E-M1 - my take

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Doug Brown
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,857
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Re: For the most part, agreed.
In reply to MatijaK, 7 months ago

MatijaK wrote:

Raist3d wrote:

Either Olympus continued pouring cash over a black hole (4/3rds) or look for their best chance for camera system survival while continuing innovating *and* providing an upgrade path to the 4/3rds owner.

Why does everyone keep getting this wrong? :/

4/3 wasn't a black hole - it was profitable by itself and it had a growing market share until the plug was pulled. The *camera division* was a black hole, and guess what: it still is. Olympus keeps losing money there. Year after year the camera division as a whole is in the red and nothing that Olympus releases pushes it into the black, even after seriously cutting down on CSC and ultrazooms.

I'm looking at the E-M1 and it's a 2000€ cost *just* to keep using all of my lenses in front of a new sensor. None of the other camera manufacturers do that, and if I were to guess, they never will ("never" being relative; here in terms of "not obsoleting a mount two years after it started gaining market acceptance", which Olympus basically did in 2009, after the E system started becoming popular in 2007 and steadily growing to 10+% market share).

I'm trying to find reasons to like the E-M1, but I can't. The money that I would need to invest is seriously huge (we're talking over two average salaries here), and in return I get a camera that uses a sub-par memory card format (single slot only!), has no top LCD, semi-articulated back LCD (am I supposed to duct tape it when shooting in the dark?), has no built-in flash and has low battery life (which is probably even lower when driving 4/3 lenses), tripod mount offset to the side, etc... It does have a lot of nifty tech features, but I don't need any of them to create actual photos.

I'm sure some can like the new camera, but I'm unable to. For me, it's not an upgrade, but you know, different strokes for different folks... Upgrades give you something better, but what the E-M1 offers to me is worse than what my E-3 does. Yeah, yeah, video, high ISO, moar megapickles, measurebating, DR, dxomark, this and that... But in the end, at least for me personally, m4/3 offerings - including the E-M1 - are just tech gadgets, while my E-3 is an actual tool. I don't know how to describe it better. Then again, I'm one of those freaks who have a dumb mobile phone made in 2008 and I only want it to ring, transmit and receive voice and text messages.

Too expensive, just wait 6 months to a year when they will probably announce the new EPL or EM-5 successor. Olympus always trickles the newest sensor tech down to it's entry level fairly quickly.

Two things;

A lot of people have their shorts in a knot over the EVF.
I'll tell you right now that there isn't a single person in this forum who's photography wouldn't be improved by using an EVF.  Unless your photography regularly requires you to catch a speeding bullet in mid-flight, the instant input and WYSIWYG view from an EVF is a major advantage in the vast majority of picture-taking circumstances.
I've been using one seriously for two years now with the micro cameras (and a couple Sony Alpha models).
Now, it's to the point where going back to a DSLR feels primitive, like a real step down after the EVF.
Years ago shooting film, and then shooting digital with instant preview on the rear LCD converted a lot of people right over to digital. Once you get used to shooting with an EVF it's the same. It just seems like a much more informed way of shooting. Less mistakes, fewer lost opportunities.

Secondly, there are so many ways in which even the E-M5 is head and shoulders better than your E3 (which I've owned and used previously) I don't know where to begin, but the most obvious is the 5 axis IS system.
Using the 5 axis IS system is like shooting with a steadycam. Like shooting with an invisible tripod all the time.
It is jaw-dropping what that thing can do.
You saw the part of the leaked engadget video where they put the camera on a bouncing platform and show the perfectly steady video output right beside it on a tablet? I've been in the room when they've demoed that and it's like black magic. It shouldn't be possible, but it really is happening.
That IS system is going to save more shots for you than any OVF ever will over the long haul.

Douglas Brown

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