Great news! Panasonic says new “revolutionary” MFT zoom and new MFT fast primes are in the works along the GH6!

Panasonic posted this long video chat for the CP+ online event. From around 51:00, Mr. Uno talks about the Micro Four Thirds system and says:

  • Yes we are “considering” to make the GH5 successor (which is just a diplomatic way to say “yes we are doing it”).
  • We are also considering to make a “Revolutionary” new zoom lenses and new fast single focus lenses for Micro Four Thirds.
  • He says “Please look forward to it”

Finally a big bold statement from Panasonic! This breathes some fresh hope into the MFT system believers :)

OM Digital talks about its future: Lens roadmap will be updated this summer. New lenses and cameras (including flagship model) will be announced in 2021.

OM Digital had this Japanese live stream session for the CP+ show. DClife summed up the talk and here is the google translated text from it:

OM Digital Statement of Belief

  • Independent from Olympus, but to keep customers picking up attractive products
  • With the support of Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), we will develop and sell new products as planned so far.

Micro Four Thirds Declaration

  • We promise to continue the Micro Four Thirds System
  • The company has changed and the company name has changed, but the underlying development philosophy is inherited.
  • The idea of ​​Yoneya, who developed “OM” and “PEN”, has been passed down from film to digital and mirrorless.
  • Even if it becomes a new company, we will expand the Micro Four Thirds system based on this idea.

Origin and product composition of OM Digital company name

  • Just because the company name has “OM” does not mean that it specializes in “OM-D”.
  • “Professional dictation products (medical, legal, financial, government-related software)” will continue, mainly overseas, including “PEN”, “Tough”, and “IC recorder”.
  • “OM” is the origin that symbolizes our idea
  • “OM” is an attitude of always taking on challenges and creating new things.
  • “M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO” is a product that embodies our thoughts and commitment, and I am truly grateful that we received more responses and orders than expected.
  • It is a proof that we have supported our ideas and systems with many customers, and we have great confidence.

Roadmap as planned

  • It has taken some time before the delivery of “M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO”, but development and manufacturing are proceeding as planned.
  • We will continue to introduce attractive lenses and cameras this year along with the lens roadmap updated last summer.

Creating new value

  • I talked about the development concept that I inherited from the Olympus era, but I do not simply continue to make the same things as before.
  • We will continue our efforts to create new value while maintaining our ideas and attitudes.
  • This market is not optimistic, but technology continues to evolve
  • The evolution of devices such as sensors and engines, as well as the evolution of control and image processing, will realize new shooting styles.
  • New technologies like AI are also important
  • We are proud that the powerful IBIS, high-resolution shot, subject recognition AF, etc. are already installed in our compact and lightweight system and contribute to expanding the shooting range of photographers.
  • I’m not satisfied with that, and I’m looking ahead to development
  • We promise to take over what we will take over for the customers who support us and take on the challenge of new initiatives to further increase the value we provide.

I can’t say forever or forever, but I will use the Olympus logo for the time being.

  • For the time being, we will use the Olympus product name with the meaning of the message to our customers who have been using it habitually (the attitude of manufacturing does not change).
  • I’m not at the stage where I can talk about such things forever or forever, but I will reassure customers and then change accordingly if a new attitude is needed.
  • For the time being, we have received permission to use the name of Olympus, and we plan to use it.

Direction of product manufacturing and technology

  • It’s not a technology for technology, but in order to expand the shooting area, I’ve been doing various things until now as to whether I can take pictures that I could not take before.
  • If the original image is not good, you cannot take good pictures, so I would like to continue to make “good lenses”, not only good performance but also good lenses that remove restrictions that could not be taken so far.
  • I would like to pursue further in the areas of “image processing” and “image recognition”.
  • I want to improve my digital technology, rather than computational photography, which makes it easy to take pictures that I couldn’t take without various techniques.
  • We are currently doing various preparations to match it, so please look forward to it.
  • It is not research for research, but there is an assumed product and we are moving toward it

Independent, free of restrictions, all can be decided by ourselves

  • It would be a lie to say that there were no major or minor restrictions in terms of delivering added value.
  • There are no restrictions as it is one company from now on
  • On the other hand, there are resources that are allowed because it was a large company (Olympus), and of course deficit is not allowed as long as the company becomes independent.
  • You can decide for yourself where to spend your budget, where to keep it, and what to offer as a result.
  • We are all thinking about whether we can provide new value within the new framework.

I want to utilize the technology in different fields I want to work with various partners

  • After having a camera and a lens, there may be something that the manufacturer can offer further.
  • Activities that involve photographic culture
  • I want to try it because I can decide this area by myself
  • We have optical technology, digital technology, and voice technology, and we are interested in a new company that can be diverted to other fields.
  • At the time of Olympus, it was difficult to talk about it, but from now on, I can do anything, so I think I can make use of optical technology, digital technology, and voice technology in different fields and genres.
  • I would like to work actively with various partners to create new value as needed.
  • Previously, Olympus permission was required

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO About supply shortage

  • Not meeting demand does not mean that there is a problem
  • The number of products produced per day is limited and cannot be delivered.
  • I want to make it clear that there is no quality problem
  • There is a high demand for individual parts only for lenses that contain 28 lenses in 18 groups and that support a focal length of up to 1000 mm in the 35 mm equivalent.
  • A lens that is extremely severe, such as the optical axis, takes time to make parts, and the adjustment process is strict, and structurally requires extremely high precision.
  • It’s a flagship lens so you can’t compromise on quality
  • Therefore, the amount of lenses that can be made in a day is limited.
  • We are steadily producing the fixed amount, so if you wait, you can be sure to get it, and we can promise to deliver good quality products.
  • I can’t increase production right now, so I hope you can wait.

150-400mm Message from the development team

  • “M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO” is not only a lens with high specs, but also a lens that the development team is very particular about.
  • I’m wondering about 1000mm and the 8-step effect of camera shake correction, but I’m developing it with great attention to operability.
  • It’s really adjusted in millimeters, so please pick it up and feel the particularity of that area.

Suggesting multiple new products including flagship models Launched to the extent that there is not too much space

  • I can’t talk about the specific time
  • It’s not just one, but I want to launch various series, lenses, next flagship models, etc. so that there is not too much space between them.
  • I will put out something that people can say that it was really good to use
  • This is not only enthusiasm, but there are things that are progressing properly according to the schedule
  • Please look forward to it!

Q&A with OM Digital Solutions UK: Hints a new high end E-M1XII might be coming?

A 43rumors reader (Thanks!) spotted this new interview with an Olympus UK manager. Couple of info:

  • – the 150-400mm orders were 3x greater than expected. If you were to place an order today it could take 12 months to fill. (This is a worldwide problem and they didn’t expect so many people to order this lens)
  • coming new body this year will only exasperate issue with 150-400mm demand (that would suggest this new body is the E-M1Xii which also ties into the below statement)
  • they believe that the flagship body should lead with any new sensor and this is how they will release bodies going forward
  • they are not sure what they will do with E-m5. Even though it is one of the older bodies now, it would not receive an update until after the higher end bodies. They are trying to determine if there is still a need with the push for going high-end

POLL: OM Digital promised the launch of “wow” product(s). What would “wow” you?

Asahi published an interview with Chief Technology Officer of OM Digital Solutions Mr. Kataoka. And he unveiled that they plan to launch a series of new products including one (or more?) product(s) that will “WOW” us.

The "WOW" product you hope to get is...

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Chief Technology Officer of OM Digital Solutions says: We plan to launch many products this year including one that will make you “WOW” (in about 1 year)

Asahi published an interview with Chief Technology Officer of OM Digital Solutions Mr. Kataoka.. The key info here is that he said:

    1. They plan to launch multiple new products in 2021
    2. They will stick to MFT (of course)
    3. It’s possible they will make a PEN-FII
    4. There will be at least one product that will make you “WOW” sometimes in around one year.

UPDATE: A reader made me notice that something got lost in translation. That new “WOW” product will not be announced by end of 2020 but sometimes in one year from now. Which means it might be coming in early 2021.

Digicameinfo summed up the interview (google translated text below):

How did you decide on the company name?
In the past and now, the value of our products has not changed. (How did you decide on the company name?) The value of our products has never changed, and we thought that “OM” was the best way to convey the message that we will continue our business.

How long can we use the Olympus logo?
At least for the time being, we will continue to use “Olympus. (How long can we use the Olympus logo?) At least for the time being, we will continue to use the name “Olympus. I want to think about this carefully. In any case, we have no intention of making a brand change that will cause anxiety among our customers.

How did you launch the new company in the midst of a shrinking camera market?
Why did you start a new company when the camera market is shrinking?) It is difficult for Olympus to change the contents of the organization to match the changes in the camera market. We need to create a structure that allows us to more simply manufacture products, deliver them, and sell them to customers. In order to create a structure that enables us to do this, it would be better for us to become independent from Olympus and continue our business by allowing us to do various things at our own discretion.
The number of employees in the new company has been reduced to about half that of the previous division. The global workforce is about 2,000, of which 280 are in Japan. Since lenses are the key to the imaging business, we had a lot of optical designers come to work for us. However, we have reduced the number of people in the development division as a whole.

If the company doesn’t return to profitability, will it be sold by JIP?
We have lightened the structure of the company considerably and are building a system that can withstand the current fluctuations in the Corona disaster and the camera market. We are changing our business structure so that we will be able to turn a profit according to a plan that is not too unreasonable. I hope you can rest assured about that.

Isn’t it necessary to stick to the Micro Four Thirds?
The Micro Four Thirds system has achieved the No.1 position in the domestic market in 2020 in terms of the share of units by lens mount. I think this is a sign that the Micro Four Thirds system is needed, and we would like to continue expanding the system.

Is it possible to release a camera like the PEN-F at a price that would be profitable?
I think there is a possibility. (Is it possible to make a camera like the PEN-F profitable?) I think it’s possible. If we sell hobbyist products at a low price, we won’t be able to make a profit at all, so if we do, we will sell them at a reasonable price. If we do, we will sell them at a reasonable price. Products for hobbyists cannot be sold in large quantities, but the numbers themselves are quite large. I think there is a possibility that we can release them if we can properly identify them.

WOW products:
Within the year…… I can’t give you a time frame, but we are working hard on it. I get angry if I talk too much but, at the very least, we’ll continue to release products that will make people feel glad that we’ve continued to make cameras even after establishing a new company. Naturally, there will be more than one product (Akagi: Oh my!). Some of these are products that include such special features that you’ll say “ooh” and “ahh” over them.

(FT5) Confirmed: New Sony MFT sensor records 8K video

At the beginning of November I got solid info that Sony will launch one new MFT sensor in 2021. I now got the confirmation this sensor will be able to record 8K video and have a 30+MP resolution. Now I have little doubt this is the sensor that Panasonic will use on the GH6.