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Pen

Olympus Trip 35 (Credit: Marc Lacoste on Wikipedia)

Olympus Trip 35 (Credit: Marc Lacoste on Wikipedia)

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.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EP5 product images (1 of 5)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 4.0

In today’s fast-paced technology world, six-month spans between the announcement of a product and its successor is nothing out of the ordinary, and a life cycle of a year is common for many products. So when a device is older than a year, people start wondering when the successor will be announced. For the Olympus E-PM2, the digital life span is already way over its due date, as the camera has been on the market for almost 1 1/2 years. Its bigger sibling, the E-P5, hasn’t been around quite that long–it’s only been introduced last May. Still, a new report claims that both cameras have been discontinued by Olympus, with successors to arrive some time this summer.

Both cameras share much of the same technology, first and foremost the Sony-made 16 megapixel CMOS sensor from the OM-D E-M5. Considering that the E-M5, and with it the sensor, is now almost two years old, and that the OM-D E-M1 is right now the only camera sporting the latest 16 megapixel sensor, it seems to be about time that the PEN series receive an upgrade.

Unfortunately, there is no detailed information available at this point. 43rumors, who first reported about the discontinuing of the two PEN models, mentions that the PEN series is much less successful than the OM-D series, so maybe well see some completely updated and rethought models this summer. One possibility would be to include an EVF in the top-level PEN model, in a rangefinder-style similar to the Panasonic GX7 or Fujifilm X-E1, though that would pit the next PEN directly against the mid-level OM-D.

Another possibility would be to reduce the number of PEN cameras from three to two, and drop either the PEN Mini or the PEN Lite. But there could be even more changes to the series in order to make it more attractive to customers once again, and in a sense revive the success of the original PEN E-P1 and E-PL1 models. At this point, this is all speculation, and to be certain we’ll have to wait until more information becomes available.

julius motal the phoglographer jay mclaughlin image 5

Much to the chagrin of many higher-ups in the fashion industry, UK-based Jay McLaughlin uses an Olympus OM-D E-M5 and PEN E-P5. Favoring portability over sheer power, McLaughlin found that he could produce beautiful work in the Micro Four Thirds medium. We spoke to Jay recently about his work in the fashion industry, his move to the Micro Four Thirds world, and more.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EP5 product images (1 of 5)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 4.0

When we first were briefed on the Olympus EP5, we were quite impressed not only with its feature set but also its build quality. And for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been testing the camera during our daily routines. Olympus states that this camera has the same 16MP imaging sensor as the Olympus OMD EM5. But it also packs other crazy features such as 9fps shooting, focus peaking, Live View preview when in Bulb mode, interval shooting for time lapsers, and WiFi. In some ways, it outdoes its bigger brother, the OMD except in one critical feature: weather sealing.

But is that enough to make you not want to spring for the best Pen camera yet?


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Olympus E-P5 Premium Leather Series

When you own a retro camera such as the Olympus PEN E-P5, you also need the fitting retro accessories, that’s a given. And the guys from Olympus know that, so they announced their own exclusive series of leather accessories for the E-P5. The series comprises a very sexy bag, an elegant strap and a sleek half case. In combination, these items will take you straight back to the sixties. And just imagine everyone’s looks when you turn up in the year 1969 sporting a digital camera …

The CBG-9 bag, CSS-S117L strap and CS-41B half case have so far only been announced for Europe and Asia, and will retail for GBP 349.99 (bag), 129.99 (half case) and 89.99 (strap) respectively in the UK–that’s US-$ 538, 200 and 138 respectively at current exchange rates. We have no info on an official US release date yet.

Via ePhotoZine

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It was honestly bound to happen: and now it has. According to a report from the Wall St Journal found by Imaging Resource, Olympus will kill off their V series of cameras. The V series were always the more affordable options, but the problem is that those camera sales are being eroded away by mobile phones. There isn’t any word on the other point and shoot cameras like the XZ-2 and XZ-10, but when one thinks about Olympus these days, we often think about the Micro Four Thirds line of cameras. With the arrival of the EP5, the lineup has full mobile connection though it is also possible with Transcend Air cards for the rest of the pen lineup.

These cameras are designed to offer users something that they can’t get from their phones: better quality. The images are then easily ported over to the devices and then shared to the web. However, someone will soon need to put apps like Instagram and Facebook in the cameras without the use of the Android system.

Despite this news, the company had a tremendous stock rise today. According to the Wall St Journal report though, other manufactures such as Canon are even struggling with point and shoot sales. And for years, Canon Powershots were the absolute best that one could get. But with the recent competition from Fujifilm’s X series and Sony’s RX series with significantly larger sensors, we’re not very sure that the small sensor camera market can survive.