by Ian Burley
Welcome to Four Thirds User, or if you like, FTU. This independently-published website is for anyone, anywhere, interested in using elements of the Four Thirds camera system, originally developed by Olympus and now embraced by Panasonic, Leica and Sigma.
FTU is all about you and everyone else interested in Four Thirds gear whether you use a Four Thirds camera or not (yet!). The site is designed to be a platform for discussion, appreciation and sharing of knowledge and imagery. We're providing you with a fully-featured discussion forum, integrated with a user photo gallery. The forum will be linked to our editorial section, where we will be building up a library of professionally commissioned reviews, tutorials and comment articles, each of which can be discussed on the forum. And we are incorporating a Wikipedia-style knowledge sharing base that you can contribute to directly, focussed specifically on Four Thirds topics.
I have been imagining the idea of this website ever since Olympus launched the E-1 back in 2003 yes it was that long ago! Other commitments, writing for UK photo magazines and running FTU's sister site, Digital Photography Now, since 2001, have prevented me from making this dream a reality, until now.
Let me make it perfectly clear, FTU is a commercial site we have to run adverts and we seek sponsorship and other forms of income to maintain and develop the site. I'm pleased to say that the site has funding in place for basic running costs for the first year of operation. This investment will enable FTU to regularly publish professional-quality articles and help us to develop the site into a leading independent online focus for Four Thirds news, information, images and debate.
While FTU is an independent site, its raison-d'κtre is the Four Thirds consortium of manufacturers. I must credit them, through their support and encouragement, for the existence of FTU, for without it the site would probably remain just a dream.
I couldn't have realised Four Thirds User without the help of the 'behinds the scenes' team, including: Chad Everett, David Pepper, Alicia Butler, Mark Watkins, and Julia Burley a great deal of thanks is due to them.
Four Thirds User