Olympus Developing Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera

2008 Photokina Events News Olympus Uncategorized

Olympus Four Thirds Digital Camera Under Development

Olympus has announced that they are developing a Micro Four Thirds digital camera and released some images of a concept camera they’ll be showing this week at the Photokina tradeshow in Germany. They haven’t offered any potential features or specs in their press release but they do have some Micro Four Thirds concept camera photos.

Notable in the Olympus Micro Four Thirds concept images is the lack of any viewfinder except a rear LCD. I’ve been very interested in how Olympus would approach the Micro Four Thirds standard differently from Panasonic and I’m a little disappointed that they don’t have more information to offer at Photokina. I’m even more disappointed that the concept camera model only has a rear LCD display. I’d like to see a body smaller than Panasonic’s G1 Micro Four Thirds camera, with built-in image stabilization and either a rangefinder or a good EVF viewfinder. I do think Olympus’ concept camera is a very handsome and I like the super-compact lens they’re showing in the photos. For more on the new Micro Four Thirds camera announcement, read our article on the Micro Four Thirds camera announcement, and our story on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 that’s being introduced at Photokina.

Olympus Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera Press Release

Related Content:
Olympus Digital Camera User Reviews
Olympus & Four Thirds Cameras Forum
Digital SLR Forum
Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera Standard Announcement
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Camera Announcementa>
Olympus Web Site

Click on thumbnails for larger photos:

Olympus Micro Four Thirds Concept - Front Olympus Micro Four Thirds Concept - Rear LCD Olympus Micro Four Thirds Concept - Side View
About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Mario says:

    You make it, I will buy it.
    I hope with a 12-180 lens.
    congratulation Olympus.

  • A.M.D.A. says:

    Interesting. This might be the smallest and lightest interchangeable-lens digital camera, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for when the specs are formally announced.

    However I don’t like the fact that there’s no viewfinder of any sort, I’d rather have a VF and no LCD, than a LCD and no VF.

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  • I have been disappointed with the image quality of compact digital cameras. Therefore, a compact camera with a large sensor is a great idea, and one with interchangeable lenses is even better. Aside from Sigma’s DP1, there is no other camera that I know of that comes close to offering DSLR quality images in a truly pocketable package.

    Honestly, though, this is not a camera for the super zoom enthusiast. If you want slow (or fast) zoom lenses, you are better served in my opinion with Olympus’ current compact DSLR offerings. The only lens that excites me so far in the proposed micro Four Thirds line up is the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. You just can’t make a lens that compact with an f/1.7 aperture for current FT cameras. The mirror box design of SLRs simply makes it impossible.

    The closest you can get to the traditional rangefinder design concept in digital cameras today is Leica’s M8. I hope that Olympus’ goal is to target this enthusiast niche with a more consumer friendly product line and the quality we have come to expect at competitive prices.

  • Patia says:

    David Pogue of the NYT wrote about seeing the Olympus prototype: “At the Photo Plus camera show in New York this week, Olympus is showing a Micro Four Thirds camera prototype that’s about the size of a bar of Ivory. With the lens detached, you could probably wedge it into a jeans pocket.”


    He also said 2009 models will include video.

    I think this is really exciting news. I just hope they make it prettier than the prototype pictured above.

  • Photo-John says:

    Patia – I think the Olympus prototype if pretty. I would like to see a titanium or black version, though. Are you looking for a bright red one, maybe? ;-P

  • Patia says:

    You know me too well. Anything but orange, really ….

  • Carl-Erik says:

    This is just sooo hot. Hope they get the price under 500$ with a lens, and this will just *kill*.

  • Photo-John says:

    I dig your enthusiasm. I am sure there are lots of Micro Four Thirds skeptics – especially among pros. I believe Four Thirds doesnt get the credit its due. And Micro Four Thirds should be defining a new category. We can’t really judge it based only on the G1. This is just the beginning. I’m excited to see how the new format evolves and I’m really curious to see what Olympus will do with it.

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