« A Week on the Wall | Main | Quote o' the Day: Jeremy Clarkson »

Friday, 06 February 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Leica had 6 models in it's first 15 years, and would factory update your camera to the latest spec for a quite small fee.

I'm going to have to look in to the case of the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Three things:
New viewfinder is now desirable rather than useable, as previously.
Improved video and improved IS combine to make it a compelling (amateur) video machine.
Still life resolution is genuinely amazing:

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II actually seems like a good update. It addresses the weaknesses of the original (build quality, handling and viewfinder) and puts the model in its proper place in the model hierarchy while keeping the basic formula intact. But it seems they moved the price more upmarket too.

Refinement can be a good thing, and often a product doesn't fall completely into place until the second or third iteration.

Ahem - blog on! We all know you "need" to replace the one you sold ...

There was such unanimity about the few glaring flaws (and many hits) of the EM5 that a MkII essentially started to take shape immediately. From a distance, Olympus seems to have addressed the major issues, and then some, but I look forward to your assessment.

I agree, Reynolds' passage is brilliantly wrought. What a metaphor!

Alas, I don't think my computer is ready for these megapixel-packing "refreshes".

I like the looks of the EM5 Mark II refresh (better to leave out the OMD at this point). It's a conservative release in some ways (no increase in megapixels, no new sensor that will wow the DXO lab) but nicely improved all around according to early reports. Even better shutter sound, and a new silent shutter option, for instance. Better stabilization. Flippy twisty screen, which I like, and which of course allows selfies. Better weather sealing and build. Hi-res mode for certain types of photography (still life studio and architecture come to mind). We are so lucky in some ways today, the speed at which things progress. I mean, how much better at taking photos was the OM4 than the OM1 in the hands of a skilled operator? I wonder what the EM5 Mark IV will be like, if we see it?

Hi Mike,

You stated "Personally I hope we're entering an era when camera model introductions will slow down some."

I don't want Nikon to slow down until they have the D400 in production. My D300 is getting a bit long in the tooth. Eight years is a little too long to wait for the D300 replacement so now I'm now considering moving to a Mirrorless camera.

Regards ...... Aubrey

Actually, although Chrysler-Fiat (Alfa) did have a hand in the development of the new Miata they have decided not to introduce their own version, mumbling something about using their own chassis. We shall see.

In my not so humble opinion I think the new Oly camera is the pinnacle of prosumer cameras today. If my D700 wasn't performing so wonderfully I would probably buy a D750. A 50 mega pixel 35mm FF sensor camera does not excite me in the least. The downsides far out way the supposed advantages. In my commercial market the need for huge prints is non existent. If something did come up I would rent a D810 for the job. Gear heads with lots of discretionary cash can go ahead and chase the carrot.

HURRY MIKE, HURRY…We need your detailed report on the Canon 5DS and 5DSr. You do not want us loyal TOP'ers to get behind in the pack of speculators, nay-sayers, and those who just MUST unload their archaic 5D MKIIIs. We need yours sage take on the new pixel-king! Just saying :-))

Even though they both use the same frame and driveline, there is a Huge styling difference between a 1958 and a 1959 Chevy. By about 1960 the year-to-year changes became much smaller.

Things come and go, by the mid 1950's home-built Hot Rods were replaced by Factory Hot Rods like the 1957 Chevy with it's 283 HP engine and four speed transmission.

British Sports Cars were their own worst enemy with antiquated design and poor quality control. When the Toyota "Z" cars came along with more performance, comfort and passenger car like reliability you knew the end was near (same applied to British Motorcycles).

My $0.02 worth is that Full Frame DSLRs (antiquated design) will be the end of both Canon and Nikon. Sorta like MG vs Toyota sportscars, or BSA vs Honda motorcycles.

Innovation like like HiRes Sensor-Shift technology isn't coming from Canon or Nikon. They'll continue to live in the past until they have no present. Can anyone say Kodak?

I would disagree with Moose--the E5 M II is not a camera without Bayer matrix problems. It's just a camera with a whole new batch of problems associated with an attempt to get around Bayer matrix problems.

"Things come and go, by the mid 1950's home-built Hot Rods were replaced by Factory Hot Rods like the 1957 Chevy with it's 283 HP engine and four speed transmission."

Ah yes, I had a '55 with hand rebuilt, ported and balanced engine bored out to the 283 cu.in. of '56 and later, CR Vette 4speed on the floor. (So the bench seat wouldn't go forward much.) A very goin' machine - but a piece of junk by contemporary ride and handling standards.

Very few of the Duntov one HP per cu.in. cars were made. The fuel injection was hard to maintain. The dual 4BBL 270 HP was more common and practical.

I have to admit I really don't understand what Canon's thinking is behind these two new 5D 50 megapixel models. From a business and technology perspective, this is a phenomenon known as *incrementalism* at it's worst, because they address a niche market at best. They went down this "more and more megapixels" road with the G-series only to have to back off and put less megapixels in the sensor just to get the noise performance to a level acceptable even to "enthusiast" photographers. You would have thought they would have learned this lesson at that time. But, apparently not.

If Canon thinks these cameras will recover their tanking camera sales, they are, IMHO, misguided in their thinking.

The operative question is: Just what is going to cause Canon to wake up and smell the coffee?

No wonder Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Fuji are kicking their butt with their innovative mirrorless offerings.


Oh shucks, I was looking forward to drive a Japanese Alfa.... Reliable ;-(

Don't recall any MX-5 recalls on a scale comparable to the D750, do you?

I want that new Mazda. Sadly, while I could afford it, a summer car would complicate my life. How deal with it in the winter? How sad is that?

[My Miata (NB, 2nd gen) was strictly a fair weather, summer car. The only time I drove in rain was when I got caught out in it. I drove it one time in the slush, snow, and ice, and learned my lesson! Never did that again. --Mike]

Triumph came out with the TR8 - finally got it right and then went out of business. Nothing quite like a TR4a tho. One fun car to drive. The TR6 was more refined, in some ways but less enjoyable.
Bug Eye sprites were in a class all their own as fun cars.
As far as Canon and the newest 50MB chip - SAME damn Dynamic Range as the 5D MkIII which means they are still a few years behind Nikon.

Mike, the word now is that the FCA version of this new Miata will be a Fiat or Abarth, not an Alfa. But there apparently is still a new compact Alfa Romeo sports car in the pipeline.

Old model:

The Miata product shots were probably done by selected Japanese photo-hobbyists. Mazda just forgot to credit the Flickr accounts of those great photogs. LOL

Aubrey, I admire your patience. I personally switched to Micro Four Thirds after it was clear Nikon had no interest in bringing out a D400.

Let's call it the M52. Succinct.

The Miata, or Mazda MX5 as it's called in Australia, is ostensibly a girl's car. I'm not sure about other parts of the world, but real men don't drive a Miata/MX5 in Oz.

[Sounds like those men in Oz fret too much about their manliness, then. Real men don't worry about what other people think of them. Just sayin'. --Mike]

The 50mp chip in the 5d makes perfect sense: the portrait and fashion photogs who love the current 5d are the folks that ditch their 5d and rent MF for jobs where they need more pixels. Then they moan to the assistant because none of the MF cameras work as well as the 5d.

An entertaining and insightful British TV series on restoring Classic British cars. This episode is about the much-maligned Triumph Stag:


A refreshingly good looking sports car. I was afraid that cars and cameras were on the one way road to ugly.

I have to applaud Olympus with their MkII - it really is a second generation of the E-M5, just...better. I can live with that update - new technology gets cheaper so quickly, not updating a digital body often is a disservice to your customers buying a 2 year + old product. We're very, very spoiled right now, photographically - the entire history of film cameras at tiny tiny prices for the vast majority of them, amazing new digital bodies popping out, and the second and third generation back of cameras are still so nice you can get amazing gear for cheap.

Except lenses. Lenses always cost.

Speaking of Alfas...


It looks like the photography was done by Jeff Ludes. (Found via google image search)

Doing a Google search with the Mazda image brought me to


Why an E-M5II? Why not an E-M1 II? Or an E-M2?

Olympus now has three OMD cameras near the "top" of their line that control differently, have different feature sets and use different accessories. Just the control differences are probably enough to make me think before considering this machine. On the other hand, just the new "Play" button might be worth the price of admission, since that button on the E-M5 is the worst one ever conceived by a human camera designer.

I often wonder who manages product design for the camera companies. They seem to have no clue how to add functionality and/or improve things while not disrupting the existing interfaces too much.

Intriguingly, Pentax's new 'full frame' offering is rumoured to use sensor shift tech of some kind for increased resolution.
What I didn't realise was the Ricoh had already put a rudimentary version of this into production 15 (fifteen !) years ago:

Hmm, all this ads up to something for me; I've a D700 as well as an EM-5. I turn 40 this year so it's the traditional time for treating myself to midlife crisis purchases. Perhaps I should upgrade to a 750 and an EM-5II...and then consider the new MX5!

However, considering that my last experience in a Miata ended in the (nearly) worst accident possible underneath an 18 wheeler and subsequent helicopter ambulance ride I may just limit myself to the less risky camera shop visits. http://www.edgeofsomewhere.com/weblog/2009/06/09/trauma-t1571

[Jesu, Jason, that is horrible. So glad you made it through. --Mike]

I think it speaks to the resilience of tiny cars; the investigating officer said that, had I been driving anything larger, I'd have been decapitated. I'm not sure if that can be extrapolated out to the rest of the post and speak to the benefits of Micro 4/3 cameras though.

On the topic of new models and updates, I know it's impossible to really predict this but I wonder if or when the camera companies will slow down in some sense with the updates. I've been more than satisfied over the past several years with my D700. I can see upgrading to the 810—that would easily stand me in good stead for almost anything I would want to do for a long time. Just give me substantive firmware updates and a service plan that guarantees parts availability for a reasonable time.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007