(Hot patent!) Panasonic working on a compact Micro Four Thirds videocamera with sliding grip!

Panasonic filled a patent that descirbes a Micro Four Thirds camera (Source: Egami). The pictures on top show that camera and the new sliding grip. The camera could be priced below the current Panasonic AG-AF100. You can slide the grip to have two different “look”, DSLR or classic videocamera. You can also roatet the LCD (by 270 degrees). Cool!

More pictures here (Click on thumbnails to enlarge):

Thanks for your help! And next amazing rumor period coming (Fuji m43, Panasonic GF and GH3, Pen Pro, Sigma and so on)

A fake Pen PRO with built-in viewfinder made by our reader BEN (UPDATE: Feel free to send me your photo-shopped ideas of a PRO model)

I want to write a post to thank all of you that helped with sending me rumors, news and links to reviews. Without your help I couldn’t have done what I did! For me the last couple of weeks have been very exciting but also very stressful. I took as much free time as I could from my real job to follow the time before the Olympus and Panasonic announcements. And I am quite tired now. But I can finally recover as I have some vacation and I am ready to make some nice trips on my mountains! And there is no Internet there…yeah! :)

But you hard core rumor readers will be amazed to know that soon a new rumor period will start! Panasonic and Olympus announced plenty of new low- and mid-level cameras. So it’s easy to speculate what’s coming next ;)

Here is the list I a working o:
1) Fuji joining Micro Four Thirds? There will be an amazing announcement in September but I don’t want to wait that long to know what it is..and you? :) P.S.: Do not expect the new interchangeable camera to have the same hybrid viewfinder of the Fuji X100.
2) Sigma and Samyang lenses. There could be new lenses in September from Sigma and Samyang.
3) Panasonic GF PRO. That is confirmed…it’s coming! Sorry if I say that again but I really do hope to see a m43 version of the Panasonic L1 (like that design)! And I also got some news about the GH3 (need some time to doublecheck that!).
4) Two new Panasonic lenses + new reworked lenses. Also confirmed!
5) Olympus advanced Pen. I don’t know yet if it will be announced within 2011 but I know that is the camera coming as next! And with built-in viewfinder a là Olympus SP..what else should we expect?
6) New Olympus lenses. There will be some, one should be the 50mm macro!

So be sure to check back on 43rumors from time to time. And don’t forget that Samsung will soon annoucne the new NX20 and NX200 that’s why you should also take a look at MirrolessRumors.com.

Thanks again! Ale, 43rumors

P.S.: I also want to say sorry if I didn’t answer all your emails. I really had zero time in those last weeks. And again sorry for my English, when I am stressed and in hurry it’s even worse than you are used to read (P.S.: I am a native german and italian speaker. Plus even my spanish and dutch is much better than english).

Hot preorders: Olympus E-P3 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto and Amazon UK
Olympus 12mm f/2.0 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, B&H and eBay Olympus 45mm f/1.8 preorders at Amazon US, Adorama, B&H.

(FT5) HOT! Full E-P3 leak with specs (from non english website)!

One of our readers found a non english website that had the E-P3 pictures and specs online for a couple of minutes. He copied the images and text you can see here (Thanks P.J.!)

The following press release has been translated from a non english website via google translation tool. So be aware that there will be some weird translation :) And be sure to be online at 43rumors.com at 6am London time! I will keep you updated with all first news, reviews and image samples we can find on the world wide web!
Press Release:
Olympus PEN system by introducing a new Micro Four Thirds, has created an entirely new category of cameras. Now presented a new flagship model PEN, which increases the standards in this category. Camera PEN E-P3, or just PEN, has the fastest autofocus among all cameras with interchangeable lenses. Along with excellent AF FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology – Sensor Technology Acceleration Frequency), and OLED touch screen provides an ideal alternative to the much bigger and more expensive SLRs. Standing at the forefront of the next generation of PEN, the E-P3 owes its incredible speed in focusing the new powerful processor. TruePic VI was developed specifically for not using the mirror cameras. In addition to the new system FAST AF, TruePic VI also controls ten artistic effects filters and a large touchscreen OLED. In combination with a faster and more sensitive 12.3 megapixel sensor, TruePic VI provides exceptional image quality, which is also visible in low light conditions. For experienced users, PEN has a special windfall – two knobs on the back, which facilitate quick adjustment of exposure time and aperture. Add to that the integrated image stabilization system that compensates for blur irrespective of the lens. Camera PEN E-P3 will be available from August 2011.

Just pick up a new camera PEN and immediately we see that the masters of design and production of Olympus have not already creating quite a feat 50 years ago, the construction of the camera, which today attracts. Their vision can be described as timeless classics that never ceases to fascinate succeeding generations.

Instant AF
With its compact design, convenient features, and image quality, award-winning Olympus PEN system has already become a favorite among both hobbyists and professionals.
At the head of the flagship of the E-P3, a new generation of GH enhances the reputation of this class of equipment. One of the most important aspects – and the most useful – is the incredible speed and versatility autofocus system. Driven by new, powerful processor Olympus TruePic VI, FAST AF system focuses faster * than any other camera with interchangeable lenses. What’s more, it offers 35 focus points, spread across almost the entire surface of the sensor, so you can set the focus on small objects, regardless of where in the image appear. In low light, built-in backlight AF compensates for the potential drop in precision focus, and a new AF Tracking technology makes the object remains sharp, even if occasionally out of the frame. Another facility that provides a successful picture is constantly running AF – which means that the focus is still active, so that focus is maintained continuously.

Full Control
Unique solution in the flagship model of the PEN is the OLED touch screen. He is not only intuitive and practical in use, but also provides excellent image quality regardless of ambient lighting conditions. Compared with similar LCD screens OLED screen provides a higher level of contrast, intense black reproduction and a wider spectrum of colors. OLED screen provides a higher brightness, wider viewing angles and is characterized by lower levels of energy consumption. Display PEN’a also offers touch-screen scrolling content, enlarging photos, as well as control of the shutter button, AF point selection, and activating the pop-up Guide Live Guide – help appreciated PEN, which helps less experienced users to set key parameters relevant images, such as aperture and depth of field.

Even professionals will now be satisfied, because the Guide Live Guide is now available in P, S, M and A and if need be to reach it. Unlike some competitors PEN Guide Live Guide is available for both movies and photos.

However, for most serious photographers to experiment with the settings is half the fun – and that they are not especially interested in scrolling long lists of menus to get to the parameters that need adjustment. Therefore, the Olympus on the back PEN’a applied two additional knobs. The thumb, one minute you can tune the aperture and exposure time – without having to switch between different sections of the menu. The selected settings appear in a distinctive form of the OLED screen or in the optional electronic viewfinder. Fans of practical solutions will appreciate also three programmable buttons, which can be attributed to a favorite, frequently used functions. The buttons, knobs, and a new AF system allows FAST to react more quickly to spontaneous situations to capture a fleeting scenes or fast moving subjects before a chance to miss a unique picture forever.

Art at your fingertips
A wide range of Art Filters is an interesting addition for both ambitious amateurs and professionals. PEN offers ten different artistic filters, which allow the enrichment of the image special effects without all the confusion associated with the operation of computer programs. Some of the filters can be combined with additional effects, such as a new effect called Starlight and White Edges (White Edge). Users are waiting for such filters as Pop Art, Soft Focus, bright tone, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, delicate and dramatic sepia tone. Each of these filters can be used for both pictures and movies.

PEN record movies with stereo soundtrack and the quality of 1080i HD at 60 frames per second – the same record can be implemented in various formats. In order to play movies on your TV screen, users can select the AVCHD format, which generates files of smaller size. Those who want first to edit their films should reach for the 720p HD format Motion JPEG. Although it generates larger files, but they are easier to handle by computer software.

The potential of the processor
The heart of every new camera PEN is an extremely powerful TruePic VI. Just as computer processors TruePic VI is in fact a complex with each other two units, one of which is solely responsible for the reproduction of the image. The result is exceptional quality color reproduction and detail and greater light sensitivity up to ISO 12800th TruePic VI also shortens the startup time and greatly reduces the noise level when shooting.

Like any PEN, PEN model of the E-P3 is the camera system. At the time of purchase you get instant access to over 500 lenses Micro Four Thirds Four Thirds and other systems (via adapter), including the legendary optics Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL M. acclaimed for its high quality. Particularly noteworthy are two new clear lenses. Wide-angle lens ZUIKO DIGITAL 12mm M 1:2.0 (24mm equivalent) (also known as “Master of street photography” – ‘Street Photography’) is ideal for capturing large themes such as landscapes, especially in low light. Its contrast and complement both the portrait M. ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 (90mm equivalent) to facilitate getting softly blurred backgrounds, a significant aspect of portrait photography. Another superior option is refreshed M. ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R (equivalent to 28-84mm). All these lenses have been specially developed for almost silent operation, so you can record HD video with stereo sound track uninterrupted noise mechanisms. Metallic tubes of new optical systems and their compact and lightweight design ideally suited to the style of the body PEN. Apart from the specifications of the lens attached, with the integration of body image stabilization, photographers can rest assured that get blur-free images. In addition, the camera is equipped with Accessory Port 2, so that users can benefit from a growing family of dedicated accessories for the PEN model, including a compatible Bluetooth ® communication module which automatically Penpal resizes images and transmits them wirelessly to other compatible devices and social networking sites .

The camera body PEN E-P3 is available in classic shades of black, white and silver, and is slated to be available in mid-June 2011. The camera will also be available in kits with different lenses.

PEN E-P3 – main features:

Image Quality
Powerful image processor TruePic VI, a faster response time and excellent picture quality
Extremely effective, integrated in the body image stabilization for both video and sharp, blur-free images – works with any lens
12.3 effective megapixel sensor, High Speed ​​Live MOS sensor for the perfect operation in low light and when shooting HD
To ISO 12800
Record 1080i HD video with stereo audio, AVCHD recording format or the Motion JPEG
Compatibility with the new generation of dedicated lenses PEN

Ease of use
World’s fastest autofocus system – FAST AF – the camera with interchangeable lenses, from 35 AF points, highlighting the AF for pictures in low light and AF tracking the subject even outside the frame
Super light, providing wide viewing angles, touch screen 3.0 inch OLED screen with a resolution of 610.000 points – provides photo-quality color reproduction
Separate knobs for setting shutter speed and exposure
Touch Guide Live Guide available for filming and shooting HD, also in P / S / M / A
Live View mode and HD movie photos
3 programmable buttons
The scale level to facilitate the setting position in relation to the horizon
Easy to use menu function in the form of wheel settings – Live Wheel

Creativity and versatility
Ten creative artistic filters for HD movie mode and photo
Five effects that can be combined with artistic filters: Pinhole photography, Soft Focus, The effect of the frame, and new stars, and White Light Beam
Accessory Port 2 for compatibility with the ever-growing range of accessories PEN, for example, an electronic viewfinder VF-2 or the communication module penpal
Compatible with a range of 20 lenses Micro Four Thirds Four Thirds lenses 27 and over 500 other lenses (via adapter)
Shutter speeds to 1 / 4000 sec. and the shooting done at speeds up to 3 frames per second
Multiple exposure mode – 2 RAW
Li-ion battery BLS-5 long-life

Other interesting features
The timeless design of PEN, the ability to use interchangeable lenses, and attached the handle in two different sizes
The possibility of shooting 3D
Compatible with SDXC cards and Eye-Fi
Wireless flash control

That’s it! ;)

(FT5) First (front-) picture of the new Olympus E-PM1.

This is the very first picture of the upcoming new E-PM1. When I first saw the picture I noticed the camera looks like a mix between the Olympus XZ-1 (Click here to see that cam) and the Samsung NX100 (Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBayClick here to see that cam[/shoplink]). The design is certainly more modern and elegant compared to the current PEN series. We have been told the E-PL3 has exactly the same design (but with more buttons and tilt LCD screen). The E-PM1 is less high and less wide than the Panasonic GF2. But unlike the GF2 it has built-in image stabilization. The E-PM1 shares the same fast AF and same new 12 Megapixel Olympus sensor and TruePic VI engine of the upcoming E-P3, but has a 410 milion dot LCD instead of the E-P3 OLED screen. What I don’t know yet is the price. My speculation: During the last two weeks there were price drops on the Olympus XZ-1 (from $499 to $420 on Amazon). So will the E-PM1 cost $499 (body only) and $549 with kit lens? But I would like the camera to be even cheaper. The Samsung NX100 with lens costs $427.00 only !!! (Check at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay).

Reminder: Olympus will announce the new products tomorrow (Thursday June 30th) at 6am London time. Follow us live on 43rumors! We will update you with all the first news, previews images samples and so on! And don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter! Subscribe our RSS feed!

P.S.: The just announced GF3 will be still smaller than the E-PM1 (preorders on Amazon (Click here)).

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