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Thread: Odd move by Olympus

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Odd move by Olympus

    Releasing the VF-3, a lower rez viewfinder than the VF-2. Ostensibly to have a lower-priced unit, but more likely introduced to help shore-up the price of the VF-2, which is due for a decline. Keep it simple Olympus; build the viewfinders into the cameras...then more people might buy them.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    I think they're just addressing the market need for the lower end models in the line, where a viewfinder half the price of the camera plus kit lens is unacceptably pricey.

    As long as they keep the VF-2 in production for those buying the higher end bodies, life is good.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Well, even the lower resolution VF-3 is still far better than the Panasonic external viewfinder. There seems to be no hope there....
    Honestly, the VF-2 and VF-3 Make me wanna sell my GF1 and get an EP3 just to have a better viewfinder.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    As I wrote on another thread, I am pretty much disappointed by this move from Olympus! I would have wanted a 3MP VF instead of a model cheaper and lower resolution.

    It is nice that Oly tries to increase their volume by offering cheaper and low quality products. But they constantly are doing this by forgetting the "pro" and "high end amateur" market.

    And finally - a built in EVF would have solved the issue of offering separate and clumsy accessories!

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Olympus is a weird company. It's time to sell some run-of-the-mill stuff to buy the good Olympus gear while it's still available. When Olympus is good, they're beyond belief. When they're bad, they're sometimes beyond belief too, unfortunately.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    From their prospective, market did not respond positively to their beyond belief good products while other companies lead the market with medicore/okay types products (remember E-xxx line vs. canikon?) They now seem to be trying a balance between market demand and high end olympus followers. Which could be good for Olympus and its followers in the long run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Olympus is a weird company. It's time to sell some run-of-the-mill stuff to buy the good Olympus gear while it's still available. When Olympus is good, they're beyond belief. When they're bad, they're sometimes beyond belief too, unfortunately.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Another thing to consider:

    People keep asking for the EVF to be built in. This has plusses and minuses ... the plus is that you don't have to think about it, it's there for your use all the time and the camera's size is what it is, at least is consistent. The minus is that the camera isn't modular ... as EVF technology advances, you're stuck with what you have and it cannot be changed unless you buy another camera.

    With the modular design, the potential exists that Olympus could come up with that hoped-for 3Mpixel EVF and it could work on even the first camera that supported an EVF option. This is a plus. Also, when you don't need or want an EVF, when an optical VF or the LCD alone is more to your liking, you don't need to carry the additional bulk. Another plus. The minuses are all implementation details ... how well does a specific EVF fit, how well does it work, will it stay in place without my having to think about it... etc.

    A high-end EVF is the second (maybe the first) most expensive assembly in these cameras. It saves a lot of money to offer the camera LCD only so that only those who really want the EVF go out and buy it. Now they are offering two grades of EVF, testing the flexibility of the modular concept.

    The only fear I have is that they'll discontinue the more expensive, higher quality VF-2 EVF if sales for it drop off in the face of the less expensive VF-3 to the point where the VF-2 is no longer profitable to produce. It is a very good viewfinder ... I'm almost thinking of buying one and putting it in the drawer just in case I might want to pick up a Pen body at some point.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    I wouldn't buy a new technology item in the expectation that things would get worse Godfrey - I expect a future EVF to get better, not worse (despite the VF3!)

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    >I expect a future EVF to get better, not worse (despite the VF3!)

    Yes. That is why the VF-3 is a strange move. For me the Panasonic G3 is the answer for a camera with integrated EVF.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    I wouldn't buy a new technology item in the expectation that things would get worse Godfrey - I expect a future EVF to get better, not worse (despite the VF3!)
    There's a pattern to Olympus' product offerings, Brian. Look at the E-System: first they offered the E-1, a pro-grade, incredibly high quality camera that is *still* competitive on image quality despite its age, slow write speed, low megapixel count. Following it came less expensive, more "advanced amateur" and "consumer" grade bodies at lower prices to appeal to a wider audience.

    The same pattern seems to be there in Pen line bodies. And I believe they're doing the same with respect to the EVF accessory.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    I actually could not care less about what Olympus marketing strategists think the world wants and needs. I want them to bring the products I need today and which can be built today (see Panasonic WRT built in EVF and MP count of sensor). They still could differentiate for different market segments with different models and versions - but not leave out the high end demanding amateur or pro. This strategy is not good IMHO!

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >I expect a future EVF to get better, not worse (despite the VF3!)

    Yes. That is why the VF-3 is a strange move. For me the Panasonic G3 is the answer for a camera with integrated EVF.
    Hi There Uwe
    interesting you should say this - I'm not convinced. I had the lovely X100 with the built in viewfinder, sold it and bought a relatively humble Epl-2 as a knockabout to replace it. I love it - mostly I use the VF2, but often I 'go naked' and use the LCD - I can also stick the same viewfinder on the XZ1 (and I often do). . . . having the two cameras (three when the Ep3 comes) with the one viewfinder gives the benefit of size together with the possibility of the viewfinder. I think it's good.

    As for the VF3 - bring it on - clearly they had complaints about the cost of the VF2, so they made a cheaper one - good on them. It doesn't mean they won't make a more expensive one later on.

    We have dreadful weather around here - and lots and lots of weather forecasters (basically applications from all the different European countries). A wise man pointed out to me that you may as well believe the good one, at least it'll be more pleasurable at the time, and it won't make any difference to the reality when it comes

    I feel the same way about predictions about future camera gear - you can be miserable if you like, but it won't make any difference to the future.I'm expecting Olympus to bring out a killer VF4 with 3mp resolution, and I'm assuming that the lovely new 12mm is a pointer towards a pro-solution m4/3, and a lot of other splendid lenses to go with it . . . .this makes me happy. If it doesn't transpire, I'll hardly notice that it hasn't.

    Being grumpy about them producing something I don't want seems really futile . . . and making unhappy predictions on the basis of it doubly so!

    My current problem is how I'm going to resist a NEX 7 - even though I don't need one, and most of the Sony lenses cancel out the small size of the bodies.

    all the best

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I actually could not care less about what Olympus marketing strategists think the world wants and needs. I want them to bring the products I need today and which can be built today (see Panasonic WRT built in EVF and MP count of sensor). They still could differentiate for different market segments with different models and versions - but not leave out the high end demanding amateur or pro. This strategy is not good IMHO!
    Well, you may be right Peter . . but from a marketing point of view I don't see how one will choose a 16mp G3 against a 24mp Nex-7? whereas Olympus still hold advantages in terms of distinctive appearance and some grand lenses, together with IBIS.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, you may be right Peter . . but from a marketing point of view I don't see how one will choose a 16mp G3 against a 24mp Nex-7? whereas Olympus still hold advantages in terms of distinctive appearance and some grand lenses, together with IBIS.
    I do agree in general, but for me I did not hesitate a second to sell my NEX5 and stay with the EP2 although it was far inferior in terms of a number of features on paper. But I preferred the look and feel of the Olympus and also the IQ and colors.

    Also I think the lens lineup of the NEX sucks. And I am NOT using these cameras with adapters for all kinds of other lenses.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I do agree in general, but for me I did not hesitate a second to sell my NEX5 and stay with the EP2 although it was far inferior in terms of a number of features on paper. But I preferred the look and feel of the Olympus and also the IQ and colors.

    Also I think the lens lineup of the NEX sucks. And I am NOT using these cameras with adapters for all kinds of other lenses.
    That's the really curious thing for me: I'm interested in these cameras primarily for their versatility in use with manual lenses. 16 vs 24 Mpixel.. Eh, who cares really? It's how well they work as a platform for the lenses I want to use, how good the control ergonomics and capabilities are, and the quality of the viewfinder options that matter far more to me. It's how they enable my vision through being usable and responsive that makes a difference.

    We're long past the plateau of basic competence in resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range needed for most photographic tasks.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    That's the really curious thing for me: I'm interested in these cameras primarily for their versatility in use with manual lenses. 16 vs 24 Mpixel.. Eh, who cares really? It's how well they work as a platform for the lenses I want to use, how good the control ergonomics and capabilities are, and the quality of the viewfinder options that matter far more to me. It's how they enable my vision through being usable and responsive that makes a difference.

    We're long past the plateau of basic competence in resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range needed for most photographic tasks.
    Hm, I understand the desire to use other lenses on a certain camera like a NEX or M43 etc. I also bought adapters for M lenses for both systems. And I tried. Several times. While the results were ok, sometimes even great I would call, I never became really friend. Cannot understand why but this is the way it is. Maybe because I used it mainly with the LCD or the EVF but I do not like EVFs as they are today in general.

    On the other hand I am a happy user of some old Zuiko lenses on my E5 with an adapter. And this works just fine for me. But this is maybe because of the great OVF of the E5.

    So end of the day what I would like to see (in the hope to overcome my problems) is a really outstanding highest resolution EVF. Hopefully the VR4 then :-)

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I'm expecting Olympus to bring out a killer VF4 with 3mp resolution, and I'm assuming that the lovely new 12mm is a pointer towards a pro-solution m4/3, and a lot of other splendid lenses to go with it . . .
    Last night, as I was looking at my results to date from their 12mm lens -- a stunning performer, IMO -- I found myself thinking the same thing. Everything about their two new lenses -- design specs, construction, appearance, implementation of manual focusing, etc. -- strongly suggests to me there is a much more ambitious body than the E-P3 in their product pipeline.

    I can barely wait!

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by Audii-Dudii View Post
    Last night, as I was looking at my results to date from their 12mm lens -- a stunning performer, IMO -- I found myself thinking the same thing. Everything about their two new lenses -- design specs, construction, appearance, implementation of manual focusing, etc. -- strongly suggests to me there is a much more ambitious body than the E-P3 in their product pipeline.

    I can barely wait!
    And to take this back to the viewfinder. I really do thing that the new finder is a setup for the next generation VF-4. The new VF-3 looks about the size of the Panny finder but with much higher resolution. So, they can cut cost and size and then introduce a new one and have differentiated products and can keep a high price on the new tech.

    Panny has already said they are working on the next generation. Seems like they may all be coming from Epson.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Re. the VF-2: I am using one on the XZ-1—but the form factor is really altered for the worse with this addition. I wold much prefer a built in one (ŕ la X-100) and Uwe's remarks re. the G3 make perfect sense there. I have had all the small bodied cameras: LX-3 (x2!), LX-5, S90, GF-1, something else I forget now, both DPs, and the XZ-1, all in an effort to get something that will fit a pocket... but all need an external finder. The finder means that sliding in and out of a pocket will not happen (at least for me).

    And I have kept the G1 all that time, and its three lovely primes. Must mean something!

    XZ-1 with integrated finder—even if a cm or two taller—makes a whole lot of sense to me. Please, someone, make this.

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post

    XZ-1 with integrated finder—even if a cm or two taller—makes a whole lot of sense to me. Please, someone, make this.
    +1

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    Re. the VF-2: I am using one on the XZ-1—but the form factor is really altered for the worse with this addition. I wold much prefer a built in one (ŕ la X-100) and Uwe's remarks re. the G3 make perfect sense there. I have had all the small bodied cameras: LX-3 (x2!), LX-5, S90, GF-1, something else I forget now, both DPs, and the XZ-1, all in an effort to get something that will fit a pocket... but all need an external finder. The finder means that sliding in and out of a pocket will not happen (at least for me).

    And I have kept the G1 all that time, and its three lovely primes. Must mean something!

    XZ-1 with integrated finder—even if a cm or two taller—makes a whole lot of sense to me. Please, someone, make this.
    +1

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I actually could not care less about what Olympus marketing strategists think the world wants and needs. I want them to bring the products I need today and which can be built today (see Panasonic WRT built in EVF and MP count of sensor). They still could differentiate for different market segments with different models and versions - but not leave out the high end demanding amateur or pro. This strategy is not good IMHO!
    Could not agree more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    That's the really curious thing for me: I'm interested in these cameras primarily for their versatility in use with manual lenses. 16 vs 24 Mpixel.. Eh, who cares really? It's how well they work as a platform for the lenses I want to use, how good the control ergonomics and capabilities are, and the quality of the viewfinder options that matter far more to me. It's how they enable my vision through being usable and responsive that makes a difference.
    Ditto. Someone better wake up Olympus and tell them. Why do we have to use a crummy rotary controller? Why is ISO not directly addressable on a dial -- any dial? Why is it so annoying to bracket? There are many ways to improve the ergonomics, not least of which would be to add a second dial. It's easy to get this right -- just copy Pentax SLRs!

    As for the EVF, I have four good reasons to want one built-in: 1. it's far cheaper, than buying an accessory; 2. I can use the hot-shoe for my flash trigger; 3. the overall size is reduced and form factor improved; 4. it's one less thing to forget, lose, or break off. Wait, maybe that's six good reasons.
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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    Quote Originally Posted by rparmar View Post
    ... Ditto. Someone better wake up Olympus and tell them. Why do we have to use a crummy rotary controller? Why is ISO not directly addressable on a dial -- any dial? Why is it so annoying to bracket? There are many ways to improve the ergonomics, not least of which would be to add a second dial. It's easy to get this right -- just copy Pentax SLRs!

    As for the EVF, I have four good reasons to want one built-in: 1. it's far cheaper, than buying an accessory; 2. I can use the hot-shoe for my flash trigger; 3. the overall size is reduced and form factor improved; 4. it's one less thing to forget, lose, or break off. Wait, maybe that's six good reasons.
    I wish Olympus would make a pro-grade mFT camera with the same attention to the detail of these things that they do with the E-1, E-3 and E-5. I love how those cameras handle. They seem obviously designed by a completely different team than the people doing the consumer grade models. The Ricoh GXR I'm enjoying so much is great because it has excellent ergonomics to begin with and is nicely customizable to my needs.

    I like having the EVF be an option because I find I don't use it that much and it is somewhat bulky. I prefer a simple optical viewfinder and the LCD a great deal of the time. I think they should leave the silly little popup flash units out entirely and just put a second flash connection shoe on the camera for use with RF sync, etc.

    Different strokes. ;-)

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    Re: Odd move by Olympus

    I'm really surprised Olympus hasn't offered a model with a built in EVF.

    First day I used my GF1 in full sun I ordered the LVF1. Resolution kinda sucks, but it gets the job done at minimal cost. Bit of a pain to have to bring it along, though and mount it and dismount it and when it's on the camera the nice form factor is killed.

    Better yet... the G3! Small size, somewhat sleek form factor, built in EVF, fully articulating screen, great IQ, relatively low noise at higher ISOs, there's a LOT to like about this and I think Oly is missing out big time on this market.

    Speaking about the LX5 - wow, I love my LX5 and would not want to give it up... I use it all the time when I want small and convenient for casual grab shots.

    I have used the LVF1 on my LX5, but typically just shoot it with LCD. The accessory I use quite a lot on my LX5 is the Wide Angle lens - I love that on the LX5 - even though I have the 7-14 form my GF1 and GH2. There is something I really like about the LX5 with the WA lens. I could just as easily grab the GF1 with the 7-14, but then I'd need to bring another lens along for longer lens needs. I'm surprised at how much I use my LX5 and how much I love it. It creates awesome images for a relatively small camera. I got the WA lens because I find myself often at the widest (24mm) setting on the LX5 and wishing for a bit more field of view... the WA takes it to around 16mm or so, if I recall correctly, and you can zoom the lens while the WA lens is attached, which is great.



    I would also love an LX5 with a built in EVF and wouldn't mind a slight bump in form factor to gain that - it would be a killer camera! Of it the XZ-1 focal length came down to 24mm and included a built in EVF, that would be ok too.
    Don

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