So who was 4/3 originally aimed at?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Marty4650
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Olympus reversed their approach
In reply to Archiver, 10 months ago

Archiver wrote:

If the 4/3 format was aimed to capture some of the professional market, but failed at the time, the irony is that the first micro four thirds cameras were aimed at young single women, but they are now moving into pro territory. Seems like they had to gain traction before stepping up to the bigger leagues.

I think it is fairly obvious that Olympus introduced 4/3 by starting at the top. With a pro grade camera, and some very nice and very expensive lenses.

But 4/3 failed, and Olympus learned something from this.

Olympus introduced their M4/3 products in the exact opposite way. Starting at the bottom, with a much more modest camera, and two kit lenses. It took two more years before Olympus had a model with a built in EVF or weather sealing. The EM5 was their 9th camera body, and not their first. It took four full years before they would introduce a lens they were willing to call a "pro lens."

Olympus also learned they make a lot more money by selling lenses than by selling adapters.

In the five year period between 2003 and 2008 Olympus released 21 4/3 lenses, plus another 4 from Panasonic, For a total of 25 lenses.

In the five year period between 2008 and 2013 Olympus released 18 M4/3 lenses, plus another 21 more from Panasonic. For a total of 39 lenses.

I think you're right. Olympus had aimed M4/3 at P&S users and soccer moms, but that never really had much traction with that market, despite the white and bright red colored bodies. Those people went to using their camera phones instead.

But a curious thing happened.... serious photographers (both men and women) liked the smaller format, so Olympus and Panasonic did the smart thing and took the system upscale.  You just don't see any ads for the EM1 or GH3 telling you how nicely it fits in your purse (probably.... because it won't fit in your purse... we have the EM2 and the GM1 for that.)

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