Olympus Camera and Lens Rumors from Thom Hogan

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Nikon expert, Micro 4/3 user, and industry pundit Thom Hogan today published his reaction to some of the information (rumors) his sources provided about upcoming Olympus announcements.

    Hogan's sources confirmed prior rumors we cited from Digicame-info.com (Japan) that Olympus would be introducing three new Pen camera models. Apparently one is to be labeled "Lite" (? aka E-PL3), one "Mini" (as previously reported by Digicame-info, ? aka E-PM1), and the third is presumably the E-P3.

    Now for the disappointing part: According to Hogan, the new Olympus cameras will feature the same sensor and same basic features from previous Pen models and are distinguished by little more than modest control and design changes.

    On a brighter note, Hogan states that the upcoming Olympus 12mm f/2 lens is looking good and although not a pancake will be reasonably compact with a 46mm filter size.

    Source: bythom.com (look under the heading "Oy Vey")


    [Thanks Armando]

    [Also seen at 1001 Noisy Cameras]


    Rumor Grade: B

    Rumor Evidence Grading System:
    A = Proven source, rumor extremely likely to be correct
    B = Good source, rumor likely to be correct
    C = New source, rumor plausible
     
  2. georger

    georger Mu-43 Regular

    73
    May 28, 2010
    EP3 Viewfinder?

    After one year of using EP1 and EP2 I can’t separate myself from my Nikons. The primary reason is DSLR’s viewfinder. The EP1’s optical viewfinder lacks information; the EP2’s viewfinder is just awkward and I can’t get used to shooting at arm’s length. I certainly hope that Gods from Olympus will decide to have built in viewfinder in EP3. If not, I will be considering FujiFilm X100 for the next year purchase. I still have Fuji GS645 medium format rangefinder which I liked a lot when I was shooting medium format, so Fuji excellence would not be foreign to me.

    George.
     
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I don't understand the fascination with view finders myself, but Olympus has got to roll out something better. How about better AF, guys? Panasonic left you in the dust, and a solid cam with fast AF and IBIS would be killer.
     
  4. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    1) Some of us find VF are useful--esp. for framing. Which may explain why the history of hand-held cameras' evolution is around new viewfinder systems: EVF, TLR, SLR... For street, fixed rear screens bring us back to Kodak's Box: two lines on the top to show the field.
    2) Better AF? It needs only get faster, thou fast AF can't beat zone focusing for speed...
    3) Panasonic colour-flickering built-in EVF, or low-res ad-on are way worse than Epson/Oly's--this is why we'd like the latter to be better integrated, if not necessarily built-in. As for Pan's screen, tilt and hide features would be welcome on Pens, but I'd rather have it Amoled than touch-screen.
     
  5. benjimouse

    benjimouse Mu-43 Regular

    I think the reason why some people like view finders and some don't also can be explained by short/long sightedness.

    I don't myself have a problem with using my gf1 because I'm hugely short sighted and have glasses. If I look over my glasses I can focus on the screen of the gf while it's touching my nose (lol). If I'm looking thru my glasses 20cms or so is comfortable. I'm sure that if I was long sighted and had to hold the at arms length I'd hate it.

    I wonder if those who find using the gf1, ep1, epl1, ep2, epl2 screens hard to use and prefer the g1, g2, gh1, gh2 are older and struggle to focus on a something closer than arms length?
     
  6. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Pretty much what I've been pessimistically predicting. Good news on the lens front, as with Panasonic yesterday but also like Panasonic the cameras are seemingly going nowhere. If the Hogan rumours are true then why bother with a new camera?
     
  7. Kosta

    Kosta Mu-43 Veteran

    435
    Sep 29, 2010
    Australia
    Food for thought: why bother with a new(er) camera? We won't be advancing a generation, just another iteration. If the current crop of micros can't fill the void, maybe the void is what's evolving to maintain a constant gap ahead of the technology.
    I look at some of these things as nice to have and some as must have. I think my e-pl1 covers my must haves and even gives a little extra.

    I think the only reason I'd buy another digicam would be if I wanted to go full frame or if micro four thirds takes a quantum leap.

    Am looking forward to this new 12mm though!
     
  8. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    There are some strange decisions from both Panasonic and Olympus. Its rare for camera companies to release new products which take a "backward step". For example when Nikon or Canon release a new lower end DSLR they often include features that are new and in lots of ways supercede what their higher models offer. The D7000 and D300 springs to mind.

    Why Panasonic yesterday chose to keep the GF3 at 12MP bewilders me. Surely this was the opportunity to come out with something that would impress its target market. Seriously how many people in the sector they are aiming for really know why a GF3 at 12MP costs what it does and a cheap Kodak compact with 14MP costs a fraction of the price?

    If Olympus are really going to do again what they have been doing in the recent past, and release a "new" camera that is basically a small update to what they already have, then there must be concerns about their future. How will they market them? Whats the headline feature improvements for the ads? Oh its a bit better at high ISO's, the flash is a bit more powerful, its got a new control layout, you can get it in purple with yellow stripes! Hardly going to set the pulse racing is it?

    Do they somehow feel obliged to release a new product because its time? Why not just make a big fuss about the 12mm f/2 lens. This is something genuinely new for m4/3 and something that people have wanted for some time and will get a lot of attention. At the same time they could go back to their current range and offer some serious deals. Make their current products really attractive for new buyers, price wise and get people into the system.

    If they just do another E-PL1 > E-PL2 move they must know that they will get another pretty negative reaction. Thom Hogan is saying:-

    "The cameras, on the other hand, I think are going to underwhelm. I won't go into detail about them, as the feature sets will come out soon enough, but I'm scratching my head over what Olympus was thinking. The Mini isn't really smaller than the Lite, and the Lite isn't lighter than the Mini or even the current E-PL2. Talk about some naming confusion. At least Olympus is moving away from the confusing letter/number combos (though they're still present: E-PM1, E-PL3)"

    Frustrating company Olympus!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. alessandro

    alessandro Mu-43 Regular

    153
    Jan 29, 2010
    Strange they are, perhaps, but you're judging a rumor coming from Tom Hogan. His brother Hulk has got more credibility.
    :rofl:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Exorcize

    Exorcize New to Mu-43

    1
    Jun 14, 2011
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I moved from the E-P1 to the E-P2 to be able to use the VF2, which I find to be very good. Even with the attached VF2, it's still pretty small. I don't use the VF2 all the time, but it sits in the little pouch on the neckstrap of the little bag I keep the E-P2 in. A built in EVF would be nice but it's not top of the list since I got the VF2.
     
  12. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Like anything else, I take what he says with a grain of salt. Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's wrong, and much of what he discusses is personal views or wishful thinking. I understand wishful thinking, because we all have that for the camera of our dreams. I don't sell my personal views as some industry standard, however. He in many cases uses his prowess , experience in tech, and photography skills to believe that his personal views is the direction a company should go.

    He talks much about the NEX and Samsung sensors. Personally, I think their JPEG images are as good or just marginally better than the Panasonic 12mp sensor, even at higher ISOs. As I said over at dpreview, the NEX RAW images are very impressive, but we aren't talking RAW users here, we are talking about those moving up from P&S.

    I do think Thom makes some valid claim with the XZ1, but the problem is from all the forums I have read is that the XZ1 really has destructive NR for JPEGs. I think most P&S users could be happier using an LX5 or XZ1 than a CSC if they don't want to buy more lenses.

    As far as Olympus goes, he's just speculating. Maybe he does have good info, but like any other rumor, I wait until the camera is released. If the E-P3 is just an iterative thing..then that is what Olympus wants to do.
     
  13. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    I will add my name to the list of those who will be very disappointed with Oly if the E-P3 is an 'iterative' release. I like my E-P2 and EVF, but the tradeoffs (no flash control, fragile extension, my own poor eyesight, etc) lead me to want a built in EVF for my next body.

    As noted elsewhere, sensor technology is steadily moving forward - and Oly really needs to move with it to sustain/regain/gain credibility.

    I loved my OM-1 and 2 back in the day. Oly CAN be the small/innovative camera company again. In the meantime, I may have to give up the one remaining unique feature of the Oly bodies: IBIS, and go with the G3 for the near term...

    My 2 cents...
     
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    This is a good point. I've always had good eyesight, but as Father Time chases me down (I'm 53), presbyopia has reared it's ugly head. I can still use the LCD just fine, but for MF I need an EVF with an adjustable diopter setting. Another reason I got the VF2.
     
  15. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Jun 4, 2011
    How do they do their market research? I've read recurring themes in forums for a while for cameras and the companies never seem to get it. Is it that forum users are really a small subset indicative of real buyers or that they are a very small and insignificant part of the market?
     
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    I would like to know this as well. However some companies seem to be more in tune than others with what's being discussed online.
     
  17. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I think its a potential to buy to those who will buy type of mentality. The potential is huge if the smaller cameras attract the point and shooters. For the forum users, the amount of people is just small, but there is less potential and more a guarantee to purchase. I think companies are looking at more potential for higher volume versus smaller volume but more guaranteed revenue.
     
  18. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    We can only guess at how much notice is taken. But via their various flickr, twitter and facebook presence they do have feedback.

    I'm sure they are aware of what the "enthusiast" market wants, but whether they are in a position to supply it, is what we can never know, unless we work for the company. Things are going to be difficult to say the least for some time for all Japanese companies and they probably go with what they can.

    Olympus seem to have become somewhat "conservative" lately and there seems to be an element of "stick with what you know" going on. That may be one result of this years events plus the general global recession.

    One thing is certain, they will be working on all sorts of ideas, prototypes and upgrades way before anybody outside the company gets even a hint. When and if these appear is dependent on many things and demand > supply is only a part of that.

    I've said previously, that I think, just turning out a "slightly refreshed" camera isn't maybe the greatest way to keep their "visibility" and they should concentrate on what they have that is new and interesting. A 12mm f/2 would certainly fit into that catergory.

    Maybe a slightly improved E-P3 plus that will be all we get in the near future, and Panasonic got a whole lot of attention yesterday for a camera that wasn't really that radically different what what they've released before and an interesting lens. An E-P3, cheaper E-PL3 and a small multi-coloured "mini" version plus the new lens will get them a whole heap of attention and publicity, even though many of us would be hoping for more.

    At least they are still going and moving forward, if somewhat slowly. I don't rely on them for my living so I can afford to say "Go for it" bring on that radical new camera we all crave. If it doesn't sell, it makes no difference to me, but the people who make the decisions at Olympus have jobs and livelihoods in their hands and may take a more circumspect view.

    Lots of people tell me that I should do this and change that and how its obvious I'll make a pile of cash doing it and my usual reaction is to do what I was going to anyway. I guess asking a multi-national to do anything different is a bit presumptious.
     
  19. georger

    georger Mu-43 Regular

    73
    May 28, 2010
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QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> *******> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} ********> <![endif]--> It is shooting at arm's length which gets to me. With viewfinder you see more image details, camera setting details, with trained other eye not to see (some needs to close the other eye like at a microscope) your image viewing eye sees only the image, not just 3" LCD as a portion of your full eye image at arm’s length. I can simply frame a picture better with a viewfinder. Additional benefits are ability to anchor a camera at your head to minimize vibration and being immune from not seeing LCD in bright days.
    Both viewfinders on EP1 and EP2 are accessories, and indeed they are just accessories. I almost lost them a couple of times.
    I used cameras for long time and they always had a “viewfinder”. From my experience perspective an LCD display will never be a substitute for a viewfinder.
    George.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. MaxElmar

    MaxElmar Mu-43 Regular

    61
    May 18, 2011
    New Jersey, USA
    No problem, just don't buy buy until they offer something compelling. I'm really happy with my E-pl2.... which incidentally focuses just as fast (with the 14/2.5 and 14-42 II) as my friend's G2 does with the Panasonic kit lens....Perhaps folks fussing over the focus performance of their E-P2 should just pony up for the new lens...

    With Nikons I just skip sensor iterations (I skipped 10 and 14 mpx) and I only bought sensors late in their product cycle as the engineers get to know them better- with Olympus, looks like I can just wait until I really need a new camera. By then, maybe there will be a compelling reason to upgrade.

    Still loving both systems and leveraging their strengths.