Is Olympus getting its Mojo back?

OzRay

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After the introduction of the E-P5 and E-M5, Olympus received some pretty respectable kudos for what the cameras delivered and then, with the E-M1, things got even better. Now the E-M10 is garnering some excellent reviews all round, so it certainly seems like things are on the up with Olympus. In fact, from the various reviews, the negatives aimed at the cameras seem to be splitting hairs, rather than than substantial failures/faults/omissions. Personally, there was a time that I was somewhat worried about what was to become of Olympus, but it looks like they are really getting their Mojo back once again and shrugging off the bad times of recent years. If the trend continues, it's going to be interesting times ahead indeed.
 

Halaking

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Olympus doing it very smart with em10, cheaper/right price with not less features.
 

Ramsey

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E-M5 camera of the year 2012
E-M1 product of the year 2013
12-40, great lens, excellent reviews.
E-M10, great reviews, solid price.
25mm seems like a great lens, IQ and build of the exceptional 45mm.
remains to be seen what the reviews will be like for pro 40-150, 7-14 and 300mm.

the only thing i don't agree on is the E-P5. I think the dropped the ball on this one only due to exceptionally bad pricing. It is a great camera that failed to conquer its share of the market, because people could've bought E-M5 or E-M1 for basically the same amount of money. Although they did learn (i hope), considering the price of the E-M10.

Also, one area i think they could work on is the firmware updates. After you buy the camera, they just don't seem to care...
 

OzRay

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I'm not sure that the criticism about pricing is entirely justified. If it's roughly the same size as the E-P1 but with all the effective features of the E-M1, then that kind of makes it unique.
 

Just Jim

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The problem for Olympus is they've only made 2 successful camera's, and dilute they diluted that success by making nonsensical iterations that complicate the market. The Pen went well, so they kept pumping out all sorts of pen models at almost 2 or more per year and the meh versions diluted the good versions good will destroying any sort of brand or quality recognition and now that line looks to be in the circular file. EM series is going in the same direction. In around 2 years they made 3 EM's. By next year around summer they'll have 5. Consumers be like "whaaat?"
 

OzRay

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The problem for Olympus is they've only made 2 successful camera's, and dilute they diluted that success by making nonsensical iterations that complicate the market. The Pen went well, so they kept pumping out all sorts of pen models at almost 2 or more per year and the meh versions diluted the good versions good will destroying any sort of brand or quality recognition and now that line looks to be in the circular file. EM series is going in the same direction. In around 2 years they made 3 EM's. By next year around summer they'll have 5. Consumers be like "whaaat?"
And no other camera manufacturer does that?
 

Ramsey

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Sure, there were a lot of features on E-P5 that were not there for the E-P3. Wifi, 1/8000, dual dials, focus peaking etc. But for me personally, there's more to the price than just features. You have to compare it to the launch price of the E-P3 (almost 100$ less, and that's including the kit lens), competition and similar products at the time (E-M1 was a few months away and people knew a pro OMD line body was coming), your target audience as well as other things.

All of those features were of great use to far more experienced users, who, as it turns out, like to use the viewfinder (or consider it a necessity). Yes, the external EVF was a possibility but personally i think it takes away from the charm of the Pen line. As far as i understand (as i have limited experience and do not posses an E-P5, wifi and focus peaking are not that great on this body). As i said, it's a great camera that packs quite a punch, but 1000$ is a lot of money.

i don't want this to turn out as people always complaining about the price (sure, we would all like our favorite products to be a bit more cheaper), just my two cents.
 

Ramsey

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3 PEN models and 3 OMD models are not too much. They cover each segment of the market possible. That's a normal business strategy. But E-PM3 and EPL7 (supposed to be announced soon) are a bit too soon kind of a thing, if the sensor is not updated.
 

OzRay

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I think you need to ask those who own and like the E-P5 as to why they do. My E-P1 with 17mm is still one of my favourite cameras and I can understand why the E-P5 would be appreciated.
 

Ramsey

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Maybe i'm missing your point here. I never said it's a bad camera.

Moot point anyway, let's agree to disagree
 

nixapatfan

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EP5's only fault was the price should have been a couple hundred cheaper. I chose the EP5 over the EM5 specifically because it doesn't have a fixed EVF, 1/8000 shutter, built in flash, WiFi(fixed after firmware update), peaking, fast operating speed(try it and you'll wonder why other cameras are slow) and smaller form factor. Some think most of those aspects are negatives, that's why it's good to have choices.
 

pdk42

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As someone who picked up an e-p5 recently after price drops, I agree that it's a great camera whose success was denied by silly pricing. Leica can perhaps get away with eye-watering prices for rangefinder-style cameras, but Oly is in a different market/volume segment. Having said that, I sometimes think of my e-p5 as a mini-Leica. The results I get from it are superb and it's a joy to use.
 

taz98spin

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I too waited for the E-P5 to drop in price and I'm so happy I picked it over the E-M5 and E-M1!

The small size with the 1/8000 + 5 axis stablization makes it my go-to camera.
My poor X100S has not been out of my home since I got the E-P5 :frown:
 

Just Jim

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And no other camera manufacturer does that?
Not at that ridiculous level, except mabe Fuji X series, but they include high end P&S's. We have like a dozen different camera's and that's just Olympus. Seriously, why on earth would any rational (as fans, we are not rational) consumer buy one of these things new at peak price and margin when the 6 month old one is already 1/3 off original msrp with a thinner margin. If they did want a brand shiny new one, which one are they getting? EM, EP, EPL, EPM, GF, GM, G, GX, GH. Seriously? 9 makes of camera's in 5 years, which have multiple models. Multiple makes between each company that basically mirror each other, or mirror each other internally... I've had to explain this to people that want a nice light camera where this system is PERFECT, and boy do the eye's glaze over when this topic comes up. Now I just say, "how much, and what features do you need, and what features can you live without?"

Not sure I'd call it mojo, rather a paint bucket thrown at wall with 15 camera's in 5 years (over 30 models in total including Pana)...

Canon, x00 consumer, x0 mid tier, x top of the line. iterate every 12-36 months, capitalize on the higher margin products longer, and let those models breath with support.
Nikon pretty much the same, just add 0's, and make the flagship with no 0's.
That's simplicity.
They're the big boys for a reason, they have the road map figured out on how to get product in the customers hand, and keep them happy enough. This system for as much as I like the products, puts hurdles up to my enjoyment of it every chance they get.
 

Joelmusicman

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Canon, x00 consumer, x0 mid tier, x top of the line. iterate every 12-36 months, capitalize on the higher margin products longer, and let those models breath with support.
Nikon pretty much the same, just add 0's, and make the flagship with no 0's.
That's simplicity.
They're the big boys for a reason, they have the road map figured out on how to get product in the customers hand, and keep them happy enough. This system for as much as I like the products, puts hurdles up to my enjoyment of it every chance they get.
Canon and Nikon's low end DSLRs (Nikon especially) seem to iterate at the most every 12 months, and that creates just as much feature confusion. If you want a certain feature (say, tilting LCD), you often have to pick a model that doesn't have something else that you want.
 

jziegler

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Not at that ridiculous level, except mabe Fuji X series, but they include high end P&S's. We have like a dozen different camera's and that's just Olympus. Seriously, why on earth would any rational (as fans, we are not rational) consumer buy one of these things new at peak price and margin when the 6 month old one is already 1/3 off original msrp with a thinner margin. If they did want a brand shiny new one, which one are they getting? EM, EP, EPL, EPM, GF, GM, G, GX, GH. Seriously? 9 makes of camera's in 5 years, which have multiple models. Multiple makes between each company that basically mirror each other, or mirror each other internally... I've had to explain this to people that want a nice light camera where this system is PERFECT, and boy do the eye's glaze over when this topic comes up. Now I just say, "how much, and what features do you need, and what features can you live without?"

Nikon pretty much the same, just add 0's, and make the flagship with no 0's.
That's simplicity.
They're the big boys for a reason, they have the road map figured out on how to get product in the customers hand, and keep them happy enough. This system for as much as I like the products, puts hurdles up to my enjoyment of it every chance they get.
Really? I used to shoot Nikon, and still somewhat follow what they're doing. They have far more bodies currently available new than m43 does. You might want to read this:

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/off-target-overloaded-and.html

Why would you choose a D5200 (last gen, still availalbe new) over a D3300? Nikon shows 20 DSLRs as current products, athough most of those are just remaining overstock of older models. That's more models currently than Oly has ever has in m43. The D90 is still a current product, and that was indroduced in 2008! I don't think that Canon is all that different, with a whole bunch of similar but different Rebel models that no one other than the most Canon faithful can tell apart.
 

Ramsey

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Canon, x00 consumer, x0 mid tier, x top of the line. iterate every 12-36 months, capitalize on the higher margin products longer, and let those models breath with support.
Nikon pretty much the same, just add 0's, and make the flagship with no 0's.
That's simplicity.
They're the big boys for a reason, they have the road map figured out on how to get product in the customers hand, and keep them happy enough. This system for as much as I like the products, puts hurdles up to my enjoyment of it every chance they get.
not exactly true:

Canon: 1200D, 100D, 700D, 70D, 7D, 6D, 5D Mark III, 1D/1Dc. That's not including APS-H, astrophotography and mirrorless models. Sure, most of the models have longer life span, but x0D and XD line (correct me if i'm wrong, but the best selling items) had a lifespan of 1-1,5 years.

Nikon: D3300, D5300, D7100, D610, D800(e), D4s as well as Df. Average lifespan 1,5-2 years (my estimations, certain models last longer, certain less).

Olympus has it's bases covered the same as Canikon: entry, mid, enthusiast, high end, professional (E-M1 is not exactly pro in the same sense as 1Dx/D4s but you know what i mean).

It's just that we've had the (mis)fortune to live in a time when Olympus was throwing out the models for the PEN and OMD line. I think they will follow the principles of Canikon and continue to further develop in that 6 lines, maybe throw in a speciality body (astrophotography or similar) every now and then.

Olympus is far from a saint, but let's not pretend Canikon does not take advantage of our fondness for shiny new gadgets...

EDIT: jziegler beat me to it :redface:
 

DynaSport

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Right now, on B&H you can buy the Canon T3, SL1, T3i, T5, T5i, 60D, 70D, 7D, 60Da, 6D, 5D Mk III, and 1D X. In a total of 80 different body/lens/accessories configurataions. Simple huh. I owned Canons for many years, and if I was buying one tomorrow, I don't know which one I'd buy. It's not just Olympus and Panasonic that have a wide range of cameras that sometimes confuse the consumer. But seriously, I think choices are a good thing.

LOL, a day late and a dollar short.:smile:
 

dhazeghi

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After the introduction of the E-P5 and E-M5, Olympus received some pretty respectable kudos for what the cameras delivered and then, with the E-M1, things got even better. Now the E-M10 is garnering some excellent reviews all round, so it certainly seems like things are on the up with Olympus.
I think in terms of the quality of the products they're doing well. Where they continue to miss the boat is in predicting demand and providing rational choices to consumers. They should not be having to cut prices by 20-30% to clear out inventory before each new launch, and they should not have 4 products within the $500-$800 range that even an expert can't explain the logic between.

IMO they need to simplify down to 4 models: Mini, Standard, High Grade and Pro, at $500, $750, $1000 and $1400 respectively.

  • Mini - E-PL5 with better C-AF, WiFi and focus peaking.
  • Standard - E-M10 with better C-AF.
  • High Grade - E-P5 with an EVF, weather-sealing and good C-AF. This is the hardest one, but I really don't think it makes sense to have the high-end Pen and middle-end OM-D competing. The E-P5 form factor is appealing, but the lack of EVF and weather-sealing is not. C-AF needs to be much better to compete with Sony's next generation.
  • Pro - E-M1 with an E-M5 shell and a detachable grip. Functionally, the E-M1 is fine aside from the fact that C-AF is limited to 5 fps. Aesthetically, it really doesn't fit well with the other cameras though. I'd like to see it revert to the E-M5's case, but with the more robust horizontal grip an included accessory.

In this kind of line-up there'd be a very clear delineation between models and features. Move up from Mini to Standard, gain an EVF and controls. Move up from Standard to High Grade, gain weather-sealing and good C-AF. Move up from High Grade to Pro, gain better C-AF, ability to focus 4/3 lenses well and a modular body that can be expanded with grips.

Also, they need to add an electronic shutter pronto. Silent shooting may not be a must-have feature, but especially on the high-end, avoiding shutter shake should be.
 

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