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Olympus OM-D E-M1 The first Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 14th August 2013
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What will be the substance of the announcement

For Ian
Whilst I understand the need for Olympus to keep a competitive edge by not leaking out forthcoming announcements can you at least give us an indication that the substance will be something tangible such as a new body or adapter rather a promise of something by the end of the year.

It concerns me that Ianís questions pre Japan were designed to test what customers want to see. I thought we had the promise of a solution at the beginning of the year. What we really need now is something we can fiddle with not more promises.

I have started this thread as I have tried many times to register on the fourthirds forum only to be rejected because it says my email has spam. I have checked this and have no spam in my account. I see that the forum complains of lurkers I am one of those for the simple reason I am unable to register.

This is the reply I would like to have posted.
What would make me very unhappy is;
1 for Olympus to offer nothing for the pure 4/3 user.
2 That your question about likes and dislikes for a new body now is a delaying tactic. Surely if Olympus have a solution for 4/3 lenses it has already been developed otherwise we are in the wait for another 6 months
3 A camera that offers no improvement over auto focusing (E3/E5) using the swd lenses.
4 Smaller size (E3/E5) at the expenses of dials

All my equipment is 4/3 E3 E5 both swd lenses and many others but no SHG. To offer a m4/3 camera that may be able to use 4/3 glass is no option for me. I brought an E5 this year in the hope that Olympus could not afford to drop 4/3 glass. When will people accept that it is the quality of the glass that that really makes use of the high pixel sensors. Olympus has to my thinking some of the best quality reasonably priced lenses on the market in their 4/3 range do they really want to confine these to the photographic museums? There is money in the amateur photographic market just look at the equipment Canikon users are spending. I would like to buy SGH glass but will not until I am sure that Olympus will support 4/3 bodies. If Olympus wants more of my money it has to be an next gen E5.

John
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

I can assure you that there is no 'delaying tactic'. You will eventually see why.

I'm sorry about you problem in registering on FTU - I would be interested to know what went wrong in detail (best done by email to forum-admin@fourthirds-user.com) so I can fix the problem so it won't affect others.

In the mean time I will create an account for you based on your e-group account details if that's OK?

Ian
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

My biggest worry with your list of points is the purity of Four Thirds you feel you need. For a long time now (well over a year) I have publicly declared that there is no sense in doing a Four Thirds 'only' camera unless there is a simple make-over of the E-5.

But let's look at the E-5, many say it's too big and heavy, the AF isn't good enough, it's loud and unrefined compared to the E-M5 and E-P5 and it only shoots at 5fps. The viewfinder is a major feat considering the relatively small sensor and mirror, but in reality EVFs are the way to go; they aren't perfect yet but they offer much more than a conventional SLR finder.

Meanwhile, Micro Four Thirds is a success story and it offers a high degree of compatibility with Four Thirds lenses.

So for me the challenge that Olympus had to set itself was to build a camera that satisfied both users of Micro Four Thirds lenses and Four Thirds lenses. This is my favourite solution and it seems to be the one that the FTU poll favours as well.

I don't think anyone expects Olympus to satisfy absolutely everyone. That would be miracle. In the end whether or not each of us decides we like the new camera it will be a very personal point of view.

Ian
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I can assure you that there is no 'delaying tactic'. You will eventually see why.

Ian
That sounds like very good news at least it will be something tangible then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I'm sorry about you problem in registering on FTU - I would be interested to know what went wrong in detail (best done by email to forum-admin@fourthirds-user.com) so I can fix the problem so it won't affect others.

In the mean time I will create an account for you based on your e-group account details if that's OK?

Ian
I have sent an email and have yes it is ok to set up an account based upon my e-group many thanks for that.

John
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
My biggest worry with your list of points is the purity of Four Thirds you feel you need. For a long time now (well over a year) I have publicly declared that there is no sense in doing a Four Thirds 'only' camera unless there is a simple make-over of the E-5.

Ian
What is wrong with a upgraded E5? I brought into FT back in 2008 is it really at the end of its life. If it is how long will mFT last? The E5 is an noticeable improvement with AF over the E3 allegedly the fastest AF on the market at the time of its release.

I love my 12-60swd and 50-200swd FT lenses. I like to be able to use the focus ring as if it were a screw without electronics driving it. I love to use the optical viewfinder and focus without the need to use battery power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
But let's look at the E-5, many say it's too big and heavy, the AF isn't good enough, it's loud and unrefined compared to the E-M5 and E-P5 and it only shoots at 5fps. The viewfinder is a major feat considering the relatively small sensor and mirror, but in reality EVFs are the way to go; they aren't perfect yet but they offer much more than a conventional SLR finder.

Meanwhile, Micro Four Thirds is a success story and it offers a high degree of compatibility with Four Thirds lenses.

Ian
Personally I do not think the E5 is too big or too heavy with the 50-200swd under 2kgs. It needs to be compare to the completion of a efl 400mm f3.5 combo.

If Oly think weight is really an issue it sounds like the death nell for the SHG lenses >3kgs. I would suggest that weight is more of an issue than size.

I use my E5 with the swd lenses and the AF for me is good for bif and motor sports. I have read with interest the comments on this forum about bif AF on the MFT body's and it is said it does not work. That's what forum members are saying not me as I have no experience of mFT. I grant you that the pictures of other subjects are really good as is the high ISO capability.

That having been said I am not against a mFT body that could use and out perform the E5 on AF with swd lenses and the SHG glass. That seems like a big ask when you consider that the FT lenses were designed using PD focusing principles. What I am not prepare to do is stick my FT lenses in the cupboard and buy a whole lot of mFT lenses. I would rather go to Canikon and a brand that can be trusted to support the current range of lenses.

Olympus needs to understand that it cannot expect brand loyalty when it keeps dropping systems and leaving its customers with unsupported equipment.

They must get it right this time?
John
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
My biggest worry with your list of points is the purity of Four Thirds you feel you need. For a long time now (well over a year) I have publicly declared that there is no sense in doing a Four Thirds 'only' camera unless there is a simple make-over of the E-5.

But let's look at the E-5, many say it's too big and heavy, the AF isn't good enough, it's loud and unrefined compared to the E-M5 and E-P5 and it only shoots at 5fps. The viewfinder is a major feat considering the relatively small sensor and mirror, but in reality EVFs are the way to go; they aren't perfect yet but they offer much more than a conventional SLR finder.

Meanwhile, Micro Four Thirds is a success story and it offers a high degree of compatibility with Four Thirds lenses.

So for me the challenge that Olympus had to set itself was to build a camera that satisfied both users of Micro Four Thirds lenses and Four Thirds lenses. This is my favourite solution and it seems to be the one that the FTU poll favours as well.

I don't think anyone expects Olympus to satisfy absolutely everyone. That would be miracle. In the end whether or not each of us decides we like the new camera it will be a very personal point of view.

Ian
Having just written on another thread that this new camera will be a critical one for me and where my photography goes next, there are aspects of your reply above that slightly worry me with regard to the possible specifications of the new camera -
  • electronic viewfinder now sounds likely - eeks;
  • smaller size - ooh limited space possibly restricting LCD size/buttons/dials;
  • improved AF - hurrah;
  • mft/ft lens compatibility - well I can see that this will suit Olympus due to past mft sales which are now declining and ft lens owners who are now looking elsewhere, but will it offer a reliable sturdy, well sealed solution? Perhaps only time will tell, and it does have some interesting potentials;
  • "not expected to satisfy absolutely everyone" - well it looks like we do perhaps have to be prepared to see a modified mft solution that is trying to be a 'jack of all trades', but I worry that while mft sales decline, DSLR sales hold fast in some quarters decline in others, mobilephones take over the marketing departments, etc., etc., Olympus is losing clarity in the enthusiast market while trying to live in the consumer market.

It looks like its going to be an interesting launch - I hope that it's a pleasant and rewarding surprise for me!!

Regards
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

Micro Four Thirds sales are not in decline - there are month by month variations mainly due to the impact of new models. The long term projection is for Mirrorless (including Micro Four Thirds) to grow steadily and DSLR to remains static and eventually start to decline (it already has in Japan).

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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

My ideal solution would be an Exxx size body, capable of handling the larger 4/3 lenses but with the improved everything that the OMD has. It seems that the large size bodies are on the way out unfortunately for those with large hands, but the PEN size is too small to cope with the better glass. I too have no wish to have to change my lenses.
I wait the announcement with baited breath.
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

I have come to the Oly party only very recently, having swapped a Canon FF kit for an E-M5 one. Like many others who have made similar journeys, I would never have done it if FT was the destination. The Oly FT bodies are not competitive compared to Canon or Nikon DSLRs (crop or FF) and although the Oly FT lenses are fantastic, what's the point if the bodies don't deliver? Today in 2013, the real action in DSLRs is FF, so FT is even less relevant than it ever was. Panasonic got out 5 years ago and Oly never got much market penetration.

In contrast, m43 has seemingly given Oly some life. The E-M5 has had great reception by reviewers and buyers alike and has dislodged a fair number of people from big and heavy Canon/Nikon systems. With competition from the other mirrorless formats (Nex, Fuji, Samsung), I would think it makes sense for Oly to go hell for leather to make u43 a stonking success. Given their financial situation and the collapse of the P&S market, why are they investing any effort at all in FT?

I realise that this will not be what FT users want to hear, but Oly isn't a charity and if it wants to avoid total collapse of its camera business it needs to sell lots of cameras - and that means u43. There are plenty of industry analysts arguing that u43 won't make it in the long run and I fear that if Oly's upgrade/replacement fior the e-M5 is compromised due to FT compatibility requirements, it'll only encourage these doom-mongers.

Anyhow, that's my view - as a recent convert to Oly and u43 it's probably an entirely predictable one, but I think there are many more like me and we should be one of Oly's key target markets.
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Old 14th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Micro Four Thirds sales are not in decline - there are month by month variations mainly due to the impact of new models. The long term projection is for Mirrorless (including Micro Four Thirds) to grow steadily and DSLR to remains static and eventually start to decline (it already has in Japan).

Ian
In many ways its a case of the mix between the use of the terms 'mirrorless', 'micro four thirds', etc., etc. that makes the analysis difficult but DSLRs are still surviving for a reason that needs to be understood - some of it is due to the pig-headed nature of old timers/luddites (me), some is because of the reliance on kit already owned, some of it is due to seeing what 'professionals' use, some of it is due to the perceived usability/controls layout/LCD screen space, etc., etc., and some of it is the reassurance of the viewfinder that is clear and not as draining on batteries etc.
However, there is no doubt that the mirrorless camera is a consumer product that has changed the marketplace - but I worry that it is fickle to the marketing that perhaps understandably leads to a reliance by the companies on regular changes, because this is how their income will be generated.
Olympus has to keep to the micro four thirds market that it has helped to massively create, but the question with this new Olympus release is will it answer the massive market (for all brands) that is still DSLR based and of which many four thirds lens owners are waiting for upgrading their DSLR generation cameras?
My concern is less about whether Olympus are doing the best thing for their company, instead it is driven by my own selfishness to want an answer to my own photographic needs! And ideally I'm hoping for an Olympus answer.
The following webpage has graphs showing some global sales figures http://www.43rumors.com/camera-slaes...omment-page-1/

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Old 15th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
I have come to the Oly party only very recently, having swapped a Canon FF kit for an E-M5 one. Like many others who have made similar journeys, I would never have done it if FT was the destination. The Oly FT bodies are not competitive compared to Canon or Nikon DSLRs (crop or FF) and although the Oly FT lenses are fantastic, what's the point if the bodies don't deliver? Today in 2013, the real action in DSLRs is FF, so FT is even less relevant than it ever was. Panasonic got out 5 years ago and Oly never got much market penetration.

In contrast, m43 has seemingly given Oly some life. The E-M5 has had great reception by reviewers and buyers alike and has dislodged a fair number of people from big and heavy Canon/Nikon systems. With competition from the other mirrorless formats (Nex, Fuji, Samsung), I would think it makes sense for Oly to go hell for leather to make u43 a stonking success. Given their financial situation and the collapse of the P&S market, why are they investing any effort at all in FT?

I realise that this will not be what FT users want to hear, but Oly isn't a charity and if it wants to avoid total collapse of its camera business it needs to sell lots of cameras - and that means u43. There are plenty of industry analysts arguing that u43 won't make it in the long run and I fear that if Oly's upgrade/replacement fior the e-M5 is compromised due to FT compatibility requirements, it'll only encourage these doom-mongers.

Anyhow, that's my view - as a recent convert to Oly and u43 it's probably an entirely predictable one, but I think there are many more like me and we should be one of Oly's key target markets.
Thanks for that, Paul, it puts the issue nicely in perspective. You are absolutely right that the new camera must not be compromised by FT requirements and I don't expect it will be. Enhanced, yes, by the ability to use FT lenses with full focus functions (including CAF tracking) equal to or better than the E-5. However, current MFT users who have no wish to use FT lenses will not notice the difference - except, perhaps, the contrast based AF may also be improved. Also the body may be a little bigger, perhaps similar to the Panasonic GH3, but for many users that will be no bad thing. And remember, technology from the "solution" camera will no doubt trickle down to new Pen and smaller E-M models.

The compromise will, I anticipate, fall upon traditional FT users. They will have a camera with an EVF (no optical finder) and smaller than the E-5 (but not necessarily as small as the E-M5). To compensate they can expect a vastly improved sensor and full fuctionality with their existing FT lenses at least as good as they currently enjoy with the E-5. With an adapter, probably - I can't forsee any other way, but may be proven wrong. In addition, they will also of course have the ability to use MFT lenses.

The reason why there is unlikely to be a new FT only body (i.e. has a mirror and won't support MFT lenses) is that although it would satisfy some existing users it would not sell in anything like the numbers required to make it a commercial success. It would also delay ongoing R&D (limited resources) on the MFT system which would further damage the company's financial recovery.

Even if Olympus did decide to make such a camera, what form would it take? An E-5xx or E-6xx model would disappoint E-5 users and an E-5 replacement would disappoint, or be unaffordable for, many current users of the three digit DSLR bodies.

If my assumptions, expectations and guesses prove to be true, the group whose concerns will not be addressed will be users of the E-4xx, E-5xx and E-6xx ranges, mainly because many will be unable to afford the new camera. It is those photographers that I really feel for.

All this conjecture is just my take on the situation.
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Old 15th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

"If my assumptions, expectations and guesses prove to be true, the group whose concerns will not be addressed will be users of the E-4xx, E-5xx and E-6xx ranges, mainly because many will be unable to afford the new camera. It is those photographers that I really feel for."

That's an interesting point John as one of those concerned that gives me two options either to wait for price drops when a further generation model is released or to sell up and go for a different system in the short term. The release price will probably be the determining factor for me, if it's too high then I'm afraid my patience won't hold out and I'd probably jump for something like a Pentax K5 (current body available for £500). So effectively the more over £500 the new camera is will be balanced against how much I'd rather stay with Oly lenses and how the EVF feels against a large OVF. If the new camera body only is in the £1000 or over range like the EM5 was at release then I'm going to have a very difficult decision.
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Old 15th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

I've been reading the various opinions on here regarding a probable release by Olympus regarding a 'new' camera. I originally had an Olympus camera many years ago, and have stood by the brand when I wanted to start again 4 years ago. FT seemed to me to be the obvious step forward. I looked at both Canon and Nikon, and yes they were a very attractive option, quantity of lenses available, and number of bodies, but the size and 'feel' of Olympus just felt right.
I have no doubt the EVF will be the way that many will eventually go, improvements in mobile phone screens prove the point, it may be that those who prefer the current viewfinder will have to adapt, me included, and I am not adverse to that, especially if improvements in many of the points noted on here prove correct. It may also be useful in that any new lenses I buy could be m4/3 as well, which will open up other options for me. You do need to understand that Olympus have a business to run and a profit to make, so lets give them the benefit of the doubt, and wait and see.
I will be seeing what's on offer as I would like to upgrade my current 600, so can't wait really to see what will be in the bag..
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Old 15th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

I'm thinking Oly will nail this one. It may be blind optimism but to me the solution is a hybrid of E5 and OMD.

As long as the viewfinder is very useable useable and the HG (and presumably SHG) lenses perform as intended on a body with plenty of control that delivers improved IQ I will be happy.

I agree that the current buzz is around FF camera's, I have just bought one and love it, but it complements rather than overshadows my E5. The strength of the 4/3 system should be smaller size and weight for great image quality, not forgetting that the 2x crop factor is a real advantage for extracting reach from relatively small, light and inexpensive lenses ( I am thinking 50-200 here).

It does sound increasingly certain that there will be something completely new announced soon. Olympus are undoubtedly aware that many people are waiting to see what happens before jumping to canikon. The people who want a more traditional body are not hankering after it for old times sake, they want the features such as fast AF, great viewfinder, good ergonomics that make taking great pictures easier and enjoyable, they just want better performance than ageing the sensor in the E5. I am sure this can be achieved while incorporating the bes tof modern features such as EVF etc. If they get it wrong they will not survive as a camera maker, i reckon, and I think they will know this.
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Old 15th August 2013
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Re: What will be the substance of the announcement

I have no problem with EVF and mirrorless. In fact I very much look forward to it. It is the way to go in my view. Flapping mirrors are no longer necessary and we should move on.

The commercial drivers to bias towards M43 are obvious. I have no doubt as to the likely technical capabilities of any new camera and that the market is now firmly established.

However.

For me the big issue is size. I like a bigger camera for its handling. I went from an E520 to an E3 and found the handling a revelation. On that basis my worry is that the new "E7" may be too small. I have tried the OMD and simply did not like the size and found it awkward. Super camera in most respects of that there is no doubt but sadly it did not work for me.

Handling is as much a part of a good camera as high ISO, fast focus etc. etc. A camera is a tool like any other and should work for you. If it doesn't feel good then you are not going to get the best out of it or enjoy using it.

I have put money aside for the new camera but if the size/handling is wrong, no matter what the other capabilities are, then I may well say goodbye to Olympus and use that money to change systems. Very much not want I want to do as I have gradually built up a nice selection of glass and do not want to start all over again. Indeed I have just purchased a 12-60 SWD from a forum member and love it. I hope that does not turn out to have been a foolish expenditure.

I do find the general thrust these days in many area of consumer technology that small is best to be misplaced. For many small is actually worse. How many of us struggle texting on the small screen keyboard of a smartphone! Great for my 19 year old daughter but pretty poor for someone who is a few weeks off his 60th and over 6 feet tall with proportionally sized hands which aren't as nimble as they once were.

So here's hoping my anxiety is misplaced and the new body, or bodies, have good handling. If so this is almost certainly one assured purchaser. If not then all bets are off as I may well be.

Hec
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