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Olympus answer to the Four Thirds competition.


A couple of months ago the italian website launched the Four Thirds Alive Petition (Click here). They now got an answer from Olympus: ”

Dear Mr./Ms., Italian Photocommunity,
Thank you for your e-mail regarding our E-system products.
First of all, we are very grateful for your loyalty to Olympus and for all the support you have given us for over these many years since OM-system .
Here are our idea and plan for the future:
In regard to the demanding requirements of professionals and high-level amateurs, the durability and speed, the PEN is still unable tocover the Four Thirds fully. Therefore we need the Four Thirds.
Therefore, when users of the E-system want to make a replacement purchase, we recommend the high-end Four Thirds series like the E-5 for the durability and speed, the PEN for consumer-friendly, small and lightweight. We will make efforts to meet customers’ requests in these series.
We will be constantly making efforts to improve our products and services, and your continued support for Olympus would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Best regards,

Thanks for your effort!

– The OM system on eBay (Click here) – The Olympus E-5 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

  • Stevo

    So where exactly do they say that 43rds is alive?

    • E users, we still have E-5 on sale… part perhaps :)

      For /now/ “the PEN is /still/ unable to cover the Four Thirds fully”

      • AND not a word about E-xx or enthusiasts.

        Classical dummy response from the marketing.

        • Inge-M.

          Need Olympus say every day, we come soon by more FT product soon ?

    • Mike

      You’re right – Sounds to me like a confirmation that FT is dead…

  • Alphonse2501

    At least we can understand E-X and E-XX is alive.
    E-XXX will become Pen system.

    • mahler

      Where do you see E-x and E-xx being “alive”? I would only make that statement, if I see a E-30 successor in the shops and if it sells well enough. At the moment we see only one more of the confusing and contradicting statements of one Olympus person.

  • That kind of contradicts the Pro-Pen rumour…

    • Not really. The key word is *still*. However, the conclusion that “4/3 is alive” is somewhat far-fetched based on this reply. To my understanding Olympus is working on integrating its 4/3 lenses into m4/3. AF speed seems to be the main issue at the moment, but after it’s solved there will be no more need for a mirror. Could take a long time though.

      • I think more or less everybody will be happy with a GH2 grade contrast detection autofocus… but better high ISO and dynamic range performances are for sure needed… and then, the usability factor will wrap-up – or not – the product…

  • bijoumm

    What I wanted was a camera following the E-620 that
    uses SD cards and has movie. I guess it’s a dream that won’t
    come true.

  • M

    What this says is “you can buy the E-5”. Nothing else.

  • Deckard

    This is just … a standard answer to the question…

  • frank

    What this says is: “as soon as we have a pro-pen, we will kill the E-5 and four thirds”.

    • And the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned… :D

      • Miroslav


        I didn’t think I’d agree with you on something ;).

  • Robbie

    Might as well don’t reply. Just show us the CAMERAS!!!

  • Nick clark

    Does it really take that many words to say absolutely nothing?

  • Patxi

    Realmente, cuando no se tiene nada que decir, es mejor estar callado. Olympus todavía no lo ha entendido. Es de vergüenza lo que está haciendo Olympus con sus usuarios!!!

    Google translate:
    Actually, when you have nothing to say, it is better to be silent. Olympus has not yet understood. It is shame that Olympus is making its users!

  • Ulli

    Well, i guess FT is still needed a long time then, untill MFT can compete regarding to AF speed and usefullness of EVF in lowlight scenarios(which applies more to manual focus photographers though)

    • In my experience the VF-2 is already more useful than any OVF for manual focusing in low light. The image in the EVF is grainy, but is brighter and more contrasty than in real life.

      • GreyOwl

        Well said.

      • Ulli

        depending on the lowlight situation, i find the evf just acceptable or a really pain to use, especially when shooting with open aperture on fast lenses. but i agree they have an advantage, which is the ability to zoom in for focus. If future EVF can reduce the noise in such cases, plus speedup the refresh(very important for zoom function imo)that would certainly help to push ovf aside.

      • Len

        I am an electronic viewfinder convert too… Love mine to death… The only thing is that I bump the diopter setting all the time and have to keep resetting it, luckily for me that is to zero…


        • Ulli

          no problem with the diopter here, maybe because the installed big eyecup prevents it from de-adjustment.
          What bugs me more is the absence of a locking position for the tilt mechanism. during modelsessions i have to constantly push the moving part back with my eye still against it.

    • Nick clark

      I currently own the E-3 and the there’s very little noticeable difference in focus speed. Generally it comes down to individual lenses. In terms of accuracy and consistency, the GH2 is fields ahead…

  • Kevin

    looking at the capabilities of GH2, I don’t see much of an advantage going for the old 4/3 system. The main deal is lenses, which you can see m4/3 desperately producing.

    they meant alive as in they’ll keep on producing what’s existing (which could be quite a while) and so that current 4/3 owners won’t go hating on olympus

  • Bob B.

    The letter from Olympus concurs that 4/3’s is DEAD, i.e. no new products. I don’t understand the headline for this post??????????????????????????????????

    • MikeS

      The headline has a typo: “competition” should simply be “petition”

  • Jeff

    Likely written by some Olympus customer service flunky with nothing better to do but stir the pot. 4/3 is a goner, which is unfortunate because I love my E3 and SHG lenses but I will not invest anymore in a system with such limited range in the product line, particularly after they have diminished it as much as they have.

    I know m4/3 is to be the replacement but I tried my 14-35 on a Pen and lets just say, joke.

  • What a bunch of yada yada…

  • Miroslav

    “In regard to the demanding requirements of professionals and high-level amateurs, the durability and speed, the PEN is still unable to cover the Four Thirds fully.”

    Durability: weather sealed body is easy to make since Olympus pioneered and produces cameras with that technology.

    Speed: it just the question of making an adapter/module/whatever that enables PDAF on m4/3 bodies for 4/3 lenses, which should have been made from day one of Micro Four Thirds. Why do these consumer electronics companies think we customers are stupid and will buy completely new gear every five years? Such thinking just drives buyers away from the brand.

  • Rocky

    sorry to all the Pen lovers but they won’t make a Pen that is better the E5.

    • Inge-M

      The is a reason for everything, E-x made solid and water pro, E-xx for studio use and have higth dissolution.
      A Pen Pro camera is properly compact and solid, but not made for big lens(HG, SHG), :-(

  • mahler

    What a strange product and communication strategy! At photokina 4/3 was nearly declared dead and later statements said that Olympus will focus on m4/3 in the future. Now, they give the impression that m4/3 will not meet the performance and durability requirements of professionals for quite a while (somewhat rejecting the PEN Pro plans) and ultimately recommend buying both systems, which means that the buyer has to keep and maintain two lens line ups.

    I get the feeling that Olympus takes their customers as stupid. Why should I invest in Olympus m4/3, when it is clear – according the Olympus person – that improvements, which could close the gap to DSLRs aren’t to be expected from that company, while Panasonic manages to close the gap further with each development cycle.

    Olympus should rethink their PEN-only m4/3 strategy, because it is too narrow. They should take a more serious approach to port their pro 4/3 lens line up to m4/3 where doable, instead of leaving the community in permanent uncertainty. And they should make serious efforts to bring their m4/3 line to a acceptable ergonomics and usability level, which it currently isn’t. The EPL-2 is a retro step in terms of control layout, whereas Panasonic manages to improve on this with every new camera.

    Will Olympus communication and product managers ever learn and listen?

    • Rocky

      Reply to Inge: The body is only a small part of the equation. The biggest is the quality of your lens . Pen Pro body or not. You’ll need faster better lens.

  • Jeff

    Confusing is right. That is why I think these are uninformed statements at best. I am a huge lover of Olympus camera products but I am quite concerned with the state of the current lineup. I would love to have a full featured m4/3 system comparable to 4/3 in speed and durability. Dont see out anytime soon and the value of my 4/3 equipment keeps plummeting. Oh well.

  • explorer76

    This statement neither says the FT is dead not it says that it is alive. Looks like further FT products are still being considered but the situation could change if they feel that they have the capability to launch a pro-grade mFT system.

    Remember that having a pro mFT systems requires more than just a rugged body with fast operation, it also requires a bunch of high quality lenses on par with the 43 equivalents. Olympus definitely does not have any of those right now and it could take a while before they get to that stage. So chances are that they have a new FT product in development but whether it gets launched or not will depend on how far they go with mFT in the mean time.

  • Why would I invest in micro? when the time comes to upgrade not of my lenses would fit E5. This is for stupid no? Then paradoxically I have no super fast lens that work, I only have four third lens

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