Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
boggis the cat
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to illy, Feb 8, 2013

illy wrote:

it's not that the E-5 will be replaced by something, i can't see it being a Dslr or more than 1 line up of Dslrs(which means i am totally wrong for saying it)I honestly thought that a mirrorless camera would be released after an E-7 that would AF all lenses equally, but maybe they will skip the E-7 and introduce a new type of camera for 4/3rds users

If you read the interview (I assume you can't have done so) you would have noted:

Building on the promise Olympus has made about continuing to support Four Thirds users, Terada suggests the wait may nearly be over: 'Direction-wise, we'd like to produce products for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds within this year. Because we have to provide a product for users with SHG and HG lenses. And there are people using E400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7898773566/cp-2013-interview-with-olympus-toshi-terada

Now, that does seem to indicate that Olympus have decided that there is a significant market still out there of E-xxx / E-xx owners wishing to upgrade.  Apparently, this group have not been lured to Micro FT -- or left for Canon / Nikon / Pentax / Sony.

I am sure that they would produce a 'PDAF adapter' if such was possible (I doubt it is, BTW, simply due to physical constraints of the Micro FT mount depth -- then there is the issue of how you feed AF data back to the Micro FT body: you can't unless Micro FT was designed to do so), but perhaps they have realised that the problem is not resolvable any time soon.  This does not preclude them using an EVF (replacing the PDAF array with a small sensor should work adequately for both PDAF and to feed an EVF) or some sort of hybrid VF design in a standard FT body.

Really, we do not know what directions Olympus may go in.  The E-330 had that 'pointless' live-view implementation, remember.  The E-620 appeared out of nowhere and had several unlikely improvements over the E-520 / E-420.  The only certainty is that Olympus do intend on keeping their promise about providing a body that ensures full capability of standard FT lenses -- at least for now.

The 'rumoured' f/2.8 zooms may indicate an intention to shift the high-end product line to Micro FT.  Until we see credible replacements for the SHG lens line (and a stop slower could be acceptable, if they are making that deliberate compromise to undercut prices of f/2.8 zooms on larger systems) I believe that they have little option but to keep producing the E-x line, as a minimum.

Possibly, they may see sense in cranking the full standard FT system back up.  It all depends on whether they believe they can get more market share and make a profit (or at least avoid a loss).  Oh, and don't start up about Olympus camera division being unprofitable unless you have a breakdown to show that they were losing in the DSLR / ILC segment, and not their second-rate 'me too' point and shoot segment.

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