Not ‘one beautiful system’?

This is from the 4/3 Rumours website, a conversation had by a Russian Journalist with Mr Akira Watanabe of the Olympus DSLR Product Planning dept.

It is a google translation from Russian to English hence the strange grammar.

“There is nothing sensational on that front: yes, the DSLR system is also important for us, we don’t forget users of our 4/3 optics. We have E-5 in our product line for them. It is possible that we may return to active development but for now I cannot say anything at the moment. The current situation is such that we have to provide stability and survival, and that is what the PEN system is dedicated to. By the way, their sales are good. We tried to adapt 4/3 optics to the micro system but there are fundamental troubles: the phase detection system is made to calculate a required focusing shift and to make that shift immediately but the contrast detection system uses iteration fidgets by its nature. We cannot get them to work right, so in fact we have given up on this option. That roughly is the situation.” Watanabe also said me that many leading managers and bosses at Olympus use the E-5 personally so understand the anxiety of DSLR users.”

So the upshot is that Olympus have had trouble adapting 4/3 lenses to the micro 4/3 system and are not going to try any further. This goes against their release earlier this year when they said that they foresee one ‘beautiful system’ encompassing 4/3 and m4/3. So Olympus probably now need to decide whether to dump 4/3 altogether. However, the good news is that they haven’t said they would not develop any further 4/3 DSLR’s or lenses just that they need to pursue micro 4/3 for the survival of the photographic division at the present time.


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