“This is all that will remain after me.” The ten greatest Olympus cameras

Olympus started its journey as a company producing thermometers, and then the microscope and medical equipment — and turned to “pop” the market for consumer equipment, namely cameras, only in the late 1930s in search of greater profits. Ironic that this market Olympus eventually refuses, again focusing on medical and scientific equipment. So the direction of photography could be called a kind of experiment and an internal startup. Start-up length in ‘ 84, during which the Olympus proved itself one of the most original-thinking companies are not shy of innovative solutions, which led her as a serious success, and in a dead end.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is probably the last camera, released under the auspices of Olympus

But the sale of the business in the development and production of cameras, following three unprofitable years in a row, not bad and wrong decisions — this has resulted, first and foremost, a sharp reduction in the market, the “dead” smartphones. To keep you on track and on, Olympus is just not enough resources. I hope that Japan Industrial Partners, which would go to the business to the end of the year, will be able to keep it afloat, but the fate of laptops under the VAIO brand ( at the time Sony had sold the business JIP) has not been encouraging.

Well, delve into the history. Maybe she is a serious proceeding, but while it’s hard to believe.

Semi Olympus II

The second camera in the history of Olympus, medium format camera. The first Semi Olympus I, published in 1936, of course, has even more historical significance, but it was not fully Olympus camera: shutter was made by a German company, Auto Compur, case made the company The Proud. Like the cars of that time — filling from one supplier, car body from another. The authorship of Takachiho Seisakusho (since then called the company) owned, in fact, the only lens Zuiko 75mm f/4.5.

Semi Olympus II, released in 1938, was the first camera developed by Japanese company from the ground up. Not exactly this, but in General any Japanese company before that all the cameras produced in Japan, had a foreign component. Lens it stood the same, and in General design differed little from the Semi Olympus I, but all his own.

Olympus 35 I

The first 35-mm Olympus camera and the first 35mm camera sold in the Japanese market. Came out in 1948. In it, the company showed their attraction to non — standard decision- this rangefinder model has a frame size of 32 × 24 mm, slightly smaller than the standard 35mm format. And Yes, the aspect ratio was close to 4:3 — very symbolic, given the developments in the “digital era”.

This camera received lens Zuiko 40mm f/3.5… a built-in shutter. The chamber has been very successful due to its small size and fast performance. In future released versions of the camera with a standard frame size (36 × 24 mm), but the idea with the shutter inside the lens will not go away. Also the Olympus 35 I was the last camera produced by the company Takachiho Seisakusho in a year it will take its present name.

Olympus Flex I

Medium format TLR camera. Came out in 1952. One of the latest devices medium format, Olympus released. This model looks like an actual replica of the famous German Rollei Flex, but Packed with various branded chips. And very expensive medium format is generally peculiar. It cost 47 000 Japanese yen at the average wage (at the time) 7,000 yen.

In 1955 Olympus will release model Chrome Six RIIA and close to yourself on this page, medium format.

Olympus Pen F

SLR camera, released in 1963. In good, they must be examined in tandem with the first Olympus Pen, 1959, which debuted in an unusual format of 24 × 18 mm that allowed to shoot on regular 35mm film is two times more frames. Combined with the compactness of the device, this has led to resounding success.

But it was the Pen F became an icon — probably the most popular Olympus camera with lots of improvements which lasted until 1981. She received a rotary shutter type, 20 replacement lenses, the endless number of accessories, including adaptors for third-party optics. And all this in a very small and very beautiful body.

Olympus OM-I

Traditional 35 mm camera. Released in 1972. Despite the standard frame format, the OM-I continued the tradition of the Pen series, becoming the smallest and lightest full-frame SLR of its time. Very reliable shutter, hold more than 100,000 actuations, air vibration absorber shutter, metal body, built-in TTL exposure meter…

The combination of ease and reliability made OM-I the next big hit Olympus (and, again, led to a huge expansion of the Park accessories), which gave rise to the series, which lasted until the twenty-first century. And this is without taking into account digital cameras OM-D, which describe separately.

Olympus XA

One of the smallest full-frame rangefinder cameras. Came out in 1979. Olympus XA in continued even with the Pen tradition to do everything “most compact” and to achieve this success.

Built-in rangefinder, auto exposure in aperture priority mode, are mounted outside the side flash, lens Zuiko 35 mm f/2.8 – Olympus XA was literally Packed full of various innovations and fresh solutions, and it once again helped the chamber become very popular. Not always reliable, traditional moves bring success — and Olympus has consistently eschewed the well-trodden paths.

Olympus AF-1

The world’s first waterproof compact camera. Released in 1986. It’s finally not “the smallest”, but just some other “the most” among the young. Her housing was equipped with only professional models, the compact had to be protected from the rain.

By the time the AF-1 Olympus significantly lost its position on the market of professional cameras, trailing the competitors in the autofocus system; autofocus first camera of the OM became OM-707, issued in the same 1986. But the compacts was keeping Olympus afloat until the digital era, when the company again went up the hill on all fronts.

Olympus E-1

First digital SLR Olympus camera with interchangeable lens. Released in 2003. Professional DSLR, which, as it happened in Olympus, made a significant bet on compactness. CCD-matrix of the standard 4/3 system, developed in conjunction with Kodak, had dimensions of 18 × 13.5 mm — crop by almost two times compared to the 35mm standard.

In the end, the E series has been quite successful — compact and lightweight SLR camera at first, not much inferior in quality to shooting larger counterparts, smaller focal length also allowed me to do and the optics of a smaller size and with very high resolution. But the series lasted only seven years.

Olympus PEN E-P1

The first mirrorless camera Olympus Micro Four Thirds system – and, indeed, the first “mirrorless” (along with the Panasonic Lumix G1) in history. Released in 2009. Developed jointly by Olympus and Panasonic, the Micro Four Thirds system (sensor of the 4/3 system, but the new lens mount with a very short working period) combined with the lack of mirrors was to provide cameras of these companies the same advantage, which Olympus in General and made a name, — compactness.

PEN E-P1 is not marketed as a professional camera, but that came at sunset “mirror boom”, she had to attract the attention of fans, who sought a compromise between compactness and image quality. Brand filters, 12-megapixel sensor, recording video at 720p, a three-inch screen. Before the first of besserglik with APS-C sensor it was still a year (they were Samsung NX). Despite the snobbery of the “mirror-makers”, the series still became popular and gave rise to the era of “buzzerblog” — now photographers, snorting at the “not serious” cameras without a pentaprism, is almost gone.

Olympus OM-D E-M1

The first mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses Olympus, focused on professionals. Released in 2013. 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, amazingly effective 5-axis image stabilization, shooting speed — 10 frames per second, phase detection autofocus on the sensor, small size… OM-D E-M1 looks very attractive even seven years after release. But to become a serious competitor to full-frame DSLRs with a sensor twice the diagonal it still did not work, all boils down to the operating range of ISO.

Olympus revived the PEN first series, then the OM-series, releasing in their very interesting and successful models, but not winning the popularity of the former — compactness in the digital age is meant not so much as before, especially in connection with the rapid progress of smartphones. More to revive was already nothing.

Bonus. O-product

Experimental film camera, released in 1988 with a circulation of 20 000 copies, supposedly consists of sobrannyie way aluminum circles and squares. Compact, unusual and challenging the conventional standards, it nevertheless seems not pin public taste, and something may be weird, but not devoid of grace and beauty. In O-product, in my opinion, you can see the essence of the Olympus cameras is not always fit into the context, but often the context is changing in its own way.

Naturally, the Olympus was much more than ten iconic cameras, but that’s the format we chose, and everything will not tell. What kind of camera this company memorable for you in the first place? Maybe you have your own stories related to Olympus? Write in the comments.

Sourse: 3dnews.ru

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