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Would you still recommend Olympus for an entry-level "serious" camera

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by pdk42, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    With the disappointing releases of the E-M10iii and the E-PL9, would you still recommend Olympus to someone looking for an entry-level "serious" camera? I'm not sure I would anymore. Seems to me that someone wanting a better camera than a smartphone needs something that will offer a good growth path before needing an upgrade. With the dumbing down and loss of important features (plug-in EVF, no eShutter in PASM modes) I think Olympus is missing a trick.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  2. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I tend to recommend to those with little money going for either the Panasonic G5 or G3 as they can be bought for less than £100 if you wait a bit. I would if spending a bit more either say go for the EM10 any depending on money or a G7, I would recommend a Sony as an alternative but the bodies with a viewfinder all seem to go for prices that are quite high for their age. Plus you can get some nice m43 glass for relatively little.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    One thing that is off-putting about m43 cameras is there complexity,as opposed to a point and shoot. Once you become proficient at the confusing,complex menus,you may like it better. All some people want to do is take good pictures. Then later the more complex features can be had.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    What's disappointing about the E-PL9?

    The 16MP sensor is still a good performer, FAR better than a smartphone. It's got a built-in flash that can be tilted, front-facing screen for all those selfies, 4K video, the new Advance Photo mode to help users get the most out of the special shooting modes, and a pretty simple wi-fi app to transfer photos to your phone for sharing online.

    You talk about the loss of features like electronic shutter or an external EVF, but for people coming from a smartphone, are they even going to care/notice? They're used to shooting on an LCD only, and they could really care less about what shutter is used (it's actually probably best to eliminate the electronic shutter, that way they don't accidentally enable it, and then take a bunch of shots with banding due to artificial lighting or rolling shutter due to movement).
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  5. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Are the E-M10iii and E-PL9 still not more "serious" than a smartphone and/or P&S? I would say they most definitely are.

    Olympus had a problem. Their entry level cameras were very close to their mid-level enthusiast cameras, while still being marketing (and selling) as fashion items in many markets. This created a problem as it allowed the enthusiast to use the entry level camera without any compromise and added complexity that the fashion users didn't need or want. They made the decision to more distinctly differentiate their cameras and appeal to those who were buying them. Unfortunately, this means that the mid-level enthusiast market gets pushed upwards in price. But for a marketing standpoint, it makes sense for Olympus.

    Anyway, the E-M10iii and E-PL9 can still work well for enthusiasts. They still take great images and are capable of mounting Pro level lenses.
    • Agree Agree x 7
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  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Olympus needs these simpler interfaced and visually capable cameras precisely for those that are coming from a smart phone. I would even go so far as to say that they are not going far enough to bridge the gap.

    Smart phone users are so used to dealing with the phone, throwing in a filter and uploading immediately. If there interaction with the Olympus camera is not pretty close to that, they very well may lose interest and not buy.

    I'd say in my estimation that to capture interest from the millennial cell phone users and newer, they will need to have a camera that can connect to their phone very quickly upon start up and transfer at least 4mp size jpg to the phone without any intervention on the users part. They are going to want that convenience.

    Just my thoughts on it, take it for what you will from my insane brain.
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  7. doogie

    doogie Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2016
    No different to entry level Nikon's, they have built in guides to help beginners. I can see why Olympus have done this.
  8. RyanM

    RyanM Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 16, 2017
    I don't know how capable current wifi transfer systems are (I use an E-M5 i), but what would be really cool (IMO) would be the following:
    - fast, easy (maybe automatic) connection between camera and phone/tablet
    - ability to browse the camera sd card remotely using the phone, selecting what images to move over
    - multiple quality levels to transfer (I think 4MP jpg, maxMP jpg, RAW would be good)
    - quick and dirty RAW editor in the phone app

    Maybe that kind of functionality is a pipe dream, but I feel like it could work for users coming from smartphones and enthusiasts. I think the ability to do everything from the phone is key. It would be great to just turn on the camera wifi, then throw it back in the bag and do everything else from the phone (maybe this is already the case).
    Then, basic users can quickly pull 4MP SOOC jpgs for upload to social media. Enthusiast users could do this too, or they could use the phone app RAW editor to make a few basic edits (adjust WB, pull some shadows, light NR) prior to upload.
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Unless you really, really need the flip-around selfie-screen, it's really hard for me to see buying an E-PL9 instead of a GX85 that frequently sells for significantly less. You get better IBIS, an EVF, an extra control dial, a much better kit lens, better autofocus and better video. And that's a body that's 1.5 years old now, with an introductory MSRP that's apparently the same as the much lesser-featured Olympus?

    It's not even like there's a real difference in form factor:

    Compact Camera Meter

    Aside from the selfie screen, the only feature that I could see possibly ponying up for on the E-PL9 is the Bluetooth connectivity to make transferring photos to your phone for social media easier. Hopefully that's table stakes for new bodies. Certainly all new Panasonic bodies seem to have it, as well.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    While it isn't blazingly fast, it takes less than a minute to connect my phone to my E-M10, when there is no other wifi that my phone recognizes. Otherwise I have to go into the phone settings to choose the correct network - which you will always have to do.
  11. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    No they probably will not care/notice the lack of those features but they will notice the $500-900 missing from their bank account used to buy something which, for their purposes, gives them little more than what they get from their cell phones and which they have to carry in hand. They will also notice that they left it on the counter at that last tourist trap store where they stopped to pay for some trinket and they have now lost that which they reduced their bank account to buy. In my conversations with tourists to the Grand Canyon this past fall those are the kinds of stories they presented when I asked them why they preferred a cell phone to a camera. One Sony shooter admitted, actually his wife did, that they had already left their Sony at a restaurant once and had to go back to get it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  12. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Do they leave their iPads in the hotel toilet, too? Sounds like some hapless folks you spoke to...
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. doogie

    doogie Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2016
    Upload from a camera directly to your Google Drive/Photos or iCloud account would be really useful.

    Same as a smart phone, I'm sure it will happen one day.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
  15. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    For an entry level serious camera, if the person really wants to get into still photography, the e-m10 mark II is simply terrific, and ~100 €/USD less than the "disappointing" mk III. For a combined stills / video camera, Panasonic has a full line of very decent models. Don't be fooled by the marketing hype, and grab a 10 mk II while they last.

    Just my 2¢

    • Agree Agree x 8
  16. Christop82

    Christop82 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 10, 2016
    The current Olympus wifi system is actually very good. It does basically everything you described. I think the Sony transfer is faster, but I wouldn't say better.
  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    I agree - but the D3*** series is significantly cheaper; additionally, it's the less sophisticated camera, but it takes very nice images. To choose Olympus, you'd really have to dig the size and style to justify that decision - that's not how it was when I went with the E-PL7: It was the better equipped camera and sold for the same price (body only) as the D3300 at the time. It didn't have the viewfinder, but it took the accessory EVF.

    I'm not against differentiating the model lines, but I think they should handle pricing accordingly. Dump it down and make it cheaper - that's okay. But dump it down and make it more expensive - that' s counter-intuitive. However, maybe today's market doesn't exactly work that way - I guess people might buy a more expensive camera for the very reason that it appears to be more desirable simply because the price is higher. I've seen that happen before: worse quality, higher price - better sales. The E-PL9 is placed rather well for this, I have to say. And as others have said, it's not as if it was a bad camera, at that - so even if it may be too expensive, it's still rewarding to own and use. I smell a rat - but it's rather cleverly dressed up as a fluffy bunny (if you have difficulties decoding the metaphor in full, ask Australians about bunnies ...).

    Sorry, waffling. But after the E-PL8, I was hoping for a more convincing model (and I was led into believing that it was ...). The E-M10 III is kind of the same - nice on absolute terms, but comparatively over-hyped if you look at the ads. *shrug* As others have said, the GX8* is a very valid alternative to both new Olympus models.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    While steering them away from most of the newest models, yes I'd recommend Olympus for great reasons.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I never recommend that a person looking for an entry level serious camera should buy a new one. ILC system cameras have been quite good for at least the past 5 years. So I generally recommend that someone looking entry level should be looking for a lightly used model that was introduced between 2-4 years ago, and now sells for less than half the price of the newest models, and yet still offers 90 %of the features and 98% of the still image quality. In the Olympus domain, that's an E-PL7 or an OM-DE-M10 mkII or even an OM-D E-M5 mk ii, in the Panasonic domain, that's a GX8 or GX85 or even a G85.
  20. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Some day it will happen. If outbound you can pick it up on the way home. If valuable they usually call you. I have had waiters chase me down the street when I left my credit card. What is the secret of being perfect?
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