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

archaeopteryx

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DFD is the only reason why panny is still in MFT business.
While I suspect only reason is very likely overstating the case, it does seem to me DFD has been and will continue to be a shrewd investment on Panasonic's part for this reason.

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
While adoption of DFD is unique to Panasonic within the ILC industry it's a widely used algorithm in other areas. The only thing stopping Olympus from using depth from defocus has been Olympus. A corollary is JIP's likely purchased a portfolio of lenses whose focus groups and motors probably aren't optimized for DFD. Whereas Panasonic's been designing for it since adopting m43. So far as I know, Olympus does remain unique for having cross-type OSPDAF but it seems unclear if Olympus's longstanding 121-point array retains an advantage over DPAF or the dense arrays of recent Sony, Nikon, and Fuji iterations.

Personally, this leaves me unsure where JIP might go for AF sensing. From an industry consolidation perspective I also don't know that quasi-merging between JIP and Panasonic is more probable or more necessary than other possibilities. Given past behavior of most ILC manufacturers, whatever does emerge may be more culturally or politically aligned than driven by business or engineering concerns.
 

BDR-529

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So far as I know, Olympus does remain unique for having cross-type OSPDAF but it seems unclear if Olympus's longstanding 121-point array retains an advantage over DPAF or the dense arrays of recent Sony, Nikon, and Fuji iterations.

Excatly one year ago I had decided to buy either E-M1 III or GH6 but make the decision only after I have have seen all reviews and waited untill both are actually available (unless it becomes immediately clear that GH6 will be too expensive etc).

As we know today, GH6 never came but E-M1 III (and corona) did and no matter how positive things I tried to find, one of the findings on each review (not just DPR) was that the latest iteration of 121 point AF is better than ever thanks to some machine learning algorithms but already lagging behind competition especially in tracking mode

(For comparison A7III has 693 phase detection points and 425 for contrast detection but is today only 100€ more expensive than M1.3 at least here in Europe)

Back in 2016 when this sensor and 121 cross-type AF point autofocus was introduced in M1.2 even DPR review admitted that it's the best AF system on any mirrorless camera and compared it with flagship SLR models from Canon and Nikon "It's not perfect, but the E-M1 II's autofocus system is the best we've seen from a mirrorless ILC.".

Unfortunately development has been so rapid that four years is an eternity in mirrorless cameras and Olympus must have known all too well in 2019 that they must invest in new custom PDAF sensor if they want to stay in this business. They didn't and they didn't.
 
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Excatly one year ago I had decided to buy either E-M1 III or GH6 but make the decision only after I have have seen all reviews and waited untill both are actually available (unless it becomes immediately clear that GH6 will be too expensive etc).

As we know today, GH6 never came but E-M1 III (and corona) did and no matter how positive things I tried to find, one of the findings on each review (not just DPR) was that the latest iteration of 121 point AF is better than ever thanks to some machine learning algorithms but already lagging behind competition especially in tracking mode

(For comparison A7III has 693 phase detection points and 425 for contrast detection but is today only 100€ more expensive than M1.3 at least here in Europe)

Back in 2016 when this sensor and 121 cross-type AF point autofocus was introduced in M1.2 even DPR review admitted that it's the best AF system on any mirrorless camera and compared it with flagship SLR models from Canon and Nikon "It's not perfect, but the E-M1 II's autofocus system is the best we've seen from a mirrorless ILC.".

Unfortunately development has been so rapid that four years is an eternity in mirrorless cameras and Olympus must have known all too well in 2019 that they must invest in new custom PDAF sensor if they want to stay in this business. They didn't and they didn't.

By 2015 the ILC market was in full decline with losses worse in the supporting P&S categories both Olympus and Panasonic depended on for gross revenues.

3 years ago Panasonic sold their silicon fab after 20 years of losses, transfer to TSMC competed 11 months ago.

DFD or PDAF makes little difference when the overall m43 market is so boutique it cannot capitalize a unique sensor.
 
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fortwodriver

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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.

I was under the impression that their scarcity had more to do with how few they produced.

To clarify: Lots of people WROTE and TALKED about those two lenses on fora, but I really don't think they sold many. AF was pretty slow on the both and lots of people dumped them thinking they should be able to AF every macro shot at that focal length. It wasn't a lens issue, it was an expectation issue. Additionally, some people had AF issues with it when trying to use the 150 with m43. It wouldn't AF.
 

PakkyT

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Previous one was of course the fastest Olympus zoom lens ever designed for four thirds (of m4/3 for that matter)

That and its sister lens the 14-35 f2.


I was under the impression that their scarcity had more to do with how few they produced.

I was semi interested in them back in the day but not really being a macro shooter never bought one. But I do not recall them ever not being available from the usual retailers. So if they were scarce, it is news to me.
 

BDR-529

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DFD or PDAF makes little difference when the overall m43 market is so boutique it cannot capitalize a unique sensor.

If we only look at consumer camera market i.e. panny G9, M1.3 and so on, this is very much true.

Yet Sony did release a brand new 8k MFT sensor last year and has been manufacturing it for surveillance and industrial market as IMX492 in quantities for several months despite the fact that neither panny nor oly are apparently going to use it anytime soon.

While consumer camera market is shrinking, there are other very fast growing markets that demand high definition imaging in the future and they need it in even more compact package than consumer cameras: surveillance, automotive and industrial machine vision.

I found an imarc research which claimed that the value of total global digital consumer camera (ILC+pocket) market was 15 billion USD in 2019.

Just one of the other potential MFT users, surveillance cameras had already exceeded that level:
"A new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates the worldwide video surveillance camera market will grow to $44 billion by 2025, up from $23.6 billion in 2019, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 13%"

As a funny sidenote panny did just sell their surveillance camera business as well but just because they want to concentrate on even more lucrative market: autonomous vehicles. Passenger car sales alone will top 60 million units per year and add all the busses, trucks, forklifts and whatever to this number.

Any sort of automation from level 3 to 5 requires a *lot* of high definition cameras that work perfectly under any condition on every vehicle and of course plenty of other sensors like LIDAR and IR. MFT is a perfect compromize because it's the smallest sensor that can deliver near FF IQ out of way much smaller footprint especially when lens is taken into equation.

There are also no whining pixel peepers in industrial markets. It something does the job, buyers don't care if someone else releases every year new more and more expensive models which do the job and add some unnecessary levels on top of that.
 
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Erich_H

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If we only look at consumer camera market i.e. panny G9, M1.3 and so on, this is very much true.

Yet Sony did release a brand new 8k MFT sensor last year and has been manufacturing it for surveillance and industrial market as IMX492 in quantities for several months despite the fact that neither panny nor oly are apparently going to use it anytime soon.

While consumer camera market is shrinking, there are other very fast growing markets that demand high definition imaging in the future and they need it in even more compact package than consumer cameras: surveillance, automotive and industrial machine vision.

I found an imarc research which claimed that the value of total global digital consumer camera (ILC+pocket) market was 15 billion USD in 2019.

Just one of the other potential MFT users, surveillance cameras had already exceeded that level:
"A new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates the worldwide video surveillance camera market will grow to $44 billion by 2025, up from $23.6 billion in 2019, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 13%"

As a funny sidenote panny did just sell their surveillance camera business as well but just because they want to concentrate on even more lucrative market: autonomous vehicles. Passenger car sales alone will top 60 million units per year and add all the busses, trucks, forklifts and whatever to this number.

Any sort of automation from level 3 to 5 requires a *lot* of high definition cameras that work perfectly under any condition on every vehicle and of course plenty of other sensors like LIDAR and IR. MFT is a perfect compromize because it's the smallest sensor that can deliver near FF IQ out of way much smaller footprint especially when lens is taken into equation.

There are also no whining pixel peepers in industrial markets. It something does the job, buyers don't care if someone else releases every year new more and more expensive models which do the job and add some unnecessary levels on top of that.
The Chinese already have deployed surveillance cameras in the Terapixel range.

Combined with AI to identify individual persons from miles away, based on movement patterns, and mandatory face scans to access anything and everything, a brave new world awaits us all!

And no whining pixel peepers in sight!
 

pake

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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.
They haven't shared their secrets so far and I don't see 'em doing so in the future either. I'm right until they prove me wrong. ;)
 

BDR-529

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There are very interesting similarities between MFT and FUJI situation.

Readers of m4/3 forum know that even a datasheet of a new 41MP MFT Sony sensor was "leaked" in late 2019 and before corona killed the whole market, it was taken for granted that at least Panasonic GH6 will have this sensor. There were even some rumours around 41MP Olympus models in late 2019. GH6 announcement was scheduled to take place during Photokina in May 2020.

Lo and behold, this Sony MFT sensor did really exist and it even entered mass production last year as "surveillance" IMX492 because neither Panasonic, nor Olympus ever released cameras which use it.

Around the same time (January 2020) there were rumours including a datasheet of new 43MP Sony APS-C sensor IMX671 which was going to power the long awaited Fuji X-H2 and Sony A7000. Needless to say, we have not seen X-H2, A7000 or said 8k APS-C sensor for that matter.

After A7C release it has become pretty clear that FF is the new crop sensor for Sony and thanks to de facto monopoly in camera sensors, they can simply squeeze out any competitor who is not ready or willing to buy what they see fit to manufacture at the price they set.

Even Canon faces the same problem as Sony: total ILC volumes are so low that they can't afford to waste resources maintaining two different mount systems and lens portfolios that are so close to each other that one of them - FF - can cover the entire remaining product range after all entry-level models are anyway killed by smartphones.

Even OMDS and Panny (MFT) have clearly stated that they will concentrate only on high-end models so pretty soon nobody needs systems which are good for low-end models only because there will be none left.
 

pake

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Even OMDS and Panny (MFT) have clearly stated that they will concentrate only on high-end models so pretty soon nobody needs systems which are good for low-end models only because there will be none left.
I'd say the low-end models will be using the older sensors for longer periods of time in the future. Now that the E-M10IV has the 20MP sensor, I'm sure the next two or even three E-M10s will be using the exact same sensor only due to the Sony pricing. That is if OMDS is alive long enough for that to happen. :D
 

ABFoz

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No estoy listo para esto todavía.
"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."

https://petapixel.com/2021/01/29/mi...umber-one-market-share-among-all-lens-mounts/
Not surprised. My brother who lives there said that many people carry their cameras all the time and Olympus' PEN line is rather common, at least during his daily commute. He says the Japanese value portability and image quality at the same time and that is the selling point of MFT for them. They are still gearheads, he says, much like how they treat their cars, but they take photos, as well. He says he would describe them as photography nerds who love their gear.
 
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