OM-D vs. E-xxx = frustration

Started Apr 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
sderdiarian
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Re: E-7 and E-50 not "upgrades" in terms of size
In reply to CollBaxter, Apr 13, 2012

CollBaxter wrote:

As a owner of a E-500/520/620/30/5 here is my take on it. The E-620 is a nice camera with a lousy grip and a internal flash that is to low . You always feel like you are holding it with you fingertips. The E-510/520 has an excellent feel in hand and for protracted use . The IS is also superior.

How a body feels is pretty subjective, I guess. I, too, have both and prefer the E-620's handling with most of my lenses, only the 70-300 feeling a little ungainly. My 9-18 feels like it was designed around this body, a very natural fit, and my go to lens for landscapes.

Now we come to the 2 bigger camera the E-30 is a lot smaller and far more comfortable that the E-5. It has the perfect grip as you have to put a battery grip on the E-5 if you don’t want pinkie dangle. The button layout is perfect for me and so is the balance. Olympus got the ergonomics right on the e-30 just like they got it right on the E-510/520 (Except for the internal flash on the E-520) . It does not feel that much bigger at all.

Based on reviews (I've personally never handled either), the E-30 and E-5 are identical in length and width, it's only height where the E-5's viewfinder sticks up a bit higher. They're both also over 1 1/2 lbs. in weight with battery, the E-5 being 4 ounces heavier. Take a look:

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=oly_e620&products=oly_e30&products=oly_e5

The E-620 (and E-510/520) are quite a bit smaller and lighter, but not so small or light as to seriously compromise their handling with most 4/3's lenses (not so with the very small OM-D).

I think the reality of it is If we get a camera other than a warmed over E-5 or E-30 it would not be the size of a E-520 more like a E-30 size or an inflated E-520 as why build a camera for what can be perceived as your premier range catering for people who use larger cameras any way. A E-520 size camera would have to have a redesigned body for the flash to clear the hg/shg lenses or a clip on like the E-m5.

The niche waiting to be filled is the affordable smaller body, the E-5 already having the larger pro-build premium priced body covered. Basically, a K-5 size but with weight and cost kept down by not having alloy/weathersealing. Featureset: OM-D sensor/processor, improved OVF (E-30's?), articulated 3" touch OLED (or LCD), HD video. That's it, and keep the price at $800 or less.

Unfortunately the users in the 4/3 market that will stay around for awhile due to the ‘Investment” in bodies and lenses are the larger camera users that use their cameras as tools. Nearly on a daily basis we see “ Well I have a E-XXX camera and 2 kit lenses and 1 other lens and I am moving to m4/3. Or another brand ” . The reality of that is if there was a m4/3 market originally these users would have been in that market in the first place.

I disagree, for me it was always more about the lenses than the bodies, especially the SG and HG zooms. Olympus has been unable to replicate their quality at a smaller mFT size without charging a king's ransom (70-300 FT for $340, 75-300mm mFT for $800 case in point), not sure this will change anytime soon.

Reality is, Olympus is unlikely to risk undermining sales and growth of the new OM-D class of mFT's with a less expensive FT body, also an admission of their inability to thus far solve tracking ability and lens compatibility in mFT.

My guess, they're very aware of this, along with the decline in sales/revenue from their excellent 4/3's zooms, and are hard at work on a remedy. Could be a CDAF/PDAF hybrid AF, could be a more compact approach to Sony's LA-EA2 adapter, could be something we haven't even thought of.

They've also made it clear the tiny E-M5 is not intended as their pro mFT, thus the mediocre 12-50mm kit lens they bundled with it. Leaves the door open for a larger model that solves AF/lens compatibility and is bundled with a new 12-60mm f2.8-4 HG mFT zoom. Potentially a perfect replacement for the E-xxx series, but likely at a price well above my target for a simpler solution.

Enough noodling about what could someday be; back to 3 cameras that work just fine and bring me a lot of enjoyment. Give it a year or so, and who knows what magic will have been worked by then.

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Sailin' Steve

 sderdiarian's gear list:sderdiarian's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II
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