Interesting m4/3 and Olympus Analysis

thearne3

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Ditto. Let's hope they're right, too. The combination of (1) a rugged, system camera (not forcing a choice between, say, EVF and flash, for example) 'E-P3' with next gen. 4/3 sensor, (2) a portfolio of quality optics companies quickly filling the glass 'gaps', and (3) proper software etc for taking advantage of the world of legacy lenses - I can live with that for a long time to come!
 

Kosta

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not to lose focus on the amount of "nexts" clicked, but i think the article was well put together and some very interesting format comparisons made. I feel a little frustrated with the whole rumours of new products and drip fed releases, but I think I will continue to stick with the m4/3 format and see it out. I hope that 'essay' has been sent to Olympus :) I like to think of them as the 'glorious underdogs'. let's keep our fingers crossed for this year!
 

floppymoose

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Seems needlessly anti-Panasonic to me.

"If you’re a user of the company’s OM cameras and lenses, you’ll understand that there is no lack of skills and experiences when it comes to delivering outstanding, fast and bright prime lenses. Panasonic’s abilities in this regard pales in comparison."

*cough* 20mm 1.7 *cough*
 
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The vast majority of Olympus' past experience of delivering "outstanding, fast and bright prime lenses" is in the distant past and not the recent past. The recent 4/3 system was built around zooms not primes, so you need to go back to the Pen F and OM days to find when Olympus was in their 'prime' (pardon the pun). To survive they really need to go where the m4/3 market is, which may be more receptive to zooms than primes.
 

Gillymaru

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The vast majority of Olympus' past experience of delivering "outstanding, fast and bright prime lenses" is in the distant past and not the recent past. The recent 4/3 system was built around zooms not primes, so you need to go back to the Pen F and OM days to find when Olympus was in their 'prime' (pardon the pun). To survive they really need to go where the m4/3 market is, which may be more receptive to zooms than primes.
Don't forget about the 50mm macro, 150mm f2 and 300mm 2.8 for the 4/3 system those 3 primes are some of the finest lenses of any system. Olympus can build lenses of the highest order and if they see a market for such lenses in their micro 4/3 lineup they will produce lenses of a similar quality.
 
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Don't forget about the 50mm macro, 150mm f2 and 300mm 2.8 for the 4/3 system those 3 primes are some of the finest lenses of any system. Olympus can build lenses of the highest order and if they see a market for such lenses in their micro 4/3 lineup they will produce lenses of a similar quality.
I agree 100% that Olympus can make lenses with the best of them, but always in the back of my mind is that Micro 4/3 is positioned as an entry-level system. The 'gaps' in the existing Micro 4/3 lens line-up mentioned in the article are what you would expect to be filled in system that caters for high-end users like Canon or Nikon. It may be a bit fanciful to see an equivalent line-up anytime soon for Micro 4/3, but we can only hope :smile:
 
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Good points Nic ... so should I ... no make that ... would you buy Oly stock?

Gary
I am a big fan of Olympus both past and present. They are a rarity amongst Japanses companies in that they have always been a bit quirky and have come up with products that have character to go along their technology and precision. To me they are the photographic equivalent of Honda, another Japanese company who were prepared to be different and push boundaries. Honda survived and prospered by tempering their quirkiness to appeal to the mainstream market but the essence of the company is still there. I hope Olympus can do the same.
 

Alanroseman

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I enjoyed his upbeat take on the future of µ43.

Exhausted my finger clicking through the article, how about black on white, with a smaller font..
 

photoSmart42

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Don't forget about the 50mm macro, 150mm f2 and 300mm 2.8 for the 4/3 system those 3 primes are some of the finest lenses of any system. Olympus can build lenses of the highest order and if they see a market for such lenses in their micro 4/3 lineup they will produce lenses of a similar quality.
There's no doubt that they CAN, but the point of Thom Hogan's article was that they DON'T. The part about not seeing a market in the m4/3 segment for high end products IS exactly why Hogan was so down on Olympus and Panasonic.

Yes, this article is all roses, but it's wishful thinking as much as Hogan's article was all doomsday. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. Panasonic and Olympus certainly have everything they need to introduce some 'pro' level products, but they've chosen not to do so yet. There is a market for those products, and Panasonic and Olympus had three years of first-mover advantage to get into that market. The evidence is that the marketing departments at both companies are fumbling about trying to understand why their products are selling (or not) as they are. If they figure that out, it's all roses. If they don't, it's doomsday.
 

Djarum

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While Panasonic or Olympus can do more pro lenses, what sort of market is there for them? Current Canikon users aren't going to need them unless they are somehow persueded to get a pro mFT body, which isn't there yet. Like anything else in the mFT lens lineup also, I think that the pro lenses will be more expensive than their canikon counterparts, which will put people off too.
 

Pan Korop

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Long but has insights.

I notably agree that full-format cameras like the D3X are the new "medium format" cameras. My Rolleiflex 600x setup gathers dust, while the D3X replaced it. Given its weight and precision, I hardly ever use it hand-held, and for anything else than precise commercial assignment tasks.

The µ4/3 has replaced the Leicas for those hand-held shots. Or special setups where I see Oly's VF-2 as a...VisoFlex on a Leica M.

As to the supposed inferiority of the smaller sensor, well there was a time when some argued that Kodak's Tri-X was way too grainy to use on a 35 mm camera. Same was later said about Kodachrome 200. Suuure, except I had billboards printed of such Leica + Kodachrome 200 combo. Loved it.

And most of the working pros did use Tri-X in the field, and its grain was part of the charm. Some would develop it in D-76 for its softness, some in HC-110 for its mean sharp grain, and occasionally in Diafine or some other two-bath booster soup to get a grainy but necessary sorta-1600 ASA.

Sounds familar? Just like now with any "small sensor" camera you have the choice effective speed, and of processing for detailed sharpness vs noise softening.
 

John M Flores

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I'll admit - I didnt make it through! But I will say that I suspect that many of the cries for more 'serious' pro/am M43 bodies and lenses fall on deaf ears because the market for that segment is smaller than we all think.

At the top end, Canon and Nikon are so firmly entrenched that it will take years to mount a serious challenge. At this level, it's not just a breakthrough body that is required, but a full lineup of glass and maybe most importantly a pro support network.

Just below that, is the serious amateur. We think that it is a big market only because this segment is overrepresented in forums and photo sharing sites. I suspect that the market isn't big enough to sustain a camera maker and the constant improvement demanded of the space. For evidence I present Olympus and Pentax. Both have struggled to stay afloat serving this market, and have been saved in no small part by successful forays into the entry level - Pentax with the K-x and Olympus with M43.

So that leaves the entry level and the space just below serious amateur. This is where M43 is playing now, and where volume and margin work balance each other.

M43 seems to be on a nice trajectory at the moment, but success of the platform is not yet assured as Sony and others enter. The threat of Canon and Nikon entering the market is ever-present, so I think Olympus and Panasonic will continue to focus on the entry/amateur. Only when they are more secure in this space will the venture more aggressively upmarket.

This is my $.02, nonrefundable

John
Not a market analyst, but he plays one on the Internet.

my iPhone sent this
 
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