Olympus Statement About Fourthirds and Micro Fourthirds

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
boggis the cat
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Re: Yes/No question follows:
In reply to Great Bustard, Feb 4, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:

boggis the cat wrote:

Well, then you have people complaining about it being exactly that -- some E-M5 parts stuck into the E-5 / E-3.

Recall the arguments about what improvements were present in the E-5 (particularly the argument over 'moire' vs. resolution) then extrapolate to an 'E-7' with the updated sensor and IBIS only, at US$1700.

People (quite reasonably) expect a 'flagship' model to offer more than less expensive models. Terada also seems to be indicating that they are working on improving AF performance:

'For those users AF speed is important and a suitable finder is necessary. And also it needs to be the right size - the benefit of Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds is compact size. We have to provide those things to benefit those users. One of the benefits of DSLR is continuous autofocus. In this respect, we have to promise total AF performance in future.'

And, of course, they will likely re-use the E-M5 sensor with whatever processing improvements they have figured out in the interim:

They can be confident about image quality, he says: ''They already know image quality from the OM-D. Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds sensors are the same size, so they can imagine that.'

The E-x line needs to differentiate itself a bit more to make standard FourThirds cover a different photography usage area. If they can put a really good C-AF system in place, then that coupled with their high-performance long telephoto zooms becomes a credible system again for wildlife shooters. The E-M5 sensor loses little if anything to the current APS-C variants, so the AF performance seems the remaining weakness.

If an E7 were released that were nothing more than the EM5 sensor and IBIS in the E5 body, would it be a profitable product?

Only Olympus would know the answer to that.  My guess is that it may be, but it would not sell a lot more lenses -- and that is where serious money can be made.

My answer: Yes, yes it would. Would it sell even better with improved C-AF? Absolutely, and I see no reason that improved C-AF could not be thrown in as well -- it's not like they haven't had time to improve on that (albeit they may have put no effort in that direction, concentrating on mFT instead).

People that upgraded from the E-3 to E-5 claim that the C-AF was improved.

Olympus has always lagged Canon and Nikon in PDAF, but has lead them in CDAF.  I would be surprised if they could surpass their competitors with C-AF in a DSLR -- but they woud not have to.  The value proposition for standard FT comes down to the lens system, and they only need a credible C-AF improvement ("total AF performance" meaning "significantly better" rather than "pulling Nikon's pants down", I would guess) to draw more customers that cannot currently be served by Micro FT or the Nikon "1" or NEX etc.

It is "niche" requirements where standard FT can still sell, just as the 135 format systems sell to niche users (or those that buy into the "bigger is better" argument without regard for their needs).

 boggis the cat's gear list:boggis the cat's gear list
Olympus E-5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +10 more
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