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Friday, 20 January 2012

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and now the Fuji Xpro may suddenly look a lot less attractive ... especially @ $2000.

Well, I must admit that I AM among the "we". ;)

It would be nice if Olympus could make the news for something other than a precipitous decline in veracity and stock value.

When I read this, my first reaction was: OMG! Olympus doesn't seem to be going under at all!

It's a great feeling to see continuing vitality in this good old company. Always had a soft spot for it*.

*I learned the ropes of digital on an E-520 for four years. Sweet little camera.

Want it. The big "O" used as the background image is actually from an OM box :-)

According to the rumor sites, this is going to be a Micro Four Thirds system camera. Forget legacy Four Thirds lenses without an adapter. The sensor size is the usual 18mm x 13.5mm or thereabouts. Expect the usual 2 x crop factor for your legacy OM glass - this is not Full Frame.

The camera should be great, just be sure you know what you are getting anxious about!

OH YES PLEASE!!!!

I just hope it doesn't run on a mercury battery.

Certainly got me watching!....bliss, a digital OM style camera.

Maybe I've become too cynical after years of seeing the photography industry stumble around like drunks on January 1st, shielding their eyes from the bright morning sun and grimacing in pain at every honk from helpful taxi drivers...but I fear Olympus will manage to do something to f**k this up. So I'm going to return to my daily scheduled "why can't they just make an MXD?"

Colour me grumpy.

My first film camera was an Olympus OM-1 purchased in 1976 and my last film camera purchase was an OM-4Ti in 2000 for a trip to Africa. I never could part with my collection of OM lenses and bodies over the past decade and it would be wonderful to have a digital camera body with design roots from the original OM system.

I've been an owner of OM cameras since 1974 and a long-time, almost ostrich-like champion of the company's products: OM 1,2,3,4, Pen FT, E1,3, E-P1, etc. I love the m43 system and I'm very happy, but a little underwhelmed with my Olympus Pen E-P1. Great images, somewhat clunky handling.

I don't know if many remember the early selling message of the OM1 back in '73, but it was a smaller body. full lens line, and a huge, bright finder. And the OM1's finder was a big change in the day from the smaller, dimmer Nikkormat, Canon, or Pentax that ruled the pro's roosts.

Assuming Olympus can survive their financial debacle, I'm super-excited by the promise of the OM digital body. The Electronic Viewfinder has finally come of age and I hope that O can replicate the wonderful, huge OM finder in the modern age. $1100 would be a nice target price vs. the Fuji's $1600.

The rumoured specs are sounding rather nice as well.

Weather sealed too apparently! I wonder if they'll make a sealed version of the 45mm, and get Panasonic to make a sealed version of the 20mm? Mmmmmm!

I'm betting it will just be a micro 4/3rds body with an EVF built into a lump on the top.

OMG! OM1 was first camera in 1983. Still got it because it's so beautiful - will those old zuiko primes be useable, bet not. I was going to buy the x100 this weekend after much angst and now this! Of course it's one thing looking like an OM1 but performance and ergonomics a tad important too. Can I take this much excitement at my age!

Simon, Norfolk, UK

we-ness… well i was sorely seduced by the Fuji but OM my! Also it doens't hurt that i have a fotodiox adaptor for my FD glass to micro 4/3 already, pending a camera acquisition…

If it happens, I'll be first in line. I'm a sucker for "the Saab of the camera world," as one commentator called Olympus....

Call me when the news breaks that it doesn't have an LCD panel on the back for instantly reviewing the images.

THEN I might be impressed.

otherwise.. meh.

Remember when we used to compose, meter and judge the quality of the photograph before we made the exposure instead of afterwords ?

Those were the days!

OM styled.... frump! Surely you can put a FF sensor in a OM-1N body if you leave out all the value-added crap and revert to manual focusing and basic metering ala M9. Now that would be an OM-D!

I'm still waiting for a digital version of my beloved Argus C3. No LCD, strictly rangefinder (I.E. no viewfinder), set exposure, point, shoot, done.

Please let us have multi-spot metering again. Still one of the best features ever. I don't mind if it's 4/3, that is full frame after all. I can't use medium format lenses on 35mm cameras either.

For old time sake, I just went and played with my OM-1n with a 2-4 screen and 40/2.0 lens. What an amazing combo! If you thought it was a bright viewfinder, that screen ups the level dramatically. When I had a 50/1.2, it almost seemed brighter than real life.

This will be my next camera, I'm quite sure.

When then original OM-1 arrived in '76, I had to have it. As a backpacker and a theatrical photographer, I couldn't resist the combination of lightness, compactness and optical excellence.

What was so special about the OM-1? Conceived as the SLR Leica should have built, it was about 25% smaller than competing cameras. Most OM lenses were smaller, too, by at least as much. Beneath that unusually low prism hump, the VF was bright and and fully interchangeable. The cloth shutter worked softly and quietly. The OM's biggest eccentricity was its shutter speed ring, rotating around the lens mount. Left-handers probably enjoyed this feature-- their underemployed south paws had a lot of duties, managing shutter, aperture and manual focus. All of this was built into a shiny body that showed a very high level of design and detail.

Which of those qualities would translate to a contemporary OM? It will be small, but that's not such a distinction these days. Quiet shutters are possible; even a cheap Nikon F80 I had ten years ago was almost silent. All of my recent Nikon, Sony and Oly DSLRs were pretty loud, though, so the new OM could score some points with a silent shutter. But I really doubt we'll see a shutter speed ring at the lens mount, or interchangeable viewfinders.

So I'd expect the OM-D to turn out like my VW New Beetle. Familiar styling cues, wrapped around a completely different concept.

If it's "a micro 4/3rds body with an EVF built into a lump on the top", is not too big, and, more importantly, not too small, has manual controls usable by actual fingers, and produces Olympus's lovely jpegs, then I'm in.

Full disclosure: All of that, except the EVF, pretty much describes the E-620. I thought that line was only one step away from a digital OM-2, but they've decided to kill it.

I want one, but I just bought a GH2. I started with an OM1 back in about 1975, then got an OM4 (I still have both), and would love an OM D. I took the OM 1 on numerous caving trips. I had it cleaned once, and the guy said it was one of the dirtiest cameras he'd ever seen.
Talking about OM, while doing cleaning the other day I found a plastic shopping bag from Georges Camera Store in Australia (this is back from the 70s; I believe they were taken over by Teds), with one side advertising the OM system. Amazingly this bag survived moves from Canberra to Melbourne to New Brunswick (Canada), New Mexico, and now Madison (WI). I have a photo of the bag if you want to add it.

I hate digital. I like my OM-4.

Why mirrorless? I don't want an OM with an electronic viewfinder in its prism. I want one with mirrors in its prism: an optical viewfinder married to a full frame, not half frame, sensor.

Is this news or something? I still use my OM film cameras as I always did. And I often use the Zuiko lenses on my 5D. Plus ca change....

Except - and I've said it here before . there is no reason a FF digital SLR camera needs to be any bigger than an OM1 (from an engineering point of view)

Regular Olympus electronics in a retro body? Haven't they done that before (shooting a glance at my E-P1)?

Come to think of it, if it's an Electronic Viewfinder, they could have put it anywhere. I'd have preferred it way over on the left side of the camera, rangefinder style.

Maybe that's because I'm left-eyed.

Dear Folks,

Color me miserere [g]. Read too many press releases in my life. So don't care about reading another.

Let me see some real test results (my own or dXoMark's, even Photozone's; I'm tolerant). Not some press leaks, releases, or sample photos of uncertain parentage and upbringing. Then... maybe... I'm interested.

Until then I, like M, grow increasingly cynical in my young age. (Yes, like Merlin, I live backwards-- I look forward to becoming an exceptionally bratty toddler.)

pax / chronologically confused Ctein

Well, shucks. The Olympus OM-1 is the only camera that came close to breaking my love affair with Pentax. This'll be interesting.

"We—and by we I mean "a bunch of us"—have been asking for it for years. How many times have you read it on forums and photo site comments sections?..."

This is what Leica did with the M9 as soon as they were able to. An M9 is as close to a digital M7 as you can get with current sensor technology.

The new Olympus won't be so close to the actual OM in format or camera type ... I expect for sure it will be a FourThirds format and either electronic TTL or hybrid viewfinder system ... but I do expect it will be an excellent camera. And hopefully it will leverage both the brilliant FourThirds SLR and Micro-FourThirds lenses which Olympus and other vendors have been delivering. As well as be usable with OM system lenses, like both of the above.

It's an amazing time, isn't it?

My only camera and lens for the last year and a half is an Olympus EP-1 with a Panasonic 20mm 1.7

I'm ready to buy my beloved lens a new body, and this looks promising, esp. the dynamic range part.

For what it's worth, when I was at B&H looking at the Pen line on Tuesday, the Olympus rep was there holding court. He said that the camera division has been wholly insulated from the financial woes and has been carrying on as though nothing was different. He said that in February we'd see the new line of Micro43 cameras from Olympus. He said that the viewfinder technology was really something special, and unlike anything in competitor's products. Finally, he said that Olympus will be pushing hard with this camera to get the FourThirds shooters to come over, offering a free FourThirds to Micro43 adapter to existing E-series owners that purchase the new camera. Olympus clearly sees the digital OM line as the replacement for the E-series.

All to be taken with a shaker of salt, but that's what he was telling the folks at the Olympus booth at B&H, trying to speak so that customers couldn't hear.

I guess I'm a naive literalist, but if the OM-D is not FF so that I can use my OM lenses on it the same way I do on my OM-1 and OM-2, then how can they call it OM? I'd also prefer the original OVF of the OM's not a new EVF. Ditto for the shutter. Heck, just build us a digital back!

We all want this do be Olympus's surprisingly timely answer to the Fuji X-Pro1, but I fear it will instead be Olympus's belated answer the the Panasonic GH2.

That wouldn't be a terrible thing. Some of the standard-issue ‘SLR-style’ mirrorless cameras are supposed to be quite nice, and giving one a metal exterior and some retro cosmetics wouldn't be just fine.

But I think most of the ‘why don't the make me a digital MX/FM3a/OM-1?’ crowd is asking for something more than that. We're asking for the same photographer-oriented design approach, emphasis on usable manual controls, and innovative, no-nonsense engineering that made those cameras great. All this ad tells me is that they're probably going to put the EVF inside a metal lump that looks sort of like an old-school pentaprism housing (which would, I admit, be cute, but which would be in some tension with the emphasis on simplicity that should be the real point).

I haven't lost hope, but I'm not ready to let myself get too excited.

Quite apart from anything else, that is a beautiful photograph of an OM-1

If anything, this disproves the adage that nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

I was specially excited about the possibilities this launch.
Then I became REALLY EXCITED when I remembered that Panasonic (very strangely, specially in japanese's way of doing business))didn't delivered the 16mp sensor for the EP3, and that...
Olympus could, just COULD use the the 4/3 (not the micro 4/3) for which it has a full complement of lenses ready to ship, and a APC sensor...It seems feasible to me...

O M....!!!!

My new 45mm 1.8 will live on this camera.
Now if Panasonic will give us the Rangefinderesque body with built in EVF, my 20mm 1.7 will have a new home. And I will be happy forever (or maybe a few years).

My experience in ownership of the OM family was less happy. Brilliant to fiddle with, I found the bodies and lenses somewhat fragile.

Even so, it's a great concept. Unfortunately, the way the camera world is progressing, I expect it to be just another camera in retro-drag, sort of like the now chic cheap plastic stingy brim fedoras are nothing like Akubras or even latter day Stetsons.

Our new age Digital "OM" will be priced at a high premium, unlike the OM-1 of our fond memory (priced the same as a Minolta SRT-101, slightly less than a Nikkormat FTn), but have the same guts as any one of its brethren.

No, what I'm waiting for is the digital Olympus XA. We're talking full frame, brothers, in a teeny skinny body. Thirty years later, and digital can't touch FF in this form factor with an honest-to-God rangefinder, all for around a hundred bucks. Come back when you have an XA story for me, Olympus.

I would pay $4000 for a 16mp full frame OM4ti based digital body - I won't pay anything if it's got a 4/3rds chip that doubles the effective focal length of my OM glass...

rumors dismissed... I guess we'll wait and see

Gosh! So much anticipation. Disappointment is sure to follow.

(Sorry, got up on the wrong side of the bed this a.m.)

I think it's great that camera companies are looking to the past to design the typical ugly digital cameras. For now though, I'll stick with my OM-1 handed to me by my father in law. It served him well, served my wife well in high school photography classes, and is now working like a champ for me.

I cannot see Olympus ever creating again a camera that is as much a joy to use as my om-4.

Honestly, I think Pentax/Ricoh (Leica nonwithstanding, I will probably never be able to afford an M rangefinder, much less a bunch of summicron glass) will be the first camera manufacturers to make something spot on. It appears Fuji will continue to only get agonizingly close.

"I'm waiting for a digital FM3a.":
Was that comment mine?

I bought a GX1 last month, so of course the new Olympus will be practically perfect in every way...

"This is what Leica did with the M9 as soon as they were able to."

Yeah ... isn't it paradoxical that Leica, of all camera companies, is so far ahead of anyone else?

Lens makers can mass-produce their products with a variety of bayonet mounts to choose from. Why can't someone make a straight simple plain-jane no-frills no-nonsense no-autofocus 35-mm-format digital camera with several bayonets to choose from? I'll take mine with Minolta SR bayonet, to use my Rokkor lenses on, thank you very much.

I'm well-invested in the M4/3 universe but an M4/3 OM? Meh. Full-frame OMD? Maybe. Fuji has the better idea.

May be wrong to judge this on one photo, but these Olympus digital reruns are getting kinda creepy, they look like digital equivalents of Hollywood set pieces, or worse yet- lite beer. Meanwhile, Fuji is making some truly innovative cameras- what the original OM-1 once was.

I'm sure they'll sell like the proverbial hotcakes.

If it does exactly what an OM1 does in the same way, with the same functionality, I'll bite your hand off - love using my OM1 possibly my favourite camera. However, if it has (much) more functionality than an OM1, I won't be interested.

Reading : "But now Olympus is teasing exactly that—threatening to do for the OM-series what they did for the Pen cameras with the digital Pens." and other posters thinking it's a Four Thirds camera kinda puzzles me.

We read very few rumours going that way (the teaser mentions a camera, not a system) and what seems logical in your sentence "Pen -> digital pen m43, OM -> digital OM 43" also finds little sense commercially.I don't think Olympus would venture, now, into releasing a product parting from the ILC market top-dog system (m43).

The new 12-50mm lens and the fact that no 43 product has been announced in years makes it very, very unlikely it will be a 43 camera IMHO.

Further, that tiny piece of picture that was leaked show a camera which proportions are close to the E-Px series. And we know balance isn't ideal with adapter & legacy 43 lenses.

But why should we care if Olympus is eventually going the high grade route for M43? We'll be getting more and more fine lenses like the 12mm & 45mm. (Ok, the 12-50 isn't all that exciting but not terribly high grade either).

Just my 2cents but I sure hope it's a M43 camera and, like somebody said, 'that it doesn't run on mercury batteries" :-)

I have heard rumours of a new Olympus m4/3 with built in EVF. I think this must be it. Large 100% finder, metal construction, small body size. Quite like my first SLR some 35 years ago (OM-1).

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