View Single Post
Old 8th March 2011
Ian's Avatar
Ian Ian is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK
Posts: 11,672
Thanks: 427
Thanked 2,554 Times in 1,283 Posts
Likes: 885
Liked 1,766 Times in 797 Posts
Re: Olympus presence at Focus on Imaging

Originally Posted by padgreen View Post
The interview over on Megapixels with a Dominic Papenheim from Olympus Europe about Olympus's so-called future plans is interesting. He says"

"We see the mirrorless system as the future of digital photography. In 5-10 years reflex cameras will be a niche or will not be there at all. So we believe that PEN in the long run will also be in the professional market but that will take maybe 2-3 years. In 2011 you will see more PEN products and more lenses (beyond what was discussed in the presentation)."

So that's most likely this is why it's just Pen's at Focus (plus the E5 stop-gap) as no ones going to push the pro-grade lenses from a system that is being phased out.

As I said earlier, it all just makes me wonder why Olympus bothered to develop 4/3rd in the first place: did they know from the start that they were going mirror-less or is this something that got decided recently.

I continue to think this is all a huge mistake. While cameras with electronic viewfinders might be appealing to people trading up from a compact, I continue to believe that they are a step too far, not just for me, but for many users who continue to want a proper optical viewfinder.

Equally, I'm not that impressed with the mirco 4/3rd lenses either: the first Zukio 14-42 didn't even take a lens hood and the 75-300 is slower at the long end and is also considerably more expensive that it's normal 4/3rd counter-part.

Sure, I will continue to use my E30 for the time being but that's (apart from the cost of switching) primarily because I'm in the middle of a long term project and switching at this stage from a 4:3 aspect ratio to 3:2 would be a bit strange.
Olympus launched the E-System back in 2003 and was most likely working on the concept as much as 3-4 years prior to that. Olympus was early to get into digital, both with compacts and reflex-style cameras, although not with an interchangeable lens system until the E-1. Remember the C-1400L? That was 14 years ago and it was the first digital camera I used that produced natural looking results, not like video-stills of most other cameras until then. In 2000 we had the E-10, again a reflex camera but with a fixed lens. I do wonder if Olympus waited in order to launch a mirror-less design system camera, but the technology was far from being ready. The biggest headache for Olympus was the sensor and they had to settle for the Kodak Full Frame Transfer sensor for the E-1, which was not suitable for live view and so a mirrorless system. But Olympus did have electronic viewfinder cameras over ten years ago - the C-700 UZ, C-2100 UZ, E-100 RS, to start with. But with no suitable sensor for a larger sensor system camera there was no choice but to go with a mirror and reflex prism. And the rest is history.

Even before the E-1 was launched I was hoping Olympus would go for a mirrorless system. It was (and remains) the most logical development of the SLR in my view.

And let's just not overlook the fact that Olympus does provide a very high degree of functional compatibility between Pen bodies and Four Thirds lenses. I know I will be using Four Thirds lenses for many years to come, attached to derivatives of the Pen.

Founder and editor of:
Olympus UK E-System User Group (
Four Thirds User (
Digital Photography Now (
Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (

NEW: My personal BLOG
Reply With Quote