And I tell you why!
The new EM1 markII
Well, actually with the same money you can buy a little less than 2,000 cups of coffee, if we consider that the official price for a cup of coffee here in Parma is 1.10 €… but that would start a digression.
I’m writing this article, but I assure you I’m not getting any coffee from Olympus to defend the new price policy they adopted for their new flagship product.
Actually, there was a feeling it would have been “expensive”… but nobody really expected it to be “so” expensive.
And this raised an uproar on the web. Offence, betrayal, madness… you name it.
On the contrary, I agree with this price policy, even if I know I’m going to shoot myself in the foot by making this statement, since soon or later I think I will be forced to buy it. From now on in this article, I will calmly and impartially try to explain my reasons and thoughts about it.
First of all, no product is sold at its real price anyway. Whatever the price is, it is chosen after considering several factors. Among these factors, a very important one is the “need” for the product the companies manage to create. Why do you think people don’t complain anymore for an iPhone costing 900€? The reason is a “need” has been created for it. At the same time, the value of the “brand” has spread too. So, now people take for grant that an iPhone is worthy 900€.
The new Em1-mark 2 raised the bar of a whole photography sector’s performance on all accounts and that’s why its price is higher. How much higher is it?
The stronger is the “sense of need” created in the target audience, consisting mainly of professional photographers and hard to please users, the more expensive it is.
Olympus and, in general, its Micro 4/3 system always had a great advantage that was also a limitation at the same time: the sensor uniformity. Actually, model after model, the performances of the many products included in the catalogue at the same time aren’t that much different from each other if we consider the image quality. This generates a little bit of confusion.
For example, the Em5-mark 2 now offers a better performance than the Em1. The Em10-2, in some respects, has a better sensor too.
Therefore, it was absolutely necessary to differentiate the target segments more and that’s why the Em1-mark 2, with its exclusive professional features (a double memory card, a super battery, a top-class AF, etc.), claims it’s going to stay at the top of the hierarchy in the future too, even after new non-professional models are released.
It’s easy to figure out that these features will not be included in any future model intended for the low-medium customer segments. This is precisely in order to keep a clear distance between these models and the professional level of the new flagship product. We can also include into this instance the establishment of a customer assistance service that is entirely dedicated to this new model for professional photographers, an additional value for all the people who will decide to invest their money into this brand.
I don’t think 2,000 cups of coffee for a camera that will stay at the top of all the models using the same system during the next 4-5 years are to be considered an outrage. They’re not. At all.
This is a decision with no compromise. It’s the top of the tops in the technological expression of an excellent system. Also, it’s the same price the competitors want for a “professional” camera that is not really the best in its category. When we buy cameras from other brands, we get compromises. However, the new Em1 is the best camera an Olympus user may wish to possess and its price totally embodies this philosophy. I read comments saying things like “I go for a Pentax K1 then, it’s Full Frame and has the same price”, but if you have been spending money for a system you like, why would you change it with another system that’s completely different? I can’t really understand it.
It’s too expensive. However, for what kind of people can you say it’s too expensive? For the ones who want to buy it on Day One? Everything is just about choices to be made by the ones who want the finest product and the ones who want a new toy to play with.
For example, my two Em1s are still in perfect state and still ready to be used for so many other adventures. Certainly, I’m not eager to buy a new model that just came out to the market to do the same things I can already excellently do with what I have.
Real professionals are also careful, very careful, to bring the expenditures back to the line and to get the return on the investments they made. They don’t just think about owning technological toys.
When the time comes, I will understand whether or not I will be able to buy an excellent camera at the price I’ll be requested to pay, which at that time will be already decreased thanks to the price adjustments following the release of the new product, and, who knows, there may even be some additional interesting incentives.
The EM1-mark 2 isn’t the “good camera to be used as a backup” anymore. It claims to be the First Lady of a system featured with incredible levels of quality and versatility.
traduzione / translation by Laura Di Croce