NEWSFLASH: Olympus to slash the cost of digital SLRs?|
(Friday, April 27, 2001 - 09:49 EDT)
Japanese website posts news of upcoming digital SLR based on Olympus, Kodak cooperation...
Our good friend Yamada Kumio at the digitalcamera.gr.jp website emailed us last night with some sensational news from Japan; apologies for the delay getting this posted but we only saw the email this morning! According to Yamada-san, Olympus will announce a new interchangeable-lens SLR digital camera with a 4/3" CCD image sensor at PMA in February 2002. The announcement was made by a Mr. Kojima of Olympus at Kodak's 'e-Revolution 2001' event in Tokyo yesterday. The camera is being described as a 'dream digital SLR for photographers'...
Eagle-eyed readers will now have their curiosity picqued - yes, we did say Olympus made the announcement at a Kodak event. ;) Why? Because the camera will use a Kodak CCD, the KAF-5100CE... First announced in late August of 2000, the 4/3" 5.1 megapixel KAF-5100CE has roughly four times the area of the 2/3" CCD sensor used in Olympus' existing E-10 digital camera, and about 6 times the area of the 1/2" sensors used in most consumer digicams. (Incidentally, it is also larger than the sensors used in the EOS D30, FinePix S1 Pro and Nikon D1 as well...) This means that not only is the resolution higher than image sensors in most current digicams, but the pixel size is actually bigger as well - meaning more light is gathered, and there's a better ratio of signal/noise. Yamada-san notes that with this sensor size, you could reduce the pixel size to 4 microns similar to current cameras and get 16 megapixel output (although obviously the camera being announced is 5 megapixel at this time).
Even more impressive is the price being suggested. Yamada-san mentions a price of ¥200,000 (US$1636) - and this apparently includes a lens as well (at launch, there should be a selection of 5 lenses available). A new lens mount is being developed specifically to match the 4/3" sensor size, which Olympus/Kodak hope to make a defacto industry standard. This would enhance competition and help expand the market, the companies feel.
The camera will be formally announced at the PMA 2002 show which will be held from February 24-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida (we'll be there, of course, and will doubtless bring you more information on the camera). It will then reach the marketplace for sale by Photokina 2002, which takes place September 25-30 in Cologne, Germany, and will feature magneto-optical mass storage and Bluetooth wireless communications. Also available will be a long life power-pack, hand grip, macro and viewer accessories. More information will be made available over time...
Thanks to Yamada Kumio for contacting us, and giving us permission to translate this big news!
Yamada Kumio / digitalcamera.gr.jp
for this item!