Some background stories about the E-M5, E-5 and new E-7 :)

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Yesterday I wrote you about my E-7 release “troubles”. Two sources were so kind to explain me what’s going on with the E-7 development and release. It’s quite an interesting story! Here it is:

According to those sources, the E-7 has been in development for quite some time now, and got initially canceled early this year. Both claim that the “Sony sensor” and IBIS were originally developed for the E-7 and that the E-M5 is in fact a spin-off of this technology. Once the E-M5 was established as a product, it was decided to continue the introduction of the E-7 anyway since it was as nearly finished, and mostly needed testing. Neither source mentioned an introduction date, but suggested that ‘this year would be extremely likely because it is already being tested.

I guess the chance to see a new E-5 successor at Photokina is now getting bigger…

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  • physica

    It seems OM will continue to go for the E-7 because they wanna to waste it only….. Will it be the last DSLR of OM 4/3 Series?

  • Martin-K

    I always thought the E-5 with nothing changed but the new OM-D sensor and new IBIS and then called E-7 should make most 4/3 users really happy without giving Olympus too many problems in developing this “new” E-7.. seems this will finally happen now. Good news. They took their time though..

  • Vatirod

    This sounds pretty ‘far fetched’… If it is true I would have to conclude that Olympus doesn’t know where it’s going whereas the evidence suggests it does – mFTland.

    • ljmac

      I don’t know – if you look at the history of 4/3rds, I think there’s plenty of evidence to suggest Olympus didn’t know where it was going! They’ve finally hit the magic formula with the E-M5, so this story actually makes perfect sense to me.

    • Bart

      Well, somewhere last winter, Olympus commented on having focused too much on cameras for ‘camera girls’ and going to change that. Prioritizing a ‘serious’ m4/3 camera over other developments seems quite in line with that statement.

      • Vatirod

        We’re talking about an E7, not mFT.

        • bart

          And we are also talking about the camera division having to ensure they aren’t spread too thin and having to prioritize what they spend their time and money on.

          Bringing an already developed product to market doesn’t come for free, you have to spend time and money on production runs, distibution and marketking. I don’t know, but it makes some sense to me if they decided those funds should go to a serious m4/3 camera first.

          The only thing not making sense to me is it having taken this long for them to come up with a m4/3 camera like this.

          • Amadeo

            I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. They really need to stop doing this. Having worked with Japanese electronics manufacturers before (Samsung and Panasonic), they all fall victim to the same “keeping up with the Joneses” pitfall. For Christ’s sake march to the beat of your own drum. Just because there are dSLRs out there, doesn’t mean you HAVE to make them. Stick with m4/3. It’s working for you.

            Like this poster said, putting a test model into production costs millions of dollars, and shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly. Pump the brakes, ask if you REALLY need to do this (which is no), and refocus your energy on the areas that will make you money.

            • Anonymoose

              Samsung is Korean… And an “enemy” to Japanese electronic manufacturers.

            • Max

              Many people, including myself, are heavily invested in zuiko super high grade lenses and Olympus is aware of this.
              Now, virtually 99% of people who spent a little fortune to buy this kind of lenses, will jump at the opportunity to get an E7. Once again Olympus knows the exact number of lenses that have been sold, and they know that they will have a decent margin for profit. To that you have to add that it would be extremely bad publicity for them to abandon all people who invested in 4/3 and we can all agree that the last thing that Olympus need right now is more bad press…therefore: WELL DONE AND THANK YOU OLYMPUS FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING!!

  • john

    Here we go again in one breath you post Olympus will continue the 4/3rds line in the next breath they wanted to cancel the E-7 . Really who is going to believe anything on here

    • T-L

      You can believe anything you want, this is a RUMOR site.. ;)

    • Vatirod

      Yes, but an E7 isn’t it. I’m sure that Olympus is going to produce a ‘pro’ OM-D.

  • REVENGE

    More importantly, nobody cares about 4/3s.

    If Olympus were to convert their 4/3s lenses into m4/3s and call it a day, nobody would complain.

    • Miroslav

      If Olympus were to make their 4/3 lenses auto focus properly on m4/3 bodies, nobody would remember 4/3 DSLRs existed. But they won’t do it, they’ve had enough time so far.

      • beautemps

        It is impossible to make the AF fast for old lenses. Because >80% of the time to focus is the lens mechanic/motor. 43 Lenses will never ever become fast.

        • ha

          In engineering impossible is used for perpetuum mobile like things. All other are just not wanted by marketing. In Case of 4/3 lenses Oly already showed an active adapter containing a MSC focus unit. But the patent they filed may just protect against Sigma and Co. releasing this kind of adapter. Than it’s marketing again…

        • Bart

          If what you say is true, then those lenses would also focus very slowly on an E-5 or similar camera, while in most cases, the opposite is true.

          But, you aren’t entirely wrong either, the focus motor is a significant part of why those lenses don’t focus very quickly on m4/3 cameras. This however has to do with how the mechanism and controller are optimized. PDAF knows how far to move in which direction, and compatible lenses are optimized for this. CDAF has no clue how far to move and in which direction, rather, it needs to figure this out by trying. This results in quickly starting and stopping and moving over short distances. Hence, the motor and controller need to be optimized in a different way. Additionally, the many starts/stops make that the mass of the elements that are being moved becomes much more relevant (inertia really kills the ability to quickly start/stop/change direction).

          This however also means that it is technically possible to create a solution that allows relatively quick AF with such lenses on mirrorless cameras, but this does require something that can determine those 2 important bits of data: how far to move and in which direction.

        • Some year back, CDAF would never become fast.
          Now, CDAF tracking will never become fast …until the next breakthrough.

          With enough time, dedication and resources, I am confident that Olympus will propose a solution. Now, if I was owning some SHG 43 glass, I’d want to shoot them on a 43 body, not on a Frankenstein. I can understand why there is expectations for the E-7 !

          • Bart

            Phase detection as such isn’t needed to do tracking well, but being able to determine if the image is still in focus without having to ‘wobble’ the focusing elements is still relevant. The alternatives are either random shutter lag to ensure proper focus, or a significant risk on out of focus images, depending on the release-priority setting for C-AF.

            The E-M5 with ‘fast AF’ m4/3 lenses is demonstrating that the ‘wobble’ implementation can be pushed to the point that the random shutter lag becomes tolerable for many uses (or alternatively, the number of reasonably in-focus pictures is high enough), but it isn’t anywhere as good as the E-3 with lenses like the 12-60 or 50-200, and the E-3 is actually rather bad at this compared to most $1000+ DSLRs from the last half decade.

            Additionally, long fast lenses require big elements, which is troublesome for CDAF because you can’t ‘wobble’ as quickly with bigger, heavier elements. Possibly Olympus will introduce some such lenses using their fluid lens technology to overcome this.

        • Miroslav

          It’s possible – Sony and Nikon did it with their “old” lenses, so can Olympus. But they won’t devote their R&D time to it…

      • JS

        Using 4/3 lenses on m4/3 is a kind of a compromise especially if you have SHG 4/3 lenses that are quite bulky. Connecting m4/3 camera instead of 4/3 will not make a big difference in size if you consider lens-camera set. So where is the gain?

        • bart

          I think there are advantages to m4/3 besides compactness.
          – see what the sensor sees instead of seeing approximately what is going to hit the sensor. EVF technology isn’t there yet for everyone, but getting very close.
          – economics of scale make one system cheaper then 2 systems if the customer base is the same
          – fewer moving parts during exposure reduces vibration and resulting blur
          – shorter flange distance means a bit less diffraction from the exit pupil and reduces the need for strongly retrofocal design

          There is more.

          Hence, I do not think there is a long-term future for dslr technology, but, mirrorless tech isn’t entirely there yet, so on the short-term there seems to be room for dslrs next to mirrorless.

    • > If Olympus were to convert their 4/3s lenses into m4/3s and call it a day, nobody would complain.

      Yes.

      Oly, being second (only to the Panny) in the mirrorless, remains pretty much only without some solution on the market. (OK, I’m not counting Pentax, because I can’t take the K-01 seriously.)

      Sony: NEX has the LA-EA2 to provide PDAF.
      Nikon: Nikon 1 has both CDAF and PDAF.
      Canon: EOS M has both CDAF and PDAF.
      Oly: ???

      I wanted to say “advent of PDAF on mirrorless is immenent” – but as I wrote it, beneath the list, I found it to be ignorant, because PDAF on mirrorless already happened. Just not on the m43.

    • Please do not speak on behalf of “everybody”.i have an em5 and it is a fine camera but for several applications , like shooting models , the EVF. is not even close to a real viewfinder

      Case in point. the EVF ON MY 2 month old omd stopped working.
      and in terms of comfort of viewing, it is not a universal solution

      Harold

      • REVENGE

        Of course everybody does not mean “everybody”, but all you have to ask is “Where is the money at?”, and all is made clear.

        • bart

          The money is there where margins are good, but that ignores strategic arguments.

          There is money is creating the perfect infinitely reusable mouse-trap, but only until everyone has one.

  • kesztio

    Cannot see that big enthusiasm about launching the new member of the obsolete 4/3 system.

    And let’s be honest, even an otherwise excellent E-7 will be greatly overshadowed by the shine of the E-M5…

    • john

      i would complain the big lenes for one will never work on a little camera 2nd if i wanted a little camera i would sell my 4/3rds and buy one

      • Miroslav

        E-M5 with those two grips is not that small…

        • The grip does not miraculaously change the button layout and size of the controls. I’d rather have a body that’s bigger to begin with, for example with the vertical grip integrated.

    • Anonymoose

      How? The E-7, being a pro camera, can only be better than the E-M5, and have more features.

      • Mike

        It should be like you said, but just compare E-30 and E-3. The not-Pro Model E-30 had focus adjust, liveview & the 12MP Sensor…

        • Anonymoose

          Because it’s a later model. The E-7 can only have more features than the E-M5, considering it’s coming out 6+ months after it…

    • So far there are only 3 m4/3 prime lenses I’d consider, and there is no relatively fast wide-to-tele 12-60. The 12-35 has too short of a focal range. Until such a bread-and-butter zoom appears, m4/3 is not right for me.

      Also, the Pen and E-M5 bodies are too small for my liking. Besides that, do you believe that all or even most 4/3 users will happily get rid of their HG and SHG 4/3 lenses, which really don’t work well on m4/3 bodies?

      What’s obsolete is in the eye of the beholder. A decent mid-level 4/3 body or an m4/3 body with decent body size and the ability to focus 4/3 lenses quickly and accurately is to me much more interesting than the current m4/3 bodies and lenses.

    • If you had invested quite a bit money in 4/3 lenses I guess you would have understood what the fuzz was all about.
      Anyway, a 4/3 with the 5 way IBIS and a new censor would beat any APS-C camera out there in my view!

  • Brod1er

    Makes sense. Keep as much hardware identical to E5 and upgrade the most important parts with the best available fromOMD. It will never be a big seller but will be a great platform for those with the lovely Zuiko 43 glass. Oly will no doubt focus on m43 but an upgraded E7 still makes sense.

  • Anonymous

    An E-7 with the innards of the E-M5 will walk all over the E-M5 purely on ergonomics and the simple fact the glassware is already waiting for it.

  • flangad

    this won’t be a “strategic” product, but an E7 can be a good upgrade for those who already own 4/3 lenses

    • john

      I keep seeing people call 4/3rds obsolete . so are all slr cameras obsolete . cause if your talking about the sensor i’ll take a 400mm reach over a 200mm reach anyday

  • This is an interesting situation. I am an E-5 owner with some very good FT glass. I also got the E-M5.

    Will I upgrade the E-5 to the E-7, just so I can use the FT glass on the E-7? Probably not. I do not need the additional pixels on the E-M5 sensor in the E-5. 12MP is enough for me, anything beyond 16MP is actually too much as dealing with the resulting data in post-processing is just slowing down my computer and I do not intend to print my images to the size of a wall. Also, I think the E-5’s image quality at ISO 100 to 800 is more than sufficient. If I need higher ISOs, I have the E-M5.

    • I’m in the same situation. Won’t upgrade because the E-5 is good enough. I use it mainly for telephoto and rough conditions. The E-M5 is taking over everything else.

      • What Olympus needs to do with the E-7 is to offer it at the same price or below the E-M5 to convince me to consider it as an upgrade. Other than the improved image sensor, there is no benefit in buying an E-7 if you have the E-5. The image stabilization is nice to have, but I wouldn’t consider this a reason to upgrade.

        Let’s see if the E-7 rumor is true at all. There are an awful lot of new E-5’s sitting on shelfs in local stores and I am sure Olympus must have noticed this as well…

        • Tim

          Actually, some would consider an optical viewfinder an improvement. Add the greater lens compatibility and we do have a reason for an upgrade – if you can afford those lenses ofcourse.

  • DonParrot

    Should it have a C-AF delivering on the level of the CaNikon sports cameras, I’ll buy it.

    If not: no way. The C-AF of my E-My is – if at all – only slighly inferior to the one of my E-5 an d why should I schlepp the weight if I don’t get any advantages. For shooting anything but action, the performance of the FT lenses on the E-m5 is good enough and when it comes to action in good light conditions, the E-M5 combined with the 75-300 delivers good enough. And it even does so with C-AF tracking, since firmware update 1.2:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/63427925@N00/sets/72157630591312236/with/7617629798/

    And as the E-M5 represents a major step forward, in this regard, I expect it’s successor or the pro line to represent another major step.
    So why should I take the weight?

  • Maley

    Why would they cancel it in the first place? Doesnt make sense to me at all. I dont believe it was this way.

    • Ross

      “Why would they cancel it in the first place? Doesnt make sense to me at all. I dont believe it was this way.”

      To iron out any issues with the sensor & 5 axis IS in E-M5 first (or anything else they already use in the E-M5 that they include in the E7) before they market the best 4/3’s DSLR. ;)

  • The trouble with 4/3 owners is that they consider themselves superior to m4/3 owners because of the superior lenses.

    it’s some sort of psychological trouble due to the fact that they have invested thousands, and are not even sure if they will have a matching body in the future.

    Of course this has little to do with p/hy, and all with money. I never saw any superior p/hy of theirs at DPR, truth being that the Great used v. ordinary, normal lenses. Only commercial photogs. or the uber rich might have a real need for fast zooms.

    Therefore it makes sense to keep a layer for dSLR, but a limited one. Competitive advantage is guaranteed by m4/3, and that’s the evidence itself.

    Am.

    • > it’s some sort of psychological trouble due to the fact that they have invested thousands, and are not even sure if they will have a matching body in the future.

      But isn’t that the whole point of a “camera system” sale pitch? – “Buy glass once, get more out of it with the newer better bodies”? “Bodies are replaceable, glass is not”? “Invest in glass, because glass would last for decades”?

      It’s ought to leave lots of people pissed when a company makes u turn on the basic premise of a “camera system.” Note that Oly is pretty much only company doing it (and already second time, if you count the OM).

    • Christian

      I have some FT-lenses. However, I neither invested thousands of § nor do I see myself superior to mFT-users. Nevertheless, I like fast and sealed zooms like the FT 12-60, which enable my to shoot in almost every situation. On the contrary, I dislike unsealed primes, that I would be forced to switch permanently and would be afraid to use in harsh conditions.

      • Yes, this *used* to be the sales’ pitch, but now we see marketing dominating all. I predict with mirrorless mounts will multiply, we see it already. And AF systems.

        That is why, I have come to think of a short register camera and old good MF lenses as the only permanent thing in my bag.

        4/3 lenses were doomed since the introduction of CDAF. I saw it coming, and people there despised Live View, and yet it was the future.

        Apart from fast MF lenses, m4/3 lenses don’t need to be very fast thanks to good IBIS and high sensitivity cameras.

        People are still fettered in the film mentality, but this is a sensor dominated world, so high investment might not be needed, if one isn’t a commercial photographer or a collector.

        Just use your creativity, if you have any. Or else ask to be buried like a pharaoh with your precious, obsolete SHG :)

        • bart

          So, in your world only pros and collectors want the highest quality? While better sensitivity does help to compensate for less bright lenses, it doesn’t help against marginal optical quality, hence your argument fails.

          Oh, you said ‘need’…

          All you need is food, water and sleep, so if it is about ‘need’ then there is no place for cameras and lenses,at all

    • That’s really great that you are happy with the quality you get out of your lenses. To essentiallly accuse any amateur and ethusiast who is a more discriminating shopper than you are of practicing “pearls before swine” and of snobbery is rather insidious. What’s it to you how people spend their money?

      • I don’t object to people buying CVoigtalnder 1000 $ lenses especially if in the LM39 mount. Because I know that they will last across brands and mounts.

        I don’t object also because I assume that the buyers know the difference between the need for hyperfocal, that for bokeh, and a reasonable low light.

        But those who clamour all the time for faster, more expensive throwaway lenses are just marketing fodder, headless chickens and lemmings, which will throw away 10,000 bucks in one year and then have a rethink, because they suddenly have a doubt they might have bought in the wrong system.

        I have seen it happening at 1022 at DPR. So what gives? Did I ever see any reasonably good images by these lost souls? Or only test images of the bokeh, around their pet’s nose?

        Therefore spare me the crap, consumerist noobs…

        • Bart

          Its amazing how shallow and arrogant you are, also a bit sad.

          Its a bit sad because it totally clouds the good points you also make.

          The good point?

          All lenses containing electronics are going to be outdated, and this happens quite a bit faster then ‘non electronic lenses’. That doesn’t mean customers shouldn’t be expecting something like 1-2 decades of use out of high-end lenses however, electronically controlled or not.

          One of the strong points of Nikon’s F mount based cameras is that in most cases, you can transition from one generation to the next in relatively small steps, upgrading a body every so often, buying new lenses every so often, replacing existing lenses when a new version with much better performance gets released and when budget allows for it. Such a smooth transition is rather important if you want to keep your customers because it keeps them in your system and product line.

          So, planned obsolesce is part of modern camera systems, but implementing that by introducing a new system every decade and dropping the old one without providing a smooth transition is clearly not a good idea, as it first of all makes it much easier for customers to switch away from your product line, and second, its rather bad for your reputation.

    • I want to sincerely thank you for gloriously sharing your exclusive and patented grasp over common sense as well as your intimate knowledge of the platonician sky of intelligible forms. Thank you very much!

      Now please, we heard it alreay, we now know that owning a lens worth over $300 makes anyone ipso facto a snob. Please, move on with that.

    • some evidence you got….

      I do not understand this need to oppose 4/3 users tom4/3rds users. the fact that some m4/3rds users do not see the merit of4/3rd AND VICE VERSA does not mean it does not exist

      the m4/3rds has now a very decent lens line up but for phographers who need long tele , it is a nobrainer
      Also for shooting models, a EVF IS OK but not even in the same league as a good optical OVF

      continuing both platforms is good for olympus image and economy savings scale and for users

      we should all be happy that there is still some choice

      Harold

  • Should the E7 feature a C-AF on the level of the CaNikon sports cameras I’m going to definitely buy it – but I doubt that this will be the case.

    And if it doesn’t I don’t see any reason for purchasing it. For anything but action, the C-AF speed of the E-M5 with the FT lenses is okay, and when it comes to shooting action, my E-M5 with the 75-300 or the 40-150 is virtually on a par with my E-5 with the 50-200 SWD. Even the IQ of the 75-300 is really nice if you shoot in good light.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/63427925@N00/sets/72157630172691350/

    And since firware update 1.2, even the tracking is working on a useful level.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/63427925@N00/sets/72157630591312236/with/7617629798/

    And as the E-M5 represented a surprisingly big step forward, in this regard, I expect its successor or the pro line tpo represent another major step.

    So, for me it’s clear: no massive C-AF improvement for the E-7, I rather wait for the next steps in the µFT world – both C-AF ans lens wise.

    Yes, I love my FT Zuikos – but if Oly provide me with the same quality at half the weight, I’d happily quit FT for good.

    • Christian

      Hmmm, I can see mFT-glasses at half the weight of FT-glasses, but I fail to see them providing the same quality.

    • Bart

      When it comes to low-light and longer focal lengths, the 50-200 offers enough brightness to almost make up for the less good high-iso performance of the E-3 when compared to the E-M5, and on the E-5 it quite makes up for this. This means there is quite something to gain from having an E-M5 sensor in an E-3/5 alike body, enough so that I currently use the 50-200 (with manual focus) on the E-M5.

      This is even more true when looking at the 35-100/2 and other SHG lenses.

      Not to mention, the 75-300 isn’t anywhere close to the 300/2.8 with regards to optical quality and brightness.

      Its very good that the E-M5 and 75-300 do the job for you, often they also do the job for me (100-300 in my case), but there are enough situations in which it doesn’t, while a faster lens would do the job.

      Last but not least, there is the aperture related issues of DOF control and diffraction, especially at 300/6.3, which gives you only 2/3 stop of room before diffraction becomes prominent enough to reduce IQ.

      I do agree with regards to the E-M5 with ‘native’ lenses often being fast enough with AF to do ‘action’, but, using continuous shooting while panning is troublesome, and the v1.2 firmware that does help a bit with this is currently suspended.

      But, the bottomline is, if people don’t believe there is some continuity in the systems they invest in, they are less willing to spend a significant amount of money into it. Its really simple, if you can expect to get 15 years out of a $2000 lens, that is a lot more attractive then getting 5 years out of a $800 lens, so it 1. makes people spend more on lenses, and 2. turns them into returning customers for bodies. Olympus doesn’t exactly have a good reputation in this, and simply can’t afford to fail providing such continuity for their high-end users yet again (PEN F, FLD, OM to name 3 depricated Olympus SLR systems, no, adding a 4th without a good transition to a new system isn’t a good idea)

  • > […] the “Sony sensor” and IBIS were originally developed for the E-7 and that the E-M5 is in fact a spin-off of this technology.

    Still can’t shake off completely the dismay at 43’s “death by thousands cuts” (by Olympus itself), but that sounds like extremely wise business decision on their part.

    But to me, E-7 just like the E-5 are little consolation: I own the E-620 and probably E-30 is the largest body I would go for (personally think ergonomics of the E-5×0 line was the best). And there is of course also the matter of price.

    Otherwise, I’m more interested in GH3 (and G5). Even GF5. Panny simply makes more interesting to me glass and for the better compatibility with it, I could trade off the IBIS. At the moment, GF5 is at the top of my mind because I actually think that going minimalistic for me would be beneficial: less fiddling with the controls – more shooting. (RX100 is also interesting, but GF5 + 20mm + 14-42X is little bit more versatile to me.)

    • kevin

      I think E-PM1 is already less fiddling with the controls – more shooting.

      And give you AP2 port,hot shoe and IBIS that GF5 can’t offer.

  • kevin

    Admin:How about the EPL5 and EPM2 ?

    Any news update?

  • Richard

    I have an EM-5 and an E-3 and even if I really really like my EM-5, it’s too small and light for SHG-lenses and even for HG lenses like 50-200. It’s ok with the standard 4/3 lenses like 40-150 and 70-300, but AF with 4/3 lenses are crap with the EM-5. So I would like an E-7 with EM-5 sensor and IBIS.

    • Don’t you know, unless your are among the über-rich or among commercial photographers, you should stick frugally with 40 year-old hand-me-down and optically compromised, slow lenses? ;-)

  • peevee

    Year, usual “management is running around like headless chickens while market is being lost”.

  • matteo

    i invested some in 4/3 (7-14 F4,35-100F2,90-250F2.8,150F2,50F2,12-60SWD,50-200SWD + 2x E5) and an E7 with IBIS and EM5 sensor is a very good news

    • wowy!

      with lenses like those, I can understand that the E-7 is very best of news for you, great lineup!

  • Damian McGillicudy has already tested it, no ?

    • sorry my inglish

      yes, but Chuck Norris was first

  • Leo

    I bought brand new 50/f2 and 14-54 II this June, because I believe that E-7 will come to market soon.

  • lone samurai

    I use both 4/3 and m4/3 but until Olympus or Panasonic give me a micro 4/3
    12-60 or 14-54 equivalent in all respects along with a weather sealed
    Telephoto lens this format will only be just for small and light weight
    high iq primes and cannot replace my e5 etc…
    I welcome the e7 with the better DR and slightly better resolution but I’m somewhat sceptical about the future of this format and if I’m to be honest with myself I’m hoping for a pro spec OMD camera that focuses my 4/3 lenses like my e5 does that has some ground breaking viewfinder, vastly improved CAF and some implemented working elegant solution for 4/3 glass.
    If Olympus give us a camera like this than I’ll never care about an e7 or have concerns about what happens to my expensive 4/3 lenses.

  • Olympus moved to m4/3, why?

    It’s obvious that FT was not a success——and there are a number of possible reasons for this outcome. To those who own super high-grade (SHG) glass, I can understand that they would want Olympus to continue the development of the system. (I too had significant investment in this system)

    But Oly has to fish in a pond where there’s fish!

    If Olympus has a boatload of SHG, releasing an E-7 is not going to help their case. If releasing an E-7 is for the sake of appeasing existing customers, then a call for management change should be the order of the day.

    The solution to all or any of the above is to build an adaptor——possibly using the translucent mirror as Sony has done for the NEX system. If Oly were to develop such an adapter, it could help them sell off FT stock and allow existing glass owners to continue with the use of their investment.

    • sorry my inglish

      it’s all about money, E5 to 800 E/$ would be a killer

    • “Olympus moved to m4/3, why?”

      For the same reason for which m4/3 will be abandonded once sales stagnate!

      “The solution to all or any of the above is to build an adaptor——possibly using the translucent mirror as Sony has done for the NEX system. If Oly were to develop such an adapter, it could help them sell off FT stock and allow existing glass owners to continue with the use of their investment.”

      I won’t buy a cludge, especially not one with a fragile pellicle mirror.

      • Scott

        mirrorless is the future

        • It’s really about the right-now and what’s the best choice for whom.

  • st3v4nt

    Releasing product just to please a few user while on the long run it will burden the company because the overstock…..way to recover from scandal…..but it all depends on how Olympus willing take the risk or not….I just hope they decide it with a lot of thought.

    • Are you sure this alleged overstock exists?

      • st3v4nt

        Apparently they did it with E-XXX and EPL-X that’s why we have so many deals with E-XXX in their last iteration and true with EPL-1 & 2 which still offered till now , they limit the stock of E-5 from the start since they aware this particular type will not have too much buyer…but still think about all of those machine and man power that have better purpose if directed for EM-X while the demand still high rather than used for creating so called E-7 which only few will buy.

  • Republic

    I just wish that with the delay in the E-7. Olympus did the smart thing and enhanced the features of the sensor and has improved on it in leaps and bounds compared to the OM-5. Simply putting the same sensor and features into a different body really isn’t a “Flagship” camera. Please Olympus, make the E-7 a true flagship.

  • flash

    There is room in this world for DSLR and mirrorless. They can make a E-7 and sell it at a profit. There are more then enough serious 43 users there. It is all in how much it cost to make the e-7 in small quantities. Olympus is good at that.

    Why would they stop once they started on the e-7? To create and PRODUCE the Em-5. Now, that they are caught up on back orders they should go to the e-7 and new pens.

    I really like the E-5 in use. The IBIS added might make it a truly great telephoto camera. The E-m5 due to only contrast focusing can not be for me.

    Forget about an adapter like the Sony, it just will not suffice. Till they make a Em (which they will someday) and a Electronic viewfincer that is a magnitude better then what they have today; there is a place for DSLRs.

  • SLOtographer

    2-3 more stops of DR (for a total of 12-13 stops)
    Useable ISO 6400
    8 FPS (hopefully)
    Improved AF performance
    16MP

    All these improvements are doable. If they pull it off, then the E7 will be one heck of a camera. I hope they price is aggressively – the E7 should be viewed as a lens selling/delivery device.

  • Ab

    Listen up people!!

    I was relaxing yesterday and using DPreviews comparometer tool and for sport I plugged in the D800, the D4 the E5 and the OMD.

    What I saw was astonishing, if you set the OMD at ISO 3200 and the D4 at 6400 (or 1600 and 3200) the IQ from the OMD is a bit over 1 stop from the D4, THE D4!!!! This is in the shadow area where the spools of thread are, the E-5 is a mess. THAT is why the E-7 is competitive.

    What does this mean? It means the fast 43rds zooms make a VERY compelling argument to release the E-7. With 5 way IBIS for video and stills you have a VERY competitive camera for $1700 as opposed to $5000.

    Why would they do it, well, the E-7 can use the fabulous 50-200 f2.8 – 3.5 instead of sonys 70-400 f4-5.6 gaining a stop to a stop and a half (wide to tele) against a possible A-99 add in the SLT mirror sapping another 3rd stop from the A-99 and Olympus has a VERY competitive product. Throw on ANY of the fast SHG zooms, say the 50-250 f2.8 compared to the 500mm f4 saving thousands, I mean thousands and thousands, with a 1 stop speed advantage on the lens, the A-99 loses 1/3 stop from the slt and you STILL have a very compelling product.

    Now Nikons sensors are the top of the line, Canon takes a step down (tech reasons) and sony never seems to do as well (a900/d3x) and now loses out a bit due to the SLT. But olympus zooms are VERY competitive, both interms of speed, size and price.

    Would I buy a 5Dm111 plus 70-200f4 for around $5000 or a D-7 plus 35-100 f2 for around $4500? Personally, as I would want another body either as a backup or an eventual upgrade, I would go the latter… YMMV

    The E-7 will be an edge up on the OMD in terms of sheer IQ, I hope to see a few improvements (an update to the focussing, smart port, GPS and maybe wifi) but those are a nice to have on a $1700 camera body.

    Bringing PDAF to m43rds would open up that market, but a solution on a larger camera body would be even better, I would say 30% bigger then the OMD, 2 part grip and a solution to the AF for 43rds lenses… WOW, that is all I can say, 43rds users get access to the full and growing suite of m43rds primes, many are just outstanding, m43rds users get to use the fabulous 12-60, 50-200, 50mm macro, 11-22 and more. And on the body I described they would all fit well.

    People need to stop ringing the deathbell for 43rds, the worst case scenario is the merge to m43rds with full compatibility of 43rds lenses, either by SLT adapter, modular design or on sensor pdaf.

    Unlike many of the comments here, the ONLY solution that seems to work as well as their DSLR counterparts is the Sony adapter, Nikon works well, but not as well as their dslrs, and canon’s is all but useless compared to their DSLRs.

    Remember Olympus doesnt need some big kludge for their adapter as they dont need screw drive for their lenses, making an olympus equivalent much easier to do (losing the third stop of light is the pain) However a small mirror (occupying the central 2/3rds may be able to flip up inside an adapter.

    Use your imagination, and stop being the rain in the parade. I now have a growing set of primes, 24mm f1.4, 17mm f2.8, 45mm f1.8, 75mm f1.8, some TINY zooms, m9-18 m40-150, excellent flashes 2xfl50r 1 x fl36r, and the superb and tiny macros 50mm f2, 35mm f3.5, and the wonderful 12-60.

    I can see how close we are, Olympus cant say it because anything they do creates a firestorm, they have to sell E-5’s as long as they are out there, they are gunning in m43rds, but the amount of shared tech makes merging the systems (by any means, beautiful[on sensor pdaf] or not [sony adapter]).

    Enjoy the ride and take nice pictures.

    Ab

    • Robert

      Absolutely agree, well said!

    • Anonymous

      In complete agreement.

    • Zune

      Yes i is agree too, but why if E-7 come by 6 axis IBIS so giv CDAF fokus on sensor anyway Lens, fast fokus on all F/T and OM lens. :-P

    • Olympius

      Very well said. The 11-22, 14-54, 12-60 and 50-200 zooms are vastly superior to ANYTHING on the micro 4/3 platform, with the possible exceptions of the Lumix 7-14 and 12-35, both of which cost the same, if not more than the Olympus HG zooms.

      If you want THE BEST glass, you have to stick with 4/3, new camera or not. Get micro 4/3 for the wonderful primes, but 4/3 still rules the roost for quality zooms at a somewhat affordable price. Not bad for a system that’s been absolutely dead for the past two years.

      Bring on the E-7! But, I do want 20mp instead of 16mp. :-)

      – Olympius

    • Olympius

      I should also add…..

      Sharing the system as far as imager and electronics go is a good idea. But it should only go that far.

      Best to keep 4/3 alive, if or no other reason than to keep the 4/3 mount and PDAF focusing around, let alone CF card support, bigger bodies (which is advantageous under a host of conditions), optical finders, SLR technology, and so on.

      I personally do NOT want to see a complete merger of the two, as they are best left separate so that a photographer can choose the BEST system for their needs.

      – Olympius

  • elpaciko

    If you have 4/3 lens and want a new 4/3 bodies…

    buy e-7.

    If you dont have 4/3 lens and dont want a 4/3 bodies…

    dont buy e-7.

    Nobody is forcing anybody.

  • Well, it’s not so simple. 4/3 might still be a debt ridden concern kept on Oxygen because old Oly managers don’t want to admit defeat, and consider dSLR superior, like people of a certain age. There was a statement to this effect.

    Remember that 4/3 users were once saying carelessly that endoscopes would finance their cameras?

    Suicide, but who cares? On Mt. Olympus unfortunately some feel like gods.

    • Why does all your conscious streaming revolve around money, or the lack thereof, keeping this and that on oxygen, pulling the plug, suicide, old people – you don’t look like a spring chocken yourself – and now, somehow fittingly, endoscopes? Signs of a deeply troubled mind, perhaps? ;-)

      • Ross

        The unfortunate thing about any industry is its profitability & sales that can bring in the profits. The E-M5 was a sure gamble to bring new attention & sales to Olympus & hopefully the E7 can follow to ride some of the E-M5 wave (of interest in Olympus & sales). Olympus Imaging has to tread extra carefully due its financial situation after the scandel, being the division of Olympus that hasn’t been so profitable compared to the medical division.

        • There are zillions of companies that will keep some non-profitable division and there are reasons for that.

          In that specific case, R&D, manufacture, quality control and distribution of 43 and m43 are more or less linked one to an other. Putting an end to 43 certainly lead to some reduction in operation cost, but most likely a marginal reduction compared to what they would lose on the longer term.

          • Ross

            The loss of money in the scandel & the aftermath has to be made up, so only extra wise financial decisions can be made right now & that is why the E-M5 was a good part of its decision (within Oly Imaging). Corporate Oly has to make some cuts somewhere. I hope the E7 can still come too, but I don’t expect it to be with large sales.

            • Boooo!

              It doesn’t need large-scale sales (although it might get them with the new IBIS and sensor). There’s at least a hundred thousand potential buyers of a new E-x body. The R&D costs aren’t exclusive to 4/3 – they are shared. The E-5 got tech from m4/3, the E-M5 got tech from the E-7; it’s not “either-or”, it’s “and-and”.

              For that reason, it doesn’t make sense NOT to continue 4/3. It cannot lose any money by itself. It might reduce some m4/3 income, but that’s insignificant compared to all the negatives if they truly abandon 4/3.

              Olympus did not fail with 4/3. It sold very well and made a profit. Unfortunately, it was all the cheap compact cameras and ultrazooms that incurred the financial losses for the imaging division.

              • Anonymous

                perfectly correct

              • Riley

                perfectly correct

              • Anonymous

                +1

    • Steve

      But the zoom lenses compatible with the 4/3 system are absolutely superior to the offerings on m4/3. I love my E-M5 but I would really, really love to be able to fully use my 12-60 and 50-200 again. That’s the advantage of continuing development of the E-system.

  • Wow

    I am actually excited to hear this! I am hoping that the E7 will turn out to be my dream camera from Olympus… With the sensor, IBIS, processing and other improvements, (I sure hope what you heard is right) then this could be the body that helps make all the wonderful Oly glass to sing even sweeter than ever before…

  • Doctor, heal thyself

    • Your comment is not in a reply thread. So who is “Doctor,” i.e., which thread and whom are you addressing with your comment?

      • Sorry, it was addressed to TheEye, who got personal for nothing. In effect I owned two E-xxx models, and enjoyed them.

        However I consider m4/3 an advance. Same IQ more portaability. Price of the lenses is a separate issue, m4/3 having now many choices.

        • Bart

          Yes, m4/3 definitely has an advantage, actually more then one.

          That however does say absolutely zero, nothing whatsoever, about if an E-x camera would be a good or bad idea. It has been pointed out to you a few times why it might be a good idea, but you either ignore those arguments, or start throwing insults in the general direction of the people making those arguments, and now you come back complaining about someone ‘getting personal with no good reason’ ?

          Sir, you are pathetic.

          • We haven’t been introduced, so keep your distance, Mr. Bart.

            I simply object to the hype of those who pretend that the E-x cameras sell ‘by the hundred thousands’ Where is the source.

            I remember that for years 4/3 had been in the red, even before the double dip recession. Some 3 yrs. ago Olympus America folded operations, and lost maintenance centers.
            Panny even abandoned the format

            So m4/3 has really been a redeeming business for the camera division. We have no figures about 4/3 simply because they are *never* part of the rankings.

            When I’ll see the figures I’ll believe that 4/3 is reviving. very little interest in the forums too. The smaller than APS format killed regular 4/3. Instead it turned into advantage with m4/3, because of smaller lenses.

            That was the stroke of genius: to transform a defeat into a victory. But some prefer to stay blind, and try to silence others – LOL!

        • Well, not only do you get impudently personal, but you paint whole groups of people with the same brush all the time, Mr Kettle (aka the plug-pulling Nurse AM). One day your nose will hurt, because you keep sticking that nosy honker into business that’s other than your own, for example, when you rag on people spending their money in a fashion you find objectionable.

        • Anonymous

          Good morning Amalric,
          Let me introduce myself, call me Olympus Choir Boy.

          I think the interesting comment here is “In effect I owned two E-xxx models”, yes I would concur with you on that point, u43 is in my opinion a step up from E-xxx in many ways. However please don’t confuse the situation, apart from the E-M5 no Pen in my eyes can compete with an E-x or possibly an E-xx.

          I say this as a user of a now quite ancient E-1 and an E-620 (which gets little use)& an E-P2, all with a collection of compatable glass. My camera of choice from these is the E-1, from it’s handling and IQ, as a club member I regularly get favourable comments for the quality of my work compared to others who use various APS-C equipment. My E-P2 is the outfit I chuck in the car when out on a trip, not directly aimed at photography but as something to use due to it’s portability, there is no way I’d compare it with the E-x series, it is simply in a different league.

          Is there a future for E-x/E-xx, yes I believe there is, just as I believe there is for Pen & E-M ranges but they must be in a sensible order, not as the debacle of the E-P3 and E-PL3 where the PL3 had features which should have been on the P3,that was a big mistake.

  • JS

    FT was a bad concept, mFT is a good concept. Once the FT lens inventory is sold FT will be abandoned. End of FT short story.

    • Hello, Mr. Anonympus Choir boy.

      Just chance made me compare this morning some of my skies made with the E-620 to the E-P2, and the 620 has them rather noisier.

      Also I am not an innocent, and I remember very well that the 620 was the downsized version of the E-30, same sensor same IQ. So please don’t make up legends, stick to the facts. With each model, be it 4/3 or m4/3 Olympus raised the bar.

      At some point progress became so disruptive in m4/3 that the son overcome the father/or mother, both in quick and precise AF, and in IQ (the E-M5).

      Only leftover the HQ 4/3 lenses. Those are doomed, not because of poor optical quality, but because the AF technology has changed for the better. And you will never be able to use them for video – wrong motors.

      Change in AF systems is the great tragedy of our time. It happened before. This is why i said that the only investment making sense were CosinaV lenses or the MF like. They will never be affected by a change in AF.

      Too bad for those who invested heavily in 4/3 lenses. The AF system has changed once again, and they are looking for scapegoats.

      Does anyone remember anymore the complicated calibration system for 4/3 lenses, so that they wouldn’t backfocus?

      One cannot believe how quickly these 4/3 hobbits forget the sorrows… :)

      • Bart

        It seems totally impossible for you to write anything without inserting some name-calling eh?

        People (including me) have pointed you more then a few times at the need for a transition, why it is worth doing a proper transition, and how that should happen. You have so far totally failed to address that, and keep repeating the same story over and over, like a broken record.

        You should realize something: a transition means indeed depricating the old system, that isn’t and has never been the issue. The issue is HOW you do this.

        Doing this by pissing off people AND making it very attractive for them to consider moving to another brand has never ever been good business, at best some get away with it with limited damage. Historical examples are plenty, and not exactly limited to Olympus either.

        But no, don’t think about this, rather, keep up the name calling to anyone who doesn’t fit your extremely shallow view on the world…

  • materome

    I think it would be a good idea to preset soon a new professional DSLR,with the new sensor and improved AF-C function.
    We are many users who would buy the new machine.
    There are many people at the Pen and the E-m5 not interest us for our photography.
    If the E-M5 had not built a new sensor and the new stabilizer, would have passed unnoticed … another toy camera.
    I understand your philosophy and I see advantages in portability, but today, I prefer the ergonomics of a machine 4/3 traditional,use an optical viewfinder and take advantage of the magnificent and bright ZUIKO DIGITAL zoom without spending a single penny on a system other than portability, it offers nothing that does not offer the veteran reflex system.

    Regards and good photos

    • Bart

      Even if it doesn’t exist today, there is absolutely nothing in m4/3 that stops Olympus or Panasonic from building a larger m4/3 camera that provides ergonomics identical to the E-x models.

      There are technological differences that also matter for actual usage, but the way those work out changes from generation to generation.

      Compactness is the most obvious ‘advantage’ of m4/3 but by far not the only one, and a mirrorless system still makes sense when dropping the compactness.

      I’d think that any E-x, E-xx or E-xxx that gets released is a stop-gap measure, purely meant to bridge the time until the technical issues of mirrorless systems can be overcome in a way acceptable to demanding users.

  • awaler

    The worst background story was told today. Olympus Q2 figures are deep red, and camera business is still financially negative.
    Not really a nice perspective for 43 and m43.

    • Boooo!

      Because of the same reasons as five years ago.

      I just visited Amazon and this is what I found:

      FE-20
      FE-25
      FE-46
      FE-47
      FE-210
      FE-230
      FE-280
      FE-360
      FE-370
      FE-3000
      FE-4000
      FE-4010
      FE-4020
      FE-4030
      FE-5010
      FE-5020
      SP-500UZ
      SP-510UZ
      SP-550UZ
      SP-590UZ
      SP-610UZ
      SP-620UZ
      SP-800UZ
      SP-810UZ
      SZ-12
      SZ-20
      SZ-31
      Stylus 550WP
      Stylus 720SW
      Stylus 750
      Stylus 770SW
      Stylus 830
      Stylus 840
      Stylus 850SW
      Stylus 1010
      Stylus 1030SW
      Stylus 1050SW
      Stylus 1200
      Stylus 3000
      Stylus 5010
      Stylus 6000
      Stylus 6020
      Stylus 7000
      Stylus 7010
      Stylus 7030
      Stylus 7040
      Stylus 8000
      Stylus 8010
      Stylus 9000
      SZ-10
      SZ-30
      VG-110
      VG-120
      VG-140
      VG-160
      VR-320
      VR-340
      T-10
      T-100
      TG-1
      TG-310
      TG-320
      TG-610
      TG-820
      X-42
      X-560
      X-940

      … and then I gave up looking for more, of which I’m sure there is plenty. Mind you, many of those cameras are available in multiple colours.

      So – why do you think the camera division is losing money?

    • Riley

      http://www.marketnews.ca/LatestNewsHeadlines/OlympusReports$56.7MillionQuarterlyLoss.html

      For the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, Olympus Corp. has reported a loss of ¥4.5 billion (C$56.7 million) on net sales of ¥189.5 billion (C$4.5 billion), down 1% from the same quarter a year ago.

      The bright spot is Olympus’ medical-equipment business. For the quarter ending June 30, 2012, net sales were up 1% from the same quarter a year ago, and operating income was up 13%.

      Sales and profits in its digital camera unit continue to slide. The division reported a loss of ¥1.5 billion (C$19 million on net sales were ¥28.8 billion (C$3635.8 million), down 16% from a year ago. But there is a bright spot here as well. Sales of Compact System Cameras, led by the highly acclaimed OM-D E-M5, are up 50% compared to a year ago.

    • materome

      You’re right about the possibility of matching the ergonomics, but it is something that in reality, has not practiced …. and is that concessions to the design, do not favor …. everything can not be miniaturized ridiculously buttons and offer pathetic autonomy for intensive use …. too many compromises to attract new customers to point and shoot cameras.
      For some time,the excuse that a reflex it can be very compact, is not valid. Has anyone had their hands on a Pentax K-5? …

      There is no denying the tremendous potential of the system based m4 / 3, but today, unless the compactness see nothing but benefit to the manufacturer faces ….. all parts except the shutter, have become extinct , but the cameras are sold at the same price as the reflex models.
      Personally, until they offer more ergonomically suitable for continued use, the integration of a electronic shutter, a hybrid viewfinder, the more battery life and improved functionality AF and AF-C with veterans objectives 4/3,don´t seems an attractive investment …. but of course that costs them money to manufacturers and is cheaper, send messages from marketing to “instill new religions.”

      Greetings and good inspiration in your photos

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