Panasonic: Focus now on pro market. Redefining G series. Olympus rules out hybrid OVF/EVF.

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Image courtesy: DSLRmagazine

Last week Panasonic Mangers Michiharu Uematsu and Yoshiyuki Inoue have been interviewed by the DPreview team and they admitted that they are rethinking the whole G product strategy. Today DSLRmagazine (translation here) also posted an interview with Mr. Uematsu and another part with Mr. Terada from Olympus. Here are the key info:

Panasonic:
– When asked if the new Kodak-JK Imaging MFT camera couldn’t bee lower the image of the Micro Four Thirds system (because of the Chinese manufacturer) the answer was “no”. Kodak has a big name.
– The GH3 is a clearly positioned product while the rest of the G MFT series isn’t. There is a huge competition and there is no clear target about what kind of features and specs the future G cameras should have.
– Different countries also like different cameras. So it’s hard to develop and make a universal G camera.
– Uematsu believes that there will be a considerable group of DSLR owners that will switch on High End Mirrorless cameras. 43rumros note: It clearly sounds once again that Panasonic wants to play a role in the (semi-)pro digital camera world.
– The good news is that Panasonic lens sales are good and particularly the two constant zooms are welling well.
Olympus:
– A Tilt Shift lens has very low priority for Olympus.
– It is highly Unlikelye that a Optical Viewfinder with a Digital Trans Panel like the one used by the Fuji X20 is going to be used by Olympus.

One more thing: Terada also explained that the ideal time for product launch is Spring and Autumn. That’s why there were no new MFT camera announced for the CP+ show. So let’s wait for spring and the new PEN with built-in EVF :)
And…what are your thoughts on those news coming from Panasonic and Olympus?

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  • Bora

    Spelling mistakes :)

    • Henry

      Won’t Dorry about it

      • Bora

        :) you should keep a like button for comments

    • “Terada also explained that the ideal time for product launch is Spring and Autumn.”

      Maybe, maybe not.

      Terada, progrestinator extraordinaire, has mastered raising and quenching hopes at the same time.

      So, you got anything?

      This year?

      • I posted in the wrong spot. :-/

      • It’s a seasonal thing. (I had to add that)

    • Oh, I like the “zooms are welling well” ;o)

  • Bora

    A semi pro MFT camera is always welcomed. I believe GH3 is already a semi-pro. So is OM-D. Anyways, the “no hybrid EVF/OVF” news is little disappointing, but it’s not that important. Hope to see E-5 successor (with MFT lenses compatibility) from Olympus soon.

    • digifan

      IMO there’s nothing to be gained by a hybrid OVF/EVF on a mirrorless camera other than adding bulk and complexity.
      I’d rather have them perfect the EVF-tech, so lag is not noticable at all. We’re not too far off, today, anyway.

      • Bora

        Agreed

      • Dannecus

        +1

      • Tom

        The hybrid VF is the future of OVF ‘if’ SLRs have a future. Personally I can’t abide EVFs and I’ve tried them all, I just prefer OVFs but the extra information that can be gained by using an overlay GUI is massive. If they could perfect a variable beam splitter for live TTL feedback you could have clipping overlays and all sorts of handy tools.
        Unfortunately this won’t be coming from Oly because they just can’t afford the R&D outside of m43 (business is profits). A year ago when they were talking up a revolutionary VF I believed it to be this but… as time goes by, confidence wanes.

    • As far as understoor many X-1 pro owners altogether stop to the use the EVF part after a while.

    • What I really, really wish is proper tether support to Capture One, or at least Lightroom. I shoot RAW only for my fashion and commercial work, and when I have to have tethered session, wifi just doesn’t cut it, especially when the client is there to check off images.

      When I shoot non-tethered, I shoot w/ the GH2/GH3. When I shoot tethered, I have to rent either a Canon 6D or Nikon D600. Bummer.

      You can see my fashion/commercial work with the mu4/3 at my website: http://www.fotosiamo.com

      – Joe

  • Anonymous

    As I said after the DPR interview, Panny thought m43 was about providing a ladder up from compact point and shoot, but their customers want small semi pro. Sounds Le they are realising what they are onto

    • Ahhh! A new format called fourthirds. It enables slightly better lenses.

  • Es

    Of course, spring is great for new cameras, because most people like to go out and take pictures in the summer. Of course, m4/3 are perfect travel cameras, and summer is also high season for travel, which means poeple would look for a new camera before that.

    However, the problem with spring launches is that Olympus/Panasonic has been incapable of actually delivering a camera to a real life store when they launch it. Of course, some people do get it on launch but its not widely available.

  • Yun

    Panasonic want to play a role in semi pro camera world , so what are you waiting for ?
    Pana should know what we all expect .
    Bring in the L style camera , put everything you got inside it & throw it into the market .
    A Semi Pro camera have to be small , a bit bigger than the current GX & that’s it .

    • ArKersaint

      +1 and better OOC jpeg and that’s all

      • true homer

        Yes because pros want cameras with less space for buttons and of course shoot jpeg all the time and don’t edit anything

        • Bob B.

          +1 (LOL!)

        • Tom

          A good JPEG engine mitigates the need to shoot RAW most of the time and saves a good deal of time overall. Yes RAW is needed to push colours and exposure around but metering and WB in modern cameras is so good that you won’t ‘miss’ a shot. Then you have FPS and buffering to consider – – RAW is great, use it all the time but there are a lot of pros that shoot JPEG, they know what they’re doing and they know what their cameras are capable of; that’s important above all else.
          Olympus capture all DR in their JPEGs and give great colour but detail, sharpening and NR is better in any number of development software so use RAW for demanding conditions, creative processing.
          I’m not a fan of Canon/Sony JPEGs but Nikon/Fuji/Olympus are all fine for the vast majority of my shooting so the time saved I spend taking more photos :-)

          • true homer

            I dont know of ONE pro who uses a straight ooc jpeg for anything worth a damn

            • Raist3d

              Actually I know of several. The whole myth of “pros shoot only RAW” is exactly that. Myth. There are workflows that benefit from JPEG.

            • Here is one:

              http://www.pimras.nl/

              Went to one of his workshops a while ago.

              No, he doesn’t always shoot jpeg, but for quite a few serious things he does, and here is why:
              – can fit many more jpegs in the continuous shooting buffer, in effect the camera will always be ready for yet another burst.
              – turnaround times are much better, if you cannot deliver your pictures very quickly after a match, there will be others who can, and who’ll get the money instead.

              That is directly from his workshop, and doesn’t just apply to him as a sports photographer, it applies in general to commercial news photography.

              You may not know this, but for this kind of quick turnaround times, there used to exist special black/white film that could be processed by the regular color film processing, just so photo journalists could make use of the 1 hour development/print services that you’d find at every street corner until a decade or so ago, and still deliver b/w ‘prints’ by fax. Quality? who bloody cares, get that picture in asap!

              That is a totally different world from fine-arts photography, with totally different requirements and priorities.

        • bidou

          Lots of photojournalist, especially those working in difficult condition, send OOC jpg because:
          -they don’t have the time to edit pictures
          -they can’t send heavy file to the editors

          But they mostly don’t work with mft bodies

    • For what I shoot, which is commercial and fashion both in studio and on location, having as small of a camera as possible for a semi-pro is absolute BS. I shoot w/ the GH3 with the grip attached at all times and its weight and shape is like nothing to me. Great to handle, lightweight, and easy to have around all day.

      I want all of those direct access buttons and quick control over my camera. For me, the GH3 is the perfect-size camera, even with the grip on.

      And I do shoot RAW all the time. I rather control and process the image myself instead of letting the camera decide.

  • KI

    FourThirds users that “have gone micro” are interrested in when Oly will support the fourthirds lenses fully. … They should really tell if there are any progress on this…

    • If they were making real progress with things other than wild dreams and hopes regarding the OBS (One Beautiful System), they’d be shouting from the mountain tops. The thought of a hollering or even yodeling Terada-san amuses me – well, maybe, maybe not.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        You want them to kill their own higher end sales?
        Because that’s what telling that there are new hybrid AF bodies with good 4/3 lens focus compatibility coming would mostly achieve.
        If income from E-M5 sales crashes down imaging division won’t have much room to breath.
        (because low end discount PENs sure won’t generate profit)

        How about you spending some of time also demanding Canon and Nikon announcing precise schedule and features of coming DSLRs?
        Or do you want to sabotage only Olympus?

        • “there are new hybrid AF bodies”

          Not yet.

        • pj

          ..what “higher end sales” do you mean? :)
          if you ask me, I think Olympus sold less SHG lenses alltogether than Leica Noctiluxes (during last years).. so to speak very few, if any_

  • quesion

    There is little place for new branded micro43 – Kodak. How ‘Kodak’ wants to differentiate his cameras from Olympus and Panasonic cameras? Price?

    There can be place for micro43 from Sigma with Foevon sensor, but for Kodak with the same sensor (from Sony)? Will Kodak have the same fast AF like Olympus and Panasonic?

    • Bora

      Kodak just entered into the M43 market, it will take time for them to compete with Oly and Pana I believe. Also more and more company into M43 is better for users as they have many camera body choices for their lenses. :)

      • future

        There will be at the end of 2013 in micro43 (body manufacturers):
        – Panasonic
        (cameras for amateurs)
        – Olympus (cameras for amateurs)
        – Kodak (cameras for amateurs)
        – Blackmagic (camcorders for professionals)
        – Photron Ltd (industry)
        – SVS-VISTEK GmbH (industry)
        – View Plus (industry)

    • Martin

      From the perspective of the enthusiast market, you are certainly right that Oly and Pana already cover the market sufficiently. But from the perspective of a point-and-shoot or even smartphone photographer, even the simplest m43 model currently on the market is an extremely complex product and kind of overspecced. Hence, there is a lot of room left for Kodak.

      • conclusion

        In that case the most important is:
        – price, price, price…
        – good AF with face recognition
        – wi-fi in body and applications for smartphones (for all OS – Android, Windows Phone, iOS and others)

      • Bob B.

        …so what you are saying is that KODAK will be making the MFT “Brownie”!
        I have been hoping that my Avatar would one day, come back into style! Cool! :-)

        • Mr. Reeee

          Give Olympus time, they’re running out of cameras to copy… oops, I mean… “inspiration”… ;-)

          • Bob B.

            LOL! (Now, now…I love My OMD!).
            Saw U grabbed a GX1… For the cost (after “dumping” kit lens), it is a great place to park ur 20mm!
            That set-up is super compact and just FUN,… Even better with an LVF.

            • QBNY

              THIS.
              The GX1/20mm combo is THE street photographer go-to kit.

          • quiquelbola

            Boy you´r really obsessed. I would make it look . ;-)

          • digifan

            I’m sorry Mr. Reeee, but you are not implying the GH3 is original or are you?
            IMO there is no innovation in camera design today, with the exception of the Canon facebook camera. But even that form is not new ofcourse.

          • Justin

            Yup. Panasonic too. Both companies have one impressive camera each. For Pany, its GH3; for Oly, its OM-D. The rest of the cameras in the lineups aren’t really worth getting excited about going forward. Don’t get me wrong, they are perfectly serviceable cameras and should continue to sell well at marked-down prices, but improving upon them incrementally on a yearly basis is becoming more challenging. In other words, the technology isn’t improving fast enough or isn’t cheap enough. This presents a problem.

            The upgrades worth shouting about would be related to improved AF tracking or higher dynamic range or improved low light sensitivity. In order to fund r&d around these improvements my guess is that Pany and Oly would want (need) to stick these improvements in higher end, semi-pro bodies that sell for semi-pro prices (think $1500-$2000).

    • The entry of the Kodak name into the m43 arena will give an immediate boost to the format. It may be the trigger that M43 needs to really take the low end DSLR market away from Canon and Nikon.
      There is of course the proviso that Kodak make a reasonable product and spends a bit of advertising money, pointing out the versatility of the system. Along with the quality addon lenses that are available from a large number of quality suppliers. Thus enabling then to widen the market, at the same time as using the existing M43 quality to bounce off.

      • tom

        Kodak is of course the most important company in the history of photography. But they are bankrupt, their creditors’ lawyers are making them sell the name to a Chinese manufacturer that does not have a reputable brand name. Many people will think, if the product was good, they wouldn’t need to buy someone else’s reputation.

        The Kodak mft does nothing for the format, it might hurt the reputation.

  • Esa Tuunanen

    Hybrid OVF/EVF is just compromise between both so good thing that Olympus isn’t looking it as some priority.

    Mirrorless mount makes through the lens optical viewfinder impossible and there’s very little point in optical VF if it doesn’t provide features what SLR viewfinder gives.
    And image size of optical VF has been on small end in 4/3 format while EVF is free from those mechanic-optical limits.

    • EVF is not completely free from optical limitations due to the optical eyepiece. Otherwise we would see higher finder magnification and higher eyepoint finders. Such a finder would again result in a hump, bulge or otherwise objectionable protrusion.

      • Martin

        Higher magnification wouldn’t necessarily require a hump, but needs brighter EVF displays. Increasing magnification by 40% would require doubly the display intensity to maintain viewfinder brightness. Already the displays currently in use in EVFs feature considerably higher intensities than even the brightest back screen or smartphone display; the super-bright versions needed for higher magnification may simply be unavailable on the market. And even if they were available, they’d require almost 100% more battery capacity, making cameras more bulky than a mirrorless should be.

    • Mr. Reeee

      The hybrid OVF/EVF is a cut trick, but really not that great to actually use.

      I’ve tried the Fuji hybrid a few times and while it tries to be everything for everyone it does neither very well.

      • true homer

        A million agrees. The hybrid evf is a selling gimmick. In the end all xpro and x100 owners I know just use the EVF 98% of the time.

      • woof woof

        An OVF/EVF could help in very low light.

        I find the light output from my Panasonics EVF too high in low light, it’s blinding even with the brightness turned down. A hybrid with OVF option would allow low light shooting without causing severe eye strain and ruining night vision.

  • Beautemps

    What ist said between the lines here?
    They adressed the point and shoot market before. Upgraders from compact camera market.

    In between they faced that there is a bigger downsizing market from DSLR-Competitors. A market of foto-enthusiasts earning good money and willing to pay for more expensive quality lenses. And the technological approach brings m43 modells closer to DSLR competitors.

    Thats why they claim new “Pro”-cameras. Not for reald Pro’s, as there is no pro-Service, but may be for Pros on holidays :-).

    And the point and shot market is given to chinese partners….

  • The market is very volatile. It seems stills shooters are both coming to and going from MFT. Panasonic is chasing their own tail.

    The video market is even more volatile. But again, there’s traffic to and from DSLR, not necessarily MFT. Panasonic isn’t even chasing tail in the video market, they are blowin’ in the wind.

    Then there are delivery snafus. I almost had a GH3, but I cancelled after being notified that it wasn’t in stock. I don’t like keeping pre-order funds in fiscal purgatory. I wonder if companies are making cameras to order, akin to Jack-In-The-Box…. slap the slab of meat on the grille upon request. Fries with that?

    • Ross

      Because I used Paypal when ordering my OM-D I paid out 6 weeks before I got the camera. In the end it was worthwhile (although prices are much better now). We had to wait because of the amount of demand.

  • Panasonic seems to have realized that it needs a product strategy in order to compete in different markets. Better late than never, I say. In fact, the interview with Mr. Uematsu reveals refreshing honesty which makes me quite optimistic for the long run. I don’t agree with admin’s interpretation though. Panasonic is unlikely to get involved with the professional segment (except for video). “Semi-pro” is an entirely different matter, though, and will be the next battlefield for mirrorless systems (it already is in a way).

    In contrast, Mr. Terada seems rather secretive. A lot of what he said couldn’t be revealed and the little that got published is not worth commenting on. I suspect Olympus has a clear plan for a change.

    • Question

      Why wouldn’t Panasonic enter the pro market? They’re already doing so with the GH3. This is the road I hope they go down to. As a DSLR owner, my secon option would be a MFT camera that I can slip into a coat pocket on a shoot.
      As long as Panasonic could deliver a GX2 with enough tech to warrant the purchase and at a good price, I think they should be in the pro market.

  • James

    Panasonic mustn’t forget that their key advantage over DLSRs is size so what we need from them is a compact camera with good image quality and ergonomics not just a me too copy of a DSLR.

    There is probably room for an ultra compact cheap model with decent image quality and without evf or tiltable screen (aka GF5 replacement) as well as one with a better quality body containing built in evf (without the hump!) articulated screen and excellent ergonimics (GX1 replacement). I’m not sure where that leaves G5 even though it appears to have been popular as a cheap DLSR alternative. I suspect that if they mass produced the GX1 replacement and only had one model instead of two they could bring the price down a bit and do away with the G5. Put the evf on the left like Sony – there is no point having a humpo for the sake of it in a camera whose key advantage should be size.

    Whatever they do they should not compromise on image quality otherwise people might just as well but a top end compact rather than MFT. It is daft to have a poorer sensor in the GX1 than GH series when the GX has a metal body, reasonable ergonopmics etc. aimed at the serious amateur but then why omit the EVF and articulated screen that the cheaper G5 has???? They really need to get a grip!!

    • tom

      That is a pretty good case for limiting to three camera lines.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Remember that huge majority of system camera sales happen outside Japan.
      Making lots of P&S small unergonomical bodies and pretending that’s replacement for ergonomical body is exactly reason why despite of four year’s age mirrorless 4/3 hasn’t really done anything to decrease system camera market domination of Canikon DSLRs.

      For chance of doing that G5 has clear market place below high end GH3.
      That’s entirely different target segment than for that corner VF retro style.

      This planning should be all about building system with good product differentiation for different markets instead of limiting all products because of narrow vision of single target group.

  • Anonymous

    Mirrorless is not DSLR, there is necessary to emphasize advantages.

    What are (ot could be) the advantages of micro43 over DLSR?
    – smaller size of bodies
    – smaller size of lenses
    – better optical quality
    – no mechanical parts (mirror, maybe shutter) – no mechanical buttleneck
    – shape of the body is not forced by mirror/pentaprism, there is no limitation for the shape
    – no back focus/ front focus problems

    Panasonic, try to make use of advantages. Don’t do the copy of DLSR.

    • Agreed.

    • Anonymous

      And possibilties of electronic viewfinder.

      Lets make better EVF then OVF. Bigger, high resolution, easy magnification without losses of resolution, maybe option to switch to IR, a lot of information showed in EVF…

  • “Different countries also like different cameras. So it’s hard to develop and make a universal G camera.”

    Make GX2 with EVF – and it would be universally liked.

    “The good news is that Panasonic lens sales are good and particularly the two constant zooms are welling well.”

    Sounds silly, when we have to praise Panny, not Oly, for good zooms availability.

  • The next move for panny is a box body ala Bronica/Hassleblad with M43 mount and batteries behind the shutter. A fixed EVF display on the top with a waist level finder and optional prism attachment working off the EVF display. With a detachable left/right grip like my GS1 with full electronic connections, buttons etc. Also GPS, Computer connection etc. Only needs to be 65mm square or there abouts. It would cover all types of users with the options.

    • Jim. You forgot IBIS. So maybe Oly should make it.

      • hihb

        Panasonic have OIS lenses ranging from 12mm-300mm ( 24-600mm ) so you are not exactly stuck for choice. I am not such a huge fan of IS as it is pretty much limited in its value to near static subjects in low light ( otherwise you would jus use a faster aperture ) . I am not saying it has no uses obviously it does but it is not a deal breaker in anyway. The FF systems that do not have in built Is have a range of IS lenses going from 16 mm- 800 mm ( 8-400 mm for mFT ) so the advantage is debatable . T he subjects I shoot in low light either have movement ( sport , concerts etc ) or are static and I can use camera support and pick any shutter speed I want now I can think up situations where I can benefit from IS but it would be a very small part of my use. Hey, if photographing static subjects , with no support allowed in low light is your forte then go Olympus , it seems that the 95% of pro shooters shooting Canon and Nikon seem to get by just fine.

        it is the way of the Olympus fan any feature that Olympus has that others don’t is the best thing in the world lol, though Pentax have a selection of APS cameras with IS , Sony has APS + FF with IS

        • You Sir Are CORRECT!

          +100!!!

          Thank You!!!

          The way they go on about ibis, you’d think it was like having a shutter button… It can’t be called a camera without it!!

        • @hihb

          All you say is correct, but ignores one thing.

          If for example you use a GH3 with the 12-35/2.8, you have OIS. If you use the 25/1.4 instead (at f/1.4 AOV and DOF permitting) you gain 2 stops in brightness, but no more OIS. If however you’d do this on say an e-m5, you’d gain those 2 stops and still have IS.

          If we look instead at say a 5Dmk3 the difference can be a bit larger still. You could be using a stabilized 24-70/2.8, or an unstabilized 50/1.2.

          So while its true that for any desired field of view (within reason) you can get a stabilized lens, you will generally be restricted to f/2.8 or slower zoom lenses.

          Hence, yes, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon etc nicely cover much of the focal range with stabilized lenses but that isn’t the ‘full picture’ really.

        • Once a company that has built a range of cameras that are for use with OIS lenses they are unlikely to go to IBIS. However companies that use IBIS are later entries or design.
          I also agree that IBIS is not a critical factor, but I want it as do many others even if I don’t use it all the time. I am not interested in OIS, I don’t believe in buying what I already have.

    • I like the idea of a small ‘hasselblad’ style MFT body with top mounted LCD that becomes an EVF with addition of a pentaprism/pentamirror accessory. A pentamirror viewfinder need not be heavy or expensive. The battery could attach the rear externally as is often done with DV cameras enabling various high capacity accessory batteries, battery grips, etc. This approach could enable a lot of new innovation.

      • If it were a 60 or 70mm square there would be plenty of room for 2 x pen type batteries behind the sensor.

  • Fafhrd

    Article is riddled with links that have no connection to context of article or often even to the word that is hyperlinked. Very annoying.

  • No news, only blablabla…

    • Bob B.

      +1

  • true homer

    Its not about size anymore. They all went for it and did what they did, in some cases producing cameras so small you have trouble holding them. Lets face it, even if it fit, you were never gonna put it in your pocket. Its become something else entirely, the departure of the mirror with whatever that brings. It cant be just limited to small bodies, it needs to grow and expand to all places. If that means a bigger but solid and easy to hold body then its a good idea, not for everyone but will definitely do for some. The lenses remain, despite what some blindppeople say, way smaller than their equivalent focal lenght counterparts. I can fit 2 m4/3s cameras (one of them a GH3) with 5 lenses in the same bag I use to fit 1 “pro” aps c with 3 lenses. With the weight being the same.

  • Dave Lively

    From this and the DPReview interview it sounds like Panasonic wants a piece of the OMD market. That is more serious amateur than pro. They expected the typical m43 buyer to be someone upgrading from a compact that wanted a small simple camera, not one the offered the control and complexity of a mid-range SLR. Outside of asia that has not been the case. They must be frustrated seeing how popular the OMD is while the G5 is largely ignored.

    What the G5 really needs to make it competitive against the OMD is better image quality. I am planning to buy a new camera with a built in EVF this spring. If Panasonic comes out with a G6 that is exactly like the G5 but has a sensor that matches the one in the OMD I will definitely consider buying it instead of the OMD. If it still has noticeably inferior dynamic range and noise no amount of new features or repackaging will convince me to buy it over the OMD.

    • Mr. Reeee

      I think you’ve overlooked the GH-series cameras. And no, the GH isn’t all about video.

      The GH2 already had better ergonomics than the OMD, which limited itself by slavishly copying cameras of 40 years ago. (I’ve not seen or handled a GH3, so can’t really comment on it, but it goes a bit too far, size-wise.) While the OMD is a great little camera in many, many respects, the ergonomics have MUCH to be desired. When you need to spend $300 for a reasonably sized grip to make it more comfortable to handle and much bigger/heavier, that’s something of a design failure. Hopefully the next version will be just a bit bigger to improve handling and external control layout.

      • Bob B.

        True…My G3 felt better in my hand than my OM-D, (yes, WITH overly expensive grip). ….but the OM-D is such a great little camera. The IBIS is worth the price of admission…works with all of my primes just incredibly…plus the camera has a lot of other perks (not the menues though!). Have to say …when I am using it…I never think about it being awkward. Love the weight, too.
        Just feels really well built. It’s a lot of fun to shoot with.

        • See I’ve never understood the ‘menus suck’ argument. I’ve owned both Panasonic and Olympus cameras (and currently own both the OM-D and the G5), and hands down the Oly is far, far easier and more intuitive to operate. I actually get annoyed when I use the Panasonic.
          I’m sure it just comes down to, everyone is different and likes what they like. But my vote on the menu system in general and quick access menus is Oly by a mile.

          • Bob B.

            yeah….I know…I guess it is just how your brain works, or what you got used to first… don’t know. I find the buttons, the menu and the whole layout of the GX1 to be better for me…more intuitive…but ya know…I owned Pany first …so that could be it. I also find the user interface for reviewing images WAY better on the GX1… …but others may like the Oly better. Go figure!…at least we can agree to disagree! LOL!

          • true homer

            BS. Absolute BS. Nobody who has an omd and a Panasonic body believes you. The omd menu is a nightmare I dread entering. Sometimes I havs to go through the whole thing to note find something. I STILL havent been able to learn it a year later. With panasonic everything is in a logical place, sometimes accessible in more ghan one way.

            • OMD menu system is fine. I have no problems with it. Between the 2 wheels, 3 buttons (5 with grip) its not required to use it all the time. I don’t use it often but its simple to use both the super control panel and menu. Once in the setup menu all the sub menus A-K can be accessed in a straight line and the info can be left on if you like.
              Looking at the online manuals for some other brands the OMD seems easy enough.
              BUT OLYMPUS NEED TO SUPPLY PRINTED MANUALS (Caps is for OLY to read, I am not shouting at you)

              • I downloaded the pdf manual to an android device.. works fine for me, better then a printed version, as I always have it with me, and it is searchable.. but ymmv.

            • I own a G2 and various Olympus cameras, and strongly prefer the E-M5 menus over the Panasonic ones. For me, things are much easier to find on the E-M5, but, I’m more used to the ‘Olympus’ menu system to begin with.

              Neither system is perfect however, and I can quite imagine the Panasonic menus are a bit easier to learn initially.

              Olympus has too many sub menus and distribution of functions over those menus isn’t always very logical. Panasonic puts too many functions in a single sub menu, which means you have to page through the list more often.

          • Anonymous

            +1. People who complain about Olympus menus must be dumb Apple users. Or dumb Panasonic users. Probably both. Everything has to be all so nice and cutesy and icon driven and logical (translation: “I’m so dumb, help me out here!”). Same users would be probably too scared to use Linux or use a command prompt. Olympus is for the technical minded. For those who love to tweak and change every setting. Their menus are bread and butter. Would be better if Olympus got rid of colourful icons and make their menus fully text based. Set up SCP properly and you hardly need to go into menus anyway. Olympus Menu complainers and detractors are just nervous, scared pensioners and braindead Fischer Price fanboys.

            • Raist3d

              No, how about *photographer minded*. It’s about making something ergonomically sound for the workflow of a photographer (brilliant IQ in technical field or not).

              Olympus knew how to design such thing. Look at the 4/3rds E-1. Brilliant. They screwed that up with the E-3 (ditto for E-5 which is the same). The OMD-5 just feels more complicated than it should be.

      • Raist3d

        The ergonomics is the #1 thing that put me off buying an OMD-5.

    • WTF

      “From this and the DPReview interview it sounds like Panasonic wants a piece of the OMD market.”

      What are you talking about?? What do you think the GF1 was?? If anything, Olympus wanted a piece of the GF1 market!

      Panasonic got off track with the GF2, then got back on track With the GX1. Olympus just wants to make shiny neck stuff.

  • I agree with Homer.Miniaturization is only one of the enabling technologies. The advantage of m4/3 compared to FF mirrorless, is sharpness across the frame.

    So you get the same resolution across the frame, and perhaps even higher than FF, which is bad at the edges.

    Talking of uses, it will be interesting to see what Landscapists will prefer. Portraitists and marriage Photogs might prefer FF, or a combination of both.

    Journalists and birders might prefer m4/3. Video makers too. Once the basic requirements are known, size becomes less important, like in the GH3.

    Between those pro users, there is the immense majority of amateurs. That is why O&P face the issue of educating their users, like no other brand before.

    • cgtdn

      you will never get higher resolution from mFT compared to FF at output , the issues of softer corners are typically at a DOF which mFT cannot equal anyway. When compared at the same DOF there is no corner advantage . There are also few scenarios when extreme corners of a fast FF lens have any relevance to the image as they are usually not within the DOF anyway, the fastest native AF lenses for mFT consists of one F1.4 (25mm) same DOF as a FF at F2.8 , a couple of F1.8 (17,75 ) with the same DOF as F3.6 on FF so FF has little to worry about. By this argument the P&S cameras with near infinite DOF must be winners. I think in the long run mFT may not have enough of an advantage over the new one inch sensor Sony and Nikon models which have the potential for really tiny set ups . Along with too large a disadvantage compared to FF , the best mFT falls badly behind the best FF.

      Not everybody is too weak, too old , too ill or too lazy to carry a couple of Kg extra to get a better image quality , as for Amalric , what do you shoot that couldn’t be done with a Sony rx100
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/amalric , I don’t mean that there is anything wrong with your photography simply that your subjects are not technically demanding

      • Beautemps

        One Inch Sensor cameras are now the low end of Systemcameras. And they do well. But the difference from Nikon One to E-PL5 is nearly the same, as from m43 to FX.
        It is not a question of size http://camerasize.com/compare/#361,149

        It is a question of image quality AND serious lenses. So judge on the SYSTEM.

        A lot of serious professional Fotografers claim to use m43 cameras. It fits their needs as they finded a balanced combination of size, lenses and image quality. The system is what counts. RX100 is no System. Nikon One is a very small system.

        • fhytm

          In reality an absolutely tiny amount of pro photographers use mFT as bottom line there are better tools available for every type of paid photography.
          The Nikon v1 equalled the quality of the 12mp mFT cameras.The Sony Rx100 is not that far behind even the E-m5 , the E-m5 has just one stop advantage at high ISO , dr etc are on a par it outperforms every other mFT sensor around other than half a stop high iso , myth and reality bummer

          http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en���/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/812|0/(brand)/Sony/(appareil2)/793|0/(brand2)/Olympus/(appareil3)/677|0/(brand3)/Panasonic

          • beautemps

            Crazy argumentation.
            The OMD is just better as most of Canon midrange DSLR. :-)
            It is for every time the same depending on sensor size, RX100 Noise at ISO 800 is the same as OMD noise at ISO 3200.
            Lots of Pro-fotografers use m43 and report that in their blogs. Of course, only a few for customer jobs, depending on the customers.

            • Lots of Pro-photographers? Well, yes and not. Maybe in street and landscape, but not in commercial, fashion, wedding, sports, etc.

              I do believe that the high-end MFT cameras can compete in at least commercial and fashion (I shoot w/the GH2 and now the GH3), but I’m one of the few who does it and gets paid doing so. But I’m also shooting mostly base ISO and with 2-6 studio strobes with various modifiers. For the most part, my images are competitive w/ working photographers, as you can see from my site: http://www.fotosiamo.com

              I wish there are more commercial and fashion MFT photographers, but I think we may have to wait until full-frame go mirrorless first, which I really, really, hope it does =)

              – Joe Gunawan | fotosiamo.com
              http://www.fotosiamo.com

      • true homer

        @cgtdn: that is simply not true. It has been more than demostrated that a ff body with a poor lens will resolve less than a m4/3s camera with a good optic. Roger Cialla from lens rentals actually did just that, and the omd with the 12-35 outresolved the crap out of the 5d mk3 with 24-70 I. Both in the resolution charts and in the field. A BIGGER SENSOR DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY RESOLVE MORE. In fact, you can have 2 sensors of the same size and pixel count that resolve differently.

        • vhtv

          At output the FF camera will pretty much out resolve any mFT , the problem here is that for images the only measurement that matters is LW/PH
          here is a low end kit zoom from Nikon would be even higher on D800
          http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/768-nikkorafs2485vrff?start=1 peak output 3938 @ F5.6

          here is the results from the 60mm macro one of the very best mFT lens
          http://www.photozone.de/m43/781-oly6028?start=1 peak output 2899 @ F5.6

          This is the reason why Olympus fanboys avoid LW/PH results like the bubonic plague , as they give the truest indication of output results , it is a simple fact that a mFT lens has to have double the resolution of a FF lens just to compete .Lens tests in isolation tell us very little ,lens plus camera = photo .

          • Stu5

            vhtv ‘true homer’ is talking about real photographs not tests that have not reality to the real world. The Canon 24-70 mentioned is a dreadful lens. I have retouched photos from it for a client and would not touch it. Soft on the edges and lots of CA. Unusable wide open.

            Another client gave me some Nikon D90 photos to retouch. This time a Tamron lens and the results were dreadful. No fine detail, colour fringing. soft and could not even maintain the same colour across the whole of the photo.

            A bad lens will completely blow any advantage that a larger sensor camera will have in real world use.

            The problem Panasonic have is the name on the front of the camera. It does not have a good reputation for customer service in the pro video market so a lot of people will not give it a chance in the pro camera market. Making a good camera is not good enough for pros.

            • rtyuu
              • “The only thing you need retouched is your head”

                You should try learning to read. The comment was about that poor optics (the cheap one, which many loudly claim to be the price advantage of the CaNikon DSLRs) obliviates any sensor size advantage the cameras hold. What is, if you stop to think about it, is obvious. But the common sense seems to be lost on you.

                • tryyut

                  @Dummy

                  vhtv , clearly showed that even a low end kit zoom on FF can out resolve even a high quality macro on mFT . The only way to get really poor results from cheap FF lenses is to compare them at different DOF. Comparing a FF wide open at f2.8 which gives the same DOF as an F1.4 lens on mFT is a bit daft but then you are a dummy!!

                  • beautemps

                    DOF equivalenz in relation to lenses is a discussion for kindergarten kids. Physically a 50mm 1.4 ist a 50mm 1.4 on every camera. Just the sensor size and viewing angle is different.

                    • Kenaju

                      beautemps
                      “DOF equivalenz in relation to lenses is a discussion for kindergarten kids. Physically a 50mm 1.4 ist a 50mm 1.4 on every camera. Just the sensor size and viewing angle is different.”

                      That statement is about as idiotic as the F2 is F2 crowd.A 50mm F1.4 on mFT if there was such a lens would be designed for a sensor a quarter the size of FF, and obviously only cover a fraction of the image circle.And if you are talking about using a FF 50mm F1.4 on mFT then you will be using a faction of the total light it would put on a FF sized sensor.It is not just sensor size and AOV have a read up on total light if you manage to understand it,i have my doubts you will have figured out just how stupid your statement was.

                    • @kenaju

                      “That statement is about as idiotic as the F2 is F2 crowd”

                      You obviously have no clue whatsoever about F numbers.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number

                      F numbers are a property of an optical system and are totally independent of whatever medium/sensor is behind that optical system.

                      The relation between F number and DOF is determined by the actual focal length (since focal length / f number will give you the diameter of the entrance pupil) and focus distance (and magnification, which does depend on focal length, medium size and presentation size).

                      So yes, F2 is F2 is F2 and means focal length / diameter of entrance pupil = 2.

                  • Stu5

                    Actually tryout, vhtv did not clearly show that even a low end kit zoom on FF can out resolve even a high quality macro on mFT. vhtv link was to a test report NOT real world use. Real work use tells a different story.

                    This has always been the same. Compare a 645 camera with a poor quality lens to a 35mm camera with a very good lens and you will see the same thing. The lens makes a difference. You can’t skimp on lens quality with say a 5D or a D800 or D700 just because it has a larger sensor. It will show and if you are a pro you would start to lose a client or two. The problem is there are quite a few poor lenses out there that just aren’t up the job of modern camera sensors.

              • JimStirling

                I own both a FF D800 system along with GH3 based mFT system.While I agree that a lens of similar quality on a FF and on an mFT body will result in a very convincing resolution advanatge on the FF body. There are some pretty poor FF lenses that need updating that can badly impact the resolution of a FF camera, The older Canon 24-70L was disappointing in a couple of important areas and would not have been my choice if I was a Canon user [ god forbid lol }

                The competition for mFT is APS not FF ,there is no doubt that the best FF sensors comfortably outperform the best mFT sensors. The question is how much this advantage is felt in your type of photography, where current FF wins is in niche areas such as very high DR shooting, high resolution , very high ISO , and moving subjects in general.

                Now the big question [ literally} is how much weight are you prepared to carry for this advanatge , for specialist use such as landscape shooting where I can take the time and extra effort to get the very best detail from the D800 { tripod, mUP cable release , bracketing etc} The D800 is an excellent tool,given the lens choice compared to even MF it is close to being unbeatable in a truly portable format. On the other-hand I am a keen hill walker and videographer where the size weight and ergonomics make mFT a better choice. Nor would I take the D800 gear on a family holiday , when mFT easily cover my needs.

                There is no perfect camera for anyone and we are lucky to have all sorts of amazing cameras to chose from , pick what you want and use what you want it is that simple. For me a combo of FF and mFT does a near perfect job covering all the bases but everyone is different.The arguments by fans on both sides of the fence gets really tedious
                Jim

                • In A Perfect World

                  Everyone would have a full frame and a MFT camera as a backup.

                  • Jim Stirling

                    I admit I originally thought of mFT gear as a higher image quality replacement for a compact .However as I got more into the system and especially into video I actually found that mFT and FF made for an excellent combination , with each systems strength being the other systems weakness and vice versa.I now use mFT much more as it is more convenient and for most types of shooting easily good enough.Even though I moved on to the GH3 i still carry my GF1 with 20mm mounted everywhere . It may not be the state of the art but it delivers great results and fits in my pocket
                    Jim

                  • Bob B.

                    Wow..that may mean that I live in a perfect world! :-)

                • beautemps

                  A lot of FF lenses are based on / or were designed for analog film.
                  The demands of CCD/CMOS are much higher. And lenses designed for a specific sensor will allways have a big advantage in any system.

                  An example is the Zeis for the RX100 which has a very fine high pair of lines at mid ISO. For example at ISO 800 more then a Nikon D4 / AF-S 105 2.8

          • true homer

            I dont avoid charts, I cherish them. What you posted there is a perfect sample. The d800 has 20 MILLION more pixels than the omd and resolves only 1000 more lines? Thats a bad result if you ask me, in fact while there are more lines those lines arent gonna be anywhere near as acute. How bout you? Do you run from edge acuteness like the plague? On that very site there are samples with the 5d mk2 that resolve less than the omd. Im not even gonna get into aps c.
            And let me present you with a counter point: will the ff 12 mp nikon d3 out resolve the 16mp omd in any scenario?

            • dfjhy

              @true homer

              To double resolution you need four times the MP so to double the resolution of a 16mp sensor you need 64mp. As it happens the results using a kit lens above are from the 24mp D3X not the D800 so not such a bad result after all. The Canon 5Dmk2 is well behind the times in sensor tech and came out in 2008 .How does it compare to the older mFT bodies. Plus are you sure you are looking at the matching DOF settings on the 5Dmk2 compared to the Mft ? Lenstip was once the beloved site of all FT/mFT fanboys because the do not use the LW/PH that most other reputable sites do, until they gave a mediocre review of the Olympus 17mm F2.8 :D

              The Nikon D3s was a specialist tool designed for speed and high ISO performance and at all high ISO settings it easily out resolves Mft cameras. Nikon decided to split their pro range in two with high MP high res D3X along with the D3S for sport , which seems reasonable .

  • mahler

    Good thing to learn that Olympus will not jump into silly things like a hybrid view finder. They should get their EVFs right and don’t waste time in this hybrid stuff.

  • good advice

    Better sensor for Panasonic. Better then Sony’s sensor in OM-D. Better then sensor in Fuji X200, X1pro… It is most important. Especially Dynamic Range is weak in Panasonic bodies.

    • NFT

      dream will come true,if they release ‘Micro Color Slitter’ on tomorrow ^_^

  • Endlos

    I really object to the statements here that MFT cameras such as the GH2 are semi professional.

    Movies that make it into major film festivals like Sundance are shot with a GH2, professional photographers are embracing MFT as a second more portable system or are leaving full frame behind entirely.

    Looking at my own experience the company I work for has invested thousands in several GH2s and associated lenses. We don’t shoot for other people but are now gearing up to produce hundreds of hours of programming for our clients and partners.

    Professional means that you make money doing something and that is happening everyday with MFT gear. So can we please stop referring to MFT cameras and lenses as semi-professional.

    • Kennyfhggt

      I think that professional is often categorized as high grade weather sealed gear and sorry much as I loved my GH2 and now GH3 its build quality was far from stellar
      K

      • true homer

        Theres no such thing as professional gear.

        • DFYT

          I think that Nikon have very clear definitions of Pro gear and using certain equipment labeled as pro gives you access to NPS.There will be the odd person using some low end gear for a specific non challenging subject.The vast majority of Pro shooters will obviously use the best tools for the job in hand.That is simple common sense.

          • “The vast majority of Pro shooters will obviously use the best tools for the job in hand.That is simple common sense.”

            This is oh so true.

            However…

            The best tools for the job does not mean the largest most expensive tools, especially not when for a given situation, any possible advantages of larger more expensive tools are theoretical at best. The best tool for the job can be a $5 single-use camera, depending on the job at hand.

  • rUY

    I pretty agree with him, G series is very confusing. the improvement and the feature in the past few generations are not surprising either. and more importantly not the feature, but the sensor development capability is not that sound.

  • Simon T

    Fine rule out an OVF that means I’ll “rule out” Olympus in my buying choices then ;-)
    I wish camera makers would start to listen to what people want rather than following their own dumb ideas, Fuji here we come!

  • Camera Retailer

    Panasonic cameras are hard to sell. We need to discount heavily to move stock. One of the worst companies to deal with for support and supplier issues. Olympus is better to deal with and we have more chance of selling them to ordinary consumers. With Olympus cameras, customers are getting 2 year wty too, so that gives them more confidence. Panasonic compacts were popular few years ago but not much now due to smartphones. When it comes to system cameras, customers do not have the same confidence in Panasonic. Funny also that Panasonic thinks many color choices can draw in consumers but I see the opposite effect. Customers looking for system cameras want something different than P&S and smartphone. These colors like white, red, pink, brown are the worst sellers. Customers expect the system camera to be more serious looking, they don’t seem to care for the different colors. Maybe its different, western markets vs asian markets.

    • true homer

      Omg I so believe you! You are a camera retailer!

      • Camera Retailer

        You don’t want to accept the reality that goes in the real world and shop floor, that’s fine. I suppose you didn’t get your camera from a retailer, right? Must have got it direct from Panasonic Japan. You sound like a Panasonic employee. We are in the business of selling products. We don’t care what brand it is. Some brands make life easier for the retailers, others make business difficult. We can order a pallet worth of Olympus MFT and have them in within the week. Same with Sony. We can always get stock and have them on hand for our customers. With Panasonic it’s a guessing game, either low or no availability. Service and support network is terrible. If Panasonic wants to appeal to a consumer market, let alone a professional market, they have a lot of catch up to do. But of course, none of this interests you. Camera retailers have no clue about what goes on in the industry. The products just magically end up in inventories and sell and deliver themselves to customers’ doorsteps.

  • tomas

    Pana is too expensive in regards of fact they dont have photo bacground.leica helped them but they must work hard to be on par with Oly. if their iq will be as as good and price is 20% less then they could get more out of mirorless pie …also dont forget the biggest competitor is not Oly but Sony + they plan FF mirorless.sony try to be top tech while Oly build on their name + solid IQ but what has Pana? Anyway I admit pana build nice 2.8zooms and good primes but bodies are either too price or not right speced

    • tpio[p

      Olympus plays the feature lottery with its cameras giving you one thing but not another as regarding best buys the G5 is probably the best value mix of features and price in mFT.I like the E-M5 feature set but detest the fake retro design. The best cheap kit lens in the system is the 14-45, the best do it all zoom is the 14-140 [ especially for video} the only fast zooms come from Panasonic. The best long lens is the 100-300 not that good but better than the F6.7 Olympus offering.Panasonic also provides the best fast standard lens { 25mm F1.4} The macro lenses are both very good with no real difference in quality. The 75mm is the best Olympus lens by far, followed by the great value 45mm ,the 12mm F2 is very overrated ,the slow 17mm f2.8 is mediocre and the pro reviewers such as lens tip do not seem to impressed with the 17mm F1.8.

      Until the E-M5 the image quality of Olympus best body was behind the best Panasonic. Whether you Oly fanboys think so or not it is Panasonic who have really delivered the most to the system , Olympus gave us body after body with no gain in image quality , even the E-M5 is just one stop ahead of the older GH2

      • tomas

        you see me i wrote pana made good zooms and primes thanks for that but true is that mostly they are attached to oly bodies …in europe the pana is more expensive than oly…so no reason for me to buy…even the tests of pana lenses are mostly made on omd

        • I have noted that most Oly lens tests are on old Pany bodies. But in real life pany lenses are very popular on oly bodies.

  • S. Anderson

    My thoughts are that “the new PEN with built-in EVF” is a great idea. An EVF or OVF should be standard on all cameras, preferably with either an articulated LCD that can be turned inward for protection or a snap-on cover.

    Panasonic and Olympus would do well to offer some “popular-price” lenses, especially of the wide angle type. They needn’t all be zooms, either. A good MFT lens the equivalent of 18mm on a 35mm camera, f/2.8 or f/3.5 at least, for $350 or less, for example.

  • hardbonemac

    PRICE!

    Have since 2 days 2 BMC C…
    ( and a Sony fs 100 / canon d5mk2/ 12 panasonic gh2 / red epic/ aaton 16mm/…)

    Now we come to the price tag FOR BIG MASS PRODUCERS.

    THAT IS —-> GH-3 BODY is 500 $ not more not less.

    Also in first IS THE PICTURE. THE PICTURE. THE PICTURE.

    Nice wahteveridiotfunny gadgets are part and old MARKETINGSHOW
    but for me a NONE-PRICED PART I DO NOT MENTION..and nOT CARE.

    for the hobby-man boy girl maybe everything but NOT THE PICTURE is it..

    So GOOD LENSES sometimes ADAPTERS and a solid
    1080p 10 bit 4:4:2 is behind IT

    IF NOT not bought not used not P-O-I

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