Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Olympus OM-D

Lumix GF1 and Olympus OM2
I got sent one of those notes about the upcoming new Olympus camera a couple of days ago. To be truthful I've only just got around to reading it, and it was only when I noticed that the O and M in the wording had been slightly emboldened that I paid more attention.

Anyone that reads my rather occasional photography blog rashbre snapped will know I'm quite a fan of the Olympus OM SLRs, which were a range of film cameras. The original cameras were created back in the 1970s and are something of a design classic with simple controls in just the right place and a huge selection of good quality prime lenses to accompany.

I've tried fixing the OM Zuiko lenses to modern Canon bodies, with good effect and still take an Olympus OM-2 out for walks sometimes.

So the recent Olympus note is quite intriguing, although my suspicion is that the rumoured new camera will be somewhat different from the original form of the Olympus. I doubt they will use a mirror, more likely an electronic view finder and probably micro 4/3rds format, something like the Lumix GF-1 example I show in the picture above.

So ahead of any formal announcement of the new camera, I'll review a few design pointers from the original.
  1. The pyramid shaped prism area
  2. The shutter speed ring around the lens
  3. Full Frame (it was 35 mm)
  4. An aperture ring on the lenses
  5. Compatibility with the OM lens system
  6. Largely (simple) manual controls
Beyond the overly silvered-up and strangely copy-written 'artists impressions' like below, it will be interesting to see how much of this could be preserved in a commercially viable update for the 21st century? Olympus OM-D ?

3 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I owned a little Olympus camera many many years ago---Used it quite a bot, particularly in France in 1969...It was not an SLR but it was a terrific camera---and at the time, the smallest GOOD camera one could find....!

rashbre said...

Naomi Maybe it was an Olympus Trip. There's quite a few of them still in working order too!

Imaginography said...

My first SLR was an OM10. It will be interesting to see reviews of the new Olympus offering.