Home News Reviews & Info Buyers Guide Forums FAQ Links About Advertising
    NEWS ARCHIVE | SEND NEWS | RECENT & UPCOMING REVIEWS | ALL OUR REVIEWS
 

Digital Camera News Archives at DCResource.com

 
Olympus shows off FourThirds, Micro FourThirds prototypes | Digital Camera Resource Page News

Olympus shows off FourThirds, Micro FourThirds prototypes

Date posted: Monday, September 22, 2008

| Share

Olympus is showing off two prototype cameras at the big Photokina show in Germany, and they've let out a few details today. If I can find some more details on these two, I'll update the news item.

The first camera (which has no name yet) will bridge the gap between the E-520 and E-3. Olympus uses the phrase "Creative Photo Expression Function" a lot in the press materials, though I'm not exactly sure what that means. Here's some more concrete information:

  • World's fastest autofocus system (11-point)
  • Image stabilization with 5 steps of compensation
  • Splash and dustproof
  • 1/8000 sec max shutter speed
  • Rotating LCD display
  • High speed contrast detect AF with face detection
  • Ships in the first quarter of 2009

I have even less information (and no photos of) the Micro FourThirds camera that will be shown at Photokina, though it sounds a lot like the Panasonic DMC-G1. Here's all I can tell you:

  • Same Live MOS sensor as regular FourThirds cameras
  • Backward compatible with "old" FT lenses via optional adapter
  • High speed contrast detect AF in live view, with face detection
  • Mockup camera will be 4.7 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches (W x H x D)
  • Model name, pricing, and availability to be announced

Update: DP Review has photos of the prototype Micro FourThirds camera.


Advertisement

ADDITIONAL IMAGES:

PRESS RELEASE:

OLYMPUS DEVELOPING NEW E-SYSTEM FOUR THIRDS SYSTEM- COMPLIANT DIGITAL SLR CAMERA

COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 22, 2008 – Olympus today announces that it is developing a new interchangeable-lens digital SLR (single lens reflex) within the Olympus E-System lineup. This new Four Thirds-compliant camera reinforces the company’s commitment to the standard.

Positioned as a mid-level model, this new digital SLR camera is intended for anyone who wants to express their creativity through photography, whether they are just starting out or are a professional with years of experience behind them. Introduction of the new camera is expected in the first quarter of 2009.

A prototype of the camera will be displayed at Photokina 2008, the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held September 23-28 at the Cologne Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany.

At the last Photokina (September 2006), Olympus declared that the second chapter in the story of the Olympus E-System would begin in 2007. One of the highlights of this chapter was the incorporation of “Full-Time Live View” function as a standard function for the first time in the industry, adding to the excitement already generated by other distinctive features of the E-System such as the “100 percent
Digital-Dedicated Design” and “Dust Reduction System.” Currently, the E-System lineup includes popular models such as the E-420 and E-520, as well as the flagship E-3. All of these cameras provide digital SLR users with the high-quality images, superior reliability and exceptional portability they need.

The prototype model displayed at Photokina is being developed as an advanced amateur model that will be positioned between the E-520 and E-3. In terms of quality and performance, however, there is nothing mid-level about this model. It will inherit all the outstanding features of the E-3 such as the high-speed autofocus system using an 11-point full twin-cross sensor and the built-in image stabilization mechanism
with a correction effect of up to 5 EV steps.1 Other highlights will include a new and updated feature to replace the current splash and dustproof function of the E-3.

With the introduction of this new camera, Olympus will expand its line of Four Thirds System-compliant digital SLR cameras, providing a wider range of choices to a wider range of users from serious amateurs to professionals.

OLYMPUS MICRO FOUR THIRDS SYSTEM-COMPLIANT DIGITAL CAMERA UNDER DEVELOPMENT

Making Smaller, More Portable Interchangeable Lens Solutions a Reality

COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 22, 2008 – Olympus today announces that it has begun development of an interchangeable lens type digital camera based on the “Micro Four Thirds System.”

Development of the camera will bring dramatic reductions in size and weight to the Olympus E- System, and will comply with the new Micro Four Thirds System standard jointly announced with Matsushita Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic) on August 5. A concept mock-up of the camera
will be exhibited September 23-28 at “Photokina 2008,” the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held September 23-28 at the Cologne Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany.

The global market for interchangeable lens type digital cameras is growing steadily, but still only accounts for approximately 7 percent of the total digital camera market. Considering the much larger share held by interchangeable lens type digital cameras when film was the dominant
imaging medium, it seems that there is still ample room for sales growth in this category. Market surveys, however, indicate that more than a few customers choose compact models because they find digital SLR cameras to be “big, heavy, and difficult to operate.”

The Micro Four Thirds System standard was established to meet this need by enabling the development of radically more compact and lightweight interchangeable lens type digital camera systems. The camera currently under development will be the first Olympus camera to comply with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, and interchangeable lenses that comply with the standard are also moving ahead. In addition, users will be able to mount existing Four Thirds System wide-angle, telephoto, and macro lenses on Micro Four Thirds System bodies via an adapter. Product name, launch date and retail price of an interchangeable lens type digital camera based on the “Micro Four Thirds System” are not determined.

Olympus Imaging is also committed to the Four Thirds System, and will continue to expand its lineup of digital SLR cameras to satisfy a broad spectrum of customer needs. This includes the professional photographer, aspiring artist, hobbyist, and everyday consumer.

Outline of the Micro Four Thirds standard

The Micro Four Thirds standard was designed and developed to maximize the performance potential of digital imaging technology, and to extend the benefits of the Four Thirds System standard for digital camera systems.

When compared to the Four Thirds System standard, the primary distinguishing features of the Micro Four Thirds standard are:
1. Approximately 50 percent shorter flangeback distance (mount-to-sensor distance)
2. Lens mount outer diameter approximately 6mm smaller
3. Electrical contacts in mount increased from 9 to 111

The Micro Four Thirds System enables users to capture the same high-quality images of the Four Thirds System’s 4/3-type image sensor in a much more compact body. It also takes advantage of significantly more compact lenses, particularly in the wide-angle and high-power zoom range.
The Four Thirds System offers the benefits of compact, lightweight performance, and the new Micro Four Thirds System takes this even further to enable development of ultra-compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems unlike anything seen before. The new Micro Four Thirds System also incorporates a greater number of lens-mount electrical contacts for the support of new features and expanded system functionality in the future.