Olympus has patented a zoom lens with maximum aperture range of f/1.8-2.8 and which is aimed at cameras with sensors smaller than the ones found in Micro Four Thirds cameras.
Ricoh is making Pentax-branded mirrorless cameras with rather small sensors, such as 1/1.7-inch-type units. Olympus has just patented a 5-24mm f/1.8-2.8 lens which seems to be designed for cameras with sensors smaller than those of the Micro Four Thirds models. However, it is very unlikely that Olympus will enter the Pentax realm, so its new lens is most likely aimed at a compact camera.
The patent is describing a fast zoom lens and it has been granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, unlike most recent patents, which have been published in Japan.
Olympus 5-24mm f/1.8-2.8 lens patented in the US
Olympus may be working on a new compact camera with a smaller sensor that comes packed with a 5-24mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens.
The Japan-based company has just patented such lens in the US and it seems like the product will be used in a compact shooter with a sensor smaller than those of the Micro Four Thirds. Judging by the fast aperture, the Olympus 5-24mm f/1.8-2.8 lens could be designed for a premium compact camera.
In the past, the manufacturer has launched higher-end compacts with 1/1.7-inch-type sensors, such as the Stylus 1. However, this lens seems to be suitable for models with 1/2.3-inch-type sensors.
This means that it might find its way into the Stylus XZ-10 replacement, which could be called Stylus XZ-20. This stylish compact camera was introduced in January 2013 with a 4.7-23.5mm f/1.8-2.7 lens.
Amazon is selling the Olympus XZ-10 compact camera for a price of $250. Either way, this is just a patent and it would be unwise to draw any conclusions. We will have to wait and see whether or not the Olympus 5-24mm f/1.8-2.8 lens will make its way into a camera.
Olympus will launch bright telephoto lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras sometime in the future
In the meantime, Olympus is allegedly aiming to complete its PRO-series of lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras. After that, the company will focus on bringing super-telephoto lenses with bright apertures to the Micro Four Thirds line-up.
This information comes from Setsuya Kataoka, a General Manager at the company, who also confirmed that future OM-D cameras will be able to take 40-megapixel handheld photos, unlike the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II.
These products are not near to their release date, which means that you should not hold your breath over them. Stay tuned to Camyx for more details!