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The Latest Olympus Rumors

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    June 30th is quickly approaching, and we are pretty certain that Olympus will announce new Pens and at least one lens at that time.

    Multiple sources are indicating that three Pens will be announced: E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM3. Today, 43 Rumors gave an update about some of the information from its sources.

    The most interesting information, given by a source rated as 61-80% reliable, was that all the new Pens would be using a completely new Olympus sensor "not sharing anything with Panasonic". In my opinion, there could be no better news than this for the health of our Micro 4/3 system. Although Olympus and Panasonic are partners in our system, they are also competitors, and so far only the very first Panasonic Micro 4/3 sensor (from the G1) has made it into an Olympus product. The GH1, GH2, and G3 sensors have not. This dependence on their chief competitor for sensors hasn't been good for Olympus or our system as a whole.

    That said, I won't believe this one until I see proof. Others including Thom Hogan have implied that the sensor hasn't substantially changed. 43 Rumors has in the past referred to it as a "tweaked" sensor, which usually implies a minor change to the AA filter in tandem with an upgrade to the JPEG engine. Bottom line: I hope to see this one pan out, but I'm rating is as low likelihood (Grade C).

    The same 43 Rumors source is indicating that Olympus will have a "dedicated, zoom button for zooming in when you are in the green box mode? button location below the record button". It's a long shot, but I'm wondering if this could be the return of digital zoom. I've been wondering for a long time now whether digital zoom could be the answer for keeping most people happy with a small, wide angle prime like the Oly 17mm f/2.8. Many wouldn't realize the difference between that and the optical zoom on their "point and shoot" cameras.

    One thing all the sources seem to be saying is that the autofocus with the new Pens is extremely fast (Grade A). It has been described several times as "faster than the GH2", a camera which along with the G3 and GF3 autofocuses faster than all prior Micro 4/3 cameras. If true, this would be another great development for our system.

    Lastly, we have the lens rumors. Multiple sources have confirmed that we will see a 12mm f/2 lens from Olympus. Expect it to be high performance with a cost to match. According to 43 Rumors, we can also expect a $300 Olympus 45mm f/1.8 non-macro lens (Grade B). This too would be huge for our system, adding a relatively inexpensive AF portrait lens. At that point, Micro 4/3 would have all the basic lens positions covered with the exception of fast zooms.

    Less than a week to go until the announcements!

    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
    • Like Like x 2
  2. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Great summary, Amin.

    I hadn't thought of this interpretation. My assumption was that this button is the same as on the E-Plx's: an improvement on the 'OK' button for toggling the manual focus close-up mode. I hope that you're right!

    I'm also hoping the Oly makes the easy changes that help with legacy lenses, eg, releasing focus close-up with half-press of shutter. Ideally, we'd have something like the G3 picture in picture mode, which maintains both a close-up and regular view of the scene. :2thumbs:

    Exciting times....!
  3. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    I am super excited for the E-PM1... But I am bummed it seems to not have a built in flash...
  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Can't wait to see what happens. I was hoping for an inexpensive 12mm lens, not a high grade lens. I guess I'll have to wait. The portrait lens will be nice though.
  5. MaxElmar

    MaxElmar Mu-43 Regular

    May 18, 2011
    New Jersey, USA
    Don't really care how fast it focuses on a stationary object. (I find my E-PL2 to be just fine in that department with the 14/2.5 or kit zoom) Let's see it actually track something moving. DSLR folks still laugh pretty hard when the see those YouTube review videos of how fast an m43 camera focuses - being that the camera is basically in a studio with good light on a tripod pointed at stationary, inanimate object with good contrast a few feet away. Under those conditions I can focus a 1936 Leica IIIa about that fast... faster, really, since that camera has a real distance scale on the lens and I can pre-focus.

    So hopefully, we'll see some, uh, "movement" in that area. :rofl: (The AF assist definitely counts as real progress!)

    I read about someone getting PDAF out of a regular sensor by masking a few of the pixels - I hope someone is pursuing that idea.

    Now the sensor thing is very interesting to me. I certainly hope that a new sensor supplier is arriving. Competition in that area would be the best thing to happen to m43.
  6. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    no integrated EVF?
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    You're lumping together three different issues here: 1) Lighting conditions; 2) Subject movement; 3) Subject contrast. Compared to my K-5 (now sold) and my dad's 5D II, I find that my GH2 AF is superior to that of both DSLRs in locking focus in low light, and I've noticed no problems with locking on low contrast subjects. Only in tracking moving subjects like people running towards the camera, birds in flight or airshows does it clearly suffer by comparison. Improvement in that regard will help our system's versatility, but not everyone does the types of photography where current CDAF is limited.
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Correct, no integrated EVF.

    Apparently the E-PL3 (but not the others) will have a flip LCD (? like the NEX), and the E-P3 (but not the E-PL3) will have an integrated flash.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, CDAF is both faster and more accurate than PDAF in low-light. Even when PDAF gets a lock in low-light, it could be way off focus. I find it interesting how before Mirrorless everybody was always complaining about low light AF and gauging the effectiveness of an AF system by its low-light ability. Now that CDAF has become a contender and offers better low-light AF speed, nobody ever talks about low-light AF anymore and only complains about how much slower CDAF is (in bright light). Seems to me that people just want to hate on the system.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    Let's give Olympus another year, I bet 2 out of 3 lines will be upgraded. Maybe E-P4 will have a flip LCD. Oly's stance on the flash in E-P3 reminds me of Canon 5d and, what with E-PL3 and E-PM1, maybe it's the correct position... Frankly, those small built-in ones don't impress. The good news is, apparently, there will be another, less expensive flash.
  11. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I'm very excited about the new Olympus sensor... Can't wait to see the IQ of these new cams, especially with the first (S)HG lens for m4/3rds from Olympus.

    Not long now!


  12. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Behind all this excitement to wait the first leak picture and the release date of E-XX3 Pen series, my wallet crying out aloud. :biggrin:
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