I think digital camera development is interesting.
When I bought my first two 1ds Canons, which I think were the first film quality digital cameras made, in the fact that shot quickly, had little if no artifacts and went to around 600 to 800 iso cleanly. Probably higher today with modern processing.
Well now it's been 10 Canons later (approx. $30,000), A leaf Valeo, Leaf Aptus ($30,000), two phase one backs ($36,000), a nikon d2x (when the 1ds Canons had issues : $5,000), Nikon D3, D7000 (oh I don't know 7,000), and now onto video cameras (won't even count the Canons, REDs, etc.); but up to the 43 systems I owned, in still cameras alone, there is over $100,000 in camera capture devices alone, not including lenses and a trillion upgrades on software and enough Apple computers to make me a Apple reseller.
Funny thing is with the 43 cameras I've come kind of full circle. The OMD and the GH3 for stills shoot about the same quality file as the 1ds2. In comparing them to my latest Canon 1dx they are about a stop slower in noise, about 15% less detail (if that). so I assume they equal a 1ds1 or 1ds2 and, yes, they work professionally because I've shot a lot of images with them lately, nobody has said a word, I've been paid, life goes on
You have to look long and hard to find any motion camera at any price that does what the gh3 will do and with the Black Magic 43 camera that's just a plus for this format.
They all have some form of articulating viewfinder which doubles as a waist level finder. The 43 ratio is perfect for vertical and in the gh3's case you really don't miss an ovf, in fact your hard pressed to know it's not an ovf in most instances. Maybe the omd1 will do the same.
Then price. For two canon 1ds new at the time I paid close to $13,000. The complete 43 kit with three bodies, 7 lenses, sound, chargers, extra batteries, is around 6 grand.
But bottom line in still image quality, (f you call quality pixel size, detail and noise qualitiy . . . I don't) I'm pretty close to where I was 10 years ago.
Now in regards to the OMD 1. I don't get it. I understand improving the focus, the ability to use the older 43 lenses. But what don't get is the incremental upgrades from every maker.
There is no technical reason that the omd 1 could not have had two sound imports, a headphone jack, shoot a 72mbs intra file making great use of their amazing image stabilization. Actually there is probably no reason it couldn't be hacked to shoot a raw video file like the canon 5d2,3 whatever.
In other words they could make a better gh3 and that is the stuff that stumps me.
And if you don't care about shooting motion, then fine, but the commercial and editorial world does. Terry Richardson just shot a medium production quality video of that strange Milley chick that got something like a million views a day. In three days it probably will surpass all of the views of his print work in the last three years, so yeah video does matter.
Now the real question is why 43? For me because first it was the video of the gh3 which has yet to disappoint, secondly and a pleasant surprise was how good the still quality is for these little cameras. They kind of look like 35mm film which I like, because they are not glass smooth past 400.
Since I go from city to city, studio to studio (today I'm in London), I can put one messenger bag on the plane, one tripod in a suitcase, and have a camera system I can virtually use on any gig. For heavy production, yes we bring a lot of stuff, but if I want to shoot an editorial here today, I can.
But I see this in a very different way. I'm not a casual photographer or a guy that turns two shots a day. If that was so I'd never have to buy another camera again. We push tons of data, right now I'm looking at about 7 terabytes with motion and stills, to be spread out over 16 videos, don't know how many web and print placements. At that volume, at that post production speed and requirements, they want professional imagery, but nobody is counting a little noise in a shadow or if somebody's eyelash is slightly blurred in a group of 15 subjects.
Others will disagree, others have that right.
The only thing not mentioned is the insane menu system. On the gh3 if you make a setting, don't like it return to the menu it takes you back to where you were. On the omd 5 it takes you from start and with 86 layers of settings is maddening.
Another point is though most functions are user definable which is fine if you remember what f5, f2 etc. stands for. On the gh3 there are three buttons by the shutter you use all the time, wb, iso and +-, for compensation. These are very intuitive and marked as the function they do.
Once again, not to beat a dead horse, but the hobbling of the video [in the E-M5 & 1] is surprising. It's like Panasonic says we'll do the video, Olympus you do the stills.