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Old Jan 3, 2007, 10:42 PM   #1
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Given the apparent success in sales terms, of the Leica M8
Is there room for another high end rangefinder, this time from Olympus ?
And are there good reasons to do this ?

In the golden age of rangefinder cameras Olympus had an unspectacular inhabitance of this market region. And just when we could all but believe that this sector of cameras was all but dead and buried, along came the Epson RD1, and with some distance the Leica M8.

These are not cheap large run manufacture cameras by any means, with the Leica copping a huge US$5k per example.....and then you need glass at US$2k a pop ! Yet, despite many problems with this camera, there is a waiting list, quite rightly aided by the remarkable resolution quiped as 'close to a medium format', which is a big call.

With Sony and others looking for a piece of the action within the dSLR market, and the threat that they will take Olympus's third place (already have in Japan) a step sidways, into a relatively simple to engineer camera to broaden the scope of the range could be a worthwhile step. Particularly for all those Leica M8 wannabes who cant or wont front the $5k.

For Olympus this would provide a good reason to get back into fast primes that were much more common in the OM era, enhancing the dSLR range with an advantage that the other dSLR manufacturers cant do as well. Where for instance, FF doesnt do ultra-wide very well, thats is after all, the reason d'entre for the four-thirds formula.

It is entirely possible, that even with a premium on a four-thirds rangefinder, they could become the principle volume rangefinder manufacturer, with what amounted to little more than a large sensor point and shoot, with interchangeable FT lenses, and the usual solid Olympus construction techniques.

I guess it goes without saying, that some of the usual Olympus fetures we have come to enjoy would be desirable. Rugged construction, the self cleaning sensor, the quality glass, and integration of the accessory shoe mount TTL flash would set it appart from Leica and Epson. Access to Kodak's sensor technology and the longer register of Olympus glass is a tantalising feature of this proposal.

An enviable backup body for the coming E3 perhaps, but a prime tool for a large population of wedding, reportage and street photographers also.

Riley




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Old Jan 5, 2007, 11:34 AM   #2
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Hi Riley

Hey, you know both Oly and Pana/Leica missed the boat with this one, well Pana/Leica at least. I think the L1/D3 should have been pretty similar to what you described using 4/3's and I know a lot of people had prior to its announcemnet had hoped it was to be a lot more compact in size than what eventually became the current L1/D3 - esp that lovely Leica D lens. Who knows they may just do something like that - produce a smaller L2/D4 and with more compact sized lenses aka as the E400 and its new kit lenses.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Jan 5, 2007, 11:53 AM   #3
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hi Harj
yep, theyre so busy packing in features off a list
they forget cameras should be fun
they shouldnt think so much about 'me too' products
and try something different

that after all was the secret to LC1 success

Riley

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Old Jan 5, 2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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Hi Riley

You've got it spot on and I know a lot of LC1/D2 users were disappointed that the L1/D3 was a lot bigger in size/weight. I think if they could have kept to the same proportions as the LC1/D3 with smaller/fast lenses then they could have been onto a winner.

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Harj

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Old Jan 5, 2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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yes Harj
I dont think L1 or D3 got anything like the same reception as D2 did
people out at Leica User are picking some up more or less by default. Despite $1k US more money for the red dot.

I picked Oly as the builder of this camera because such a design might cause tensions between the Leica-Panasonic relationship

and Leica are probably a bit committed now what with M8 and the coming DMR. Canon/Nikon will be defending against Pentax/Sony in the dSLR market. Oly actually need something quick to develop to stand their ground

as an aside, much Oly gear around very cheap, FL50 and 36 flash, deals on dSLRs
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Old Jan 5, 2007, 7:24 PM   #6
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boys, i would love a 4/3 rangefinder. but leica (even if bigger than 4/3) is too expensive

p.s. small in size, quiet and inconspicuous
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