Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions
Craig from Nevada
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Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
Feb 7, 2013

He talked a lot and said nothing.  Really.  Now the excitement has died down over the article, reread the article and you will conclude the guy said zero.   There could be an E-7 or there could be an adapter. There will be a furor of posts and opinions.  The guy should run for office.

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years.  Why all of the sudden change?

pris
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Feb 7, 2013

Craig from Nevada wrote:

He talked a lot and said nothing. Really. Now the excitement has died down over the article, reread the article and you will conclude the guy said zero. There could be an E-7 or there could be an adapter. There will be a furor of posts and opinions. The guy should run for office.

The fact that no company ever outlined clear plans and timelines for their next releases, and the (very valid) reasons for that has been pointed out so many times, it's not even funny to go down that road once again. Next argument of course will be "Oh, but other companies didn't abandon.." etc, why not just re-read any of previous makes and remakes instead of killing more innocent pixels. He IS in the office and talks according to its restraints.

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years. Why all of the sudden change?

Ummm... because it's time to update a flagship camera, according to 3 years cycle?... And he is saying such update is about to be released?...

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Rriley
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to pris, Feb 7, 2013

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote:

He talked a lot and said nothing. Really. Now the excitement has died down over the article, reread the article and you will conclude the guy said zero. There could be an E-7 or there could be an adapter. There will be a furor of posts and opinions. The guy should run for office.

The fact that no company ever outlined clear plans and timelines for their next releases, and the (very valid) reasons for that has been pointed out so many times, it's not even funny to go down that road once again. Next argument of course will be "Oh, but other companies didn't abandon.." etc, why not just re-read any of previous makes and remakes instead of killing more innocent pixels. He IS in the office and talks according to its restraints.

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years. Why all of the sudden change?

Ummm... because it's time to update a flagship camera, according to 3 years cycle?... And he is saying such update is about to be released?...

as was intended, being the only 43rds body they make 3 yrs is a ridiculous cycle

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pris
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to Rriley, Feb 7, 2013

Rriley wrote:

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote:

He talked a lot and said nothing. Really. Now the excitement has died down over the article, reread the article and you will conclude the guy said zero. There could be an E-7 or there could be an adapter. There will be a furor of posts and opinions. The guy should run for office.

The fact that no company ever outlined clear plans and timelines for their next releases, and the (very valid) reasons for that has been pointed out so many times, it's not even funny to go down that road once again. Next argument of course will be "Oh, but other companies didn't abandon.." etc, why not just re-read any of previous makes and remakes instead of killing more innocent pixels. He IS in the office and talks according to its restraints.

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years. Why all of the sudden change?

Ummm... because it's time to update a flagship camera, according to 3 years cycle?... And he is saying such update is about to be released?...

as was intended, being the only 43rds body they make 3 yrs is a ridiculous cycle

Just fine for an E-5 owner generally satisfied with aforementioned E-5... I'll prefer significant upgrade in 3 years to more frequent releases with incremental improvements.

(And anyway, what does it have to do with a subject which is what did or did not Terada say).

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alatchin
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to Rriley, Feb 7, 2013

Rriley wrote:

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote:

He talked a lot and said nothing. Really. Now the excitement has died down over the article, reread the article and you will conclude the guy said zero. There could be an E-7 or there could be an adapter. There will be a furor of posts and opinions. The guy should run for office.

The fact that no company ever outlined clear plans and timelines for their next releases, and the (very valid) reasons for that has been pointed out so many times, it's not even funny to go down that road once again. Next argument of course will be "Oh, but other companies didn't abandon.." etc, why not just re-read any of previous makes and remakes instead of killing more innocent pixels. He IS in the office and talks according to its restraints.

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years. Why all of the sudden change?

Ummm... because it's time to update a flagship camera, according to 3 years cycle?... And he is saying such update is about to be released?...

as was intended, being the only 43rds body they make 3 yrs is a ridiculous cycle

While 3 years is a long time, I imagine it is partially the upgrade cycle and partially that most resources have been driven into m43rds.

I honestly believe and said before the OMD that m43rds has given olympus the volume for a new sensor etc. The development is there, but I guess they have a life cycle of the E-5 and must stick with it.

Not to be too hopeful, but they could very well have decided a new E-XXX could be on offer with the new bits and bobs and an attractive design... But while many people are upset about the E-XX (which has only seen one body then seemed to die off) the truth is a slightly smaller E-X would suffice, especially if they offer a new E-XXX...

But lets see... I do hope for a tilt and shift sensor

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dave gaines
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Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to Rriley, Feb 7, 2013

Rriley wrote:

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote: ...

...

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years. Why all of the sudden change?

Ummm... because it's time to update a flagship camera, according to 3 years cycle?... And he is saying such update is about to be released?...

as was intended, being the only 43rds body they make 3 yrs is a ridiculous cycle

Pris and Rriley make good points. Normally a 3 to 4 year upgrade cycle for the top Pro E-x is a good frequency. But if they're only offering one line of DSLRs, the E-x, it doesn't inspire confidence. Between the release of the E-3 and the E-5 Olympus released 5 other cameras, including the E-420, E-620 and E-30. If they've regained their R&D footing after the Tsunami and fraud disclosure then we can expect to see more frequent offerings of DSLRs in all 3 levels, as Terada has indicated Olympus would be doing by late 2013.

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illy
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to dave gaines, Feb 7, 2013

dave gaines wrote:

Rriley wrote:

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote: ...

...

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years. Why all of the sudden change?

Ummm... because it's time to update a flagship camera, according to 3 years cycle?... And he is saying such update is about to be released?...

as was intended, being the only 43rds body they make 3 yrs is a ridiculous cycle

Pris and Rriley make good points. Normally a 3 to 4 year upgrade cycle for the top Pro E-x is a good frequency. But if they're only offering one line of DSLRs, the E-x, it doesn't inspire confidence. Between the release of the E-3 and the E-5 Olympus released 5 other cameras, including the E-420, E-620 and E-30. If they've regained their R&D footing after the Tsunami and fraud disclosure then we can expect to see more frequent offerings of DSLRs in all 3 levels, as Terada has indicated Olympus would be doing by late 2013.

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Dave
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i don't think they'll throw much into any Dslr arena if anything at all, after leaving the range well alone for 3 years it makes no sense to release a bunch of new bodies when people have either migrated to m4/3rds or other brands

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dave gaines
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to illy, Feb 7, 2013

illy wrote:

i don't think they'll throw much into any Dslr arena if anything at all, after leaving the range well alone for 3 years it makes no sense to release a bunch of new bodies when people have either migrated to m4/3rds or other brands

That's not an optimistic view for Olympus DSLRs. It's been just over 2 years since the release of the E-5. The latest announcement from Terada at Olympus is they will continue to develop DSLRs aimed at entry level and Pro level.

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illy
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to dave gaines, Feb 7, 2013

dave gaines wrote:

illy wrote:

i don't think they'll throw much into any Dslr arena if anything at all, after leaving the range well alone for 3 years it makes no sense to release a bunch of new bodies when people have either migrated to m4/3rds or other brands

That's not an optimistic view for Olympus DSLRs. It's been just over 2 years since the release of the E-5. The latest announcement from Terada at Olympus is they will continue to develop DSLRs aimed at entry level and Pro level.

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it's not that the E-5 will be replaced by something, i can't see it being a Dslr or more than 1 line up of Dslrs(which means i am totally wrong for saying it)I honestly thought that a mirrorless camera would be released after an E-7 that would AF all lenses equally, but maybe they will skip the E-7 and introduce a new type of camera for 4/3rds users

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HarjTT
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to Rriley, Feb 7, 2013

Riley, Mate totally agree with you.

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Geo Wharton
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Feb 8, 2013

Craig from Nevada wrote:

Basically, Olympus hasn't done squat for its 4/3rds users in almost 3 years.

How does 2 years, four months become nearly 3 years?  Blowing thing out of proportion doesn't help make your point.

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IanDavis
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Feb 8, 2013

Olympus has said in many statements that they felt the 4:3 line was adequate enough to the point where they could begin focusing on developing on m4:3. However, we tend to hear numerous statements from their different representatives that are all over the place. I met a great rep in Berkeley named Pete who said that they're counting on m4:3 to be the future of the company. He also told me about the 75-300 II a couple of months before the rumors started. He let me know reps normally get their information 90 days before the official announcement of a product. Meh, if you feel they've abandoned you, abandon them. If not, keep shooting.

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boggis the cat
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to illy, Feb 8, 2013

illy wrote:

it's not that the E-5 will be replaced by something, i can't see it being a Dslr or more than 1 line up of Dslrs(which means i am totally wrong for saying it)I honestly thought that a mirrorless camera would be released after an E-7 that would AF all lenses equally, but maybe they will skip the E-7 and introduce a new type of camera for 4/3rds users

If you read the interview (I assume you can't have done so) you would have noted:

Building on the promise Olympus has made about continuing to support Four Thirds users, Terada suggests the wait may nearly be over: 'Direction-wise, we'd like to produce products for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds within this year. Because we have to provide a product for users with SHG and HG lenses. And there are people using E400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7898773566/cp-2013-interview-with-olympus-toshi-terada

Now, that does seem to indicate that Olympus have decided that there is a significant market still out there of E-xxx / E-xx owners wishing to upgrade.  Apparently, this group have not been lured to Micro FT -- or left for Canon / Nikon / Pentax / Sony.

I am sure that they would produce a 'PDAF adapter' if such was possible (I doubt it is, BTW, simply due to physical constraints of the Micro FT mount depth -- then there is the issue of how you feed AF data back to the Micro FT body: you can't unless Micro FT was designed to do so), but perhaps they have realised that the problem is not resolvable any time soon.  This does not preclude them using an EVF (replacing the PDAF array with a small sensor should work adequately for both PDAF and to feed an EVF) or some sort of hybrid VF design in a standard FT body.

Really, we do not know what directions Olympus may go in.  The E-330 had that 'pointless' live-view implementation, remember.  The E-620 appeared out of nowhere and had several unlikely improvements over the E-520 / E-420.  The only certainty is that Olympus do intend on keeping their promise about providing a body that ensures full capability of standard FT lenses -- at least for now.

The 'rumoured' f/2.8 zooms may indicate an intention to shift the high-end product line to Micro FT.  Until we see credible replacements for the SHG lens line (and a stop slower could be acceptable, if they are making that deliberate compromise to undercut prices of f/2.8 zooms on larger systems) I believe that they have little option but to keep producing the E-x line, as a minimum.

Possibly, they may see sense in cranking the full standard FT system back up.  It all depends on whether they believe they can get more market share and make a profit (or at least avoid a loss).  Oh, and don't start up about Olympus camera division being unprofitable unless you have a breakdown to show that they were losing in the DSLR / ILC segment, and not their second-rate 'me too' point and shoot segment.

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Stacey_K
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to boggis the cat, Feb 8, 2013

boggis the cat wrote:

Now, that does seem to indicate that Olympus have decided that there is a significant market still out there of E-xxx / E-xx owners wishing to upgrade. Apparently, this group have not been lured to Micro FT -- or left for Canon / Nikon / Pentax / Sony.

Many have...

Leaving a highly competitive market completely for years, it's going to be tough to make any inroads. I really hope they do make something less than an E7 type camera but I think we will be lucky to see even that.

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John King
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to Stacey_K, Feb 8, 2013

Gidday Stacey

Stacey_K wrote:

boggis the cat wrote:

Now, that does seem to indicate that Olympus have decided that there is a significant market still out there of E-xxx / E-xx owners wishing to upgrade. Apparently, this group have not been lured to Micro FT -- or left for Canon / Nikon / Pentax / Sony.

Many have...

Leaving a highly competitive market completely for years, it's going to be tough to make any inroads. I really hope they do make something less than an E7 type camera but I think we will be lucky to see even that.

That may well be so, but do you remember when Netscape Navigator had around 90% of the Internet browser market? How many here have even heard of Netscape Navigator ... ? It doesn't even rate a separate mention here .

Ditto with WordPerfect.

Apple's Claris Works was going to be the giant killer that unseated Microsoft Office ... Where is Claris Works today?

Olympus have had to do it tough overcoming the fraud perpetrated by members of its board. Their µFT cameras have been very successful. Now we have a very definite announcement by the head of Olympus Imaging that they are going to continue with all three levels of dSLR. A careful reading of Mr Terada's statement makes that quite clear. It is difficult to interpret his statement that:

"Because we have to provide a product for users with SHG and HG lenses. And there are people using E400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography."

In any other way than that Olympus is going to produce an entry level camera to provide a new body for entry level users. The way that Olympus classifies its lenses is a clue to the reference to HG and SHG lens users. In their mind at least, HG equates to the semi-pro, E-30 type camera, and SHG equates to their flagship E-x cameras.

Having made an entry level body, it is not all that hard to make it into a semi-pro body, or vice versa ... The flagship body is a given, as is the entry level body. It makes little, if any, sense to then preclude the middle level body. These are the big money spinners. Leveraging off the technology of both the flagship and entry level models, one already has all the components to hand to make it, except for the body mould ... e.g. the E-30 coming out of much the same parts bins as the E-620 and E-3, and was a testing platform for the E-5 technologies. Even the highly expensive pentaprism of the E-30 looks very suspiciously like it is a slightly modified E-1 design ...

Just a few thoughts, FWIW.

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illy
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to boggis the cat, Feb 8, 2013

boggis the cat wrote:

illy wrote:

it's not that the E-5 will be replaced by something, i can't see it being a Dslr or more than 1 line up of Dslrs(which means i am totally wrong for saying it)I honestly thought that a mirrorless camera would be released after an E-7 that would AF all lenses equally, but maybe they will skip the E-7 and introduce a new type of camera for 4/3rds users

If you read the interview (I assume you can't have done so) you would have noted:

Building on the promise Olympus has made about continuing to support Four Thirds users, Terada suggests the wait may nearly be over: 'Direction-wise, we'd like to produce products for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds within this year. Because we have to provide a product for users with SHG and HG lenses. And there are people using E400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7898773566/cp-2013-interview-with-olympus-toshi-terada

Now, that does seem to indicate that Olympus have decided that there is a significant market still out there of E-xxx / E-xx owners wishing to upgrade. Apparently, this group have not been lured to Micro FT -- or left for Canon / Nikon / Pentax / Sony.

I am sure that they would produce a 'PDAF adapter' if such was possible (I doubt it is, BTW, simply due to physical constraints of the Micro FT mount depth -- then there is the issue of how you feed AF data back to the Micro FT body: you can't unless Micro FT was designed to do so), but perhaps they have realised that the problem is not resolvable any time soon. This does not preclude them using an EVF (replacing the PDAF array with a small sensor should work adequately for both PDAF and to feed an EVF) or some sort of hybrid VF design in a standard FT body.

Really, we do not know what directions Olympus may go in. The E-330 had that 'pointless' live-view implementation, remember. The E-620 appeared out of nowhere and had several unlikely improvements over the E-520 / E-420. The only certainty is that Olympus do intend on keeping their promise about providing a body that ensures full capability of standard FT lenses -- at least for now.

The 'rumoured' f/2.8 zooms may indicate an intention to shift the high-end product line to Micro FT. Until we see credible replacements for the SHG lens line (and a stop slower could be acceptable, if they are making that deliberate compromise to undercut prices of f/2.8 zooms on larger systems) I believe that they have little option but to keep producing the E-x line, as a minimum.

Possibly, they may see sense in cranking the full standard FT system back up. It all depends on whether they believe they can get more market share and make a profit (or at least avoid a loss). Oh, and don't start up about Olympus camera division being unprofitable unless you have a breakdown to show that they were losing in the DSLR / ILC segment, and not their second-rate 'me too' point and shoot segment.

it seems to me that the all the research these days is going towards m4/3rds to expand and fill out the line up, but leaving the market for nearly 3 years devoid of new products or any real clear intent is not the best base for a line of new cameras. I think they would be better just going into mirrorless 100% as Panasonic have done, at least they'll be ahead of the game when other companies face the same decision.

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John King
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to illy, Feb 8, 2013

illy wrote:

it seems to me that the all the research these days is going towards m4/3rds to expand and fill out the line up, but leaving the market for nearly 3 years devoid of new products or any real clear intent is not the best base for a line of new cameras. I think they would be better just going into mirrorless 100% as Panasonic have done, at least they'll be ahead of the game when other companies face the same decision.
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Now that you have stated this for about the xxxth time, don't you think that you should give it a rest?

Someone might think that constantly trotting out the same old canards could be construed as baiting, flaming and/or trolling ...

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boggis the cat
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to illy, Feb 8, 2013

illy wrote:

boggis the cat wrote:

illy wrote:

it's not that the E-5 will be replaced by something, i can't see it being a Dslr or more than 1 line up of Dslrs(which means i am totally wrong for saying it)I honestly thought that a mirrorless camera would be released after an E-7 that would AF all lenses equally, but maybe they will skip the E-7 and introduce a new type of camera for 4/3rds users

If you read the interview (I assume you can't have done so) you would have noted:

Building on the promise Olympus has made about continuing to support Four Thirds users, Terada suggests the wait may nearly be over: 'Direction-wise, we'd like to produce products for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds within this year. Because we have to provide a product for users with SHG and HG lenses. And there are people using E400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7898773566/cp-2013-interview-with-olympus-toshi-terada

Now, that does seem to indicate that Olympus have decided that there is a significant market still out there of E-xxx / E-xx owners wishing to upgrade. Apparently, this group have not been lured to Micro FT -- or left for Canon / Nikon / Pentax / Sony.

...

it seems to me that the all the research these days is going towards m4/3rds to expand and fill out the line up,

Lens development, sure.  Most research into body components can be easily utilised in standard FT.

but leaving the market for nearly 3 years devoid of new products or any real clear intent is not the best base for a line of new cameras.

No, it isn't.  But if they have done market research and believe that they can take a profitable bite out of the APS-C / 135 pie then why not do so?

Arguably standard FT will be a dead end because new lens development may never happen, but the existing HG and SHG lines in particular still have plenty of usefulness left in them.  Canon only fairly recently produced a 70-200 mm f/2.8 that was comparable to the SHG 35-100 f/2 (and it is still a stop down).  Olympus has no need to update the lens line yet, and can concentrate development in Micro FT.

I think they would be better just going into mirrorless 100% as Panasonic have done, at least they'll be ahead of the game when other companies face the same decision.

How so?  You do know that ILCs are only slowly gaining share outside of Japan and Asian markets?  This means that Olympus is effectively ceding a bit more than half of the global market to competitors.  Ultimately this is all about running a profitable business, and you gain twice with every sale in that you make a sale and you deny the competition a sale.  Provided you are not losing money then why not keep pushing both systems?

Now, if what Terada said is accurate then it appears that Olympus are at least thinking about that aspect of the DSLR / ILC business.  It was a mistake to halt the low-end standard FT bodies, IMO, and I think that they may now realise that.  One reason was obviously to avoid competing with Micro FT (with poorer performing but more expensive lenses), but now that Micro FT is well established and decent lenses are fairly abundant (aside from the long FL) and redesigns show signs of grasping reality -- the mZD 75-300 f/slow at US$900 when the superior ZD 70-300 f/faster was less than half that price -- it would appear that that fear has passed.

They can effectively 'bracket' competitors products with a smaller, cheaper, high-performance DSLR line (with native SHG lenses for "professional" use, or those with deep pockets) and the best selling ILC system.  Their competitors at the moment are really Sony and Panasonic, with DSLRs essentially uncontested.  That makes no sense to ignore, unless they can push Sony out of the ILC market -- oh, wait, who just invested in Olympus?

Change of plan.

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DonParrot
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Re: Olympus' Toshi Terada discusses the future of Four Thirds and compacts
In reply to IanDavis, Feb 8, 2013

Well,

as I read the words of Toshi Terada, he said that Oly is going to provide products that have got what it takes to make the users of the different FT categories happy. Nonetheless, he didn't say with a single word that these products will be DSLRs.

So let's just wait and see what they've got up their sleves. I'd still put my money on one or several OBS cameras - but of course, I could be wrong.

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illy
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Re: Four Thirds upgrade cycles
In reply to John King, Feb 8, 2013

John King wrote:

illy wrote:

it seems to me that the all the research these days is going towards m4/3rds to expand and fill out the line up, but leaving the market for nearly 3 years devoid of new products or any real clear intent is not the best base for a line of new cameras. I think they would be better just going into mirrorless 100% as Panasonic have done, at least they'll be ahead of the game when other companies face the same decision.
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The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Now that you have stated this for about the xxxth time, don't you think that you should give it a rest?

Someone might think that constantly trotting out the same old canards could be construed as baiting, flaming and/or trolling ...

i was actually making a constructive post based on the general discussion, your post was simply a flame post with name calling and totally OT

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