Where can M4/3 go?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by bob_estremera, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Just taking a first look at the G1. Shooting a Canon XSi now.
    Love the swivel screen on the G1, the small size, great lenses and what I am seeing is very solid IQ.
    But I wonder, how much better can the sensor get when increasing size is not an option?
    I would surmise that if the concept of the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (EVIL) really takes off, Canon and Nikon, others too, would dominate with larger sensors in smaller bodies.
    So, will the M4/3 be able to maintain it's edge when the other follow the EVIL path?
    Or will it be Betamax?
    Bob
     
  2. Good question! Time will tell I guess!
     
  3. The main reason for the failure of Betamax was the fact that Sony was too protective in terms of licensing the format, which has been well discussed.
    OTOH, m4/3 is an open format in which any manufacturers can join. Also, you should bare in mind that EVIL is THE FIRST format that is PURELY designed for digital still camera system. DSLR and the rangefinder system like Leica M8/9 are nothing but the temporary design concept to bridge between the legacy film cameras and the digital cameras smoothly by utilizing the technology the manufacturers already have.
    I don't know about the future of m4/3 system, but at least I think m4/3 is a very powerful and appealing approach that TRULY direct the future of digital camera with interchangeable lens system, although there are remaining weak points like the continuous shooting mode, delay in the processing of the live view image, etc.
     
  4. I hope my HIT camera will someday get a digital back and I can adapt C mount, 4/3's or iZone lenses to it.
     
  5. Bob
    how much more do you need?
    If you use a G1 with an adapted lens, you will notice that it requires that the lens be stood off from the camrea to make it work, it needs to be held the same distance from the sensor it was on the mirrored camera. This tends to reduce how compact the camera is unless you continually take off the lens for storage.
    As Canon has a large commitment in lenses designed for the longer flange mount it would need to develop some lenses which would therefore be locked onto only that mythical EVIL camera. Panasonic and Olympus so far have few. So what I'm saying is don't hold your breath on the others following. We shall see if the advantages of the optical pathway are usurped by the EVIL methodology.
    As to sensor size, there are two views to this, one is that the amount of pixels per mm is about the same now between the two with Canon leading on cameras such as the 7D and 550D, having around 228 pixels per mm on the sensor (with the micro 4/3 cameras having 222 pixels / mm). Now the APS-C sensor is about 23x15mm and the 4/3 is 18x13.5mm making the APS-C only 4mm wider and barely 2mm higher, however as you can see in the figure below while the dimensions are similar but the area is about 1.4 times more.
    IF Canon had kept the same number of pixels as the micro 4/3 they could perhaps capitalize on this advantage with lower noise created by better access to light, however they have also increased the pixel count to 18MP which is about 1.4 times the 12MP of the micro 4/3.
    The fact that the 550D seems to exhibit better high ISO noise suggests that they are doing something more cunning in signal processing. I will be interested to see how the G2 responds to this.
    00VxfZ-227691684.jpg
     
  6. Akira-san
    at least in the English language wikipedia it suggests that the micro 4/3 is not an open standard.
    In late 2008, Panasonic announced a Micro Four Thirds camera and lenses, the Lumix G1 [ 2] . Olympus also announced the development of a camera based on the Micro Four Thirds systems known as the Olympus PEN E-P1 Camera on June 16, 2009. Unlike its predecessor, the Micro Four Thirds system is not promoted as an open standard .[ 3]
     
  7. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    well as a spanner in the works the new Samsung NX-10 is also a short registration distance interchangable lens mirrorless camera BUT it uses the APS-C size sensor.
    I'm keeping an eye on it as I am still looking for an option for the 38 Canon FD lenses I have.
     
  8. The NX10 mount register is deeper than Micro-FourThirds so it will not be adaptable to as many lenses, particularly RF and C-mount. Canon FD should be adaptable, but it's a bit tight compared to Micro-FourThirds.
     
  9. Sensors have been getting better continously since the first digital cameras were launched more than 10 years ago, and there is no reason to think that the quality improvement will suddenly will stop. So, the 4/3 sensors of the future will be better than the ones we have today, just the same as the APS and FF sensor will be getting better. Is a bigger sensor better? Yes, mostly, but next year, the 4/3 sensors may be as good as the APS sensors of today.
    m4/3 is a great system, that is much more important than miniscule differences in sensor quality.
     
  10. Yoshio,
    Oddly, my Holy Grail of 'how much do you need' is based on my quest for a fine quality 16X20 print.
    Although I do pixel peep, my true test is a 16X20 print that exhibits no jagged details. I've made such prints from my film-based medium format camera and have zero tolerance for the oversharpened look that passes for sharpness on today images.
    I know that 10+ MP APS sensors get there now. So waiting to see if G1 or others are there yet also.
    I shoot from tripod often so noise is really no problem - long exposures at ISO 100.
    Thanks, Bob
     
  11. Dear Bob
    If your criteria is as you say, I would say that the G1 fullfils it. Send me an email and I will happily send you a JPG straight from my camera which you can print and examine
     
  12. By the end of the year almost every camera company will have a mirrorless/EVIL/semi-compact camera. Panasonic and Olympus pioneered Micro 4/3. Samsung has the NX now. Sony showed a mockup of their EVIL camera at PMA last month. Ricoh has their GXR sliding sensor+lens combo units. There are rumors that Fuji is joining Micro 4/3. Nikon execs keep talking about a "surprise" which everyone thinks is an EVIL type camera. Leica and Sigma already have large sensor compacts although with fixed lenses.
    The only major companies that I can think of that I left out are Pentax and Canon.
    I doubt they'll take over the market but I can easily see them take 30% of the interchangeable lens camera market.
     
  13. I'm keeping an eye on it as I am still looking for an option for the 38 Canon FD lenses I have.​
    There are Canon FD to Micro 4/3 adapters for sale right now. cameraquest sells them among others.
     
  14. Yoshio-san,
    According to the official Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds website, the m4/3 is "an extension of the 4/3 system specification":
    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/whitepaper.html
    If the 4/3 system is an open standard, the extension should be open, too. In addition, I haven't seen any camera system that offers such a detailed story of a format through the dedicated website to promote the camera standard, which suggests that the 4/3 format including m4/3 is an open standard.
     
  15. Equipment selection has always been a trade off.
    Size and weight, size and weight. What do I feel like today? Should I just slip a mints tin size camera in a shirt pocket and enjoy the freedom it offers but suffer it's IQ limitations? Or.....should I just lug the whole kit; a DSLR with a couple of overlapping zooms, a macro and a tripod plus an extra battery?
    I suppose each must answer the question for themselves but I am happy that with the intro of the m4:3 and and with other EVIL cameras coming soon that a middle ground seems to be expanding fast.
     
  16. Walt
    I think he was after FD adaptors for the Samsung ... Novoflex currently is the only maker I know of for that.
     
  17. Akira-san
    thanks for that link ... nothing like a little light reading in the evening. ^-^
    I notice that (again on wikipedia ) that the four thirds standard is also not entirely open (I am thinking Open Source when I think "Open Standard")
    This is claimed to be an open standard ; it is however only accessible to companies and under a non-disclosure agreement.[ 2]
    so I confess I have no real certain idea if it is open, or no more or less open than the EOS standard that Canon allows others to use parts of ...
     
  18. 1- Neither FourThirds nor Micro-FourThirds are "open" standards. They are licensable standards to which manufacturers can subscribe, on approval of the consortium of other licensee participants. What is different about FourThirds from other camera manufacturers' mount designs is that it was marketed to other manufacturers for collaborative use. Micro-FourThirds has not been marketed in the same way or to the same degree.
    2- Why does Micro-FourThirds have to "go anywhere"? Did 35mm film ever go anywhere? Did medium format film ever go anywhere? Did 4x5 ever go anywhere? Micro-FourThirds defines a particular format .. a size, a mount design, and a lens-to-body control protocol. The coupling of field of view and depth of field is defined by these factors. The imaging qualities are constrained by these definitions, and by the technology of sensors and lenses fitted within it.
    The real question for a photographer to ask is not whether this format has anywhere to go but whether it is a successful format to produce the photographs she/he wants to make. The real question for the deliverers of Micro-FourThirds ...that is, Olympus and Panasonic ... is whether Micro-FourThirds will be a profitable endeavor to develop a range of cameras and lenses for: will its versatility and the expectations of the photographers buying into it be satisfied adequately to keep it profitable in the face of competitive alternative technologies and systems?
    To consider that every system can be, or ought to be, all things to all photographers, above and beyond any other system, is absurd. To consider that a system is doomed if it isn't is equally absurd.
    Given that Micro-FourThirds has seemingly been well received with excellent sales for both Panasonic and Olympus, that 13 good dedicated lenses are available or announced for the format (and a wide range of others available through adaptation, both auto-capable and manual), that there are now eight bodies built in the format, and that more equipment seems to be coming on a regular basis ...
    Where can Micro-FourThirds go?
    Into your hands to produce the photographs you want to make. Where else?
     
  19. Why does Micro-FourThirds have to "go anywhere "? Did 35mm film ever go anywhere? Did medium format film ever go anywhere? Did 4x5 ever go anywhere?​
    Remember Kodak disc film? Some products like 110 and APS aren't dead but only resting... For some formats like 620 you can no longer buy film but you can respool 120 to 620. With enough determination any format is still usable but most people value convenience.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_format
    Let's say that 2 years from now Nikon, Canon, and Sony all have large sensor compact cameras and none are compatible with M4/3. Will Olympus and Panasonic still be successful against that competition? The camera industry is full of companies that either went out of business or no longer make cameras. I wish Olympus and Panasonic the best but Micro 4/3 could be a huge success or "go" the way of the dodo.
     
  20. @ Walt:
    You pose a question that is Olympus' or Panasonic's concern. Not mine. I don't care whether they are successful in the future. I care whether what they are selling does the job I want. While it is nice if they're successful in the future ... meaning that what I bought today I can buy more of in the future and continue using ... if they're not, and what I have already purchased does the job I want, then it doesn't matter that they "go the way of the dodo". If they're not and what I have already purchased does NOT doe the job I want, I buy something else.
    The question of where Micro-FourThirds is going is irrelevant. Where it is is what is important.
     
  21. "so I confess I have no real certain idea if it is open, or no more or less open than the EOS standard that Canon allows others to use parts of ..."---Yoshio Tanaka
    " What is different about FourThirds from other camera manufacturers' mount designs is that it was marketed to other manufacturers for collaborative use."---Godfrey DiGiorgi
    Yoshio, thankfully, Godfrey nailed it! I love the copy&paste function of my PC! (lol)
     
  22. To Godfrey,
    RE: Adaptors for Samsung NX10 ..... There are several on the way, Novoflex are launching quite a few to say the least ( launch date .. end April ) , take a look at their site www.novoflex.com
    I have been considering a G1 to use with my many and wonderful Leica R optics ( I'm not keen on Canon's and I don't want to replace the mount ie for use with Nikon etc ) however I am now waiting to see some 'real world" tests of the Samsung as its bigger sensor will provide a smaller crop factor and better "shallow DOF" than the m4/3 options.
    IMO give it a year at most and all major brands will have at least one mirrorless interchangeable lens camera option within their line up. If there's a market for it, which I believe there is, they will not want to miss out.
    Kind regards Simon
     
  23. To Godfrey,
    RE: Adaptors for Samsung NX10 ..... There are several on the way, Novoflex are launching quite a few to say the least ( launch date .. end April ) , take a look at their site www.novoflex.com
    I have been considering a G1 to use with my many and wonderful Leica R optics ( I'm not keen on Canon's and I don't want to replace the mount ie for use with Nikon etc ) however I am now waiting to see some 'real world" tests of the Samsung as its bigger sensor will provide a smaller crop factor and better "shallow DOF" than the m4/3 options.
    IMO give it a year at most and all major brands will have at least one mirrorless interchangeable lens camera option within their line up. If there's a market for it, which I believe there is, they will not want to miss out.
    Kind regards Simon
     
  24. @ Simon:
    That's all well and good, I applaud the intrepidity of Novoflex (if not their prices ...!). Doesn't change the fact that the NX10's mount register makes fewer adaptation options possible. Note that all of the announced adapters ... see http://www.dpreview.com/news/1002/10022306novoflexnx.asp ... are for SLR lens mounts. Since your Leica lens collection is Leica R it may well be advantageous to you.
    I have a great deal of experience in the difference between so-called "APS-C" (really 16x24mm) format and FourThirds format as I worked exclusively with Canon 1.6x and then Pentax 1.5x DSLRs for several years before FourThirds format cameras supplanted them in my kit. The differences in noise characteristics, dynamic range and depth of field are generally much over-stated, IMO based on my direct experience. And particularly for my intended output images, which tend to be much closer to the 3:4 and 1:1 format proportion than the 2:3 proportion format sensors. I can use more of the pixels with FourThirds cameras more of the time, and that counts for greater quality and usability in my work.
    I don't intend to disparage Samsung's NX10 however ... I hope it is a successful camera for those who buy it. However I dislike all the armchair industy punditry that questions like "Where can M4/3 go?" imply.
     
  25. The intriguing part of this kind of question is the way that these changes took so many by suprise. What do I mean. Alright, in 2003 Olympus makes a long delayed entry into the digital world of interchangeable lens standards. Not long earlier, Konica Minolta drops its camera line and Sony swoops up the mount standard and, in effect, the legacy of that pretty good lineup of product. Olympus decides that they want to go with a smaller, in square mm, size sensor which they get from Kodak, part of the new contrary direction world order. Samsung, as I recall, picks up the option on Pentax mounts to dip into SLRs.. Just think of the dash and bravery of starting this 4/3 slash micro 4/ new thing..
    Then, what happened with Olympus marketers. They do it by introducing, in the teeth of Canon and Nikon dominance. a pro level waterproof built of kryptonite camera that sells at about $2000.00. The usual suspects, meaning our friend Michael Reichman declares a self suicide on Oly company part, or maye with damnation-by half- praise. Some of the old crones and fence sitters here say, 'ah, you Olynuts ought to get a life, 'words to that effect. I got hit more than once and not politelt with a statement that my photo's colors are like a bad case of diaper rash...true, some will remember. The OM folk declare in a huff they are not going to buy any Digital Olympus 4/3 because the company deserted them because of this an that and whatall.
    See where I am heading because I have an answer to Bob and history leads me to it-----.
    In the teeth of the quibblers and naysayers, with sales of the E-1 merely mediocre, Oly introduces a flock of lenses which everybody raves about, even the pros. The 50mm gets to be pout of stock at B and H. The critique continues as contrique will do. " I just can't live with only 5.1 megapixels, my editor says no good. " blah blah and a more blah. " I am jumping ship and want a full frame with a massive pentaprism" purists and oldtimers who just happen to have ten grand in EOS and NIkkor glass...
    When Panasonic, a giant of electronics ,comes out with the L-1 and signs on for the team, ah then, people are a little less damn awful positive that 4/3 is doomed. The denigration softens."
    Next. I am not buying another lens until the E-1 gets replaced."... da dum da dum..
    It does get replaced and with many assets. Then on dpreview the comparators begin their chorus ( Oly vs the giants, measure every increment of the E-3 against the Nikon D 300. Like what is important, the badge or the job that gets done by the badge?
    Now,during all this time, some of us buy the product and like it and even use it...and some of the non kit lenses..(at first the kit lens for me was a 500 dollar 14-5 mm)
    Some things won't change. Micro four thirds is a radical departure in a sense. Something with a new lens mount. One that is only compatible with all 4/3 lenses in a kind of loosy goosy way.
    To ask whether micro 4/3 will go anywhere, I answer this way.
    I ordered a G-1 on Monday because my wife said when, last she saw one at Ritz and played with it. "Gee it is so light and I love the way the eye focus switches on when you put your eye up there. It is one cool camera" It will replace her Camedia 4000 with that lousy SM card...
    Soooo, go ask my missus if micro 4/3 will go anywhere and she will let you know in 3 months of her casual use.... She doesn't care about anti alias filters, super sonic drives and using FD an my other older lenses and setting the settings to A or whatever one jiggles with .
    Bottom line: This is a hot development, Bob, as was the larger 4/3 model which use a different type autofocus. And cost the company so much more they had to charge a bunch. We here might wonder about market share and all that jazz, but as photographers, and I see where some of us are happily pragmatists in that regard, it is not a prssing issue or even a wonderment issue.
    Yes, I would like to see a little of this and a little of that hence. The people that buy the red and blue colored cameras and the brushed satin know something more than me is my conclusion.
    Phew, glad I go that off my chest ;-) a long week here...and tiring...
     
  26. Wrong word. You don't want the G1 or M4/3 camera to go anywhere. You want it to stay or stick around. I now have two G1 lenses and adaptors to use my Leica lenses, old Nikon lenses, and now "old" Contax G1/2 45mm and 90mm lenses. So, you might say that the Contax G1/G2 film camera didn't stick around, but the lenses did. They're being snapped up for use on M4/3 digital cameras. The lenses last. Digital cameras in particular don't seem to last, or rather demand getting replaced every 2 years or so. So, what we want is for the next generation of the Panasonic G1 to have the same sized sensor but vastly improved so that the "old" high resolution lenses work even better. I also expect the EVF to improve greatly as well. I guess you could also say "keep going." Just keep giving us a reasonably priced "new" digital G2 m4/3 camera to use with our new "old" lenses. I don't want it all discontinued.
     
  27. "Why does Micro-FourThirds have to "go anywhere ?," and "You don't want the G1 or M4/3 camera to go anywhere. You want it to stay or stick around."
    Excellent points Godfrey and Larry! I love my G1, as do many others, and it has definitely made it's own niche, and possibly has started a revolution!
     
  28. rdm

    rdm

    IMO give it a year at most and all major brands will have at least one mirrorless interchangeable lens camera option within their line up. If there's a market for it, which I believe there is, they will not want to miss out.
    ~ Simon​
    You all know that Sony is coming out with one too, right?
    [​IMG]
     
  29. Of course.
    I expect that in not-so-many-years, the all-electronic interchangeable lens camera like these, sans mirrors, will be the most common camera carried by photo enthusiasts and professionals. Moving reflex mirrors are so last century. ;-)
     
  30. Please let's not over-read my initial question.
    "Where can M4/3 go" is certainly not, in any way, armchair punditry.
    It was a simple question, asked to presumably knowledgeable photographers, about what where the advances and improvement to this interesting format might lead.
    The question is legitimate in light of the general digital evolutions from P&S, larger P&S sensors, APS sensors, FF sensors and now MF sensors.
    I was not suggesting that if this format doesn't "go somewhere" than it is crap.
    Just curious about what this forum might say about future trends, sensor advances, etc.
    Thanks for the opinions.
    Bob
     
  31. Akira, you said - "DSLR and the rangefinder system like Leica M8/9 are nothing but the temporary design concept to bridge between
    the legacy film cameras and the digital cameras smoothly by utilizing the technology the manufacturers already have."

    I hear this all the time, but it is difficult to argue with the larger sensor at this point in time. While 4/3rds cameras struggle with ISO
    3200 and higher, 24x36 full frame cameras are now moving into the ISO 25600+ range with excellent results.

    Additionally, micro 4/3rds lenses need to be much, MUCH faster to achieve an equivalent depth of field if your intention is to isolate
    subjects with a narrow DOF.

    One point which is not well appreciated by some people, but is essential to others - nature photography and sports / action
    photography both involve watching the viewfinder intently waiting for the precise "decisive moment" to capture the action. It gets
    tiring rather quickly, to watch a somewhat laggy and (in low light) intensely grainy LCD screen for more than a few moments at a
    time, let alone for several hours. If you want to really try your patience with micro 4/3rds, attempt some astrophotography with one.
    Your night vision will be utterly destroyed before you can even say nebula.

    I believe that micro 4/3rds has a future in several categories - travel photographers often favor very lightweight kits and are used to
    making compromises to slim down their gear bag. Additionally, people who are not into the more technical types of photography but
    desire interchangeable lenses will (and are) jumping on board. I also believe these cameras can be useful for street photography
    depending on your style.

    However they will never, NEVER displace traditional SLRs because they are simply much too tiring to stare at for any prolonged
    length of time, and ruin your night vision. In the future, they may cure the choppiness and poor quality of the screen display in low
    light, but they will never be able to eliminate the discomfort of staring at the screen nor will they be able to stop ruining your night
    vision.
     
  32. If you're staring through a viewfinder all the time, I don't know why. That's certainly not what I do. I look and watch for my subjects, for the scene I want. When the moment arrive, I look through a viewfinder and make my exposure.
    Staring into a viewfinder, on any camera, is a great way to never see anything IMO.
    I also have no particular need for ISO 1062000. I do fine with ISO 100 most of the time. 400 is high, 800 is for the extremes.
     
  33. "If you're staring through a viewfinder all the time, I don't know why."

    Perhaps it's because you don't engage in photography where split second response to action is important.

    It is impossible to catch things if you are not already looking at them, focusing on them, etc.

    Like I said, micro 4/3rds is great for people who do not engage in action or technical photography. It is unsuitable for those that do.
     
  34. Andrew,
    unfortunately, I have to say you don't get my point. The biggest advantage of digital camera is that "you can monitor the very image you are taking", which has been totally impossible or unthinkable with the film cameras and is much more revolutionary than the ability of instant playback of the taken image. Although the live view mode has started to be incorporated into many DSLRs, m4/3 IS the first and currently the only camera system with interchangeable lenses that is designed for this advantage from ground up.
    As for the advantage of larger format, I don't oppose to your opinion because it has been obvious since the film days in terms of shallower DOF and noise/grain. For this matter, I would like a live-view-only version of Nikon D700 without pentaprism and mirror.
    The "essential technique" you mentioned are mostly developed to use the conventional cameras as photographic "tools". Of course, I respect the people who honed the technique and made great pictures. But when the tool changes, the required technique should change accordingly. The technique to ride a horse is completely different from that to drive a car even though the purpose is the same (going from point A to point B). There have already been essential changes in the history of cameras way before m4/3 or even digital cameras emerged: SLR system, integrated light meter, automatic exposure, motor drive, auto focus, etc....all have changed the way the cameras was handled.
    As for the night scene, I can see it way better with my Panasonic G1 than with any optical viewfinders (SLR or rangefinder). I've had various Nikons from FM2 to F90 to F2 to F3, and Leica M2, 3, 4P, so I'm sure of it. FWIW, my friend pro-photog uses a Canon DSLR in live view mode to shoot landscapes at night and star trails in Hawaii.
     
  35. To capture the decisive moment in Henri-Cartier Bresson style, you would pre-focus using zone focus technique and you look into the viewfinder the moment you shoot. You don't keep looking at the viewfinder for a long time. For wildlife or sports photography, I think most people nowadays utilize the continuous shooting mode and start shooting prior to what seems to be the decisive moment and look for the frame that captured the moment instead of responding to the moment and shoot a frame. Continuous shooting mode is Achilles heel of m4/3 cameras at this moment for sure, but I think there will be some breakthrough, or the improvement in the quality of the images extracted from the movie files will solve the problem.
     
  36. @ andrew:
    .."Perhaps it's because you don't engage in photography where split second response to action is important.
    It is impossible to catch things if you are not already looking at them, focusing on them, etc.
    Like I said, micro 4/3rds is great for people who do not engage in action or technical photography. It is unsuitable for those that do." ..

    I've been shooting motor racing, basketball, fencing and other sports since 1968. Also do quite a bit of macro, photo restoration copy work, tabletop, etc.
    How long have YOU been shooting sports? and doing technical photography?
    ];-)
     
  37. I have no problem with a good pentaprism finder and I can't see any compelling reason why it has to be an obsolete technology. I remain ready to be convinced however. I may even get to borrow my wife's red G-1 when it gets here the end of the month and maybe I too will see the future ahead.
     
  38. Well I wasn't born until 1977.

    However my point remains.
     
  39. Akira, I do indeed understand your point. I just don't necessarily agree with it.

    The mechanism of the SLR was invented when film was the sensitive medium of choice, enabling one to see the image that would
    be formed on the film. Contrary to your claim that this is unthinkable or impossible with film cameras, this is simply how SLRs work.
    I suppose we could get into a discussion about the nature of image - is the image the flow of photons, reflected or generated by
    the subject, or is it the electronic impulses (or chemical transformation of silver halides) which result?

    Either way, from a sense of ergonomics, it is more comfortable to stare into a viewfinder than a screen. And while I'm sure you can
    see the screen at night, I also think that you are likely not concerned with ruining your night vision if you are looking at it. I can
    stare into a finder for a good long while without tiring, and I am seeing the scene as it would appear on the sensor or film, without
    lag or blotchiness.

    I can not understand why you would want a live-view-only version of an SLR camera. I can understand, perhaps, desiring live
    view as an option on an SLR camera, to increase its flexibility. In my mind, asking for live view only is like asking for an automobile
    that can only turn to the left. Sure, left is useful, but sometimes right is what you need to take you where you want to go. One
    other problem I have with live view is that in order to see the screen, you hold the camera out some distance from your body. An
    SLR allows you to hold the camera in close, pressed up against your face with your arms tucked in, creating a more stable
    platform. This is perhaps of dubious utility when you have image stabilization as a ubiquitous technology, but it helps a lot if you
    are not fortunate to have a stabilized camera (or lens). A useful analogy would be shooting a handgun versus a rifle - the rifle, by
    virtue of being braced, allows greater accuracy.

    Camera technology has been evolving for a century and a half, give or take a decade or two. It seems to me that in the short
    history of this discipline, every decade or two an advance is made which is hailed as the new standard - first celluloid instead of
    glass plates, then hand cameras, then rangefinders, then SLRs, autoexposure, autofocus, and now digital sensors. Despite this,
    people still enjoy working with technology which may seem quite antiquated by some people's standards. This is because, just as
    in other arts and technical disciplines, there is no one size fit all remedy.

    I don't contend that micro 4/3rds is useless. I do not make the assertion that live view is worthless as a tool. I'm sure exceptions
    exist for each of the general difficulties I point out - after all people engage in macro photography with Leica rangefinders! To me
    that must be a macro photographer's version of hell - using a DR Summicron. However, I do not think that this will be the first
    photographic revolution to completely shake down all the previous ones.
     
  40. @ Andrew:
    Your point remains ... what? I do this stuff and it works fine. The G1 works fine for sports and action work ... It does it better than a lot of the cameras I've used do. Some cameras do it better, sure.
    Locking your eye to a viewfinder is to me a very poor and limiting way to do photography.
     
  41. I would contend that almost every SLR can do action photography better. My point, which is that micro 4/3rds is not a one size fit
    all remedy, because it has some technical shortcomings, is what remains.

    While you contend that locking your eye to a finder is limiting and poor, I would contend that holding your arms straight out for
    what might be hours on end is limiting and poor.

    You clearly don't like what I have to say, but you haven't attempted to address any of it. You do your shooting at ISO 100-400,
    maybe 800. I often shoot at the maximum allowable ISO, and people are thrilled with ISO 25600. It's the difference between
    going home and shooting for another hour, between shooting wide open and stopping down a bit. In my view, it's much poorer
    and more limiting to pack up the gear and go home because you can no longer shoot, than continuing to shoot.

    Here's another problem with micro 4/3rds, and 4/3rds: when the technology was new, it was said by both the manufacturers and
    the new fans of the formats that we would see smaller, cheaper lenses. Where are they?
     
  42. When I used a Century Graphic I found myself using the wire frame sports finder a lot. Did that count as "live view?" It is possible to view the prism finder with one eye open as well I add.
    As to the smaller cheaper lenses part, I can't argue. But define cheaper. Define smaller- in terms of comparative focal length I mean. ED glass and sealed O rings with mechanical manual focus are costly to implement with a smaller volume output of sales vis a vis C and N.
    I am not quibbling with criticism of the system on any grounds, which is well taken, and well documented in forumland, as I can't personally afford the 4/3 top tier glass myself no matter how good it is. I am happy that the mid tier 4/3 is good and of" reasonable" heft. Reasonable to me means= no heavier than my Bronica SQA 150 mm MF lens I used to lug to jobs. A low bar that one:) The 12-60 mm HG is a relief and a marvelous optic to boot. Worth the cost,but only if one plans to keep it for a long time and use it with the E-3.
    I do agree that micro four thirds is likely not the road to some promised land. Clever. Possibilites abound. Not fully mature at this point yet. An even smaller and sharper eye level LCD make make an impact and I read that is in the works by some Japan fab plant. For a combo of still and video it seems very promising indeed. Why not have an all in one. If it is about fun, I mean.
     
  43. Andrew, I think the image is the flow of photons, which is the die-hard fact physically and cannot be changed by the camera system, film or digital. All in all, the camera is nothing but a tool to capture that.
    One thing I haven't liked about the pentaprism viewfinder is that I, as glass-wearer, have always feel uncomfortable to see the entire frame and to manual-focus on the matte part of the screen. I have used Nikon and Leica cameras mentioned above as well as Fuji GW680 and Hasselblad 500C/M with 80/2.8, and none of them can surpass the live view in virtually all lighting situations. (I loved the rangefinders of both Leica and Fuji, and Hasselblad worked great but only in the good lighting conditions.) High-eyepoint finder of F3 was good, but it was not comfortable to manual focus with fast standard lenses on the matte. Live-view-only D700 without prism and mirror would work great for landscape work using tilt/shift lenses and macro work that require various camera angles/positions, which has been a pain to me with conventional optical viewfinder.
    I don't require you to agree with me. I just want to choose tools based on the way I want to capture the image. I just don't think about capturing the image based on the tools and I don't want to think that my imagination is limited by the way the conventional tools work.
     
  44. I got wondering what the E-3 could do in low room light , so I spot metered the table at EV 5. ISO 400. 1/25 at F 4.0. Out of camera JPEG..just sized down. I got no problem with the shot . a little soft but I only did one take and not that carefully.. No ice skaters around or I would try to catch them and goose the ISO higher, tho never shot above 400, so I don't sweat that stuff. I want this to count as my 4/3 photo of next week. gents.
    I been diddling with some old slides. A tedious process, some odd sizes, but I prefer now not to have the work down outside my home. I did not set the WB to custom btw. And did not engage IS function.
    00Vzcb-228895584.jpg
     
  45. @ Andrew:
    Fine. Hold your opinons and buy something else. I see no point in debating opinion with someone who's mind is locked tight as a drum.
     
  46. I knew a successful businessman who had a mind " sharp as a steel trap," Perpetually closed it was. I see no lack of technodebate on dpreview and,--- to offer my own reaction to the murky issues if we can dignify them that way ---, it is not a happy day for PN when the Olympus forum becomes a platform to diss the system and bicker about stuff that does not help anyone who likes to enter these hallowed precincts. That is my last comment on this thread. Night all and sleep well...gs
     
  47. It's the inherently superior viewfinder image of the SLR that will ensure the SLR's survival.
    And yes, some of us do prefer "locking our eyes to the viewfinder." We're called photographers.
     
  48. I'm not really "dissing" the system by pointing out what are, in my eyes, obvious compromises.

    Besides, bickering is a great deal of fun!
     
  49. I'm not really "dissing" the system by pointing out what are, in my eyes, obvious compromises.

    Besides, bickering is a great deal of fun!
     
  50. Andrew
    when I bought my Nikon Coolpix 950 I paid as much for it as my Panasonic G1. In some ways the 950 exceeds the G1 as it has a superior macro and folds flat to fit in the side of my day pack. In just about every other way the G1 exceeds the 950 however, mainly because it is an interchangeable lens camera.
    My EOS film system with its USM ring motor lenses was never threatened by my Coolpix, nor did I expect the two to overlap significantly (although they naturally do).
    My wife has a late model IXUS camera which is hardly more compact than a GF-1 is yet there is no doubt that the GF-1 produces far superior images. Yet still there is a place for the little IXUS in our house. I still use the EOS system too.
    The fact that one camera does not do all is no more of a mystery than my Ducati motorcycle not doing the same as my honda 250cc step through. If I have to ride to work through the traffic in the drizzel I will be on the honda.
    if you take my oblique point
     
  51. "Why does Micro-FourThirds have to "go anywhere ?,"
    Because brands that do not evolve and keep innovating die. That's why.
    Cheers
    Alan
     
  52. Because brands that do not evolve and keep innovating die. That's why.​
    I just got to comment on that, Alan. It is a canard statement even if the thought is well intentioned. Examples, please?
     
  53. I give you a for instance format example,Alan. Sony Minidisc. It went nowwhere, we all know a bust by commercial measures. Yet here is Ian in UK using it 14 yrs later. And not only Ian. See link to recent thread below. I think the critical question for me is will the mfr support the format or the unit?. xD not so much. micro 4/3 I don't see dying, true, course maybe dying has to be defined more closely. Not enough lenses, no third party lens makers, etc etc?. Me, Got No Worries. I am a senior senior citizen and about time:) ... ( Kodachrome is officially dead, but long live Kodachrome too somewhere in some cryosleep....)
    http://www.photo.net/off-topic-forum/00W0Cg
     
  54. To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the lenses, stupid." In other words, the ONLY advantage to an interchangeable lens camera over a fixed-lens camera is the quality and range of lenses available. Just look at the Olympus Pen F and Olympus OM systems... these were both released with a FULL SYSTEM available for professional users including advanced lighting, macro and micro setups and a wide lens range.
    I honestly think Olympus and Panasonic have been slow to produce in this regard, but what they lacked in dedicated lenses they gained in adapters. Especially the 4/3 - M4/3 adapters open up a whole range of AF lenses across a very wide price and specification spectrum to users. Olympus also intelligently offer a (overpriced) OM - M4/3 adapter.
    I'm actually really surprised that Leica dropped out of 4/3's when they did. That seems like an amazingly bad business decision... to produce a fixed-lens pocket camera that's basically the same size as an M4/3 camera, when they could have produced the world's first "luxury" dedicated M - M4/3's camera that could shoot Leica rangerfinder lenses just as easily as M4/3's and 4/3's digital lenses. Lieca is the ONLY camera company in the world that currently produces miniature lenses that could be easily mounted to an M4/3s camera and as such, they are the ONLY camera company in the world that has anything to offer the world in a compact interchangeable lens camera. I think Lieca being part of the project would have been good for all three companies. Oh well.
    What do Sony and Samsung have to offer? Non-existent lines of lenses? I'm pretty sure the Minolta-Sony mount cannot be adapted to a pocket-camera because of the mechanical AF. So unless they are making a HUGE investment in lenses, people are basically just going to be buying into those systems hoping to adapt manual focus lenses and that's it. And as someone else mentioned, the Samsung camera is not going to be nearly as adaptable as the M4/3's machines.
     
  55. rdm

    rdm

    I am wondering when someones going to produce one of these with an APS-H size sensor. NOW that would be nice and I'm sure the Leica users would love it too.
     
  56. Dan
    that's a good question. According to my understanding noone is even making an APS-C camera as the APS Classic was 25.1 × 16.7 mm and the Canon sensors are typically 22.3 x 14.9 mm.
    Perhaps it would be of little real utility as we already have full frame for those who would like the benefits of a larger format (such as depth of field and other related issues). The electronics seems such that there is really not much between them than that. Leica has finally shown that full frame can work with mirror-less designs too
     
  57. "Because brands that do not evolve and keep innovating die. That's why.
    I just got to comment on that, Alan. It is a canard statement even if the thought is well intentioned. Examples, please?"
    Early 35mm cameras were rangefinders. In the 50s and 60s rangefinders were used by many professional photographers. All manufacturers who were in the game were making rangefinder cameras. Canon and Nikon moved on to SLRs and prospered. Photographers moved onto SLRs. Leica stayed largely with rangefinders and hung on by the skin of their teeth as a niche manufacturer. Other makes disappeared without trace.
    "I think the critical question for me is will the mfr support the format or the unit?. "
    Yes, this is definitely true, but manufacturers will only support something that makes money. And things will only make money if they are relevant to the photographers of the time and compete in the marketplace.

    Cheers
    Alan
     
  58. I see your point now Alan.
     
  59. idl

    idl

    Hello Gerry, Alan, Yoshio and all the others. I have read all your comments and find that you are all wrong. I was happy with my Canon and its FD lenses, I was flabbergasted with my EOS system, never liked the M-Leicas and I am overly enthusiastic about my D700 and D300, but I'll never forget my Contax G1 and its 2 lenses, 45 and 90. So now I have purchased an adapter for m4/3 for those two lenses not knowing which camera may land in my lap yet. I always look for the best affordable equipment on the market that I also like and can be able to do my job with under the very different circumstances and as I am getting older, who aren't and hopefully wiser, can please first of all myself when photographing and pleasing the general public with the outcome. I thought that was the essencial thing. I happened to appear at a wedding with my Contax G1 and was not taken seriously till I pulled out my huge "Canon". If we all could have a digital slr camera size m4/3, a lens approx., 17 - 500mm/2,0 attached and no heavier than 500 gram as well as the capabillities of D3s, then I guess we "all" would go for it. Let's wait and see, eh? Take care everybody and happy Easter.
     
  60. Greetings, fellow photographers! Many fine points have been made in this forum...permit me to offer my point of view. Having been a photographer for about 30 years, and using everything from polaroid to large format, I think I can appreciate "Image Quality" when I see it. I am very interested in the 4/3 and/or m4/3 systems, and thus far, have been pleased with the reported tests and image quality of that format, particularly the Panny GF1. The upcoming Panny G2, with its new Venus HD II Engine, should theoretically eek out even more resolution from existing lenses than the engine in the GF1...that's why I am most anxious to read formal testing of that system. IMHO, if tests are positive, then the G2 with an assortment of m4/3 (or 4/3 with adapter) lenses would be quite satisfactory for travel, stock, nature, and even product photography! Happy Shooting!
     
  61. To my very humble opinion the question is in place. The former SLRs have evolved to AE and AF, and compactness. The DSLRs themselves are evolved SLRs. Whatever does not evolve - dies.
    The M4/3 cannot and will not ever have better sensors than beast DSLRs, but can improve their actual sensors and whatever affects image quality, in comparizon to their up to day capabilities.
    But the M4/3 today and in the future can give the hell of a fight to DSLRs on versatility and compactness. And price too.
    The G series electronic viewfinder is already a tech more evolved version than the traditional mirror, and its potential capabilities are unpredictable, including night vision for example. The mirror on the other hand had ended its path.
     

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