With the digital PEN and OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras, Olympus has successfully brought two of its classic camera series into the digital age. The original PEN cameras were a series of half-frame rangefinders and SLRs, some of them with fixed lenses and some (the F-series) with a mount for interchangeable lenses, that was made between the late fities and early eighties. The OM-range was the company’s hugely successful series of SLR cameras, which started with the OM-1 in 1972 and ended when production of the legendary OM-4Ti was ceased in 2002.
A lesser known series of Olympus cameras was the TRIP series, a range of small fixed-lens 35mm compacts that were intended as easy-to-use, high-quality travel cameras. The most legendary model, the TRIP 35, sported a 40mm f2.8 lens with zone focusing and used a solar-powered selenium cell for metering. It was built from 1967 through 1984, and it sold more then ten million copies. Now 43rumors is reporting that this successful series of cameras might see a relaunch as well, in form of the digital TRIP-D.
Little is known about this camera, except that it is said to come with a fast prime lens. Quite possibly, the TRIP-D will sport a Micro Four Thirds sensor, but will come without the lens mount and instead sport a fixed lens, possibly a variant of the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8. However, it will have to compete with the likes of the Fujifilm X100s, Ricoh GR, Nikon Coolpix A, Sony RX1 and others, which is not an easy task. In order to do so, Olympus will have to make sure that image quality is up there with the APS-C models, and that the camera is small, fast-focusing and easy to use.
On the other hand, it will also have to compete with cameras such as Olympus’s own PEN Mini and Panasonic’s GM and GF series, which are already incredibly small, can be equipped with fast prime lenses such as the Lumix G 20mm f1.7, and offer the benefit of interchangeable lenses. In that regard, it is not really clear where Olympus might be aiming this TRIP-D camera, should it be the real thing at all. Only time will tell, and for now all we can do is wait and see how this story unfolds.