Olympus USA comments on upcoming SLR!|
(Friday, April 27, 2001 - 16:58 EDT)
Pricing not decided, Olympus suggests 'wait and see' attitude...
We told you this morning (courtesy of Yamada Kumio and the digitalcamera.gr.jp website) about an upcoming interchangeable lens SLR digital camera from Olympus. Our information from Yamada-san indicated the camera would have a Kodak 5.1 megapixel CCD image sensor, new interchangeable lens mount and several other features at a price of ¥200,000.
Since then, we've spoken to Olympus USA, and they commented on the news as follows:
"Olympus is committed to providing the 'state of the art' in digital photography to their customers and the photographic field. The E-10 and it's auxiliary lenses is an example of this commitment to digital photography. The 35-140mm f 2.0-2.4 ED glass lens and its 4 auxiliary lenses provide excellent price to performance value for the serious digital photographer. Olympus will continue the development of the E series cameras and improvements to this platform as well as explore additional design concepts and platforms. The E-10 currently provides the best platform for digital photography, winning many awards due to its excellence in design. The Olympus CAMEDIA concept is to provide the best easy to use consumer and advanced digital cameras in the future. The announcement of the 4/3" CCD chip design is the first step in establishing a true digital camera and lens system that can provide a standard in the industry for future development in the photographic industry. The concept of this announcement in Japan today with a standardized 4/3" CCD and lens system at a reasonable price further shows Olympus commitment to digital photography and the customer. Pricing for future cameras will be decided after the camera specification and production cost is determined, until that time all prices are speculative and can change." The price quoted by Olympus Japan does seem very low, and we feel that given Olympus USA's cautious statement, it may be that the price projection could be optimistic given the time-frame we're talking about here. Obviously, a lot will depend on market conditions when the camera reaches retail, however we do feel that the price may be more of a target than a final value.
In the 18 months between now and the projected launch date, the realities of producing a complicated new camera, lens mount, and associated accessories may force the company to raise its projections somewhat. However, should the projected specifications prove accurate, we feel that the price could go up somewhat and still prove to be an extremely good value. Much depends on what other cameras are launched by Olympus' rivals (and at what price points) in this time - and believe us, in the digicam world 18 months is a very long time!