Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are the future whether the photographic industry likes it or not, according to Olympus.

‘There are some economic reasons for that. It’s a more effective way of building the cameras, so you will see in coming years economic benefits in doing it this way,’ said Olympus UK’s Consumer Products marketing manager Mark Thackara.

However, he admitted that this relatively new camera category ‘requires explanation’ and needs a generic name. As far as Olympus is concerned, he said, it is the ‘Pen category’.

Speaking ahead of an advertising campaign, which hits TV screens tonight, Thackara reaffirmed Olympus’s plan to produce further models in the Pen line. ‘This is the first of many. It’s a novel. It’s not a short story… We are on Chapter Two.’

Yet he suggested that Olympus is not in a rush to expand its range of Micro Four Thirds lenses.

‘A lot of people on forums have been asking for a lot of lenses. We will get there… It’s not a sprint,’ he said.

Thackara said that Olympus wants to ‘create a desire for people to take better photos in the broader world [outside just the photographic market]’.

To that end, tonight Olympus launches a series of TV adverts featuring the actor Kevin Spacey.

Olympus hopes that the ads will also tempt people who have used an SLR in the past to use interchangeable lens cameras once again.

Olympus hired marketing experts at Saatchi, who came up with a ‘kill the tourist, free the photographer’ theme for the Pen promotional campaign.

Saatchi says it wants people who watch the ads to think: ‘I can go out and rediscover a bit of my photographic self again.’

Olympus will target the ‘geek-lite’. These are people aged 30-50 who it sees as ‘intelligent’, yet ‘not an egg-head camera person with an eight-pocket camera bag and 15 lenses’.

See above for a short video interview with Mark Thackara about the new Olympus E-P2.


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