(FT4) CORRECTED-> Olympus to go completely mirrorless!

Amateur Photographer drops the BOMB!

The Olympus E system of Four Thirds cameras is likely to be completely mirrorless in two years time, according to Olympus America’s DSLR product manager.

and

Soon the AF system in the Pen cameras will be as fast as that in the E system DSLRs so there it will be possible to get just as good AF performance without the mirror system.

We did receive similar rumors during the past weeks but we thought it would be better to not post it until we have something more concrete in our hands. Now the Olympus US product manager says that the E-System will become mirrorless. I guess that confirms the rumors we received!

KEY POINTS:
1) The E-System will be completely mirrorless in two years time.
2) Fully electronic shutter could be introduced that would make extremely high frames rates such as 20fps possible
3) AF system in the Pen cameras will be as fast as that in the E system DSLRs
4) The FourThirds lenses will be used on smaller and lighter more modern bodies
5) 14 million pixels are more than enough

UPDATE: And now Olympus says “that 14 million pixels are more than enough for a consumer level camera” -> That confirms that the next sensor will have 14MPX. Anyway strange… one year ago they said 12MPX would be enough…now 14 MPX is enough…

[Thanks Jean-Pierre]

P.S.: The Olympus E-PL1 is in Stock at BHphoto!

  • Alfons

    So if you have waited for E-5, don’t bother?

  • Robbie_E-P1

    Well then my next pen is surely going to be the one they reckon will focus as fast as the Phase change E-system. HELL YEAH! GIMME GIMME GIMME! :)

  • Alfons

    If 12mp is enough, 14 must be more than enough :)

  • Chow

    Bad news. I really need 15 MP..

  • Chow

    Oh btw, there is nothing on abandoning the E system..

    “While explaining that the image quality of the E-P2 is just as good as that of the E3, Pelkowski moved to reassure AP readers that the full Four Thirds system would continue to exist.”

  • KL

    They’re not abandoning the 43 E-system. Just the mirror box SLR implementation. So the 43 and m43 will both coexist, but in a form of EVF LCD and new shutter system. Lens for 43 and m43 will still be made concurrently. But the SLR viewfinder will not be made by Olympus anymore in 2 years time.

  • Emilio

    Hi there

    I am not a native English speaker but I allow me to correct the interpretaion that was stated about the sentence:
    “The Olympus E system of Four Thirds cameras is likely to be completely mirrorless in two years time, according to Olympus America’s DSLR product manager.”

    no indication what so ever that the FourThirds format will be abondoned. The speaker just speculates that mirrorless system will be improved so mauch that in the future there will be no need for a mirror box in E-system cameras.

    Cheers
    Emilio

  • aaa

    There is – “‘I would say that within 24 months the E system will not have a mirror box at all”.

  • kesztió

    Hmmmm… There is a big source of confusion.
    Does 14 MP mean the effective or rather the total number of pixels?
    see GH1 sensor: 14 MP total, 12 MP effective.

    It would be better to speak about the pixel density…

  • lkm51

    I think you shouldn’t mislead your readers and read the whole article before quoting;

    While explaining that the image quality of the E-P2 is just as good as that of the E3, Pelkowski moved to reassure AP readers that the full Four Thirds system would continue to exist. ‘We have a great range of lenses for the Four Thirds system, and they’re not going anywhere, but they will be used on smaller and lighter more modern bodies.’

  • aaa, but the e-system being mirrorless could just mean something like the trine, which would be mirrorless but the standard fourthirds mount.

    Besides, we’re mixing things here… if by the “E-system” they mean e-volt (fourthirds) then, why would they say “the E system will not have a mirror box at all”…. obviously the “E-system” won’t be abandoned… just the mirror…

    IMO, it’s a whole bunch of fluff.

    If they can get the old legacy fourthirds glass to AF as fast as it currently does without a mirror, then I have no problem with losing the mirror. However, if they can’t speed up what they currently have in the Pen’s…. then, I have no idea what they’re thinking if this rumor is true.

  • Rafa_

    Hello.

    Note that he is saying that the E-System will go mirrorless, I understand that they will do it with the same lens standards, mount, and telecentricity, he is not saying that the E-system will be discontinued, you are provoking confusion and misunderstanding with the headline (could be good for me to get cheap second hand pro-lenses).

    I don’t know if the 4/3 standard says that is mandatory for the camera to have a mirror, the fact is that the E-system will go mirrorless (to make them save the huge cost of an OVF), and if the focus is as fast as now it could save us front-back focusing problems, the point I have not clear is how does it compare an optical to an electronical EVF in the actual state of the art, I’m afraid with that, even knowing that the actual optical viewfinders in the E-Series (with exceptions) are not amongst the best .

  • Agent00soul

    If they’re going to abandon regular 4/3 in two years time, I highly doubt that they would tell us that right now. Just think of how that would affect sales in the meantime. If they would really abandon regular 4/3, I think they would tell us at the same time as they stop production completely.
    No, what it most likely means is that they’re planning regular 4/3 models without mirror reflex finder. Or maybe m4/3 cameras that work equally well with regular 4/3 lenses.

  • Hi Admin,

    Wow!…You’re so quick At Jumping Into Conclusions…..Please read The Phrase From The AP Message again…..They Didn’t say They are going To ” ABANDON ” The FT Format. All He Said Was That In 2 Years Time All FT Cameras will Be Mirrorless ( EVIL ) and They will All Be Smaller, But Not ” ABANDON ” Like You said……Thanks Uncle James.

    http://www.mychiaroscuro.net.

    • admin

      Hi Jmoh! I corrected the post. Just a question. When they say all FT cameras will be mirrorless…does it mean they will still use the classic FourThirds mount or the MicroFourThirds mount? Hmmm

  • aaa

    @lkm51: You wrote: “Pelkowski moved to reassure AP readers that the full Four Thirds system would continue to exist. ‘We have a great range of lenses for the Four Thirds system, and they’re not going anywhere, but they will be used on smaller and lighter more modern bodies.’” – He didn’t say that. He reassured that the LENSES for Four Thirds system will be working fine on smaller (m43?) bodies.

  • aaa

    PS. A small correction: by “he didn’t say that” I meant “he didn’t say that the Four Thirds system would continue to exist” – he just said the lenses will”.

  • admin says:
    Hi Jmoh! I corrected the post. Just a question. When they say all FT cameras will be mirrorless…does it mean they will still use the classic FourThirds mount or the MicroFourThirds mount? Hmmm

    Um… considering MicroFourthirds is already 100% mirrorless, if the quote is to believed, he could only mean regular fourthirds…

  • M

    Well its kinda difficult to get the non Contrast AF Lenses to Focus as fast as with a mirror, and the Focus-speed of the PEN’s is just a joke at this time.
    And i’m not sure if i would like to go out with a PEN sized Camera and a 50-200 4/3 Lens, that can’t be comfortable, All that size things, is good for that pocket Camera you always got with you, but not really usable for professional use.

  • seb

    ” but not really usable for professional use”

    Anyway, sticking to the small 4/3 sensor format when the other competitors are moving to FF is not really “professional” either.

  • kesztió

    Mirrorless system with classic Four thirds mount?
    Nonsense! Making flange back distance shorter is exactly the one of the key points of any mirrorless system!

  • Agent00soul

    M says: And i’m not sure if i would like to go out with a PEN sized Camera and a 50-200 4/3 Lens, that can’t be comfortable.

    I did just that and it worked surprisingly well. With such a large lens you hold the combo by the lens (with left hand) anyway, so the size and weight of the camera doesn’t matter that much.

  • AT

    Wise move to mirrorless, but hopefully Olympus can increase the electronic processing speed to be on par with Panasonic, then it can compensate for the difference between optical and electronic focusing systems.

  • Luis

    I think this guy is speaking nonsense:

    First, for mirrorless they already have m43! And m43 is designed from the ground up to work that way. Mirrorless E system would be a joke compared to m43.

    Second, many people actually like optical viewfinders! For those who don’t, then there is m43.

    Third, how will autofocus work on this mirrorless E systems? Phase detect without mirror? Well, they will have to invent that first. Contrast detect? No way with current lenses (and the lenses are E system’s main value).

    Fourth, size matters, but in both ways. Sometimes it’s better small (go m43), sometimes it’s better big (go E System).

  • jeff

    How hard is it for olympus to just keep two product lines ?

    micro four thirds is for light compact mirrorless cameras , and 4/3 is for photographers who need the optical viewfinder and the wide range of lenses

    honestly if they drop the optical viewfinder out of the e system im saying goodbye to olympus.

    All they need to do with the E system is get the iso quality increased at higher levels and people would start adopting 4/3 left and right. Thats the only real problem with olympus cameras at the moment is the low light performance

  • Steve

    Olympus was very clear that they would eventually remove the Optical viewfinder as well. Within 2 years I don’t think this will be an issue due to the average quality of the E Series optical viewfinder.

    “there seems to be no reason to maintain mirrors, ground glass screens, prisms and viewfinder lenses in even the traditionally styled E system SLR cameras.”

  • Jim

    4/3 with no mirror = m43

    read between the lines… 4/3 is being abandoned.

  • kesztió

    I Don’t think so, Jeff. Even the viewfinder of the E-3 seems to be a “tunnel” when comparing to the bright, huge LVF from G(H)1!

    Moreover, a HD resolution LVF (1920×1080 pixels) with 3 × 120 Hz is not a dream anymore, you’ll see even better viewfinders in prosumer digicams very soon.

    So, the mirror system is about to die. Just wait 15-20 years and you’ll find mirrors just in very specialised studio photographers’ equipments!

  • Alfons

    Jeff, the 4/3 optical viewfinders are poor anyway. It’s like looking through a tunnel.

    Maybe we have EVFs with 100% coverage and 1.4x magnifying ratio with HD quality after couple of years. That could beat even FF optical viewfinders in liow light situations.

  • Newsed1

    Funny, last Friday I was telling our magazine’s photographer that the new Canon 1d4 would be the company’s last pro camera with a mirror.

    Aside from the fact that the EVF in the Panasonic GH1 is already very good, I have read another rumor (posted in the Nikon thread at DPR) that the future will see focus information for the lens being taken straight off the sensor face. I’m not sure how it works, but it may be something similar to the way face detection works.

    Anyway, a mirrorless design would allow full AF when videoing, an eye-point view finder when videoing and would also offer super-fast frame rates because the mirror isn’t in the way…

    I suppose this is the logical merging of the video and still camera. It does, though, make me wonder if the E-5 is worth waiting for. On a two year cycle, I suppose the Olympus E-650 will be the first full size 4/3 camera with an EVF..

  • newsed1

    Actually, I have just read the AP article….

    ‘I would say that within 24 months the E system will not have a mirror box at all.’ Pelkowski said,

    That means that it will take 24 months for all the current 4/3 cameras to be replaced with models using EVFs.

    Does that mean that the E-5 will be first EVF 4/3s model?

    I think we can be certain that Nikon and Canon will go down this route by 2013 with their pro models, so why shouldn’t Olympus get there first?

    Pelkowski also makes the point that current digital cameras are ‘traditional film cameras’ with a digital sensor.

    Perhaps the pitch for the E-5 (or whatever the first EVF model is) will be the first ‘real’ digital camera, designed from the ground up to make the best of digital sensor technology?

  • napalm

    hmm if I understand correctly, when they said the future of the E-system will be mirrorless… they’re not talking about the same tech that the current mFT have. I expect newer technology than current mFT to be introduced in their cams like high-speed electronic shutters and hi-res EVF.

  • Actually, two years ago Olympus said that 12MPX was enough… and now they are saying apparently that 14MPX is more than enough. Not a contradiction.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The 43rumors website, 43rumors.com, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps: http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/partners/
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cookie-usage?csw=1#cookiesSet Addthis cookies: http://www.addthis.com/privacy.
Disqus cookies: https://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/466235-use-of-cookies.
Vimeo cookies: http://vimeo.com/privacy.
Youtube cookies: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/171780?hl=en-GB

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.

Close