It's NOT about the OM-D

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BarefootPilgrim, May 10, 2012.

  1. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Real Name:
    Kirk Tuck has just posted an interesting take on why the OM-D is stirring up such a storm. And I think he's probably right. It's not really about the OM-D. It's about something else that almost every serious photographer has wanted for a long, long time.

    You can read about it here...
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  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    This is a pretty bold statement here - I hope Kirk has actually talked to some owners to validate this. Granted it's his opinion but it's an opinion presented in more of a fact format.

    But I do understand Kirk's enthusiasm.
  3. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    Is it not?

    How can a professional photographer even consider switching to a system that doesn't have the most essential lenses like 24-70/2.8 and 70-200 2.8, let alone any high-quality fast zooms at all? There are some working photographers that can afford switching from Canon/Nikon to m43 with a set of primes, but suggesting that m43 has matured enough to be the main system for professionals in general... OM-D madness continues. :hail:

    "It IS about the OM-D", cause nothing has really changed, Olympus just released a camera of the same level as Panasonic GH2/G3, maybe a bit better, and suddenly that's what "almost every serious photographer has wanted for long, long time". Most serious photographers don't even know what the hell OM-D is. :laugh1:
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  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  5. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    Depends entirely on what kind of professional photographer you are. Sports, wedding, photojournalism? You're right, they'd be nuts. You need the fast zooms and you need continuous autofocus with a very high success rate.

    However, studio portrait photographer? Landscapes? Travel? Street? All of these can be handled quite adeptly by the OM-D. Sure, there are BETTER landscape cameras out there, but considering the OM-D is putting out quality very similar to the best cameras of a few years ago, I think that it would do just fine for a professional landscape photographer in many instances...especially if they need to travel light to get to the spots they like to shoot.
  6. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Real Name:
    And that's exactly what Kirk is - in addition to doing corporate and event stuff as I understand it - so written from his perspective, a pro like him can probably achieve the results needed with a camera like the OM-D E-M5. But I agree that m43 still has a way to go (mainly in AF tracking and lens selection) before other types of pro photographers (e.g., sports photojournalism) will be comfortable dumping their DSLR systems.
  7. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    The main question here is "why?". Why would a professional studio photographer invest in m43? The only advantage of m43 over DSLR systems from Canon/Nikon/etc is size/weight, and what kind of a studio photographer would care about a few hundred grams of difference? It's not like he's gonna go hiking with them, the size and weight pretty much doesn't matter here, for this reason those who have the funds even shoot medium format in studio.

    And landscape photographers are the ones that always have lenses like 24-70 and 70-200, that is high-quality zooms that still can give quite shallow depth of field wide open and the quality close to the best primes when stopped down to f/5.6-f/16. But such essential lenses for m43 just don't exist! Not many serious landscape photographers would switch to m43 if they can't have such zooms. What's more, with landscapes you need the best sensor you can get and m43 at the moment is the worst option available (except maybe nikon 1). Yeah, it's good enough for most cases, but still the worst compared to systems that have essential lenses available.

    The only area m43 shines at is street photography, that's where compact m43 cameras perform the best. Pretty much for everything else (professional usage as the main system) m43 doesn't make much sense. And obviously OM-D itself doesn't mean anything for professional photography world, it just brought Olympus up to speed with Panasonic and nothing more.
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    You make a lot of good technical points and I can't and won't try to refute them. But sometimes tipping points are just tipping points and aren't based purely, if at all, on logic. I was not assuming and do not assume that the OMD is drawing a whole lot of professional photographers as a professional tool. But SOMETHING is going on here a little beyond just reaching technical parity with Panasonic. The simplest way I can explain this is to note that I've been a regular contributor to this forum for a little over two year now. Up until a few months ago, I pretty much knew or recognized the names of nearly EVERYONE on this site. Suddenly, in the space of a very short period of time, I feel like a stranger here - I barely know ANYONE here anymore and that's not because the people I knew left - its because there has been exponential growth on this site since roughly the time the rumors were firming up on the OMD and then its announcement. I think critical mass may have been reached - the 100th monkey may have just gone over to m43.

    I'm guessing its not pros, but mostly pretty involved enthusiasts for whom m43 is suddenly seen as "good enough". For me its been there for a while (I do a lot of street, so fit your ideal user), but its even more there now. I could never completely get on with a Panasonic since the GF1 despite their technically better sensors and I kept on with Olympus. But I've alway had a foot in the APS world also for those times when image quality just mattered more. I still do, but primarily just because I like the shooting and image characteristics of the Fuji cameras - on IQ alone I'd probably just have a couple of OMDs to go with my pretty good mix of m43 glass.

    I think there are a lot of folks who finally saw in the OMD an awful lot of what they'd been waiting for in a smaller camera. I was already here, but the numbers of new posters, many claiming to be coming from and dumping DSLR gear, has been pretty astounding in the past couple of months. I don't believe Oly's marketing department is THAT good - there's something more going on here.

    • Like Like x 10
  9. CUB

    CUB Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 19, 2012

    No-one needs to sell all their Canon gear to try a Nikon D800. Has no-one told Kirk Tuck that equipment can be rented?
  10. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    So why don't all landscape photographers use medium format digital? There's a priority thing here, and m4/3 has the ability to make stunningly good 20x30" enlargements. If you don't print larger than that, why waste the weight? And I disagree entirely about landscape photographers needing fast glass. They are the LEAST likely to need fast glass. Almost everything shot by landscape photographers is shot stopped down for maximum depth of field. In this case, m4/3 offers an advantage of deeper depth of field, allowing for faster shutter speeds (which can be helpful on windy days, for instance). Plus, if you're hiking around for hours into the wilderness, that's where a small camera is extremely beneficial.

    Look, I'm not a professional, though I think I'm a pretty good photographer. I shoot a lot of landscape stuff, and to be honest, it was the landscape shooting that led me to switch entirely to micro 4/3 from my Canon full frame kit. I was sick and tired of carrying an 18 lb shoulder bag through gorges and on long hikes. It made me not enjoy the photography. When the GH2 came out, I made the full switch. The GH2 gave me very close image quality to my 1Ds II in all aspects except for dynamic range, and the OM-D has now closed that gap. Over the past year and a half since I made the switch, I have enjoyed photography so much more, and gotten BETTER shots because I stay out longer, and I take my kit with me more places. There are a fair number (not a majority...yet) of pros who don't need the C-AF speed and accuracy that feel the same way, and many are migrating to mirrorless.

    There comes a point where the camera is good enough for your chosen output. Unless you print really large, the OM-D meets the image quality requirement for most people. So why carry more if you won't see a difference in the final print?

    As to why for portrait stuff? Well, Scott Bourne, who is a pretty darn famous photographer, now shoots with an E-P3 and 45/1.8 as his primary portrait rig. I'd imagine he'll look at the OM-D at some point too. The reason? He found that the smaller camera made models much more relaxed and he was able to get the emotions out of his subjects easier with a small unobtrusive camera.
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  11. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    I can only guess a few reasons, the first of which was probably germane when the OM-1 was introduced - assuming, as Kirk does, that I'm not held back by 'image' and/or $$ invested in an existing system:

    1) I'd seriously consider a system that was lighter (and therefore easier to manipulate when not on a tripod), less intimidating to most clients, with smaller lenses, decent flash control, great viewfinder, ie, the same reasons I would choose DSLR over a medium format. All assuming the image quality is more than good enough - and only getting better with time.

    2) Whatever gaps that exist in the lens line-up either can be addressed with legacy lenses or 4/3 lenses - for all those situations (like in a studio) when uber fast focusing isn't necessary.

    Regarding Kirk's article: he writes a piece every day. They're not Masters Dissertations; they're blog pieces. The essential message is that the E-M5 is NOT revolutionary, but rather (through evolution) has now ticked a sufficient number of boxes to be a real consideration for many (not all) pros....and his view is that the reasons many hold back are analogous to the 'Go IBM' mantra a few decades ago: no one could be faulted for buying IBM, even when better alternatives were available.

    It's all been said before. He has written similar pieces on the G3 and GH2 and Sonys. The difference is that the E-M5 seems to represent a 'tipping point' - that magic cultural inflection point where people reconsider old assumptions - whereas the other cameras had most the technical points, but didn't create the 'tip'. :smile:
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  12. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    +1 :2thumbs:
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm a studio photographer, and I do NOT shoot with a tripod. Size and weight is a MAJOR consideration when you are hauling that camera around the studio or around a location shoot all day for up to 8 or 10 hours a day. Most non-studio photographers do not have to deal with the high-quantity of shooting that a studio photographer like myself does. I may shoot dozens of products in a day, of varying size and shape. Or I may shoot a dozen models in all different poses. I do not want to use a tripod when I need to change shots every minute, and having switched from a big pro-grade DSLR to a PEN has made an incredible difference in my strain and stress through the day. Using a camera which is made for Live View also helps with all the awkward angles that product work requires.
    • Like Like x 3
  14. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    Because it's insanely expensive, heavy, and doesn't offer that much difference compared to 35mm. New cameras like Nikon D800 even get very close to MF in terms of quality for a fraction of price.
    At ~ 150 dpi? I only printed A2 from 12MP E-P2 and it didn't look nowhere close to stunningly good. Just decent. Too much upscaling to 360dpi.
    They rarely need shallow depth of field but most professional landscape photographers use 2.8 zooms, and not because they need f/2.8 but because those devices are usually the best in terms of image quality, both wide open and stopped down. Canon offers good 70-200 f/4 IS, but for other systems essential high-quality zooms are all 2.8 (or even f/2 in case of Four Thirds).
    I switched from Canon for exactly the same reason (although APS-C). But when you're not making money with photography (= it's not your profession) you don't have to worry about producing images that are at least on the same level or better than the competition. Having the latest m43 camera in 2012 that can only get close to the 35mm camera from 2005 is not a good deal for a professional. Not to mention the poor choice of lenses compared to the selection from Canon or Nikon. When photography is a hobby then m43 is probably the best system except for those shooting sports, but when you're shooting professionally it doesn't seem like a reasonable investment, at least not for the majority.
    Sure, some pros can switch to m43 + primes, although I don't think many of them actually "switch", they just add m43 to their other systems and play with it. It's just the way Kirk was praising OM-D and that it's time for professionals to switch from 35mm that sounded ridiculous considering how many essential lenses and advanced features are lacking in m43 system.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    In Nikon's case, those whom have already invested in Nikon glass easily migrated to the D3X which was designed for landscape shooting with it's high MP count (at least it was high until the D800) :biggrin:
  16. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    "To be more precise, the overwhelming majority of existing professionals will buy and use the Canon 5Dmk3 and the Nikon D800 and it's because they have already bought into a commercial paradigm that is too scary for them to turn away from. And because they are not risk takers."

    That is such a dumb statement.

    Does he realize the reason that a "pro" (not an enthusiast) wouldn't switch systems from FF to m43 is because they most likely have ALOT of $$$$ invested in glass and accessories for their existing Canon or Nikon systems?

    For shooters that have been making a living shooting FF systems there really isn't a reason to switch. And even though some would disagree, the lens selection offered by Oly and Panny just isn't at the level of Canon and Nikon yet.
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  17. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Why does anyone have to 'switch'? A m43 system + lenses is cheaper than one 5Dm3 or D800 body, the 70-200/2.8's run about $2k. If your a pro, the cost of entry to m43 is a drop in the bucket, probably less than the catering on the last job.

    It's just another tool, and if you're a pro, you get/rent whatever helps you get the job done.
  18. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    "It's good to remember that in the age of the Nikon F2 and the Canon F1 that the most popular professional photographer tool was the Nikon FM or the Canon AE-1. "
    Just one of the many personal thoughts that are given out here as facts in this article.

    They are some many misconceptions written about "professional "equipment that it just gets old. Clients rarely care or even notice what camera one uses, but they do care about images and their usage, they care about resolution, they care about costs, they care about time. Pro equipment in theory is made to work day in day out; it is made to get the job done not to impress anybody. One of the reasons photographers stick to the equipment they know is not because they are afraid of taking a risk with their "Pro" image, it is they know what will work. And like someone also said this is the age of rental, you do not need to buy just rent.
    The argument over chip size is no different that the argument used to be over film size, 35mm is good enough for anything one could possible need, unless 8X10 is the only thing that provides the image you want or need.
    Over the years I have shot with every format imaginable, from a pinhole camera to Polaroid to any roll or sheet film camera you can think of. All that matters is was the equipment the right choice for that job, did it hold up or breakdown, did it let you make the images that made both the client and you happy.

    I have an OM-D, do I like it yes, can it take great images, yes, would I use it on a paying job, rarely if at all. I have serious doubts as to how well any of these types of cameras would put up with the some 4,000 images per day that I put through a camera.
    On a similar thought most ProAm photographers do not really need all that ruggedness that comes from ‘Pro” cameras.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Kirk Tuck actually rents medium format stuff from time to time and had to buy a Canon 5DII because his M43 pictures weren't good enough for a particular art director.

    And his latest acquisition is a bunch of Sony SLT cameras.

    You really can't make any sort of conclusions based on his analysis.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    While written in typically gushing fashion, I thought that the gist of the article was that the OM-D would be the tipping point for professionals to start to look at the smaller format and how it might work for them, not that they should be dumping their gear and switching right now. I don't see the reason for anyone to get on their high horse about this; he isn't selling your full-frame DSLR for scrap metal just yet...
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