OM Digital UK Q&A

hoodlum

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While much of this wasn’t that interesting I did find some interesting comments between the 33-40 min mark.

- the 150-400mm orders are much greater than expected. If you were to place an order today it could take 12 months to fill. (This is a worldwide problem and they are not sure where all the buyers are coming from)

- coming new body this year will only exasperate issue with 150-400mm demand (that would suggest the E-M1Xii which also ties into the below statement)

- they believe that flagship body should lead with any new sensor and this is how they will release bodies going forward

- they are not sure what they will do with E-m5. Even though it is one of the older bodies now it would not receive an update until after the higher end bodies. They are trying to determine if there is still a need with the push for going highend.

 
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Stanga

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- the 150-400mm orders are much greater than expected. if you were to place an order today it could 12 months to fill. (This is a worldwide problem and they are not sure where all the buyers are coming from)
Reading some comments on bird forums it seems that a couple of FF folks are intrigued by the idea of a 300-800mm equivalent with built in 1.25X converter and an optional 2X converter. Can you imagine how much a 2000mm FF zoom lens would weigh?
 

hoodlum

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Reading some comments on bird forums it seems that a couple of FF folks are intrigued by the idea of a 300-800mm equivalent with built in 1.25X converter and an optional 2X converter. Can you imagine how much a 2000mm FF zoom lens would weigh?

I initially thought that the new body suggested for later this year would the PEN-F or a video focused body. But based on this interview it looks like the E-M1Xii with new sensor is coming much sooner than I expected, much to the chagrin of those who thought it was a waste of resources. This would tie in nicely with the direction OM Digital wants to go.

Thom Hogan recently commented that the E-m1iii and E-M1X are the only 2 mirrorless bodies that approach the build quality of the D6 and 1DX, so that is another advantage.

https://sansmirror.com/newsviews-2/the-mirrorless-myths-contin.html

Well, if you're talking Canon 1DX Mark III or Nikon D6, I suppose that might be somewhat true, as those DSLRs are built like tanks, and few mirrorless camera to date have really matched that level of build quality other than perhaps the E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X.
 

fortwodriver

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I'm skeptical about the "don't know where these orders are coming from" comment. What does that mean? Last I checked, the orders have to come into their system from the dealer network or direct - and they should have access to that order data. Could that just be a bluff for "I dunno?"

Could the large amounts of orders for that lens have something to do with upcoming Olympics (Tokyo 2021 Summer and Beijing 2022 Winter)?

Canon and Nikon have a few high-dollar lenses which are made-to-order regardless of who places their order. It looks like OMD is doing the same thing with this lens for now.
 

hoodlum

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It is not made to order but is made in smaller volumes of course in relation to other cheaper lenses. The comment from the uk rep was that it costs money to increase volume with additional lines but then have to reduce lines later once orders are caught. I guess they believe the current production is sustainable long term even if it means there will be a supple issue this year.
 

fortwodriver

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It is not made to order but is made in smaller volumes of course in relation to other cheaper lenses.

I bet that's because the bulk of the orders aren't coming from OMD UK... Those orders are probably coming from Japan, which he wouldn't have access to. I doubt OMD would tell the UK group that they had to wait until the Japanese orders were fulfilled first. They would more likely say something like "Hold on, they're coming in 6-12 months." and not say why.
 

hoodlum

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I listened again to the Q&A and he mentioned that orders for the 150-400 were 3x greater than expected. If the new body/sensor is as great as suggested then they will need to ramp up production of the lens.
 

doady

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As an Olympus user, hearing about the success of new flagship body and high-end lens does give me some optimism, even if they are way out of my price range and I will never get them.
 

Hypilein

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Probably what he meant, was that they don't know how all the buyers suddenly appeared. Of course they know who ordered, but that's really just a name and an order number. What they don't know is why the demand so drastically exceeds their expectations. They don't know the people behind the order numbers and they are probably wondering if they suddenly got a foot into the pro market (not likely imo) , or if amateur bird photographers are much happier spending 7.5k on a lens than they originally thought (much more likely, imo).

I think the biggest reason for the whole upward movement of the photomarket can be seen here. Companies are all trying to go after a lesser number of big spenders as the global economic divide gets larger and larger. While most people can only justify the cost of their phone camera (it is good enough after all), a small percentage of mostly people with plenty of money to spend are chasing ultimate image quality, regardless of whether their skills actually match that image quality.

The people in the middle who want better IQ and creative options but don't need the very best of the best get fewer and fewer. This is the reason that mu43 struggles and that a lens such as this one can attract plenty of buyers is a good sign that maybe premium optics can persuade people to stay despite of the perceived lesser quality sensor.
 
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I'm also pretty sure the comment regarding the surprising demand for the 150-400mm is related to prior market research Olympus has conducted in order to get an idea how many people might be willing to buy such a lens. The new lens is more than twice the price of the already not exactly inexpansive 300mm Pro, which actually means the number of hobbyists able and willing to buy it shouldn't be that large and professionals will also have to calculate whether this investment would be worth it or not.

Regarding the body, I personally have written off a new Pen-F already. Even if it might be too early, but a new E-M1 model, regardless of "X" or not, would make the most sense for OMDS, especially if a new sensor is involved. It's pretty obvious the interest for MFT seems to be very strong with large and heavy, however still small enough gear like the big telephoto lenses or the E-M1X (if one takes a look in the recently released OMD Magazine, almost every photographer featured used the "X"), it would be logical to concentrate on the market. The confusion about the place for the E-M5 series is another indicator, which is funny because I always thought the E-M5 series would one of the most popular lines of Olympus: Pretty much as powerful and rugged as the E-M1, however all cramped into a lighter, more compact body. So I'm surprised they are questioning these cameras. Fitting in a new Pen-F seems even more unlikely than a newer E-M5.
 

Stanga

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I wish this lens existed ten years ago. My former mistress cost me a lot more, of which some of it would have been money well spent on the 150-400mm.
 

pdk42

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If the EM5 line is at risk, then I guess it's curtains for the EM10 and the EPL Pens. I also strongly doubt there will be a Pen-F ii. I spoke directly with Mark Thakara (the guy in the video) at the last non-virtual Photography Show in Birmingham about the whole Pen-F venture and his response was that it was a failed initiative - it did not sell in the numbers projected. Against that, I'd find it hard to believe they'd do a Mark ii. Add the new OM Solutions drive to high-end and big lenses and it makes even less sense.
 

PakkyT

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If the EM5 line is at risk, then I guess it's curtains for the EM10 and the EPL Pens. I also strongly doubt there will be a Pen-F ii.

One of the bad things a company can do, as we as customers fall into the same trap, is fall into a narrow focus of "lines" of cameras. Why does there have to be a "line" of models that are like each other? Or put another way, the focus shouldn't be on how to make the next one in a line but instead should be on making just a new camera and only after you have designed it with the size, features, shape, form factor, price point, target audience, etc. only then might you finally say ok does this new model fit with one of the existing lines and we can give it a "mark x" tag? Or should we just give it its own model number?
 
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I think everyone, including Canon and Nikon, are likely to drop anything other than enthusiast and pro models. No one takes snapshots with cameras anymore, and it’s going to be those of us who want to use ILCs that keep it going. That said everything is going to move upmarket (think Leica).

My hope is Olympus or whatever it’s called in the future releases a FF system and sticks with m43, kinda like what Fuji is doing. I just bought a 100-400 and the thing is killer. JIP are smart, they knew exactly what they were buying. I expect a lot of new products in the next year.
 

doady

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I think if there is uncertainty about the E-M5 line, it's because of how to distinguish it from E-M10 and E-M1 lines. I don't think it is indicator that E-M10 line is in trouble. I think they still need the smaller bodies to go with the smaller lenses, including smaller Pro lenses. But if they make E-M10V weather-sealed, maybe that is enough.
 
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My guess is they will move the em5 upmarket a bit with the next version and dump the em10.

I think if there is uncertainty about the E-M5 line, it's because of how to distinguish it from E-M10 and E-M1 lines. I don't it is indicator that E-M10 line is in trouble. I think still need the smaller bodies to go with the smaller lenses, including smaller Pro lenses. But if they make E-M10V weather-sealed, maybe that is enough.
 

doady

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I think if you look at 12-45mm F4 and upcoming 8-25mm F4, I think they are still committed to smaller bodies. Some of those telephoto zooms probably will be F4 too. They still need either E-M10 or E-M5, but maybe both is too much. Either E-M10 will become more like E-M5, or vice versa, combining the best of both line.

I think for E-M5 to move upmarket and become their lowest end model at the same time might be weird. Wasn't E-M10 III the best-selling mirrorless camera in Japan last year?

When I was getting into m4/3, it was E-M1 II vs. E-M5 III, it was hard to resist E-M1 II already, prices were already too close. It's hard to imagine that will get even closer. A cheaper E-M5 or a more advanced E-M10, I think that's what's they really need.
 
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That all may be true but you’re forgetting that the new prices on gear from everyone is going up. I expect the entry point to a body to be at least $1000 if not more in the future. Everyone is dropping the low end stuff.
 

fortwodriver

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I think everyone, including Canon and Nikon, are likely to drop anything other than enthusiast and pro models. No one takes snapshots with cameras anymore, and it’s going to be those of us who want to use ILCs that keep it going. That said everything is going to move upmarket (think Leica).

There's a real easy way to do that... Raise the prices of all cameras. If you raise the price of the E-M5mkiii to the price of the E-M1mkii, you've just priced it out of one tier and into another.

That seems to be what a lot of camera makers are now doing... Producing cameras that are priced higher away from snap-shooters who will otherwise stay with their cameraphones.
 

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