Latest sample galleries
Latest in-depth reviews
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
|Mr. Hirofumi Imano, Division manager of Product Strategy at Olympus, photographed at the company's Hachioji facility.
[photo: Barnaby Britton]
After the CP+ show in Yokohama closed last week, editor Barnaby Britton journeyed out to Olympus's design facility in Hachioji to speak to executives and engineers. Among the people he spoke to was Hirofumi Imano, Division Manager of Product Strategy. In a broad-ranging interview, Mr. Imano explained the company's strategies for competing in a tough market, the genesis of the OM-D line, opportunities in video, and why he thinks Canon and Nikon might not be making high-end mirrorless cameras.
Note: This interview was conducted through a translator, and edits have been made for clarity and structure.
Well, obviously shipments from manufacturers are down, compact cameras especially but also interchangeable lens cameras are declining. This is a fact. At the same time though, there is still growth in the mirrorless market and more and more people are taking and sharing photos. So in terms of the imaging business overall, we have a great opportunity.
Our key interest lies in mirrorless cameras, represented by the OM line and the PEN line, but although we know that the market for compact cameras is shrinking,there's still demand for niche products like our TOUGH lineup.
|The Olympus Stylus SP-100 is a 50X super-zoom camera with a built-in dot sight for accurately tracking moving subjects at the long end of the camera's zoom.|
There are many things that a camera can offer which a smartphone can't. For example bright, large aperture lenses such as that employed in our Stylus 1 and our SP-100 that offers a 40X optical zoom and dot sight, which is more user-friendly than competitive cameras at long focal lengths. So there are some segments of the market which are not being eroded by smartphones. This is why our focus is on mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and high-end and special purpose compacts.
People’s basic desire to record their lives and express their personalities through creative expression won’t change. It’s a human instinct. More photos are taken on a daily basis now than ever before, as we’ve discussed.
The camera is and will remain the most credible device for self-expression through photography and we will keep on striving to include the latest optical and digital technology to realize this. We need to make our cameras reliable and responsive.
It’s definitely important for us, and in fact for the entire industry to expand the number of people out there who are interested in taking photos with cameras. Whether that’s young people, women, men - expanding that community is very important. At the same time it’s very important for Olympus to attract enthusiasts. These two areas are equally important and we have been successful at attracting entry-level customers with the PEN lineup, and we’ll provide more enhancements to this lineup, both in terms of technology and features.
OM-D has been very well-received by photo enthusiasts, and has been praised for image quality as well as customization and build-quality. With the lineup that we have now, of PEN and OM-D products we’re capable of cultivating both low and high-end customers.
We had a sense that as SLRs became DSLRs and sensors replaced film that the cameras were getting chunkier and chunkier. What we really wanted to achieve with the OM-D series was to use the optical heritage that we have, and combine that with the digital technology that we’ve been working on such as 5-axis image stabilization to achieve the maximum possible image quality while maintaining portability.
|Hirofumi Imano pictured with (l-r) the OM-D E-M10, E-M5, special edition E-M5 with crinkle finish and the flagship OM-D E-M1
[photo: Barnaby Britton]
We now have a 3-camera OM-D lineup, and we’ve been getting a lot of praise for the reliability of the cameras, and also for the image quality which people are saying is equal and in some cases better than DSLRs. We’re seeing this kind of feedback from our customers and we want more and more people to join the system and enjoy shooting with these cameras.
The OM-D series definitely inherits things from the OM-line, most importantly maintaining portability without compromising image quality. One of the slogans of the original OM was 'from photomicrography to astrophotography’ - meaning that you could use the cameras to shoot subjects varying from bacteria to the cosmos. We’re still working on developing the OM-D system but definitely yes - a lot is inherited.
I started out as an R&D engineer working on our voice-recorders, back in the days of tape. After my experience with recorders for the past ten-fifteen years I’ve been involved in product planning for our cameras, also industrial design and user interface, before moving into product strategy. The first cameras I worked on were one of our first weatherproof compacts, the Stylus 710, and the Stylus Verve, which was a stylish, unique compact shaped like a raindrop.
It’s hard to predict the future but more and more, especially in the US and Europe we’re hearing requests for more improvements in our cameras’ video capabilities, both at the enthusiast and consumer level. The design of our lenses, and systems like image stabilization are impacted by the need for our cameras to shoot video as well as stills. We wouldn’t say that we’re 100% there yet, but we’re actively working to optimize video performance in our lineup of both cameras and lenses.
We stepped into the Micro Four Thirds format with this in our minds - it’s a format optimized for still as well as video. Some things are still on the horizon, but we’re already considering video in the design of our lenses, for example the MSC focusing system.
There is definitely very big business opportunity. There’s increasing demand, and the technology is improving. There’s equipment out there for professionals, and also for a consumer audience such as the various sports-cam style cameras which is really gaining traction in a lot of markets. But whether you’re shooting stills or video, the image comes through a lens, and as an optics manufacturer we’re setting very high standards. Perhaps this is an area that we can cultivate in our business - lenses for professional video gear.
In terms of ergonomics, we tend to find that at the enthusiast level, our customers have a more or less uniform idea of what they’re comfortable with, regardless of where they are in the world.
When it comes to the functionality that people want there are slight differences in the feedback depending on territory, but honestly it largely remains the same. Especially when it comes to our interchangeable lens products. That said, more of our customers in the US and Europe are vocal about wanting more advanced video functionality than in Japan and Asia, and our Asian customers are more vocal about ergonomics - things like how the dials feel. They’re very picky.
One reason is maybe the perception, on behalf of customers and maybe even sales associates in stores that cameras from the bigger brands are better. The other thing is sensor size - DSLRs have APS-C and full-frame sensors inside them, but the mirrorless market is mainly APS-C and smaller, and for a long time it was mainly just Micro Four Thirds. Maybe there’s a perception that bigger sensors equals bigger image quality, which has hindered growth in the mirrorless market in the USA and Europe.
I think our reason to exist in this industry is to push the envelope with a system that maintains a good balance between image quality and portability. By pushing the envelope we firmly believe we can expand our customer base and also capture enthusiast photographers who might not be having fun with their bigger, bulkier DSLRs.
|The OM-D E-M1 is Olympus's flagship mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, and was voted best of its type of 2013, and best product of 2013 overall by dpreview readers.|
As an optics manufacturer, we know that it isn’t as simple as saying 'a bigger sensor always delivers better image quality than a smaller sensor'. It's more complicated than that. It’s a combination of multiple factors including lens resolution, sensor and image processing. We have to keep on communicating to our customers, and to retailers, that things aren’t as simple as they might have heard.
In Japan, currently 50% of the market is mirrorless, but a few years ago it was the same situation here as we’re currently seeing in the USA and Europe. But we just stuck firmly to our position, and kept on communicating to customers that there’s another option, which is small and light and takes beautiful images.
Well that’s his view! We’ll keep on communicating the benefits of mirrorless but Canon and Nikon dominate the interchangeable lens camera market and if they did come out with serious, reliable mirrorless cameras, I agree that yes - it might stimulate the market and boost sales of our cameras. Maybe it’s intentional that they haven’t launched enthusiast-focused mirrorless cameras, because they’re dominant. They’ve been maturing their systems for years. Maybe it’s strategic that they’re staying away.
The future is very challenging, but it’s exciting too. We’ll have to work hard.
Aug 23, 2015
Feb 24, 2017
Feb 1, 2017
Jan 24, 2017
Olympus has released a major firmware update for two of its OM-D cameras as well as the PEN-F. It adds support for Profoto's TTL flash system and also brings numerous new features and bug fixes. Read more
Olympus OM-D E-M1 owners are reporting issues using their cameras after updating to firmware version 4.2. Olympus has suspended FW 4.2 and has issued a statement with more information. Read more
The new Olympus OM-D E-M1 II is quite a camera. Capable of shooting at up to 60fps at full-resolution, and packing high-bitrate 4K video and in-body stabilization, the E-M1 II is a powerhouse. But if you already have an E-M1, is it worth the upgrade? Find out
Olympus unveiled the details of two fairly significant firmware updates, both of which will be available for download, for free, come November. The flagship Olympus OM-D E-M1 will receive firmware version 4.0. while the not even one-year-old OM-D E-M5 II will receive firmware version 2.0. Read more
Olympus has announced that it is is producing a new limited edition 'Titanium' OM-D E-M5 II camera. The Titanium E-M5 II will offer all of the same features and specs of the regular version, with its top and bottom plates swapped out for dark metallic versions that match those of the OM-3/Ti from 1994. Worldwide, 7,000 copies of the Titanium model will be made, though how many will be available in the US is yet to be announced. The company is also readying firmware updates for both the E-M1 and E-M5 II, related mostly to underwater shooting. Read more
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Following testing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II, we've added it to our Pocketable Enthusiast Compact Cameras buying guide as joint-winner, alongside Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 VA.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
|Precious Past Dreams by Domenick Creaco|
from Your City - Industrial Landmark (rerun)
|Cold rock by jr|
Tamron has announced three new full-frame lenses slated to launch in the middle of 2019: an SP 35mm F1.4 Di USD and 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD for DSLRs, as well as an ultra-wide 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount cameras.
Roger and his team at Lensrentals have switched things up and decided to build a lens rather than tearing it apart.
George Mendonsa, the gentleman kissing a woman believed to be Greta Zimmer Friedman in Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic image titled 'V-J Day in Times Square,' has passed away at the age of 95.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? We conducted a live Q&A that you can watch here. We'll be trying to address those comments we didn't get to in the comments.
Version 3.0.2 of Skylum's Luminar software has been improved for both Windows and macOS systems.
Until now, the word 'bokeh' has been a noun. But that may very well change with the help of Apple's recent video advertisement.
The EF-M 32mm F1.4 is a welcome addition to Canon's APS-C mirrorless lens lineup. It's a good performer all-around and enjoyable to use on the EOS M50, and we hope to see more like it introduced to the EF-M range.
The data breach we reported on last week did not only affect 500px but a total of 16 websites, including mobile image sharing platform EyeEm, Animoto, Artsy and Fotolog.
Camera Rescue, a Finnish organization determined to rescue more than 100K analog, has already saved 46,000 cameras and plans to more than double that number by 2020.
Independent lens manufacturer Sigma has announced that its new 28mm T1.5 cine lens for full frame sensor cameras will be available from the middle of March.
Panasonic has announced the impending release of two new cameras, the ZS80/TZ95 compact camera and the FZ1000 II superzoom camera.
At Dubai's recent Gulf Photo Plus event, Fujifilm showed off several of its early concept mockups for GFX cameras that (sadly) never made it into production. We took a closer look.
Panasonic is well known for including impressive video features on its cameras. In this article, professional cinematographer Jack Lam explains one killer feature the company could add to its S series that would shake up the industry – and it all comes down to manual focus.
Lens manufacturer Irix has announced it's expanding its product lineup into the Japanese market.
Full-frame cameras get a lot of attention lately, but Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks that APS-C makes the most sense for a lot of people – and there's just one company consistently giving the format the support it deserves.
The 12th International Garden Photographer of the Year winners have been announced. We've gathered the top photos from each category and rounded them up into a slideshow.
Kosmo Foto has announced the release and opened pre-orders for its new Mono 120 black-and-white film.
Uber software engineer Phillip Wang has created a website that shows a portrait of a person that doesn't actually exist by using AI to merge multiple faces together.
The Atomos Shinobi is a compact, lightweight monitor that features the same display found inside the much more expensive Ninja 5 monitor/recorder.
Got a couple of minutes? Then you have all the time you need to learn about Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera body – and why it's a compelling option for someone stepping into full-frame for the first time.
NASA's Curiosity rover captures a 360 panorama from its Vera Rubin Ridge 'Rock Hall' drill site before moving on to greener...er...redder pastures.
Xiaomi's new flagship Android smartphone is expected to be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A quick glance at the spec sheet doesn't make the Canon EOS RP look that exciting. But having shot with it, we've become oddly fond of this little full framer.
Pixelmator Pro has received an update with new and improved features, including support for Portrait Masks with images captured by the iPhone's Portrait Mode.
Alongside the EOS RP, Canon showed us mockups of the six lenses it says are in development for 2019. There's a distinct high-end flavor to the options in the works.
The new X-T30 may not be Fujifilm's flagship model, but it arrives with some very impressive features and specifications. Chris and Jordan have been shooting it for a few days and share their first impressions, along with a look at an iconic new building in their hometown of Calgary.
We don't often get excited about $900 cameras, but the Fujifilm X-T30 has really impressed us thus far. Find out what's new, what it's like to use and how it compares to its peers in our review in progress.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with the same 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad Core CPU as the X-T3, along with some autofocus improvements. The new camera arrives in March for $900 body-only.
Fujifilm's new XF 16mm F2.8 R WR is a compact, weather-resistant lens that weighs just 155g/5.5oz. It'll be available starting in March for $399.
Fujifilm's XF 16mm F2.8 is one of the widest lenses in the company's lineup of compact primes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras. We've been up and down the streets of snowy Seattle - a rare sight - to see just what our pre-production copy of this petite prime is capable of.