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Old 11th March 2011
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Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

I am very seriously thinking about upgrading from my trusty E1 to an E5, but I keep hearing stories that Olympus has already ceased production, and that spares, if required, will be hard to come by. These rumours seem to be supported by opinions floating around the [admittedly biased] AP forum. Does anyone know the truth about all this, and if so, can you say anything?

(One of the most recent stories was of the HLD5 being sold for silly money because the system is already obsolete.)

I have invested quite heavily in the E system, including several pro zoom lenses, the 50 mm macro lens, ring flash, FL50, etc. Whilst I like the E-System I have not been entirely impressed by the reliability of some of the equipment, (the ring flash drives me up the wall, but is out of warranty), and so I have to make a crucial decision at some point.

I am not a great fan of the Canon system, but I do have a G11 which does everything it says on the tin without any fuss. I can also attach a flashgun without it turning off every time I move the camera. I also have a six year old Nikon film scanner which is still fully supported.

I use my cameras in my work, so I need reliability and longevity. I also need to know that my equipment will not be made obsolete for spurious reasons.

Any opinions and advice on this matter would be very welcome.
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

Ceased production? That's dramatic. I get the feeling I got in 2003 when Minolta went down the drain suddenly, and Sony took over. It took them 7 years to get back. i can't wait for Oly (read Panasonic) to do that, and as a tradiotionalist I won't want to walk around with an SLR labeled Panasonic. Just feels like carrying my TV around the neck.
So is this true? Then I'm jumping ship!
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

Nigel,

The HDL-5 is the grip for the E620 (sorry if you know that already) and There seems little doubt that that form factor is indeed obselete so they well may be clearing stocks.

As to the E5 I am in roughly the same position as you and was seriously considering one a couple of weeks ago, so I rang round to ask who had stock that I could look at but no one did. Since then Park cameraas have contacted me to say they are holding one for me and I will soon go down and look at it but all the naysaying on the various sites is putting me off.

I really do not want to change systems now and I would not be worried if the E5 was the last of its type but I would like reassurance that it will be supported by spares etc. for a reasonable period.

Roger
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

For me support is a major issue. I just had to hand in my E3 for service here in Norway, and the camera store, a very professional one, said it would take all of two months to get the camera back, and they couldn't promise that a qualified fix with a guarantee, as the fault was humidity based.

Nikon and Canon have local service stores and take around three days to check the cameras. I need that kind of support. If Oly can't deliver, and if there won't be spare parts, I will not any longer invest too much money on a system no one knows where is heading.
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Originally Posted by geirsan View Post
Ceased production? That's dramatic. I get the feeling I got in 2003 when Minolta went down the drain suddenly, and Sony took over. It took them 7 years to get back. i can't wait for Oly (read Panasonic) to do that, and as a tradiotionalist I won't want to walk around with an SLR labeled Panasonic. Just feels like carrying my TV around the neck.
So is this true? Then I'm jumping ship!
That's just so... well, I don't want to insult anybody. What Panasonic has achieved is remarkable with Lumix and some of their cameras are now have cult status, like the LX5. And would Leica let Panasonic design and manufacture lenses with their brand if they didn't respect Panasonic's ability?

I suppose you wouldn't want a ride in a modern Skoda despite the fact they are among the best cars in their class these days?

Ian
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

It must also be said that Olympus has previous form when it comes to dropping product lines. I have a pair of OM4 Ti's, (and excellent cameras they are too), but the OM line was also discontinued very suddenly and without warning. The question is; who do we believe?
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Originally Posted by geirsan View Post
For me support is a major issue. I just had to hand in my E3 for service here in Norway, and the camera store, a very professional one, said it would take all of two months to get the camera back, and they couldn't promise that a qualified fix with a guarantee, as the fault was humidity based.

Nikon and Canon have local service stores and take around three days to check the cameras. I need that kind of support. If Oly can't deliver, and if there won't be spare parts, I will not any longer invest too much money on a system no one knows where is heading.
I think you need a new agent for servicing your camera. The turnaround time typically for E-3 service here in the UK is more like 2-3 weeks.

Ian
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
It must also be said that Olympus has previous form when it comes to dropping product lines. I have a pair of OM4 Ti's, (and excellent cameras they are too), but the OM line was also discontinued very suddenly and without warning. The question is; who do we believe?
I think there were plenty of warnings about OM being discontinued. All Olympus' key rivals had embraced AF (and Canon dumped the FD mount in the process,a nd Minolta too went for a new mount). OM4 TIs were actually produced in small numbers for a long time after the main OM line was discontinued. It would have been wrong for Olympus to have followed Nikon and Pentax in bodging the OM mount for AF, but their hesitation in introducing what became the E-System was disappointing. It should have happened ten years earlier.

All my communication with people that matter at Olympus points to back orders for E-5 being fulfilled in time. I'm trying to get clarification.

Ian
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
That's just so... well, I don't want to insult anybody. What Panasonic has achieved is remarkable with Lumix and some of their cameras are now have cult status, like the LX5. And would Leica let Panasonic design and manufacture lenses with their brand if they didn't respect Panasonic's ability?

I suppose you wouldn't want a ride in a modern Skoda despite the fact they are among the best cars in their class these days?

Ian
Personally I would be just as happy to walk around with a 'television set' around my neck as an 'office photocopier or fax machine' as long as the camera does what it promises. I would also be perfectly happy to drive a Skoda if I must; although I personally prefer British built cars. In fairness to both Skoda and Panasonic they are some of the best respected names in their respective industries.

However, whether I am buying a car or a television set I do like to know that I am not buying something which will become obsolete overnight, and which I can be sure will be repairable in a reasonable time during [what I consider to be] a reasonable service life. I don't buy in to the ideals of our present throwaway society, so whether I am buying a car or a television set I expect to get at least eight to ten years use out of it before I buy a replacement. I drove my last car for ten years (103,000 miles) before I replaced it, and the [British built] power amplifiers in my stereo system are fifty years old, and still sound better than anything from China.

The bottom line is that the E5 is not a cheap camera, so I would rather know now than after purchase that it will not be supported once out of guarantee.
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

It's normal policy for spares to be manufactured for goods like these for several years supply.

I have just heard officially that the next E-5 stock is expected towards the end of next month.

Think of Panasonic Lumix - they have their main lens and camera manufacturing plants really close to the quake in Japan. Olympus makes the E-5 in China, so shouldn't be affected.

Ian
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

Here here John. Great commons sense post.

Never mind what may or may not happen... just get out and enjoy the gear you have.
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
It's normal policy for spares to be manufactured for goods like these for several years supply.

I have just heard officially that the next E-5 stock is expected towards the end of next month.

Ian
Thanks for the reassurance - I will have a look and sort a supplier out over the next couple of months.

Roger
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Here here John. Great commons sense post.

Never mind what may or may not happen... just get out and enjoy the gear you have.
I agree; John's post would make perfect sense if I had an E5 already, but I don't.

I am very seriously considering purchasing an E5. I like the E-system, and its optical properties are ideal for my work, so I would really like to believe that it has a future; but when I ask retailers [from whom I have previously purchased Olympus equipment] whether they have an E5 in stock that I can look at, I find it rather discouraging when they tell me that they cannot get stock, that they no longer sell Olympus cameras, that the E-system is dead, and that as they are legally responsible for products that they sell they would rather sell Canikon.

I really don't like being negative, but if there is not any truth in these rumours it really would be a good idea if Olympus's marketing department could get off their collective butts to tell the world the good news. As things stand, the lack of information from Olympus, the negative comments from retailers, and the ever lengthening delays between the E1, the E3 and E5 just make everybody nervous.
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I agree; John's post would make perfect sense if I had an E5 already, but I don't.

I am very seriously considering purchasing an E5. I like the E-system, and its optical properties are ideal for my work, so I would really like to believe that it has a future; but when I ask retailers [from whom I have previously purchased Olympus equipment] whether they have an E5 in stock that I can look at, I find it rather discouraging when they tell me that they cannot get stock, that they no longer sell Olympus cameras, that the E-system is dead, and that as they are legally responsible for products that they sell they would rather sell Canikon.

I really don't like being negative, but if there is not any truth in these rumours it really would be a good idea if Olympus's marketing department could get off their collective butts to tell the world the good news. As things stand, the lack of information from Olympus and the ever lengthening delays between the E1, the E3 and E5 just make everybody nervous.

I felt exactly the same before Christmas, I went around local shops looking for an e5 and was told the same and even laughed at in some shops for asking about Olympus, but all this was just brand snobbery.

I was going to jump ship until I tested out a Canon 7d & Nikon 7000 and felt that my e30 & E-PL1 was better IQ wise, so then I had no problem buying an e5 once I found Kerso had stock.

Olympus really do need to sort out their marketing department, they have a hell of a camera on their hands with the e5, its like they only want to serve existing users and not bring new users on board

Anyway I love my e-5, e-5 loves me so we are both very happy and dont care about the rumers etc
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Old 11th March 2011
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Re: Olympus E5 - Does it have a future?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
That's just so... well, I don't want to insult anybody. What Panasonic has achieved is remarkable with Lumix and some of their cameras are now have cult status, like the LX5. And would Leica let Panasonic design and manufacture lenses with their brand if they didn't respect Panasonic's ability?

I suppose you wouldn't want a ride in a modern Skoda despite the fact they are among the best cars in their class these days?

Ian
Hi all
I use an Olympus system and I drive a Skoda I must be a really sad individual.

Bob

Last edited by Bobpatchcott; 11th March 2011 at 04:14 PM. Reason: add name
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