PetaPixel: Micro Four Thirds Has Japan’s Number One Market Share Among All Lens Mounts

BDR-529

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"OM Digital Solutions has announced that micro four thirds has achieved number one in market share in the number of units sold by lens mount in Japan. Supported by 56 companies, OM Digital makes the case that the 12-year-old mount is stronger than ever."

If someone is wondering what are these "units", it was clarified in the original text. They were only lenses but quite nice result in any case. MFT has always been the Alphaville of camera mounts i.e. Big in Japan.

" As a result, in 2020, we achieved the top share of the number of lenses by lens mount in the domestic market, 21.7%. "

Quite clever PR here. Even those who did read the original wording most likely missed the meaning of "by lens mount".

For example Canon and especially 3rd party manufacturers who sell to older camera owners have to split their resources between four (4!) mounts: EF, EF-S, EF-M and RF which are not added up in these tables. MFT did get at least this part right. Originally that is.

Unfortunately MFT share would drop substantially if m4/3 lenses are also split into two groups where essential build-in features are really supported by the lens mount. Oly and panny did shoot themselves in the foot when they allowed IS and AF systems drift so far away from each other that they are in reality no longer compatible with each other even if lenses still "work" per se.
 

retiredfromlife

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Unfortunately MFT share would drop substantially if m4/3 lenses are also split into two groups where essential build-in features are really supported by the lens mount. Oly and panny did shoot themselves in the foot when they allowed IS and AF systems drift so far away from each other that they are in reality no longer compatible with each other even if lenses still "work" per se.
I think that is something JIP & Panasonic need to work on if the system is to survive and grow. I think if they keep going their own way with AF, IS and weather proofing on lenses they will only hasten their own demise.

If the system was well established and profitable they could go it alone, but alas it seems it is not. Will they cut off their own noses just to keep face ?

Just my thoughts, I realise others differ on the issue of full compatability.
 

pake

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Sorry to say but the co-operation with Pana and Oly image stabilizers will never happen. We all know it would make sense in every way but Pana sees Oly more as an enemy than an ally - and vice versa.
 

RAH

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I agree that it would be better if Oly and Pany AF and IS were the same, but I think it's often not really an issue (at least now). I mean, it hasn't stopped me from having a P12-35 and now a PL12-60 as my MAIN lens (and also a PL8-18, 15, and 20) on an Oly body.
 

BDR-529

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Perhaps if we all write to Sigma they'll start making more lenses for us? I can think of more than one lens they already make that I'd like to see with a m4/3 mount on the rear end...

Sigma is making only f/1.4 primes for MFT but especially the 16mm and 56mm ones are generally considered to provide good bang for the buck. What we could really use is affordable but fast zoom lens because no such thing really exists. For some reason even Olympus created mainly constant aperture f/4 pro lenses which are definitely not fast even in the FF world let alone in MFT where low light performance is the only real IQ issue.

Even Tamron made a single 14-150mm zoon lens for m4/3 despite being partially owned by Sony but that's the last we heard from them. Perhaps both oly and panny were not willing to open their dual-IS specifications which is practically mandatory for any superzoom lens but any 3rd party manufacturer could easily design a gasket that supports panny and oly weatherproofing. At least this incompatibility was created intentionally.
 

fortwodriver

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Sorry to say but the co-operation with Pana and Oly image stabilizers will never happen. We all know it would make sense in every way but Pana sees Oly more as an enemy than an ally - and vice versa.

Sorry, how do you know this? There's substantial cross-licensing between them for a number of technologies. Even if some random Panasonic manager claims he hates Olympus/OMDS, there is still a working relationship.

Remember ages ago when people raved about how Olympus invented TTL flash? They actually didn't. They licensed the technology from Minolta who hadn't applied it to a camera yet.

When designing these things (cameras) there's a bevy of existing inventions available for licensing and use. You'd be surprised who is using who's technology - even sometimes supposed rivals are sharing stuff behind the scenes.

I wouldn't be surprised if Konica is making money off of Sony, Ricoh-Pentax, Fuji, and Olympus for IBIS.
 
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BDR-529

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Sorry, how do you know this? There's substantial cross-licensing between them for a number of technologies. Even if some random Panasonic manager claims he hates Olympus/OMDS, there is still a working relationship.

We already know that co-operation between Olympus and Panasonic never materialized because Olympus is no longer in camera business.

JIP might be more willing to co-operate with Panasonic because they don't gain anything from having a larger share of ... nothing. This is the likely outcome if the already marginal MFT ecosystem splits into two non-compatible subsystems.

This is already the case if you look at high-end lenses where weather sealing, lightning fast AF and dual IS are the key selling points and no longer interchangeable between brands (basic AF of course works and lens itself is weather sealed but this will just not cut it at that price point)

There is also the very interesting question of what happened to Olympus patent portfolio. I have not seen any official statement about IPR transfer. Only existing products, some production facilities and R&D staff were transferred but this doesn't mean that JIP got a single patent in the deal. OMDS might even have to pay (on paper) a licensing fee to Olympus for every camera they sell.
 

fortwodriver

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We already know that co-operation between Olympus and Panasonic never materialized because Olympus is no longer in camera business.

How do you already know? Is there something that says technical exchanges have ceased or don't exist? I don't see any proof of that.
How do you know Olympus didn't exchange IP with Panasonic regardless of the status of their business units?

I don't consider the blogosphere a good indicator of business partnerships.

Patent portfolios may be irrelevant to JIP. I suspect they have full access to Olympus' cache of patents as well as such from Konica, Canon, Kyocera, Tamron, Kenko-Tokina, Nikon, Sharp-Foxconn, and companies who have no product of their own, and rely solely on tech and manufacturing licensing. They will pay to play just like everyone else.

That's how Tamron kept going, and it also how they kept Bronica alive as long as they did.
 

BDR-529

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How do you already know?

From now on any co-operation between MFT camera manufacturers will, or will not take place between JIP owned OMDS and Panasonic who are the only players in m4/3 ecosystem (if we ignore that Indiegogo project and one weird contraption that is only sold in mainland China)

Olympus is no longer in this business so could we finally stop pretending that "Olympus" will do this or that in 2021?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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If someone is wondering what are these "units", it was clarified in the original text. They were only lenses but quite nice result in any case. MFT has always been the Alphaville of camera mounts i.e. Big in Japan.

" As a result, in 2020, we achieved the top share of the number of lenses by lens mount in the domestic market, 21.7%. "

Quite clever PR here. Even those who did read the original wording most likely missed the meaning of "by lens mount".

For example Canon and especially 3rd party manufacturers who sell to older camera owners have to split their resources between four (4!) mounts: EF, EF-S, EF-M and RF which are not added up in these tables. MFT did get at least this part right. Originally that is.

Unfortunately MFT share would drop substantially if m4/3 lenses are also split into two groups where essential build-in features are really supported by the lens mount. Oly and panny did shoot themselves in the foot when they allowed IS and AF systems drift so far away from each other that they are in reality no longer compatible with each other even if lenses still "work" per se.
It's difficult to believe they will because as the new OM-D Solutions was formed most of the old Olympus management, including the head of the department, was transferred to JIP ... so it's the same old shoes but with a new coat of shoe polish, once that coat wears off we will get the same old shoes through-and-through.
And things are made worse by Panasonic's own stubbornness/limitation (don't know which one it is anymore from all the statements they keep putting out, making it feel kind of bipolar) of CD-AF only.

True progress and way to fix the problem, IF IT'S EVEN DOABLE, is for Panasonic to give access and incorporate DFD into Olympus cameras and lenses and for Olympus to improve Panasonic's DFD and (doubtful it's possible since Sony is the one who makes and designs the sensors) incorporate PD-AF on the sensor with their cross-type AF points. A mix of these 2 technologies put together with collaboration between both companies could actually take on Canon's Dual Pixel AF as well as Sony's top-class AF as well, beating them in accuracy and performance.

One even bigger step would be such a tight collaboration between Panasonic and Olympus would be commission Panasonic to make dedicated/oriented video featured cameras and Olympus to make dedicated/oriented photography lenses ... since that's where their strength are, and if AF would be the strong point along with Dual/Sync IS between the two you have double the amount of lens options with literally no downsides.

But the more I go on the more I feel like it's the ramblings of a (wishful) madman and less like a (potential) reality.
 

PakkyT

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Perhaps if we all write to Sigma they'll start making more lenses for us? I can think of more than one lens they already make that I'd like to see with a m4/3 mount on the rear end...

Bring back the 105mm and 150mm f/2.8 1:1 macro primes in m43 mount. They used to make them in 4/3rds mount and were very popular, or at least very well regarded by the people who used them.
 

fortwodriver

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From now on any co-operation between MFT camera manufacturers will, or will not take place between JIP owned OMDS and Panasonic who are the only players in m4/3 ecosystem (if we ignore that Indiegogo project and one weird contraption that is only sold in mainland China)

Olympus is no longer in this business so could we finally stop pretending that "Olympus" will do this or that in 2021?

You don't know that, for sure. You don't know that the IP portfolio isn't a source of income for them. You also don't know what Olympus is thinking about 10-20 years down the line. Heck, you don't even know what JIP plans to actually do next month.
 

BDR-529

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(doubtful it's possible since Sony is the one who makes and designs the sensors) incorporate PD-AF on the sensor with their cross-type AF points.

I believe that dependence on PDAF sensors was the very reason why Olympus finally decided to divest their entire camera unit and was forced to make that desicion in early 2020. And DFD is the only reason why panny is still in MFT business.

By 2019 there was only one high-end MFT sensor supplier left - Sony - and thanks to their monopoly, Sony was in a position to dictate any price they want for a custom sensor which only one customer needs or flatly refuse requests to make such a niche product at any price.

It was already known by that time that Sony will release a new 8k MFT sensor for industrial and surveillance camera applications in 2020 but only Panny was able to use it in ILC cameras "as is" thanks to their decision to use DFD instead of PDAF. This 8k MFT sensor has been in production since last september and Industrial/surveillance version is sold as IMX492.

Knowing that Panny was about to release GH6 with this 41MP sensor at Photokina in May 2020, Olympus was forced to either pay whatever Sony asked for a custom version of this chip with PFAD cells like they did with IMX270 in 2016 or try to compete against brand new 41MP panny models plus the avalance of FF cameras with their four year old 20MP custom sensor.

After booking over $200M losses from camera unit they decided to call it quits instead.

As per today we don't know whether panny is about to do something similar because GH6 release was cancelled and even rumours of it's resurrection are starting to grow cold. Thanks to DFD panny was even able to use another non-PDAF sensor and release such interesting products as GH5S and BGH1 which are apparently very successfull in their own niche but they are not really MFT cameras.
 
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BDR-529

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d'ems the ones!!

Nope, just bring back THIS instead:
https://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/telephoto.html#i_035-100mm_f020_olympus

It's totally incomprehensible why Olympus never released a m4/3 version of ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 35-100mm F2.0 when the only real handicap of MFT system is known to be the low light IQ.

Even f/2.0 isn't all that fast but Olympus went the exact opposite direction with m4/3 and now most "pro" zooms are f/4.0 which is slow by even FF standards.

The sole exception is DIGITAL ED 40-150MM 1:2.8 PRO but even that is slower than it's four thirds predecessor.
 
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Macroramphosis

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Nope, just bring back THIS instead:
https://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/telephoto.html#i_035-100mm_f020_olympus

It's totally incomprehensible why Olympus never released a m4/3 version of ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 35-100mm F2.0 when the only real handicap of MFT system is known to be the low light IQ.

Even f/2.0 isn't all that fast but Olympus went the exact opposite direction with m4/3 and now most "pro" zooms are f/4.0 which is slow by even FF standards.

The sole execption is DIGITAL ED 40-150MM 1:2.8 PRO but even that is slower than it's four thirds predecessor.
I'm not familiar with all of Sigma's lenses, but we'll put your suggestion on the list, too!
 

BDR-529

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I'm not familiar with all of Sigma's lenses, but we'll put your suggestion on the list, too!

Previous one was of course the fastest Olympus zoom lens ever designed for four thirds (of m4/3 for that matter) but Sigma used to have something interesting as well:
https://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/telephoto.html#i_300-800mm_f056_sigma

Never seen these in the second hand market so quite few must have been sold back in the day.

In four thirds era Olympus had better f/2.8 zooms as well. Today the fastest zoom you can get beyond 150mm is only f/4.5. Why?
https://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/telephoto.html#i_090-250mm_f028_olympus
 
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