I’m a fan of Olympus cameras. I cut my teeth on the 35mm OM-1 and OM2S (a generous gift from a relative), so when I finally went digital in 2008, I bought a brand new Olympus E-30. I was wide-eyed at the prospect of a long future with the 4/3 format. I loved that Olympus had once again been innovative, making a DSLR that was digital from the ground-up… not just a 35mm camera dressed up to be digital.
The Kodak/Olympus 4/3 standard was a great idea. But, like many great ideas, it never quite took off. People want a “full-frame” DSLR, with a sensor that mimics the exact dimensions of a piece of 35mm film (ironic, since that film size was a fluke, and never a perfect solution anyway… the 4/3 aspect ratio is more pleasing).
Olympus gave us the E-5. Then the OM-D micro-4/3 came along and shook up the whole industry. Suddenly, pro mirrorless photography is a real possibility. Olympus have now plunked all of their resources into their micro-4/3 division, leaving the standard 4/3 crowd waiting on the sidelines to see what will become of their high-price lenses.
Olympus promises to release a camera of some kind that will properly focus the standard 4/3 lenses… but many of us are holding onto the idea of a true DSLR with an optical viewfinder. It’s more likely that the next model will be a “Pro-OM-D,” a micro-4/3 mirrorless camera system that can focus both m4/3 and standard 4/3 lenses. If so, I’m fine with that. As long as Olympus doesn’t ditch the people who have spent money on their truly stellar 4/3 lenses.
Out of frustration, some Olympus users are jumping ship to Canikon; a move that, in my opinion, couldn’t come at a worse time. Why jump to a different DSLR when the whole DSLR-concept is slowly fading away? That’s just more wasted money. To any Olympus E-System users reading this, I say hold on… wait… keep calm.
There’s a very good chance that the hybrid Pro-OM-D (or whatever Oly has up their sleeve) will be another game changer. And if you wait for it, you’ll already have a nice collection of 4/3 lenses to throw on it.