updated 09:45 am EDT, Mon September 22, 2008
Olympus M43rds Prototype
Olympus preceded the Photokina expo today with two prototypes of its future camera technology. The first, unnamed device is the company's first example of a Micro Four Thirds model and uses the smaller, mirrorless design to replicate the look and short, swappable lenses of a vintage rangefinder camera but with the large sensor of a digital SLR. The new design would drop any separate viewfinder altogether in favor of the preview LCD and would have simple navigation and mode dial controls.
The firm describes the example as a concept at this stage and has no specifications or other details for the camera save for its ability to support regular Four Thirds macro, telephoto and wide-angle lenses with an adapter. Plans are nonetheless underway to turn the prototype into a finished camera.
Olympus will also use the Koln, Germany-based photography show to provide an early glimpse at a mid-range DSLR using the full Four Thirds system. The camera will be part of the E-series and appears to be a balance between the high-end E-3 and lower-end E-520 in terms of features: it preserves the 11-point autofocusing of the premium camera and a high-powered body image stabilization system equal to increasing the exposure value by five stops. The company also vows improved dust- and splash-proofing.
No name has been given to this second camera, though Olympus has given it a more specific release window of winter 2009. [both via DPReview]
Micro Four Thirds concept
Mid-range Four Thirds prototype