The long wait for the next generation of cameras for Four Thirds may soon be over, suggests Olympus' Toshi Terada, Manager, Product Planning SLR products. He also discusses the role the OM-D has played in increasing uptake of mirrorless cameras in the USA and the future of compact cameras now that smartphones have become many users' cameras of choice.
The progress of mirrorless in the USA
'Market share for mirrorless is increasing in the USA. It's not booming, but it's growing. Now Canon and Nikon have mirrorless products, that will help increase awareness of what mirrorless is and what the benefit is. In addition, the OM-D has become a really big topic of conversation in both the US and Europe. Those two factors are creating a better situation for the mirrorless market,' he says.
'We have three groups of people buying our cameras - OM-D users are mostly people who would have bought a DSLR, then you have users stepping up from compacts and buying PEN models. Then, finally, you have DSLR users who are buying PEN as a second camera. Other manufacturers aren't targeting all those people.'
'DSLR-type users are used to beautiful lenses but we also like to offer lenses for the step-up users - lenses like the 45mm. One of the main reasons for buying a DSLR or mirrorless is the good image quality, including shallow depth-of-field. The kit lens is versatile but to give the shallow depth-of-field you need a fast lens. The 45mm is positioned as a 2nd or 3rd lens, as is the body cap lens. We'd like to offer attractive lenses for both DSLR-type users and step-up users.'
'In Japan, the work to encourage people to buy a second lens has been a success. The 45mm lens has sold well world wide, and in Japan, not only DSLR-type of users, but also Step-up users have purchased it.'
The future of Four Thirds
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.'
'For those users AF speed is important and a suitable finder is necessary. And also it needs to be the right size - the benefit of Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds is compact size. We have to provide those things to benefit those users. One of the benefits of DSLR is continuous autofocus. In this respect, we have to promise total AF performance in future.'
They can be confident about image quality, he says: ''They already know image quality from the OM-D. Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds sensors are the same size, so they can imagine that.'
Where now for compacts?
'Smartphones have had an impact on compact camera sales - especially for affordable compacts. We have to make some kind of differentiation from smartphones, whether that's in terms of image quality, optical capabilities or photographic control,' Terada explains: 'We've shifted to high-value products - long zoom, enthusiast compacts and TG-type cameras that have benefits to differentiate them from smartphones.'
'From a sensor aspect this can mean bigger, but a camera need optics. To have optics with an APS-C sensor, capability cannot be offered. Another format combination is something I can see happening - you need to have something that works size-wise as well as quality-wise. If you consider APS-C, you're never going to make a very compact lens. Maybe 1", 1/1.7" or some intermediate could exist in the future, I can't judge at this moment,' he says, and maintains there's some fight left in 1/2.3": 'the XZ-10 is still attractive - together with a nice lens and imaging chain it can offer a big difference from smartphones.'
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.