It’s designed for smaller than MFT sensors (1/1.7 inch for example). I really do hope Olympus will make fats zooms for MFT too. It’s a long time now people is asking for a faster than f/2.8 zoom lens from Olympus. Just like they had with he Four Thirds system with the [shoplink 25320 ebay]Zuiko 14-35mm f/2.0 (here one Bay)[/shoplink] and the [shoplink 25319 ebay]Zuiko 35-100mm f/2.0 (here one Bay)[/shoplink].

Magnum photographer Jérôme Sessini wins 1st price at World Press Photo Award (with the E-M1).

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The World Press Photo Award winners have been announced. And among them we have two Micro Four Thirds shooter. Magnum Photographer Jerome Sessini, who won 1st prize in the Spot News category. He used the Olympus E-M1 for that picture. Fulvio Bugani won the third prize in the Contemporary Issues category using the E-M5.

And Quesabesde made that nice infographic to show what camera have been used by the winners.

As you can see Canon still rules and the only digital mirrorless camera winners used Olympus cameras.