It has been an exciting year for Olympus and Panasonic. The Olympus E-P1/E-P2 and Panasonic GF1/GH1 cameras gained a lot of attention in the photographic world. In a world dominated by Canon/Nikon this has been a huge success! Also Sony couldn’t do it better :)
Of course some of you are not completely happy. Just like you, I would have loved to see a new E-5 and some nice new Zuiko lenses but I hope that next year will bring us some surpises!
I am ready to write my predictions for 2010 which are a mix of rumors and speculations. Generaly spoken I believe Olympus and Panasonic will work to improve the existing line-up: better EVF and autofocus, better video compression codec and image post processing. There will be also new improved sensors. Let’s see in detail what could come in 2010:
1) In January we will see new Olympus compact cameras (like the new T-100).
2) I expect Olympus to upgrade some of their FourThirds cameras in Q1-Q2. It is very likely we will see the new E-5. The new FourThirds camera should use the newly developed Panasonic sensor which increases DynamicRange and has better High-ISO performance. I hope Olympus will also announce new FourThirds lenses (and I would love to see some new fast primes!).
3) What we know for sure is that Olympus will launch three new MicroFourThirds lenses during the first half of the year: The 9-18/4.0-5.6 (April 2010), the 14-150/4.0-5.6 (May-June 2010) and the 40-150 lens. During the second half I expect the release of the following lenses: The 70-300 the 12/2.8 the 20/1.7 the 8mm and 50mm lens.
4) What about future Olympus MFT cameras? We should expect a High-End and a Low-End model. We don’t know which one will be announced first but there is a good chance to see the next MFT camera in May-June. The upcoming Photokina in September suggests that Olympus will unveil their BIG High-End MFT at the event but on the other side, why wait that much? Besides Panasonic and Samsung there is no other competition now and they would probably sell more cameras if they release the camera a couple of months earlier.
1) Panasonic will also announce new compact cameras in January. They will launch the new DMC-FH line.
2) It is very unlikely that Panasonic will continue to produce “classic” FourThirds cameras.
3) I expect a new MFT camera in February-March and it will probably be the GH1 successor. The camera will of course have a far better video quality (24Mb/s compression instead of the actual 17Mb/s).
3) The LX3 successor will also be announced during the first half of 2010. Probably it will use a new backlight sensor.
4) I also expect a low-entry MFT camera. Price around $500.
5) What should we expect from Panasonic on Photokina? Maybe the ultimate Digital Still and Motion Camera? Something new for the professionist? If you look at the Panasonic history, they started with making real good compact cameras and they had huge success. Then we saw their MFT cameras and they also had huge success. That’s why I expect Panasonic to join the very High-End professional market with a… why not….Fullframe camera? I expect they will do it in 2011 but why not hope for such an announcement on Photokina this year?
Let’s see in one year how close we were with our predictions! :)
Have a nice day!