Olympus faux-technical sounding names

Started Feb 11, 2014 | Discussions
Franz Weber
Franz Weber Regular Member • Posts: 483
Even simpler with PENs

P = Paranormal

E = erotic

N = nerdtoy

E = extraordinary

P = price

L = lame

5 = high five, man

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allways look on the bright side of live!

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,940
Re: Olympus faux-technical sounding names

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

Jim Salvas wrote:

It's all so simple.

O = Olympus

M = Maitani (designer of the original OM-1)

D = Digital (in case you thought they all of a sudden started making analog cameras again)

E = Electronic (because maybe you thought it was mechanical)

M = Mirrorless

1 = The best (until a better one comes along)

Compared to "GH4" it's actually way overkill, IMHO...

Real world impact?

Well for one thing it makes Internet searches a lot more hit-and-miss.

OP Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 15,532
Cholera is coming!
4

I think when the new Cholera body arrives everyone will agree that deadly diseases make good names for cameras. I am still pretty happy with my Bubonic Plague, but it could use some improvements. While Ebola and Smallpox are very nice they are not enough to get me to update. I am hoping when Cholera gets here though it will have have much faster wakeup from sleep mode, among other things.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
Wrong!
1

Aethon wrote:

Two problems. One: the main point of differentiation that you offer is not exactly dispository. OM-D has a viewfinder whereas PEN...may or may not, it depends... That's as clear as mud.

No PEN has a VF, NONE. You can add a detachable VF, but it's not part of the body.

Second, nowhere does anyone explain what all the letters mean. I bought into Olympus m43 two years ago and your differentiation between OM-D and PEN lines is the first I have heard of it - I've never understood the difference.

PEN: styled on the old Olympus Pen line of film cameras,

OM-D: styled on the OM line of film cameras, D signifying digital.

think of PEN and OM-D as the camera line, similar to EOS and NEX

E-mx, E-px: the E is a carry over from 4/3, at some point it stood for EVOLT

e-Mx: the M might stand for Micro, or hark back to the original Olympus SLR (named the M-1 until they got sued and changed it to OM) but probably Mirrorless

e-Px: the P here clearly stands for PEN

e-pL, e-pM: Light simplified controls) and mini (smaller)

It's exponentially worse for people familiarizing themselves with the brand for the first time.

Some people stress over these designations, others just deal with it. Some complain they don't understand the history behind them, but won't take the time to do a little research.

I have a friend currently trying to understand the naming schemes for Nikon and Canon cameras. He's wondering why both companies insist on using only the digits 5, 6, 0 and D to name their mid-range cameras - and he's right of course. It's idiotic.

There are a million ways to name products. The way that camera companies do it is genuinely stupid.

They have to use some designation. In all likelihood, no matter what naming scheme they used, it would confuse, annoy, or offend someone.

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Art P
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of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
Do we need to name lenses too?
1

forget those pesky designations like 12-40mm f2.8

What about Malaria, West Nile, Polio, Lyme...

Kit lenses would have more common names like Chicken Pox, Measles, Influenza, Mumps

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
Re: Olympus faux-technical sounding names

Nippero wrote:

I had no idea where the "OM-D" name came from when the EM5 was released. I probably wasn't born when people were running around with OMs and Pens.

I guess you missed all of the pre-release hype that referred back to the film cameras

Why do we need E-PL and E-PM if "PEN" is already part of the full name? Or does that P stand for something else...? Olympus PEN Electronic-PEN1?

You need the P so you don't have to use the PEN

EDIT: So if M means mirrorless, are the E-PL, E-PM, E-P lines not mirrorless? If D means Digital, why do we need Electronic? So what happens when a OM-D (or a PEN?) comes out with emphasis on electronic shutters? Is it an OM-D E-EM?

It could also refer to Manitani, which actually makes more sense- P for PEN style M for Manitani (OM) style

I'm sure for people familiar with Olympus it all makes sense, but I stick to Panasonic and have no clue about Olympus's history, so I tend to forget where the hypens go and etc.

The history is here: http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/camera/medium/

But is it that you don't care to know the history???

Oh, getting back to Panasonic, can you tell me what the H stands for?  I know it's the more video oriented, so why not a V?

the X? Extreme?  Is it shock proof and water proof?

M I get, mini.

What about the F?

Oh, and while you're adding the DMC, don't forget the Lumix...

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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Andy Crowe Senior Member • Posts: 1,587
Try quoting the full model name of other cameras...
1

Most manufactures' camera names sound silly if you write their full name out, just take these for example:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS
Canon EOS Kiss X70
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II
Nikon Coolpix S9700
Fujifilm FinePix S9400W

Personally I think the only thing Olympus have done wrong is over emphasised the OM-D bit to the point that if you just say the model number (EM5, EM1, EM10) people won't automatically think Olympus.

I would have called them E-OM5 etc. myself

RoelHendrickx
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,992
The letters are not the problem. It's the numbers.

The letters are not the problem because (believe it or not) there is some logic to it.

Look for Art's post here.

But the numbers and their order are just ridiculous.

The PENs were logical : a succession of numbers.

But why did they call the E-M5 the "5", while the later model became the "1" and the slightly simplified model became the "10".

What would be logical is a numerical succession (higher number is newer edition), while e.g. keeping the numbers with one digit for the top range, two digit for the simplified range.

Nikon was on that path (D3, D70, D300) until they issued the D700 and D800 that trumps the double-digits.

At one point or another, all camera manufacturers seem to reach the end of logic in camera naming.  One would wonder how and why they could not design a naming scheme and stick to it.

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Roel Hendrickx
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n3eg
n3eg Senior Member • Posts: 2,272
Re: Olympus faux-technical sounding names

And every time I see "GM1" I think "Genetically Modified 1"

I think the ecoterrorists have won.

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It ain't easy being me, but someone's gotta do it.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 30,320
Disease ridden
2

Henry Richardson wrote:

I think when the new Cholera body arrives everyone will agree that deadly diseases make good names for cameras. I am still pretty happy with my Bubonic Plague, but it could use some improvements. While Ebola and Smallpox are very nice they are not enough to get me to update. I am hoping when Cholera gets here though it will have have much faster wakeup from sleep mode, among other things.

I suggest "Shingles" for the E-PL5, just because I have both at the moment.

Oh well, at least it proved that I had chickenpox as a kid.

Regards.... Guy

PS Could be infectious, reading this post is a health hazard !

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 30,320
Re: Try quoting the full model name of other cameras...

Andy Crowe wrote:

Most manufactures' camera names sound silly if you write their full name out, just take these for example:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS
Canon EOS Kiss X70
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II
Nikon Coolpix S9700
Fujifilm FinePix S9400W

Personally I think the only thing Olympus have done wrong is over emphasised the OM-D bit to the point that if you just say the model number (EM5, EM1, EM10) people won't automatically think Olympus.

I would have called them E-OM5 etc. myself

I see magazine, newspaper, street and window advertising here in Sydney and it all basically says only "OM-D".

The trick is that it is cheap advertising that carries on forever. When the customer wanders in to ask "What's this OM-D?" the highly knowledgeable salesperson can then show him/her the range of possibilities in OM-D - or more likely they try to talk them into Canikon because there's more margin there.

Regards.... Guy

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tt321
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,825
Look at Crumpler camera bag names for inspiration

They surely know how to name products. For instance, Crumpler Elastic Lady.

Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
Does make you wonder

just what they were thinking.

I think 5 because E-P(L, M)5

I wonder if they realized it would be this much of a success.  Could be when it came to naming the E-M5, they weren't counting on two more concurrent models.

Calling the mid grade the 10 (or 50), the pro body the 1 (or 5... or even the 7) and the 10 the 100 would have been more logical, and followed precedent set by the 4/3 line and even the OM naming

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 18,455
Olympus v. Sony names
1

Henry Richardson wrote:

I wonder if I am the only one who finds the Olympus faux-technical sounding names hard to remember?

Nah - it's crystal clear !

OM-D E-M5
OM-D E-M1
OM-D E-M10
PEN E-P5
PEN E-PL5
PEN E-PL6
PEN E-PM2

OK, so you have the OM-D which is the digital version of the old OM. And then you have the PEN, which are film cameras, otherwise they'd be PEN-D. Then you have an E, which is for electronic, so you know they need batteries. Then you have the P for PEN or the M from OM. That's kind of like a parity bit, so you can tell if the product name is fake. Then the M for Mini, L for Lackofabetterletter, and no letter for the original Pen series. Then you have the number, which in the case of the PENs, indicates the generation, and in the case of the OM-Ds, indicates the order of magnitude away from perfection (1 being the ultimate camera, 10 being the lesser camera). This will change with the next generation.

OK, maybe not so clear. Olympus should take its cues from an expert in the consumer electronics industry: Sony. Check out Sony's website. They break out cameras into "Alpha NEX" and "Alpha DSLR". Under "Alpha NEX" you have the last of the NEX cameras plus a bunch of other E and FE mount cameras that are not NEX. The A5000 is a midrange model with no EVF while the A6000 is a slightly higher model with EVF, and the A7 & A7r are full frame models with a central EVF. Under Alpha DSLRs you have a whole bunch of cameras that aren't DSLRs, but are Alphas, including the A3000. That camera is mirrorless and uses e-mount lenses, like the ALpha NEX models (whether they're NEXes or not) but it looks like a mini-DSLR. And then you have the so-called SLTs. The SLTs have product numbers that start with SLT (makes sense), like SLT-A77. The newer e-mount cameras (whether A3000, which Sony considers an Alpha DSLR or A5000 which Sony considers an Alpha NEX) have product numbers which start with ILCE, like ILCE-A3000. So I guess that in addition to being Alpha NEX or Alpha DSLR, they're also "interchangeable lens camera" in E mount. The remaining stock of Alpha NEX cameras which are actually NEX cameras have NEX in the name (NEX-7) while the full frame Alpha NEX cameras which aren't really NEX cameras are also named ILCE-A7, indicating E mount interchangeable lens cameras, but you can figure out that they take FE mount lenses by knowing that the A7 series is full frame.

On second thought, maybe Olympus is find and Sony wants to try "bubonic plague" and "dengue fever".

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,940
Re: The letters are not the problem. It's the numbers.

RoelHendrickx wrote:

What would be logical is a numerical succession (higher number is newer edition), while e.g. keeping the numbers with one digit for the top range, two digit for the simplified range.

Nikon was on that path (D3, D70, D300) until they issued the D700 and D800 that trumps the double-digits.

At one point or another, all camera manufacturers seem to reach the end of logic in camera naming. One would wonder how and why they could not design a naming scheme and stick to it.

I like Panasonic's scheme best. "G" indicates their M43 camera line, the next letter indicates the tier or body style, and the number indicates the generation of the camera. It's dead simple, easy to understand, and leaves plenty of room for them to add new styles or tiers without messing up the relationship to existing cameras.  IMHO the only thing they've done wrong is to use the "GX" prefix for two quite different camera types.  Perhaps "X" means "experimental" in their mind.

Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 736
Re: Olympus faux-technical sounding names

Art_P wrote:

Nippero wrote:

I had no idea where the "OM-D" name came from when the EM5 was released. I probably wasn't born when people were running around with OMs and Pens.

I guess you missed all of the pre-release hype that referred back to the film cameras

Yep. Hype is useless to me. I pay attention after a product is released and evaluated.

Why do we need E-PL and E-PM if "PEN" is already part of the full name? Or does that P stand for something else...? Olympus PEN Electronic-PEN1?

You need the P so you don't have to use the PEN

I guess they changed this recently, EP5s are all just "Olympus E-P5"
But search up the earlier ones, Amazon, Adorama, etc list them as "Olympus PEN E-P3" etc. Thats where my criticism came from.

But then why do it this way... when the OMD names specify OMD in the name.. Why didnt they just do OM-D 1/5/10 etc.

EDIT: So if M means mirrorless, are the E-PL, E-PM, E-P lines not mirrorless? If D means Digital, why do we need Electronic? So what happens when a OM-D (or a PEN?) comes out with emphasis on electronic shutters? Is it an OM-D E-EM?

It could also refer to Manitani, which actually makes more sense- P for PEN style M for Manitani (OM) style

So the E-PM has the M because it is a PEN with OM style (...like the OM-D)? Please tell me I'm just misunderstanding you?

I'm sure for people familiar with Olympus it all makes sense, but I stick to Panasonic and have no clue about Olympus's history, so I tend to forget where the hypens go and etc.

The history is here: http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/camera/medium/

But is it that you don't care to know the history???

No, I dont care. Why should I care? A history lesson shouldn't be necessary for this!

Oh, getting back to Panasonic, can you tell me what the H stands for? I know it's the more video oriented, so why not a V?

the X? Extreme? Is it shock proof and water proof?

M I get, mini.

What about the F?

Oh, and while you're adding the DMC, don't forget the Lumix...

Lumix = ALL Panasonic Cameras. Its a name, means nothing.

DMC = prefix to ALL (like, literally, all of them) Panasonic camera model #s.

G = ENTIRE mirrorless line. Its a name, means nothing.

H/F/X/M = Variations. Its a name, means nothing. Each followed normal ascending numbers.

Every camera is a sequence of the four above. There is no ridiculous mix and matching.

Leaving out Lumix, Panasonic, or DMC- from a search query has no effect. GF1 is still a GF1.

OMD isnt the same as OM-D. EM5 isnt the same as E-M5, neither is just M5.

Although to be fair, modern search engines are smart enough to figure out wtf you mean when you type in "omd em5." So this isnt really a problem, just... an oddity.

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William Porter
William Porter Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
Re: Olympus v. Sony names (+ my take)

I wanted to give Dennis's comment 2 thumbs but DPReview only lets me give it one. 

I came to Olympus recently after years with Sony. Sony — especially in the last year or so — had taught me not to try to hard to make sense of product nomenclature, so I didn't try with Olympus. I am able to remember that I have an OM-D E-M1, and I even figured out how to remember where the hyphens go by noticing a symmetry:

XX-N N-XX

I was grateful for Guy Parson's knowledgeable explanation at the start of this thread. My guess is that when I finally reach my 16,000th post, it'll all seem perfectly obvious to me, too. 

Will

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 30,320
Re: Olympus faux-technical sounding names

"E-" never meant Electronic, it is just a camera series prefix, just like they originally had C- and D- cameras and the E- series are the system cameras.

Regards..... Guy

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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
Re: Olympus faux-technical sounding names

Nippero wrote:

Art_P wrote:

Nippero wrote:

I had no idea where the "OM-D" name came from when the EM5 was released. I probably wasn't born when people were running around with OMs and Pens.

I guess you missed all of the pre-release hype that referred back to the film cameras

Yep. Hype is useless to me. I pay attention after a product is released and evaluated.

Why do we need E-PL and E-PM if "PEN" is already part of the full name? Or does that P stand for something else...? Olympus PEN Electronic-PEN1?

You need the P so you don't have to use the PEN

I guess they changed this recently, EP5s are all just "Olympus E-P5"
But search up the earlier ones, Amazon, Adorama, etc list them as "Olympus PEN E-P3" etc. Thats where my criticism came from.

But then why do it this way... when the OMD names specify OMD in the name.. Why didnt they just do OM-D 1/5/10 etc.

Same reason PEN was used along w E-Px until the brand was established. And sure Amazon et al will use the full name, just as they'll use Lumix DMC-Gxx

EDIT: So if M means mirrorless, are the E-PL, E-PM, E-P lines not mirrorless? If D means Digital, why do we need Electronic? So what happens when a OM-D (or a PEN?) comes out with emphasis on electronic shutters? Is it an OM-D E-EM?

It could also refer to Manitani, which actually makes more sense- P for PEN style M for Manitani (OM) style

So the E-PM has the M because it is a PEN with OM style (...like the OM-D)? Please tell me I'm just misunderstanding you?

Totally lost you. P in the e-Px and M in the e-Mx The M in E-PM is clearly Mini. You are just trying to make this more difficult for yourself.

I'm sure for people familiar with Olympus it all makes sense, but I stick to Panasonic and have no clue about Olympus's history, so I tend to forget where the hypens go and etc.

The history is here: http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/camera/medium/

But is it that you don't care to know the history???

No, I dont care. Why should I care? A history lesson shouldn't be necessary for this!

If you don't care, why obsess over how little sense it makes to you?

Lumix = ALL Panasonic Cameras. Its a name, means nothing.

DMC = prefix to ALL (like, literally, all of them) Panasonic camera model #s.

G = ENTIRE mirrorless line. Its a name, means nothing.

H/F/X/M = Variations. Its a name, means nothing. Each followed normal ascending numbers.

Ah, so you admit the whole Panasonic naming system is meaningless?

Every camera is a sequence of the four above. There is no ridiculous mix and matching.

Leaving out Lumix, Panasonic, or DMC- from a search query has no effect. GF1 is still a GF1.

OMD isnt the same as OM-D. EM5 isnt the same as E-M5, neither is just M5.

When I type in 'M5' I get links to a bus schedule and a BMW

Although to be fair, modern search engines are smart enough to figure out wtf you mean when you type in "omd em5." So this isnt really a problem, just... an oddity.

At this point I see I'm wasting my time, since you seem to have no interest in understanding the perfectly logical naming system Olympus uses, instead fixating how little sense it makes to you.  It seems to me like it doesn't work for you because you don't want it to, not because it is flawed.  Or maybe I'm missing something

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
I never said that

Guy Parsons wrote:

"E-" never meant Electronic, it is just a camera series prefix, just like they originally had C- and D- cameras and the E- series are the system cameras.

Regards..... Guy

That was Nippero

However, for a time E did stand for Evolt... or was it that Evolt stood for E

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

 Art_P's gear list:Art_P's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +2 more
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