Bruising Micro Digital Camera War Tipped As Olympus Get Aggressive

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Using headlines such as ‘A camera phone is to photography what two minute noodles are to cooking’, Olympus Australia is set to take on some major brands in the digital camera market. In an effort to grow the Australian micro two thirds digital camera category, that is wallowing behind the likes of Japan.Backed by a $3M marketing campaign, the Japanese camera company is determined to grow the micro digital market in Australia, which sits at approximately 5% in Australia compared to 40% in Japan.

Already two of the top five cameras sold in Japan are Pen models, said Olympus executives.

Their new line up consists of three Olympus Pen models which the company claims have the fastest auto focus of any digital camera available today.  

And in an effort to push their camera credentials, Kristie Radtke, Olympus PEN product manager, took aim at the likes of Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic claiming “We don’t make fridges or phones or TVs, we are not a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none, we are a camera company who just make cameras.”

According Mark Raddatt, the managing director of Olympus Australia, the company is determined to be a major provider of digital cameras in Australia up against the likes of Nikon and Canon.

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Moving to discredit the traditional SLR camera sold by Canon and Nikon, Olympus executives said that the traditional SLR was bulky and slow, claiming “its yesterday’s technology” that had been around for 150 years.

Aiming to capture the attention of the 25-34 year old market who are currently using camera phones, Olympus aims to prove that by using one of their new small and extremely fast Pen cameras, so that the user will not only get a better picture and enhanced 1080i video, but also a camera that is easy to use and has interchangeable lenses.

The Olympus three-stage “Anything But Ordinary” marketing campaign is set to kick off shortly using billboards, online and print.

 

 The new Olympus  models include the high end Pen E-P3, the Pen Lite E-PL3 and the Pen Mini E-PM1, which the company claims are significantly smaller and lighter than anything in previous Olympus models.

At a press launch today in Sydney, the company admitted that their previous Pen cameras had some notable shortcomings, however these have been overcome due to a major reengineering of  their Pen offering.

In addition to the three new camera models, Olympus has also unveiled two new Pen-system lenses and a wireless flash.

Olympus technical staff said that while their prior Pen E-P2 and Pen E-PL2 models did well in the market,  they lagged when it came to macro settings and in low light. In the new cameras, they claim those focus features have become a core strength rather than a drawback.

The E-P3 has a 3-inch OLED touchscreen, a revamped 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor, and a new imaging engine. The new “Fast AF System” supports 35 individual focus points and touch-to-focus controls while shooting still images; Olympus claims that the camera’s focus speeds are faster than those of any other compact interchangeable-lens camera on the current market.

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