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E-M5 - the DSLR Olympus never made

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dhazeghi, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I started using Olympus cameras in 2007 because I wanted a small camera for hiking, and Olympus's E-410 DSLR and ZD 12-60 lens were the highest quality option I could find that had the right range and was a convenient size.

    When the the E-3 first came out, there was a lot of grumbling that Olympus had lost their way, and instead of making the small rugged cameras they'd been known for previously, they'd basically mimicked the size and design of a typical (semi)pro DSLR.

    There were a bunch of us at the time who felt that what Olympus really needed was 'pro' mini DSLR, modeled along the lines of the E-4x0 series, but feature a metal body, weather-sealing, a big viewfinder and a sensor without a strong AA filter. The idea of a small but solid body that could take advantage of Olympus's excellent lenses and weather-sealing seemed like a no-brainer considering the market that Olympus seemed to be targeting.

    Now with the E-M5, Olympus has basically made that camera: the controls, build, sealing, VF and sensor all check out. Unfortunately, they've also negated a lot of the original appeal by also making it only half-compatible with existing 4/3 lenses, and offering no comparable lineup of native m4/3 zooms.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I hope they manage to finally get the whole thing (body and lenses) together, and that it doesn't take 4 more years to do so.

  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    If you are trying to say the need to release some high-grade quality fast zooms, then I agree! :) 

    I am just not sure I can afford $2K!
  3. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    But doesn't the high ISO capability of the E-M5 mitigate the slowness of the popular and inexpensive m4/3 zuiko 40-150 f4.0-5.6 zoom lens?

    When I shoot in iAuto mode with my E-M5, the camera defaults to ISO 1600 and yet I have not casually noticed any grain/noise in the outdoor images as compared to ISO 200 (and I have the noise filter set to off).
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Me neither. I'm talking about high quality zooms like their 12-60/2.8-4.0 and 50-200/2.8-3.5, not the ridiculously oversized and overpriced 14-35/2 or 35-100/2 or whatnot.

    The primary problem of the lenses isn't their slowness, but their softness. They're not as sharp as the older 4/3 zooms. That said, I'd be very surprised if post-processing didn't turn up major differences between ISO 200 and ISO 1600, or indeed ISO 800.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Though I don't really know how difficult to design a high quality compact zoom lens. I wonder the complexity of lens design internally to achieve sharp result may prevent olympus to achieve high quality zoom lens in micro Zuiko Digital line, without sacrificing the compactness of mZD and also the price.

    Just look how I wait and wait for the 14-54 ZD equivalent to appear in mZD line, yet we still not hear any plan of Olympus to bring it to the m4/3. Let alone the legendary 12-60. But can't blame the Olympus for that, perhaps the number of HG and SHG lens sold in 4/3 also prevent the Olympus to creating such lenses.

    Let's see where Olympus going to in next ten years. They may find good enough reason to bring high quality equivalents of ZD zoom lens to mZD when OM-D and PEN selling going through the roof.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The HG lenses really are not that big. The 11-22, 14-54, and 12-60 are all shorter than Panasonic's 45-200. The 50/2.0 macro is the same size as Panasonic's PL 45/2.8. The adapter adds a bit, but there aren't huge lenses. The only one that's larg(ish) is the 50-200, but even on their E-5 DSLR, the 50-200 isn't exactly small.

    The number of 4/3 lenses being sold new today is tiny - less than 10% what it was 3 years ago. That includes HG and SHG lenses. I agree that it's bad to compete against your existing products, but new 4/3 gear is simply not selling in any meaningful quantities these days.

    I hope they do, but I certainly hope it takes less than 10 years! 10 years ago the E-1 hadn't even been released...


  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Here's the feature checklist I had for the E-410 'pro':

    1. Similar size to the E-410.
    2. Fast accurate 5 point AF system that works in low light.
    3. 5 fps with a 15 RAW frame buffer.
    4. Minimal shutter lag (<50ms) and VF blackout (<120ms)
    5. Replace built-in flash with a pentaprism viewfinder with good eye-relief.
    6. High-resolution 460k or better LCD.
    7. Uses chipped variant of the BLM-1 to provide good battery life and detailed info.
    8. SD instead of XD slot with writing to both CF and SD for backup or RAWs on one and JPEGs on the other.
    9. Allow detailed image viewing/editing/deletion in record review
    10. Weather-sealed mag-alloy body.

    The only things obviously missing in the E-M5 from this list are the dual cards slots (SD and SD would be fine) and the improved battery-life. Not bad though, for a 4+-year old list...

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