Olympus needs directions

Started Sep 27, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Jeffery1987
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Olympus needs directions
Sep 27, 2010

Hello fellow Olympus users. Let me just say I'm a Nikon user myself but have been keeping an eye on the 4/3 system for a while. The 4/3 system is interesting to me because it promises size advantage compared to APS-C/FF systems. In fact, this is the design philosophy Four Third was suppose to be built on. It's a promise still not realised even with the m4/3 system.

In the recent threads there are opinions that the 4/3 sensor size isn't ideal or it's lenses is too big, but personally I think it's because Olympus as a company is directionless . Case in point, the E300/E-330 design. It's a very radical design, fun but ultimately ineffective design so they went back to conventional designs. Years later they finally started releasing interesting cameras like E-30 & E-620. The E-620 was the first (and only) 4/3 camera that caught my attention as a ASP-C fan as it offers abundant features for its price. Then they lost my interest with the E-5.

Another point is they spent too much effort trying to add innovating features that don't always help improve photography side of things, especially for serious shooters. Fully weather-sealed bodies are fantastic, but what's the point if it's high ISO performance is poor or it's autofocus is unreliable. Core features (IQ, AF, system support) are often essential for working in harsh environmental conditions.

My opinion is they need to select a market and stick to it . Couple of things they could do:

- Make their Cameras Small -

I'm including the m4/3 cameras as well. If Sony can make a APS-C sensored camera smaller than m4/3 cameras, Olympus can definitely miniaturize their cameras even further. Deliver the system's potential.

- Abandon Pro Market -

Why would pros choose a camera with inferior IQ and a system without full range of accessories such as Nikon/Canon? Based on those two reasons alone, they have no market shares in the Pro market.They should forget about the pro market (and looks like they have) and concentrate on the consumer & prosumer market.

- Concentrate on Primes & Fast-ish Zooms -

F/2 zooms are a good idea, but in reality they are just too costly. For standard zooms they could offer slightly faster apertures than APS-C equivalent (eg. APS-C 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 vs. 4/3 14-40mm f3.5-4.5) Also, instead of trying to fight physics Olympus should just concentrate on fast primes and pancake designs. This will make the whole package smaller.

Olympus has got so much right but unfortunately so much wrong as well. If they delivered a rangefinder sized & styled body with Olympus' fantastic control interface and weatherseals along with a nice set of primes then they could create a niche market for themselves. If they work around their weaknesses of the system and build on the strengths I think even professionals would be willing to put up with the inherent limitations of 4/3.

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