(FT2) New E-PL1 sucessor rumors…

I received three different rumors form new and anonymous sources about a possible Olympus E-PL1 successor.

Rumor 1: “Olympus will announce the E-PL2 in a few weeks”

Rumor 2: “The new E-PL2 will have a new sensor (more than 12 Megapixels)”

Rumor 3: “Olympus will be announcing a new e-pl camera in february/march 2011. it’s not the e-pl1s, it’s more like an e-pl1x or e-pl2. it will have 6400 iso, and the body will be slightly larger. it’s definitely not the e-pl1s but i wasn’t given any more specs.”

I repeat, the info came from new unknown sources. I confess that it is hard to believe that Olympus will announce a new E-PL1 after having announced the E-PL1s in Japan. But let’s see if the new sources are right ;)

Reminder: Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

(FT5 -> patent) Olympus patent discloses a modular camera concept!

Let’s start with the bad news first. The same sources that told us that Olympus was working on a modular camera now told us that Olympus is keeping on hold the project. Olympus is focusing their resources on the development of new Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses. The good news is that we can finally show you a REAL proof that our sources were telling us the truth. Olympus filled a new patent (Click here to read it at freepatentsonline) that shows 8 different modular bodies! Every single concept has three different parts (camera body, sensor unit and lens). It looks like a more advanced concept compared to the Ricoh GXR design were lens and sensor do part of a single unit.

Let’s start with the official patent description:

There is known a camera capable of exchanging an imaging element with another imaging element of a different size according to the purpose (refer to Patent Document 1). This camera has a horizontally-long box-like camera body and a photographing lens for silver salt single-lens reflex camera. As the camera body, a camera body for silver salt single-lens reflex camera is used without modification. As a back lid, one for silver-salt camera and one for digital camera are prepared. When the back lid for digital camera is attached to the camera body, this camera can be used as a digital camera. Further, this camera has a configuration allowing exchange of a CCD substrate and thus different types of digital cameras can be realized by one camera body.

One of the most interesting apsects of the patent is the “conversion optical system” (On picture the part number 4): “The conversion optical system is an optical system that forms an intermediate image (primary image). Thus, even when a subject image is enlarged, an aberration-free image can be obtained.

The third modular camera variant (Figure 3) shows “the optical unit 21 includes an imaging optical system 22, the optical path division means 8, and the moving mechanism 9. The optical unit 211 through the attachment/detachment portion 2 and thereby a subject image is formed on the imaging element 3 through the imaging optical system 22 and the conversion optical system is connected to the imaging body 4

Feel free to add your thoughts about the patent by commenting on this post. As usual keep in mind that patents are not a guarantee that there will really be a product like that.

(FT4) UPDATED -> New rumor about the E-5 being the last Olympus DSLR

Yesterday I received a new message from a dutch camera reseller: “A representative of Olympus in the Netherlands came to our shop and told me that Olympus will not produce anymore Dslr camera’s. they will only produce the Olympus E-5. So pretty soon we can no longer order any Dslr except the E-5. and of the E-5 we can only order four at a time wich we have to sell first before we can order another four.
They will only concentrate on M 4/3. and by 2012 they will have renewed there whole compact line-up except for the superzoom cameras.
Are the same thing’s happening in other country’s to ?

The answer is yes! A few other dealers had small talks with Olympus reps. And they also have been told that this could be the last DSLR.

A reminder, Olympus said that they will contnue to develop Four Thirds products until Micro Four Thirds can deliver the same performance as Four Thirds cameras.

(UPDATE) Two more retailers sent me messages:

1) “Three weeks ago i was at an “open house” at a photo dealer with all of the reps there. I spoke to the Olympus rep for 15-20 minutes. Just prior to this open house he had had a meeting with one one of Olympus’ designers. He told me that Olympus will continue designing and producing a “flagship” E-X. The E-5 was not the end of the line. Olympus has not designed a system to do away with mirrors and that they were not even close. He said that all of the other series were dead. The modular E-series would not happen but he smiled when I mentioned a “pro” micro body.

2) “in my country it is the same with E5 as in others. Only a few at a time.”