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

Started Mar 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,049
One simple reason why it will probably never happen

The potential market for an E7 is minuscule. Even smaller than the market for the E5 was.

If Olympus devotes any effort to creating a new 4/3 flagship camera, then it will only appeal to the remaining diehard 4/3 users. In other words, people like me. And our numbers are dwindling every day that Olympus keeps postponing and dragging their feet on this.

At it's peak, 4/3 had perhaps a 7% share of the DSLR market. Of that 7% perhaps one in seven (1%) would even consider buying a $2,000 camera. Today, that 7% is probably down to less than 4%, so you can see how small the market potential of a new 4/3 flagship might be.

If Olympus had any plans to drop an OM-D sensor into an E5 body, then they could have done this a year ago, simultaneous with the release of the OM-D. If this was their plan then it should have been done quickly, and not after more users switch to other brands.

On the other hand, Olympus has a M4/3 product line, which has broad appeal to users from any brand camp as a second system. A more portable one, that can provide stunning image quality, lots of control flexibility and a wide array of excellent lenses. As a further plus, the new user can use 100% of their "other brand lenses" by buying a simple adapter.

This system also has broad appeal to P&S users moving up, or DSLR users from other brands who want to switch to a lighter kit without sacrificing a lot of image quality. This system is being supported by two major manufacturers, and half a dozen lens makers, with a constant flow of new bodies and lenses.

So why even bother to create one more 4/3 DSLR, especially one that would only have appeal to existing users and have zero appeal to new users? The only reason I can think of is to toss your most faithful customers one more bone, just to keep them from whining so much.

If you have noticed Olympus has dropped hints that they are working on a solution for using 4/3 lenses with faster AF. The optimistic folks think this means a new 4/3 DSLR is in the works, but it might just mean that are simply trying to create a M4/3 camera that can do PDAF with 4/3 lenses. After all, every single 4/3 camera ever made already has "fast AF with 4/3 lenses."

I actually hope I am wrong about this because I would love to see an E7 with a 4/3 lens mount.

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +12 more
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