Olympus displays first “rounded lens-cameras” and Sony QX clones!



Back at Photokina Olympus displayed their “squarish” Lens-Camera prototypes. But at the recent Engadget Fes 2014 held at Arts Chiyoda 3331 in Tokyo they displayed a more advanced rounded and very Sony QX alike version. Our reader Alvin (Thanks!) shared those pictures and added some info:

Don’t know much about the specs but it has:
Open SDK for development
Shutter Button on top
Three tripod mounting locations (custom accessories?)
it’s part of the new Olympus Hack & Make program.

The specs are listed ont he Olympus site and are:

Android ios
– 16 megapixel sensor. No info if it’s E-M1 (with PDAF) or E-M5 (without PDAF) alike.
– Connected by WiFi
– takes both stills and videos
Optical / digital zoom, configurable for various shooting parameters
Save Allowed still images in RAW or JPEG format
Micro Four Thirds mount

There is no info when Olympus will bring those prototypes to the mass market.
Screen_Shot_2014-12-13_at_3.20.13_PM Screen_Shot_2014-12-13_at_3.19.48_PM

And here are the more “official” Olympus images:

Bildschirmfoto 2014-12-14 um 12.49.42 Bildschirmfoto 2014-12-14 um 12.49.30

  • David Peterson

    Open SDK is great news!

  • tripper

    If it really has a proper SDK that could allow for full control over the camera (and I mean stuff like custom region readout from the sensor, etc.), than I’m on board. Would be even cooler if the device itself could be hacked to include active cooling system. That would be a killer for astrophotography. But I suspect this open SDK is nothing more than some tools for accessing a public API for high level functions (basically what you’d find in remote control app for the smartphone).

    Anyway, that’s probably the right direction to go.

  • Salty

    I think you’re burying the lead here… Is that guy’s hat a prototype or will it be for sale somewhere??

    • l’oranger

      not only the hat but he s also promoting a new type of inflatable selfie “stick”…

    • The real question is does that job pay “the most” or “the least”, “It is those questions that we have to answer if we want to win”, like that guy did.

      Boy, is he happy.

      Crop him and send his Photo to meme dot com …

      We know who would dress like that and take a selfie, that guy !

  • Yun

    Not my kind of stuff .
    If I really have to pick , the LUMIX CM1 looks more practical than this one .
    Come on … Olympus .

  • Marcio K

    With a proper HDMI out for a recorder and good video quality, these thing would sell like hotcakes to aerial shooters. It is amazing how Sony and Olympus did not see this oportunity.

  • Syriac

    It was crap when Sony did and it is still crap now.
    This is not the future.

    Unlike Sony, Olympus does not have the R&D and marketing budget to spend on stuff like this. Take this money and focus on improving E-M1, E-M5 and E-M10 (m2s). This is their future.

    • Yun

      Exactly .
      But I see this move as effort to secure something back from the collapsed compact camera market due to smartphones phenomena .

      • Syriac

        Could be, but that is a long shot.

      • Eddie

        No smartphone user would ever use this camera. Its ridiculous.

        That said, it does look interesting for a lot of other uses. For example, I could place this in a hide far closer to animals than I could ever get myself.

    • tripper

      Unlike Sony, Olympus seems to be going after the homebrew/dyi/hacker community. Which is a good move, since there’s not much use for such a camera as general purpose device. The idea of attaching this to a smartphone is still silly. However, open up the hardware to tinkerers and you’re gonna see that used in some unique ways.

      One of the obvious uses I imagine is mounting that on a drone, but I’m sure people will find some awesome uses that neither Sony nor Olympus could ever think of. Of course, for that to happen, the SDK would really need to be powerful enough. And frankly, I’m not hoping for that. Corporations don’t like sharing or giving away control. And if so, this will be no different than Sony and their apps (not sure how they call them).

      • Gabriel

        For a drone, a GM1 is small and light enough, no need of this thing. The only interresting news is the open SDK.

    • DensetsuX

      This looks awesome. I’d love to get my hands on one of those to play around with it. I hope it comes with a decent SDK and I can code for it in C++.

  • sheepthief

    Ah, a camera that looks vaguely like a handgun – I can see a few Americans getting shot for waving one of those around!

    • Pappy

      Wonder if the shutter will be fast enough to catch the bullet in flight?

  • Ranger 9

    The mere fact that they are doing a “hacker/maker” product makes me feel good about Olympus. I follow various maker sites and see a lot of great art and performance projects that involve cameras for sensing, guidance, image processing, etc. Many of these are big-budget installations, but have to get by with cheap webcams, the Raspberry Pi camera module, etc., because they’re accessible to open-source software. This will never be a high-volume product line, but getting creative minds aligned with Olympus has to be good.

    • tripper

      And maybe some of the ideas and solutions created by the community might be useful enough for general usage and might find their way into “regular” products.

      I just hope the SDK is capable enough. Those kind of things tend not to be open at all. The Raspberry Pi camera module is one such example, there’s a proprietary piece of software controlling it and you can’t do anything other than that piece of software allows for, and it didn’t allow for all that much (at least that was the case last time I checked).

  • gzo

    Hmmm… yes. This is exactly what I need for my microscope!

  • DensetsuX

    Just imagine, building your own startracker or gigapixel pano cam with it or hooking it up to a microscope or telescope. I hope it has some kind of I/O or an USB-Port that I can connect some I/O hardware to, to control some stepper motors.

    The wifi and all that stuff would already be in the camera module.

    Just awesome. The potential is practically limitless!

    Olympus, GOOO!

  • EDIT from earlier post.

    Incredible. Joseph Tame, the crazy lad in the photos, is a mate of mine. We met at an Apple event in Ginza where he photographed for Antelope Audio (based in Bulgaria) which did a live music event.

    He runs for a living, doing crazy run designs all over Tokyo via GPS mapping, and is famous, so any new technology gets intro’d on him as he’s a running advert.

  • C.L.

    Staring at my screen in a state of confusion and silence.

  • Dewsy Sipos

    I want this as a Project Ara module natively

  • ehmm does that olympus thing have a connector for rotating blades?

  • jimfelt

    Whoa. Doesn’t OLYMPUS know that the demographics are much higher if they adapted these phantasmagorical “offerings” to iOS first? Or are they just blowing smoke with this spec as well?

    • DensetsuX

      The coders, hackers and inventors are on Android. On iOS are the lazy bums that consume media and play Angry Birds. So of course they’re aiming at android first. :-)

    • If you look at the top line in the diagram, it’s got both iOS *and* Android. Makes sense, they’ve got the most mobile market share.

  • AP

    This whole develpment.. I bet is in part a due to apertus open source cinema. Competition towards it and offering a another option so that moneys wont flow towards new players.

  • Eric S

    Like other comments, I’m still waiting for more details on “OpenSDK”. Low level API? Like manual sensor shift, manual focus control, windowed sensor reading…

  • sdss

    This guy has a huge johnson

  • Camaman

    I am trying hard but I can see only one use I would have for this and for that it is more than a few years to late to make me famous… A will it blend episode on Youtube.

  • Fulcrum Lever

    It’s suitable for DIY colonoscopies.

  • no cam 14 no 15 and no 2016

    Fine? This is the first and last stand against the 4k-smartphone-Wave that we hear for
    2015 ( if a customer gets all for his live-daliy-adventure film/foto and the smartphone costs
    only 0,- in a low pirced monthley usage sg. 14,90,- and all 12 months he gest his new next
    shine 4k-smartphone..)so, to do something for me as willing-tu-by-customers ( not NOW
    2014 is in final line and 2015 CES is running-so fine 4k aps-c and 4k 4/3 Camera-BODIES
    are coming, all will fight faster in between 400-600,-$, if not there you will be nowhere…)
    and SELL a CAMERA ( omd-e-10) with a good f1,8 Lense ( and kill the rubbish starterlense)
    and make for me a GOOD PRICE..you should not think, hope you get me…NO!
    Not the rumors, not this mass of idiotic tests and the goods of y-tube who tell this bla bal nonsense, so chickken-customers run round in the market like..chikkken. gag gagaaak..
    If they would do this real so build us fine LENSES ( f1,8 45mm ) with best sensors and all
    costs 299,-$–then maybee this can be something–other would be only a show for gopro..
    and more 4k-smartphones…… all Cameramanufacturers make the same wrong thing..

    and this you can wait in the rumors… NOT WITH ME!


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