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Olympus at Photokina: Big Ideas for Small Cameras
by Allison Johnson -  9/21/2010

At Photokina 2010 Olympus announced a new concept camera. The mock-up point-and-shoot's defining feature will be a high-quality Zuiko lens, going where no other Zuiko has gone since the 80's.

Olympus

With some whimsical oversized office furniture available for photo opps, the Olympus booth underscored a drive for big ideas.

Olympus's new concept camera is quite a bit smaller than the Pen camera we had on hand, mostly in depth. On the back is a sliding switch for a pop-up flash, much like that of the E-P2 and E-PL1. Some sparse controls and a large control wheel occupied most of the back panel. It felt and looked a little bit like an oversized PowerShot S90/95.

Olympus

The forthcoming camera will have an accessory port like the E-P2 and E-PL1 and will be able to accept the same Pen accessories. It's one step closer to actual pocket size. The Pen cameras are smaller than DSLRs, but they're not on par with a compact camera given everything that's packed inside of them. The little unnamed concept camera has the potential to offer good quality optics with a sizable zoom range and a very slim body.

Olympus

The obligatory frozen Stylus Tough cam was on display as well. Some unique digital Pen cameras were also displayed with some (apologies for this) really wild skins.

Olympus Olympus

We're not forgetting about the recent launch of the E-5 though. We sat down with Olympus's Sally Smith Clemens who underscored one of the E-5's improvements - better resolving power thanks to a reduction in the strength of the moiré and color filter.

They've outsourced some of the corrections achieved by the filter to the camera's processing engine and made the actual filter less strong, which Olympus claims should help maintain better resolving power. It's a logical proposal, the less "stuff" you put between the lens and the sensor, it would seem the better you'd be able to make use of the lens's power. That's something we'll investigate when a full-fledged review unit rolls into the DCR office.