Olympus is allegedly testing a PEN-series mirrorless camera which features a Micro Four Thirds sensor that is oriented in portrait mode, as an attempt to “get back to the roots” of PEN film cameras.
The latest PEN Lite camera is the Olympus E-PL7. It was introduced at the end of August, roughly a couple of weeks before the start of Photokina 2014.
The company has not been kind enough to PEN series fans due to a drop in sales, so Olympus is now more focused on the OM-D line-up. This has led to a number of questions regarding the future of the “PEN”, with consumers being curious whether it has been discontinued or not.
It appears that the Japan-based company is still developing such devices and it is currently testing an Olympus PEN camera prototype that features an image sensor positioned in portrait mode.
Olympus PEN camera prototype with a sensor in portrait mode is currently being tested
Although the PEN Lite E-PL7 has just been unveiled and released on the market, Olympus has already begun working on the next-generation PEN-series camera, which means that this line-up is not dead and will continue to exist on the digital camera market.
A source is claiming that the Japanese manufacturer is testing multiple versions of a new shooter. One of the prototypes comes packed with an image sensor that is placed in portrait mode.
This is reminiscent of sole PEN cameras with a vertical shutter that captured photos in portrait mode even when the device was in a horizontal position.
If this becomes a reality, then it would mean that photographers will have to shoot landscape photos by holding the camera vertically, which could be regarded as “fun” by the users.
Vertical sensor would mean that a viewfinder could be placed in the middle of the camera
The source admits that the Olympus PEN camera prototype with a vertical Micro Four Thirds sensor has a small chance of being released on the market.
Nevertheless, the idea is interesting and it could attract some interest. If the image sensor is placed in portrait mode, then the camera would have a big bump to house the electronic viewfinder in the middle of its body.
Big bumps in the middle is a design trait found in DSLR cameras, albeit the viewfinder is an optical one. It is worth noting that most mirrorless cameras have their electronic viewfinders placed to the left of their back side.
As stated above, this is a long shot, meaning that the prototype has few chances of turning into an actual product. Either way, let us know if you would like to see such device coming to the market!