Previous news story    Next news story

Olympus stems losses but PEN sales disappoint

By dpreview staff on Aug 9, 2013 at 20:30 GMT

Olympus has announced reduction in its camera business's losses but PEN sales have fallen behind expectations. The predominantly medical company said PEN sales had fallen 12% in the first quarter, but that it expected the year's income from mirrorless models to be consistent with last year's figure of ¥9bn ($90m). The company blamed the fall on its delay in releasing the E-P5 and said the camera business is on track to break even this financial year.

Meanwhile, as with other manufacturers, compact sales continued to fall but Olympus says its restructuring plan will allow it to 'move to a cost structure suitable for the scale of the business.' The plan includes cancelling development of low-price compacts, launching fewer compact models and closing three factories. The reduced losses this quarter were helped by successfully selling-off the large numbers of compacts the company had already made, at reduced prices.

Source: Reuters

Comments

Total comments: 245
12
Fogsprig
By Fogsprig (8 months ago)

Here's another meal for those sensor nazis.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (8 months ago)

A lot of beating around the bush. The issue is not who makes the best camera or takes the best pictures, but whether Oly or anyone else can make money selling cameras.

Most would agree that the OMD EM5 is a good camera. But any margins on its sales (and we don't know if they are positive) are at most a drop in the ocean amidst the tsunami of smart phones washing away much of the global market for cameras. Salvation won't come from making additional models or cutting prices. The industry has too much capacity and fixed costs. The market just won't pay what it would cost to make the business profitable. Even Canon and Nikon will have to cut back.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

exactly those who don't know what's a good camera are the best customers we can find.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (8 months ago)

I’m fed up with reading completely uninformed comments about the micro 4/3 format’s handicaps. Although I’m mostly reluctant to show my photographs, I’m publishing the links below to show how wrong those comments are.
They say it has too much depth of field and no bokeh; well, just look at this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/manuelvilardemacedo/6613108457/
They also say it’s impossible to photograph subjects in motion with a micro 4/3 camera:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/manuelvilardemacedo/7709292096/
And I read below that it has low image quality (though this particular picture does actually showcase the sensor’s difficulty with highlights):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/manuelvilardemacedo/9469031425/
All these pictures were taken with a now obsolete Olympus E-P1. You can confirm it by checking the EXIF data.
So please stop commenting BS!

4 upvotes
fibonacci1618
By fibonacci1618 (8 months ago)

@Manuel, it's ok, folks who shoot down any camera brand or format will always be the same - they are blind, and are in love with photography for equipment sake, and not for the art. It always makes me laugh to think that poor Ansel Adams must be, to them, a really horrible photographer or had really bad cameras since they were not digital SLRs with FF 24 to 36 Mp sensors, and worse - were in black & white! And he didn't have Photoshop CC or Lightroom 5!

I'm happy with any camera so long as it gets the job done with results that inspire me... and others!

1 upvote
Martinka
By Martinka (8 months ago)

Well, second picture has DOF all over the frame, from front to back, there is no need to track anything, compact camera could do this.

By "photograph subjects in motion" I imagine something more like this (very first photo):
http://artofsport.cz/

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (8 months ago)

1. I'm sorry, Martinka, but there were no horse races available by the time I took that picture.

2. Maybe a compact camera could do that - at least if it managed to focus in time - but not certainly with the same image quality.

3. Besides, who told you this was a photography competition?

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (8 months ago)

All manufacturers have what they deserve. Both for good and for bad. It's all a matter of time. In the case of Olympus, the price asked by the cameras is an abuse. Namely the EP-5. Notice that when the OMDs were launched with a very attractive price for an innovative product, but it seems that they learned how to get around in EP-5, only it did not work the same way. $ 1,000 for the M43 body is currently an abuse. I do not admire that in late July began making a discount of - $ 50,00 on EP-5. Firstly they work for shareholders, only then to their customers. Soon we will see the price of the body, to include the EVF and a lens, perhaps as early as September or October. Waiting is a virtue.

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (8 months ago)

A quick look at the dpreview sidebar stat shows OM-D is still in the top 10 even it's been reviewed for more then a year ago. Few things come to mind 1) there's still alot people wondering and interested in what OM-D is all about 2) people just recently found out about m43 and may be thinking of upgrading or 'downgrading' to it and is intrigued by OM-D 3) It's the only m43 camera that's still in the dp most clicked 'chart' 4) It's the only CSC cam that's in the chart bar the Q7

I guess the Olympus OM-D have sure caught many attention and Olympus should take note and push further with it.

3 upvotes
ARB1
By ARB1 (8 months ago)

I still think they should have put an evf in the EP-5 for that price.

1 upvote
fibonacci1618
By fibonacci1618 (8 months ago)

It's funny how Oly blames their under-performance on a delayed launch of the EP-5, but chooses to ignore the ridiculous high price it launched it at, i.e. more expensive than the OM-D E-M5. And now that the Panny GX7 is out, are they going to blame their continued under-performance on the GX7 too?

Features-wise, the EP-5 appears to lose-out to the GX7, and now that Panny has implemented IBIS, many Oly m4/3 users may not hesitate to go with Panny.

Oly needs to step up its game if it wants to maintain its apparent lead. With the GH3 and now the GX7, Panny's finally shaking off it's mistake with the GF series post GF1 (at least from the more-advanced enthusiasts' point of view).

1 upvote
rocklobster
By rocklobster (8 months ago)

Yeah, also,how can Olympus explain the price difference between the E-P5 and the E-PL5?

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (8 months ago)

Rocklobster: dual exposure controls, incorporated flash, better screen, 1/8000 shutter speed, 5-axis built-in image stabilization, all-metal build. All these might have some influence on the E-P5's price difference.
That said I find the price hard to justify, especially now that Panasonic launched the GX7. My guess is that the E-P5's price will drop substantially in the next few months.

0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (8 months ago)

Olympus is doing just fine, targeting serious photographers rather than brainless consumers.

From all the full frame and APS-C cameras I've used and owned, the OM-D and PEN E-P5 are absolutely stunning little cameras. They have done an incredible job there.

The problem is that quality (e.g. metal body) is expensive, and consumers tend to opt for cheap DSLRs instead. M43 has always been held back by the fact that the system is more expensive than a Nikon DX or Canon Rebel. And many tourists just want the biggest camera out there and opt for a 6D or 5D3 right away.

Olympus builds premium products that are usually at the end of the GAS pipeline: cheap Rebel (too limited) --> full frame DSLR (too clumsy) --> Olympus OM-D.

The problem with that is a limited market. The Rebel line is where the money is.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

m4/3" is image quality challenged, that's why Oly had to over cook/process OM-D output to extreme to make artificial looking images (maybe second to Pentax) to please "brainless consumers" as you say.

2 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (8 months ago)

Perhaps poor marketing/advertising is the issue. The fact that you can buy an E-PM2 for well under $500 which has the same great sensor as the E-M5 makes it an absolute bargain - to people who know about it.

There may be an image problem as these compact mirrorless cameras look too much like compacts and so they are not taken seriously. Compact camera upgraders who want something that takes better pictures will go the safe path and choose a camera that looks like a DSLR and will tolerate the additional bulk.

For me M4/3 is the perfect format size now that they have decent sensors and selection of lenses.

Cheers

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
BeaniePic
By BeaniePic (8 months ago)

And I'm not surprised.

1 upvote
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (8 months ago)

At this point in time, there are too many cameras chasing too few buyers. Very simply a situation of overproduction. The technological/social changes are moving people to nontraditional cameras--the I-phone. All of this has been discussed a length on multiple threads and forums on this site.

Look at the list of forums on this site--some of the names may disappear in the not too distant future, much like the some airlines--remember TWA or American West, Continental. Until supply and demand get into alignment, it is going to be a bonanza for consumers. Your money will go pretty far---hang around the price of the EP-5 will drop a few hundred by Christmas.

Olympus has a problem in terms of having moved from DSLR to mirrorless. The adoption of this approach has been slow in the US and Europe compared to Asia. The Oly forecasts just can't seem to catch up with this lag. Regardless, why pay $700 or $1,000 for a camera when you can get a DSLR kit for far less? Oly has a problem.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

I don't think Oly had any choice other than going m4/3".
it's good that Pana provided them such a choice.
their original SLR 4/3" was too bad.

Pana started the game by mimicking SLR and
Oly's also did the same with E-M5.
actually they did the opposite with E-300.
so there should be no problem with the form design.

Comment edited 6 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (8 months ago)

I agree Oly had no other viable path. They simply could not compete in the DSLR market. They moved forward with some very nice cameras. Yes, mirror will be just a niche in a few year. Oly has a window of opportunity to gather market share. The trouble is that they can't sell enough cameras in the US and Europe. The window will not remain open forever. Perhaps the new OMD will help.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

technically they should be able to compete with SLRs well but they choose not, because they believe they can make more profit by f-number cheating.

given their current performance they won't be able to live without f-number cheating, a sad thing for both of makers and users.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (8 months ago)

"why pay $700 or $1,000 for a camera when you can get a DSLR kit for far less?"

Apart from looking like a dork (because people walking around with DSLRs look like dorks)... a cheap DSLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit will not take better pictures than a good compact (RX100) that slips in your pocket. You will only get DSLR-quality if you change the kit lens with something better and that's where the fun starts.

There are no lens options on Nikon DX and Canon EF-S.

There are incredible lens options on micro four thirds.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

incredible small aperture m4/3" lens options

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (8 months ago)

Nikon's CEO said: "In Europe and the U.S. the ratio of mirrorless to SLRs hasn't grown at all, unlike in Asia, where it's quite popular with women..."

I think that's true of mirroless in general - it's just a regional niche product.

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Classic!!!
Nikon made bad product in form of Nikon1 and then they say: yeah only women really use Mirrorless anyways, so why bother.

Oriental women - notoriously bad drives and even worse photographers. LOL (sorry I usually don't laugh from my own jokes)

Mirrorless is fine. Its just finally some really good cameras has been released, (GH2, GH3, EM5, XE1, Xpro1 so market is over saturated)
Pioneers already have some good stuff to work with and late bloomers are not there yet, Marketing ha to work hard to make the Mirrorless known, especially in US.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
mediasorcerer
By mediasorcerer (8 months ago)

Olympus will be fine, the next omd will put them in a better position soon enough.
Part of me hopes they will create a csc with ff sensor at some stage of the game, or fixed zoom ff rangefinder style, it's the next logical step, and an area they are not covering, that badly needs some competition.
hey, im allowed to dream.

0 upvotes
delete-pending
By delete-pending (8 months ago)

Looking at rumored specs of the upcoming OMD: just slightly updated model. Unless rumors are completely wrong, nothing much to get excited about. FF? None of the existing Olympus lenses covers FF, it would require new family of lenses. It is not happening.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Oly and Pentax are similar, both long established makers standing in a weak position. it's interesting that both of them cook images heavily to produce bad taste "clean" photos.

1 upvote
dark goob
By dark goob (8 months ago)

FF sake, the OM-D is full-frame. You people need to learn the meaning of language. They don't have to make a 4"x5" camera for it to be usable for pro photography.

4 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (8 months ago)

Dottore - if the rumours of a hybrid mount are true then the next om-d will outsell the current one.. Hardly slightly updated..

E-5 owners will buy 3-4 each :-)

FF?? C'mon - care to guess what happens with lens sizes?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Oly should know well that their SLR 4/3" was one of the best jokes in camera history, a stupid thing from very beginning (maybe misled by Kodak who disappeared now).

there are not many active SLR 4/3" shooters now, so there is little to justify the cost.

it's simple to make a 35mm format one. just put a "Speed Suppressor" behind the lens and you are done, with nothing to gain though because you get everything the same if you can have an ideal/perfect "Speed Suppressor."

2 upvotes
Maaku
By Maaku (8 months ago)

Out of Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, Oly, which, if not all, will be out of the camera business...?
With the consumer market in turmoil, these four are really in trouble, Panasonic and Sony might leave the entire consumer market. I think Fuji has a chance although cameras are only about 4% of their business and losing money, They'll
stay in because of the X line. Olympus is toast, they keep pumping out new models of mirrorless, and the market just isn't growing like they thought.
Maybe Samsung will by one of them

2 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

The 4 camera companies you mentioned are the ones keeping up with the times, I'd be more worried about the others that you failed to mention...

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, Oly,

sorted in a nice order. hope all of them live long, though I think Fuji's X line is mostly rubbish we can live without.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

", though I think Fuji's X line is mostly rubbish we can live without."

Good to know may pro photographers apparently disagree with that assessment.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Fuji's X is made for neither pro nor amatuer photographers.
it's made for those who don't know photography.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@bukkakie,
please explain why Fuji X made for those who don't know photography.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

@Vadimka, if you don't know then never mind.
maybe I exaggerated it a little bit,
but in general it's waste of resources.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

@yabokkie - once again, apparently reality seems to strike against your claim as several pro photographers seem to be using quite successfully X-system cameras. But you know, maybe you can show us your portfolio to weight your comments accordingly. If you don't have some reasonably good photography, it's quite easy to understand when you are coming from.

Here's some of mine- assorted cameras.

http://raist3d.typepad.com/photos/small_portfolio_sample/index.html

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

@Vadimka- it's simply because he says so apparently. But let's wait to see his portfolio to see if he knows what he's talking about.

0 upvotes
JM McInnes
By JM McInnes (8 months ago)

Sasha B suggests that "Mirrors in camera are like cathode ray tubes in TVs, a real technological dinosaurs".
When image sensors achieve the same dynamic range as the human eye that may become true. For the moment, if you want an optical TTL viewfinder, you need a mirror. It may be a dinosaur, but the meteor hasn't hit Chicxulub yet.

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

WTF are you talking about??? Are you really composing your pictures based on Dynamic Range? If so, how looking in dark aps-c OVF will help you? Its not like OVF will improve you DR at the end. If anything EVFs will help you much better, because you see your highlights/shadows instantly and you shoot to make sure they are not blown or underexposed.

When you focus with EVF, you get to see actual exposure, so you can make adjustments instantly, even before you take a shot. You also mostly get nice 100% coverage and nice resolution and clarity on the modern EVFs. You get Magnification to check focus and peeking for fast MF-rangefinder like shooting. Even OVF of my 5D could not compete with VF-2, not to mention new VF-4 or new Pana and Sony stuff.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
T3
By T3 (8 months ago)

I generally like to compose with dynamic range in mind because a digital sensor can't capture the entire dynamic range of the real world anyways. So, in practical use, an EVF can be a better exposure/compensation/framing aid than an OVF. OVF's are a great fit for negative films, which had enormous dynamic range. But for digital, it doesn't help to have a viewfinder that has unlimited dynamic range. That's probably why, when I'm shooting with my DSLR, I have highlight/shadow clipping enabled on the image review...because the OVF doesn't help me to see where the clipping would occur.

2 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (8 months ago)

@T3, negative films had about 8, with careful pummeling 10 EV dynamic range, well below what current sensors can capture... The problem is even the best EVF's only show about 5EV!

2 upvotes
JM McInnes
By JM McInnes (8 months ago)

Vadimka, Why do you assume a dark APSC OVF? I take wildlife photos at night in very low light. I have a Vf-2 on a Pen, and also an E-5 which has a fairly large and efficient OVF. I can see things through the OVF at times when the VF-2 is showing just about pure noise. The VF-2 is simply rendering information supplied by the imaging sensor. At the moment imaging sensors fail to show details in very low light which are quite visible to the eye, and that are clear enough in the OVF. The sine qua non of a viewfinder is to find the view. There are circumstances in which a TTL OVF is better adapted to that purpose than the alternatives are yet. That's a simple fact, not worth getting upset about.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (8 months ago)

Karl Günter, that's just not true. Film actually has wider and smoother dynamic range than any full-frame sensor. Don't mistake 'dynamic range' for 'resolution' - they're not the same.
Take a look at this: http://www.google.pt/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dxo.com%2Fsites%2Fdump.dxo.com%2Ffiles%2Fdxoimages%2Fiq%2Fsci-publications%2F2012%2520Film_vs_Digital_final_copyright.pdf&ei=REXDUeXzG6LB7AbVp4G4BA&usg=AFQjCNFJ394iHqVhqV4FnDnGvpqRhLPNDw&sig2=Z6pZMdrRkByGS55sX5kL3w&bvm=bv.48175248,d.ZGU

1 upvote
justmeMN
By justmeMN (8 months ago)

According to Olympus' financial documents, their total digital camera sales went from 204,915 (Millions of Yen) in fiscal 2009 to 95,101 (Millions of Yen) in fiscal 2013.

Additional sales declines to follow...

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Olympus "blamed the fall on its delay in releasing the E-P5".

So an even pricier E-P5 is the reason sales are off? I appreciate that they had to find some reason to say in public for the benefit of investors, but how exactly does the late release of a $1500 E-P5 cause the entire PEN line to underperform?

3 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

While I totally understand the desire to have E-P5 at much lower price point, (I also contemplate the purchase especially after GX7 has been announced), I look at the competition and I don't see anyone else making 5-axis IBIS that actually work, and not just works, but also works wonders when shooting stills and even video handheld, and also while walking. Plus nice sensor, great controls, one of the best EVFs and solid build of both body and lens.

Leica M is also expensive, but hey, who else sells Digital Rangefinder today??? No one, right? So if you want it, pay $7k, and people do.

2 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (8 months ago)

Well, perhaps because the PEN line is the most profitable Olympus line?

If (big “if”) the PEN became the flagship line for Olympus, and looking at the pricing of the 12mp EP3 ($899 USD) to the 16mp EP5 ($999 USD), I’d say there probably is a market around part of the pacific rim that would snap up the EP5 and the VF-4 for $1,500 USD.

I’d be curious to see what the leading mirrorless brand is in China. I would hazard a guess that it isn’t either Nikon or Canon.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

"I look at the competition and I don't see anyone else making 5-axis IBIS that actually work, "

5-axis IBIS is hardly the end all be all feature. It's better IBIS, but the improvement from good OIS or good IBIS is not that much. Just 5 axis IBIS doesn't justify the price, particularly when other competitors that do not have the 5-axis IBIS may have other advantages. The EVF for the Pen5 as we know, it's not built in- it's external, and the same resolution of what Fuji released about a year ago built in.

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@Raist3d,
Actually IBIS that Oly has is very nice and beats she living light out of anything available today, by few stops. And for video its especially useful (hopefully Oly can improve the actually Video and do 24p at higher bit rate). Its actually shooting handheld, and looks like you using SteadyCam etc... for some people its priceless, because they dont want to look like morons running around town with SteadyCams.

Regarding Fuji's EVFs, yes, it might be the same resolution, but as we all know resolution is not everything. I actually return Fuji X-E1 just a week after I bought it, just because EVF was not to my liking. They could not make it work as smooth, as Epson or even Sony EVFs.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
M0P03
By M0P03 (8 months ago)

Olympus has been overwhelmed by Panas at wow factor. All Olys are good, but overpriced.

5 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (8 months ago)

There was a time, just a few years ago, when cheap mass market P&S cameras provided the lion's share of profits for practically all of the camera manufacturers, and life was good. This was especially true for those camera makers who had limited products to offer to the buyers of higher end photo gear. Now that smartphones have killed their "golden goose", how will they survive? Is there a niche to be exploited that the "big 2" have overlooked? What if they make their niche camera nearly as small as a smartphone but with high end add ons, like lenses, EVFs, etc.? Can they sell it at a high enough price so that they can make a profit and stay in the camera business? So far, that potential high end buyer is saying to Oly, Pana, and the rest, "we'll support you if you sell low and give us the lenses, EVF, and other stuff for free". "Trust Us". :)

3 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (8 months ago)

In the USA, Olympus mirrorless is still an obscure product line, with little brand awareness, little advertising, and little retail shelf space. They don't seem to have much of a future here.

2 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

USA is currently 16% of the world market and declining...

1 upvote
dark goob
By dark goob (8 months ago)

Yeah, the US economy is a piece of garbage. Unless you're a rich a-hole. Then it's awesome. But for regular people everything is over-priced now. This is due to the fact that idiots run our country.

2 upvotes
thorkilry
By thorkilry (8 months ago)

USA is currently 18,7% of the world marked and growing....

http://www.olympus-global.com/en/common/pdf/financial146PA.pdf

2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (8 months ago)

Yes, sales in the US have grown, but does Oly make profits there? Prices are quite low in the US compared to Europe.

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (8 months ago)

According to Olympus' financial documents, their total Overseas digital camera sales went from 177,639 (Millions of Yen) in fiscal 2009, to 67,867 (Millions of Yen) in fiscal 2013.

(Their overseas sales problem goes beyond just the USA.)

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

The problem of Olympus E-P5 is its high price. Micro 4/3 cameras rely strongly on electronics, so a medical and optical company like Olympus is unfavorably positioned relative to giant electronics companies like Sony, Panasonic and Samsung. That explains, for example, why Olympus can sell a complex lens like the 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 R lens by $119 (Amazon's price), but has to charge not less than $279 by the simple add-on electronic viewfinder VF-4! In contrast, Panasonic can profitably sells the GX-7 with an included tiltable high-resolution EVF by the same price that Olympus charges for the "EVFless" E-P5. How can Olympus E-P5 compete this way?

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

m4/3" cameras are quit good compared with NEX and EOS M.
they may look dumb because lenses won't shed enough light.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Frank,
Olympus is not very strong Electonics company, as you stated. Thats why they never introduced AF on their beautiful OM line of film cameras. And VF-4 is not an Olympus product, but rather made by Epson for them.

Olympus is a truly excellent opto-mechanical company, and thats what we love them for.

2 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,
m4/3 shed plenty light for m4/3 sensor.
you keep saying stuff that most of the time don't make any sense to anyone but you. Are you really delusional? If anything doesn't shed much light, its you...

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> m4/3 shed plenty light for m4/3 sensor.

that's funny. plenty light for what?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

>Olympus is a truly excellent opto-mechanical company

I agree. By the way, Olympus resembles Leica. Probably it is not a coincidence that both Olympus and Leica have a close relationship with Panasonic.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

Looking at flickr info the E-P5 is selling well and being loved by it's purchasers, the GX7 us as yet unproven but I would expect it too sell very well...

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (8 months ago)

Let's see...

Sony Nex fast lens count: 24 F1.4, 35 F1.8, 50 F1.8
Fuji X: 35 F1.4, 18 F2
Canon M: 22 F2
nikon 1: 18 F1.8, 32 F1.2

m43: 12 F2, 17 F1.8, 20 F1.7, 25 F1.4, 45 F1.8, 75 F1.8 also 25 f0.95, 17.5 f0.95, 42.5 f0.95

Plenty enough?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> Plenty enough?

"for what" is the question man.
what result in the image you can get,
then we can talk about enough or not.

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (8 months ago)

if you don't know what are they for then i have nothing much else to say

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,

You said: "for what" is the question man.
what result in the image you can get,
then we can talk about enough or not"

I totally understand your illogical way of thinking.
You think that m4/3's Leica 25mm f1/4 = to 50mm f2.8 (if speaking if FF terms)

Firstly, FF is a diffirent format, you can't mount m4/3 lenses on FF camera, nor they will cover sensor of FF camera.

Using your logic that 25/1.4 becomes darker lens on FF, one can conclude that 25/1.4 will become f1.0 lens on smaller Nikon-1 format. But in reality its not true. It will still be f1.4 lens.

So if you put that 25mm lens on FF, it still be f1.4, but it won't be 50mm, it will remain 25mm and therefore will not cover the sensor fully. But those area that it will cover will have brightness of f1.4.

Another example, one of the most interesting and exciting cameras I've ever shot, was Linhof 4x5. So applying your logic, we can conclude that lets say famous Canon FF 135mm f2 lens is nothing more than 40mm f7

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

the format size is not something we should care.
it's the output image quality that we are interested.
any format is better if it can get us better result.

can genuine Pana fake Leica 25/1.4 get us anything
better than 85/2.4 on 35mm format? definitely not.

so whatever the f-number, those small format lenses simply cannot do the same job to get us good image quality. they are all uncapable to get enough light.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (8 months ago)

Like cell phones and contracts, the camera price isn't the main cost for most ILC purchasers so having a line-up of inexpensive lenses should make them more attractive even of the camera starts out a little more.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,
OK, understand you... So you saying the following:
a) FORMAT is not important.
b) m4/3 lens is DARK.
c) m4/3 and APS-C mirrorless just simply produce shi*ty images.
d) Pana fake Leica 25/1.4 can't do better than FF with 85/2.4

Here we go:
a) wrong, format is everything. Its truly a step one when picking the camera for a job, its how Focal Length of lenses and DoF gets calculated.

b) Lenses that are f1.4 are not dark, they are f1.4. This is just physics, you need to know the opening and the FL of the lens and bingo. Its like saying 5 is more then 10.

c) I guess you can say that you don't like images coming from 4/3 and APS-C cameras and prefer FF. I will not argue there. If for you LARGER format means better, fine. Why not get Phase1 camera its 2x bigger than FF.

d) I think what you mean is that DoF of m4/3 is less shallow than FF. OK I agree, But what's wrong with DoF of 50mm f2.8 (I almost never shot FF at f1.4) Also FF has less DoF than MF, so pick format you prefer

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

(1) if format is everything as you say, then 4/3" has no hope. I say it has if we can have large aperture lenses.

(2) your f/1.4 and your physics won't give you as good image quality so keep your physics with you.

(3) refer to (1) above: format won't get you anything other than lens already does. sensor is not lens. isn't it simple enough? 35mm format happens to be the best not because it has larger sensor area but because we have best large aperture lenses made for it.

(4) I say it again: everything controlled by the aperture are all the same, if you find one of them the same, regardless of sensor area. do your homework if you happen don't know it.

Comment edited 8 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,

1) Why 4/3 has no hope? I rarely shot FF 5D at f1.4 even portraits, and mostly shot at f2.8 and f4. So shooting portrait with 4/3 at f1.4 aperture is not a problem, even at f2 is totally fine. I didn't say format is everything, I said its the essential part of the thought process when taking pictures. I guess you are not familiar with concept of thought.

2) Are you telling me your image quality is stronger than mine? :)

3) So if FF lenses are so great and so bright, how come Canon FF f1.8 lens is still f1.8 lens when mounted on m4/3?

4) not sure what you said there body... I'm sure its something profound... Sure its something to do with FF being superior...

Listen, I get it. You like FF and like shooting wide open at all times, even when shooting macro, probably shooting landscapes at f1.4 as well. I understand, you're in love with an idea of shallower DoF that FF can achieve.

Don't worry, we all have equipment insecurities at first, it will go away, just shoot.

0 upvotes
Astrotripper
By Astrotripper (8 months ago)

"The plan includes cancelling development of low-price compacts, launching fewer compact models and closing three factories."

Makes sense to me. Low-end compacts are as good as dead, about time they acknowledged that. No point in wasting resources on them. If business is bad, scale down and concentrate on what's important and what makes money or has the potential to make money.

I think the future of Micro 4/3 is brighter than the future of APS-C DSLRs. Most photography enthusiasts I talk to fall into 2 categories: those considering scaling down to mirrorless, or those wanting to go up to Full Frame. Or both (a pipe dream for most). So the only saving grace for APS-C seems to be the price.

Currently, the choice for mirrorless is:
- castrated offerings from Nikon and Canon that were dead on arrival
- Sony NEX, which is ugly ;)
- Micro 4/3, which offers wide range of bodies and lenses
- Samsung NX, which exists

Only two of the options above are worth considering, really.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (8 months ago)

m43 is as good as dead.

it´s not pocketable as P&S or mobile phones.
so why not buy the real deal, a DSLR, if you want good image quality.
or some of the small APS-C cameras.

that is what the normal customer .. the majority... thinks.

and EVF are still crap... no breakthrough on that front.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

m4/3" is more like Iraq, where a civilization prospered first.

1 upvote
Ubichinon
By Ubichinon (8 months ago)

Nope, it isnt dead. M43 isnt about being pocketable, its about having the DLSR quality, in a lighter, more silent package. Most of the m43 lenses are merely half the weight of DLSR lenses, so yeah. I have an APSC camera, a friend of mine has an OMD5. Well, tell you what, his OMD5 is just far better than my D5100, its lighter, focuses just as fast and is much more stealthy.

1 upvote
Sasha B
By Sasha B (8 months ago)

Mirrors in camera are like cathode ray tubes in TVs, a real technological dinosaurs those will go, sooner than later. m43 is very attractive: small light package, classic aspect ratio, sensor area is very close to APS-C, so the IQ is there.

14 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@Hertz,
you must be a Canon user. Which one of yours DSLRs has better VF than EVF4? Which one of your DSLRs has faster focusing than EM5? Which one of your DSRLs can Manual Focus better than Mirrorless with screen magnification and/or peeking? Image quality wise, we already know that m4/3 is super close to APS-C.

So unless you absolutely need that FF DSLR, I don't see whay can't you enjoy m4/3. I had 5D and 4/3 together, and used them both and loved them both for different reasons. But as soon as Mirrorless was introduced and got better I dropped both eventually in favor of m4/3 and NEX.

Really got tired of carrying 6 Lbs of gear in my bag, plus 4 LBS in my hand, mostly stopping down those f1.2 lenses to f4 anyways to get decent picture. Now I have m4/3 with perfectly usable f2 and f2.8 and never look back.

The only reason there majority in DSLRs are because they have been around for decades, vs Mirrorless is just getting started.

16 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

you won't need the weight if you don't need quality. though not for any serious photography, I think m4/3" is quite handy thanks to Pana's fast readout CDAF, and though I call both bad systems, I have no problem to recommend m4/3" or Nikon 1 to those who want a better foolproof camera, and they can do something more than foolproof.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,
I really love your Passive Aggressive behavior. You recommending m4/3 to fools, but calling cameras foolproof. :)) You recommend them, but I always thought you never even had one.

Do you even own any cameras? Looks like you been here for just over 1 year yet, you have over 2000 posts. Have you ever taken any pictures at all with any cameras??????????? When do you have time??????

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Sasha wrote: "Mirrors in camera are like cathode ray tubes in TVs, a real technological dinosaurs those will go, sooner than later."

Except there is no evidence that mirrors are going anywhere as DSLRs continue to outsell mirrorless by large margins. New tech is supposed to improve on what camera before it, and the big failure so far of mirrorless is that it has not done that as the Pentaprism VF is still head and shoulders more users friendly and performant than even the highest specified EVF.

As far as small size, mom and dad (and grandpa) certainly appreciate small size but the majority of younger enthusiasts want ergonomic and robust bodies, not tiny, cramped gadget cameras.

3 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (8 months ago)

Marike6, not so long ago people where saying the same about CRT and how the new plasma/lcd technology didn't come close in performance. I haven't seen a CRT for a few years now....

4 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@Henry M. Hertz
It is far easier to get a good picture with a micro four thirds camerain 95% of situations over a DSLR. Most DSLR owners I see shot on continuous mode and/or auto settings while a Mft shooter is much more likely to take control if their camera and adjust settings, so who's using the real deal???

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@marike
A evf is a 1,000 more times user friendly than a ovf, evfs most resemble WYSIWYG...

0 upvotes
Cephalotus
By Cephalotus (8 months ago)

It's not a question of "better", but a question of "good enough".

For me the Sony 1" 20MP sensor is good enough, the Sony 16MP 4/3" Sensor is also good enough.
I do not need better quality.

I said 10 years ago that I need something around 20MP to be happy and obviously you can have good 20MP in a 1" sensor now.

Others have higher expectations, but I assume that the market for those "premium buyers" is very low.

So I bought a Sony RX100 a year ago and I will most likely buy another (mFT) system camera (or the Canon D70) to replace my 10 year old Olympus E-1 and after that I will not buy another camera for the next xx years...

That's it.

The market for those, that are willing to pay huge money and schlepp around large cameras systems is shrinking dramatically in the western world, the times are over, that you can use your (full frame) DSLR as a status symbol...

More ordinary people spending thousands of US$ to make cat pictures are starting to stop that stupid shopping fetish...

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (8 months ago)

Lower the price of the EP5 by $200 or $250 and I might get one.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

they may make more money by not doing that.

4 upvotes
Sudo Nimh
By Sudo Nimh (8 months ago)

Exactly. Olympus will first get premium prices from customers who will pay more to have the camera now. Prices will certainly drop later as Olympus reaches for the broader market.

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (8 months ago)

but it also stops people buying until the price comes down, Smart Buyers know what going to happen, it also cuts up the second hand values making upgrade path more expensive, and its bad for the brand to see all this stuff selling of dirt cheap.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

How much should Nikon drop the price of the D4 so you "might get one" eh?

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (8 months ago)

@Sudo Nimh, attomole:
so far Olympus never dropped the price of PENs until the next model was released. E-M5 has been on the market for a year, and it still sells at the same price as when it was first released.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

The Reuters article says that PEN sales are 12% below expectations (we do not know what they're expectations were in the first place they might of expected sales to rise 20% and only got an 8% increase), also it doesn't mean Olympus mirrorless sales are down (they probably aren't).
How much are Nikon 1, Canon EOS M, Pentax Q and Samsung NX sales down?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

We know that both mirrorless and DSLRs are down 18% each compared to this time last year. So even if PEN sales are down 12% compared to last year, they still increased their market share in both mirrorless and wider ILC market.
Probably due to implosion in Pentax and Nikon mirrorless toys.

1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@peevee1
this years figures in comparison to last year are strongly affected by how badly the Nikon 1 and Canon EOS M are now doing 12-18 months after launch...

0 upvotes
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (8 months ago)

@peevee1
Olympus didn't say that PEN sales are down 12% from last year. They said they were 12% below expectations. Without know their expected sales for this year it is impossible to tell how PEN sales compare with other mirrorless.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

The comma in the Reuters article suggests sales were down 12%, which was below its expectations, not that it was 12% below expectations.

Sales by volume were down, though the value of those sales was around the same as last year, as a result of currency fluctuations (and possibly a different sales mix).

1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@R Butler
Suggests and was said are two different things, accurate reporting doesn't seem to be one of Reuters strong points.
During the Olympus affair didn't Reuters report that over 50% of Oly shares were now in foreign hands, funny thing is the Japanese knew that was a desperate lie and that worked in Olympus favour....

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (8 months ago)

Then again .. 2012 is a very hard year to follow..
Seems that all major manufacturers released very attractive and innovative cameras...

Cant speak for everyone else, but 2012 was the year of the om-d for me. Many lenses and accessories later, I'm both satisfied.. And cash strapped..
I dont need to splurge out again this year... Point is - I guess many of us are still just enjoying our 2012 models.. ?

As for financial analysts... They may simply not understand the customers buying criterias or the market in terms of available product mix. We had a ton of models last year that surpassed previous products by a substantial margin.

Take the Nikonian with full frame lust but being short of the cash to buy a DX(x). He might have wished for his D700 to have a better MP count. He might have wished for 20-24. He got 36. Thats good enough for many years to come.

2 upvotes
Stefan M
By Stefan M (8 months ago)

Haven't read the about that in the comments so far:

Economy is down worldwide (US, Europe, Asia ....). Less and less people are able to spend money on cameras. It's the same for cars, PCs, clothing...wherever you look. That's the "achievement" of the bad economic politics during the last years / decades.

Even the richest guy on earth needs just one camera. The mass market goes down without enthusiast that actually can afford luxury. And photography is luxury.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (8 months ago)

A bit of perpective: both worldwide mirrorless AND DSLR sales are down 17 to 19% during the first months of the year.

6 upvotes
Uanmorjiar
By Uanmorjiar (8 months ago)

Future is mirrorless, just it isn't ready yet, and not crop sensors but FF. Micro4/3 is going to die, sooner or later. Only Sony will survive from the mirrorless crowd, but it will be just a marginal player when Nikon and Canon get serious about mirrorless, just like now it's a marginal player against Nikon and Canon DSLR's.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

You forum guys sure know how to make a volcano out of a snake hole.
What's so hard to understand? Camera sales are down for ALL manufacturers on ALL types of cameras right now for a NUMBER of reasons much more significant than "a" model or lack of "a" new release.

For all the DSLR fanboys, these are cheap as dirt now for a reason. They're hardly portable, they're obtrusive, premium glass costs as much as a used car, service is questionable, and there's absolutely nothing revolutionary to come...you've got APS-C and Full Frame up to 36mp.

Mirrorless cameras have saturated the market. Bodies are more expensive but premium glass is less than DSLR. Still more tech to come in this sector...more to look forward to.

Compact zooms HAVE lost their edge to smartphones, period. Done. Over.

And smartphone makers are feeling the same effects as the above as that market saturates as well.

What we have in camera bodies and lenses is PLENTY good for 95% of shooters now. Sales are down.

21 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

One other thing...some of you keep comparing today's camera makers to Kodak and its demise. Kodak hadn't been a major player in cameras for a long time prior to exiting the industry, though they remained involved in sensor tech and film for TOO long.

For those of you thinking that slower sales growth is the same thing as pending bankruptcy, which major camera manufacturers in the last decade can you reference that have gone out of business and closed their doors for good? Some have merged with other companies but who has gone away and left a huge whole in the industry?

The only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Contax. But nikon, canon, Leica/panasonic, Pentax/ricoh, samsung, Olympus, sony, fuji, hassleblad, sigma are STILL making cameras and releasing NEW models!

Yes, they are cutting product lines and streamlining costs, but no differently than other consumer products businesses facing the same situation.

A chill pill is in order for the doom and gloomers here.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Yes Mirrorless are pricy, because its new product and unique. But the quickly falling prices of DSLRs are the true indicator that Canon and Nikon are trying to slow down the grows and spread of the Mirrorless system by dumping they product on the market at lower cost.

They are not stupid, they know they if they lose this battle now, they will lose their ground by few years. Customers who go Mirrorless will less likely ever get back to DSLR, (they know that they only have an edge in Pro market, and they know that thats not enough for them to survive)

Canon and Nikon will be glad to sell their DSLRs at or below cost, if they know they can slow down Mirrorless or even kill it completely, because companies like Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus are no longer in DSLR game and completely wested in the Mirrorless business.

4 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (8 months ago)

And yet I have heard of 2-3 pro photographers who use the OM-D and to be honest as an OM-D owner, would I buy a DSLR again? If I could afford two systems yes I would not hesitate to get a Nikon (was a canon fanboy so don't call me biased for wanting a nikon now :p)

However I am already to financially invested with a lot of high quality prime's. The only thing I wish for is an optical viewfinder instead of an EVF.

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (8 months ago)

I seriously doubt anyone's selling new models at cost... Selling old models at deep discounts beats not selling them at all and having your line stagnate, and that just speaks to poor inventory/line management more so than a reaction to anything...

They're definitely reacting to mirrorless tho, but the prices for either are kinda mutually exclusive. Once someone decides to go mirrorless for a size advantage or because of live view or whatever they no longer really care about a DSLR's price... There's probably far less cross-shopping of the two going on than most enthusiasts would guess.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Well, mirrorless are not so pricey anymore, unless it is a latest and greatest model. You can get the same exact image quality out of $199 (for the last 6 months) Panasonic GX1 as out of $1000 7D - for many people who prefer using screens and don't shoot fast action it is an obvious choice, most just don't know about that yet. $400 (with kit lenses) E-PM2 or NEX-3n even beat them both in image quality.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@Impulses,
you said "Once someone decides to go mirrorless for a size advantage or because of live view or whatever they no longer really care about a DSLR's price... There's probably far less cross-shopping of the two going on than most enthusiasts would guess."

Well thats obvious, once you decide to buy something... its done. The point of price reductions and marketing is to influence your decision making process.

I was very surprised recently to find out how many people, don't even know that Mirrorless exists, let along that image quality is on par with DSLRs. Most enthusiast customers are not gear heads like we are. They think if you want that cool image quality (aka large sensor) you have to go Large SLR.

Just the other day I gave a friend of my to try my NEX with MF Leica attached, and he was amazed and in disbelieve that he never even heard that those existed. +1 converted :)

Most people like the idea of DSLR, but hate the size and weight, therefore they enjoy using it less

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (8 months ago)

It should in theory be cheaper to make mirror less, Most are a very simple box construction , No moving parts and smaller and therefore cheaper major components the sensor chip. and lens. But the EP5 is a £1000 over here, its sibling the older ELP5 is £600. They also more than half in price over the lifetime of the product, so the Nikon V1 is 200 Quid but no one wants one because the marketing focus moves on, so really what is the value of this product.

£800-1000 is top of the line APSC DLSR Money. However good they are, better than a Pentax K5, or canon 60d Nikon 7100?. well arguably, but come into my shop and I think I know which I would find it easier to swap for your money for.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Well, sell Pana G5, it is $239 in the states now and better than any Rebel (bigger, brighter viewfinder with preview and digital zoom etc).
BTW, cameras you listed DO have moving parts, they are called IBIS and controls (and there are great controls on E-P5, no Rebel comes close, although the price is too high of course).

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

a 12% drop...

hmmm... I can't help but wonder what market share the new-comer Samsung has gained...

0 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (8 months ago)

Probably lost marketshare at the mirror-less market and gained at the compact market.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Given that the total mirrorless market lost 18%, probably none. And it is not a newcomer, what, Samsung was the second mirrorless system after m43.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@Timmbits
Samsung NX gained zilch, they even tried giving away free tabkets with their cameras, Sansung has the money and technology but not the heart and understanding...

0 upvotes
panoviews
By panoviews (8 months ago)

Interesting reading: http://soundimageplus.blogspot.it/2013/08/why-people-still-choose-dslrs-over.html

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

That guy is insane. He bashes mirror less, yet he owes and loves X-E1. He hates RX1, but he owes and loves X-vario. He also owes an Nikon-1, so I guess he is insane for sure.

7 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

He has a point about E-P5 and GX7 being too expensive. Although they are not more expensive here in the US than D7100, maybe in Italy?

0 upvotes
Markol
By Markol (8 months ago)

Did not read all of it but the D7100 comparison to the EP5 and GX7 is exactly what I am saying. They just cost too much, or maybe dslrs are too cheap, either way, the relation is not there value wise.

0 upvotes
Scott Birch
By Scott Birch (8 months ago)

Such a pity ..

0 upvotes
timo
By timo (8 months ago)

So the move to mirrorless isn't quite as solid as many have suggested.

2 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Move to mirrorless is solid, it takes time (they are in a much better place than they were with their DSLR lineup against CaNikons)

You don't even need to look at numbers, just look at Nikon and Canon, releasing mirror less systems in spite of pure domination of the DSLR market. Yes they did not release anything worth buying, but its just because they are not ready or willing to kill their milk cow.

6 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@Timo
Eyes wide shut, me thinks...

0 upvotes
mike051051
By mike051051 (8 months ago)

>...PEN sales had fallen 12% in the first quarter, but that it expected the
> year's income from mirrorless models to be consistent with last year's
> figure <snip> ...said the camera business is on track to break even this
> financial year. <snip>...but Olympus says its restructuring plan will allow it > to 'move to a cost structure suitable for the scale of the business.'

Ouch, this kind of talk makes me nervous for Oly's camera business. This is the exact same line of rhetoric used by Kodak Senior Management about two years before the Chapter 11 filing and the dissolution of their camera business.

I sincerely hope that Olympus's senior staff and directors are more focused than were Kodak's (pun intended).....

1 upvote
Nathebeach
By Nathebeach (8 months ago)

Kodak was in a different boat. They made so much money on film (processing, not selling film) that when that dried up they did not have a back up plan. they were a victim of being too successful. What were they supposed to do? NOT take the money that flowed in from processing? I don't know if it is a valid comparison, but that does not mean Oly cannot learn from it.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

I wish you well Oly.
Thank you for so many amazing innovations in the past 10 years. You are on the right track, keep innovating and bring miniature mirror less E-5 with UHG lenses.

11 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (8 months ago)

IMO Sony tries much harder to get into the pro market and they probably have flush most of their effort down the drain in the camera market. Consumers, holiday snappers, enthusiasts and semi pro are the much wider market that Olympus should target their effort in selling their system.
Contrary to popular believe, pros don't switch or upgrade gears every time a new model is being announced. It's the enthusiast or gear heads doing that and making the most noise and they are the segment most willing to part with their money if the product speaks to them.

The m43 series is an excellent move by Olympus and Panasonic although i hate to admit it as a previous owner of the E-system. They effectively created a new segment for other companies to compete in and to date only fuji showed a strong alternative IMO.

Getting out of low-end compact cameras is a right move in face of smartphones and they're right in focusing on niche applications that smart phones can't do like zooms and tough range.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

don't think Sony is interested in pro market. they don't have any pro product (nobody has except Canon and Nikon). Sony come from compact camera sector which is same as Oly. it's a good thing for everyone that we put SLR 4/3" behind us.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (8 months ago)

They have A99 which is clearly pro-level camera. Also had A900 and A850 both being pro gear (A850 is funny case being the first sub-2000$ full frame DSLR). There are also A77 and A700 both of which can be considered pro-APS-C cameras (though according to some there's no such thing as "pro APS-C").

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

How is A99 is more pro level than the clearly consumer-level D600?

0 upvotes
BobT3218
By BobT3218 (8 months ago)

@yabokkie I beg to differ. Sony's heritage is Minolta and Konica. Who would dispute their pro credentials.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

they may call it pro but they cannot sell it to pro.
they have never planned to sell it pro.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tommy leong
By tommy leong (8 months ago)

something odd about Olympus, given its success with OMD i would think that the XZ-2 would be a walk in the park for them.

YET somehow they managed to ruin XZ-2 autofocus...
Its a great little camera but i wouldn't whole heartedly recommend it.
.
.
Seems like they didn't finish off the important part of their products.

0 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (8 months ago)

According to the dpreview test they recommend the XZ-2 together with the RX100 as best all-rounder.

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2367736880/roundup-enthusiast-zoom-compact-cameras/12

So probably you are exaggerate things.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (8 months ago)

I would not call it "ruined".
It can get tricky when in full zoom and F>3.0, but most of the time there are no problems.

0 upvotes
Treeshade
By Treeshade (8 months ago)

It is just the first quarter sales. I am sure the annual sales this year would rise. There are a lot of EPM on the (Hong Kong) streets. I am seeing more OMD on enthusiast hands.

Does PEN earn more profit as stylist consumer product, enthusiast camera, or professional carry-around? Is it feasible (and profitable) to develop a pro-OMD and high-end lens (as many DPREVIEW readers suggest)?

Anyway, I am hoping for more weather-sealed lens.

0 upvotes
crsantin
By crsantin (8 months ago)

Micro four thirds are priced way too high, the cameras and the lenses. Too many models released too quickly as well. You have no time to really enjoy your purchase before a new model is released, making you feel like you have inferior equipment. People are catching on that they can get last year's model and stupidly reduced prices, so why buy new. Look at what the Panny GX1 is going for now, it's just stupid. Nikon has the same problem with the V1, priced way too high at launch and now are selling it at crazy low prices. Is anyone buying the V2 at $800? Didn't think so.

Meanwhile I can get a Nikon, Canon or Sony DSLR for well under 1k, even under 700 bucks, with a lens. When I don't want to lug that gear around I can just shoot with my phone.

In about 5 years time, all DSLR's will be mirrorless and smaller, phones will have greatly improved cameras (sufficient for most of the population), and systems like the V1 and m4/3 will be a memory, as will the compact camera.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

isn't price the higher the better?
from a maker's point of view?

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (8 months ago)

That sounds like a consumer problem rather then an Olympus problem... I'm not sure iterating quickly and following up with new and improved models has ever been the reason for a manufacturer/market's demise (quite the opposite actually), if you can't handle progress then don't obsess over new tech quite so hard, simple.

Frustrating a small amount of people who already bought their gear and can't manage their gadget lust isn't really what's slowing sales down in general tho. It's not like DSLRs aren't facing the same issues, Canon puts out new Rebels like they have a gun to their head, and old models also see steep discounts.

Sure you can zero in on a few DSLR models that hold their value well, just like you can zero in on a few M43 models that do the same (the OMD hasn't really dropped tremendously after a year...). That's not to say that either market couldn't benefit from streamlining their inventory, that's actually one of Apple's big keys to success, along with good marketing, mirrorless could use a serious helping of both.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

How do you figure that in five years all DSLRs will be mirrorless when DSLRs outsell mirrorless worldwide, in some regions like Europe by as much as 9-to-1?

That's like saying in 5 years all cars will be electric when the majority of people still drive gasoline powered cars. There is no evidence in market trends to support your theory.

New technology is supposed to outperform older technology and with mirrorless vs DSLR that has not happened. Even the very best EVF is not as pleasant to use as a proper Pentaprism VF.

And how do you figure m43 and other cameras will be replaced by compact cameras? You do realize that most enthusiasts and professionals prefer larger, more robust cameras to tiny compacts with cramped controls and poor ergonomics?

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@marike6
MIrrorless has 30% of the market in the UK and isn't too far behind in other European countries...

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

we will need 10 years to shift to mirroless if Canon and Nikon do it at full scale. 10 years is about the time they will need to build full line of lenses for the new mount.

since a small number of lenses are used by pro photographers most of time, they should be able to make a landchange in several years, like Nikon did since 2007 (for a same mount though).

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@crsantin
The value lies in how often you use and enjoy the camera and how many keepers you get, over a Nikon, Canon or Sony DSLR the micro four thirds wins hands down....

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

top quality Oly made Shenzhen and Ho Chi Minh City?

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

So what? are you jealous that China is taking Japan's place as manufacturing super power?
It happened to America in 70s when Japan took over, now its happening to Japan. Unfortunate but its a natural cycle.
China is no longer synonymous with bad product quality.

0 upvotes
expressivecanvas
By expressivecanvas (8 months ago)

The sad thing is Olympus had the camera formula right years ago and they dropped the ball... small camera system, yet large on expansion, options, pro-level quality. They could have been successful simply incorporating their newer micro camera features/designs into their already established 4/3's line, using the better, proven 4/3 lenses. In my opinion, they expanded into an entire new system when resources should have been focused on advancing their 4/3's lineup and 4/3's potential.

The micro 4/3 lens lineup is weak even after a few years in the market... where are the fast zooms? ...wide, normal, and tele? Abandoning your loyal customer base, again, definitely hurts as well.

Other than wanting to push their customers to buy into a completely new system which, in my opinion, is a step downward, unnecessary and far too expensive, I have no idea what Olympus is thinking. Whatever it is, it's clearly not working and their financial statements are proving it is not working.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (8 months ago)

well, problem was that 4/3 was very weak comparing to competition, even Pentax, not to mention Canon or Nikon. 4/3 sensor just couldn't match APS-C.
Now it's much better in mirrorless market, but that's mostly because competition is by far easier (eg. Nikon 1 with silly-small sensors) - we'll see how it shapes though it looks like 4/3 is slowly loosing momentum - question is - is it because whole mirrorless market is loosing momentum (as Nikon pointed out) or they are loosing (again) competition to larger sensors?

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

When Olympus first introduced the 4/3 concept years ago, they pitched it at the professional market with their E1. It was quite impressive. I remember attending their launch. There were trying to convince customers about their "digital lenses" design especially for digital DSLR. Many believed them. At that time Canon and Nikon were not that established in digital yet.

Later, many customers woke up and realised that the sensor size is small. It has limitations yet the body like the E-5 is not much smaller than the APS-C DSLRs. The lenses were not cheap too. Thus, many photographers switched to either Canon or Nikon. That was the beginning of the end of their professional market.

Making their cameras smaller with the micro 4/3 was a good move. The smaller size appeal to many travel photographers. But the earlier PENs were slow. It was like it was launched prematurely. Professional photographers were again disappointed, this time almost for good.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

Having lost most of their professional photographer customers, they divert their interest to the consumer market. Unfortunately, this sector is very price sensitive and are attracted by "gimmicks". Trying to please them means having to introduce many models too often draining valuable resources which could have been used for more serious upgrades.

The OMD was a good attempt but the camera was not perfect either. Probably, it is the best they have done so far. Eventhough the body is weatherproof, there is only one weatherproof lens and the optical quality of the lens has much to be improved. Looks like they have lost the quality standard when they first launch the 4/3 format years ago.

With digital, I think mirrorless cameras are here to stay but it does not have to be 4/3. The micro 4/3 format may not appeal anymore if the full frame format is getting cheaper.

The image quality from the larger format is so much better. Now, how is Olympus going to keep their market share?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (8 months ago)

Olympus was late at the dSLR game. The E system was a good system whit a smaller sensor. The E-x was the professional line and was beloved by some pro's (for there toughness in all conditions). But most did already choose Canikon. Olympus did produced some of the finest digital glass that is still praised. But it is hard to crack a market, Sony tries with all there might and doesn't succeed.

The M4/3 lens lineup is by far the best of any mirror-less system. M4/3 will do just fine. FF is getting cheaper and so does the build quality of the FF body's. Why pay almost 2000 euro for a FF dSLR as it has the same cheap body of a 350 euro SLR back in the day's?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@Plastek
Micro Four Thirds and Fuji are the only ones who haven't lost momentum and Sony is about to pick up speed soon...

1 upvote
Gabriel Yeo
By Gabriel Yeo (8 months ago)

Sony is APS-C. And they have competition from Samsung.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@white shadow
Full frame is doomed, clients and consumers dont want massive file sizes and more photographers are getting feed up editing them...

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

@YouDidntDidYou

You are absolutely wrong. I have have been in advertising for 40 years, shooting on medium format film to digital.

If you are shooting professionally, one would always shoot using the best resolution. Full frame digital format is the best compromise if one do not use digital medium format.

No one uses micro 4/3 or even APS-C for real professional photography. It is just not done. Wedding photographers may use APC-C if the client is on a low budget.

File size is never a problem. We are paid to process them.

0 upvotes
Ari Sandi
By Ari Sandi (8 months ago)

nah, FF will still be around.
But yes, for majority of customers (who only use pc, note/netbook, smartphone or tablet for viewing, saving or doing light PP) don't need or want massive file size.
Why do you think photos created by smartphone is dominating Flickr or FB? because file size is small enough and fast to be uploaded. Fast to be viewed on Tablet or Netbook.
And this kind of customers is, I don't know, maybe over 70% of the potential camera buyer. But I'm sure the percentage is significant enough compare to "the Professional ones".

0 upvotes
thegunshow101
By thegunshow101 (8 months ago)

The whole mirrorless segment is pricing itself out of contention. This coupled with drastic price cuts at the end of a camera cycle is having a huge negative impact on camera sales.. If they would price the camera more competitively right out of the gate, not only would there be many more buyers, but existing owners would probably jump on every upgrade cycle.

Mirrorless is also such a rapidly changing technology.. Having to drop a huge chunk of change on a camera that you feel will be obsolete (to the need to have newest crowd) is not desirable.. A lot of people are subconsciously waiting on a camera that will have a longer life span before dropping $1000-$1500 on kit system.. Once again here, lower and more consistent pricing is the answer..

5 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (8 months ago)

First, update the OMD, give it more, better features, focus peaking, get out of the 4/3 format, or, at least, put a second and third format beside of it. An OMD with FF, APSCn and 4/3, can do good, manual facilities with focus peaking, better EVF, and so on, and then, more weather sealed lenses for that body. And, then look at the pricing of the latest Pen, it is more expensive than Pana GX7, and has no VF at all.

We must progress and have reasonable prices, the mass makes it, many cents make also big money, GOD and the Vatican show us the way, they get rich by earning billions of pennies a day.

1 upvote
BJN
By BJN (8 months ago)

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

Olympus isn't going to develop entire new systems for larger formats. Aside from financing, Olympus can't backpedal on Four Thirds as the compact and lightweight alternative system. Competing head-to-head with the larger format powers is not a formula for Olympus to succeed.

4 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

Olympus have the technology to make excellent professional grade cameras but they are not pulling their act together good enough.

Probably, the financial scandal they had have drain their management resources and their marketing skill. They should have a better marketing team who are more in touch with their customer needs.

While struggling in the low end consumer market, they are also loosing their market in the professional sector. Its sad it has arrived to this junction. Today, if one is a professional photographer, one do not think of Olympus.

The OMD was a good attempt but it just stop short of being a really professional camera. For example, the body is weather proof but only one lens is. Disappointing!

If this trend continues, there maybe more bad news to come.

3 upvotes
Ricurr
By Ricurr (8 months ago)

Al parecer Canon tenía razón en no entrar a este mercado

0 upvotes
Vinny311
By Vinny311 (8 months ago)

Si lo hicieron al mercado mirrorless, EOS-M y fallaron miserablemente...como siempre ultimos como el rabo del perro...

0 upvotes
JonathanFV
By JonathanFV (8 months ago)

That's kinda sad. I chose to go with the Sony NEX system, but I was also interested in Olympus' M4/3 option. I think that they have very nice cameras, and I really like that they have the E-PM2 as an affordable option. Hope they can do fine on that market and keep proposing these appealing cameras!

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

what do you mean by nice?

there are two things that I like, the Pana's fast readout CDAF which really surprised me that it performs pretty well, and Oly's sensor shift stabilizer that works with all the lenses.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
JonathanFV
By JonathanFV (8 months ago)

They're nice, sturdy cameras with a good built quality and a good sensor for its size. I also like the stabilization, and the autofocus is pretty decent. The E-PM2 also have an okay low light performance, still for the size of the sensor, and the price is affordable. But as time goes, I'll still probably move towards a bigger, or better sensor (I happen to like night photography), which means I won't get a Micro 4/3, although I like the offering.

It's true that Panasonic also have very nice cameras, and the image quality of both brands seem much better than the previous generation.

0 upvotes
JM McInnes
By JM McInnes (8 months ago)

E-7 please.
If mirrorless sales have reached a plateau and DSLR sales are stronger by comparison, then it would seem to make sense to stay in the DSLR market. The relatively high price for the 3 year old E-5, whether new or used, suggests that there's some demand. An E-5 update with the EM-5's 16mp sensor, 5-axis stabilisation, a proper focus-assist lamp, and some of the firmware improvements such as time-lapse, lens distortion correction, and bulb preview would be doing no more than combining existing Olympus technologies.
(Actually they had time-lapse in some of the old Camedia units but for some reason abandoned it. The same goes for other good ideas like the the backlit buttons on the E620 and the live view AF sensor in the E330. If the rumoured EM-1 spec are correct, the fully articulated LCD will be another layer in the Olymous fossil record.)
Failing that, I hope the EM-1 has some decent heft. or that the new 4/3-m4/3 adapter has a tripod foot.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

the SLR 4/3" is one of the most stupid "inventions" in camera history.

2 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (8 months ago)

If you going that direction, I would also like integrated spot metering, just like the OM-4 and my Camedia C-2040! Some of the early digital cameras were better cameras as they were pursuing a traditional vision.

1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@JM McInnes
the E-M1 LCD rumors were incorrect :) I can see configurable backlit buttons being in the O-MD Pro, along with timelapse etc

0 upvotes
lmqch
By lmqch (8 months ago)

Agree i hope Olympus come by an E-7 to next year the is easy to upgrade E-5, when al tech so we need is in E-P5.
Maybe Olympus think folk jump from 4/3 to Micro4/3 but an adapter will not do SHG lens samll anyway so this "E-M1 by new adapter" is only for all so will use HG lens so also is water Pro, but not an solution SHG lens.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 245
12