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Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

Quote:
That m4/3 customer wanting smaller/lighter product used to be me, but lately Olympus is losing me. The full frame bodies have come way down in size, and I'm now starting to find lenses that make for a really small kit. Smaller than my m4/3 kit in some cases, with more and better pixels. Olympus is trying to deliver more pixels through the pixel shift arrangement, which helps for totally static subjects, but not for everything. They're truly in a defensive game here, and they're no longer fielding a full team.

I can't see how this ends any way other than constrained niche for Olympus. The question is whether that niche is big enough to be sustainable. Maybe. The jury is out on that.

2019 is the year Olympus needs to tell us what the future is really like for them. Their partner Panasonic has already taken that step (e.g. adding full frame). And I'm going to argue that the E-M1x is not an answer to that question.

Olympus is now in the back of the pack with Pentax: interesting products, but not mainstream and not producing volume in sales.
http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/...is-headed.html
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

Hogan says "I'm now starting to find lenses that make for a really small kit".

Can't see him using long or long tele's then.
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

Thanks Paul, very interesting read. Several companies seem to have a gap between their messaging, and what they are delivering. At present, Oly's gap is more of a gulf. I hope they address this before it's too late.

At a simplistic level, they used to feature high up in the top tens of mirrorless, but have all but disappeared. Partly of course because the party is getting more crowded.
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

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Originally Posted by Bruce Clarke View Post
Thanks Paul, very interesting read. Several companies seem to have a gap between their messaging, and what they are delivering. At present, Oly's gap is more of a gulf. I hope they address this before it's too late.

At a simplistic level, they used to feature high up in the top tens of mirrorless, but have all but disappeared. Partly of course because the party is getting more crowded.
I know there will be a lot of people who disagree, but I think Hogan is right in identifying that Olympus is facing significant challenges. When I switched from Canon FF (5dii) to m43 in 2013 I found a system that was smaller, cheaper, higher in function and very very close in terms of IQ. The 16Mp Sony sensor in the E-M5 was a significant step up and it narrowed the gap in IQ to almost nothing. I lost very little but gained a lot. It was a time when m43 was acquiring new users.

The intervening years though have seen full frame (135 format) mirrorless advance at a spectacular rate to the point now where except for long tele lenses, the size difference is not large but the IQ difference is enormous.

Really for most people embarking now on a new system for serious general photography it would be hard to recommend u43. And for existing users of Canon or Nikon DSLRs they can now stay in their own eco-system or even go to Sony. The net result is that there's far fewer new users coming into the system than 5 or 6 years ago. Olympus is increasingly appealing only to the converted.

So what to do? Because of the sensor size difference, Olympus will never win the IQ marketing fight against FF (even if fewer than 1% of buyers actually need that improved IQ) so they need to take the fight elsewhere. They need to embrace the smaller sensor and take it into one of two places IMHO:

- The "Reduced to Perfection" story for general photography (landscape, street, portrait, studio) - small, light, high features, IQ good enough.

- Top platform for sports and wildlife - where the smaller sensor can offer significant weight savings for equivalent reach.

The former needs a new generation of the E-M5, but with an improved sensor and decent CAF. The bar for "good enough IQ" needs to be noise performance at least 1 stop above where it was on the original M5, and ideally better. I'm talking raw file performance here, not improved jpeg NR.

The latter needs speed, top class AF and improved noise handling.

The upcoming E-M1x is clearly a play for the latter and if they do eventually get AF right then I think with the current lens range they must be in with a very good shot at it.

The former is a much harder sell though and unfortunately they'll always be on the wrong side of the price curve (from Olympus's point of view) since people won't value the smaller sensor as highly because the the IQ will always be worse.

From my point of view, I'll be watching what Olympus do this coming year carefully. If the E-M1x is the only real step forward I'll be getting concerned as to whether there's a place for me in their future.
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

Well, we’ll see.

Hogan’s already been proved wrong about his prognostications on the Sony A6xxx series: the 6400 has just been announced and looks very interesting.
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

There is an interesting thread on DPReview at the moment, entitled 'Latest E-M1X tidbits (MAJOR, if true).' I have no idea whether it is true or not but, if it is, Olympus might have wrong footed many of their critics.

Ron
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

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Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
There is an interesting thread on DPReview at the moment, entitled 'Latest E-M1X tidbits (MAJOR, if true).' I have no idea whether it is true or not but, if it is, Olympus might have wrong footed many of their critics.

Ron
There’s the usual range of dpreview psychopathology on display in it, for sure

Plus the bloke claiming the M1ii VF was no improvement over that of the i has obviously never tried to use 10fps+ to photograph anything that moves...

Again, we’ll just have to see.
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Re: Interesting article from Thom Hogan about mirrorless in 2019

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
...If the E-M1x is the only real step forward I'll be getting concerned as to whether there's a place for me in their future.
I think you have summed it up concisely. I'm will be far more interested if/when they announce an E-M5iii.
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