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(FT4) There is a new VF viewfinder(???) coming along the new PEN cameras?


The image on top shows the current VF-3 viewfinder.

It looks like the viewfinder surprise coming along the new PEN cameras is a new external VF viewfinder. Have no other info yet but the source seems to be reliable. UPDATE: A source told me that is is not really an external viewfinder, nor an internal, but something completely “new”. The mystery gets bigger…

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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

  • uberzone

    I bet it is the same viewfinder as the OMD in a hot shoe format

    • I’d rather guess its a larger, higher res. than it – eventually he one, coming in the new “pro” OM-D which is supposed to appera at some time

      • Narretz

        But Oly would shoot itself in the foot if it introduces this with the lower specced cmaeras.

        • Well, why not actually? Besides, it would be introduced rather with a bunch of PENs unless Oly managed t kee a secret ;)

    • Ross

      One of the biggest disadvantages of having the VF-2 or 3 was that it occupied the flash hotshoe & didn’t allow for both to be used. If they brought out a fixed VF unit with the hot shoe on top (& accessory port), then they could justify another unit for sale at a higher price (maybe). I don’t know if it would be possible to double up a connection to the accessory port though.

      • Bart

        If its possible to ‘daisy-chain’ the accessory port is a good question indeed. Putting a hot-shoe on top of the viewfinder seems technically quite possible.

        One problem I see is that putting a somewhat powerful flash on a hotshoe means putting a lot of physical stress on it, enough so that people managed to rip the hotshoe off their camera. Putting an extra device inbetween results in even more stress on the on-camera hotshoe (and accessory port), and would require this extra device to be pretty sturdy.

    • Michael

      Maybe it’s a dark sheet to put over your head and camera in bright sunlight, so you can actually see the screen?

      • A snazzy focusing cloth is the ultmate retro accessory! You will be the envy of every snapper!

    • M

      The VF-2 is actually the same as the one in the OM-D; they have the same specs etc. So, the rumoured thing can not be the same if it is supposed to actually be a new thing…

  • Let’s dream big! What if it would be a hybrid VF?

  • Robbie

    Oly should stop doing the same things all over again, just like the 14-42mm…

  • alex

    Shame on you Olympus, wtf care about an external viewfinder.. they were afraid to canibalise the sales on O-MD with an integrated viewf. on a PEN cam

  • Sergey

    If the label(VF5) true, he would be worse than the VF2/VF3.

  • Olly Mpus

    But it has a lock button, the missing thing that VF2 don´t have. I guess it is the same technic inside. The big dial at the side is ugly.

    • Image is of old VF-3..

    • st3v4nt


      I suspect the same thing VF-2 with lock mechanism like VF-3 and the FL-LM,
      unless they talking something very different….

  • spam

    There are some new smaller high res EVFs out now used on superzoom models like FZ200 and HS30. I’d like to see a new smaller external viewfinder designed to be mounted on the camera for extended periods.

    It wouldn’t be as good as the current one(s), but you’d still get failry high resolution and a viewfinder that dont double the height of the camera (slight exaggeration).

    • Sunny

      I fully agree with that. If we can´t get a PEN with integrated evf, I at least would like to get a smaller evf. My E-PL3 looks ridiculous with the VF2 and doesn´t fit in any bag.

  • Bruce

    No Good to me, I need to use the external viewfinder at the same time as the external flash. . . how does Olympus propose that we do that?

    • Anonymous

      That is an easy thing to correct, you take an FL-50 flash unit, replace the articulated head with a fixed one, then add the EVF to the top of the FL-50f (for Fixed Head), which also has the added connections for the VF call it the FL-EVF50. Simples.

    • Bart

      By buying an OM-D…

    • xmort

      wireless trigger?

      • BearT

        Nice idea, but I think it does not work with camera models like EPL3 and EPM1 that have no built-in flash. In order to use RC mode one has to attach one flash to the hot-shoe. So, when the EVF comes around, the mounted flash goes like: “Sorry, seat taken”. Am I wrong?

        • Bart

          Nope, you are totally right.

          From what I can tell, the hotshoe itself is not disabled when connecting something to the accessory port, its just ‘out of reach’, and if one could wire it to a pc socket, one could attach a radio trigger or such. This obviously means making modifications to the camera, something which I believe Olympus should have done a long time ago at least for the ‘high end’ PEN models.

          • BLI

            ??? Why not a radio based controller, like in Canon’s new camera (5D??). Or why not a combined AF illuminator and (light based) wireless trigger?

            • Bart

              Technically, a builtin radio controller would work, but is incompatible with all existing 4/3 and m4/3 compatible flashes.

              I was merely pointing out how with EXISTING equipment one can use the EVF and still trigger a flash, so that depends totally on how things are currently implemented, not on how they could also be implemented in theory.

              That it would be good to have another solution that doesn’t require modifying the camera seems like totally obvious, but wasn’t the point.

    • caver3d

      Buy an E-P3.

  • Camaman

    I would settle for a smaller non-tilt version of the VF-2
    Just keep the compatibility with current PEN generation.

    If I were to dream, OLED and higher resolution would be my choice.
    But say goodbye to current PEN support.

  • Do

    I remember an interview with an Oly guy one year ago or so where he said that they are working on a new external viewfinder with better resolution in contrast to the lower-speced VF-3.
    But I guess he meant, Epson is working on it.

  • Imagine an optical viewfinder a la voigtlander (linked) but with a hybrid display incorporated. That would be nice :)

    • Tom

      I second that! I’ve thought about this for years now, must be doable (?), greater FOV than the camera captures (useful for a ton of scenarios) with a projected frame that can move to reduce parallax error etc etc etc

  • Why m43 skips the 4?
    g3 -> g5
    vf3 -> vf5

    • Do

      Because “4” sounds similar to “death” in some asian languages.
      Sony for example does the same.

    • Dannecus

      The number ‘4’ is considered unlucky in Japan. In Japanese for 4 (shi) sounds similar to their word for death. 9 is also unlucky so don’t get your hopes up for an E-P9

      • Bizzarrini
        • Dannecus

          Nice one! :)

          Given the number 9’s association with agony or torture, and the price of the EP-9 eye cup, it seems an entirely appropriate name.

      • st3v4nt

        but back in OM days they actually make OM 4.

        • efwee

          … and the OM manual focus system died (the om-3ti was no serious attempt to revive the OM line)

    • SillySuperstition

      Skipping 4 sucks.

    • BLI

      In Chinese, 8 is the lucky number. I once stayed in a hotel where all room numbers started with 8… In the comic series Mandrake, 8 on the other hand is an evil organization :-).

  • Let’s hope it has a hotshoe locking mechanism! If it doesn’t have a locking feature, the finder should come in high-visibility safety orange. :-P

    Oh, and I’m hoping for a “limited edition” in black. ;-)

    • Anonymoose

      It is going to be almost, but not entirely unlike, the many shades of silver Olympus used so far.

    • Anonymous

      Buy a VF-2 that comes in black and silver and is the better EVF.

  • Dannecus

    A new, better external VF is always welcome. But the decision not to make a Pen model with a built in VF is bad. The new Fuji X-E1 is a serious threat to the Pen range (if they have fixed the AF speed). It has an excellent APS-C sensor and a built in EVF. Prices will be below $1000 so approaching Pen territory.

    I know Oly are trying to protect OM-D sales, but they need an offering in the range finder style if they are going fight off the challenge from Fuji and Sony.

    The great range of lenses available is currently keeping M43 ahead of the pack, but it is becoming increasingly frustrating that neither Oly or Panny seem willing to build the range finder style body with EVF their user base keep crying out for.

    • The X-E1 is indeed looking very very good… and seriously tempting my poor heart that is so attached to m43 by now.

      • pez

        Exactly, but the lenses will be also very very big :o)

    • The threat of the NEX6 and the X-E1 is maybe going to make a pressure on the OM-D’s price point. Lower prices are always welcome though.

      I don’t think that Fuji’s lenses are “big”. You have to choose between IQ or compactness :-)

  • Henrik

    If it its not integrated I cannot imagne it being of any interest for me… Im trying to figure out what it might be but whatever I come up with its just not better than an integrated one :D.

  • Thierry

    Maybe it’s a clip-on LCD viewfinder loupe?

    • dralum

      That would be my guess as well…

      • Adam

        That is what I thought too.

  • Perhaps remote VF ???

    • onlyme

      I think you have worked it out Yeos. Your idea of a remote viewfinder fits with what Admin has written. Perhaps Olympus have made an App for phones and tablet computers.

  • PENPALfun

    Oly, lets make better new version of PENPAL.
    GH3 will probably have Wi-Fi and remote control from iPhone and phones with Android. Current PENPAL is not perfect.

    Make new PENPAL with Wi-Fi (not bluetooth), compatible with all systems (Symbian Belle, iPhone OS, Android…) with remote control, transfer RAW files and JPG with full resolution, with GPS for tracking photos and own battery.

  • Marck

    I feel (and hope) it has something to do with PDAF… what do you think?

  • Olly Mpus

    My idea for a viewfinder for Pen is to hide it in the grip. Any mechanism to fold it out of the grip would be nice.
    Funny and helpful would also be a second hotshoe on top of the viewfinder, together with the data plug. May be one day there will be a company to create a double plug to use 2 devices at the same time. May be a flash with a viewfinder connection on top.

  • A source told me that is is not really an external viewfinder, nor an internal, but something completely “new”. The mystery gets bigger…

    But what new it could be? while still being a VF?

    The PEN body would have a cavity/recess/etc to make the external EVF to stand out less?

    More components of the EVF would be integrated into the camera itself to allow for smaller (or even nearly flat, attaching to surface) external EVF?

    Can’t think of anything else.

    • T-L

      Maybe it will be a remote VF, that you will have to implant into your eye (think of Terminator ;) ).
      Then you can see everything even in strong sunlight and still be flexible with you camera, plus you will be able to specify focus point by your eye, instead of tapping the screen.
      It will be a next step in brand loyalty politics, as the implant will be permanent. ;)

  • I’m pretty happy that the new lower level Pens do not have a built-in evf. I paid — what seemed at the time — way too much for the VF-2. However, I enjoy using it and I appreciate the flexibility of removing it.
    If Olympus suddenly eliminated that investment by making the external viewfinder obsolete, I would lose interest in investing in the system. I’m happy with my camera (Epl-1) — don’t have the money to buy every new camera — but I would like to have some accessories: the microphone, a better viewfinder, etc. And then when I do decide to upgrade my camera, it should cost less, since I already have the accessories I need.
    I hope that Olympus does not underestimate the importance of having someone buy into their system, especially with so much interesting competition out there now. If you eliminate the system, you eliminate any remnant of brand loyalty.

    p.s. How do you add a photo to your profile? There must be a way but I can’t find it.

  • Incessant Troll

    it is a wifi viewfinder that you wear on your head like a cyborg

    • Bart

      A while ago I cobbled together a wired version of such a thing, using ‘video glasses’ and the video out of an E-P1. One of the bigger issues I encountered was that there isn’t a direct relation between what the camera sees and the direction in which your brain thinks you are looking. This makes following subjects with the camera somewhat difficult. Additionally, the E-P1 (and for what I know most Olympus cameras) doesn’t allow live-view with hdmi, only with the regular video out. Despite this, it seems like a very useful concept.

  • Anonymous

    All I know is that the VF at the top of the page is one of the ugliest pieces on design work I ave ever seen….Let’s hope the new one at least “attempts” to look better.

    • caver3d

      Oh, and you have a better design? Don’t be ridiculous.

  • Matthew

    A wifi viewfinder glasses to wear on ?

    or a visoflex like module to plug in for legacy 43 lenses ?

  • Why “the source” didn’t say realy what it is.
    We need not “quiz”. don’t kidding us.
    I think 43 rumor editor should end the relation with “the source”.

  • Marcram

    Maybe dual accessory ports. One on the top corner for the evf. And one in the middle for a flash.

  • ArtP

    Not built in and not shoe mounted? Could it be WiFi and eyeglass mounted? :)

  • Tom Goode

    It could be a projector like Sony has in some of their handy Cam camcorders.

  • Neil Evans

    By definition, “External” and “Internal” are the only two options you’ve got.

    • What about remote VR goggles? :-P

      • stickytape

        Pretty sure those would be external to the camera…

  • EnPassant

    For me the perfect viewfinder would be at the same place as it is in a classical rangefinder, or Sony NEX-7/-6 and Fujifilm X-E1.
    It doesen’t occupy the hotshoe like the current viewfinders, nor does it make the camera looking clumsy and pocket-unfriendly.

    The simple solution would be to make an external viewfinder that when attached to the side of the camera look like an integrated part of it. Any ports on the left side could simply be transferred through the external part below the actual viewfinder.

    This has several benefits.
    – The display on the camera doesn’t have to be smaller, like on X-E1.
    – One can make the choice of a small camera or a slightly bigger one by deciding putting the viewfinde on or not.
    – A sidemounted viewfinder has no big protruding parts (except a small eyecup) that can stick into things and therefore will be much more easy to pack in a bag or big pocket.
    – The hotshoe can be used at same time for a flash or other accessory.

    The disadvantages is the viewfinder will add some weight and make the camera notably longer. How disturbing the latter is depends on size and construction of the camera.

    As a note Olympus have done a similar thing with the old analog XA compact cameras that could attach a flash on the left side.

    As described it will be an external viewfinder that will function just like an internal viewfinder!

    • It mounts on the left side, just like the flash on the old XA. Pin connectors link to camera, small thumb screw attaches it so it doesn’t fall off. I could even have enough space for a small independent battery that’s USB rechargeable.

      Makes the camera slightly wider across the back, but not taller or deeper.

  • It floats, it has to be it.

    • If it keeps floating no matter how often you flush, you know what it is.

  • Vince

    How about a cover that goes over the rear lcd with a viewfinder to look at the rear lcd?

    Or how about a HUD holograph projected onto a special pair of special glasses (or clip on’s for us nerds)?

    Or how about an implanted chip in our brain that sends the image to our visual cortex? (or is this the same as an internal viewfinder?)

  • clrs

    Maybe it’s some kind of mirror box that connects to the rear screen. I think that would make sense of the, “not really an external viewfinder, nor an internal”.

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