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Old 9th March 2011
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Re: Olympus presence at Focus on Imaging

Originally Posted by Ian View Post
It's unfortunate that Micro Four Thirds is being regarded as a replacement for Four Thirds. In an ideal world they would continue side by side as they are actually complimentary, although certainly overlapping.
I agree. When micro 4/3rd was first introduced, Olympus said basically the same. They are different products aimed at different segments of the market. I have no problem with the Pen's driving Olympus R&D and then this trickling down to their DSLR's, the E5 being a case in point.

Then, for reasons which aren't clear, the message from Olympus changed, the E5 is probably their last DSLR and there will be no more 4/3rd lenses. So now we're left with a one size fit's all strategy that has left an awful lot of Olympus's existing DSLR users rather less than happy. There has always been whining about cameras on internet forums and I've always tried to avoid this, but recent Olympus statements are a really bad move on their part.

There's an interesting article by Thom Hogan on his website about what camera's are aimed at what section of the market. See:

Although he's primarily a Nikon user he also uses micro 4/3rd. The relevance of this to the current discussion is that he expects Nikon to move into the mirrorless market but he doesn't expect this to lead to the demise of either Nikon's DX or FX DSLR's.

So why does Olympus? Either Olympus is being really visionary or they are making a monumental mistake. Certainly, earlier Olympus innovations such as dust busters, live view and moveable LCD's have now been taken up by the other main players: dust busters and live view particularly.

However, it's a shame that Olympus haven't been able to match the other players innovations namely less noise at higher ISO and wider dynamic range. The performance of the E5 in this regard is certainly better than seen in the E3, E620 or E30 but still, arguably, it is not as good as, say, the Pentax K5.

Note I'm not saying the E5 is a bad camera, just commenting that on basis of the DxOMark scores (which are bore out by other reviews), that the Pentax K5 has a wider dynamic range and is better at higher ISO than the E5.

I get noise in some circumstances at ISO 400 with my E30 and really, I would like better. Having made the investment I am going to continue with my E30 and lenses. However, if I were buying from scratch now, I'd read the reviews and I wouldn't buy Olympus: firstly because other cameras get better reviews and secondly because Olympus has said 4/3rds is effectively dead. I certainly wouldn't buy micro 4/3rd's either. I not the only person who thinks like this, and this is bad news for Olympus.

Maybe, Olympus thinks it will pick up enough sales of micro 4/3rd's that it won't matter it if loses a few legacy E series customers. That certainly is the message it is projecting.

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