Sony and Olympus’s further collaboration to turn around unprofitable compact-camera business.

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Let’s catch up with some financial news:

Wall Street Journal reports that “Olympus President Hiroyuki Sasa indicated Monday that the company might need further collaboration with Sony to turn around Olympus’s unprofitable compact-camera business.” And Panasonic said that “it will axe another 10,000 jobs” (Source: Reuters).

Overall by reading their reports you will notice that both companies are slowly recovering from the crisis and the forecast is positive. And coming back to Sony’s and Olympus compact-camera strategy…does it make sense to keep their foot in such dying business? The only kind of compact camera that still can stand up against the cameraphones may be the Sony RX100. P.S.: The XZ-1 sells fine (ranking here) but Olympus had to cut the price down to $199 and I doubt they will have some margin on this.

But again, I am not an expert in these kind of analysis. May you can add some more value to that discussion by commenting this post!

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New Olympus 17mm f/1.8 officially released! Costs $499 (or 499/549 Euro).

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And here it is the new Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens! This page will be continually updated with new info:

Preorders:
BHphoto for $499 (Click here).

Reviews and Image samples:
Street Shooting Review by Robin Wong. You can download his full size JPEG samples at Mediafire. He says:
– Bokeh is very smooth, creamy and pleasing to look at.
– autofocus performance of the 17mm F1.8 lens, used on the E-PL5, is exceptionally good
– no ghosting, no flare, no distortion and only very low CA.
– the level of fine details captured is very impressive.
Full test by Pekka Potka. Some of his interesting findings:
– Compared to the Panasonic 20mm lens the new 17mm lens shows practically no fringing. The Lumix shows more resolution but has also weaker (micro) contrast.
– Price and quality goes hand in hand. If you feel this is expensive, you will also find this lens being very good.
More image samples at Pen And Tell (German) and Petapixel.
The French website OpenPN posted the official Len MTF chart:

Press release:
Dpreview, ThePhoBlographer, DSLRmagazine (Spanish), Neocamera, Lepidi (French), Photoscala (German), Olympus (Japanese), OpenPN (French), Focus Numerique (French), Quesabesde (Spanish), Imaging Resource, Pixiq, SystemKameraForum (German).

European price: Some website write that the price is 499 Euro and some others write that the price is 499 Euro.

Poll:

Are you going to buy the new Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens?

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All new PEN’s in Stock at Amazon. 35-100mm X zoom too.

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Both new PEN cameras are in Stock at Amazon: The E-PM2 (Click here) and the camera without AA filter…the E-PL5 (CLick here). And this finally pushed the E-Pl5 on the top ten of the rankings (Click here).

Top rate seller Kenmorecamera has four new 35-100mm X lenses in Stock via eBay (Click here). Of course you can wait two months to see if the rumor about the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 is real but first I am not sure yet if it is coming, second I doubt it would be less expensive than the Panasonic lens. Kenmorecamera also still has the best price on the GX1 with 14-42mm pancake X lens on eBay (Click here). $200 less than what you have to pay for it on Amazon.

Now let’s see soon what the price of the new Olympus 17mm f/1.8 will be. Just heard that it actually will cost 499 Euro and not 550 Euro. Not sure yet about the final price in dollars!

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New image samples with the upcoming 17mm f/1.8 lens…

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The polish community Olympusclub (translation here) posted new RAW and JPG image samples taken with the soon to come 17mm f/1.8 lens. Here are the direct download links of the RAW files:

The lens press release with official price and specs will be released tomorrow (Tuesday November 15 at 5-6 am London time). Olympus Japan already added the lens in their database.

By the way we already have two 17mm primes that you may consider to buy instead of the 17mm f/1.8:
1) If you don’t care a lot about high image quality but more about tiny size than you may go for the Olympus 17mmf /2.8 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
2) If a big lens and no electronic AF and aperture doesn’t bother you than consider the superb and super fast Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 lens (here on eBay). To easily find the best price on eBay you can also sue our little Slidoo tool (login to change country). Right now for example you can find a good deal at Fotomundus (Click here).

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(FT5) Olympus announcement tomorrow!

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Image courtesy: Forumlumix.

Tomorrow (November 15th) at around 5-6am London time Olympus will release the new 17mm f/1.8 lens. The lens has been already announced at photokina. What you will get now is exact price, in Stock info, specs and image quality info. Will there be something else? For now  am not sure about it. The rumored 40-150mm f/2.8 lens is very likely scheduled for a January release. As usual stay tuned on 43rumors. We will follow the official lens release and give you live updates about news and reviews.

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The current Olympus 17mm on eBay Europe (via Slidoo) and eBay US (via Slidoo).

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