Is Olympus going in the wrong direction?

pake

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I've said it many times and I'll say it again. E-M5III is unbeatable in quality/size-ratio. Olympus shouldn't cripple it to protect the E-M1s but instead perhaps make it equal (feature-wise and price-wise). H***, I'd even be willing to pay extra for packing the E-M1III into the E-M5III form!

And the idea of more expensive tiny camera with all the bells & whistles sounds interesting. I'd buy one. I want a small backup/2nd camera but as much as I want to like my GX850, it's just too crippled. Pretty much the same goes for the E-M10II.

Why do they think small must be crippled?
 

Leolab

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I've said it many times and I'll say it again. E-M5III is unbeatable in quality/size-ratio. Olympus shouldn't cripple it to protect the E-M1s but instead perhaps make it equal (feature-wise and price-wise). H***, I'd even be willing to pay extra for packing the E-M1III into the E-M5III form!

And the idea of more expensive tiny camera with all the bells & whistles sounds interesting. I'd buy one. I want a small backup/2nd camera but as much as I want to like my GX850, it's just too crippled. Pretty much the same goes for the E-M10II.

Why do they think small must be crippled?
Agree, small is what Oly should do and focus on, but of high quality...not plastic bodies, smaller VFs, crippled features. I would absolutely pay more for a smaller better built body than a larger one.
 

comment23

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Agree, small is what Oly should do and focus on, but of high quality...not plastic bodies, smaller VFs, crippled features. I would absolutely pay more for a smaller better built body than a larger one.
Isn’t that the exact situation we were in when the E-M5II was released? It would be interesting to see the sales figures of the time bear that out as a good strategy.
 
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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
For the few portraits I did with my FF gear, in the studio I closed down to f/5.6 or f/8 in order to get enough dof. On location, well, what's the point of going on location when the background is blurred beyond recognition?
Nothing that I can't do with a EM-5 and a 45/1.8. I don't know the used prices for these but new they are very affordable.
 

Leolab

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For the few portraits I did with my FF gear, in the studio I closed down to f/5.6 or f/8 in order to get enough dof. On location, well, what's the point of going on location when the background is blurred beyond recognition?
Nothing that I can't do with a EM-5 and a 45/1.8. I don't know the used prices for these but new they are very affordable.
Then FF is not ideal for your use case. But are you the norm or the exception?

You do have to admit that for the vast majority of wedding and portrait photography, many of the images are shot much more wide-open than f5.6 or 8, and therefore the 45 1.8 Olympus lens would not be as optimum as a using FF camera with a sensible, small, inexpensive 75/85 1.8 lens.
 

Leolab

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Isn’t that the exact situation we were in when the E-M5II was released? It would be interesting to see the sales figures of the time bear that out as a good strategy.
I think throwing the EM1ii innards (including VF) in the EM5ii body would have sold better than current EM5iii, including keeping the bigger battery that allows sharing with EM1s
 

comment23

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I think throwing the EM1ii innards (including VF) in the EM5ii body would have sold better than current EM5iii
Almost certainly. My point though was that we had a period of time when arguable the most advanced camera Olympus produced* was in the E-M5 size format. And it would be interesting to see if that was a big sales success relative to the other models Olympus was producing back then.

*with the exception of being CD-AF, and even then the PD-AF in the E-M1 was not really all that comparative with its non-mirrorless contemporaries in any case.
 
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PakkyT

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Why do they think small must be crippled?
I suppose that would depend what would have to be downsized or eliminated in order to fit it all in. I am not saying they must be purposely crippled but there may be reasons what they have to be like it or not.

For example, I know they keep coming up with smaller versions of the IS system, but at any given time a system in a bigger model that features x number of IS axis, in a much smaller body you may only be able to fit in x-2, at least until the next version comes along. Likewise, gyros, processors (and the number of them used), number of radios with associated antennas, ability to cool high end fast electronics, weather sealing, etc. could all play a role in features vs. size.
 

Leolab

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Almost certainly. My point though was that we had a period of time when arguable the most advanced camera Olympus produced* was in the E-M5 size format. And the t would be interesting to see if that was a big sales success relative to the other models Olympus was producing back then.

*with the exception of being CD-AF, and even then the PD-AF in the E-M1 was not really all that comparative with its non-mirrorless contemporaries in any case.
yes, indeed that would be interesting to see the sales numbers of the m5ii which would help give us some context.
 

lucanus81

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I just hope no one will get offended, but am I the only one hoping for a couple of more f/1.2 lenses (a 12 f/1.2 and a 65 f/1.2), and a full new line of f/1.4 built with the same quality of those f/1.2 primes? I have all 3 of them and I love them! Even at f/1.2 I can get a family shoot where all are in focus (even if in total honesty I prefer to stop it down a bit to f2). Size? Are those really that big? An M1.3 with one f/1.2 weights less than a kilo. I have tried few times to move to a FF (because people kept telling me I “needed” a FF), but I never liked it. I just hope OM-D won’t go bankrupt.
 
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Then FF is not ideal for your use case. But are you the norm or the exception?
Exactly. FF has its place, just like medium format, APS-C, MFT, etc.
You do have to admit that for the vast majority of wedding and portrait photography, many of the images are shot much more wide-open than f5.6 or 8, and therefore the 45 1.8 Olympus lens would not be as optimum as a using FF camera with a sensible, small, inexpensive 75/85 1.8 lens.
You can get quite some subject isolation with the 45/1.8. And I don't think it's more expensive than its FF equivalent. The Oly 75/1.8 is not bad either in that respect.
 

Leolab

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I just hope no one will get offended, but am I the only one hoping for a couple of more f/1.2 lenses (a 12 f/1.2 and a 65 f/1.2), and a full new line of f/1.4 built with the same quality of those f/1.2 primes? I have all 3 of them and I love them! Even at f/1.2 I can get a family shoot where all are in focus (even if in total honesty I prefer to stop it down a bit to f2). Size? Are those really that big? An M1.3 with one f/1.2 weights less than a kilo. I have tried few times to move to a FF (because people kept telling me I “needed” a FF), but I never liked it. I just hope OM-D won’t go bankrupt.
No offense at all...this is a discussion, all opinions welcome.
I have not heard of any new PRO 1.2 lenses coming from olympus, but Panasonic has the 12mm 1.4 which is pretty close. As far as 65mm 1.2, that would probably be too close to the Olympus 75mm 1.8 for them to consider it as a good business proposition, plus for some reason the longer ~135mm portrait lens field of view has fallen out of favor, not sure why.
 

Leolab

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Exactly. FF has its place, just like medium format, APS-C, MFT, etc.

You can get quite some subject isolation with the 45/1.8. And I don't think it's more expensive than its FF equivalent. The Oly 75/1.8 is not bad either in that respect.
Sure that wide open the 45mm does provide some nice subject separation, jest not enough for many/some.
I also like the 75mm but its just such a hard field of view to get used to, for me at least, it always felt too tight for a general use lens and too short for a telephoto lens.
 
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You could stuff all of the M1.3 functionality into the M5 body, and I still wouldn't buy it as my primary body. Reason being, it's too small. The same reason I switched from the Pentax KP, and the same reason many pros hesitated in moving to the earlier Sony bodies. At some point, if you make the body too small, the ergonomics suffer, particularly when handling larger lenses. Plus less room for a good battery.
And yes, you can add a grip, but if you're going to do that, maybe just buy the bigger body to begin with.
 

bargainguy

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I started with the 25/1.2. Great lens, no complaints other than size and price.

But when it came time to consider the 17 and 45 Pro lenses to complete the trio, I found myself not wanting to shell out that kind of coin again. So I got the 16 & 56 Sigma lenses, both f/1.4.

I like both lenses, but they're different than the 25 Pro. The 16 is relatively light but huge (an APS-C design repackaged for MFT), so if I'm going small, it's not coming along, but on the plus side, fantastic sunstars! The 56 is considerably more svelte and balances well on my 5.3 and 10.4 bodies.

I didn't need f/1.2 on the other two, f/1.4 is fine. This is where I think Olympus is not getting it. We need something between their f/1.2 and f/1.8 offerings in quality, size and price. I went aftermarket to find what I needed, but if Olympus had f/1.4 offerings, I would have considered them first.
 
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First, the m43 8-25 versus a 16-35 is giving up 15mm of local length. A 16-50 on 135 would be proportionally larger. Is the complaint that the 8-25 should be smaller? Maybe. But to push weather sealed, extremely fast focusing optics in a robust, hand holdable casing is going to be larger regardless. The 8-25 maximizes its telephoto advantage by giving added zoom range.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1082052-REG/sony_sel1635z_vario_tessar_t_e_16_35mm.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...030bu000_8_25mm_m_zuiko_digital_ed.html/specs

The Olympus is 20% lighter and gives the added 15mm reaching well into the "normal" focal length at 50mm eq. The Sony is heavier can cannot do that. It's a choice between sensor-level IQ where yes, the Sony wins, and more versatile, lighter lenses where the Olympus has an advantage.

So, the premise of the "advantage" being thrown away isn't.

Olympus has kept the lighter primes as well. The PRO 1.2 primes, they're a different story, trying to keep up to FF IQ using glass but with a total and almost embarrassing sacrifice of relative portability compared to FF and, especially, price.

The f/4 PRO series of zooms is exactly what the platform requires. The 12-100/4 is an outstanding value lens for those whose focus (sic) is the telephoto m43 advantage (and IS), and the 12-45 is the same for those who value compact portability and robust design. f/4 not good enough for indoor shooting? Olympus has the best little flash system in the industry. The f/4 zooms do acknowledge that most dedicated camera photography is going to be outdoors. That's why marketing weather resistance. The indoor realm has been sacrificed to the convenience of smartphones (see concerts).
 
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getoutandshoot

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My 2 cents:

First of all, if the main criterion for "right or wrong direction" is whether they are making the best choices to maximize their competitive position/market share/profitability, then I'm sure Olympus made some mistakes and moved at least partly in the wrong direction in recent years. But if you set that aside, I am not that disappointed with what they've been doing. Ok, well the E-M1X was not for me, and then after that, the E-M1.iii was a bit of a let down (I didn't feel compelled to upgrade from my E-M1.ii). But I sort of understand what they've been trying to do. I have wished they would put out a few more new primes... Seems like they really like zooms and more zooms still coming on the roadmap. Yes, a lot of the lenses are bigger than we would like, but for example I don't mind the size of the new 8-25mm f/4; I think it is the size it is because they didn't want to compromise on quality... IMO, it's still pretty compact and it covers a unique and useful zoom range. Remember their Pro glass needs to support the "high res mode"... I'm sure that sometimes requires more complex and larger designs.

Going forward, I think we need to wait and see as to whether they will move in a better direction, adjust and find a successful niche. They might have already changed direction; I see some hopeful signs. I'm really pleased with the new 8-25mm f/4; they did something good there. The 100mm Pro macro is apparently coming soon, and that would be another step in the right direction, IMO. Also I was pleased with the rumor that said the next "wow" camera would not be an oversized E-M1X size... Like a lot of us, I'd like to see more moderate aperture, compact lenses including simply upgraded/weatherproof versions of past small/compact lenses. Maybe the rumored 20mm f/1.4 will be such a lens. Or maybe we'll see a more compact wide prime like a 10mm f/2 or f/2.8 (Laowa certainly demonstrated how compact a 10mm f/2 can be!).

Dave
 
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ac12

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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?

It wasn't CAD in the traditional sense (replacing a drafting table = Computer Aided Drawing), as much as the calculations required to develop and test the different ideas (Computer Aided Design).
In the radio antenna world, an engineer that I talked to said the ability of the ancient Apple II to do what was at that time, FAST calculations, was miles ahead of a sliderule and calculator for developing and testing new ideas. And we all know how far we've come since the Apple II.
 
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