Maybe you have heard the latest rumor mill grinding away… Olympus is going big (literally and figuratively) for their big anniversary year in 2019. I don’t like to speculate, or debate, or add to the craziness that is the internet rumors…but I figured I might as well comment.
Word on the street is Olympus has a pro-oriented camera above the E-M1mk2 coming. It supposedly features an integrated grip style body that has all kinds of features not yet seen on a camera. We’ll see. Apparently price is supposed to be VERY high too. Well north of the E-M1mkII.
It appears a lot of people are all up in a twist about these two items. Let’s explore this.
Everyone wants the latest and new toys to play with. And when it feels like we can’t have them either because they are out of our reach or because it is not the way we want them…oh goodness. The suffering. The camera might be REALLY expensive. And that’s “un-micro-four-thirds.” There is that micro term again…does it have to apply to price too? But we can get so and so camera for less money and I think it’s a “better” camera. Ok great…buy that one then. Where is the issue? I don’t hear anyone complaining that Leica keeps raising their prices. Arguably they are the worst cameras on the market. A leica needs regular re-calibration by a qualified service tech. Just to FUNCTION. Their repairs are expensive. Their lenses are insanely price. They can’t focus closer than 3 feet. They have no auto focus, or features, or anything. And the ergonomics are horrible. Yet we can’t pry ourselves away from them. (I know…I used Leica M for years) Yet no one says “how can leica charge that when so and so is cheaper.” It is a tool that has a price tag if you want it. Simple. And people pay that find it worth it.
I feel there is this weird perception that if you are not Canon or Nikon, then you are a budget brand. That is just not the case. Olympus doesn’t have to be cheap because the sensor is smaller. I will be the first to say however…it has to deliver. It has to provide me a tool that justifies the price. It has to be a tool that allows me to create and facilitates the work of photography in a way that cannot be done with a different camera. I honestly think they will pull this off. The E-M1 started that trend…and the E-M1mkII took it to a whole other level. When you are comfortable with the setup of the camera, the efficiency and ability has been amazing. At least for me. Will I buy the next camera… I don’t know. I need to see what it offers.
This brings us to the size issue. It’s going to be bigger. I keep seeing these flat images showing specifications of the EM1X or whatever its going to be called laid next to the dimensions for a Canon 1DX. Wow…that is SOOOO not representative its not even funny. Maybe the height will be close…and the width…but that’s where it ends. Have you ever held a 1DX!?!?!?! Nothing Olympus puts out will rival the bulk of a 1DX. I am fairly certain of that. The 1DX or Nikon D5 are much better feeling bodies than a gripped dslr but they are huge and heavy. The integrated grip has much better handling and use of space. However, the bulk and thickness of the 1DX makes the EM1 even with a grip still look tiny. I’ve used both. There is no comparison. Even with length and width being “close.” Thickness and design adds to it. Do I prefer smaller bodies…yes. Do I like grips… no not really. However I think Olympus is going to use the body space in a way that makes sense. It won’t be a tack on grip or a huge beast of a camera. I think it will be an integration that feels good and makes sense. It will make handling and use much better for people that prefer this style of camera. And for a LOT of people it will make a lot of sense. Ever shoot events, sports, wildlife, dance, concerts, etc… etc… with a non-gripped camera? My arm gets tired with my elbow out. A grip comes in very handy to keep proper camera control and posture. However, I think they are doing it to gain space for processing. I think the horsepower is going to jump tremendously on this camera.
The E-M1mkII already shoots fast. It already has phenomenal stabilization. I think we are going to see some unique ways to get stuff done with this camera that requires serious power inside the camera. The extra space opens room for extra processing. The Em1mkII introduced a separate processor for focusing. I think this is going to be very enhanced this time around. Small cameras have limitations as to what you can cram into them. I don’t think the camera will be any bigger than it needs to be. And I KNOW if will be nowhere near a 1DX.
I do know this camera with a 300 F/4 or a 100-400, etc… will still be an incredibly desirable wildlife setup that doesn’t exhaust you just getting out into the field. Word is some pretty insane lenses will be coming out with it too.
Will this make your E-M1mkII any less of a stellar camera? No. Do you need to upgrade? Depends on what you shoot. Let’s wait and see what actually is released. In the mean time, we still have our small primes. And even the EM1mkII is small without a grip and a prime lens. We aren’t losing anything. We are gaining options. Not everyone needs a pocket sized camera.
In the meantime I have a bunch of reviews i’ve done that I need to get posted. So lots more to come. The new site is on its way. So I will probably wait for that to launch before I get these reviews up. Can’t wait! I also have a lot of awesome images that are being cleared to publish now too. Lots of great stuff to show off what M43 can really do.