(UPDATED_2) Olympus will focus on mirrorless camera development. (Panasonic denies investment in Olympus)

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UPDATE: I added the image from the Olympus presentation

UPDATE_2: You can download the full pdf (Click here).

This rumor and antirumor game is never ending! Reuters now reports that “Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp has no plan to invest in Olympus Corp , President Fumio Ohtsubo told Reuters on Thursday“. Also Olympus denied the deal rumor. We can no more trust Reuters :)

Anyway, Olympus released an official press release describing their plans (Source: Bloomberg). Bloomberg reprts: “2,700 jobs are to be eliminated by March 2014. Most of the jobs being cut are in overseas manufacturing, Sasa told reporters in Tokyo today. The company will close a plant in the Philippines this year and will reorganize others

The good news is thatThe company plans to restructure its imaging business and increase the focus on mirrorless cameras and high-end compact models, it said in the statement.” That is what I needed to hear! Compact camera and Four Thirds camera business is not where Olympus can earn the money in future. It’s an obvious step to focus on the strengths of the m43 business!

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First Olympus E-M5 full leather case (Review by Tyson Robichaud)

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As you can see from the picture on top the first full leather case bag is now available on eBay (Click here). It is also available in Brown (Click here).

My friend Tyson Robichaud tested the E-M5 and wrote a long list of PROS and CONS: “I love the camera, but feel that there are a few areas that can, and should, be improved upon in the future.  There is no one way to skin a cat, but I think Olympus could really fine tune a few of these shortcomings which would benefit not only new users, but seasoned Oly aficianados as well.  It’s not a perfect camera, but for the cost, it is close and truly offers a micro 4/3 shooter a good all around tool.“. Visit his website to read the full article!

I agree with 99% of his points. I hope Olympus will read his article and take care of his concerns when developing the E-M6 or E-M7 :)
This brings me to an idea. I will soon ask you to suggest your features for the next E-M cameras. But I will wait until you first got your E-M5 cameras. First you have to use it for a while. Sometimes first impressions are wrong!

E-M5 (Pre)order links (Click on store name):
Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev. Cheap third party E-M5 batteries on eBay (Click here).

The E-M5 keeps to be present in the Amazon Bestseller list(changes hourly!):
USA: E-M5 on position 7/10 (Click here)
UK: E-M5 is on position 40 (Click here).
Germany: The E-M5 is on position 4/13 (Click here).
France: E-M5 on position 22/23 (Click here).
Japan: E-M5 on position 22/23 (Click here).

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Panasonic 12-35mm preorder option back. GX1 new low price.

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Last week we had quite a heart attack when we heard that Amazon deleted some of the 12-35mm lens preorders. I had the fear we would have to wait a much longer time than expected to get the lens in our hands. A small good news is that preorder option is now back at Amazon US (Click here). Speaking of little good news. There is a new low price record ($774) on the GX1 with X lens and plenty of accessories at Adorama (Click here). For $782 at Amazon (Click here) and the GH2 with kit lens is back at $799 again at Amazon (Click here).

Reminder: New Oly/Pana Lens Preorders in Europe, USA and Asia:
Olympus 75mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon Germany and Amazon UK.
Panasonic 12-35mm X lens at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.

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(FT5) New PEN lineup revolution coming in September!

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Image on top. The Black E-P3.

According to a couple of our sources Olympus will introduce new PEN cameras in September. And according to them the line up will be “revolutionized“. Currently there are three categories, the E-PM, the E-PL and the E-P series. I have been told the line up will be simplified and the differences will be more “obvious“. Olympus evaluated the PEN sales and user satisfaction. All I can share with you now is that Olympus were surprised by the huge Olympus E-PL3 (Click here) sales. I am double checking the rumors I am getting about the new Olympus cameras to avoid posting wrong rumors. During the last weeks I got some very intriguing rumor about the next Olympus and Panasonic announcements. Stay tuned guys! I am doing my best to share with you all I know as soon as I can!

UPDATE: The term “revolution” has been used to say that Olympus will change the PEN strategy…not that the camera itslef will have some revolutionary features (at least not that I know of).

To all sources: As usual I try to double check carefully the rumors I get to avoid bigger mistakes. I ask my sources and you reader to share me some info if you have some by contacting me anonymously at 43rumors@gmail.com or via contact form on the right sidebar. If you can use some kind of fake name so that I can recognize you in future. Better if you create a fake gmail account so that we can chat directly. Sources should know that it may pass some time before I post something and that I will rewrite the text in order to hide your style.

P.S.: Links to the current three PEN cameras:
Olympus E-P3 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Olympus E-PL3 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Olympus E-PM1 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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

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Panasonic LX6 with 1 inch sensor? (like the just announced Sony RX100)

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Image on top: The 1 inch compact camera from Sony.

It’s always nice to see how the high end compact cameras (with fixed lens) are evolving. They sometimes offer a great alternative to our Micro Four Thirds cameras because of the ulterior size advantage. My sources told me that Olympus/Panasonic will release the new LX5 and XZ-1 successor within the next 2-3 months (probably July). One rumor I heard many times is that they will both use a larger sensors. This is not a big secret. A couple of months ago Techradar (Click here) interviewed Yoshiyuki Inoue (Panasonic Senior Engineering Planner) who said “one aspect that is being given serious consideration for the camera that replaces the LX5 is increasing the size of the sensor, Panasonic’s Mr Uematsu even joked that it could have a 1in sensor like the new Nikon V1.”. Today Sony unveiled exactly an one inch RX100 camera -> Price and specs at Amazon US (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here). So it’s possible that this is the kind of high end camera we will see soon coming from Olympus and Panasonic too! I think it would be a great solution for all of you looking for an extremely compact camera with zoom lens. Don’t you think?

P.S.:
LX5 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
XZ-2 at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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