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Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Moula, Mar 31, 2016.
Olympus publishes new 5 year plan: Focus on OMD and PRO lenses! – 43 Rumors
It seems like they're adopting a strategy similar to Sony: Focus on the high-end, high-margin products. Sony has this with their new Mk.II versions of the A7 cameras, as well as with the recently announced G Master series of lenses. Sony also has their action camera business, and while Sony has the best action cameras in the business in my opinion (image quality, image stabilization, etc.), that's a highly competitive market with huge pressures on cost, so I'm not sure how profitable it is.
Olympus is said to focus on higher-end cameras from the OMD line (though I would argue that the Pen-F is high end as well), and their PRO line of lenses. We already know about the 300mm f/4 PRO, and at the price they're selling it for, it must have a good margin. There's also the forthcoming f/1.2 PRO prime line as well.
I think one area where Olympus could really grow would be in the video market, if they would implement 4K and get a decent codec. Coupling Panasonic-like video quality with Olympus' IBIS would open the doors to a whole new segment that Olympus has previously ignored. However with the increasing appeal and usage of "hybrid" cameras, it may make more sense for Olympus to devote some more resources to developing better video implementation in their cameras.
People will love this but I don't know how much it'll help me. I mean how many $1200 lenses am I realistically going to buy?
I understand where you're coming from and can certainly relate, but when you look at the camera business, it's pretty technical and requires a lot of research & development. So you can't expect a manufacturer to spend all of this money on technology and R&D, only to sell products with a minimal margin on them. So in order to recoup their R&D costs and drive profitability, they have to look at the higher end of the market with more premium equipment, where people will pay those prices and the OEM can make a profit large enough to sustain the company.
I would say that M4/3 already has most of the lenses that any of us not willing to spend that kind of money could ask for.
All I want is a weather-sealed fast normal (something in the 17-22mm f2 range?) for $400-500 and I'd be set.
I think the new less expensive 35mm/f2 WR is the only Fuji lens I actually covet. They have a lot of nice $900 lenses that I couldn't care less about because I'll never spend that.
Oh yeah I agree about the choice out there, and I can see why Olympus is doing it. Hopefully it's incentive for guys like Rokinon and Tamron to see an opening and jump onto the AF m43 train.
Interesting - this means that they will compete with Canikon/Sony i guess which will be interesting from a competition point of view will they compete on size, prize, IQ etc. I hvae always seen M43 as a 2 types of customers:
1) people leaving FF and large Canikon'ish systems
2) people who want a bit more in terms if photograpy than what their phone can give them
This statement sort of indicates that Olympus has said that #1 is their focus for the next 5 years but I guess this is not saying that they will completely abandon the other market.
For me i feel a bit mixed about this as I really like the smaller formats as well, but hopefully this will leave an open niche in the market for Panasonic.
I think Olympus' body line-up is to huge. One stylish rangefinder-style PEN and two SLR-style OM-Ds (let's say OM-10D and OM-1D) would be far enough. Lens line-up is already nearly complete. Add affordable rectilinear 10 mm prime and weather sealed line of pro primes and done.
I think the Oly body line-up makes sense. The OMD (slr-style) has an entry level, mid-level and pro-level. The PEN (range-finder) has a pro-level and mid-level. I could see room for a GM style PM, but I think Oly has given up on the PM line.
This. I understand that this forum is primarily about still photography but I think that Olympus is missing the boat by not making video another priority.
Given Olympus' recently stTed strategy to serve the high end, we can expect whatever they produce to be very high-quality and very capable and relatively expensive. The Pen-F and Oly 300,4 are the poster children for this approach.
So maybe they plan on being the poor-man's Leica. They won't compete with D5 for instance, but will make a killer D800 competitor....for more money, but it will look, sound and perform great.
Maybe this means the em1,2 will finally have great CAF and 4K video because they won't get a premium price for it without at least those things.
Seems like they've been doing that for 2 years already...
I would argue that with the latest mk2 bodies they certainly have. They may not do 4K, but they have utterly amazing video stabilization. Nobody comes even close. You can walk around with the camera and it practically looks like it is on a tripod. I like 4K video, but shaky 4K is useless and who wants to pack a tripod around with them on vacation just to shoot videos?
Look how shaky the Panasonic looks even with an OIS lens:
Toward the end you can even see it beating an OIS lens AND software post stabilization.
Spotted this in ne of the PDFs:
Does that sound like most profits will go to R&D in the medical business or else shareholder dividends?
Cheap products have lower margin, but you will sell many more of them. A new $300 lens might make $100 per unit, but you sell 100,000 of them. A new $2500 lens might make $1000 per unit, but you only sell 1000 of them. In this (totally made up) case, the $300 lens is more profitable. Obviously you have to do that math as a company when deciding what to make.
While I agree with the above in theory, I think reality is that fewer people are buying cameras. With fewer buyers, you can't get the kind of sales numbers required to support a commodity product. So you have to turn higher end and higher margin.
Yes, but the vast majority of the profits come from medical already, so it seems like the smart thing to do.
I totally agree with your comment about IBIS and video.
While the E-M5 II is a definite improvement, it's still nowhere near the GH4. the GH4 has 4K, 1080p @ 96fps, and Panasonic's regular 1080p modes blow the E-M5 II out of the water in terms of detail and quality, plus the ability to push the GH4 files much further in post compared to Olympus.
Good video isn't all about IBIS (especially when it introduces jell-o). Olympus needs to work on getting better quality 1080p, good quality slow-mo 1080p, and 4K @ 30fps if they want to be taken seriously. IBIS isn't worth a whole lot if your image quality is rubbish...
You may be right about it beating software post stabilization, but honestly, given the way the video is presented, it's impossible for me to tell. The border vibrating around the scene is so insanely distracting that it really doesn't give an indication of what the footage would look like. It needs to be cropped to a usable frame and presented side-by-side. And they were only using FHD rather than 4K for the post-stabilization. I know it's just a stabilization test, but 4K + post stabilization is what people are much more likely to use in the real world because it gives a surplus of resolution.
I also wonder if they actually tried to walk smoothly, or if it's just a "walk normally and see what comes out of the camera" kind of test. Which is nice for casual videos, but I hope that anyone who ponies up for a $1500 camera and lens combo will want to put slightly more care into their video. Otherwise why not just stroll around with your smartphone, which currently punch way above their weight in terms of video quality?
You think they're getting 50% profit margin on their "cheap" products? I'd be highly skeptical of that, as that sounds rather ambitious to me.