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Thread: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    This isn't a troll, more like a howl of frustration. Personal, admittedly, but I loved the E-1. There is nothing more incongruous than looking at the hulking E-3 body and seeing a tiny sensor.
    What I'm talking about is at at the end of this fairly detailed grilling of an Olympus exec.
    They designed the E-5 to appeal to the needs (they believe) of pros.
    HUGE mistake. The higher-end E-series camera were NEVER going to
    appeal to pros in any number because of the 4/3rds sensor limitations. However HAD they re-approached the E-3 product with a mind to producing a closer kin of the E-1, they would have snared a huge part of the enthusiast
    crowd, the ONLY crowd they should have logically gone after. There isn't one Olympus buyer I've spoken to (DSLR owner) who didn't want the E-1 type body back. The E3/E-5 were big mistakes and ultimately ones that will kill what is left of the Olympus DSLR following. Very few will fork over $1700 for the E-5, no matter what its weather sealing is like.

    An E-1 resurrection will never match the APS or FF sensor cameras for
    sheer image quality, but an E-1esque body (arguably one of the best
    DSLR bodies ever) with the best modern 4/3rds sensor would have been
    very welcome.

    http://www.biofos.com/esystem/q&a_terada.html

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by RichA View Post
    Very few will fork over $1700 for the E-5, no matter what its weather sealing is like.
    Some die-hard Olympus followers will undoubtedly do so because of their existing investment in Olympus lenses, but otherwise I agree that's it's not a very compelling offering to any other buyers. For the same amount of cash, or even just a bit more, you can get a vastly better performing camera. The pricing on the E-5 makes absolutely no sense to me. Even the GH2, the flagship Panasonic camera, is about half of that. It's almost like they purposely priced it so it wouldn't sell.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Rich, Thanks for posting! A superb interview, IMO.

    Olympus are one of the best technologically capable companies around.

    For one example, see: http://www.olympus-ims.com/en/hsv-products/


    It is sad that they are not being innovative when it comes to cameras anymore.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    HI Rich
    I quite agree . . . except that with a better sensor I really don't see why there should be much of a quality hit over APSC (especially if you like the aspect ratio)).

    If they had carried on with the small / rugged / quiet body like the E1, together with those great semi-pro lenses I would unquestionably still be there. As it is I've moved on to other things, and I guess it would take a lot to pull me back, certainly not an E5

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Big pro cameras is (turned out to be) a dead end street for Olympus. I sold my E-3 because I did not use it any more as soon I had the G1.
    Smart EVF M4/3 bodys is the way to go for them, with the limitation of being dependent of other sensor suppliers.
    May be they should become a lens supplyer for Panasonic and other brands like Zeiss does.

    And in the mean time they can concentrate on the first Full frame EVF camera.


    Michiel

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Hi Rich

    certainly what you wrote is not a troll as I see it either (you must have been over at "other" forums too much).

    Like others here I'm very attacted to the G1 (perhaps that's been obvious over some of my previous posts) and like the size and flexibility of the "SLR style" of shooting combined with screen operation if desired.

    I must say I'd be very attracted to a E-620 style body if that was the only way I'd get access to faster AF telephoto lenses. This is a real annoyance for me with the G1 (although I appreciate not everyone here has the same uses / needs) and I have yet to hear of anything like a fast AF (not fast aperture) mid tele in the micro 4/3 area which will do follow focus of subjects moving towards you.

    While I feel that this will remain the strength of the the SLR type systems for some time I have found limitations in that paradigm that the micro4/3 solves neatly. After photographing some birds nesting in recent days I've found that I get more accurate results manual focusing with the "zoom" focus on the G1 than I do on any SLR system when using 200mm lenses at f4.

    while the last thing I want is a brick to hang around my neck I have an interesting anecdote. A workmate was after a first SLR camera and asked my advice. They were quite impressed with the G1 (or a GF-1) based on looking at the images, but when they saw my G1 they said, oh no ... that's no good ... I might as well get a G11 if I can't get a proper SLR ... I thought it was a proper SLR

    This was with me having the FD300f4 lens as well as the 14-45zoom which I showed interchanged, as well as showing them the sensor and comparing that to an office Pentax IST ... They just couldnt get past the G1 being a "SLR copy not a true SLR"

    so maybe Olympus knows their market?

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi Rich

    certainly what you wrote is not a troll as I see it either (you must have been over at "other" forums too much).

    Like others here I'm very attacted to the G1 (perhaps that's been obvious over some of my previous posts) and like the size and flexibility of the "SLR style" of shooting combined with screen operation if desired.

    I must say I'd be very attracted to a E-620 style body if that was the only way I'd get access to faster AF telephoto lenses. This is a real annoyance for me with the G1 (although I appreciate not everyone here has the same uses / needs) and I have yet to hear of anything like a fast AF (not fast aperture) mid tele in the micro 4/3 area which will do follow focus of subjects moving towards you.
    quite agree - however, the Sony A33/A55 do seem to fit the bill nicely, and really not a great deal bigger than the G1 follow focus is remarkably good, and the EVF is too.

    Just this guy you know

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    I could not agree more. I was a user of the E1 and I loved that camera and the pro and semi-pro lenses. I remember the 2/150, which was a perfect combination for me with the E1 body.

    I did buy into the E3, but returned it after I had constant AF accuracy issues as well as issues with the OL service. Finally I sold the complete system.

    I think that the 4/3 system is kind of dead, the only vendor still bringing new models is Olympus and you can get much better systems in small bodies today - see A33 and A55 etc.

    If Olympus would have com with the E5 in the E1 shape, building on the sensor which is available in the GH2 with 18MP and worked on their lens lineup as well as acceptable HD video, then this system would be still interesting - even for one like me who went out of it already 3 years ago. But the current E5 - actually they just could have spared the efforts and costs to develop

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Olympus probably knew all this in beforehand, and they know how many E-5 they are going to sell too. Those who still have their E-3s, amateurs as well as pros, will probably upgrade. I asked a friend of mine about it, and he didn't even need to see the specs. He's very happy with his E-3, and more of the same, only better, suits him fine.

    If I was going around the world, the rugged route, I would choose Olympus as well. There's nothing like it for ruggedness and reliability.

    My guess is that there will be an E-6 as well. Or an E-5Ti or whatever. There are enough 4/3 shooters out there to make that a viable option for Olympus, and by keeping the system alive, they keep the lens sales going as well. Look how they kept the OM system going, some 15 years after the others had started making AF cameras.

    The toughest competition for the E-5 will probably come in-house, in the shape of a pro-spec m4/3 camera. But there will still be photographers who prefer a camera that can double as a hammer. And even I think the GH1 is too tiny.

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    Member Bill Gordon's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Rich
    I quite agree . . . except that with a better sensor I really don't see why there should be much of a quality hit over APSC (especially if you like the aspect ratio)).

    If they had carried on with the small / rugged / quiet body like the E1, together with those great semi-pro lenses I would unquestionably still be there. As it is I've moved on to other things, and I guess it would take a lot to pull me back, certainly not an E5
    I completely agree with Jono and Rich along with all the others. I have said for a long time that the E-1 was the best camera that Olympus built. Had they upgraded the body to contain the guts of the 520..or 620..they would have had all the died in the wool Oly users following the new camera but as it is I do think they have become lost in the wilderness. For other reasons I moved to the mu4.3rds and am quite happy with it thank you very much!! I have had in very recent times a problem obtaining an eye cup for the EVF as the Canadian distribution leaves a lot to be desired and, yes, the stores don't seem to stock the cameras and bits and pieces.

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gordon View Post
    I completely agree with Jono and Rich along with all the others. I have said for a long time that the E-1 was the best camera that Olympus built. Had they upgraded the body to contain the guts of the 520..or 620..they would have had all the died in the wool Oly users following the new camera but as it is I do think they have become lost in the wilderness. For other reasons I moved to the mu4.3rds and am quite happy with it thank you very much!! I have had in very recent times a problem obtaining an eye cup for the EVF as the Canadian distribution leaves a lot to be desired and, yes, the stores don't seem to stock the cameras and bits and pieces.
    The E-1 was the most no-holds barred quality camera that I've come across, even better than my D300. The E-3 was not of the same calibre. I also loved my E-510 and E-330, for different reasons.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    I sold most of my FT stuff recently. I kept the E-1 and 14-54 mk 1, since they are worth to me more than their second hand price. Although I do miss some of the lenses (12-60 / 50-200), I do not miss their bulk. To me, the FT promise of small camera equipment never came through. And I never grew fond of my E-3 the way I did with the E-1.

    With mFT things look better, but I still have issues spending a lot of money there, since so far I see many reasonable choices, and only few excellent ones. I bought a small, relatively inexpensive set and will wait for future developments before spending more. That Panasonic 45 keeps haunting me though.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by marlof View Post
    I sold most of my FT stuff recently. I kept the E-1 and 14-54 mk 1, since they are worth to me more than their second hand price. Although I do miss some of the lenses (12-60 / 50-200), I do not miss their bulk. To me, the FT promise of small camera equipment never came through. And I never grew fond of my E-3 the way I did with the E-1.

    With mFT things look better, but I still have issues spending a lot of money there, since so far I see many reasonable choices, and only few excellent ones. I bought a small, relatively inexpensive set and will wait for future developments before spending more. That Panasonic 45 keeps haunting me though.
    While I also bought into M43 with an EP2 and kit lens, I am not convinced this is the future anymore since Sony came out with its NEX series. I also own the NEX5 and this delivers better results than the EP2. Missing for me is the excellent EVF of the EP2.

    To make it short - Sony showed with the NEX how small and operationally excellent one can build cameras around even an APS-C size sensor. 43 and even M43 never could prove this. And compactness was one of the promises of the 43 system and even M43 is not as compact as it could be (compared to NEX).

    So I am currently pretty reluctant in spending more money even in M43 as I rather do it in NEX or maybe some other vendors products (Nikon, Canon) if they appear and are appealing .....

    And BTW - Sony with their A33 and A55 are showing a nice way into the future of compact DSLRs, something I would have expected from Olympus - but did not happen and I have the feeling will not happen. Sad for Olympus!
    Last edited by ptomsu; 14th October 2010 at 21:10.

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    Member marlof's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Exactly the reason why I'm not spending too much at this time on mFT. I'm going to use what I currently have (I personally find the 20 1.7 and even the 17 2.8 pretty nice lenses), and wait and see in what direction those systems develop. I only bought mFT cameras since I got a got deal on the system and I prefer the 4:3 image format. Years of Olympus DSLR shooting got to me. But I don't know if this is where I'll stay.

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    open your eyes....

    ...and look at the pictures. Forget pixels and such for the time being.
    Do you like Olympus photographs? Do you think Canon or Nikon are better here? I have the comfort of being able to test for a long time any image registration system around. The only thing that made me take off the glasses and wipe the eyes in the past several years were out of camera jpegs from EP1 and kit zoom. I used the set for two weeks on a trip and did not count on much effect. There it was, the liveliest ooc pictures I took with any system in years. Forget Leica (my M collection on sale), CaNikon FF or Panasonic 43.
    The only thing I could compare the Oly pictures to, were my old M6+velvia.
    Of course, a matter of taste.
    Do not bury E5 yet. Anecdotal evidence is that it could give better pictures than any 24Mpix FF system. Just wait and see.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    I have never seen an E1 so don't know if an E1-styled E5 would have solved the current market problems for Olympus. I do think that investing in such a new design would have required more resources than redesigning the current E5, and Olympus chose not to do that. They are choosing to invest in the growing market of smaller EVF cameras. I don't think that Olympus sees the DSLR as growing for them (it is shrinking across the board anyway) because Nikon and Canon have such a strong dominance in that category.

    Would an E1 style camera have made a difference to me? Likely not as I don't see myself buying another DSLR anyway. I am now much more interested in the Serious Compacts and a more robust Pen camera with higher quality lenses is far more compelling to me than a heavy DSLR.

    I seems like a lot of people loved their E1s. But that was a different time and place and the market is different now. Perhaps Olympus would have sold a few more E5s if it has an E1 styled body, but I don't believe that it would have changed the course of the current market.

    Enthusiasts run on passion. Good companies run on passion and business sensibilities. Apple has passion for good design, but they also have the highest profit margins of anyone in their industry, and they are innovating new device platforms. Olympus is innovating in the smaller EVIL market and that market could very well be very profitable for them (some have suggested that it is saving them). The DSLR market is becoming a niche market, and perhaps not very profitable for Olympus.

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    Re: open your eyes....

    Quote Originally Posted by nugat View Post
    ...and look at the pictures. Forget pixels and such for the time being.
    Do you like Olympus photographs?
    ...
    Do not bury E5 yet. Anecdotal evidence is that it could give better pictures than any 24Mpix FF system. Just wait and see.
    sage advice

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    I disagree completely with RichA. But it is evidently against the forum rules to debate, so I'll leave it at that.

    The E-1 is a tour de force in almost every way. The E-3/E-5 improved on it with a far better viewfinder, which necessitated an increase in the prism size ... adding a built-in flash for the dedicated remote TTL function also increased size a little. But the differences are minor, to me at least. I like the E-3/E-5's controls even more than the E-1's in some ways.

    I get excellent results with the E-1. I've rented the E-3 and gotten even better results with it, was going to buy it when the E-5 came out to take advantage of the usual "last top model" discounting, but the E-5 has a couple of improvements that make it worth the additional $700 to me. I also have all the lenses I need for my uses in FourThirds mount and see nothing better from anyone else. So I've ordered an E-5 and continue to use my E-1 (and L1, and G1) while I wait for it to arrive.

    De gustibus non disputandem. I never understand why people who have already moved on to some other manufacturer choose to piss and moan about the brand they used to use. When I change brands, I am looking for what is advantageous to me ... what's advantageous to the manufacturer I left is not my concern, and what their foibles might be I'm not interested in.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I disagree completely with RichA. But it is evidently against the forum rules to debate, so I'll leave it at that .
    I don't believe that is a fair characterization of this forum and certainly not the environment the owners want to foster.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    I think olympus did the sensible thing. They have realized that the standard 4/3rds SLRs in their current shape are never really going to be interesting enough for most people to switch from canikon to olympus. So they provided a "decent upgrade" for existing E-3 users while hopefully working on newer technologies which might have the potential for attracting new users.

    Whether those new technologies involve the rumored modular system or some mFT/FT hybrid or whether they are just going to concentrate on m43 system is something I have no idea about. But if history is any guide, it would have been futile for them to try and produce another "killer" FT DSLR.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Quote Originally Posted by curious80 View Post
    I think olympus did the sensible thing. They have realized that the standard 4/3rds SLRs in their current shape are never really going to be interesting enough for most people to switch from canikon to olympus. So they provided a "decent upgrade" for existing E-3 users while hopefully working on newer technologies which might have the potential for attracting new users. ...
    I'm not certain that the solitary goal of any camera company can be assumed to be to try to persuade users of other brands "switch" to their brand. I'm pretty sure that most camera companies are well aware of how intense the brand loyalties are amongst the camera enthusiast community.

    Olympus started attracting professional interest (outside of the scientific community, who loved the Pen SLRs earlier than that) with the OM system in the early 1970s. It was never as large a professional following as Nikon or Canon ... Olympus is a much smaller company ... but they maintained their professional constituency from that point onwards. The E-1 and E-3 were designed for that professional constituency, just like the E-5 has been.

    I'm very pleased that they left a good, solid, well thought out body design like the E-3 alone for the most part (modulo the addition of a larger, better LCD and the amount of control rearrangement required to fit it) and concentrated on updating the sensor and the image data and image processing systems. And they provided forwards and backwards compatibility for batteries, grips, remotes, tripod adapters, and everything else. That is sensible development in my book.

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    Re: Olympus blew it, and it is sad they did

    Godfrey, I will look forward to you posting some photos and comments regarding the E-5 once it is in your hands.

    I enjoyed the reviews posted in another thread by SimplyRobin. . . . . http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2010/1...g-remarks.html . . . . . and would enjoy another opinion from an Olympus user who is using the E-5.

    Also the comments from Jorgen regarding the Ruggedness, i.e., "Ergonomics, great glass and ruggedness, factors that make me able to "capture the moment", regardless of weather, time and location, that is what counts for me," sparked my interest.

    Always enjoy your photos that you post here and in your blog.

    Life is Grand!

    Dan
    ~

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