Why does the forum shoot the em-1 and not gx7?

Started Apr 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
Joel Halbert Contributing Member • Posts: 608
Re: Olympus has been in quality cameras much longer than Panasonic

Tom, the following comments are meant to fill in the historical record for those who may be interested - not to argue the substance of your points which are little changed by my additions:

Tom Axford wrote:

Cane wrote:

These two m4/3 cameras seem like the two heavyweight rivals from Olymponic, yet the forum get 10 times the talk and traffic regarding the em-1. Why?

An interesting point. Olympus cameras in general account for more talk on the forum than Panasonic cameras. I rather doubt that differences in the number of sales can account for this, but I haven't seen the figures.

My own guess is that there are a lot more photographers emotionally attached to Olympus than there are to Panasonic. The reasons for this are largely historical: Olympus made film cameras that were well loved and they acquired a dedicated band of followers soon after the introduction of the first Olympus SLR in the 1970s.

The link, understandably, leads to the OM-1 and the OM series. Olympus made a popular half-frame SLR series, the Pen F series in the 1960s (they are SLRs though using an internal porro-prism rather than a top penta-prism, followed by a more mainstream Praktica/Pentax M42 thread mount 24x36 SLR (Olympus FTL) before launching the more impactful M1->OM-1 in 1973. The Olympus E-3xx and E-5xx cameras borrowed the Pen F reflex design and therefore don't have the pentaprism top housing.

My impression is that some (many?) current contributors to this forum have also used Olympus film cameras before they switched to digital. On the other hand, Panasonic never made film cameras as far as I am aware and have only been making digital ILCs for about 5 years (?), much less time to acquire a dedicated following.

Actually, Panasonic did produce film cameras from the 1990s, point and shoot models that were mostly supplied OEM to other makers, though a couple of models were sold as Panasonics. The first ILC DSLR was the DMC-L1 - about eight years ago in 2006, which borrowed its configuration (but with higher-end construction and kit lens) from the aforementioned Olympus E-5xx design and built on their mutual supplier/designer collaboration with Olympus. The L1 and lenses, though a very nice setup, was never expected to give Panasonic a new and dedicated following; it was more of a capability statement and infrastructure test vehicle.

There is no doubt that Olympus has richer camera history and a more dedicated and larger base of loyal fans for high-end cameras, and it is evident from forum comments that many MFT users, though willing to cross brands, still have a strong tendency to forgive O and suspect P when in any doubt. I am fairly sure that the engineers at O and P have more respect (and recognition of the mutual benefits) of each others' capabilities and performance than do their own brand-loyal customers.

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