A few days ago ex Olympus chief Mr. Watanabe reassured that there will be new Four Thirds products coming soon. Today Biofos (Click here) posted a very detailed Olympus E-5 review you might want to read. And he starts with the following (to much pessimistic?) statement “Here we really see history repeating itself. Pen F (half-frame SLR) was launched in February 1963 and ceased in April 1971, a period of 8 years. Pen F was judged to be a commercial failure due to lack of acceptance by film processing manufacturers. FourThirds (quarter-frame DSLR) was released in October 2003 with the E-1 and remains in production with the E-5 today but I suspect the last batch of E-5’s will be made sometime in 2011 – another period of eight years! FourThirds has also been a commercial failure due, basically, to a lack of acceptance by the DSLR buying masses. Whereas Pen F was a derivative of the popular viewfinder Pen series, MicroFourThirds is a derivative of 4/3rds. The original viewfinder Pen cameras remained in production until the mid 80’s with an overall production life of 25 years; let’s hope the m4/3rds machines achieve half of that!”
and after the long E-5 testing he writes: “Am I disappointed with the E-5 – in short no but there are things that Olympus could have done better – but we must remember this is the 4/3rds swan song so it is not brimming with technology or a great deal of thought either. I just get the feeling that the Olympus did not want to make the E-5, they did so purely as a sop to E-System users on the cessation of the rest of the system. It follows that not a great deal of enterprise or original thought has been levered into the camera and I suspect most of the technology comes from m4/3rds offerings anyway.”
and he doesn’t stop here: “Personally, I think Olympus have lost their way. How can micro-fourthirds be their future when it too is dependent on a non-standard sensor size which still has innate problems with noise and DR. This is the same set of problems that beset 4/3rds. Perhaps Olympus think that m4/3rds users will not be as critical or demanding. Maybe they are right, I hope so. But as all the other manufacturers introduce their own mirrorless versions Olympus and Panasonic will be back to square one. Either that or mirrorless cameras will prove to be a short lived fad and simply disappear. I genuinely fear for the camera divisions future. And that’s a great pity as in 2019 the company celebrates its centenary.”
Read the full article at Biofos (Click here) and feel free to discuss his very (provocative?) statements on 43rumors with reasonable and respectful argumentations ok?
Check out the E-5 price, availability and specs at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay (Click on shop names to visit the E-5 product page).
For your curiosity: Link to the Pen F on eBay (Click here).