Photokina 2012: Olympus Stand Report

The Olympus stand concentrates on the company's higher-end kit, with most of the focus on the PEN Series and OM-D. And it's the OM-D that's getting most of the attention, despite newer models being on show.

We managed to grab a look at a prototype of the 17mm F1.8 lens the company announced it is working on, and can confim it will offer the same excellent pull-back manual focus ring system as the 12mm F2.0. No-one will discuss pricing yet, but the 12mm-style build and feature set suggests it will have a similarly premium price.

Beyond this, there are examples of the two new PENs (the E-PL5 and E-PM2) circulating on a sushi-bar-style conveyor belt. There are also cases full of accessorized and decorated PENs, hinting fairly strongly at the company's intended audience for these models.

The promising-looking XZ-2 is also on show but there are hints that its availabiliy might be a little bit delayed. This is a shame, as its 28-112mm equivalent F1.8-2.5 lens (as seen in the XZ-1), combined with a modern 1/1.7" BSI CMOS sensor should make it pretty competitive in the newly resurgent enthusiast compact market.

   The OM-D continues to draw quite a crowd
 The m.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 lens in prototype form...  ...and with (probably optional) hood.
 The PEN Mini (E-PM2)  
 The PEN Lite (E-PL5) shows off its self-portrait capabilities.  
This is the lovely XZ-2, which sports a 28-112mm equivalent F1.8-2.5 lens  It's also the first camera we've seen to have a dual mode (click or freely rotating) lens control dial
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Comments

Total comments: 48
jtan163
By jtan163 (Sep 23, 2012)

Nothing about FT lens on MFT kit or a way for MFT users ti use FT lenses?

0 upvotes
Uncle Frank
By Uncle Frank (Sep 21, 2012)

I'm disappointed the pl5 doesn't have a bif. It would make me choose between using a flash or using the vf2 evf. I was hoping it would have a tilt lcd. I'll have to see it in person, but my initial reaction is there's not enough gain in simply going from 12mp to 16mp to tempt me to upgrade my beloved pl2.

0 upvotes
zaltiboy
By zaltiboy (Sep 21, 2012)

I fully agree, same situation, same problem: I'm used to use both of them at the same time.
And, last but not least, the 16:9 lcd!?! Starting from a 4:3 sensor it's simply meaningless!!!
It's really a pity because that sensor is awesome... I hope in a e-p5 that corrects these lacks.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 21, 2012)

The 16:9 format is said to have been to fit video (gasp!) into the full area of the screen but I see it more as fitting into the shape and area on the rear of the camera. The accessory port would have to go in order to fit a good sized 4:3 screen and I would rather keep that flexibility. Anyway, as others have commented, the blank areas either side of the 4:3 area get filled with settings and options so that the actual image is relatively uncluttered. It would be good if there was an option via a single button press to zoom in to fit the width of the screen.

Anyway, I have reassigned the video button on my E-PM1 to zoom to facilitate manual focussing which has a minimum 5x magnification.

Cheers

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 21, 2012)

I am just pleased that Olympus had some new models to show. That 16Mp sensor in a small body is just what I need but like others posting here - where is the E-P5 and the standard DSLR successor to the E5?

0 upvotes
Mapel
By Mapel (Sep 22, 2012)

Now micro 4/3 is olympus' core business, I doubt we will get a chance of getting major improvements for the standard 4/3 anytime soon... anyway the absence of the e-p5 is quite annoying, maybe they want to sell a little more em-5 before unveiling it...

0 upvotes
Hugo Gold
By Hugo Gold (Sep 20, 2012)

where is the E7?

0 upvotes
Royi Avital
By Royi Avital (Sep 20, 2012)

We want Olympus to join the connectivity wave.
Full tethering over WiFi with Open SDK for developers.

1 upvote
draleks
By draleks (Sep 21, 2012)

Yeah!

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (Oct 17, 2012)

My God yes. I been seeing this on Forums for years, We all want Olympus to have Full tethering for all their cameras.
I think Olympus does not know how to do this or doesn't care, because I'm sure by now they have heard people asking for it.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Nimenion
By Nimenion (Sep 19, 2012)

The new XZ-2 is a no go for me. Speed of the lens is good, but I really need a 24 mm wide. So - what a pity!

0 upvotes
Mapel
By Mapel (Sep 22, 2012)

Sadly true, they could have improved the wide angle to better compete against cameras such as panny lx7

0 upvotes
David Burren
By David Burren (Sep 19, 2012)

The most interesting news (for me) from Olympus is the new 15mm/8 lens. But no mention of it here? What gives?

As a fixed-aperture manual-(2-step)-focus lens it should even work on Pany bodies (although the lack of in-body stabilisation might be a drawback at f/8). At the suggested price it's almost a no-brainer: a slightly expensive lens cap that doubles as a super-cheap 30mm-e walkaround lens. It'll be interesting to hear more about it over time.

But not even a mention? Had me double-checking that I wasn't imagining it. :)

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Tim in upstate NY
By Tim in upstate NY (Sep 19, 2012)

Yes I'd like to see DPR do a preview article on the 15/8 with a sample gallery of photos.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Sep 19, 2012)

It's an interesting product, but don't expect it to be stellar in image quality. Notice it's not even a Zuiko lens, so Olympus doesn't think it's quality enough.

It's really a lomo lens to make E-PMx series pocketable and already ready for shoot. And when I feel like shooting with a Holga, this would be a digital alternative (i do expect it to be sharper than a Holga). But it's a fun lens. US$50 is a good price.

0 upvotes
Nate21
By Nate21 (Sep 20, 2012)

i hope the quality is better than the holga

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Sep 18, 2012)

The 17mm looks promising.

0 upvotes
Mapel
By Mapel (Sep 22, 2012)

more than promising, hoping in a good price for this one :)

0 upvotes
rponiarski
By rponiarski (Sep 18, 2012)

My concern is a successor to the E-P3. I have an E-P2 and skipped the P3 as it isn't that big an upgrade. I was hoping for an E-P5, with the OMD sensor in a higher end PEN body. The E-PL5 is nice, but I like the handling of the E-P series, with multiple control dials and a hefty, quality feel to it. Maybe at CES...

4 upvotes
Ergo607
By Ergo607 (Sep 18, 2012)

I think the E-Px series are a niche that Olympus will sustain, but at a much lower rate. Between E-P1 and E-P3 there isn't much difference. I think olympus did that on purpose...

2 upvotes
jrg
By jrg (Sep 19, 2012)

My concern too, especially since they finally included a built-in flash with the EP3 (I have an EP2).

1 upvote
pixelcollector
By pixelcollector (Sep 19, 2012)

it is incredibly disappointing that Olympus have chosen to ditch the PEN that started the whole thing. I'm not holding my breath for the E-P5 to be introduced later. It seems they're trying to force people to get the expensive E-M5 which has proper build quality and dials like the e-p1/2/3.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Sep 18, 2012)

It's interesting the E-PL5 does not auto rotate its screen in self-portrait mode. Don't know if that's an early firmware bug or whatever. The sushi conveyor is fun.

XZ-2 is nicer than expected. Almost bought an XZ-1 just because I expected XZ-2 would be an evolutionary update rather than something new. The new type of hybrid lens dial is the killer feature here, something that matters more to a pro who wants a travel camera or simply an everywhere camera. It's interesting this more pro-oriented feature is on a camera with a smaller sensor than Sony RX-100 or even the FF RX-1.

Anybody else noticed lower end E-PM1's silver matches kit lenses's silver (and 45mm's silver) and higher end E-PL5's silver matches premium lenses's (12mm and 17mm's) silver? I expect 17mm's price to be US$100-200 less than 12mm because of an easier to design focal length, but the build quality, more often used focal length, and clutch MF look promising so that might command a premium.

1 upvote
davids8560
By davids8560 (Sep 18, 2012)

Anybody know if the VF-2 will work on the XZ-2?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 18, 2012)

It's got an AP2 accessory port, so it should. Olympus shows it as working:

http://www.olympus.co.uk/site/en/c/cameras/digitalcameras/creator/xz2/xz2accessories.html

1 upvote
Ross the Fidller
By Ross the Fidller (Sep 20, 2012)

It works on the E-M5 (not because it's needed but someone tested it), so it should work fine on that too.

0 upvotes
buongustaio
By buongustaio (Sep 18, 2012)

any news about the sooo much craved body that would better handle top-pro 4/3 lenses?
17mm aside, this is all i'm asking from this stand :)

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Sep 18, 2012)

Yes. And will there be a new 4/3 DSLR for that matter? (an E-5 or an E-620 successor?)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 55 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
njb311
By njb311 (Sep 18, 2012)

Yes, I was waiting for some follow-up on that too. I recall there was some interpretation required as to what exactly the earlier statement meant, so maybe all the expectations were wrong. And given day 1 of Photokina has passed without further announcements, I'm not hopeful that anything else will come up, because after all if they had something to show it would make no sense to reveal it half way through after some of the media will have left.

The XZ-2 looks nice, but given the 12mm black is essentially an existing product, the 60mm macro was announced months ago, and the PEN cameras are getting updated with existing components, you would really think they would have *something* attention grabbing to say about their high end products. A 17mm lens "in development" doesn't amount to a great deal. This is Photokina after all, not CES or a Friday afternoon press release!

2 upvotes
buongustaio
By buongustaio (Sep 18, 2012)

why can't they *at least* come up with something like sony LA-EA2 adapter...?
i can't think about my 50-500 or 150 f2 sleeping in the dust within a couple of years :( and what about those who had 300 f2,8 or 90-250? already dead after only a very few years they've been out on the market :s
it's insane!

1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (Sep 18, 2012)

Good points all.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 18, 2012)

They've said they will offer something to give owners of high-grade 43 lenses something to use. Don't expect definitive answers, but we might have something to shed a bit more light on the matter soon.

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Sep 18, 2012)

Thank you Richard for keeping us posted. :-)

0 upvotes
Mark Chan
By Mark Chan (Sep 18, 2012)

I'll assume that's a 'hint' you are passing to us : )

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Sep 19, 2012)

Yes, I was about to say what Richard said.
I.e. they didn't say it would be a camera, they said it would be a means to shoot the lenses.
Hey I did say what Richard said after all.
I would not be surprised if it were a smart adaptor. In fact depending on pricing I might prefer that.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (Sep 23, 2012)

Thanks Richard. Good to know that they are still hinting at making our lenses useful going forward. We look forward to when you can give us more details. Cheers.

0 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Sep 18, 2012)

any pics of the 60mm macro lens?

1 upvote
esuohe
By esuohe (Sep 18, 2012)

That XZ-2 looks might sexy.

1 upvote
_sem_
By _sem_ (Sep 18, 2012)

Sexy? I think it put up some weight with that flip-screen... Funny G15 lost the latter and gained wider apertures...

0 upvotes
fiolmattias
By fiolmattias (Sep 19, 2012)

Still it weighs less than the G15, and has a wider aperture in the tele end... ;)

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 21, 2012)

Pity the PEN series doesn't look as good - too many curves - square edges more sexy in cameras!

Cheers

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Sep 18, 2012)

That's an impressive lens on the XZ-2. I just wish it had a viewfinder.

And no, I don't mean a 'stacker' viewfinder.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (Sep 18, 2012)

Exactly the same lens as XZ-1. Still impressive but no longer new.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Sep 18, 2012)

@Optimal Prime

Well, most lenses on DSLRs are nothing new. Some are decades old designs. Doesn't change the fact whether they're good or not.

0 upvotes
diveklean
By diveklean (Sep 18, 2012)

I have been with Olympus for 40 years, in my 60's. Have been disappointed a couple times along the way but stuck with Oly.
I have all the Oly SHG glass and, like buongustaio, need (NEED) a replacement for my E-5 (E-7). I was expecting this to be announced at Photokina this week. Won't wait much longer to throw in the towel and jump ship.

1 upvote
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Sep 18, 2012)

I was hoping for a hint of a future release. The best we have is a Terada interview from a couple days ago, but he said nothing for sure about an E7. The three year cycle puts a release at next fall...

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Sep 19, 2012)

Right, the lens is actually an overkill for the sensor. Noticed that lens is obviously bigger than RX100. Pana and Oly must have agreed to release larger sensors for the next generation instead. :(

0 upvotes
tom1027
By tom1027 (Sep 19, 2012)

Why is the lens overkill for the sensor? They could not use this lens on a bigger sensor. It is the same lens as on the XZ-1, which had the same sensor size. If they put in a bigger sensor they would need an entirely new lens. F/2.5 at 112mm? No way they could do that with a bigger sensor. If all I wanted was a bigger sensor, I still wouldn't get the RX100, I'd get a bigger camera that could take a bigger lens, or a fixed lens. I don't see a point in a larger sensor if the tradeoff is f/4.9.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 48