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This post is being written around Photokina 2018 and is in regards to a question that’s been quietly popping up amongst press and a number of other folks in the industry: what’s going to happen to Olympus. They’re a company that has been super quiet this year. There have been very few product announcements, their last major innovation was at last Photokina despite releasing some very nice lenses, and they seem to be the company who is sort of left in the dust. What do I mean by this? Well, look at Panasonic. They’re not giving up on Micro Four Thirds; the format in and of itself still has some merit despite what folks may moan about. But Panasonic’s cooperation with Leica and Sigma on the L mount combined with some serious competition for Sony is stealing the show in many ways.
Just a few short years ago it was pretty easy to say that APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras could never be used by professional photographers. Crop sensors cameras of yesteryear were known for poor high ISO performance, lacked a lot of features their much more expensive Full Frame brothers had, and often produced images that were lack luster, but times have changed in a major way. Current APS-C and Micro Four Thirds crop sensor cameras like the Fujifilm X-T3, the Nikon D500, the Olympus EM-1 Mk II, and the Panasonic G9 have been adopted by professional photographers around the globe, and for good reason.
Leica has been doing mirrorless cameras now for a long time, thanks to the very nature of their classic rangefinder designs. They have even been dabbling in digital mirrorless cameras over the years, with varied success. Now, reports are indicating that thanks to their continued collaboration with Panasonic, Leica is gearing up to launch two new cameras; a new full frame SL mirrorless camera and a new C-LUX compact camera.