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Thread: 2011 Predictions

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    Default 2011 Predictions

    Just noticed the quote on the front page: "A new look to the familiar old site. I think that in 2010 we will see a Ton of growth in the 4/3 system."

    I think this may need to be updated!

    (Also, was there any growth in the 4/3 system this last year, aside from the release of the E-5? Seemed pretty quiet here...).

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    The E-620 (an extremely competitive camera, at least on paper) was announced in late 2008 and became available March 2009. That was the last 4/3'rds camera (before the E-5). The micro-4/3'rds (E-P1/2) were released in July and December of 2009. The E-30 and E-620 appeared to leave 4/3'rds in a solid position for 2009 and energy was spent establishing micro, so expecting some sort of superlative follow-up in 2010 to the E-620, E-30, E-3 was not unreasonable. Instead, everything fizzled.

    In the controversial Photokina interview, Olympus has pretty clearly stated that development of new 4/3'rds lens is on indefinite hold, primary attention is on micro-4/3'rds, and consumer-level customers are expected to migrate to micro-4/3'rds. 4/3'rds (now exclusively limited to the E-X line) is positioned as their flagship, but not mainstream, product line.

    I'm horrible at prognostication, so I will simply take them at their word: attention in 2011 will be focused on micro-4/3'rds. With the E-5 freshly released and lens development on hold, I'm not expecting any new 4/3'rds bodies or lenses this coming year. There really isn't any new tech in the E-5 to push into an E-XX without simply cannabolizing E-5 sales.

    Expect a follow up to the E-P2 and/or E-PL1 to be announced at PMA2011. Their lens line-up looks reasonably complete from a consumer perspective and I'm not going to expect specialized lenses (such as primes and fast zooms) until they deliver a pro-spec'ed micro-4/3'rds body. That may arrive in the form of a G2/GH2-class device meant to fully replace the E-XXX line, but I doubt they will give it the 'pro' moniker (with associated extras and pricing) unless it can AF all the SHG and HG glass with reasonable performance.
    E3 w/ HLD-4, 7-14mm, 12-60mm, 50mm, 150mm Macro, FL-50R with E-620+25mm as a poor-man's Leica
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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    As much as I like my E500 and E30 and the lenses. I think it may be that we see some people drifting away from 4/3s of any sort.

    I know my commitment is significantly less that it was. I just don't think Oly and I are headed in the same direction. I won't get rid of my gear until it no longer serves my needs, but I'm in no hurry to buy anything more. I'd have to think long and hard before I buy anything significant for my 4/3s kit.

    And if the Fuji x100 turns out to be as good as I HOPE it will be, I will be buying one. I will be buying a new compact-ish camera in 2nd quarter 2011 at any rate, but I don't think it will be 4/3s of any sort at this point. (they got time to change my mind, I'm not anti Oly or 4/3s, just not enthusiastic about the system development)

    Will that be my step away from Oly and 4/3s? I don't know, possibly. I do think Oly is going to see a contraction of the user base before it sees any growth.
    Glen Barrington
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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Unfortunately I agree, that we'll see a shrinking user base with 4/3, as well as 4/3 now that everybody has a small camera with a larger sensor coming out.. not just Olympus.

    I personally feel fulfilled with 4/3 especially with the release of the E-5. But not everyone is looking to invest in the weather sealed and relatively heavy pro body along with the pro lenses that work best with the system. Should Oly come out with the highly coveted 200-400 f/4 we sports shooters and birders are dying for I would be happy with the equipment I have for the next ten years, at least. But I don't see any new lenses on the 4/3 horizon, and I suspect that micro 4/3 users will find themselves wishing for more lens selection and unjustifiably denied within the next few years, as it seems many regular 4/3 users feel abandoned by OLY. Just my opinion, but my predictions for 2011 and Oly:

    three new 4/3 lenses, no new 4/3 lenses
    two new 16Mp 4/3 bodies, one new 16Mp 4/3 body (the E-x0)
    No new E-xx0
    All that I share with you is purely my personal perspective based on my own experiences. Feel free to constructively criticize my opinions and my photos, please!
    Rob

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    My predictions take two forms: what I'd like to happen and what I suspect will happen. I prefer to dwell on the first. :-)

    Want: 6xx and 3x replacements.

    Why I think it will happen: Oly must keep 4/3 viable until M4/3 transitions into a pro-level system, a goal that remains well into the future as best as I can tell. The E-5 is--by virtue of its pricepoint and marketplace position--a low-volume camera and Oly still needs to keep moving 4/3 units. They can continue to sell 4## and 5## series bodies base strictly on price but the more advanced 6## and 3# bodies attract advanced users who will demand a refresh.

    In M4/3 I think we'll see a semipro body this year that will signal some of Oly's intentions for the series. In the meantime the other bodies will vacuum up sales that used to go to 4##, 5## and even 6## bodies.

    Counter to my wishes is the camera division's poor financial condition, which may mean a conservative gameplan that emphasizes M3/4 to the detriment of of 4/3, perhaps nixing any more bodies. If that's the plan they need a relatively vast expansion of the system lenses and better integration of the 4/3 lenses than the current implementation.

    Oly is very good at hiding their intentions, which is why we sit here at the foggy crystal ball.

    Cheers,

    Rick

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    My guesstimation...

    #1 - 4/3rds is dead. Oly will work to improve compatibility with u4/3rds for HG and SHG lenses but the E-5 was it for bodies, I think.

    #2 - u4/3rds will move toward the enthusiast market. The body and lens line-up has pretty much got entry-level covered, not it's time for an enthusiast body with proper grip and controls, and fast, quality lenses.

    #3 - Failing #2, Oly will surrender the compact enthusiast and travel market to Panasonic, who seems genuinely interested in making genuinely good lenses, and drop off my personal photographic radar for the foreseeable future
    Panasonic GH2, Panasonic 7-14/f4 ASPH, Panasonic 14/f2.5 ASPH, Panasonic 20/f1.7 ASPH, Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f0.95, Olympus m.ZD 40-150 MSC.
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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
    My guesstimation...
    I'll add mine - as a commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
    #1 - 4/3rds is dead. Oly will work to improve compatibility with u4/3rds for HG and SHG lenses but the E-5 was it for bodies, I think.
    I think consumer oriented 4/3 is dead. Semi-pro/pro 4/3 will go on for some time; maybe a long time. I do expect a E-30 replacement before summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
    #2 - u4/3rds will move toward the enthusiast market. The body and lens line-up has pretty much got entry-level covered, not it's time for an enthusiast body with proper grip and controls, and fast, quality lenses.
    I am not so sure - you will lose the size advantage. A large group of the people who have embraced -4/3 have done it because they think DSLR's are big. Also Olympus' offerings.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
    #3 - Failing #2, Oly will surrender the compact enthusiast and travel market to Panasonic, who seems genuinely interested in making genuinely good lenses, and drop off my personal photographic radar for the foreseeable future
    If Panasonic keep up the good work they have done the last two years, Olympus might drop out of my radar too; no matter what they do. But I will give them 6 months before I decide.
    flickr | "God made the integers; all else is the work of man" - Leopold Kronecker

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    My guess is an E-50, EP-3, EPL-2, Tilting or flip out screen for the EP-xx series and a 16mpix sensor. Less AA filter for sharper pictures and some faster m4/3rd glass. What could be added to the 4/3rd line up that would sell more than what they have now?


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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmonaut View Post
    My guess is an E-50, EP-3, EPL-2, Tilting or flip out screen for the EP-xx series and a 16mpix sensor. Less AA filter for sharper pictures and some faster m4/3rd glass. What could be added to the 4/3rd line up that would sell more than what they have now?
    The E-PL2 is a no-brainer. I guess it is official before Wednesday.

    What do I want in form of 4/3rd line (except a E-50), is a 20mm f/2. Anything else glass-wise that I crave is available.
    flickr | "God made the integers; all else is the work of man" - Leopold Kronecker

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    I think that the 200-400 f/4 HG lens is a no-brainer; one of the reasons that Oly will continue to gain my business is because of the 4/3 digital crop factor of 2X. 12Mp gives me the same (digital pixel for pixel) reach as an 18Mp sensor on different brands' CMOS sensors with the same lens, with better durability in the camera body and higher quality optics.. Oly 4/3 was made for sports shooters and birders in this regard, I wish that they would emphasize this trait and exploit it with some long glass. Not counting on it, though.
    All that I share with you is purely my personal perspective based on my own experiences. Feel free to constructively criticize my opinions and my photos, please!
    Rob

    E-5/14-35/50-200II/70-300/EC14/EC20/OM100 2.8

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by glenbarrington View Post
    As much as I like my E500 and E30 and the lenses. I think it may be that we see some people drifting away from 4/3s of any sort.

    I know my commitment is significantly less that it was. I just don't think Oly and I are headed in the same direction. I won't get rid of my gear until it no longer serves my needs, but I'm in no hurry to buy anything more. I'd have to think long and hard before I buy anything significant for my 4/3s kit.

    And if the Fuji x100 turns out to be as good as I HOPE it will be, I will be buying one. I will be buying a new compact-ish camera in 2nd quarter 2011 at any rate, but I don't think it will be 4/3s of any sort at this point. (they got time to change my mind, I'm not anti Oly or 4/3s, just not enthusiastic about the system development)

    Will that be my step away from Oly and 4/3s? I don't know, possibly. I do think Oly is going to see a contraction of the user base before it sees any growth.


    I have to agree completely with glenbarrington. I will enjoy using the Oly cameras and lenses that I have for the foreseeable future but I will make no further Oly purchases. Given their poor marketing and communication skills shown over the last six months I have no predictions. I would like to replace my S90 for candid and available light photography with a camera having Oly's jpeg engine, the equivalent of Panny;s 20mm lens, Canon's G-12 articulated LCD, and Sony's sensor and at a reasonable price but I don't see that coming from Oly (and probably not anyone else.)

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by srf4real View Post
    I think that the 200-400 f/4 HG lens is a no-brainer; one of the reasons that Oly will continue to gain my business is because of the 4/3 digital crop factor of 2X. 12Mp gives me the same (digital pixel for pixel) reach as an 18Mp sensor on different brands' CMOS sensors with the same lens, with better durability in the camera body and higher quality optics.. Oly 4/3 was made for sports shooters and birders in this regard, I wish that they would emphasize this trait and exploit it with some long glass. Not counting on it, though.
    I would do things, dirty things for a 500f4 from Oly, but like you i doubt it will happen. I may look at the Nikon d400 after it is announced. I love my oly gear but im not going to stick around if they aren't going to invest in the system.
    I would hate to lose my 12-60.

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Personally, I doubt we will see another 4/3s camera. It is easy to see the areas where the e-5 has improved on the e-3... resolution, lcd, etc. making it a desirable upgrade.

    Barring a new sensor or some completely unexpected new feature, I cannot think of what could be upgraded on the e-620 or the e-30 that wouldn't be cost prohibitive and that couldn't be added to the e-5.

    Are video, new jpeg engine and thinner AA filter enough to sell an e-xx or e-xxx upgrade? I don't think so. And if they had some revolutionary feature in store, they'd surely have it on the e-5.

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by diogo View Post
    Are video, new jpeg engine and thinner AA filter enough to sell an e-xx or e-xxx upgrade? I don't think so. And if they had some revolutionary feature in store, they'd surely have it on the e-5.
    Well, I am interested in the thinner AA filter and processing engine (it does work for the RAW files as well) in a lighter body than the E-5. and I don't need weather proofing either.
    flickr | "God made the integers; all else is the work of man" - Leopold Kronecker

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    Default Re: 2011 Predictions

    I'm expecting a relatively quiet year from Olympus. I find them a little boring at the moment but that's ok by me (my E-30 and E-PL1 both continue to work and I'll probably start using my 510 again as I have a good, light, flexible "travel kit in a small bag" with that one).

    I suspect 2012 will be quite interesting as pro grade m43 comes to fruition and as Olympus refines their out of camera social engagement.........

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