M43 vs. L mount

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by maflynn, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    Given that Panasonic announced a new alliance for L mount type cameras and lenses, is M43 platform in danger?

    I'm happy with my Oly but with only two manufacturers that support the M43 system and one of them just announced a new mount - it does have me wondering what the long term viability of M43 is
     
  2. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #2
    Short answer I suppose is who knows? but there is a large customer base out there who are bought into the M43 systems the same as there are those of us bought into the APS-C systems. I suppose the main difference being you have 2 companies with skin in the game as opposed to the rest of us using proprietary mounts unique to individual companies.

    Olympus need M43 to continue or they are dead. I would hope they are developing a full frame sensor camera too. If they are then that would be a contender if they nail the ergonomics the way they did on the M43 cameras. They led the way on 5 axis image stabilisation and weather sealing.

    I also think that sensors as a trend are growing. Somewhat surprisingly, while we are seeing a move to full frame mirrorless, we are also seeing medium format seeing investment at a rate not seen previously. I have to be honest and admit, the new Fuji GFX50R is very interesting and coming in at a price point comparable to the Sony A9 is a stroke of genius. How can we beat the FF mirrorless king? we go bigger! Fuji customer care paired with a big sensor in a portable package is IMHO a very compelling alternative to the Sony dominant position.

    So right now all the manufacturers have a big option and a small option. Most have full frame and APS-C, plus smaller consumer models. Most of the smaller sensor models are proprietary to the manufacturer in everything other than sensor size. So everyone is in the same boat.

    Man I waffle a lot sorry....

    I guess the point I am trying to get to is that M43 I think will stay as long as there is a need for light, compact and portable with minimal compromise on image quality. Plus the Lumix range currently is king for 4K video right?

    So while they are moving into the full frame market with Leica and Sigma, I think just as Sony still has a need for cropped E mount, and Canon and Nikon have EF-S and DX sensor ranges, then Panasonic will continue with their crop sensor range too.

    Having said this, I would expect a bit of a slow down in innovation in M43 for a while until they establish their FF foot print.

    I hope there is some sense in here somewhere... just my opinion of course.... but I know nothing.
     
  3. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #3
    It kinda reminds me of Sony maintaining both E mount and A mount—different lenses for different classes of camera.
     
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #4
    It will take a while for there to be many L mount lenses. And FF is nice but it's still an entirely different choice than M43.

    If I were a M43 maker, I'd be more wary of the larger sensor non-interchangeable lens cameras, esp when comparing say Oly Pen cameras to Sony RX, GRIII, etc. Lots of folks that buy the smaller M43s want small and hence never buy bigger longer lenses, so they might be just as well off with a non ILC.
     
  5. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #5
    m43 lenses are generic smaller too. My Vario 45-150mm is much smaller than my old Sony APS-C 55-210, and they are basically the same final focal lengths after considering crop factor. It’s one of my favorite things about the m43 I just bought. A camera and a spare lens is very easy to pack.
     
  6. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #6
    Good point how amazing would an Oly Pen F be with a fixed 35 or 50 on a ff sensor? Or even a sensor the same as the original pen F.
     
  7. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    But a Micro four thirds is not a full frame sensor, and that's one of the issues I see it. they're handcuffed to a form factor that is no longer feasible, at least in the long term.
     
  8. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #8

    But that is the same as the APS-C positon for the other manufacturers. So i think you are safe for the forseeable
     
  9. Darmok N Jalad, Sep 29, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018

    Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #9
    Looking at B&H prices, the cheapest brand-new FF camera is the Sony a7, at $800 without a lens. That camera was released in 2014. The next cheapest is the A7 II, at $1400 without a lens, and prices just go up from there. My point is that I doubt any FF camera from Panasonic is going to be as affordable as their m43 offerings. M43 starts at $299 (Kodak) on B&H. I guess I can’t see anyone abandoning m43 just yet, as that will be their budget and mid-level camera options. Moving to APS-C is an option, but that would be a big investment for them too. They likely would have to redesign all their bodies and lenses, and it appears that selling 4 year old models is one way companies fill out their product stack. This alliance looks like a move for the high-end/pro market.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #10
    My off-the-wall predictions:

    With the advent of mirrorless full-frame, we will begin to see FF-based cameras begin to creep down in price. FF's market share will grow, cutting into APS-c.

    The APS-c sensor will supplant m43.

    m43 will still "be around", but begin to go the way of "point-and-shoots" -- that is to say, occupying a shrinking portion of the market...
     
  11. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    The mantra is full frame, and if Oly wants to keep up, they need to keep innovating which will mean full frame.

    No doubt and full frame cameras are pricey. I'll not dispute that and I like my little M43 platform with affordable lenses :)
     
  12. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #12
    And that last bit is what will keep it alive. The camera manufacturers have to push FF because they have to continue to convince the customer base that the latest iphone wont replace their flagship SoCaNikoFu X-D5mk850.

    Larger sensors will continue to be more expensive relatively because they get fewer of them per silicon wafer.

    Either way there is no reason to think you need to jump system anytime soon IMHO. Just focus on enjoying taking pictures. :)
     
  13. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    Don't take what I wrote as an impulsive move to drop the platform. I like my camera, and lenses. I have no plans to change cameras now, in a month or the foreseeable future. As long as the camera works, I'll keep using it :)
     
  14. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #14
    Yeah i know but sometimes it helps to have someone reaffirm your position... ;-)
     
  15. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601

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    #15
    I really wonder whom of the big camera company’s will be able to compete with Apple on computational photography like smart HDR . I assume Sony will have the best chances.
     
  16. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    They don't need much computational photography because the cameras are able to produce bokeh naturally and the larger sensors allow more light so they're better at low light photography.
     
  17. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

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    #17
    This is true, but it would be interesting to see the results. But then I shoot mainly in manual and raw so I get to choose how the final image looks, so I’d probably just turn it off!
     
  18. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601

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    #18
    True but. Sensors are becoming extremely good and so are lenses but still DR can clearly be improved hence smart HDR. Also large aperture lenses are heavy and expensive hence fake bokeh. On top there might be a lot more possibilities than Apple shows today.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 3, 2018 ---
    I shoot many different subjects. Kids require different features than landscape. I always use the same cameras. Canon M5 and iPhone SE at the moment.
     
  19. Darmok N Jalad, Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018

    Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #19
    I dunno. The whole point of software DOF on the iPhone XS/R is to get more out of a small sensor and fixed aperture than you could otherwise. It’s a software solution to a hardware problem. That said, my GX85 can do a multi-focus mode, where it leverages 4K recording abilities to sample 4 images—but that feature forces it to jpg and 4K quality only. Potential is there, but the trade-off is the inability to do more meaningful post-processing. I guess for most people, they don’t care about advanced camera settings or shooting in RAW.
     
  20. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Computational will get there one day, but for now bigger sensors still rule. One thing we can be sure of is that there is a better camera coming in a year or two.

    Any technology that can be applied to a phone sensor can also be applied to a much larger one. FF makers have a larger body that can hold a bigger computer and a bigger battery. If computational can make an iPhone a FF camera, what could it do for a FF camera with regard to medium or even large format? This matters up until the software gets so good it beats the human eye, and it just isn't there yet. I had a very interesting example using portrait mode on the iPhone X/iOS12 where part of the background was glaringly not blurred in a way that NEVER happens at F2 on FF sensors. Progress will be made.

    As for the fate of M43, I would be concerned. Not panicked, but concerned. It remains to be seen if Panasonic is bailing entirely on M43, or if their new FF camera is successful (or even any good). I would expect Panasonic to release a strong camera given their history, but blunders do happen. I would worry about the price, but the partnership with Sigma would indicate that there will be a path to reasonable lenses. If the Panasonic FF is a runaway success, I would not be at all surprised to see them back out of M43.

    Does Olympus join the L-Mount alliance? That would be huge. If that happens, I feel pretty sure that M43 is doomed.

    I think you need big glass to get access to certain looks. The Panasonic 42.5 F1.2 is heavier than most 85mm FF equivalents. It's a great lens, but if offsets the weight advantage while still not achieving the equivalent F1.8, F1.4, or even F1.2 (Canon) of full frame. At that point, M43 offers fewer advantages over a FF sensor. If you are fine with a kit lens and/or shoot in bright light, smartphones are closing in rapidly. If not, larger sensors are the obvious choice to distinguish yourself from the camera everyone has with them.

    I tried M43, and did not like the results I was getting. Were there advantages? Absolutely. They didn't outweigh the drawbacks for my photography . I found myself missing my FF setup so often that I gave up and went back.
     
  21. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #21
    A very well thought out and reasoned response. I guess by extension of your reasoning, couldn’t dedicated camera makers take a format like m43 or APS-C and advance it to beyond FF results via the same computational technology? One issue, of course, is Apple likely has a big machine learning and silicon design advantage.

    Ironically, they don’t apply these new PP techniques to older iPhones, but rather they mate them to the new iPhone models they launch new PP technologies with. The PP DOF is an example, since the single lens XR will be able to do it—the effect appears to have little or nothing to do with the hardware. So in a sense, smartphone cameras follow an even more limited trajectory than a dedicated camera. Better PP requires a new model! It sounds like a concession that the smartphone camera hardware is getting harder to advance.
     
  22. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Yes, bringing M43 to FF or MF is a (future) possibility. One here, though, the same technology could be applied to FF cameras equally. Again, bigger cameras have more space for more stuff. Alternatively, they could simply use less computational stuff and save battery life or offer even more ridiculously fast frame rates. Sauce for the goose, as they say.

    Now there are limits to what can be done with a small lens, and the computer is nowhere near being able to add detail that wasn't reported to it in the first place. This is why I feel that big cameras are not going anywhere soon. Phones will get better, but they just won't outperform the best glass. And that doesn't even cover micro scratches and smudges on the lens you keep unprotected in your pocket next to your car keys.

    As for not bringing the new technology to older phones, it isn't always an option. Other times, it is a business decision just like we see with camera makers and their 'market segments.' Hate it if you must, but it will take about a trillion dollars to even make a dent in it. You might have better luck asking Santa Claus to bring you a pony.
     

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21 September 28, 2018