Friday, January 20, 2012

Olympus Resurrects the OM Cameras

Well, rumors are flying fast and furious around the web the past few days that Olympus will be revealing at an upcoming electronics show in London a brand, a new camera called the OM-D. Few facts are known at this time, but a few things are known, maybe. It's all guess work, of course, at this time, but it's probably going to be in form and function, a cross between a DSLR and a Micro 4/3s approach.

The leaked pictures of it show a pentaprism shape on top of the camera, but it won't have an internal mirror, it'll be a internal EVF screen. It will have interchangeable lenses, but who knows what lens mount it will use. No word has been given as to the size/dimensions of its sensor. Will it be Micro 4/3s or something else?

Well, the one photo I saw of it shows the camera with a 45mm f/1.8 lens. Another clue about the camera, from Olympus, is he word: "One." What does this all mean? I don't really know, but I wonder. That lens I saw seems suspiciously like a normal lens, so does that mean it will be a full-frame camera, like Canon's 5D Mark II? Or maybe it will be a new format that is only slightly smaller than full-frame? 

Not completely sure how the "One" fits in here; maybe it refers to a 1:1 sensor or full-frame? Maybe it refers to the old Olympus camera, the OM-1. That was the first serious camera I owned and it revolutionized camera design in the 70s. Pro cameras of that time were large and heavy, much like current cameras today, and the OM series of cameras gave pros a smaller, more portable SLR with first-class lenses. Current pros have been clamoring for a smaller, more portable digital camera for years. That's why the Micro 4/3s have been doing so well among pros and enthusiasts. So maybe Olympus is going to try and repeat that strategy for this generation, and the OM-D (or maybe the OM-1D? maybe that's where the "One" fits in?) will be the digital camera that pros will adopt for photojournalism and documentary work. We'll just have to wait and see. When more is known, I'll let you know about it.