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Old Apr 26, 2011, 6:52 AM   #1
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Default Interview w/Olympus reps on 43 future

In case you're wondering about the future of fourthirds reflex cameras, here is an article on the subject in MegaPixel:


http://www.megapixel.co.il/english/archive/14631
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 10:02 AM   #2
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I have not viewed any of the videos, but I do think the slide that says their current Pen line of lenses covers all customer needs pretty much indicates their system to date is not one intended for advanced users, but strictly point & shooters moving up or owners of entry level DSLR's who never would have bought a DSLR if an alternative better option to digicams had existed at the time, or in a few cases people like me who bought it to have as an alternative small/light camera to my main DSLR instead of a higher-spec compact like the XZ-1. I have to say though, since the novelty of it being a new toy has worn off, mine has been in a bag that stayed home much more than being taken out to take pictures.

It does indeed seem true in 3-5 years the DSLR will be a niche product..... for new Olympus users. I wonder though if Olympus is living in denial regarding the world markets vs. Japan, where anything small or tiny seems to be an "in" product. I highly doubt that's going to be the case in other major camera brands or countries (especially the US) and Olympus could find itself going down a road where they are, eventually, no more viable as a camera maker than a company like Samsung.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Apr 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:07 PM   #3
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Hi Zig/ Greg

Greg your post was nicely sums it all up and one wonders whether they have really thought out this change of direction in favour of PENS. Having read the John Fosters of Biofos review of the E5, it does make you wonder how many of the existing amatuer/semi/pro photographers outside of Japan/Far east the company has listened too. From the looks of it theyre focused solely on new customers and I find it annoying to see some companies ignore their existing users totally - there's no way I'm ever going to stick my 35-100F2 on a Pen with or without an adapter.

Regards john Fosters review, I was slightly surprised that it took Oly UK so long to provide him with a camera to review, esp when you consider that his and Wrotnakiz's sites were the premiere resources for anythign you wanted to know about the E-system. Instead we got this guerilla marketing campaign that Oly Malaysia was using with those hands field reports from the far east. Many of John's comments/personal thoughts on the E-system ring true to me as well although I'm hesitant to slash out any serious $$$$ on any further SHG glass unless I get the Lotto!

What's really needed is a clear cut message from Oly regards the E-system and I'm hoping that we might get some clarification over EXX and EX rumour linked over at DPR proves to be true and that the new CEO/head of the camera division can get them to once again show real vision and change course and keep the E-system going. Whether that happens or not is something else esp when you consider that Oly has made no attempts to get review sites like DPR, etc that the E-5 is not the "final" parting gift to the e-system user.

Cheers

Harj

Last edited by HarjTT; Apr 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:40 PM   #4
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Hi Greg/Harj,

I was glad that I happened to read this article this morning after seeing it at John Foster's site. It certainly is clear that, despite what some of the current users of Fourthirds system are wishing and hoping will happen Olympus has abandoned the Fourthirds system as we know it.

The E-5 will most likely become a bit of a collectors item if as John Foster has stated that production of the E--5 is scheduled to stop at the end of the year.
I know that Olympus has to play this close to the vest as they don't want everyone to jump ship, before they have a M43 Pro Pen system ready for release. Given the slow and deliberate way that Olympus operates relative to release of any new equipment, it will be a long time before we see anything along those lines.

I still have no current interest in selling off my current equipment, but, olympus ain't makin' it any easier to stay.


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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:54 PM   #5
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I have, for a little while, been pondering what Olympus was up to. I'll shoot the E-620 til it wears out then, sell the lenses (hopefully!) and move on. Too bad.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 4:10 PM   #6
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I do think it comes down to business. Business is about sales and growth. Sony's entry into the DSLR market really hit Oly hard. There's been no real growth for Oly in the DSLR market. From a marketing standpoint, the biggest competitive advantage Oly has is:
  • smaller than other systems
  • high quality optics
  • jpeg engine
Like it or not, smaller size is an ongoing desire of the masses. Let's face it: the professional photographer and semi-professional photographer is really a tiny portion of the overall photographer market. And Oly simply hasn't seen enough growth in those areas. So, do you as a company, invest your R&D $$$ in chasing 1 pro user or 10,000 amateurs?

Sony is doing a very similar thing. Right now it's a race to see who will be the leader. I think it's bad for the serious photographer but still a good business decision. You want to be one of the "big 3" in the market and in DSLRs, Oly isn't in the top 3. Canon & Nikon aren't attacking the PENs market so it's Oly, Sony and Panasonic right now. If Oly can be the market leader there, they'll make a lot more profit than they will spending huge R&D $$$ trying to compete with the professional & semi-pro DSLRs. Everything that gave them a competitive advantage in DSLRs is portable to m4/3 - they just need to get the sensor/noise situation on par with panasonic. Just my opinion.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 4:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
I do think it comes down to business. Business is about sales and growth. Sony's entry into the DSLR market really hit Oly hard. There's been no real growth for Oly in the DSLR market. From a marketing standpoint, the biggest competitive advantage Oly has is:
  • smaller than other systems
  • high quality optics
  • jpeg engine
Like it or not, smaller size is an ongoing desire of the masses. Let's face it: the professional photographer and semi-professional photographer is really a tiny portion of the overall photographer market. And Oly simply hasn't seen enough growth in those areas. So, do you as a company, invest your R&D $$$ in chasing 1 pro user or 10,000 amateurs?

Sony is doing a very similar thing. Right now it's a race to see who will be the leader. I think it's bad for the serious photographer but still a good business decision. You want to be one of the "big 3" in the market and in DSLRs, Oly isn't in the top 3. Canon & Nikon aren't attacking the PENs market so it's Oly, Sony and Panasonic right now. If Oly can be the market leader there, they'll make a lot more profit than they will spending huge R&D $$$ trying to compete with the professional & semi-pro DSLRs. Everything that gave them a competitive advantage in DSLRs is portable to m4/3 - they just need to get the sensor/noise situation on par with panasonic. Just my opinion.
Hi John,

It absolutely is a business decision and one they should be making to benefit the company and stockholders. I've no illusions that in order to stay in business, they had to make some hard choices.

Olympus sees an opening in the small mirrorless camera market and is trying to exploit it as best they can. They certainly have done some things right in that area. For the average person wanting to take along a small camera on vacation, but one that offers significantly better image quality than P&S cams provide, they have a viable answer.

From the beginning, Olympus has really done a great job of designing high quality lenses for their fourthirds camera line. But they lagged as far as cleaning up their noise issues and high ISO performance problems were concerned. The fact that with the latest camera(E5), they have pretty much solved a majority of the issues. The one issue still hounding them is the AF focus system as compared to the best that Canon and nikon has to offer.


The sad part for us users of Olympus fourthirds dslrs is that, while the E5 is a good dslr and one that I would love to own, it's hard for me to open my wallet, when I know it's the last dslr they will make.

Zig
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 7:27 PM   #8
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I see it as Olympus placing digital photography on the back burner. They have lost the fire in my opinion. They are getting their butts kicked by Panasonic in micro fourthirds. They don't compare well with autofocus speed, they don't compare well with video, they put out a series of consumer brightless lenses and consumer grade bodies at fairly high prices. Panasonic has gems such as 20mm f1.7, 45mm Leica macro, 7-14 f4, and so on and so on.

In all reality, I see a company that doesn't want to lead in anything. Its just a company that wants to exist. Medical is a different story, but they are pretty much out of the digital camera bussiness as far as leading in ideas.

Sorry folks, but their getting kicked bad. Panasonic is the leader and the gap is getting wider.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 7:42 PM   #9
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Pardon my ignorance but, will my Zuiko lenses fit on on any Panasonic DSLR?
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 8:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjtoth View Post
Pardon my ignorance but, will my Zuiko lenses fit on on any Panasonic DSLR?
Hi Gary,

Your full sized fourthirds Zuiko digital lenses will fit and operate on the Panasonic Fourthirds dslr cameras albeit, Panasonic pulled out of that market sooner than Olympus.

And, your fourthirds Zuiko digital lenses will fit on either the Olympus or the Panasonic micro fourthirds camera bodies with the aid of an adapter.

Having said that, not all functionality will be available on the Panasonic bodies.

Here is a link to the official Fourthirds/Micro Fourthirds website which should help in explaining the variables.


http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourth...hitepaper.html


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