OMD EM1 EM5 design question

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by orfeo, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    If the OMDs don't have a Mirror, don't have a pentaprism, why is the design of the camera looks like there is? Is it a retro kind of thing? Is it to implement the EVF?
    Beautiful object always follow the rules of form follows function, so what is it in the case of the OMD?
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Quite simple actually - the dumb weather-proofed AP2 accessory mount on top of the EVF. It requires both the flash shoe on top for structural integrity as well as dedicated data port on the side of the hump, plus extra space for weather-sealing. There's simply no other room for it without sacrificing function buttons or dials.

    Why they still have the AP2 on the OM-Ds is another question. Olympus could have ditched the AP2 and used a plain flash shoe like Panasonic, especially given that most of the useful stuff that the AP2 had is now on the EM-1 body, e.g. high quality EVF, external stereo mic port, wireless capability (much better full WiFi control rather than Bluetooth). The only thing left is their macro flash controller...
  3. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    They place the EVF in the hump which also aligns with your lens axis on your vertical axis, then they place the gyroscopes in the front of the hump as well.

    Of course some people need to justify why the viewfinder is either in a corner by screaming bloody murder at the humps looking like a SLR. Would you rather deal with a protruding cube at the top?
  4. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    It wouldn't be an OM-D without it! It would be just another PEN! In my own case I had no interest in PENs or M4/ was the OM design that made me (and probably many others) jump in.
  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I originally intended to jump into m4/3 with the E-P5 but the more I looked at the E-M5 the more I liked it... went with OM rather than PEN in the end :D
  6. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Many cameras with an EVF have a hump.
    The shape of the hump on a camera with a pentaprism is never the same shape as the glass prism inside. Never was. The EVF hump on other cameras is not identical shape to the EVF inside.

    So this leaves Olympus free to make an aesthetic looking hump. Their retro choice was very successful. It captured the imagination of many people.

    >Beautiful object always follow the rules of form follows function
    This is simply not true. FFF is a useful guideline, but when it comes to aesthetics, there are more exceptions than rules. Successful designers break 'rules' all the time. And for good reason. If you see a design of any object you consider pleasing, a car, camera, building or anything where the designer has design freedom, that is a snapshot of now. It will immediately affect the design of tomorrow. What is 'normal' changes all the time. It is transient. For example, if you want a sharp edged looking car, you just need to design the car to look a bit more sharp edged than cars of today. People will notice this delta right away. It is a relative difference.

    The E-M5 and other retro cameras are already affecting "normal" camera design. The GX7 and Pentax K-3 are showing signs of this already.
  7. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    "beautiful" is a subjective term of mine and your vision of it may and must differ from it I hope we agree on this.
    For me decorum is garbage and only function matters. True iconic photographic camera design imho follow that rule.
    the hump on a SLR is particular of the SLR design and olympus playing on that is kind of good marketing but imho not timeless.
    Artist break the rules only if they know them and are sharp only if they break them the smart way. Again smart is an entirely subjective concept :smile:
  8. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    I like the hump: gives a little more height to the flash and keeps a little more of my face off the LCD. I think it looks nicer than a flattop (Fuji X-series look like a painted brick).
  9. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    With all due respect, if this is what you truly believe, then why did you make such an absolute statement in your OP: "Beautiful object always follow the rules of form follows function"?
  10. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    FYI, in addition to making it look like a DSLR, part of the IBIS mechanism is actually in that hump. So there is a functional reason for doing this. It's not just looks.
  11. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    In short, with caveats: Yes, it is to implement the EVF.

    Longer version: Don't mean to sound snarky, but it seems a lot of people forget that decent sized EVFs actually do take up a significant amount of space. No, not as much as an actual mirror/pentaprism system, but, but the screen and optics have to go somewhere.

    Olympus originally explained the hump by stating that the IBIS gyroscopes were placed inside. I don't doubt this, but I also doubt this was the only way they could have done it. Indeed, look no further than the E-P5 for a solution. That said, the E-M1 is still a very densely built camera, and they probably figured they could use any left over space in the EVF hump and allude to the classic OM line design. So it's form and function.

    After all, the E-M5 and E-M1 are far from the only cameras with EVFs that have humps. People like to point to how Sony was able to create a system with a corner EVF. Yes, Sony has made some very impressive engineering feats with their NEX-Line, the NEX-6 probably being the best example in that it includes a larger EVF, a proper hotshoe and a pop-up flash using a larger sensor than an E-M5, all in a smaller overall body. Still, unless someone has opened up all these cameras, we don't know exactly how much space the Olympus 5-Axis IBIS mechanism takes; there's a reason Sony's E-mount cameras don't feature stabilization at all when this is such a prominent feature for their A-Mount line. Then you can also factor in these cameras have noticeably worse build and don't feature any sort of weather sealing.

    Or you can compare the Fuji X-Mount cameras with EVFs. Those are unecessarily huge for no reason at all, and they didn't even bother to make them comfortable.

    Further pushing the point are Sony's upcoming FF E-mount cameras, the A7 and A7r. I'm sure Sony wouldn't abandon the rangefinder-esque design unless they had to, so it seems like the larger sensor forced them to adopt an EVF hump too if they wanted to keep the body length reasonable.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    Shamelessly borrowed from Engadget:

    Shamelessly borrowed from ePhotozine:

    You can guess where the EVF and gyros sit now. You can also guess how big the stabilizer relative to the sensor size.

    They sure made it look huge relative to a NEX sized body, especially with the rear part sticking out so far. Good luck fitting that inside the existing RF shaped NEXes without a nice long extension coming off a corner. If not possibly a nice, conformal-to-EVF-shaped section in the corner to accommodate it.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Take a look at the height of the rear screen on the NEX-6 and you'll see where the compromise was made.
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