Do you think there is a market for a small, "beginners" m43 camera?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Andym72, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    After the "GF/GM Killed" thread (the small entry rangefinder is going to be a GX model in future) and the "m43 for my tech inept mom" thread, I've been wondering....

    If Panasonic or Olympus (but lets face it, this would be more likely Panasonic) made a camera that was totally focused on point and shoot or smartphone upgraders, so it would be small rangefinger style (but maybe not with an EVF), it would have all the full PASM modes but have a "smart Auto" mode with controls that describes image outcomes (like Blurry Background or Freeze Motion) not the settings you need to get that outcome, WiFi and some kind of flip around screen because Instagram is a thing and isn't going away, totally suitable for inept moms and selfie addicts alike

    ... would it sell?
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Olympus already do that sort of thing with their SCN mode - your description describes the E-PL7 perfectly. Kind of amusing that SCN modes are built into even the E-M1 though... at least you can switch it off and use the mode dial position for a MySet.
     
  3. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    I wasn't thinking of scene mode (but scene mode still needs to be there, and could do with some love on the UI front as well, probably). I was thinking more like Olympus' Live Guide, but taken to an extreme. I understand that with the latest version of Live Guide, you can adjust more than one slider at once, which is an improvement.

    I noticed when looking at the fashion bloggers that Olympus has targeted with the E-PL7, that they all refer to "blurry backgrounds", with no mention of aperture or DOF. Which of course they aren't the least bit interested in, they are just interested in the end result. That's what Live Guide is, results driven. And in my opinion, the default interface of an m43 camera aimed at beginners should be results driven.

    But for "tech inept moms", there shouldn't be quite so many button pushes. Imagine a totally wheel/dial driven Live Guide. With more than 5 sliders. Stuff like the Art Filters and the Face Recognition modes should have their own sliders/carousel. And the shadows and highlights sliders in Live Guide should be brought to the top level too, at the moment they are so hidden, no one is ever going to find then by just using the camera.

    Everything about the UI should be discoverable just by using the camera, just like good smartphone apps are. No diving into the manual! The UI should have the smarts to grey out parts of a sliders range if the lighting conditions means some options can't be used to the full range (one of the common complaints about Live Guide is it doesn't do this and can be misleading). Actually build the physical controls of the camera primarily around the "Live Guide+" interface (and then reuse/remap as appropriate in PASM).

    Sure, explain somewhere exactly what all these results driven options are changing on the camera. But that's best put in the manual, for when the new owner wants to venture out of the Guided UI into PASM and decides to actually read the damn thing [emoji6]
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  4. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Olympus made the camera you describe E-PMx (M = mini). The typical buyer of those cameras is now probably a smartphone use.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    That mostly describes the GF-7/8. Whether that form factor continues in some other name is to be seen, but I suspect that the hurdle to jump from a smartphone to a camera is only going to get taller as phones continue to improve on their camera technology. It is not to say that there is not a market for something small and simple, but it is going to need to offer more than just traditional camera technology. Perhaps an immediate connection to the web or to a smartphone or tablet without the current hassle and battery drain? I suspect that if Apple designed a new camera, it would probably shake things up, and I am not an Apple cheerleader.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Isn't that camera you described literally what the Panasonic GF7 is, also down to the exact details?

    I think the answer is that it won't really sell much, though. I feel like the era of the entry level ILC is largely coming to an end, be it mirrorless or DSLR. The 1" fixed lens cameras are functionally superior in most ways, and can generally put out near comparable image quality.
     
  7. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    They should make a camera that you dock an iPhone to so that the iPhone is the rear display while using the camera.
     
  8. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    That sounds like the LX100, since beginners seldom think of changing lenses. Think of all those dSLRs out there, five years later and the kit lens is still stuck to the mount..
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What you are describing is very close to the Android based Samsung NX mirrorless cameras. Being android the interface was identical to smartphones complete with compatibility with photographic/imaging apps from the Google store.

    It didn't sell well.

    Being a fan of Android, I was hoping it would do better.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That's basically the Olympus AIR and Sony QX. That type of product (assuming it catches) is still in its infancy. They need to work on integration.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Personally I wanted the Galaxy Zoom to be brought to the US to be my general all purpose camera.

    Reminds me of the time just prior to smartphones. You had cell phones and PDAs. Do you merge PDAs into cell phones or do you merge cell phones into PDAs... The risk is a lot of compromise on both ends; yielding a product that appeals to neither.
     
  12. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Exactly. It should:

    1. Dock quickly and securely without any awkward adjusters or retention straps.
    2. Automatically launch a custom camera app that connects the phone to the camera. No WiFi setup, no manual launch of an app that takes seconds to be ready.
    3. Seamlessly integrate with camera buttons and dials for operation.
    4. Automatically geotag all photos
    5. Provide quick editing/filtering and sharing without having to launch separate apps.

    Basically, someone should be able to be walking around, think, "Oh, I want a nice picture of that {bird/sunset/car/building} to share on Instagram" and be able to take the camera out of their bag, dock, and be ready to shoot in less than 5 seconds, edit and share within a minute, and then undock and put the camera away. The camera needs to provide features that the phone can't do alone, like high quality zoom/wide angle, DOF control, low light, AF.C, image stabilization, etc...
     
  13. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    Most of these suggestions rely on camera makers getting the software right. If there's one thing we've learned from all the japanese companies, it's that they do great hardware and low-level software (sensor read-out, demosaicing, etc), but really poor UI and interface software. So I won't be holding my breath...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    And I suspect that some smart phone manufacturer will incorporate a 1" sensor into a smartphone. Wait, didn't Panasonic already do that? :biggrin: I suspect that if Samsung or Apple did it, it might have had better traction. But if I were a betting man, I think that the camera manufacturers will be a step ahead of the camera manufacturers in improving IQ from existing smartphones and getting the public to accept the new devices.


    --Ken
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  15. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Samsung GALAXY CAMERA - GALAXY S4 zoom, GALAXY NX, GALAXY Camera 2

    and no need to dock anything. I wonder if samsung also made an IOS version if it would have gain traction.
     
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Not quite the same. Having that would be like having two phones (because there's no way this would be your only phone) and then have to have 2 data plans and maintain apps and account info on two phones.

    As a journalist, I was interested in this but I didn't read good things about the UX.
     
  17. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Looking at those pictures, I was wondering if there could be a way for the phone to snap to the back of a camera module and immediately integrate (and be an LCD). This way you could keep them together if you choose, or quickly pair them up. The camera module would need some dedicated controls, a lens (or lens mount) and the sensor. This way you could take the image, and then immediately do what you want to it on the phone. That is something that could catch my attention, especially if it had something like a 1" sensor and good optics.

    --Ken
     
  18. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Isn't that functionally what the DXO One, Olympus Air, and Sony QX10 / QX100 / QX1 are?
     
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Yes, but I was thinking more of a module that is long and rectangular like a smartphone. Take something like a smaller/thinner version of the GX85 and remove its rear screen.

    --Ken
     
  20. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    It's rumored that is what Motorola plans to bring out with the upcoming attachment to the Z and Z Force line of phone. It's suppose to be in partnership with Hasselblad and it attaches to the back. Though based on the leaks it may just be using a standard 1/2.3" image sensor paired to a zoom lens and Xenon flash. Is a Hasselblad camera module coming to the Moto Z? Leak says it’s a possibility

    From what I gather the Galaxy NX was a pretty good camera(though not as good smartphone was as the Galaxy S of that year). The problem was the high price of the device, which I think was around $1500 when new. I also have been advocating manufactures partner with Fuji and just use their 2/3" sensor of the X10/20/30 and XF series of cameras.