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  • What would you like to see from Olympus next?

    I have posted the same question on FTU, but I thought it would be interesting to ask e-group members also:

    Compared to the years up to 2007, Olympus has kept the new models flowing regularly:

    2007 - E-410, E-510, E-3
    2008 - E-420, E-520, E-30

    The current line up seems to have most of the bases covered:

    E-420 - budget price and compact, but no IS.
    E-520 - compact and feature rich, yet remains affordable.
    E-30 - the new-generation Olympus DSLR that bridges the gap between the E-520 and the E-3.
    E-3 - ruggedised flagship with plenty of controls and accessories.

    So where will Olympus go next? If the current range doesn't tick all the boxes, what would you like to see from them later this year.

    By the way, I'm focusing on E-System models, not Micro Four Thirds.

    Ian
    Founder and editor of:
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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  • #2
    Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

    There is a new model coming soon, though I can't remember if it's between E3 and E30 or between E30 and E5xx, (my memory is totally f****d), but whatever it is it seems to be another 'level'.

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    • #3
      Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

      It seems to me that the E-410 to E-420, and E-510 to E-520 have both been "technical" upgrades of the same product.
      The E-30 is a new niche.
      The E-1 eventually morphed into the E-3.
      I think the next upgrade needed, though for me not desperately, is from the E-3.
      It will need more pixels (to satisfy the numbers game) and maybe go back a step to the better ergonomics of the E-1. It will be an evolution not a revolution. It will probably have "built-in" twin releases and extra battery power, obviating the need for an extra grip. It will also need better noise control to satisfy those who need to shoot at high ISOs. But it needs to retain that certain "quirkiness" to keep it different from Caniks.
      Stephen

      A camera takes a picture. A photographer makes a picture

      Fuji X system, + Leica and Bronica film

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      • #4
        Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

        The one thing that I really, really want is a better manual, starting with hypertext pointers (click on a line in the index and you jump to the right page) The E500 had such a manual and it was so much better than than the other manuals for later models.

        Stupid really since converting an existing manual to hypertext should only take a few days work.

        Roger

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        • #5
          Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

          Features I want to see added:
          1. A built-in AF-assist lamp, red or orange.
          2. A remote IR receiver on the rear of the body also.
          3. A grip that fits the whole range.
          4. Changeable focus screens, personally I want one with a split-focus and a 'thirds' grid.

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          • #6
            Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

            An E3 type of machine with 14bit ADC to get the most out of/into the Raw file and either a sensor with improved dynamic range or f/w assist to make capture of bracketted files for subsequent HDR pp more automated.

            Oh, a 3" high-res LCD would be great.

            This would enable everyone to better exploit Olympus's wonderful lenses .
            Chris

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            • #7
              Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

              I'd certainly appreciate better higher ISO ability - if Olympus could match the performance of the D700 on a four thirds sensor that would be amazing (though probably impossible). It would certainly save me a lot of money!

              Speaking of the D700, dare I mention the f words (Full Frame)? How that would fit with the current lens line up may not be possible but it does seem to be the way things are going.

              Two CF card slots would certainly be very helpful too.

              I feel the E3 is starting to struggle a bit to keep up with what the latest batch of cameras have to offer (not that there's anything wrong with the camera and what it produces, it's just the march of technology).

              I'm not sure if Olympus would want to go into the higher pro bracket (to compete with the Sony A900, D700, 5D mkII) but it would be interesting if they did.

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              • #8
                Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                Originally posted by brob108 View Post
                I'd certainly appreciate better higher ISO ability - if Olympus could match the performance of the D700 on a four thirds sensor that would be amazing (though probably impossible). It would certainly save me a lot of money!
                I'd also like to see a high-ISO improvement, a couple of times I could really have done with the ability to go to a higher ISO and not lose so much quality doing so.

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                • #9
                  Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                  Can Oly really sustain both the E-4xx and E-5xx series now that the E-30 is here?
                  A three-tier range, including the pro-level E-3 is all they really need IMO (but no doubt others will disgree!). I always felt that prior to the E-30 the two lower series bodies were too close together (again, you will probably disagree!). I consider that there is more of a difference between the E-30 and E-3 (the pixel numbers ARE important to many punters). The E-30 is to the E-3 what the Nikon D90 is to the D300 (we know that Oly is unlikely to have a D700).
                  I would have thought that combining the 'best bits' of these two ranges (E-4xx and E-5xx) would be sensible (a true OM sucessor I suppose/hope and to which I may buy into). I see no reason for Oly ever to want, or need a larger line up as I doubt if they will ever be selling dSLRs in the same numbers as Canikon, and they need to make money like all of us. We can hope they will, but I consider that they are too far off the pace (in terms of mass acceptance by the general public, and sales) IMO.
                  I am happy with my E-3 but am always happy to see whay Oly has up its sleeve.........
                  Dave

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                  • #10
                    Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                    Originally posted by benvendetta View Post
                    Can Oly really sustain both the E-4xx and E-5xx series now that the E-30 is here?
                    A three-tier range, including the pro-level E-3 is all they really need IMO (but no doubt others will disgree!). I always felt that prior to the E-30 the two lower series bodies were too close together (again, you will probably disagree!). I consider that there is more of a difference between the E-30 and E-3 (the pixel numbers ARE important to many punters). The E-30 is to the E-3 what the Nikon D90 is to the D300 (we know that Oly is unlikely to have a D700).
                    I would have thought that combining the 'best bits' of these two ranges (E-4xx and E-5xx) would be sensible (a true OM sucessor I suppose/hope and to which I may buy into). I see no reason for Oly ever to want, or need a larger line up as I doubt if they will ever be selling dSLRs in the same numbers as Canikon, and they need to make money like all of us. We can hope they will, but I consider that they are too far off the pace (in terms of mass acceptance by the general public, and sales) IMO.
                    I am happy with my E-3 but am always happy to see whay Oly has up its sleeve.........
                    That's interesting - my opinion os completely the reverse

                    The E-4xx and E-5xx differ considerably in controls, and lack of IS in the case of the E-4xx.

                    Meanwhile, I feel that the E-30 has almost all the key features of the E-30, and more, apart from the alloy body and weather proofing. The latter two will be deal-makers for some, but I'd say that if I had to choose between the two myself, I'd go for the E-30 now.

                    Ina
                    Founder and editor of:
                    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                    NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                      Originally posted by brob108 View Post
                      I'd certainly appreciate better higher ISO ability - if Olympus could match the performance of the D700 on a four thirds sensor that would be amazing (though probably impossible). It would certainly save me a lot of money!

                      Speaking of the D700, dare I mention the f words (Full Frame)? How that would fit with the current lens line up may not be possible but it does seem to be the way things are going.

                      Two CF card slots would certainly be very helpful too.

                      I feel the E3 is starting to struggle a bit to keep up with what the latest batch of cameras have to offer (not that there's anything wrong with the camera and what it produces, it's just the march of technology).

                      I'm not sure if Olympus would want to go into the higher pro bracket (to compete with the Sony A900, D700, 5D mkII) but it would be interesting if they did.
                      There is no prospect of a larger sensor for Four Thirds. It's already 'full frame' but for a smaller area sensor than 135 format full frame.

                      There is, however, certainly plenty of prospect for continued improvement in sensor performance. I feel Panasonic is about two years behind Canon and Nikon in this respect, and will catch upover the next 3-4 years. There is a law of diminishing returns and this should surely mean the gap will narrow.

                      Ian
                      Founder and editor of:
                      Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                      Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                      Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                      Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                      Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                      Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                      NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                        Well I suppose a successor to the E-3 sometime in 2010 with about 14mp and improved high iso performance would be nice.

                        But I think what e-system is crying out for is a longer lens in the pro range, a 'big brother' for the 50-200 with the same sort of optical quality and characteristics. Something like a 150-400 (or even better 500). The E-3 (and I have no doubt the E-30 will be) is a great wildlife cameras with an intrinsic advantage given by the smaller sensor, but handicapped by the lack of fast long glass.

                        Nick
                        Nick Temple-Fry

                        Medicine as a science ranks somewhere between archaeology and economics.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                          Originally posted by Gwyver View Post
                          An E3 type of machine with 14bit ADC to get the most out of/into the Raw file and either a sensor with improved dynamic range or f/w assist to make capture of bracketted files for subsequent HDR pp more automated.

                          Oh, a 3" high-res LCD would be great.

                          This would enable everyone to better exploit Olympus's wonderful lenses .
                          I'm still not convinced that 14-bit sampling is anything but a gimmick unless you have a very clean signal and that means a very large sensor or very large photosites. According to DxOMark, the E-3 has comparable colour sensitivity and tonal range with the Canon EOS-50D, which has the same pixel pitch as the E-3, as well as 14-bit sampling.

                          You can over-sample (to 16 or 32 bits) from RAW in post processing anyway.

                          Ian
                          Founder and editor of:
                          Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                          Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                          Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                          Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                          Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                          Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                          NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                            I want two things:

                            1. A successor to the E3 that is a significant upgrade in terms of lower available light ability: ISO, and low light autofocus. I don't want E-30 - like bells and whistles on it - I want the best possible image quality from the widest possible range of light. At fair value of course (so they can save on the bells and whistles). I think it is very much in Olympus' interest to have a really good 'flagship' in terms of sheer photographic firepower. Oh yes, and I don't want a crummy XD card but a second CF slot.

                            2. A Micro Four Thirds camera that also has a variant that maximises image quality, one that is aimed at serious photography with light weight and small size. Not just one that is aimed at some marketing person's notion of 'in betweeners' who want something better than a small format P&S but 'aren't ready' for the full works with a DSLR.

                            How about a 'modular approach' with bodies? i.e. you can select your body from the same range but at different prices according to:

                            - optional weatherproofing
                            - metal or plastic
                            - optional sensor MP
                            - processor / 'art ' bbells and whistles

                            ...and so forth. The idea being that instead of having a succession of 'whole cameras' you can buy something where as time passes, money becomes available, you can upgrade your sensor or your processor while the body, battery and controls are unchanged?

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                            • #15
                              Re: What would you like to see from Olympus next?

                              Originally posted by Ian View Post
                              That's interesting - my opinion os completely the reverse

                              The E-4xx and E-5xx differ considerably in controls, and lack of IS in the case of the E-4xx.

                              Meanwhile, I feel that the E-30 has almost all the key features of the E-30, and more, apart from the alloy body and weather proofing. The latter two will be deal-makers for some, but I'd say that if I had to choose between the two myself, I'd go for the E-30 now.

                              Ina
                              I'd agree with the last statement and therefore Oly need to address this with a true new flagship model ASAP and also sorrt out the pricing between the models - the E-30 is at list prices overpriced to it's competition and trying to be an E-3 replacement rather than where I think it should be aiming

                              Regards
                              Andy
                              My Kit (OK I'm a hoarder...)
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