Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices

Started Mar 1, 2013 | Discussions
Raist3d
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Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
Mar 1, 2013

Keeping the replies and the thoughts where the other thread left, here's some context:

Many seem to see now some of the issues that a minority like me brought up when the E-5 was released- that it was pretty much a bit much for some key aspects where it had some outdated technologies. Please understand this does not equate to "you can't take good photos with it" but that basically you end up paying same or more than other options in the market that seemed to do better as a photographic tool, as a canvas of light if you will.

A lot of people have jumped by now, and Olympus visible lack of 4/3rd product and m4/3rd focus certainly did not inspire confidence in many of those for coming back.  I actually don't mind that new direction since 4/3rds was just not giving them any profit, and I rather have the company survive and give me support for what I still have of 4/3rds than have no company and no support.

For what it's worth, I think an E-7 having just an E-5 body with OMD-5's sensor, would be a really nice upgrade from an E-3/E-30/E-5. Even better- an E-1 with the OMD-5 sensor - well ok, if it's smaller

I am beginning to think it will start to be "a little too late" vs competitors but that won't matter much as the sensor of the OMD-5 I think would bring it to a level of "reasonably good enough" for a lot of good quality photographs in a fairly wide variety of situations. And the E-7 is not a camera that will be made to sell the 4/3rds system to new comers anyway, if it comes to exist- just like the E-5- a nice perk for those of us who have 4/3rd lenses and want to continue to use that system.

Rumor has it the Pentax K-3 will be announced within 3 months from now, probably a sensor ballpark competitor of the Nikon D7100. If Olympus wants to keep more of their 4/3rds market around to buy their E-7 (if it will exist), maybe it wouldn't hurt much to announce it now even if it won't be available until later this year.

Of course maybe the E-7 won't come to be and we will have a micro our thirds capable of using the 4/3rds lenses well, in which case they have to keep secret since a micro four thirds model is their current torch bearer.

I don't see at this point Olympus cash efforts should be spent re-viving 4/3rds. Putting an OMD-5 sensor in an E-7 brings the 4/3rds platform to a decent level of performance for those of us who still have the lenses and want to use one, while having them spend the least amount of cash.

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Rriley
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Re: Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

first a little forethought please

I had some things to say in the thread you had going earlier, before you decided to close it

are we going to go through the same principle here, b/se I'd sooner not waste my time in a thread where my own ideas are not fully developed or contested by other users here

tia...

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Raist3d
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In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

My view is that Olympus lost direction shortly after the E1. They built their reputation on the OM series as a compact, yet strong performing alternative to the big and heavy system cameras of the day. It seems that with the Ex series, they tried to compete head to head with the flagship cameras (or at least the "prosumer" cameras) of CaNikon and failed in the areas that most people considered the de facto standard: sensor performance/noise and AF speed/accuracy).

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I wouldn't say they lost direction that fast but maybe they should have focused on small earlier. I think for example the E-330 was pretty innovative back then and had a good form factor. It could still do the dual-flash and introduced live view which they didn't even know how to quite use it at first themselves. To me that line gets drawn at the E-3.

The E-3 should have been like E-30 size tops.  I do think that yes, this was the #1 strategic mistake- compete with CaniKon on Canikon's terms. I really think if we have had pro cameras in the form of an e-620 (fast AF, weather sealed, magensium alloy bodies), 4/3rds would still be here today.

Completely agree with you there.

With the PENs and OMD, they have regained their footing as to the sort of cameras they do best. However, they have a number of people with vested interest in an E series gear. For a company strapped for cash and struggling to gain increases in revenue, this is perhaps an salvageable situation for many E series owners. It would take a lot of cash to maintain momentum and development of m4/3 and still come up with an E7 that would be comparable to the latest, similarly priced offerings from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony in regards to sensor performance along with other features that people are now expecting.

-----

At this point I dont' think 4/3rds if they continue it, will catch up. But that may not necessarily mean that giving it up completely is the smart move or not doable. And OMD sensor in an E-7 may not be competitive vs market's latest but it would bring the whole platform to a whole new level of performance that current users would feel pretty good with the lenses and hey, wouldn't be bad.

It would keep Olympus brand stronger, and not have to spend much cash- I would think. The camera will still be pricey for sure though.

For many, the idea of putting the EM5 sensor (or an improved version) into an E7 body with a few other tweaks would be enough to keep them satisfied with progress in the E series and 4/3 lineup. But for others, this would still be "too little, too late".

---

Well that can certainly be the case. But I would say those who like the 4/3rd lenses would be a big jump to pretty reasonable performance. At that point the equation of jumping becomes more expensive.  Just what I think of course.

I don't think Olympus is going to pull out any more stops for the E7 other than a sensor upgrade and a few other tweaks, as they did with the E5. It's become obvious they have no intention of trying to win customers from other makers in the dslr arena (and I can't blame them). They are conceding that battle to concentrate on another front where they are ahead of the game.

----

I expect the same if they come out with a full E-7 body.  The tweaks could be nice though. A slightly better AF wouldn't hurt, etc.

My theory is that Olympus has realized they never should have made the E3 and E5 in the way they did to begin with. They should have concentrated on making an E520 or E620 form factor camera that has the "pro spec" features of the EM5 (weathersealing, magnesium body, etc). So they are in the unenviable position of having to do what they can to support those who have essentially become the "red headed stepchildren" of Olympus: people invested in the 4/3 system who can't, or prefer not to, abandon 4/3 in favor of another brand of dslr, or m4/3.

----

Agreed. The E-3 and E-5 as made shouldn't have happened. The E-3 (and by transitivity the E-5) to me has some serious ergonomic issues that you jus don't see on the E-1 model.  I wish they did an E-1 sized like an E-30 but that requires more R&D.

E3 and E5 owners make up a minority of Olympus owners. The percentage of those who will upgrade to an E7 is an even smaller percentage. Olympus has ended up in the corner of diminishing returns. Not only that, most others have left the room as well.

---

Agreed.  Another reason why I don't see 4/3rds coming back per se.

I would not rule out the hybrid solution yet. It would give them the ability to keep focus on micro four thirds while throwing in "a bone" to the 4/3rds user.

In short, IMO Olympus has no intention of "hurrying up" to try to match the dslrs coming out from other companies. But I think this is actually astute business strategy on their part. Over the next 5 years the trend away from aps-c dslrs will continue. The "IQ is King' folks will gravitate toward FF as prices continue to come down. Most will opt for mirrorless as the cameras continue to establish themselves as alternatives to dslrs for more and more situations and people (as opposed to the laughable habit of some of dismissing mirrorless as "toy cameras").

So why try to regain strength in a shrinking market?

----

Agreed though I am not sure APS-C will go away that fast if it does.  When prices to make sensors become virtually identical then at that point, the shift can start.  BUt I think that's still some ways away.

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Raist3d
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Re: Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
In reply to Rriley, Mar 1, 2013

Rriley wrote:

first a little forethought please

I had some things to say in the thread you had going earlier, before you decided to close it

are we going to go through the same principle here, b/se I'd sooner not waste my time in a thread where my own ideas are not fully developed or contested by other users here

Don't worry. Theres reason to that madness and I felt it was the best solution-  so apologies if you felt I cut off discussion short and middle of some development of a subject.

Feel free to bring whatever text you feel from the other thread for the discussion of the subject, that you feel provides ongoing thought/context for your discussion.

tia...

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Mr.NoFlash
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it does cost Oly not much money to put a OMD sensor+processor in an E-520, E30 or E-5.
In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

Raist3d wrote:

Keeping the replies and the thoughts where the other thread left, here's some context:

Many seem to see now some of the issues that a minority like me brought up when the E-5 was released- that it was pretty much a bit much for some key aspects where it had some outdated technologies. Please understand this does not equate to "you can't take good photos with it" but that basically you end up paying same or more than other options in the market that seemed to do better as a photographic tool, as a canvas of light if you will.

A lot of people have jumped by now, and Olympus visible lack of 4/3rd product and m4/3rd focus certainly did not inspire confidence in many of those for coming back.

My opinion is: much Pro's did leave 4/3 or go m43 (!).

So the amateurs stay at 4/3, those who want a OVF, or simply have 4/3 lenses ( including some Pro's ).

I cannot imagine a pro who does not have 4/3, going 4/3, because m43 has 2 manufacturers and is a much more secure decision, and m43 has a Pro camera: The Gh3. And m43 is market leader in mirrorless.

Oly should exchange the status of m43 and 4/3: Make affordable but reliable products for 4/3 for a long time ( simply by putting m43 tech in 4/3 bodies ) and make a Pro/Semipro product line in pure m43.

Now under this view maybe a E-550 or E-50 would be better than a E-7, but ok a E-7 is better than no more 4/3 camera.

....

I don't see at this point Olympus cash efforts should be spent re-viving 4/3rds.

I think it does cost Oly not much money to put a OMD or E-PL5 ( even more dxomark points than OMD !! )  sensor+processor in an E-520, E30 or E-5. That in mind I cannot understand why Oly delays the next 4/3 camera announcement - usually announcements are delayed to sell the older cameras but thats just pointless in 4/3, it will hurt the 4/3 product line each day nothing is announced.

But then Oly should be honest and say: 4/3 will continue without 4/3-specific investments.

Ok, the future may be an E-7 with some more improvements what's also not bad - if thats "ready to go into final production and all specs are defined " as rumors say, then Oly should announce this.

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rovingtim
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I'm on record as believing ...
In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

I really don't think there will be an E7. This does not mean I would not welcome one, I just don't think Olympus has the resources to create one. Even without apparent 4/3rds investment, their photo division is bleeding money.

If I were in dreamland, I would ecstatic to see an E1 with modern electronics and a faster shutter cycle speed. I don't even need it to be smaller. It is already smaller than the E3/E5.

What I think we will see is an attempt by Oly to create a m4/3rds body good enough with 4/3rds that it will create a market for their 4/3rds lenses. However, each small fast zoom with native focus released by Panny diminishes that potential market. The problem with SHG lenses is they are large and heavy enough to be compared directly with FF lenses. This will not impress most of the m4/3rds market.

However, it will be a happy solution for those currently left with the E5 as the best camera body available. In terms of comparable camera performance, it really is ancient now. Even their weak AA "solution" has been surpassed.

Only really good photographers can get good images from an E5

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Rriley
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Re: Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

Raist3d wrote:

Rriley wrote:

first a little forethought please

I had some things to say in the thread you had going earlier, before you decided to close it

are we going to go through the same principle here, b/se I'd sooner not waste my time in a thread where my own ideas are not fully developed or contested by other users here

Don't worry. Theres reason to that madness and I felt it was the best solution- so apologies if you felt I cut off discussion short and middle of some development of a subject.

Feel free to bring whatever text you feel from the other thread for the discussion of the subject, that you feel provides ongoing thought/context for your discussion.

then this should float your boat

like most, the proposed 43rds camera has a sensor
it isnt the OMD sensor

byeee!

tia...

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rovingtim
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In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

stuff

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Chris Mak
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Rather positive...
In reply to Rriley, Mar 1, 2013

Well,

I was rather positive about the forsight of an E7 Dslr camera in your first thread, and I have no reason not to be. I mentioned that I believed the E5 had an artificial looking sharpness, which was part of the reason I eventually sold the camera. I also believe that the E7 will not have that "kind of a look", as I have developed quite a bit of trust In Sony's sensor making capabilities.

I.m.o. Olympus (over)stretched itself with getting the best (or trying to get the best) out of the E5, and I am still wondering if their ORF raw files do not have some treatment to get to the pixel sharpness they were trying to reach. Mostly I wondered about the amount of noise, even at iso 100/200. But mostly objectionable in birding at iso 400, when cropping. My E3 did better noise wise (RAW) at these lower iso settings.

When you get these very good lenses, like the zuikos, it is really down to a sensor that can handle the light gathering, like you say, a canvas of light. Well, the only thing at the heart of that is the sensor. If Olympus wants to appeal to áll their zuiko fans, they simply cannot afford to release cameras that only cater to those that don't really care about DR or sensor quality, or tonality or real resolution, but only care about good looking sharp and colorful jpegs. (being awfully black and white here, I know).

Olympus should release future (Dslr) cameras to an objective and state of the art standard, simply to cater to everyone. What made me averse to Olympus, was their promotion of the E5, without living up to a standard that can guarantee satisfying shooting experience with all users of their zuiko glass. I know they did not have any better at the time, other than the luke warm and dated panasonic second rate sensors, but now they do, and all that is necessary, is to put that sensor in a body that focusses the 4/3 lenses properly, and build the right circuitry around the sensor, to get the best out of it. Voila: E7.

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Craig from Nevada
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Re: I'm on record as believing ...
In reply to rovingtim, Mar 1, 2013

rovingtim wrote:

I really don't think there will be an E7. This does not mean I would not welcome one, I just don't think Olympus has the resources to create one. Even without apparent 4/3rds investment, their photo division is bleeding money.

If I were in dreamland, I would ecstatic to see an E1 with modern electronics and a faster shutter cycle speed. I don't even need it to be smaller. It is already smaller than the E3/E5.

What I think we will see is an attempt by Oly to create a m4/3rds body good enough with 4/3rds that it will create a market for their 4/3rds lenses. However, each small fast zoom with native focus released by Panny diminishes that potential market. The problem with SHG lenses is they are large and heavy enough to be compared directly with FF lenses. This will not impress most of the m4/3rds market.

However, it will be a happy solution for those currently left with the E5 as the best camera body available. In terms of comparable camera performance, it really is ancient now. Even their weak AA "solution" has been surpassed.

Only really good photographers can get good images from an E5

I am having trouble seeing why Olympus would produce an E-7 given the way camera markets are these days.  Maybe they figure they will dump the cheap point and shoot and stick with high-end cameras.  Maybe they figure they can make a buck in that market or at least lose less than they will this year.

Having said that, if they make an E-7, I will buy one.

Four  Thirds is not the most rational place in the universe.

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Re: Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

Olympus 4/3 rd owners are not the only questioning the direction of their product lines.  See: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50920900

Clearly, .25 µm and .18 µm sensors of Sony and others will put pressure on  Canon and Olympus to modernize to their sensors.

It seems that this discussion is common in all forums.

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pris
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To make the record clear,
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Mar 1, 2013

Craig from Nevada wrote:

rovingtim wrote:

I really don't think there will be an E7. ...

I am having trouble seeing why Olympus would produce an E-7 ...

Are you two saying you 1) don't think E-5 successor is coming at all, or you 2) don't think it's coming in a form of pure DSLR?

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Raist3d
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Re: Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
In reply to Rriley, Mar 1, 2013

Oh I have not ruled that out ;-). But I think short of a major break through I don't see four thirds coming back. But if they got say a "foveon done right" for a wide variety of photographic onditiins (foveon is great but excels in a narow range of photographic conditions) that would sure raise eyebrows.

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Craig from Nevada
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Re: To make the record clear,
In reply to pris, Mar 1, 2013

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote:

rovingtim wrote:

I really don't think there will be an E7. ...

I am having trouble seeing why Olympus would produce an E-7 ...

Are you two saying you 1) don't think E-5 successor is coming at all, or you 2) don't think it's coming in a form of pure DSLR?

I am saying that I don't know.  I guess there have been more rumors of late, but the fact is I have no idea why Olympus would produce such a camera in this market. For all practical purposes they let go of this market.  The only think they have produced since E-5 were the adapters for micro camera.  The rational side of me doesn't see why they are doing this.

But as I noted the Four Thirds world is not the most rational place in the universe.

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pris
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In reply to Craig from Nevada, Mar 1, 2013

Craig from Nevada wrote:

pris wrote:

Craig from Nevada wrote:

rovingtim wrote:

I really don't think there will be an E7. ...

I am having trouble seeing why Olympus would produce an E-7 ...

Are you two saying you 1) don't think E-5 successor is coming at all, or you 2) don't think it's coming in a form of pure DSLR?

I am saying that I don't know. I guess there have been more rumors of late, but the fact is I have no idea why Olympus would produce such a camera in this market.

...although I'd have to note here that it has been more than rumors - it was direct statement by Olympus high level executives, repeated a few times that indeed, E-5 successor IS coming before the end of 2013. As for "why," well, it has been discussed to nauseating extent.

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dab1
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In reply to Raist3d, Mar 1, 2013

......E-7 is the last in the lineage of pure 4/3s (& no it wont have an EM-5 sensor).

& Who needs Fovenon when you go large?

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alatchin
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In reply to dab1, Mar 1, 2013

dab1 wrote:

......E-7 is the last in the lineage of pure 4/3s (& no it wont have an EM-5 sensor).

& Who needs Fovenon when you go large?

I would like to see a redesigned camera, part of the huge success for the OMD was the aesthetic appeal, they may well consider a new OMD E-XXX at about the 620 size... As a DSLR there would be no competition for such a styled camera

The E-7 would be nice brought down in size with a grip to bulk out the body, but not Exxx sized... I will wait to see what happens.

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In reply to Mr.NoFlash, Mar 1, 2013

Mr.NoFlash wrote:


Raist3d wrote:

Keeping the replies and the thoughts where the other thread left, here's some context:

Many seem to see now some of the issues that a minority like me brought up when the E-5 was released- that it was pretty much a bit much for some key aspects where it had some outdated technologies. Please understand this does not equate to "you can't take good photos with it" but that basically you end up paying same or more than other options in the market that seemed to do better as a photographic tool, as a canvas of light if you will.

A lot of people have jumped by now, and Olympus visible lack of 4/3rd product and m4/3rd focus certainly did not inspire confidence in many of those for coming back.

My opinion is: much Pro's did leave 4/3 or go m43 (!).

Err pros going m4/3 ? I think not. The pros left to go to a totally different system.The proper pros shooting 4/3 are still around they just don't get involved on this site with the fish pate , fish paste that goes on here. I don't care how good the OMD is the m4/3 lenses except for a few newer primes are substandard.

Have a look here there are still pro shooting 4/3 they also however shoot other systems as well mainly Nikon or Canon.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50890654

So the amateurs stay at 4/3, those who want a OVF, or simply have 4/3 lenses ( including some Pro's ).

I thought you said the Pros's left. Also you are either a pro or a amateur 99% of this site are amateurs.

I cannot imagine a pro who does not have 4/3, going 4/3, because m43 has 2 manufacturers and is a much more secure decision, and m43 has a Pro camera: The Gh3. And m43 is market leader in mirrorless.

M4/3 has no pro cameras. And lots of primes do not = PRO.

As to leaders Fiat is a leader in 500cc motor car business.

Mirror less and smaller DSLR cameras were a problem looking for a solution for a specific type of photographer. Street shooters , strollers and snappers and those that where feeling the stress of carrying 2 pounds of camera (Often the older generation) . That hole is being filled and the camp is going to be divided into 3 camps.

It does not mean that because it is smaller that it is a better/good system. I think it is a compromise. Yes good for the light weight shooters and dear I say it amateurs ' I can carry a extra lens in my pocket and stroll for hours ' and a specific pro or 2 that is using it as secondary personal snapper . Some users are sometimes those that hark back to the old days.

( My dad always said old cars where rubbish , they rusted , need a ring and valve job at 50,000 miles and something was always about to fall off, and the steering and handling where terrible , and they sometimes did not start in the morning . )

Oly should exchange the status of m43 and 4/3: Make affordable but reliable products for 4/3 for a long time ( simply by putting m43 tech in 4/3 bodies ) and make a Pro/Semipro product line in pure m43.

Now under this view maybe a E-550 or E-50 would be better than a E-7, but ok a E-7 is better than no more 4/3 camera.

....

I don't see at this point Olympus cash efforts should be spent re-viving 4/3rds.

I think it does cost Oly not much money to put a OMD or E-PL5 ( even more dxomark points than OMD !! ) sensor+processor in an E-520, E30 or E-5. That in mind I cannot understand why Oly delays the next 4/3 camera announcement - usually announcements are delayed to sell the older cameras but thats just pointless in 4/3, it will hurt the 4/3 product line each day nothing is announced.

But then Oly should be honest and say: 4/3 will continue without 4/3-specific investments.

Nikon releasing the D7100 and the rumored 7D MKII have thrown the cat amongst the pigeons. it shows there is a market still there for cropped sensors and it not mirror-less and FF. Very interesting the 1/3 crop an a APS-C sensor )

Here in South Africa and a lot of other countries mirror less is like the proverbial virgin much bespoken but seldom seen.

Ok, the future may be an E-7 with some more improvements what's also not bad - if thats "ready to go into final production and all specs are defined " as rumors say, then Oly should announce this.

Those that are left here and have not fled to m4/3 have are still here as they probably don't like m4/3 for what ever reason. Its unlikely they will eventually move if nothing happens this year from  Olympus  on a 4/3 intention. They like myself will move to another system and that will not be 4/3 based.  Olympus must Either do a No.1 or get off the pot as regards 4/3.

A true honest business person will say to there client "Sorry but we are not supplying that product any more " and not keep them hanging on . " This is what we have to offer." . I have had to do it before and still have those clients that use us for other things and did not boot my bum out the door. Actually with if I equate the silence from Olympus they ( My clients) would have kicked by bum out the door. Olympus are stretching the limits of customer loyalty as regards 4/3. For my type of photography I should probably not have got into Olympus , but 4/3 is usable with its limitations for what I do. m4/3 it not usable. I keep on hearing these things will come to m/43 (So will the second coming and the 100mm Macro.) , but we nearly had it all ( 4/3) and are now being black balled. So for me they are going backwards. (They have lost a pony in the dog and pony show)

That said I will still probably be around for awhile as I am to financially challenged to swap systems. I like my 4/3 equipment but If I won the lotto Olympus at this stage might not see me for dust.

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Mr.NoFlash

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Collin
(Aficionado Olympus DSLR )
http://collinbaxter.zenfolio.com/
http://www.pbase.com/collinbaxter
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (George Carlin)
New Seventh Wonder of the World.
http://www.pbase.com/collinbaxter/image/95297052.jpg

 CollBaxter's gear list:CollBaxter's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Olympus E-500 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 +15 more
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GBC
GBC
Contributing MemberPosts: 813
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Re: Olympus E-7 follow up, time to market and other choices
In reply to hvg, Mar 1, 2013

hvg wrote:

Olympus 4/3 rd owners are not the only questioning the direction of their product lines. See: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50920900

Clearly, .25 µm and .18 µm sensors of Sony and others will put pressure on Canon and Olympus to modernize to their sensors.

It seems that this discussion is common in all forums.

I think that Olympus will be using Sony fabricated chips in future cameras.
It will put pressure on Canon and Fuji and Panasonic to improve there chips, but not sure if it will pressure Olympus.

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Olymore
Senior MemberPosts: 1,172Gear list
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Re: Around and Around and Around.
In reply to CollBaxter, Mar 1, 2013

I think you know better than that.

There are many pros using M43, probably more than four thirds.

It really depends on the type of photography that they do.

Also many pros will also use multiple systems. The right tool for the job in hand etc

I fully understand your frustration with Olympus, especially given your investment with lenses.

But because M43 does not suit the type of photography that you do does not mean it is not suitable for professional work.

BTW Fiat make small cars because all their attempts at larger cars have sold really badly. People prefer other brands when buying large camerascars.

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