Why are people so upset about the upcoming pro OM-D's price?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by napilopez, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    I don't write this post as a means to invalidate someone else's opinion; that's a naive and ludicrous thing to do. However, I find myself slightly perplexed by comments about the upcoming OM-D's price. A current poll on 43rumors shows 71% of readers feel it could be overpriced. Let's go over some things, then:

    • The E-M5 cost $1299 on release as a kit, $999 body-only. It's been repeatedly stated before that the E-M5 is not intended a pro camera, even by Olympus executives themselves. And yet people have happily bought the E-M5 at its high price and used it for professional jobs. Since it's been rumored there'd be a higher line camera since the E-M5's release, it seems strange to expect it to be similarly priced to the E-M5.
    • Current rumors are that this is not a direct successor to the E-M5, as this will be released later, so it doesn't make sense to compare to the E-M5. If you want something better than the E-M5 that's priced the same as the E-M5, wait a few more months.
    • Let's cover what this higher price tag will probably be covering: a slightly bigger body with a more meaty grip to accommodate extended usage with heavier lenses, better overall build quality, what's apparently the best viewfinder on the market (a variant of the VF-4), a better external display, a faster shutter(1/8000), slightly faster burst speed(10+ fps), focus not locking itself on the first frame at higher burst rates, a professionally-durability rated shutter, more sensible controls, Wi-Fi, improved IBIS, a bigger battery, peaking, better software(SMALL FOCUS POINT PLEASE), increased responsiveness, and of course, PDAF (more on this later). Now, many of these features may just be additions of a generational leap, but you can be sure that whenever the E-M5's true successor comes (if there indeed is one), it'll have less features than the top of the line model.
    • The above are just the quasi-certainties, there are plenty other potential features the camera might have, such as legitimately improved video capabilities (why not take advantage of PDAF for autofocus?), a microphone in port, significantly improved image quality, faster flash sync etc.
    • Comparisons keep being made to the EOS 6D and it's availability for $1500. Fine, let's compare. First, there's no use in comparing the street price of a released camera to the alleged MSRP of an unreleased one. The upcoming OM-D should be compared to the 6D's MSRP of $1999. Or, if you'd prefer, the original release price of $2,099.
    • Secondly, they are not at all in the same class. A camera being full frame does NOT inherently mean it's pro-grade or even semi-pro. You know what else is a full-frame camera? This.. Good luck shooting a football game with that.
    • Fine, fine; that was contextual hyperbole. "But it's about the image quality!!!" you say. Alrighty. Never mind the fact that the 6D is only 10 points above the E-M5 on DxO, and even slightly loses out in dynamic range. Never mind the fact that this camera will allow us to use the incredible SHG lenses appropriately.
    • Besides, Canon seems to have no problem pricing their smaller sensored pro-grade camera pretty high. The current MSRP of the EOS 7D is $1499. Yes, that camera is nearly 4 years old and will likely be replaced soon. But it originally retailed for $1699, suggesting that the current price means people are still willing to pay for it at that price.
    • By the way, a quick look at the feature list and specs of the 7D vs the 6D gives you a good idea of what I mean in general. The 7D, despite having the smaller sensor and being cheaper(although still expensive), is more a pro grade camera than the 6D is by a large margin. All the new OM-D needs to do is be better than the 7D to justify the new price. The current Sony sensor already bests it in image quality, and the predicted features will almost surely match the 7D's capabilities, and probably those of its successor too.
    • The accuracy of C-AF and tracking on M4/3 is virtually the only area where M4/3 loses objectively to PDAF based systems. The inclusion of PDAF will allow for the use of HG and SHG lenses. The F/2 zooms in particular will eliminate APS-Cs advantage in those focal lengths(well, that new sigma complicates thing, but the range is narrow), and drive M4/3 closer to FF.
    • You may argue: conversely, these lenses also virtually eliminate M4/3's size/weight/price advantage. "What's the point of using such heavy lenses on a small body? Just go full frame!". I never understood this, personally. The strength of M4/3 as a system to me has never been its small size, but rather its potential to be small. The availability of large, top-quality lenses does not invalidate the option to use a small kit. Yes, an E-M5 with grip and the 35-100mm f/2 might as well be a full frame set up. But the only way a 6D will fit in my jacket like the E-M5 and the 20mm is if Canon releases a lens that warps spacetime itself to think the size of the camera itself.

      That's where the strength of the system lies: its ultimate versatility.

    Just thought I'd share my thoughts on the matter. I encourage healthy debate and discussion :p
  2. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Well I think you can show pretty much anything if you put your mind to it...

    * The most obvious point to make is noone really knows if US$1499 is the right price or 'too expensive' until we get the specs. I suspect that a lot of people will happily pay US$1499 if there is enough value in camera.
    * I suspect that a lot of people are OMD users looking for an upgrade. The upgrade cost would be around US$1000 for a camera that is unlikely to give 'significant' improvement to image quality/IBIS to key features that their first US$1000 investment in the OMD did.

    Personally I think that picking and choosing what products you compare its value with is reasonably problematic - few people would doubt that it represents good value against a Hasselblad Laluna. Theoretically you measure its value against its opportunity cost - namely whatever other camera you might buy. So.....
    * I wouldnt compare it to a Canon 7D as I wouldnt buy one as an alternative (a bit like I wouldnt compare it to a Laluna.)
    * If I was to compare it to a Canon 6D I would use the street price (namely what I would actually pay for it) rather than the RRP (which is irrelevant). Of course this brings us to what I would actually have to pay for the OMD1 but I doubt it will be less than US$1499.
    * Personally, if I didnt own an OMD1 or OMD5 I would own the Fuji XE-1 or Nikon D7100 - both are priced at about US$1200 (Fuji including the kit lens). The Nikon D7100 certainly has a better sensor than the OMDs and the Fuji comes with a fast standard zoom - both at US$300 less than the OMD1.

    Where I tend to feel it is too expensive is this. My 'guess' is that the OMD1 is not going to be worth the premium over the OMD5 - available from Newegg (perhaps?) at US699. My guess is that I will still be recommending people to buy the OMD5 when the OMD1 comes out. Of course I will probably end up buying the OMD1 in any case.
  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Obvoius and known problems with the upcoming Olympus camera.

    * It's going to be too expensive.
    * It's too small.
    * It's too big.
    * It's not built well enough.
    * It feels like a brick.
    * It's too light.
    * It's too heavy.
    * It doesn't have enough pixels.
    * It has too many pixels.
    * Even though I haven't seen the PDAF technology, it won't work.
    * Canon has more lenses.
    * Nikon has more lenses.
    * It's not full frame.
    * The menus are too complicated.
    * There are missing menu options.
    * There are too many buttons.
    * It has too little direct access to functions via buttons.
    * The video sux.
    * It has no bokeh.
    * It needs a multi aspect sensor.
    * It has purple blobs.
    * There are no really great lenses for less than $100.00
    * There's a Sony camera coming that will have cool function this camera doesn't have.
    * It's too retro looking.
    * The touchscreen is too touchy.
    * It's not really weathersealed. They're just saying it.
    * It's too expensive.

  4. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Just don't let those specs from any camera get to you~ if there is no any "New OMD", most OMD users will still very happy with their EM5 for long time.

    The New camera cycle seems too fast, we need a break here, slow down to enjoy every life moment and catch it.
  5. ApGfoo

    ApGfoo Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 10, 2012
    Bay Area
    The upcoming OMD may have missed the boat. :wink:
  6. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Napier, I agree with you but just want to add two things.

    1) When you have gf-3 and epm-1 selling for 200-300 bux (which are very capable cameras), I don't find it surprising that many people think the em-7 or whatever its going to be called is overpriced. Any way you dice it, mu4/3 has been a budget friendly system up until recently. It wasn't until a few months ago that we went over the 800+ mark for lenses. (I'm not counting the 25mm 0.95....its a Voightlander and its super fast, so deal with the price).

    2) It seems to me that the new OMD is going to be aimed more towards those (few?) m4/3 users who have been lusting over the HG and SHG 4/3 lenses and 4/3rds users who have the lenses already but have an outdated body. Either way, it means you are the type who is willing to drop serious cash for your gear.

    Like you said, mu4/3 has the potential to be small..... it also has the potential to be expensive. But like every mature system, you now have a wide spectrum of body and lens options...some for the budget minded some for those who want the latest and greatest. Many of us, me included, use to cry over the lack of PDAF, fast zooms, fasts teles.....and surprise surprise, they are coming. But as much as we want it to be the case, Olympus and Panny are not going to sell us those things for peanuts. I won't lie, when I heard about the rumored price of the upcoming 150mm f2.8, my heart broke, but hey, what can I say...... nice things cost money :-/
  7. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Fair points above. One thing I'd like to mention though is that it does seem we're attacking this from somewhat different angles. One major tenet of my arguments, which perhaps I didn't make clear enough, is that the OM-D+ is designed as a pro camera, for people who require specific things out of their camera.

    See, Olympus has never made you pay for image quality in M4/3 except for with the release of the O-MD and it's second gen sensor. They use the same sensors for essentially their entire line at any given time, never crippling their lower end gear in IQ like panny tends to do. Chances are that things like PDAF will trickly down into the next generation of Pens too. The point of the OM-D+ therefore isn't to provide you with the best image quality, but rather the most demanding feature set, which not everyone will need. I therefore suggest that given it's predicted feature set, it's supposed price doesn't seem outlandish for those who need it against it's nearest competitors with similar capabilities. By this I mean pro-level things such as a shutter guaranteed to last a certain amount of actuations, reliable focus for moving objects, improved durability for harsh conditions, and (hopefully) better repair services, top level shutter speed, fast burst. I expect the O-MD+ to be to the E-M5 what the 1DX is to the 5DMKIII, although probably with less drastic differences.

    Put differently, I pick and choose the 7D because it's a camera I'd consider a direct competitor. The 7D and EOS SL1 have completely different prices even though they will give you virtually identical image quality because the 7D does more difficult things. I mention the 6D because it's been brought up frequently, but I don't at all consider it to be a significant competitor to the OM-D+

    On comparing prices, while for personal uses you should obviously judge based on what you can actually afford, on a more objective level I feel the MSRP makes more sense, because a camera's price has to start somewhere. Yes, for someone on a budget looking for his best option for a new camera, the E-M5 might make more sense... Unless he/she wants to shoot sports for a living. And I mean hey, I've done it with an E-M5. But would I like the option of something more trustworthy within the system? Definitely.

    I feel like the complaints are akin to someone with a 60D complaining about the price of the 7D, or a D5200 user complaining about the D7100. They're different lines, and shouldn't really compare directly. If you don't need the featureset of the O-MD+, there's no reason to buy it; I, like you, would likely point new buyers to the E-M5. But I'd also point them to the E-PM2 if they were only looking to shoot casually. You're still going to get the same images, despite the $500+ price difference with equivalent kit lenses.

    Still, you mentioned the most important point, which is that we simply don't know yet.
  8. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    If this camera is able to auto focus my 4/3 lenses as they were designed then I don't mind paying a premium price. Micro 4/3 will suddenly have some superb glass available at reasonable prices, lenses such as the 11-22mm and 50-200mm immediately spring to mind.
  9. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Yep. And again, the availability of the OM-D+ doesn't mean the other cameras cease to exist. I mean you could get a G5 for 300 bucks and still be within arms length of the newest cameras. As much as I think the alleged price is reasonable given the features I mentioned, I also think the buyer is entirely to blame if he pays for features he doesnt want or need. My argument is purely about people who feel they might need some or all of its features.

    Personally, I think the E-P5s price is a good deal harder to justify than the upcoming OM-D's price(based purely on rumors and functionality guesses, of course).
  10. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    People just like to moan, and lets face it there are quite a few cheap skates about....Especially the kind that look at paper specs and 'proof' that something else is much cheaper...I must admit that there are quite a few 'sensitive' posters here on mu-43, these little things are so unimportant to me...

    It is good to have choice, I just hope it will be another excellent camera...
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I'd pay $1599 for a pro-OMD, but that thing better be a baby D4 or 1DX. It should be all metal, weather sealed, have amazing continuous AF and be able to focus all standard 4/3 glass.

    You can get a refurb'ed D600+lens right now for $1599. It's facing stiff competition in that price range.
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    While I agree that some people will always complain, I do think the new OM may be a tough sell when compared to other cameras in the price range. I understand the factors involved in the cost of a product (probably better than most) and understand WHY m43 cameras aren't cheaper than similar DSLRs. But that doesn't mean potential buyers won't see the OM priced the same as a Canon 6D and wonder why they should pay that much for a "lesser" camera.
  13. Dduval

    Dduval Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL

    You forgot the LCD bezel will crack...:biggrin:
  14. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    If it's a baby D4 why wouldn't it cost $5K?

  15. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    The D600 looks pretty attractive I agree. I am tempted to add it to my M43 collection along with a 50 1.4 and 85 1.4.
  16. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    They might wonder but they can't be thinking of what the purpose this body is supposed to be for if they are swayed towards the larger body. That may mean that they just fall for the 'biggest is best' syndrome that I think many do.
  17. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I didn't claim they were rational. But in any case, I don't think it's the larger body that they'll be comparing, but the larger sensor. "Why should I pay $1600 for that tiny little sensor when I can get a camera with a FF sensor for the same price?"
  18. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    And I think it is a fair argument. I know I was swaying between that and the portability. Especially as I already had nice nikon glass like the 70-200. Portability and good enough image quality helped me decide. And of course knowing what my style is. I can imagine it is much harder to decide when you don't fully know yet what your own style is and then something as competitively priced as the d600 would be a very attractive proposition.
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I think the real questions are C-AF accuracy, ergonomics and build quality.

    If they nail those 3, they can reasonably hope to sell the camera as a mini 7D or D300, or whatnot. They have the necessary 'semi-pro' lenses in 4/3 form - e.g. 14-54, 50-200 and (potentially) 150/2.0 + EC14.

    But I have serious doubts that they will be able to deliver on all 3 of those. C-AF is a hard nut to crack, and they never did manage it on 4/3. To expect them to go from useless C-AF to good C-AF in one generation is IMO unlikely. Ergonomics are possible, but not with the current more-is-better design scheme. A semi-pro camera is not going to work if it has 20 tiny buttons on the back. Finally, to compete at that level the camera needs to be tough and solidly constructed. They do have experience with that with the E-x, but I'm very uncertain how that's going to translate down to a smaller camera.

    Without good C-AF, I think people will have a very hard time accepting the camera as even a peer to the D7100 or 70D, let alone the higher-end models.
  20. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Olympus' pro level 4/3 bodies, E1,E3 and E5, all sold for around $1500. There were always buyers. And complainers. Why would anyone pay $1500 for a pro OMD when an E-M5 is only $1000 or less now as it approaches it's end of life? Well, if the E-M5 meets their needs they won't. If it doesn't then a pro OMD may be worth the premium. Just because one person doesn't see the value doesn't mean it doesn't exist for someone else.

    There were reports of the Ex 4/3 cameras surviving drops into salt water surf. Just rinse in fresh water. I've never heard anyone claim the E-M5 would survive that kind of abuse. I HAVE read that the weather sealing of the E-M5 isn't as robust as the old Ex cameras. If the OMD pro matches that build quality that may be reason enough to pay the premium.

    If Olympus continues as in the past, all the other high spec features will trickle down the line as new models are released. This too used to cause complaints, "Why should I pay a premium for the Ex when the Exxx has the same image quality?"

    You just can't please everybody. Complainers gotta complain.

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