(FT5) A successor of one of the current Olympus PEN to be announced in February.

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According to our sources Olympus will announce one new Micro Four Thirds camera in February. The camera will replace one of the current PEN cameras. Don’t expect major changes, it uses the same 12 Megapixel sensor but at least it features a new sensor engine. Along with that camera Olympus will announce three new lenses. One of those will be the new kit lens of the new PEN (it’s a pancake). I received a few more details about that camera but I want to double check them with my trusted sources. If you have some news to share feel free to contact me at 43rumors@gmail.com or use the contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks!

Reminder: The high-end MFT camera will be announced a short time after the new PEN (and yes it has a built-in viewfinder).

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  • WT21

    I’d like a new sensor and more DR, but I may be OK IF they:

    * Upgrade the LCD to something useable for MF
    * re-implement the MF control to return to normal view on half-press. This works like a charm on the NEX 3 I have.
    * Lighter AA filter (like the EPL1)

    If they don’t at least update the LCD, then it’s really a waste of resources. The PENs are very nice. Their biggest weaknesses are the sensor being a generation behind and the above items. If they’re not changing the sensor, then they better do the above.

  • After unstopped criticism to admin about lacking rumor instead advertisement. here come the FT5 lol good job admin :)

    • admin

      You only have to be patient. And there are more rumors coming soon ;)

      • CRB

        I hope they come with a new sensor also….

      • M

        Is there something about AF improvements ?

        • admin

          Yes there is an improvement. It’s one of the details I am checking right now.

          • M

            Thank you, I’ll be patient… :)

          • Oh good.

          • napalm

            i think it will come with the new 14-42mm MKII lens, then definitely that will equate to AF improvements

  • rUY

    Should be Jan 2010.

  • JRK

    Woot Woot!

    Tbh this new pen seems extremely incremental. I’m more interested in the new lenses and high end Pen with VF. I’m guessing we’ll see the Olympus Macro, Wide prime and Fisheye (pointless with the Panasonic IMO unless its a wider circular FE)

    Meanwhile we wait for a fast zoom lens :D

    • Agent00soul

      If one of the new lenses is a pancake and kit lens for the camera, it’s probably not one of the above. Well, I suppose it might be the 12 mm (wide prime) because Sony sells the NEX with a 24 mm equivalent. But that’s really only so the can call their camera the world’s smallest. A kit lens really should be moderately wide to standard FOV. So I would expect a new fast(ish) normal lens to compete with Panasonic’s 20 mm.

      • admin

        I hope to have more lens info soon…

  • Low light focus and overall focus speed need addressing. If a GH2 can focus in 0.1, why can’t a PEN?

  • JRK

    Forgot to say I think this will be the E-P3 with the high end model opening up a newer naming scheme (E-PS1?)

  • CRB

    Same sensor? are you fuc#@!&*g kidding me?

    • Duarte Bruno

      Probably he’s not. :) But Olympus is. :(

  • 43photo

    New pen needs better HD film options, better frame rates and full HD.

    • with over heat system in every 5min lol sound good :p

  • Paulo

    I need a e-p2 with internal flash, or a e-pl1 with one, or two dial!!!

  • KaiRosam

    With a little of improvement and they are so called ” NANO CHANGE”

    Damn it. i have enough

  • tgutgu

    Yawn! Another incremental PEN. Hopefully not with the ergonomics of an EPL-1.

  • Using a-2008 Sensor in 2011?
    3 YEARS FOR A SENSOR! :0

    So sad, So sad :(

    • also panasonic used same 12.3 mp sensor G1,GF1,GF2 G2 G10….
      identical sensor over 3 years
      the most important is the image processor engine improvement.
      bye

  • sderdiarian

    Admin, please clarify this isn’t a US intro of the E-PLs.

    Likely just upgrading the E-P2 processor with the E-PL1’s or E-5’s, way overdue, and adding the E-PL1S’ faster AF. Cheap, obvious and easy; many like the E-P2’s form factor/build, so should keep the line going.

    The real stories are the high-end MFT you say will be intor’d just after this, along with 3 new lenses. Any chance one will be a HG mFT 12-60 f2.8-4? Or HG macro equiv to the FT 50mm? ASt the right price (no gouging, Oly!) that would have me seriously considering mFT.

    Last, anything in the wind for mFT at CES next week?

    • admin

      Hi Sderdiarian!
      Let’s start with the lenses. yes there is a 50mm macro! I have no info about a new zoom but Panasonic will release a very interesting zoom soon. No mft camera will be announced at CES.
      About the E-PL1 successor being the E-Pl1s. No, It’s not an E-PL1s!

      • Henrik

        But there will be news about the high-end compact camera from Olympus at CES? Please say yes ;(

        • admin

          YES!

          • Henrik

            Haha please confirm with your “real” answear :DD. Good job btw :).

      • CDMc

        Admin

        When will the news about the panny zoom be out, and is it the much anticipated fast zoom?

        • admin

          The news is from a good source but he received the info indirectly so he wants me to doublecheck the rumor. The lens should be announced within the next few months.

  • Nathan

    When you say “same sensor” I hope you mean “same number of megapixels in an improved sensor from the E-5” or else Olympus can go pound sand. Constant Improvement. That’s what is required in the consumer electronics field.

    The weak-AA filter sensor from E-5 is good enough for now, but we really do want to see things like backside illumination. Even if it only gives a third of a stop, you gotta reach for that third of a stop because each step, while just being a step, leads to the destination, which is improved image signal to noise ratio so your software doesn’t steal the details.

    • admin

      I guess the sensor is the same. But I have to ask that…

  • White Owned

    4/3 sucks when they could use a FF sensor in these bodies!!! The DOF is terrible along with high noise levels. However there appear to be enough idiots buying these toys to keep the companies alive.

    • elliot

      4/3 sucks when they could use a FF sensor in these bodies!!

      If they did that they’d obsolete all the system’s current lenses, which don’t have big enough image circles to cover full frame. It would be a stupid move, and they’re not stupid. If you want a small full frame camera get a Leica.

      • Novaron

        Well said elliot. It is not simply not making the lenses obsolete, but the troll White Owned simply is wrong about high noise levels. at what ISO equivalent. And they could not use a 35 mm film size sensor in these bodies, maybe APS sized, but wonder how big an equivalent to the 25/0.95 Voightlander lens the APS one would be and wonder about balancing the lens on the camera. I hardly use my APS Canon 40-D anymore because of size and weight advantages of these cameras and when I shoot lowlight I do pretty damn well shooting at ISO 800 or so.

      • Chris

        Same quip: “I want it all, but I don’t want to pay for it!”

        Want small full frame? Get a Leica. Want the best image quality in a walkaround camera? Get a Mamiya 7ii and an Imacon Flextight scanner.

        But don’t expect to get it all for a few hundred dollars.

  • Nathan

    If it’s another cam that you can’t use EVF and flash simultaneously with, I’ll know Olympus knows nothing about photography. Viewfinder should not be an accessory. Flash and viewfinder shouldn’t be mutually exclusive as many of the times you use a flash you’re actually trying to be very precise, and you can’t be precise when using the rear LCD panel. Not being able to do wireless TTL AT ALL with the E-P1 and E-P2 was just FOOLISH. Dumb. Idiotic. Short sighted, disconnected-from-customers kind of goofy.

    • Henrik

      But, but…. you got them in silver, white and black? I bet this time it will come and brown which is a huge improvement.

    • safaridon

      Well I guess by this rationale that Sony with their introduction of best selling NEXs (in Japan) also doesn’t know anything about photography as doesn’t even have a EVF option and flash is an add on? Surely there is a place for both types of cameras, one for maximum portablity and small size and one fo function?

      The new GF2 offers both with built in flash and optional EVF with small size but unfortunately for now high resolution viewfinder.

      • Nathan

        The Sony NEX is not catching the world by storm. Its use is limited and isn’t a tool for any enthusiast of macrophotography or even high-school sports. It simply cannot autofocus fast enough for sports. It can do a little bit of macro work. I suppose it may be adequate for portraits. Manual focus is trickier than hell.

        For pictures of your family, or for landscapes, it’s better than a point and shoot, but that’s about all one can say about it. It is not in the same league as the PEN or GF/GH from Panasonic.

        It doesn’t have either wireless TTL flash or in-body image stabilization, has no high-resolution electronic viewfinder, and is impossible to manual focus while the LCD is in direct sunlight. It has no standard hotshoe for even the most basic off-camera flash. It is slim to the point that large lenses are awful and off-balance on it. It’s designed to be pretty, not to fit the human hand.

        In short, the Sony NEX is an undesirable but shiny piece of crap for enthusiast purposes.

        • Nathan

          I should also point out that there are 3 (three) lenses for NEX. Not one is faster than f2.8.

  • Ulli

    the processor engine improves 1 or 2 stops at noise, and improved aliasing removal, so Olympus comes with a PEN without AA filter?? just dreaming here :-)

    • leendert

      Sounds good!
      And the fastest AF on the world!
      I want to buy!

  • napalm

    really, wasnt Oly known for their incremental models? wasnt the move from E-500 to E-520 and E-400 to E-450 about the same?

    i really wouldnt expect much from this new PEN, i’d rather see the higher-spec’d m4/3 later on.

    • Ulli

      actually me too, really curious about the built-in viewfinder, and if the formfactor is still like the EP-x series. addition of sealings would be great and the herald of pro mft lenses :-)

  • Michael

    It looks like it’s going to be E-5’s fine-tuned 12Mpix sensor. What to say, Olympus just has to love this one :D (it is good to keep resolution at reasonable level), but what’s happen to the Olympus innovator? Is the Maitani’s spirit completely gone?

    • 43photo

      The reason might be that it is a cheap sensor for Olympus. They are a company who needs to make as much money as possible after all.

      • Michael

        Sure thing, but I was thinking a high-end MFT camera this time with proper mZD HG/SHG lens. It’s too soon for this, while the E-5 is still new?

      • cL

        Yes. Innovation costs money, so they go by Canonikon model, so there would be constant update with minor changes. Canon 40-60D are essentially the same cameras with sensor engine change. T2i is T1i with video capability (still no swivel LCD). After a couple years after Nikon issued 300D, the answer is 300Ds with video function as the headliner. Sony A390 is A380 with correct ergonomics. A850 is A900 with affordable price tag (and still no LiveView).

        • Chris

          Exactly, but to a lot of people a new sensor is the equivalent of making a breakthrough innovation.

          • napalm

            you know what, I sold my E-620 to get a 3yr old E-500 with a Kodak sensor. and aside from missing the LiveView and IBIS, I think the E-500 produces more pleasing, film-like colors than the E-620. the noise at ISO800 is just about the same too. and I paid practically peanuts for this body and very happy with it

            so I dont know what happened, I’m thinking now if they only continued to go with E-500’s blueprint then it might have been a different ballgame for 4/3

          • Chris

            Agreed, napalm. One of my favorite photographers uses an E-400, and her work looks like it was shot on film.

          • cL

            But a lot of people think adding more pixels = new sensor technology….

            I would like to have a new BETTER sensor, too. However, I also want better dynamic range. If you have read some Canon reviews, you’d know 18mp Canon sensor has just be about the same light sensitivity as a 12mp 4/3 sensor. In other words, APS-C’s edge over 4/3 is no longer there (and 4/3 has better lenses…). If you print a photo in 8×10, that 18mp is not even 18mp anymore since you crop like 1/3 off on each side, whereas 4/3 you only crop a little. Unless they have some REAL sensor technology breakthrough, I’d agree with napalm, an old CCD sensor can be better than a new one, especially when the new sensor is just mp increase, but no light sensitivity change….

        • Michael

          I agree with you cL, E-5 sensor is very good with all-new TruePic engine, there is nothing to complain about. DSLRs (for example mentioned D300 and D300s) are the same because they’re reach the point where innovations are almost impossible (engineers just adding film modes, higher ISOs…), but MFT is not even there (yes it takes time to develop into that level). Everyone knows that things can be better with new MFT camera. So small improvements with PEN are not enough because there are lot of things to do (handling, dealing with EVF, lenses range, AF speed etc.) to be on pair with modern DSLRs in all regards (but in smaller and lighter package of course). We just need to wait for it. Cheers.

          • cL

            If MFT gets pro level glasses, then I’ll think about it. For now, I’m happy with my E-620.

            @napalm. I have not used a Kodak sensor Olympus yet, but since it’s a CCD, I think it’s probably better in term of color and dynamic range. I think E-620 produces film-like color, too. That’s a big plus to Olympus in my book.

            I think Olympus just has Panny tied their wrists…. And yes Olympus needs money. We just have to hope this lack of anything new is just a phase, to get enough resource for the big one to come…. Still dream about my proper E-620 replacement. Oh, and a 12mm lens please for us landscapers….

  • Lars

    after they have sold a few million e-pl1 with a crap display to stuipds they now sell a updated version with a usefull display to the masses.

    only to be followed by another modell with tiny tiny improvments every 5 month……

    • Do

      It’s usually the same with all electronic products…and otherwise the owners of the last generation get angry.

      • cL

        I wouldn’t say it’s the same with “all” electronic products, but it’s pretty much inline with what Canonikon has been doing. I just hope the new lens is the 12mm.

  • really good to see this as a FT5

    this is indeed good news. interested in the new pancake and will stay tuned for the spec … my guess would be on either:
    – 12mm f2.8 pancake, or
    – 21mm f2 pancake
    in a way the wide is more logical since the 21 is a repeat of the panasonic

    now it would be a,saint to think that Oly and Pan are joined in their strategy and the Pan 20/1.7 gets discontinued in favour of their new twice the price (be ready for that) 25/1.4 … clear the way for a new Oly kit prime 21/2 to replace the Pan 20?

    it would be amazing to see Oly sneak in with a 50/2 pancake portrait! but I’m dreaming here

    As for the slamming people have already chimed in on the ‘same chip’ comment … do your homework, go read a review of the E-5 and come back and eat your words!

    hope the new cam is the e-p3 … frightened already for the price if it has fuji100 style rangefinder (because I will want one)

    also hope it’s not an e-pl2 to compete with the GF2

    PS who invited White Owned onto the internets?

    • Ulli

      i guess a mft pancake 50mm f2 with the same quality as the ft version is prob not possible. I wouldn’t mind a “bulkier” version as i would use it for modelshootings mainly. the 14mm is my walkaround snaphot lens :-)

    • Duarte Bruno

      I’m fine with resolution and a little wanting for high ISO but the ubiquous m43 sensor has a crappy dynamic range and no miracle JPEG engine on the E5 will ever change that even if we read 1000000 good reviews! :(

  • Tony Lau

    Hope the rumored high-end model with built-in viewfinder is in the range-finder instead of the SLR form factor. Also hope for a high-res LCD (tiltable even better) :)

  • greyhat

    Let’s be honest about ourselves: ok, everyone wants a new sensor.
    Things could be easier to you if Olympus back then decided to make sensors. Perhaps Sony, Kodak or Sigma Foveon can help.

    Regarding incremental steps:
    Imagine what (not in the correct order):
    * two dials, _configurable_ clickable ones (e.g aspect ratio|iso, aperture|time/exposure)
    * direct access to change aspect ratio,
    * articulated _high-rez_ LCD,
    * two flash hot shoes (a dummy one with accessory port and one real),
    * IR remote trigger,
    * better spec’ed internal flash (read more power)
    * bigger battery,
    * higher flash sync (do I hear 1/500?),
    * more sealing,
    * custom modes and load/saving camera settings from/to card,
    * tripod mount aligned with sensor,
    * spirit level,
    * touch to focus
    * integrated view finder (for me this is optional)
    * pre tag photos (e.g. custom manual lens combo box for exif; location)
    * gps tagging (optional for me)
    * lots of customization
    * (…) you have your preferences

    Yes there are at least two missing: faster AF and dynamic range
    The first can be improved with faster sensor read-out (aka shorter processing time) and the latter with “twilight” mode. Yes I know is not the same thing, but how many times you really can’t live without ISO 12800 to get a gallery quality print?

    All these are real today and can be done without a new sensor, just merge this in one camera and improve firmware.
    Just hope that Olympus read this post.

    Remember that mFT does not target sport or wedding photographers at work, it targets at enthusiasts (where money comes from) and real photographers that need/want to carry less weight.

    IMHO we need a camera that improve our composing and framing first, ISO 12800 photography don’t come in second.

    Final notes:
    I’m no Oly fan boy.
    I could really use faster AF on my photography. But my beloved FF canon 5D is also too slow. I learned how to work around it. And the 5D is really heavy. And I like what comes out of it. Is what matters to me.

  • napalm

    after re-reading this rumor a few times, i think it might just be an updated E-P1… it will have an accessory port like the E-P2/PL1, truepic V+ and will have the new 14-42mm MKII lens plus options to get the new lenses as their kits

    either that or this is just a beefed-up E-P2 again. if i’m wrong then that’s better news…

  • I am sure that NO Build in EVF Olympus Pens in coming few months.
    I don’t think this news should be FT5….

  • Miroslav

    Nice, it seems Olympus will go on an offensive this spring. Although I didn’t believe it last time, this seems to be E-PL1 successor. And I wouldn’t mind E-PL1 incremental update, there’s little wrong with the original – for the price. Better LCD, AF assist lamp, a control wheel and you’ve got another winner. A more modern styling would be handy, as well. The kit lens will be 12mm F2.8 I suppose, so it could compete with GF2 and the NEXes.

    Of course, we’d all like integrated viewfinder, articulated touchscreen, full HD video, multiple dials, higher flash sync speed, etc., but that’s reserved for “high-end MFT camera”.

  • safaridon

    Thank you admin for your providing us with this new rumor to start off the New Year and kudos to m43 for followup timely release of the first photos. Yes I am one of those impatient ones that gets up at 6am while it is still dark to look for your latest rumor.

    I only wish the improvements noted mainly new higher resolution rear LCD and improved zoom kit lens and faster AF were in a EP3 body instead! Now I wish those earlier bargains on the EP2 were still around somewhere?

    My fear is this may be the end of the line for the EP2 (I hope not)? I believe the next semi pro model will be like a digital OM instead. My rationale for that is Oly has already announced plans to stop production and further development of all their 4/3rds DSLR models except for E5 and need a replacement to fill the void and I believe Oly has found it would change the size and format of the EP2 to try to include other than a very small inbody EVF and rear LCD.

    Again thanks to admin for your good work and best of wishes for the New Year.

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