Thursday, April 10, 2014

Olympus' Forty-nine Year Vision

I said the other day on a different website, that the OMD E-M10 is the camera Olympus has been trying to build since 1965.  And it's true, Olympus has always been pushing to create ever smaller, ever more functional small cameras, but technology has always stood in the may of this goal.

35mm half frame cameras of the early 1960's were great!, They were little gems of the jeweler's art.  Fast responsive and accurate.  The problem was that film technology just wasn't able to meet the needs of a half-frame camera.  I often wondered just how successful they would have been if film technology had been as good in 1965 as it was in the year 2000.

The early 35mm OM cameras were as small as technology would allow, the practical limitation of film size, primitive electronics coupled with mechanical linkages, and how quality optics were designed and built severely limited just how small a  camera an enthusiastic photographer would tolerate.

But now, technology is able to actually assist in this goal, not stand in the way.  And I think the pinnacle of this goal is the E-M10, and not the M1.

The OMD E-M1 is a fine camera, no question about it.  But it is a tool designed for the VERY serious photographer.  It is a bit larger, and has a feature set that, in a way, sits outside the parameters of the goals of the original dream as I understand them.

The goal was, as I understand it, was a "serious" camera that would be popular across all demographics.  From the doting parents who want high quality casual photos of their kids without carrying a lot of  additional 'stuff', to the 'serious consumer' who wanted a system camera that could be used to extend their photographic skills, to the working pro, who is looking for a good second camera that delivers on all the quality without becoming economically unfeasible.

I think that goal is best met by the E-M10 and not the E-M1.  I'd be happy to consider your opinions on this, just let me know what you think.

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