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m4/3 going mirror?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by lightbulb, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. lightbulb

    lightbulb Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Hi everyone. I am sitting on the fence between APSC and M4/3. I like the idea of smaller system, what kind of size increase are we talking about if ovf is used on M4/3 instead of evf? and of course the obvious increase in battery performance and poor video?
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    dont quite understand the question....


    a micro 4/3 system with a mirror box is essentally a 4/3 camera. The "standard" 4/3 cameras were about the same size as the APS DSLRs.
  3. lightbulb

    lightbulb Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2012
    I see. So in theory a nex is micro APSC? I never thought of that especially the size of Olympus e series is closer to 5D. Sounds like a wrong move by Olympus and theN the micro put things right? Couldn't Panasonic shrink the 43 ovf smaller than k5 (size of gh2, maybe thicker) to make it more 'interesting' and useable with existing lenses without adaptor?

    Hope I am making some sense here:p 
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    You're hoping for a µ4/3 camera with OVF, necessitating a mirror box or see-through finder (like the APS-C Fuji X1). The Olympus 4/3 range exists already and will probably do so for some time, anything else is not likely to happen because the development is moving towards improving mirrorless cameras to an extent that they can obsolete DSLRs. Panasonic hasn't any DSLRs in the program anymore and is not planning to AFAIK. Some people think that Olympus will come up with a hybrid camera with a detacheable mirror box, I wouldn't hold my breath for that one.
  5. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    The image on this wiki page should give you a good idea as to the difference. Having a shorter flange back also allows some lens types to be made with a more compact and efficient design, particularly wide angle lenses. For telephoto lenses there is little advantage though; for example you will rarely see a Leica with a lens longer than 90mm, because the combination would become unwieldy. I would say that if you're going to be shooting telephoto a lot, probably better to get a DSLR, as it makes more ergonomic sense.

    Not sure what you meant by 'poor video', that really doesn't have much to do with having a mirror or not.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Look at Olympus 4/3 - the discontinued E-420 and E-620 in particular. Just remember that the OVFs are quite small compared to the current EVFs, and that none of the m4/3 lenses would be usable on such cameras. So as a practical matter, it's a nonstarter.

    Or to put it another way, carrying 3 extra batteries you still save a lot more size and weight than adding back the reflex mechanism. As to 'poor video', I'm not clear what the problem with m4/3 video is - the GH2 is m4/3 and shoots some of the best quality video possible with DSLR/ILC camera.

  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The E-420 was quite a bit smaller than the 5D

    Compare camera dimensions side by side

    Not possible to use existing 4/3 lenses without an adapter because of flange distance differences between micro 4/3 and 4/3. It wasn't also the intent of the system... Olympus had a hard time competing with Nikon and Canon with traditional mirror designs so they decided to go mirror-less and shrink both the cameras and lenses down. This essentially created a new market for which there was little competition targeted specifically against the consumer who wants something more feature rich and better quality than P&Ss but don't want the bulk of a full DSLR system. It worked and the system is doing very well... so I doubt I would consider their decision was a bad move.
  8. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    The E-420 is a little bit smaller than a T4i (T3i, etc), but not considerably so, while the E-5 is comparable in size to the 5D.

    4/3 gave up a little in going with the smaller sensor in DSLRs, which they had to make up for in features, optics, etc. The lenses could, theoretically, be a little bit smaller, but not significantly so. Since they were already fighting an uphill battle again Canikon, the 4/3 was never going to be a huge success (no offense to 4/3 users; it's a fine system, especially in the glass.) In going micro, the smaller 4/3 sensor actually had (has) advantages over the larger APS-C sensor in terms of lens size and edge performance, so it has found a much bigger following.

    And, yes, the Sony/Samsung/Fuji mirrorless cameras are basically "micro" APS-C systems in that they are to APS-C DSLRs what :43: is to 4/3. However, 4/3 is a specific mount for Panny/Oly, so the NEX is really a "micro Alpha".
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Why do you need an OVF? Have you tried the EVF in m43?

    The OVFs in the smaller DSLR bodies tend to be pretty small, dim, and <100% coverage compared to the EVFs in m43. Of course, if you spend a lot on a DSLR, you can get a nice OVF with 100% coverage.

    Mirrors are not required in any digital system - once you put "reusable film" behind there, a lot of the existing design paradigms can change. The mirror is the first one.
  10. lightbulb

    lightbulb Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Thanks guys for the logical explanation. I sure hope mirror less could improve on continuous AF.

    I meant video for mirrored slr seem sub-par compared to mirror less.
  11. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Regarding continuous AF, really, all olympus and/or panny have to do is adopt a sensor technology like that being used in the Nikon 1 series or, more recently, the Canon T4i. Hybrid is the way to go if they want quick AF tracking. CDAF can theoretically catch up to the tracking of PDAF, but it will requite a good amount more processing power availability before it is seemless. Imo, not worth the wait, since hybrid technology seems to work so well.
  12. lightbulb

    lightbulb Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2012
    May I know what is hybrid? SLT from Sony? Sure hope the GH3 could improve on this aspect, and the D range too.
  13. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    With hybrid cameras I meant models like the Fuji X1 Pro where an optical viewfinder is combined with an electronic one. The Sony SLT design only offers an electronic viewfinder and autofocus is done with the light bounced of a semi-transparent mirror and directed to focus sensors. This way it offers the advantages and disadvantages of phase-detect AF in a separate light path.

    In my opinion there is no intrinsic value in adding a mirror box and/or an optical viewfinder to a mirrorless camera. The only real weakness of µ4/3 cameras to date is the inability to focus fast and reliably on moving subjects. Nikon has already shown that this can be achieved in a conventional (!) mirrorless camera like their V1 and J1 where they incorporated phase-detect AF. According to Thom Hogan's review this works and I for one value his opinions highly. So it's quite simple: we're set if Panny and Olympus include the same PDAF technology. EVFs will continue to improve anyway so that an optical viewfinder will not be considered better by the majority of users some years from now.

    If you want to use exotic concepts like Sony's SLT design or Fuji's hybrid viewing system, µ4/3 is most probably not the way to go. I don't expect Panasonic nor Olympus to adopt these technologies.
  14. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Not true. You rarely see lenses over 90mm because they just don't work with the non-ttl rangefinder viewing setup - for instance, the image area for a 300mm lens through a rangefinder would be tiny and composition would be basically impossible...
  15. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Partially not true either. Some 135mm Elmarits had what is affectionately referred to as "Bug eyes" in order to magnify the viewing.

    The real reason: Base length of Rangefinder mechanisms.

    Coincidentally, my bug eye'd 135mm Elmarit doesn't see much use because it is a bit unwieldy. One of the least popular lenses in the M-Leica line for that reason. I believe its design was "borrowed" from Leica-R system which is an SLR design were lenses didn't have to be so small to be comfortable to use. So both you and Laimness are "partially" true.
  16. lightbulb

    lightbulb Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2012
    If Panny studies the V1 and J1, all PDAF SLR will be in deep trouble.... I begin to see your point that mirror SLR is losing its ground to mirror less.
  17. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Well, except for the FOV multiplier. A 200m lens on m43 is going to be a lot smaller than a 400mm lens on FF. And no, cropping the FF isn't the same, unless you have a 60 MP sensor to retain 16mp on your cropped image.
  18. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    For continuous AF tracking subjects, I have yet to use any camera Hybrid (Demo'd Fuji) nor CDAF mirror-less (OMD E-M5) that is as good as the professional level DSLR with a mirror box (Canon 1dMark II). The gap is closing but it still has a bit of progress to be made.
  19. NJH

    NJH Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    South West England
    I had an E3 and at the same time could compare it back to back with my E-P2 and the EVF2. The viewfinders are about the same size with similar eye relief, the evf is brighter and has the added benefit of a live histogram etc. The only negative I could see is the blackout time after taking a shot but the latest m4/3 cameras have improved on this area dramatically. For some bizarre reason Fuji have the opposite problem with an EVF that stutters on a shutter half press even in MF mode. Its pretty clear though that EVF systems are getting better every year and the mirror is effectively dead technology. The real issue is making a lens and camera system that can take advantage of this fact and currently m4/3 has a huge head start and has perhaps made some better engineering decisions than Sony Nex for example.
  20. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    ...and VF obstruction...
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