PENdemic? Olympus' entry level cameras could be discontinued in favor of pro kit

PENdemic? Olympus' entry level cameras could be discontinued in favor of pro kit

A new report suggests that Olympus' entry level bodies, such as the PEN E-PL series, might be discontinued in order to focus on the professional  product line once new owner JIP assumes control.

This would mean that perennially popular, but presumably less profitable, bodies like the Olympus PEN E-PL10 would be phased out in favor of flagship cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

• Read more: Best Olympus camera

That's according to a new report by 43 Rumors, which also notes once again that the Olympus brand name could be dropped following the completion of sale. 

"I have recently been told by a Olympus representative that JIP is most likely to continue developing the PRO segment of their MFT system, and possibly there will be a re-branding without the Olympus name," wrote the site

"It is also likely that they will discontinue the volume cameras, such as the E-PL series. Non of this is officially confirmed, but it is said that they are working on a press release that will be released within approximately one month from today."

Olympus has been making an increased focus on professional equipment in recent years, with the release of the DSLR-sized Olympus OM-D E-M1X, and lenses like the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 Pro and upcoming Olympus M.Zuiko 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro.

It would certainly make sense, given the nature of the sale, for JIP / Olympus to focus on higher end, higher priced gear rather than entry level product. The question, of course, is where this purported strategy would leave mid-tier products like the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III and the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV (the being the entry level model of the higher end OM-D line).

Of course, none of this comes from official channels and it may not come to pass. However, it seems inevitable that some realignment of the product line is in store if JIP is to make the business profitable – and much as we love PENs, it does make the most sense if a camera line has to be dropped. 

Read more: 

Olympus PEN E-PL10 review
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III review
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III review
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.