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Olympus E-520 E-520 specific discussion.

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  #31  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I think Olympus are in for a rough ride unfortunately. I'm satisfied with the E-System in general, sure there are things that I'd like or directions that I'd like to see Olympus go but I don't see it happening. It seems that the market still demands 'Full Frame' and a high pixel count and they don't really care how big the equipment is.

If Pentax/Samsung release a Full Frame that leaves Olympus on it's own with the smallest sensor in the DSLR sector, they don't make their own sensors and IMO the Panasonic sensor isn't as good as some of the others, add to that the fact that Olympus are effictively tied to using Panasonic sensors.

How are Olympus going to sell DSLR's when the only upgrade path from an entry level DSLR is a more expensive version with exactly the same sensor?

I certainly didn't expect Full Frame to take off like it has and in any case it's not something that I'm interested in unless they can get the size down to something smaller than an E-3. Olympus haven't listened to their user base, how many times have you heard people say they wanted a High Spec E-4**? what do Olympus suggest, a down-specced micro 4/3rds compact.

What m4/3rds suggest is that Olympus know that they won't be able to compete in the DSLR sector for much longer so they're trying to create a new sector which they hope to fill with m4/3rds.

I accept that the DSLR market is a small percentage of overall cameras sales so I don't expect Olympus to drop out of the market completely but it's only the E-System that interests me so where do they go from here. There's only so much they can add to their current range that makes them more attractive than the competition and even if they did come up with some major new breakthrough the competition will quickly adopt it. Olympus can't re-write the laws of physics, sure they can improve DR but others will have similar DR but a higher pixel count (which seems to be important for the market) It's becoming increasingly clear that they can't hope to off-set the linitation of a small sensor by producing a smaller system, nobody sems to care about the physical size.

I really don't know where the E-System is headed, anyone else got an opinion?
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  #32  
Old 10th September 2008
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Thumbs up Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Excellent observations! As I have stated before, when 35MM was the king of the hill, there was a flushing out of lesser brand names and we wound up with a few good camera companies and all of the others either went bye, bye, or when into the point and shoot market for the masses who were not interested in a professional rig.

My feeling on Olympus is that they need to design their own chip and find ways to improve performnace. But there, as you have pointed out, are limitations based on the physical size of the sensor. The other issue that needs to be recognized is the pixel size on the 4/3 sensor is from 35 to 50% smaller than in the larger sensors offered by other camera makers. Thus even though we have the same pixel count, the data captured by the 4/3 rig suffers from blumming and less data. Thus the dynamic range is not as wide as others.

Olympus needs to take more R&D dollars-pounds and start to find their own way to make the sensor more resilliant. Unfortunately, there are only a few sensor manufacturers and there's where the rub is.

We need to have more converstaions like this here! Let's keep it going. There are just too many of us who have invested hard earned dollars and pounds in the E System. It would be a big bust if the line were not to continue to be innovative and robust in design for performance needs and wants!

Dennis G
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  #33  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R MacE View Post
I think Olympus are in for a rough ride unfortunately. I'm satisfied with the E-System in general, sure there are things that I'd like or directions that I'd like to see Olympus go but I don't see it happening. It seems that the market still demands 'Full Frame' and a high pixel count and they don't really care how big the equipment is.

If Pentax/Samsung release a Full Frame that leaves Olympus on it's own with the smallest sensor in the DSLR sector, they don't make their own sensors and IMO the Panasonic sensor isn't as good as some of the others, add to that the fact that Olympus are effectively tied to using Panasonic sensors.

How are Olympus going to sell DSLR's when the only upgrade path from an entry level DSLR is a more expensive version with exactly the same sensor?

I certainly didn't expect Full Frame to take off like it has and in any case it's not something that I'm interested in unless they can get the size down to something smaller than an E-3. Olympus haven't listened to their user base, how many times have you heard people say they wanted a High Spec E-4**? what do Olympus suggest, a down-specced micro 4/3rds compact.

What m4/3rds suggest is that Olympus know that they won't be able to compete in the DSLR sector for much longer so they're trying to create a new sector which they hope to fill with m4/3rds.

I accept that the DSLR market is a small percentage of overall cameras sales so I don't expect Olympus to drop out of the market completely but it's only the E-System that interests me so where do they go from here. There's only so much they can add to their current range that makes them more attractive than the competition and even if they did come up with some major new breakthrough the competition will quickly adopt it. Olympus can't re-write the laws of physics, sure they can improve DR but others will have similar DR but a higher pixel count (which seems to be important for the market) It's becoming increasingly clear that they can't hope to off-set the linitation of a small sensor by producing a smaller system, nobody sems to care about the physical size.

I really don't know where the E-System is headed, anyone else got an opinion?
Richard

I think that you are crying woe rather too soon - most of the Photokina offerings from Oly are not yet even rumoured, and we probably should wait a couple of weeks before evaluating them against the opposition. Just to start restart a rumour I put onto the AP site a few weeks ago here is a description of a "triad" sensor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3CCD

If Oly adopted something like that they could easily match full frame IQ and still use the current glass (with all its enormous advantages) and the laws of physics would not even need to be bent.

I suspect that it would be difficult to get such a sensor into a conventional mirror box but we know that a major advance in EVF is coming, don't we?

Roger

Last edited by RogerMac; 10th September 2008 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Typo: IS in place of IQ!
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

While that is true you need to look at those already using '3 Chip Technology'

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...=7512&pageno=2

Remember that it's not just a matter of Olympus producing products that we as Olympus users want, they have to compete for sales against the likes of Canon/Nikon. While they may not compete directly against the Full Frame models they need to compete with the lower end of the market but that market is driven by the promise of higher end products and the image that a company has due to it Pro user base. In that respect Olympus have to compete with the likes of the 1 DSmk111/D-3/D-700/a900 whether they or we like it or not.

It doesn't really matter what technology is best, Canikon are the main players in the DSLR field, in fact they own the ball and as such make the rules. The pro market has certain requirements and all Canikon need to do to ensure that the DSLR rules are to their liking, playing to their strengths, is to only provide those features in a product that they make and want to continue to make. They are not going to change to a system that places them on level terms with the competition regardless of what advances technology brings, they'll incorporate it as far as they can while still producing DSLR's in a form which is really only a evolution of what they now have and what preceded their current models.

IMO of course
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Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Sorry I could not make that link work!
Roger
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  #36  
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Oops, try it now.
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  #37  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Well with three sensor breaking up light into their primary colors seems to be a route to take, but it's another configuration over and above the current one chip-sensor model that exists in our current E line.

This is similar to what Intel and AMD are striving for. Putting multiple "Cores" on the same landscape to route information to a core that is not fully being used. Thus increased speed in a single core is no longer an issue or a need. By having several cores working in tandem, more work gets done in less time and produces less heat.

So again we are back where we are in the "Current State", how does this translate to the "Future State" for Olympus? Does the route take Oly to multiple sensors for a higher level of performance OR do they layer their 4/3 senor to split the primar colors to incorporate better dynamic range and performance. Once we get over 16 Megapixels, if you cannot get an excellent 16x20 enlargement, then there are other issues beyond the scope of the rig! The statements made in earlier replies states that the "Glass" then becomes the over riding factor!!

As I have stated, I will be at the Photo East Show here in NYC in October. I will have a lot of questions to be asked when I get to the Olympus exhitbition booth.
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  #38  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Thanks - I see what you mean!

Roger
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  #39  
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Quote:
Once we get over 16 Megapixels, if you cannot get an excellent 16x20 enlargement
Not quite sure what you meant by that - I reckon that I can easily get excellent 16X20 from my current E510 - (usually as a cropped print on a smaller piece of paper) and the quality does not seem to run out till something over 1.5 that in linear size.

Roger
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  #40  
Old 10th September 2008
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Red face Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

What I am saying is, how many pixels do we really need to get a good quality enlargemnet. How big is big? How red is red? How sharp is sharp?

We take pictures for the moment, message, the mood, etc. When we get all pent-up with specs we lose the true art of photography. So if we as photographers need more megs to make great shots, where does the need end?

Remember when we shot Plus X, Kodachrome, Agfa, we were all able to get it done. So a baseline for equipment needs to be established and all of the bells and whistles are a nice thing but don't add anything to the quality of the shot.

As stated before, I think full frame sensors are going to be the standard by which others are measured by due to the fact they are becoming more prevelant in the marketplace. Thus over time, the price point will come down as all technologies do. So the other size sensors, are going to be in jeopardy of being passed by by certain segments of the marketplace. It has happened before, and will continue in the future!

AND let make a statement, "I am very satisfied with my E520 and the lenses that I have. JPEGS that are at 11 Megs do a real fine job and the RAW format even better. So I will not in the near future move to some other format. What I am concerned about is the support and the proliferation of the E line. As an informed customer, it's the life cycle of the product line that concerns me.

Dennis G
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  #41  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I think what Dennis means is that if people can't get high quality 20"x16" from a 16mp DSLR then they'd be better spending the money on a photography course than on another camera.
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisg View Post
AND let make a statement, "I am very satisfied with my E520 and the lenses that I have. JPEGS that are at 11 Megs do a real fine job and the RAW format even better. So I will not in the near future move to some other format. What I am concerned about is the support and the proliferation of the E line. As an informed customer, it's the life cycle of the product line that concerns me.

Dennis G
My sentiments exactly.

I'll try to further clarify my comments about Canikon 'Owning the Ball'

When the E-System was launched Olympus were trying to provide a DSLR that could equal a 35mm SLR in terms of IQ. To all intents and purposes they did just that. The 5mp E-1 was and still is capable of producing prints well above the 35mm standard of 8"x10". At that point Canikon could have followed suit but they didn't simply because they have a bunch of Ace's up their respective sleeves in the form of a significant users base who wanted to utilise their investment in 35mm equipment. Canikon can hardly be blamed for supplying the demand. Had they opted for a designed for Digital system, not nescessarily 4/3rds, they would have been throwing away the user base Ace's and would have been playing on a level playing field along with Olympus. There would have been less reason for people to stick with Canikon if they were going to have to buy into a completely new system. Canikon still have the user base and regardless of what technology appears they will simply continue to implement it into their existing range. The Digital Single Lens Reflex is going to be around for a very long time, the drive towards Full Frame is well established and with Sony now wanting to play (to Canikon rules) the race is well and truely on. I expect Pentax/Samsung to join sooner rather than later as they also can play the Legacy card. That leaves Olympus as the only DSLR maker without a Full Frame option, they however have no legacy 35mm lenses unless you count the OM system which aren't really going to cut it in the current pro market. The E-System lenses obviously won't work on a Full Frame body so Olympus would need to go back to the drawing board and design yet another system from the ground up. Are they capable? of course, can they reassure enough prospective buyers that they are a good long term investment? I doubt it. The question remains how long can Olympus invest in the E-System and still remain profitable. I don't have the answer and I suspect neither do Olympus which is why we're seeing the emergence of m4/3rds.

IMO of course
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  #43  
Old 10th September 2008
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Thumbs up Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Now I think were are all on the same page. Thanks for all of your inputs, but lets get back to "Best Practices" and see where the technology can truly help the photographer do his or her job better!

This was a great volley!

Dennis G
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  #44  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Just as a post script, and to play Devil's Advocate, let's suppose for one moment that Oly did abandon 4/3. What would that mean to us?

I can only speak for myself, of course, but I would be left with a superb camera (E3) that fulfills all my requirements and is robust enough to continue to do so for many years to come. It may have become obsolete but it would still produce the same high quality images it does now.

As a bonus, many existing users would migrate to other systems and e-bay would become flooded with cheap, high quality glass that I could actually afford!

But what effect would it have on potential sales of my work? Would magazine editors reject it because it was taken on a camera no longer in production? I don't seem to have that problem with trannies taken on my Bronica which is equally obsolete, unloved and unwanted.

But what if 10mp became so outdated because most cameras eventually had 100 (yes, 100) MP? Well, currrent magazine printing technology can only realistically utilise 300ppi - any resolution beyond this is wasted. The E3's 10mp can easily produce a front cover at 300ppi.

In any case, the concept of magazines physically printed on paper must be destined for obsolescence itself. Surely in the future most magazines will be downloaded online. Who needs 100mp to produce images for the Web at 72ppi?

Just a thought, if we all started shooting 24mp RAW files (never mind 100mp files!) just how big would the hard drives on our computers need to be? And how much RAM would we need for Photoshop?

And eventually, by the time we got to 500mp cameras, don't you think that the Fancy Dans driving the demand for ever more pixels might start to realise that their pictures were still going to be crap at any resolution?

At that point, having exhausted all other innovtions, it's quite conceivable that at least one manufacturer would re-invent the wheel by introducing a miniature camera system with a smaller sensor of about 10mp, "All you'll ever need for producing high quality Web images and even traditional prints up to 20x16."

And of course, my E3 will still be going strong!
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  #45  
Old 10th September 2008
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Thumbs up Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

A great ending! With all of the hoopla about megapixels, your discussion on the computer side is very valid. As the file gets larger, it puts more demand on other resources to produce larger files. Thus the cost is not just the camera and lenses, it also entails the post processing. If you print at home on a 8 or 10 ink cartridge Epson, Canon, or HP (wide carraige) the cost for replacing these cartridges is very high.

We need to put all of this in perspective and understand all of the issues and determine the point where more will only dictate more diminishing returns. When I owned 35MM rigs I held on to them for at least 5 years before I started to turn over the equipment. In today's scenario, it is way faster, but does more really give you more, or less?

10 to12 megapixels really gives the majority of end users enough data to get prints from 16x20 down to the standard 4x6s. Several days ago I sent a JPEG from my E520 and edited it, then uploaded it to MPix an online print house. When I selected the 16x20 size for the enlargement, it stated that my 11 plus Meg JPEG could actually be used to make a 20x30 So 24.3 megs? I guess with that much data I can make a wall mural.

My point here is we need to stop the more and demand the quality. I am with you on the current breed that we own and use. Maybe we should do more critquing of the the output and not so much emphasis on the light box-camera!

Dennis G
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