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.'
|Douaumont Ossuary by Eric 54-BNF|
from Armistice Day
|Silhouette at sunset by Jill Hancock|
from Portrait Lens (around 80mm or equivalent - please check the full rules)
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear ain't fly? You gotta hit us up and read our treat yo' self guide.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.