Olympus OM5 Digital? Anybody?

Started Feb 10, 2009 | Discussions thread
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haziz Regular Member • Posts: 395
Olympus OM5 Digital? Anybody?

I keep championing the E-420 as a small compact digital SLR but in fact my fantasy DSLR is an OM5 digital!

I do wish Olympus would produce an OM5 as a manual focus DSLR, or if Olympus is not brave enough I will take a Pentax LX II Digital or a Nikon FM4A Digital, but I would prefer an OM5 digital. I will frankly take any that make it into production. I doubt if Canon would resurrect the FD mount (nor do I want them to) or to produce a manual focus variant of their EOS mount. Leica is quirky enough to try but I would rather see a digital variant of the R5 than their aborted attempt at an R9/R8 based dSLR.

Wishes for the OM5 Digital:

Small compact body that maintains the size, shape and ambiance of the OM bodies

Large bright viewfinder with 100% coverage. Interchangeable focusing screens would be nice but at the very least the default screen would be a split prism with microprism circle surround, an alternative set of screens including microprisms only, clear and lined would be nice. Think Beattie Intenscreen or Olympus 2-13 screen (for their Om2SP to OM4) brightness.

24x36 mm "full frame" sensor with preferably 12 megapixels or more, but I will take anything over 8 megapixels. Heck, I would take 5 megapixels if necessary. This does not have to be cutting edge. The Sony sourced sensor in the D3 and D700 however would be sweet.

Sensor based image stabilization would be nice.

Small series of manual focus lenses, with some attention to detail e.g. updated coatings for the digital sensor, buttery smooth focus helical and a smooth aperture ring preferably with 1/2 or 1/3 stop clicks. Manual focus, possibly with a focus confirmation light/sensor in the viewfinder. They can recycle their old optical designs, this does not have to be cutting edge except for maybe one or two prestige lenses. If it turns out Pentax is the one maker making this kit they could save themselves a lot of trouble and research and start with manual versions of their 3 limited full frame lenses (the 31 mm, 43 mm and 77 mm "limited").

I envisage a one lens kit including a 50 mm f1.8 or f1.4 and a 3 lens kit including the maybe a 28 mm f2.8, 40 mm f2 pancake and 100 mm f2.8 lens (or 35 mm 50 mm and 100 mm f2.8 lenses). How about US $1800 body only, $ 2000 with the 50 mm f1.8 and US $ 2800 for the 3 lens kit.

Once established further lenses can be introduced, e.g. a 24 mm, 50 mm f1.2 and a 135 mm f2.8. Later a macro lens, Tilt shift lens and a 28-85 f4 zoom, maybe an UWA. This is not the system for a nature or bird photographer so I see no point in a longer lens beyond 200 mm. You can always supplement with old stock of lenses in the appropriate mount.

A "film advance" lever can be used to cock the shutter (a la Epson RD-1) or if deemed too gimmicky and retro can be electronically cocked, I don't care.

With or without built in flash. No need for built in flash if it allows more room for a good pentaprism based finder. The OM1/OM2 s style of removable hotshoes may even be resurrected (the OM1 had a tiny prism hump despite the large delicious finder). The flash capabilities however should be modern with X-sync of 1/250 or better and all the flash bells and whistles.

Yes it would be a niche product and I don't see room for more than one maker, but I do think the niche exists.

Ideas? Input? Feedback?




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