Is Olympus going in the wrong direction?

BDR-529

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Building out a full suite of FF lenses for a new proprietary mount would take a lot of capital, which I doubt they have. It makes more sense to me, if I were running OMDS to lean into my core competency in designing and building great lenses, than trying to compete with the big boys (who likely have deeper pockets) on their own

Even giant like Panasonic sold their entire semiconductor business including joint sensor company with Tower Jazz to Nuvoton so OMDS has flat zero resources to develop their own camera sensors which could compete against Sony.

For the very reason you mentioned, they also can't create their own FF or APS-C mount and cameras. Without full set of lenses new system would die instantly.

The only realistic option to do something else than m4/3 is to join L-mount alliance. OMDS could finally introduce that long-awaited PDAF-body and fill several gaps in L-mount lens portfolio making this time sure that everything includig AF, IS and weather sealing is 100% compatible between all L-mount models. Since L-mount has a decent lens portfolio, OMDS would only need to design a couple of Zuiko lenses to get started.

I believe there would still be a niche for compact and light stills-oriented nature photography body and a couple of high quality telephoto zooms and primes. This of course would be niche but still the same niche they already occupy in m4/3 and in L-mount it would certainly be "PRO" by anyones standards.
 
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BDR-529

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This post got me thinking. My first question is why someone would buy a FF camera and then throw away 3/4 of the sensor in order to use m43 sized lenses.

Canon and Nikon who had both APS-C and FF lenses in the DSLR era wasted huge amount of resorces in making sure that these would be compatible with their new mirrorless FF mounts.

As it turned out, wery few re-used even high end FF lenses with clumsy adapters and absolutely nobody saw any reason to waste half of new FF sensor image area by mounting old APS-C lenses on them.

It's pretty straightforward to guess how usefull feature m4/3 compatible mirrorless FF mount would be.
 

Stanga

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When on a bush walk I like to take a pack big enough to fit the camera bag into if the weather goes bad. The bigger holster makes that a lot harder.

So that means I am looking at bags again as the holster size 20 has some spare room. Does this bag quest ever end :doh:
Some bags come with a weather proof outer cover that can also be used as a lens changing bag. I have two of those, which are National Geographic branded. Might be worth looking at one of those.
 

pake

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I don't need to stop down anything. Similar to what? If I am out with my FF f5.6 lens then I am going to shoot it however I want to a get photo I am happy with. I certainly am not going to sit there and go "hmmm, how can I make this shot look like f5.6 on m43". That's just a silly argument.
Yeah. Comparing oranges to bananas and other fruits is fun and meaningful. If you start comparing diffractions between different formats, better do the comparison right and not the way it suits you and only you. :)

But yeah, move along. Nothing to see here.
 

Brownie

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Because they always do.

I haven't read the entire thread, it's too long, but I'm sure it's a repeat of what I've read so many times before. Every format has it's compromises, and it's up to each individual to decide what works for them. For me, the sensor benefits of FF are less compelling than the telephoto benefits of M43. I just hope there's enough like minded users out there for M43 to succeed and flourish, but if it doesn't, my current kit should keep working for some time, by which time the options may be completely different.
You should go back and read it. Up to a point it was a pretty good discussion about how Oly has progressed and how M-4/3 fits in the market. Plenty of opinions on what would keep Olympus (and Panasonic by extension) a going concern. Of course through that discussion comparisons to FF with regard to consumer acceptance were made, but we also managed to squeeze APS-C in there. Probably one of the better threads of this ilk.
 

PeeBee

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Long familiarity with them (and their type) leads me to think the former.

Plenty here express different opinions and priorities. I have no problem with any of them, only these two active in this thread.

I see a persistent negativity in regards to M43 from a few particular members that follows them around the forum. I do find this a little repetitive, but their argument is generally civil, if not a little pushy, and they do offer some valid points.

Personally though, if I felt so negatively about the current and future state of the M43 format, I'd look to find something that gave me more satisfaction and move on.
 

PeeBee

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You should go back and read it. Up to a point it was a pretty good discussion about how Oly has progressed and how M-4/3 fits in the market. Plenty of opinions on what would keep Olympus (and Panasonic by extension) a going concern. Of course through that discussion comparisons to FF with regard to consumer acceptance were made, but we also managed to squeeze APS-C in there. Probably one of the better threads of this ilk.

I think I read up the point it started to become the usual vs FF debate, which I've been reading here for the last 9 years or so.
 

Leolab

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Long familiarity with them (and their type) leads me to think the former.

Plenty here express different opinions and priorities. I have no problem with any of them, only these two active in this thread.
John, I believe this is directed at me, who has been active in this thread as you say.
If anyone who dares express their opinions, good and bad i might add, wrt Olympus’ future direction, the state of its competitiveness in the market, and how it competes vs FF, is automatically a troll, then what is the point of these fora?
You disagree, therefore the poster is a troll?

I note that you admit to not even reading the posts, and you have added nothing of substance to the discussion.

Let me recap for you, we were having a good discussion on the future direction that Olympus should take, each expressing our opinions in a civil manner. We think it is critical to understand what the competition is doing/can do in future to best formulate a direction for Olympus’ future, a big part of that is being honest about advantages the competition has so that our strategy is sound.

I just retired from my job of 25 years at a Fortune 500 tech company, a big part of my job was strategic planning. We outlined our strategy for the business including where to invest our limited RD funds to maximize revenue and be competitive in the marketplace. We speculated which areas of the market would experience the most growth, and how best to tap into that. A fundamental part of our planning exercise was to anticipate what the competition would do, ‘war gaming’ we called it. We spent as much time understanding and anticipating what Company A , Company B does better than us, and would do in reaction to our strategic moves. THIS was the key to ensuring we were not going to be blind-sided and that we had a sound strategy and understood the risks involved.

You probably wont even take the time to read this.
You probably still think I am a troll
I would never make that assumption of anyone, and I go into any discussion assuming folks truly say what they mean.

John, you are welcome to the discussion, please add something of substance rather than name-calling
 

PakkyT

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That which is accepted by those who pay for imaging works or for institutional purposes. I see many professional photographers here and they don't use m43 because its not accepted by their profession as a de facto standard.

But it just shows how the "pro" realm has moved away from dedicated cameras that were once normalized in the field. The convenience of the smartphone and its connectivity, standard recharging, long battery life, no fussy SD cards, and the fact they are pocketable which is a form of protection outweighing even "pro" camera gear durability, really reveals why the industry has struggled. These geologists say that smartphones have replaced dedicated cameras in almost all their work. In the Arctic winter, they are prospecting in Latin America, and the same story.

You really should try to stop contradicting your own arguments.
 

PakkyT

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Yeah. Comparing oranges to bananas and other fruits is fun and meaningful. If you start comparing diffractions between different formats, better do the comparison right and not the way it suits you and only you. :)
Your argument is essentially that a FF lens must be stopped down two stops and that you can not use the wider two stops because m43 exists in the world? :coco:

My only, 100% factual, point was that a lens that starts at f5.6 is at the limit already before diffraction begins to be a factor on m43 which is not the case on FF where you have another two stops of diffraction-less use. And this is why your suggestions of a f5.6 lens for m43 to make it tiny is nothing anyone wants unless you make it a fixed aperture lens getting rid of the aperture ring, use a perfectly circular aperture and sell it for cheap. It would be easy to make sure a design completely waterproof.

I really don't understand why physics seems to upset you.
 

BDR-529

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You can't even define what "pro quality" is, let alone declare something not meeting your imagined standard.

"Pro Quality" = invest $15 000 in camera gear, $3000 in PC and $2000 in editing SW.

Then run all your photos through a filter which makes them look like faded 1970's $2 disposable camera shots.

No really, "pro quality" = photo that can be monetized.

This is the only definition for "pro". You get paid for whatever you are doing. In this case, taking still photographs. And by definition, the camera you are using is delivering "pro quality"
 
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PeeBee

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Your argument is essentially that a FF lens must be stopped down two stops and that you can not use the wider two stops because m43 exists in the world? :coco:

My only, 100% factual, point was that a lens that starts at f5.6 is at the limit already before diffraction begins to be a factor on m43 which is not the case on FF where you have another two stops of diffraction-less use. And this is why your suggestions of a f5.6 lens for m43 to make it tiny is nothing anyone wants unless you make it a fixed aperture lens getting rid of the aperture ring, use a perfectly circular aperture and sell it for cheap. It would be easy to make sure a design completely waterproof.

I really don't understand why physics seems to upset you.

Don’t be afraid of a little m43 diffraction

f/11

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f/12.9 (@ 749mm for those who can't see the exif, 1498mm FF equivalent)

9D177DB8-799C-48C9-9C38-B2936DF86117.jpeg
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Armoured

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You really should try to stop contradicting your own arguments.
This perhaps did come across as a contradiction but I thought it had a very useful point.

A fair amount of photo gear - including some 'pro' gear - used to be sold for pretty mundane purposes (like @Aristophanes' example of geologists and the like). They often weren't really after super image quality, but other features like ruggedness and reliability mattered as well as specific uses like recording info. (Databacks weren't sold for image quality, after all).

Now with what smartphones do routinely and easily (GPS, internet, albums, browsing, annotation where needed, always on hand, every employee has one, integration with other apps, availability of other apps, etc), whole chunks of 'pro' markets where image quality was never the primary goal are just gone for the camera makers. Image quality of phones has crept inexorably up into 'more than good enough' territory and there's little chance the dedicated cameras are ever going to catch up in terms of other software, connectivity, etc.

Think how few ILCs even have GPS as a standard feature...and while it might have seemed exotic fifteen years ago, now to a lot of image consumers it seems weird that info is missing. (And even though Olympus offers a pretty good solution to integrate gps data, it's a fair bit of extra work for people who think it should be automatic). And the phone makers all have massive volume and software advantages, because they're getting most of the pure 'consumer' imaging business.

What that leaves in the ever-narrowing 'pro' market for ILCs are those for whom - to make money and justify their existence - the delta in image quality has to be pretty damn big.

They're all being squeezed from the bottom and Olympus/m43 are caught in the middle with no easy path of new features/obvious clear advantages. Particularly at price points that don't make users look long and hard at the Caniksony alternatives.

I like my m43 and will probably keep using it until it all breaks, it's great carrying kit. I truly hope Olympus in particular can come up with some innovation to stave off the squeeze, they've a storied history. But so do a lot of former camera makers. And I personally really doubt that the carved-out company has the engineering capacity to build on the strategic advantages remaining with something sufficiently compelling and innovative (hope I'm wrong).

That said, I really like the idea of the mid-range lenses at f1.4 if reasonably priced and still small (I'd really like a 20mm f1.4 ...).
 

BDR-529

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They're all being squeezed from the bottom and Olympus/m43 are caught in the middle with no easy path of new features/obvious clear advantages.

This pretty much sums up what I also believe is the current problem but the topic of this thread was to look forward and answer whether OMDS is going into wrong direction?

This question should be broken into two parts
1) Where exactly is OMDS going? and
2) Where should it be going if not there?

Number 1) sounds silly but new management has definitely not promised a new course and we already know how well the current direction played out under Olympus ownership

Unfortunately nobody has given good answers for 2) either except that somedody suggested they should become a lens manufacturer or something like that?

I did mention that the only feasible way OMDS could join FF bandwagon is by joining L-mount alliance but I did not say they should do so. It could be too little too late now that canikon is finally all in as well.

So shall we wait for that "wow" product and see if it sets a new direction. My bet is on M1.3 upgraded with IMX472 variant with PDAF sites but organic sensor and built-in AI noise reduction and sharopening could make a difference.
 

Clint

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The question should not be “Is Olympus is headed in the right direction”, but whether “Is the micro-four-thirds consortium is headed in the right direction? Between all of the m4/3s manufactures, there is an enormous system that fits the needs of probably 98% of photographers.

I've read through most of the post in this thread with allsorts of fallacies in many of the post. And I'm willing to bet those that posted the BS have never made their living from photography!

I look forward to see what is developed and sold in the future.
 

lucanus81

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I was just checking those 2 m43 sensors and I believe OMD will follow what every other company is already doing: a 20-24 BSI sensor for sports/wildlife, and an “high MP” sensor (was it a 41? 47MP? I don’t really remember). I suspect we will see an M1.4W (wildlife) and an M1.4R. Both will have much better video specs than what we see. I think the M5 line will disappear. M10 will stay as their “entry level” offer.

As a next step I think OMD will try to finish a full set of professional f4 zooms (=expansive) lenses: a way for saying to their existing customers they didn’t forget many chose m43 because of size.
I expect them to release a Pen II (silver) with a dedicated line of small prime PRO lenses (silver), and with an extended set of B&W film simulations. This will also be the start for a new set of paid presets for Lightroom/CaptureOne where you’ll be able to get -with one click- the output of Olympus in-camera JPG plus all those art-filters available only in Olympus Workspace.
Let’s not forget OMD claimed video will be much more important: I suspect a dedicated line of lenses just for video work.

But in the end where’s the point of offering new products if no one knows they even exist? I think OMD will be investing in “youtubers” like Vanessa Joy (for Canon).
Am I dreaming? :D
 

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