"I'm not sure I get it" - no I don't believe you do

Started May 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
mosswings
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Re: I think he makes some good points
In reply to g_r_w, May 13, 2013

g_r_w wrote:

The way I see it, is that it is a horses for courses proposition.

I've clarified myself a bit in this post (Are you allowed to cross-post in your own thread?):
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51456616

He makes it seem like the E-M5 is a no-brainer over the EP-5 in terms of value.  I just don't think that's the case.

Uhmm...I'd state it a bit differently...he's wondering why Oly is making such fine distinctions in feature sets for no real reason.  And that I can see.

I don't think that Thom doesn't get u4/3...he's repeatedly beaten at the doors of Nikon with his programmable, modular, communicating camera concept, and published repeatedly on it at Bythom.com.  The idea of camera at the center of your social communication web, what the various camera manufacturers are stumbling towards, is something he's all on board with.

What appears to be the case with Oly is that its renaissance is based really upon one camera and one sensor - the EM5 with its Sony EXMOR sensor.  Had that not come out, Oly would be roadkill.  It's now their job to propagate this APS-C challenging technological package throughout their lineup, which is exactly what they appear to be doing.

Now the problem that the big-sensor folks are finding out is this: there isn't much left in the sensor quality tank beyond the EM5.  Its sensels are basically NEX-7 sized, and even Saint Sony found that hard to do.  The NEX-5 and 6 are actually better in many regards.  The new Nikons aren't really that much better, and in fact in the deepest shadows are somewhat more artifacted than the last generation - the generation used in the EM5.  Oly's against that wall as well.

So what Oly now needs to turn its attention to is the operational aspects of the u4/3 format; AF, battery life, EVF quality, feature set.  Oh yes, while keeping a blistering pace of product revision to maintain folk's attention. As the DSLR folks have found out, it's no longer possible to do that with a sensor upgrade, and hybrid AF is tougher than it looks, particularly in dim lighting.  So the only option is slicing and dicing feature sets in a manner that isn't too distracting to the more difficult development work at hand.

Personally, I like the feature set and control architecture of the EP5 better than the EM5, but viewfinders fit my shooting style far more than LCD focusing - particularly with longer lenses.  The same thing with a grip; it's just easier to control and configure when your hand isn't all cramped up in a bar-of-soap clench.  And as an eyeglass wearer, the larger VF4 sends shivers of excitement down my optic nerve.

So the EP5 reads somewhat like a stopgap camera between the EM5 and what's beyond, and both are as much a styling exercise as they are technological achievements.  From a practical standpoint, the form factor of the X-E1 has much more potential for the integration of potential improvements signalled by the EP5/VF4...a corner viewfinder has more room for that really big VF4 EVF exit pupil.

We could also level the same criticisms at the DSLR mfrs...do we REALLY need 3 or 4 consumer DSLRs? Practically speaking, all we need is two - but $100 this way or that can win or lose a sale, so the manufacturers, strapped for sales, do what they can to frack the market to its maximum.

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