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Micro Four Thirds Discuss the newly announced Micro Four Thirds addition to the Four Thirds system family here.

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Old 4th October 2014
Footloose1949 Footloose1949 is offline
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Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

There are very few other designers who have made as big an impact on the design of cameras, as Yoshihisa Maitani; even after formally retiring from the company, he was still involved as a consultant, up until he died in 2009. There is no doubt in my mind that the Board of Directors at Olympus, were more than willing to allow Mr Maitini to develop products incurring costs at this time, that other camera manufacturer's just wouldn't have ever allowed.

I am indeed thinking of the metal circular shutter mechanism used on the world's only half-frame SLR, the Pen F which meant purchasing a huge roll of titanium, specifically produced for a product they didn't even know would actually work, and if the design hadn't worked, they would be 'lumbered' with a material they didn't use on any other product they sold!

Even though I doubt the existence of such things, I wonder if his ghost still stalks around Olympus's various product development and design departments. You can see his 'hand' on so many different photographic products even today, with the exception of the E-3 and E-5 cameras which I can only presume were developed as a result of pressure from Olympus's marketing dept, which concluded that building cameras similar in size to those sold by other manufacturer's, would significantly increase their market share. Maybe this was due to at this time, an influx of new young blood into this dept or existing members of staff retiring?

Only Olympus know the reason why the design parameters of a camera as ergonomically satisfying to use as the E-1 were 'abandoned' and replaced with a model as 'conventionally' styled as the E3 and E5 ... I bought the E-1 and also an E3, but to me, although the E3 and 5 are certainly excellent cameras, they are ergonomically, not as satisfying to use. One way or another, I think if Mr Maitani was asked why these two models were significantly 'different', I suspect his reply would be a diplomatic "Due to influences from elsewhere he had little to do with."

However, I digress from the the main reason I embarked on writing what is likely to be a long-winded ramble, which is that I think that there are a number of design features on the E-1, which I'd like to see transferred over or incorporated into whatever replaces the E-M1. Maybe someone at Olympus will keep an eye on what I and other members of this forum contribute and pass this onto those who will be beavering away on the E-M1's successor?

So, here are my suggestions, for what it's worth .... Most of these are ergonomics-related. I also want this to be perceived as CONSTRUCTIVE rather than negative feedback on what, as it stands is an excellent product.

1. The Body ...

a. Re-locate the On/Off switch to the right-hand side, as it was on the E1. If you want to take 'Grab-shots', the E-1's switch-position, is a lot more intuitive and faster to access.

b. I'd like to see the buttons protruding further forward than they do, probably with a bit more 'resistance' to being pushed, built into them This is of considerable value when you need to use gloves.

c. Re-design the left-hand side of the top-plate, changing the size and shape of the circular 'buttons', or/and also relocate the two function buttons on the front of the camera's body, to the left-hand side of the 'Prism box' as per the E-1. - When you are gripping the r/hand side of the camera, relaxing your grip to also push the buttons where they are, doesn't help holding the camera steady, in my humble opinion.

d. I'd like also like some of the buttons to be of the push On push Off type as used on the E-M1's PASM dial. Being able to assign the Preview/ D.O.F function to such a button, I would find a really useful feature.

e. I think, the AEL/AFL button and the lever by it's side, could be converted firmware-wise, to make it a lot more useful function-wise than it presently is.


2. The HLD-7 grip ...

a.The rear dial seems to be located ok, but the front one, feels like it needs to be lower down into the body, or maybe moved further to the front of the grip, or positioned so that it protrudes further beyond the grips outer edge; it just doesn't seem to be where it 'needs' to be, in relation to how the the joints on the human finger operate.

b. The B-Fn1 and B-Fn2 buttons, I would prefer located higher up, and on the left of the rear dial, instead of the right of the grip's surface, and below the rear dial. Don't think an additional EEL/AFL button or lever needs to be added, as you can access the existing one from where it is, in either shooting position.

c. Finally, because I'm now being greedy! ... Could we also have a strap-grip point also on the opposite side to the one already on the HLD-7 grip?

What do other users think? What aspects of the next camera's design would you like to see addressed, better than they currently are?
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Old 4th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

I've never ised an E-1, but I have seen pictures of it. TBH, it seems a bit large by u43 standards. Where it comes to the E-M1, I'm pretty pleased with its handling. The things that I think could use some improvement are:

- Full electronic shutter (first and second curtain) - makes for very quiet shutter operation.

- Cross-type PDAF points.

- Significantly improved CAF.

- Lower noise at base ISO.

- Better focus peaking.

- Significant improvement in Live View interface - e.g. to be able to combine histogram/blinkies with electronic spirit level on same screen.

- Being able to save configuration to SD card or an attached computer.

That shouldn't be too big a list for Mr Maitani's ghost should it?
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

I find the locations of the buttons and switches on the E-M1 to be near perfect. In particular, I have grown to love the location of the on/off switch as it enables me to operate it whilst the camera is slung at my left side.

Each to their own.
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

I would like no on/off switch at all, like my OM-4Ti. Just pressing the shutter release switches on all the electronics and results in a perfectly exposed image (assuming I haven't done something daft ). I doubt that's practical in a digital camera though.
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Footloose a very interesting read of your ramble Thanks for Sharing
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
I've never ised an E-1, but I have seen pictures of it. TBH, it seems a bit large by u43 standards. Where it comes to the E-M1, I'm pretty pleased with its handling. The things that I think could use some improvement are:

- Full electronic shutter (first and second curtain) - makes for very quiet shutter operation.

- Cross-type PDAF points.

- Significantly improved CAF.

- Lower noise at base ISO.

- Better focus peaking.

- Significant improvement in Live View interface - e.g. to be able to combine histogram/blinkies with electronic spirit level on same screen.

- Being able to save configuration to SD card or an attached computer.

That shouldn't be too big a list for Mr Maitani's ghost should it?
Maybe you should checkout the E-7 (DSLR) that didn't continue. That might be about E-1 size. I think the E-M1 size wise is more ideal for what it is made to do now though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
I would like no on/off switch at all, like my OM-4Ti. Just pressing the shutter release switches on all the electronics and results in a perfectly exposed image (assuming I haven't done something daft ). I doubt that's practical in a digital camera though.
The Play switch on the Stylus 1 can be programmed to wake the camera so it could be applied to a shutter button too (with a fixed press time to awake the camera & that could be time selectable too) if desired in a future camera. In fact, that could likely be added to the present E-M1 through firmware perhaps (easier than 4K video, I would imagine) since the camera can be kept on even when the switch is OFF & also the camera can be turned OFF when the switch is ON through WiFi remote.
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Given the design philosophy of simplicity and ease of use for the OM I suspect he'd be appalled by and the buttons and gimmicks of the OM-D.
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Over the decades, I've used quite a few different cameras and I suppose it's from using these, and due to some of of their distinct features, that some of the 'improvements' I've listed, originate. The 'Press On/press Off' button comes from the DOF button/lever on Minolta's SRT101, whilst having dials overhanging/protuding beyond the body, came from holding one of the monumentally-expensive Zeiss Contarex Electronics, and then owning a Canon EF (Auto verson of the F1) and Canon AE1. The E-1's on/off switch is like the shutter release lock used earlier on a 500CM Hassleblads. I was tempted at one point to buy an OM1, but just couldn't come to terms with the shutter speed dial being located behind the lens mount. - One man's meat another's poison? - As for the OM1, I vividly remember the impact this had on other manufacturers, as from this point onwards, it had a big impact on the long-held product marketing principle that pro gear by default had to be big and bulky, although the Olympus's diminutative Pen F SLR, had already proved to some pro's (W Eugene Smith being a prime example) that this wasn't wasn't the case. For those wishing to see some of of his outstanding work and know a bit more about the man, I suggest you look at this link ...

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2...t-photography/
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Old 5th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Given the design philosophy of simplicity and ease of use for the OM I suspect he'd be appalled by and the buttons and gimmicks of the OM-D.
Agreed, and like me he'd hate the E-M5's fiddly on/off switch!
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Old 27th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Whenever a camera manufacturer claims that their new or revamped model is a result of 'customer feedback' I wonder where this came from because I have yet to find any portal where I can leave feedback and know it is going to be read. Do they employ people to read sites like this; or talk with a few 'pros' that use their products, or just tell lies?
Certainly Olympus could do themselves a lot of good PR by having an official feedback forum. In the absence of one however, here are my particular gripes about the E-M1:

1) The screen should be fully articulated as per Panasonic so I can actually use it in portrait orientation and so I can fold it away with the back of the screen outwards both to protect the screen and prevent accumulating nose and fingerprints when using the eyepiece (which I do 90% of the time)
2) The base of the camera should have a tripod quick release system as part of the original design together with the ubiquitous 1/4" screw fitting, and should be marked showing the position of the optical axis.
3) The four-way navigation arrow pad is too fiddly. I have to use the edge of my nails to navigate through the software settings because using a finger always accidentally activates the OK or Menu buttons - and this can be VERY frustrating.
4) A second SD card slot would be nice for backup - a micro SD card perhaps?
5) I agree, the two front panel buttons should be on the left hand side, trying to use them with the right hand is not good ergonomics.
6) On/Off switch on the right hand side and able to use it when the camera is being held down by my side with just the right hand. Like my old Panasonic G.

Here are three suggestions that might only require software changes, so could be incorporated in a firmware update for the current model.

7) Full Wi-Fi, so I can download the contents of my SD card directly to my PC without removing the card or having to fiddle around with a cable connection.
8) Whenever 'Monotone' (as Olympus calls monochrome) shooting mode is selected, the dial/button assigned to White Balance to change so B&W filters (Yellow, Orange, Red, Green and Blue please) can be selected in place of the WB options . In my case the rear dial when the Lever switch is in position 2 .
9) Can software ND 2x 4x 8x and 16x be added - the equivalent of 100/50/25/12 ASA? or are there technical/quality reasons why this cannot be done? There are times when I want to use a slow shutter speed and a wide aperture for shallow DoF, and 200 ASA is just way too fast, so have to carry filters to fit 5 lenses, all with different filter sizes. (whatever happened to standardisation? )

Otherwise, a great camera and one I carry around all day without fatigue. Niggles and 'wish' list apart, I love it.

David
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Old 27th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Hi David. I don't know if you're aware, but this forum is part-funded by Olympus and regularly visited by senior UK Olympus staff, who in turn have contact with the rest of the Empire.

Some of your well thought-out ergonomics points are purely personal of course. Many of your minus points are, in fact, plus points for others. There is no "one size fits all" camera.

As regards filters, have you thought about a filter system such as Lee or HiTech?

Having said that, welcome to the forum and we look forward to your contributions and discussions.
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Old 27th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fotofundi View Post
Whenever a camera manufacturer claims that their new or revamped model is a result of 'customer feedback' I wonder where this came from because I have yet to find any portal where I can leave feedback and know it is going to be read. Do they employ people to read sites like this; or talk with a few 'pros' that use their products, or just tell lies?
Certainly Olympus could do themselves a lot of good PR by having an official feedback forum. In the absence of one however, here are my particular gripes about the E-M1:

1) The screen should be fully articulated as per Panasonic so I can actually use it in portrait orientation and so I can fold it away with the back of the screen outwards both to protect the screen and prevent accumulating nose and fingerprints when using the eyepiece (which I do 90% of the time)
2) The base of the camera should have a tripod quick release system as part of the original design together with the ubiquitous 1/4" screw fitting, and should be marked showing the position of the optical axis.
3) The four-way navigation arrow pad is too fiddly. I have to use the edge of my nails to navigate through the software settings because using a finger always accidentally activates the OK or Menu buttons - and this can be VERY frustrating.
4) A second SD card slot would be nice for backup - a micro SD card perhaps?
5) I agree, the two front panel buttons should be on the left hand side, trying to use them with the right hand is not good ergonomics.
6) On/Off switch on the right hand side and able to use it when the camera is being held down by my side with just the right hand. Like my old Panasonic G.

Here are three suggestions that might only require software changes, so could be incorporated in a firmware update for the current model.

7) Full Wi-Fi, so I can download the contents of my SD card directly to my PC without removing the card or having to fiddle around with a cable connection.
8) Whenever 'Monotone' (as Olympus calls monochrome) shooting mode is selected, the dial/button assigned to White Balance to change so B&W filters (Yellow, Orange, Red, Green and Blue please) can be selected in place of the WB options . In my case the rear dial when the Lever switch is in position 2 .
9) Can software ND 2x 4x 8x and 16x be added - the equivalent of 100/50/25/12 ASA? or are there technical/quality reasons why this cannot be done? There are times when I want to use a slow shutter speed and a wide aperture for shallow DoF, and 200 ASA is just way too fast, so have to carry filters to fit 5 lenses, all with different filter sizes. (whatever happened to standardisation? )

Otherwise, a great camera and one I carry around all day without fatigue. Niggles and 'wish' list apart, I love it.

David
David, I do not share any of your 'recommended mods above' and find the ONEs just purrrfect

and I have had personal calls from Oly Tech re early probs and requests for images with exif and the problems have gone NOW thats what I call High Quality Service as well as 1 week turnaround when I have sent kit back to Olympus (E-1s and E-5 and ONEs) and thats less than 5 working days turnaround to Portugal ! Thanks to Olympus and our Ian here

Of course we ALL have a Wish List and mine had the 300 lens on it
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Old 27th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Where it comes to the E-M1, I'm pretty pleased with its handling. The things that I think could use some improvement are:

- Full electronic shutter (first and second curtain) - makes for very quiet shutter operation.

- Cross-type PDAF points.

- Significantly improved CAF.

- Lower noise at base ISO.

- Better focus peaking.

- Significant improvement in Live View interface - e.g. to be able to combine histogram/blinkies with electronic spirit level on same screen.

- Being able to save configuration to SD card or an attached computer.

That shouldn't be too big a list for Mr Maitani's ghost should it?
Pretty much my wish list too. Ergonomically my main gripe is it is too easy to knock the two way selector switch and end up changing different parameters to the ones intended.
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Old 27th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miketoll View Post
Pretty much my wish list too. Ergonomically my main gripe is it is too easy to knock the two way selector switch and end up changing different parameters to the ones intended.
Mike - you can configure the two way lever to do nothing if you wish. I use mine for AF modification only.
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Old 28th October 2014
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Re: Mr Maitini & the E-M1's successor.

Hello Stephen

I did not know Olympus part-fund this site and read it regularly, although I should have guessed there would be some association. My sincere and unreserved apologies to Olympus for querying how they gather customer feedback; and my thanks to you for pointing this out. I am delighted to learn they do, in both instances.

Of course my gripes/wish list are personal to me and the type of photography I do, and whilst I fully accept that some or all may not be important to other photographers, or may be contrary to Olympus’ current design philosophy or constraints, never-the-less such ‘wish lists’ are, one hopes, the result of extended use of the camera and therefore of some value to Olympus if enough people agree on specific aspects – such as the On/Off switch position, location of the front buttons and indicating the optical axis when the tripod socket is off-line.

The fully articulated screen may be considered mechanically fragile and standardised filter size may compromise lens design and even adding a small increase in height to the camera body for a quick release system may be taboo, but changes such as lower amplification providing lower ISO and swapping the WB selection with the B&W filter selection when in monochrome mode seem, to me at least, logical improvements that can be incorporated without compromise elsewhere and would help to extend the versatility of the camera – always assuming they do not add significant costs of course.

Thank you for the filter suggestion. Although I do own the Hi-tech system and use it occasionally, in general I prefer quality glass filters together with a bunch of step-down rings and a suitable lens hood. Horses for courses I guess.

Finally, could someone point out to Olympus that ‘Monotone’, used in a photographic context is a single tone of colour without variation and thus without detail and very boring, except to a paint salesman. The correct English word is, of course, Monochrome.

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/images/smilies/cheers.gif

David
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