Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

    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/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    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/

  • #2
    Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

    I included this in another post, and I think that the m4/3 is an integral part of the upcoming lineup, so I will say that E-3 should be replaced before E-520, which would be the next on slate for a replacement (E-4XX axed in my plan)

    So, for the E-5:
    I would get creative. Get back with Kodak (Panny could still manufacture all of their other sensors) and put some serious cash in to CCD R&D. I would like to see Oly have a camera with a sensor like in the Fujifilm S5 pro (the "Super-CCD"). A small sensor that can produce the DR of the D3X. And, since the tech from the S5 is from 2006, you could see MORE dynamic range, I would bet, than the D3X. I think this would garner them more attention in the pro market. And I would push the price point a little higher, too. This would be a Halo model, no doubt, and wouldn't make a ton of money, instead provide a flagship that increases the brand prestige. Oly is going to have a tough time growing their pro segment of the market, they will need to do something radical to pull it off. I think that this would allow them to work on the noise issue as well. Basically, a radical new technology in the sensor.
    ~Reggie

    Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

    Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

      Originally posted by ReggieB View Post
      I included this in another post, and I think that the m4/3 is an integral part of the upcoming lineup, so I will say that E-3 should be replaced before E-520, which would be the next on slate for a replacement (E-4XX axed in my plan)

      So, for the E-5:
      I would get creative. Get back with Kodak (Panny could still manufacture all of their other sensors) and put some serious cash in to CCD R&D. I would like to see Oly have a camera with a sensor like in the Fujifilm S5 pro (the "Super-CCD"). A small sensor that can produce the DR of the D3X. And, since the tech from the S5 is from 2006, you could see MORE dynamic range, I would bet, than the D3X. I think this would garner them more attention in the pro market. And I would push the price point a little higher, too. This would be a Halo model, no doubt, and wouldn't make a ton of money, instead provide a flagship that increases the brand prestige. Oly is going to have a tough time growing their pro segment of the market, they will need to do something radical to pull it off. I think that this would allow them to work on the noise issue as well. Basically, a radical new technology in the sensor.
      Thanks Reggie, some interesting comments there.

      My personal feeling is that Kodak doesn't have anything to offer Olympus in the sensor field. This is partly why Kodak is no longer in the E-System pictures. They have concentrated in compacts and large format digital sensors.

      The Fujifilm link is the most interesting - I'm still frustrated that Fuji is a signatory to the Four Thirds Consortium but has contributed nothing. But they have a very close relationship with Nikon and I'd be surprised if that deal would be axed in favour of a tie-up with Olympus.

      I also think Panasonic is making big strides with its sensor development at last.

      Apart from any potential E-3 replacement, what about gaps in the existing E-System line up? Are there any? If there are, what would you like to see?

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

        Originally posted by Ian View Post
        Thanks Reggie, some interesting comments there.

        My personal feeling is that Kodak doesn't have anything to offer Olympus in the sensor field. This is partly why Kodak is no longer in the E-System pictures. They have concentrated in compacts and large format digital sensors.

        The Fujifilm link is the most interesting - I'm still frustrated that Fuji is a signatory to the Four Thirds Consortium but has contributed nothing. But they have a very close relationship with Nikon and I'd be surprised if that deal would be axed in favour of a tie-up with Olympus.

        I also think Panasonic is making big strides with its sensor development at last.

        Apart from any potential E-3 replacement, what about gaps in the existing E-System line up? Are there any? If there are, what would you like to see?

        Ian
        Don't get me wrong, I don't think it will happen, I just want it to happen.

        I think they have a strong lineup, that will be very well complemented by two m4/3 cameras. I think that the Canikon lineups have superfluous cameras. Nikon, IMHO has 9 models filling about 4 segments. Canon has 8. I don't think they need more bodies for the sake of producing more bodies. Those systems also have more lenses. I would like to see a few faster lenses from Oly before more bodies.
        Last edited by ReggieB; 4th February 2009, 02:48 PM. Reason: fix a typo
        ~Reggie

        Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

        Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

          An E530 with higher and better ISO performances than the E520;
          An E530 with the on/off switch at the same position as the old E410 (I use both the E410 and E520);
          A much lower price for the E30, somewhere inbetween the E3 and the E520;
          An E4 with >15Mpix at the same price of the E3 now.

          And what would be verry usefull: a safe-sync build into ALL E's !

          Maybe a bit unrealistic, but still...........

          Peter
          Last edited by Archphoto; 4th February 2009, 03:02 PM. Reason: addition

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

            Here's my take, more predictions than wish list.

            2007 saw the E410 - an update of the E400, the E510 whcih inspite of the numbering was a completely new model and another completely new model, the E3.

            2008 saw update to the E4 and E5 series and a new model in the E30.

            It seems to me that the E4 series is due a completely new model and the E5 series and the E3 are due updates.

            I suspect that the E4 series will be 'sacrificed' to m4/3rds. That the new E4 will be a bridge model between m4/3rds and ff4/3rds. We will see this late in the year, probably after the main Olympus m4/3rds announcements.

            I doubt we will see any dramatic changes in sensor technology. There is no reasonable expectation of anything from Fuji in the 4/3rds arena and in any case the Fuji sensor technology has proved to be a bit of a dead end, a footnote in sensor development in much the same way as Foveon. What I believe will happen is that we will see the sensor technology from the E30 make its way into updated E5 series and an updated E3. Not a new E3 just an updated one to see us throught to a full replacement in 2010.

            I am pretty sure that the DSLR range will, by the end of 2009, have standardised on an E30 derived sensor. There will of course be some other minot makeover features on the new and updated models. The e5 series will get quite a lot of the technology from the E30, focus sytem etc. E3 update too will get a bigger screen and some mior ergonomic tweaks.

            As for my wish list - better DR tops the list. I don't know if that will be provided by the E30 sensor or not, we will have to wait and see. I would also like to see some continuous shooting speed increase to around 8 fps, perhaps using a reduced sensor size arrangement a la Nikon. User configurable for those occasions when I shoot sports or dogs ! Better high ISO performance is always a bonus but not an absolute necessity for and in any case, from all reports the E30 sensor delivers this. Other than these things I am pretty happy.

            Further into the future. I don't see much changing in sensor technology for a while yet but the potential of black silicon from SiOnyx, back lit sensors from Sony and Kodak's subtractive sensor readout make the future very much worth waiting for !

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

              How about weatherproofing/dust sealing for the 5** range

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                where wil they go and what would I like to see are 2 different questions!

                Prediction for 2009

                They will bring the 530 out in line with the 30 - that's the easy bit.

                They may do the same with a 430 - it's easy to do because the software shares so much with the 5xx and if they are doing one they are covering most of the design and testing issues anyway. However I agree with an earlier poster that the immediate future of the 4xx is closely tied in with the m43 developments. If Oly produces a G1 style M43 body the 4xx will be dropped pretty quickly - this doesn't rule out a 430 but probably rules out a 440.

                They may produce an E4 with the 30's software, sensor and lcd. However it's hard to see that this would go down very well based on the percieved progress of the E30 over the E3 in IQ. If the E4 used the same sensor base but managed to spring an IQ surprise the E30 buyers would not be happy bunnies! If it didn't there would be no point (much as some may crave the art filters...)

                On balance I expect 530 and 430 this year with an E4/E5 early next. If they have something up their sleave with a new Ex this year then excellent, but it needs to be more than the E30 indications suggest. Happy that Pany will deliver in conjunction with Oly, some interesting patents and work in progress going on but would be surprised to see it this year.

                With m43 Oly need to get away from the concept that size and competence/capability are mutually exclusive. Loosing the mirror and optical viewfinder should enable them to do just that and I expect to see 2 parrallel strands of development with the consumer wide price sensitive market along one axis and the prosumer the other - the latter being weatherproof and with highest spec electronics for processing/buffer/IS/AF etc; all the things they didn't feel comfortable following through on with the 4xx series.
                E-P1, OMD E-M1, E400
                7-14/12-50/12-60/14-42/17/30(1.4)/35-100/40-150/45/50/50-200
                ec14/ec20/ex25/MMF-1, MMF-3/ RF11/FL50Rs/FL36R/SHV-1/AC-1/AC-2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                  My wish list for E-3 replacement:

                  - Better low light performance with improved noise control in ISO-1600 to ISO-6400?
                  - Better DR and NR for long exposure shooting.
                  - More responsive low light focusing with existing 11 point focus setup.
                  - Contrast defection on live view.
                  - 3" with higher resolution screen.
                  - WF or Blue Tooth interface for direct file tranfer via Studio or laptop (instead of tethering thru slow USB in exsiting systems)
                  - 12MP - 14MP with noise, color, and DR perfectly tuned for optimum IQ (like Nikon has done to D300 or D3 without raising resolution)
                  - Full frame 4/3? This is a long shot, and probably is a fantasy but this might put Olympus into a well respected ranking.
                  - No m4/3 please! I have a small hand but the E-3 weight and size is perfect.

                  Joe
                  E-M1/E-5 / E-500 / OM-1n / FL-50 / OM 50-250 / OM 50 1.8 / 12-60 / 18-180 / 70-300 / 50-200 SWD / EX25 / EC20

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                    I wonder is Fujifilm might consider switching allegiances? In the past the S* Pro range offered some benefits over the Nikon cameras they were based on, but Nikon seems to have cracked the Image Quality with it's own sensors and the reasons for buying the Fuji equivalents are less pronounced.

                    They need a manufacturer where they can add value and also receive value. Oly and Fuji could form a very nice partnership where Oly benefits from the high DR sensors and Fuji benefits from the best Lenses on the market.

                    Put a Super CCD sensor in the E-3 and you'd have a camera likely to compete with the D300 replacement (which must be due soon)!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                      Originally posted by Idle_Bull View Post
                      I wonder is Fujifilm might consider switching allegiances? In the past the S* Pro range offered some benefits over the Nikon cameras they were based on, but Nikon seems to have cracked the Image Quality with it's own sensors and the reasons for buying the Fuji equivalents are less pronounced.

                      They need a manufacturer where they can add value and also receive value. Oly and Fuji could form a very nice partnership where Oly benefits from the high DR sensors and Fuji benefits from the best Lenses on the market.

                      Put a Super CCD sensor in the E-3 and you'd have a camera likely to compete with the D300 replacement (which must be due soon)!
                      It's an interesting thought. One issue that the Finepix S5 Pro suffered was in continuous shooting rate - which is very pedestrian (under 2fps in some modes). I don't know if the SuperCCD sensor technology is flexible enough to go faster. Also, the S5 Pro is really a 6MP camera, despite its 12 million photosites.

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                        Originally posted by Ian View Post
                        It's an interesting thought. One issue that the Finepix S5 Pro suffered was in continuous shooting rate - which is very pedestrian (under 2fps in some modes). I don't know if the SuperCCD sensor technology is flexible enough to go faster. Also, the S5 Pro is really a 6MP camera, despite its 12 million photosites.

                        Ian
                        Both are valid points, but the camera is also, I think, 2+ years old?

                        I think that the four thirds sensor size might limit a Super CCD, but I am not sure. It would be tough to make a 12 MP Super CCD at the size of a four thirds sensor. But I think that to have a true Halo model in the range, they are going to have to do something different, come up with some sort of new tech. I assume they will stay with the same type of sensor for the E-5. But I can dream.

                        EDIT: I took some time to check out the black silicon stuff that Bear has been talking up...wow, screw Super CCDs, let's see an E-5 with a black silicon sensor, if Four Thirds secured the right to that stuff, they could make some serious headway in the market, and Pany is obviously looking for a way to do it, and Oly could use the tech in their medical imaging business, sounds like a perfect marriage to me...
                        ~Reggie

                        Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

                        Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                          Originally posted by ReggieB View Post
                          Both are valid points, but the camera is also, I think, 2+ years old?

                          I think that the four thirds sensor size might limit a Super CCD, but I am not sure. It would be tough to make a 12 MP Super CCD at the size of a four thirds sensor. But I think that to have a true Halo model in the range, they are going to have to do something different, come up with some sort of new tech. I assume they will stay with the same type of sensor for the E-5. But I can dream.
                          Actually, Fuji has made 12MP SuperCCD sensors for bridge cameras in the past, with sensor sizes at around a quarter the area of Four Thirds. To make a genuine 12MP SuperCCD SR sensor, you'd need 24 million photosites!

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                            Originally posted by Ian View Post
                            Actually, Fuji has made 12MP SuperCCD sensors for bridge cameras in the past, with sensor sizes at around a quarter the area of Four Thirds. To make a genuine 12MP SuperCCD SR sensor, you'd need 24 million photosites!

                            Ian
                            interesting, but it seems to me like the pixel density would be too high...do you know how those cameras performed? Plenty of compacts have more pixels than they should, was this an example?
                            ~Reggie

                            Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

                            Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?

                              Chiefly I would like to see improvements to the mid range e5** line. Specifically an articulated LCD panel of higher quality and the current top of the line 4/3 sensor, whatever that may be at the time. With this I would hope for improved dynamic range and high ISO performance.

                              Firmware bells and whistles and in camera processing leave me cold but I would like a feature from my old Minoltas, a big button marked P that instantanously resets all features to user's default. Actually, I wonder if I am missing something here - I have my user settings in reset 1, I have them set on Fn button and I have Ael/Afl switched around, but pressing the Ael button only seems to reset for as long as I depress it. Anyway, I'm digressing.

                              The one thing I would not want is to see the e5** grow bigger and heavier - Panasonic can fit an articulated high performance LCD in a small camera - why can't Olympus do the same?

                              The e420 line could be killed off, replaced by a mFT pair of cameras, one basic no frills and the other more of a photographer's camera. I do think that the MFT - 4/3 adapter ought to be part of the standard kit like a battery charger.

                              The e30 is fine, I would expect normal upgrades.

                              The e3 series leaves me cold. It's not on a par with the big boys photographically, possibly it has a niche as a tough go-anywhere, do anything (if you break it we'll give you another) camera for surveyors, engineers, archeologists and similar professions.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X