In a recent interview with DPReview, Olympus VP of Sales and Marketing Aki Murata laid out the company’s market position quite eloquently, explaining why (and how) Olympus intends to compete in a camera market that is increasingly focused on full-frame.
The full interview–which was conducted at Photo Plus Expo in October, is fantastic and well worth a read, but a few highlights bear calling out. First is the headline quote that “full frame is not for everyone.” This came during a response to the question about the price of the OM-D E-M5 III camera’s price point.
Mr. Murata explained that, while there is “a very strong mindset in the US that bigger is better […] the size of the sensor does not determine the the cost of the product, or the quality of the picture.” This is so abundantly reasonable that it will no doubt be ignored by at least 50% of people. Mr. Murata goes on to admit that full-frame might be better for some users who need to take pictures in extremely low light, or “make really big prints,” but emphasizes that “it’s important for all photographers to think about what matters to them.”
The second part of the interview that caught our eye is Olympus’ conviction that the value of the Micro Four Thirds system is in the size, not of the camera necessarily, but the lenses. The company believes that the ability to hand-hold a 2000mm equivalent lens is, simply put, revolutionary. “I truly believe that the 150-400mm lens will change the world. It is really good,’ he tells DPReview’s Barney Britton, “and I can’t wait to show it to you.”
The full interview dives much deeper into this philosophy, and if you want to understand why Olympus is sticking to Micro Four Thirds while others have chosen to diversify into full-frame (Panasonic) and medium format (Fuji) on the high end, Mr. Murata offers probably the best defense of their position that we’ve read. Check out the full interview here.