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Tuesday, 26 May 2009


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Don't worry Mike - right this moment an anxious japanese executive is speaking nervously on the phone to an illustrator and saying: "Cancel the vacation! We need you to come back to the studio for one more animation..."

To tweak your message slightly, I'm not worried the concert won't take place, I'm worried it won't be the Rolling Stones OR Elton John, but rather a Phish cover band.

In other words, I'm not worried as to whether the site is a teaser campaign for the new Micro 4/3 Olympus. I'm confident it is. I'm worried that when it arrives, the new Micro 4/3 Olympus won't be as good as I hope/expect it to be. I'm mainly concerned that:

- It will be too big (a la the Panasonic G1 and GH-1*)
- It will come with a big, slow zoom lens instead of a nice, fast, pancake prime
- The controls will be awkward or counter-intuitive
- Autofocus will be slow
- The screen (the stand-in for an actual viewfinder) will be small and/or low resolution

Still, my hopes are up and I'm keeping my fingers crossed....


* I'm sure this isn't what Olympus is going for, but the teaser site has actually increased my anxiety in this regard. The connection with the Olympus Pen has me worried that the new Micro 4/3 Olympus will be too dSLR-like. I rather liked the concept camera that Olympus was showing around and hope they don't stray too far from that.

If that truly was meant to be a teaser for the new Micro 4/3rds Camera, I find it odd that it's only found on the Olympus Asia site. You'd think they would roll it out across all their web sites? More likely, the final three spots will be filled with the PEN D, PEN EM, and PEN F. They'll skip the EES and FT, since those were upgrades to previous models.

But who knows... I guess we'll find out more on June 2nd.

Well, I'm hoping the coming Oly 4/3 camera at least follows the spirit of the old PEN. We should know soon enough.

wasn't that the big problem w/ the edsel back in the 50's? All that hype led to greater expectations than the car could deliver, causing a premature demise of the product line.

> my son thinks Harleys are "for really old, fat guys with gray beards"

Hey! I resemble that comment!


Concerning the Rolling Stones and your son's opinion about Harleys ...

Last fall I was travelling through a big railway station with a number of 24/7 stores, including a big book/multimedia store. Their main window front was decorated with lots of Fantasy literature ("Harry Potter, LOTR and derivatives"), and in one corner they had a big screen advertising and showing parts of "Shine a Light".

I could barely control myself to laugh not too loud about this very fitting setup of Dragons and Dragons ... maybe the Stones nowadays are in a way not too far from your son's idea of Harley clients.

Concerning the PEN video ... it's funny how this reflects the Colorless Green Photographs post: How would you think about the Olympus videos without the MFT context?

Ha ha ha...choosing Elton John for the Harley Davidson anniversary concert...what a hoot! As usual, ya gotta hand it to management!

Only Five more?
You are leaving these out
Olympus Pen S
Olympus Pen D2
Olympus Pen W
Olympus Pen D3
Olympus Pen FV
Olympus Pen EED
Olympus Pen EES-2
Olympus Pen EE-2

Granted, some of them are not that different, the FV looks like the FT but is speced like the F from what I can tell, but some like the W are pretty neat with a wide angle lens and black body.

Olympus was an innovator. As to its current ability to stay alive is anybody's guess.
I had a Pen F, until some lard-ass stole. Later found the Olympus Trip 35 was ideal, both for general photography and for teaching classes about photography. I think I had over 100 of the little darlings for teaching basic film and shutter techniques. Over time they failed or were dropped or ended up in pieces.
Mind that was over a period of ten years teaching two semesters a year. Students had to know how to load the camera, take the photograph (they were bulk-loaded rolls of Plus-X-12), remove the film, process and print. As well frame the view for presentation. Still have a T35 somewhere round here, that was over 30 years ago!

Am I that old?

We're seeing some of this same effect on the Pentax discussion boards. Rumors started circulating that it'd have a optical glass viewfinder with an EVF overlay (for histogram info, highlight/lowlight indication, etc.), a weird square viewfinder, and so on. When it turns out to be a basically normal camera with nice specs and a couple minor clever tricks, the reaction is disappointment — even though it looks to fit what people really might want a lot more than Elton John fits in your story.

I believe Olympus have deliberately linked the Pen series and the upcoming m4/3 compact, so they can take the blame for expectations. Surely it's no coincidence that these serialized Pen tribute videos were scheduled for the weeks just before the announcement.

For what it's worth, here's the babelfish of the Japanese article I URL'ed in a previous thread (http://www.digitalcamera.jp/html/HotNews/backno/HotNews090501-31.htm):

'It depends on the philosophy of Olympus half size single-lens reflex” PEN”, announcing “[maikurohuosazu] one eye” on June 15th. To July 2nd week sale - President himself Kikukawa, introducing the sale day and sale time and concept etc of “[maikurohuosazu] one eye” in the balancing of accounts briefing of Olympus and 2009 March period. - “[maikurohuosazu] one eye” June 15th announcement. In July 2nd week sale. - By the fact that effort is put into [maikurohuosazu], image business happening dead regeneration. - As for the [maikurohuosazu] machine we would like to make “the concept of half frame camera” PEN” of silver salt age take over. In the camera which had the philosophy of Olympus PEN”. - “The compact camera user thinks that 3 tenths would like to use single-lens reflex strongly. Price is high, large it is heavy, in the reason that step-up it has not done in single-lens reflex operation is complicated. We would like to develop this layer in the target”, that it notiifies. - In the balancing of accounts briefing as for President Kikukawa, concerning the appearance of the mock-up which is the [purezen] data “as for me just a little [dasa] it is and with thinks” that comment. “This is not last edition, it changes rather”, that suggesting the modification of appearance design. -6 month 15 day announcement. July 2nd week sale.'

Honestly, Mike, you slay me. You are too funny. The only thing of remote value I have to add is a semi-vintage MacWorld column that observed "And while we’re at it, Apple never explicitly promised you free cake, but you really, really like free cake. So, Steve Jobs, where’s the free cake? Huh? Where? Is? The? Free? Cake?" http://www.macworld.com/article/133415/2008/05/spotlight2506.html.

Funny thing: in a press release, I've received a 1961 ad for Pen EE that says: "Young Ladies Camera". (No apostrophe in the ad.)

The same press release says that before Pen appeared men were buying 98% of cameras. In 1961, after EE came to market, the percentage of women buyers rose to 33%.

Then, take into account the Japanese campaign for E-410 - a young actress, Miyazaki Aoi, uses the camera. And here's the story for Korea, which uses the same premise.

So... it may be that the upcoming MFT will really be a "Candle in the Wind" instead of a "Street Fighting Man" or "Born to Be Wild".

If there was any wishful thinking before that Elton John concert, it wasn't all on the part of the audience...

"Price is high, large it is heavy, in the reason that step-up it has not done in single-lens reflex operation is complicated."

I'll second that.


Olympus ran the Pen anniversary teaser ad in "Amateur Photographer" magazine in the UK, it had a micro four-thirds logo at the top of the ad.

I guess I could scan it if you want to see, but it adds nothing else.

- Steve

At least Elton John can sing. But maybe all that un-muffled engine noise has ruined everyone's hearing and has mad Mick Jagger sound good live.

Elton John actually played at the 100th Anniversary celebration in 2003.

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band played at last summer's 105th, and were (not surprisingly) much better received.

Reminds me of the time Bob Dylan got booed by the faithful when he arrived on stage with an electric guitar!
I'm still betting (hoping) for a digital Pen FT.

Keep your expectations up Mike. Some times it's good to have something to look forward to. If it happens, great! If it doesn't, keep hoping and one day it might just become a reality :)

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