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Impressjapan predicts: E-5 successor, Premium MFT and large sensor cameras coming from Olympus.


ImrpessJapan interviewed Mr.Ogawa from Olympus. He confirmed that partnership between Sony and Olympus will focus on compact cameras, on the medical area and lens technology. There is definitely no plan to merge Olympus and Sony systems in one.

The magazine also made a prediction for the year to come:
– E-5 successor is coming
– A premium compact MFT
– large sensor camera from Olympus

I am pretty sure the first two points are correct. But really don’t think Olympus will make a larger sensor camera. It would mean go APS-C (Nex?) or even Full Frame. What may be possible is that Olympus makes some lenses for the NEX system (which is highly needed  more than cameras).

What are your thought about a “larger sensor camera”?

  • a large sensor camera from Olympus will need to bring something or more new to the table, who knows what they have up their technology sleeves?
    – E-5 successor is coming …guaranteed
    – A premium compact MFT …guaranteed maybe even 2 models?

  • Ghost

    If larger sensor camera, than IMHO something with fixed lens, e.g. Sony RX1

    • ghost400

      The XZ-Pro1? I think that is do-able and likely too. A 35mm focal length (135mm format) at f1.8 or larger maybe? For the fun and love from the community of users of that focal length? Who knows? But do-able.

  • They probably mean large sensor… for a compact camera.

    But I wouldn’t mind a REAL OM (with OM mount)! I know everyone was disappointed that the E-M5 was m43. It’s only real saving grace was that it was bloody brilliant.

  • absolutic

    so you guys are predicting that OM-D replacement is going to be announced, maybe in January at CES, and still you guys have NOTHING on the specs??? Nothing at all???? Any hints???? Is it going to feature 24MP sensor? Better AF? I assume they are going to go to 24MP since they are going Sony sensors, I assume better AF since the OLYMPUS guy at Photokina was saying they have a Roadmap for next 5 years already. What else? Larger buttons, and change the position of idiotic on/off switch location?

    My speculations:
    1) new sony sensor (maybe 24MP)
    2) a claim of better continuous AF
    3) reposition of some buttons (especially on-off switch)
    4) the camera Might come with a removable grip
    5) better DR and low light performance (again if they are collaborating with Sony on a new sensor)

    These all to make sure it is a flagship model.

    • GreyOwl

      The ON/OFF switch is perfectly positioned when using the vertical portrait grip.

    • @absolutic
      it won’t be an E-M5 replacement (that will come September) but an O-MD Pro
      my expected features:
      – full iptc editor
      – metering linked to focus point
      – improved video performance
      – new wireless flash that doesn’t rely on line of sight
      – gps
      – more hard wearing build and buttons (illuminated)
      – better caf
      – more art filters
      – custom aspect ratios
      – better support of all four thirds lenses
      – more multiple exposure options ie blend modes and using any saved picture
      – multi white balance metering
      – seconds displayed on clock
      – built in panorama stitching (courtesy of Sony)
      – more grainy black and white options (colours)
      – built in time lapse
      – slow mo options in video
      – wireless remote

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > Is it going to feature 24MP sensor
      Hopefully you didn’t pay marketroids much for that brain dead line.

      First of all it would need notable jump in sensor tech just to keep existing noise performance and hence also avoid handicapping DR.
      Photography isn’t about using sensor to measure average brightness/grey value but about taking image consisting of individual details meaning it’s size of pixel and its light gathering area which is primary factor (for given tech) in image quality. Plus heavier NR doesn’t bring back details/information destroyed by noise.

      And secondly that would make many kit lenses diffraction limited most of the time from widest aperture netting you no real extra image resolution but only more noise. Already with 16MP resolution is limited after f/5.6 and with some lenses resolution decreases slightly already after f/4. (position of diaphragm in optical design might be behind that)

      So when most of the time you couldn’t get any more real information in image but only more noise it’s better to keep same number of pixels and concentrate on improving their quality.
      Only place where they should add pixels is outside 4:3 frame for GH1/GH2 like multi aspect ratio capability.

  • Tropical Yeti

    If E-5 successor is comming, :-) 4/3 lens focusing on m4/3 cameras is still not solved satisfactorily :-). Might be even another sign, it will never be improved to unobjectable level.

    Premium M4/3 is improved OM-D (what else did you think?)

    If Olympus got wings on success of their retro designs, does that mean they are planning something to resurrect even their old OM line? (Have no idea, but many things are possible – Digital back for OM cameras, FFOM-D body that utilises OM lenses (for retro and OM diehards) but has electric contacts and new electric lenses also???)

  • G.

    I think a full frame sensor with this size of 21x28mm, could be a interesting product.
    It’ will be between aps-c and FF with the advantage of smaller lens(compared to traditional FF)
    With this size we could have a camera with the same sensor of Nikon d800(36mp) of 24mp.

  • Pasmia

    E5 successor… I still can’t afford the E5!
    Premium Compact M43… EM5 is not Premium?
    Larger sensor?! I hope they’re talking about their compacts (XZ2).

  • Mymaco on Instagram

    I really would like to see a “fullframe” fixed lens from Olympus, something à la Sony RX1 (which I won’t buy simply because there’s no integrated e/ovf), with a zuiko f1.8 lens 35mm (I think a 50mm would be too big & bulky).
    I have an OMD E5 and I’m curious about the upgrades a new one will have.
    I’m not interested in a 1″ sensor compact camera like rx100 though.

    • chronocommando

      Yes E-5 is still expensive but it is a good product.

      Premium m4/3 does not mean OM-D is not premium.

      I hope they are talking about compacts as well.

  • Esa Tuunanen

    Unlike what film era fossils claim 35mm is now niche format.
    And there wouldn’t be any sense for APS-C body because that would once again mean new lenses and difference to 4/3 sensor isn’t that big.

    Maybe some fixed lens camera would be probable but beyond that Olympus has better places to put their limited R&D resources.

  • Glider

    IMHO if Olympus is going to use larger sensor (whatever will be APS-C or FF) it will be a big, BIG mistake.
    They would implicitly admit they were wrong to introduce 4/3 and m4/3.
    This will mean to trash a fantastic lens line (4/3 Standard, HG and SHG) and m4/3 will be limited to low level cameras like E-PM2/E-PL5, because no one will invest on small sensor cameras if even Olympus doesn’t trust anymore in its system.
    E-System was since the beginning a perfect system, with the best compromise between sensor/lens dimensions and depth of field.
    Only drawback were sensor noise and mediocre continuous autofocus on E-1/E-3 and partially on E-5.
    They just reached competitors on high ISO noise and now they want to trash the E-System?!?
    I cannot believe it.
    Oly, please hire some Canon/Nikon autofocus enginneers, make an EVF E-7 with OM-D sensor, give us a decent PDAF continuous autofocus, make it modular so we can choode between m4/3, 4/3 lens, CDAF or PDAF autofocus, and you will sell it like ice creams in hot summers.

    Can you imagine a camera tha can mount SHG 4/3 7-14, 14-35, 35-100 with a decent CAF and a minute after mounting the same m4/3 12 f2 or 75 f1.8, that is also possible to share with a second tiny and light m4/3 body?
    This could be really the definitive system for 95% of photographers.

  • chronocommando

    Larger sensor means 4/3 at maximum only.

    Either something like the G1X or Fuji X100.

  • hao

    I think 大型 maybe mean compact camera,like rx1.

  • Roger

    There have been rumours, and patents,for at least 4 years of an Olympus camera with a “Triad” sensor (as is used in many video cameras – with the total sensor area at least three times that of FT, and using standard four thirds lenses. In fact the five axis stabilisation seemed to be a pre-condition of such an arrangement, Perhaps we are finally going to see this come to fruition


  • Duarte Bruno

    The only thing that makes sense (for a large sensor) is to use the FF sensor of the Sony RX1. APS-C isn’t large for a manufacturer who is delivering half a dozen of m43 cameras.

  • rrr_hhh

    I think that if Olympus intends to offer a larger sensor camera, it will be a full sensor one : the market of APSC sensor cameras is already quite crowded.

    But a mirrorless full frame, may be with a fixed lens, could find a market. The Fuji aren’t really convincing when it comes to raws.. so they may try to go after the creation of mirrorless cameras able to take Leica M lenses while offering a better sensor and more modern technology. May be that Olympus thinks there is a market for more portable full frame cameras..

    That would be a great news !

    I don’t care for compacts.. they can do what they want with Sony when it comes to that.

  • still laughing

    This site is more of a place where Nikon and Canon owners come to bash 4/3ths and micro 4/3rds . E-5 succeser with be a camera ment for 4/3rds otherwise the talk would be about the new 4/3rds to micro 4/3rds adaptor . Olympus makes microscopes that can see DNA , now they are owned partly by the Sony Corp- like it or not they will solve whatever they need to for the 4/3rds lens owners . micro 4/3rds outsold all of canon last year so instead of wasteing your time on here you should get a second job to buy another Canon or Nikon camera before they are bought by Sony

  • rrr_hhh

    By the way, I haven’t visited the 43rumors site very frequently since the new design was issued.

    There is a change I don’t like at all : when visiting the website with my iPad I’m forced to use a mobile version which I don’t like at all. I didn’t find any links allowing me to switch back to the Desktop version. Is there no possibility to get that on an iPad ? Frankly I don’t like website which forces me into a layout I don’t like. I want to be the one choosing whether to look at the website in a desktop like format or in a mobile format. Especially so given that the mobile format is a dumbed down format which doesn’t suits well the large iPad display.

    Please give us a choice to load the Desktop version !! or tell me where to look to get that choice.

  • No contradiction between a m4/3 and a FF 135mm system. Sony can provide sensors for both. A couple of native FF new lenses and an adapter for the OM lenses, et voila’.

    The rationale is big sensors coming down in price. The 5D Mk II has just been discounted at 1500 $. If the next Oly flagship has the same price, who will buy it?

    Building a mirrorless FF 135 would be a stroke of genius. No maker can ignore it, and Oly has the possibility of getting there first. One wonders if the could share the mount with Sony.

    m4/3 would still stay and prosper for the entry level and mid tier mirrorless, and for those who want a more portable system. All bases covered, with limited investment. Oly could share the FF lenses with Sony, while sharing the same sensor.

    With the strong Yen Jap. makers need all the economies of scale they can, or they will disappear.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone else checked out the corresponding thread on Sony Rumours, Sony to introduce a FF NEX model. Now lets consider the possibility of this being a new Olympus/Sony link, Oly glass, Sony sensor, would work to both companies benefit. We all see ‘only compact’ threads but let’s not forget this possibility, maybe bad news for 4/3rds but even CaNikon started with smaller sensors, though admittedly with same mount as legacy glass, even then there are some new lenses which are not compatible with their FF bodies, even if they do fit.

  • Yun

    E5 successor , NO .
    OMD Pro , YES .
    That is what I’m interested .
    Whatever it is , the most important part is it must demonstrate it clear advantage over it’s predecessor .
    Sensor technology .

  • I don’t believe anything before I not see it… And before they make cameras with larger sensors and new lenses for this they should make some better zooms for mFT.

  • Toni

    …large sensor camera from Olympus…could be a digital reincarnation of the famous analog Olympus XA (2.8/35mm FF)…that would be cool IMHO.

  • To add to the E5 successor point, it mentions miniaturization (k30,k5?) and introducing new technology too. Though I’m still using my E3, those ZD lenses are dieing for a new body to live on :) so let’s hope something will materialize.

    No no no please no full frame. If you guys want that, there’s already an array of excellent existing lineup from nikon, canon and sony. This ff lust is kinda bourgeois to me now.

    I think Olympus and Panasonic market strategy would do well if they wish to capture wider market appeal with a “No pro, No problem” mindset.

    Plus do you wish to spend >2k on yet another new system? You know jolly well your nikon, canon or sony lenses won’t mount even if olympus did bring out a full frame option and you gotta re-purchase all the lens and accessories.

    M43 strength is showing through now finally with OMD and GH3, so they should make it better in that area with SHG class lenses and be able to accurately track focus like the bigger boys do.

  • nobody

    What are your thought about a “larger sensor camera”?

    That may mean a larger sensor compact camera, i.e. a Sony RX100 competitor. Which would be much appreciated :-)

  • Olympus would do well to bring a full-frame system that can use the m4/3 lenses in crop mode. This would facilitate the ease of entry into, what I believe to be, an important market segment.

  • Bob B.

    I am a 35mm “dinosaur”…but I do not see Olympus making a full-frame or APS-C sensor camera at all.(“outside” chance of taking some of their P&S resources along with the FF Sony sensor and making a more-affordable fixed-lense full-frame camera…. as P&S is dead)…I also don’t see Oly doing much for 4/3’s format either other than “perhaps” an improved adapter of some sort.
    i believe 90% of the resources at Oly are working toward improving all parameters of the MFT Sony sensor and creating new and better camera and Lenses to utilize that size sensor. Smaller is better…The better the quality …the more professional…the format will continue to grow with more and more users.
    I have 5DIII and OM-D. I find the OM-D to be the most exciting camera of the year 2012. It definitely is the camera with the most pro potential in the ever-increasing web-based advertising world. MFT has a developing FULL-SYSTEM mirrorless offering. None of the other mirrorless cameras can touch the depth of MFT…. No one. Olympus will continue to expand and improve the system with incredible new bodies and lenses, get more depth and attract more and more photographers because of the small size, quality of capture, lower cost and depth of system. It has it ALL! 2013 should be a very exciting year indeed with the new “honeymoon” period of Sony & Olympus!

  • Simon Wu

    I guess it is a FF sensor.

    • indeed a ‘premium compact mFT’ may well be another Pen
      as for mirrorless FF, there is the A99 already

      But there is this, Sony are reported to be saying they have a new roadmap for FF, sounds like it doesnt include SLT. Also DPR writers spoke of the A99 SLT as a ‘stop gap’ solution. Could it be Sony have offered their non SLT solution to Olympus? well they did create the best Pentax in a long time.

      It does sound like we are in for another iteration of technically innovative change

  • Jonas

    I think “A premium compact MFT” means a successor to the E-P1/2/3. The E-P1 was what made “mirrorless” so attractive in the first place, with its classic look and solid build, and it would be a real shame for Olympus to abandon that iconic body style in favor of the faux-DSLR E-M5 and the dumbed down E-PL5.

    As for a larger sensor camera, I really hope Olympus will have the balls to make the first full frame mirrorless system.

  • Just to add the impress site also publish what seems to be a readers survey.

    Some interesting data.

    DSLR users:
    nikon > canon > pentax > ?others > olympus > sony

    mirrorless users:
    olympus > panasonic > sony > pentax > nikon > ricoh > fuji > canon

    sigma > nikon > tamron > canon > olympus > pentax > panasonic > sony > cosina > tokina

    canon > sony > fuji > ricoh > panasonic > nikon > olympus > casio > pentax

    All in all there’s no one company that rules them all. And its interesting to see pentax actually beats nikon in the mirrorless department. The K actually beats the J out.

    I thought sony will be third but pentax wins here. Even olympus who hasnt got any new bodies still beat sony.

    Canon still rules in compact cameras.

  • adaptor-or-die

    oskar barnack came up with a crazy idea around the time of the first world war, professional camera quality in “minature/compact” camera. The Large Frame plate photographers said this was crazy and shouted it over and over for decades as their numbers became smaller and smaller as the crazy idea became the norm. At the advent of digital photography we called that once, miniature format, Full Frame, ignoring it was once the smaller besmirched format? But in the early days of digital. It was the litmus for matchin quality output … Why would any advancing technological company want to move backwards in the advancement of new design? If MFT needs to compete with FF, simply improve the capability of MFT. It will cost less, weigh less, use less power, require less resources; making a camera larger heavier and more costly is not technological advancement. It’s the lazy mass production method. It’s short term, resource heavy and frankly backward?

    The CANIKON leaders have relied on this retro-marketing since the days of digital, but the days of cloning a film SLR have been passed and it gets harder for them to sell the concept that bigger is better, to a public that is tired of the same old party line. Do you want bigger: cellphones? notebooks? computers? [insert any desired electronic trend]? This is not the trend in an advancing technology. Even a TV today, weighs less, is radically thinner, uses less power …

    Camera companies have already watched their bottom end digital products replaced by a device that is only on a sub-tier level, used as a camera! Do they really believe the solution is to make products that weigh more, cost more, take up more room and create more heat while using more energy?

    • Anonymous

      For starters, cell phones ARE getting bigger. Most people who have tried a 10″ netbook are now opting for 12″ or 13″ laptops. TV screens may be thinner, but the actual screen is getting bigger.

      Secondly, you cannot get infinite progress. R&D is getting diminished returns, and much of today’s progress is in software algorithms that “correctly” process the image after it has been taken rather than some kind of sensor sensitivity.

      If a full frame mirrorless system comes out with camera bodies the size of RX1, m4/3 will go the same way as 4/3.

      • MAFAv8r

        It is true that phones are getting bigger except the iPhone. But computers are not getting bigger. Yes there are those that buy larger notebooks. But that is a short term small percentage market, who are finding their feet. On the whole desktops ate becoming less common, and being replaced by laptops. Laptops are wing replaced by ablest. So overall miniaturization is the trend. Handling the Nikon FFs they are beautiful, but they are extremely heavy, and the reach to weight ratio is very low as you go to telephoto.
        Miniaturization is still the way to go. For the new professional half way between the E5 and EM5 is what I want, with a better grip, retaining their LCD on top

  • noplies

    Large sensor camera surely refers to a compact camera with a “large sensor”. In that context a large sensor is 1″ (like the Sony RX100) and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is indeed the sensor they would use.

  • I think a 135 sensor with m43 mount would be very nice.
    A switch on the side to allow m43 or APSC or 135 shots.
    It would allow full use of all m43 lenses and any MF 135 lenses.
    I could use my M lenses for 135 or my m43 as M43.
    And my pet 1.8/38 Zuiko as an APSC.
    The body would be the same depth as the current cams but a little wider, nearer what we were predicting for the OMD Pro.
    With a bit of electronic wizardry in the adapter maybe many AF lenses from others could be used.
    It is possible for it to be the perfect camera with Olys track record of inovation. Even stop canikon dead.

  • Olympus are making OMD a line unto itself, there is good reason to expect a pro level body to crown that line.

    Elsewhere in 43rds the pdAF to micro transition is looking less likely, so what to do with 43rds? The mouth of the mount is too small for a FF sensor, and it lacks depth in register at some 38mm. The largest sensor 43rds can physically fit is 33mm diagonal, that’s approximately twice that of a 43rds sensor. The best bet is all they are going to do with 43rds is keep it at 43rds.

    When they talk larger I don’t think it means another non standard format, its 1.5x or Full Frame. If its FF I doubt it will be a small camera, they have that already, but it might be small for FF. If it isn’t a fixed lens camera it means a new system. In any event again 43rds isn’t a good fit.

    So what in this mess makes any sense?
    If compacts are failing b/se they’re falling to phone cameras, logically systems are going up in size, again FF seems like a better idea. This also explains what has been happening to their R&D time, it sure isn’t being spent on 43rds, and mFT has only OMD as diversified product.

  • Peter.Paul

    Does premium compact MFT mean fixed lens, like Panasonic intents to…?

  • Ranger 9

    “What are your thought about a “larger sensor camera”?”

    My thoughts are that what he meant was a “larger-sensor COMPACT camera” like the ones from Sony, Canon, etc., that suddenly have become popular in the fixed-lens-compact market. In this context, “larger” simply means “larger than the sensors in our current compact cameras.”

    This is the only interpretation that makes sense in the context of the marketplace and Olympus’ limited funds for development. All the other suggestions are simply fanciful dreams.

  • Anonymous

    Well that first prediction didn’t last long. Very next post from admin was, Olympus confirms no E-7.

    • admin

      It all depends from the point of view. For Olympus that hybrid camera is the E-5 successor.

  • If Oly is going for bigger sensor, it wouldn’t make any sense if they just go to APSC size. They should go all the way to Full Frame or Medium Format.

  • Well, while I frankly do not believe that oly would bring out a large sensor camera system I do however think, that a sort of a M-style rangefinder or even a modern design camera from Oly, that would accept the famous high end OM (2/24, 50/2, 90/2) – eventually reborn with new glas and AF, would sell pretty well.

    • I mean a camera with 35mms ensor..

    • Why, yes. In fact even Leica is enjoying a revival as a mirrorless, so there is ample room for competition, as the RX1 shows.

      It’s not that I believe that m4/3 is endangered, it has shown to be v. good with its small lenses, but there is definitely room for a larger format, with more elbow room, so to speak.

      The RX1 shows that it can be done while staying compact in mirrorless size, and having a much lesser price than a Leica, there would be a high end market for it, while the E-x series didn’t make sense anymore in terms of price.

  • Large sensor should mean larger than the current standard of full-frame.
    It’d be nice if Olympus produce a digital medium format like Pentax or Leica S2.

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