OM Digital Solutions has launched their new OM-1 flagship camera and the strategic positioning of the company is now crystal clear. All we need to do is look at the choices that OMDS has made with this camera in terms of technology and performance characteristics.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
In an article published here in May 2020 we suggested that the best generic strategy for Olympus to pursue was Focus Differentiation. The fundamental attribute of a Focus Differentiation strategy is a company concentrating its efforts to meet the needs of specific segments of buyers where its products are the best fit. There is no intent to appeal to the entire marketplace with a broad array of product offerings.
All of us are aware that the hype in the camera market has been about full frame cameras for the past number of years. More dynamic range and more megapixels aren’t the solution to every photographer’s needs. Especially when the lenses for full frame systems are comparatively large, heavy and expensive.
What defines the OM-1’s strategic positioning? Speed. Durability. Portability. Weatherproofing. Are those factors the key purchase criteria for wedding photographers? Event photographers? Product and food photographers doing studio work? Fashion photographers? Landscape photographers? Not really. Those market segments are skewed to larger sensor cameras like full frame and medium format.
The strategic positioning of the OM-1 is focused on photographers involved in birding, nature, adventure, sports, and extreme environment/travel. These are market segments where a dust, splash and freezeproof rating of IP53 is critical.
Outdoor photographers whose livelihood revolves around capturing precise action moments understand the value of being able to shoot at incredible frame rates in full resolution… up to 50 frames-per-second with Pro Capture SH2 and 120 frames-per-second with Pro Capture SH1.
The new 20.4 MP M4/3 stacked BSI Live MOS sensor provides additional dynamic range and better low light performance. When combined with the new TruePic X Dual Quad Core Processor it delivers the kind of processing speed needed to power Intelligent Subject Tracking. Subjects like formula cars, rally cars and motorcycles. Aircraft and helicopters. Trains. Birds. Dogs and cats.
In my mind the OM-1 isn’t just a new flagship camera. It is a strong statement about the strategic positioning that OMDS intends to take with its imaging business. Will this strategic positioning of Focus Differentiation appeal to everyone out there? Absolutely not. And, that’s a good thing.
Photographers who place a high value on speed, durability, portability and weatherproofing want a solution focused on their specific needs. The OM-1 is an incredible first step by OMDS in that commitment and journey.
I won’t be doing any kind of review on the new OM-1 camera. The waiting list to get a review sample is incredibly long. And, as regular readers know… this isn’t a camera gear review website. In an earlier article we provided a few links that may be instructive for folks who are interested in the OM-1.
Over the past couple of years we’ve invested many thousands of dollars into our Olympus kit. Those investments included 3 flagship camera bodies, 9 lenses (most of them PRO versions), 2 teleconverters, and 2 flash units. Each and every component has more than met our expectations, and was worth every penny of investment we made. So, we have no doubt that the OM-1 will deliver outstanding performance.
There are practical realities that need to be considered when running a business. Two important ones that we face are managing our cash flow and our extensive equipment depreciation schedule.
Given business conditions brought on by COVID-19 during the past couple of years, we will not be adding any camera equipment of any kind to our kit. So, there is no OM-1 in our future. Not because it won’t be a fantastic camera that would do a wonderful job for us. It’s a matter of practical business realities.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are indicated. Photographs were resized for web use. This is the 1,132 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
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