OLYMPUS MICRO FOURTHIRDS
what's coming in june??
This is a piece I put on the website in the days leading up to the EP-1 release; shortly afterwards we were all reminded that the release date and all the other stuff was not yet in the public domain - so I removed the article. Now the EP-1 release is done and dusted I thought it may interest some readers to see the Olympus 'heritage' stuff. This is the article:
It's common knowledge that Olympus is set to announce their version of the Micro Fourthirds camera in Berlin on June 15th 2009. In a build up to the event the company has been releasing a series of 'heritage' documents charting their history from the earliest microscope days in 1919.
2009 marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the company and the 50th anniversary of the release of the Olympus Pen camera - the half-frame that put Olympus on the world stage and launched the 'modern' era for the company. It seems fitting therefore, to celebrate these two landmark historical events with the introduction of a new type of camera which Olympus hopes to be an industry changing event.
The heritage documents seem to be strongly pointing towards the PEN series brought to life by the talented Yoshihisa Maitani in 1959. I believe the new camera will have strong design links with both the original Pen Viewfinder camera and the later incarnation of the half-frame development, the SLR Pen models F/FT/FV. The illustration above is a composite image taken from the concept model shown last year and looks to be modelled directly on the 1967 Pen EED, acknowledged by many as the most sophisticated camera of the age.
If the camera is indeed a blend of Viewfinder Pen and SLR Pen it will be more like a rangefinder style than DSLR as the Pen SLR had no prism hump, being totally flat topped. This may bode well for those who are longing for a mainstream digital 'rangefinder' style camera with the bonus feature of using interchangeable lenses.
Please browse the following documents and see for yourself; the documents are well worth a read to get a brief idea of the company's heritage and provide a fascinating insight into Olympus camera development with maybe a hint as to what is coming.
Please note I have no other information other than what appears here; any suspicions I have about what the new camera may look like or is how it might be specified are only my personal ideas.
I've included the documents as PDF's so you can download them to keep if you wish.
The earliest years of microscope development, the establishment of trading names, trademarks and factories.
Start of the photographic era in 1936 with the first Zuiko lens and folding camera to the 1940's 35mm offering.
Looks at the half-frame revolution started by the Olympus Pen camera, brainchild of Yoshihisa Maitani.
Explores the M1 and OM1, the OM system through to the top of the OM line, the OM4.
Looks at some of the limited edition celebration cameras and bids farewell to film.
Welcomes the digital era.
Over the years Olympus has developed many 'world first' cameras that may add something to the new cameras coming out of the Japanese camera division R&D labs as they look back over many years of heritage. Here are some of them:
SOME RECENT HISTORY
In August 2008 there was an interesting interview by DCWatch of Ogawa Harou of Olympus, Japan about the forthcoming release of MicroFourThirds. It still makes interesing reading; you can go to that article here .
NOTE: This article seeks nothing other than to inform. Only you can decide what equipment you want/need for your use. I own most of these cameras/lenses, out of my own pocket; I have nothing to gain or lose by publishing this article, photographs, examples or opinion.