Olympus u4/3rds... who is considering it? What are your reqs?

Started Jun 1, 2009 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: The real question is: .....

Sam610 wrote:

Thank you Thom for making your contribution to the forum. I fully
agree with your argument about the economy scale. So, in your
opinion, to increase success, Oly should not make mFT, instead of
going for mAPS, is it right.

No, not at all. They're committed to 4/3 now and need to play that out. However, once there are multple m4/3 and mAPS entrants, what is it that distinguishes Olympus? That's the question they have to answer. I know I got slammed before for the "knife to a gun fight" reference, but Oly needs to be careful that this isn't the case.

No, the real issue for Oly is that a perfect m4/3 camera starts to make the regular 4/3 DSLRs they make look a little less interesting. (Note I said "a little" not "completely".) They'd provide some upward mobility to someone who enters at m4/3, but it still doesn't really answer the question about what is it that distinguishes Olympus?

My personal take: small size, high performance. That's one of my problems with the E-3. Compared to my D300 it isn't small size, and the "high performance" aspect is not exactly a win, either.

So what would I do if I were Oly?

1. Kill most of the full 4/3 models. Create consumer m4/3 and high-end m4/3.

2. Followup to the E-3 needs a big size reduction (about the same amount as I need to reduce personally ; ).

3. Introduce a mFX (full frame). Small size, high performance full frame. Nikon and Canon have left that hole for anyone to exploit.

But if they decide to change the strategy, what is the chance of
success or product differentiation from other giant competitors as

Not so much "change the strategy" as "correctly execute" it. Olympus keeps playing the "small" card and not quite delivering, IMHO.

Also, talking about the product differentiation, Fuji, Sigma and
Pentax all have their distinct products from the main stream. How
well successful they are comparing to Nikon and Canon.

I think that anyone is going to have a difficult time knocking off Nikon, Canon, and Sony in DSLRs. Those three have much bigger installed user bases, have too much to lose, and see owning the main part of the market as necessary. You have to snipe at the edges and the niches to be successful. And you'd better have a real strategy that EVERY last item in your lineup reinforces and highlights.

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (19 and counting)

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