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Olympus strategy roundup: Focus on OMD, fast primes, no “rangefinder” PEN.

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With the GH4 buzz some of the important Olympus news may have been missed. Here is a roundup!

OMD rules:
Olympus financial results got better thanks to the OMD line. And that’s why Olympus claimed in their latest report that they want to focus their resources on new OMD camera development and OMD marketing. But what should be done to compete against the competition?

No rangefinder designed PEN:
Mr Terada from Olympus made it clear that the optimal position for an EVF is on the lens axis. This basically kills the rumor from a Japanese Magazine saying there would be soon a new PEN with integrated EVF in the corners.

The lens strategy:
The 40-150mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4.0 PRO zoom will be released in 2015. But Olympus is also developing some prime lenses with big “WOW” effect. A 12 or 14mm f/1.0 for example!

New firmware coming:
OMD cameras will get a new firmware update that enhances the EVF capability. It’s not clear what the new features will be. Maybe a split screen just like the Fuji X-T1?

That’s it for now. Let’s see if trusted sources can soon tell us more about the Olympus 2014-2015 strategy!

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  • Miroslav

    “Olympus is also developing some prime lenses with big “WOW” effect. A 12 or 14mm f/1.0 for example!”

    Which FT ranking is that statement?

    • nobody

      Olympus filed patents for these lenses. That’s all. Noone knows whether they will ever materialize.

    • Hubertus_Bigend

      I’d like to know that, too. My only information (via Photography Rumors) is that Olympus has filed patents for 14mm f/1.0 and 12mm f/1.0 lenses, nothing about whether and when they’ll actually be made.

  • Damn Oly

    about the lens strategy,.; i still can not believe olympus will go beyond an F1.8,.but if that rumor its true with the F1.0 ,..i could not wait for the F1.0/14mm,.. its one of my favorite FL 28mm

  • zozio32

    no big primes please…
    can we get the premium zoom first? we have the entry level zooms, the Pro zoom, we miss the premium ones, the ones that make most sense with the OMd-M5 category. The ones with aperture f2.8-4, or f3.5-4.5, weather sealed, and slightly longer range than the Pro zooms.
    The 12-50 is more or less there, scarifying aperture for macro capabilities, but at least something in the 40-120 range is missing between the 40-150 f4-5.6, and the new Pro coming

    • bert

      +1 ! I hardly understand why until now Oly don´t make these lenses. If they don´t have the resources: one talk with Sigma or Tamron will help… It was the nearly the same with the 4/3 lenses: there wasn´t a premium 2,8/35-100 until the end.

      • digifan

        Correct there wasn’t a 35-100mm F2.8 4/3, it was a 35-100 F2.0 in stead.
        but anounced in 2005, so that’s closer to the start!

    • +1 Fuji for example, has the entry-level XC zooms, the premium XF zooms and will release the pro weather sealed XF zooms. Variable aperture premium zooms is what every system needs but only Fuji, Sigma and Pentax seem to understand this (the Pentax 20-40 f2.8-4 is not a great performer according to tests)

    • nobody

      +2 ! Personally I would much prefer a premium 40-150 f2.8-4, as compared to the constant f2.8 which will be too big and heavy to my liking. Besides that, not everyone who wants to have a lens superior to economy class is willing or able to spend a four figure price for a single lens.

  • Yun

    This is incredible , 12mm F1.0 .
    Hard to believe Zuiko tech can go anything beyond F1.0 .
    The Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 will in great danger once these F1.0 lenses hit the market .

    • zomz

      Great danger? No way. Size, price, focal length everything is different. f1 sure will be heavy and bulky for m43

      • AMVR

        It shouldn’t be so, if they incorporate a speed booster-like optic in the design formula, it’s like building a 17mm f2, easy. Although I’m sure they’ll still charge you like it’s a true 12 f1, there’s no way they’re going to be reasonable.

    • Guy McLoughlin

      The Leica lens will be half the price ( or less ) of an Olympus f/1.0 AF prime, so I don’t think there’s any conflict here.

  • Cpt

    Admin. Are you implying that the 40-150 2.8 is now also delayed until 2015?

    • Ren Kockwell

      Really? The 40-150/2.8 in 2015??? That’s bad!

      Please confirm this. If true I might need to go for the 50-200SWD

      • DonTom

        According to the linked article, the 40-150/2.8 is due for release second half 2014. It’s the other two Pro lenses: 7-14, 300/4 that will come next year.

    • Andrew

      The post falsely puts the 40-150 in 2015. Don’t worry…it’s still scheduled for this year. I believe the poster meant the 7-14.

  • Isqueeze7feathers

    Oly wow me with a rectilinear 10 mm prime!

  • Considering Olympus has the best IBIS on the market the f1 wide lenses are redundant because when you shoot at ultra-wide or wide angles you usually want a lot of dof. It’s not like shooting portraits. A 45mm f1 to replace the 45mm f1.8 at a better price than the Pana-Leica whould have been great. Also a 90mm f2.8 macro and a 100mm f1.8 whuld be awesome.

    It’s good news that MFT is expanding contrary to what some analists and trolls living under the bridge are predicting :-)

    • Guest

      100mm f1.8 was the lens I was thinking :-)

      • popeyoni

        This, or a 150.

    • Hubertus_Bigend

      Large apertures are never “redundant”. Even at wide angles and even with a good stabilization, larger apertures will further extend your options in low light situations. And to better be able to separate an object from the background can be nice at wide angles, too.

      • Le Frog

        I would argue that low light capture is far more important than wafer-thin DoF under most circumstances (unless you specialize in candle-lit portraits), even more so for a wide/normal lens, which, by nature, does not offer shallow DoF in the first place, except when you focus at a very close range. And, anyway, it seems to me that an uberfast prime in the 17 to 19 range would have been far more useful (or at least versatile) than a true wide angle in the 11 to 14 range. A 45/0.95 though might offer new possibilities for low light street photography.

        • Think Voigtländer! :-)
          The 42.5mm is fantastic for low light street shooting. As are the 17.5mm and 25mm. Although, there’s something quite special about the 42.5mm.

        • Hubertus_Bigend

          Well, which one is “more important” is of course a subjective matter depending on your personal preferences. But wide-angle close-focus photography, while probably not mainstream (although most point-and-shoots actually have their macro options at wide-angle settings), is not something completely out-of-the-ordinary, after all. That said, I agree that I, too, would welcome something like a 17mm f/1.0 even more than a superfast 12mm or 14mm lens…

    • AMVR

      It’s not about DOF, it’s about light gathering and higher shutter speeds. Also, every lens is softer wide open, if you stop down a slow lens like from f3.5 to 5.6 it gets REALLY slow, whereas a fast f1.0 might get sharp at f2.8 (many fast m43 lenses follow this trend, and some are sharp even wide open)

      • +100
        Exactly… fast lenses allow you to keep the shutter speed higher and the ISO lower. Getting the shot is what it’s all about. DoF is secondary.

  • David Peterson

    I’d like to know where is the Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC Micro Four Thirds lens?? :-/

    Hoping it will offer a cheaper option than Panasonic’s superzoom lens.

  • Sqweezy

    Olympus wants to improve their cameras? Include improvements to video in your strategy! If they would offer 10 bit 4:2:2 in-camera ProRes, they would own the market with IBIS enabled! It is an amazing opportunity they are sitting on that would increase sales no doubt. But maybe that is for their next E-M1, Mark II. For now, how about letting us at least record at 24 fps. Seriously Olympus, you’re already trying to improve audio channels, so how hard is that?

    • Guy McLoughlin

      Video is low priority for Olympus, their focus is Still Photo. Even Panasonic isn’t making a 10-bit 4:2:2 internal camera, which I suspect is largely a cost issue. ( they want to sell a 4K camera under $2,000 )

      Also, IBIS is a problem for video because of the large heat-sink required to cool the camera sensor when shooting video, and because of the inherent audio noise from the IBIS system as it works. I don’t expect to see IBIS in any m43 camera built specifically for higher end video work.

      • AMVR

        IBIS is no problem, Oly already does 5 axis during video quite well, they just need to go from 30p to 24p, how hard is that. Heat might be an issue but it seem to have been solved a long time ago. mechanical noise is baseless speculation since 5 axis uses a free-floating sensor designs (magnets), so there are no moving parts like in the old 2 axis.

        This is mostly a software issue, not a hardware one.

        • Guy McLoughlin

          IBIS and 4K high bit-rate video don’t get along, and I don’t expect to see Olympus implementing 4K video at 100+ Mbits for a very long time.

          Sensor heat and camera processing power are the two main hurdles to overcome with 4K high bit-rate video recording.

          • AMVR

            No one is asking Oly to implement 4k, most people just want 24p fullHD and that’s it, there’s nothing complex about that.

            • Jules

              If I understand your logic, IBIS is not incompatible with high end video features “because no one asks for it”. Interesting :)

      • Andrew

        I think you’re right on the money here. This is a large part of why the GH series cameras are physically bigger, too. More surface area.

  • It’s sad that Oly will release the 40-150 f2.8 Pro in 2015 but on the other hand Fuji will do the same with their 16-55 f2.8 and 50-140 f2.8 weather sealed pro lenses…

    The 7-14 f2.8 will probably be released in 2016…

    • MrALLCAPS

      http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/xf_lens/roadmap/

      What are you talking about? Fuji is releasing all 3 weather sealed lenses in 2014.

      Fuji is about to take some market share from M43… The threat of the X-T1 is very real. I should be getting mine this week.

      • Releasing is one thing and officialy announcing is another thing. The 10-24 f4 OIS was announced in December 2013 and it’s going to be released in March…after 4 months. The only weather sealed zoom that it’s going to be announced and released in 2014 will be the 18-135. The 2.8 zooms will be released in 2015 (the 16-55 in the first quarter and the 50-140 in the third) :-) Just wait and see I’m right.

    • Andrew

      The poster made a mistake. The 40-150 is coming this year and the 7-14 and 300 are coming next year.

  • rrr_hhh

    12mm F1.0 ? That sounds weird : I don’t think we need a fast wide angle. For interiors shooting ? We’ll no, we need DOF for architecture.. So what is the goal ? I don’t get it. Olympus seems to follow brainless request here.

    • Dave Lively

      If such a lens is being designed it is going to be a manual focus cine lens for the Blackmagic video cameras. They have a crop factor of 3 so the focal length would make more sense. And since the cameras are pretty large by m43 standards a big, heavy lens is not as out of place as it would be on the Panasonic and Olympus cameras.

      I see a lot of people here that want very fast lenses but do not recall any of them wanting them to be wide angle.

      • Markus

        Full frame 24/1.4 anybody? I used to like those at least as much as I enjoy my current 12/2.0.
        But we need built in (in camera) ND’s for those smaller sensor/faster glass combos.

        • Andrew

          Yep. They’re great for indoor events, parties, crowds, streets at night. All sorts of things. :) Looking forward to it.

      • AMVR

        Why would Olympus care about cine lenses if they can’t do even basic video ? furthermore, why would they do anything for blackmagic design ? where can I get that imagination ?

        • Dave Lively

          It would be for any video camera. It would not have to go on one of their cameras. If they can make money selling the lens I doubt they would be real upset about it being mounted on someone else’s camera. While Olympus does not make a video oriented camera now maybe they are looking at GH4 price sales and want a piece of that market. They could very well be developing a video camera that would be announced about the same time as this lens.

          If you were going to develop your first f1.0 m43 lens for still cameras would it be 12mm? Really??? Yes, fast lenses are useful at any focal length but they are usually used to take pictures with people in them and 12mm is not a good focal length for that. It is obviously not for portraits and even when used to take pictures of groups of people the wide perspective often makes people look distorted. For static subjects I would rather rely on IBIS and use my 12mm f2.0 or even drag along a tripod than buy a big, heavy, expensive f1.0 lens. If Olympus already had f1.0 lenses in other focal lengths I could see it but for still photography 12mm is a bizarre choice for their first f1.0 lens. The market for something in the 17-60mm range would generate more sales.

      • Sure, some people do prefer fast lenses, even wide angles.

        If your preference is to shoot in available light, then a faster lens is always better. Although, I see this as a fairly limited group of customers, since the lenses will be generally be bigger, heavier and more expensive than a slower version at the same focal length.

    • Guy McLoughlin

      If this lens gets made, it’s being made for working still photo professionals, so expect to see high professional prices. I also expect that these will be AF lenses. ( cine gear is pretty low on Olympus’s priority list )

    • brian schneider

      I’d use it for night sky photos. I could use lower ISO and/or shorter times to reduce star trailing.

    • Miroslav

      I need it. Both for indoors and outdoors when the light is low. If you don’t need it doesn’t mean anyone doesn’t need it.

  • ronin

    Olympus financial results got better (read, the bleeding was slightly reduced) because they dropped their lower end compacts, not because they sold so many many more high end cameras. This slashing of their own product mix is a one-time activity; they can’t rely on it again next year.

    Their announced projections are the same thing they always make, and the same things most camera manufacturers make, and indeed most consumer product manufacturers make: We will increase our sales next year by selling our higher margin products.

    As though all you have to do is declare a vague intention without a lot of practical steps… as though if they could have done that every year in recent years they wouldn’t be doing it already.

    Camera prices are too high across the board. So their solution is to shift their focus onto high priced camera sales. As though the solution to putting out a growing fire is to pour more petro onto it.

  • JWhite

    Obviously, Olympus has missed the point. The OM range sells because they have EVF, most people would not even look at them if they did not. They have a PEN range that is losing money, and want to keep it losing money. It will never sell big because it does not have a EVF. The OM line is going into DSLR territory in body size and look. As more people flock to the m4/3 system it makes sense to add bodies that they can use with the lenses they already have. A PEN with a EVF would be a hit, I’m sure of it. E-p7 with EVF, lower range of E-pl to match E-pm and make that without EVF, in one single range instead of two. That’s that.

    • Bob B.

      I like my E-P5 & VF-4 just the way they are, I (know that I am in the minority)..even though the set-up is pricey compared to the competition……I agree that there should only be 2 Pens…that makes sense…and the flagship could have a built-in VF. I watched the Blunty interview with M. Terada twice…Am I missing something? He goes on about how the “OMD” line must have a centrally located VF, (I agree with him that this is the best position for a VF, which is hey, I like the Pens with the attachable, centrally located VF)… . But Mr. Terada totally sidesteps the Pen Line when he responds to Blunty’s question about the VF. He only makes his case for the OMD line…doesn’t he? To me, there is a ton of wiggle room there that a Pen could have a built-in VF in any style or location.

      • AMVR

        Olympus is making a HUGE mistake. They’re cornering themselves needlessly while everyone else is offering both RF AND SLR ergonomics with EVF, why ? it’s not like a PEN with EVF would hurt them, quite the contrary, besides, wouldn’t those sales end up in their hands either way ? I’m sure a PEN with EVF is not more expensive to produce than an E-M10, so why ? Are they just dense ? Their argument is just defiantly misleading:

        – A centraly positioned EVF IS NOT optimal, at all. It forces you further to the right, where all the controls are, leaving little space.
        – Your nose moves right into the TOUCH lcd, so you’re force to disable it but it still leaves nose prints.
        – A central EVF forces the unjustified use of a needless hump in a mirrorless camera (the E-P5 proved that the hump is NOT needed for IBIS, and the GX7 proved it was not needed for EVF)

        – A cornered EVF is good for both right and left eye shooters offering more free space
        – A cornered EVF allows you to view the scene with your free eye so you know what’s entering the frame
        – You can make it tiltable like the GX7 whereas the OMD’s is fixed.

        – EVERYONE (relevant) is selling faux RF cameras quite successfully along their SLR options, meanwhile the PEN series is selling poorly, what’s different about Oly’s ? ah yeah, THE EVF !!!

        – How can a company with decades worth of RF-styled cameras with viewfinders (what were they called ? Oh, that’s right: PEN !!!) say that a central VF is the ONLY solution!?

        I respect people wanting faux SLRs and their option to buy them, I want them to have that option just as I would like for Oly to give everyone else the option of a pen with EVF, I love m43 because it offers choice like no other, having a huge diversity of bodies is awesome, but this is the only thing that’s missing and for no logical reason.

        So Oly, here’s a simple and short list that’ll take you right into profit:

        1. PUT A D*MN EVF INTO THE E-P7 !!!
        2. LOWER YOUR PEN PRICES, SPECIALLY E-PM
        3. ADVERTISE EVERYWHERE IN THE WEST, TV, WEB, MAGAZINES, BUS STOPS, EVERYWHERE, PUT m43 (AND THE ENTRY PENS) ON THE MAP.

        There, that’s how you make the pen line profitable.

        • Peter Pan

          “Your nose moves right into the TOUCH lcd, so you’re force to disable it but it still leaves nose prints.”

          But will the LCD not automatically turn over to the EVF when you close in, or are you Peter Pan…?

          • AMVR

            On the GX7 you have the option to use the lcd as a AF touch pad while using the EVF, it’s quite handy, I can’t imagine that feature working very well for faux SLR cameras where your nose is pressed against the LCD.

            Also, why did disqus post the image so many times ? I only did one upload, WTH. I can edit the text but not remove the repeated pics

        • It doesn’t really matter WHERE a built-in EVF is located… center or left… the most important thing is that it be built-in. People have different needs and preferences, so where’s the harm in offering both styles? More choice can only lead to more sales.

          I was at B&H yesterday checking out the EM1 and the salesdude was trying to convince a customer that the EP5 + VF-4 was a better choice than the EM5. The customer just sneered.

          Sure an add-on works, as an afterthought, but it’s just so much better when it’s all there, built-in, out of the box.

          I never really liked the LVF2 on my GX1. Yes, it made the camera more usable, but the thing sticking to the top makes it awkward to carry and put away. The GX7 is so much more compact, even though the body itself is a bit bigger.

          Fuji makes a range of cameras with corner EVFs and they seem to sell well.

          So, again, where’s the harm in offering a PEN body with an integrated EVF? NOT offering a camera with a corner EVF is just shortsighted.

          • Bob B.

            Whoops..my comment above was for you.

        • Bob B.

          Well…we all have a different take…I agree with the salesman in B&H…
          I owned an E-M5..bought the E-P5 & VF-4 …and the camera just feels so fluid and “right” to me..that I sold my E-M5…I just stopped picking it up. My E-P5 is less in the way when I am creating an image….but that is just me.

        • Jón Ingólfur Hermannsson

          good points – I agree – I love my GX7’s – I do have an OMD-Em5 and Olympus Stylus 1 with the center EVF – I prefer it on the side like the GX7

      • Katsunobu Oide

        The EVFs of Olympus are not at the center at all. They are shifted in vertical. They cannot be optimal unless put on the lens axis.

    • abragan

      The Pen series are perceived by the general public as expensive compacts, and everybody knows what’s happening to that market

  • Guy McLoughlin

    Olympus is in the process of defining their Pro m43 line of cameras and lenses, so I would expect these items to be priced for working professionals, not amateurs. Panasonic is doing the same thing with lenses like their new Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 OIS and 15mm f/1.7 lenses.

    I would expect to see Olympus announce a new high end OM-D body in 2015, once the Panasonic/Fuji organic sensor tech is ready to bear fruit. ( same goes for Panasonic )

    • Narretz

      It’s very likely that if the Organic Sensor is actually useable in the near future, Pana and Fuji will keep it for themselves at first. Oly is and has been at the mercy of their sensor providers. Even though camera and sensor unit are separate, it still seems that Sony and Pana have a much better access to their “own” sensors.

      • Guy McLoughlin

        I think as long as Olympus does not try to challenge Panasonic in the video arena, they may get access to the new sensor tech.

        Yes, Panasonic and Fuji will probably use it first, but these companies need sales of their sensor tech in order to keep developing newer and better sensor tech.

  • mahler

    GH4? Which buzz do you refer to?

    Besides that, the Olympus strategy sounds reasonable. The cheaper part of the PEN line is not very attractive and probably not too profitable. The market for such cameras is tight. Concentrating on OM-D line and lenses is a good approach. Mass market is not required to be profitable. The enthusiast and professional market promises more success, if product development is done right.

    If so many products (lenses) are delayed / scheduled for 2015, I wonder, what is left for this year?

    • Le Frog

      I have said it again… and again… and again. There is only one way to go for the PEN line: high end pocketable. The commercial success of the GM1 and the RX100 (ok, not an ILC, but still…) should have opened their eyes. Well – maybe it has. Let us wait (but not hold our breath!) and see whether they will produce a camera with the specifications, features, and controls of the EM5 (or higher) and the body of the PM2 (or smaller).

  • Milt

    Thanks for the confirmation of what we knew more or or less anyway. Funny how the Olympus line does not appeal to me, although it may to others. Their basic design, ergonomics, and operating system – and the rendering of their lenses – all suffer in comparison to Panasonic for me. Don’t know what they could do to turn it around, although I am open. The EM1 supposed to be a very good camera, and people I respect use them.

    • Milt

      Was thinking of Olympus’ prime lenses in particular as being inferior to the Panasonic lenses, the PL ones especially. The 12-40mm is supposed to be a very good one although bigger and heavier than I prefer for m4/3rds. To each his own.

      • AMVR

        Zooms ? yes, except for the 12-40mm. Primes ? no. Pany has surprised everyone with the quality of their lenses but Olympus is no 2nd place here, their primes are the crown jewels of this system, specially for their quality:price ratio. The PL 25 has been proven to be on par if nor slightly inferior to the much cheaper and compact Oly 25mm f1.8, same goes for the 45mm and the upcoming 42.5mm is way overpriced. Good thing we can pick and choose between Oly and Pany though, in the end the brand shouldn’t matter to m43 users.

        • Milt

          New Olympus 25mm slightly superior to the PL25? In what way? And proven by whom? Am still looking forward to the LensTip Review. The Olympus is slower for sure. Robin Wong did a commercial disguised as a comparison, but we need more than that to really evaluate the new Olympus 25mm.

          Olympus 45 better than the PL45? It is faster, but the PL45 is sharper. Th PL45 renders better as well for many. And it is a macro lens if that is important to you.

          I can’t afford a PL 42.5mm, but that does not mean it is overpriced for those pros for whom it was intended.

          I could go on to the 12mm, 14mm 17mm, 20mm etc. The Olympus 75mm is a good lens, but for the money the Sigma 60mm is perhaps better – and just as sharp.

          It is true that it is good there is competition between brands.

          • Guy McLoughlin

            >>>>New Olympus 25mm slightly superior to the PL25?

            I haven’t shot with the new Olympus 25mm, but from the reviews it appears that the Olympus is less flare-prone compared to the Panasonic Leica lens.

            I owned the Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 lens for a year, but sold it mainly because I am not a fan of the “standard” lens field of view. I prefer a wide-standard lens when shooting. ( the 17.5mm f/0.95 Voightlander wasn’t out when I bought my 25mm )

            I might buy the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 because it’s cheap, and it’s a useful focal length to have when shooting a 2 person video interview.

    • Guy McLoughlin

      I own and use Pansonic GH2 and GH3 cameras every day ( and will soon own a GH4 camera ), but I absolutely love the handling and performance of the OM-D EM-1.

      Depending on how the GH4 performs as a still-photo camera, I might still invest in an EM-1 body. ( I mainly shoot video, which is why I own the GH2 and GH3 cameras )

  • Andrew

    There’s a mistake in this post. The 7-14 f/2.8 and 300 f/4 are going to be released in 2015, not the 40-150 f/2.8. I believe it’s still scheduled for release this year.

  • Erik Aaseth

    The 140-150mm 1:2.8 PRO, is scheduled for release in the second half of 2014.
    The 7-14/2.8 and 300/4.0 PROs are planned for 2015.

    • Andrew

      Caught that too. Of the three lenses, the 40-150 is really the one I’m waiting for. I love shooting a good moderate tele!

  • Look at the market

    As the “pro” writing (and many other things) screams, even the top M43 is not for the professional market. After they have chopped off the cheap end, are they going to go “we are premium” and drive those prices even higher? That may even work, they could pull in more wealthy amateurs. However, that sort of public needs a tech or a fashion motive; given the tech is quite miserable, Oly and Pana need to copy from Apple with their own overpriced gadgets. I frankly see problems there…

    • Guy McLoughlin

      >>>>even the top M43 is not for the professional market

      As a working professional ( 20+ years in photography, 10 years in video ), I completely disagree with what you are saying. There are many pro shooters adopting the OM-D EM-1 as an additional camera, or even out right replacement for their Full Frame gear.

      I mainly shoot video these days, but I have clients requesting still work from me. From my own tests, the OM-D EM-1 compares quite well with the Canon / Nikon Full Frame cameras at 16 Mpx, which is sufficient resolution for about 90 percent of what I would be shooting. For the other 10 percent, I would use a Nikon D800 or a medium format digital camera.

      Next year Panasonic/Fuji should start delivering on their organic sensor technology, which should help to further level the playing field between m43 and larger formats. ( 14.6+ stops of DR, with better low-light performance ) The Olympus EM-1 uses a Panasonic sensor, so I expect Olympus will also benefit from this new sensor tech too.

      • 30years pro

        Guy, I am sorry but even of you really were a 20 years pro, your “opinion” would not work for me. I have tried a few cameras and frankly, all M43s handle and shoot like toys, no way to compare them to proper cameras. Their steep prices make them laughable propositions and explain why those premium models do not sell a shite.

        Organic sensor? That means plastic in my book. If it really is any good, you will see it in larger sensors too, and M43 will keep being the handicapped sister.

        • Guy McLoughlin

          You don’t sound like you know what you’re talking about if you don’t understand how important new sensor technology will be on the final image produced. New sensor tech is where the cutting edge is right now.

          There are many Full Frame fan-boys around these days, people who have never shot anything professionally, who have no idea what it’s like to shoot with Hasselblad, Mamiya, or Sinar 4×5 and 8×10 inch cameras.

          These fanboy types really have no idea what it means to be a professional shooter, where you use any type of gear that gets the job done. A professional delivers every time.

          • 30years pro

            And M43 delivers? It does not deliver for me, I am glad it does you.
            There are many ignorant trolls these days. Those trolls have no clue, as you said.

            • Guy McLoughlin

              Yes, in spades, though I’m shooting mainly corporate video.

              I started out shooting commercially in the 80’s with Nikon F3s and Olympus OM2ns, Mamiya RZ67, Sinar 4×5 and 8×10, and a bunch of Speedotron Blackline studio strobes. ( I trained in London, England with the same gear and Broncolor 6000 watt studio strobes )

              I briefly flirted with the Canon 7D and Canon 60D cameras, but dumped all my Canon gear after one month of shooting video with the Panasonic GH2. ( difference was night and day for video work )

              I’ve shot a few commercial photo gigs with my GH3 cameras, which I’m very happy with. ( GH2 has too many issues for still work )

              But the OM-D EM-1 with it’s 5-axis IBIS system is very temping, if I get back into shooting more still photo work. And these new Olympus Pro lenses are also very temping. I like being able to shoot at full aperture and get a shot that is tack sharp from edge to edge.

      • Jón Ingólfur Hermannsson

        Please expand more on the new organic sensor technology – sounds interesting.
        14.6+ stops of DR is incredible –
        I just love the M43 format and size – 16MP is OK – I have both FF and APS-C DSLR’s and APS-C mirrorless in NEX and Fuji X – and just think M43 is so much more practical – a real nice compromise in size and weight and IQ –

        I was temped by the Sony A7r but when I started looking at the lenses I totally dismissed getting one – for one Sony has no plans to make fast zooms for it like a 24-70 F2.8 or a 70-200 F2.8 as they would be way to large and heavy – and just look at the current FE 70-200 F4.0 – it is huge – looks silly on such a small body – so FF just not practical until manufacturers can develop much much smaller and lighter lenses for FF – and that even goes for APS-C as well – NEX has no fast zooms and Fuji only has one F2.8 zoom – but most likely will not produce a 70-200mm F2.8 due to size and weight –

        So to me the only compromises are of course low light performance and shallow DOF – but like Sony with their Exmor R sensor in the RX100m2 for example they have been able to improve the 1 inch sensor to give it better low light ability – so I am excited that Panasonic has something on the way to improve low light performance – and of course they are coming out with very fast lenses like the 42.5mm F1.2 – just do not know much about this new Panasonic development

        I have also now two Panasonic GX7 bodies and a OMD-Em5 and love them – so much more enjoyable to use then my heavy DSLR gear – and my NEX5n and NEX7 and Fuji X100s

    • AMVR

      Oly already went that route with legacy 4/3, I can’t believe they’re making the same mistake. Going after Leica is not the solution, mirrorless WILL become the standard in a couple of years but Oly is looking at the short term and panicking, having so called ¨pro¨ gear in m43 is great and everything but having ONLY ¨pro¨ gear is an awful strategy. They need to capture the interest of people growing out of smartphones, people actually interested in learning photography, because that’s the only people buying cameras nowadays. Olympus is a reactive company not a proactive one, the reason why the Pen sell so little compared to the OMDs is because of advertisement, not because of the SLR styling. Olympus began to see the success of the OMD and then tried to reach as much people as possible because they knew they had a winner, so they advertised it more. They never did any serious advertising for the Pens outside Asia, that’s why they don’t sell here. It’s a chicken before/after egg paradox.

      Advertise the Pens as Apple does with their products, as the new best thing that’s going to replace DSLRs, being smaller and more versatile and I assure you, people will buy them. You just have to advertise it everywhere.

  • Some comments make me smile. I am too old to think that Olympus can be totally reasonable. My experience is that while always attempting to do the best, they do all the possible mistakes of a small company.

    An EVF-less Pen E-Px is just a luxury item for non photogs. Mind it might sell to Asian lady entrepreneurs.

    For my modest self I’ll go on with a combination of OM-D for dedicated work, and E-PMx for daily snaps – best of both worlds.

    The best news is the new FW upgrade. That really changes the investment in any OM-D: at least one knows one is not wasting money.

    BTW I have launched a new PHOTO & Poetry (not gear) blog here:

    http://amalric2014.blogspot.it/

    Please visit and comment, you’ll do me a favour!

    • Le Frog

      Depends on size and weight; there is clearly a market for the GM1. A “pro”-oriented and inevitably larger, although, hopefully, still sub-PM2 sized PEN, even without an integrated efv would win over bikers, hikers, anthropologists doing field work (a pro looking camera is definitely a minus for them), news agency correspondents (as opposed to pure photojournalists), travel writers/bloggers, everyone working under size/space constraints. If video were on the same level, it would be a great alternative to the Black Magic (pros love the pocket BM for flying rigs). For some (ie most pros), it would be just a secondary carry-everywhere body. For some (ie most reasonably serious but still non-pro photographers) it would be good enough to serve as primary body. And Asian lady entrepreneurs (not to mention – shock, horror – metrosexuals) are an important enough market in themselves. But, otherwise, you are right. Post-GM1, anything bigger than a PM2 will flop.

      • Yes, what I mean is that one model-do-it all is not needed. ILS means that two allows max flexibility. Lenses, get what you need only. I am not, and I hope we are not interested in collectors. Oly unfortunately showed with 4/3 that it can stray far from the common good.

    • Amalrica

      Amalric, I am interested in some vacation and environmental portraits. Can you do me? I am tall, blonde, large breasts, fleshy lips, insatiable butt.

    • RomaLadrona

      From your blog “From 8.30 to 11.30. Or from 16.30 PM to 19.30 PM, each day”. Are you unemployed? Or do you work for the public admin?

      • Whatever floats your boat. Thank you for stepping up my stats :)

  • DouglasGottlieb

    Terada using the Steve Jobs playbook?

    “I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen” – Steve Jobs

    “There are no plans to make a tablet” – Steve Jobs

    “PEN is not a pro option and won’t get a suboptimal EVF” – Mr. Terada (paraphrased)

    • Narretz

      “PEN is not a pro option”, this is such nonsense. While not “pro” the E-P5 was surely premium, and so is the GX7 which I think sold very well, or at least was very well received. Olympus will never sell as much volume with a E-P6 with viewfinder as with the E-M10, but I bet it will sell better than the E-P5 which had none. In other words, E-P6 without viewfinder is useless.

      • DouglasGottlieb

        Terada may be using the OTHER Steve Jobs playbook. That’s NOT the one where you misdirect people by saying the opposite of what you’re about to release. The other playbook is where you don’t do what most of your users want because you think that they should not have it. Like removable media cards, replaceable batteries and USB ports on portable devices. Terada may have decided that you really don’t need a Pro PEN with weather sealing and an EVF no matter how much you think you want it. Like BluRay, it would just be a big bag of hurt. He’s saving us from ourselves.

  • Mamiyaflex

    Hey Admin – what about the fixed-lens super Stylus with 4/3 sensor? Still coming?

    • man

      They will wait and see how the new Canon G1X Mark2 performs/sells. They are in a good position to make an RX/G1X competitor. but Oly is doing the right thing to focus on OMD to get it established as an alternative to APS-C DSLR. Without focus, they would become Sony.

  • Mike

    Regarding the FW updates— When are these expected to be made available?

    • Mike

      Bueller… Bueller… Anyone? ; )

  • man

    OMD line has earned a good reputation, so it makes sense. However they need to improve support and service a lot in the USA at least.

    They could still make 1 decent PEN for the style, but not at the price point of the E-P5.

  • Hans

    The argument with the EVF on top is better sounds almost like a myth to me. I never had a problem using 15-500mm equivalent lenses on my NEX-7 (rangefinder style). It’s like saying the mouse on your PC has to be placed in the middle in front of the monitor. Our brain is good enough to compensate fo all these missalignements.
    In short:
    Olypus shoud give users the option. A PEN with EVF would be a winner.

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