Olympus E-A1 Four Thirds Camera

September 22, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras | 2 Comments |

Olympus Four Thirds CameraOlympus have announced the development of a new Four Thirds E-System DSLR camera, tentatively called the Olympus E-A1. Positioned between the E-520 and E-3 as a mid-level advanced amateur model, introduction of the new E-A1 camera is expected in the first quarter of the year 2009.  It will inherit some features from the E-3 such as the high-speed AF system using 11-points-full twin cross sensor and the built-in image stabilization mechanism. Other features include a new and updated feature to replace the current splash- and dust-proof function. The developed E-A1 camera will be exhibited at Photokina.

Today at 12midday CET, Olympus unveiled a non-working prototype of a new mid-range FourThirds DSLR that will slot in between the existing E-520 and E-3 models. We have some close-up shots of the mock-up – complete with a 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens mounted - for you to scrutinise. The new camera will inherit some of the features of the E-3, including the fast 11-point AF system, LiveView delivered on a hinged monitor, body-integral image stabilisation and a very similar user interface. Other than hinting at changes to the weatherproofing, Olympus have not provided much information on exactly what will differentiate this product from the E-3. The planned release date is Spring 2008.

We have a gallery of product shots of the new camera - hit the continue link below to see them…

Olympus Press Release

Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Masaharu Okubo) is developing a new interchangeable-lens digital SLR (single lens reflex) within the Olympus E-System. This new Four Thirds-compliant camera reinforces the company’s commitment to the standard.

Positioned as a mid-level model, this new interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera is intended for anyone who wants to express their creativity through photography, whether they are an amateur just starting out or a profession with years of experience behind them. Introduction of the new camera is expected in the first quarter of the year 2009.

The developed camera will be exhibited as a reference product at Photokina 2008, the world’s biggest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held at the Cologne Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany, on 23 to 28 September in this autumn.

At the last Photokina in the autumn of 2006, Olympus declared in 2007, the second chapter in the story of the Olympus E-System would begin. One of the highlights of this chapter was the incorporation of “Full-Time Live View” function as a standard function for the first time in the industry, adding to the excitement already generated by other distinctive features of the E-System such as the “100% Digital-Dedicated Design” and “Dust Reduction System.” At present, the E-System camera lineup includes popular models such as the E-420 and E-520, as well as the flagship E-3. All of these cameras provide digital SLR camera users with the high picture quality, superior reliability and exceptional portability they need.

The camera announced today is being developed as an advanced amateur model that will be positioned between the E-520 and E-3. In terms of quality and performance, however, there is nothing mid-level about this model. It will inherit all the outstanding features of the E-3 such as the high-speed AF system using 11-points-full twin cross sensor and the built-in image stabilization mechanism with a correction effect of max. 5 EV steps*1. Other features include a new and updated feature to replace the current splash- and dust-proof function. Olympus hopes to release this new camera in the first quarter of the year 2009.

With the introduction of this new camera, Olympus will expand its line of Four Thirds System-compliant digital SLR cameras, providing a wider range of choices to a wider range of users from serious amateurs to professionals.

Outline of Developed Product
Category Product Name Launch Date MSRP
Four Thirds System-compliant, Lens interchangeable type digital single lens reflex camera Not determined First quarter of the year 2009 Not determined

* According to our in-house test conditions
Developed Product: Olympus E-System interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera positioned as a mid-level model

Olympus Four Thirds Camera

Olympus Four Thirds DSLR Olympus Four Thirds DSLR
   
Olympus Four Thirds DSLR Olympus Four Thirds DSLR
   
Olympus Four Thirds DSLR Olympus Four Thirds DSLR
   
Olympus Four Thirds DSLR  


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#1 DBR

I'll be watching this and the micro four-thirds closely. When I bought my new DSLR this year I had decided on paper that the E3 was everything I wanted (heavily influenced by those wonderful lenses and the better depth of field offered by the smaller standard.) When I got tot he store and picked it up, though, it was simply too heavy for me. I was so disappointed but did not want to drop all the way down to the E520. I'm afraid they lost a customer to Pentax K20D.

9:00 am - Monday, September 22, 2008

#2 LP

I hope that they do some work on the sensor. All reviews done on the current E-series DSLR's point at the sensor as being the weakest part of otherwise good cameras...

6:13 am - Tuesday, September 30, 2008