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(FT4) Olympus: rumor roundup before Photokina


Let’s try to get an idea on what could come from Olympus at Photokina!

The Olympus E-3 successor:

We are sure the camera will be announced in mid-September. The camera is not a modular camera (that is something we should see in 2011), it’s a FourThirds camera. We are also sure that the innovation has to do with the camera-mount. Many patents have already shown us innovative adapters that could be used on that camera. The camera will feature a new Panasonic sensor with 14-16 Megapixel and gapless microlens design.

The next PEN:
We got rumors about two possible Pen. One with built-in EVF and a High-End MFT camera. We don’t know if both or only one camera will be announced. There is nothing certain here (for now). Just my speculation: maybe we will see only one camera that has built-in EVF and is defacto a High-End MFT? Also that camera could use the same Panasonic sensor. What’s certain is that Olympus is heavily developing a new faster autofocus.

The next lenses:
We believe that we will not see any new FourThirds lens at Photokina. This makes the FourThirds camera with the “special-mount” even more interesting. If the rumors are correct… how will Olympus convince us to buy the new 43 camera when there is no new lens?
We have no doubt that at least four new MicroFourThirds lenses will be announced. But that’s not all, it is very likely that even more lenses will be announced at Photokina (but released months after). Maybe Olympus will release a new lens roadmap that will disclose those lenses.

We also received other rumors but from unreliable or new sources. We need to confirm those rumors before posting anything about it!

Help us and send us your rumors to…Thanks!

  • Jeff

    New Pen with EVF pleeeeaaaseeee! *drools*

  • Duarte Bruno

    Nice to see the final death of the ubiquous m43 G1 sensor…
    …and even better to know it is going to equip the new Pen!

  • Neonart

    Admin: Please tell us everything you have!

    The E3 replacement is extremely high on peoples list of 2010 cameras for multiple reasons.
    Many like myself want to upgrade our E3s for better low light performance & features.
    Also, there’s the question: “Where is 4/3 going?” I don’t think 4/3 will be phased out as soon as people think. Not with the customer base and glass available out there.
    In fact, now that it’s being rumored that Sony FF sensors are cost prohibitive (affecting their cameras and others), we may see a re-resurgence of 4/3 & APS-C. And since low-light performance is going up and up on both, the difference may not matter. Then the 4/3 advantages may finally come around. Sharp glass, proper focal lengths, great bodies, greater depth of field at low apertures, etc.
    This market is growing/evolving too fast to make make drastic predictions.

  • spanky

    “The Olympus E-3 successor:… The camera will feature a new Panasonic sensor with 14-16 Megapixel and gapless microlens design.”

    Is this rumor or conjecture? I’d be incredibly dubious of any rumor that has Panasonic selling Olympus their flagship new sensor that will come out with the GH2 when they haven’t shared the GH1 sensor with anyone yet. I suppose it could be a result of blackmail on Olympus’ part to either get the latest sensor or go with a Kodak sensor, which would cause friction in the m4/3 world and would strip Panasonic of an important revenue source. I’d love to hear more about that particular rumor.

  • Neonart

    I’m willing to bet the GH1 sensor not being in any of the pens had more to do with cost, which made the GH1 the most expensive m4/3 camera. (Along with the kit lens)

  • Michael

    The GH-1 sensor is one of the best FT sensors ever made (multiaspect format, noticeable higher dynamic range) and according to DXO mark is very close to best APS-C sensor. I know DXO is science and it is nothing to do with real life photos. The question is why Panasonic doesn’t share this sensor with Olympus and every mFT camera? Only reason is the marketing. Anyway, no new FT lenses means no classic Zuiko Digital ones at all? And lastly why Olympus doesn’t make outstanding lenses (HG and SHG) for mFT that we all know from the E-System? There is no camera body for HG lenses? So make it. If it is not possible now so better focus on the E-5.

  • Zonkie

    +1 for Neonart’s both comments.

    I’m pretty sure that the E-5 will have the best 4/3 sensor available. I don’t think that Olympus would accept an old one for it’s flagship camera. And Panasonic is surely happy to sell the sensor to them if they pay the price.

    Another thing is the next PEN… I do hope it will also have this new sensor, but for both cost and competition reasons I’m not that sure. In any case, I do hope that at least it will have the GH1’s sensor and not the same old one from the G2, E-PL1, etc…

  • Inge – M.

    I hope on global shutter on E-5.
    But on a high-end MFT, maybe GH1 sensor.

  • omolympus

    E3 successor with Panasonic sensor….Nope!! – It will have a 16mp Kodak and it will be a normal SLR.

  • Alfons

    I would be happy with 10-12mp sensor on E-3 successor. All I need is more dynamic range (headroom!) and 1-1.5 EV step of sensitivity.

    Anyway, I will buy that body used, after it’s been in stores for 3 years :D Then it will fit my budget.

  • spam

    Interesting observation in this “rumor”:
    “We believe that we will not see any new FourThirds lens at Photokina. This makes the FourThirds camera with the “special-mount” even more interesting. If the rumors are correct… how will Olympus convince us to buy the new 43 camera when there is no new lens?”

    Personally I buy a new camera when I need a new camera and a new lens when I need a new lens. I might be wrong, but I believe a lot of people do the same.

  • Alfons

    That’s right. No manufacturer has announced making more four thirds lenses.

  • Borbarad


    Well I Need the E3 Successor and as for MP 14 would be the Minimum and 18 the Maximum I need. As for the Sensor it will be a Panasonic (99,9% sure). However it would be truly awesome if the E5 will have a Kodak!

    As for the Rest…. integrate all the improvements made to date and I’m more then happy.


  • neonart

    Alfons said: “I would be happy with 10-12mp sensor on E-3 successor. All I need is more dynamic range (headroom!) and 1-1.5 EV step of sensitivity.”

    AMEN! This more megapixel junk needs to stop! Unless your printing 40″ posters, who needs it.

    If my E3 had better 1600 sensitivity and more dynamic range, that’d be good enough. I don’t want bigger files killing my hard drive space!

    Besides the occasional 16×12 enlargements I do for some weddings 8×10 is the biggest I print, usually it’s 6×8 or i just look at them on my laptop. And I don’t think I’m the exception. Heck, most people are printing 4x6s!!!!!!

  • Neonart

    Borbarad said: “Well I Need the E3 Successor and as for MP 14 would be the Minimum and 18 the Maximum I need.”

    Not trying to contradict or anything, but what size prints are you doing that 14MP is a minimum?

    Most pros with Nikon D3’s, D3s’s, and D700 have been pretty happy with 12MP… But I know some do need more, hence the D3X, Conon 5D II, etc.

    Just wondering.

  • omolympus

    99.9 % sure of Panasonic – 0.01% wrong – Kodak 16mp!

  • Megapixels arent just about printing. You don’t need a lot of megapixels to go big, i have printed 3megabyte images to 40″s
    Its about cropping, sometimes you just NEED to crop, like with birds, wildlife, sports etc. The more megapixels the more you can crop.

    Sometimes you just cant get close enough even with 120mm effective focal length.

  • Nathan

    Since I do mostly portraits and landscape and am not a birder, 12MP is fine, but I need more dynamic range and better sensitivity for natural light photos.

    It’s all going to come down to how the prints look. E3 is adequate, but I’m looking for something visionary and impressive. I do love CCD and even the Foveon’s color response.

    CCD is preferred. CMOS just isn’t ready quite yet- but it is coming along quickly.

    Disappointed that the modular is taking so long. But, I’ll still be shooting when it comes out eventually.

  • Alfons

    I would like to say that if you need to crop a lot, you are either using wrong lens or have a wrong location for taking the photo.

  • Neonart

    Billy, 120mm for birding is not long enough. This is why they make 300, 400, and 600mm efective focal lenght lenses. In fact 4/3s has a great advantage in that department. Heck, the 70-300 (140-600 equiv) is less than $300!

    I used the 70-300 for a while for wildlife and liked it. Now I have the 50-200, and even though there’s less reach, the crops are great because the lens is sharper.

    I’m not saying, there’s no need for more megapixels ever, but oftentimes the companies are telling us we need more and we believe it. I would rather be offered a 1000mm efective lens and a killer 10mp sensor, than 16mp sensor with more inherent noise and a 120mm efective FL and then crop like mad.

    Just a thought.

  • Inge – M.

    Well Olympus come up new FT lens, but a big circle for a modul on modular camera maybe next year, so the is not end for FT yet.

  • Raist3d

    I am sorry but this is soooo wrong:

    ” how will Olympus convince us to buy the new 43 camera when there is no new lens?”

    Please! Everyone buys everything they have? Do people care about photography when buying these cameras? Come on! Seriously, think about it.

  • I produce a lot of high end, large format, wall-ready peices and I’m not jonsing for more megapixels. I regularly produce 18×24″s and have gone as big as 30×40″.

    I find that sharp glass and proper exposure is far more important than pixel count. If Billy is trying to capture birds, wildlife, and sports with 120mm EFL that’s a problem that’s easily fixed. A 50-200 + EC-20 will give him a very usable 400mm f/7. That’s what I use for small forest birds. If that’s not enough Sigma also offers an 800mm for the price of a Honda Civic…

    Like most others here, I want more dynamic range, higher usable ISOs, and a bunch of small UI improvements. I hope that Oly will also deliver some new innovations as is their norm.

    I also want and need pro HD video capability. There seems to be a lot of debate on this one, but the facts are simple. Video is already part of the pro photography market. Oly (as well as working Oly shooters) need to accept this and evolve with the market or get left behind. Personally, I’d like to start climbing that learning curve as soon as possible.

  • Rafa

    That´s the point, why do you want more resolution on a sensor if you don´t have the same resolution in the lens?

    A soft lens in a 8Mp sensor (most old adapeted 35mm zooms wide open ) won´t give you more resolution in 16Mp, you will duplicate or cuadriplicate pixels with the same value.

  • sb

    /ISO 3200 usable please

    i would be willing to buy Oly Again.

  • MAFAv8r

    Yep birding, even 50-200 may not be enough, I use the 1.4 because of the quality of glass over the 2x, and the one stop gain, and also it is weather sealed. I spent a lot if time on that decision . For me when I look at my wildlife photos I would still like an increase in MP count for cropping. There is only so close you can get to a bear or buffalo or croc in the wild :).

    I fail to see the advantage of always buying lens, most of my photographic quality ( or lack of it) is myself, and this is not going to be helped by adding more lenses. However, for me with the E5 I would like a fast prime, I think that would be enough lenses with the 12-60mm.

  • Gabi

    To use crops of shots taken with high megapixel count sensors is an inappropriate approach to get good pictures. The crop will either be heavily noise-reduced and therefore very soft or it will be very noisy. Therefore, you need a longer focal range anyways. I sincerely hope for some new development in the sector department and an EP2 (or GF1) successor with a built-in high resolution EVF (I don’t need a flash). Also some fast primes would be nice. ;-) And I am definitely looking forward to a 70…100-300 mm µ4/3 lens.

  • About Cropping, it beats a long lens on days where the weather is not clear. If you zoom in to far your pictures will be muddy, no way to control that on the crappy LCD we have gotten so far with Oly cams. With cropping you just zoom in until it is right. The 7D has more range than any Olympus cam out there, think about that;-)
    For me i just hope they make a proper AF system that works with video. It would sell very well. People are tired of the almost impossible job of manual focus on subjects that move.

  • Duarte Bruno

    @Jan A:
    Cropping can never be considered as an alternate for zoom except for an emergency when you don’t have a lens or do not have the time to mount a proper zoom lens. If there is mud it’s because the lens isn’t good, because it isn’t properly stabilized, because you don’t have the proper filters mounted or perhaps a combination of these factors. The resolution gain from a proper zoom beats cropping any day.

    Panasonic has made a proper AF system that works with video. It’s on the G2 already, it’s a 99% certainty for the GH2 and it’s called Touch AF. Now if you are talking about manual focus lenses I’m with you all the way! There is a feature already on some expensive video cameras that’s called Focus Peaking and works by colorizing the sharp parts of the live feed while keeping the rest (defocused) of the image in B&W.

  • Miroslav

    Since GH2 and E-5 will both be announced in September, there is a possibility that they will be similar in many ways ( not only same sensor ), like Panasonic L1 and Olympus E-330 were. E-5 could be GH2 + adapter with mirror for PDAF. Think about it ;).

    As far as number of megapixels is concerned, I’d like it to be raised. I mostly take pictures at 5-9 mpx and will continue to do so, bit if I had a 20 mpx sensor and in camera cropping ( Panasonic’s extra optical zoom ), I’d use that instead of zoom lenses. I suppose sensor technology will make zoom lenses obsolete some time in the future by enabling zoom by cropping. I wouldn’t be prepared to trade image quality for it, but even nowdays there are quality 20+ mpx sensors around.

  • Alfons

    My 2008 iMac w. Lightroom 3 is already coughing when I import the photos from weekends assignments from my E-3 to two hard drives. Image sizes would better not grow a lot.

  • MAFAv8r

    “To use crops of shots taken with high megapixel count sensors is an inappropriate approach to get good pictures. The crop will either be heavily noise-reduced and therefore very soft or it will be very noisy”

    I’m no expert here, but I cannot see the logic of that. If you use a high quality lens, with good resolution,, and then you use a high MP sensor and MP, why are you going to increase the noise?
    I agree that it is a much better approach to get a longer telescopic lens, but sometimes you are not going to be quick enough to hold a scope let alone get a tripod out, and that will be a third lens I would have to hike with
    Sharpness to me is relative to the size of the photo. Alot of so called excellent photos are only shown at very small size, impossible to know whether they are sharp or not.
    I have heaps of photos taken with 600mm equivalent size, and there is no way I’m going to get closer than 100 yards from a bear or moose with calf!, so I have to crop to get what I want. Even with only taking one 8th of a photo I am still getting individual hair resolution, so I don’t think they are soft. I have my sharpness and noise reduction turned off on the camera, so I am happy to sharpen afterwards and remove the noise with LR3.

  • Neonart

    There are certain circumstances that more MP is useable, but usually its just a marketing ploy. More=Better, and people believe it.

    More megapixels equates to more noise. This is getting better, but it’s till the case. Look at the Pentax K7. Everybody loved it until the Kx was released (with less MP) and now people are clamoring for that sensor in the K7. Look at the Canon 7D. More megapixels, but the GH1 about matches it in noise.
    I’d prefer to hear how great the E5 is in low light, even though it’s only 12 megapixel (or whatever), than to see it’s a 16MP camera and get sarcastic reviewers claiming “but the ‘smaller’ 4/3 sensor is still very noisy at higher ISOs.”

    Now if there could be two choices, that would be fantastic! Let the fashion photogs, those who shoot for billboards, and the “I need to crop my 38MP photo to 2mp because I don’t have a long enough lens” crowd have their high MP cam, and the rest of us can get a low MP, fantastic low light cam too!

  • Gabi

    “I’m no expert here, but I cannot see the logic of that. If you use a high quality lens, with good resolution,, and then you use a high MP sensor and MP, why are you going to increase the noise?
    I agree that it is a much better approach to get a longer telescopic lens, but sometimes you are not going to be quick enough to hold a scope let alone get a tripod out, and that will be a third lens I would have to hike with”
    This was my response to the posting in which the poster suggested to significantly increase the amount of pixels. A higher pixel count always means more noise and/or requirement for heavy noise reduction (resulting in image softness). Therefore, more pixels on the same sensor would not give better image quality, especially when the images are cropped (which means that you are closer to the “pixel-peeping” situation).

  • 1200mm effective focal length not 120mm. silly typo.

    I’m quite adept at capturing birds if you would look at my website. I use the 150mm f2 + EC20 for the highest resolution and will soon be purchasing the 300mm f2.8, so i’m not some n00b running around trying to capture birds.

    MAFAv8r and Jimson get it with regards to cropping.

    Yes you can crop to get closer to things, I have done it, lots of times. And I have printed them big, 16″x24″ 20″x30″ and 20″x40 and i know i could go to 60″‘s if i wanted ot.

  • neonart

    Thank you for clearing that up Billy. 120mm just sounded nuts for birding, but you never know what people are using.

    As I posted before, some people do need more MP, but the fact is that an exponentially higher number of photographers need better low light performance and not higher MP – particularly for 4/3 photogs.
    If this where a Nikon D700 forum/site things would be different. But this is a 4/3 site, and the one huge glaring challenges 4/3 has always had is high ISO performance and dynamic range. We have great lenses, we’ve got sharp lenses, we can shoot at ƒ2 with reasonable DOF, but we don’t have high ISO and DR. This is improving, but if we keep raising the MP, it’ll always keep being a challenge.

    Think of it this way. How many people are limited because 1200mm and 12MP is not enough for cropping compared to those who would like to get more dynamic range & less noise in their living rooms, churches, reception halls, restaurants, kids recitals, and at night in general?

    ADMIN: I propose the following: Run a poll with, what would we want in the next E5. Better ISO and DR, or higher MP. Lets see what people think. I’m sure there are other features you can add to the poll, like high res LCDs etc. It would be nice to see what the readers of this site think, and maybe someone at Olympus sees that poll. (Of course, whatever sensor is going in the E5 is probably already been chosen, but still)

  • Just because you get more mpx doesnt mean the dynamic range and or ISO quality stays the same or goes down. The E3 has more dynamic range than the E1 and its a higher mpx camera.
    I want more dynamic range too, but more mpx wouldn’t hurt.

    The e30 has more mpx and is better at high ISOs than the E3 specifically because of banding but also there is no chroma noise its all luminance noise which for me is easily controllable using RAW and LR3 but not only that it looks like a nice film grain so it doesn’t bother me in the least.

    The E30 sensor is a few years old and the E3 sensor even older, its not unreasonable to think that they can up the mpx and increase dynamic range and high ISO ability all at the same time in the next flagship sensor.

  • Fantastic bird shots Billy! I assumed 120 was a typo and you meant 1200mm EFL. There’s no replacement for displacement! The 300mm f/2.8 + EC-20 has got to be an awesome combo! Unfortunatly my birding doesn’t generate nearly enough revenue for me to consider buying a $5K lens, though I am always on the lookout for a used bigma. One thing that’s held me back is I’m not sure how often I’d want to carry it…

    Do you have problems locating your subject with a 600mm prime? With the 50-200 + EC-20 I find myself acquiring the subject around 250-300mm, then zooming in and focusing. 600mm must be like looking through a straw!

    I’ll admit I’m unclear what “innovative camera mount” the rumor refers too. I assume we’re talking about the lens mount, and can only guess it has something to do with PDAF on m4/3 or CDAF on “classic” 4/3 lenses. Anyway, I do hope the E-5 is awesome, well worth the wait, and good enough to remain competitive for another 3-4 years.

  • @Jimson, it just depends on how close or far the bird is or how big it is. Fast moving birds that fly close are tough though.

  • If i have my wish, i would make the e5 with an 8mp (like my 30d) sensor with superb high iso output. 8mp gives me more hard disk space to shoot. Good Low light autofocus performance is crucial for me. Other than that im not too particular…

  • MAFAv8r


    If you are going to buy a $2000 camera a new harddrive costs around $100! From my last major holiday I brought back 110GB of photos, I will reduce that to 20GB when I am finished with them.


    I would say that the E5 will have either SATA or USB 3. However that surprises me, are you 64 bit? I have no problems with Windows 7, LR3 64 bit. If it is, see what it costs to upgrade an Apple. It cost me $300 to upgrade my notebook from 2.2 to 3.2GHz. The 2008 graphics card more than copes with it. Try the Oo Defrag programme on trial, three defrags required, it will take a full day when you cannot even look at your computer let alone touch it. Do a search on optimizing Flight Sim X and defrag to see how to do it properly. However having to upgrade a computer is standard for upgrading other technology, and generally I will only buy a computer that has a good upgrade path. That’s why governments allow such a high depreciation rate!

  • Alfons


    The whole system is truly 64 bits and it does the defrag all the time on background. It still takes A LOT of time to load all 800 pics to my computer :D Maybe it’s the DNG conversion that slows things down. After import everything goes OK.

    Oh, and I tend to keep Spotify, Opera and IRC-client on while doing PP. That shouldn’t be a problem though. I have 4BG of 800mHz DDR2 memory.

  • MAFAv8r

    HI Alfons,

    Depending on the type of defrag, turn off your defrag, that should only be on when you are not doing heavy work. Schedule it for SPACE defrag daily and Zone and NAME monthly. You’re probably right its the DNG conversion at the same time. Is E3 USBv 1 perhaps – I remember my 2006 Olympus camera was? Although I’m not an Apple person I doubt whether those other are the problem.
    Next weekend do a test for me and time how many MB?GB you do and I’ll check next time I’m importing

  • Michael

    I hope Olympus announce new lenses for E-System at Photokina. Many people talking about E-3 successor but lens development is also important. I feel lack of fast primes in Olympus range (f2.0 is fine if is it sharp wide open) for example like ZD 25mm f2.0 HG lens or faster. Olympus has fast zooms in this range (ZD 14-35mm f2.0) but they are big and heavy (and expensive too) and SWD could be a standard for all Zuikos. Even improving famous 50mm F2.0 with faster and internal focus will be good sign that Olympus still cares about Four Thirds. People are talking that FT is dead but Zuiko lenses make it almost immortal. Now, it is up to Olympus what gonna do with the FT.

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