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Olympus denies reports that it is ceasing DSLR production

By dpreview staff on Feb 13, 2013 at 01:14 GMT

Olympus is denying reports that it is ceasing its production of DSLR cameras. In its official statement Olympus says there is no truth to these reports and the company will continue to offer DSLR cameras alongside its popular mirrorless camera range. The reports came as Olympus promised 'extensive business restructuring' in its imaging division, above and beyond the downsizing already taking place as part of its 'medium term vision.' The company announced that it expects its camera business to lose around ¥16 billion (~$170 million) in this financial year - double its forecasts.

In our recent interview with Olympus' Toshi Terada, Manager, Product Planning SLR products, had confirmed the company's commitment to its existing DSLR owners stating, 'There are people using E-400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

The Olympus E-5, released in 2010 is Olympus's most recent DSLR - could it be the last?

Comments

Total comments: 187
12
Airan
By Airan (Apr 19, 2013)

Hello,

I am a newbie to world of DLSRs. Please pardon me if it is not the right forum to post my question.

I am considering starting small with DSLR. Someone is selling his Olympus E-520 with 14~42 and 40~150 lens for $300. I am attracted by low price (just in case my DSLR fad dies down).

I did some reading but really couldn't figure out any options on sub $400 budget.

What do the experts think ? Can i take it and get started ? Can it suffice for next 2~3 years . It will be used for personal photography (standard stuff covering with my mobile till now).

Thanks

0 upvotes
Jan Rodricks
By Jan Rodricks (Apr 8, 2013)

I should have known by the way Olympus abandoned their SLR users that 4/3 would end up the same way. But a great deal on an E-510 swayed me. It was so much more camera than its Nikon and canon competitors, both in cam features and its lenses. I picked up am 50 macro and an 11-22, and have been pretty happy. But its time for a new body, and it looks like Olympus is not going to come through. If they don't produce another quality, consumer level camera for my 4/3 lenses, I will never buy another Olympus product for as long as I live. I know they don't care, but I do.

0 upvotes
jrs91
By jrs91 (Mar 2, 2013)

I own(ed) an e-3 and several lenses and accessories. I really loved my E-3, and the lenses and build quality were fantastic, but I felt it was time to face facts. I just don't feel comfortable investing more money in the system. I loved the ruggedness of the gear and the fact Olympus practically dared you to abuse it in wet conditions.

When I originally bought-in, it was a decision informed by a thorough review of the benefits and trade-offs of Olympus vs CanNikon. The e-3 and more importantly the zuiko lenses better fit what I wanted to do.

Olympus hasn't been keeping up though, and the one thing I am always wishing for more of better low light capabilities and better AF are areas they'll always be behind, and they would still be even if they released 4/3s camers on a timeline more similar to CaNikon.

In retrospect, I don't understand how they ever thought to compete with CaNikon for professionals/enthusiasts with their slow rate of iteration.

It's time to go FF.

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Mar 3, 2013)

Hmmmm . The lady doth protest to much.
2 Post to your name. One right here and the other on the Olympus SLR forum . With that type of posting history who cares if you are going FF. You have contributed nothing to this site and the Olympus forum. I see you sing a song with a different tune on the forum.

You are grandstanding. A Quote from the Olympus forum
" Olympus may release an E-7, and I really hope e-system users get that OM-D sensor and 5-axis IS because it would be a shame for all that nice glass to go to waste. Fish pate , Fish Paste , Fish Paste. "

Ieeeeeesh

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cnit
By cnit (Feb 24, 2013)

The only product released in the last 2 years, was the E-5 in 2011, which has a 2009 sensor. This was already a niche product for owners of E3 to have something to upgrade to. No other cameras, no lenses, no nothing. They have silently abandoned the 4/3 mount, and let it wither and die in favor of the m4/3.
The only thing left now is to release the much awaited "hybrid" 4/3-m4/3 camera that will be able to work with both 4/3 and m4/3 lenses. But if they do it will probably be in the OMD/E5 price range and not the E400,E500,E600 series, and therefore aimed at high end users that own (or can afford) the stellar SHG Zuiko lenses. A niche product for a niche market. Not what I would call proper DSLR follow up, support, development.
So for all they are saying and unless they can prove otherwise-by producing and supporting new 4/3 cameras and lenses- the Olympus DSLR is well and trully dead and burried

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

I don't think Oly care their own 4/3" mount if it's not for brand value. they know clearly it's a mistake only they cannot afford to admit.

0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Feb 18, 2013)

We heard you the first 15 times. Now go away troll.

4 upvotes
Swarbs
By Swarbs (Feb 17, 2013)

I owned the Olympus E-300 and E-3 and a number of lenses, flash unit, ect. The store where I purchased all of my equipment, Henry's, the major photographic retailer in Canada, stopped carrying any Olympus supplies, such as batteries or anything else. I felt betrayed by Olympus, so I brought back all of my equipment and traded them in for Canon (7D).
This is a shame as I really liked Olympus, but due to their lack of interest in the DSLR formate, I didn't want to wait till I couldn't have parts replaced or upgrade the equipment when new technologies are developed.
I can't understand why a company would throw it's customers under a truck like that!

2 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (Feb 17, 2013)

So your supplier stopped supplying Olympus stuff to you. And to show Olympus a lesson you sold all your Olympus gear to the supplier and bought Canon gear from him. That makes sense.....

5 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 17, 2013)

Sw---

One can't order things like extra batteries on line in Canada?

For example Amazon Canada:

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/183-5324479-4779410?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=Olympus+E-3+battery

Also it should be real hard to order something from B+H in New York.

0 upvotes
Robert Day
By Robert Day (Feb 22, 2013)

When my UK supplier (Jessops) refused to even put an E-5 on order, despite still carrying Olympus compacts, I went to another supplier who would and did. Simples!

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (Feb 23, 2013)

Well, it's people who sell such fantastic equipment because they think a Canon or Nikon will make them better photographers, who make me happy:
I bought an E-3 (with only 6000 shots done) and a 14-54, plus a 50-200 for the price of a body... thanks!
This equipment gives me not only joy, to me it is a dream... go for it, you megapixel-junks. I love the quality and speed of this gear - even if it is 'out of date', it still delivers (who makes wallsized posters, You?)

1 upvote
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (Feb 26, 2013)

Olympus have no where near the volume sales of Can-Niko so do not come down in margin . So many of the surviving specialist chains dropped their DSLR range at least and are look-warm on mFT.

In the same breath we can bemoan the loss of the independent, knowledgeable equipment retailer. There ain't enough cash in small.

0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Feb 16, 2013)

My sense is that the recent announcement about earnings has set off a panic at Olympus. Losses are growing, not narrowing. In response to this news, I think the word is cut, cut and cut.

First, question, what parts of the imaging operation are losing money. I think the whole thing is. Point and shoot for sure. Micro--I think so as the losses have grown since OM-D was introduced.

I bet the meetings with upper management on how to achieve this have been pretty rough. Olympus would be stupid not to discuss all options, including DSLR production. Somehow this discussion got into the media. A leak of some sort, intentional or other wise. The leak got some traction.

All the recent talk of taking care of E-500 users, etc may have been sincere, but I don't think it counts this week. The money that is lost and the interest of the shareholders is what matters.

My point is that I really don't think Olympus knows what it is going to do at this point.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 17, 2013)

Why pick the E-500? That’s from fall 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_E-500

The E-5, however, is from 2011.

The Olympus 4/3 system has some really good lenses, that Nikon and Canon can’t match. So by that argument Olympus is really only competing against Sony dslrs which can take some very nice AF Zeiss lenses, though Olympus’ are better thought out. And the A99 has that dumb mirror, which makes it less good, at higher ISOs, than the Nikon D600; the Nikon which uses the same sensor as the A99. (Yes, I've tested both, so no I'm not relying on the reports of others.)

Now the introduction of phase detection AF on the sensor and useable ISOs above 6400 puts Olympus at a disadvantage to some Nikons, Canons, Sonys and Pentaxes, but Olympus could choose to work on those problems. And then Olympus would still have better lenses.

Get it, those better lenses immediately available to someone who buys an E-5 are a big big deal.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

maybe Oly is making a hard decision to offload customers and switch to yet another mount. last time they did it, many OM customers chose the funny 4/3" but this time, more will stay with Pana m4/3".

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 17, 2013)

yabokkie--

The change to the 4/3 lens system was not simply a mount change.

First I had an ostensibly good OM lens (50mm 1.4) with a real manufacturing flaw in it.

Then more importantly OM lenses are for film, so the light hits the film plane at a angle at the edges of the film plane. With 4/3, Olympus redid the lenses so the light is square to the film plane across the entire film plane. Nikon, Canon, Sigma, and Sony lens systems don't work that way; they're still the film type where the light hits the sensor at a angle, especially with FF sensored bodies.

Olympus made a choice which takes work and time to pay off. There's nothing particularly wrong with the Olympus E-5 (remember when people held on to SLRs for 20+ years) and there's no reason--except cost--that it can't be improved upon. Put a sensor with PDAF built in and find a sensor that can shoot nearly noise free at ISO 12,800 and Olympus will have a winner. The lenses are already a big deal.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

> Olympus redid the lenses so the light is square to the film plane across the entire film plane.

that's one of their major mistakes. we do have some issues with f/1.2 and f/1.4 lenses at open. f/1.4 on 35mm format is f/0.71 for 4/3" but Oly never made such lenses, they made all small aperture ones, so they "optimized" the system for little, and at bloody costs (but they asked for way more money than that cost).

one example could be ZD35-100/2.0. this lens can do no better job than EF70-200/4L, but more than twice as heavy and more than twice as expensive. it's really a waste of time, waste of resources to plan, design, make and market stupid lenses like this.

Oly 4/3", one of the best/worst laughs in camera history.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

> Olympus made a choice which takes work and time to pay off.

on the contrary, within several years people realized Oly 4/3" was a deadend. that's why Pana designed their own m4/3" mount and Oly had to follow. I don't think they had a choice. Oly 4/3" was out of the question.

I know Oly contributed a lot to the industry, dust-reduction is one. but together with Pana (who goes too far), Oly base their business mostly on misunderstanding of their customers, like the infamous f-number. this is not totally unacceptable. many niche businesses need that wrongly placed requirement to suvive and make us a more colorful world, but the market won't allow them go too far, and we only have limited resources on the Earth.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 17, 2013)

Y–

A lot of the anti-Olympus 4/3s comments read like those made about what a failure Apple Computer was in 1997/98. In particular Michael Dell shot his mouth off back then about how Apple should just close up shop, ironic.

Then remember in the early 2000s (ca 2003) Nikon didn’t really have a successful line of inexpensive dslrs. While Canon had started to. Nikon had the expensive D2H. Or if one just counted the lenses and lens quality, almost the entire Sony Nex system can be dismissed. Frankly lenses are usually more important than bodies, and Olympus has the lenses.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

no one can kill an emperor who is dead,
but someone may have good reason to tell that the emperor is not.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 17, 2013)

ya--

It's your claims that 4/3 is dead. 4/3 was never the emperor either.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 18, 2013)

Just to correct another piece of misinformation: Panasonic did not design "their own m4/3" mount". It was developed jointly by Olympus and Panasonic. In fact, Olympus owns the Micro Four Thirds trademark, which wouldn't have made sense, if Panasonic developed m4/3 on their own.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 18, 2013)

Revenant:

Gee, you mean yabokkie was posting incorrect information. I'd kinda suspected what you wrote about joint m4/3 development.

0 upvotes
noldus45
By noldus45 (Mar 23, 2013)

@Yabokkie

If you don't like Olympus, why are you commenting or present on these Olympus discussions anyway?
I feel you are fired by Olympus!

Olympus offers great lenses from the HG to SHG.
I like and prefer the in cam IS to lens IS.
I choose to buy and use Olympus and with it came the choice for 4/3 mounth.
Many Olympus users have invested in beautiful glass.
The problem for Oly e-users is the lack of follow up in the e-bodies.
Even while the e-5 is still a top product, it is a hard decision to invest a considerable amount of money in a body from 2010.
So I stick to my e-30 for now and I can only wait.....

I like the Olympus cams and output.
I love it!!!
I don't say anything bad about other manufactors, in fact I never had a Canon or Nikon in my hands. These sure are good cams, but I use Olympus and own for over 4.000 on their lenses.
It wouldn't make sense to sell these for half the price and go for Nikon or Canon.
If no new Oly arrives, I might have to switch in the end.

0 upvotes
ravduc
By ravduc (Feb 16, 2013)

So funny how some people make strong statements as if they can read the future. What are these statements based on? I also find it annoying that so many seem to know what Olympus should be doing in order to survive. Why don't we just let Olympus decide whether they can produce both a four thirds and micro four thirds system. They seem to think so.

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Feb 16, 2013)

It is not funny if the camera division lost $170 million dollars. That is certainly a sign that Olympus is not making products that the consumers want. Consumers do not want DSLR cameras with 4/3 sensors. Olympus can keep a few people happy by continuing to make them, or it can make cameras that people want: such as aps-c and full frame. The market is changing, but Olympus cannot or will not change. It is stuck with a tiny sensor, a lens system and a lens mount that cannot fit full frame models. That is a recipe for bankruptcy, not a recipe for success or even survival. Numbers don't lie. A loss of $170 million is unsustainable.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 16, 2013)

we don't have to worry. Oly said fvck off to OM users and shutdown their OM line just before they announced 4/3" mount and products. I'm sure they learned something and should be able do it better this time.

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Feb 16, 2013)

Whether Olympus continues to make DSLR cameras or not is rather irrelevant. They have practically stopped introducing new models, and frankly, their DSLRs are simply not competitive. The sensors are too small and their AF is anything but state of the art. I wonder if they would be in better shape if they had not made the decision to go with the 4/3 sensor. If they did not, they could have been making full frame DSLR cameras instead. That is where the market is going. No full frame = no future in the DSLR market. That applies to Pentax too.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 16, 2013)

I prefer 4/3 sensor size because of the crop factor. It makes telephoto cheaper. The IQ is great, except for pixel peepers. I mean, if you can't make a good print with something like the E-5, or even E-3, E-1, E-510, E-620, E-30, etc., etc., then just give it up.

You may be right about the future of DSLRs being FF, but if so, then DSLRs do not have a bright future. FF digital cameras will become specialist cameras, like medium format in the film days. There is virtually no chance that they will become mainstream, because of the cost of lenses, especially telephoto lenses. 600mm equivalent on 4/3 is a $300 to $500 investment. 600mm on full-frame can be as much as $8,000 to $10,000 for a decent lens.

All those guys with FF-DSLRs and $10,000 lenses on the sidelines at the Super Bowl may look great, but that, my friend, is not mainstream. I bought the E-510 kit with 14-42 and 70-150mm lenses for $400 and change in 2005. The demise of Olympus DSLRs is not something to celebrate.

6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 16, 2013)

The autofocus on Olympus DLSRs is very good, at least for still shooting--not video. Some of the 4/3 lenses are world beating, partly because Olympus redid their lenses for digital so the light hits the sensor at right angles. I believe that the Leica S2 is the only other DSLR system doing that.

Okay, sure the E-5 doesn't do ISO 10,000 but that should be possible with some work.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 16, 2013)

> It makes telephoto cheaper.

it doesn't. regardless of the format size and at the same angle of view, the only way to make a lens lighter and cheaper is to reduce the aperture size, which means the lens will have lower light gathering capability, exactly what is happening with 4/3".

4/3"'s problem isn't the sensor, and we cannot blame the sensor because the lenses fail to let in enough light in the first place. like Bill Clinton once said,

it's the lens stupid.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Feb 16, 2013)

Well, E-5 body with E-M5 sensor/processor/IBIS would be very cheap to develop and start producing, and if sold at realistic prices, would sell well. The market for 4/3 cam might be small, but it is not saturated at all.
And technically, it would be better than any Canon APS-C camera including 7D, not even counting the quality of the lenses, but given the f/2 zooms its performance for sports would be up there with 1D Mark IV/D3 with f/2.8 zooms, for fraction of the price and weight.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
RoccoGalatioto
By RoccoGalatioto (Feb 16, 2013)

It's only a matter of time. It's a great camera [the E-5] but I do nor think that it ever was or will ever be a very hot item. Unfortunately the company has has many problems recently. Too bad really, too bad.
http://galatiotophoto.blogspot.com

1 upvote
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Feb 15, 2013)

Read what Terada said.

'There are people using E-400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

That could well mean that Olympus thinks it has to provide products for the E-400, 500 and 600 users. So, there is still hope for a E-700, but not necessarily any E-7 or E-50.

1 upvote
Shashinkaman
By Shashinkaman (Feb 15, 2013)

Sorry to drop a bomb like this, being a newbie and all, but I can here by confirm (live in Japan, and am 'very well' connected to Olympus - but am not allowed to "talk to the press") that there won't be anything like the e-5 in the future ever again...
So Don't hold your breath, don't keep hoping and dreaming, it is time to move on or, better, do your Zuiko lenses proud and go out and shoot pictures with your current e-5 (which, after all, is still a very nice and capable little piece of equipement, if I may say so...)
The Olympus die has been cast, and e-7 wasn't in the stars I'm afraid...

3 upvotes
Marathonianbull
By Marathonianbull (Feb 15, 2013)

Hey, Here in Kanagawa-ken I was told the opposite by an equally informed Olympus manager...

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 15, 2013)

Shashinkaman,

Of course what you say could be true, though see Marathonianbull's comment directly above.

However someone familiar with Olympus' current lens offerings would know that the name Zuiko is also attached to some of the highend micro 4/3rds lenses. While you've more than implied that Zuiko for digital is 4/3rds only.

So that mistake counts against you being in the know about Olympus.

Anyhow, there's nothing stopping Olympus from making a mirrorless camera body that takes 4/3rds lenses. After all Pentax did just that.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 15, 2013)

it won't be in anyone's interests to make an E-7.
better never mention the Oly 4/3" mount anymore.
it deserves a peaceful ending.

1 upvote
alatchin
By alatchin (Feb 15, 2013)

My god, the shills are out in force.

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Feb 15, 2013)

Well, I once met a man who had been on holiday to Japan, and a few months ago I watched the Olympic Games on television. I think that makes my insights into the future of Olympus more valid than yours!

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 15, 2013)

technically the E5 isn't a "dslr" either, now is it? (I'm not familiar with this camera, so correct me if I am wrong)... so this "news" isn't any news at all. did they mean to plant a rumor that they are ceasing mirrorless/mft production?

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 15, 2013)

Timmbits:

The Olympus E-5 is a dslr, with a mirror box. Saw one on display just yesterday.

Also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_E-5

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 14, 2013)

Trollmeister yabokkie says Olympus learned to make lenses in 2007. I'm sure he knows a lot about Olympus' history. Now I'll have to go tell my OM lenses they suck. They won't take it easily, especially the 50mm-f/1.4, but if yabokkie says so they'd better accept it.

4 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (Feb 23, 2013)

Yep, Troll or not, that's your opinion.
But everybody who claims Olympus is a newcomer in lens-manufacturing OR not of any importance in this branch, should not be taken seriously. I happen to have a 50/1.4 and a 24/2.8 from a time when we wrote 19xx and still use them. No lens can beat the 50 mm - surely no Canon of that price!

0 upvotes
impromptuphoto
By impromptuphoto (Feb 14, 2013)

also, In addition, they can easily re-manufacture the old lenses as well. To me, a no brainer, the question is do they have the technology now? If they are thinking 3-4 years from now, welll, that may be too late. Just my thoughts.

0 upvotes
impromptuphoto
By impromptuphoto (Feb 14, 2013)

It is not cost effective for a company like this which is losing money to make two camera systems, or in this case, two bodies for the same crop sized sensor. It is most logical to improve on the OMD, include a dual mount system or slider mount which can accomodate all their lenses. This would keep all parties who have bought the lenses of the past while bringing in new buyers. If they want best of both worllds, I could envision a Sony SLT Style system in an in-between size of and OMD and E-5. I would almost guarantee there will be no E-5 type flapping mirror body ever again. OMD is selling well and they are pumping out lenses. The demand is to go smaller but be able to go pro as well. I am amazed at how quickly I can adjust focus points, utilize 3-4 FNC buttons, and make all these adjustments just about instantly whereas in Nikon and Canon you really hard pressed to achieve this so quickly and easily. If Olympus can only up the ante with better continuous shooting they will succeed.

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Feb 14, 2013)

Were missing the equivalence posts. The statement from Olympus about 4/3rds would be equivalent to Canon saying ....

5 upvotes
jev2000
By jev2000 (Feb 14, 2013)

I am amazed that people can read so much into such small, badly translated message.

"Yesterday (February 12), in some media organizations, the withdrawal from digital SLR cameras, etc., and a significant reduction There was reportedly are considering, there is no such facts. Together to strengthen future mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the Company, the same as for conventional digital SLR cameras I hope to continue without."

I'd love to see a new e-X SLR from Olympus, but that message doesn't prove that it's coming or not.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 14, 2013)

Olympus needs to introduce a larger sensor pocketable camera, and larger sensors in their larger cameras. The omdem5 is nice, but competition from other mirrorless manufacturers offers larger APSC sensors in the same size/form factor or even smaller than the omdem5.
Sadly, Olympus may not have the R&D funds to recover from their strategic mistakes - nor have the will to step on their own ego to admit them.
But if they don't bite the bullet, they may have to sell off their camera division or risk becoming another Casio (as far as cameras are concerned)... but who would want to buy it? No one needs their low end, and pretty much the only one that could use MFT is Casio as they are the only manufacturer absent from the large sensor space.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PenFan2011
By PenFan2011 (Feb 14, 2013)

The only problem with larger sensors in the bigger cameras is that their entire lens system is based on focusing light on t a 4/3 sensor, not the wider (20% larger) APS-C size sensor. They would have to remake every lens. I don't foresee them making that move based on past events and current behavior.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 15, 2013)

@Timmbits:
You don't give any reason why they need "bigger sensors" and you only compare body sizes.
A system consists of sensor, body and lens. And Oly's systems deliver a hell of a lot performance for their money.

Nobody needs another company as uninspired as Canikon.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 15, 2013)

@penfan: true, very true, but then again why did Sony come out with a new lens mount for @ and nex? why does any manufacturer do that? to sell more lenses of course. BTW, just the APSC crop factor is 33% more, but in terms of square area, APSC = 64% larger!

@Michael: if you are commenting here surely you know why a larger sensor is always desirable: 1 more control over depth of field for a same "speed" lens, 2 better low light performance, 3 better dynamic range.

While 4/3 sensor technology improves, those improvements have nothing to do with the sensor's form factor - any evolution is also being applied to the APSC and larger sensors. So the arguments that 4/3 has caught up to apsc just doesn't hold water. There is only so much mfg can do with the laws of physics: with fast quality lenses, best on-chip technology, a way to offer continually improved product lines is a bigger sensor. Samsung and Canon are proving that you don't need to downgrade to 4/3 to have compactness!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 15, 2013)

@penfan - Sensor size comparisons for mirrorless cameras:
MFT (Olympus omdem5) 17.3mm X 13mm = 225mm2
APSC (Samsung) 23.5mm X 15.6mm = 369mm2
Canon EOS-M mirrorless 22.3mm X 14.9mm = 332mm2

APSC (369-225)/225x100 = 64% larger
Canon(332-225)/225x100= 48% larger

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 16, 2013)

@Timmbits:
Your points are not generally valid - they are only true under special circumstances.

1. more control over depth of field for a same "speed" lens

Most photographers need more often more DOF, so for them a smaller sensor is better. And if you really need shallow DOF you can use almost any lens out there thanks to (m)FT's flexible mount.

2. better low light performance

Negligible, because this can be offset by
a) a brighter lens that is not bigger than a full frame version
b) a lower F-stop at the same DOF compared to full frame

Indoors, when large DOF is needed, a good compact can beat an APS-C. I've tried it.

3. better dynamic range

Not so sure. According to DXO, an OMD is even slightly better than a 5d3. Only the latest Nikon sensor is better.
Of course, it depends on how reliable and practically valid DXO measurements are.

0 upvotes
Paul JM
By Paul JM (Feb 17, 2013)

In a word, rubbish. The balance of DOF and IQ in the OM-D sensor is excellent, and perfectly matched to the available Oly lenses. Pontificate as much as you wish, the issue here is not product quality but corporate governance.

0 upvotes
noldus45
By noldus45 (Mar 23, 2013)

@Timmbits and many others

I think the Hubble telescobe performs even better, I heard a Bugatti can do over 400 km/h, but I don't need to print posters all the time.
I am an amateur having fun with a dslr.
For amateurs all manufactors have something to offer for their needs.
I sometimes laugh when I see the result in a newspaper: a rubbish small foto with very little pixels, but made by a pro with a almost meter long telelens from Canon or Nikon, made with over 15.000 dollars of equipment.
Those who think the money cows for manufactors (turnover and income) comes from pro's realy don't understand markets and profits.
Money comes from average consumers.
It is a hard competition in the cam-business and sadly Oly is not doing well here.
Consider this: more choice for consumers from more manufactors is better! Or would you like to have the same as all the others? Let us all drive in Toyota's with no choice?

0 upvotes
John Motts
By John Motts (Feb 14, 2013)

Irrespective of brand, I actually believe that the days of the DSLR as a mainstream concept are beginning to look numbered.

1 upvote
skytripper
By skytripper (Feb 14, 2013)

Agreed. Professional photographers, as well as many serious amateurs, may never abandon the DSLR, but that's a niche market—albeit a very important one.

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Feb 14, 2013)

true, DPReview sends the signal that cell phone cameras are the true future.

3 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Feb 14, 2013)

I also agree. Mirrorless designs have the potential to offer a lot of what DSLRs offer, and the 'extra' that DSLRs provide (responsiveness, AF tracking, long battery life) aren't critical for a lot of people.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 15, 2013)

Oly 4/3", a true leader, is honoured to die first,
it will be followed by APS-C DSLRs, then after sometime,
Sony, Nikon, and Canon full-frames, together with
some mirrorless mounts, like Nikon 1, Pana m4/3", ...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (Feb 23, 2013)

@yabokkie: happy?

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Feb 14, 2013)

I am a longtime Olympus fan but I am sad to say that they hit the snooze button a few too many times on this one. They slipped so far back from their position of being one of the top innovators.. it would take a miracle or two to see them survive the coming economic storms and to keep making cameras in the years to come. If they can do it, I will be amazed, but I am not holding my breath.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
klesler
By klesler (Feb 14, 2013)

I've been calling them for over a year now asking if anything new was coming out since the E5, same answer ever time, no body has been told anything. I finally have given up on olympus, traded in my body, flash and lenses and purchased Nikon gear. Got to say, wasn't happy about the $$ this cost to do, but it was quite an upgrade and I'm happy now that i've done it and would do it all over again. Really like the full frame camera from Nikon.

1 upvote
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Feb 14, 2013)

Well its the first time Olympus have actually defended a statement and come out publicly. So that is encouraging. We will have to wait and see what happens.

OK. yabokkie here is a new post as this seems to be your private thread at the moment. Do you actually own a camera ? . Or any Ideal how they work. I wait with abated breath what drivel you are going to come op with next.

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (Feb 14, 2013)

Folks, they already have all the molds and equipment to start up a production line making something based on the E-5, E-30, and E-6xx series bodies, if they so desire. The E-5 body is perhaps the very finest compact DSLR body frame ever made, in terms of build quality and ergonomics.

The problem is how can you make an E-7 in this chassis that's an SLR yet somehow allows compatibility with all the new micro 4/3 lenses? :D

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 14, 2013)

If the International Olympic Committee can dump a sport as old as wrestling, why can't the Olympus Board dump DLSRs or cameras altogether?

Oly Medical imaging and Olympic wakeboarding are the future. Enough of the old holds, grips, and tussle of of the stuff of yester-year.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Donnie G
By Donnie G (Feb 14, 2013)

Ok, I admit it. I started this rumor about Olympus abandoning the DSLR market over a year ago after visiting a camera store and getting my hands on an E-5. It never occurred to me that someone would be listening, or worse, recording my remarks. Please forgive me Oly.

0 upvotes
win39
By win39 (Feb 14, 2013)

Deja vu, all over again.

Ex OM4T owner.

2 upvotes
bdcolen
By bdcolen (Feb 14, 2013)

Hey, folks, the issue really isn't 4/3, M4/3, or anything else having to do with photography. For longer than most of you have been alive, the photographic side of Olympus has been the tail perceived as wagging the dog. Olympus makes its money from it's non-photographic business - medical and scientific instruments, including, especially, microscopes and various medical scopes. The photography business is what most people know, but it is essentially a drag on the bottom line, not the bottom line.

Yes, Olympus makes some really terrific lenses, but the particularly good ones also are particularly expensive - the 7-14 f 2 4/3 zoom, the 14-35 f2 4/3 zoom, the 35-100 f 2 zoom, the 150 f 2, the 300 2.8. No one - period - makes anything that even tries to compete with Olympus in that all-inclusive 28-200 zoom range. Unfortunately, however, Olympus does not make a modern, competitive body on which to mount the lenses and fully utilize them. And probably never will.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

it's very interesting that two very different companies, Nikon and Olympus, learned how to design good lenses in 2007.

0 upvotes
gandalfII
By gandalfII (Feb 14, 2013)

The 11-22, 50 and 50-200 were all old when I bought them in 2007 and each is the best of it's type that I have ever used, mostly compared to Nikkors and Schneiders.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 14, 2013)

yabokkie:

New Nikon ED glass lenses don't come close to Leica or Zeiss for colour quality but many of those Olympus lenses cited by bdcolen above do.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 15, 2013)

Leica or Zeiss mean third-class glasses with a paid brand.
Oly Zuiko means second-class glasses with own brand.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 15, 2013)

yabokkie,

No even the Japanese made Zeiss and Leica lenses are very very good (that's the paid brand), better than Fuji for colour.

I've also owned a Noctilux and the F1.4 75mm M mount.

So when I say Nikon doesn't come close for colour quality with their newer lenses, I know of what I write.

Those high end Olympus 4/3rds lenses are plenty good, but I wouldn't go making sweeping assertions about lenses you clearly don't own--that's Leica made Leicas.

0 upvotes
Alexis D
By Alexis D (Feb 14, 2013)

Actions speaks louder than words of denial. Why bother if Olympus cannot go with its whole heart in this or cannot afford to get something compelling or competitive? Another E-5 like camera (outdated already when released, over-priced and late) is not going to do much for Olympus, as it would sell very little, only to those 43 users who are still hanging on, i.e. a very tiny number. On the other hand, can Olympus afford to go all out with 43 in its current financial problems? This looks to me like another fairly ordinary update with just the OMD sensor put into it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

it's not the sensor, but OM-D NR.

0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Feb 14, 2013)

The E-5 (pictured above) has many faults, but it is so well built.

I love mine.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

there is only one, that the designer of the Oly 4/3" mount did not know much about camera.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (Feb 14, 2013)

Explain yourself yabokkie if you are not a troll. The E-5 is a highly appreciated and respected camera throughout the camera industry. Read the review on this site.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Feb 15, 2013)

Troll alert!

0 upvotes
Marathonianbull
By Marathonianbull (Feb 15, 2013)

The least i can say is that the well-built, highly fluid E-5 and its magical, sharp, colorful 12-60mm (or most other Zuiko 4/3) are MUCH MORE satisfying in real use than my previous, as expensive Sony A700 & Zeiss 16-80mm combo. Colors, sharpness, brightness, WB, metering, AF speed, usability, sturdiness, EVERYTHING's BETTER. And the A700 is known an NIkon D300's equal, btw... So I guess I'm somewhat lucky to be 'in the know'!!!

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

the Oly 4/3" mount is no good at all and it will be stupid to invent yet another one. go NEX Oly go NEX!

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 14, 2013)

Why would they when the NEX mount restricts lens design and when there are currently more lenses for m43 than NEX cameras.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

> ... restricts lens design

in that sense, the Pana m4/3" and Samsung NX lag far behind other mirrorless mounts. some of the Pana, Oly, and Samsung lenses are good but they could be much better if they were not restricted by their mounts.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Feb 14, 2013)

Exactly how does the NEX mount restrict the lens design?

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 14, 2013)

yabokkie--

Samsung is unlikely to work with Sony.

Also are you implying that micro 4/3rds is the same as 4/3rds? They're not.

Also a 4/3rds lens wouldn't really work on an APSC sensored camera.

Olympus makes some extraordinary lenses for the 4/3rds system.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

> Olympus makes some extraordinary lenses for the 4/3rds system.

everyone makes mistakes, Oly did, too and it's good for everyone those are behind us now.

I think Oly learned how to design morden lens 5 years ago and the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 was quite good. it could have been better if not for the old bad 4/3" mount.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Feb 14, 2013)

0-0=0

2 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Feb 14, 2013)

The words from an owner or general manager of a struggling professional sports team in the US that "the coach's job is secure" are the surest sign the coach is going to be fired and soon.

This article gives me the same feeling.

3 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Feb 14, 2013)

Same feeling by my side too...

0 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Feb 14, 2013)

Psst...Olympus. FF.

1 upvote
Carlos Henrique
By Carlos Henrique (Feb 14, 2013)

There is no reason for a DSLR body with a 4/3 sensor. With the mirrorless development it's becoming difficult even to justify APS-C sensored DSLRs.

3 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Feb 14, 2013)

I can think of many reasons, easily. Your part about APS-C, ... no words.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

APS-C DSLRs are no good either. for one reason, look at these back-focus figures:

Fujifilm XF, 27.2 mm equiv.
Sony NEX, 27.6 mm equiv.
Canon EF-M, 29.0 mm equiv.

Samsung NX, 39.0 mm equiv.
Pana m4/3", 39.2 mm equiv.
Canon EF, 44.0 mm
Sony Alpha, 44.5 mm
Nikon FX, 46.5 mm,

Canon EF-S, 63.6-71.0 mm equiv.
Sony DT, 68.3 mm equiv.
Nikon DX, 71.2 mm equiv.
Oly 4/3", 75.8 mm equiv., too bad

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Feb 14, 2013)

You need to explain what "mm equiv" means for backfocus for this comment to make any sense (and why it's "no good")

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

well, anyone can do some study and learn if s/he does want to know, and know better than I can tell.

0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Feb 14, 2013)

I've read quite a bit and still never come across this equivalency. I'm willing to learn so a link would be nice.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
gsum
By gsum (Feb 14, 2013)

He's talking about the distance from the rear lens element to the lens's principle focus. This, together with the longer lightpath when compared with film SLRs, affects the size of the image that is seen through the viewfinder.
Can't see any other significance of what the OP is saying though. Perhaps he could explain.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

my understanding of the OP is the back-focal length, a major obstacle in lens design.

Oly did such a stupid thing in their 4/3" mount by making long back-focus intentionally, because Kodak engineers told them that will make less vignetting on digital sensors 15 years ago and then Oly went out with a "new digital mount" based on low quality information and wrong understanding of digital cameras.

for that sake Kodak went bankrupt.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
davidrm
By davidrm (Feb 14, 2013)

oh for heavens sakes. Why do we need another FF body ? Is there not enough choice already ? Compare an Olympus 50-200 lens with any FF 400 f3.5 lens (if one exists) ... all systems have compromises. FT is actually an excellent choice, for some people.

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Feb 14, 2013)

There seem to be a lot of basic misunderstandings of physics here:

1. There is no "crop factor equivalency" on flange-to-sensor distance. The distance is what it is with no multiplier.

2. The only substantial difference the flange-to-sensor distance makes is in at what minimum focal length lenses no longer *need* to be retrofocus designs.

3. It's the acceptance angle of the sensor that makes the greatest difference. Even with short-distance mounts, wider lenses need to be retrofocus designs if the lens lineup is also to include long-focus, non-telephoto lenses. (Real refracting telephoto lenses need a lot more correction than merely long lenses do. Opting for non-retrofocus wide lenses means you are obliged to use telephoto designs for longer focal lengths. Electronic sensors are *not* film.) Even the Fujifilm X mount uses retrofocus to achieve a minimally-variable light angle at the sensor.

0 upvotes
Midwest
By Midwest (Feb 14, 2013)

When a mirrorless camera's viewfinder is insufficient for action shooting and its autofocus is too slow, there is still plenty of justification for a DSLR.

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Feb 15, 2013)

As long as you shoot RAW with your DSLR, since what your eye sees in the OVF is not exactly what the sensor sees, and you will want the RAW data in order to "correct" the discrepancy between the two. An EVF, though slower, is more "truthful".

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 15, 2013)

> electronic sensors are *not* film
this is one of missunderstandings by Oly I think. yes we still face similar problems as 15 years ago (at a less degree though) but we can improve things much easier with semiconductor than with optics. we should, like Pana m4/3" showed us, try to neutralize optics issues on the semiconductor side, not the opposite as Oly designed their 4/3" mount.

try to give every bit of freedom we can to the lens designers. they can choose retrofocus if that's the best (compromise) they can think, but don't force them to do something, to go one side, and don't hardwire that in the mount.

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Feb 16, 2013)

That is physically impossible given current technology. Photosites on the sensor chip have to have depth (as do the conductors, switches and other components), and that limits the angles at which light can strike the chip and be recorded, and limits the area of the chip that can be devoted to the photosite (otherwise light may be recorded in adjacent sites instead). Microlenses can, to an extent, overcome the density problem, but they worsen the acceptance angle problem at the same time. Designers are *forced* to make a choice: make wider lenses retrofocus, or make longer lenses telefocus. That was never a real problem with film; you'd design with only a theoretical zero-thickness film plane in mind, and film emulsions that were of high-enough resolution to "see" the errors were *slow* and thin enough to approximate the ideal, meaning that they had nearly-identical response at all (practical) incident light angles. (Fast, thick emulsions are low-res.) Again: sensors are not film.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2013)

microlenses have solved most of the problem and they are still being improved as we acquire higher level of manufacturing technologies. I believe if Oly had peeked into today's sensors, they would not have made that mistake to make a stupid "digital mount" for something they had no idea.

btw, the "zero-thickness" film got it's shortcoming that it is really not "zero-thickness" and got resolution problem.

0 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Feb 14, 2013)

Olympus only asset is their lensgrinding business. Last year billion yen scandal is now f%&%ç productdevelopment. Dead in the water - will survive as a chinese brand name for cheap airportstore cams.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Feb 14, 2013)

Not just billion yens, but almost 2 billion US $$$$$$$$ !!!!!

1 upvote
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Feb 14, 2013)

If there is only one new serious model once every 3 years, and still not competitively priced or featured, then what is the difference whether Olympus is stopped DSLR making or not, or whether it is really alive or dead. How many would dare consider such a DSLR system, when DSLRs' own future in the long time is a question mark, espeically given the size of its DSLR business and the financial trouble the company is in and can't seem to recover from?

I know there are many people here trying to talk this up, people who are fanaticss and owners of 43 lenses. The reality is that Olympus needs to survive at this time. Olympus is stupid to try to revive a system that most have given for dead, and it will face death itself trying. If it can't make a decent profit and get stronger financially even now, while its M43 products are looking so promising at this time, what chance has it got diverting resources to something that few would bother with now? Too late!

Whats Olympus thinking?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Feb 14, 2013)

Right ! And the worst is to come: next year the Hollywood movie about the Michael Woodford's issue will be made, and once again the brand will take a big punch in its face. If Olympus has been clever enough to get a big war chest to face the shock, everything will be OK, otherwise... In other words, Sergey is right saying Olympus should focus itself on profit-making products, even if it means giving up DSLR for good.

0 upvotes
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (Feb 14, 2013)

What Hollywood movie? The last mention that Woodford was negotiating movie rights was Nov 2012 when it was reported that he was in talks with a British film company, The Ink Factory. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/entertainment-us-woodford-olympus-movie-idUSBRE8AP09020121126

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Feb 14, 2013)

According to some, the movie could be made in Hollywood (cf: http://www.jeffreynewmanlaw.com/category/whistleblower/ ) while according to others it could be a Le Carré sons movie. Who's right ? Anyway, it will surely be a blockbuster (and if it's not big enough, nothing is preventing Hollywood from producing its own version).

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Feb 14, 2013)

Ah methinks the post is suggesting a bit of self preservation. First there was 4/3 then there where other toys. Do you remember the Olympus m4/3 stuff before the OMD. This is a fanatic to fanatic . A fanatical 4/3 user to a fanatical m4/3 user.
Ieeeeesh talk about the pot and the kettle.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AliRoust
By AliRoust (Feb 14, 2013)

I am currently using an E3 with Olympus 50 mm Macro lens and I'd love to upgrade to a better body! I have tried m4/3 lenses they tend not to be as sharp as this lens. One can use this lens on a "Pen" body with an adapter but it takes around 4 seconds to focus. They realty is that Olympus has not made an new DSLR in several years now ...Eventually I'll have to switch to Canon.

1 upvote
SirSeth
By SirSeth (Feb 14, 2013)

The 50mm is one of the sharper lenses made by anyone ever--of course it's going to be sharper than other lenses you have tried. But what micro lenses have you tried? The 60mm macro? The 75mm?

I will never have to eventually switch to Canon.

4 upvotes
davidrm
By davidrm (Feb 14, 2013)

well upgrade to an E-5 then. It's way better than the E-3. I use both, back to back, and now I'm used to the E-5 I find the E-3 - which I used extensively - really restricting.

0 upvotes
AliRoust
By AliRoust (Feb 14, 2013)

Well I heard there might be an E7 released by the end of year. If not then I'll buy an E5

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Feb 14, 2013)

The disappointing part of this story is that Olympus is losing money selling M4/3 cameras and lenses. This is really troubling.

Lets face it... they probably sold very few E5 cameras last year. It's hard to lose $170 million on DSLR sales when you don't sell very many of them. MILC cameras and lenses probably account for 95% of the sales of the imaging division today.

Considering the fact that M4/3 cameras and lenses aren't cheap, I don't know how they can raise their prices much. And M4/3 outsells every other mirrorless format.

I wonder if Sony, Nikon, Samsung and Fuji are losing money on their MILC cameras too? I would imagine that Canon and Pentax are losing money on theirs, due to extremely low volumes.

4 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Feb 14, 2013)

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/the-final-three-results.html
Thom Hogan's interesting overview of the current Camera industry financial position.

2 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Feb 14, 2013)

What makes you think that Olympus is losing money on m43 cameras and lenses? This is the most successful product line for Olympus.

More likely, they are losing money on DSLRs and compact cameras, and the rocketing m43 sales don't quite make up for it.

5 upvotes
alatchin
By alatchin (Feb 14, 2013)

I think the point is, noone knows exactly where the money is being lost. If what is said here is to be believed then Olympus has done nothing for 43rds in years, how could their DLSR business contribute to their losses?

If Olympus follows the thinking that many here prescribe to, then Olympus should stop m43rds, after all they are losing buckets of money right? Unless we know how many active DSLR users are out there and the specific areas of profit and loss you have the m43rds group crying out for a high end zoom why complaining about the cost of lenses... and they seem to be the biggest current detractors from 43rds... The other big group are those that left the system... Why would Olympus listen to those two groups over its current userbase?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 14, 2013)

Judging by the popularity of the Nikon 1 in many markets and the several new Nikon 1 releases of bodies and lenses, I'm guessing that Nikon is doing fairly well with the 1 series cameras in terms of profits. They made a huge commitment with R&D for the 1 series, but it seems to be paying off, or at least is not a money losing endeavor.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Feb 14, 2013)

Well...I KNOW that they are making a LOT of money on their lens shades!!! :-)

1 upvote
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Feb 14, 2013)

The Nikon 1 is popular mainly when the selling price has been slashed to inventory clearance levels. This may be good for sales rankings but not for profits. Olympus has had a similar problem -- too many of the sales are for the older models at clearance prices (see Thom's comments on camera inventory.)

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 14, 2013)

@NzScott- "What makes you think that Olympus is losing money on m43 cameras and lenses? " - The Olympus latest financial report. The impact of DSLR sales is a this point negligible.

Keep in mind this is not "we are earning less cash than before" but losing money, as in negative profit. And it's not a little bit but rather a bit high.

Combine that with the over inventory (that EPL-1 selling for cheap in the market for so long wasn't a marketing strategy- it was simply over built inventory that didn't sell at first and had to be heavily discounted).

If I had to guess, the OMD-5 has been probably a money maker while the rest of the line not so much.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 14, 2013)

@Marty- Pentax actually reported a (small) profit for the last quarter/year and a (small) market share increase. However taken as a whole from Ricoh cash-investment to today, it's red. But at least they are not bleeding money now.

0 upvotes
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (Feb 14, 2013)

Ouch! Those new sensors must be EXPENSIVE
"it expects its camera business to lose around ¥16 billion "
Or it's all just anti-tax cooking of the books...

0 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (Feb 14, 2013)

4/3's and MTF was, until this year always a step or two behind the FF and APS format cameras until the advent of the OM-D. AS far as I can determine, the OM-D is a match for any APS cameras on the market in terms of resolution and IQ. The full frame newer offerings remain the benchmark, but I wonder how long it will be before 4/3's catches up to FF. I'll admit that it doesn't seem logical, but larger sensor area just doesn't seem to tell the whole story. It would be a terrible shame if Olympus, having made such a big product breakthrough,
were to go under. Perhaps they will get a white knight like Pentax so that their product line will continue to advance.

4 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Feb 14, 2013)

i dont know that 4/3rds ever made sense for full size cameras. seems like a good idea. going foreward you can adapt the lenses to micro 4/3rds body. The slr line clearly has been a commercial failure. mostly in my mind because it was ill conceived. kill it off

1 upvote
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (Feb 14, 2013)

Rather than ill-concieved I'd say it was implemented without optimising their potential size advantage, especially in the too-bulky E-3 & E-5 models. The conception is still very valid.

1 upvote
alatchin
By alatchin (Feb 14, 2013)

Look at this, people who "know" what is best for a full size Camera company... My word, weekend warriors unite in business fortune telling.

Only olympus knows how many active users are using their lenses, how many potential upgraders exist in m43rds etc. So you would think that they have given it a little more thought than just "kill it off".

Just to finish, people here like to rewrite history, Olympus made some lovely cameras and only seriously lagged the competition around the time of the E-5 as the E-30 was even considered competitive by this site. They have lenses that are SMALL for their FL and aperture, they are called the HG line, get an 11-22 f2.8-35 a 14-54 f2.8-3.5 and a 50-200 f2.8-3.5 and thrown them in your bag, you have some incredible versatility, range, speed and build in 4 superb lenses. People seem to judge the entire Zuiko line based entirely on the SHG lenses... That is like me judging Canon and Nikon on their 600mm lenses...

Stop building strawmen.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
austin design
By austin design (Feb 14, 2013)

alatchin, not a single commenter here has claimed to "know" any such thing as you allege. They've simply offered their opinions, quite as you have just done.

That said, we consumers ARE in a position to comment on the sales strategies of camera companies...because they're selling those cameras to US.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Feb 14, 2013)

@ULFRIC seemingly exactly why milcs make more sense for the format

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Feb 14, 2013)

@alatchin the commercial failure of 4/3rds is well documented. i dont know wtf your talking about

2 upvotes
alatchin
By alatchin (Feb 14, 2013)

If you dont understand what i am talking about then how on earth are you capable of unravelling olympus' areas of specific profit and loss as well as knowing they should kill off an area of huge investment.

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Feb 15, 2013)

I have noticed a trend that most of the ardent kill 4/3 come from the m4/3 area. Are they scared someone might steal their soup. It's the scenario of big brother is getting older so kill him off because I want more food. What you pass around comes around.

A lot of the 4/3 users out there are still heavily invested in 4/3 some to the tune of 20K-30K these are the people who Olympus want . The users that keep on coming back to plow money into the system and not the flighty users that jumps for camera to camera on a whim and current trend and fancy.

Olympus stagnated DSLR development due to not having a competitive sensor. The sensor could be used in the pen series as the users are not as picky and where prepared to trade image quality for convenience. You can also put a pair of rose colored electronic spectacles on the camera and some not would notice the defects. Then came the Sony sensor which rumor has was earmarked for the E-5 emplacement and then switched to the OMD.

1 upvote
declan79
By declan79 (Feb 14, 2013)

in terms of capacities they surely can but the question is why and what's make them still on this "statement" phase?

0 upvotes
wilerty
By wilerty (Feb 14, 2013)

I don't think they have deep enough pockets to go head to head with Canon and Nikon in the larger sensor market. They should concentrat on their success in the MFT market and create an even better OMD M6 and additional lenses.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

They just need to create a really high end m4/3 body and a high speed AF adapter for regular 4/3 lenses and just make the switch. They are leaders in the mirrorless market, don't let that momentum die to protect your 2% DSLR market share.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 14, 2013)

E-3 was the best camera Oly could think with best effort and it crashed directly into a wall - the Nikon D300. it was more than obvious that Oly 4/3" had no chance. the game was over 5 years ago.

the Pana m4/3" is much better. it's at the highest peak now and has no way to go but down.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Glen Barrington
By Glen Barrington (Feb 14, 2013)

As a satisfied user of an E30 and an E500 and assorted lenses, I can't say I'm surprised that the DSLRs will be stopped. (OH Grow up! First come the denials then the actions, that's the way it always works).

In truth, I just don't care!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Feb 14, 2013)

It will be interesting to see if the can save their imaging division, or if they end up selling or liquidating it.

0 upvotes
jozhua
By jozhua (Feb 14, 2013)

They should have done this way before, its been years since the E-5. I think they are doing the right thing here but they should have done it sooner than this.

1 upvote
Roger Engelken
By Roger Engelken (Feb 14, 2013)

Well I suppose two years and five months can in the strictest sense be considered years. That is a symptom of our must have it yesterday mindset. Time (oh that word) alone will tell what comes of all of this.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 47 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
MainOlyGuy
By MainOlyGuy (Feb 14, 2013)

Dumping the DSLR would be the quickest way out of the camera business that they could take. They dropped the OM users when they went to the 4/3rds... and if they dump the 4/3rd users on the way to m4/3rds.... Why would anyone invest in any Olympus gear?

They seem to be finally on track and doing so many things right, I found it hard to believe that they'd be that stupid over a simple upgrade to the E-5..... minimal R&D... a new sensor and the usual new tweeks and they'd be up and running.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (Feb 14, 2013)

I would love to see a E-6 with the new sony sensor in it .....
There glass is the best out there, super sharp 50-200mm 12-60mm 7-14mm killer lenses.........

2 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Feb 14, 2013)

I'd rather get hemorrhoids and be stuck with my E-1 forever then support anything that has Sony in it.

0 upvotes
Chris_in_Osaka
By Chris_in_Osaka (Feb 14, 2013)

I've owned an E-1, E-300, E-3, E-420 and E-620. None of those cameras come close to the experience I have shooting with my OM-D.

I even dumped my 5D Mark II after realizing the OM-D is so right for me.

Now, going back to full frame in the future is a possibility if I find I need more shallow depth of field, which I really don't. Going back to regular 4/3'S? Never.

I think most people who have switched from 4/3's to the micro 4/3's in the form of the OM-D would agree. I'd rather see them shut down their 4/3's development and invest that money in further micro 4/3's improvements. Oly can't afford to have the 4/3's albatross around it's neck weighing it down in an increasingly exciting and competitive mirrorless market.

Also, never mind camera bodies, they also can't afford to have a factory in Tatsuno, Japan producing super high grade lenses virtually nobody buys.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 14, 2013)

And all those great high grade, weather-sealed Zuiko lenses which have no equivalents in m43, they should sell them off the back of a truck because hobbyists like the smaller, cheaper low-grade glass and MILCs better?

That would be a huge mistake IMHO. Throwing in the towel to forever be a brand for hobbyist and Sundays shooters would be a boneheaded move that Olympus might never recover from. Having a professional grade system to offer pros and raise Olympus's profile is about the only sensible way forward.

How about they just start with a modern sensor and make a better E series camera than the E5 was?

6 upvotes
rainphotog
By rainphotog (Feb 14, 2013)

I would have thought that continuing to lose $160M a year would be a more obviously boneheaded move. If 4/3 cameras and the incredible, but expensive, glass associated with them were going to sell in sufficient numbers to make them worth the investment, they would already have done so.

Whatever your personal feeling about it, the market's verdict appears to be in regarding 4/3 cameras - a niche product at best that may never recoup the money invested ... never mind the opportunity cost of failing to aggressively pursue the market opportunity presented by the OMD-EM5.

It may be the case that a better sensored, updated 4/3 camera would suddenly sell like hotcakes, but it sure looks like a high risk investment for a division that is losing significant amounts of money. Particularly so when there is a more lucrative market available.

2 upvotes
Chris_in_Osaka
By Chris_in_Osaka (Feb 14, 2013)

How about gradually phasing out the 4/3's lenses while introducing high grade, weather-sealed Zuiko lenses for micro 4/3's?

I would love a 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 lens (my favorite when I owned the E-3) redesigned for m4/3's as opposed to the continued production of lenses (i.e. 35-100mm) that don't sell these days. Considering the numbers of m4/3's user out their (whether or not they are hobbyists or Sunday shooters), it seems like more of a bonehead move to continue to try to cater to pro 4/3's users that, and lets be honest, don't exist, at least not in the numbers that they could operate a lens production facility in Japan without loosing money.

The best option IMHO is to further improve the top m4/3's model specs (whether the OMD or a yet to be released body) and introduce lenses built to the same high standards as the 4/3's HG and SHG range. That's the niche they need to build on. That's there competitive advantage. Not a new E-X camera that that weighs the same as a 5D Mark-X.

2 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (Feb 14, 2013)

@marike6: NOT having a pro system isn't so bad when pros in many areas don't shoot with 4/3 anyway. Sensor, low-light performance, AF, and features have all moved on since the E-5, and pro users of 4/3 would have had to move on in order to keep up with their peers.

My feeling is that if Olympus abandons 4/3 users, they'd be abandoning mostly hobbyists and weekend shooters, not pros. Besides, a system is as good as dead when lenses aren't released or upgraded.

When m4/3 cameras were first released, I couldn't understand why they were necessary when they weren't much smaller. The E-4XX series of DSLRs were so small that I was planning to purchase an E-420 and a small prime lens to complement my Nikon DSLR system. Several years on, m4/3 has become very popular. It only makes sense for Olympus to move on rather than 'save face'. You may want them to continue, but there's nowhere for the DSLR market to go but down, and Olympus is sinking faster than Canon and Nikon.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Feb 14, 2013)

@marike I am a professional photographer. I know lots of other pros. I have worked with many pros in meant many at seminars and such. I have had the good fortune to meet and discusss photography with 100s of people that were in some capacity professional photographers. Of the the people I got to see with gear or discussed gear with (admittedly not all) every one shot canon or nikon as there primary system. There may be some minority of people using sony and even pentax. However I am certain that is smaller then those who regularly shoot medium format just because I know a few of those I am yet to meet a pro sony shooter. so this idea that a crazy tiny crop sensor like 4/3rds is being used by a pros amuses me. maybe someon making a few bucks with stock. but honestly it is in no way a pro system

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Darrell500
By Darrell500 (Feb 14, 2013)

Well Chris I'm glad your happy now in the m43rds camp but just because you don't want the ability to mount SHG's in front of their new sensor doesn't mean there aren't a whole bunch of us that would jump at the chance to purchase one.
What is that all these ex 43rds shooters can't stand the thought of Olympus releasing new 43rds bodies? I don't think for a minute that m43rds will be shorted by the minimal investment in regular 43rds. Is it that your jealous because of all people you know how good 43rds glass is and feel a little regret? Anyway to each his own but Oly makes some stellar lenses for 43rds that just aren't matched by ANYONE else. Maybe cause I'm a big guy and I don't mind holding a
35-100 f2 lens I don't know but you m43rds guys need to get over it.

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 14, 2013)

Kodachrome200 the pros that go to seminars are mainly wedding shooters and wedding shooters tend to mainly use Nikon and Canon. There are pros out there using Olympus. There are pros on this website even using Olympus. They are just working in different sectors of the photography industry to the ones you meet at seminars.

There are also pro wedding shooters out there as well. From what I see they have switched from Canon to either Sony or Nikon.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (Feb 14, 2013)

@Kodachrome200,

As you are a professional photographer who discusses with many other ones,please, could you give me your point of view about the following :

What makes a photographic system a professional one first :
- a wide range of high-quality, sealed, durable and reliable lenses and accessories, feature-rich bodies and excellent customer support ?
- or a large sensor for shallow DOF and better S/N ratio ?

Do you think shallow DOF is a requirement for most professional photographers, so that smaller-than-FF sensors have no chance to become professional and can only be considered, at best, as amazing toys ?
The shallow DOF when shooting a portrait with a fast tele lens is aesthetical but artificial because that is not what we can see in real life. Thus a portrait lens can be seen as an expensive preprocessing tool, like optical filters. So why not getting this artifical look with a small sensor and postprocessing instead ?
Thank you.

1 upvote
Haider
By Haider (Feb 14, 2013)

Kodachrome200 it not the crop sensor. It's the professional support services offered by Canikon and the ability to go out and easily hire a camera and lens. I know professional photographers that have the Olympus E1 and 14-54mm MK1 as secondary system when they are out photographing in Africa, well off the beaten track. It's rugged and capable enough if the Canikon fails. It might not have ultra shallow DOF and low MP but if you're the plains of the Serengeti or photographing life in a country recovering from civil war don't knock it...Olympus just need build on it and exploit the niche. Yes it costs more than Canikon but if you need the ruggedness, you need the ruggedness. The photographer could just get another Nikon 35mm DSLR, lens + Flash but you compare the size to E1 + 14-54mm + Flash with battefield capable weather sealing. It fits in one bags along with Nikon 35mm DSLR system...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Feb 14, 2013)

Karroly you mention some good points. One other thing with portraits. I shoot actors headshots for a living and use a Zuiko 55mm f1.2 set at f2. I use the magnifier on the camera to nail the focus on the eyes. Any wider and the DOF is too shallow to see all the fine detail on the actors face, ie skin texture etc. That detail casting directors need to see to work out what the actors 'playing' age is. Too many times I see ultra shallow DOF and miss focus. The end result being perfect focus... on the tip of the nose or the eyebrow. My point is you don't always want ultra shallow DOF on portraits. The 55mm at F2 works great. So would the 45mm at f1.8 and the 75mm at f2.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 14, 2013)

@Darrel - accusing Chris of jealously is a big stretch. SHG will most likely be mountable (well, it already is, isn't it) on m4/3rds bodies and we can all forget about 4/3rds. It's really a losing proposition for Olympus.

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Feb 14, 2013)

I've owned two E-1's, E420, EPL1 and an E-5 and non of them come close to the enjoyment I still get when using my E-1.

I'd rather be stuck with a large comfortable chunk of metal and plastic then be cramped using a m43 camera.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Feb 14, 2013)

@Karroly They are both important. I believe aps-c allows enough dof control so lets widen the discussion to aps-c and FF vs. smaller crops

yes I think you need dof control beyond what a crop sensor offers. one thing i take notice of is the way non pros think about things is often very odd to me. for instance you asked why not post process shallow dof. 2 reasons 1 because my time is precious to me. I have lot to do to run my business besides post process and masking is time consuming and id like to have some leisure time too. second doing it in camera does a better job. you essentially asked me why i dont waste a bunch of time doing a worse job. Try to imagine you have to do this for 4 portrait sessions a day.

also there are far more lenses in the nikon line and more 3rd party lenses as well so i agree this is crucial but its another reason to shoot full frame. I am sure you are going to tell me my nikon gear isnt as weather sealed or whatever than the olympus gear.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 14, 2013)

There are products that are prefectly fine, great even, that hardly anybody uses. The trick is to create a product that is either unique or innovative enough to sell at a relatively high price. If you have to give it away because everybody has already settled on Canon or Nikon, you're already at a huge disadvantage. Once in a while you get a product that's both innovative and relatively cheap, like the OM-1 which for many people was the poor man's Nikon.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Feb 15, 2013)

@stu 5 that is fine for shooting headshots but what about senior full body outdoors. I dont want to shoot a 110mm (equiv) lens that still would be insufficient dof wise. where a dirt cheap 50mm f1.8 lens on FF would do a great job. Most pros need to be able to handle wider set of circumstances. Also I know almost every working pro in my town. I have met photographers in the fashion adverting stock corporate real estate and of course portrait market. I know people who use medium format. regularly I know a bunch of canon and nikon shooters I am yet to meet a single olympus shooter. It is not just portrait and wedding photographers. Commercial photographer are even more likely to insist on larger still formats and make up nearly all medium format users

0 upvotes
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