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View Full Version : Olympus says that it will reinvent the digital camera next year,


Invicta
5th October 2008, 10:33 PM
Interview with Miquel Angel Garcia, Olympus European marketing MD

"Do you really believe bulky digital cameras will be the camera of 2015? We don't think so. We are trying to match your gadget lifestyle", Miquel Angel Garcia, Olympus Imaging Europa's managing director and chief marketing officer told Pocket-lint.

Full story at

http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/news.phtml/18142/19166/view.phtml

Makonde
6th October 2008, 06:40 AM
Oh, dear.

I was rather hoping that with Micro 4/3 they'd go for improving image quality, ISO performance etc while significantly reducing size and cost of (smaller) fine lenses. I was excited by the news of the Panasonic G1 and hoping that Olympus would go one better. Adding Photoshop-like in-camera editing 'features' looks like an unnecessary complication and a blind alley to me. In fact, it looks like a cop-out.

I don't use the in-camera editing features of the E520 at all. Who wants to edit on a 3" screen??!

What do others think about this 'direction'?

StephenL
6th October 2008, 06:48 AM
Sounds a bit gimmicky and dumbing down to me. Not the direction I would have hoped for.

250swb
6th October 2008, 07:00 AM
It is a very poor response to what the consumer wants from Olympus.

They should be addressing the fundamentals first, size, ISO, and even their Master and Studio software (both desperately needing a makeover), before embarking on unwanted gimmicks.

Steve

PeterD
6th October 2008, 08:42 AM
It will be an absolute disaster. Look what happened to the mobile phone market - all those gimmicks and add-ons that most people do not use:eek:

Peter

Xpres
6th October 2008, 09:15 AM
all those gimmicks and add-ons that most people do not use:eek:

Peter

Ah, but they still buy the phones - and lots of them!

PeterD
6th October 2008, 09:32 AM
Ah, but they still buy the phones - and lots of them!

I agree but look what happened to the manufacturers during the headlong rush for extra features. That is what concerns me. Oly are professing that they want to capture the Pro market in DSLRs on the one hand and breaking new ground on the other. The former strategy still has a long way to go but can they split their developement teams in both directions at once:confused:.

The big difference is that the cost of computing has come down, the numbers of computers owned by households is still growing and the cost of editing software has been reduced. With phones there was no such background as they are a stand-alone item that people perceived that they needed.

Peter

HughofBardfield
6th October 2008, 09:37 AM
It is a very poor response to what the consumer wants from Olympus.

They should be addressing the fundamentals first, size, ISO, and even their Master and Studio software (both desperately needing a makeover), before embarking on unwanted gimmicks.

Steve

Unfortunately, they are probably (almost certainly, in fact) in tune with what the vast majority of consumers want. I'm sure Olympus and all the other front running companies expend a lot of time and effort on increasingly sophisticated market research which drives what they produce. Most people buying digital cameras have very little idea of what they're buying and are heavily influenced by crude measures, such as megapixel counts, gimmicks and gadget tick lists (not to mention sales pitches by shops assistants that could be outsmarted by a marmoset).

My wife, for example, has a friend who wanted a new camera. I willingly did some research and gave her some advice. Her husband, who is by no means a moron, went out and bought her a camera based on precisely the kind of judgements above. It's adequate, but she could have got better VFM... Not that my views are better, but he simply wasn't interested in issues like quality or image noise...

Somebody recently linked (I think on this forum) to recent comments by an Olympus nabob who placed the Pro/ prosumer DSLR market in roughly the same position as Motor Racing in the development of consumer cars. What we enthusiasts regard as fundamentals are not even understood by the vast majority of modern camera users (probably even by most DSLR buyers) who reply on the simplistic reviews of magazines like Which? to guide their choices.

I would love to know what percentage of E4xx and E5xx never get taken out of "Auto" mode (unless it's to go to "Grinning line up of small children about to be sick at a party" scene mode occasionally). I bet it's higher than you most of us would want to believe.

Almost no-one will use the on-LCD edit mode more than a couple of times, but they can tell all their friends they've got it...

snaarman
6th October 2008, 09:41 AM
I have an unpleasant feeling that Olympus is in progress of losing its way (again?). I've never used an E-3. I am sure its a very good camera, but Canikon have the "working pro" and sports photographer market tied up as far as I can see.

Olympus has seriously good glass and should capitalise on that. Surely with this concept of micro4/3 on the cards, they have all the pieces in place to make a digital Leica.. Compact. Quiet. Interchangeable lenses. What would be so wrong with that?

Pete

DekHog
6th October 2008, 10:44 AM
I suppose it all comes down to money - how many cameras can we sell at what profit and what will help us sell them?

Surely it wouldn't be too hard for them to keep it split into the compact & hobbyist/semi-pro market like the other manufacturers do? They've got a class act in the E-3, but I doubt pro's will use it due to the smaller sensor. Prove that 4/3 can match the 'big boys' in image quality and ISO noise before sticking Photoshop Micro in the bloody thing, please!

I think there was probably more than a grain of truth in the thought that the E-520 didn't have a bigger pixel count than the E-510 due to them not being able to push the quality any further with the standard being used... not at the price they needed to sell it at anyway... and we all know that megapixels sell cameras, at least to a certain degree.

Makonde
6th October 2008, 11:01 AM
I think what would sell cameras to both those who want to graduate from a P&S and those (like me) who want DSLR image quality without the clunky, noisy, dusty, fiddly aspects would be just what one was hoping for from Micro 4/3, towards which Panasonic has made a big stride:

- smaller, lighter body
- smaller, lighter, faster, cheaper lenses (interchangeable) with no quality reduction
- quiet operation & less vibration (no clunky mirror)
- fast comprehensive autofocus
- IS
- good big bright accurate 100+% electronic viewfinder
- better ISO/ noise performance
- hot shoe of course (compatible with FLRs)
- simpler operation, not more gizmos that will make the camera as user-unfriendly as the average DVD recorder.

Motion preview as with the new Panasonic would be a terrific extra; video maybe (with boost for low light).

In-camera edit complete waste of time (because of small screen) and I for one would rather have fewer fiddly menu options, far fewer 'picture modes' (though a few basic ones will do fine for other members of the family) and better, faster, cleaner, simpler navigation. In other words, go for the quality, simplify down.

Olympus, who are losing out to the pro market which is going full-frame and high ISO, have (?had) a real chance with micro 4/3 to break into the quality market. But if their Euro Marketing Director has pinpointed their strategy in that article, they are doomed to be slugging it out in the middle consumer market with the likes of Samsung and their erstwhile reputation for top quality serious cameras will be wasted..

dbutch
6th October 2008, 11:38 AM
Well that sounds like the new hush hush creative feature on the E-A1 then, what comes across though is that it isn't necerssary post processing but set it up for the shot? I guess we shouldn't pre judge - just hope you can save a with and with-out version

Dave

HughofBardfield
6th October 2008, 02:10 PM
Well that sounds like the new hush hush creative feature on the E-A1 then, what comes across though is that it isn't necerssary post processing but set it up for the shot? I guess we shouldn't pre judge - just hope you can save a with and with-out version

Dave

Wot? Not like DP Review then????? :eek: That's no fun! :D

joeletx
6th October 2008, 02:24 PM
I have an unpleasant feeling that Olympus is in progress of losing its way (again?).

Pete

I agree! Olympus has not learn the lesson with the OM systems in early days and now it looks like they are going to stray into another stupid idea. As an owner of the OM-1, OM-4T and now the E-3, I feel that Olympus will abandon its DSLR. Lets face it, DSLR market is less than 10% and Olympus share is probably 2% any way.

Joe

Invicta
6th October 2008, 05:51 PM
The opening position states:

“Do you really believe bulky digital cameras will be the camera of 2015? We don't think so.”

This is made by Olympus marketing, not at a UK level but by the European managing director and chief marketing officer.

It is a strong indicaton of where Olympus want to be in the future. This does not augur well as a strategy for Olympus to also invest in their bulky digital camera product line: the E-System.

It would be really useful if this forum via Ian could arrange its own interview with Olympus and to solicit questions from the forum users. These questions could then be put to Olympus for them to provide answers to their user community.

dbutch
7th October 2008, 07:26 AM
Check out, for some UK answers!

http://www.markcargill.co.uk/pages/olympus-uk-interview.php

Dave

PeterD
7th October 2008, 10:10 AM
Check out, for some UK answers!

http://www.markcargill.co.uk/pages/olympus-uk-interview.php

Dave

An interesting read. Thanks for posting it.

Peter