Is Olympus going in the wrong direction?

Armoured

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One real challenge is the successful pitch by Canon and later Sony that a real photographer needs full frame. The reality is that most photographers buying full frame don't need it at all, they just want it because it's been successfully marketed as what they need.

Some very good points in here, and well put, thank you.

My only reservation is that if camera makers and their competitors only sold photographers / aspiring photographers what they need, about 90% of the market would be gone.
 

DeeJayK

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As a video I was watching on a completely different topic ended, YouTube's algorithm served me this video that is related to some of the discussion in this somewhat sprawling thread:

Future of Micro Four Thirds | Why Micro Thirds Camera Is Getting Popular

I'm not exactly sure what they're basing the assertion that m43 is "getting popular" on except perhaps the one article they link indicating the format is doing well in Japan, but the rest of the video concisely lays out the format's market positioning. I feel like this video does a better job of making a case for choosing m43 than anything I've seen recently from Olympus/ OMDS.

- K
 

didge

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I personally have two MFT kits.
EM10 with a collection of primes. My out for the day doing other stuff kit. Light, small, flexible.

I then have my EM5/EM1 with 12-40/40-150 pro for my "photography" with those same small primes for special things like the 60mm for macro for example.

In my opinion OMD should produce Pro lenses but not exclude sexy attractive cameras and lenses for the newbie. That is how I got into MFT. Got an EPL5 for video, loved it so bought an EM5 and loved that more and sold my Nikon gear.

Keep making innovative cameras is the way ahead in my opinion. Forget trying to appeal to FF people. They will never accept the small sensor so forget them. Look towards travellers, family people etc with a system that is small and full featured and let them grow into the Pro kit like I did.

I never think MFT is lower quality to the other systems. It is the perfect system for me. It is small enough to carry, cheap enough to purchase, is so much more fun to use and gives a level of image quality to meet almost every need I have.

Even if I could afford the FF system they are not for me. Too bloody heavy and huge and no where near as much fun to use. No one has ever said to me pity you didnt take that photo with a FF camera and to be honest I wish I didnt have to listen to FF lovers saying MFT is not good enough. I dont need a Rolls Royce to go to the shops and am more than happy with my KIA just like I love my 2 MFT systems and they are what I think OMD should produce.
 

PakkyT

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ac12

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If anything, the experience for those lens mounts that handle eg fx/dx suggests the opposite - that serious aps-c users are willing to buy and use FF lenses (at least long lenses) when they need something more than the standard kit and basic telezooms, despite the extra size, weight and cost.

Now there's also a criticism here, that arguably the canikonys etc have not been diligent in filling out their aps-c lens offerings. Okay, I partly agree with that, they probably have left some users underserved by not playing fully to the strengths of the smaller format - size and weight - and by preferring to push serious users to move up to FF. (This is where I think eg Olympus/m4/3 has some room right now - Nikon for one is clearly lagging in filling out its dx lens offering, as it wants everyone wavering between the two formats to go fx).

The problem is, for us DX users, the lens we WANT/NEED is not always available in FX.
As I've mentioned before, when I was looking for a DX version of the classic FX 70-200/2.8, around 45-135mm, NO ONE had such lens in production.
So I had to "settle" for a FX 70-200/4. But as you can guess, the 70mm short end was often not wide enough.
Tamron has since come out with a FF 35-150/2.8-4, and that is the closest thing available. But it isn't a fixed f/2.8. So in dim light, it hurts on the long end.

Sigma's DX 50-150/2.8 had long gone out of production, in favor of the DX 50-100/1.8.
A possible contender; faster at f/1.8, but shorter focal range, and no VR.
 

Brownie

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As a video I was watching on a completely different topic ended, YouTube's algorithm served me this video that is related to some of the discussion in this somewhat sprawling thread:

Future of Micro Four Thirds | Why Micro Thirds Camera Is Getting Popular

I'm not exactly sure what they're basing the assertion that m43 is "getting popular" on except perhaps the one article they link indicating the format is doing well in Japan, but the rest of the video concisely lays out the format's market positioning. I feel like this video does a better job of making a case for choosing m43 than anything I've seen recently from Olympus/ OMDS.

- K
Watched the video. It was pretty much all opinion. You're right in that there was no substance to their assertion other than the assertion itself. It almost feels like whoever produced the video has some skin in the game, like a sales pitch. On the other hand everything they said is correct, they didn't go out on a limb to improperly push any particular aspect. I think it's a nice gee-whiz PR video to introduce newcomers to the virtues of M-4/3.
 

Hypilein

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You can crop any area you like from the center of RAW image which is exactly that "crop mode" you described.

Or did you mean something else? Actual support for m4/3 lenses which is not mechanically possible without installing entire lens mount on a removable frame.

You can swap the lens mount on some digital cine cameras but this is definitely not cheap or compact solution.

I meant actual support for mu43 lenses through an adapter that automatically engages a 2x crop mode. To be honest though, their highest MP model is only 47mp I believe, which in my eyes is not enough for a 2x crop mode. For a 2x crop mode to be relevant I think 60mp are in Order.
 

fsi22

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I find the FF syndrome in M43 users comical. I left FF 3 years ago and when I settled on M43, I knew what I'd gain and lose. I made peace with that and have always understood that if I wanted that extra bit of quality, I would have to go with faster glass, which is small compared to FF for the equivalent fov, but I also had the option of tiny, excellent 1.8 primes and small and slower zooms if I was on a budget. My old 500 f4 next to my Panasonic Leica 200mm F2.8 with 1.4x attached gets me images as good but ,with far more ease than my old setup. M43 is a great system, on it's own and doesn't need to be constantly compared to other systems.
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Armoured

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The problem is, for us DX users, the lens we WANT/NEED is not always available in FX.
Yes, I agree with this. What seems to be the issue, though, is that there is not that much demand* for some specific high-end optics ranges amongst DX users - seemingly because a lot of DX users will get the FX optics. Sigma and Tamron have at least sort-of tried, and clearly haven't made a killing on that one (or they'd be upgrading it).

*Of course, there is a chicken and egg thing here - some users don't see the lenses they'd need in DX, so don't buy the system at all, then they're not buying the expensive lenses, so the manufacturers don't invest in new, etc., etc. I'm simplifying it here to 'demand' but there's more to it.

At any rate - I still come back to the same thing, I don't see how eg Olympus' ability to craft great compact lenses for smaller formats gives them some 'in' to making DX/m43 scoped lens designs for FF mirrorless.

FF mirrorless users mostly want FF lenses - that's why they bought into those systems. They can crop when they need to and the benefit of extra-compact lenses is too small to lay out a lot of money for a lens that's more limited. If they really want small, they'd buy a different system to start with (or in addition to).
 

Armoured

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I meant actual support for mu43 lenses through an adapter that automatically engages a 2x crop mode. To be honest though, their highest MP model is only 47mp I believe, which in my eyes is not enough for a 2x crop mode. For a 2x crop mode to be relevant I think 60mp are in Order.
First there's the technical issues - there are precious few lens mounts that have enough room to mount a mu43 lens, and of those that do, I don't see many manufacturers that would be incentivized to support any automatic modes to sell more Olympus lenses.

But most obviously: going out of one's way (and $$$) to specifically purchase a high-resolution FF camera in order to have enough resolution to use mu43 lenses (either actual mu43 or some special edition) .... well, it just seems backward. There might be a handful of people who really want it, but IMHO it just doesn't make any sense.

FF users who need 'reach' can crop without special lenses. Those who really want mu43-size lenses and something approaching native operation can ... just buy mu43 bodies, which would incidentally be better for mu43 manufacturers anyway.
 

BDR-529

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I meant actual support for mu43 lenses through an adapter that automatically engages a 2x crop mode.
All mirrorless mounts have flange focal distance of around 20mm (Z-mount only 16mm) so there just isn't room for an adapter even if a purely mechanical one is enough.

Also just a hollow aluminium tube with camera bayonet machined on one end and m43 bayonet on the other.

Adding some lens elements like they do in speed boosters would solve this at a cost in both IQ and money but the bigger issue is in electronics and software

Each lens mount is a "closed" proprietary system with different number of contacts and different electrical signals and voltages on each pin.

Even if this is sorted out, the protocol which camera is using to communicate with lenses is so secret that it's not (fully) shared with 3rd party lens manufacturers who have to reverse engineer that as well.

Panny does of course have knowledge of both m43 and L-mount but why would they bother creating a very expensive adapter when nobody would mount m43 lens on FF sensor and lose 75% of sensor area and pixels.

Result is exactly the same when you use FF lens of the same nominal focal length and merely crop 1/4 of the image area center (also 2x digital zoom)
 
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Brownie

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I meant actual support for mu43 lenses through an adapter that automatically engages a 2x crop mode. To be honest though, their highest MP model is only 47mp I believe, which in my eyes is not enough for a 2x crop mode. For a 2x crop mode to be relevant I think 60mp are in Order.
Even Sony's 61MP image would only amount to 15 or so MP if put in M-4/3 mode. The more I think about it, the only advantage I can see is if you have a bunch of non-FF lenses you want to use. As previously stated, what difference if you crop in camera or in post?

The reach advantage for M-4/3 comes from having a sensor dedicated to that size, so the added FL is achieved with glass, not digitally. In order to equal a 20MP, you'd need about 80MP in a FF sensor. So, you'd end up with a very expensive sensor to use your smaller lenses. It sounds like it's reached the point of diminishing returns.
 

Hypilein

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Prompted by this discussion I looked at the current Sony lens lineup to see if I could replace my current MFT lenses with Sony ones assuming a 2x crop and still keep roughly the same size. That is indeed the case, although I think I would always lose IQ at the long end this way. As already mentioned 60mp equal to about 15mp once cropped and I doubt the lenses would hold up as well as MFT lenses. I replaced the PL8-18 with a 16-35f4, the 35-100 with a 24-105f4 (which would actually make it much more versatile, but you lose f2.8) and the 100-300 with a 70-300. The system would overall be a bit larger but not too much.

That said, I'm not sure I would want to deal with the file size, nor would I want to buy all that expensive FF glass and to get the cropping advantage the cheaper FF bodies won't do either.

Obviously my original interest into adapting mu43 lenses to FF was because I already own them. I agree that it makes very little sense to go and buy those lenses to use them on FF. I think we can close the case now. :)
 

PakkyT

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned or overlooked here with the talk about adapting crop lenses to a FF body, if you are talking about FF sensors of 80MP to give you a 20MP 4/3 crop, what is the advantage of FF anymore? And I don't consider DoF differences to be an "advantage" for either one, they are simply different and it depends on what you want.

The advantages of FF has always been stated that because of the bigger photosites on the sensor you have less noise, more DR, etc. then sensor using smaller photosites. Once you get to 80MP FF then the pixel density is identical on either sensor so you have now lost all your "bigger pixels give better quality" argument and you can make a m43 sensor out of the same technology and IQ should be identical. The only advantage I see now with the FF sensor would be simply that you get 4 times as many pixels to work with, but with things like sensor shift high resolution shooting, the m43 can produce big resolution images as well.
 

demiro

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I find the FF syndrome in M43 users comical. I left FF 3 years ago and when I settled on M43, I knew what I'd gain and lose. I made peace with that and have always understood that if I wanted that extra bit of quality, I would have to go with faster glass, which is small compared to FF for the equivalent fov, but I also had the option of tiny, excellent 1.8 primes and small and slower zooms if I was on a budget. My old 500 f4 next to my Panasonic Leica 200mm F2.8 with 1.4x attached gets me images as good but ,with far more ease than my old setup. M43 is a great system, on it's own and doesn't need to be constantly compared to other systems.
And a rookie shall lead us...

Extremely well said @fsi22 I've tried to make this point many times, but you've done a much more eloquent job here than I ever have. I bolded what I think are the most important points. Many m4/3s users have this format envy problem, and have to get over it. We can ignore the trolls, enjoy our very, very good gear, and stop the constant gnashing of teeth. We really can.
 

mawz

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned or overlooked here with the talk about adapting crop lenses to a FF body, if you are talking about FF sensors of 80MP to give you a 20MP 4/3 crop, what is the advantage of FF anymore? And I don't consider DoF differences to be an "advantage" for either one, they are simply different and it depends on what you want.

The advantages of FF has always been stated that because of the bigger photosites on the sensor you have less noise, more DR, etc. then sensor using smaller photosites. Once you get to 80MP FF then the pixel density is identical on either sensor so you have now lost all your "bigger pixels give better quality" argument and you can make a m43 sensor out of the same technology and IQ should be identical. The only advantage I see now with the FF sensor would be simply that you get 4 times as many pixels to work with, but with things like sensor shift high resolution shooting, the m43 can produce big resolution images as well.

This is a good point. It's generally forgotten that if you crop down to APS-C or m43, you get APS-C or m43 IQ performance. Sometimes that's the right thing to do (for a good while in Nikon-land the best APS-C body you could buy was the D800), sometimes it's not.

This is because the differences are based on total illumination (ie the absolute amount of photons received by the sensor during an exposure which is the major determinant for noise performance and a major aspect for DR as well, as opposed to illumination per unit area which is how we determine exposure)

If you crop down, you are still only using the total illumination for the crop and thus only get the performance of a comparable-sized (to the crop) sensor
 

mawz

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All mirrorless mounts have flange focal distance of around 20mm (Z-mount only 16mm) so there just isn't room for an adapter even if a purely mechanical one is enough.

That's not actually true, there are FE to Z and m43 to E mount adapters in the wild already, the m43 to E adapters have been out for 8-9 years (folks used to use them to run the CV f0.95 lenses on Nex-7's). Z is particularly adaptable because of its short register and wide throat (the throat allows much of the adapter to be set into the mount, leaving room for electronics).

I used FE lenses on my Z5 via adapter when I was shooting that earlier this year. I didn't have the nice techart AF adapter though, but it's out there.
 

Brownie

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned or overlooked here with the talk about adapting crop lenses to a FF body, if you are talking about FF sensors of 80MP to give you a 20MP 4/3 crop, what is the advantage of FF anymore? And I don't consider DoF differences to be an "advantage" for either one, they are simply different and it depends on what you want.

The advantages of FF has always been stated that because of the bigger photosites on the sensor you have less noise, more DR, etc. then sensor using smaller photosites. Once you get to 80MP FF then the pixel density is identical on either sensor so you have now lost all your "bigger pixels give better quality" argument and you can make a m43 sensor out of the same technology and IQ should be identical. The only advantage I see now with the FF sensor would be simply that you get 4 times as many pixels to work with, but with things like sensor shift high resolution shooting, the m43 can produce big resolution images as well.

I can see it if someone had a bunch of APS-C glass from another camera that they wanted to use on their new FF, but other than that there is no advantage.
 

mawz

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I can see it if someone had a bunch of APS-C glass from another camera that they wanted to use on their new FF, but other than that there is no advantage.

There's two other advantages.

1. Lens size/options. Lots of Z7/Z7II buyers have bought the Z DX lenses because they're small and good. The 16-50 makes a great & tiny walk around zoom for a Z7, and the 50-250 is popular as a lightweight tele for the wide/normal shooter. I know a number of A7R shooters who use crop modes to turn a wide prime into a 2-FL combo lens (24/35 or 35/50 most commonly)

2. Buffer depth/speed. Because the files are inherently smaller (looking at the Z's again, it's 19MP or so for a Z7 in DX mode), the buffer normally grows a lot when switching to DX mode and for some cameras they get faster (the D800 and D810 both gained mild speed bumps in 1.2x and DX mode, the D2X/D2Xs, D7100 and all the 26MP Fuji's get notably faster when they're in crop mode)

Also with EVF's you can compose in crop mode, which is really useful in some cases. I've used this on even lower-MP FX cameras because I knew I was cropping anyways.
 

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