Olympus has confirmed that it would consider launching a professional version of its recently announced OM-D E-M5, dependent on feedback and demand.
Several people expected the new Olympus camera to be squarely aimed at professional photographers, however the company is maintaining that it is not designed for those users.
Speaking at the European launch of the E-M5, Claudia Baehr, European Product Manager for Olympus said, "The target group is more advanced, but we still have Four Thirds because we don't consider the OM-D to be a professional camera. "
Olympus last released a Four Thirds DSLR back in 2010 in the form of the E-5.
However, the possibility of another model in the OM-D line-up has been discussed. Toshiyuki Terada from Olympus Japan said, "We haven't decided yet, but we have a established a new category with the OM-D, so we should expect to see further products added to the line-up.
"Whether we go up to professional level, or below [to a more beginner audience] will depend on whether the public accept the technology, and the price of the E-M5."
According to Terada, although the initial idea for the OM-D came about three or four years ago, the total development time of the camera has only taken around a year.
"Our first priority was [the] PEN, especially because at the time [of the E-P1 launch], DSLR was so popular, we wanted to distinguish ourselves," he said.
Although Olympus does not consider the OM-D to be a pro camera, it does have a number of specs that would likely appeal to advanced users, such as a built in viewfinder, 16 million pixel sensor and ISO sensitivity up to 25,600. It also has a premium price tag of £1149 to match.
Whether a pro version of the OM-D would spell the end of Olympus DSLRs is a matter for conjecture, but it will be interesting to see how the camera does in the marketplace.
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