Alert : EM5 Mk3 Release this year - it’s (well nearly) official

Michael Meissner

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The leaks seem to have dried up. If an Aug launch was likely (as some rumours have said), then I'd have expected the leaks to increase not decrease (think about the E-M1x - we had photos of reviewers with the camera weeks before the unveiling). I suspect it's at least Sept now. I wonder how many copies of the E-M5ii they are selling at the moment? I'm guessing that sales of what should be the bread-and-butter mid-range model have been stagnant for a year now, maybe longer. I'm amazed at how long the mk iii is taking to come to fruition.
Or possibly the leaks have dried up because in the northern hemisphere, it is summer time, and many people are on vacation. I would imagine in later August and/or early September, the leak machine may start up again.

I did look for photography trade shows where such an announcement might be made, and there seem to be few shows that might be a venue to announce a new camera:
  • IFA in Berlin, September 6-11
  • IBC in Amsterdaam, September 12-17
  • GITEX in Dubai, October 6-10
  • CEATEC in Tokyo, October 10-15
  • Photo Plus Expo in New York, October 24-26
 

rloewy

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The leaks seem to have dried up. If an Aug launch was likely (as some rumours have said), then I'd have expected the leaks to increase not decrease (think about the E-M1x - we had photos of reviewers with the camera weeks before the unveiling). I suspect it's at least Sept now. I wonder how many copies of the E-M5ii they are selling at the moment? I'm guessing that sales of what should be the bread-and-butter mid-range model have been stagnant for a year now, maybe longer. I'm amazed at how long the mk iii is taking to come to fruition.
They said they are moving production to new facilities, that's the holdup - not that surprised it takes a while.
 

pake

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The leaks seem to have dried up. If an Aug launch was likely (as some rumours have said), then I'd have expected the leaks to increase not decrease (think about the E-M1x - we had photos of reviewers with the camera weeks before the unveiling). I suspect it's at least Sept now. I wonder how many copies of the E-M5ii they are selling at the moment? I'm guessing that sales of what should be the bread-and-butter mid-range model have been stagnant for a year now, maybe longer. I'm amazed at how long the mk iii is taking to come to fruition.
The announcement has been delayed till late September/October.
 

mawz

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The leaks seem to have dried up. If an Aug launch was likely (as some rumours have said), then I'd have expected the leaks to increase not decrease (think about the E-M1x - we had photos of reviewers with the camera weeks before the unveiling). I suspect it's at least Sept now. I wonder how many copies of the E-M5ii they are selling at the moment? I'm guessing that sales of what should be the bread-and-butter mid-range model have been stagnant for a year now, maybe longer. I'm amazed at how long the mk iii is taking to come to fruition.
Agreed, the mkIII should have been out in 2017, Q1 2018 at the latest. We should be looking at the MkIV now alongside an E-M1.3, not the MkIII.

In a world where Fuji is dropping new X-T models every 2 years or less, having a 4+ year old model in the core slot in the lineup is insane, regardless of how good the E-M5II is (and as an E-M5II shooter, I do think it's a great body). It's really no wonder that Oly's sales are in the crapper, the E-M5 is the core enthusiast model and should be the core of the line, but most buyers who were interested bought one a couple years ago. Same largely goes for the E-M1.2, at least for new sales, and only Sony has an older low-end body in their lineup (largely because they only iterate at the top for APS-C and age downwards, a unique product strategy driven by their apathy for APS-C).

Even if Oly had done a minimum change update (ie getting the processor and sensor from the E-M1.2) it would have been worth the refresh.

This is one place where Oly should take a strong look at what Fuji is doing to iterate a much deeper body lineup on a similar level of sales. Right now Fuji is supporting a total of 7 bodies to Oly's 6, and Fuji does it by ensuring that their core bodies all share as much internals as possible. Fuji is also doing 2 full body lines (3 SLR style, 3 RF style, 1 high-end) vs Oly's 1 over-stuffed core line (4 SLR style) and two one-offs (E-M1X, E-PL9)

Right now Oly has two bodies that are 20MP PDAF/TruePic VIII, two bodies that are 16MP/TruePic VIII, and two 16MP/TruePic VII (as the OM-10II seems to be still in production). Of those only the E-M10III and E-M1X are less than 2 years old, and Oly is still selling the previous E-M10 model 18+ months after its replacement came out, which likely impacts E-M10 sales across the board (as the main differentiation between the two is getting the smaller kit lens with the mkIII)

What should Oly do?

Get everything to TruePic VIII and 20MP PDAF ASAP. That means getting an E-M5II and E-M10IV out ASAP. Then the E-PL line either needs to die, or get a E-PL10 that is nothing more than a headless E-M10IV, ideally in a closely related case (probably could get away with the same hardware aside from missing EVF, top cover and maybe front cover). Once there, move to a lead body/everything else iteration cycle (where a new E-M1 iterates, then matching E-M5 & E-M10 models 6-9 months later)

Make the product differentiation come down to the case (small, non-sealed E-M10, small sealed E-M5, larger sealed E-M1 with extra controls), shutter (1/4000 in E-M10, 1/8000 in E-M5, high-life 1/8000 in E-M1), EVF (big/high res for E-M1, E-M5, smaller/lower-res for E-M10).

And get the E-M10 price down. The entry point here is the $499 with a kit lens pricepoint. The E-M10 can be less capable as long as it's at that pricepoint as over $500 is a major sales speedbump, as is over $1k (the E-M5 really needs to be $999 body only at intro, the E-M1 should match the X-T3 pricepoint at $1499-1599 or so).

this also brings up the point that Oly has a really strong low-end zoom collection (the 40-150R is a world-beater at regular kit costs and insanely good at its actual pricing), and an amazing Pro lineup, but the mid-range is very weak aside from the 14-150 and does not match up in terms of features. You have the 12-50 EZ, with power zoom and sealing (which seems to be discontinued, at least here in Canada), the 9-18, which matches up better with the kit lineup in terms of cosmetics & features (collapsible, manual zoom, no sealing), and the 75-300 (really long, no short end, no sealing). Oly needs a 3 zoom set here, update the 9-18 to a 9-18/4 with sealing, update the 12-50 to a 12-50/4, sealed, no PZ, and add a 50-100/4 telezoom, also sealed. That would give a core trio of lenses ideally suited for the E-M5 user. Right now the mid-range only makes sense on the prime side (where it's really good overall), but you end up running either low-end or high-end glass with no in-between for zooms.
 

davidzvi

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Agreed, the mkIII should have been out in 2017, Q1 2018 at the latest. We should be looking at the MkIV now alongside an E-M1.3, not the MkIII.

In a world where Fuji is dropping new X-T models every 2 years or less, having a 4+ year old model in the core slot in the lineup is insane, regardless of how good the E-M5II is (and as an E-M5II shooter, I do think it's a great body). It's really no wonder that Oly's sales are in the crapper, the E-M5 is the core enthusiast model and should be the core of the line, but most buyers who were interested bought one a couple years ago. Same largely goes for the E-M1.2, at least for new sales, and only Sony has an older low-end body in their lineup (largely because they only iterate at the top for APS-C and age downwards, a unique product strategy driven by their apathy for APS-C).

Even if Oly had done a minimum change update (ie getting the processor and sensor from the E-M1.2) it would have been worth the refresh.

This is one place where Oly should take a strong look at what Fuji is doing to iterate a much deeper body lineup on a similar level of sales. Right now Fuji is supporting a total of 7 bodies to Oly's 6, and Fuji does it by ensuring that their core bodies all share as much internals as possible. Fuji is also doing 2 full body lines (3 SLR style, 3 RF style, 1 high-end) vs Oly's 1 over-stuffed core line (4 SLR style) and two one-offs (E-M1X, E-PL9)

Right now Oly has two bodies that are 20MP PDAF/TruePic VIII, two bodies that are 16MP/TruePic VIII, and two 16MP/TruePic VII (as the OM-10II seems to be still in production). Of those only the E-M10III and E-M1X are less than 2 years old, and Oly is still selling the previous E-M10 model 18+ months after its replacement came out, which likely impacts E-M10 sales across the board (as the main differentiation between the two is getting the smaller kit lens with the mkIII)

What should Oly do?

Get everything to TruePic VIII and 20MP PDAF ASAP. That means getting an E-M5II and E-M10IV out ASAP. Then the E-PL line either needs to die, or get a E-PL10 that is nothing more than a headless E-M10IV, ideally in a closely related case (probably could get away with the same hardware aside from missing EVF, top cover and maybe front cover). Once there, move to a lead body/everything else iteration cycle (where a new E-M1 iterates, then matching E-M5 & E-M10 models 6-9 months later)

Make the product differentiation come down to the case (small, non-sealed E-M10, small sealed E-M5, larger sealed E-M1 with extra controls), shutter (1/4000 in E-M10, 1/8000 in E-M5, high-life 1/8000 in E-M1), EVF (big/high res for E-M1, E-M5, smaller/lower-res for E-M10).

And get the E-M10 price down. The entry point here is the $499 with a kit lens pricepoint. The E-M10 can be less capable as long as it's at that pricepoint as over $500 is a major sales speedbump, as is over $1k (the E-M5 really needs to be $999 body only at intro, the E-M1 should match the X-T3 pricepoint at $1499-1599 or so).

this also brings up the point that Oly has a really strong low-end zoom collection (the 40-150R is a world-beater at regular kit costs and insanely good at its actual pricing), and an amazing Pro lineup, but the mid-range is very weak aside from the 14-150 and does not match up in terms of features. You have the 12-50 EZ, with power zoom and sealing (which seems to be discontinued, at least here in Canada), the 9-18, which matches up better with the kit lineup in terms of cosmetics & features (collapsible, manual zoom, no sealing), and the 75-300 (really long, no short end, no sealing). Oly needs a 3 zoom set here, update the 9-18 to a 9-18/4 with sealing, update the 12-50 to a 12-50/4, sealed, no PZ, and add a 50-100/4 telezoom, also sealed. That would give a core trio of lenses ideally suited for the E-M5 user. Right now the mid-range only makes sense on the prime side (where it's really good overall), but you end up running either low-end or high-end glass with no in-between for zooms.
While I tend to agree with most of "what should they do". There are many things in your what's wrong section I disagree with (these are just a few):
  • Q1 2018 was actually the earliest an E-M5.3 would have come out based on their 3 year cycle.
  • Fuji has had 3-4 image processors in "current" cameras over the last 2-3 years.
  • Fuji actually has 3 different sensors in current models.
 

mawz

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While I tend to agree with most of "what should they do". There are many things in your what's wrong section I disagree with (these are just a few):
  • Q1 2018 was actually the earliest an E-M5.3 would have come out based on their 3 year cycle.
  • Fuji has had 3-4 image processors in "current" cameras over the last 2-3 years.
  • Fuji actually has 3 different sensors in current models.
1. My point is that anything over a 2 year cycle is too slow for the market segment Oly is working in. Even if the E-M5.3 had arrived in Q1 2018 it would have been later than it needs to be. They need the iteration to keep sales on the new bodies steady and to better capture the every second generation upgraders (who are a larger market today than many think)

2. Fuji has had 2 image processors in their cameras over the last 2-3 years, all the 24MP cameras are on the same 3rd generation processor (the X-H1 just has two of them), and the 4th generation processor is used for all 26MP models. 26MP versions of the remaining X-Trans models are expected in the fall/winter (except maybe the X-H1, which might get discontinued instead). The last 2nd generation processor was in the X-A10 in 2016, which was only briefly produced (it did stay in stores longer, but that appears to have been entirely due to low sales, it was basically a 'clear old component stock' model anyways)

3. It's actually two sensors in current models, the 24MP X-Trans & Bayer sensors are the same sensor, differing only in which topping is selected (which does impact the logistics chain a bit, but not as much as many would think). And Fuji is mid-cycle on their model refresh, once the refresh cycle is completed they'll be back to the same sensor across all X-Trans models and a Bayer version of the same for the two budget bodies, with a common processor across all bodies.
 
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Aristophanes

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I don’t think you’ll see 9-100mm focal lengths as a 3 lens kit, constant f/4, weather sealed. Too close to the Pro 7-150/2.8 line including the 12-100/4. Differentiation is a huge driver in the profitability of “buying up” to f/2.8. There is also the 12-200 and 14-150 both weather sealed. Wide angles below 12mm are neither very common or popular and are served by third parties like Laowa.

What is needed even in an EM1.2 update as well as the EM5.3 is BSI sensor tech and a stop more improvement. PDAF all the way through the entire Olympus line (crippling is dead). Better EVFs. Fix the 1080p soft video. USB-C throughout with in-camera charging while using, better rear LCD, improve the sound input pre-amp for video, Bluetooth and WiFi, and ditch all proprietary JPEG-centric mode dial and button configurations.

I anticpaye an EM1.3 update sooner rather than later. The model is simply neither spec nor price competitive. I expect Olympus to combine the EM10 and E-PL line into a rangefinder model with viewfinder. Frankly, in a smartphone world, a “real camera” without a VF is useless. The entire Olympus line needs a body refresh. Lenses are solid.

Another option would be to ditch the EM5 series altogether and offer 2 variants of the the EM1. Right now the price to size ratio is not working for m43. The format is in an awkward place. It’s at a crossroads of just tweaking specs up or a complete rethink and overhaul, simplified.
 

davidzvi

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1. My point is that anything over a 2 year cycle is too slow for the market segment Oly is working in. Even if the E-M5.3 had arrived in Q1 2018 it would have been later than it needs to be.......
Personally I think every to every other year releases from manufacturers is part of the problem for the industry in general.

.......2. Fuji has had 2 image processors in their cameras over the last 2-3 years, all the 24MP cameras are on the same 3rd generation processor, and the 4th generation processor is used for all 26MP models. 26MP versions of the remaining X-Trans models are expected in the fall/winter (except maybe the X-H1, which might get discontinued instead).......
The X-Processor Pro, X-Processor Pro II, and X-Processor 4 have all been in current models over the past 2 years. And I'm not sure what's in the X-T100.

.......3. It's actually two sensors in current models, the 24MP X-Trans & Bayer sensors are the same sensor, differing only in which topping is selected (which does impact the logistics chain a bit, but not as much as many would think). And Fuji is mid-cycle on their model refresh, once the refresh cycle is completed they'll be back to the same sensor across all X-Trans models and a Bayer version of the same for the two budget bodies, with a common processor across all bodies.
Are you sure the X-Tran and Bayer are the same? They are (ever so slightly) different sizes. APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm) vs APS-C (23.5mm x 15.7mm) per the Fuji site specs.

I'd also not include the E-M10.2 as a current model, it's for sale in the online store on Oly's site, but not it marketing side. It is for sale since they have new units or parts inventory. But can also still buy new X-T20s and X-T2s, so I'm not sure I'd include the E-M10.2.

A could also point out:
.....two one-offs (E-M1X, E-PL9).....
The E-PL9 is not a one off and Oly should have 2 rangefinder options. The first being E-PL line, but make it smaller and "cuter" for the selfie crowd. And a simpler Pen F / E-P5 cross. But I'd put the guts of the E-M10 series in the E-PL and the guts of the E-M5 series in an E-P6 or whatever you want to call it.

In the end it really won't matter since they won't really listen to either of us so......
 

mawz

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Personally I think every to every other year releases from manufacturers is part of the problem for the industry in general.
That's actually slow for the consumer electronics market, everywhere aside from Cameras a 6-12 month cycle is typical.

The X-Processor Pro, X-Processor Pro II, and X-Processor 4 have all been in current models over the past 2 years. And I'm not sure what's in the X-T100.
The X-Processor Pro and X-Processor Pro II are the same processor hardware, just in single & dual installations and the latter is also better cooled & overclocked. The X-T100 uses the X-Processor Pro as well, albeit at a lower clock speed (which is a configuration item, not a hardware change).

Fuji only actually has 4 processors, one per generation and the only case where the sensor generation and processor generation don't match was on the original X-M1 and X-A1 which used the non-PDAF 1st gen sensor with the second gen processor (admittedly, the only sensor difference between 1st and 2nd gens was the PDAF capability)

Are you sure the X-Tran and Bayer are the same? They are (ever so slightly) different sizes. APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm) vs APS-C (23.5mm x 15.7mm) per the Fuji site specs.
That's an artifact of X-Trans funky layout, the effective area of the sensor gets slightly smaller as the overlap section used only for interpolation data increases significantly because of the much higher pattern width of X-Trans.

I'd also not include the E-M10.2 as a current model, it's for sale in the online store on Oly's site, but not it marketing side. It is for sale since they have new units or parts inventory. But can also still buy new X-T20s and X-T2s, so I'm not sure I'd include the E-M10.2.
There's a big difference in a camera replaced in January 2018 with one replaced in February 2019 (X-T20). Especially when one is supposed to be the volume leader and there's still leftovers 20 months after the replacement was launched. This is not just an Oly thing, Nikon is bloody notorious for this with the D3x00's.

Everything I've seen shows the X-T2 is out of the pipeline now, and any remaining are regional disty stock at most, or store/chain stock, rather than still coming from the manufacturer. Stores will often sit on stock for a ridiculous amount of time (I know for a fact that Henry's, a major chain here in Canada, still has remaining new E-PL5 stock floating around, as well as a few NOS X-T1's).

A could also point out:

The E-PL9 is not a one off and Oly should have 2 rangefinder options. The first being E-PL line, but make it smaller and "cuter" for the selfie crowd. And a simpler Pen F / E-P5 cross. But I'd put the guts of the E-M10 series in the E-PL and the guts of the E-M5 series in an E-P6 or whatever you want to call it.
The E-PL9 is a one-off in terms of model line position, its a single solo model, not a contiguous line anymore. I'm unconvinced that Fuji should have 3 RF-style options (or even 2), let alone Oly (given the poor sales performance of the E-P5 and Pen-F). Now I think Oly could do a successful high-end RF model (and that might make a lot of sense) but they'd actually need to price comparably to the matching SLR-style model or have across the board feature parity/superiority, the Pen-F failed hard on this, the X-Pro2 was mostly successful.

Frankly, I think an E-PM3 and Pen-F.2 pairing could be really successful, but both need to hit the correct pricing/featureset, the problem with the E-PM models was always the E-PL models being too close in features/price.

In the end it really won't matter since they won't really listen to either of us so......
Agreed.
 
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mawz

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I don’t think you’ll see 9-100mm focal lengths as a 3 lens kit, constant f/4, weather sealed. Too close to the Pro 7-150/2.8 line including the 12-100/4. Differentiation is a huge driver in the profitability of “buying up” to f/2.8. There is also the 12-200 and 14-150 both weather sealed. Wide angles below 12mm are neither very common or popular and are served by third parties like Laowa.
The 3 lens mid-range f4 kit matching the pro selection except for a less wide UWA is a standard in the industry. Nikon has this in both their DSLR and Mirrorless lineups, as does Sony. Canon does it for DSLR's and is only missing it in mirrorless because they've only launched high-end glass for the most part. Fuji has a two-lens kit in this space now (10-24/4 and 16-80/4) but the matching telezoom hasn't arrived yet (they do have a great 55-200 f3.5-4.8, but it's an old lens with poor AF and due for a replacement, much as the 16-80/4 effectively replaces their old 18-55 f2.8-3.5)

The 12-100/4 lens is a very niche lens (as it's bloody huge compared to the bodies). Excellent, but still niche.

Wide angle zooms below 12mm are extremely popular, it's only primes that aren't so much (and for the most part the limit is 10mm equivalent, not 12, as both Fuji and Sony E mount have 18 equivalent primes available and Fuji's 14mm (21mm-e) is extremely popular
 

Aristophanes

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The 3 lens mid-range f4 kit matching the pro selection except for a less wide UWA is a standard in the industry. Nikon has this in both their DSLR and Mirrorless lineups, as does Sony. Canon does it for DSLR's and is only missing it in mirrorless because they've only launched high-end glass for the most part. Fuji has a two-lens kit in this space now (10-24/4 and 16-80/4) but the matching telezoom hasn't arrived yet (they do have a great 55-200 f3.5-4.8, but it's an old lens with poor AF and due for a replacement, much as the 16-80/4 effectively replaces their old 18-55 f2.8-3.5)

The 12-100/4 lens is a very niche lens (as it's bloody huge compared to the bodies). Excellent, but still niche.

Wide angle zooms below 12mm are extremely popular, it's only primes that aren't so much (and for the most part the limit is 10mm equivalent, not 12, as both Fuji and Sony E mount have 18 equivalent primes available and Fuji's 14mm (21mm-e) is extremely popular
f/4s don’t really make sense for m43 where the “D” in DOF is part of the sales problem. Wide to mid they would hardly be more compact than the Pro 12-40, and likely only slightly less expensive. There’s not a lot of form factor room between the 12-40 Pro and the 12-50EZ. And a 50-10p? A 2x zoom makes little sense as most zooms are exterior use. The IQ difference between a 100mm f/4 zoom and a f/5.6 zoom on m43 at 16-20mp is negligible.

Part of the m43 ethos was to NOT emulate the lens dogma of larger formats. For the m43 market the divider between Pro and Standard is already close enough in a contracting market that splitting the difference would be uneconomical. Also, Panasonic is sort of there in concept. So for Olympus is doesn’t make sense. Olympus wants more people chasing the Pro glass, especially as the bottom end has imploded. The days where we have Pro, Mid, and Consumer glass has disappeared. The market now has 2 tiers and then utility lenses, like the 12-200. We are seeing this in the Canikon mirrorless as well. Nikon’s Z-series f/4s are the Consumer and Mid all-in-one. Everything else will be 2.8. Two tiers. Shrinking market is dictating.

I don’t agree that wides are popular. They’ve always been niche and costly, going back to the film days.
 

davidzvi

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That's actually slow for the consumer electronics market, everywhere aside from Cameras a 6-12 month cycle is typical......
Exactly, sadly cameras have become a "consumer electronic" item. That was the start of the decline in the market IMHO.

I'll have to take your word on some of the rest, I don't have the time to research and we probably won't agree on some of it anyway.

....The E-PL9 is a one-off in terms of model line position, its a single solo model, not a contiguous line anymore. I'm unconvinced that Fuji should have 3 RF-style options (or even 2), let alone Oly (given the poor sales performance of the E-P5 and Pen-F). Now I think Oly could do a successful high-end RF model (and that might make a lot of sense) but they'd actually need to price comparably to the matching SLR-style model or have across the board feature parity/superiority, the Pen-F failed hard on this, the X-Pro2 was mostly successful.

Frankly, I think an E-PM3 and Pen-F.2 pairing could be really successful, but both need to hit the correct pricing/featureset, the problem with the E-PM models was always the E-PL models being too close in features/price.......
But I'm not sure how you can call the E-PL9 a one off. How is it really any different than the E-PL8? The only real difference design wise is they remove the port and added a pop up flash. Otherwise it's pretty much the same camera with updated processor and some specs.

Yes Fuji might be better served with only 2 rangefinders as long as the lower model is closer to the X-E3 and the X-A5. Or they would need to bring the XPro down to earth a bit.

Oly needs 2 because they need the "fashion" accessory model, call it an E-PM or E-PL, doesn't matter. Then they need a mid to upper for those that want a rangefinder but not a fashion accessory. I'm not sure it should be a Pen F.2, or at least it should be a more reasonable version of it.
 

fsuscotphoto

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The 3 lens mid-range f4 kit matching the pro selection except for a less wide UWA is a standard in the industry. Nikon has this in both their DSLR and Mirrorless lineups, as does Sony. Canon does it for DSLR's and is only missing it in mirrorless because they've only launched high-end glass for the most part. Fuji has a two-lens kit in this space now (10-24/4 and 16-80/4) but the matching telezoom hasn't arrived yet (they do have a great 55-200 f3.5-4.8, but it's an old lens with poor AF and due for a replacement, much as the 16-80/4 effectively replaces their old 18-55 f2.8-3.5)

The 12-100/4 lens is a very niche lens (as it's bloody huge compared to the bodies). Excellent, but still niche.

Wide angle zooms below 12mm are extremely popular, it's only primes that aren't so much (and for the most part the limit is 10mm equivalent, not 12, as both Fuji and Sony E mount have 18 equivalent primes available and Fuji's 14mm (21mm-e) is extremely popular
I totally disagree about the 12-100 being a niche lens. Every Oly owner I know has one of these. To me, a niche lens is the 300mm and a fisheye.
 

mawz

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But I'm not sure how you can call the E-PL9 a one off. How is it really any different than the E-PL8? The only real difference design wise is they remove the port and added a pop up flash. Otherwise it's pretty much the same camera with updated processor and some specs.

Yes Fuji might be better served with only 2 rangefinders as long as the lower model is closer to the X-E3 and the X-A5. Or they would need to bring the XPro down to earth a bit.

Oly needs 2 because they need the "fashion" accessory model, call it an E-PM or E-PL, doesn't matter. Then they need a mid to upper for those that want a rangefinder but not a fashion accessory. I'm not sure it should be a Pen F.2, or at least it should be a more reasonable version of it.
Ah, we're talking past each other on the 'one-off' bit. By that I mean it's a single model, as opposed to being in a multi-slot lineup. IE the Pen line used to have as many as 3 different models at any given time, now it's one. There's no way to go up or down.
 

mawz

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I totally disagree about the 12-100 being a niche lens. Every Oly owner I know has one of these. To me, a niche lens is the 300mm and a fisheye.
I don't know a single Oly shooter personally who owns it, as it's pro-level priced and pretty much needs either an E-M1 or a gripped E-M5 for handling. It does what it does very well, but it's a lot of money for a do-everything lens and most folks who want to never take their zoom off are consumers who bought a 14-150.

It really comes into its own as a rough condition lens, where you can't be swapping lenses due to conditions and need that extra reach without giving up Pro level optical quality.

Most Oly shooters I know are still using the 12-40+40-150 combo at the high end, or have moved to the new PL f2.8-4's.
 

mawz

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f/4s don’t really make sense for m43 where the “D” in DOF is part of the sales problem. Wide to mid they would hardly be more compact than the Pro 12-40, and likely only slightly less expensive. There’s not a lot of form factor room between the 12-40 Pro and the 12-50EZ. And a 50-10p? A 2x zoom makes little sense as most zooms are exterior use. The IQ difference between a 100mm f/4 zoom and a f/5.6 zoom on m43 at 16-20mp is negligible.
f4 lenses are for users who aren't caring about shallow DoF. And there's a lot of folks out there who don't give a crap about shallow DoF (or at least don't in their zoom kit) but care a lot about size/weight (where the smaller/lighter f4's come into play). One major reason I shoot m43 is because I can get more DoF at a given aperture and field of view, which is key for the landscape and nature photography that I do.

What I'm talking about is a replacement for the 12-50, not something between it and the 12-40. The 12-50 is a great range, but it's kit-lens quality optically (which ain't bad, but I want a fair bit more at its list price). And it's dog slow at the long end (f6.3) and the handling is a PITA thanks to the stupid power zoom mode. Making it f4 across the board would make f5.6 a usable working aperture (vs f8 for the variable-aperture zooms) and likely only result in modest weight gains.

A 50-100/4 will sell if it's small (which it should be) and priced around the $500 mark. It's selling point would be 'small, great and sealed', the 40-150 Pro is a beast of a lens, the 40-150 R is good optically but lacks build, sealing and AF performance. The 35-100's from Panasonic currently are the only lenses in the space and a 2x f4 zoom would allow Oly to offer something even better suited to those users looking for small and excellent (which is exactly what the biggest selling point for m43 is in the first place). Or make it 40-100 to cover more uses, that way it would pair up well with the 12-40 Pro for those looking to lose weight from the 40-150 but not giving up the 12-40.

Part of the m43 ethos was to NOT emulate the lens dogma of larger formats. For the m43 market the divider between Pro and Standard is already close enough in a contracting market that splitting the difference would be uneconomical. Also, Panasonic is sort of there in concept. So for Olympus is doesn’t make sense. Olympus wants more people chasing the Pro glass, especially as the bottom end has imploded. The days where we have Pro, Mid, and Consumer glass has disappeared. The market now has 2 tiers and then utility lenses, like the 12-200. We are seeing this in the Canikon mirrorless as well. Nikon’s Z-series f/4s are the Consumer and Mid all-in-one. Everything else will be 2.8. Two tiers. Shrinking market is dictating.
You're saying there's no room between the $99 40-150R and the $1299 40-150 Pro? Gimme a break. There's a huge gap here for a third lens that gives 12-50 level build without 40-150 Pro size & weight.

Really? The m43 lens lineup has generally resembled larger formats almost exactly, either matching up with FF lens designs in terms of range (24-80 equivalent), or in a few cases matching up with the end result of a FF lens on APS-C (the 40-150 for example is quite close to what you get using a 70-200 on APS-C, albeit with a touch more wide end). The only real exception for that is the 12-100 and 12-200 and those are very new.

m43 was always about delivering the flexibility of larger formats without the size penalty inherent to them. That's the way it was pitched when the G1 was launched (and why I bought my G1 in Jan 2009) and unlike 4/3rds, m43 delivered on this promise.

Nikon doesn't have a consumer lens out for the Z mount yet, they also don't have a consumer body. Those will come and will be APS-C. While camera lines are shrinking, lens lines are continuing to show the same consumer/mid-range/pro lineup that has worked well for so long.

I don’t agree that wides are popular. They’ve always been niche and costly, going back to the film days.
Then why does Oly have as many wide zooms in their lineup as mid-range telephotos (2 of each). Why does Nikon have at least a half-dozen of them? Why do all the 3rd party makers sell a bag full of options in that range? The reality is that UWA zooms are very popular and generally are the third zoom most users buy (after their normal and mid-tele zooms). And costly?

Nikkor 10-20VR $276.95 @ B&H

I used to get 19-35's all day long for $150 in the AF film era.

There's a bag full of other options around $5-600 from everybody else.

UWA Primes aren't popular, and thus we only see a handful of them.
 
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davidzvi

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Ah, we're talking past each other on the 'one-off' bit. By that I mean it's a single model, as opposed to being in a multi-slot lineup. IE the Pen line used to have as many as 3 different models at any given time, now it's one. There's no way to go up or down.
Yes we apparently have a different understanding of one-off. But by your definition is the E-M1x a one off? Or is it the top of the OMD line the same way the Nikon D5 and Canon 1DX are the top of there DSLR lines.

Either way 2 rangefinder (Pen line) and 3 SLR (OMD line) would be more than enough.
 

mawz

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
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Yes we apparently have a different understanding of one-off. But by your definition is the E-M1x a one off? Or is it the top of the OMD line the same way the Nikon D5 and Canon 1DX are the top of there DSLR lines.

Either way 2 rangefinder (Pen line) and 3 SLR (OMD line) would be more than enough.
I consider the E-M1X to be a one-off as well, standing beside the basic lineup as a pure specialty body, like Fuji's X-H1. It doesn't fit in the regular OM-D line as it has a different design focus. Unlike the D5 or the 1DX, the E-M1X isn't actually head & shoulders above the E-M1.2 in terms of performance, it's just got some (good) tweaks and that big body optimized for use on the big Pro lenses.

And yes, I do agree a 2RF/3SLR lineup would be ideal. I'm also good with keeping an E-M1X style body as a specialty body, but the price differential from it needs to be closer to reality, or the performance advantage needs to be significantly higher (faster AF, deeper buffer, maybe go to XQD cards to get a significant write speed increase). If it's going to be the D5 to the E-M1's D850, it needs to deliver D5 level increases in performance for the speed-oriented shooter, or it needs to be not significantly costly more than an E-M1+Grip.
 

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