Olympus Can't Win...

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,974
Olympus Can't Win...

Those of us around when m4/3 got started, and Olympus came out with the EP1, may remember how often the "it's just a toy" or "I'll wait until they have a better enthusiast grade camera" type comments were made by doubters. A regular point of discussion, not just here but on Youtube and photo blogs, was whether Olympus would come out with a "real" pro grade camera in m4/3.

Now Olympus is focusing on pro grade lenses and cameras, and people are again complaining. It's as though all the smaller gear that is still available isn't good enough.

Yes, it would be nice if cash-strapped Olympus could develop a wider range of new cameras and lenses all at the same time, but they can't. Pouting about being neglected is, in my opinion, being unrealistic.

Consider how marketing works. What is the "logic" behind Canon or Nikon being a better camera system to buy into? "Pros use them". In fact, at one time, Nikon's slogan was "The Professionals' Choice". Not "The Enthusiasts' Choice" or "The Advanced Amateurs' Choice". So, like it or not, having pro grade gear is at the very least, a marketing tool.

So I'm amused to see this forum, which once had a plethora of posts complaining that there wasn't any pro grade gear available in m4/3, is now having an abundance of complaints about Olympus concentrating on pro grade gear.

I too would like to see Olympus coming out with a steady flow of upgrades in camera bodies of all tiers, as well as smaller lenses to fill out some of the gaps in the line up for those who prefer smaller gear. (then again, Panasonic does offer some lenses that fit that bill.) However, I also realize two things about Olympus that currently limit what they can or will do.

First is that the consumer imaging division isn't currently profitable enough to do as much as people might  like.  Second is that the consumer imaging division isn't as much of a corporate focal point as it is with Canon (which has several other very profitable divisions) or Nikon (which doesn't do well with its other divisions so has to put a lot of money and effort into cameras). (Sony is an anomaly of sorts because they seem to hemorrhage money on a regular basis due to underperforming products, then bounce back).

But really, how much of this angst is misplaced. Olympus hasn't stopped selling mid and low tier gear, or the smaller lenses. Frankly, there isn't that much of a difference between what some of the newer mid and low tier gear from other camera makers and the gear they replaced. I doubt anyone's EM5 MkII isn't taking photos that are quite adequate by today's standards. I'm sure I'll annoy some people by saying that most don't need any more than what those camera's offer.

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Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed. Quote by Garry Winogrand

Olympus PEN E-P1
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