So who was 4/3 originally aimed at?

Started Nov 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
John Mason
John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Well - it was smaller initially

When I bought my E1 I also was using Canon's 1ds.  The discussions in this thread about size often compare the E1 to cameras from other lines that were not built to pro standards in terms of weather proofing.
I remember playing with both cameras at length to try to pick which one was going on an overseas trip.  The E1 kit with 14-54 zoom vs the 1ds with 24-105 zoom.  The size/weight greatly favored the E1.
My test color range shots of flowers showed that even using different raw developers, the sensor on the E1 was much better than the Canon at color accuracy especially in the reds and violets.

But, alas, as much of what I was shooting was going to be indoors where flash was not allowed, I lugged the bigger Canon kit around.

I've been dual system since those days upgrading the Canon to 1ds, 1ds2, 1ds3, 5d2 (which while the same sensor size ad the 1ds3 was the first Canon to not be plagued by dust), and now 5d3 (which brings a bit of the 1d level viewfinder, focusing system and build to a smaller body finally)

On the Olympus side I went E1, E30 and E5 and then EM5 and now EM1 (and still have all those bodies).

I have 3 canon L zooms and 3 Olympus zooms - two SHG's and 1 HG.  I do agree with the LL article that as a company group of lenses, the Olympus lens line is overall better than the Canikon offerings.  This difference is most apparent when shooting wide open and in the corners.  There are exceptions, of course, but as an overall statement, that matches my experience.
I also agree with the LL article that in many ways the promise of smaller yet pro level build was hard to achieve with the mirror box and rigid adherence to telecentric design.  In m4/3 Olympus is changing their own rules quite a bit and allowing digital processing to correct some lens aberrations to allow a lens to be smaller.  The 12 f2 is a prime example of that (pun intended).
So now it's many years later and I'm still shooting dual system.  But with the EM1 I'm just about to go single system.  While the image quality is really not much different than the EM5 the EM1 is the first camera since the E1 that ergonomically just clicks all the boxes for me.  It's a pro level camera in a handy little box, but still flexible when you add the HDL7 to handle the bigger SHG lenses.  I might well sell the EM5 to get a second EM1 I like it so much better.  Though, frankly the EM5 will be fine as a cotton carrier hip 60mm macro lens camera on hikes.
It's been an interesting decade since the E1 came out.  The range of capability overlap between a FF camera and a 4/3 or m4/3 camera has gotten larger with each generation.  I think the EM1's success will be because finally - not ten years ago when the E1 came out - but now, the technology is there to allow the EM1 to fulfill the failed promises of the original 4/3 system.
I was just at Robert's Camera today buying some FL600r flashes and was impressed at how much store space had EM1 posters, cubes, handy peel off rebate sheets, a dedicated Olympus counter with knowledgable salesperson and some EM1's in stock.  This is entirely different than the E5 launch.  There is justifiable excitement about this camera.
I did some indoor difficult lighting shooting this week with the EM1 and 14-35 shg out front shooting at F2.  What a great combo with that strong IBIS of the EM1 and fast sharp edge to edge zoom!
Fun times!

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