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Olympus E-520 E-520 specific discussion.

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  #16  
Old 29th August 2008
Dick Bowman Dick Bowman is offline
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I often think that the emphasis on body functionality puts the cart before the horse - it's an easier sell than lenses, and I find it hard personally to adopt the (sensible) view that lenses have a longer lifespan than bodies.

When I was looking at Nikon DSLRs three or four years ago I just couldn't make lens decisions that made sense to me - the range was huge, but without spending extreme money I just couldn't find what I was looking for. Olympus' options seem restricted on paper, but 14-54 plus 50-200 seems "enough" for most of the time.

End of the day, the body just captures what the lens puts on the sensor.
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  #17  
Old 29th August 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I can't think of one good reason why Olympus, or Olympus users, should be worried about the specification of the D90.

It won't make your photos better, you don't need a D90 to win the next camera club competition, but you may need the D90 if you want to show off the latest bit of kit and mix in the Nikon circle instead of stand on your own in the corner with your Olympus gear. So isn't this the real problem? As an Olympus user you feel on the fringes of society and need reassurance that Olympus will make something that matches a Nikon or Canon rather than having a different approach to design?


I honestly think anybody who has doubts about Olympus should just jump ship and go and stop worrying about what Oly might do next. And when they get their next mega pixel wonder anxiety will start all over again, and additionally in the Nikon or Canon forums they may even start to ask why, with so many pixels on offer, Nikon or Canon don't make lenses that are as sharp as Olympus (and as small as Olympus) with which to make use of all those pixels.

Photography and all its many sub-sections such as equipment envy, are just a part of the human condition that nags in the ear that the grass is greener on the other side. Study closely what the other side is saying and doing however and you will see that their photo's are no better, their equipment still lets them down, and they also get nagging voices telling them they need to be reassured that their camera is 'fit for purpose'. They will never ever win ;-)

Steve
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  #18  
Old 29th August 2008
Cathal Cathal is offline
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Cool Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I've always had the view that when buying an SLR it is the system you are buying into that is more important than any single body. I see the biggest problem facing Olympus is not the individual strengths and weaknesses of any given model from competitors, but the market perception and presence of Canon and Nikon.

Canon and Nikon dominate the market. Olympus, alongside Pentax and SONY are behind, and trying to make inroads. Why?

It isn't the product! Olympus lost a generation of photographers by failing to see the impact AF would have, and didn't produce an AF OM camera. Likewise, Pentax did embrace AF (eventually) but abandoned the professional market (remember the stellar LX anybody?) and, more importantly today, were very late to the digital party. Minolta, for a long time the "gadget" technology leaders in 35mm photography, were so slow to produce a digital SLR that their user base had already jumped to (typically) Nikon or Canon.

Pentax, with the K10d and K20d, are producing some good products at good prices. They need to produce more glass, but they are staging a good comeback. SONY have the "everybody on planet earth has heard of us" brand value, and a massive advertising budget, not to mention the technological capability, to become a very real threat to the big two.

The issue is that once somebody has bought their first dSLR, be it a D40x, an EOS1000, or e400... and started to get a few "system" bits, when they look to upgrade they will consider their existing supplier as first choice.

Olympus need to win the first time buyer race! That means convincing consumers that the system is viable for every photographic need. There are considerations which mean it may not be for a number of jobbing professionals, but these would be 1 or 2 percent of the market if even that. But the prejudice can mean that the remaining 98% are turned off because of that.
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  #19  
Old 29th August 2008
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathal View Post
I've always had the view that when buying an SLR it is the system you are buying into that is more important than any single body. I see the biggest problem facing Olympus is not the individual strengths and weaknesses of any given model from competitors, but the market perception and presence of Canon and Nikon.

Canon and Nikon dominate the market. Olympus, alongside Pentax and SONY are behind, and trying to make inroads. Why?

It isn't the product! Olympus lost a generation of photographers by failing to see the impact AF would have, and didn't produce an AF OM camera. Likewise, Pentax did embrace AF (eventually) but abandoned the professional market (remember the stellar LX anybody?) and, more importantly today, were very late to the digital party. Minolta, for a long time the "gadget" technology leaders in 35mm photography, were so slow to produce a digital SLR that their user base had already jumped to (typically) Nikon or Canon.

Pentax, with the K10d and K20d, are producing some good products at good prices. They need to produce more glass, but they are staging a good comeback. SONY have the "everybody on planet earth has heard of us" brand value, and a massive advertising budget, not to mention the technological capability, to become a very real threat to the big two.

The issue is that once somebody has bought their first dSLR, be it a D40x, an EOS1000, or e400... and started to get a few "system" bits, when they look to upgrade they will consider their existing supplier as first choice.

Olympus need to win the first time buyer race! That means convincing consumers that the system is viable for every photographic need. There are considerations which mean it may not be for a number of jobbing professionals, but these would be 1 or 2 percent of the market if even that. But the prejudice can mean that the remaining 98% are turned off because of that.
Very well stated, well done.

I was an old Pentax man myself in the 35mm days, still have the Pentax Spotmatic. Was surprised when I entered the digital market that Pentax was not one of the major players. They also produced superb lenses - remember the Super Takumar range?
As for Olympus, as far as I see from their offerings, they are attacking the first-time buyer market with a range of cameras. The packaging of good kit lenses is a particularly clever ploy. It provides for the need for a range of focal lengths and the quality is such that this would tend to satisfy needs of the new consumer until they can afford to purchase other lenses. Owning lenses as you point out is a key point in retaining consumers.
The E3 launch was their attack on the higher end of the market and I don't expect them to stop there for very long. Wonder when the E4/5 will be launched?

Peter
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  #20  
Old 29th August 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I think Olympus have to work hard to stay in the DSLR-type game. Their E system cameras seem to be well thought out with plenty of sensible facilities and usability. The lenses are excellent (but several of the good ones are still big, heavy and very expensive). If they're sticking with the 4/3 sensor, and they really want to take a significant slice of the pro market, then before adding more bells and whistles they really must improve the sensor: dynamic range and noise handling. The latest Nikons and Canons are going for very usable higher ISO settings and how is Olympus going to match those important advances? Available light photography is high on my list and I can't be the only one.

Micro 4/3rds is making the future even more uncertain. Meanwhile, if I were to invest in that expensive top Zuiko glass, the only thing I could look forward to upgrading to is the ISO 3200 E3 with its smallish 4/3 sensor - not that much better than the 520 for amateur use. I'm happy with the E520 for a couple of years but then what's going to be the Olympus competition for the new ISO 12800 Canon or whatever follows the Nikon D700? Do you see any on the horizon right now....?
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  #21  
Old 29th August 2008
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

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Originally Posted by dennisg View Post
The lens, kit lens, has built in stabilization capabilty although this makes the lens heavier and more expensive. The 12.3 Megapixel size can be overcome by cropping properly in the view finder.

But you will still lose some of those pixels if you crop to a more comfortable ratio of, say 16 x 12 inches.

I found that whe I went from the typical 2:3 in 35 mm to the 4:3 in the 4/3s I had to make some adjustments as well. The delta between 4.5 and 5.0 Fps is minimal also.

Agreed. But it doesn't work in favour of the D90 either, does it?


The difference here is that when the price point and options are reviewed, it will be certainly easier to convince someone buying an upgrade to buy the Nikon for $1299 American vs buying the E-3 for $1600 American. The water proofing is a good thing but in the 30 plus years that I shot frames I have been through a lot of undersirable situations and never had a rig fail. So unless you take a lot of nature-beach scenes, I just wonder how much of that is really critical in making a choice. Sometimes some precautions can go a long way.

My feeling is that Olympus is going to get off it's seat and will start to push the envelope too. The cost for components should decrease as more of these will be used in the futher change to digital photography. Thus maybe Olympus will use this as leasons learned and meet the challenge.

Last the HD streaming, well I cannot say anything on that, but is sure seems to be a nice addition and none of the Oly rigs have it. We do know the the micro 4/3 rigs will. But will they be up to the same quality? I don't know.

So here we are in a very exciting situation where the technology and capabilities are turning over more than two to three times per year. Where when we shot with 35 mm we were lucky to see one turn every year. Is this good or bad for the consumer? It will depend on what the offerings are, what the price point is, and how much the consumer wants to take out of their pockets.

So far I am very satisfied with the E520 over my E500, but I would really like to see the Dynamic Range upped at least 1 stop. This will certainly improve the overall performance and really take photography to a differnt level.

Stay tuned!

Dennis G
All in all, I think for the sake of US$300 I'd still rather have an E3. I agree that Oly will have to watch Nikon carefully as they have the potential to release a camera to seriously undermine the E3, but the D90 isn't it!
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  #22  
Old 8th September 2008
dennisg
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Red face Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I agree whole heartedly that Olympus has to get out of the background and get those first time purchasers and change those who buy other brands first.Olympus needs to break the Nikon-Canon mystic. Thus shifting the paradigm away from the these two very competitive brands is going to be a challenge.

The ISO and mega pixel scenario is being challenged by a lot of camera reviewers and they are asking the same questions; how do I stuff more in less real estate. My feeleing is that Olympus may have to go by the way of Sigma and layer (red, green, and blue) within the 4/3 space to get more definition and data on the same chip.

Thus the dynamic range comes into play. We all know that the 4/3 chip has .7-.9 stops less dynamic range. So Olympus will have to deal with that as well. My experience with Olympus has been very good and still better since I got the E520 body. The E500 had some real big issues and E520 has solved a good number of them.

The glass is exceptional and I am very happy with the combinations and ranges of their zooms.

And the FL50 is very a very good performer!!

BUT.................what does the micro 4/3 entry mean? Olympus said that it will support both the full and micro factors. But why aren't they improving the big brother and taking R&D dollars away from the E line? I hope I am not looking at a dead end line. Olympus dropped out of sight at the end of the 35 MM product lifecycle and is in catchup mode for DSLRs like Pentex. You just cannot do this where competition of most sales of DSLRs are Canon and Nikon. This is the reality whether we like it or not.

To ensure that Olympus hears the Voice Of The Customer, all of the Olympus stalwarts need to send messages directly to them and get the message from these forums to the device and service provder, Olympus. Once they hear a lot of noise from us DIRECTLY, then they will keep their sights on what we want and produce even better DSLRs going forward. I intend to do this at the Photo Expo Show here in New York City come October.

Thanks!

Dennis G
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  #23  
Old 8th September 2008
Makonde
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Well, apart from the AF-in-low-light irritation, the sensor's the place where Olympus really need to work on range and noise. And on present indications that's the same sensor for 4/3 or micro 4/3 so it seems that *more* research dollars are likely to be spent right where needed for both systems.

They'll have to produce yet another range of lenses for the micro system. That's their traditional strength, no? And where they make their money on cameras with interchangeable lenses. But that will take some R&D $$, and so I guess will solving the problems of fast focus with live view.

On good days, I think the micro extension of 4/3 thinking is a really good idea and we'll have lighter, smaller, cheaper, more flexible cameras with professional image quality and less vibration. With smaller lenses that are as brilliant as the DSLR range but considerably cheaper (a big plus point) And that year on year improvements in sensor chips are going to bring Canikon-like clarity and ISOs within Olympus' range for all the resolution we need.

On bad days I think they are going to spread themselves too thinly ever to really compete for the flagship market that more than anything else makes a brand name for a manufacturer. That the uncertainty means I shouldn't buy into more expensive E-system glass meanwhile; and that maybe I should have saved a bit more and gone for the D700 (sorry chaps, but though I bought Olympus again on merit - just - this time, this is a market and it's not like supporting a football team).
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  #24  
Old 8th September 2008
dennisg
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Exclamation Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

The real issue here is that Olympus is part of a very small segment of the DSLR market. And it shares that small niche with two other camera manufacturers that formed the 4/3 alliance. So Olympus fights within its own niche.

You bring out some very valid points about ISO, Focus, and Dynamic Range. Olympus should concentrate on the Dynamic Range and fast Auto Foucs so that is in line with the other majors. My point on focus is, what does it matter what camera you have? The picture is of the moment! If the box cannot capture the moment then what good are all of the bells and whistles around it. I just get tired of hearing that you need to spend additional dollars or pounds to get performance. Years ago, the old mechanical 35 MM got the picture no matter if you had a Nikon, Pentex, or others.

I also think that features like "Face Detection" is nice in a camera that is a point and shoot where the opening of the lens is fixed. If you know what you are doing with a DSLR, you hould always get the face in focus. So less gadgetry and more performance is needed in today's DSLRs.

Again, we need to tell Olympus that what we need is a quick, agile, and high performance rig that can stand up to the others. I still have concerns about segmenting the market again within the 4/3 market. This may send out a mixed message................do I buy micro or big brother?

Let's keep the conversation going and get this all back to Olympus!

Have a great day!

Dennis G
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  #25  
Old 8th September 2008
Makonde
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I have no doubt that in UK and USA and other countries they monitor the worthwhile forums very closely. The best kind of user research - because not influenced by considerations of conscious market research artifice.

If not, they'd deserve to go under. But they do.

As to the answer to 'do I buy micro or larger' - I think that within the Oly range, recent developments will make me buy neither until it is very clear which way things will go. That's going to take two or three years at least. So meanwhile my own question is: can I get better clearer, brighter images out of the E520, especially in anything other than easy light, or in pursuit of that will my best option be full frame rather than the E3 (new thread).
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  #26  
Old 8th September 2008
dennisg
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I hope you are right about the manufacturers following the threads on forums such as this. We shall see if this conversations bear any fruit going forward. Hey one bright note, Olympus changed the lens cap so that it is much easier to take off and put back on. So let's see if they dig in for more important issues.

Thanks!

Dennis G
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  #27  
Old 8th September 2008
Howi Howi is offline
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

seems megapixels rule, check out any of the latest camera mags, everyone wants more. Why? because DLSR manufacturers are trying to get sales from the point and shoot brigade, and why not! their money is as good as anyones.
There is more money to be had from this segment of the market than the 'so called professional' end. You only have to look at the features on modern DSLR's to see what market they are after.
Everything is driven by money(sales), Oly is no different to any other manufacturer.
WHY! should Oly look after people who have bought into their present system?
it simply just does not pay.
Personnaly I think Oly WILL support it's present user base in the near future, just don't hold your breath too long.
Have we as users, any right to expect Olympus to still support the present systems 10 years from now?
It is a consumer led economy, a world wide economic resession is on its way, like it or not - It may have some influence on what manufacturers give us, as consumers will look for better value before spending money they can't afford.
Credit is harder to get and harder to pay back, the situation is only going to get worse in the near future, certainly in the UK.
We can only use what we have now, worry about what we might get or not get, when it comes.
To some extent I think it is our own fault, how many who bought the e-510then the e-520 after only a few months? is the e-520 THAT much better?
WAKE UP AT THE BACK THERE!
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  #28  
Old 8th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

I guess you said it all! Yes the megapixel war is on and it will continue until they cannot populate the sensor anymore with better results. And the worldwide economiic slow down is another issue as you point out. Here in the good old USA, we are feeling same economic pressures that you folks are. Today the Treasury Department is taking over Freddie Mac becuse of the mortgage mess here. So cameras are going to be the last thing on people's minds.

For me, the E520 is a much improved model over my E500. Whether it is much better than the E510, that needs to be stated by those who have both.

Stay tuned, more chaos in the works!

Dennis G
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  #29  
Old 10th September 2008
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Just read that Sony has just introduced a full frame DSLR, A900 that supports a 24.6 megapixel sensor. The only draw back its $3000. It incorporates image stabilization in the body and has a 910,000 pixel screen as well.

So the plot thickens!

My feeling is that eventually all DSLRs will sport full frame sensors as the standard. this is an eveolution and not a revolution! So where does the 4/3 frame stand and its future? Seems that the DSLR market offerings is a moving target.

Dennis G
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  #30  
Old 10th September 2008
bully74uk bully74uk is offline
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Re: Nikon and Canon pursue more competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
The packaging of good kit lenses is a particularly clever ploy. It provides for the need for a range of focal lengths and the quality is such that this would tend to satisfy needs of the new consumer until they can afford to purchase other lenses.
This was almost 100% of the reason why I chose Olympus over Canikon for my first DSLR
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