Olympus might join L-mount alliance

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I think this kind of rumor, even though it has just been posted on that site, has been brought up a couple of weeks ago already. While they are referring to a Japanese site as the source, which might have some internal sources of their own, making these vague guesses of the few facts we know already isn't too hard. Yes the L-Mount Alliance has announced new partners will join, however not who they'll be. Yet this is where the facts pretty much stop.

OMDS has announced a "Wow!"-camera or rather product, however why should an Olympus FF camera "wow" everybody, besides if they are going to announce a FF camera, they also need at least some basic lenses of their own instead of sitting back and refer to 3rd party L-Mount lenses of other companies - Panasonic included. I don't see why a "Wow!"-camera needs to be FF related. OM Digital also announced there are lenses in the work which aren't on the roadmap, this could also be taken as a FF rumor, but it could very well just be more MFT lenses like the smaller f4 counterpart of the 40-150 f2.8 Pro a lot of people have already been speculating about.

Next up is true, OMDS is now free from the old Olympus management philosophy and decisions, however that doesn't hint they are starting to drop MFT in any form. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if Olympus Imaging was indeed held back or limited by pressure from Olympus management, but that is also related to their MFT product line, not their photography line as a whole unit.


One should always remember FF doesn't automatically mean financial success, I simply still don't really see OM Digital going this route on the long run. I wouldn't be surprised if we see some news soon. Their OM Magazine's first issue was valid for January to March. With March being almost over, one can pretty much assume the second issue is somewhere around the corner covering at least April to June, which means it's out due to next month. OMDS will know they can't repeat words over and over again without any new announcements, so they'll have to actually start delivering on those words.
 

Mack

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Given OMDS was shown as losing market share in another m43 rumors thread ( https://www.43rumors.com/new-bcnranking-data-shows-om-digital-is-loosing-market-share-in-japan/ ) I can't see this being benefical at this time with the other FF'ers ramping up their mirrorless offerings. Strange Panny isn't mentioned in the BCN article either, nor Nikon.
Again I think the lost of marketshare is not fully connected to the fact OMDS is only offering MFT (crop sensor) products. The decline started in September, so well after the first announcement Olympus is selling their Imaging Division. Olympus and JIP have been more or less silent or at least always rather vague about the feature of the Imaging Division, which I guess also related to people not trusting in a future of the system. With OM Digital Solutions now active since beginning of the year, they need to reassure people how they are serious about the company and their products.

Interestingly not only Sony gained a fair share, but Fujifilm gained 10% marketshare in the same period, especially beginning in November. I highly doubt this is related to their medium format GFX line.
 

doady

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This is not even a rumour, just one website reporting speculation from another website. Maybe "4/3 Rumors: DC Life speculates that Olympus might join L-mount alliance" would have been a more accurate thread title, or least put a question mark.
 

exakta

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One should always remember FF doesn't automatically mean financial success

Agreed.

Sony has been #1 in FF mirrorless simply because they were the only choice for years. As more mfrs enter, all they can hope to do is chip away at Sony marketshare. The later a mfr waits to enter, the tougher it is to get enough market share to be successful.

This is simply Marketing 101 stuff.
 

dwkdnvr

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I have to admit that the biggest surprise for me about L-mount and Panny's involvement was that they designed the flange so that it seems to be basically impossible to adapt/convert M43 glass to L-mount. I figured this would be Panny's built-in migration path - an 8k capable FF sensor with a 4k M43 crop. Easy sell to video-centric folks, and 12MP stills is still 'decent enough' to get a reasonable number of stills shooters on board.

For Oly though, I'm not sure that even that type of migration would be/would have been viable since they're so much more rooted in stills shooters rather than video. For Oly to try to join L-mount at this point would make it a Johnny-come-lately member in a group that is already trying to play catch up. Sounds like a Hail-Mary type situation - not a great look for your first notable movement as new ownership.

My M43 gear languished for a couple years and I've recently dusted it off, and went through the "if I'm kinda restarting anyway, is it time to switch systems" process. The Panny S5 is a pretty compelling body, but it just feels like jumping in to anything other than Sony or Canon at the moment is pretty risky (or maybe Fuji, but I just can't seem to get excited about that despite my wife having Fuji gear so we could consolidate systems). So, I've settled on giving the situation a year or so to shake out.
 
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I have to admit that the biggest surprise for me about L-mount and Panny's involvement was that they designed the flange so that it seems to be basically impossible to adapt/convert M43 glass to L-mount. I figured this would be Panny's built-in migration path - an 8k capable FF sensor with a 4k M43 crop. Easy sell to video-centric folks, and 12MP stills is still 'decent enough' to get a reasonable number of stills shooters on board.

I think when Panasonic was tasked by Leica to develop the mount there was no notion that it would grow into anything more. It was to be Leica's FF digital SLR-type mirrorless mount. (Edit: Come to think of it, I think it was originally an APSC mirrorless mount.) Then Panasonic sought to amoritize the cost even more and asked Sigma for help.
 

JonSnih

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Olympus and JIP have been more or less silent or at least always rather vague about the feature of the Imaging Division, which I guess also related to people not trusting in a future of the system. With OM Digital Solutions now active since beginning of the year, they need to reassure people how they are serious about the company and their products.

So far the 150-400mm has been delivered as promised last year. The next item in the pipeline (Q2 2021) is the 8-25mm F4 Pro. Also a new FW upgrade for the 1X is coming (it will feature new AI subject tracking mode). Ppl on forums will keep trolling until the next OM-D is released. If it is the 1Xii, they will belittle it no matter how good it is. It is a never ending cycle. M4/3 as format has no value among gearheads.
 

BDR-529

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A built-in upgrade path for Olympus and Panasonic. Panasonic is already in the L-mount clan.

I believe this rumour is based on the fact that L-mount alliance did announce one month ago that they are about to get a new member.

There are three traditional ILC manufacturers left without mirrorless FF: Fuji, Olympus and Pentax.

Fuji is doing pretty OK with APS-C/medium format and there is no obvious gap for FF between these two. Add FF and both APS-C and medium would become sort of redundant.

Pentax is "fully committed to SLR" and Ricoh doesn't seem to be interested in pouring any more money to this niche.

Only Olympus is left and they already did exactly this in 1972 when company did stop manufacturing crop film cameras and jump into 35mm SLR bandwagon with great success.
 
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demiro

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I'll eat my hamster if OMDS move into FF.

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Seems highly unlikely to me. Olympus has no even remotely modern lenses that would accommodate an FF sensor. And given the current state of the industry can't see where the investment in a whole new set of lenses would make sense. Unless they decide to become a lens-only manufacturer, like Sigma or Tamron.
Pentax would seem to be be a likelier candidate, given they already have FF lenses that could in theory be given a new mount.
 

BDR-529

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I have to admit that the biggest surprise for me about L-mount and Panny's involvement was that they designed the flange so that it seems to be basically impossible to adapt/convert M43 glass to L-mount.

It's called "L-mount" because it was designed by Leica, not Panasonic.

Actually it wasn't even called L-mount when it was introduced in 2014 when Leica-T (typ 701) was launched. Back then it was "T-mount" and Panny&co only joined the alliance in 2018. I remember seeing a very long reasoning behind the mechanical dimensions by some Leica engineer but M4/3 compatibility was certainly not in the list.

And it would be totally pointless to create M4/3 to L-mount adapter even if it was technically possible. Why on earth would anyone want to use a lens that covers only 25% center of the larger sensor? You'll end up with 6MP images with a standard 24MP FF sensor.

The other way around it would make some sense because almost all adapted manual lenses were originally designed for 35mm film
 
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It's called "L-mount" because it was designed by Leica, not Panasonic.

Actually it wasn't even called L-mount when it was introduced in 2014 when Leica-T (typ 701) was launched. Back then it was "T-mount" and Panny&co only joined the alliance in 2018. I remember seeing a very long reasoning behind the mechanical dimensions by some Leica engineer but M4/3 compatibility was certainly not in the list.

I think it is a pretty well known secret that Panasonic has either designed, or at least played a large part, in much of Leica's MILC products - that being the T, TL, CL, SL, and Q.
 

Bengeo

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I'll eat my hamster if OMDS move into FF.
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I think the hamster is probably safe! EDIT: Sorry @demiro - I didn't see you had got there first!
 

BDR-529

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I think it is a pretty well known secret that Panasonic has either designed, or at least played a large part, in much of Leica's MILC products - that being the T, TL, CL, SL, and Q.

Leica and Panasonic co-operation was established 20 years ago and as you mentioned, several models were pure badge engineering. Even today Leica ILC models look an awfull lot like panny equivalents and tech specs are eerily similar too.
https://www.dpreview.com/articles/1816652576/leicapanasonic

Panny certainly provided technical advice to Leica but it took four years after T-mount was introduced in 2014 before Panny and Sigma officially licenced it in 2018. This move came as a surprise because nobody apparently believed that panny had ambitions to enter the mirrorless FF bandwagon at all.

L-mount allicance is expected to have a big launch today. If rumours are true Sigma fp-L should have the latest Sony 60MP sensor at $2500 price point which sounds more than a bit optimistic.
 

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