The next Olympus E-System camera?

My other articles related to the Olympus E-System cameras.

Oh, no! As soon as the gossip on the Olympus E-500 SLR subsided, being replaced by official announcement and full details, and the actual camera release, we have another round.

First, a regular visitor to these pages provided me with two pictures, showing what looks like the upcoming high-end, professional SLR model by Olympus.

After a few days it became quite clear that the pictures are a fake, a practical joke played with use of a graphics program. This is quite possible; such things happened in the past and will happen again. (I think I made it clear at the original posting that all we have at the moment are these two pictures from an unknown source, so if you took this sting too seriously, blame yourself, not me!) Remember that the whole story is based on these two images!

The pictures show a camera built like a tank, even bigger than E-1, and with a built-in vertical grip. The front looks much like that of the E-1, with the focus-assist light and external WB sensor. (No wonder if a picture of that model was used to do the collage.) Note the "11.0 Megapixel" sign at the bottom.

The same person who sent me the pictures also did some digging in camera pictures available on the Web, and this is what he said:

...The bottom battery compartment is identical to that of the Nikon D2H. The round cursor control on the back is in the same position as in the D2H and has the same shape. The column of buttons were lifted from a picture of the E-500. I must say it was a very good Photoshop job!

Would we like the next Olympus flagship model to look like this? Myself, rather not. I do not use my gear for prolonged periods of time under adverse conditions, and I'm not too willing to carry a camera weighing more than a kilogram, plus lens, not to mention the price. Even the the E-1 is a tad bigger than I would like.

A few weeks after the dust settled on the E-5 Olykon Frankenstein, near the end of November, I received another picture floating around the 'Net; this time claimed to show a new E-3. Here it is.

You can see the prominent "12.5 MP" sign as well as "[Mega] Optical Image Stabilizer" below.

Once again: do not treat this one too seriously, either. It may or may not be true. Don't ask me if I know anything else about this model: I don't.

(The hot shoe seems quite large relative to the lens diameter; compare that with the E-1 using the same lens, with the same flash system.)

When the real announcement of the new E-x model comes from Olympus, in the first months of 2006, we will see how these speculations were close to reality. I have no doubt Olympus will come up with a top-shelf body for its premium lens line, but so far they are quite tight-lipped about any features it may have.

In the meantime, stop salivating, grab your current camera, and start shooting some pictures.

My other articles related to the Olympus E-System cameras.

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Posted 2005/10/17; last updated 2005/11/24 Copyright © 2005 by J. Andrzej Wrotniak.