Olympus Statement About Fourthirds and Micro Fourthirds

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
pris
Senior MemberPosts: 2,191
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Re: Yes/No question follows:
In reply to Great Bustard, Feb 4, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:


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?

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).

GB,

let me try and take a stab at this one. As I am sure you well know, every decision has both positive and negative consequences, and every solution carries a seed of the future problem. The idea of E7 being an E5 with OMD sensor and IBIS, while looks a no-brainer on a first glance, might have had its share of negative outcome, possibly outweighing the benefits - providing they have something more exciting in works. Granted, it's speculation but that's about all we do here in absence of actual info, so let me put the question as follows.

You are a decision-maker at imaging division. It's been 2 years since E5 is out, you just released OMD and are enjoying widespread recognition of the effort. You've got an innovative camera in works, E5 successor, with let's say EVF/OVF overlay, all the tech goodies that come with such combo, some more add-ons and features making it really exciting offering. You know it's going to be one more year till you are able to release it. You face a dilemma: 1. wait a year and unleash this beast around 3 years cycle, or 2. issue E5+OMD sensor now.

Obviously each solution has its pluses and minuses. Putting the release off for a year you have one more year of uncertainty among users, detractors proclaiming the death of 4/3 etc. But releasing E5 with new sensor you are going to have some wailing about "warmed up E5" just as it happened at its release, cries of best technology being used in m4/3 and lag in what's supposed to be a flagship. Worst yet, and this is probably the strongest factor in making this decision: you release it now, and you release your main dish in a year, and you upset your faithful who bought this E5MKII - now they regret their purchase just a year before real thing comes along, and question why you even bothered with that interim solution.

Which path gives you more frustrated users, more happy users, where the balance is? I know I would have chosen first option. Not having a luxury to clearly outline the plans for understandable reasons and only telegraphing intentions in corporate-speak-crafted interviews and statements, I would give all hints possible that yes, we do intend to provide a body for 4/3, and no, I am not in position to tell you exactly what technology is going to be used in it. As 3 years cycle plays out, body is released and if it's all we thought it is, it will win its share of the market, building on OMD success and 4/3 lenses quality. Meanwhile, I'd save myself troubles of interim release of MKII and grief of unhappy buyers who thought that was it. Switching back in user shoes, I too prefer to wait a year more and get more; there is nothing wrong with 3 years cycle for a flagship camera.

Do you see option 2 as more beneficial? To me, more hassle and eventual frustration than benefits.

Now, all that is based on assumption that they do have something better in works; if all they release this year is E5+OMD sensor + OMD IBIS, I will be very surprised and disappointed that it took this long.

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