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Olympus bringing back OM system?


davewaine 7 115 3 England
24 Jan 2012 8:54AM
See this news today: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/24/Olympus_OM_rumors . It seems possible that Olympus might be considering relaunching their old OM-system in digital form. The started phasing it out when autofocus arrived with a vengeance in the 1980s, and abandoned it altogether in 2002. Why they even considered doing that is beyond me, as a former OM-1 owner. The system was nothing short of brilliant and I know of no reason why the excellent OM mount could not have been adapted for AF and, later. digital use. The company has never been the same since. The Four Thirds format, although it produced some fine cameras, never really threatened to upset the dominance of APS-C. They expected it to be the new standard, but only Panasonic joined in. Given their recent well-publicised woes, this might be their first sensible decision in years, if it is true.

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Overread 6 3.9k 18 England
24 Jan 2012 9:08AM
I suspect its pressure for them to really take a bite out of the entry level DSLR market that Canon and Nikon are both holding; and the fact that the m4/3rds hybrids haven't managed to steal that market.
The DSLR (or SLR) just has way too many years of marketing and "pro" association to really be pushed off its perch as the lusted after consumer item. Heck many I know who are buying the hybrids are already DSLR owners just after a smaller format camera for when the big one isn't practical.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2012 9:13AM
What relatrionship would the new fandangled digital OM have with the trusty reliable film OM series? It sounds to me like they are simply trying to boost sales by slapping a trusted name on a new body.
adrian_w e2
7 3.4k 4 Scotland
24 Jan 2012 9:18AM

Quote:What relatrionship would the new fandangled digital OM have with the trusty reliable film OM series? It sounds to me like they are simply trying to boost sales by slapping a trusted name on a new body.


Well it would mean that all our cracking Zuiko lenses could get brought out of the cupboards & dusted down for use again. We lived without autofocus before, I'm sure we could re-learn the skills again.
kaybee 10 3.9k 24 Scotland
24 Jan 2012 9:28AM

Quote:What relatrionship would the new fandangled digital OM have with the trusty reliable film OM series? It sounds to me like they are simply trying to boost sales by slapping a trusted name on a new body


It seems to have worked for them with the PEN.
JJGEE 9 6.4k 18 England
24 Jan 2012 9:33AM
Another rumour I saw yesterday was that Sony are considering buying out Olympus...... not predominantly for the cameras but the medical / optical divisions !
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
24 Jan 2012 9:42AM
I said to Olympus when we went on the E-3 launch back in 2007? that what they needed to do is introduce camera like the OM-10. My reasons where that the OM-10 fastly became the most popular camera in the SLR market back in the 80s because it was a budget SLR, selling at 99 when all the other brands where at least 130. When the E-3 came along DSRLRs where in the 600-1000 bracket. If Olympus could have produced a digital SLR to sell for 300 at that time they would have cleaned up.

Instead they launched a pro end one with a minimal system back up - brilliant camera but Nikon and Canon had that corner of the market sewn up. When they did get round to producing lower spec and budget cameras so where Canon and Nikon, along with Sony .

I'm not sure an OM style camera is the way forward...does anyone care? Olympus have no doubt seen the success of the PEN and thought lets do the same with the OM camera. Well the Pen did something unique and has helped forge a place in the new camera form and function. But an OM? If it takes OM lenses then yes there are a hell of a lot of old lenses still out there, and although I do use old manual focus lenses a lot on my system, I know most people don't want manual focus.

So if they could make the old lenses autofocus that would be cool, but it would look a bit Heath Robinson with a grip ring bolted on the the outside of the lens. Or if the price was in the OM 10 budget smashing arena that might work, but according to the story above, at $1300 it isn't.
joshwa e2
4 710 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2012 9:48AM
The original OM SLR camera has always appealled to me. I almost bought a mint one in Camdem market, but thought better of it. I do have two lenses though, that I've used with 4:3rds and now m43rds that are very sharp Smile
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
24 Jan 2012 9:48AM

Quote:What relatrionship would the new fandangled digital OM have with the trusty reliable film OM series? It sounds to me like they are simply trying to boost sales by slapping a trusted name on a new body.

Well it would mean that all our cracking Zuiko lenses could get brought out of the cupboards & dusted down for use again. We lived without autofocus before, I'm sure we could re-learn the skills again.



You could Adrian. But who would want to?

There may be some who do, indeed, have old lenses in the cupboard. But the serious amateurs amongst them will almost certainly have long since opted for an alternative SLR system and are unlikely to return to Olympus just for sentimental reasons. The OM system was, indeed, up there with Canon, Pentax and Nikon in the olden days but it certainly would not compare favourably if put against the Nikons and Canons of today.

Also, remember that the old Zuiko lenses are not only manual focus - they have not been digitally optimised either. Having said that, a friend who wanted a cheap way into Macro photography with his Canon SLR did buy a 50mm f/1.8 Zuiko lens for a few s (less than 10) on eBay to use with a reversing ring and is delighted with the results.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2012 10:09AM

Quote:What relatrionship would the new fandangled digital OM have with the trusty reliable film OM series? It sounds to me like they are simply trying to boost sales by slapping a trusted name on a new body

It seems to have worked for them with the PEN.



In the PEN they resurrected not the original PEN as such, but the concept of a compact body which was a break from the existing designs and this was only possible with the creation of the MFT format (Panasonic was still largely making DSLR-style in a smaller body). If they resurrect the OM it will be in direct competition with CaNikon DSLRs as has already been mentioned.
timbo 12 592 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2012 10:42AM
There's a lot of retro stuff about at present, I've just bought the fuji X10 for the way it feels and looks as much as for it's picture taking ability. Having a viewfinder on a compact was a big issue for me.
The OM system was a delight to use and i'm very attached to mine whereas my nikon film kit was sold on long ago with no remorse.
I for one will be very interested to see what this updated version has to offer. If it feels and handles anywhere near how my OM1, 2 or 4 do then I will be very keen to get my hands on one.
cameracat 11 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
24 Jan 2012 10:55AM
All very rose tinted, Despite owning some Olympus kit ( nostalgic reasons ) Today down on planet Earth, We use todays technology for obvious reasons.

The problem with ressurecting an old model, Even if it is in name only, Will be the association with technology of yesteryear, How do you market that, By saying something like " New digital OM version, As good as the old OM system " ....? No way, Its got to be a whole lot better, To do that will cost in production, The price will not be competitive, Then unless it thrashes the pants off the competition, Its not going to set the world alight.....!!!

Olympus and others failed to see the way things where going digitally, Hanging onto the past, Or looking backwards to past glories is never a way " Forward ", A lesson they have now learned.

Does the world need another Dragon Slayer, I don't think so.....Wink
hornchurch 3 108
24 Jan 2012 1:03PM
I have a fair collection of olympus cameras... Mainly om10 Olympus trip35 etc etc..... then when I wanted to buy a better body Olympus decided that there 0m3 0m4 bodies would be 500 pounds plus... when I phoned olympus to querry this I got a " its the yen " reason for the price.. when I pointed out nikon and canon had cameras for far less I was advised to buy a second hand 0m1....... olympus Back then seemed to lose the plot..... I have olympus om lenses of 28,50,135, and sigma 400,600 but would never buy olympus on principle......I can remember them in the end wanting 1350 for a 0m3-0m4 body a utter joke.....I now use canon and will not go back...... I used to sell cameras.... and olympus in those days with there " who do you think you are David bailey " adverts with george cole and Mr Bailey were immense....... I sold shed loads of cameras af1, af10, om10, om2n, ... then the 0m4 came out at450 for a body which was a tad high compared with a canon t90 then they just wracked the price up and lost customers....
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
24 Jan 2012 1:11PM
Olympus have seen how successful the Pen range has been and want to recreate that success with resurrection of the OM tag for DSLRs. Too little, too late and too much money!
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
24 Jan 2012 4:05PM
From what I`ve read and seen, its going to be more of a pro grade Pen with a viewfinder, taking M4/3 lenses, the dust/weatherproof kit lens is already available.

LOl but I could be wrong Smile


Quote:I'm not sure an OM style camera is the way forward...does anyone care? Olympus have no doubt seen the success of the PEN and thought lets do the same with the OM camera. Well the Pen did something unique and has helped forge a place in the new camera form and function. But an OM? If it takes OM lenses then yes there are a hell of a lot of old lenses still out there, and although I do use old manual focus lenses a lot on my system, I know most people don't want manual focus


Agree.


Quote:I suspect its pressure for them to really take a bite out of the entry level DSLR market that Canon and Nikon are both holding


Not one bit, they took a different path with the E1 and stuck to it.


Quote:What relatrionship would the new fandangled digital OM have with the trusty reliable film OM series? It sounds to me like they are simply trying to boost sales by slapping a trusted name on a new body


They did this with the Pen so why not Smile

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