Is Olympus going in the wrong direction?

Tapper

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I like the Pro lenses but I only own 2 of them because generally speaking they are too big and expensive in some cases, especially the primes IMO.

What I would like to see is improved f1.8 primes with weather sealing and improved materials (and improved optics in some cases i.e. 17mm), and keep them small, light and affordable. Maybe a $100 - $150 more than the old versions. I think many would buy them, and even consider replacing their older f1.8's.
 

John King

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It is not bigger and heavier. It is smaller and lighter, just like I said: https://camerasize.com/compact/#858.929,482.332,ha,t

Yes, the focal length ranges are different (although they're not that much different when you consider that the a7C has more resolution and can be cropped more). Yes the Olympus has better macro capabilities. Yes the Olympus is weather-sealed (but the Sony is, too; just maybe not as well). Yes, the Olympus is cheaper (not too surprising for an 8 year old camera). But you mentioned three criteria: size, weight and image quality. The Sony wins on all of these.


The IQ of the Canon G7X II isn't that bad honestly, especially when compared to cheaper MFT zooms like the ones you mentioned. I used it for two years before switching to MFT.


I'm not arguing either. ;) Just getting the facts out there. Every system is a compromise. It depends on your specific needs which compromise is best for you.
Frank, you missed the E-PM2 + 14-42 EZ.

At less than half the weight, far smaller, and around 1/7th the price (at release). Lens IQ is as good or better than the 28-60. One could substitute an E-PL10 for the far older E-PM2. ...

At camerasize.com:

https://j.mp/2V4MIbT

BTW, I play mix and match to get the 'kit for the day'.

And cropping doesn't work like that. You have to crop from a sensor with the same pixel density - i.e. crop from an 82 MPx 135 format sensor, not a 24.5 MPx one. AND all else must be as equal as possible, and it almost never is ...

I've done quite a bit of editing of 135 format images, and am yet to see the magical improvement/s bandied about.

I do believe that the 35mm companies employ far more active trolls and naysayers ..,
 
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I hate to say this out loud for fear of sounding foolish (like that's ever stopped me before...) but is it possible that Oly's best bet is to introduce an APS-C camera, using the same mount as their film era for immediate adaptability and relevance? It gets away from the FF group which is already overcrowded and makes them (kind of) unique in the M-4/3 universe. I think that camera would appeal to a lot more people than Panny's FF.
Sensor crops are the dagger in the back of every legacy lens mount. It has a way of taking nearly every interesting lens and pushing it into some awkward no-man's-land.
 

John M Flores

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Olympus has been going in the wrong direction for 10 years; they should have switched to phones.
 
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doady

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I have said before, I am not a telephoto person, and I am not into very big cameras and lenses, but when I see 150-400mm F4.5 and 100-400mm F5-6.3, I wonder why it took them so long to come out with these lenses. It's just crazy. I will never buy them, but these are exactly the sort of lenses they should have made from the beginning. These are the lenses that show their advantage over both smartphones and full frame. Where is the 50-200mm F2.8, or the 40-150mm F4? 50-230mm F4? Still many gaps yet to be filled. Especially considering their weather-sealing advantage, I would argue Olympus did not concentrate enough on the "Pro", but I think it's good that they/OM have learned from their mistakes, even though I am not a pro. As far as I can see, they are now moving in exactly the right direction, even if it is not my direction.
 

speedy

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Leading to weird lenses like those Canon fixed f11 teles or Nikon's 24-50/3.5-6.3 zoom...50mm f6.3? So compact means stupid slow?

Luckily some third parties are making lenses more like the film days...compact f2.8 primes. Not sure why Canikony hasn't gone that route.
You just hit on why I jumped off the FF wagon. No one was really interested in building a decent quality set of f/2 or 2.8 primes. I had zero interest in lugging around heavy, chunky 2.8 zooms. Canon had the 24, 28 & 35, but that was about it. Plus, at 85mm and over, they do get chunky again. Even today, I'm really only going to perhaps match my m4/3 f/1.4-7 prime kit, so why would you bother swapping? Matching body sizes doesn't concern me, as both systems are at about the size limit of being ergonomic and comfortable, for me.
 

JonSnih

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I have been thinking for a few years now that it would be great if Olympus would create a compact set of f1.4 weather proof primes that were better quality and build than the f1.8 set but much smaller and lighter than the f1.2 set. A great place to start would be to bring out an alternative to the great (but panned for being a slow at focusing) p20/1.7. Well if the rumors are to be believed from above, Olympus could be prepping a 20mm f1.4 lens. This could show Olympus moving in a new and interesting direction.
I could not agree more. A 20mm F1.4 is a good start (=very desirable FL in m4/3). If they could also bring a 14mm prime to the table in future that would give me more flexibility than a 17mm PRO prime I have now.
(Looking back) I do agree that Olympus should have jumped into the FF market especially with their expertise with lenses
I feel that we lost out on what could potentially have been some extremely innovative products and Olympus lost out on an opportunity to steal a very big slice of the developing market and on profitability
Why? There is nothing special Oly could did better. They never had the R&D budget and staff Canikon+Sony have, nor the time to do it. The size and complexity of FF glass is getting more pronounced with every decade as FF sensors grow in MP. Plus Tamron and Sigma are pushing really great and innovative designs lately. At the and of the day you can see how Panasonic is strugling. The L-mount alliance is a flop (very bad timing, too freely collaboration, not enough native lenses).
1) how about some small jewel-like lenses (read high quality build and optics) to flesh out the range (9/10mm f2 for example, a pancake 12mm f2/f2.8, a better pancake 17mm f2, a nice 25mm lens f2-ish...) all with metal bodies, great MF capability (snap focus), weather sealing and an aperture ring. Optical quality can be great but does not need to be excellent, some aberrations and the like are acceptable...think about the lenses Voigtlander is putting out for the M-system (ultrons 28mm ii, 35mm f2, skopar 21mm 3.5... tiny, high build quality, and great IQ but not superb IQ). Come to think of it why not make some collapsible lenses like Leica used to make, they would be the first to do that with AF

Yes! Bring on some good pancakes and high end small bodies! That is why I changed system to this. Still keep my hope up
You both ask for pancakes, you ask for troubles = too many compromises in optical design and build/durability. See the AF and reliability issues with a P20mm F1.7. No, thanks.
The talk is about primes featuring very good optical formula, fast AF, sealed design in reasonably sized package - something close to a P25mm F1.4. This is how m4/3 can compete against Fuji X.
 

BDR-529

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Why? There is nothing special Oly could did better. They never had the R&D budget and staff Canikon+Sony have, nor the time to do it. The size and complexity of FF glass is getting more pronounced with every decade

There was no need to do anything special during the first six years of mirrorless FF. Just be there in time and build customer, lens and accessory base.

Mirrorless FF-market didn't even exist before 2013 when A7 was launched and by that time the most experienced mirrorless camera manufacturers were panny and oly who had been concentrating on mft since 2008.

Biggest players Canon and Nikon wasted five years milking their SLR market share before they even entered this game with a single model but it took till 2020 before they really went in panic mode after mirrorless had allready killed DSLR

Olympus had seven years to exploit their mirrorless expertise and patents between 2013 and 2020 before there were other major competitors than just Sony. Olympus also had plenty of experience in making excellent 35mm lenses for original OM cameras so mirrorless FF lenses could have been designed in-house.

Well, they didn't follow that path and it's very hard to say what they should do in current situation because there are no good options left unless some new technology (organic sensor?) suddenly appears that is initially available for only mft
 
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Stanga

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I have said before, I am not a telephoto person, and I am not into very big cameras and lenses, but when I see 150-400mm F4.5 and 100-400mm F5-6.3, I wonder why it took them so long to come out with these lenses. It's just crazy. I will never buy them, but these are exactly the sort of lenses they should have made from the beginning.
You might as well have asked why it took so long before someone managed to make a vehicle that could fly. It has always taken ages to develop and then manufacture a new lens from scratch. Before CAD it took an average of ten years to get a lens idea into production.
On top of that, you mentioned that you would never buy one. And that is the other problem. Why should manufacturers spend money producing a lens that people don't want to buy, no matter how good it is?
 
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This recent article from Digital Camera World makes some decent points about the direction OMDS (neė Olympus) is heading with its emphasis on PRO lenses.


What do you all think?

- K
Funnily the same day I read the article from your link I also stumbled upon this one: Olympus needs to release more (heavy) PRO lenses (the author talks about 100mm f/1, 200mm f/1.2, 300mm f/1.4)! I think it is a matter of what we use our gear for. I find that with MFT I can have a PEN-F with 17/1.8 as a very compact walk-around combo. When I want something more performant I can take the EM1 II with a Pro lens and be happy. I don't think the difference in IQ between MFT and FF is as large as many people want us to believe. Since I got into MFT my FF gear is gathering dust. For night shots I can rely on the excellent IBIS (I don't shoot sports or fast action at night) or a tripod if needed. When the light is good there is no reason to go FF.

How many photographers really need super-high ISO ? Not that many I think. The few who really need it are better off with FF.
 

Photon

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I think people often misunderstand the purpose of the f1.2 pro primes. Once people have purchased an Olympus rig for wildlife (or travel), they may have a secondary use case that requires "full frame" performance (e.g., low light or shallow depth of field). Without the f1.2 pro lenses, they may be required to purchase a second system (which may be a conduit to moving away from micro 4/3).

The f1.2 provide a way to get similar performance to f1.8 full frame lenses without the need to add another system. The cost of the Olympus f1.2 lenses is high, but less than purchasing a full frame body and lens (and one does not need to carry around another camera body). On top of that, Olympus gets to sell a high profit margin product.

The Olympus f1.2 lenses are certainly not for everyone, but I think the business case for creating them was pretty sound.
 

exakta

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I have said before, I am not a telephoto person, and I am not into very big cameras and lenses, but when I see 150-400mm F4.5 and 100-400mm F5-6.3, I wonder why it took them so long to come out with these lenses. It's just crazy. I will never buy them...

I think you just answered your own question. :hiding:
 

D7k1

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I had a recent discussion with Tom Hogan about markets (I had 15 years as an executive in the photo industry BTW) and we have very similar views on what is going to make a manufacturer succeed. It not the traditional concept of photography but the concept of imaging. Today the younger generations are into imaging creation - both stills and video and understand that either to be an artist or working professional in the imaging arts you have to understand both stills and moving images. Panasonic has done a very good job in positioning themselves with their products and with the advent of the G9 has come very close to Olympus in stills performance. Yes one could look at the two new zooms and say not for the average user, but that is for the average user of yesterday. Cell phones being hybrid imaging devices are the gateway path to the new generation that will drive any camera market, and for now in the affordable range that is Panasonic. I think Olympus (which now in the EMIII has a decent video capability) has the potential to also succeed in this new target market if they understand that it's not only the long lenses where M43 has a competitive advantage but also in the short fast zoom (but they have to be click-less to appeal to the motion imagers).

So I think Oly should look at their PRO and see what it would take to make them imaging concentric instead of just photographic. The needs of the market have changed and the professional opportunities have also changed (just look at wedding photographers almost all offer video). Don't think about specific products but look at markets and the needs of those markets.

Can the Olympus (new company) survive - yes their products are very good but I think they have to change the impetus from pictures to all imaging and drive that home in their marketing. Their products can fulfill a niche but they have to capture the needs of the new emerging markets and not sell to the needs of the old markets IMHO.
 
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Leolab

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I think people often misunderstand the purpose of the f1.2 pro primes. Once people have purchased an Olympus rig for wildlife (or travel), they may have a secondary use case that requires "full frame" performance (e.g., low light or shallow depth of field). Without the f1.2 pro lenses, they may be required to purchase a second system (which may be a conduit to moving away from micro 4/3).

The f1.2 provide a way to get similar performance to f1.8 full frame lenses without the need to add another system. The cost of the Olympus f1.2 lenses is high, but less than purchasing a full frame body and lens (and one does not need to carry around another camera body). On top of that, Olympus gets to sell a high profit margin product.

The Olympus f1.2 lenses are certainly not for everyone, but I think the business case for creating them was pretty sound.

well, the 1.2 Olympus PRO lenses are DOF equivalent to f 2.4/2.5 on FF

I can buy a used FF mirrorless body A7Rii with 42MP and IBIS, a great VF, decent AF for less than 1k.
I can buy a Samyang 18mm, 24mm , 35mm, 45mm and 75mm used for ~1.2k, or new for ~1.5k.

So for the ~price of two of the new PRO primes, or all three if used, I can have a complete FF camera setup with 5 lenses, with the longer length lenses affording significantly greater DOF control for portraits.

Willing to spend a little more and you could get the new Sigma i-primes which are well built, have aperture rings and are smaller than the Oly PRO primes, over time you could step into a used A7iii for best in class AF…I could keep going but this is the mental arithmetic folks go through when deciding what to buy.

Its great to have choices withthe PRO primes but there is an opportunity cost with dveleoping them, basically you are not developing something else that may be more useful and generate more revenue, taken with this context I dont see them as a wise business decision on Olys part because they dont play to the strengths of the system rather play to compete with FF which m43 will always fail at
 
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well, the 1.2 Olympus PRO lenses are DOF equivalent to f 2.4/2.5 on FF

I can buy a used FF mirrorless body A7Rii with 42MP and IBIS, a great VF, decent AF for less than 1k.
I can buy a Samyang 18mm, 24mm , 35mm, 45mm and 75mm used for ~1.2k, or new for ~1.5k.

So for the ~price of two of the new PRO primes, or all three if used, I can have a complete FF camera setup with 5 lenses, with the longer length lenses affording significantly greater DOF control for portraits.

Willing to spend a little more and you could get the new Sigma i-primes which are well built, have aperture rings and are smaller than the Oly PRO primes, over time you could step into a used A7iii for best in class AF…I could keep going but this is the mental arithmetic folks go through when deciding what to buy.

Its great to have choices withthe PRO primes but there is an opportunity cost with dveleoping them, basically you are not developing something else that may be more useful and generate more revenue, taken with this context I dont see them as a wise business decision on Olys part because they dont play to the strengths of the system rather play to compete with FF which m43 will always fail at
For the price of a new a7 iv and one new lense I can get a lot of used MFT gear. But I'm not sure if comparing new vs used prices is relevant.
 
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Brownie

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For the price of a new a7 iv and one new lense I can get a lot of used MFT gear. But I'm not sure if it's comparing new vs used prices is relevant.
The A7IV hasn't been released yet, or for that matter announced, just rumored. The A7 RIV was released last year but that's the pro 61MP sensor, and the price reflects that at $3500 for the body.

The A7 IV is 'rumored' to be a 30MP sensor at around $2500 body only, or in other words about the same price as the GH6's 'rumored' release price. I suppose if you don't want to buy a lot of new lenses the GH6 is the way to go, but body for body, the A7 IV is the winner in my book. If I'm going to spend the $ I'd rather put it into a better sensor than video features I don't want or need. YMMV.
 

JonSnih

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well, the 1.2 Olympus PRO lenses are DOF equivalent to f 2.4/2.5 on FF
Photon is right. F1.2 primes play an important role for enticing users from FF. You will never have the same IQ performance wide open with FF F1.8 primes we have with our m4/3 F1.2 primes.
So for the ~price of two of the new PRO primes, or all three if used, I can have a complete FF camera setup with 5 lenses, with the longer length lenses affording significantly greater DOF control for portraits.
If you're serious about portraits you will stop it down, even more on FF. See Matt Granger's video. In general phography you will find yourself using lower apertures because you want more DOF, not less.

Willing to spend a little more and you could get the new Sigma i-primes which are well built, have aperture rings and are smaller than the Oly PRO primes, over time you could step into a used A7iii for best in class AF…I could keep going but this is the mental arithmetic folks go through when deciding what to buy.
Sigma lenses are lacklusters in terms of AF performance. Especially these F2-F2.8 primes. No matter how good the camera AF is, there will be a delay (worse response).
 

Leolab

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For the price of a new a7 iv and one new lense I can get a lot of used MFT gear. But I'm not sure if it's comparing new vs used prices is relevant.
fine, compare the A7rii kit with all of the Samyang lenses used at around ~2000$ vs 3 used Oly Pro primes, about the same $.

My point is that any comparison of Oly vs FF mirrorless for IQ Oly will lose, it used to be that you could say 'yes, but the Oly has IBIS to compensate', that is also no longer exclusive to m43, and you used to be able to say 'yes, but the Oly kit is much smaller', that advantage also has gone away for non-telephoto uses
 
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The A7IV hasn't been released yet, or for that matter announced, just rumored. The A7 RIV was released last year but that's the pro 61MP sensor, and the price reflects that at $3500 for the body.
That's possible. Since I tried one of the Sony a7 series camera's my interest in the brand faded rapidly.
The A7 IV is 'rumored' to be a 30MP sensor at around $2500 body only, or in other words about the same price as the GH6's 'rumored' release price. I suppose if you don't want to buy a lot of new lenses the GH6 is the way to go, but body for body, the A7 IV is the winner in my book. If I'm going to spend the $ I'd rather put it into a better sensor than video features I don't want or need. YMMV.
What I wanted to say is that it's a bit skewed to compare new prices from one brand with used prices from another.
 

Leolab

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Photon is right. F1.2 primes play an important role for enticing users from FF. You will never have the same IQ performance wide open with FF F1.8 primes we have with our m4/3 F1.2 primes.

If you're serious about portraits you will stop it down, even more on FF. See Matt Granger's video. In general phography you will find yourself using lower apertures because you want more DOF, not less.


Sigma lenses are lacklusters in terms of AF performance. Especially these F2-F2.8 primes. No matter how good the camera AF is, there will be a delay (worse response).
In light of Olympus market share and its progression over time, how effective do you think that strategy of pulling folks from FF mirrorless has been? I'm sure there are a few but by and large more have left to go FF vs come into m43 from FF

In terms of DOF for portraits, the Oly PRO lenses are f2.5 equivalent, i agree that that is a nice DO for portraits but I can get same thing much cheaper and much smaller as well on FF

I have used the new Sigma lenses on A7C and they are no worse AF than any Oly lens I have used on my Em1ii, they are near instantaneous and the AF tracking is far superior to the Oly...just my experience
 
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