Olympus is an excellent product poorly presented

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rovingtim Veteran Member • Posts: 8,746
Olympus is an excellent product poorly presented

In 2004 I was shooting professionally and providing Olympus with advertising images.

The first big mistake Olympus made was to assume the goal post was film. They determined that 5mp was enough and spent a great deal of time and energy trying to convince the world that their E1 did indeed compete with film. It did. Unfortunately, sensors were rapidly exceeding film in a few key areas, such as resolution. This left Oly standing in the dust. Even Oly realised this by 2006 because as soon as they released the 10mp consumer E400, they started asking me for E400 files instead of E1 files, even though the E400 performed poorly compared to the E1 in all other respects.

At the same time they made another crucial mistake. They implied 'equivalent' lenses were adjusted for focal length only, but not the aperture (launching a decade long war on the 4/3rds forum). Knowledgeable photographers immediately recognised this slight-of-hand, but Oly marketing was banking on the consumers driving profit. This worked until the I-phone came out. Most casual photographers disappeared and the DSLR market began to be increasingly driven by knowledgeable photographers.

This was also stupid because DoF can be controlled in other ways, not just sensor size and aperture. See this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2OXdhmAM94 (Chelsea and Tony competing zooms v primes)

Their 'equivalence' slight-of-hand crippled Oly and an unexpected way: people assumed the 4/3rds sensor was the problem (because it had more noise). Their latest sensors especially are actually very very good. If you give the m4/3rds sensor the same light as a FF sensor, you get the same noise levels. In fact, the EM1 Mii sensor is outstanding according to photontophotos.net, better than many FF sensors in all but dynamic range. But because of the rubbish marketing about lenses, few will believe it (because f2 is f2 ... right? -- thanks Oly marketing)

Oly and Panasonic lenses are outstanding. Olympus' only real issue is their bokeh rendition, but I believe this is a trade-off with sharpness. As the DPReview video indicates, it is very difficult to find any true equivalent in FF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5VELOGqimA

Oly has always been on the backfoot largely by their own making. They make an excellent product but have been crippled by their ridiculous and sometimes untruthful marketing (anyone remember 'gottaway proof'?).

Anyway, just wanted to say my piece.

Olympus E-400 (EVOLT E-400) Olympus E-M1
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