So who was 4/3 originally aimed at?

Started Nov 16, 2013 | Discussions
exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: A big fail, no pros have or would use it.

Marty4650 wrote:

Do you honestly think Olympus introduced a $2,000 weather sealed camera, and an $8,000 weather sealed lens for "old people?"

absolutely... they leak a lot and can't carry a normal load of gear.

 exdeejjjaaaa's gear list:exdeejjjaaaa's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Phase One Capture One Pro +25 more
rovingtim Veteran Member • Posts: 8,644
missing the point

And I don't say this as a dig against you.

Marty4650 wrote:

4/3 never could compete with a FF sensor (and even an APS-C sensor) when it came to sports photography or commercial photography for billboards. And the smaller sensor was at a disadvantage for any sort of low light photography, like for weddings.

The point is that the sensor size is irrelevant to noise. The key is the lenses.

If 4/3rds had equivalent lenses to those available to FF drivers, there would be NO noise disadvantage. None. Nada. Not a single one.

The problem is that an F2 lens in 4/3rds is equivalent to an F4 lens in FF.

A bright lens is considered f1.4 in FF. An F4 equivalent lens is simply not bright enough. There are no really bright lenses in 4/3rds.

That is why there is a noise problem, not because of the sensor size. The problem is the lenses.

Many of the professionals who shoot landscapes don't feel FF sensors are big enough. They use medium and large format cameras instead.

Professional photographers are interested in resolution and DR regardless of physical size. Witness the landscaper's joy of the D800. It is technically possible for 4/3rds to have very high mp and dynamic range.

The OP asked... "what market was 4/3 originally aimed at?" And I think it is very hard to deny they were aiming very high at professionals, once you look at the build quality, lens quality and prices of the initial offerings.

Olympus claimed outright that the E1 was the beginning of a 'professional' system. They even set up pro support that a professional photographer could sign up to. This gave you access to very rapid service and a hotline to experts (though I found their 'experts' to be wanting).

Karaya Senior Member • Posts: 2,045
Re: Sehr mich so ..

Aoresteen wrote:

Sergey_Green wrote:

Aoresteen wrote:

One of the first lenses announced was the 300mm f/2.8 Big Tuna. Clearly Olympus was targeting pros with the E-1 as not too many amateurs buy a 300mm f/2.8 at $7,000 new.

And then they did not sell many of them, as today it is rather a rarity, but the system continued. Till it finally made absolutely no sense even to Olympus themselves, as their market simply faded from existence.

And it's a lens that I have on my Christmas list - not for this year but next if things go well for me in 2014

And I am sure you will love it and take many wonderful photos with it, as it is a fabulous lens and produces distinctive - superlative images no matter which analog to digital converter (i.e. camera!) happens to be attached to it!

 Karaya's gear list:Karaya's gear list
Olympus Zuiko Digital 300mm 1:2.8 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Olympus E-5 Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 +3 more
MatijaK Regular Member • Posts: 237
Re: So who was 4/3 originally aimed at?
4

Big Ga wrote:

So what do you think? what was the target market that 4/3 was originally gunning for?

Olympus really was aiming at the pro market, but they have failed because of this:

1) The AF system was never up to par. They should have spent a lot more R&D money or purchased a patent from someone.

2) The 2x FL is well-suited for macro and telephoto. There have only been two macro lenses, both with short focal distances, and no manual focus. Telephoto in the prosumer segment stopped at 200mm. A 100-400 f/4 with good AF in the body would have done wonders.

3) Despite the 2x crop, the primes produced were the 25mm f/2.8, 35mm f/3.5 and 50mm f/2 (the only bright prime). Those errors were fixed with m4/3, but the fact remains that the 4/3 system was missing a bright 12mm, 17mm and 25mm. The zooms are wonderful, but many people prefer primes.

I don't see a bright future for m4/3. It fills a certain "carry everywhere" niche, but give it five years, and smartphones will take its place, like they did with "carry everywhere" compact cameras. Canikon will go full mirrorless and not change a thing, except replace the OVF with an EVF. They haven't done so yet because mirrorless isn't ready. It's close, but not there yet.

Marty4650
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,193
A lot of people have to die before cell phones "take over"
1

I'm not saying it is impossible, but before cell phones become the dominant photographic tool everyone born before 1970 must die first.

You could say they are the dominant photographic tool right now, if you only consider snapshots. But there are some people who say cell phones are destroying the DSLR market too, and at least right now, that is sheer nonsense.

There will always be people who put their highest priority on convenience, and there will always be others who will put their highest priority on other things. And those other things can be quality, versatility, image or even style.

Despite the fact that you can buy a very accurate quartz wristwatch for $20, there are still people who spend thousands of dollars to buy analog Rolexes that you need to wind up each day.

Anyone who buys the theory that cell phones will replace all cameras, must also accept that fact that google glasses will eventually replace cell phones. And then something else will come down the pike. Perhaps someday you will just look at something and think "take a photo" and image will end up on the memory card in the slot we added to the back your head.

Of course, then you will need wide angle and telephoto "conversion glasses."

For me, the ironic thing is that people who upgrade cameras every two years are worried to death that the camera they buy today may not be useful 30 years from now.

Meanwhile, my 58 year old Leica M3 still works.

 Marty4650's gear list:Marty4650's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +13 more
bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 60,603
Re: A lot of people have to die before cell phones "take over"
1

Marty4650 wrote:

I'm not saying it is impossible, but before cell phones become the dominant photographic tool everyone born before 1970 must die first.

Now there you have the starting point for a plot for a superhero movie.

-- hide signature --

Bob

alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: missing the point

rovingtim wrote:

And I don't say this as a dig against you.

Marty4650 wrote:

4/3 never could compete with a FF sensor (and even an APS-C sensor) when it came to sports photography or commercial photography for billboards. And the smaller sensor was at a disadvantage for any sort of low light photography, like for weddings.

The point is that the sensor size is irrelevant to noise. The key is the lenses.

Unless the sensor underperforms. The Panasonic sensors seemed to do that for a couple of iterations. They were about on par when the E-30 came out, and at least for noise and DR fell behind after that (until the OMD where they punched slightly above their weight)

If 4/3rds had equivalent lenses to those available to FF drivers, there would be NO noise disadvantage. None. Nada. Not a single one.

The problem is that an F2 lens in 4/3rds is equivalent to an F4 lens in FF.

A 1 stop noise disadvantage is not life threatening, while people keep banging on this f4 business, the truth is the f2 zoom would be side by side an f2.8 zoom.

A bright lens is considered f1.4 in FF. An F4 equivalent lens is simply not bright enough. There are no really bright lenses in 4/3rds.

Yet the challenge here for the f1.4 FF lens is DoF. While you can be creative with very shallow DoF for many purposes of documentation it is simply too shallow.

That is why there is a noise problem, not because of the sensor size. The problem is the lenses.

Many of the professionals who shoot landscapes don't feel FF sensors are big enough. They use medium and large format cameras instead.

Professional photographers are interested in resolution and DR regardless of physical size. Witness the landscaper's joy of the D800. It is technically possible for 4/3rds to have very high mp and dynamic range.

Professional photographers are interested in making money using their craft. Few expressed "joy" at the new camera, many chose not to upgrade etc (as with every new body).

As an FYI I was just bidding on a $XX,XXX project to shoot some thousands of products for a large multinational. They wanted the biggest resolution files they could get their hands on, well we had to discuss this, thousands of professionally processed images all at say 36mp... I was not jumping for joy.

DR is important, colour accuracy is important, noise performance is important (not all to the same people)... But the industry generally feels that product work must be done with the most expensive, high MP kit... But in all seriousness it shouldn't. Take this example:

Simple groupshot.

Beyond the detail in the bottles, what are we gaining with more MP? Higher crispness than even the print on the bottle labels is capable of?

detail of image above

Or even high end electronics?

The amount of PP here is very high, and a higher MP camera would not change that.

To conclude, after some discussion about intended uses (majority for web) the client agreed that there was no need to push the MP limit. It is in many instances just the only mechanism for "quality" they know. But when they want your work, they want your work.

The OP asked... "what market was 4/3 originally aimed at?" And I think it is very hard to deny they were aiming very high at professionals, once you look at the build quality, lens quality and prices of the initial offerings.

Olympus claimed outright that the E1 was the beginning of a 'professional' system. They even set up pro support that a professional photographer could sign up to. This gave you access to very rapid service and a hotline to experts (though I found their 'experts' to be wanting).

-- hide signature --

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams
blog.alatchinphotography(dot)com

CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,084
Re: A big fail, no pros have or would use it.
1

Richard wrote:

Big Ga wrote:

The recent article on 4/3 lenses by Michael Reichmann (well ... I'm assuming its him) over on LL is an interesting one. he kicks off with saying "Four Thirds was conceived by Olympus as a new Pro format". I tend to agree.

Big fail then because no pros use it. Maybe a few unknowns but it really failed to capture the pro market.

Well...photographers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Dickman, former UN official photographer John Isaac, Award Winning photographer Jay Klinghorn...hardly unknowns.

Did Olympus pros ever threaten the ranks of Canon and Nikon. Not hardly: nor did they with the OM series. But you know what? But then, historically, when Olympus has talked about the pro market, it has been in reference to pros who seek a different approach to gear than was found with the "Big Guys". As good as the OMs were, in many respects they were not a match for the Canon and Nikon flagships.

What discussions like this generally involve is the thinking of some that Olympus wanted to supplant Canon and Nikon altogether, when I think they simply wanted to provide an alternative, just as they did with the original PEN series and the OM.

-- hide signature --

If, in my lifetime, I will have produced just one image that makes a real difference in the life of another, I will have achieved my highest goal as a photographer.
http://ikkens.zenfolio.com/
http://sarob-w.deviantart.com/

Richard Veteran Member • Posts: 4,858
A big fail

CharlesB58 wrote:

Richard wrote:

Big Ga wrote:

The recent article on 4/3 lenses by Michael Reichmann (well ... I'm assuming its him) over on LL is an interesting one. he kicks off with saying "Four Thirds was conceived by Olympus as a new Pro format". I tend to agree.

Big fail then because no pros use it. Maybe a few unknowns but it really failed to capture the pro market.

Well...photographers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Dickman, former UN official photographer John Isaac, Award Winning photographer Jay Klinghorn...hardly unknowns.

Ok, lets just say for arguments sake there are 3 pro photographers that use them. Still a big fail. They did not create this camera for 3 guys if they were meaning to capture/aim at  the pro market. That would be my point.

Richard Veteran Member • Posts: 4,858
4/3 m or no m

Marty4650 wrote:

Do you honestly think Olympus introduced a $2,000 weather sealed camera, and an $8,000 weather sealed lens for "old people?"

All I am saying is if they were aiming at pros, it was a big fail.

Most of what you say applies to M4/3..... and not to 4/3.

Is M4/3 part of the 4/3rds family? Yes.

4/3 never could compete with a FF sensor (and even an APS-C sensor) when it came to sports photography or commercial photography for billboards.

That would be a big fail then.

Many of the professionals who shoot landscapes don't feel FF sensors are big enough. They use medium and large format cameras instead.

Canikon did not aim there FF at MF users. It is aimed at 35mm film users and professionals in general. The fact that many landscape photographers use FF DSLRs shows that Canikon is a big win because they were able to capture a good chunk of those who may have otherwise used MF.

The OP asked... "what market was 4/3 originally aimed at?" And I think it is very hard to deny they were aiming very high at professionals, once you look at the build quality, lens quality and prices of the initial offerings.

I deny nothing. I say if that was where they were aiming, they failed miserably. I think they had some success with old people, people wanting a smaller camera, and people who want to separate themselves from the "commoner"  DSLR person.

Fave Photog Senior Member • Posts: 1,242
Great Minds Think Alike!

Marty4650 wrote:

Perhaps someday you will just look at something and think "take a photo" and the image will end up on the memory card in the slot we added to the back your head.

I've had the same prediction for the past 10 years or so, but my variant is not a "memory card slot", rather a direct download from the brain to computer.

For me, the ironic thing is that people who upgrade cameras every two years are worried to death that the camera they buy today may not be useful 30 years from now.

Your point is well-taken, however, such concerns are well-justified as it relates to the ability to be able to read, utilize, and translate into a useful medium (print or digital) current digital files created today, 30 years future.

The likelihood of that? Not so great, as opposed to film still being produced and methods to process it will be. After all, images taken over 150 years ago can still be viewed. Images taken over 100 years ago on film negatives can still be printed (and viewed).

Software created for Win95 can't be run on most current systems. What are the odds that digital files created today will be usable in 30-50 years?

Current digital cameras are uselesswithout a battery to power them. Who will be producing ancient batteries for 30-50 year-old cameras?

Just some thoughts to ponder. Not really anything to disagree with you about. It's a fast-moving and amazing time that we live in, for sure!

Meanwhile, my 58 year old Leica M3 still works.

Lesson? Don't mess with something that works!

-- hide signature --

The Five 'Ps' of Photography:
*Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!*

alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: A big fail
3

Richard wrote:

CharlesB58 wrote:

Richard wrote:

Big Ga wrote:

The recent article on 4/3 lenses by Michael Reichmann (well ... I'm assuming its him) over on LL is an interesting one. he kicks off with saying "Four Thirds was conceived by Olympus as a new Pro format". I tend to agree.

Big fail then because no pros use it. Maybe a few unknowns but it really failed to capture the pro market.

Well...photographers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Dickman, former UN official photographer John Isaac, Award Winning photographer Jay Klinghorn...hardly unknowns.

Ok, lets just say for arguments sake there are 3 pro photographers that use them. Still a big fail. They did not create this camera for 3 guys if they were meaning to capture/aim at the pro market. That would be my point.

Dont be a muppet. The actual numbers are completely unknown but there are REAL advantages to the format, 43rds and now m43rds.

The growing numbers of professionals who are choosing to use the m43rds format shows the sensor size (as long as it is competitive) is not an issue for many/most applications. In face the biggest lull for 43rds was after the E-3/30 and the introduction of m43rds, or about 5 years. In that period they have introduced the m43rds system and a slew of lenses.

The real question isn't how many professionals use the system, but is it capable to deliver? Change int he photography market is slow, Sony has also failed to dent the lead Canon and Nikon enjoy, however their attempts (a850, a900 Zeiss AF lenses etc) could hardly be called "failures".

While there may be segments where other cameras perform better, there is no segment 43rds/m43rds cannot produce the results:

Architecture

On location fantasy fashion/portraiture

Product

interior

food

food2

on-location portraiture

on-location portraiture

on location portraiture

local sports (worse lighting than stadiums)

local sports

natural light commercial shoot

natural light commercial shoot

birds in flight

art/landscape

products

commercial on location product

corporate portraiture

family portraiture

travel

product

-- hide signature --

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams
blog.alatchinphotography(dot)com

rovingtim Veteran Member • Posts: 8,644
Re: missing the point

alatchin wrote:

A 1 stop noise disadvantage is not life threatening, while people keep banging on this f4 business, the truth is the f2 zoom would be side by side an f2.8 zoom.

A bright lens is considered f1.4 in FF. An F4 equivalent lens is simply not bright enough. There are no really bright lenses in 4/3rds.

Yet the challenge here for the f1.4 FF lens is DoF. While you can be creative with very shallow DoF for many purposes of documentation it is simply too shallow.

Sometimes shutter speed and noise is more important than framing.

DR is important, colour accuracy is important, noise performance is important (not all to the same people)... But the industry generally feels that product work must be done with the most expensive, high MP kit... But in all seriousness it shouldn't

As a pro, you know that what 'should be' and what 'is' are two different things.

As a pro, one must respond to what 'is'.

alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: missing the point

rovingtim wrote:

alatchin wrote:

A 1 stop noise disadvantage is not life threatening, while people keep banging on this f4 business, the truth is the f2 zoom would be side by side an f2.8 zoom.

A bright lens is considered f1.4 in FF. An F4 equivalent lens is simply not bright enough. There are no really bright lenses in 4/3rds.

Yet the challenge here for the f1.4 FF lens is DoF. While you can be creative with very shallow DoF for many purposes of documentation it is simply too shallow.

Sometimes shutter speed and noise is more important than framing.

Often having two people in focus trumps some additional grain. Shutterspeed will be the same for the same ISO and aperture value.

DR is important, colour accuracy is important, noise performance is important (not all to the same people)... But the industry generally feels that product work must be done with the most expensive, high MP kit... But in all seriousness it shouldn't

As a pro, you know that what 'should be' and what 'is' are two different things.

In reality there is what happens here a lot, which is purely academic... Then there is the real world.

As a pro, one must respond to what 'is'.

As a professional one must earn a living taking pictures, pay the bills etc. For the client who wanted the large files I was prepared to rent 2 x D800 for the shoot. It would have cost me a few hundred dollars for the 2 weeks of shooting... Much better than buying them both for $6000 plus lenses etc.

The fact that the project actually didn't require them saved me an additional sum of money, and the client was very happy.

The huge files from the D800s would have meant more back up drives, more cards, longer transfer times from cameras to computers, longer transfer times to my designers, longer processing times etc. All of which dents the bottom line... And that is really the bottom line, not some grain, not a bit of blur.

Abraham

-- hide signature --

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams
blog.alatchinphotography(dot)com

OP Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,623
Re: I'm starting to see your point
2

Silverback46 wrote:

Tim

I still think the OP's title is a bit misleading. I totally agree the E-1 was aimed at pros but I don't think the 4/3rd sensor was. I think the sensor was a result of Olympus predicting what would provide the comsumer with a logical size platform to achieve good results... at that time. If professonals bought into it it would reinforce the platform so the E-1 was introduced as the flagship. The two are mutually inclusive. You build a platform you think will sell to the masses and to reinforce that you need to attract pros to verify the platform is viable...therefore you introduce it with the E-1.

You may be right. The original intent of the thread was to discuss the fact that some people maintain that 4/3's initial premise, was to provide a (much) smaller system. I'm not so sure about that. maybe they had that planned as an additional line (like the E4xx cameras), but even these are still lumbered with a fairly large lens mount etc etc. I think they started off with the intent of creating a system that could directly compete with the big boys in most areas. And I'm also not convinced that a small camera is the right way to go about that. They probably a lot of things right in the original offerings. If you go much smaller than E1 size, general handling and ergonomics often suffer.

The thread has wavered a little from that, but its all interesting stuff

OP Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,623
Re: Pity they stopped supporting that HV pack

aks wrote:

I still own mine and find it extremely valuable for events photography, but I'm dreading the day when it becomes impossible to find components for it since they've stopped producing it.

I still have two.

My batteries have mostly died now. I only have a couple that work, and they are the TR2000 ones.

I did ask here some time ago about if anyone has stripped them down. If they were easily opened, I can't see it would be difficult to replace the cells (assuming they are standard ones like in the TR-Pak). However there doesn't seem to be an obvious, easy way to open the dratted things up without damaging them !

OP Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,623
Re: telecentricty and sensor format...
2

Sierra Dave wrote:

The other thing Olympus clearly underestimated was the importance of autofocus and frame-rates to photojournalists, event photographers and other working professionals. Perhaps because they had little experience with SLR AF, they misgauged the other players and failed to produce a competitive alternative.

I think this is an important point.

I wonder if they solicited the opinions of OM shooters when working out what the new E series should offer. That is quite a specific type of photographer, and I doubt many working pros who rely on AF and framerate to give themselves a competitive advantage would have stuck to the MF OM series.

OP Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,623
Re: missing the point

rovingtim wrote:

Professional photographers are interested in resolution and DR regardless of physical size. Witness the landscaper's joy of the D800.

Yes. I am full of joy when I'm out landscaping with my D800 cameras.

.

.

.

.

.

.

As long as I don't have to walk more than 100m from the car

CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,084
Re: A big fail

Richard wrote:

CharlesB58 wrote:

Richard wrote:

Big Ga wrote:

The recent article on 4/3 lenses by Michael Reichmann (well ... I'm assuming its him) over on LL is an interesting one. he kicks off with saying "Four Thirds was conceived by Olympus as a new Pro format". I tend to agree.

Big fail then because no pros use it. Maybe a few unknowns but it really failed to capture the pro market.

Well...photographers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Dickman, former UN official photographer John Isaac, Award Winning photographer Jay Klinghorn...hardly unknowns.

Ok, lets just say for arguments sake there are 3 pro photographers that use them. Still a big fail. They did not create this camera for 3 guys if they were meaning to capture/aim at the pro market. That would be my point.

There are a lot more than 3 pros using Olympus. You said if there were pros, they were "nobodies". I proved otherwise. Face it, the big fail is your allegation that no pros, or only unknown pros use Olympus.

I agree, Olympus did not capture the market share of pros they probably intended to capture. But then, neither has Pentax. Or Sony for that matter. It can in fact be argued that Nikon doesn't have the share of the pro market they really want, especially since they used to be the "800 lbs gorilla."

Now that I read through some of the comments and the apparent reasoning behind them, this whole thread has turned into a big fail.

-- hide signature --

If, in my lifetime, I will have produced just one image that makes a real difference in the life of another, I will have achieved my highest goal as a photographer.
http://ikkens.zenfolio.com/
http://sarob-w.deviantart.com/

Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 6,343
Re: A big fail

Beautiful, creative work.  Point. Set. Match.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads