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Graham_of_Rainham
18th March 2011, 03:17 PM
Mark Thackara from Olympus UK, will be visiting us to present:

"The Future is Small and Mirrorless"

He will talk though their compact system camera strategy, bring some products to talk about and include a chance to see the new XZ-1 fast lens compact.

We can then debate the pros and cons and see if we can come up with design ideas for our perfect camera.
He very much wants it to be a lively and two way evening, and invites us to feel free to chip in with our thoughts.

Places are limited and by invitation only. Please PM or e-mail me if you are interested in attending this event.

The event will take place in Barking, on the evening of the 24th of March.

andym
18th March 2011, 03:42 PM
Graham

Would loved to have come to this as it's just down the road from me but alas cannot make that date.
I know we can rely on you to ask the relavent questions.;)

Please give us an update afterwards.*yes

shenstone
18th March 2011, 05:20 PM
Mirrorless I don't care about as long as the response and viewfinder are up to it

Small will be a never for me - I can't even use the 620 comfortably with my hands

The wife loves it, but I find anything smaller than the 5xx series a non starter

it's not just about technology they are fotrgetting ergonomics

Regards
Andy

cinders
18th March 2011, 07:42 PM
Small will be a never for me - I can't even use the 620 comfortably with my hands

The wife loves it, but I find anything smaller than the 5xx series a non starter

it's not just about technology they are fotrgetting ergonomics

Regards
Andy

I think that's the real message to get across - some people like large bodies, and some like medium ones, as well as the obvious advantages of the Pen sizes. ..and yes, we do still want a proper viewfinder!

Sounds like a good evening though and if I was a lot closer I'd be tempted to come!

OlyPaul
18th March 2011, 08:05 PM
I think that's the real message to get across - some people like large bodies, and some like medium ones, as well as the obvious advantages of the Pen sizes. ..and yes, we do still want a proper viewfinder!

Sounds like a good evening though and if I was a lot closer I'd be tempted to come!

I agree cinders, though from the title it sounds like it's already decided how the evening will go.

It will be interesting to see if Graham can get that point across.:)

But from what I have heard from people that have worked in Japan the culture is such that if the top man makes a decision no one under him will tell him he is wrong, which would explain why Olympus does not seem to be listening.;)

Graham_of_Rainham
18th March 2011, 08:18 PM
<snip>But from what I have heard from people that have worked in Japan the culture is such that if the top man makes a decision no one under him will tell him he is wrong, which would explain why Olympus does not seem to be listening.;)

One of The "Top Men" is English http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2011a/nr110210corpe.html

My experience is that they listen very carefully and are highly respectful of good ideas, no matter where they come from.

Zuiko
18th March 2011, 08:20 PM
I'm certainly interested, will just have to ask my wife's permission when she gets home (guess who wears the trousers in our house?)

There's probably no point in presenting the case to continue 4/3 DSLRs with optical finders but it's an excellent opportunity to press for a full size (think E-5) mirrorless pro body which will balance better with the larger SHG lenses. I'm sure that option is still on the table for debate.

Graham, will send you a PM if I can make it. :)

malc350
20th March 2011, 02:43 AM
Well I would have been very interested in a presentation from Olympus however if the title is indeed:

"The Future is Small and Mirrorless"

It's already left me cold. I personally prefer an SLR and so far haven't found a really good live view image that can be zoomed in to provide a sharp enough image to achieve crtitical focus (except on a Canon maybe...)

But that's not the point: every other major manufacturer will continue to make an SLR with an optical viewfinder for the forseeable future so Olympus may be leaving themselves out on a limb here.

Personally I quite like the idea of a PEN as a second camera being able to use qulaity four-thirds lenses via an adapter but I just can't see many photographers who are used to an optical viewfinder on an SLR wanting to give this "feature" up.

Sorry about the negativity but the theme's title just winds me up...

Just my 02 cents worth as they say in the USA...

Malc

Zuiko
20th March 2011, 04:56 AM
Well I would have been very interested in a presentation from Olympus however if the title is indeed:

"The Future is Small and Mirrorless"

It's already left me cold. I personally prefer an SLR and so far haven't found a really good live view image that can be zoomed in to provide a sharp enough image to achieve crtitical focus (except on a Canon maybe...)

But that's not the point: every other major manufacturer will continue to make an SLR with an optical viewfinder for the forseeable future so Olympus may be leaving themselves out on a limb here.

Personally I quite like the idea of a PEN as a second camera being able to use qulaity four-thirds lenses via an adapter but I just can't see many photographers who are used to an optical viewfinder on an SLR wanting to give this "feature" up.

Sorry about the negativity but the theme's title just winds me up...

Just my 02 cents worth as they say in the USA...

Malc

Hi Malc,

I appreciate your sentiments but sometimes you can't stop progress. I remember not many years ago vowing never to use digital. I simply couldn't envisage not using film. I haven't shot a roll of film for two years now.

You say, "every other major manufacturer will continue to make an SLR with an optical viewfinder for the forseeable future" but how long is the forseeable future? Sony already have an SLR with EVF rather than optical finder, so a big clue there. Samsung, do they still make an SLR? Panasonic don't. It's surely no coincidence that these are all electronics giants.

Maybe Olympus are just ahead of the game rather than out on a limb. In the long term it might be Canon and Nikon struggling to survive unless they catch up quickly. I think they will catch up and probably quicker than we think.

Like it or not the Future almost certainly is Small and Mirrorless. I'm very much looking forward to Mark's presentation. :)

David Morison
20th March 2011, 09:41 AM
I am not against mirrorless, it seems a concept that must eventually be in all our interests. When it can offer what a DSLR can offer then it may be time for me to change. But SMALL! Stick a Pen on my ED 300mm with TC and you would get a totally out of balance outfit that would not be user-friendly for the roving, hand held type of photography I do. So progress is good and Olympus are the ones to lead it - as long it's in the right direction and incorporates choice for the many different styles of photography undertaken by us all.

David

malc350
20th March 2011, 10:09 AM
To debate different viewpoints. Indeed Olympus have been ahead of the game in many ways (quick menu, sensor cleaning, IS in body, live view) and these features have been adopted by the majors but using live view all the time changes the way of using a camera that many photographers have gotten used to over the years.

I too was "against digital" at first but it was clear that film was capable of higher quality results. It has taken quite afew years for digital to emerge as a real winner. I now think that my poor old OM4Ti can't approach what a budget digital SLR with a decent lens can achieve (still keeping it though!)

Malc

Zuiko
20th March 2011, 12:00 PM
I am not against mirrorless, it seems a concept that must eventually be in all our interests. When it can offer what a DSLR can offer then it may be time for me to change. But SMALL! Stick a Pen on my ED 300mm with TC and you would get a totally out of balance outfit that would not be user-friendly for the roving, hand held type of photography I do. So progress is good and Olympus are the ones to lead it - as long it's in the right direction and incorporates choice for the many different styles of photography undertaken by us all.

David

My thoughts exatly, David. Mirrorless, yes, and loads of small camera, great! In fact, if Olympus can shrink the current Pen format a little even better!

But, and this is a big but, we still need a large pro body of similar size and heft to an E-5, even if the style and design is radically different. If I get the opportunity that is one of the points I would like to impress upon Mark. :)

OlyPaul
20th March 2011, 01:42 PM
My thoughts exatly, David. Mirrorless, yes, and loads of small camera, great! In fact, if Olympus can shrink the current Pen format a little even better!

But, and this is a big but, we still need a large pro body of similar size and heft to an E-5, even if the style and design is radically different. If I get the opportunity that is one of the points I would like to impress upon Mark. :)

And that's the thing is it not John, that Olympus are putting all there eggs in one basket (once again).

When Canon and Nikon do produce mirrorless they will proberly go all out and will have a ready made range of full size (grown up) mirrorless dslr's from there currant range (so as not alienate existing customers) as well as more compact models. This will then leave Olympus playing in just the compact arena and out in the cold again, just like before the E-1.

Ian's post from DPN seems to think on the same lines.




Canon can enter the compact system camera market any time they like and they will be successful, I feel. But at the moment all they will do is divert a lot of people away from their own DSLR models. I feel Nikon is in the same situation. Panasonic and Samsung have no such issues, while Olympus has already alienated a lot of its E-System DSLR faithful by being non-commital over the future of the E-System while they devote most of their resources to establish their Micro Four Thirds Pen range.

But as to the title of the thread - Are Canon out of touch with their users? Maybe not, as I think they are very aware of the potential of CSCs, but there is little incentive for them to join in just yet.

Inevitably, DSLRs will lose the mirror in favour of EVFs, sooner or later. It's just a matter of timing.

Ian

malc350
20th March 2011, 02:00 PM
...in the professional markets.

Olympus have such outstanding lenses with (it seems) none of the QC issues that other makes have, with exceptionally bright max apertures and amazing build quality and unrivalled weatherproofing.

What they haven't done (ok they have maybe got closer with the E-5) is built a body that rivals the Canikon pro bodies. I am sure many pros and serious amateur enthusiasts have marvelled at Olympus' amazing range of good glass but shook their heads at the bodies available.

Maybe they have painted themselves into a corner with the size of the sensor though this has brought about such amazing lenses as the 90-250 F2.8

I also hope they're not making the wrong decision again.

Does anyone remember when the OM-4Ti and OM-3Ti stood alone as ludicrously expensive follies in the 35mm world and Olympus concentrated on making weird things like the IS series of 35mm cameras (ho ho, they were funny oddities). Meanwhile they had brilliant lenses such as the 250 F2, 350 F2.8 that hardly sold due to their huge prices (in fact these lenses are still unattainable used now).

OlyPaul is right, Canon and Nikon could bring out a mirror-less (they already have pentamirrors) and viewfinder-less compact body in no time and with no sweat to them, while they also continue with their SLR bodies.

Of course it's good to be pioneering but to truly change a way of thinking takes a lot of time. It must have taken a generation or more to convince photographers that 35mm was a serious alternative to medium format (it isn't though really, even now, has anyone used 6x6 or 6x7 and compared it to 35mm which doesn't even compare but the medium format kit is too heavy to carry around). SLRs have been around for what (I'm guessing) 60 years or more?

Do you know I hate to say this but the other day I bought a D5000 for a cheap user (new from Jessops with warranty & 18-55vr and 55-200vr for £499 - it was irresistible at that money, people ask more than that for used examples on *bay) and I couldn't get over what a fabulous little camera it is. Before anyone says anything about an E-620 I had one but couldn't manually focus through that tunnel-like viewfinder.

In Olympus' world the wheels turn real slow over developing their flagship cameras: E-1, E-3, E-5. I do actually think the "other two" are making so many new models their lineups are getting confused though.

It is possible to take over a pro / serious enthusiast market: Canon all but had it over Nikon for years until recently when the D300/D3 series/ D700 brought about a real turn-around in Nikon's favour.

Olympus really could have been a force in the professional world - they were in the days of Bailey, Lichfield, Donovan...showing my age there.

Malc

StephenL
20th March 2011, 05:51 PM
If you want good ergonomics in a small body, try the Panasonic GH2. I really hope Olympus will produce something like that but with an even better EVF - and soon!

photonutter
20th March 2011, 08:25 PM
How about an E System camera, that uses a split mirror for a second sensor? Could effectively double dynamic range, sensitivity, or pixel count if need be.

Why invest in a new system, when the E system seems so easily dropped, in such a short period of time? How long will m4/3 survive, till the rug is pulled?

Actually borrowed a Pen from a good freind last week, and went on my usual tour of the town. The camera itself was fairly intuitive to use, though a little small for my comfort. Normally my shooting sprees involve candids and street portraits. Candids were of little problem, though did get a few more odd looks. As for asking strangers for me to take their pictures, this seemed not to go well at all, one even saying " Who d'you think you are, David Baley". Which I thought quite ironic, and gave me a chuckle. This also proves to me that size does matter in opions on the street. Some how instilling confidence and professionalism in the equipment held, I had to work that much harder to get the desired shots.

Sorry, must get off my box now.

Zuiko
20th March 2011, 11:34 PM
I don't disagree with any of the points made. I'm not against mirrorless cameras because I think the technology for EVFs will soon be good enough but I do worry about not having bodies in the range with similar proportions to DSLRs.

At the moment we have the E-5 of course, and an excellent camera it is too. I wonder if Olympus themselves realize just what an outstanding camera it is? The problem comes with the uncertainty of what comes after the E-5 and the present lack of lower spec bodies. We really need an E-620 and E-30 updated with the E-5 sensor/processor/filter until similar mirrorless models can be produced. Eventually I'd be quite happy with an E-6, similar to the E-5 but with EVF instead of mirror and OVF, however it is extremely uncertain if this will happen.

I believe it is this uncertainty, rather than the mirrorless issue, which is killing confidence in the brand. I know Olympus have said there will always be a body to support the SHG lenses but if that means a body of Pen styling and dimensions they can forget it.

Nick Temple-Fry
21st March 2011, 01:27 PM
I don't disagree with any of the points made. I'm not against mirrorless cameras because I think the technology for EVFs will soon be good enough but I do worry about not having bodies in the range with similar proportions to DSLRs.

At the moment we have the E-5 of course, and an excellent camera it is too. I wonder if Olympus themselves realize just what an outstanding camera it is? The problem comes with the uncertainty of what comes after the E-5 and the present lack of lower spec bodies. We really need an E-620 and E-30 updated with the E-5 sensor/processor/filter until similar mirrorless models can be produced. Eventually I'd be quite happy with an E-6, similar to the E-5 but with EVF instead of mirror and OVF, however it is extremely uncertain if this will happen.

I believe it is this uncertainty, rather than the mirrorless issue, which is killing confidence in the brand. I know Olympus have said there will always be a body to support the SHG lenses but if that means a body of Pen styling and dimensions they can forget it.

I'm less worried about the physical size, that's a problem that can easily be resolved. We already accept battery grips for DSLR cameras, there would seem to be no inherent problem in providing a grip for a PEN that would extend up the rhs to provide the appropriate form factor. Provided control/dials/shutter were duplicated as necessary this would resolve the problem. It's existing technology, relatively easy/cheap to design and produce, and should prove to be a 'good little earner' for Olympus.

Nor am I that worried about the evf, effectively the vf-2 already provides a very usable solution. To increase its responsiveness in low light/fast panning would seem only to require some incremental advances in technology.

My principle area of concern is the focussing system. Currently the PEN (at least in the form of the e-pl1) is less capable of finding/holding focus (with HG/SHG glass) than the E-3. Particularly when the background is inherently contrasty (say a bird against a reed bed) or when there is strong foreground contrast (say fine branches in the line of view). It is this area that needs improvement to protect my investment in expensive glass.

Ian
21st March 2011, 02:37 PM
How about an E System camera, that uses a split mirror for a second sensor? Could effectively double dynamic range, sensitivity, or pixel count if need be.

Why invest in a new system, when the E system seems so easily dropped, in such a short period of time? How long will m4/3 survive, till the rug is pulled?

Actually borrowed a Pen from a good freind last week, and went on my usual tour of the town. The camera itself was fairly intuitive to use, though a little small for my comfort. Normally my shooting sprees involve candids and street portraits. Candids were of little problem, though did get a few more odd looks. As for asking strangers for me to take their pictures, this seemed not to go well at all, one even saying " Who d'you think you are, David Baley". Which I thought quite ironic, and gave me a chuckle. This also proves to me that size does matter in opions on the street. Some how instilling confidence and professionalism in the equipment held, I had to work that much harder to get the desired shots.

Sorry, must get off my box now.

I would have thought that smaller cameras would look less 'professional' and so less threatening?

Ian

Ian
21st March 2011, 02:38 PM
Looks like I will be there on Thursday evening - Mark has asked me to bring the E-5 with me :)

Ian

Graham_of_Rainham
21st March 2011, 03:16 PM
Looks like I will be there on Thursday evening - Mark has asked me to bring the E-5 with me :)

Ian

Excellent! You are, as you know, always welcome.

Not sure that the E-5 fits "Small & Mirrorless" but it will be something that a few there will drool over ;)

I've still not had hands on the E-PL2 yet, so if that's available, can you bring that as well.

Thanks

Ian
21st March 2011, 03:17 PM
I personally prefer an SLR and so far haven't found a really good live view image that can be zoomed in to provide a sharp enough image to achieve crtitical focus (except on a Canon maybe...)

On Pens and the Panasonic G-series Micro Four Thirds cameras, in manual mode you can enable the camera magnify the live view (on the back screen or, if available, the EVF) as soon as the focus ring is moved. It then reverts to normal view after a few seconds of inactivity on the focus ring. It's such a great feature that I wish Olympus would release a firmware update to enable all live-view E-System cameras to have this. Not sure why a Canon would be better?

Ian

Ian
21st March 2011, 03:17 PM
Excellent! You are, as you know, always welcome.

Not sure that the E-5 fits "Small & Mirrorless" but it will be something that a few there will drool over ;)

I've still not had hands on the E-PL2 yet, so if that's available, can you bring that as well.

Thanks

Yes, I will bring a bag of goodies :)

Ian

Zuiko
21st March 2011, 05:04 PM
Looks like I will be there on Thursday evening - Mark has asked me to bring the E-5 with me :)

Ian

Should we agree in advance not to pull Mark's leg about the Olympus marketing department not having an E-5 of their own? :D

Ian
21st March 2011, 05:21 PM
Should we agree in advance not to pull Mark's leg about the Olympus marketing department not having an E-5 of their own? :D

Technically, it is theirs! They just know I will put it to very good use :D

Ian

photonutter
21st March 2011, 05:33 PM
I would have thought that smaller cameras would look less 'professional' and so less threatening?

Ian

Less professional looking yes, which gives more rise to concern about use of images, when looking for eye contact. On many occasion, with the E620/grip combi, I'm asked if I'm taking pictures for the local press,or where to buy the photographs. A natural assumption and willingly posing before asked, just need to raise the camera.

Very few had the same reaction with the Pen in hand, thought more of as a tourist, or possibly worse? Really dont fancy taking it around the night clubbing areas, after daytime reactions.

Zuiko
21st March 2011, 05:44 PM
I'm less worried about the physical size, that's a problem that can easily be resolved. We already accept battery grips for DSLR cameras, there would seem to be no inherent problem in providing a grip for a PEN that would extend up the rhs to provide the appropriate form factor. Provided control/dials/shutter were duplicated as necessary this would resolve the problem. It's existing technology, relatively easy/cheap to design and produce, and should prove to be a 'good little earner' for Olympus.

Nor am I that worried about the evf, effectively the vf-2 already provides a very usable solution. To increase its responsiveness in low light/fast panning would seem only to require some incremental advances in technology.

My principle area of concern is the focussing system. Currently the PEN (at least in the form of the e-pl1) is less capable of finding/holding focus (with HG/SHG glass) than the E-3. Particularly when the background is inherently contrasty (say a bird against a reed bed) or when there is strong foreground contrast (say fine branches in the line of view). It is this area that needs improvement to protect my investment in expensive glass.

I, too, would settle for a well designed and substantial grip. We'd get the best of both worlds from the same camera then.

I agree the focussing isn't there yet, but I'm confident that issue can be resolved.

The lack of indication of what the future direction might be is frustrating and unsettling and those of us who choose to stay in the fold will need to show quite a committment of blind faith in Olympus to get it right. Personally I'm not too worried because I think they will. :)

Zuiko
21st March 2011, 05:56 PM
Less professional looking yes, which gives more rise to concern about use of images, when looking for eye contact. On many occasion, with the E620/grip combi, I'm asked if I'm taking pictures for the local press,or where to buy the photographs. A natural assumption and willingly posing before asked, just need to raise the camera.

Very few had the same reaction with the Pen in hand, thought more of as a tourist, or possibly worse? Really dont fancy taking it around the night clubbing areas, after daytime reactions.

It's true that the E-3 has a certain gravitas. Whenever I use it at public event I'm invariably asked if I'm from the local press. Last year at a show I walked past the events commentator, who announced over the PA, "here comes a man with a very professional looking camera." I looked around but there wasn't a Nikon or Canon in sight! I would have preferred it if he'd said, "here comes a camera with a very professional looking photographer," but hey, kudos Olympus! :D

Zuiko
21st March 2011, 05:57 PM
Technically, it is theirs! They just know I will put it to very good use :D

Ian

He he. Yes, you are a great ambassador for Olympus. :)

Nick Temple-Fry
21st March 2011, 06:11 PM
The lack of indication of what the future direction might be is frustrating and unsettling and those of us who choose to stay in the fold will need to show quite a committment of blind faith in Olympus to get it right.

Perhaps one of those attending should ask Olympus to start a 'blind faith club' (or a Hope PEN Club) for those of us hoping that the PEN concept will fully deliver our requirements for a successor to the DSLR.

There could be newsletters, freebies, competitions and perhaps discounts on the eventual high end PEN and its accessories.

Nick

David Morison
21st March 2011, 06:13 PM
On Pens and the Panasonic G-series Micro Four Thirds cameras, in manual mode you can enable the camera magnify the live view (on the back screen or, if available, the EVF) as soon as the focus ring is moved. It then reverts to normal view after a few seconds of inactivity on the focus ring. It's such a great feature that I wish Olympus would release a firmware update to enable all live-view E-System cameras to have this. Not sure why a Canon would be better?

Ian

I am not sure if I've got the wrong end of the stick but my E5 and E30 can do this in live view if it is selected.

David

Grumpy Hec
22nd March 2011, 07:52 AM
As with others in this thread I have no problem with mirrorless, as long as the viewfinder replacement is good, but I do have problem with small. I find small camera's almost unuasble and very unbalanced with any decent sized lens. Physics rule object lens sizes when a fast lens is designed so unless there is a breakthrough in lens design the best and fastest lens will always be of a decent size.

So what I would love to see is 4/3 continuing so that we benefit from the quality glass but have a decent size, pro spec mirrorless E series replacement with quality built in. Forget video if it keeps the price down but if it's not much of a factor then Ok as we can always ignore it. Less "art filters" and more useful stuff like flexible 5 or even 7 shot bracketing for HDR fans, hyperfocal measurements so we can see depth of field and focus point distance, great AF, great metering etc.

In other words a high quality camera that is a real tool for taking pictures rather than a gadget, albeit with better and better picture quality, and built with the ergonmics of people other than hobbits in mind. Something that rewards effort in learning how to take photographs rather than automatic instant gratification but with no satisfaction.

OK - rant over and my apoligies to all hobbits out there :)



Hec

dbutch
22nd March 2011, 12:22 PM
With respect to size of cameras, It is a bit of a double edge sword - I think a small camera is great for every day use but a larger camera does feel better for larger lenses and and general handling in my opinion (all are different though). The other issue I feel that needs addressing is battery power and the larger lenses if you consider these items then the idea of a battery grip makes sense.

But here is a thought the older film cameras used to have a hand grip think the OM winder2! Would this approach not give a compact camera for travelling/every day then the option for bigging up when using bigger lenses etc.. plus the extra power.

This may be leading to the modular approach, maybe this battery grip could be used with a special 4/3 to micro lens adaptor where the grip supplies power to the adaptor for the lens and the body for the camera functions

Dave

CallaWolf
22nd March 2011, 02:04 PM
When you see Mark, please tell him Ceri Vale (that's me) says "hello" and that he's "drooling over the E5 - thank god it's waterproof"

Also, you might want to précis this discussion - http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1022&thread=38028462 - and encourage him to steer Oly's upper command away from the idea of ditching the 4/3 altogether.

There IS a market out there for more 4/3 bodies (and most certainly more 4/3 glass) - it just needs an injection of courage (and a boot up the R&D department's ****) to exploit that market.

Grumpy Hec
22nd March 2011, 03:56 PM
There IS a market out there for more 4/3 bodies (and most certainly more 4/3 glass) - it just needs an injection of courage (and a boot up the R&D department's ****) to exploit that market.

How very well put *yes

Hec

Ian
22nd March 2011, 04:17 PM
Well, I for one have not been told by anyone authoritative that the E-5 is the last Four Thirds body to come from Olympus. So let's not jump to conclusions.

And I don't think it's a case of R&D or marketing, but production capacity that limits what Olympus can do with Four Thirds at the moment.

Ian

OlyPaul
22nd March 2011, 06:45 PM
Well, I for one have not been told by anyone authoritative that the E-5 is the last Four Thirds body to come from Olympus. So let's not jump to conclusions.

Ian

That's the problem Ian, the silence and lack of interest from Olympus about Four Thirds is deafening and people are jumping to conclusions and jumping ship in droves! And soon it will be a moot point as there will be to few Four Third's users to make it worth supplying anything but micro ft, but sadly perhaps that is Olympus's end game.:confused:

Zuiko
22nd March 2011, 07:31 PM
Ah, the 64,000 ISO question - is the E-5 the last 4/3 camera? With all that's going on of course we are all speculating and that isn't helped by magazines like Amateur Photographer speculating on the issue, too.

Really there should be two questions:-

1) Is the E-5 the last 4/3 body?

2) If not, is it the last 4/3 body with a mirror.

Up until now mirrorless and micro 4/3 have been mutually exclusive, but there is no reason why a mirrorless body cannot be standard 4/3 rather than micro 4/3 and therefore not need an adaptor for 4/3 lenses. It can even look like an SLR if that's what the market dictates.

The fears are compounded by Olympus's reluctance to categorically state their future plans for the E-System. Quite apart from the issue of not giving away too much to the competition, in all probability they do not know the answer themselves - yet!

It is clear that the future is mirrorless, and not just for Olympus by any means. But when it becomes exclusive very much depends on yet to be made progress in developing technology (Nick mentioned autofocus performance as just one issue). That progress may be achieved in time for the scheduled replacement of the E-5. Or there may be a need for a further model (E-6?) with conventional mirror before Olympus are in a position to implement mirrorless at all levels.

In the meantime who is to say there will not be another 4/3 DSLR ranked below the E-5? I seem to recall that the E-30 was something of a surprise when it was announced and the fact that such a model is currently missing in the range may only be due to, as Ian says, manufacturing capacity. Olympus are hardly in a position to launch another DSLR now whilst they still cannot make the E-5 quickly enough.

Some may point to the E-5 supply problems as evidence that Olympus give it low priority but I believe they have genuinely been caught out by unprecidented demand. I recently saw it speculated (that word again) on an American site that worldwide the E-5 has already outsold the entire production of the E-3. If that is true not only does it explain the supply problems but also proves the potential for 4/3 to compete equally with any other cropped sensor brand - something which, incidentally, results from the E-5 are proving for themselves. None of this will have escaped the attention of Olympus.

Rest assured it is not just Olympus users who are worrying about the future and the implications of going mirrorless. Currently on another site which must not be named (shades of Voldemort) there is a thread by a Sony user asking advice on which brand to change to. Apparently (and I did not know this) Sony have said that they will not produce any more DSLRs with optical finders - future models will all be EVF.

I'm sure if you hunt on other forums you could find disgruntled Canon and Nikon owners concerned that these two companies are missing the boat in mirrorless development. The truth is the whole DSLR market is about to enter a stage of change and uncertainty. Quite understandably we all worry about our current investment in a system and how future proof it may be. We don't like uncertainty or radical change. It was exactly the same when affordable DSLRs first hit the market. Until then, to enthusiasts digital was just an expensive curiosity, hideously overpriced and still well short of film-like performance; indeed it seemed that it would be decades (if ever) before digital would seriously threaten film.

The EOS 300D changed all that by retailing at just under a grand and suddenly the threat to film was apparent. There was much hand wringing and sworn declarations never to venture down the digital path from people like, well, people like.......me! The rest is history and one thing it taught me was never to say "never" regarding new technology. Sure, EVFs don't currently match OVFs, but neither did digital match film - to start with!

In an earlier post on this thread CallaWolf called for "an injection of courage" from Olympus; I'd like to plead also for an injection of courage from Olympus Users. :)

Alan Clogwyn
22nd March 2011, 08:46 PM
If you want good ergonomics in a small body, try the Panasonic GH2. I really hope Olympus will produce something like that but with an even better EVF - and soon!

This. I finf the GH1 perfectly balanced, and eventhough it's small I have no trouble using a stupidly hevay combination of heavy old manual lenses and a Gigantic YN560 flash onthe hotshoe.

Not wishing to cause offense to anyone here, but it's all in your heads that you will have to use your camera differently because it has no mirror. OK, maybe if you have a Pen or a GF1 with no finder on then yes you won't be able to use 300mm f2.8s on them, but that's not what thye are intended for. The GH bodies behave identically to DSLRs, you look through the viewfinder, you focus, you press the shutter, plus you have the added advantage of being able to zoom in without taking your eye from the finder, can you do that with an optical finder? No, you can't.

I do like the idea of maybe having a big body version, but I really don't think it'd be a huge seller. I'm sure given the choice we'd all prefer to have something the size of a mobile phone that could take Leica or Hasselblad MF quality pics.

Personally I think Olympus should have made a full frame DSLR right from Day one, aimed that at pros and then kept the 4/3 standard for enthusiast/beginner cameras, that could now be dropped without much fuss if they wanted to go mirrorless, hopefully with a GH style offering.

In fact a Fuji X100 copy based on an OM2 would be nice....

Keep on dreaming eh...:rolleyes:

Anyway, if they want to prove the future is mirrorless, they had better introduce a very good Pro mirroless camera, and it had better not be another PEN.

Alan Clogwyn
22nd March 2011, 08:46 PM
Hmm, I think I went on a bit there, apologies everyone! *chr

Zuiko
22nd March 2011, 09:14 PM
Hmm, I think I went on a bit there, apologies everyone! *chr

Not as long as I did! :p

malc350
22nd March 2011, 10:38 PM
and I've just bought a 1DS Mark III...best 100% viewfinder I've ever seen. Finally a digital SLR with a viewfinder as large and bright as my OM-4Ti!!!

Mind you I won't be taking that lump travelling and the more I think about it the more I quite like the idea of a G1, GH2 or whatever as that kind of body would be ideal to carry around everywhere.

Not sure about the EVF though, optical would be nice though I guess that needs a mirror...blimey I'm going round in circles.

Is this Olympus event one of many country-wide? I guess it is. Will they be asking us or telling us what the future is?

Maybe I wouldn't mind coming to this event.

Malc

Graham_of_Rainham
23rd March 2011, 12:09 AM
Is this Olympus event one of many country-wide?Malc

This is a one off visit by Mark to our Photographic Society. As space is very limited, it is by invitation only.

David Morison
23rd March 2011, 05:54 AM
This. I finf the GH1 perfectly balanced, and eventhough it's small I have no trouble using a stupidly hevay combination of heavy old manual lenses and a Gigantic YN560 flash onthe hotshoe.

Not wishing to cause offense to anyone here, but it's all in your heads that you will have to use your camera differently because it has no mirror. OK, maybe if you have a Pen or a GF1 with no finder on then yes you won't be able to use 300mm f2.8s on them, but that's not what thye are intended for. The GH bodies behave identically to DSLRs, you look through the viewfinder, you focus, you press the shutter, plus you have the added advantage of being able to zoom in without taking your eye from the finder, can you do that with an optical finder? No, you can't.

I do like the idea of maybe having a big body version, but I really don't think it'd be a huge seller. I'm sure given the choice we'd all prefer to have something the size of a mobile phone that could take Leica or Hasselblad MF quality pics.

Personally I think Olympus should have made a full frame DSLR right from Day one, aimed that at pros and then kept the 4/3 standard for enthusiast/beginner cameras, that could now be dropped without much fuss if they wanted to go mirrorless, hopefully with a GH style offering.

In fact a Fuji X100 copy based on an OM2 would be nice....

Keep on dreaming eh...:rolleyes:

Anyway, if they want to prove the future is mirrorless, they had better introduce a very good Pro mirroless camera, and it had better not be another PEN.

I don't understand this, I have always been able to zoom in whilst using my optical finder on a DSLR!

David

StephenL
23rd March 2011, 07:34 AM
On the EVFs of both Olympus and Panasonic, using manual focus, there's the option of magnifying an area of the viewfinder to aid focussing. Can't do this with any optical finder that I know of! ;)

I don't understand this, I have always been able to zoom in whilst using my optical finder on a DSLR!

David

StephenL
23rd March 2011, 07:39 AM
I've got a spare G2 for sale ...... *yes

the more I think about it the more I quite like the idea of a G1, GH2 or whatever as that kind of body would be ideal to carry around everywhere.

Malc

Grumpy Hec
23rd March 2011, 08:21 AM
I'd just like ti bring us back to the original core of this thread which was the future of 4/3 as a format.

The OVF v EVF whilst interesting is I suspect a largely redundent debate as the evidence suggests that mirrorless is going to be the way forward. I'm sure the technology will rapidly progress and we will have EVF performance which rivals OVF before very long.

The size debate is another issue and I fear may also be lost given the theme of the Olympus presentation. Personally I find that very disappointing!!!

Apart from the ergonomics which, of course I can only comment from a purely individual perspective, for small cameras I do not like and find hard to get on with the spectre of small lenses, i.e. m 4/3, returns. Thus rendering investment in 4/3 glass a questionable option.

This is the issue for many people, myself included, and why people are leaving the format. Without a reasonable amount of confidence, we will of course never get absolute certainty from any manufacturer, I for one can not justify spending a great deal of money, which is what I was about to do, on great glass only to be told that I will have to buy an adapter to fit it on the front of a body it was not designed for from the handling point of view. For me at least the handling of the 4/3 E series was one of the factors for getting into it so taking that away spoils the decision making balance in a big way.

Olympus must surely be aware of the debate so I ask an open question to them.

What is the future of 4/3 and E system size cameras? Will you be producing a E50 and then E6, E60?

Sadly a null answer can only really be taken as negative in all respects.



Hec

malc350
23rd March 2011, 08:45 AM
Personally I think one of the biggest strengths lies in producing long reach lenses at a comparatively small size, i.e. for wildlife or sports.

Though as lenses get longer we're up against the problems of camera shake (IS will help with a static subject) and as smaller apertures result from longer focal lengths (as a rule) the ISO has to be pushed to obtain a useable shutter speed.

That means high ISO performance has to get better, which it appears is happening, though the size of the sensor will possibly be more limiting than a larger sensor.

I personally do think 4/3 as a format has a future, but so does full frame and the 1.5/1.6x crop as it is now so established.

I also think SLRs are here to stay as well.

Horses for courses and all that....

Zuiko
23rd March 2011, 09:44 AM
I'd just like ti bring us back to the original core of this thread which was the future of 4/3 as a format.

Hec

I thought the original core of the thread was Mark Thackara's visit to Graham's photographic society and did anyone wish to go. :)

Nevertheless the points that you make do echo an understandable concrn in the Olympus community.

Grumpy Hec
23rd March 2011, 09:59 AM
Fair point Zuiko - then again I am grumpy so I am required to go off on one every now and again. :D

grumpy hec

RogerMac
23rd March 2011, 10:37 AM
I know this is not the correct place to make this comment but as the thread has been hijacked already I want to use it to say "thank you" to Olympus for listening to my comments.

Whenever anyone on one of the various forums published an Olympus wish list I asked for a hyperlinked manual as well as a printed copy but the received wisdom was that the CDs that accompanied that paper copies came without these links. As far as I know the last Oly manual with these links was the E500 - but it did not have a paper copy.

Yesterday I bought an E5 (and a very nice camera it is) and was pleasantly surprised to find both a hyperlinked computer version and also a paper copy of the manual:)

Thank you Oly for listening

Roger

Ian
23rd March 2011, 01:59 PM
I am not sure if I've got the wrong end of the stick but my E5 and E30 can do this in live view if it is selected.

David

Yes, the E-5 has the manual focus ring sensitive critical focus zoom function like the Pens, but I don't think any of the DSLRs prior to the E-5 have this. Just had a look at my E-30 and I can't find this feature. There is the old cycle the INFO mode until the view with the green square, which can be zoomed, but that's not the same as an automatic zoom once the focus ring is activated.

Ian

David Morison
23rd March 2011, 07:26 PM
On the EVFs of both Olympus and Panasonic, using manual focus, there's the option of magnifying an area of the viewfinder to aid focussing. Can't do this with any optical finder that I know of! ;)

I was referring to the quote stating that the mirrorless cameras have the advantage of being able to zoom in without taking your eye away from the finder. I mistakenly assumed it referred to lens zooming not magnifying the image! I must take more tablets!

David

David Morison
23rd March 2011, 07:32 PM
Yes, the E-5 has the manual focus ring sensitive critical focus zoom function like the Pens, but I don't think any of the DSLRs prior to the E-5 have this. Just had a look at my E-30 and I can't find this feature. There is the old cycle the INFO mode until the view with the green square, which can be zoomed, but that's not the same as an automatic zoom once the focus ring is activated.

Ian

Yes you are right on the E30, using the info button to select the centre square and then the OK button to zoom in on this I find is a better option than the one on the E5 as only a portion of the image is magnified, so you still know where you are when shooting hand-held, it is easy to lose your way when the whole image is OoF and magnified.

David