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shenstone
24th September 2010, 05:33 PM
Given all the comments recently I decided to try and get a comment from the horses mouth


----------------original message----------------

I am a user of E-Series cameras and am extremely concerned you have made announcements in the e-5 launch that effectively could end the camera range so writing off the signficant investment in Lenses and equipment I have made, before I spend any more I need to know why you are doing this.

I have read that you have dropped 4/3 lens evelopment - is this true?
I have read that the E-30 is to be discontinued and there will not be any other e-Series cameras - is this true?

I, like many people I know have hoped for further e-5xx and e-6xx variants because they are the perfect format / weight for our needs


Here's the reply - not quite as positive as I had hoped, but the door still seems open for more 4/3 bodies - I suggest we all keep up the questions until the message gets through - I want an E-50 !


Dear Mr. Kendall,

Thank you for your current e-mail concerning our E-system and we appreciate your loyalty to our products.

Here are our idea and plan for the future.

<Lens>
We acknowledge that we have a satisfactory lineup of Four Thirds lens within these 7 years, working with Panasonic and Sigma Corporations, and we think that these Four Thirds lenses are able to deal with various scenes.

As far as we are concerned, our urgent task is to strengthen Micro Four Thirds lens lineup, and to have a wide range of lenses like the Four Thirds.

Meanwhile, the time of the next Four Thirds lens has not been determined yet, we are still considering the Four Thirds.

<Body>
Regarding the durability and speed, which are the demanding requirements of professionals and high-level amateurs, the PEN is still unable to cover the Four Thirds fully. Therefore we need the Four Thirds.

The PEN is supposed to cover all those requirements in the future, yet the time has not been determined.

Therefore, when the users of the E-xxx series (like the E-520 or E-620 etc.) want to make a replacement purchase, we recommend the high-end Four Thirds series like the E-5 for the durability and speed, the PEN for consumer-friendly, small and lightweight. We will make efforts to meet customers' requests in these series.

Also, we will sell the Four Thirds lens continuously.


You can be assured that the precise description and expressive performance of the Four Thirds lens are still the same when using the Four Thirds lens with the PEN series through the Four Thirds mount adaptor.

Sincerely yours,

XXXXXXX
Customer Support Center
OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Tokyo, Japan


I removed the name above because I did not say taht it was for publication so I don't belive it's right to put a name in the forum

Regards
Andy

WPJ
24th September 2010, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the post.

The comments are quite disappointing from a large company. It does not give much confidence to keep buying into 4/3.

I was very annoyed when Olympus brought the EP-1 out, which I bought then the EP-2 then the next EPL-1, with prices dropping on each older model (I didn't buy it as an investment but I also didn't think it would be superseded so quickly).

Lets hope they don't forget who there customers are. I know they have once before.

Paul

j.baker
24th September 2010, 06:18 PM
Andy,

Thanks for asking the questions.

I have little faith in Olympus developing the 4/3rs system and therefore I am looking at jumping ship to another system for any new camera/lens purchase. The new Sigma SD1 looks very interesting, its a pity that there is no 4/3rds version (although there is a rumour).

Nick
24th September 2010, 11:26 PM
So basically they expect all SLR users to spend £1500 on the E5 AND purchase a m4/3's for general use. Not a good sign :(

gregles
25th September 2010, 12:58 AM
An interesting statistical extract from flickr which quite dramatically shows the most popular oly cameras and the decline in uploads, other than a small increase in EP1, from them.

http://www.flickr.com/cameras/olympus/

Petard hoist in own your. Go on oly marketing make an advertising slogan out of that.

Greg

OlyPaul
25th September 2010, 06:56 AM
So basically they expect all SLR users to spend £1500 on the E5 AND purchase a m4/3's for general use. Not a good sign :(

Yep and it seems from that statement you can take it that anyone using a E-xx or xxx and not using a E-5 is not a good enough or commited photographer so the Pen is good enough for snap shooters. :rolleyes:

Makonde
25th September 2010, 07:37 AM
I understood that the performance of FT lenses with an adapter on MFT was NOT the same where autofocus speed etc. was concerned? Aside from questions of size and balance in the hand or on the tripod.

Nick
25th September 2010, 08:01 AM
Yep and it seems from that statement you can take it that anyone using a E-xx or xxx and not using a E-5 is not a good enough or commited photographer so the Pen is good enough for snap shooters. :rolleyes:

Yup, looks like i'm not good enough lol.

I've actually made the decision to go for the Nikon D7000 as I can get it for £800 (NOT £1500) and on paper it's far superior than the E5.

Makonde
25th September 2010, 08:19 AM
<tease> Why switch to another heavy doomed DSLR system with mirrors?....*ohwell </tease>

Nick
25th September 2010, 08:31 AM
<tease> Why switch to another heavy doomed DSLR system with mirrors?....*ohwell </tease>

All mirrored cameras are doomed?! Sh1tttt! I better go buy a P&S

WPJ
25th September 2010, 10:46 AM
I think the interesting thing is how we use our camera's. The flicker stats indicate postage on flicker and the number of cameras who have images posted. Looking at the most used/posted camera it is the Apple iphone http://www.flickr.com/cameras/ This probably says more about why photos are posted on flicker, to share!

For the most of us on this forum we probably do share photos, keep them for our own use or try to sell them, so our equipment needs are maybe different to those of the flicker population, or is it?

I was thinking this morning after reading a thread about the E1 and RAW processing, how things have changed. Will we always be searching for the perfect camera and digital software and computer power. I have realised I have 'bought into' a consumer market, where it is not the image that matters anymore but [all] the equipment. Don't get me wrong I love buying stuff! I just realise I need to adjust my thought process and get out and take more photographs.

My old OM1 and OM2 still work, but with my didgital stuff I always feel the need to keep changing....have the large manufacturers got me sucked in? What is it that attracts me to the next generation camera?

I think I would be better off spending my money on a few courses and learn how to take good photographs rather than on any new equipment...having said that I really want an Imac......:)

Paul

Imageryone
25th September 2010, 12:19 PM
After over 40 years as an Olympus user, I am very sad to report that the next system I buy into will no longer be Olympus. My customers now demand bigger resolution files than Olympus can provide, so that is the end of the road.

Looking at those flikr figures, the combination of the E-1 and E-3 more than double the EP users, and a lot of those use the camera as a backup. If Olympus are prepared to disregard the wants of over 3,000,000 DSLR users, then they will cease to be in the marketplace within 5 years, and all those wonderful lenses will have no body to fit to, so they are a wasted investment.

For £1500 or a little more, I can go full frame, with all the benefits that gives me.

It is a sad day when an old, and trusted, friend shoots itself in the foot, but is nice to have new friends round the corner.

Telemark
25th September 2010, 02:40 PM
I have been a user of Canon 35mm cameras for over 30 years, and although currently unemployed, I was seriously thinking of getting an E620 when I do get back into work and could afford the purchase, but after reading that, I suspect that will not now be the case.

Film cameras are (and have been for years) about as good as the machines can get, and the emulsions you can still get are superb. However, if I'm buying digital, especially given the continuing developments in this area, I'd like to buy into a system that's still being developed amd promoted. From the tone of that mail, (and assuming I'm not being too gloomy) it is unlikely that the E series now falls into that category. I'll await developments (what the hell, I don't have any money anyway:)) but I do feel that I'll now be looking at other systems.

Jim Ford
25th September 2010, 04:24 PM
Yup, looks like i'm not good enough lol.

I've actually made the decision to go for the Nikon D7000 as I can get it for £800 (NOT £1500) and on paper it's far superior than the E5.

There are some posting in the Olympus SLR forum on dpreview concerning the Nikon D7000. The consensus appears to be that in no way can the D7000 be considered a match for the E5. ISTRC that in particular the image quality was pretty indifferent.

Jim

Melaka
25th September 2010, 06:18 PM
I don't see any point in jumping ship to another manufacturer if you're happy with your Oly kit. One of the most expensive things you can do in photography is to change mount. I went from Fuji (due to lack of development) to Minolta MD, to Minolta AF and then to Oly. The costs are horrendous and I'm not keen to repeat the exercise.

What I don't understand is why successful cameras such as the E620 and E30 have disappeared from the market. Surely it's worth keeping them in production as the marginal costs must be negligible. People who want an SLR may not go for MFT but might go for another maker instead and that can't be good business for Oly. The high end E5 will please many of us but won't appeal to those whose budgets don't stretch that far.

The 35mm SLR dominated the mid and higher end of the market for forty years. Given the rate of progress with electronics it may be unreasonable to expect the 'traditional' digital SLR to dominate for as long but ditching it now seems premature.

Kiwi Paul
25th September 2010, 06:22 PM
Is the E620 being discontinued too?

Paul

Daveart
25th September 2010, 07:13 PM
Hi been reading your rants, over olympus they didnt say that they were ditching the e series, the e620 e30 maybe be taken of the shelf, but that may indicate that Olympus have some thing else to put in their place say after christmas, They have done this before, and with the progress of panasonic with m4/3rds that they have achieved 5 fps and over sized sensor.

Maybe Olympus are waiting for panasonic to release this sensor and reduced voltage circuitry, for a brand new olympus dslr type mirrorless camera in the realms of a e600 sized and shaped body that will take both 4/3rds and m4/3rds lenses without loss of performance.

Dave

Melaka
25th September 2010, 07:17 PM
Is the E620 being discontinued too?

Paul

SRS said they had some in stock but were having difficulty in getting more. If you look on eBay virtually all the Oly stuff is MFT. I hope there's something new on the way!

Telemark
29th September 2010, 08:27 AM
I was reading a review on the E5 (the link was posted somewhere on this site actually) and the reviewer said that Oly had stopped making the 620 - which is sad if true, as I'd hoped to buy one when I get back into work. I had hoped it would also be upgraded, but it does rather look as though Oly are focussing on the M4/3 cameras and standard.

shenstone
29th September 2010, 08:59 AM
It's not a done deal ..

Many thanks for your response it is important to me that Olympus listen to us customers I do feel that whilst the E-5 is an excellent camera you are in grave potential to customers because you are focussing on only 2 parts of the range

The Pen cameras are simply too small for my hands and the E-5 is simply too large for what I want to carry The EVF on the Pens is nowhere near as good as the viewfinder on my E-500 / E-510 and still less good than that on my E-30

The range between your options is where I wish to purchase and I really hope you bring out more camera bodies in this range because I would hate to have to move to another brand

Regards
Andy



Dear Mr. Kendall,

Thank you for your frank comments regarding the E-System and Pen bodies.

We appreciate your feedback and will pass on it to our department concerned as voice of the customer for our future reference.

We hope for your continued support for Olympus products.

Sincerely yours,

xxxxxxxxx
Customer Support Center
OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Tokyo, Japan


I suggest everyone with an interest makes their point directly

https://support.olympus.co.jp/cf_secure/en/contact/index.cfm?consumer=ProDigitalSLR

benvendetta
29th September 2010, 09:51 PM
A bog standard reply.
I wouldn't have expected anything else. :rolleyes:

Zuiko
30th September 2010, 12:00 AM
Maybe Olympus are waiting for panasonic to release this sensor and reduced voltage circuitry, for a brand new olympus dslr type mirrorless camera in the realms of a e600 sized and shaped body that will take both 4/3rds and m4/3rds lenses without loss of performance.

Dave

I firmly believe that eventually we will have a mirrorless camera from Olympus that encompasses MFT technology but is the size (if not the shape) of a current - sorry, until recently current - FT body such as the E-620 of E-30, in order to better utilize the fantastic range of digital Zuikos. Such a camera will have an EVF and AF system that matches or betters existing DSLRs. The problem is that, unless Olympus have a real surprise up their sleeve, the technology is still under development and probably at least a couple of years down the line. The time to pull the plug on ranges such as the E-xxx and E-xx would be when such a camera is actually available, not now!

It may be that the problem is that Olympus just aren't sharing the whole picture with us. Vague reassurances along the lines that there will always be a body on which to use FT lenses just don't inspire confidence. They need to be far more specific regarding what and when, even if that does let competitors know more about their plans than Olympus would like.

iMac
30th September 2010, 02:09 AM
I firmly believe that eventually we will have a mirrorless camera from Olympus that encompasses MFT technology but is the size (if not the shape) of a current - sorry, until recently current - FT body such as the E-620 of E-30, in order to better utilize the fantastic range of digital Zuikos. Such a camera will have an EVF and AF system that matches or betters existing DSLRs. The problem is that, unless Olympus have a real surprise up their sleeve, the technology is still under development and probably at least a couple of years down the line. The time to pull the plug on ranges such as the E-xxx and E-xx would be when such a camera is actually available, not now!

It may be that the problem is that Olympus just aren't sharing the whole picture with us. Vague reassurances along the lines that there will always be a body on which to use FT lenses just don't inspire confidence. They need to be far more specific regarding what and when, even if that does let competitors know more about their plans than Olympus would like.

I agree John, and I think there are people that are already switching brands due to Olympus not being clear on it's intent with regards to when they will be dropping the E-xxx and E-xx systems. There is also one other thing that bothered me in viewing the different video interviews, is that they kept referring to the E-5's picture quality has been improved and then mention the SHG & HG glass pretty much in the same sentence.

I can't help but get the impression that if I buy a E-5 and put SHG glass on it that I will get better quality pic's than say the E-3 or E-30 that I was using standard or HG glass on, well duh, wouldn't this also true if I used SHG on any of the E-xx or E-xxx bodies.

Is Olympus going to drop most of it's standard & HG glass for the 4/3 systems, making the standard & HG glass available for is the MFT? I just don't like the way Olympus is skating around most of the concerns of the 4/3 supporters, if you really pay close attention to the videos you will notice that questions concerning the future of 4/3 were not positive, and the focus got quickly changed to the R&D they are doing in MFT.

Telemark
30th September 2010, 04:14 PM
I am sorry to say that I think it likely, having regards to Olympus' lack of info and the fact that the Exxx series is already on it's way out, that my next camera (as I'll be switching system anyway) is likely to be a Nikon. I had hoped that I'd be getting a 620 (or it's equivalent when I'm actually in a position to buy), but I'm rather disinclined to jump into a body and system that the manufacturer is being decidedly "woolly" about.

Greytop
30th September 2010, 06:37 PM
I had hoped that I'd be getting a 620 (or it's equivalent when I'm actually in a position to buy), but I'm rather disinclined to jump into a body and system that the manufacturer is being decidedly "woolly" about.

Yes sadly I believe this is a pretty fundamental mistake that Olympus has made, dropping the medium range D-SLR and suggesting that the Olympus faithful should migrate to a Pen body for similar performance.
Seems to me that there is a big hole in their strategy by taking this approach. I just can't understand it :confused:

The dilemma about changing brand fills me with dread. From experience, I know that if I do that I will be disappointed with other brand's zoom performance.
Olympus really do punch above their weight where the lenses are concerned, bodies perhaps not but with the HG and SHG lenses we really are spoilt rotten *yes

That leaves me even more confused :confused:

shenstone
30th September 2010, 06:45 PM
Yes sadly I believe this is a pretty fundamental mistake that Olympus has made, dropping the medium range D-SLR and suggesting that the Olympus faithful should migrate to a Pen body for similar performance.
Seems to me that there is a big hole in their strategy by taking this approach. I just can't understand it :confused:



It's not dropped... .it's just not confimed ... keep telling olympus

Regards
Andy

Greytop
30th September 2010, 07:33 PM
It's not dropped... .it's just not confimed ... keep telling olympus

Regards
Andy

Well I've made my feeling known via that link you gave us Andy. Thanks.

Zuiko
30th September 2010, 10:57 PM
Yes sadly I believe this is a pretty fundamental mistake that Olympus has made, dropping the medium range D-SLR and suggesting that the Olympus faithful should migrate to a Pen body for similar performance.
Seems to me that there is a big hole in their strategy by taking this approach. I just can't understand it :confused:

The dilemma about changing brand fills me with dread. From experience, I know that if I do that I will be disappointed with other brand's zoom performance.
Olympus really do punch above their weight where the lenses are concerned, bodies perhaps not but with the HG and SHG lenses we really are spoilt rotten *yes

That leaves me even more confused :confused:

Huw, surely with all your lenses it would cost far more to change brands than to buy an E-5? I appreciate that we don't know if this will be the last Olympus DSLR but even if it is it should last a good few years! Whatever happens, I've no intention of changing brands. :)

Greytop
1st October 2010, 02:43 PM
Huw, surely with all your lenses it would cost far more to change brands than to buy an E-5? I appreciate that we don't know if this will be the last Olympus DSLR but even if it is it should last a good few years! Whatever happens, I've no intention of changing brands. :)

Yes I agree, no dispute there.
I just wish Olympus would throw us more than the couple of bones we have at the moment regarding 4/3rds future. And as I said in my previous post I'm sure there would be a good chance that I would end up regretting it if I did change systems again, after all when I look at it objectively there is no question in my mind that I came back to Olympus for the right reasons.
So I'm sitting tight for the moment at least.

Melaka
1st October 2010, 06:02 PM
Well I've made my feeling known via that link you gave us Andy. Thanks.


I have too.

Ray Shotter
2nd October 2010, 12:30 PM
Andy,

Thanks for the prompt to give Olympus our comments on the development of the Four-Thirds system. I have sent an e-mail as you suggested concentrating on the need for an upgrade to the E-620. I specifically suggested that an upgrade which included most of the E-5 specifications and a magnesium alloy body would sell well in my opinion; since it is clear, from many comments on this web-site, that most of us would prefer to be able to use all our four-thirds lenses with a built-in viewfinder. I deliberately didn't say which type of viewfinder because, with the progress being made with electronic viewfinders, I anticipate I would probably be satisfied with either optical or electronic provided they are mounted in a robust magnesium alloy body.

Ray.

ianinsuffolk
3rd October 2010, 12:37 PM
As others say.... so disappointing. Having spent around £4k of retirement money, I am reluctant to proceed further..... What Olympus have 'conveniently forgotten' is that, unlike a film camera, where OM1, OM2, OM3 and finally OM4 were evolutionary and having used OM2, OM2S and OM4 there was not massive differences between them, such is NOT true with digital. Look at the E500 c/f E620. Totally different camera bodies!

Even if I brought E5 I am disappointed in its spec. Too low a pixel count, too low a useable ASA for available light ( I used 12K b & W 40 years ago for gymnastic photos) and not true High End video seems a lot to pay for a camera which is more expensive than the opposition.

I await any further developments but guess that it will be 'full stop' and goodbye Olympus. What a pity, the lenses are fantastic and I'm always getting favourable comments about my efforts.

Ian

DavidJ1609
3rd October 2010, 06:53 PM
I bought the E-400 after research, and because the size suits me.

I planned to buy an E-630, as I was looking for an improvement over the 620 IQ, and seen it in the form of the EP range, and now the E-5.
Also, I was considering the 70-300, 35mm Macro and 25mm pancake.
After much reading, I am making no further investment in Olympus until I get a clear and unequivocal message that a new E-XXX sized body (Mirrorless or not) is to be produced. The Pen series is just too small for me, and I will not invest in the system with a metaphorical gun to my head.

I am not in the market for an E-5, nor should I have to be. I feel let down by Olympus. Unless they decide to produce a body that suits my needs, then I will be better off investing in a whole new system rather than spend more on a system abandoned by the manufacturer. My E-400 will last a while, and I don't want an E-620 with better out there.

I know they are an innovative company, and I appreciate the limited market share they have, but I will not stay with Olympus if the E-4xxx sized body is dropped. I will simply not use my FT glass on a PEN. The Irony is, I was going to buy the EPL-1 for my wife, but never as a main body for my lenses!

They have a lot of competition arriving in that market, and without my FT gear I will have no reason to buy Olympus.

I've also written to Olympus along these lines. No clear message from them is commercial suicide, as I could reinvest in January (bonus time) only to find a new camera from Olymous is declared at a spring show. They may again pat each other on the back about a tight-lipped secret and rigid NDA enforcement, but who will be listening?

David.

Zuiko
3rd October 2010, 08:29 PM
As others say.... so disappointing. Having spent around £4k of retirement money, I am reluctant to proceed further..... What Olympus have 'conveniently forgotten' is that, unlike a film camera, where OM1, OM2, OM3 and finally OM4 were evolutionary and having used OM2, OM2S and OM4 there was not massive differences between them, such is NOT true with digital. Look at the E500 c/f E620. Totally different camera bodies!

Even if I brought E5 I am disappointed in its spec. Too low a pixel count, too low a useable ASA for available light ( I used 12K b & W 40 years ago for gymnastic photos) and not true High End video seems a lot to pay for a camera which is more expensive than the opposition.

I await any further developments but guess that it will be 'full stop' and goodbye Olympus. What a pity, the lenses are fantastic and I'm always getting favourable comments about my efforts.

Ian


Ian, I think it's fair to say that nobody buys into Olympus when high ISO is a top priority and I don't think ISO 12800 was ever on the cards. However, the E-5 does give us ISO 6400 and it's too early to say how good it is, so do keep an open mind. Likewise, buying into the E-System anticipating a major hike in pixels beyond 12mp is not very realistic. Hoping for more pixels with better and higher ISO on a small sensor really is expecting too much.

I do share the concerns about what seems to be the demise in the range of small, light and affordable DSLRs to compliment the E-5, but in my opinion the spec of the E-5 is fine and I'm very optimistic that thorough testing will confirm a big jump in image quality, particularly at more commonly used ISO values, which will really bring the best out of all those superb lenses! :)

DavidJ1609
4th October 2010, 02:54 AM
I do share the concerns about what seems to be the demise in the range of small, light and affordable DSLRs to compliment the E-5, but in my opinion the spec of the E-5 is fine and I'm very optimistic that thorough testing will confirm a big jump in image quality, particularly at more commonly used ISO values, which will really bring the best out of all those superb lenses! :)

I was never interested in megapixels and night-shooting ISO performance. I trust Oly can produce ongoing excellence. The E5 looks a beautiful photographic tool, and more than most people need.

It's a shame they are not giving me an option of the size I and many other people want. I'd buy an E-630 with the IQ of the E-5 and even 5-step bracketing tomorrow. I don't need the other pro features. The 620 body is fine.

David.

Telemark
4th October 2010, 08:54 AM
Personally, using film I have only shot ASA 800 on a couple of dozen occasions at most in the last 40 years; I've used ASA 1600 about 6 times and ASA 3200 twice - largely to experiment with it. I've basically used ASA400 and 200 for years, so the ability to shoot at an equivalent of ASA12800 is irrelevant to me, as indeed is a shutter speed of 1/8000! I managed to use a speed of 1/4000 on my T90 once - fast film, wide aperture, VERY bright light and a lot of highly reflective surfaces around!

I do appreciate that others may indeed have a need or requirement for these features, so I am not saying that they are irrelevant - just that personally, I don't need them.

The 620 would, for me, have been ideal for the capabilities in a camera of it's weight and size. However, a quick scan through AP last week shows that even the online dealers who used to advertise it regularly, are no longer stocking it, but are advertising Pen bundles instead. This seems to be a clear message that whatever Oly have said to people in emails, that the Exxx models are - effectively, either on their way out or have already been discontinued in favour of the Pens for "amateurs" and the E5 for pros or "serious amateurs". If they are planning to release new upgraded E xxx models - I think it would be a good idea to mention this, as well as giving an approximate timeframe.

I want an SLR - I'd prefer not to have a mirrorless viewfinder,because I shoot often in very cold climates, so I like to be able to turn off the rear screen etc to conserve battery power, but I'm open to the idea if it gives good performance and is reliable. I don't want a Pen and I don't want the relative weight and bulk (and cost) of an E5. If Oly can't deliver this, then I'll have to go elsewhere. I haven't yet invested in Oly kit (lenses and so forth) as I'm still a film user (save for my Oly SP370 compact - which got me thinking about an Oly Slr in the first place) so I'm fairly free in that respect - it just seems a shame to me, that the company SEEMS to be leaving the middle slr sector.

Rawcoll
4th October 2010, 01:25 PM
As for lenses, I donít really need, nor can afford, more, and I can understand Olympusí viewpoint that it already has a sufficiently broad range of quality glass that should satisfy most users. If funds are tight then it makes sense for them to abandon 4/3 lens development and concentrate on building up an equivalent range of m4/3 glass. The really big issue is their continued availability, and Iíll come back to that.

I need to feel confident that there will be a body that will work properly with my investment in 4/3 optics. I am not interested in the PEN series, or the E-5 because it is likely to be too heavy and is expensive, even though it has, by all accounts so far, an excellent imaging pipeline. Maybe the traditional DSLR is about to be superseded by mirrorless designs, and frankly, that doesnít bother me provided that this successor is as an effective photographic tool as the DSLR. I agree with Zuiko though, as I also believe we have some way to go to achieve that, and it seems an absurd commercial decision for Olympus to withdraw from sale the E-620 and E-30 to leave just the PENs and the E-5.

This is all leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth, and frankly, a bit twitchy. With the marketing strategy that has been announced (sort of), who is going to invest in 4/3, or even trade up to an E-5, without the clear confidence that thereíll be a suitable range of bodies around in the future? Maybe Olympus will come up with the wonder mirrorless E-620/E-30 equivalent (but then, you know how slow the gestation period is with Olympus). And in the meantime, I am seriously concerned that Olympus will slide into oblivion, along with all those super lenses.

So, for the time being I shall not be investing any more in the 4/3 system, but just keep using my E-510 (after all, it is still capable of taking good pictures) until it rolls onto its back with lens mount in the air. At that point I shall see how the ground lies. But Iím not optimistic.

Ian

Melaka
4th October 2010, 08:16 PM
Don't dither! I bought one of the few remaining E620s last week and the photos I took with it today have been most impressive. I suspect Olympus will come up with something other than the E5 but even if they don't an E5 and E620 will keep me going for a good many years yet.

DavidJ1609
6th October 2010, 09:26 AM
I've also written to Olympus along these lines.
David.

Dear Mr. Rayden,

Thank you for your recent e-mail concerning our E-system and
we appreciate your loyalty to our products.

We are sorry to say that we are unable to give you definite comments
in terms of the future of the middle range Four Thirds at the moment.
We ask for your kind understanding.

We are trying to focus on high-end Four Thirds series for the durability
and speed, the PEN for consumer-friendly, small and lightweight; however,
we are always grateful for customer's opinion.

Your opinion will be passed on to our department concerned as a
voice of the customer for our future reference.

Your continued support for Olympus products would be deeply appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Y. Oda
Customer Support Center
OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Tokyo, Japan

"...we are unable to give you definite comments
in terms of the future of the middle range Four Thirds at the moment."

So, they haven't made up their mind! :(

David.

Telemark
6th October 2010, 09:47 AM
It doesn't really sound that promising does it?

Greytop
6th October 2010, 09:52 AM
"...we are unable to give you definite comments
in terms of the future of the middle range Four Thirds at the moment."

So, they haven't made up their mind! :(

David.

I had a very similar reply.

DavidJ1609
6th October 2010, 02:13 PM
I had a very similar reply.

Well, I responded to push the point.

A friend of mine wanted to buy a new camera and was impressed by my E-400. She looked at the Pen and, even with the recent knowledge of no further bodies, plumped for the E-620.

It was an informed decision, against Nikon and Canon, (Which her husband wanted) and with full disclosure regards any potential weakness in the system. (Low light/C-AF).

She said she preferred the size of the E-620 over the Pen.

Now, given she would never have considered Olympus had I not bought mine into work - Oly are killing potential sales! Their marketing is really failing them.

David.

OlyPaul
7th October 2010, 07:46 AM
"...we are unable to give you definite comments
in terms of the future of the middle range Four Thirds at the moment."

So, they haven't made up their mind! :(

David.

My view on this is that Olympus want to push mft as hard as they can for the next 12 to 18 months to gain as much advantage as they can before Canikon join the fray and they loose the market share advantage they are enjoying at the moment.

And they will loose it, make no mistake about it, all those Nikon/Canon faithful are just waiting and those few that have brought a Pen will eventually switch back to Nikon because their DSLR's are Nikon, thats how strong the Nikon/Canon brand loyalty is, and Olympus know it.

When this does happen and Oly's mtf market share starts to decline or stagnete as it will,they will start to produce mid range DSLR's again when they realise the mistake they have made by ignoring brand loyalty (not the first time they have made this mistake), of course by then they may have lost a fair amount of there brand loyal customers who will have then moved on to Nikon/canon DSLR's and then naturaly any Nikon/Canon micro offerings, just bringing out one mid range DSLR with the E-5's IQ would prevent this from happening, way to go Olympus.:(

Greytop
7th October 2010, 08:04 AM
My view on this is that Olympus want to push mft as hard as they can for the next 12 to 18 months to gain as much advantage as they can before Canikon join the fray and they loose the market share they are enjoying at the moment.

And they will loose it, make no mistake about it, all those Nikon/Canon faithful are just waiting and those few that have brought a Pen will eventually switch back to Nikon because their DSLR's are Nikon, thats how strong the Nikon/Canon brand loyalty is, and Olympus know it.

When this does happen and Oly's mtf market starts to decline or stagnete as it will,they will start to produce mid range DSLR's again when they realise the mistake they have made by ignoring brand loyalty, of course by then they may have lost a fair amount of there brand loyal customers who will have then moved on to Nikon/canon DSLR's and then naturally any Nikon/Canon micro offerings, just bringing out one mid range DSLR with the E-5's IQ would prevent this from happening, way to go Olympus.:(

Sadly a very plausible assessment. An updated midrange would certainly help curb this scenario.
I think their fundamental mistake is hoping/assuming that a loyal Olympus 4/3rds D-SLR user will drop their coveted 410/420, 510/520, 600/620 for a Pen body with an adapter.

However if in the short to medium term they manage to bring out a Pen with a great EVF that handles more like a small Oly D-SLR and importantly uses 4/3rds lenses effectively (same or close to the focus performance of a D-SLR) then they may recover. Time will tell.

OlyPaul
7th October 2010, 08:16 AM
Yep Hew, time will tell if it was a bold move or a foot note in history.;)

By the way someone should tell Olympus that a series means more than one.;)

"We are trying to focus on high-end Four Thirds series for the durability "

Ian
7th October 2010, 08:31 AM
Sadly a very plausible assessment. An updated midrange would certainly help curb this scenario.
I think their fundamental mistake is hoping/assuming that a loyal Olympus 4/3rds D-SLR user will drop their coveted 410/420, 510/520, 600/620 for a Pen body with an adapter.

However if in the short to medium term they manage to bring out a Pen with a great EVF that handles more like a small Oly D-SLR and importantly uses 4/3rds lenses effectively (same or close to the focus performance of a D-SLR) then they may recover. Time will tell.

Pen is all about small size. It's my guess that we will eventually see an Olympus Micro Four Thirds body that is larger than a Pen and more aking to a DSLR, and which will feel more at home with the larger Four Thirds lenses.

Ian

Greytop
7th October 2010, 08:48 AM
Pen is all about small size. It's my guess that we will eventually see an Olympus Micro Four Thirds body that is larger than a Pen and more akin to a DSLR, and which will feel more at home with the larger Four Thirds lenses.

Ian

I hope you're right Ian.
However I do feel such a m4/3 body would need to be released sooner rather than later to stem the potential migration of 4/3 users.
Either that or introduce an 'E-630' in the E-3 to E-5 mould.

DavidJ1609
7th October 2010, 08:55 AM
.... I think their fundamental mistake is hoping/assuming that a loyal Olympus 4/3rds D-SLR user will drop their coveted 410/420, 510/520, 600/620 for a Pen body with an adapter.

A mistake indeed.


However if in the short to medium term they manage to bring out a Pen with a great EVF that handles more like a small Oly D-SLR and importantly uses 4/3rds lenses effectively ...

I would buy one in a heartbeat.

David.

snaarman
7th October 2010, 09:07 AM
However if in the short to medium term they manage to bring out a Pen with a great EVF that handles more like a small Oly D-SLR and importantly uses 4/3rds lenses effectively

So, could that be a mirrorless E620 type body with an EVF..? So I could use my current lenses? I would be interested in that idea, provided the EVF was really good and the camera was physically quieter.

Pete

Greytop
7th October 2010, 09:48 AM
So, could that be a mirrorless E620 type body with an EVF..? So I could use my current lenses? I would be interested in that idea, provided the EVF was really good and the camera was physically quieter.

Pete

Yes something like that. I would certainly be interested in such as a backup body if I decide to go for the E-5.

The problem could be that the Olympus decision makers may have another view.
With limitations on their R&D budget and financial to pressure to capture as much of the m4/3 market as possible (they are a business after all) they will concentrate on developing compact Pen bodies and the m4/3 lens range first before possibly returning to address 4/3rds and a D-SLR 'like' body. I just hope they have enough resources to be able push development in both areas.

Imageryone
1st November 2010, 08:34 PM
Maybe it is just me, but the discussion seems to be missing a point. It is, and has always been, the supremely high quality of Olympus glass which has kept me faithfully for all these many years.
If no further competative E-xxx bodies are to be developed ( and reading the replies from Olympus this is more than likely)
I am in the position of investing in 3 new lenses, at a cost of several thousand pounds, but what is the point if, in 5 years, I cannot get a body to support them?

This is an area which will cost Olympus dearly, as 1 lens = 4 x E5 bodies or
10 x E620.

Kees
1st November 2010, 09:33 PM
Maybe it is just me, but the discussion seems to be missing a point. It is, and has always been, the supremely high quality of Olympus glass which has kept me faithfully for all these many years.
If no further competative E-xxx bodies are to be developed ( and reading the replies from Olympus this is more than likely)
I am in the position of investing in 3 new lenses, at a cost of several thousand pounds, but what is the point if, in 5 years, I cannot get a body to support them?

This is an area which will cost Olympus dearly, as 1 lens = 4 x E5 bodies or
10 x E620.
I don't get your point. In my perception Olympus has always explicitly stated that there will always be a(n Ex-) body to use these lenses on.

Greytop
1st November 2010, 10:01 PM
I don't get your point. In my perception Olympus has always explicitly stated that there will always be a(n Ex-) body to use these lenses on.

Agreed, they have stated that there will always be a E-x body in one form or another.

But Imageryone is also right to a degree in that they have stated no more entry to mid range bodies, at least in the current D-SLR mould.
I hope they reflect on that statement and realise that it will leave them very exposed to the competition in the short to medium term. An E-630 would be a very sensible introduction say 4-6 months down the road, giving them more slack to further develop and introduce the mirrorless bodies later on.

Wee man
1st November 2010, 10:32 PM
Glad of the link to comment as I am now waiting over a month for a reply to my letter asking Olympus what is happening (pre E5 launch) still no reply!! Like a lot of others I have a large investment which I would hate to lose on but it may come to that if the expensive E5 is all they can offer.

Telemark
2nd November 2010, 10:33 AM
My reading of their replies, is that essentially, there will be the E5; there is no indication of any immediate intent (or even particularly forseeable intent) to introduce any more mid-range SLRs. As far as I can tell, the only 620s etc left out there are basically remaindered stock - all of Oly's focus seems to have gone onto the Pen models.

My perception (which may be wildly wrong) is that Oly did this before. When I started out in 35mm many years ago, I used Canon - the T90, which I still have. Oly produced the excellent OM series, and I did in fact buy one (an OM2), which I later sold to my cousin as he was starting out doing travel photography, and the lightness and compactness of the OM suited his needs very well. Oly then seemed to leave the SLR market after the OM4 - as far as I could tell, and seemed to focus for many years almost entirely on (very good) compacts. That seems to be what they are doing now. As I said - I could be very wrong, but that certainly is my perception of the situation.

snaarman
2nd November 2010, 11:13 AM
I seem to have invested quite a bit over the years. I bought the e400 when it was new and expensive, and then I bought the E620 when it was also expensive...

I'm rather glad I bought the majority of my lenses second hand, I hate to think what the total new cost of my gear would be.

However, I worry that I have bought into a dead end. If the future road map is micro4/3 cameras and lenses, or E5 and SHG lenses, then where do you go for a compact body with your existing 4/3 lenses eh?

Pete

Daveart
2nd November 2010, 11:33 AM
Hi my feeling is that Oly might be leaving the conventional slr persay with mirror action, and that a new era of e3-e5 type dslrs but with mirrorless technology and be able to use the full 4/3rds lenses, with high speed focus, and fps above 5 fps, with improved sensors so what you see through the viewfinder will be what the sensor actually sees.

Thats my two pennies worth, and dont minf Oly going that way cos thats were the new technology is going any way and Oly is leading the way forward with this one.

Dave

Nick Temple-Fry
2nd November 2010, 12:00 PM
I seem to have invested quite a bit over the years. I bought the e400 when it was new and expensive, and then I bought the E620 when it was also expensive...

I'm rather glad I bought the majority of my lenses second hand, I hate to think what the total new cost of my gear would be.

However, I worry that I have bought into a dead end. If the future road map is micro4/3 cameras and lenses, or E5 and SHG lenses, then where do you go for a compact body with your existing 4/3 lenses eh?

Pete

In the dark of the night we all fear that, and being less canny than Pete I suspect my investment in lenses is quite possibly larger.

But the publicly quoted comments from Olympus contain a committment to provide bodies to support the current range of 4/3'rd glass. And the current Pen bodies are able to support the full range of lenses (albeit with a certain degree of humour if you do fit the 90-250, but then a lot of people use that with a monopod which changes the whole issue).

The limitations are the focus speed and the slight delay in the evf. But I doubt that current models are anywhere near reaching the full capabilities of that technology. I suspect we will see considerable improvements in the next couple of years.

If you accept that, then the last limitation is the body size, well a larger body (or perhaps an extended rh/bottom grip) doesn't seem an unlikely prospect.

But there is little. if anything, judging by Pete's contribution to the group, that I can see stopping him using the current Pen cameras for most/all of his photography.

None of us know how the market is going to develop, Olympus at least have acknowledged the change in technology and are going forward with a model range that maintains compatability with the all the current lens range. Realistically there should be more concern amongst those photographers whose chosen manufacturer are giving no indications of their future plans/platforms.

Nick

PaulE
2nd November 2010, 02:06 PM
I seem to have invested quite a bit over the years. I bought the e400 when it was new and expensive, and then I bought the E620 when it was also expensive...

I'm rather glad I bought the majority of my lenses second hand, I hate to think what the total new cost of my gear would be.

However, I worry that I have bought into a dead end. If the future road map is micro4/3 cameras and lenses, or E5 and SHG lenses, then where do you go for a compact body with your existing 4/3 lenses eh?

Pete

Apart from the bit about buying the bodies whilst they were expensive your post pretty much sums up my current views. What really worries me at the moment is that my E510 going by shutter count could die any day now which would leave me with the non IS E410, that's expected and I will make do just fine but 3 or 4 years down the line the E410 could also be nearing the end of it's life. I'd have to think carefully about what to replace it with - there's no way I'm prepared to pay the best part of £1000 on the Olympus flagship just to retain the performance (in terms of AF speed & accuracy and shutter lag) that my current gear is capable of right now.

Micro 4/3rds just does not appeal to me whatsoever and I can't see that it ever will. I have commented in the past that given the bulk of the EP1 you might as well be carrying around an E4xx or E6xx SLR with a better kit lens and a real viewfinder anyway which is, in practice, hardly any bigger - if you want a truly pocketable camera then a decent compact seems, to me, to be a far more sensible / realistic choice.

I almost feel I'm stuck with the choice of selling my HG lenses etc now whilst I would likely not loose much, if any, on them - risking the possibility that Olympus will in the next year or so realise they've made a mistake ignoring proper 4/3rds in favour of micro 4/3rds and invest heavily in developing real SLRs further. Or do I hang on to all the gear risking loosing a great deal on money on the possibility that Olympus could change their minds and keep affordable SLRs going?

It's a sad situtation that I expect 1000s of other people are affected by too. It's in Olympus' hands which way they go though IMO - a glimmer of hope from them on the future of proper 4/3rds (not just in terms of a vague promise to keep an expensive flagship model going either) might well influence the conclusion I and others come to... lacking any such hope I've all but made my decision already - as much as I like the E system I'll not, if I can help it, make a huge loss on my gear. Should, or more likely, when prices start falling rapidly, which I've expected to happen for some time, then instead of buying up more gear at budget prices like I originally thought to do, I'll cut my loses, with the gear which is still worth selling being advertised straight away. I'll retain the E410 dual lens kit + 35mm macro that I started out with and I would imagine (depending on available money at the time) start looking at what other brands offer :(