Why Olympus Really Needs to Make a True SLR E-7

Started Oct 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
dark goob
Contributing MemberPosts: 959Gear list
Re: Once upon a time ..
In reply to SergeyGreen, Oct 4, 2012
"APS-C" was an ill-fated film format whose physical dimensions are different from any of the formats that claim the name (and which differ even from each other). 
"FF" is full-frame, which originally just defined a *relationship* between a lens's projected image area, and a camera's imaging frame area. 
Technically Four Thirds was the first full-frame smaller-than-135 format, meaning: a lens mount was introduced where all the native lenses were designed to be full-frame relative to the format.
Even today 4/3" is the only smaller-than-135 format for which a range of professional lenses are specifically designed (i.e. they are full-frame relative to the format). 
That means a Four Thirds camera's angle-of-view range goes from 114 degrees to 12.4 deg. with no overlap when using top pro glass (Olympus 7-14, 14-35, 35-100). Add the 90-250 f/2.8 and you have an insanely sharp, stabilized zoom range out to 5 degrees (14.29:1 capture-area-width to distance-to-subject ratio at f/2.8!). 
Meanwhile how can you achieve this on a so-called "APS-C" camera with pro glass (i.e. weather-sealed, constant f/stop zooms)? You just can't.
On Nikon you would need a DX-format 9-18 f/4 VR, 18-45 f/2.8 VR, and 45-130 f/2.8 VR, and 117-324 f/2.8 VR for the same angle-of-view range. Even with Nikon's FX-format 200-400 you only get f/4, and you're cropping out 65% of the lens's native image area.
Of course, now with 135-format DSLRs easy to get for around $1500 or less, or new for $2100, the NEW question is: who would buy a Four Thirds DSLR over a 135-format DSLR when they're priced in same ballpark? Shooting Canon or Nikon 135-format has many advantages for DoF control, resolution, noise, new and used lens selection, rental availability, and equipment resale value, not to mention that the major 135 lens makers are keeping their line-ups fresh with modern AF motors and coatings. 
To answer the above question, one demographic are people like my dad, for whom the Four Thirds advantage really makes a difference. He shoots the 12-60 2.8-4 SWD, and 50-200 2.3-3.5 SWD. There just isn't a pair of 135-format lenses to compare with these in terms of size, price, and quality, is there? 
At the end of the day, though, it does start to look real grim. Nobody seems to care there isn't a $1200 100-400 for 135-format with anywhere near the quality of the ZD 50-200 SWD. And if they did care, they'd also care about all the major holes in the Four Thirds DSLR lens line that will now never be filled (unless Olympus suddenly changes its course). 
So what do you tell people who have lost all hope for the future of the format they invested in? Who want to get rid of all their pro gear in disgust? What land can you say is on the horizon? Just a mirrorless land of adapters and EVFs? What future is there for people who programmed their muscle memory with the E-3/E-5 button layout?
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