Olympus May Have Canned a Vertical Sensor PEN Prototype

Kevin-Lee The Phoblographer Olympus PEN E-PL7 Product Images (1 of 9)

Reports state that Olympus had been working on a PEN camera prototype equipped with a vertical sensor. A source, who claims to have seen the camera, told 43 RumorsThe pen line isn’t discontinued, rather it’s being taken back to its roots.

The vertical sensor harkens back to some of Olympus’ original film cameras like the Olympus PEN D2, which was a half frame SLR camera made with a vertical shutter. What do we mean by half frame? For each photo it shot, only half of a normal 35mm shot was exposed. What that means in practice is that a typical 24 photo roll could yield you 48 photos.

But the shutter different properties too. At the same time because of the vertical shutter, the camera would take portrait images when the users held the camera horizontally. To take images in landscape the photographer would have to hold the camera vertically.

Olympus has been purportedly toying around with this old design because of the way the sideways travelling shutter saved space for a viewfinder on top of the camera. Unlike the Sony A6000 or Panasonic GX7, this camera would potentially have an EVF hump on top of the camera body rather than a display bumped off to the left side–which is more ergonomically in line with rangefinders.

However, the source also said the camera will likely only remain as a prototype because management believes there’s too much risk in releasing such an unorthodox camera.

 

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.