Rumors from others: Tomorrow Pentax announcement, Leica gmakes mirrorless and new NEX delayed.


Before to go on with more new Olympus rumors I want to remindert you what’s going on with the competition:

1) Tomorrow Pentax will announce the new NC-1 mirrorless system with small 1:2.33 inch sensor. You can follow the announcement live on MirrorlessRumors (Click here) at 13:00 Tokyo time! The camera is very tiny almost like the old film Auto 110 system (Click here ot see that on ebay). It’s very important for you to know that Pentax will launch a second “k-system” in autumn (with APS-C) sensor. It’s very likely that they will use the current Sony NEX sensors.

2) Leica will announce a mirrorless system at Photokina 2012. It will use a built-in EVF instead of a rangefinder sytem a là Leica M9 (Click here to see that camera). There are no specs now, but I guess it will be a very expensive system ;)

3) Sony delayed the new NEX Pro and lens announcement form July to late August. Pity that Sony doesn’t offer any decent lens for their NEX users!

4) Samsung will announce the NX-200 and NX-20 with 18 Megapixel sensor in July. And there will be also a nice 85mm f/1.4 lens (Source: MirrorlessRumors.com)

As you cansee, there is nothing to come from Canon and Nikon. They don’t want to cannibalize their entry level DSLR market. But how long can they play that game?

(FT5) New Oly “tweaked” 12.1 Megapixel sensor and TruePic VI (for all three new PEN cameras?)

I am still not 100% about some aspects of the new “mysterious” Olympus designed (or tweaked) sensor. What I know for certain is that Olympus kept the promise and will not join the Megapixel race which lead Panasonic to announce cameras with 16Megapixels (for the G3 and GH2). The new sensor has 12.1 Megapixels! I have been told that this is not the same “old” 12 Megapixel sensor which you can find inside the current Olympus PEN cameras. The sensor has been “tweaked” (and some sources say “redesigned”) by Olympus. What that word “tweaked” means is a big and yet unanswered question.

The second news is that the new PEN cameras will indeed use the new TruePic VI engine which has two cores. Olympus worked on all aspects of the camera, sensor, internal circuity, imaging processor with the main goal to increase the dynamic range and ISO performance. Sources said that we should expect an image quality that is at least on par (but more likely even slightly better) than the current top Olympus E-5 model. First reports I received from testers said that there is a visible step forward in image quality (with pre production models and unfinished firmware!).

In summary, Olympus may made a bit of mess with the product naming and specs (See for example missing tilt screen on the E-P3) but we have to give credit to Olympus for working on the key aspects where many of our 43rumors wanted to see an improvement:

1) That sensor is designed by Olympus and that means that they will no more have to rely on second generation sensors from Panasonic.
2) It’s nice to see that Olympus worked to improve dynamic range and ISO performance instead of increasing Megapixel numbers.
3) AF speed is amazing. And that’s going to impress many potential m43 buyers!
4) Finally some amazing lenses! The high quality 12mm f/2.0 and the cheap ($299) and fast 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens.

Overall I am very happy with the steps Olympus made with the new PEN’s. Of course there is still room for improvement. But guys, they are finally going in the right direction or not?

(FT5) First E-PM1 image and hands-on report! Has touchscreen and E-PL1 buttons.


The new E-PM1 compared with the Olympus XZ-1 (Click on image to enlarge).

As you know Olympus will announce three new PEN cameras and the 12mm f/2.0 and 45mm f/1.8 lenses on June 30th (Click here to see the official Olympus invitation). And on top you can see the very first image of the tiniest of the three PEN’s the Olympus E-PM1! The other two cameras will be the E-PL3 (with tilt-screen) and the E-P3 (no tilt screen, built-in Flash). The main new feature of the Olympus cameras will be the new ultrafast autofocus that will beat the already fast Panasonic GH2 AF and it will be even faster than the AF of most current DSLR cameras!!! Also the sensor and imageing engine will be new (I hope to get some more news soon about that). Don’t miss any rumors: Join us on Facebook and Twitter! Subscribe our RSS feed!

A good source had the chance to play a little bit with the new smallest PEN. And this is his hands-on report (I have rewritten the report to hide the language style):
The E-PM1 is really very small. The body size is very similar to the XZ-1 (Click here to see it) (similar depth and height, and a little less wide. Autofocus speed is awesome (faster than the E-30/E-5 by any means). And the AF is not only fast, it’s accurate! It has touchscreen, but it also has enough buttons like the E-PL1.) Overall it is a camera you can handle very easy. Looking at the size of the E-PM1 it might will not sue the BLS-1/5 battery, I am not sure about that but I think it could use the Li-70B battery from the XZ-1?
All three new PEN cameras do have touchscreen and a new circuitry that reduces power consumption and increases the battery autonomy.

Editor’s note: The new Panasonic GF3 is a bit smaller than the E-PM1 but that camera doesn’t come with built-in image stabilization and doesn’t have the same usability (the E-PM1 has more buttons).

Questions to sources: Do you know the price of the camera?

Links cameras/accessories mentioned in that article:
Olympus XZ-1 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus E-PL1 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus E-30 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus BLS-1/5 battery at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Olympus Li-70B battery at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

Reminder -> 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

(FT5) 12mm f/2.0 is an all metal lens and has a distance scale!

Our sources are pretty exited with the new upcoming Olympus 12mm f/2.0 high grade lens. First the build quality is amazing, it’s an all metal piece of goodness! And the lens has a distance scale! According to my sources the lens has the best image quality (resolution, color rendering) tested to date. Someone said there is nothing to envy to any Leica lens! Compared to the Leica 24mm f/3.8 (Click here to see that lens on eBay) the Olympus will cost $1.700 less and has a much faster aperture! Another source that this is one of the lenses that will birng new sex appeal to the Micro Fur Thirds system (yes he used those words). The 12mm lens will be available a couple of weeks after the June 30th announcement. So check your piggy bank savings, you need around $850 for that lens!

In summary:
– Olympus 12mm f/2.0 coming on June 30th
– It’s the very first High Grade lens for Micro Four Thirds and is made in Tatsuno (Japan)
– All metal construction with distance meter.
– Lens size similar to the new Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4.
– Filter size 46mm
– Already in production since April and will be in Stock in July.
– Close focusing 20cm (0.67 feet)

Reminder -> 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