Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 21, 2010, 1:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Steven R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,910
Default Future Oly product direction?

Don’t believe this has been posted before, but there was an interesting interview a few months ago with the head of Oly SLR product planning.

If you have already seen this, then sorry for the repeat post.

Among other things in the interview:
“Speculation that Olympus was abandoning conventional optical viewfinder DSLRs in as little as two years was also dismissed. Olympus is developing the mirror-less Pen Micro Four Thirds platform and the conventional Four Thirds E-System DSLR in parallel.”
………
"Many technological developments are common to both and new features that you see in our Pen cameras will also be applied to future E-System cameras," Toshi explained, adding: "We could not have separated our Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds development effort; it would not have worked that way."
............
“I also detected a difference in the expectations of Micro Four Thirds by Olympus compared to Panasonic from some of the things Toshi was saying. Panasonic's stated aim is to fill a gap in the market that is formed of people who wanted something better than a compact camera but had rejected a DSLR because of size and weight and the perception if lack of ease of use in DSLRs. "Like Panasonic, we want to attract compact camera users to upgrade to our Pen cameras. But we also hope that later they will upgrade to an E-System DSLR once they have learned about the real beauty of photography through a Micro Four Thirds camera."
………………
“"I think that autofocus with a single point, especially with SWD lenses, is already very good, but we have been asked to improve continuous autofocus,"
........................
“While Toshi was not in a position to talk specifically about future E-System plans, the clear message is that new products are under development, and it was interesting that he feels that Micro Four Thirds could be a stepping stone for some to a Four Thirds DSLR. “


The interview can be found at:
http://dpnow.com/6943.html

Last edited by Steven R; Jul 21, 2010 at 1:18 PM.
Steven R is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 21, 2010, 1:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6,522
Default

Various officials at Olympus have put out so many contradictory statements about what's going on with the 4/3rd's line it's hard to know what the company's official stand on anything is.

There was the idiot head of Olympus America's DSLR line who flat out said everything would be mirrorless within a certain fairly short period of time, then days later the head in Japan came out and made a statement that what the guy in America said was not correct. This story you linked from March came out about the same time and is someone else walking a tightrop between the other two.

With the newest trade show in September, a no show by Olympus on any new DSLR model would go much further in telling what their plans for this system are than any interview with someone who can dance around hard questions.
Greg Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 2:04 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Steven R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
Various officials at Olympus have put out so many contradictory statements about what's going on with the 4/3rd's line it's hard to know what the company's official stand on anything is.

There was the idiot head of Olympus America's DSLR line who flat out said everything would be mirrorless within a certain fairly short period of time, then days later the head in Japan came out and made a statement that what the guy in America said was not correct. This story you linked from March came out about the same time and is someone else walking a tightrop between the other two.

With the newest trade show in September, a no show by Olympus on any new DSLR model would go much further in telling what their plans for this system are than any interview with someone who can dance around hard questions.
I agree. The interesting thing on this one is that Toshiyuki is the head of Oly's SLR group, so he probably is in the know. However, we don't know how much smoke he is blowing, but the complete article makes for interesting reading. Sounds like the E series will continue to be developed as a step-up from the Pen buyers.
Steven R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 4:30 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Davenport, IA
Posts: 2,093
Default

Olympus has historically been extremely closed-mouth about future products to the point of disinformation. Way back when (film era), the designer of the PenF series, the OM-1 and the OM-3, answering a reporter's question about 3 mos. before the intro of the OM-3 concerning Nikon/Canon comments that auto-exposure could never be built into an OM-1 sized camera stated something to the effect, "Oh, they're right of course, you just can't shrink capacitors." And of course 3 mos. before introduction he had to have the OM-3 pre-production cameras on his desk when he said that.

A. C.
ac.smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 4:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: south west pennsylvania
Posts: 415
Default

I do not know about new dslr's or pens but I noticed on Olympus's website the other day they have a planned release of ~100mm macro high grade prime lens on the road map. this corresponds to what the marketing guy talked about in that class I attended back in Feb.

Charles
cshanaberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 5:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Steven R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cshanaberger View Post
I do not know about new dslr's or pens but I noticed on Olympus's website the other day they have a planned release of ~100mm macro high grade prime lens on the road map. this corresponds to what the marketing guy talked about in that class I attended back in Feb.

Charles
The article mentioned the 100mm:
"I reminded Toshi of the expectation of the new 100mm macro lens that has been on Olympus' lens roadmap for some time now. He greeted this with a smile: "I don't think we actually said this would be a 100mm lens, only that we indicated in the chart that it would be around 100mm!" Beyond that, Toshi didn't say more on this subject, except that it would be released in due course."
Steven R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 6:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: south west pennsylvania
Posts: 415
Default

Steven, Yeah the way I remember the Olympus rep saying it was that it would be 105mm F/4 released by the end of the year. I think that is kind of a slow aperture for a high grade lens which will probably have a premium price.

Charles
cshanaberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 8:49 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven R View Post
Don’t believe this has been posted before, but there was an interesting interview a few months ago with the head of Oly SLR product planning.

If you have already seen this, then sorry for the repeat post.

Among other things in the interview:
“Speculation that Olympus was abandoning conventional optical viewfinder DSLRs in as little as two years was also dismissed. Olympus is developing the mirror-less Pen Micro Four Thirds platform and the conventional Four Thirds E-System DSLR in parallel.”
………
"Many technological developments are common to both and new features that you see in our Pen cameras will also be applied to future E-System cameras," Toshi explained, adding: "We could not have separated our Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds development effort; it would not have worked that way."
Some things this works for. Things like sensors, processing engines, displays...

Other things cannot be developed side by side. Lenses are one system or another and cannot be developed together. Auto focus systems are either phase detect (DSLR) or contrast detect (live view or micro 4/3 mirrorless). Developing phase detect system will have no benefit at all for the Pen and is why I believe that farther advances in DSLR focus will be fail to keep up with the industry at a time they are already well behind the competition.

Not developing lenses and not developing phase detect AF systems is the end of Oly DSLR system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven R View Post
............
“I also detected a difference in the expectations of Micro Four Thirds by Olympus compared to Panasonic from some of the things Toshi was saying. Panasonic's stated aim is to fill a gap in the market that is formed of people who wanted something better than a compact camera but had rejected a DSLR because of size and weight and the perception if lack of ease of use in DSLRs. "Like Panasonic, we want to attract compact camera users to upgrade to our Pen cameras. But we also hope that later they will upgrade to an E-System DSLR once they have learned about the real beauty of photography through a Micro Four Thirds camera."


Olympus could be dangerous if they made up their mind what they wanted to accomplish. I don't think the Pen series was a mistake for them. I look at the glass Panny makes for them and they have a jump on the competition and if Oly joins them with great glass offerings, it could be the way to their future in cameras.

To place the micro system below the DSLR (even if it is) is a bad marketing decision and they are cutting themselves off at the knees.

In reality, the advertising tells the story. You just DON'T see DSLR ads. They are not trying to sell to that market anymore. Hope I'm wrong, but I believe there is one more release in each if the DSLR lines, and that will be the end of the line of the mirror box for Olympus.

To be truthful, I don't think photography is getting much attention at all. The optics division is not releasing to the capacity it once did. Which micro lens makes your mouth water? Lens development has been restricted to consumer brightness lenses for years now. The 12-60 may be the last in the line of the great Zuiko tradition.

Medical gets the focus, and if it were my company, I'd do the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven R View Post
………………
“"I think that autofocus with a single point, especially with SWD lenses, is already very good, but we have been asked to improve continuous autofocus,"
........................
“While Toshi was not in a position to talk specifically about future E-System plans, the clear message is that new products are under development, and it was interesting that he feels that Micro Four Thirds could be a stepping stone for some to a Four Thirds DSLR. “


The interview can be found at:
http://dpnow.com/6943.html
I'm happy with single point focus of the E-3. Being asked to improve C-AF is different than putting R&D money toward the task. Notice he never said it was a priority for the company.

I don't buy the stepping stone thing. They are different systems that just behave so differently that they don't compare. I think its an attempt to keep the masses from leaving before they run out of product to sell. The DSLR isn't dead at Olympus, but I believe its demise is being planned, and the timetable is cast in stone. R&D will soon cease.
__________________
Greg

https://dogsportphoto.smugmug.com/
fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:03 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: south west pennsylvania
Posts: 415
Default

Greg, you have a very interesting take, & this is an interesting thread. I have been wondering, "why has Olympus all of a sudden been so quiet on the technology front?", the last few months. The pens are doing well, this may be to the dismay of many dslr owners but the fact is Olympus & Panasonic are generating a lot of revenue from the micro 4/3rds system. This revenue hopefully is actually being used for R&D. Olympus historically has been an " innovation" company, these values are often deep rooted in a company. with that said I look for Olympus to release the next generation pro dslr with some sort of ground breaking technology, that has yet to be seen anywhere in the market. One rumor I read somewhere (can't remember where) was they were developing a totally new shutter capable of changing speeds as it fires, allowing you to take an image with varied exposure values. This would be a game changer on many fronts for Olympus & photography in general.

This is my 2 cents

Charles
cshanaberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:08 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,158
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fldspringer View Post
They are different systems that just behave so differently that they don't compare. I think its an attempt to keep the masses from leaving before they run out of product to sell. The DSLR isn't dead at Olympus, but I believe its demise is being planned, and the timetable is cast in stone. R&D will soon cease.
There's a lot of chatter at various camera forums regarding the release of Japan's latest sales figures for the first half of this year of inter-changable lens cameras which would include all dslrs as well as EVIL type cameras. The figures show that the EVIL cameras are gaining steadily. 32.5 % of the total sales for the month of June were made up of various mirrorless type cameras.

Apparently, this has caught the attention of the folks over at Nikon:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-0...mura-says.html

I realize that The sales figures for Japan do not necessarily reflect what is going on in different markets. But I believe it is safe to say that EVIL type cameras are gaining market share at a rapid rate around the world.

So, I agree with your thinking, Greg. Olympus' future growth is clearly NOT in the further development of fourthirds camera bodies and related accessories-much as I would like it to be. Olympus' market share in this area will continue to be small regardless of what they release in the near future. I'm sure the people in charge of sales in the camera division know their future is in micro43 and that is where they are going to invest their r&d money and focus.

If the VP of Sales says otherwise, it is just lip service.

Zig
__________________
http://scortoncreekgallery.smugmug.com/

So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.

Last edited by zig-123; Jul 21, 2010 at 10:12 PM.
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:12 PM.