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Old May 28, 2009, 6:09 AM   #1
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Default Olympus' Micro four thirds speculation

Here is an interesting perspective on what Olympus' upcoming M43 camera might feature including speculation on 2 prime lenses that will be part of the release in June....

http://zone-10.com/cmsm/index.php?op...d=427&Itemid=1

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Old May 28, 2009, 8:42 AM   #2
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.........thanks for the post Zig, for me that was very interesting.
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Old May 28, 2009, 1:20 PM   #3
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However, a two step introduction, with the basic model being announced in mid June and the second, or improved model being released for the Christmas market could produce sort of a Panasonic G-1 then GH-1 scenario. Panasonic found that that strategy was costly in terms of less than expected sales.

IMO, while the micro4/3 introduction is important. However, it might cut into and reduce E-620 sales, as people hold off on a buying decision, pending the release of the new micro4/3 camera model. I am finding myself in that exact situation. I have decided to hold off on my E-620 buying decision, pending the micro4/3 introduction.

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Old May 28, 2009, 3:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
However, a two step introduction, with the basic model being announced in mid June and the second, or improved model being released for the Christmas market could produce sort of a Panasonic G-1 then GH-1 scenario. Panasonic found that that strategy was costly in terms of less than expected sales.

IMO, while the micro4/3 introduction is important. However, it might cut into and reduce E-620 sales, as people hold off on a buying decision, pending the release of the new micro4/3 camera model. I am finding myself in that exact situation. I have decided to hold off on my E-620 buying decision, pending the micro4/3 introduction.

Sarah Joyce
To me, the early success of the Olympus version of micro4/3 will hinge largely on the design of the body and the release of a couple of small, fast primes. By that I mean, if the body style is similar to a rangefinder equipped with a 17mm f2.0 lens prime, then I think it will get a lot of attention and early adopters will buy a bunch of them (presuming the price isn't outrageous). I also beleive that the early buyers will be existing Oly users and /or older folks that remember the form and function of a rangefinder. As mentioned in a number of articles now, the micro4/3 sghould be equipped with the new Panasonic sensor-that with a couple of fast primes would make this new camera a compelling product and alternative to the G-1
It seems logical to me that folks who currently have leica glass would also be looking and waiting to see what June 15th brings.

Just my .02cents
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Old May 28, 2009, 4:42 PM   #5
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Nice find zig.... I'd be dissappointed if the primes were not faster than f2.0 but I think from first indications from Oly were going to see consumer grade glass from then - theyre aiming for a different group compared even to Panasonic. I'm hoping I'll be proved wrong and that they do produce a cam that does seriously rock - small, has HD video, articulated screen and fast small lenses.

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Old May 28, 2009, 4:53 PM   #6
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Nice find zig.... I'd be dissappointed if the primes were not faster than f2.0 but I think from first indications from Oly were going to see consumer grade glass from then - theyre aiming for a different group compared even to Panasonic. I'm hoping I'll be proved wrong and that they do produce a cam that does seriously rock - small, has HD video, articulated screen and fast small lenses.

Hi Harj,

Based on past releases, I'm not expecting anything other than a 14-45mm3.5-5.6 lens. So a lens faster than a 2.0 prime lens for an initial offering would be something out of the oridnary for Oly.

Frankly, I'm with you. If Olympus comes out with a say, 25mm 1.4 that, would get a lot of peoples attention.

We shall see.
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Old May 28, 2009, 7:32 PM   #7
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A couple of points.

I don't see why Olympus would produce a prime lens faster than F2. If this new micro 4/3 camera is to be small, then it is not logical to then produce a big, fast prime lens. If it's F2, then it can be more like a pancake, and will probably make the whole camera & lens a pocketable camera. I think this is the future of Olympus' micro 4/3 strategy, to make it different to Panasonic, and SMALL.
It makes sense really. That article suggests that the smaller sensor/stabilizer intended for use in the micro 4/3 Olympus has found its way into the E-620 as well, leading to a future of even smaller DSLRs from Olympus. So, why have a larger micro 4/3 camera, with bigger lenses, an F1.4 prime for example? Surely this is a better bet in the DSLR line of cameras. I think the placement strategy of models whould be something like:
Big - Olympus DSLR (E-3, E30), Panasonic (L1, L10, soon to be discontinued)
Medium - Olympus DSLR (E-450, E-620)
Smaller - Panasonic (G1 & GH1)
Smallest - New Olympus micro 4/3 (and perhaps something from Panasonic later?)

Harj mentioned "but I think from first indications from Oly were going to see consumer grade glass from them - they're aiming for a different group compared even to Panasonic."
Actually, Panasonic is using "consumer grade glass" themselves in the G1 & GH1, as indicated by the lack of Leica branding on the lenses. And in fact, if you look at the basic kit lens (14-45mm ), it is not a great lens itself. Actually, it has a lot of barrel distortion and some CA, but it's quite sharp center to corner. However, most of the reviews show that the "lens performance" is very good. Why? Because the camera does it's own "in camera" correction of distortion, vignetting & CA, without the user even being aware of it.
For example, from the G1 kit lens, this looks fine, doesn't it? No distortion on the left at 14mm?


However, this is the RAW output, processed not in the bundled RAW software (Silkypix), but a third party program. This shows the ACTUAL lens performance at 14mm:


It's quite different, isn't it??!!!!!
The first image is the output direct from the camera, and also from the SilkyPix program. In both cases the lens data is taken from the RAW file, and automatically "corrected" before the photographer ever sees it. So the very good result is due to the combination of lens AND camera.

This opens up a whole new queston about lens vs processing. So, even if Olympus DOES use "consumer grade" glass, as long as it's SHARP center to edge, then the in camera processing can "fix" any distortion vignetting or CA!!!!
Well, that's if they do the same as Panasonic!!!!

Last edited by dnas; May 28, 2009 at 7:35 PM.
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 9:37 AM   #8
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Here's a bit more speculation!!!!


Olympus Pen E-P1



Possible specs:
- 12 Megapixel
- 100-3200 ISO
- BodyIS
- 3.0 LCD (no swivel) with new improved liveview (IS will work while you use the liveview)
- Same autofocus as the Panasonic G1
- Video 720p
- 2 models, one in silver-black, one beige
- thicker than the Canon G10 or sigma DP2
- 17mm 2.8 lens or 14-42 kit lens
- 990$ body+kit lens


I don't know if this is true, but the speculation continues!!!!!
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnas View Post
A couple of points.


This opens up a whole new queston about lens vs processing. So, even if Olympus DOES use "consumer grade" glass, as long as it's SHARP center to edge, then the in camera processing can "fix" any distortion vignetting or CA!!!!
Well, that's if they do the same as Panasonic!!!!
This in-camera processing of images vs. just having better correct lenses discussion has come up over in the Olympus DSLR forum at DPReview, with the consensus that most would rather have better corrected lenses. The 9-18mm Zuiko is better corrected at much wider effective FOV's than what you showed above, and the two kit lens combination of the 14-42 and 40-150, which costs you all of an extra $100 or so when bought with a body blows that performance away.

The images you posted show an awful lot of bent-line distortion for something shot at a rather pedestrian 14mm, or effective 28mm wide angle field of view, so Panasonic is taking a lot of liberty in not putting an emphasis on lens quality and just having the camera fix everything.

For many prospective buyers of the G1 who will never use RAW capture, this isn't and never will be an issue and I've never had a problem buying compacts like the Panasonic TZ series which is, no doubt, using a lot of in-camera processing in creating the great-looking 28mm wide angle images the TZ5 does. No doubt they are doing it to an even greater extent with the newer TZ7 since it now goes to an even wider 25mm, and we'll never know how much the camera is doing in this case since RAW capture is not an option with the TZ series.

The current Olympus kit lenses, the 14-42 and 40-150, prove that good distortion correction does not necessarily mean having to charge a lot of money the performance. Sure there's SOME distortion, but nothing like the above images and it can be user-corrected in software provided, if needed. I don't think Olympus has to do this in-camera like Panasonic. I don't think they will, and many will be happy they don't.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 1, 2009 at 6:46 PM.
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 6:33 PM   #10
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Yes Greg, it certainly is an interesting debate!!!

I was intrigued to see the ACTUAL lens quality of the G1 kit lens, which was why I did that test!!! I was a bit surprised at the amount of distortion. However, the final result is good! I assume that Panasonic did it this way because the lens is SO SMALL, that a properly corrected lens would need to be bigger (maybe!!) I can also see why Leica didn't want to put their name so such a poorly corrected lens.
On the plus side, the sharpness is good center to edge.... they have obviously concentrated the design on sharpness, and compromised on distortion, CA & vignetting.

I'm still in two minds. I would prefer a well corrected lens, but with such small sized lenses, is it possible? And will this happen eventually in most cheaper kit lenses on regular DSLRs??
For example, we all know that the Canon 18-55mm kit lens has poor edge sharpness. So could Canon redesign this kit lens with good center to edge sharpness , and sacrifice distortion, CA and vignetting for the same price, but process the image in camera(new model of course), to get a much better result than you can currently get from their kit lens??

By the way, here is the CA performance from the G1 kit lens at 14mm, the first out of the camera, then the second as the lens saw it:








So I guess, the second question is, what about in camera CA correction? Is that acceptable (the Nikon D300 has it for example)?

It will be interesting to see if the new Olympus micro four thirds camera goes the route of good lens correction or in camera correction by processing. If the lenses are very small, they may have to make compromises.

Last edited by dnas; Jun 1, 2009 at 6:42 PM.
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