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Has it been M43s year?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by robbie36, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    I ask this question because from a personal perspective M43 has had a hell of a year in terms of improving the system.

    First of all in terms of cameras....

    The OMD was a major breakthrough for the system. Much of the credit (most probably) goes to Sony here for introducing a sensor that really raised the bar. But credit to Olympus. I would argue that the camera sort of took them from some way 'behind' Panny to some way 'in front'.

    Then there are the lenses...

    Panny really deserves great credit here for the 12-35 and the 35-100. They have received some criticism in some quarters but seem to have grown on most people who have bought them. Then we also have the 75/1.8, the 12/2.0 and the 60/2.8. All great lenses.

    So really it has been a great year (with the GH3 at the end of it.) But the reality seems to be that the system isnt going forwards that fast - it is losing market share to new formats like Nex and Panny seems to be losing ground entirely.

    Even M43 users dont seem entirely happy. You hear things like 'I am only sticking with M43 because I have an investment in a large number of M43 lenses' or 'I will move to Nex once they get their wifi app store up and running'.
  2. DownUnderDog

    DownUnderDog Mu-43 Regular

    I chose mu43, when I sold my photography business, along with my Canon gear, (1d's and lots of heavy L series lenses, etc). Michael Reichmann (Luminous Landscape) was my influence. I love mu43 for what it has done, not what it is going to do. I don't need to constantly update my gear, in fact my latest purchase was a Panasonic LX-7 for a trip through Europe. You don't need to read criticism, unless you need it to justify your choice. I enjoy my photography for the joy of photography, not for the gear I chose. I agree that mu43 users are not necessarily unhappy. Those I mix with aren't sure which lens they like most, but as a group they just love the format.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    The 5-axis IBIS has to be the most revolutionary innovation this year. No other camera has this tech. If I was Olympus I'd be pimping this out first and formost.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, it was a great year for the Micro Four-Thirds system. So was 2009 when the G1 came out (birth of the system) and the E-P1 came out (the first really compact m4/3 body). Also 2010, when the wonderful Olympus VF-2 came out, which has even been adopted by Leica now. Same with 2011, when the new Mini and Lites came out (the first really, really compact m4/3 bodies which were also budget-priced for easy access for the electronics-buying consumer public). I think every year has been a landmark year for the m4/3 system. ;)  However, I agree that 2012 is certainly one of the hottest. The system is really coming into its own now, and living up to all the promises.

    As far as general consumer awareness (not just the enthusiast crowd), I think most of that came along with the E-P1/GF-1 (first significantly smaller bodies), E-PL1 (first real budget option), E-PM1 (first real budget option which was also ultra-slim and not made of cheap plastic), and the E-M5 (we know all the reasons why that was such a hit).
  5. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    [QUOTE="robbie36" "So really it has been a great year (with the GH3 at the end of it.) But the reality seems to be that the system isnt going forwards that fast - it is losing market share to new formats like Nex and Panny seems to be losing ground entirely.
    Even M43 users dont seem entirely happy. You hear things like 'I am only sticking with M43 because I have an investment in a large number of M43 lenses' or 'I will move to Nex once they get their wifi app store up and running'.[/QUOTE]"

    Apologies for my inability to quote sections of posts correctly

    I would tend to disagree with your interpretation of M43 user's feelings and the 'reality'
    I review this site on a daily basis to see what is going on
    My perception is that far from M43 users being unhappy - the vast majority seem very happy with the system that has developed and the way it is going

    The introduction of the OM- D has done absolute wonders for the Format and has brought inumerable new users from DSLR - I have noted a steady and ongoing stream of new members joining after selling up their Canon Nikon and other equipment And these are only the ones we become aware of that have joined us here
    So m43 has certainly taken some market share away from DSLR and will continue to do so
    Obviously there are some that will try the system and return to DSLR or move to other systems for various personal reasons and suitability factors and these may be some of the people that have made adverse comments
    This is natural with any system - nothing in life will suit all people all the time and who would want such a 'monopoly' to exist in any case
    Those that are committed to M43 will always be happy with some products, developments and pricing structures and not others - again that is entirely natural with any varied product range.
    There is always going to be a conflict between what the manufacturer is trying to achieve (profit and increased market share) and what the consumer / end user wants in terms of product and value so there is always going to be a mixture of positive and negative comment and feeling brought about by this conflict
    The good thing about forums such as this is that the concensus of opinion must filter back to the manufacturers and in turn have an influence on those product lines and even pricing structures
    After reading so much about how everyone desperately wants a Rangefinder product with built in VF from the 'GX2' and the 'EP5' I would be very surprised if these two products did not materialise in the next ranges due in no small part if they do to the influence of forums including this one
    The forum must be invaluable in terms of 'market research' to Panasonic and Olympus
    The regular names on the forum always seem to remain positive and committed to the format even though some use additional formats
    Market share going to NEX, NX et al is also inevitable but is also I believe a true reflection of the success of Micro Four Thirds which after all launched the concept of mirrorless inter cameras and which made the other manufacturers sit up and take notice of a very successful concept which continues to prove itself as a viable or preferable alternative to the limited choice that consumers had before.
    There is now a 'middle ground' between 'Compact Cameras' and DSLRs which can be considered by many users who wanted more than that which a compact could ever provide but 'less' than a DSLR would provide in terms of much better portability and more comfortable handling.
    There must be many many users of M43 (and other mirrorless systems) who would never have considered interchangeable lens cameras if M43 had not been introduced if they had been faced only with the prospect of lugging around DSLRs and associated lenses and equipment
    I am constantly amazed at how much equipment I can cram into a small kit bag for an afternoon out whilst still having real versatility at my disposal by using M43
    I imagine that many women for example (perhaps ?) have been won over to micro four thirds who might otherwise have never become involved with interchangeable lens cameras due to the size and weight of DSLR equipment ? ( i hope that doesnt come across as sexist in any way)
    I think as a result we can all celebrate the fantastic success of Micro Four Thirds and continue to enjoy using the equipment that many of us here will never abandon !
    • Like Like x 1
  6. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Why should we be "entirely happy"? The system isn't perfect. I bet every one of us here has a wish list with at least one lens, body, or some other item we want on it, and something that we want to see that isn't currently made.

    We're enthusiasts. That means amongst other things that we demand more from our system than it currently offers, that we talk about things we'd like to see fixed and new products we'd like to see introduced, carry on about all of the things that the latest products didn't deliver, and we offer strong opinions on absolutely anything to do with micro four thirds or any other photographic topic that takes our interest or someone else wants to raise.

    For the record, I'm not staying because I have an investment in a large number of M43 lenses and I'm not going to move to Nex once they do something. I'm sticking because I like the physical size and weight of the system and what it can deliver. But I do have a wish list and the day someone manages to fit an 8" x 10" 100 megapixel sensor in an E-M5 sized body is the day I jump ship.
  7. Eternal Newbie

    Eternal Newbie Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 2, 2011
    Wakefield, UK
    Paul Hardy
    I think David A is right that "you can't please all of the people all of the time" (apologies to Lincoln), but I certainly find the camera bodies more aesthetic and the lenses more accomplished in :43:.

    I'm probably prejudiced but I still think the Nex looks like a cigarette packet stuck to a lens:blush:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Lots of great cameras....

    Well one of the things going on at the moment is that there are a lot of great cameras and great camera systems offering really good value for money. Personally the whole Nex system doesnt do much for me but, if M43 didnt exist, I suspect I could be pretty happy in a Fuji XE 1 world and lenses.

    What will be interesting to see is if M43 can keep the momentum going in the form of a great new lenses and cameras over the next 18 months. I rather feel the low hanging fruit in terms of what can be introduced as already come into the system but we shall see.
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    It's easy to get tunnel vision for mu43, especially on a dedicated forum. I do think that DSLRs will recede except at the high end but this will take longer than some here think. I still think that APS-C vs. mu43 is very much a toss up for dominance in the enthusiastic ILC market. Sport-shooter parents? From what I've seen the Nikon V2 may be the best thing for most folks. That AF is great and you only need so much sensor when you don't print much.
  10. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    m4/3 Newbie

    I'm not new to photography, quite the contrary, but I'm new to m4/3 and coming from the DSLR world. As noted above it will take a bit of use to see if m4/3 really works for me and I leave my SLRs sitting (or sell them).

    A m4/3 system did just take a substantial chunk of money out of my savings (Panasonic), and at least some of that money, about $700, would have gone to Canon for a 17-40 f/4 lens. Since I'm trying the m4/3 system I decided to try a super wide m4/3 instead of the Canon lens.

    Of course I'll have to like the camera(s) to stay in the system even though the lenses are most important, the interface with the lens [camera] is critical. I've only just started to dig into my gear that arrived yesterday. My first surprise was how 'loud' the shutter is on my GX-1. I expected a quiet, barely audible 'snick', oh well, I've got to accept this or...

    I already love the smaller size and lighter weight, whether I can make these cameras & lenses work for me will be telling. Either m4/3 a good fit for how I work and I use them lots and they stay, or they will be sold and I'll go back to DSLRs. The next several weeks and months will be telling.

  11. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    No, it hasn't been a great year for m4/3.

    It has been a great year for cameras. Look at the ridiculous things we got this year -- the D800, the 5DIII, the NEX-7, A77, A99, Rx100, Rx1, OMD, GH3, BlackMagic Cinema... The list goes on.
  12. I think that there has never been a better time to be a fairweather photographer*

    I tend to to think that we sometimes overestimate what is required in a camera system. Just because there were a thousand-and-one different lens options for my old Canon DSLRs didn't mean that I needed them all. Having said that, I'm prepared to jump ship to the first mirrorless system to offer a 300mm f/2 fisheye telephoto macro prime lens :rolleyes: 

    *Someone who sells out of one system to another and then perhaps back again anytime there is the tiniest shift in the relative offerings of each system.
  13. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    With all the lenses recently announced and rumored for m4/3rds Nex is still running a very distant second to m4/3rds when it comes to native lenses fo mirrorless system cameras. And for pro's Fuji's lens roadmap has it surpassing Nex very soon in terms of actual professional lenses.

    There are basically only 3 true "pro" lenses for NEX at this time and about 5 "pro-sumer" lenses. So 8 lenses worth possibly bothering with if you move to NEX.

    Meanwhile, m4/3rds currently has about 12 "pro" lenses and 6 "pro-sumer" lenses, 2 more pro lenses formally announced including a 150 f/2.8 that NEX is likely many years from matching, and about 4 more pro lenses rumored including the recent 300 f/4 rumor which NEX may never match.

    Heck, even the 1-year-old Fuji X system already have 4 pro quality lenses, 1 more than NEX, as well as a pro-sumer lens, and their roadmap has a LOT more pro lenses coming out relatively quicklyk over the next 2 years.

    If the rumor of focus-peaking coming to the e-m5 soon is true then NEX is even less attractive.

    Personally I had a choice to make between the above 3 systems a few months ago and I chose m4/3rds because it was the only system that was mature enough to bother with, and that is still the case, and as long as all these rumors prove true it will stay strongly ahead of the other systems for at least 2 more years.
  14. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    Amen to that!!!
  15. Omega

    Omega Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 3, 2012
    I think as far as the system itself goes, yes. It's an improvement over last year, and a big one at that.

    But I think Sony mainly stole the show with their RX100 and RX1 in the photography world.

    I personally think that Olympus and Panasonic aren't really putting themselves out there and showing off M43 as a serious alternative to other camera systems. I can see why the NEX system has sold so much--It appeals to the average person, really. For them, a larger sensor will mean everything is better, as well as the name 'Sony'.

    I'm saying this as if I were through the eyes of an average consumer. I don't think the M43 system would really appeal to many over a NEX on first look, to be honest.

    I hope that things will change though, and I am excited to see what M43 will offer in the near future.
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I think there's at best a loose correlation between product quality and market success. The big problem for m4/3 though is the same as for other manufacturers - market saturation. You can only keep selling new stuff to the same people for so long. The improvement curve is flattening out too, and that combined with extremely aggressive discounting means that both sales and profits will be awfully hard to maintain.

    From a personal perspective, I think m4/3 needs to focus on improving the ecosystem and aiming at the customers who can (and will) pay. That means better software integration, better customer support, better manuals and fewer minor incremental updates.
  17. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK
    Having come from the Canon 7D, Nex-7, A77, Nex-5N, I have to say that the OM-D and the E-PL5 are excellent cameras, with great range of lenses and perform at least on par with these cameras (probably better in some ways). And to be honest the 2x crop factor vs 1.6x of Canon or 1.5x of Sony does not make that much difference in terms of shallowness of DOF - for that you will require a FF camera. The compactness of the system and the images which seem to get 'wows' because people can't believe the quality you can get from such a small system, is just so refreshing.

    Has it been a good year for M43? Yes! Because now I've joined the club, and can't see myself leaving it. The IBIS of OM-D is just so excellent, I can't believe no one has been able to do this until now. I'm sure there's more to come. Can't wait til I can get the 75/1.8.

  18. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I agree and disagree with part of this.

    Disagree that m4/3s is not a serious alternative to other systems. That may have been true in the past, but I think the E-M5 changed it completely, helped by the ever-maturing lens offerings. Lots of Canon and Nikon DSLRs users have jumped to the E-M5.

    With regard to NEX I agree that the Sony name helps selling that camera line to P&S upgraders, but I disagree that the average consumer even has a clue about sensor size. If anything, I think most consumers would choose m4/3 over NEX because of lens size, if given the choice.

    I also agree that Sony looks great in all of this. On the sensor side they are the king of the mountain at the moment, and the RX1 and 100 show them to be serious about what can be achieved with a tiny camera. I've lost track of their SLT line, and upcoming FF offering, but they seem to be covering all bases. Maybe some day they will address the E-mount lens situation.
  19. cherrywood

    cherrywood Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2010
    M43 system/Getting better/Yes

    I have really enjoyed my m43 system and I am still enjoying it more so, now that I just purchased a new G3.

    Had the G1, then went to the G2 and now the G3 and really liked all of them, but the G3 with the newer sensor and smaller body is superb. Thats why i went to the system in the first place, small and lightweight with good lenses.

    So yes , it was a good year for m43 and I see it continuing as long as the quality and tech advances and we keep supporting the system and we will if the above is delivered.

  20. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I think people over-emphasize the importance of the sensor though. It's just one component of the camera, and one aspect of your photography. A boring and uninspiring photograph is still a boring and uninspiring photograph no matter how clean and noise free it is.
    What's important is how the various components of the camera system come together and how it enhances your ability to capture beautiful photographs. What works for some might not work for others, so I think the diversity of m4/3 is one of it's biggest strengths.

    I think overall, as a system, m4/3 is doing great, and this year really is a strong year for the system. Both Olympus and Panasonic releasing some very good quality lenses as well as bodies. You just can't find a system as diverse as m4/3 outside of the DSLR world right now. You really can't.

    It's not perfect of course, but for me, m4/3 is the sweet spot and will continue to fulfill my photographic needs.
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