Mixed in with the real and functioning new photo items at the PMA show are some mythical creatures.
It happens at every trade show–at least one company displays a wooden-block concept camera or device design that won’t be seen for quite some time. Invariably, these models are tucked into really cool-looking Plexiglas cases surrounded by bright spotlights and armed guards. (Ok, I jest about the armed guards!). But in reality they don't exist, and may not for quite some time.
Ask any representative standing nearby what it is and you’ll get one of several answers: a) This new camera/device is the answer to everyone’s prayers–only the working samples got stuck in customs and couldn’t be shown. b) This model has more features and a lower price than all the brand new models shown by the competition here at the show, and if you wait a month or two after the show you’ll be able to purchase one and show how smart you are. c) This camera/device is under development, and the details about it are totally secret. Why, it probably won’t look at all like this when we actually deliver it. But it will be competitively priced and have more features than any other device in its class!
I could go on with the statements I’ve heard within earshot of these pre-pre-pre-production models, but you should get the point by now. If not, read the following announcement that arrived in my email today from Olympus regarding the “concept” camera that I’ve been told will be on display (under glass and spotlights) at PMA:
“Hello - While we are not announcing a new professional D-SLR at this time, Olympus Japan has announced a concept for an upcoming professional model to be formally announced at a time to be determined.”Olympus Release
"More details will come once Olympus America makes a formal announcement of the final production model of this camera."
Were you able to follow that statement? I tried but my head is still spinning. The bottom line is that Olympus felt it was necessary to mention that it was still developing the exact same DSLR model (to replace the aging E-1) that it had under glass at Photokina last September. The entire press release added nothing of real content to the information (or lack of information) known about that concept camera.
So for that, I give Olympus my first PMA 2007 Vaporware Award. I expect to award a few others within the next three days, but this one will be hard to top. The funny thing is that Olympus didn’t have to make this rather lame announcement, since it should be basking in the attention it gets from the introduction of its E-510 and E-410 DSLRs, as well as a number of hot compact digital cameras.