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New Olympus-branded cameras in 2021… including Olympus PEN-F II?

New Olympus-branded cameras in 2021… including Olympus PEN-F II?
(Image credit: James Artaius)

New Olympus-branded cameras, perhaps including an Olympus PEN-F Mark II, will be arriving in 2021, according to comments made by an executive from Olympus Germany. 

One of the brand's most beloved cameras, the original Olympus PEN-F was apparently discontinued in February 2019 and has disappeared from many retail outlets. As one of the best Olympus cameras, fans have long been asking for a successor to the 2016 original – and such a new camera is "under consideration" by the manufacturer. 

It would certainly seem easy enough to update, even if that simply means taking the existing PEN-F chassis and putting the newer 20.4MP image sensor in (with phase detect autofocus and 4K video). Of course we would love to see a more comprehensive update, but given Olympus' post-sale business realities that may not be possible.

Either way, it has been confirmed that a number of new Olympus cameras will be released in 2021. Significantly, these cameras will apparently bear the Olympus brand – despite being distributed by new company OM Digital Solutions, set up by Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) which will officially absorb Olympus' Imaging Division in January 2021 after agreeing to purchase it earlier this year. 

There has been ongoing speculation about if and how the new company will use the Olympus name, after it was clarified that the branding will only be used "for a certain period". However, according to Nils Häußler of Olympus Deutschland, the next batch of new bodies will indeed feature the Olympus name.

In the above video on the Olympus Europe YouTube channel (spotted by 43 Rumors), Häußler also noted that there will be a particular focus on the video market going forward. It definitely feels like this is a case of "dead man's shoes" here, as Panasonic had previously cornered the video segment of the Micro Four Thirds market. 

However, with its former partner having shifted its attention almost exclusively towards full-frame cameras, it would seem to create an opportunity for Olympus to step in. Though with its current bodies – including the flagship Olympus OM-D E-M1X and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III – all limited to a maximum of 4K 30p, there is a long road to hoe in the video stakes. 

While there is clearly still uncertainty over the future of Olympus / OM Digital Solutions, it is reassuring to hear from the horse's mouth that exciting new cameras – and an exciting new version of an old camera – are on the way. 

Read more: 

Olympus PEN-F review
Olympus OM-D E-M1X review
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III review

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.