Picking up from the last blog, Olympus will continue to showboat the best sensors and in camera elec-trickery in the OMD range and hand-me-Down to the EP compacts. They have a few more lenses in them I reckon, especially fast zooms and macro and long end telephoto "big white". However I would not be suprised to see the mFT format going into non interchangeable lenses.
Oly come very near to fighting for their own customers With the XZ2 versus the EPMs and last season sales of EPs and so on, because the XZ is just so very good for general snap shot hobby and travel use. I bet you there are a few pros use one on their day off!
The one big difference now will be the sensor quality -
They handed Down the spec to the smaller XZ10 and also to the New Stylus super zoom which uses some Technology from the OMD's allegedly - EVF probably anyhows.
Now I reckon they will hand me Down mFT chip or a slight Crop of the existing sensors into an integral lens camera.
Why? Well the sensors on the stylus range are just too small - they will always be better quality than Your average mobile Device but they will not get near the performance for sports, low light and Professional Publishing.
The point here being that you do not need to be on price With the low end PEN cameras here. If you offer an f2.8 or faster zoom lens, constant aperture or sub f2 to f2.8 then you hit into People who aren't interested in system cameras, or those who would like to avoid lens Choice paralysis!
The benefit is of course, as you see in the stylus Product range, that the lenses can collapse further than a flange mounted system can allow: the lens housing flange can receed into the house and the lens follow inwards to create a really small carrying package.
What we are though talking about is a trade off: you would get say 12-45 in a camera With f2.8 which would be more compact that the EP range With the kit 14-42. If you are looking to sell to enthusiasts then they have the EXIF data and would know that a wide-street-portrait camera focal range is for them.
Now what you do NeXT is you then sell a New camera which does a longer telefoto range With maybe a high qaulity digital zoom using the best IBIS can do and improved in camera Processing or perhaps a Nikon style "best shot" : so you here start at say in old Money, a 45mm ( 23mm FT) and go up to 180 (90 on ft) and then do a Nice Reach on stabalised digital Crop, perhaps re-pixelating upto full image size. Oh yes, the Technology exists to add more pixels to an image while retaining a high degree of Fidelity, and this could work in camera.
Olympus then sell the enthusiast or photojournalist two cameras at the price of the highest end small sensor camera - maybe upto 700 dollar mark. The houses are pretty much standard.
An alternative would be to do something a little Ricoh like and have a two lens system, where the Mount is not traditional bayonet type flange, but a boxy, mechanical locking unit which self calibrates to the actual required flange position. You sell that then initially as a two lens system, covering 24mm to 250 mm as FF focal lengths and perhaps develop a wider or a Fish eye adaptor, or a super long one.
Olympus and Panasonic really stole a march on Canikon who were happy for them to play there, and have had some degree of Catch up to do and not got there yet. Samsung are the dark horse, but not regarded as highly as they should be by pure camera-fan-boy brand snobs. Sony really blaze a trail With their slightly bigger APS-C mirrorless into New photographers. Now Olympus can do this again and cover the mid ground between Leica and the higher end Fuji compact offerings and the G12 and Nikon top enders, and their own and Panasonics own- coming out Ahead With something unique.
But wow, you say, the mFT is a system set up and you either get the Whole idea of IQ With buying lots of glass, or you are better off With Your mobile or a 1970s polaroid? Hell no, if mobiles took as good images as top end compacts at the 500 dollar mark or thereabouts, there would be no market for 500 dollar small chipped compacts. Many enthusiast and pro' FF and APSC owners have a smaller non system "quality end" compact.
Here Oly can make cash on the Whole body-lens combi at first purchase point and capture a creaming niche based on the far superior images mFT sensor or even a 75% Crop can take over the current "mid" sensore enthusiast compacts, while also eating into Leica and Fuji and whatever luxury prosumer compact is launched NeXT.
The philosophy is that the best camera is that which you have With you the most and which best covers Your style and tastes in focal legnth and aperture. The more compact, to a jacket Pocket single lens beauty, the better.