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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by compuwar, Nov 6, 2010.
He had some not-so-kind words regarding the Panasonic GF2 announcement as well.
That's not exactly surprising, right?
I've been saying for a while that I didn't think Oly could float two mounts for long- but I really hope he's wrong for the sake of folks who bought 4/3rds systems because it sucks to have a camera line orphaned so quickly.
He does seem to wail away on Panny quite a bit:
The GF2 is pretty godawful, yes.
On the other hand, without 4/3 to worry about, Oly can concentrate on m4/3. Hopefully this will mean faster lenses and better cameras, rather than touchscreens and color assortments.
Snuffing hackability is pretty awful. Don't know if it's a blatant attempt to push people towards the AF100 or simply a knee-jerk reaction to people one-upping their firmware, but it's a stupid move, regardless.
I think he's a bit too pessimistic when it comes to the X100, but perhaps this is just my own enthusiasm talking. Also, I just hope he's wrong when it comes to the reluctance of Canon and Nikon to introduce their own versions of mirrorless, large-sensor cameras. But unfortunately, I don't think so.
I am a little pesimistic about 4:3's in a world that is almost widescreen (incl. 2:3). Not a lot of monitor's/TV's are in 4:3 nowadays.
I don't think the format is any problem, if you're looking at medium format, there are also more squarish photo formats (4.5x6 cm^2, 6x6 cm^2, 6x7 cm^2, etc.). It's a matter of preference and I don't think it's a reason for concern.
Medium format cameras were designed with those aspect ratios in mind for full-page enlargements in magazines. Most magazine work was shot on 6x7 and 4x5 transparencies (both formats have almost exactly 1:1.25 aspect ratios).
Medium format digital backs maintain 1.25:1 aspect ratios because that's what some professionals still want for full-page advertisements, etc. but, otherwise, the market seems to have settled on 3:2 for dSLRs and 4:3 for point-and-shoots...for whatever odd reason. So 4/3rds not being 3:2 is indeed strange, but it's possibly a marketing tactic to position the camera as somewhere between dSLRs and point-and-shoots.
I don't think Oly's message is so much about abandoning 4/3 as it is about their envisioning an end to the entire dslr system for something better in the near future. They are innovators, were the first with live view, telecentric digital lenses, a dust buster that really works.. word on the street is that the new E-5 makes up a lot of ground on the competition regarding sensor and processor technology.
If I am stuck with an E-5 or two for the next decade considering the superior durability and excellent lens quality (if the selection truly is lacking, I wouldn't know, I'm good from 14mm up to 1200mm equivalent right now and weather sealed) I won't be bothered. The aspect ratio actually is more print crop friendly unless all you're doing is widescreen presentation.
It will be interesting to see if they can really convince the hardcore photographer that we don't need a large, bright, optical viewfinder and an evf is coming to replace the mirror slap we all love. As mainly a sports shooter and a natural lighting nazi I'm skeptical about that. We'll see.....
Of course they're trying to "message" their way around it, but effectively it sounds like an abandonment- and that's a pity.
No new lenses, possibly one more body- it's a dead system- if that's not abandonment, then I'm not sure what is.
Yes, eventually all slapping mirrors will be gone- but if I'd invested in 4/3rds, I'd be pretty pissed off at Olympus for leading me down a dead end road. When I go with a camera manufacturer, I want them to put their innovation into the product line I've committed to long-term, not have me buy into a product line, then ditch it. OM lenses, xD cards, now 4/3rds- you could spend a lot of money on abandoned equipment with Olympus.
Well, I guess it's a good thing you don't shoot with Olympus then. I do, and I'm perfectly happy. No abandonment issues at all.. just very nice pictures.
This category is confusing my camera desires, too. I'm looking for an upgrade from my P&S when I finally have the cash (hopefully around Christmas) to get something more serious. I'm considering a Canon 60D, but I also like some of the features of the upcoming Panasonic GH2. The touch screen on the GH2 is particularly interesting to me because I like being able to touch where to focus on my iPhone 4 camera. If the m4/3 is the future, then getting in now seems like a good idea instead of going the DSLR path.
However, I'm concerned about the lens choices for the m4/3s category. Right now most of them aren't as good as what's available for DSLR. That's the only thing that is keeping me from plunging into m4/3s when I do upgrade. The first lens I plan to get for the Canon is a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 which is faster than any lens I've seen for the Panasonic (except for the 20mm, but Canon has their nice, inexpensive 50mm, too).
What to do...
Mirrorless cameras are the future- IMO, Oly went small too soon (sort of like Kodak with disc cameras in the early 90's.) There are a few APS-C sensor-sized mirrorless cameras happening now (NEX and NX come to mind) and I think we'll see that trend for a bit. There are lots of folks who think electronic viewfinders aren't quite there yet- and lots who are happy with them. Touch screens suck when it's cold out, so a lot depends on what you intend to shoot. There's nothing inherently wrong with m4/3rds, but the size means that pixel-for-pixel you'll get better IQ from APS-C sensors. That doesn't mean it's not likely to be "good enough" for most folks usage.
There are plenty of fast m4/3rds lenses (from Olympus and Sigma.) However, the Olympus wide angles are designed to be small and trade a slight loss in IQ for that (can't find the exact citation at the moment, but it's out there somewhere.) Since portability is the primary design criterion that's to be expected and likely not that big a deal for most folks.
The PEN and m4/3rds lines seem to be doing ok- but I'd probably get an NEX 5 in a MILC at this point. That or see if the NX10 gets the NX100's features as firmware updates.
I like the specs of that GH2 as well, makes a nice portable multi-purpose kit but build quality concerns me, as do the less than stellar lens accompaniment.. Panasonic, though, burned me once already releasing the L1 which was an awesome dslr and then followed it up with a crap kit upgrade L10 before they truly did abandon 4/3 after one and a half attempts. Oly has invested thousands of hours and multi millions of dollars engineering their version of 4/3, I highly doubt they will leave it behind unless it's for something far better. Panny will be pushing out some other tangent next year and µ4/3 users will be screaming for Olympus to make them some faster better quality lenses. Olympus' version of µ4/3 has not appealed to me at all, so far. But I am drooling for my first E-5, and SHG 300mm/2.8
The GH2 appeals to me because it has the EVF included. I think I want some sort of viewfinder beyond just the LCD. In a bright light situation I definitely can't see the screen well to frame a shot properly. That turns me off with the NEX. The NX series seems to have even less lens choice than their competitors. The smaller size is less important to me other than it is somewhat smaller than a DSLR.
It is looking to me like the mirrorless and/or m4/3 just isn't quite there yet, and I'd be better off going with a true DSLR.
Yea, I had a Panasonic FZ50 (not in the same league of course) but it did have the evf which made framing and seeing in bright conditions much better. The lag is what killed me on it.. had to be half a second clairvoyant to catch something in motion where I wanted it. I ended up spraying and praying often hoping the shot I wanted was in there.. but the evf lag behind real time really sucked. I'm pretty sure it will be quite some time before they get that down to the speed of light, which a dslr ovf is perfect as long as it's big enough.
I also have huge hands, small baby cameras are nothing but a novelty to me even if they do go mirrorless one day I will want a big one and fast lenses.
His predictions all look pretty viable to me.
The writing has been on the wall for regular 4/3rds ever since m4/3 came out. I don't sympathise with anyone who's continued to buy into the SLR system - it's death has been obvious.
Nikon have some gaps to fill in their lineup and the D800 is the main one. They also have to work out how to do video properly... their current efforts look plasticky and have highlight blooming at high ISO. They need to work out what the secret sauce is that Canon and Panasonic are bringing to their cameras.
Thom's Canon predictions sound realistic too. 18mpix on APSC is about as high as they can go with their current lenses (or any lenses in 35mm format probably). The full frame cameras could go up to 30-40mpix before they reach the same density, so there's some growth available there.Looks like they'll mostly be tinkering with the lineup - improving AF, improving sealing. There IS a lot they can do on the video front too (peaking, zebras, higher frame rates, better moire control, better rolling shutter control).
For me, the most interesting prospects for 2011 are the possible introduction of EVIL cameras from Nikon and possibly Canon. I'd definitely like one of those - or failing that, the Fuji.
I'm also really pleased to see digital Medium Format start reducing in price. I'd love a Pentax 645!
I picked up a new Olympus E-5 this week, and it rocks. Sensor detail is polished and preserved at high ISO, a full two stops better than other 4/3 offerings. The system may or may not be on its way out, but I am so pleased that I've also ordered a 14mm-35mm f/2 from Olympus and won't be needing or wanting to change systems until many, many years have gone by. My weather sealed lenses are very sharp and contrasty, corner to corner wide open.. now I've a body to match their performance. Long live 4/3!
The local camera store (a Nikon center) is clearing out all Olympus e-4xx thru e-6xx bodies and standard grade lenses; re-stocking with only higher end Olympus bodies and glass. The professional build and ergonomics of the E-3 have been continued in the E-5, with a few more megapixels (12) and a lot more brains to the processor. This may be the direction of 4/3, a continued high end line for the seriously rugged photographer and µ4/3 for consumer enthusiasts who want lightweight gear that performs like a dslr.
It's dead Jim.
Funny, mine still works.. took this one just yesterday and ordered a 14-35/2.0.. be here tomorrow.
click to enlarge
Nice shot srf4real, you've nailed the critical focus on the eye, very sharp.
Yep, and those lenses'll still be goin' strong in 10 years time, if not longer.
Thanks for this Compuwar. This thread has led me to investigate m4/3 more closely.
Just as an aside, a friend of mine recently bought a Panasonic GH1. It was like a breath of fresh air when I handled it! I can and do handle a regular DSLR, albeit not one of the larger ones, but as a fairly petite person with small hands, I guess I felt with the GH1 the comfort bigger people have when handling the regular DSLRs!
I'm not buying at the moment, but the GF1 also looks nice. I hate with a passion having to dive into menus for regularly needed items, and the GF1 seems to have quite a lot of external controls. In April 2012 I'll be going to Haifa for ten days, and I'm seriously considering buying a m4/3 camera for then.
For some of the time in Haifa I'll be taken around places in a group and time won't allow for changes of lenses etc so I'll be looking at buying a zoom for versatility and travelling light. I'm hoping there'll be one that stands out from the rest and gains a very good reputation. Maybe it exists already, I don't know, I'm just starting on a new adventure!
Meanwhile, if anyone has experience of using this system, I'd be very interested to hear some first-hand thoughts. For example, how do you find the picture quality? The sensor is smaller than a DSLR, but some point out that the sensor isn't everything and you can still get some stunning pictures. I've found one or two threads but a few more thoughts would still be welcome. Thanks!
My best friend has a GF-1. You should definitely get the pancake lens, the GF-1 will almost feel like a point and shoot in terms of size (It will literally fit in your gf's purse.)
Oops, maybe I should have said! I'm female, and quite a petite one too, hence the small hands! I'm always really busy in the summer so haven't posted on the photography forum since May. Given I've just started a new course too that'll last until next September my posts are still likely to be a bit sporadic I'm afraid. I remember everyone though, and see there are some newcomers now.
I'm very much hoping to get a Canon S95 soon as a camera that'll tuck into my bag and carry around anywhere, though I agree that the GF1 plus pancake lens combination is very neat.