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(FT 4) Classic four thirds camera development


The m4/3 announcement (and probably success) regurgitated a big question…. Will Olympus still maintain the same commitment and development resources for normal four thirds cameras and lenses?

I asked some of our sources.

All confirm that Olympus has a clear four thirds camera and lens roadmap. They are still designing new four thirds cameras and lenses. Nothing has changed. The E-3 successor is planned to be released this year and you will certainly see new four thirds cameras next year. From now until spring 2010 Olympus will release new lenses (most of them are primes).

This sounds good, but I believe  a huge m4/3 success will probably distort these plans. Olympus is a small company (compared to the bigger Canon, Nikon and Sony) with limited resources….perhaps the time has come for a big choice?

  • Thanks a lot for this information. Hope there will be new Four Thirds lenses too!

  • Eric

    I think an m4/3 success could help their 4/3 sales. Once you purchase a single 4/3 lens to use with your m4/3 camera, you might as well get a 4/3 SLR body that can use it too because there are times when you still might want a traditional SLR, so that fact that m4/3 is part of the system could be a boon.

    Personally, I am selling all my canon gear to buy the E-P1. Part of the reason is that I never carry it because it is too bulky, so I am always missing photo opportunities, but also I am selling it because I plan to replace it with 4/3 bodies and lenses that can also be used with the E-P1. I’ve always admired the 4/3 system (and I used to be a OM shooter), but the E-P1 has pushed me over the edge.

    I wonder if anyone else is selling their current equipment?

  • marcram

    I’m also selling Canon stuff. My G10 and HF10. This little thing really can replace both my still and camcorder and now I will have the functionality of both with me at all times.

    I think Olympus may/should produce a 4/3 body with retro styling that looks like the OM. They could be the camera company you think of when you want good looks/stylish cameras with great functionality. I hope they also push the video forward as the current samples look excellent. Think 720p 60fps or 1080p with variable frame rate. AVCHD will be good for the future when all software can handle it well. I’m actually happy with the .AVI mjpeg they used. Should be a breeze to play, upload, and edit.

  • Olympus is not *that* small. They just need to do a better job to make people aware of their excellent 4/3rd line-up. For example, in the US, there’s scarcely any Olympus sponsored events that are promoted properly. As the result, most people here only speak Canon or Nikon.

    Couple that with a smart manufacturing and inventory system (they have to have one to support that many camera models), they can support two different system (m4/3rd and 4/3rd) for a long time to come.

  • Mark

    I’m a firm believer that any camera can take interesting photos as long as you know its strengths and weaknesses. With that said, I never understood the point of 4/3. The cameras (E-3 etc) are huge, the lenses are huge, but they have a relatively small sensor. As soon as I read about the 4/3 sensor, I thought it should go into compacts. Micro 4/3 deserves to be a huge hit and I feel it’s what 4/3 should’ve been all along. I hope Olympus continues to make an even smaller m4/3 cameras and fast primes.

  • Moon

    Olympus isn’t *that* small company, Even bigger than Nikon.

    Link of Forbes Global 2000 Ranking :

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