If Canon can put a fast "pancake" zoom onto the G1 X, why not Olympus or Panasonic?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by hookgrip, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. hookgrip

    hookgrip Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2013
    Here's an interesting comparison:


    The lens on the G1X Mark II is a 12.5-62.5mm (24-120mm equiv) f/2.0-3.9, and it looks to be almost the same size as the Olympus/Panasonic f/3.5-5.6 pancake lenses with much shorter zoom ranges. Bearing in mind that the G1X Mk II has a slightly larger sensor than Micro 4/3, I wonder why no such lens has been developed for MFT. The G1X Mk II sells for $799, so the manufacturing cost of its lens must be considerably less than that.

    There's a crazy size difference between the G1X Mk II's lens and the Olympus 12-50,despite the Canon lens covering a larger sensor, having a longer zoom range, and being almost two stops faster.


    Oh, and the G1X Mk II's lens has a built-in, self-retracting lens cap.

    IMO the G1X Mk II's lens would be the perfect "do it all" lens on MFT...considerably smaller than the existing 12-35 or 12-40 f/2.8, 1 stop faster at the wide end, and much more reach at the long end.

    What do you think is stopping Olympus or Panasonic from making a similarly sized fast-zoom for Micro 4/3?
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Good question, I'm surprised there are no replies yet.

    Maybe it's a different compromise in size vs quality? I think it's easy to stretch a lens giving up a few aspects that most users wont notice (borders) or are easy to correct in camera (distortion, CA, etc.). More patents on the canon side?

    It's a fixed lens, so the mount, focus distances, and anything like that are built to accept nothing but those focal lengths. I mean that hypothetically you could not cut that lens and replace it with a ultra wide or long tele. Maybe one part of the lens is inside the body.

    Marketing reasons? Maybe Oly/Pana could stretch the pancakes a little more, up to similar specs. But then, maybe, a lot of people are not going to buy any other lenses. Here you do not have that problem.

    A little less manufacturing/testing costs: here you do not have to add a solid mount ring, touch contacts, lens firmware compatibility, distortion/ca correction for multiple lenses, etc.

    Sensor resolutions is bigger but has a lower pixel count, 12.8 MP, maybe this allows some shortcomings in the lens resolution.

    I have not idea actually, I'm just thinking out loud.
  3. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    What do you think is stopping Olympus or Panasonic from making a similarly sized fast-zoom for Micro 4/3?[/QUOTE]

    1) There is no need at all. There are three compact zooms available and quite a few MFT bodies are even smaller than G1X series .
    2) Canon doesn't have a full line of MFT small lenses and bodies as compared to Olympus and panasonic . I would be happy to have a ILC if I have to have zoom .
    3) Now people can start asking for MFT cameras with fixed lenses like Sigma .. MFT with 17.5 mm 1.8 , 25mm 1.5 etc etc.
    4) Canon is an established player and can experiment a bit but panasonic and Olympus can't afford to deviate at this point of time .In future may be :smile:
  4. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I would buy that. It's almost my dream lens: 12-62 f/2-4. If it would be that small and at least as good as the 14-42. IMO It's the ultimate travel lens.
  5. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    It helps a lot that Canon could closely integrate the sensor to the lens, they might be exploiting an incredibly small flange distance as well.

    I could post a rant about how a lot of people can't understand why you would ever want a lens like that and how the same crowd will try to make up a bunch of reasons why such a nice lens couldn't exist for a reasonable price like $1,000 but I think that will only make me even more of a "undesirable" than posting an image of my E-M5 with a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8A attached, with a Speedbooster+Regular adapter combo giving me a 13-35mm f/1.2-1.8A lens (FoV: 26-70mm). Or how I could use a 17-55mm f/2.8 lens to make a 12-55mm f/2.0-2.8 (FoV: 24-110mm.) Hey, it sounds like I could one of the people who wants a f/2.8-4.0 extended zoom pancake thing...

    It'd be totally awesome if Olympus or Panasonic could make a m43 format G1X II Pancake lens. If it is optically excellent I'd probably be one of the early preorders already if the price is reasonable.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    a) it is a fixed lens camera, not interchangeable
    b) have you seen the size of it when it is fully extended. It is a monster..
  7. The ability to collapse the the lens well inside the body cavity would help in the case of the G1X, whereas the entirety of a Micro 4/3 lens has to fit outside the lens mount. I'm not sure how the lens in the G1X MkII fares for overall quality, but even the one in MkI was seriously good and also had a longer zoom range than the Micro 4/3 pancake zooms.
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Here you can make a comparison with the EM-10 (with the pancake zoom I suppose). IMO there are a lot more details in the OMD raw files. And less of other defects. In the cards, in the small text and even in the Beatles. And in the corners even more.


    I'm not very interested in the comparison in itself, but only as a possible answer to this thread title.
  9. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Luckypenguin nailed it. The lens probably collapses inside the body, and because you don't need a lens mount you can shave just that much off the overall length. Plus, I haven't seen any samples that really show the Canon body/lens combo to be a winner.
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    It would be interesting for Olympus or Panasonic to build a fixed zoom mu43 compact. Of course, the G1X sales don't cut into Canon DSLR sales the way an mu43 compact would cut into mu43 sales since the latter depends on size as a selling point.
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Man, I wish Canon would release a fast fixed prime G1X, like the old school Canonets, that'd be sweet!

  12. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I think the quality is very good. But the point for me was the comparison with the Oly/Pana lenses, in terms of quality/size/speed.
  13. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I agree, I think Pansonic and Oly should work on a faster and more compact zoom. We already have fast zooms, compact zooms and wayyyy too many regular kit zooms. I'd love a compact 2.8-4 in the 12-50 range.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I don't think that we'll see something like either the new or old G1X lens in pancake form for Micro 4/3. While the two G1X lenses have the profile of a pancake when retracted they aren't actually pancakes lenses.
  15. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    And not only that, the 12-50 lens is fully zoomed because it is an all internal zooming & focussing design. Put a tube & filter on the fully extended GX1 lens & how far does that hang out then?
  16. This will show how much lens is hiding inside the MkI G1X


    • Like Like x 4
  17. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Yes, one is a pancake and the other is not and that is fine. But what is strange is how much is better, by the numbers, when compared to the Oly/Pana pancake zooms. It's faster and with a better range. And it's better (again by the number) even than the big 12-50.
  18. Dan43

    Dan43 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2014
    I also find it quite baffling that the specs of the canon lens are so much better; especially when considering that this sensor size is a lot more important to Olympus than to Canon. One would assume that the lenses offered by Olympus push the limits in terms of aperture size/lens size.

    Even more so, a lens like this is exactly what the m43 lineup is still missing - i.e. something with a larger aperture than a kit lens, but smaller and more affordable than the 12-40.
  19. No mystery; it's because the G1X MkI & II lenses are not pancakes as seen in my comparison using the MkI above.
    • Like Like x 1
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