Olympus: “No More Entry-Level DSLRs”

Not that this should really surprise anyone, but Olympus seems to have gone on record to confirm that the company is no longer interested in developing entry-level DSLRs in light of its successful PEN series, which are based on the Micro Four Thirds system.

“We do not have concrete plans to replace the E-620 and other recent SLRs. The entry level SLR class can be completely replaced by the Pen system in terms of performance.” -Toshiyuki Terada, Product manager of SLR Olympus Planning Department

Terada went on to say that Olympus plans on developing an advanced-PEN camera and, at some point, Olympus expects to phase out DSLRs entirely in favor of the mirrorless Micro Four Thirds cameras.

[via Photo Rumors]



  1. Nathan says

    So, he’s saying that a PEN will perform as well as an E-620? Which PEN has phase detect autofocus? Which PEN balances well with a telephoto lens?
    Oh, he means to say that IMAGE QUALITY can be matches with the PEN cameras. Well, only with the Four Thirds adapter. The micro 4/3 lenses are too slow and not high enough in quality.

    So, he really means that as long as you have a full second to compose your shot, and don’t need a real-time optical viewfinder, and don’t need to pan your shot to follow action, and as long as you use the same lens, with an adapter, then a PEN might be adequate at things the E-620 is good at.

    Sorry, Toshiyuki, the PEN is still not adequate. It’s worlds better than a point and shoot, but a camera is more than just a sensor in a dark box.

  2. says

    I *** LOVED *** my Olympus film SLRs. They were small, light and made a stunning image when properly used. But, Olympus orphaned the entire product line and therefore my beloved kit faded quickly into obsolescence. I was deeply disappointed but decided then that I would never again invest in an Olympus camera.

    Apparently, that was the right decision because, now, they are doing it AGAIN. Doesn’t this company have a conscience? This just reinforces it for me that these people simply can’t be trusted to build a system and go the distance.

    My suggestion? Stay away from their products.

  3. says

    Did it occur to you that Olympus must believe they can duplicate those features through innovative electronics and miniaturization? Who says the camera 50 years from today must resemble the SLR or dSLR camera of today? Cameras of today are computers with glass stuck on them. Doesn’t that open the way to completely different design concepts?

  4. says

    Well, I totally agree with Nathan. I really like olympus entry level cameras. Good price, great performance and solid look and quality. Sorry they will loose market share on this operation I think.

  5. Thegreygeek says

    The statement reads “no concrete plans” that does not mean “no plans” If there is demand there will be a DSLR, no company would not fill demand, if there was money to be made. come on. details details details… the devil is in the details.

  6. oly cow says

    If a company can abandon its customers once it can do it again. If the company can do it twice, like olympus has done with the om mount and now soon to be 4/3 mount, you can bet that when the crap hits the fan, Olympus will ditch the micro 4/3 system and its customers like a bag of rotting garbage. Olympus is in a position where they have to look at their bottom line in order to keep moving forward.The problem arises when not enough users buy into a system, then Olympus feels they have to kill that system, but by doing so, not only are they losing out on new users, but theyve destroyed and eroded the trust and the wallets of Olympus users who have spend thousands on their equipment. You cant keep expecting customers to buy your screw-drivers if you keep changing your screws. If olympus fails to exist as a camera maker someday they will have no one to blame but themselves. You cant keep shooting your own customers in the foot and expect them to keep supporting your products.

  7. Gus says

    I can see where Olympus is going with this new sistem. I personaly shoot with a Nikon D200 and Sigma lenses EX series (18-50hsm ex, 70-200hsm ex al f2.8 and I love the sigma lenses), but I also use a Ricoh GX100 and love the size and weight of it, also the controls of an SLR, but I like the 4/3’s system had an Olympus E3 and hate it it compared to my Nikon D200 in all aspect; noise, speed, low light, controls, etc. had to get rid of it hated it. Would I buy an Olympus Pen system? I checked out the EP1, compared it to my Ricoh and focus was realy bad hated it, then I checked out the Sigma DP2 love the image quality and controls, but low light realy very bad. The Olympus EPL-1 is a contender checked it out at a camera store and was very happy with it including the flash and lenses, size, weight, controls, but the noise and low light compared to my Nikon AHH, NO! so if they want to make it in the mirrorless slr type cameras for people like me that demands performance, they better do some thing with their PEN series to compare it to the performance of an SLR or Lica type camera, Olympus if you’re reading this you better make a product that is the same as an SLR full size sensor FX quality in a 4/3 system and controls. I’ll keep my Nikon D200 and Ricoh GX100 for now heck can you make it better then my Ricoh GX100 or my Ricoh GR3, can you, you better if I’m going to buy a PEN camera, just to let you know I also use an old Olympus TRIP 35, 35mm camera. Gus

  8. Scott says

    Terrible, terrible idea, if true. I have an E420 and an E620 and don’t think of them as “Entry-level” at all. They are exactly the right size, not too small, not too big. They have a nice viewfinder, and snappy focusing. They are my digital replacement for the Leicas that I used to use for street photography. Their only failure is a small deficit in sharpness, apparently due to an overly strong AA filter. I was looking forward to a follow-on model that fixed that deficiency, since many reviewers have mentioned it.

    I am not interested in any serious camera that doesn’t have a viewfinder, so I will not be buying any E-PLx camera.

    Olympus can’t possibly think that people will graduate from their m4/3 cameras to their big, clunky 4/3 models like the E-3 and E-5… If someone starts out with the m4/3 EPLx cameras, outgrows them and wants to move up, they’d have to ditch all their lenses to upgrade to an E-3. With no reason for brand loyalty, they’ll move to Nikon or Canon instead.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb. They’ve shot themselves in the foot. Again.

  9. says

    I’m very disapointed in Olympus. I’ve got a lot of money tied up in Zuiko lenses with no upgrade path except the $1700.00 E-5. Living on a fixed income, an E-5 just isn’t in my future and I just can’t see mounting my Zuiko 50-200 or Sigma 50-500 lens on a E-PL1, especially when it’s manual focus only. I guess I really screwed up when I trusted Olympus.