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  • PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

    I'm delighted to say that on 4th March in Las Vegas, I will have half an hour or so out of the very busy PMA 09 schedule of Akira Watanabe to discuss the future of Four Thirds and the E-System in particular. Mr.Watanabe is one of the most senior managers in the Olympus E-System business.

    If you have any suggestions for questions to put to him - about Four Thirds, Micro Four Thirds, lenses, strategy, etc., you can post them here or send me a forum mail message.

    There is no guarantee that I can include all the questions posed, but I will do my best.

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

  • #2
    Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

    What a great opportunity Ian, you know we're all jealous! I would ask:

    1. What does m4/3 mean to the current Oly lineup?
    2. Will we see a top-of-the-line successor to the E-3?
    3. 10 years from now what will the Oly product landscape look like?

    And finally thank him for providing us with the tools that make photography so enjoyable.
    Oly EM-5 | Oly E-30 | Oly E-1 | FL-36 | mZD 9-18mm | PL 25mm f/1.4 | ZD 12-60mm SWD | ZD 50-200mm SWD | ZD 50mm f/2 | Gallery

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    • #3
      Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

      I'd be interested to know if Olympus will have (when?) an underwater housing for m4/3 cameras. Thanx.
      GF1 / E-5 / TM900

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      • #4
        Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

        Ian

        I am less interested in product specific questions, products will arrive as when Olympus is ready to release them. I am interested in the general technical direction of the 4/3rds platform and its derivatives. Questions such as how Olympus plans move sensor technology forward. How it will address the perceived IQ shortcomings of 4/3rds (with specific reference to DR) and which of the m4/3rds innovations will we see cross over into 4/3rds, innovations such as the EVF.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

          Is the global recession and recently announced losses by Olympus likely to affect further development of the E-System over the next few years or the introduction of an Olympus micro4/3 system?
          View my ebook, The Light Fantastic, at: http://store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/3026...ight-fantastic

          John

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          • #6
            Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

            Lens development: Oly mentioned in an Asian interview after the mFT announcement that they were not interested in designing lenses that needed to be corrected by software. Panasonic takes the other direction here. How does the Oly direction affect development time, has the shorter registration caused any unforseen problems and what has changed on the telecentric issue? A second question would be do they have any insights or comments about the corner/edge smearing that is showing up with M mount lenses on the G1?
            Since there are rumors of a new body, to be announce in the next week or so, I suspect these will be filler questions during an interview.
            Bob

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            • #7
              Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

              m43 bodies in 2009 : how many? when expected, details to which quarter is good enough
              m43 lens roadmap
              will EVF or OVF be included with m43 bodies
              Thanks

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              • #8
                Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

                Originally posted by Bear View Post
                Ian

                I am less interested in product specific questions, products will arrive as when Olympus is ready to release them. I am interested in the general technical direction of the 4/3rds platform and its derivatives. Questions such as how Olympus plans move sensor technology forward. How it will address the perceived IQ shortcomings of 4/3rds (with specific reference to DR) and which of the m4/3rds innovations will we see cross over into 4/3rds, innovations such as the EVF.
                My questions are very similar to Bear's--I'm interested in the general direction of 4/3 and the overall lineup, and the upcoming technical advances. I'm still confused by the E-30 in this regard. It was billed as a midrange camera to fill the gap between the E-3 and E-520. But it is still priced so close to the E-3 that it doesn't seem to fill any gap. The only truly new part is the sensor, and it seems to be only a minor improvement. And those gimmicky art filters . . . So, how does Olympus see the lineup shaping up in the future, and how will the technology evolve and improve?

                - Hal -
                A Still Mind - Photography, Music, Meditation, Ministry - www.astillmind.net
                Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.

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                • #9
                  Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

                  Originally posted by deevee View Post
                  will EVF or OVF be included with m43 bodies
                  that's an easy one to answer, since elimination of the mirrors required for an OVF is part of the standard, all m4/3 bodies MUST be EVFs.

                  I think that everything that I could think of has been covered. Would like to hear more about when their m4/3s offerings can be expected, but I would suspect that will be part of the show any way!
                  ~Reggie

                  Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

                  Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

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                  • #10
                    Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

                    Originally posted by hschnee View Post
                    But it is still priced so close to the E-3 that it doesn't seem to fill any gap.
                    you mean fills the gap in my wallet where my money use to be!?
                    Oly EM-5 | Oly E-30 | Oly E-1 | FL-36 | mZD 9-18mm | PL 25mm f/1.4 | ZD 12-60mm SWD | ZD 50-200mm SWD | ZD 50mm f/2 | Gallery

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Olympus: Utilize the advantages of the FourThirds system!

                      Hello Ian,

                      I am wondering why Olympus does not utilize the advantages of the FourThirds system completely (great depth-of-field for macro and small super telephoto lenses) by offering some additional lenses (pro / high grade):

                      - ZD 300/4.0
                      - ZD 100/2.8 Macro
                      - ZD 25/2.0 Macro
                      - ZD 18/1.8 (such a lens is definitely missing too)

                      The Olympus E-System would become extremely interesting for every macro and bird photographer (who cannot afford the 300/2.8 or the 90-250/2.8).

                      Kind regards
                      mapr

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Olympus: Utilize the advantages of the FourThirds system!

                        There are excellent questions posted here. I don't know if you'd want to ask this, but when the E-330 came out there was a sense that Olympus had the portfolio of technologies to permit a two-sensor solution to double resolution and reduce interpolation (as one sensor would then be all green and the other 50:50 red and blue). Maybe this has been thoroughly debunked and isn't worth asking.
                        (I personally am most interested in the E-3 "successor" but also a micro 4:3 with a fast wide prime.)

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                        • #13
                          Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

                          This may be a bit left field - a bit too mad to mention, but I wish you would as it might sow a seed.
                          You know where I'm coming from, Ian, with legacy lenses in mind. I'd like to see some re-computed old zuikos made again. We've seen Zeiss, voigtlander, Pentax and leica putting out new versions of old manual focus classics - with a little help from cosina sometimes. Why not a new version of a classic OM zuiko?
                          Then perhaps a full frame digital OM body . Manual exposure and manual focus with a sensor on the lines of the leica M8 with angled photosite thingies to help out the older lenses at wide apertures. An OM5 with a 40mm f2 perhaps?
                          Of course this is way out of line with 4/3 but not far off the big scheme of things in Olympus history, and quite appealing to many users of Olympus reflex cameras.

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                          • #14
                            Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

                            Originally posted by Xpres View Post
                            I'd like to see some re-computed old zuikos made again. We've seen Zeiss, voigtlander, Pentax and leica putting out new versions of old manual focus classics - with a little help from cosina sometimes. Why not a new version of a classic OM zuiko?
                            A line of manual focus lenses is an idea that I would support, too. Auto diaphrams and some kind of focus confirmation (for VFs less than the E-3) would ease some of the hassle of using legacy lenses. Not having AF motors and chips might offset the expense of a limited run of an pre-existing classic lens. Might as well jump Zeiss with their ZO lenses...
                            Bob

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                            • #15
                              Re: PMA 09 interview with Olympus Akira Watanabe

                              1. WHEN will the E-3 successor hit the shelves?
                              2. WHAT new features will it have?
                              3. What is coming next in sensor development?

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