The "Olympus Pro Camera" rumors thread

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by With_Eyes_Unclouded, May 28, 2013.

  1. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
  2. mcumeda

    mcumeda Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    I think it would be great as there are some awesome 4/3 lenses out there. Hopefully the implementation will be nice or at least useable.
  3. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    This sounds like a "mechanical" solution! Hooray for mechnical things! I hope there is a big lever somewhere.

    Question: regardless of distance from focal plane, is the MFT and FT bayonet (and contacts) identical? Meaning, do FT lenses lock in place on a PEN bayonet and vice versa?
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If this is true, it's complete madness feom Olympus. I can guarantee this camera will be much bigger and heavier than the E-M5. I switched to mft to go light. If big and heavy is what you want, then there is nothing wrong with Canonikon! Olympus should concentrate on some top quality MFT zooms and the evolution of the E-M5. Pandering back to FT lenses will only be of minority interest. MFT is different because it's small and light and has IQ close to much bigger cameras.

  5. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    I believe the answer is no, but I'm not 100% clear on this.

    Here is a list of patents filed by Olympus, relevant to this discussion about a possible "hybrid" solution:

    Patent: Is that the ultimative Olympus FT and MFT hybrid solution? | 43 Rumors

    New Olympus patent discloses phase detection and optical viewfinder adapter for MicroFourThirds | 43 Rumors

    Olympus patent: 4/3 to m4/3 adapter with built-in autofocus and image stabilization. | 43 Rumors

    Patent: new Olympus Four Thirds to M43 adapter. | 43 Rumors
  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    No. That's why you need the adapter, the FT lenses have a larger bayonet. I wonder if those invested in FT will be happy with a mirrorless FT solution?
  7. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    We have to perhaps have a poll sometime, to see just how many are these people that have "invested in FT". :confused:

    I hate to insult anybody and I completely understand having put your hard earned money into a system with no real future in itself... But from what I can understand:

    1) Most people have bought the lower grade FT bodies (E-xxx, E-xx) and a few of the basic range of lenses
    2) Less people have invested in a couple of HG lenses
    3) A considerably small population has heavily invested in top of the line bodies and SHG lenses

    If someone has real data, please correct me if I'm wrong on the assumptions above and below.

    By now, most of the people in the first two categories have either practically moved away from FT (to either other DSLRs or :43:) or, to be blunt, they don't care (i.e. typical entry-level DSLR+kit lens buyers). That leaves people in the 3rd category which are either professionals, or, let's face it, filthy rich enthusiasts. :tongue:

    I know of a number of pros that have moved to :43: esp. with the arrival of the OM-D, while perhaps keeping the FT system as a backup/secondary system. I also know of a couple of big names (former Olympus "ambassadors" or whatever) that have jumped ship to other brands.

    I find it totally impossible to believe there is a new market for FT cameras. With FF camera bodies below 1500 of your whatever currency, it just doesn't make sense... Making a camera for a few thousand FT diehards is not exactly... clever. I'm trying to be superhumanly polite here...

    All that said, I do believe there is a market for SHG or HG lenses and if Olympus gave us a mirrorless camera (i.e. :43:) that could somehow use these lenses at their full potential, this could be briliant. It just doesn't need to sacrifice :43: advantages to accomplish this goal.
  8. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    the 300mm f2.8.....yum.
  9. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    You have overlooked the possibility that olympus and its retailers may have a fairly substantial overstock of 4/3 lenses and needs to sell them at a profit vs a loss hence by making 4/3 a viable option, then they can again sell HG and SHG glass that has been produced how many years ago. Remember we are consumers, olympus is a supplier. They may need to find a way to move the 4/3 glass that is sitting around costing to be stored. Or maybe I'm just a babbling fool!
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    So? This rumored camera is expected to succeed the E-5, NOT the E-M5.

    And it's more than just a rumor too. Olympus staff have already stated that the successor to the E-5 would support both mounts. The "rumors" part is simply in the details.
  11. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    If you refer to my previous post, first, obviously you are not a fool, and your assumptions about FT stock are totally valid IMO. Of course, you only need a camera capable of using FT lenses "natively" (with whatever method), not an actual new FT camera.

    If what you mean is that Olympus knows they will take a financial hit with this, but make up for it by selling overstock FT lenses, I'm not sure this will work out. R&D for a new camera, especially an involved one like this, isn't really cheap. Not to mention all the other costs of marketing and support.

    Ned, it's interesting to voice your opinion on this, since you are a pro FT user. How would you (a) personally and (b) realistically such a camera pan out, as far as technical specifics are concerned?
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, maybe I'm guilty of viewing my needs as the market's needs, but my more reasoned point is this:

    If you're in the market for a full-size interchangeable lens camera, then Canon, Nikon and even Sony have a fantastic range to choose from. If Oly want to compete in this market, then sure, let's have something that's not an E-M5 but that takes FT lenses and has an FT-sized sensor. In fact, we may as well call that a Four Thirds camera, since that's exactly what it is. Trouble is, FT was not a success 4 years ago and it's even less relevant now. It has no USP. The cameras are not much smaller than APSC bodies from the big players and the resulting market is small.

    Maybe FT users would like a shiny new E series camera, but I think that's a tiny market. Why, if I can choose a Canon or Nikon (or Sony) camera with a rock-solid reputation and width of lenses/accessories, would I buy an Oly that's just a 'me too' and with a smaller sensor to boot?

    MFT has succeeded where FT hasn't because of the size issue. Period. Why do Oly think there's mileage in changing that? Small bodies, great compact lens range and fantastic IQ has to be where Oly can carve a niche n'est pas?

    I endeth my case your honour!

    Of course, if this new camera is not the size of a D700 and weighs less than a sack of potatoes, then I'll eat humble pie and immediately go out and buy one.
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Actually, Four-Thirds did have a very strong following, and still does. Do you realize how many Olympus users switched to Canon and Nikon simply because of the limited choice in 4/3 bodies after Olympus introduced the m4/3 format? Four-Thirds users were using Four-Thirds BY CHOICE because they love the system and very often because they love the glass. All they wanted was a good lineup of new bodies to use that glass on. If we chose the system it was because we saw the advantages of it over other systems, not because we couldn't get our hands on a Canikon.

    No they were never any kind of market leader. For one thing they entered the DSLR world VERY late, not producing their first DSLR until 2003 long after Canon and Nikon had cornered the market. One reason for this was their desire to build a system 100% from the ground up, rather than simply taking their old SLR technology and slapping on a digital back. They were definitely a boutique manufacturer, and as much as I love the fact that they have now gone mainstream that does not dis-validate the great system they had built as a boutique manufacturer, especially that fine Zuiko Digital glass.

    Yes there is a market for a new Four-Thirds body. In fact, people have been crying and yelling for it for so long, and many have switched systems for no other reason that they haven't been seeing many new 4/3 bodies come out. Not because they preferred Canon or Nikon in any way - otherwise they would have been using Canon or Nikon from the start.

    Now just to make things clear, I was a Four-Thirds user and I stopped buying 4/3 bodies only because I found m4/3 to be more beneficial. Just like you, I saw much more advantage to m4/3 than 4/3, personally. However, I certainly understand how those others felt who wanted to stick with only 4/3. It was a fine system, and still is. It's not Canon, Nikon, Sony, or Pentax, and it has its own advantages, disadvantages, and character. This is a free market, and choice is good to have.
  14. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Ned although I don't disagree with your points, esp. the Zuiko glass, how do you mean this:

    What was the "strong following" by DSLR market share, at its peak? And how do you mean "still does"? People still using FT or just admiring Olympus' efforts, which resulted in many technological feats but -let's admit it- a failure in the marketplace?
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The way I see it is this... the camera cannot be a DSLR or have a mirrobox if it is compatible with m4/3 mount, unless they make a "modular" system (think Ricoh) where a mirrorbox with 4/3 mount can be slipped in (this was thought to be the solution years ago in the rumor sites, but was abandoned after a while).

    From what little information has been leaked, it doesn't sound like the modular system is going to happen so I assume they have revamped the CDAF system in such a way that it works better with 4/3 lenses, enough that they think they can call it a replacement for the DSLR. I can only hope the rest of us can agree when that comes out. :) The new E-P5 is said to work up to 40% faster with PDAF lenses already, so it seems like they have made some sort of technological advancements in that field.
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Basically, I mean that Four-Thirds was a success on a different level. The market for Olympus back in those days was much smaller. They were not competing in the mainstream market, but in a niche market. Basically, it's like they were a success as an Indie band and had a huge following for an amateur band but still could not touch the pros signed on major record labels.

    Now of course we would not want Olympus to go back to those days as that would be a huge step backwards from where they are now... However, I don't feel that we can say that their lack of success was due to their system being flawed. It just didn't stand out like the Pen and OM-D did, which was significant enough to throw them into the limelight. The Four-Thirds system should never and I'm sure never will become Olympus' core system again, but they can't just ignore all their fans who persisted and supported their system until they made a break of it. Those are the Four-Thirds users - the indie fans who knew them before they were famous. :)

    In other words - I think it's only the right thing for them to "throw us a bone" as Four-Thirds users. Not to change their core business in m4/3, but to retain 4/3 support on the side. They still have a lot of great pro glass which needs an updated home.
  17. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    First off, there was a link about the AF improvements on the E-P5 but I can't find it. :frown: Could you provide it if possible?

    What this "hybrid super camera" would be we cannot say with any degree of certainty, but, IMHO, it could be one of two things:

    1) Real FT DSLR, with a type of "composite" mount, and ability to lift the mirror for CD-AF use of :43: lenses. This would be coupled with a hybrid type of viewfinder (similar to the one in the Fuji X100). Variant of the above could be a (moving) pelicle type mirror (so only EVF, like a Sony SLT), and I seem to recall some such patent from a while ago.

    My honest opinion: this would be a fail of totally epic proportions, and would cost more than a Nikon D800 or they'll have to sell them at a significant loss per unit.

    2) Mirrorless with something like an "integrated adapter" of sorts. This will mean EVF only and any PD-AF would be on sensor. Now, we all now Oly is in bed with Sony. We also Sony is planning on moving to full mirrorless sometime in 2014, for their Alpha line. It wouldn't be too crazy to assume an improved on sensor PD-AF technology on such a camera, which is even easier than on a FF sensor, due to smaller sensor size.

    This would work fine as a E-5 replacement, IMHO. But "much larger size" is a deal breaker for a lot of people. Also, how does this differ from using a future version of the E-M5 with the same electronics plus an adapter?
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, very good points.

    I do remember that the AF improvements of the E-P5 were first published in a photography magazine. I'll see if I can figure out which one, but it doesn't come to mind right away. I think it said 20-40% faster due to new algorithms?
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    This is an interesting thread (even if it is all hypothetical).

    Ned - thanks for the E series history. I accept that Oly was somewhat late into the DSLR market - but I don't think it was by that much. When it was launched in 2003, the digital SLR market was very small; overall segment sales didn't really start to climb until 2004/5. My conclusion is that if Oly's share never got above 'Indy' levels, it wasn't entirely due to being late to market. Quite why it failed I don't know, but it was probably some combination of marketing muscle and availability of lenses and accessories. I accept that the E system has/had features that the Canonikon crowd don't have, but the fact is that it has failed as a volume seller and generator of profit for Oly.

    MFT on the other hand has achieved some good degree of penetration and in the E-M5 Oly have a truly class-leading camera that has won converts from other formats. Given Oly's shaky financial position, it would make more sense to me to pursue this winning strategy rather than hark back to FT.

    Anyhow, it's all speculation. Whatever the new camera is or isn't I think we can all agree on want Olympus to succeed - the alternative is to watch our eqpt dwindle in value and comparative performance to the rest.
  20. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    It's the glass stupid - or words to that effect ;-).

    I'm new to Oly D-non-SLRs. I had some older Oly film gear, loved it, got tired of lugging it around and then used various point and shoot digital cameras. I also used a bunch of the early Kodak digital backs through work as well (DCS420/460). I am neither a pro nor wealthy so they were a little out of my price range ;-). There is a truism that the camera you have with you takes a much better picture than the one you left at home because you did not want to carry it. The iphone picture count on the internet is a testament to that.

    I recently bought a compact camera in between m4/3 and APS-C and I was really impressed by what you could do with it. At the same time the focus speed and lack of reach are really limiting factors. I had vowed many years ago not to go back down the large system camera path because the bulk limits creativity, but I found myself looking at them again - 5DMk3, L series glass etc. I also wanted something weather sealed. So I decided to take another look at the OM-D, but I was really not impressed by the longer lenses. Then I stumbled on some shots taken with the 50-200 FT lens and the OM-D body. Damn are they very impressive. They were everything I was not seeing in the longer MFT glass, sharp, rich and detailed. Yes they are big, but not as big as full frame, and you have to have the light gathering ability of a large objective lens to get faster glass.

    These lenses seamlessly mated to a small 4/3 body would be pretty much ideal. As it is I am quite happy to live with the focus performance to get the reach and clarity with these lenses on the OM-D body (my focus speed issues with the compact are close up not at longer distances). The fast small m43 primes are very nice too, but the larger zooms are pretty soft, and slow. The FT zooms are really fantastic, and even as a newcomer, I can see why keeping them alive is a real plus. The glass makes the system.
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