This is a question that some people may ask about the categorization between the different Olympus/OM products into the Micro Four Third format (MFT) mainly because we can easily assimilate this particular line of products as very extend and very diversified. Olympus has a very fine reputation for designing and manufacture high level devices as for more amateur oriented ones.
If you ask to professional photographers, i.e., people that are using their photographic gear intensely and into adverse contextual conditions, you may find that the choice will became more obvious than it seems at first sight simply because most photo gear manufacturers will trace a specific value limit which is reflecting in their selling price scale. Many of these \”Pro\” so-called equipment are produced in a smaller number with higher manufacturing standards, but for the imaging performances, it can be frustrating to discover that these \”Pro\” devices are not necessarily surpassing the cheaper and more accessible ones.
If you are looking into the Olympus/OM MFT series, I will qualify very arbitrary the OM-D E-M1X (the \”beast\”) as the only one that is purely a full time professional one. You can consider that the OM-D E-M1 mark II and mark III model versions as excellent semi-professional cameras too. But the OM-D E-M1X is definitively the workhorse of the OM system.
How about the M.Zuiko lens series? Surely nobody will contest the basic Pro zoom lens trio consisting of the M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8, the 12-40mm F2.8 and the 40-150mm F2.8 Pro models that are for most photojournalists a fairly competent choice. The M.Zuiko 300mm F4 Pro as \”long reach\” telephoto can be added for its specialized ability. The other fine Pro trio is certainly the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.2, the 25mm F1.2 and the 17mm F1.2 for their specific image selectivity (shallower deep of field) that will be appreciated in portrait or fashion photography. All these optics are specially designed to withstand the \”Pro\” criteria of intense photographic tasks (Auto/Manual Clutch focusing system, large maximum aperture, weather resistant, etc.)
Any photographic devices can do fine work on a certain extend. So, the gear choices are purely a personal matter of tastes and needs that I will never argue as for the adoption of a specific manufacturer or even a digital imaging format. But every serious photo equipment manufacturer will offer you a dedicated professional product although they often like to leave a certain blur regarding the real frontier between their amateur and pro series for marketing purposes.
When Olympus introduced the OM-D EM-5 (first version) in 2012, many early adopters have understood the potential for using a MFT camera as a true professional tool (the same reasoning has been observed with the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix GH series for digital videography). Then the Tokyo manufacturer have launched a \”pro\” oriented model, the OM-D E-M1 (first version) just about one year after, alongside with a new \”Pro\” lens series confirming their obvious intention to invest into a real pro line of products.
For the major photographic gear manufacturers, their professional flagship models represent a kind of locomotive that are attracting the potential demand to their different offer even the very amateur ones. It is basically a strong marketing asset for the company that cannot be ignored. It demonstrates the serious of their involvement not only to their customer bases but also to their own investors. And you don’t need to be a photographic educated person to fully understand the importance to maintain an higher level into your product line offer.
There is not a lot of photo equipment manufacturers that will be dedicated to a complete professional line of cameras and lenses. Among these few ones, Olympus/OM is certainly one of the most involved in term of diversity, qualities and performances for their products. They have chosen to stay into the Micro Four Third format and have created that way a clear departure from the other manufacturers like Nikon or Canon or Fujifilm that have adopted other digital sensor formats. Olympus/OM Pro lenses are without doubts very renowned optics too.
The so-call professional photographic gear is expensive, we know that for a fact since many decades. That will not change and may be, will be accentuated through time considering the manufacturing cost factors for producing in a smaller scale, very specialized photo devices. As a professional tool, these high selling prices may be easier to justify as for the strong passionate photographers. But for all the other enthusiasms, there is a lot of different products that will fulfill perfectly their needs and preferences.