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Olympus' E-System prototype. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus: New E-System prototype (UPDATED)
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, September 25, 2006 - 18:11 EDT)

Olympus Imaging Corporation has released a statement from company president Masaharu Okubo reaffirming Olympus' commitment to its E-System "designed-for-digital" SLR camera system.

Published right before the start of this year's Photokina tradeshow, the statement confirms that next year the company will unveil a successor to its current E-1 flagship SLR model, some four years after that camera launched the E-System lineup. The statement also sums up the E-System's achievements so far, with five camera bodies, seventeen lenses and a range of accessories launched, along with innovations such as the first DSLR dust reduction system (recently replicated by a number of competitors) and a DSLR with a full-time live LCD preview.

No details have been provided of the upcoming E-1 replacement, but the company will be exhibiting a concept model showing its ongoing work on the design. Following below are three photographs of this concept model, courtesy of Olympus, along with the full text of Okubo-san's statement.

Olympus' E-System prototype. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.


UPDATED 2006-09-27 16:12ET: Photos replaced with higher resolution versions.

Original Source Press Release:

September 2006 - The Olympus E-System

The Olympus E-System is a "designed-for-digital" SLR camera system that has grown considerably since the original Olympus E-1 camera body was launched in 2003. Today, the system includes 5 camera bodies, 17 ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses, and a wide range of accessories. In addition to this growth in the E-System lineup, we have led the way with innovations such as a Dust-Reduction System, full-time Live View, and the introduction of the world's lightest, most compact, digital SLR camera body. We think of this as Chapter One in the history of the Olympus E-System, and we hope it has helped more people to enjoy photography and be satisfied with the quality of the images they obtain.

Chapter Two will begin next year, we will continue to develop revolutionary features that extend the frontiers of digital SLR photography, and to strengthen the E-System body, lens, and accessory lineup.

Olympus' E-System prototype. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

A successor to our current E-1 flagship will also be introduced next year. Work on this new camera, exhibited at Photokina 2006 as a concept model, is ongoing. Our future product plans include everything from a flagship model aimed at working professionals, to entry-level models for users who are new to SLR photography. We will continue to develop Olympus E-System bodies, lenses, and accessories for a wide range of genres, so that even more people are able to take photographs that could never be taken before.

Digital SLR systems play a key role in our business plans. We are currently strengthening our development resources in this area, and are working to bring even more products to market. We assure you there will be successors to the E-1 constantly, and the Olympus E-System and the Four Thirds System will continue to grow.

Masaharu Okubo
President, Olympus Imaging Corporation

Olympus' E-System prototype. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

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